Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Talking about role models.

Phil over at A Family Runs Through It is talking about heroes and role models today. It struck a cord with me, and so I'm exploring the topic myself.

Growing up, I didn't seem to be able to fit into any of the stereotypes for women that I saw around me. There were many unhealthy models to choose from, chemically dependent, emotionally dependent, or just so darned lady-like that I couldn't shape my tom-boyish brain around the concept. I saw women who couldn't survive without a man, any man, in her life. Although I related to that, it scared me and I didn't want it.

As a senior in high school, I accepted Christ. That started the change in me. (And for those of you going, "Oh, great, religious crap", I'll just say that as a fairly logical person who has researched what usually happens to children from families such as mine*, there is no other reason for me to have turned out as I have.)However, it wasn't immediate, and I still traveled partially down roads I shouldn't have. I got into unhealthy relationships, one very bad. It took that one for God to smack me along side the head and say "WAKE UP YOU IDIOT! Is this what you REALLY want?" I didn't. It was a turning point in my life.

Two years after the turning point met my husband. But it wasn't until we got involved in a good church that I've found women who I wanted to model my life after. My walk with Christ has changed me from what I might have been. And that's a good thing. However, it's a long, tough road for a hard-headed person like me. And as I look back over the last twelve years since I accepted Christ, I've had some close calls. But, man, have I changed! And he has provide me with models when I needed them.

Like Phil, I don't want my children to want for positive role models, male or female. I want to give them what was lacking in my own life. But that isn't money, or possessions. It is a healthy outlook on life, a love for God, a love for family, and a love for other people.

So, after all of this rambling, who are my heroes? It is cliche but true that first would have to be Jesus(what an amazing person, if you really study his life). However, I think God has given me a special gift in being able to pick heroic qualities out of most women I meet. And so, save for a few very special women who seemed to have all, I think I see heroes in most women I know. No one is perfect, after all. So, in my mom I see the spirit of survival; in my sister, love of the underdog; in my mother-in-law, a most tender and fierce love of her children, and so the list can go on. Those are some of my role models. Who are yours?

*My family was most unhealthy growing up, and while most of us have dealt with our demons, the effects run deep.


Mainline Mom said...

Great post. I grew up in a household that was probably as close to perfect as there is in this world, which is still far from it. I still think I'm alot smarter than my mom but I think she is a really great mother and grandmother, a true servant sometimes, willing to help those around her in need. She has great compassion. My sister will be a great role model for my son too, a fierce, passionate leader in politics, willing to fight for change and for what she believes in.

Phil said...

I could've taken many bad roads growing up, but never did. I don't know why. Fear of God? Perhaps. Most likely Fear of Mom. She laid down the law and we knew not to break it.

My blog post was about real-life positive male role models. Although I didn't have any, at least I had some positive female ones -- my mom, my grandma, various aunts, one teacher.

No surprise that I'm good at being a stay-at-home dad while feeling quite uncomfortable in a room full of men in suits.

ieatcrayonz said...

RHM, that was such a great post. I think that we share a very similar journey and story. It took a very long time to realize what it really meant to be a Christian and to make the effort it requires. I hope you never feel like you have to apologize for talking about Jesus in your blog. Just think of someone who may have perked up and actually listened to your testimony. There are many, many non-Christian blogs out there that I read and enjoy, so it is daunting sharing your faith. But faith is so much more important than any blog, and I'm sure you already know that. Keep up the good work, D. :)

Susie said...

Hi, Redhead Mommy! Thanks for visiting me. I am happy to have found you. I am an unapologetic (although unconventional) Christian blogger who, while somewhat conservative, is horrified and saddened by what some of the "Christian right" says and does, in the real world and in blogworld. I might be reading too much into your post, but it sounds to me like you have made a deliberate effort to find something heroic, something beautiful, in these women. Which, to my way of thinking, is a very Christ-like thing to do.

Andee Sellman said...

Great post.
It's not easy working out what real authentic Christianity is all about. Often it's easy to be theoretical which can turn into being religious and forget that christianity is all about relationship.

TrueJerseyGirl said...

Great post.

My role models are the strong women in my life - my mom, especially, a few of my aunts, and my great grandmother, who was so awesome it defied words.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, Redhead Mommy! It might surprise you to find out that I have only one true female role model in my life even though I have a family full of women. She's younger than I am but I value her opinion in everything. She's been supportive of me no matter what I've done and I've not always made the right choices. She's been more like a mom to me...and me for her than our own mother sometimes. I have a huge amount of stress in my life and she is always there for me. I've never had a relationship with God, but she's also never tried to convince me I should. She's part of a wonderful church where she has made friends and found people that she really loves. And in her I find absolute faith and trust. :)