I used to love a good debate. Get me going and I could talk for hours. Not so much anymore. As I've gotten older, I've felt a lot more timid about "sticking my oar in." I like to say its because I don't want to get involved in other people's business. My best friend says its because I don't like getting my oar broken off and she's totally right. Who doesn't like to say their piece and then not get any flack for it?
Part of what I want to change about myself is the way I deal with conflict and adversity. I want to own my actions. I spend so much time worrying about what other people think about me and whether or not I'm on everybody's good side. I shuffle around trying to fix mistakes before anyone notices them. I try to please everyone. Its really exhausting!
I want to find the courage to take a chance- to step in when necessary, and be ready to face the consequences. I think that takes courage and courage is not something that I have in abundance.
Here is what I'm facing at the moment: a couple at church just had their first baby. The baby is three weeks old and is being left to cry it out at night. It sounds a lot like they are using Babywise. Who doesn't know that Babywise is a heap of garbage? But I digress... I, for one, do not like to be criticized as a parent, but like most parents, I tend to have opinions about the way that others parent. When I heard this, I became angry and fearful. Now, these are first time parents and they are making a rookie mistake, no doubt based on bad advice that someone has given them. I really felt the need to say something, but in a diplomatic way. I had the chance to talk with the mom about nursing (one of my favorite parenting subjects) and feel that I was able to get some good information in that way, however covertly.
Today, another friend sent them some links about Ezzo and whatnot and someone else immediately responded by saying that Babywise is "merciful" and that babies require structure and all that. Well, as much as I hated to do it because I don't want to debate parenting techniques in this particular format, I said something. Basically, I pointed out that the issue is not whether or not babies are depraved. They are. The issue is whether or not Babywise is safe for babies. It is not and that has been proven time and time again. I then pointed them to Ezzo.info.
I hit send, and immediately, this rush of fear and embarrassment came over me. Here is where the change needs to come in. I need to own what I said. I need to find the confidence to stand by it, defend it, and face whatever fallout might come from stepping forward and offering my unsolicited opinion.
The Bible has a lot to say about minding your own business. However, I think that when the well-being of a child is involved and misinformation is being spread that could physically harm someone, it behooves people who know better to stand up and say so. I have no problem saying that the people I'm concerned about or to the fellow who made the very bad statement about Babywise.
So, perhaps, I am finding my courage. Perhaps I am moving, ever-so-slowly, to a place where I feel confident to pick and choose my battles and then engage people again. May the Lord grant me grace, wisdom, and courage!