Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Rebel Without A Cause

Deep down in my heart, I love peace and order. I appreciate rules and like to follow them (most of the time). I am happy when things are in their assigned place. I live by lists. Any other Type As out there know what I'm talking about?

You'd think with this profile that I must have been an obedient child, a well-behaved teen, and a role-model as a young adult. But somewhere deep within lurks a nasty seed of rebellion...

Reflecting on my teen years is a dangerous thing, because I now see things through the eyes of a mother - with three daughters! It makes me love and appreciate my mom even more. It also makes me want to apologise to her.

While I was pregnant with my first, I became aware that I needed to grow up. I realized that I needed Jesus in my life - because there was no way I could do this motherhood thing without Him. Things like establishing a heritage of faith became very important to me. So I put aside my rebellious ways...

Or so I thought.

Somewhere in my teen years I began a different pattern of rebellion. I rebelled against anything that was 'in' or 'cool' or 'trendy.' In many ways this was a natural response to the financial constraints that prevented me from achieving 'cool.' My mom was, for many years, single-parenting me. So there were some basic guidelines about shopping - she would buy what I needed, I had to take care of what I wanted. The one and only pair of Tommy Hilfiger jeans I owned took me months of saving! It didn't take me long to realize that no matter how hard I strove to fit in, I would not have the many trappings that were expected of the 'in' crowd. (I tried to use the word "strived" here; apparently spellchecker thinks that word doesn't exist, but "strove" isn't much better, is it?)

So what does one do when one realizes becoming popular is impossible? Well, one becomes bound and determined to avoid all things popular, to develop a strong disdain for all things trendy. Because the last thing one wants is for anyone to find out that one really does want nothing more than acceptance.

I chose to convert my desperate need to feel accepted by my peers into a passion for making choices that would make me different. Anyone else done this? I see so many teens heading through the mall in their 'goth' and 'emo' outfits (complete with makeup) and I think to myself, "I've got you figured..."

I just realised that that is still me. Even at 30-years-old, I mask my true desire to be accepted with a veneer of disdain for virtually anything considered trendy. Here are a few things I've been rebelling against...

Nice clothing. I continue to shop at WalMart for clothing. Which would be fine (and it is nice financially, and given my frequent size changes), except that I choose casual over 'grown-up' every time. I was folding laundry yesterday and realized that 90% of my wardrobe is 100% cotton. I want to look nice, put-together, attractive, yet my heart of rebellion keeps me buying exercise gear and jeans - because I don't want people to think I all-of-a-sudden care about looking good and fitting in. By the way, if 'What Not to Wear' comes to Canada, and anyone would like to nominate me, I'd gladly buy you a Timmy's coffee for your troubles!

The environment. I barely recycle. I use disposable diapers and plastic bags at alarming rates. If I don't use way too much water and electricity it's simply because I'm trying to save money. People are forever talking about 'going green.' Everyone seems to be hopping on the 'environmentally friendly bandwagon.' But not me - nu-uh! I'm not going to start being all crazy about saving the environment...because we all know that nothing we do now can actually repair the damage that's been done, so ultimately it's just another one of those trendy things. (*Being self-deprecating here...I really DO care, I just resist showing it.)

Homeschooling. Before you get all excited - I WILL NOT be homeschooling my children anytime soon! I don't believe God is placing that call on me. But in the past I have made the same statement while in my head I thought, "I know, I know, all the cool moms are doing it. What is WITH this crazy trend, anyway? I will NEVER..." It really is a growing trend, and I do believe that there are a lot of moms doing it for the wrong reasons - such as fitting in, being admired, feeling like 'Super Mom.' But I realise, too, that there are a lot of women homeschooling because God has called them to - because that's what's best for them and their children, for this time in their lives.

Organic food. I've always said that I don't 'believe' in organic food. What I mean is that I don't buy all the hype that it's really better. I don't necessarily believe that all the kids who are being raised on organic have any less chance of developing cancer than we do. But largely, I've just been busy rebelling against the ever-growing popularity of eating organic. I'd rather just choose to be different. Every now and then I wonder, though, if what I'm feeding my kids does make a difference...

Lately, I have been praying against the spirit of rebellion in our family's history (there are many rebellious souls on both sides). I have been asking God to break that chain in our family, so that our children will be free from its hold. I am claiming His deliverance for my children, so that they will have hearts to walk in obedience to Him (and their parents) and not test Him (or us). I see the fruits of such rebellion in my nephew, who has turned far away from the Lord, and my heart breaks at the idea of my own children taking that same path.

I find it interesting that once I began praying against rebellion (which I thought I had 'grown out of'), God is showing me how rebellious my heart still is. God is a funny guy!

Disclaimer: This post is in no way intended to offend those who eat organic, homeschool their children, care about the environment, or dress nicely. I love you all very much and do not at all presume that your choices are based on the current trends. Once God deals with the rebellious nature of my heart, I may very well be doing some of those same things (with the exception of the homeschooling, though - really, I have my limits).


  1. you're so funny girl! i appreciate your post. (even tho i am one of those environmentally friendly, homeschooling,-some-natural food buying moms. but i do it for my own reasons. has nothing to do w/ trends) i see things that i did to rebel as a young person in my oldest. i think he is younger than i was too, which scares me. and he is really good at hiding it, even scarier. so i pray and try to talk to him about what he's doing so that he can see it for what it really is.

  2. Ever think of writing a book?
    Seriously...not only funny...but right down to the truth...
    I love reading your blog Tyler!

    Trends...Reading your blog I see myself as a bigger rebellious person then I thought I was/am...
    My drums beat to their own following trends here...I have my own personal convictions to do things the way I do them..and oh do I buck if someone tries to get me to do something "trendy"...
    Have a great week-end!

  3. Amen to you writing a book. I think that's a must for you. I love your way with words, your way of expressing your thoughts, and your insightful, Godly wisdom. Is God calling you to be a writer? (I've actually said this to you before!)


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