Saturday, July 31, 2010

Duggar Season Five: What Do You Hope to See?

It's that time again, the time we've all been waiting for: a new season of the Duggars is about to begin! I admit that season four ended, for me, a bit anti-climatically. A lot of us had hoped for some kind of announcement, some revelation, and that never came. It was nice, though, that things ended calmly. Season four was hard for me to watch--the constant reminder that something wasn't right--that something could go horribly wrong at any moment--was difficult to endure.

Now that things appear to be on an even keel with the Duggars, Josie is home in Springdale and we're told she is happy and healthy, it's time to move on to a more cheerful time in their lives. We hope.

The Duggars are not a family that sits idly by, watching the world pass in front of them. They are clearly the type of family that is out in the world experiencing everything they can. That's one of the things I love about them. They are the type of family you can live vicariously through, and they don't mind it if you do.

So now that a new season is about to begin, what are you hoping to see? Some are hoping for a new pregnancy for Anna. I myself am more excited for a wedding announcement--or two. I would love to see a Duggar/Bates wedding with Jana. And maybe John-David. Something that occurred to me, that I haven't heard mentioned yet, is another Duggar/Keller wedding. Anna's sister spent a LOT of time visiting--is it possible a romance brewed between her and a Duggar? I've mentioned this before, but no one has commented--what about the Wilsons?? They have a son, or maybe two, that seem to be...older...Josh's age or maybe John-David's age. Is there a possibility that a Wilson and a Duggar could match up?

I would like to see the older ones out pursuing their dreams. Whatever those dreams might be. Although I doubt filming them going to school would be all that exciting to watch. Maybe just a casual reference to it would do. I think it is important to remember that just because we aren't shown it doesn't mean it doesn't happen. They seem to take great care in packaging the show so that we see only specific things. I understand that: it's a theme-driven show and not a blanket reality show, they do want to give the kids some semblance of a life separate from filming, and some things just don't have all that much entertainment value.

As we begin the count down to Season Five, tell us what you hope to see!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Duggars on Hiatus: What Have You Heard?

The Duggars have had a much needed and much deserved break this summer and because of that, the blog hasn't been as active as it is when the show is on the air. I apologize for not writing as much as I have been, but I've been having a bit of a hiatus as well.

So I've been thinking, as many of you have probably been as well, what are the Duggars up to this summer? Contrary to popular belief, I am not a Duggar maniac to the point of searching the internet for Duggar news. If something happens by me and I read it, fine, but no, I don't actually go searching for Duggar updates. I have heard the Facebook rumour that Anna is pregnant again. I did hear that John-David and Jana are back from their mission trip to Asia. And of course I heard about Michelle's "Mother of the Year" award ceremony. Other than those events, I haven't heard much of anything in Duggarland and so I'm asking you: What have you heard about the Duggars this summer?

Please share any Duggar tidbits--along with where you heard it, web addresses to news articles, etc--and what you think about what you heard (do you believe it, do you agree or disagree with it, and/or do you think it will make the show in the coming season).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Finding Your Calling

One thing I've noticed about the Duggars, when they talk to their kids about careers and future endeavors, they speak of the subject on a much higher level than most people do. Now this feeling could just be a contrast to how I was raised, but I get the distinct impression that the Duggars view the future as a calling and not so much a personal desire. I don't want to diminish the fact that they DO urge their children to follow a career path that is personally fulfilling--they have said that a career is something you'll be spending a lot of time doing so it should be something you enjoy--but it seems they want even MORE than that for their children, something they enjoy so much that they are literally pulled towards doing it.

I'll admit my parents never had the "what do you want to be when you grow up" talk with me. In fact my father actually told me that it's possible I might not want to do anything at all. I'm pretty sure that annoyed my mother, but actions speak louder than words and neither one had goals for me beyond princess. And that's pretty much how my life turned out. So bear in mind that I don't have the career experience or career path planning that the Duggar children are receiving. Does anyone?

People have criticized the Duggars for not having their children in school or out working at early ages, but if you analyze their conversations and interviews it's clear they want their kids to be sure of their choices. Yes again I understand that actions speak louder than words...saying their kids are free to go to school and yet not having any kids in school can be viewed more than one way.

I firmly believe that Jim Bob and Michelle want more than just careers for their kids, they want their kids to find their calling. There is a distinct difference between the two and the second can take more time than the first. That's my opinion on why their kids are slower than some to get out and tackle the world--they are waiting to be called to something vs. jumping into something because it might be fun or might be interesting. The girls ready to examine their career goals have done things I've never done or known anyone to do--they visit and shadow people who have that career. I began my freshman year in college as a nursing major because I thought I wanted to be a nurse--it never occurred to me to tag along behind one before registering for classes. No one even suggested it. Makes sense and saves a lot in wasted tuition money.

Calling--usually a word reserved for those called to the religious services. However I think in the Duggar's case, even their careers have some level of religious service to them, regardless of what that career is. I do believe that they hope their children will be guided by a higher power when moving into a career and I believe that "calling" is an accurate description.

What do you feel "called" to do?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mission Trips: A Duggar Dynasty

I will be the first to admit that my mission trip experiences are probably NOTHING like the ones the Duggar children have had. Growing up in my parent's church, I was an active participant in the youth activities; it was a small town and that's where all my friends were anyway. The other reason? BOYS! The random and square-dance like parings and re-parings were comical when looked back on. So that being the case, I have no doubt that the Duggars aren't in it for the gratuitous make out sessions when no one is looking.

Now that's not to say that our mission trips weren't successful and useful. The several years before I was "of age" to attend, our Senior High group would go to Mexico for a week every summer (with a week added on for the drive down and a stop at Disneyland on the way home) to build and help at orphanages and missions there. In all honesty, from talking to kids who went on the last Mexico trip, it was a tent-hopping good time. Undoubtedly that was one of the reasons it was the last trip. When it became my year to start going, we only went as far as Northern California and worked with a group that was set up there--kind of like going to camp, but winterizing homes for the poor. The downside to the project was that we didn't really get a chance to bond a lot with the people we were helping--we'd show up and work at our assigned home (we'd been divided up into groups based on our abilities--boys and girls divided up for grunt work and painting--and so we'd meet other people from the other groups there at the same time we were.) So we met and got to know the people we worked WITH but not so much the people living in the homes. They were usually working. Sometimes they'd be there, but you could tell they were grateful, but on some level also maybe embarassed in needing the help.

I won't say I didn't have a great time on the three trips I took--I was out my junior year because I had surgery instead--they were great times. I made a lot of friends and had pen pals for years afterwards. (Remember this was long before email!)

I must say that I'm way more impressed with the Duggar's trips than the ones I took. I don't want to diminish any of the work we did, we worked hard and were pleased to do it, but I don't think we gave nearly as much of ourselves as the Duggars seem to on their trips to El Salvador. We certainly never gave any of our own money into the project, other than our parents paying our portion for the drive down and the fee to join the group sponsoring our effort. The Duggars use their own money to buy gifts, clothing, food, and supplies for the people they are helping. I hate admitting that at the time, things like that never occurred to me. I was just there because it was what my friends and I did every summer.

I do think that going as a family is nice, and they do appear to meet and enjoy the people they are helping while they are there, but I can't deny that they might get even more out of the experience if they went with a group and got to meet other people who were there for the same reasons. You can never make too many friends.

Now it's time to share your stories--Did you go on Mission Trips when you were growing up? Do you go on them now?