Monday, December 31, 2012

Yeah, he'll be fine

Jenny McCarthy, one of the hosts of New Year's Rockin' Eve, grabbed a young military man as the ball dropped and gave him a whopper of a kiss. She then asked him his name and how he would rank the kiss from one to ten. Military guy says, "I'd say it was a ten."

My sixteen-year-old son chuckles, "He should have said 'a six'."

Happy New Year to you all!

Kitty Werthmann's life account

December 22, 2012 - “What I am about to tell you is something you’ve probably never heard or read in history books,” she likes to tell audiences.

“I am a witness to history.

“I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history.

If you remember the plot of the Sound of Music, the Von Trapp family escaped over the Alps rather than submit to the Nazis. Kitty wasn’t so lucky. Her family chose to stay in her native Austria. She was 10 years old, but bright and aware. And she was watching.

“We elected him by a landslide – 98 percent of the vote,” she recalls.

She wasn’t old enough to vote in 1938 – approaching her 11th birthday. But she remembers.

“Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took Austria by force.”

No so.

“In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unem- ployed. We had 25 percent inflation and 25 percent bank loan interest rates.

Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people were go- ing from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn’t want to work; there simply weren’t any jobs.

“My mother was a Christian woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people – about 30 daily.’

“We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had been in power since 1933.” she recalls. “We had been told that they didn’t have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living.

“Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group – Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone in Germany was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria. We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back.

“Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.

“We were overjoyed,” remembers Kitty, “and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and
everyone was fed.

“After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.

“Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn’t support his family. Many women in the teach- ing profession were elated that they could retain the jobs they previously had been re- quired to give up for marriage.

“Then we lost religious education for kids

“Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school.. The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler’s picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn’t pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang ‘Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles,’ and had physical education.

“Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to jail.”
And then things got worse.

“The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination. The rest of the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free.

“We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had.

“My mother was very unhappy,” remembers Kitty. “When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn’t do that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful. There was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun – no sports, and no political indoctrination.

“I hated it at first but felt I could tolerate it. Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home. I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing.

“Their loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They lived without religion. By that time, unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler.

“It seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn’t exposed to that kind of hu- manistic philosophy.

“In 1939, the war started and a food bank was established. All food was rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same time, a full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn’t work, you didn’t get a ration card, and if you didn’t have a card, you starved to death.

“Women who stayed home to raise their families didn’t have any marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men.

“Soon after this, the draft was implemented.

“It was compulsory for young people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps,” remembers Kitty. “During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys.

“They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines.
“When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat.
“Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the labor corps and into military service.

“When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government immediately es- tablished child care centers.
“You could take your children ages four weeks old to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, seven days a week, under the total care of the government.

“The state raised a whole generation of children. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had.

“Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the University of Vienna..
“After Hitler, health care was socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything.

“When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full.

“If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the med- ical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.

“As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80 percent of our income. Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families.

“All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.

“We had another agency designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables.
“ Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because peo- ple might bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He couldn’t meet all the demands.

“Soon, he went out of business. If the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control.

“We had consumer protection, too

“We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the live-stock, and then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.

“In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps. The villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were closed off with snow, causing people to be isolated.

“So people intermarried and offspring were sometimes retarded. When I arrived, I was told there were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all useful and did good man- ual work.

“I knew one, named Vincent, very well. He was a janitor of the school. One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van.

“I asked my superior where they were going. She said to an institution where the State Health Department would teach them a trade, and to read and write. The families were required to sign papers with a little clause that they could not visit for 6 months.

“They were told visits would interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.

“As time passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected what was happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and all died within 6 months. We called this euthanasia.

“Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long afterwards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.

“No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.

“Totalitarianism didn’t come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria. Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom.”

“This is my eye-witness account.

“It’s true. Those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity.

“America is truly is the greatest country in the world. “Don’t let freedom slip away.

“After America, there is no place to go.”

Kitty Werthmann

Edit - The original column can be found here from Pakalert Press: 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Crabs in a bucket

How do you keep a crab in a bucket? Put two crabs in it. One will always pull the other down and prevent its escape. - A parable coined first by feminist author, Ninotchka Rosca from the Philippines.

Crab mentality can be seen whenever we set out to do something that goes beyond the norms of our group. That group can be our families, our church community, our social group, economic name it. There are individuals who will perceive your new idea, commitment, adventure, enterprise, beliefs etc. as a threat of some sort. It threatens their own complacency, their opposing beliefs, or their desire to maintain the status quo.

Crab mentality is different than an inquiry into why you are doing something new. It doesn't seek to understand or debate. It can be subtle and insidious or obvious. The desired result, whether one is cognitive of it or not, is to put you into an uncomfortable position, to urge you to come back and conform to the group's mentality, to stop what it is you are doing, to put into question your ability or conviction. The words used are most often condescending and reveal an arrogance that would undoubtedly be confirmed as irrational should you succeed.

I've heard it said that we often do this to our own selves. I see that as something different. The challenges we place on our own selves, the self doubt and questioning are there to build fortitude and conviction. It causes us to dig deeper when making a decision, to find others that have gone before us successfully, to pray to God for confirmation and guidance. When you set out to lose weight for example, it is natural to think of how you might fail. What is so important is that the thought has materialized. You will now seek out advice on how others have succeeded. When you are satisfied with having all the information you need, you set out on your journey.

When you make public a desire to lose weight to another person who needs to as well but isn't ready to make the commitment, that is when you'll hear crab mentality. I've been asked and told the most ludicrous things regarding losing weight and getting in shape. Always from fat people. For instance:  "Is RLB making you do this?" "I'm so thankful my husband loves me for who I am." "I would never want to be as skinny as I was before." "I could never punish my body the way you do."

Deciding to homeschool is a sure way to bring out the crabs. My favorites: "What makes you think you're qualified to homeschool your child?" "I could never do that, I just don't have the patience."

Prior to starting this blog, I posted a Facebook status that revealed my understanding of Biblical submission. I did it in a crafty little way:
So I was reading this crazy book last night. It talked about entering into this contract where the woman obeys what the man says to her about everything, that with this contract her body is not her own, it is his and that she is forbidden to deny him sexual gratification. And wow the author really knew how to paint a sexual scene, whew. It was just awesome.
I have never read the popular mommy porn book that has made its rounds among women who would scoff at biblical submission, but I knew there would be a few people inquiring if that was the book I was referring to. Once I revealed I was talking about the Bible, a twice divorced woman had this crab statement to say: "You really can't believe that is a healthy relationship." - Okay, I'll admit, it was a set up. I have a peculiar way of amusing myself sometimes.

The latest crab statement directed my way was one I anticipated: "Looks like you must have a lot of time on your hands..." Referring to the blog. It wasn't neutral. It was a crab statement followed up with a literal condescending slam that I'll write about later. 

I'll address that crab statement now as I see it a lot, in various forms, in the comments of the other blogs I read. I don't know the specific motivation of the authors who write the blogs I'm most interested in but I do know mine. I stated it in the first few essays I posted, specifically in Now let me at the truth

For a few hours a week, I spend my time writing essays that my children read. We discuss everything that is written here. The words I write come from reading the Bible, praying, talking with and learning from RLB and other sources I respect, and, of course, our experiences in life. This medium allows you to read what I have to say and you voluntarily choose to return or not. What I am most excited about, however, is that these essays make their way into the hands of my grandchildren and generations to come long after I am gone. It has been a passion of mine for some time to make sure the failures and successes in RLB and my life are made available to our descendents. We often discuss the little we know from our ancestors and wonder how they made it through their challenges or what contributed to their successes. We wonder what their opinions were of the ever changing times and societies they lived in. 

There has always been an ebb and flow of people to God's truth. As the destruction of feminism and Marxism makes it way through our society, our schools, our churches, and our homes, I have found that RLB and I are a part of a growing underground of believers who have chosen to reject societal norms. People like us have always existed as well. Many of us can not even find a church that isn't corrupted with feminist propaganda. The lies are so prevalent. 

I am extremely blessed to have married a rock of a man. One who has rejected the lies and lives the words of Joshua 24:15 - But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

He is a precious wonder to me whose wisdom must be shared with his descendents. I can think of no better way to spend the time I have on my hands.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

You were made for him

Out of the mouths of babes:
 A 'dad' is tenth most popular Christmas list request for children with youngsters happy to forgo the latest iPad, toy or new pet, a survey has found.
It is time to reject the evil that has engulfed our societies. It is time to reject selfishness and victim-hood. It is time to embrace responsibility and service to our God.

Women, it starts with you.

You have been lied to. You have fallen for the most evil of plans.

You are not a man. You can never be a dad. It will not be okay. Your children will not come to understand. They will always long for a whole family. It's within their spirit, within their soul. Your destructive self absorption has devastated the children.

Billions of dollars are spent on "finding one's purpose." Books and seminars, counselors, psychiatrists, and prescription medications will not help you or your children.

Your purpose was written clearly in the Bible. Right there in the beginning:
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." - Genesis 2:18
You reject all of God's word if you reject these words. God has not changed His mind. Your purpose has not changed. The very reason for your existence remains.

Embrace this. Cry out to God that He will help you understand this.


Ask if this is true.

Don't be afraid when you hear the answer. It is "yes."

You were created for your husband. To be his helper. You were created so that he not be alone.

Reject the lie that life is all about you. It is not, never has been. Your happiness, security, contentment, peace, joy, praiseworthiness, honor, beauty, grace, and wisdom come at the other side of embracing this truth. I promise you that.

Pray for this understanding.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. - Matthew 22:37-38
How can you love the Lord your God if you reject the reason He created you? 

All manner of evil has overwhelmed our societies because of the lie. It is time to put families back together, it is time for husbands to be returned to the headship of those families. It is time for women to return to their purpose.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

How he got the girl

Those of you who frequent Alpha Game as I've repeatedly told you to, have already read a lot of Vox Day's advice on how men can attract women. Very important is the advice to not ask a woman:
Women cannot tell men what they find attractive because they do not know themselves.  They only know what is considered socially acceptable to find attractive.  That is why men should not listen to them concerning these matters.  It is important to understand this.  The consequences of not doing so can be brutal.
 I clicked over to the linked blog post, Confessions of a Reformed InCel and read it as if it were written by my son.
My issue was i always believed i was not handsome, rugged or built well enough to attract initial attention. I had poor self image. All the advice to the contrary, telling me I WAS OK AS I WAS allowed me to abdicate my responsibility to start working on that issue. It led me to believe people should like me for who i am, not what my exterior presents. My first cross to bear. Instead of working to fix my skin deep issues and develop a greater sense of self worth, i continued listening to that advice to find one who would appreciate me for my ‘nice‘ qualities instead. This further perpetuated the vicious circle of being constantly friendzoned or rejected outright by women. Being myself was supposed to work but badboys were winning the day. Instead of reading it properly and abandoning the beta to become the badass, i doubled down and started hating badboys and believed that women were just being misguided but they would eventually turn around and come to love the greater qualities of love, nurturing, compassion and empathy i had massive stockpiles and reserves of. I shoved all my chips to the center of the table all in, and became a HUGE white knight Mangina.
...For all intents and purposes i was an evolutionary failure. With so much FAIL, my body began to realize it was not going to fulfill it’s primary biological function of reproduction and had begun to contemplate ways of me to expedite my removal from the gene pool. Death felt like my only answer.

Then I thought of this deluded young man whose thoughts on needing feminism couldn't be more wrong. The lies of feminism are so cruel. There isn't an honest woman alive looking at his picture and reading what he said who had a biological impulse to want him. Is that the plan feminists? Is that how you stick it to the man? Lie and confuse them so desperately that you create an effeminate loser who will never move past the friend zone with a woman? Who will never know the experience of having a woman hot for him? 

This can never be my son! (Solipsism alert) - How ever will we fill that Christmas table with beautiful grandbabies?

As I've said before, I'm not in the habit of giving advice to men. And that includes my son. When it comes to advice on attracting women, no doubt I will leave that up to RLB.

In one of the comments on  How does he rank I mentioned I'd write about how I was courted by him. I'll write it from my perspective alone though RLB and I have talked at length about all the dynamics that were at play.

I was nine-teen and desperate for a fresh start from all of the bad decisions I had been making. I was in college but not excited about it at all. Being a career woman was just not what I had in mind for my life. A friend of mine suggested I go down to where she lived, a huge college town, and start there. I had already been accepted to that college when I was in high school. I didn't go because my mother died my senior year. I knew I was very vulnerable and losing myself in that notorious city was not a good idea at the time. And though I could still care less about my college education, I was running out of money (a small inheritance from my mother's life insurance) and I'd at least be able to provide for myself there better than the minimum wage jobs available where I lived. So I drove down on a one week mission to find a job and an apartment. At that point I'd come back, give my two week notice at work, pack my things, and move.

Three days in I was walking into a dive bar where my friend's sister-in-law worked and I saw him. He was wearing a white collard dress shirt with the top few buttons undone, his tie already removed. He was hot with his, not too long, blond, curly mullet. I thought to myself, "I wonder what it would be like to be married to that guy?" He was sitting next to a woman, laughing, drinking a beer, with a bar trivia console in front of him.

A couple minutes later, I was sitting in front of him. The woman he was with knew my friend and invited us over to their table. The woman introduced herself as RLB's sister. She wasn't, I knew that. That's an old game where you can spend time with the man you're hot for who doesn't want you by telling others you're brother and sister. Eventually when he's in the mood, you'll be the only one around. It's an act of desperation and makes a woman look horribly pathetic. So, ma'am, being that he's your "brother" and all, watch this (women are evil) as the flirting commenced.

We played darts and I flirted, he was very funny, I flirted, he'd tease me, I flirted, he touched me, I melted and flirted. After the bar closed he said he'd drive me back to my friend's house. The thought of saying, "no she's going there anyway, you don't need to go out of your way"...never crossed my mind. What I was thinking was how the hell am I going to control myself. We got into this tiny little sports car where six inches separated us. We talked and made out for a long time in that tiny little car in front of my friend's apartment complex. We made plans for the next day. He told me he'd give me a tour of the campus. He'd call me the next day to give me directions to meet him at his house. 

The next morning I got up early and started primping; every hair in place, the perfect outfit, makeup on, smelled great...nervous as hell. Why hasn't he called? What should I do? Oh, if he doesn't call me I think I'm going to die. Finally, in the mid afternoon, the phone rang. He had just woken up. What?!?  I got to the house he shared with three other guys and a girl and there he was, sitting on the steps. He hadn't showered, he hadn't shaved, and he was wearing crappy jeans, a baseball cap, and a t-shirt.

We walked around the campus for a while and came to a popular gyro restaurant. He asked if I would like to try one. So I preceded to purchase my own gyro. He didn't have his wallet with him. No, he doesn't want one, he's just going to sit across from me watching as I eat one of the sloppiest, no way to eat it ladylike, sauce dripping, lettuce and onions falling all over the place, things I've ever eaten.

It was time for him to go to work. He told me to meet him after work at the Applebee's next to the Red Lobster he works at. Again I was a nervous wreck. While I sat facing him next to the bar, after we'd been there for quite a while, he informed me that his ex-girlfriend is sitting right behind me. "Do you work with a lot of ex-girlfriends?" - "Yeah, a few."

Later that night we went back to his house. I sat down in a chair as he looked through the mail. "Oh, good the new Playboy came in, here (tossing it to me) find the bunny." Then, "It's playmate of the year time, let's pick which one it will be."

You can obviously see a trend here. RLB kept me in this state of a jealous, insecure, tizzy for months. After that first week I was literally sick. I drove home with the worst stomach ache I have ever had in my life. I had been so nervous, excited, and crazy that I couldn't eat right nor could I take care of normal bathroom issues (you understand, TMI) Without the details surrounding them, here are more examples:

-The two of us walk into a bar where his "sister" is sitting, he casually approaches her, bends down and kisses her on the lips.
-As I'm getting ready go back home to pack my things he says, "if you weren't leaving in two weeks, I'd ask for this to be exclusive." To which I replied, "Two weeks? You won't wait for me for two weeks?" He said, "it's not about me." Of course I then went on and on about how into him I was, there was no way I'll be with anyone else, he's all I can think about etc. etc.
-"This girl at work, I don't know what she was wearing but she smelled phenomenal!" 
-While I was back home I went out with some friends. Talked about RLB the whole time. I was a mess, I had to get home to call him. And there, back at home, I sat and waited until after 2:00AM for him to get home from the strip club he went to with a friend. This guy was killing me!
 -While out watching him play darts for his dart league, I look out the window and see his "sister" and another hot blond walking through the parking lot, staring at me, flipping me the bird and other rude gestures. Oh, sorry, SD, that was the girl I was having sex with up until I met you. She's probably a little pissed.

 -  Girl walks in to the bar, he hugs her, gushes on and on about how nice it is to see her and how great she looks, finally comes back to where I'm sitting and glaring at him and says, "You're just mad because she's so pretty." - Now this one was really interesting. It amounted into a huge fight, me driving to my friend's house in a blizzard. Crying my eyes out over what an asshole he was. And proceeding to get my car stuck in the ditch on my way home. I went to a gas station and called RLB, who's sports car was stuck in a parking lot. He had already walked to my apartment and was sleeping in my bed. I asked if he'd come meet me. He fell asleep again and I walked home alone. I was so angry and out of my mind. The next day after we dug our cars out of the snow he took me to the mall to get Christmas decorations. He stopped in front of a jewelry store, looked at me and said, "pick one." My engagement ring. RLB wanted to MARRY ME!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Guest post: The Power of Words

We met Nick and his wife while we lived in Korea. Nick, though almost ten years his junior, was RLB's superior and mentor in their unit. They are one of the couples we cherish seeing whenever our paths can cross. Over the last few months, I've noticed a change in Nick. A very Good change. I asked if he'd write his testimony, so I could know it and it could be shared with all of you. Be Blessed: 

Sometimes we forget how powerful words can be. We use them with little thought most times, and with little consequence. Well, I am guilty, and I know just about everyone that reads this is too. We can take the simplest saying, and never even think of what we are saying just because of its common use today. Our language is often offensive, no matter the intent behind it. We simply just don’t think before we speak. My good friend, SD, asked me to share my story on her blog. When she did this, I was shocked a bit. I asked myself  “Can my story really reach others? Is it worth telling?”  A couple weeks later, a one line status update from my mother tonight, which sent me into a torrent of emotion and self-reflection, God spoke to me. He told me to write my story down. And I can’t speak for you, but when God tells me to do something, I do it! So, here goes my best attempt to share what I can.  May God lead my fingers!

My older brother and I grew up in the country. Our father and mother were blue collar workers and raised us as such. My father was a strong and good man, but with his flaws. My mother was loving, firm, but never forgot to let us have fun. Of course she had her flaws too, but who doesn’t? They did their best to raise us, and if you ask me, they did pretty good. Starting at an early age my father did his best to teach my brother and me all the vocational skills that he knew. And let me tell you what, he knew a lot!  I like to think I am a testament to that. I can build it, fix it, and break it, if necessary! My mother taught us what she knew too. She is where I got my passion for cooking, reading (although not till later in life), mending clothes, and my first taste of God’s love. How I regret that I did not receive it then!

My brother and I attended Sunday school till we were old enough to tell our mother that we wished not to go. Now, the reason for us to feel that way is unclear. If I could remember, I am sure it had something to do with having to get up early on a Sunday, what seemed to be our only true day off. But due to some memory block that I have, that’s the best I can guess. 20 or so years later, I am really wishing she would have just put up with our bickering, and made us to keep going, lol. Anyhow, we stopped, and that is all I can remember up to the day.

The day will be in my memory for the rest of my life. That is the day that many things happened. At the time, only one thing consumed my life, every thought, every action, and every reaction. Finding my brother, shot to death, on our garage floor. I was 12 years old, facing a reality that you should only find in the movies, my brother has been murdered! On the phone with 911, scared beyond words, and my brother, lifeless, staring at me, not responding to my screams; watching him being rolled away on a gurney. My parents, showing up after the emergency personnel, screaming and crying were another factor to handle. They were at work, you see. I had to call their bosses, after calling 911, to get them home. By the point they got home, I had emotionally shut down, giving off the “strong one” appearance.

This “Strong one” appearance never left. For the next 2 ½ to 3 years, I didn’t have a choice. Both of my parents slipped, well, more like dove into alcoholism. It was to the point that I had to make sure the checks were getting signed for the monthly bills. All along, on the inside, I had rejected God, was facing alcoholism myself. I made the classic mistake of “How God could let this happen” overtake me without listening for His response. This is also the time frame where I sought after everything a young man seeks to fill the hole in his life when he does not have and know Christ. I met a young woman, who I will call my false hope. I dated and stayed together with this false hope for many years, and eventually ended up married to her. At this point, most people looking in from the outside would see a college graduate, married, happy, with a good job, on his way for a happy life. Most who know me would say things like “You are so strong and have done so well." But had they any insight, they would have wept for me instead.

Everything was a show, a mask that I had put on for the world, for myself. It was my coping mechanism. I had been doing it so long, I had no idea it wasn’t the real me. I had become the mask!  Then my false hope showed itself as just that, a false hope. Just a short eight months of marriage, she told me I would be happier with someone else. Devastation took on a whole new meaning! I had based my entire life on this false hope, and now it is telling me “so long, good luck, find happiness elsewhere." So, like so many other men without God, I took to strong drink and loose women. I didn’t even wait for the legal process to start. Two weeks after false hope waked out, I was so deep in sin; I might as well have been walking on coals.

So, with no end state in sight, I decided that I needed change. I enlisted in the United States Army on June 14, 2004. I had no idea it was the Army’s birthday, just the day I went in. So I set my sights on the last summer as a free man, and continued on my self-destructive path. But, as it is God’s way, He used this pitiful state I was in to lead me out of it. He took my path across another’s, my lovely wife. Although, I must admit, my intentions had not changed yet, but God’s plan for me was set in motion. 

After basic training, she and I were married. It was short noticed and didn’t make either of our families happy. We had something amazing, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all sugar and spice in the beginning, but we both had that feeling of something more. Something other than us holding us together, another power stronger than either of us, it was God. Of course, at that time I had no idea what it was. My wife, who was already on her walk with the Lord, might have known, but I know I was clueless. She was crazy enough to follow me to South Korea. That should be enough said, hahaha. It was also at this time God gave us our first trial. My wife and I had been trying for many months to get pregnant with no avail. Doctors basically told us, when we get stateside, we could continue testing and figure out who or what the problems were.

After Korea, we got stationed at a rapidly deploying post and knew that we would have to face a deployment sooner than later. With children still on our minds, we pursued diagnosis for our infertility problems. At this point, we had been trying for children for almost 2 years. This was a very trying time. It was a lot of hurry up and wait, hurry up and wait. Then we got the news that we knew was coming, I was to deploy in less than 2 months. Worried that we would have to start the pursuit for the infertility issues due to health insurance regulations, we pressed forward as fast as possible for a diagnosis. This was all taking place around Thanksgiving, 2007. On top of that, my grandfather, which I truly loved and adored fell ill and had to be placed in a nursing home, leaving my grandmother to take care of the family farm, basically by herself.

With a yearlong deployment looming in the darkness of January 2008, we desperately pressed the doctors for answers. Just a few days before I had to deploy, my grandfather died. It hit me horribly.  Then I got hit with the doctor’s visit where I learned the news I feared more so. Our infertility issues laid on ME. I was crushed! I had just lost my grandfather, someone I truly loved and looked up to, and then my manhood felt like it had been ripped away from me! I couldn’t be a father; I would never get to teach my skills to my offspring. My brother, gone, and me, unable to reproduce! My family line stops with me! All this days before leaving for war was almost too much to bear. That all too familiar mask manifested before I know what happened. So “Hide your feelings, Nick, that’s what strong people do”; continued my unhealthy way of coping.

Simply one of the hardest years of my life and my marriage, that almost ended in divorce. Praise be to God it did not! The hard times did not stop once I got home unfortunately. We continued the pursuit of children for the next two years, even though we knew that it was going to be very expensive to make it happen. We would have surgeries and procedures that did not have a good success rate and came with a hefty price tag. Along with that, I had to change units which was going to come with an all new set of challenges to face. The one good thing that came from all this was my wife found a church that she thought I could come with her to and be “okay” with, but we just never made it there. As is God’s way, he knew I was going to need more than just the thought of a friendly church to start going, he gave us a miracle. I received a phone call from my wife while away from home on a training event, “Baby, I’m pregnant!” is all I heard as I dropped the phone.

Happy times were short lived though, I was deployed again less than 5 weeks later, just to come home and have to go to an ARMY school that my leadership failed to get me out of. All these hardships and trials, finally pregnant, and now I am going to be half way across the country in a school when our baby is born. God once again smiled on us, while home over the New Year holiday, my beautiful baby girl was born on December 31. Her original due date was January 15th!  30 hours later I was on the road back to school to finish the last 2 weeks of the school. You see, I would have missed my daughter's birth had she not came early. Back from school, with the promise of some well-deserved time home, we tried to settle into the shock of finally being a family.

Once our daughter was a couple months old, after many long talks, we decided to get her baptized and dedicate her to Christ. In doing so, God spoke to me for the first time that I can remember. He told me “I accept her, but what about you?” Which, I did not receive for I heard it as my own thought, not His voice. You see, in my head, I thought I accepted Christ as a child. We started going to the church my wife found; I had cleaned up my life and my lifestyle. I was wrong!! The key word from the last sentence was “I”.  So, plenty of good family time and church going was my answer. Wrong again! The true seed of belief was planted on my next deployment during a Bible study. A good, godly friend of mine was witnessing to a new member of the group and I was struck by his story. He then turned and asked me, when did I give my life to Christ. Realizing in that moment that I had no clue, I blamed it on the memory block I have from the time before my brother was murdered.

All this time, I had been going to church and believing I had givin my life to Christ so long ago that I couldn’t remember. So now, I had doubt in my heart. So I continued to go to church and it seemed like every Sunday, the pastor was asking for people to come forward and give their life to Christ. During that time of prayer, I was praying as hard as I could, asking God “should I raise my hand?” Never hearing a reply; the doubt still there though. Fast forward through another deployment; with another awesome Bible study. The first Sunday home in June, I know our church was having a baptism and I want to participate, never being baptized as an adult, under my own decision. So, like so many other Sundays where the pastor asked for people to come forward to pray and accept Christ, I was praying my heart out for an answer to my question “Lord, do I need to raise my hand?” Then as if I was the only person in that room, a voiced boomed “Go!” My hand shot up so quick, I almost jumped out of my chair! I was the only one that day to come forward. I was saved and baptized that day and will never forget June 10, 2012!

I have to say God has worked long and hard on me. This is my testimony to how how He will never stop seeking us, we just have to turn around with open arms and He is there ready and waiting for us.  God started using me right away after that. First of all, He has laid it on my heart to be the responsible, Biblical household leader. I still have a lot of work to do, but I am now striving for it. He has also used me to spread His word and counsel others. I was scared and still and scared to do this.  But, who am I to question God’s will. I may not have the hottest fire burning in faith but I throw another log on the fire every chance I get. God continues to bless my family and I. Just one month after giving my life to Christ, He blessed us with a second child; our second daughter will be here this April!

So in closing, if God can accept and use a wretch like me, He can accept and use you too!  Listen to the Holy Spirit, when He pulls you one way, don’t fight it. Embrace it! None of us know when the end is coming, don’t gamble with your soul. When Jesus comes again, you want Him to know your name and have written it in the book of life. If you don’t believe me, read the last book in the Bible. It tells us what is in store for both sides; it is up to you which side you are on. God bless you and I hope my story inspires you.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Christmas table

Over sixteen years ago, RLB and I went to the theater to watch the movie Bed of Roses. I was pregnant with our first born and highly emotional. I started crying early in the movie and never stopped. At one point I was sobbing. If you haven't seen it, here's the plot summary:
Two lonely people learn to say it with flowers in this romantic drama. Lisa (Mary Stuart Masterson) is a business executive who has gotten used to being alone but doesn't like it very much; she was abandoned by her birth parents, and then spent most of her childhood being raised by Stanley (S.A. Griffin), an abusive foster father, after her adopted mother died. One day, Lisa gets word that Stanley has died; alone in her apartment, she breaks down and cries uncontrollably. Later the same day, Lisa gets an unexpected delivery of a dozen roses from a secret admirer. Puzzled, Lisa presses the delivery man for information on who might have sent her the flowers, and he confesses -- he sent them himself. Lewis (Christian Slater) runs a flower shop and often takes long walks through the neighborhood, trying to lose his memories of his deceased wife and child. He saw Lisa crying in her window and hoped the roses would cheer her up. Before long, Lisa and Lewis begin dating, but both have some emotional issues to resolve before their story can have a happy ending.
But that won't help you understand what all the crying was about. Understanding solipsism will. I viewed this movie as if it were about me, my life, and my struggles. Though there are only a few similarities to my real life, that didn't matter! 

RLB and I had only been married for a year and a half. All of the brokenness that lied beneath this exterior was just starting to be revealed. I was about to have a child and was terrified. I knew nothing about raising children. I knew I didn't want this child to experience a broken home. No way was he going to make the horrible decisions I had made so very early in life. No way was he going to stare at the sky and beg to be taken so the pain would stop. No way was he going to be thirteen years old, finding a church for himself, and walking to it alone on a Sunday morning. But how? How do you do that?

There was a scene in the movie where Lewis takes Lisa to his parent's home for the first time on Christmas day. As she is greeted with the loudness of a family she is visibly overwhelmed. She peers around and sees pictures covering the walls of a family with depth and memories and love. She's introduced to Lewis's mother, his sister and her baby, there is a child running through the house, then Lewis's younger brother, then his father...and the noise continues.

I remember that. It was days before our wedding and we were at RLB's family's farm. It was just so loud. I was trying to hide away in RLB's childhood bedroom with no success. "We eat lunch AT THE TABLE in this house, at noon!" - His dad may not have actually said it this way but I got the message and was completely overwhelmed.

RLB, like Lewis in the movie, tried to reassure me that this family of his was plenty screwed up. Well Yeah! They are in everyone's business, there's so much talking, and laughing, and reminiscing...and they're so loud!

Back to the movie. That evening the family congregates at the Christmas table, with the father at the head of the table. The mother (who I now became in the movie) is beaming as she looks over her family gathered together. Intact. Not perfect. But together.


God gave me a vision for my life and it was this.

When our marriage seemed beyond repair, RLB reminded me of this vision. He wasn't nice about it, he said, "so much for your Christmas table, SD." - I was so ashamed.

I am now so grateful RLB said what he did to redirect my heart towards the vision God gave me. That shame turned to victory as that vision carried me through my struggle when I didn't understand my Biblical responsibilities as a wife. It was that longing that made me seek God, His way, His truth.

Over a year ago, I cherished being a part of this vision actualized for RLB's mother. When we gathered together, all seventeen of us, to celebrate their fifty years of marriage. Intact. Not perfect. But together. It was so loud.

I pray where ever you are in your journey that you receive God's vision for your life. That it carries you through uncertainty and challenge. That the vision be so great and the longing so desperate that it causes you to seek God, His way, His truth.

For the next week my posts may be sporadic. I have much to do to prepare our Christmas table. I savor every year we are together. In tact. Not perfect. But together. It's going to be loud. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's all about meeeeee....

A concept needs to be defined and addressed before I can complete a future post I have in mind. Many of you will have never heard of this before and that is female solipsism.

Vox Day has a helpful post on Alpha Game explaining female solipsism: also provides both philosophic and prosaic definitions:

1. Philosophy. the theory that only the self exists, or can be proved to exist.
2. extreme preoccupation with and indulgence of one's feelings, desires, etc.; egoistic self-absorption.

Now, since we are talking about female behavior, it should be readily apparent that we are not talking about metaphysical, methodological, or epistemological solipsism, but rather an observed predilection for egoistic self-absorption which occurs to such an extent that the woman's behavior makes it appear as if she subscribes to some form of philosophical solipsism. This is not to say she actually subscribes to it, as I doubt one woman in ten thousand, or one man in ten thousand, for that matter, would even recognize the concept. The point is that most women tend to behave as if they do.
The rational explanation for such behavior is easy enough to identify. Most Western women are coddled from childhood and are very seldom held to the same standards of accountability and responsibility that boys and men are, whether one considers sports, societal norms, or the law. This lack of accountability and responsibility, combined with their heightened biological susceptibility to emotion, causes most of them to behave in a self-centered manner which makes it appear they believe that their interests are the only ones that exist, their opinions are the only ones that can possibly be correct, and their observations are definitive of reality. This self-absorption also causes them to assume that the actions and comments of others are always directly related to them, a concept which is encapsulated in the popular feminist phrase "the personal is political", and often inspires them to assign the worst possible interpretation to the statements of others.

Dalrock expands on this with some divorce statistics that contradict commonly accepted theories of divorce trends:

The other example I see very often is the amazing lack of empathy women have for men.  I’ll use an example many here are familiar with.  No fault divorce and the accompanying family court process is designed to punish men who egregiously break their marriage vows.  Academics admit that it is designed as a punishment for men meant to be used as a threatpoint to give wives power.  Women acknowledge this at one level, because whenever a husband misbehaves the instant chorus is Take his kids and his money.  That will teach him!  Yet when men point out how unfair this is given that the system treats all men as if they abused/abandoned/cheated, women want proof that this isn’t fair.  They can’t understand that a system which always punishes a man as if he committed something egregious is inherently unfair.  Because of this, they demand proof that the amount of child support is excessive, and that the men complaining about the process don’t really deserve to be punished.

Read the links in their entirety to get a better understanding of female solipsism if you are still unclear of its meaning.

To borrow a commenter's explanation, think of female solipsism as a woman photoshopping herself into every conversation she participates in and every situation she thinks about.

It is very easy to test and identify in your every day exchanges with women. We women can even (and need to) become aware of it within our own selves. The next time you're listening to a conversation, analyze your thoughts. Are you searching your memories and experiences for how this conversation applies to you? Are you thinking up something to contribute to the conversation that would personalize the conversation for you? 

When you're having a discussion with a woman, either in person or via social networking, take note of how she interjects herself, her feelings, and her experience into the conversation. Scroll down on your Facebook news feed and read women's comments regarding the Connecticut shooting for the most obvious examples.

Whether it regards a highly emotional event as that or something very trivial, you will see it. Think of this conversation:
-Woman 1: Oh, these allergies! I am miserable
-Woman 2: I know, mine are really acting up.
-Woman 2: I am so glad I don't have allergies.

Or this one: 
-Woman 1: We're going to start homeschooling our children.
-Woman 2: Oh, I could never do that.
-Woman 2: Good, I love homeschooling our children, it's the best decision we ever made. 

If you do participate in this exercise, I apologize in advance, you will likely be very annoyed by the realization of it. It is prevalent in virtually every woman's conversation you will observe. You'll actually be curious when you don't witness it. If you see two women engaging in conversation and one actually engages the other, requests more of her input and addresses the conversation only through the other woman's perspective, you'll wonder what kind of people skills training this woman has had. For example:

-Woman 1: Oh, these allergies! I am miserable
-Woman 2: I'm sorry to hear that. What is it you're allergic to?
-Woman 1: We're going to start homeschooling our children.
-Woman 2: How did you come to that decision?

Once you've identified your own natural solipsism, you can monitor it and make changes in your conversations. You can not control your immediate solipsistic inclination, as I've heard it described, it's a feature, not a bug. Meaning, it is there, there is nothing we can do about it other than recognize it and choose to express it or not.

Here's a recent example of my own that took place at the gym.
-Man 1 was talking about a new training that Soldiers will be participating in.
-Man 2 was listening attentively and asking questions about it.
-I was thinking about how I've heard of this training outside of the Army before and how I could tell him what I know about it. Then I stopped. Identified that solipsism and instead listened more. When Man 1 made eye contact with me I asked: "What feedback are you getting from the Soldiers?"

So what is the positive utility of female solipsism?

Blogger Stingray does a great job explaining it:

When a woman talks with her friends about something she experienced, her friends will almost always chime in with their own similar experiences.  I think we women do this with one another to give reassurance that what happened or what the first woman did is not out of the ordinary and will not get her kicked out of the herd.  The other women are giving her comfort in saying, yes, something very similar happened to me, I understand how you feel and your feelings aren’t crazy.  You still belong with us here.  Whatever anxiety the original woman was feeling is now gone as she just discovered she is not atypical and her friends can vouch for her.  It’s an incredibly comforting thing.

Our husbands can derive great benefit from our natural solipsism as well. More than likely your husband works with and around women. In being his ally, you can have him ask you for your response to varying situations in order that he may navigate the mine field, so to speak, unscathed.  When RLB was in sales and had to give a proposal to a woman, he would tell me his pitch. I would be able to assist him on her likely reaction by putting what he was saying through my own solipsistic lens.

We even did this when waiting tables together early on in our relationship.  When we could work a section together we used this psychology to garner the most tips for ourselves. If a group of women came in on an obvious girls night, he waited on them. Same with a young couple. I got the families and older couples. From whom I would always ask for success tips for our budding relationship.

There are many applications for solipsism. Unfortunately, women often have a negative reaction when presented this realization for the first time. It's an important concept to grasp for success in interpersonal relationships. Just as there are positive applications, when conversing with men, as Stingray further talks about, it is best that you recognize and curb your natural solipsistic tendencies.

Monday, December 17, 2012

10,000 and counting!

Since the launch of this blog, 44 days ago, there have been over 10,000 page views. This mile marker is a great place to stop and give a shout out to those who direct the most traffic this way.

Outside of my personal Facebook page, here are the top traffic generators: 

 Hawaiian Libertarian

Alpha Game

The Woman and the Dragon


Vox Popoli


Incendiary Insight

This final one is terrific, I made his "Wackjob Wednesday" post: Confessions of a Heretic Husband

I'm able to see what search words lead users to my blog as well. Number one is..."shiny boobs!" Ladies, if you didn't believe me before, the fact that the words alone are attention grabbing should be proof to you. My post titled "Shiny boobs" is the third most viewed post on this blog.

Thank you for the emails of affirmation, support, and suggestions. For those of you without my personal email, I can always be reached at: 

Welcome to the new readers and to those who have been here from the beginning, I appreciate you spending your time here with me. Thank you to those of you who have linked this blog on your own. You're all great company to be with!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Choosing Esther

It was after ten years of marriage that RLB decided to enlist in the military. I remember vividly the day he said, "Honey, the Army has missed their recruiting goals, I'm going to join." He didn't ask my permission, nor did we spend hours/days/weeks contemplating the decision. We were in the recruiting office the next day. This man was serious. Surely they could use his brain if not his brawn. He told me he never wanted to regret not serving when his country needed men.

He set off for basic training and I committed to doing whatever it took to support my Soldier. I wrote to him every day, printed his favorite columns to send to him (my first introduction to Vox Day, among others), and sent one typed chapter of Bruce Wilkinson's encouraging book, The Dream Giver, each day for him. Each Sunday I waited by the phone for that ten minute phone call to come in. Outside of letters, this was my only contact with a husband who I had previously not been separated from longer than four days.

There was a glitch when he arrived at his basic training Post. His 34-year-old eyes were showing what could be interpreted as early signs of glaucoma and holes in the lattice of one eye. Here was his way out if he'd had changed his mind. He could say, "I tried and they didn't want me." He didn't. He patiently endured forty days of "holding" while we fought for him to be able to stay in. There was a Sergeant helping him on his end while I read thousands of pages of Army regulations, had a local Ophthalmologist review his records who then wrote a letter of recommendation for him, and even requested a Congressional Inquiry. We finally found one regulation that would prove the handling of his situation was against regulation, that and having received warning that a Congressional was coming in was enough to prompt the powers that be to authorize a second opinion from a different Ophthalmologist. This doctor discovered a tear in RLB's retina that required immediate surgery. The surgery fixed the initial problem and RLB was medically cleared to go down range.

Three years later, after the grueling, twelve week Officer Candidate School that made Basic Training seem like Boy Scout camp, RLB was commissioned. As tradition dictated, there would be a ball celebrating the achievement of this class of Lieutenants. Protocol was very important for both the Officers their wives, if they were married, to master. In addition to being a celebration, this was a class to learn that protocol.

I purchased the dress, a dress three sizes smaller than what I would have worn twelve weeks earlier. While RLB was in training, I was working my butt off, literally. I took representing our marriage seriously. I had my hair professionally styled, had professionally manicured nails, and all the other various beauty treatments that we women do to represent.

This was all for the man I loved. The man I chose to marry. The man I voluntarily vowed to stay with for the rest of my life.

I hear you, "Where are you going with this SD?"

The Biblical account of Queen Esther, of course.

You can judge military tradition all you want. The fact remains, it exists, and not having come from a Military family, it was exciting to me. Queen Vashti came from royalty. She knew damn well what the traditions were and what insubordination led to. She knew the consequences of her disobedience. Though it's not clear what happened to her after her pitiful decision to embrace one of the earliest records of feminist rebellion after Eve, we can conclude there was nothing more important about her to discuss. She's never mentioned again. I think of her the way I think of Officer's wives who refuse to do their part in their husband's mission. We question the men charged with leading other men who can not lead their own homes. They and their wives look pitiful.

How thankful we are for Queen Esther, the beautiful women taken as what would be considered today a sex slave, for her obedience and submission. For a year she went through beauty treatments for a man she did not love, a man she did not choose, a man she did not voluntarily vow to be with for life. In fourteen days we will celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, thanks to Esther.

Consider and choose who you would like to emulate. Not choosing is the wrong choice when it matters most. Will you emulate a woman banished from her community, never to be heard from again, remembered only in comparison to a greater woman? Or Queen Esther? A selfless woman who so loved her people she obeyed the King. His heart was opened and softened to pleasing her, and the people she loved were spared.

I have never met a woman named Vashti. But I know several Esther's. My Grandmother's name was, fittingly, Esther. She endured a professed agnostic husband while she read her Bible and worshiped her Lord and Savior. She never spoke disrespectfully about my Grandfather to me. I never knew the hardship she had married to him. She let me love him without the weight of knowing his temper or cantankerous ways. I didn't see my Grandparents often so when I was able to spend time with them, both Grandma and Grandpa spoiled me with fun times, adventures, great food, and a lot of love. I was concerned when my Grandfather was living his last days about whether he had accepted Jesus as his Savior. At his funeral I spoke with the pastor about my concerns. He assured me a niece who lived in the area had visited Grandpa several times and spoke to him about Jesus and salvation. Perhaps it was that he was won over without words by reflecting on his Esther's behavior (1 Peter 3:1). I have faith and I wait for Heaven to know.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

They called him Big P and he thought he was gangsta

A friend of mine who is a high school counselor asked that I explain what it was specifically that prompted us to homeschool our children.

Aside from the statistical evidence of a decline in the quality of education in the public schools, aside from the overreach of the Federal Government and its one size fits all requirements for schools (No Child Left Behind), there are several reasons.

I ask parents who are considering homeschooling who are concerned about socialization, "when is the last time, you as an adult, were in the same room with thirty other individuals your same age?" Education could be improved greatly if we returned to the little red school house model: a couple of teachers, 15-20 children of all various ages, and older children instructing younger children and setting examples. This would be a real life socialization model.

There are many more areas I find public schools lacking that I could discuss however I believe my friend was asking for the specific instances that happened with our children and why we pulled them from public school.

We found several excellent teachers in the schools our children attended (between the three of them, there were five different schools in two different school districts). However it was really hit or miss. My youngest daughter's first teacher was fantastic. A heart of gold and an obvious love for teaching and sowing into the children entrusted to her care. Our oldest daughter's first teacher, however, was a mess. Days on end the whole class would just read a book. No instruction, no math, no science, just quiet reading time for the whole day while she busied herself doing other things. When benchmark test time rolled around, this teacher would administer the test in advance and give the class the answers. She gave "teaching to the test" a whole new meaning.

The second teacher my youngest had broke her heart. She was in third grade and had been used to her first teacher who said goodbye to her with a hug everyday. When we moved and placed her into a new school, she came home crying one day, "my teacher doesn't like my hugs." I started to explain that not all teachers hug their students and she interrupted me, "no mom, she only hugs the girls that are the same color as her."

The second teacher my oldest daughter had was not up for the task of thirty fourth graders. She was an older woman who was not in control of her emotions. I stopped outside the classroom door one day to pick my daughter up early and heard this woman screaming at the class and having a melt down. I asked if this was normal and was told that yes, this is what she does everyday and it never works to get the class in order.

My son had an excellent sixth grade teacher for the majority of his classes. Except for her participation in Flocabulary. I found utilizing hip hop and rap music to teach to be a very odd approach. After reading the lyrics to "The Pony Gangsta," all I could do was laugh. What is this?

We did have a meeting with our son's seventh grade Geography teacher. There were a few things we thought should be clarified or omitted from her teaching, the Principal agreed. First, the Space Shuttle is not blasting holes in our ozone layer. Second, telling prepubescent children that the world will end in 2012 isn't a fantastic idea. And third, using global warming models published over a decade ago is a bit disingenuous.

Another of our son's seventh grade teachers asked our son for his gamer tag and friend requested him on X-Box Live without our knowledge or permission. After finding out that he was chatting live with our son, we arranged a meeting with the Principal and the teacher to express our disapproval. The man was confused by our concern and said, "it's the same as if I'd met up with him at the bowling alley." To which we replied, "no, not quite, had you met up with our 13-year-old son at the bowling alley without our permission this meeting would be taking place at the police station." That teacher went on to be retrained and our son moved to a different class.

In eighth grade our son's Pre-Algebra progress report listed a "D" which would have banned him from participating in the sport he was in. We knew something was wrong considering his previous straight "A" record with math. Turns out the lazy teacher failed to enter in the remaining 2 of 6 graded assignments into the computer. His actual grade was a 100% "A". That's forgivable, but shouldn't math, of all subjects, have more than 6 assignments in 4 weeks? Like, one every day?

In his eighth grade Reading class, our son had a solid "A" leading up to the final assignment that was worth 1/3 of the grade. After 2 weeks of knowing about it he spent 10 minutes working on it the night before it was due. He received a well deserved 41%. The next day he brought in 3 canned food items for their food drive and was awarded 5 points per can toward his grade. Then he gave the teacher $10 for an extra 20 points. Received an "A" for the final grade.

They were all honor students, making all "A's" and "B's" on their report cards. However I'd quiz them on basic skills they should know for their grades and it was evident they just weren't learning the material that met our standards.

I'm sure any parent could list irritations and frustrations with the schools their children attend. Public school really just became a fruitless waste of time for us and our children.

The fees and fundraisers actually had us spending more money than we do on books in a year to homeschool.

Politics has found it's place in our schools with fights over unions and liberal policies.

The feminism in our schools is rampant, and gone are the days of having more male teachers than female.

Our family's faith is not welcome therefore Satan is.

The coddling over the special needs children at the expense of the average and the gifted is beyond reproach.

I could continue.

I present to you, The Pony Gangsta:

Pablo was the toughest kid that I knew,
Roughest dude in middle school; dude thought he was cool.
They called him Big P and he thought he was gangsta,
He would brawl and fight whoever, acting out of anger.
Wanted to be a rapper, but kids would hardly listen,
’Cause every word the dude spit was evil, it was vicious.
Big P was always peevish, in a bad mood,
"Yo, don’t even look at me, man!"—he’s always mad, too.
He dressed in gaudy clothes, bling bling, and flashy flashy,
Hoodies so bright orange, they were Laffy Taffy.
He didn’t want to be sweet; no, he was only acrid,
Meaning when he was rapping, dude was harsh as acid.
He thought he had potential, thought he could possibly be
In the future, richer than that game Monopoly.
Chasing a lavish lifestyle that he saw in magazines,
Ritzy life, fast cars, diamond rings.
The biggest braggart in class, he loved to brag,
Saying he was half gangsta, half thug, and half flash.
There was a flaw, a mistake in that math,
Pablo didn’t know that he had too many halves.
Plus he could hardly read; Pablo was illiterate,
Stealing things after school, I mean just a little bit.
Until one day his mama said, "Pablo, I can’t contain ya!
I’m sending you to my sister’s farm in Pennsylvania."

I’m Pablo, wow, I’m so hard,
Riding on my 20-inch rims, my Lord!
Riding in my coupe, I’m riding in my coupe, man.
Riding in my coupe, I’m riding in my coupe, man.

Pablo went from city streets to country life,
Wide-open vistas, views that were really nice.
At the farm, they had a barn; Auntie said, "Listen now,
I want you to figure out how to milk a cow."
Pablo said, "A cow, wow! Now I’m in utter shock,
If you think I’m going to make butter from this udder, I’m not."
Auntie said, "Would you rather brush the pony, kid?"
Pablo said, "Huh! Tell me what a pony is!"
Auntie thought of many clever answers and retorts,
But she just said, "A pony is like a little horse."
And so she led him out back along a path,
They stopped by the pony; Pablo almost had a heart attack.
Pablo was dumbfounded, he could hardly speak,
He said, "This is the cutest thing that I have ever seen.
Oh my Lord! Can I touch him? Will he bite?"
Nah, he’s docile, teachable and really nice.
So Pablo touched the pony and then his life changed,
He wanted to acclaim the pony, give it love and praise.
He said, "Yo pony, you don’t know me, but I want to be your homey.
Holy moly! Totally, you the one and only shorty for me."
Time passed, Pablo came back to school,
We were nervous; he used to make us black and some blue.
But now things were different, the kid was mad nice,
I said, "Yo Pablo, what happened to the thug life?"
He said, "That old gangsta thing, man that was phony,
Now when I ride, I’m on my little pony."

I’m on my little pony,
I’m on my little pony.

Update: This speaks for itself - parents, homeschool your young children. There are no good schools, there are no safe schools. Keep your babies in your charge, in your care, under your protection. It's the only decision that makes sense.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Validate batshit crazy? Surely you jest

This e-card a friend posted is one of my favorites I've seen. It made me actually chortle. It also made me think of several things we women think we want, receive it, and respond negatively to it. What frustration we must serve up to our husbands.

Ever heard this one: "A woman wants to be validated?"

I remember reading that in a marriage book and thinking to myself, "yeah, that sounds nice, I do want to be validated. He should know this, this is what I want." And I, like thousands of other women reading the same thing, went right up to my husband and instructed him on what he needs to do in order to make me happy. Now notice, this isn't something that was instinctual to me, I had to be told from a good idea fairy, in this case the book I was reading, what it is that I want. It's really nice that men are not complicated and know precisely what they want and can verbalize it quite clearly.

RLB, like thousands of other husbands who received this instruction, probably shared the same thought, "now, how the hell am I supposed to validate batshit crazy?"

After I wrote, Dog Joy, I had a conversation with our daughters about the difference between males and females in how they overreact. Think of a number line that extends from negative ten to positive ten. I explained that it is in the positive direction that boys overreact. My son will have the same tail wagging, visual joy if I make him some bacon before school as he did when RLB told him he gets to pick the shot gun of his choice for his 16th birthday. You wouldn't think the two stimuli would induce the same reaction (okay, the reaction to the gun lasted much longer) but no one would question him because these reactions are on the positive spectrum. We know happiness and joy are healthy emotions, it matters little how they are derived in someone's spirit.

Think also about what makes you laugh. In order for me to literally laugh out loud, I need to find something extraordinarily funny. RLB out laughs us all in this house with our son following in close second. The same is true in what they find "totally awesome!" They are very loud individuals to watch movies with.

Females overreact in the negative direction on that number line. In explaining it to our daughters, it was easy for them to realize due to a very recent event. I delivered bad news that they were going to miss a swim practice. You'd have thought I replaced the word Christmas for swim practice. Their faces were forlorn, and their mannerisms were indignant. They were visibly upset and overly emotional about missing one and a half hours of swimming.

I helped them understand that I do it too. Fortunately, I've learned to recognize it in most cases before allowing my reaction to affect others. However there were plenty of times early on in our marriage when RLB was quite confused as to how one slight from a friend or family member or a misunderstanding between us could send me into a tailspin of negative emotion. Should he experience the very same stimuli, his response would have been around a negative two ("eh, oh well") whereas mine was negative eight (OMG!!!!!).

Returning to this idea that a woman wants her feelings validated, you can understand, as men do, how ludicrous it would be for them to validate (establish the soundness of; corroborate) these over the top negative emotions. Is the idea that this is what women want even true?

You don't really want your husband to see you happy and gush, "something has given you happiness, I see that, and you are right to be happy." - puke! It really is our negative emotions this pop psych statement is referring to, isn't it? However, if RLB were to say to me, "I can see you are experiencing anger/sadness, you are right to be feeling this way, I understand," it would not conjure up warm fuzzies in me about him. Actually, the opposite would happen especially once I got over my own damn self and saw my overreaction for what it was. I would know he was not being honest with me, or he is becoming effeminate. Neither of which are helpful in our marriage relationship.

Women want leadership. Even when they can't express it, they respond positively to it. I need RLB to let me know when my emotions are irrational. By telling me the truth, he protects me and others from me making rash decisions and harming relationships. He also protects my well being as we know negative emotions are unhealthy for us.

When negative stimuli threaten to cause us to overreact, we should stop and ask our husbands, "how would you respond to this?" And then submit to his judgement of the situation. If, on the scale of negative emotions, his reaction would be more positive, take time to pray and settle down before reacting to the stimulus. It becomes easier over time. There really isn't much that shakes RLB's tree. Being able to emulate this stability has been very good for us and the harmony of our home.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Baby I was born this way

"...once you've seen one woman naked, you...pretty much wanna see the rest of 'em naked." - Ron White
 Ladies, have you ever thanked your husband for denying the lusts of his flesh? Have you ever given thought to the struggle and overcoming he has gone through to commit himself to a monogamous relationship with you? Or, do you believe it is entitled to you? That no gratitude or appreciation is necessary because it is what he was supposed to do?

If you believe your husband has never struggled with lust, you are in denial. If he has not shared this with you, it is likely he doesn't trust you with the truth of his greatest internal conflict and the most powerful of man's desires. He knows the strife it causes you and the understanding you lack. He has shamed himself enough, he's not interested in receiving shame and belittling from you. He doesn't want to hurt you so he'll battle this one on his own.

From the onset of puberty and often earlier than that, boys come to understand their polygamist nature. Their thoughts become consumed with lust. Most keep quiet about it. Often they internalize it with self loathing and disgust. They keep it "in the closet" and fight with it there. When they lose the battle and give in to the flesh they are alone as their minds convict them of their sin.

Men who hope marriage will help alleviate the desires of their flesh are discouraged when even that does not work. They cry out to God, "why do I still have lustful thoughts for the women I see, I'm married now, how can this be?" 

Napoleon Hill writes in his book, Think and Grow Rich, of sex transmutation - "the switching of the mind from thoughts of physical expression, to thoughts of some other nature." Men have learned they can transmute their sexual energy into production. It is a conscientious exercise that needs great attention and application for mastery. Wives can be powerful allies to their husbands when they support this mission.

You can support your husband in this by keeping him well sexed. Optimally twice a week. The build up of sexual energy in a man begins to peak three to five days after release. The hope for this availability of sex is a huge drive for men to enter into marriage. There are many areas women can help with the success of their husbands and therefore their families. This is the most important one.

I'm going to switch gears here and discuss a perspective that our society and many of our churches are denying our heterosexual men. We've been bombarded with the message of acceptance of homosexual sex. Homosexuals are born this way. How dare we believe the words of the Bible that call this sin?

Well, we do. Too bad. Get over it.

Take a look at what the Bible has to say about the lusts of the flesh of heterosexual men: 
Do not let your heart turn to her way or stray into her paths. Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death. - Proverbs 7:25-27
 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. - Galatians 5:19-21
 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. - Matthew 5:27-30
“You shall not commit adultery. - Exodus 20:14
Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. - Hebrews 13:4
 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. - 1 John 2:16

There are more...many, many more. Heterosexual men have been told by society, churches, the Word of God, their parents, the media etc. that their nature, the very nature they were born with is sinful. They are told this natural inclination is destructive to society. That it harms the nuclear family and the sanctity of marriage. The fact that polygamy is not legal in the U.S. and that the majority of men will marry and live monogamously with their wives is indicative of the honor and submission heterosexual men have towards the Word of God and/or their contribution to a successful society. Even when men held the power, they did not seek legalization and normalization of the nature bred within them.

So, yes, God addresses homosexuality in the Bible. As he addresses all sin. The struggle that remains is with God, not with Christians that adhere to Biblical instruction of successful lives. Men who pursue the overcoming of the lust within their flesh define themselves by their journey and victories along the way, not by their sin.