Monday, October 27, 2014

Growing up Sheltered

 I remember when I was in highschool and beginning my college years, one of the most insulting things you could have told me was "You were sheltered as a child." To me, this was an insult.  I will be honest, as a homeschooled highschooler, I wanted to "fit in."  I wanted to be cool, have a lot of friends and do fun things, just like the kids I "knew." 
So I was in denial that I had grown up sheltered.  In today's society, it is a terrible thing to be sheltered.  It automatically means that you cannot socialize with people the way you could if you had been exposed to society.  It automatically labels you as a freak who cannot seem to connect to anything in the "real" world. 
I realized while I was in college that being labeled as a "sheltered individual" isn't such an insult after all. Sure, the people who say it are usually saying it in a negative light, but how I react to being called sheltered all lies in how I accept or reject its validity. 
So..I began accepting the supposed "insult" as a compliment.
" were sheltered or something, huh?"
"Are you kidding?  You must have lived in a bubble your whole life!"
"Where are you from? Under a rock?"
My response now? "Haha, yeah pretty much!  It was awesome."
 I was homeschooled for 12 years,  
My best friends were my siblings,
I grew up listening to Scripture songs and Hymns,
The only movies we watched were Bob Jones VHS and The Grinch Stole Christmas,
my idea of a "computer game" was looking through Encarta Encyclopedia and playing the math horse race game, 
My first time spending the night by myself away from family was when I was 15 at camp,
and...the list goes on and on.

I say all of that to say this: It took me awhile to embrace the fact that YES, I was sheltered growing up, And particularly in the area of entertainment.  I was not exposed to TV, Video games, questionable music, or even friends.  What did I do for fun than?  Did I sit in a hard-backed chair day in and day out and cross stitch?
No, I used my imagination.  Along with all of my siblings.  We would have tea parties, and occasionally, my mom would let us dye water different colors and I would "feed" it to my baby dolls.  It was like fruit punch.  Nobody told me that babies shouldn't be drinking punch.

Almost daily, me and my sisters would play with paper dolls.  We had collections of paper dolls. Mostly historical characters.  The George Washington Family was always my family.  You should have seen the balls our historical families would attend.   

I grew up with a grandmother who was overly generous on birthdays and Christmas.  Every birthday and Christmas, each of us would get a new piece of Playmobil. My Playmobil house looked exactly like this one.  I have since realized how much these houses actually cost (they are expensive) and my grandmother bought a house for each of us girls. 
So we would all have our own houses with our families and we would name each character and then get our families together for events.
What am I saying?  I grew up using my imagination. 

When I was 16, or even 18, I never would have admitted to anybody that I was still playing with dolls at the age of 13 because it somehow seemed embarrassing.  But now? I'll tell anybody! I am GLAD that I was sheltered.  I am SO HAPPY that I grew up being childish and innocent.  
And I ask those who laugh and mock, which is better? Being sheltered, imaginative and innocent, or being pushed into society, being exposed to evil early in life, and feeling the need to always compete for acceptance in our pecking order world?
There are so many more thoughts I have on this subject, however, I will spare my readers. :)  These are just a few of the thoughts I have had lately regarding my sheltered entertainment upbringing.



Deanna Stanton said...

Amen! Great post Virginia! I am so thankful I did grow up sheltered. I really don't think we missed out on anything at all :-)

Sarah Covey said...

I love this post!! I only went to college for a year, and after the experiences there I had a new appreciation for my "sheltered" childhood!!

Cora Bornemann said...

I love this post too---and am right there with you saying, being sheltered was a blessing! :)

Les Barr said...

36Can't really say that I was sheltered when growing up in Hamburg, PA. However, I was strictly raised with the iron hand of my Mother. She taught me quite a lot. Most of it I still use and follow to this day. Manners and right from wrong were a major portion of my raising. Today's generation needs allot of what I learned a long time ago.

allymaccall said...

That's incredible! I loved every word and it couldn't of come at a better time from a better person. I'm having difficulty with Madison about this very thing about attending to Jireh. I can't wait for her to read this and hopefully she'll have a new outlook on what she calls sheltered. That was great Virginia!

*~Virginia~* said...

Thanks everyone! You all are so encouraging!

Elizabeth Miller said...

I love your outlook on it. Now as a young adult I truly appreciate my parents and God from protecting me from things I know now would have changed my outlook on life from a positive one to a negative. I did not miss a thing. Thank you God for parents who care.