Sometimes you really have to measure just how far you’ve come on your journey out of harmful theology. It’s another part of your recovery, looking at how you handled a situation and then thinking back upon how this would have played out in your days of yore. Measure the difference and see where you instinctively line up now.
This week brought another opportunity to do just that. We have ants.
Here in the Virginia Piedmont it’s Spring. Glorious Spring. Beautiful Spring. Yards filled with gracefully blooming daffodils and crocus, shoots of emerald green grass emerging from the red clay earth. Birds singing, trees leafing out, all that jazz. Spring here also means ants, lots and lots of ants if you live in a rural area and haven’t sprayed recently. I always say I know it’s really Spring and we’ll not have any more hard freezes when the ants emerge.
Every year it’s the same. The ants awaken and make their presence known. I rush out and get fresh ant spray to spray the foundation of the house. I put ant poison in the yard and line up ant bait in the house. The ants go elsewhere or die within a few days. The rest of the year save those few days in Spring are relatively ant-free.
My darling husband fixed his breakfast a few mornings ago, pouring a big bowl of sugar frosted something or other cereal, poured on the milk and saw ants floating in the milk. He never tightly closes the cereal so when we get our Spring allotment of ant activity they immediately infest his Sugar Snaps until I spray the house once.
Outraged my darling was, scowling and frowning, showing me the bowl and complaining he might have eaten a few ants. He was upset. I looked at the bowl, looked at him and laughed before telling him that it was okay, the ants would just add a little needed protein to his breakfast. Plus they are organic.
But back in my old submitting like crazy fundamentalist days I would have apologized, whipped that bowl from his hands, washed it, sterilized it, rushed to the store to get fresh cereal, apologized again for not being a proper enough wife to keep ants out of his cereal and served him a fresh bowl. And I would have done it meekly and humbly.
Now? My attitude is if you’re going to allow a few ants to pee on your mood then you have bigger issues than a few ants.
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‘Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich
‘Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland
‘Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce