I hope you will join me in this month’s challenge to be bold- to stretch your comfort zone and push yourself to stand strong, to speak out, to boldly raise your hand when it might be so much easier not to. If you have a personal story to share, or a comment, I’d love to hear it!
For those of you who are new to my blog, let me fill you in on what this BE business is all about! This year we’re going through a block of the month series called “Beyond the Block”. Member’s of The Sugar Block Club are receiving a new block pattern each month, along with a favorite recipe, and a personal-growth challenge where we really dig into a particular topic, and challenge ourselves to improve in that area over the course of the month, hopefully making the changes a permanent habit. I post the personal challenges up here on my blog as well, just as I’m posting here today, but if you want to receive the monthly patterns & recipes, you can sign up for the club here– don’t worry, I’ll catch you up on all that you’ve missed).
Here’s what we’ve stitched and baked up so far this year!
I do hope you’ll join in, if you haven’t already! Here’s what I’ll be challenging myself to work on this month in the Beyond the Block portion of the series…
Now stay with me. This isn’t going to be one of those take no prisoners, never look back, no regrets kind of posts. Remember, all these challenges are born out of my own struggles. And the funny thing is every time I think I’ve got some little bit of life figured out, something—usually something I do and then immediately regret, reminds me just how much I have to learn.
Early last month the girls and I were having lunch at a little deli a short way from our house. As the girls sat happily munching their sandwiches, my chatty little love bugs drew the attention of two ladies who were sharing a table beside us. They seemed to be enjoying the girls’ conversation and one of them eventually piped in, “You must be about kindergarten age,” to Nora. The woman added that they were both retired public school kindergarten teachers and asked Nora if she knew who her teacher would be in the fall.
Nora, without missing a beat, informed them her teachers would be Mom & Dad because she would be home schooled in the fall. Although their response was courteous, it was easy to see their feathers had been ruffled, as they quickly ended the conversation and left within just a few seconds.
After this encounter, I felt self-conscious and frustrated at the perceived judgement, and proceeded to actually discourage Nora from making any more public announcements about our homeschooling choice, unless I brought up the subject first.
After some reflection, however, I felt bad about coming down on her for being proud of our decision. Privately, I bemoan how marginalized homeschooling is among the majority of American culture, , but publicly, I didn’t even want to mention it. I suppose I figured, why open up that can of worms if we don’t have to, right?
You see, there are a host of reasons why we decided to homeschool, and we feel really strongly about all of them. Ultimately, we felt it was the best option for our children and the best for our family (you can read more about our choice here). But if I am confident and proud of that choice, which I absolutely am, then I can’t forget that the more bold I am about it, the more I help to chip away at that social judgement, at the stereotypes and assumptions, which I hope will eventually make this decision easier for others to make, or at the very least, understand. My avoiding sharing about it, just because it feels uncomfortable, doesn’t help anyone. I need to be bold, even when I don’t want to be, and I need to encourage my children to be bold—to stand behind their decisions and not worry about the judgment of others. I need to be part of that movement that brings my choice out of the margins and into the mainstream.
That’s why I’m challenging myself this month to Be Bold.
For you, the call to be bold may come from some other area of life. It may mean following your own taste with a quilt pattern or fabric choice, or standing up for a religious or social conviction that you have.
One way to look at it is to ask yourself, before making a decision, if it’s something you feel strongly enough about to defend. Can you defend it even if doing so makes you feel uncomfortable? I recently heard someone say we should get comfortable with being uncomfortable. That’s where the rubber meets the road for me. Being bold to the point that I am a little uncomfortable. Being able to answer that question can also help us make better decisions if it gives us pause to consider the reasons why we are making a certain choice or supporting a certain cause. In that way, this month’s challenge ties back into the previous challenges to Be Intentional, Be a Teacher, Be an Explorer and Be Present.
So how about we wrap this post up with a GIVEAWAY??? Sound ok to you? I have a $25 gift card from my newest sponsor, Southern Fabric, to give away to one lucky reader!!!
Like @southernfabric on Instagram, then enter yourself into the drawing via the box below (if you don’t have Instagram, you can also like them on Facebook). Sugar Block Members (no matter when you joined) will receive an extra entry! Thanks for stopping by, and good luck!