Sunday, April 17, 2005

where have all the prairie muffins gone?

So, I came back from a homeschooling convention this weekend and have one burning question......

where have all the prairie muffins gone?

I can ask this question because I will confess to you that I once was a prairie muffin, or a wannabee muffin at the very least. I subscribed to Gentle Spirit Magazine and religiously practiced the "what do I have in my hand" approach to life. I baked 3 loaves of bread every day and sewed jumpers with matching hair bows. I wore my homeschooling mom's uniform when I went to conferences and I bought self-published curriculum and guidebooks for how to make your own candles, baby food, deodorant and feminine hygiene products. I grew herbs, wished for chickens and goats, and seriously contemplated betrothal for my children.

And then one day, it occured to me that, in all my instructions to my children about not being peer dependent, low and behold, I had become peer dependent! I wore what my friends wore, I cooked whatever whole grain casserole my friends cooked, I posted on the same internet groups where my internet friends posted, and I attempted to submit to my husband in ways that he didn't want me to submit! My life's goal was to become something I really didn't want to be nor had been called to be, but thought was necessary so that I could be Christ-like. I placed weights on my own back that God never intended for me to carry. I had met the enemy and it was me...I was my own Pharisee.

Twenty years and 240 issues of The Prairie Muffin Times later, I think I can tell you what has happened to many of those other prairie muffins out there.....they, too, have become liberated from the stereotype and went out and shopped for something that was not denim, unless it was jeans. They stopped feeling guilty if they baked Pillsbury frozen cookies for the church fellowship dinner and they refused to buy another copy of the book How I Homeschooled 15 Children While Living in a Trailer That Had No Running Water or Electricity While My Husband Quit His Job and Started His Own Leather Craft Business. They realized that while they love sewing and quilting and gardening that they also loved reading the Great Books of the Western World and some even sent their daughters They learned that there was not anything especially righteous about only watching movies based on Jane Austin novels. They have expanded their horizons and have learned that God speaks to each generation and, in turn, calls us to speak about Him to and in our generation.

Oh, there is nothing wrong with being a prairie muffin...some of my favorite moms in the world are prairie muffins. But I am glad to see that there are more moms today who are being themselves, which is a good thing, prairie muffin or not.


At 12:08 PM, Blogger Kristen said...

"I attempted to submit to my husband in ways that he didn't want me to submit!"

I can really, really identify with this part in particular. I spent a couple of YEARS (and we've only been married for four!) doing a whole lot of things in the name of submission that my husband didn't ask me to do.

I still identify with a lot of the heart of the "Prairie Muffin Manifesto," but I agree with you about freedom--and most of all about the importance of being OUR OWN husband's helper. Thanks.


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