In my last column, a recent date assumed I was going to be high maintenance and how he was pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t what he expected. This prompted me to share my story and also to encourage all of us not always judge a book by its cover. If you missed last week’s, I was born in the middle of nowhere in Oklahoma and was homeschooled.
So every day my two older sisters and I were what I would call work horses. We’d get up at 5:00 a.m., do our workout routine, chores, homeschooling and then from 10:00-3:00 in the afternoon, go to work. After work we would go to piano, voice lessons, ballet, gymnastics, or the usual kid activities routine. Then we’d come home and help with dinner, more chores, then Bible study, then to bed. Weekends were spent working on our acres, tending to animals and the garden, with the occasional camp out. That work ethic has always stuck with me and I love staying busy.
Although I find myself less strict in my religion now, my upbringing was extremely religious. Our school and homeschooling was through our church and we were pretty much enmeshed in this 24/7. We attended church Sunday morning, lunch with our church friends, church again Sunday evening and Wednesday evening, Bible study Thursday nights, youth group Friday nights, then helping with the clothing and food giveaway the other days of the week. We weren’t allowed to listen to music that had a beat was faster than our heartbeats, which left us with mostly classical, opera or Christian music and only at a slow pace. We couldn’t celebrate Halloween and some years we couldn’t have Christmas trees, because of the Christmas tree’s Pagan background. Of course, our dress had to be extremely modest.
I had never even seen someone drink alcohol until college. And as far as college went, I drove home every weekend so that I wouldn’t be too influenced by the partiers. I was shocked when I moved up here in 1996 and the pastor of our church was drinking a beer at a gathering!
I’ve certainly come a long way over the last few years and there’s more to come about that next week.