I can't say I blame you. I nearly did. It's not that I don't love you all & I don't adore giving you advice by the barrel full, but this past week has tried it's darnedest to kill me. I kid you not. Well, maybe I kid you a little.
First of all, the pollen in Southern Illinois has been out to get me ever since our return from vacation. And when it's not microscopic flora attacking me, it's random wigged out weather pressure systems trying to make my head explode. Remind me why I've been waiting for Summer.
And in the middle of it all, these lovely, abstract yellow patches appeared on my bedroom ceiling. Ahhh, the joys of home ownership. Fix the leaky roof your darned self. Gahhh! So this week has been spent hunting roofers, prices, warranty info, and the like. How I love being grown up.
So now, in a desperate attempt at forgetting the water spots lurking above my head, I shall get to your most pressing questions.
Inkling starts us off with a political piece: Here's a serious question. Canadians observe that Americans tie religion and politics together, speaking boldly about their political leanings publicly in services at church, Christian radio programs, etc. A. Do you agree that Americans do that? B. Do you think it is a good thing? Why or why not?
Um, well, not to disagree with an entire country, but I cannot remember having been in a Church service where strong political leanings were preached from the pulpit. I have been in services when moral aspects that cross over into politics (abortion & same sex marriage being the two that jump to mind) are discussed, but never in a "you must vote for Candidate X" way.
I think it's probably much more prevalent in things like radio programs but since I don't listen to much talk radio, I cannot really weigh in on this.
That being said, I think that if you have strong religious beliefs, they absolutely must reach out into every aspect of your life. You cannot claim to be religious (or spiritual) if it doesn't permeate the way you live every part of your life. Our political leanings cannot be at odds with our moral values. I cannot say if Americans are alone in this, but I hope not.
Sarah at Ordinary Days wants to know my divine opinions on familial relations. What do you do about a family member that is a borderline stalker? And how about a family member that thinks you are their therapist but really you're just completely tired of hearing them whine all the time because you're trying to grow your fifth baby while raising the other four?
Oh wow! First of all, I do not envy you this problem. I used to have it, but then Inkling moved to Canada (I kid! I kid! Just had to take a jab at my cousin in retaliation for her hatred for my Facebook profile picture).
First of all, is this just a random aunt or cousin or distant in-law, or is it someone important like your mother, sister, mother-in-law? If it's one of them, sorry, you just have to suck it up, pull up your big girl pants & get over it.
I'm kidding. Stalkers are the worst (not that I've ever been stalked). You can try screening your calls, avoiding all contact with this lovely person, or hiding in your basement for days on end...or you can very politely say, "I'm sorry, but I'm horribly busy right now what with being a pregnant homeschooling mother of four. Can I call you back in about 18 years when I have a chance to sleep through the night and pee by myself?"
Unfortunately, relatives come with their own set of craziness. There's a reason God doesn't let us choose our families. I'm not sure what it is yet, but when I figure it out, I'll give you a call. I guess my best advice would be to firmly but gently establish boundaries (don't I sound all professional & stuff?!). If she (I'm assuming the female gender because we tend to be clingy like this) calls or drops by numerous times a day, tell her as much as you enjoy her company you really need to keep things quiet around the house so Sunshine can nap & you can spend quality time with the boys. Maybe schedule a visit with her sometime when you know you cannot be roped into staying for hours. Go to her house knowing you must be gone by such & such a time because you have a pressing engagement.
And when you tire of giving advice or being a sounding board for all her issues, the phrase, "I really don't know what to tell you. I wish I could be more help," could eventually steer her in the direction of someone more willing/able to dish out the massive amount of support she thinks she needs.
If that all fails, put a giant sign on your front door that reads:
I'm sure there's an answering machine version. In fact, I think I'm going to print one off & keep it by the back door for the next time my SIL comes by with all 3 of her kids at 8 o'clock (the FarmHands' bedtime) on a school night and won't leave.
I totally stole/borrowed (entirely not for profit) this truly awesome piece of artwork from musingsofasarcasticmind.blogspot.com. I wonder if it comes in a version that mentions the Zombie plague.....