Writing My Story

I have a number of phrases I invoke in my life. One of those I use refers to the Ralphie moment.

man sitting on a hood of a school bus

I pledge to tell my story—to share my experiences—with authenticity and without apology. I know that in telling my story I can provide others with the gifts of hope, wisdom, and joy. 

Winter is different now that I’m older. In youth, I’d just pull on a heavy coat, a hat and gloves, and some boots and go out tromping in the snow and cold. The snow and cold didn’t bother me—then. Now I can predict the weather for the coming week by the aches and pains in all of my joints.

It’s morning and yes, I am “up”, but I can’t think of any of my body that doesn’t hurt. It’s snowing outside, but it is warm enough inside, and I do have a cup of coffee. And it doesn’t matter that I have aches and pains, it is still a beautiful day out and I just pray for those who must be outside in it. I am also thankful that I don’t have to be out in it.

I’ve gotten behind in my daily writing as well as story writing. I have been looking into research sites for the next section of my next novel. I do have other excuses as to why I’m not further into my writing, but no excellent reasons. After looking through my stories what I believe is the scoop for today—well, here it is.

I have a number of phrases I invoke in my life. One of those I use refers to the Ralphie moment.

As a youngster, I rode the school bus. At one stop we had a kindergartener named Ralphie. The bus would pull up to the end of Ralphie’s drive and he would burst from his door as if he was running a race. As a child, he was likely imagining he was running a race down the short driveway to the waiting bus.

At the end of his drive, he would stop, walk around to the bus doors, and up the steps into the bus he would come. He did this every day.

Except for one day. On this particular day, he barreled down the drive, but miscalculated, and with head down he bammed into the side of the bus right under where the bus sign was.

Now, anyone who has been a kid and done really silly things can imagine when up the steps he came he was treated to several smart-aleck voices with good humor saying things like ‘way to go Ralphie’… and you can feel his embarrassment.

And in my mind, a new phrase was born—“a Ralphie moment.”

A Ralphie moment is one of those times when a person ought to be paying attention. A moment when a person is barreling down the driveway of life, head down, going as fast as you can, and bam! into the side of the bus (or whatever obstruction) you run.

It isn’t because you couldn’t see it, since like a big yellow school bus it was right in front of you, and it isn’t like it was something new or unusual, it was a common occurrence. Yet there you find yourself running into the obstruction like a Ralphie.

In our world today there are all sorts of “influencers” on social media who have something to say. And as writers, we would be considered influencers as well. We spend a lot of time polishing our message.

As an influencer what is important to share? As a Christian influencer, it is important to influence for Christ. And yes, that ought to be obvious. Going down the path of life like the flower girl at the wedding, we ought to strew good impressions along the way. We know we will leave behind us the fragrance of good, or the odor of bad, but very seldom neutral imprints on other people.

Much of what I share and attempt to encourage in and for others is the need to discern the important things in life. I have come to believe that our present world, our present society, and our present inclinations are trained to believe that to be important we—men and women—need to have a fancy education and an upwardly mobile job that pays us well with benefits.

For the last twenty years and possibly more, every year I would receive from our lovely social security office a reminder. It showed how much my bounty would be from our current system when I retired.

Now that I have retired their predictions have come true. Since I have been a “stay-at-home mom” for the last fifty years I receive a bare pittance because of course I haven’t worked during those years.

What really happened was Old Fuzzy and I raised our own kids. We didn’t avail ourselves of their free or reduced child-care provision. We paid our own way, and it didn’t end there. Shockingly, we homeschooled our kids—some of them all the way through school.

It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t cheap. I’ve written about how and why we decided I would be a homemaker instead of an off-to-work mother. I did have my mother-in-law and my grandmother as examples… as well as my mother on the other side of the scale.

And here is our Ralphie moment—Proverbs 29:15 “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” It’s the big yellow bus sitting at the end of the driveway.

For years, almost as long as I can remember we’ve had the tempest in the teapot dubbed “the mommy wars.” What you may ask is that? It revolves around the scriptures that read/say, Titus 2:3 “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4) That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5) To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

I’ve included verse 3 for context, but the one that brings out the fighting side of people is verse 5. Most people won’t question the “to be sober, to love their husbands, and their children”. They don’t particularly question the “be discreet or chaste,” but you can see why their ire is raised with the “keepers at home.”

The thought of the last half of that verse “keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands…” that’s a doorknob too far.

We live in a society that wants to empower women. According to that mindset, that means women who can tell people where to get off and what to do when they get there. We cheer for women who can put people in their place (especially men) and come out victorious. So that scriptural teaching is out of sync with our modern world. But what’s happening?

We are now witnessing the breakdown of our country because of the breakdown of our families. I wondered back when as a young woman when reading the admonition of Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise teachers of good things; 4) That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children…”

Learning to love our husbands I could understand. Men and women do have much to learn in getting along, but to love our children? That should be a no-brainer. But wait a minute, in a country (United States) that in 2020 had over 930,000 abortions someone needs to begin teaching and someone needs to start listening—fast.

The literal translation of the phrase “keepers at home” is keepers in the home. It does not mean a woman can’t leave the house it designates her occupation. For the last fifty years that was where my focus was. Raising our garden, which was large, tending our children, and running the home.

The management of the home involves many things from paying bills, making sure there are healthy meals in an orderly fashion, clean clothes, that chores are done on time and correctly, and many more duties.

We need to put respect back in our homes. We need to respect and honor God and his teaching. We need to respect and honor women who are following a godly example. A godly woman is not a parasite sitting around doing nothing. They deserve respect. We also need to respect Christian men who love their wives and care for them. Pay attention, lest the Ralphie moment comes your way, and the big yellow school bus is sitting at the end of your driveway.

Proverbs 18:22 “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.”