Pride

Pride.

Pride has an identity crisis.

Pride can be a vice or a virtue.

No one will fault you for being proud of your kids.

But if you turn that pride inward? If you grew up going to church you will hear Bible verses ringing in your ears:

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.Proverbs 16:18

I’ve been thinking about pride.

Vehicles

I’m proud of my vehicles. I like them clean and shiny. It’s hereditary. We never had new cars growing up but what we did have always looked new.

Our RV doesn’t look new. She’s actually in great shape with just a spot of rust.

The problem is her paint. She was stored outside in Florida, under a tree. Add to that known paint issues with white 90’s-era vans and she looks like a rolling case of automotive eczema.

eBook: Homeschool Legally While You Travel the USA

eBook: Homeschool Legally While You Travel the USA Worried about homeschooling legally while you travel?

The HSLDA says to "follow the laws of any state you are in for more than 30 days". But what do the states say?

We contacted all 50 states, asked them how to homeschool legally while traveling there, and compiled their responses into this 45 page eBook.

We are restoring her. We spent days buffing the good spots on her paint. I’ve been repainting other bits and pieces. Eventually she’ll look good again.

I find myself telling that story (great shape, just bad paint - but we’re fixing her up) to everyone.

Why?

Pride.

I’m scared you’ll base your opinion of me on how our RV looks.

Kids

As homeschoolers we are proud of our kids. And we often take pride in them.

It’s not easy to homeschool. Your family questions you. Society questions you.

Random internet trolls question you.

Who are you to do the work of education professionals?

You know that point in every superhero movie where it looks like the villain will win?

Homeschooling can feel like that. And we want our kids to be the superhero who finally finds enough strength in their powers to overcome the villain.

We’ve invested so much in our kids. We’d like them to “come back from behind” with results that we can take back to naysayers and throw in their face as proof of our homeschool success.

A full-ride scholarship. The next killer app. A new business.

Why?

Pride.

We’re scared that you will base your opinion of us on how our kids do on their own.

Factory Work?

Harrison - our oldest - has been on his own for a little over a year and a half. He works on a factory production line in a local furniture company.

Miranda just started a 3rd shift job at the same company. From our campground it’s a 3-mile bike ride through a sleepy small town.

Factory work.

Both of them.

Did we fail?

Harrison has good friends. He’s involved in the music ministries at several local churches. He’s planning a months-long mission trip this fall. His employer is making sure his job will be there for him afterwards.

Miranda rode up at 7AM with a smile on her face. After getting beat up at a couple of our WWOOFing stays she’s getting positive feedback from this job. She’s learning it quickly and already keeping up with the pace on a couple stations.

Satisfaction

As I write this, the song Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd is playing. The song is a mother speaking to her son. She says:

All that I want for you my son, Is to be satisfied.

Satisfaction. And Mom doesn’t want it from her son. She wants it for her son.

Mom knows it’s not about her.

She’s learned to set aside her pride.

What you think of me is your choice. It may be based on my writing, my vehicles, my kids, or any other of a 100 factors.

But it’s not about me. And it’s not about your opinion of me.

I’m learning to set aside my pride.

And accept what God has blessed us with. And accept who He has made in me. And my wife. And my kids.

That’s what it’s about.

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4 Comments Pride

  1. Picture of kevinkevin July 24, 2017

    so true in so many ways.  I find myself often making ‘excuses’ for where I feel others might think I fell short. Explaining ‘why’ we chose to go for less instead of more, ‘why’ we chose a fixer upper vs brand new.  When we got our used rig, it was very workable. Had some flaws - more showed up over time.  But when we would show it to people, we’d say things like - “it’s not perfect but it works for us” and people would respond ” what? it’s awesome, we love it.”  And of course we felt a little pride that someone saw something more than even we saw.  But we do it for our tow cars, our current situation, our ‘mistakes’ that we’ve pivoted from, whatever - we do it all the time.  I find so much conflict about how others feel in regards to what we do or have - to the point that I even want them to validate or justify our decisions or even our lifestyle.

    When we went to sell our rig, I did what I always do when I sell a car. I pay to have someone make it shine. I did it with my 4runner years ago, my Suzuki before the trip, too.  When I saw how much the RV shined, there were mixed feelings. I was proud of how good it looked. It sort of made me feel like maybe we did better than I thought we did. And then it made me feel a bit jealous. It looked so good, and here someone else was going to own it. But I was proud of how it cleaned up :)

    I often am just short of being satisfied with my lot in life because I feel like it isn’t quite worthy of bragging about?? but then I look back and think of all the things we’ve done that most people will never, ever get to do and I’m proud of what we’ve done - even with so little.  People ask us sometimes how we’ve done so many different things - from traveling to different businesses, but when we’re in the middle of these things, people often think we’re not quite normal.

    Funny how pride can limit us when it comes to what others might think of us, but also good that we can overcome them personally, so we get to do more - even if we are sometimes a bit shy about the REAL value of our choices and things.

    I love that you guys write about the real emotions that we deal with both as travelers or not.

    thanks!
    kevin

  2. Picture of MarkMark July 25, 2017

    My fellow Michigander/Michiganian: I’d love to be camping near that same sleepy town, riding bikes into town with my wife and children. (my children are currently in their single-digit years)

    Instead, I’m in a gray cubicle environment in a Southern state where a high temp of 89 degrees is considered “unseasonably cool”. I’d rather be up there.

    After years of reading your blog, I get the impression that you’re both humble and confident.

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