The Mocking Series: Culture of Home

We’ve entered into the merging of families point of this story.  After more than a year and a half since everyone knew about each other… and about 10 months after the kiddos were able to start feeling their way into this new mix of people, we understood the need to come up with a framework of sorts that we call… The Culture of the Home.

These types of transitions are fairly common in today’s society… but it doesn’t mean that they are easy.  There are many factors that go into how each of us transition into this new blended family.

From the individual personalities of each person involved in our home… to the differences in parenting and ‘marriage’ values and techniques from the past… to the conditioning that ex’s do during the times when we are apart as a family… we knew that we needed a compass that would guide us into loving the children and creating an atmosphere of grace and security in our home.

You can download our Culture of the Home at the bottom of this post…

But a disclaimer first… over the past year, we have encountered numerous times when things we have done have been laughed at or mocked.  It’s a psychological conditioning process… text book actually.  Get your subject to laugh at something, and then it is easier to control their thoughts about it.

We’d already caught wind that our culture of the home has been being mocked… which only proves the point that we need one.  So, in celebration of some of the anti-culture of our home we’ve experienced over the last year, here is a small list of some of the things that make our way into our home, that we need to stand against.

  • It’s ok to use peoples toothbrushes to clean the toilet.
  • Facebook is an acceptable place for you to blast others, but will get you grounded if you say anything about me.
  • I don’t care what you’ve experienced… that person is the boogey man.
  • It’s ok to say anything you want on facebook, so long as 25 percent of your posts that week are Bible verses.
  • Nicholas Sparks is gay… but she’s married now.
  • If you can convince enough people that you are a victim, then nobody really has to face reality.
  • Context means nothing… rewrite history instead.
  • It’s ok to insult anybody you want, as long as you chuckle and say, ‘just kidding’ afterward.
  • Always hire a lawyer.
  • Always shoot the messenger, especially when they are simply pointing out truth.
  • Get yours.
  • Family Guy really can be the compass for all relationships.
  • Sympathy is a sure fire way to perpetuate denial.
  • Religion is just a means of control and is not for us, unless we need to get her ass in line… at which point, a Dave Ramsey course on managing my… er… our finances is just what Jesus ordered.  Jesus changed my life.
  • I’m a changed man… because I said so.
  • It’s my way, or the highway… and oh… by the way…
  • Passive Aggressiveness is a Spiritual Gift… lol… just kidding…
  • When demonstrating how tough you are, always talk about someone… and not actually to them… because that would just be awkward.
  • Instill values into your children such as, ‘I expect that you tell me everything that happens over there, but keep your mouth shut about this house.
  • Being a minimalist is for people who can’t claim all the kids on the taxes first…
  • Always show your audience what a great victim… er… person you are.
  • Always delete text messages that would incriminate me… (I love you sweetie…)
  • If asked to talk about what is actually bothering you, just walk away or say, ‘stop making fun of ______________________’
  • If someone makes a valid point that makes you uncomfortable, accuse them of being a hater.

So anyway… here be our compass for a Culture of Home

Out of the Closet

I read a blog post a while back (wish I could find it now) about one writers confession that they were a fan of pop music… chiefly, Justin Timberlake.  The author of the post had to put aside the stigma of being an against-the-grain-indie-driven hipster.  In the end, however… credit needs to be given where credit is due, and an appreciation for Justin’s music was acknowledged.

This post is similar in that it is a coming out of the closet of sorts (not so much for Amy) of an appreciation for the literary works of Nicholas Sparks.  Not sure as to what kind of introduction that he needs as most lovers of love stories have at least seen The Notebook or A Walk to Remember… among others.

Speaking for myself… I’m a fan.

In my younger days, I was able to sit and digest books in the form of Judy Bloom… Paddington Bear… A Wrinkle In Time, and many others.  I remember sitting in the bowling alley on my folks league night and being immersed in these stories to pass the time as I snacked on a Pepsi and some French fries.

But… as I got older… my attention turned more to non-fiction, mainly because my studies occupied so much time and attention.  There was always a part of me through it that wished that I could once again become captivated by a good story… but nothing that I started really seemed to grip me.

Until recently… and looking back over the past 20 years, I can say that John Grishams, A Time To Kill was the only cover to cover read I was able to push through.  This gap in my literary intake has left me disappointed.

As far as genre, I’ve begun and put down so many different types of books that I began to wonder if I would ever find a cozy afternoon with a good story ever again.  Nothing really seemed to satisfied the types of emotions that I was feeling when I got gripped by a good movie.  Thrillers or mysteries always served for good entertainment… but they weren’t how I wanted to spend hours of my life covering words on a page.

Then… nearly a year ago… the opportunity came for me to pick up a book that contained a love story.  In the quietness of my bedroom, after everyone else was asleep… and nobody was looking (I’m a man, after all), I turned the pages of a Nicholas Sparks book.  It didn’t take long… and I was finished.

Beyond just finishing that last page, however… I had discovered an emotional rollercoaster in the story that pulled out many pieces of me that had been buried deep for quite a long time… and left me wanting more.

Now… of course… this opens me up to criticism of course… name calling… laughter… and jokes.

It’s all good.  There is nothing that can be thrown at me that I haven’t already heard.

I like the simplicity of Spark’s work in that the basics are in place:  Two people who against the winds that life blows at them, find a way to keep the flame burning and find that one thing that they believe only comes once in a lifetime.

The characters are likeable.

The situations they face are relatable in the sense that we hope somewhere inside of us that we would endure like they did.

Most importantly, however… is that in these books, I am able to ‘feel’ again.  In some small, but very real way… I find a gift that I am able to give to someone else, and believe… that they will feel and receive.

Whether it’s friends… family… or someone you love, Nicholas Sparks books give me the permission and the tools to be human again… and that, I can’t deny.

So… now… ‘Mr. Sensitivity’ is out of the closet… smiling and waving.

What think you?