Why Are Parents So Miserable?

After my response to Vegan Gains Video “Happily Married Without Kids” I received many comments describing the pitfalls of parenthood and why so many people are choosing to go kid free. One woman’s comment had a majority of the most common reasons people regret having kids or decide against parenthood in one comment. Things such as “Parenting can age you by as much as 11 years per child” I will address these points one by one. This video and the one I made originally have nothing to do with me trying to change the minds of those firmly in the “no kids” section. It is more for those who hear these messages and wonder about their validity. Is parenting being miserable something that is inevitable? Or is parenthood being a wonderful experience something we have more control over than we think?

Joshua Harris Announces Divorce: Major Misinformation & Assumptions

Purity and Courtship advocate and previous pastor Joshua Harris has announced his split from his wife. There are a lot of people making assumptions about why, and blaming the reason on his recent acknowledgement of the shortcomings in his book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”

I think this is unfair and we simply don’t have enough information to back up such a theory. Harris’ wife has come out as an ex-vangelical and has publicly shared her journey away from conservative Christianity. I think this shift has far more to do with the changes that led to their separation.

I am not a Joshua Harris fan, as I am sure I disagree with him on many theological issues, but the way people are framing this situation is very unfair and most evidence points to the exact contrary. I don’t see anything to lead me to believe Joshua Harris has rejected all his beliefs and then decided to leave his wife. I think he still believes most of what he always has with the exception that he now thinks dating is perfectly fine (which it is). I think the split has much more to do with his wife’s journey away from conservative bible based Christianity and into “spirituality.”

If an unbelieving spouse wants to leave you, there isn’t really anything you can do about it. There really just is not enough information for people to be so freely accusing him of leaving his wife.

See her posts that lead me to my conclusions in more detail in the video below.

 

How to Cope with Living in a Small Town (From a Former City Slicker)

As a life long “city girl” I know ALL the drawbacks to moving from the big city to a small town or the countryside and the hangups people have against doing so.  I’d like to get into how to cope with living in a small town and why once you are able to make adjustments it is much better for your mental and physical health to kiss the city life goodbye.

When I met my husband what attracted me to him was his rugged masculinity and individualism. What I only realized once we began to plan our lives together was that being with him meant I would never be living in a major city again. My husband is a mountain man who needs wide open spaces and property.

Here are a few of the adjustments I made over the years that have taken me from HATING small town life, to loving it far more than the big city.

Learn how to cook. 

Food options or the lack thereof are likely going to be the largest negative factor of living outside of a bigger city.  Learning how to cook  and find the ingredients for the foods I was craving the most, ended up eliminating virtually every downside I had to living in a small town.

Travel

Look at your house as an estate or a home base. We home school and once I quit my job and was able to travel, it took me from being bitter and resentful about my living situation to genuinely hating the city.  We go with my husband on his work trips every month or two. A few days in a place like Dallas, Seattle, Nashville, or Phoenix, more than gives me my fill of whatever cultural or big city activities I’d like to do, and has me so thankful to return to my small town where I am not suffocated by tall buildings and endless long lines everywhere I go.  We have decided we will probably get a couple vacation houses (one in Dallas and another outside Phoenix) that we will rent out the rest of the year. Living the simple life, and getting a taste of the city a few times a year gives you the perfect balance to meet your needs.

Turn your home into an oasis

(this takes time!!) but luckily even before you reach your goal of creating your oasis, you can focus on creating it, which takes up a lot of mental and physical energy. Turning my home into my own resort/ oasis/ vacation station is very rewarding. We have bikes, a play ground, a hot tub, my daughter has an outdoor art studio equipped with a heater for the winter and a tv for her to watch tv while crafting.  and I’ve worked on decorating and renovating our home and renovating the apartment above our garage into an airbnb rental where others will come when they’re visiting family or on vacation.

Find your places.

This means locating your favorite tanning salon, nail salon, select restaurants, and gaining increased knowledge of local events. Before you find them, you can POSITIVELY focus on finding them. This will give you a sense of purpose and a fun task to do so you don’t spend your time thinking about missing the city.

I would sooner die than ever live year round in a major city ever again. I am fine with a condo in Dallas to spend Christmas with family and a fun downtown house in Phoenix to enjoy the spring weather for a few weeks every year but nothing more.  The small town country life allows your creativity to flow, it allows you to disconnect and distance yourself from every negative cultural and mental influence that plagues us as members of modern society. It truly allows you to have it all and reap the benefits of having the best of both worlds. The thought of having a forever home in a major city or suburb now sounds oppressive and suffocating. To have land and space and freedom of movement is now so much more appealing. Horses, cows, goats, sustainability, an estate, endless possibilities to build and grow and create my own oasis, there isn’t a major city in the world that can replace the value of that.

Check out my video below, where I discuss this in detail!

 

Liberation (A Christian Short Film)

My husband made this short film in 2012 when he was merely 23 with a budget of only $600 for a Speed Christian Film Contest . It was written, shot, cast, and edited in a single week. He made it with the intent of illustrating the gospel. He truly knows how to get a job accomplished regardless of circumstances and limited resources. ( My husband is filmmaker David Kirk West, owner of Buck the System Productions) if you’d like to check out more of his work. )

This film shows that it is only through putting our trust in Christ that we can be saved. Regardless of one’s past, we are washed white as snow if we simply ask Jesus to save us. Once we are saved nothing we could ever do or not do can change that! It is merely trusting in what HE has done not of our own good works. This film follows one soldier who despite living an evil life, realized this truth before it was too late.