Well, its official- I'm pooped out. This family is high-energy, and, apparently, I am not. I've been dragging since last night (I think I'm coming down with something) with a headache, lethargy, and a general fatigue/slight fevery feeling. But I'm getting over it, and it's all good. (I think some-to-most of it may be due to dehydration.)

I'm glad to be leaving tomorrow, but I am glad that we stayed this long. D and R Gt and I got into an interesting discussion after watching a video called "Divided". It was about youth groups, and how age-segregation is contributing to the mass exodus of youth out of churches of all denominations. It was quite intriguing. I'm not going to go into the details here, because most of it is still ruminating in my mind, but the basic premise is that God designed families to be the ones to disciple and teach their children (they focused specifically on fathers), but with the rise of this youth movement, the family has begun "outsourcing" their job. The result is an incongruity that is tearing us apart as a Christian body. And I agree.

As a side note, we discussed "my" youth group, the one that meets to play racquetball every week and do something fun once a month. We agreed that "my" group doesn't fall into the category of youth segregation and isolation that they were describing. We have a broad range of ages, and we are certainly not advocating separation from the main body of believers. (Wow. That sounded pretty eloquent, to me. ^_^)

I've learned a ton of stuff since moving up here. There are a lot of conservative, homeschooling families in this area, since laws against homeschooling are so lax as to be nonexistent. Some of them I consider to be fanatics- narrow-minded, cramped individuals who cast a bad reflection on the religion we share. Some, however, give a real example of what God had in mind when he designed the family unit. The family we're spending the weekend with falls, I think, in the latter category. I mean, I don't necessarily agree with or enjoy everything they do, but all in all, I admire them very much. I think the same of the Sm's.

Well, we three began discussing this video, and the topic turned to homeschooling, how beneficial it is. I had always kind of thought it was weird, since I've been in the school system my whole life. Yet I can distinctly remember resenting the fake air, fake lights, and closed quarters that we were herded in and out of on a routine basis. It's not real. And the whole point behind this system is to take the "raw product" (the children), put it through a series of processes, and come out with a certain finished project. With homeschooling, it takes into account the personal identity and makeup of the child. They go at a pace suited to their individuality. They (should) learn practical skills along with the bookwork. Academics are not everything. Of course, this, too can be abused. People can do it wrong, and do it very badly. People who go through the "system" are not bad or evil. But I'm beginning to think that there might be a better way.

And I'm beginning to see how very, very important it is to marry a man who is willing to be that leader and teacher in the home. I don't plan on having children, but I do plan on being involved in working with youth and kids. Quite involved. And I want my home to be following the original design for families.

There is a Latin law saying which says, "The abuse of a thing is no argument against its proper use." I've been thinking about this in reference to my hardship in understanding the role of a father and husband, and, more importantly, how God relates to me and I to him. But I've come to the conclusion that, just because this loving father thing was messed up and misrepresented to me, I shouldn't give up on it. I have seen a few examples that irresponsibility and abuse is not all there is. AND, that's not what God even wants! I so long to experience marriage the way that it's supposed to be... and, should I ever have children, to build a family that is happy, healthy, and operating the way that a family ought to. The word "glorious" comes to mind.

I'm afraid that, because of my desire to "do it right" (sound familiar?), I may have overly high expectations of any guy that comes my way. I might expect too much, and miss out on what joys could be. I might even expect too much of myself (which is not a new phenomenon), and completely overwhelm myself, leading to a shut-down. Pity on the man who takes me for his wife.

Well, tomorrow we go home.

Home, sweet home. There really is no place like it.

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