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Things I Do Not Understand

I'm packing for a 12-day Girls Night Out tour across Alberta, which I leave for tomorrow! If you happen to live in Alberta, do check us out! It's a fun evening of faith and fellowship, and I'd love to meet some of my blog readers!

But in the meantime, I'm inundated with laundry and suitcases, and so I can't really put a profound thought together in my head. And so I thought I'd just post some observations I have about life and things that I don't understand, and see if you can enlighten me!

1. Why do Catholic schools insist that girls wear kilts?

I asked this on my Facebook Page last night after driving by a Catholic high school yesterday when school let out. I saw at least fifty teenage girls in kilts, and none of them, and I mean none of them, came more than 3 inches below the underwear line. I'm pretty sure I could see some panties there. Now I know this school has a rule that the kilt has to be a certain length, but that rule is obviously not being obeyed. Why not switch to pants? You may want to encourage femininity, but this is going a little far. So I don't get that. I really don't. (Plus it's so COLD in winter!)

2. Why doesn't America just drill for oil?

Sorry for getting political, but this is something we Canadians don't understand about you Americans. We extract our oil--in Newfoundland, in the Arctic, in Alberta. We're your biggest oil supplier, I believe. But instead of drilling for your own, you put your nation at risk because of all the Middle East turmoil. Sorry, but I don't get it. And we all know American oil would be drilled in a more environmentally friendly manner than Nigeria or Venezuela or even Saudi Arabia drills it, so overall American oil would help the environment, not hurt it, if we stopped relying on these terrible states for oil. So I don't understand that one.

3. How can parents walk away from their kids?

I guess this one should be its own blog post, but I've been watching as formerly completely involved dads (and in one case, a mom) has stepped completely back from parenting after a marriage split. My own dad walked out and barely had anything to do with me (though he did send money). I just don't understand how a parent could WANT to live without a child. I like to think that if my husband and I split (not that we would), I would fight for every second with them. How come some parents don't?

4. Why do irresponsible people get so much from the state?

I'm quite close to a number of foster parents, and hearing how much the Children's Aid Society tries to keep families together--how much money they pay families, how much stuff they buy for families (even hiring maids to clean the house), just so that the kids don't need to be removed. Why is it that women who have 5 children by 5 different fathers, and don't feed the kids, and live off of welfare, can get a ton of stuff from the state, while married parents, where one parent stays at home, who survive on one low income by scrimping and saving, don't get the state paying for maids, or for cribs, or for clothes, or for transportation, let alone medical & dental. There's something wrong when people who play by the rules are penalized for doing so, so that there is no incentive to do what's right.

5. Why can't I always feel God?

Again, this one should probably be its own blog post, but I'm in one of those crazy periods in my life where I'm busy, and I desperately need His peace and strength, and I'm not feeling it. It's my own fault; I've let busy-ness crowd out too much of my quiet time. But I pray that sometime today I could hear that still, small voice again and feel strengthened, because I'm tired.

Those are some of the things I wonder about, in no particular order. Anyone have any answers for me?

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At 9:56 AM , Blogger Pickle said…

We don't drill for our own oil because our government want control over the middle east. No idea why. We also have too many people here screaming, "BUT IT"S NOT GREEN!!!" No one wants to spend the millions of dollars it takes to get an oil platform going. It also takes years to get it done. That just takes away from the bottom line of the big, greedy oil companies, we just can't have that!

Our country should be busy changing our home energy uses to wind/solar instead of seeking a resource that is going to run out at the cost of thousands of our men and women in uniform.

Americans are greedy and lazy. That's what it comes down to. I am an American and my husband is a solider who has spent multiple deployments over there. This topic is very often a discussion at our table.


At 10:15 AM , Blogger It's Grace said…

Great questions. Most of them leave me frustrated, too. I don't really have answers..just thoughts and opinions.

1. I've not seen these short kilts. But you'd think a religious school would want to uphold modesty.

2. Why don't we drill for oil? I don't fully agree with your previous commenter. In fact, I get offended when American's at large are labeled as greedy and lazy. I don't believe that we want control of the Middle East. However, the Middle East is a loose cannon. As the richest and largest nation, we have a responsibility, I believe, to protect others. But I’ll stop here. About the oil. Oh my gosh. Seriously. We need to drill. All the liberal environmentalists are in the way. We need to stop being dependent on foreign oil. We also need to come up with more alternative energy sources. Yes, it will take time to set up our own drilling..but let's stop talking and get to it.

3. I've seen parents walk away from their kids, too. It's heartbreaking. I think it's because they are selfish. I can't think of any other reason why.

4. We have a lot of folks sponging off the system here, too. It infuriates me, actually. I have no problem with people who truly need help receiving this help, but they seem to be the exception anymore.

5. Same here.

Awesome post! Wish I could see you on your tour, it sounds wonderful. Be safe, have fun. And I pray that you feel God's presence..because He'll be there. He always is.


At 10:17 AM , Blogger Deborah said…

I have to disagree with Pickle's answer on why we Americans don't drill for oil. It's because we've listened to the "greenies" for so long that now we have all sorts of laws and regulations that make it unprofitable, if not downright impossible (by denying permits, for example), to drill here. (And please, don't lambaste the oil companies for not drilling when it isn't profitable--they're businesses; that's their purpose for existing, and if they can't make a profit, they go out of business and deny us their services altogether.) Oil companies would drill in the US gladly if the government would stop standing in their way. Now it's up to the American people to elect leaders who will do that. Change isn't happening quickly enough because we still have so many citizens who don't think through the issues critically, relying instead on emotion or uncritically accepting what their liberal teachers or the liberal media tells them.


At 10:32 AM , Blogger Sheila said…

Wow, the oil one is the most popular!

Pickle, I understand not wanting to sacrifice American lives for the Middle East, especially when we already spend so many years in Afghanistan, for instance, and then they STILL give people the death penalty for leaving Islam. It does seem counterproductive, so I totally get your point.

My problem with wind/solar is that it isn't practical. The British Energy Commissioner announced yesterday that "the days of having electricity 24/7 are gone" and that English people should expect rolling blackouts from now on, because they've turned such a high percentage of their energy productive to wind, which only produces when it's windy. That's the price for being environmentally friendly--we don't get reliable electricity or energy.

So I don't think that wind and solar (especially up here in Canada where we hardly get sun year round) is practical. In Kenya, maybe. Here, no. So I say, let's get the energy we need here. We don't have to go to the Middle East! That seems better to me.

But in the meantime, I'd also support nuclear power being expanded again, and continuing to look at renewable energy. But wind is not going to supply our needs. It just isn't, as Europe, which is farther ahead on the wind curve than we are, is now finding out.


At 10:45 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

i've wondered about the catholic uniform thing too. the 'school uniform girl' is a HUGE sex symbol, played out in the fantasies of men (and boys) everywhere. i suppose there's something about tradition to it, but really, why the skirts couldn't be knee length is beyond me.


At 11:00 AM , Blogger Mrs.C said…

Could you please send your why about America not drilling it's own oil to every major media outlet in the USA. Just last night, we were told by ABC news that we are addicted to oil, and we need to get over our addiction. It is a need, ABC, we need to be able to drive to our jobs to be able to earn to pay for the ever-increasing price of necessary items. It's unbelievable how little our legislatures listen to us, unbelievable.

I'm sorry but not all Americans are greedy and lazy as suggested by the first comment. MOST Americans are hardworking people.

I'm only addressing 2 out of your 5 "whys", the last one, I have found when I experience that, it's because I've let myself get too busy. I then try to get as much as I can from Christian music, reading portions of scripture, and praying even in the busyness, to keep my heart near to His. "Draw nigh to Him, and He will draw nigh to you..."

Wish you were touring the US, would love to meet you in person, have fun!


At 11:03 AM , Blogger Sheila said…

Rachel: I know! Those Japanese anime cartoon things are just gross when it comes to school uniforms. Don't people get it?

Mrs. C.: You've just inspired me. I think I shall put my iPod on and listen while I pack. You're right; I just haven't been taking time to listen lately, and maybe that's a good way to, even in the busy-ness!


At 11:19 AM , Blogger Pickle said…

Europe is a lot smaller than North America and honestly we have HUGE areas across the mid-west that already have great wind farms. One right here in Kansas. If we can get as many people as possible on solar/wind energy, then we can at least slow down our use of oil. It's going to take a lot of planning and more than likely be just as expensive and maybe a little bit more up front as it would cost to get more oil rigs going.

I don't feel it is America's job to be police man of the world and impose our beliefs on other nations. It is not our right to use that as a reason to get into a nation to try and take their oil supply. America started as a people who wanted it's freedom. If another country wants their's they need to stand up and take it. 9 years we have been over there and spent more money then what we have gotten out. Not profitable at all.

The "greenies" aren't completely wrong. We are killing our planet for the sake of modern comforts that are given to us from a resource that we can't make more of. This planet is the ONLY place we have. It's very very easy for us to think about our next 50 years, but what about the next 100-500 years? Our future ancestors are going to be forced to live in who knows what kind of conditions because we won't stop and change what we are doing now.

Oil is going to take us down. It just shouldn't be about drilling any longer. It really needs to be about putting our entire effort as the "richest and largest" nation into leading the world into a healthier and more sustainable future. Especially if we are just going to keep invading other countries because it is the "just" thing to do.


At 1:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

RE: #3. Because some ex-wives are so rooted in bitterness that they put up an iron door between their children and the ex-husband. I have witnessed this personally for the past 3 years, as we have been constantly and brutally isolated from being involved in my step-sons' lives. The more involved we tried to be with them, the harder she pushed and manipulated the situation. It has gotten to a point of my husband's family completely isolating us as a family -- they no longer want anything to do with us because they feel my husband "walked out" on their lives. However, it's very easy to judge when the whole story has not been told. I commend my husband for not dragging her name through the mud with accusations the way she has done to him. But unfortunately, it has cost us a relationship with two little boys that we will probably never get to become a part of our family.


At 1:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

Having just witnessed a rather nasty debate on FB by two "friends" on the oil topic, I have been thinking about it a lot lately. Now it sounds like the science community isn't even agreeing on whether oil is renewable or not (debates over the biotic/abiotic origin) and the speed at which it can be replenished...but I have been thinking for years that if JFK could stand up in 1961 and declare that we would be on the moon by the end of the decade, from basically a blank canvas, we could certainly make the commitment to be energy independent in 10 years using a variety of means. First, we have to drill and build more refineries. Then, we have to build more nuclear power plants. The technology is available and has been for years to make them super safe, efficient and clean. Then, we need to put more $ into exploring hydrogen as a viable fuel source - it can work, but is so expensive because there are no stations that supply hydrogen and there are no stations that supply hydrogen because there are no cars that use it.
I don't believe we should/can be the world's policemen. We can't give away democracy, it has to be something people are willing to fight for themselves.
...And back to #1 - girls hike their skirts up as a not-so-subtle form of rebellion - ok, I have to wear this uniform, but I don't have to wear it the way you want me to.
#3 I don't understand either. But I don't understand how someone can be divorced but still have a good relationship with their ex...if you can get along so well, why aren't you still married? Maybe because people are so selfish and don't want to be bothered by anyone's needs but their own.
#4 Really makes me mad. I have heard so many good solutions but it seems the government wants people to be dependent on them as much as possible so they can have as much power as possible. It's like the story about catching wild pigs: you build a fence, put corn inside and close the gate, they will never notice they are penned up.
#5 I am so there right now. Bible study helps, but you (I) need to be willing to listen.
Stay safe, be warm and have a great time!


At 3:15 PM , Blogger Ellen said…

I am so excited that you mentioned the tour... I am totally going to go out and buy tickets for me and all my girlfriends :) So excited that you will be stopping in at my city :)
Interesting topics you brought up - one that really gets me is the one about parents shutting out their kids. I just don't get it, denying your kids is like denying yourself - they are physically part of you, how can you just cut off your arm and forget you ever had one?


At 8:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

Sorry, no answers since these are not simple questions.
1) I don't understand some dress codes.

2) Drilling faces lots of resistance

3) Some people are selfish. The need for self fulfillment at the expense of your children? Hard to imagine. As for intentionally cutting out a parent that wants to be involved, it always breaks my heart when I hear stories like that. At times, the custodial parent acts this way out of insecurity and self-esteem issues. This is no excuse of course and at times years later, there is huge resentment from children when they learn that they lost out on time with their dad because their mother was spiteful.

I don't know why God seems distant at times. We likely push him away but he may be silent for a reason. King David often wondered the same. Just read the Psalms.


At 10:41 PM , Anonymous Heather said…

I am a former Catholic school teacher. I agree with one person who said that the girls hike up their skirts as a form of rebellion. Why this particular school (and I'm sure others) is not enforcing the dress code is beyond me. I also agree with another commenter here - they should be more in tune to the modesty issue. This is not an excuse, just my guess, many young girls that attend Catholic schools are not Catholic, or any kind of Christian faith. While their parents want a better education that what is provided in the public schools, they don't necessarily lead Christian lives outside the school, so they don't enforce any kind of modesty at home either.

From a teacher's point of view uniforms, in general, are a very positive thing. In schools where there are uniforms, there's less competition to wear the stylish clothes. There are fewer behavior problems - I didn't believe that until my first 'picture day' where everyone wore their own clothes. When they're not focused on what they're wearing, they have a little more control in their attitudes and behaviors.

That being said, the school girl uniform has been over-sexualized, and anime has done nothing for it either. Perhaps it's time for a different look. I wouldn't go so far as pants, but certainly a longer skirt and/or completely different style may be in order.

Hope your tour goes well! Heather


At 8:25 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

Because the oil companies are interested in profit, if other energy sources are used, oil companies just up the price. We pay about $800 a month in fuel and don't have access to other options. Because of this and other reasons, I am quitting work to stay home and will be walking most everywhere I go. How's that for green?

My husband has been literally begging God for peace and guidance and has gotten neither thusfar, so if someone has the answer to this one, please share!

And about the kids, you said you would FIGHT and sometimes that exactly what kids DON'T need at such a tumultuous time . . . more fighting. Theres's no excuse for walking away though.


At 11:43 PM , Blogger Mary R. said…

I went to Catholic school and the key to your question is you were driving by "when school let out".

We girls IMMEDIATELY rolled up our kilts as soon as we got out of the building as soon as the nuns weren't looking.

We hated our uniforms, because they made us look like "holy gamolies" and we didn't want the public school kids to make fun of us.


At 6:13 AM , Blogger Christie said…

#5 When we are feeling God at a distance, sometimes it is because we put Him at arm's length ourselves, but more often it is because He wants us to come closer.

Do you remember when your baby was learning to walk? At first you helped him up, held onto his little hands, and even leaned him from side to side to help him lift those little feet? As he got better at it, you had to help less or you would have slowed him down. At some point you even let go completely and walked a few steps away and invited him to come closer. He was big enough to come to you on his own. Even though your baby couldn't feel your sturdy touch anymore, you were intensely focused on his every move.

I really feel that God does that as we grow towards him. To mature we have to take Him at His word that He is there, and take our own steps to Him. We have to learn to walk as Christians, too!

Hang in there and know that He is watching your every move, waiting to scoop you up and flood you with His pride and love when you make those teetering and wobbly first steps.

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Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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