I don't know what it is, but something about being told not to do something gives me an almost uncontrollable urge to do that exact thing.
When I was 7, I was told not to touch an electric fence because it would shock me. But as soon as my parents weren't looking...of course I touched the fence. I had to find out for myself.
Speed limits have always been a problem for me. (although, this may be in part because I am my father's daughter, and not because there is a speed limit)
Recently, a friend was telling me how many germs were on condiment bottles in restaurants. She was picking up the ketchup bottle with a napkin as she spoke, and as soon as she set it down...I picked it up and licked it. I don't know what came over me. I couldn't help myself.
The desire to say a four letter word is never stronger than when my kids are in the room. Somehow the urge lessens when only my husband's ears are listening.
There is a possibility that I am a bit of a rebel.
Its not really that I don't believe in following rules, or that I don't respect authority, or that I 'live dangerously' or 'walk on the wild side.' (please, have you met me? the wildest thing I do on a regular basis is paint my toenails) (well, a semi-regular basis, anyway)
Its really more about pushing the envelope, just because I resent the envelope's presence.
I get that from my dad too. He is always ALMOST saying a curse word, just because he knows how mad it will make my mom.
My sister Sarah is worse than me. Once, when we were at a theme park, she was expressing how great she thought the roller coaster was that we had just been on, and the people behind us started snickering, making fun of her enthusiasm. Oh man, what I would give to have what happened next on video. She suddenly started whooping and shouting about how amazing the ride was, and 'galloping' down the exit ramp, slapping her thigh as if she were urging her horse on, and finally drawing her twin 'six shooters' (her fingers) and turning to use the people behind us for target practice. This. Is. A. True. Story.
We have also decided (Sarah and I) that we will wear white jeans this summer, despite the fact that we neither one possess the correct body type for them, (I'm pretty sure the words she used when discussing them was 'tragic, but still awesome") and despite the fact that white jeans are a questionable choice for all mothers, and we have 7 kids between us.
Its not really that I want to break all the rules, its just that I sometimes resent their presence. And apparently I have passed this on to my kids. A while back we were discussing words that weren't acceptable to say (following the use of one such word by my 6 year old.) Here is how the conversation went:
Nate: "Why can't I say that?"
Me: "Because its not good manners."
Nate: "What are some other words that are bad manners to say?"
Me: "I'm not going to tell you, because then I would be using bad manners."
Nate: "I wish I could take a bad manners class so I could learn all the words."
He doesn't really want to know all the bad words. He just doesn't like that he's not allowed to know them.
(My daughter just came into my room and asked me what I was blogging about. "What is the theme?" she said.) I'm pretty sure there isn't one. I've just been pondering my love of living on the edge of outrageous, and my tendency to dive head first into shocking behavior if I feel the people around me might judge me.
So, don't judge me. It will only push me further toward the edge. Please, for the sake of my husband's sanity, do NOT tell me not to do something.
And, don't let me and Sarah hang out together very often. It really gets wild then. (insert reference to a spontaneous wrestling match on Thanksgiving Day here) You might see some dancing in the middle of the street, or some trying on of pants at a kiosk in the mall. (over top of the pants being worn, and without the presence of a dressing room)
Its really Mom and Dad's fault. They always told us to live a life full of the knowledge of God's grace. He offers me grace when I speed, He offers Sarah grace when she shoots her pistols at strangers outside a roller coaster, He offers my dad grace when He gives my mom a heart attack with his almost cursing.
No judgement, not conditional acceptance, no behavior or works based relationship. He laughs when I'm wild, and He loves me when I screw up, and He gently and patiently steers me back in the right direction when I get over the line. Not by telling me "Don't do this!" "Stop acting like that!" or "You have got to shape up!" But by pointing me to the image of His Son, and reminding me that's who I am trying to be like.
And in the Bible there are no references to Jesus only using dressing rooms to try on clothes, or how He always walked within the speed limit, or how He never licked olive oil bottles because there were too many germs on them.
There are tons of references to His grace, and His acceptance of every person, no matter how outrageous.
That's all I'm trying to do. I'm giving all the people around me a chance to WANT to judge me, but CHOOSE not to because Jesus wouldn't. (Or maybe He would, but that's His call, not anyone elses)
And a theme has emerged after all.
The grace filled rebel who's really just trying to help others be more like Jesus.
Yeah, that's a little thin. But, its all I've got. Take it or leave it.