Friday, May 16, 2014

It's My Opinion

    Recently I was called "opinionated" and at first it really bothered me but after thinking about it and about my life journey I have a right to my opinions.  I'm 48 years old, have 11 kids and 1 grandchild, live on a farm, homeschool our kids, divorced parents and now step parents, own my own business so yes, I may have a few opinions.  I don't know everything and keep trying to learn.

  One thing I've learned on our 17 year homeschooling journey is to READ.  Read multiple books, articles on subjects.  Many schools give you a textbook per subject.  The problem there is you are reading one person's opinion and not allowed to form your own opinion.  You are being taught to believe what the author wants you to believe.  Our way of learning is more classical where you learn reading various book from various authors to form your own opinion.  I'm not telling my kids how to think but teaching them to think.  To form opinions on multiple things they've read pro and con.  

   The past few years I pick a subject and buy myself books to keep learning.  One year it was homesteading, then onto various farm animals.  Then that lead to herbs.  I've gone so far as to read cookbooks.  This past winter was religion and theology.  Yeah, I kind of got deep this past winter.   I even have a Protestant Bible and a Catholic Bible to be able to compare. I went so far as to visit with our Priest for a couple of hours to confirm what I was reading.   Recently I saw on facebook an interesting quote...If you stop asking questions you stop learning.
My thinking chair
   Opinions are not only formed by what you read but personal experience.  My FIL would say "Experience is the best teacher."  One winter we read a bunch of books on poultry, we read everything we could find.  Then we bought chickens thinking we knew what we were doing.  Then came time to butcher...we quickly discovered we knew nothing.  So then we found a couple of neighbors that were able to teach us.  That is a day our family will never forget.  

    Being a mom for 30 years with 11 kids I have seen changes all over the spectrum.  Styles of cloth diapers have drastically changed then throw in the different fabrics.   From a few vaccines to multiple vaccines within a short amount of time.  When our oldest was born we read Dr. Spock and asked lots of questions.  There was no internet.  Our youngest is 5 and I find myself reading so much more.  You'd think with my experience I wouldn't need to but things are changing and you get one shot at doing the right thing for your child.  I asked my MIL advice all the time and she'd chuckle and say "you married my baby so it's been a long time since I had a baby"...LOL  Never hurt to ask though.  

     Having seen divorce upfront at 17 years old is much different than 7 or not at all.  So that has made some of my views on marriage probably different than yours.  I actually thought that when you're married you need to fight.  So I was always trying to fight with Mark and he'd never give in to me, which then made me madder...LOL  I think back at that time and I'm very blessed that Mark taught me a new way of marriage.  Since then we don't fight we talk things out.  It was a very rough beginning that lasted about 10 years.  Mark came from a strong marriage family and I grew up seeing things and hearing things that I probably shouldn't have, but that is what makes me who I am today.  I put my energy now into fighting for our marriage and family and not against it.  

    Starting my own soap business began way back and I noticed all of our kids had sensitive skin.  Plus, when our 2 and 3 year old fed our nine month old a half a bottle of shampoo and I called the poison control center and they didn't know if there was anything harmful in that shampoo...that doesn't sit too well with this mama.  That's when I began my search with the ingredients in products.  Which then lead to me making soap for the family.  

     So next time you hear someone's opinion or see it posted on facebook before you speak...think.  Read the article that they posted.  You need to gain information on both sides before you can make an educated comment.  Think about how this affects you, future generations and all of mankind in general.  Think about the morals you grew up with and if this goes with your upbringing.  Finally, think about if this pleases God.  When you're standing at the pearly gates will you be confident with how you lived your life or will you be the one shaking in your boots?  

   With so many "hot topics" in the world today and so many opinions I'd like to conclude with the poem The Dash  The first time I heard it was during a homily at our church last fall and it's still in my mind.  Just because you have a diploma or degree doesn't mean you are done are just beginning.  


  1. Excellent post Marlene. I couldn't agree more. I often tell my kids when you stop learning is when you stop living, there is always something new to discover and some new perspective to acquaint yourself with. We don't always have to change our opinions but when we stop questioning why we do what we do and why we believe what we believe we are left with a shallow existence.

  2. Well said Marlene. I tend to express my opinions and have been blessed that no one yet has knocked me for them. As my dad always said, "we can agree to disagree". That's what makes us unique, and that's what makes America!