Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Reject your inner bitch, princess, but be honest...please

During my Junior year of high school I had a crush on a guy who, to say the least, was out of my league. We had a choir class together. He played the guitar and was accompanying me and a friend on a duet for the talent show that I would later chicken out from doing. His dad was a surgeon and they lived in the richest part of town. I was living with my single mom in an apartment on the busiest street in town. Though it was a long shot, one night I worked up the nerve to call him. I hung up the phone several times after dialing just a couple of numbers. My stomach was in knots. But finally I dialed all seven numbers and it started ringing, no turning back now.

He was very polite. I didn't think he would know my name so I reminded him who I was. Then I asked if he'd like to go out sometime. His response was a very kind, "Oh, thank you, but no, I'm interested in dating somebody else." And that was it. He didn't go to school and laugh with his buddies, he wasn't rude to me, nothing. No one ever knew that I had been shot down by him. And the girl he was interested in...there was no wonder why. I ended up working with her for a bit after high school. She is beautiful, feminine, and a sweetheart - a good girl, raised right. 

Contrast that with RLB's story of being shot down. In seventh grade, he worked up the nerve to write a girl a note asking if she'd be his girlfriend. Not only did she laugh, she took this note and showed all the girls in the class, laughing and snickering at how funny it was he even dared to think she would go out with him. It mortified him and made him scared to ever ask another girl out. Girls are cruel, evil, bitches. (She's friends with him on facebook and when he tells me something funny or interesting she's posted, he still caveats it (almost 30 years later) with, "she's the one who embarrassed me with my note in seventh grade.")

Having a teenage son, I'm sensitive to this issue. He is a current student of game and is reflective of his natural Delta qualities. He has been friend zoned already by girls he finds attractive and has been prone to oneities. His first girlfriend was just mean to him. If they were texting each other and he wanted to stop to watch a movie with us she would flip out on him and text, "I HATE YOU." The first time he took it to heart until we explained to him what a shit test was. RLB then told him the response he needed to have: ignore her and when she talks to you next in school tell her you're not putting up with her crap, that she'll either stop this behavior or it's over with.

We work with our daughters about their natural tendency to be rude and mean to boys who they don't find attractive. The perfect example is naturally their brother. As is normal, they are in that stage where their older brother isn't cool yet, he's icky. If their friends make mention of how cute he is they say, "ewww." Which is amusing since our older daughter could pass as his twin sister. As pretty as she is, he is handsome. But of course, they don't see that. So we correct their behavior. We talk to them about how to treat people. That haughtiness, snobbishness, and natural bitchy tendencies are wrong. They need to pray and ask God to help them see people with a kind heart and treat them with empathy. No one deserves to have their spirit broken by their words and behaviors.

So how should a girl react when a boy they're not attracted to asks them out? Right now our daughters have a very truthful response: "No, my father won't be allowing me to date until I am sixteen." (This includes texting). 

Sunshine Mary was very gracious in allowing me to derail the comment thread of her post yesterday. (It's an excellent post highlighting the poison that is being spewed by feminists encouraging girls to embrace their inner slut and of course a healthy dose of men bashing.) An anonymous commenter said this that sparked the tangent I went down:
As long as the rejection is as polite as the approach, no problem. Conversely, a rude, crude, harassing approach is rightly dismissed abruptly and without niceties. (That said, some women define “harassment” to include approaches that they would welcome from handsomer, higher status men; this is unfair
But all too often, a polite approach by a man, is met with scorn, mockery, and even public humiliation from the woman — what the manosphere calls a “nuclear rejection”. Lots of good guys get it, ESPECIALLY in church from “Christian” women whom they politely, honorably asked out. WTF?
To which I asked for examples of non nuclear rejections. The responses have been fantastic so please go read through them. This is an important topic that you single ladies need to consider and you parents need to discuss with your daughters. Even married ladies. There's no reason to turn down a sincere approach by a man who doesn't realize you're married with indignant disdain. There's no need to flip your ring in his face and give him an eye roll, "uh no, you idiot, I'm married!" A pleasant "No thank you, I'm married and not interested" is fine. If you get the impression that doesn't matter to him and he'll continue to persist you can tell him that you take your vows seriously. Your behavior is very important. Your behavior needs to back up what you are saying (act as though you take your vows seriously). There's a way to carry yourself as a married woman even when your husband is not present. Perhaps I'll get into that in a future post.

Here are some snippets from the men who were kind enough to answer honestly with advice and examples of the best way to turn down a guy:

-Give a clear "no" upfront and respond honestly
-Men who have little or no sexual experience, usually CAN. NOT. READ women’s subtle signals. You must, must, must be BLUNT about your non-interest… or, your interest. Polite, but blunt.
 -Very firm and curt. Not rude, per se. But very, very emphatic. You can add “thank you” just to be polite
-Those who “can’t read signals” tend to read a lot of things into a nice but ambiguous rejection.
-If you reject him, but then hang out with him…. that’s a cruel mixed signal.
-You can’t avoid bruising his ego by pretending that’s not what you’re doing. What you can do is treat him as if he knows the score. Give him the opportunity to take a rejection from an equal, not a patronizing pat on the head. “I’m sorry, I’m not attracted to you. (magic words forthcoming) You know how it is.
-True Omegas won’t get the hint without blunt force rejection. No cruelty need (you don’t need to insult their attributes), but a very, very firm “no” and, likely, a removal of that social circle from your life.
-Words must be reinforced by action.

-No thanks, I’m flattered but I’m interested in someone else.
-Let me get back to you. (later) I prayed about it, and I don’t think I should date you
-You’re a decent guy but honestly, our lives are on different ministry paths, I don’t think we should date.
-I don’t want to come across as mean, you’re a decent guy, but, I’m just not interested in dating you.
-I’m not even sure, before the Lord, that I’m supposed to marry, so I don’t really have any business dating til I sort that out.
-An “I’m not feeling it” sort of message
-“I appreciate the thoughts, but I am not attracted to you. You can’t win my attraction no matter how much you try. I hope we both find people in the future, God willing, but there is no relationship potential for us.” A little long, but it’d work.

Thank you so much to all of the commenters that contributed toward this list and the ongoing discussion that is happening at The Woman and the Dragon.

Common knowledge among men, who aren't Gammas, is that there is no such thing as a platonic relationship between men and women. Billy Crystal explains it beautifully in When Harry Met Sally:

So ladies, don't think you're doing men any favors by the "let's just be friends" (LJBF) rejection.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Beating a dead (?) horse in the hopes of resurrecting it

Rise up, you women who are at ease, Hear my voice; You complacent daughters, Give ear to my speech. Isaiah 32:9
The discussion continues on RLB's post about polygamy. Commenter, Mensch responds to my request for suggestions on how to change feminist teaching within the Church.
"These days this has to come from other women. For way too long the churches have ignored the call of women to teach other women how to behave, with the result that we have carnage in the church and now we need Titus 2:4-5 on steroids.."
that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Titus 2:4-5
Over at Dalrock's place a few days ago, I responded to commenter Art Deco when he stated: "What constitutes "submission” and “respect” are pretty fuzzy around the edges”:
No, it really is not. Not to the woman who is in submission and respects her husband in all things. There’s a language involved. Her words ask, they don’t tell. Her words edify, always. All of her husband’s needs are in the forefront of her mind, “Would you like something to eat?” “Can I get you anything?” etc. All decisions that haven’t previously been made may be discussed but she defers to him, always. If he needs her to purchase something, find something, do something, whatever, she pauses what she’s doing or requests a minute to finish up what she’s doing and then does what he has requested. She teaches her children that their father’s word is final. She shows them by example how to be meek. And she feels love while doing all of the above. There is no apprehension, cynicism, or begrudging attitudes. A servants heart is a heart overflowing.
A man knows when he is respected as surely as a woman knows (feels) she is loved and treasured. He knows when contention and strife has left his home. He knows when his wife is in a gentle spirit even when she wrestles with moods and hormones, she is cognitive of her behavior and does what must be done so her mood does not upset the tranquility of the home.
To which Art Deco had a series of responses. All of which I'd expect from a secular, feminist woman. When it comes from a religious person, especially a Christian, it really allows me to see how in control Satan is in the hearts and minds of the people of this world. Here are some excerpts from his responses (emphasis mine):
-Sarah, you are being stupidly prescriptive about the banal interactions married couples have.
 -Neither my father, nor my brother, nor myself would have had any need for what “Sarah’s daughter” is peddling over and above what the women of our respective households provided. Marginal utility = 0.
-I live in a world that is and (I hope) with people attempting to cope with what is and give due deference to their responsibilities. Most of my parents’ contemporaries managed that, with the usual rough edges; they were somewhat bewildered by the mess many of their children made out of their lives. They neither spoke like you nor thought like you. You want to imitate the characters in The Stepford Wives, that’s your deal. It is not imperative.
- Peoplegrowing, why you do what you do is not my concern. Sarah’s daughter presented as imperative a view of human relations that cannot even be dignified with the term ‘idealistic’. The rest of us have to deal with our own messy selves and those around us, best we can. And, no, ‘respect and submission to the husband’ is not a strategy, but a general admonition that can have an uncertain appearance in practice.
-“Marginal utility” referred not to any set of persons but to “what “Sarah’s daughter” is peddling”, which is an abstraction. They are satisfied with the pet names they already have, as am I.
Allow me to Bible thump here for a minute to see if the Word of God supports the things I've said:

"Not to the woman who is in submission and respects her husband in all things."
 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. Ephesians 5:22
Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:24
Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Colossians 3:18
Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 1 Peter 3:1-2
"There’s a language involved. Her words ask, they don’t tell. Her words edify, always. All of her husband’s needs are in the forefront of her mind, “Would you like something to eat?” “Can I get you anything?” etc. All decisions that haven’t previously been made may be discussed but she defers to him, always. If he needs her to purchase something, find something, do something, whatever, she pauses what she’s doing or requests a minute to finish up what she’s doing and then does what he has requested."

 There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband. 1 Corinthians 7:34
Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.  1 Peter 3:3-6
 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Romans 14:19
 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands.She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar.She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants. She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms.She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night.She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle.She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet.She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants.Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come.She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness.She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:“Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.”Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates. Proverbs 31 10-31
"She teaches her children that their father’s word is final. She shows them by example how to be meek."
 She watches over the ways of her household, Proverbs 31:27
Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12
‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you. Deuteronomy 5:16
 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.Deuteronomy 6:6-7

"And she feels love while doing all of the above. There is no apprehension, cynicism, or begrudging attitudes. A servants heart is a heart overflowing. A man knows when he is respected as surely as a woman knows (feels) she is loved and treasured. He knows when contention and strife has left his home. He knows when his wife is in a gentle spirit even when she wrestles with moods and hormones, she is cognitive of her behavior and does what must be done so her mood does not upset the tranquility of the home."
“As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. 1 Chronicles 28:9
But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Titus 2:1-5
My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Psalm 45:1
Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave; Yes, strife and reproach will cease. Proverbs 22:10
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22

I could quote many many more but it is unnecessary. It is not I that will win over Art Deco, or any one whose heart is hardened and who has feminism ingrained in them.

I am not discouraged. It's impossible for me to be. I am living the blessings of all that I wrote above. It would be like eating and enjoying a strawberry, savoring the delicious, sweet juices from it, while someone stands in front of you jaw jacking about how disgusting strawberries taste. That no one should ever eat one because they are poisonous. You would say, "You are an idiot, jaw jacker, not only is this strawberry delicious, it is also nutritious." And it will be up to those listening whether they will trust jaw jacker or what you have to say about the strawberry.

It is my hope those who profess Christ as their Savior read the Bible, and pray about these things. Do not be influenced by the jaw jackers as you seek to live in obedience to God's command. It will take faith that what is commanded will lead to a better, content, happy life. I promise you, promise, promise, promise...the is delicious!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Celiac Disease

Our youngest child was very different from the older two right from birth. Her hair was dark and curly and her skin was dark red. Quite a contrast from the pale skin blondes that were the older two. She was little too. Weighing a couple pounds less at birth than her siblings.  She grew at a normal rate until we introduced her to food other than formula. Her weight plateaued and then started to decline.

She started having digestive issues that resulted in explosive bowel movements of steatorrhea at around six months of age. She was famished and would consume very large amounts of food. As time moved on she became withdrawn and listless. She was highly irritable and would burst into a screaming fit if someone other than RLB or I tried to hold her.

Our pediatrician was stumped. He tested her blood and saw markers of her declining health. He tested her for Cystic Fibrosis, which was negative, and encouraged us to load her up with crackers coated in butter. He also became suspicious of us. He listed her with the condition of "failure to thrive" in her records. Though it didn't happen to us, we know of other couples who were visited by social workers after a doctor wrote as much in their child's records.

Thankfully we had the internet and were able to look up her symptoms. For the first time ever we came across Celiac Disease. The auto immune disorder that attacks the body upon consumption of gluten.

She was thirteen months old and emaciated weighing only thirteen pounds. Knowing she was dying and no longer trusting her doctor, I asked him if we could have a referral to a pediatric gastroenterologist. The man who saved her life was from Hungary. The five of us were sitting in his office when he walked in, took one look at our daughter and said these exact words in his thick Hungarian accent, "Ah, I see we have a Celiac here."  

I asked him how he could possibly know that by just looking at her. He told us he looked at the rest of us, saw healthy bodies and looked at her with her bulging stomach and frail, skinny, limbs. He ordered up antibody blood tests. They came back inconclusive. This didn't deter him, he scheduled her small bowel biopsy (the former gold standard of Celiac diagnosis) and confirmed without question that she suffered complete villous atrophy. Not only were the villi in her intestines damaged, they were non existent. The pictures showed a shiny glass like intestine with residues of unabsorbed milk remaining from her last feeding. 

The treatment: strict adherence to a gluten free diet. Essential for this: a stay at home mommy that can commit every waking moment to restoring her child's health. We've had a hand full of mistakes and thankfully our daughter is a very sensitive Celiac. Her body reacts to gluten like it's food poisoning. After about three hours of exposure she vomits profusely until it is out of her system. Not every Celiac is as sensitive, allowing trace amounts of gluten to go undetected by physical symptoms yet damaging the gut and causing a myriad of other problems, the worst being various cancers. 

Shortly after our daughter was diagnosed, we learned of a man RLB's parents knew who wasn't fortunate with an early enough diagnosis. Though he changed his diet the damage had already been done. He died six months after diagnosis of cancer.

The gluten free diet has become very popular today. I must strongly caution you, however. The prevalence of Celiac disease is 1 in 133. Before going on a gluten free diet, find out first if you have Celiac disease. It is the cause of hundreds of symptoms, disorders and diseases. Knowing whether you have it or not will determine how strict you are with your diet. It is quite dangerous to go on a partially gluten free diet, feeling better, while still consuming trace amounts of gluten. Your body will still be reacting to the gluten though you feel no physical symptoms of it. Also, you need gluten present in your digestive system in order to get a confirmed diagnosis. 

I am so excited about the new research coming out about the disease. I just stumbled upon this while writing my post and am anxious to do more research into it: 

We're still learning. We have been previously told that the gluten responsible for Celiac is only found  in wheat (and it's close cousins), barley, and rye. We'd been told that oats, grown in designated fields to eliminate contamination at the harvesting level are safe for Celiacs. I purchased some Gluten Free oats and made some cookies yesterday. I only allowed our daughter to have a small amount since this would be the first introduction of oats into her diet. Three hours later the poor girl was retching and then vomiting. Oats are forever off the list of safe foods.

And for you conspiracy theorists out there, I have no qualms about saying I believe a Celiac diagnosis is a financial detriment to pharmaceutical companies. It will not be something money hungry doctors who forget their oath in exchange for lined pockets will seek as a first diagnosis to rule out for your ailments. Please review the following list. If you find your ailment, get tested for Celiac and don't take no for an answer from your doctor.
Signs and Symptoms of Malabsorption, Malnutrition, Vitamin and/or Mineral Deficiencies Associated with Celiac Disease:

  • Abdominal cramps, gas and bloating
  • Anemia
  • Borborygmi (stomach rumbling)
  • Coetaneous bleeding
  • Diarrhea
  • Easy bruising
  • Epistaxis (nose bleeding)
  • Failure to thrive
  • Fatigue or general weakness
  • Flatulence
  • Fluid retention
  • Foul-smelling or grayish stools that are often fatty or oily
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Gastrointestinal hemorrhage
  • Hematuria (red urine)
  • Hypocalcaemia/ hypomagnesaemia
  • Infertility
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • lymphocytic gastritis
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle wasting
  • Nausea
  • No obvious physical symptoms (just fatigue, overall not feeling well)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pallor (unhealthy pale appearance)
  • Panic Attacks
  • Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage)
  • Stunted growth in children
  • Vertigo
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Vitamin K deficiency
  • Vomiting
  • Voracious appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Obesity

Conditions and Disorders Associated with Celiac Disease:

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fat shaming - doing my part

 Roissy posts a hard hitting, much needed dose of fat shaming at Chateau Heartist. 

In which he quotes Daniel Callahan, of The Hastings Center a New York think-tank specializing in health policy ethics
A leading health academic has called for fat people to be ‘shamed and beat upon socially’ in order to halt the obesity crisis.
In a controversial article, Daniel Callahan, the 82-year-old president emeritus of The Hastings Center a New York think-tank specializing in health policy ethics, calls for increased stigmatization of obese people to try spur weight-loss across America.
The senior research scholar says fat people should be treated like smokers who have become increasingly demonized in recent years and thus ‘nudged’ by negative attitudes of those around them into giving up the unhealthy habit. [...]
‘The obvious target would be the large number of people who are unaware that they are overweight,’ he writes in the paper printed in the center’s first periodical volume of the year.
‘They need, to use an old phrase, a shock of recognition. Only a carefully calibrated effort of public social pressure is likely to awaken them to the reality of their condition.

I usually have an "ehhh, do I really want to read this?" approach to Roissy, but must admit, I loved and very much needed this post of his.

Shaming works. If it worked on smokers and “”"racists”"”, it will work on fatties. Shaming isn’t the sole solution to the obesity epidemic, but it is a powerful weapon against the marching manatees. Shaming fat women to lose weight will bring increased happiness to the world, and that’s a utilitarian argument men can spring to life for!
The shaming stick coupled with the encouragement carrot is a potent combo. Be genuinely helpful and complimentary to women who are sincerely making efforts to lose weight. Remind her, in nuanced language as necessary, that a reward of feeling better about herself and having a more exciting (read: more pleasurably orgasmic) dating life await her on the other side where thin women take their desirability for granted. But the carrot should always follow the stick, like you might give a dog a treat only after it has done what you commanded of it. Too little shame, and the carrot becomes an excuse to avoid the hard choices, or to delude oneself that no improvement is needed.

For those of you who won't venture over to his place to read his full essay, here are seven lessons  from him, being a self described malevolent force, with regards to the truth about fat:
Lesson Number One
Men are repulsed by the sight and feel (and smell) of fat chicks. All further lessons flow from this basic premise.
Lesson Number Two
A man with options to do so will choose a slender babe over a fat chick, EVERY TIME. (Rare exceptions prove the rule. Or: Don’t count on miracles, fatties.)
Lesson Number Three
A man married to a woman who has bloated into Hogzilla proportions will become increasingly unhappy, frustrated and resentful, and will express his displeasure with his fat wife in both passive and active ways.
Lesson Number Four
A fat wife is more harmful than is a fat husband to marital health and happiness. Fatness exacts a bigger toll on a woman’s sexual market value (and, therefore, marital market value) than it does on a man’s sexual and marital market value. Men are more visually oriented than women, and a fat man can compensate for his fatness by being attractive in other ways that women love. Fat women cannot compensate for their fatness except by losing weight and slimming down to a sexy, hourglass shape.
Lesson Number Five
Fat wives increase the odds of spousal adultery and marital dissolution. A wife who lets herself go on piles of cakes and cheesy poofs is primarily responsible for any infidelity her husband commits. Harsh, but true.
Lesson Number Six
A husband will be more likely to love, cherish and support his wife if she is thin. Life is conditional. Stop crying, and deal with it.
Lesson Number Seven
The cure for marital unhappiness and a lowering of the high risk of divorce among fat wife-healthy man couples is the fat wife losing weight until she has regained her attractive, slender, feminine shape. Marriage counselors will invariably bleat tired platitudes about “interpersonal dynamics”, “increasing perceived support”, and “unresolved masculinity issues”, and none of their solutions will work except to line their filthy pockets and turn wives against their husbands. They are worse than useless, because they lead women away from the one tried-and-true solution that *will* fix their marriages: losing weight.

I am so thankful there are individuals willing to speak the truth about this problem in our society, I don't see it as malevolent at all. I take no offense to what I've quoted here or in his post.  Also, since I have been on the journey of ridding excess fat and repenting of my sinful gluttony, I have started to hear what RLB is saying when he speaks of his repulsion to obesity and excess fat. It is not shallow or merely judgement. Fat literally repulses him in a physiological manner. Couple a fat woman with being a feminist and he responds as though he is looking into the eyes of Satan.

I am ashamed of how ugly I must have at one point been to him. Fat and rebellious.

And yet he loved me.

Ladies, take this journey with me. You too will be in awe on almost a daily basis of the unbelievable benevolence, loyalty, and honor that resides in your husband's being. His tolerance and patience will be revealed to you and humble you. Men really are amazing creatures. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Altar - a must read

Outside of your relationship with God, if your marriage isn't the most successful area of your life, there's a book you need to read: The Altar by Samuel Solomon. He offers the Kindle version for just $2.99.

It is a quick read, RLB read it yesterday in just a few hours. The story flows well, wooing the reader to turn the page to see what happens next. The truths revealed in the book will resonate with you. Some brought me to tears as I reflected on the similarities of our personal journey.

I've read many testimonies from commenters of the conditions of their marriages. They are seeking help and encouragement because they know their marriage is supposed to be something different than what has transpired. We know God made this for good. We know God loves marriage. Why is it in shambles? How did it get this far off from what it was intended for?

Be encouraged and read this book.

I don't know Mr. Solomon personally and am happy to have "met" him in the blog world. His writing confirmed that I am not alone. While reading I found myself reflecting on exactly when I said the same things, behaved in similar ways, had the same feelings and questions, and when I embraced God's truth about marriage.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. - Jeremiah 29:11
There is hope for your marriage. There is a future for your marriage. There is truth that God wants to reveal to you. And there is peace available to you.

God bless the authors of this world who are compelled to share with us the hope God offers in an effort that we may live better.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Doritos® be damned

Hi, my name is SD and I am addicted to food a glutton.  It has been seven days since my last indulgence. 

And all the gluttons reading moaned. "No, SD, not again. Don't talk about weight again. Can't I just read peacefully and enjoy topics that I don't think apply to me?"

Sorry glutton, you'll have to either close the tab or come on the journey with me. 

Those who know me personally may be a bit confused. How can you be a glutton? You are not obese, you are twenty pounds overweight on a 5'8" frame. What you don't see is what I wrestle with on the inside. I have been doing so all my adult life. When the evidence of the gluttony shows it's ugly head in the form of weight gain, I fight to subdue it. But only long enough to rid myself of the excess. Once that is accomplished, I indulge once again, having changed nothing of my sin. I do this so my sin is not visible.
“Stolen water is sweet,
And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” Proverbs 9:17
Of course this Proverb applies to any sin you are tempted with, however for me, it's all about food. I feel it, like a seductive mistress calling me when I am all alone. No one is watching me. No one can see. No one will know.

The times I have been good, when I have restricted my diet for a few days and have worked out consistently, I justify indulgence with entitlement. "I've earned this." And there are times I flat out rebel and indulge with indignation.

I like to say I have a carb addiction. Doesn't it make me sound helpless? Doesn't it just take the onus and responsiblility delightfully from me?

Gluttony is not about food. It's rebellion. And how will I defeat it? With the most powerful weapon God has offered my free will: submission.

To whom do I submit?

My husband.

Blogger, Lori Alexander asked me: "I see you are working on losing weight and looking good. Are you doing that in submission to your husband and wanting to please him?"

To which I answered: "I have always held an awareness of my weight. I have a threshold that I would reach and through disgust I would work to lose the weight. It wasn't until I stopped rebelling to RLB that I committed to a body pleasing to him. Never before have I been this committed and this focused. It has completely come from obedience to God's command to submit to my husband. The pop psyche "you've got to do it for yourself" is wrong. Myself, by myself sucks. Without submission, I succumb to temptation easily. I hadn't considered my gluttony until I was in submission."

She wrote a post about gluttony and submission a few days ago on her blog Always Learning.  

RLB doesn't have to say a word. Now that I have sought rebuke for the sins which keep me apart from God, I have been convicted of my gluttony and have repented for it. The process of sinning no more starts with obedience and submission. 

The process of defeating gluttony does not start with losing weight. It does not start with "do it for yourself." It does not start with "do it for your health." It does not start with banning the foods from your home that tempt you.

I am in need of no one to make my journey easier. To protect me from myself. All I am in need of is surrender and submission.

"So, SD, you do this for your husband?"

No. I do it because of him. That I may continue to become one with him, I must rid my life of rebellion. The resulting evidence of a body no longer dripping with repulsive fat will be pleasing to him. The resulting evidence of having a wife who has repented of her sin will honor him.

The blessings of submission are abundant. Ladies, if you want to improve your life, submit to your husbands. When your submission is pure and known by God, you will be in awe of the ways you will be guided towards betterment. It hasn't been painful. It's been a joy. You too will search for truth and invite rebuke for the sin that remains in you.

It has been seven days since I've indulged in my sin. It has been seven days since I surrendered. I have had minor temptations but have won. What I have enjoyed most is the joy I have when I win. I am elated and have a euphoria that gluttony never gave me.

I could become addicted to this. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

You got this, Mommy

I received a call yesterday from a good friend who needed some encouragement. The feelings she was having are not unique to her, I remember going through exactly what she is.

A new baby and a toddler. Need I say more?

While you take care of all of your husband's needs, baby's needs, toddler's needs, cleaning, cooking, and attempting to get some sleep, the world is going on around you and you're not a part of it. Your husband is free to leave and converse with other adults and carry on about his day. You walk about with Dora the Explorer's theme song playing in your head.

It's not fair!!

No, it is not time to bond with other mothers who have infants and toddlers by arranging play dates. This can be disastrous if your peers are typical gossiping, husband slandering, complaining, nagging, hags. This is not a time for you to seek selfish fulfillment or a time for you to utter the words "I need." This is not a time to envy the freedom your husband enjoys (while he continues what he's always done, providing for you and your home). This is not a time to be jealous of childless women who enjoy days at the spa, manicures, and lunch with friends. This is certainly not a time to envy a woman who slings her baby at the lowest bidding daycare so she may go find herself submitting to another man.

This is your time to sow the seeds. While no one is looking. This is your time to sacrifice.

You are doing now, the very thing civilization needs you to do  - MOTHER.

Set in your heart the words you most desire to be uttered of you, "She is worth far more than rubies." Read Proverbs 31, over and over and over again. There is no shortcut. You must lay in the foundation. All the success and blessing you will enjoy years down the road come from the work, sacrifice, and selfless service you put in now.

Dance throughout your home to your favorite tunes. Pray with thankfulness to God for all of your provision. Set about your tasks with joy and a pleasant disposition. Rest and meditate on God's word.

Trust my words. You will, as I have, be commended by friends and strangers alike for the good behavior of your children. They will have been nurtured and reared in the exact right way for healthy growth and development.

As your children grow and you teach them how to take care of more and more things, you too can sit back and do what you please as the vacuum runs in the distance. Oh, what a sweet sound it is.

For excellent advice on sleep schedules for your baby (and you), read On Becoming Baby Wise By Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. We followed the schedule they suggest diligently and enjoyed long eight hour per night sleeps. Not to mention very peaceful and content babies.

Cast the negative out of your mind with prayer. This isn't a time for frustration or coveting. Do your work and do it well.

You will be so Blessed!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

"Me love you long time"

As is very common for soldiers in the Army, RLB's first set of orders were for South Korea. He was enlisted and would be going to his first unit as a Private First Class (E3). I had heard of other families following their soldiers to South Korea and got busy finding out all that I would need to do to relocate our three children and me. We wouldn't be sponsored by the Army to do this so every expense would be from out of pocket and all the information I'd need would have to be found on my own.

One month into his assignment there, RLB was meeting us at the Incheon International Airport. We were on our way to what would become a life changing journey. We stayed in a small hotel on the Army Post RLB was living for ten days while I set out to find an apartment and furnishings for it. There were several Americans already there that were willing to help me. I also met a Korean woman who would become a dear friend and helper for our family.

We lived in the city of Dongducheon in a 600 square foot apartment on the fifteenth floor. While our amenities were nil, but for an American bathroom and heat, our view was breathtaking.
I could write volumes on our experiences in South Korea. It was an adventure that taught me so much having been raised a spoiled American who had never left the United States. But my purpose with this essay is to implore the American women reading it to start researching, reading, and viewing videos of other places in the world. Not tourist videos either. Immerse yourself in videos offered by The Vice Guide to Travel. You'll find their guide to Liberia through the link.

In no way do I encourage you to want to "go there to help." There is no place for a woman in missionary work in these places of the world that the Vice Guide covers. I will never condone the sending of women to these or many other countries. I'll have a lot more to say on the Missionary Industry in a different essay.

I want you to watch these videos and read books and articles on these places for one purpose:  to look around your life and hit your knees in thanksgiving and gratitude for where you are. To get over yourself and the issues you whine about. To release your entitled mentality and prudish disposition. You've been coddled and protected. You've lived a very cozy life and are ignorant to what life entails for the majority of the world. Not one complaint should fall from your lips of what you do not have. I don't suggest that I have even fully grasped the measure of blessing I have in my life. I purposefully continue to watch these videos and read books so that I may always remain in awe of the provision and safety in which I live.

Back to South Korea.

While vastly different than the U.S., Korea is a first world nation. Where we lived, while it was safe, what was deemed normal and average in affluence was very different than an American's experience. The first reality is the smell. We live in a very fresh smelling country here in the U.S. It took some adjustment to smelling sewage where ever we went. The second eye opener was how tight and crowded all of the shops and businesses were. And the third eye opener was wherever we went, we saw Filipinas...Pinay...girls from the Philippines. 

Quickly Americans learn the stories. This is the first hand account I learned from my new Filipina friends:

The Feminist movement of South Korea drove girls into education and pursuit of careers. No longer satisfied with being a farmer's wife, the women of the northern cities moved south to Seoul. The Korean women were also no longer available to work in the bars that serviced the U.S. Military. The men in the north, in need of wives, found that some women, starving in the Philippines, would marry them, bear children, and help with their farms and businesses. The bar owners learned these girls could replace the Korean woman who used to earn them money prostituting themselves to American Soldiers. Many industrious Koreans have made it their business to get these Filipinas into the country. This industry has moved beyond the Philippines into Ukraine and Russia.

Parents of young girls in the Philippines will be approached by bar owners (or other go betweens) from Korea. The girls are told they are desired in Korea to sing or play instruments, to perform or dance. Some of the parents know the truth, others fall for the lie. Either way the girls are wooed to go to Korea for a chance to make it in life. To leave behind the ghetto they've been struggling to survive in.

They are brought to the bar and are made aware that the owner now owns them. They have a contract that has to be paid off before they can go free. I've heard this contract can range from $3000 - $30,000. The manner in which they pay off this contract is up to them. They are required to be "juicy girls" other wise termed "drinky girls." They are scantily clad and offer the service of paying attention to a man who is willing to buy them a $20 glass of juice. Often time there is a quota of juices to be sold first before her profits will go towards her contract. Soon enough these girls learn the way to pay that contract off faster is to offer a larger range of services beyond just sitting next a man and paying attention to him. Some of the girls get hooked on this life and will remain at the bar even after the contract is paid off. Many are in search of a man willing to pay off  her entire contract for her so that she may go free.

When they aren't working, they often live above the bar in small rooms shared with many girls. Many of the bars have barbed wire fences along the edges of the roof and the girls are fed meager amounts of noodles.

As a family, we would walk through "The Ville" where these bars are intermingled with other shops, and food stands. The girls, dressed as prostitutes, hang out by the doors luring men to come on in. Our children would ask why these girls only have underwear on. Our children were very popular with the girls. They would surround them and touch their hair, "oh babies - so beautiful!" I received tremendous respect from the girls. Other American women, I've heard, were treated with contempt - a married soldier with his wife with him is a lost customer. It may have been from the treatment the Americans gave these girls. I understood what their job was, I knew how they arrived there. I couldn't help but smile warmly at them with a motherly understanding.
This picture is from a website I found: ROK drop. Click this link for many more pictures and descriptions of the area we lived.

I got to know one girl who had been freed from her contract, Belinda. She was pregnant and abandoned by the father. She stayed in Korea illegally to work at an ice cream shop. Belinda planned to send her baby back to her mother in the Philippines while she remained in Korea. The $600/month she made was enough to support her family back home and pay her way in Korea (in terrible living conditions).

The whole situation is perplexing. Is it a sex trade/human trafficking? Yes. Do the girls end up with better potentials in life? Most of the time, yes. I've known many soldiers with successful marriages to these girls. I've also known many soldiers who have been taken advantage of financially. The individual stories are what I am most interested in. Individual women, with an experience most of us American women will never know. Beautiful children of God. And testimonies that render our complaints in life, pathetic.

Search the web. The realities of our world are right at your fingertips. When you feel that something in your life is unjust, when you're not feeling happy, please take time to watch videos like this one to gather some perspective. Look around your home and let go of your unhappiness, let go of that which you covet. You are blessed. Give thanks to God for the amazing life you've been given and let that joy overwhelm you and your relationship with your husband.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Crap! I stepped in shit.

RLB post.

What is vulgar?
a : generally used, applied, or accepted
b : understood in or having the ordinary sense <they reject the vulgar conception of miracle — W. R. Inge>
: vernacular <the vulgar name of a plant>
a : of or relating to the common people : plebeian
b : generally current : public <the vulgar opinion of that time>
c : of the usual, typical, or ordinary kind
a : lacking in cultivation, perception, or taste : coarse
b : morally crude, undeveloped, or unregenerate : gross
c : ostentatious or excessive in expenditure or display : pretentious
a : offensive in language : earthy
b : lewdly or profanely indecent

I address this as it relates to Christians and Colossians 3:8. Are the seven words you can't say on public TV vulgar? What if those words were in another language? This seems to be a PC method that Christians have adopted as a way to have a rule about their language. It's easier for Christians to have rules than it is to have the circumcision of the heart. I've said,"Crap! I stepped in shit." Which word is vulgar? The feeling at the time was that "crap" was the more indecent and anger driven word. I grew up on a farm. Manure was never a word we used.

Is it vulgar to speak of sex slavery? We have met many girls trapped in it and find them to be decent people. Not perfect. Yet, they fornicate in order to pay off their families debts. Where is the vulgarity in such a situation. Our government prosecutes the man that buys these women out of such a situation because, "it contributes to sex trafficking." Isn't that ass-backwards? I find the judgement/PC Christian patrol to be the vulgar ones. They offend my sensibilities and are "
of the usual, typical, or ordinary kind". They are lacking in "cultivation, perception, or taste". They are "ostentatious or excessive in expenditure or display". I might be "lewdly or profanely indecent ", but they seem to meet many more of the definitions of vulgar than I.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Amazing Grace

There's a story I remembered about young elephants in Africa forming gangs with each other after their adult elephants had been killed. When looking for it I found this: Elephants Teach Socialization
They didn't have their parents or their elders there to keep them in line or teach them how to behave as they should. And don't forget, these elephants had been traumatized as babies. They had witnessed the violent and defensive actions of their parents and other adults of the herd trying to protect the younger ones and being killed by humans! The trauma and anger that they experienced then had carried over into their adolescence. Left on their own with no adult supervision or family attention, they, in a sense, became embittered and frustrated and took those feelings out on others. Like real gangs, they took their aggressions out on smaller, weaker animals, destroyed things, and caused trouble.
The first time I heard this story I thought immediately about my own life and association after my mother's second divorce.

Of all places, my naughtiness started at church camp the summer before I entered seventh grade. A group of us kids decided to sneak out of the dorm rooms and meet up by the tennis courts. Two older girls were smoking cigarettes and offered me one. I was eleven and I liked it. I liked the cigarette and I really liked the new bond I was forming with these older girls as they laughed and taught me how to smoke.

I had been a latch key kid from a very young age. I can remember being home alone at age six in the care of my nine-year-old sister. So it was nothing new for me to be home alone at age eleven. My mother was a smoker. She smoked long menthol cigarettes but would only smoke half of them. The rest she would leave in ashtrays. So I smoked the other half while she was gone.

I started seventh grade and very quickly formed friendships with other naughty girls and boys. They had divorced parents as well and were either living with single mothers or with their mother and a step father. Our pack of young elephants was large. My closest friend in the pack had been naughty a bit longer than I had. At their elementary school, fourth graders were already kissing boys. I had never kissed a boy but it wasn't long before I was "going with" one of the boys in our pack. This group of kids all lived in the same neighborhood. It was very common for me to sleep over at my friend's house on the weekends so we could hang out with the group. We'd hang out on the playground of the nearby elementary school and smoke our cigarettes. It didn't take long before I was kissing the boy I was going with.

Boyfriend and girlfriend relationships in middle school often didn't last but two weeks. It starts with a note, "Will you go with me?" and ends the same way, "I don't want to go with you anymore." Outside of this boy crazy social life, I had excellent grades and played in sports. School was very easy for me. What was difficult was the boundaries of normal boy/girl relationships. What comes next after kissing and holding hands? I know I shouldn't "go all the way" with him but how far is too far?

The group of kids I hung out with changed slightly here and there, but one thing remained consistent. We all had a lot of time on our hands with no adult supervision. We'd meet up in the park or at the mall and smoke, listen to heavy metal music, make out, fight and some smoked pot. I met an even naughtier girl than I was and was attracted to her like a moth to a flame. She knew people in high school where her older brother was. She taught me how to shop lift and go even further into this crazy naughty world.

The best times to get in trouble is when your single parent decides they need some time away. They travel out of town and leave you home alone. My mother did just this, a lot. This particular time, however, she allowed me to spend the weekend at my new, naughtier friend's house. Little did my mom know, her mom was out of town as well.

Before I go on, understand, I was still going to church on Sunday, Catechism class on Wednesday nights, church camp during the summer, and even with my new naughty friend, we spent the night at a church lock in. I was very aware of how much I was lying to my mother and hiding my bad behavior from her. I prayed every night and never denied that I was a Christian. I even wore a huge cross on a chain around my neck. It was a trendy thing to do back then, along with our big hair, crazy makeup, and brand name clothes.

This friend's brother, I would find out later, had asked her to have me sleep over. He and his buddies were having a party at a hunting shack and were going to bring us to it. While it's disgusting for me to think about while I write this, I remember being scared and exhilarated at the same time as the twelve-year-old I was then. We drank, smoked, smoked pot, and listened to heavy metal music. Some kids passed out, some threw up, and others paired off to go have sex. What would no longer ever be a beautiful gift preserved for my husband, was given that night to this friend's brother.

The next day as we hung out at their house, he was mortified to find out how young I was. Going by my looks alone, he thought I was sixteen. "Don't worry, I won't tell."

That night my friend and I got caught shoplifting. Since no parent of either of ours was to be found, we were let go into the custody of her eighteen-year-old brother. He wasn't interested in sex with me that night, he was angry. He pinned me to the floor and punched me repeatedly in the ribs between my breasts. I didn't understand. When I got away, I ran to my friend's bedroom and kept myself away from him there until I was able to go home the next day.

A couple months after this my mother's job was relocated. She was also beginning her five year battle with breast cancer. If she wanted to keep her job and her insurance, she would have to move us away from our childhood home to a new city. We did just that. It didn't take long for me to match up with a new pack of young elephants. Same behaviors, same naughtiness, more boys and more sex in disgusting places. When my mother would find out about something I'd done wrong, she'd ground me. That didn't matter in the least. She was spending a lot of time at her boyfriend's house so I was left alone to do whatever anyway. When she was home for the evening, I locked my bedroom door and went out the window. I had to meet up with my pack, there was naughtiness to be done.

And still, I received great grades, was in an advanced math course that I had to travel to the high school to do. And I found a new church that I walked to alone on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings.

After one summer night of having stayed out all night, my mom had enough of not being able to control me. She bought some luggage and put it on my bed. When I came home I asked, "what is this?" She said, "You're out of here, bitch!" And off I went on a Greyhound bus, at the age of thirteen, to go live with my dad and his girlfriend.

I wish I could say that changed everything. It didn't. I found packs of young elephants very quickly. I found a new church to walk to alone on Sundays, but didn't go to it long. For the first time I was scorned by the members. I didn't fit in and was told as much. I wouldn't return to a church again until my wedding day.

Same story, different location. I started working my first job and had a bus pass. I had my own money and freedom to do whatever I wished. And I continued down a path of horrible decisions mixed in with straight A's in school and some sports. I started thinking of my future when I was fourteen and decided I'd follow my passion for jets and flight. I joined Civil Air Patrol, a civilian auxiliary of the USAF. 

My mother had since relocated to our hometown so I went to visit her and my old friends. Another fresh start was ahead. She allowed me to move back in with her. Fresh start be damned, I was still the same mess of a girl only back with my original group of friends. Same behaviors, same short relationships with boys who I freely gave sex to. I worked, had my own money, fought with my mother and moved out again, this time with my sister, at age sixteen. I considered emancipation at this point but as my mother got more and more sick, she allowed me to move back in with her and live my life without concern of her approval. I took care of our apartment when she spent a month at a time in the hospital undergoing massive chemotherapy treatments.

My mother died two weeks before I graduated high school. I had excellent grades, still, scored very high on the ACT and was accepted at our state university. My teachers told me my grades stand as is and I'd graduate with no problems. At seventeen I was on my own, completely.

My sexual behavior did not change. By the time I met RLB, I had had sex with 80 boys/men. Not once did I lie to RLB about any of this. I knew I wanted to marry him and I knew that he needed to know the truth about me.

I'm very well aware of all the names I should be called. I was the first to call myself them. I understand the anger, disgust, and judgement. This is revolting, I know. RLB and I are willing to answer any questions you may have. I have shared this, once again, so future generations understand completely who I was. Hiding it or simply not talking about it renders it ineffective to help others. There are many facets to this essay. One obviously being a pretty bad scenario that could be a reality for your children should you divorce and choose not to parent. The other is to analyze my decision making to better understand my fallen nature and perhaps other females' nature. The other is everything else I've already written and to accept that He "saved a wretch like me". 

Polygamy & Christianity

RLB post.

Men value loyalty. If a wife is loyal, a man will put up with a lot of crap. I have seen men put up with women putting on weight that equals the newer economy cars but remain with their wife because they are loyal.  If feminism were reversed, women would be demanded to provide sex to their ex. What? Well, why do men have to provide money to their ex?

Men need to take back this issue. I would like to discuss the issue of polygamy as it relates to Christianity. If you find a Christian reason to condemn it please note the reference in the Bible. A Christian man should declare to his wife that he does not recognize the authority of the state over their marriage. If polygamy is a valid option to him but not her, then the church ostracizes the no-fault divorcing woman. The statistics back up the fact that women file divorce 2 to 1 over men. Imagine the changes to our family structure if churches simply adopted this little issue.

I care not about the state's determination considering licensing. I am strongly considering recommending that our children place no importance on licensing as it regards the state. I find the church's agreement to administer a state sanctioning to be contrary to Biblical marriage. I know I'm a little out there. However, I haven't heard a valid argument in favor of the churches being used by the state to sanction marriage. Why would we pretend the state's determination over what marriage is, control our actions as Christians?

Just these couple of sentences bring up lots of issues. I'm very interested in any opinions on this (as long as they are Christian). The others...I have no clue how to deal with people who don't have a moral authority in their life. Go somewhere else.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Part of the "House of Pain" generation

It is strange how cognitive I was at a very early age. My earliest memories were from the age of two. I'm not sure the reason behind it. My IQ isn't genius like RLB's, but above average at about 125.

I could tell you with vivid detail everything around me in my childhood bedroom as I sat alone, at the age of six, contemplating questions like; "Why am I me?" "Why was my soul given this life?"

Shortly before this my mother sat me down to have the talk. I knew the talk was coming. I overheard her and my father discussing some things a few nights before. Though I didn't know any other divorced parents, I knew this was the end of our family. Though I knew it was coming, I, of course, yelled and cried, "Why...why...why?" I don't remember much of what she said to answer that question. In that instant I hated her. Before she let me get away from her she said this, "Don't tell anybody."

No-fault divorce statutes had been in our state for just four years and damned if my parents weren't going to be some of the first to implement it. The details of "why" are still relatively unclear to me. Any explanation I've received has been met by my cynical thoughts. I hold no grudges and have forgiven them but I will not concede their reasons as valid. They're not. Never were, never going to be. It can never be justified. The longer I am married to RLB, the more convicted I am. We have now been married longer than my parents were. We've been through a lot of tough times. I am not prideful in that we've worked through the challenges, I'm humble. I'm thankful and so very blessed.

It was months into second grade (1981) when one of my friends told me her parents were divorcing. I knew exactly what she was going through. We talked, cried, and consoled each other on the swing set. It started happening all around me. Young children were getting their hearts broke in record number as the divorce rate skyrocketed to its all time high.

I will always appreciate the families from my childhood church. They were quite used to seeing my sister and I dropped off at the front door and picked up afterwards. We rarely sat alone. Several different families would invite us to sit with them. Often times these families would arrange to pick us up for special services like during Lent or Vacation Bible School.

My dad had been gone from our house just a few short months when I awoke to another man's voice coming from my mom's bedroom. With rage I stormed out into the hall and paused at her door to see the two of them in embrace. I screamed at her and ran back to my bedroom slamming the door. She came in to try and console me. I told her I never wanted to see that man again. And, I didn't...see that man again.

The divorce became final and my parents went together to celebrate it, without us. They were going to be friends.

Along came another man. A salesman who had visited my mother's work. He was divorced with two children the same ages as my sister and I. And together we formed a new family, kind of. He claimed to be an atheist and took mom and his kids out to breakfast after they dropped us off at our church.

We had the typical challenges that a mixed family would have but we had a lot of really great times as well. I got two new grandparents out of the deal, who I loved dearly. New cousins and aunts and uncles were now in my life. I have many fond memories of large Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners and road trips to see far away family.

He was a strict man who used corporal punishment for misbehavior. We had lists of chores to do every day. The children were broke up in alternating teams of two. One team would be in charge of making dinner and the other had the clean up after. He had horses and dogs that had to be tended to. We cleaned the entire house, did all of the yard work and helped with hauling wood for the winter.

My mother carried with her a love and fear for men that were equal in proportion. It wasn't long, less than four years, that her fear overwhelmed her and another man and his family left our home. Gone also were the sister, brother, grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles.

I may be too harsh on my mother. She died twenty years ago and has no way to set the story straight if she would have desired to. I knew she had a lot of pain from her childhood. She wouldn't go to church with us because, "church makes me cry." I can muster all the compassion in the world. However I can not change my story.

I don't mean to shame anyone in telling my story, however if old wounds are opened, I strongly believe those need to be healed correctly. I also know I was not alone in being told, "Don't tell anyone." We were grandkids of the "We don't talk of such things" generation and children of the "ME" generation. We are a subset of generation X, we are the generation of "The Cat's in the Cradle." and "House of Pain."

There's a lot more to the story. I haven't even touched the real ugly yet. I'm working on it. Many of you know the next chapter of the story, you've lived it too. As is the general theme of my blog, my desire is to pass down to future generations the truth of their ancestors. But also to support marriage. I wish to implore those reading to get things right in their homes. Go to God to get healing of the wounds whether new or old. And fight for your marriage with desperate urgency.

It's time to rearrange the script once again.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Now watch her head spin

This past weekend I got to spend twelve hours sitting in hot, crowded stands watching my daughters' swim meet. And I'm one of those people. Reading on my Kindle, listening to my iPod and responding to messages on my smart phone. There's really only so much swimming (of children other than your own) that one can watch. I much prefer my son's wrestling tournaments, even with the smell.

A woman walked up in the stands Sunday morning that caught my eye. She was petite and dainty. She wore a very stylish black sweater with a neatly wrapped purple scarf around her neck. Her dark brown hair was in a messy bun and her face had very fine feminine features. A pretty lady for sure. I'd guess she was a little younger than I am. She had a gentle smile on her face as she approached some other parents she knew. Her mannerisms were graceful and poised. Until...

With my head phones on, I was startled by this loud horrendous scream coming from this little lady female. She was screaming her daughter's name in an attempt to get her attention because her heat was on the blocks. Her daughter must have been distracted (imagine that of a nine-year-old). She was deck entered into this event meaning they entered her that morning. Her name was not in the heat sheet (schedule).

The woman continued screaming her name, first and last, with a fury that got everyone's attention in the seating area. Then, once her daughter made her way (on time) to the blocks, the woman sat down in a huff and with sheer rage let out a sound I'm not sure how to type; "hhhyyyymmmmppphhh" while she buried her face in her hands.

Demon! Be gone from this woman! 

There can't possibly be anything logical about this overreaction. Was it the $5 deck entry fee? Her daughter was not in danger of achieving a state qualifying time, so it wasn't that.

How quickly our quiet gentle spirit can be annihilated by the slightest of things. It's not just a woman issue either. Play a round of eighteen holes for clear examples of the tiniest thing bringing a man to rage.

I remember being prone to rage. When there's a lack of peace in our hearts, it is easy to succumb to anger and irrational outbursts. Having a calm spirit can be achieved but it takes work. It takes a conscientious awareness of our emotions. It takes a real understanding of what is important. It takes an awareness of how your rage is translated to those who witness it.

This woman's husband was next to her. After her face turned from crimson back to peach I could hear her talking to her husband, justifying the outburst. He got up and left. She looked around for a sympathetic face. I'm thankful she didn't look up at me. I was laughing with my daughter - the young one prone to fits herself. It was great for her to see how ridiculous it looks. 

I can't possibly understand everything in that woman's life from that one moment. I could shrug it off as just a woman being irrational. No doubt this is not right behavior and not acceptable no matter who you are.