Tuesday, July 26, 2011

At the Library - Uploaded Pics

Grandpa W's mare had a baby in May. Rebecca loves horses!!!
Most recent pic of the kids. 
(Rebecca 9, Nelson 7, Lydia almost 6, Joshua just turned 4, Josiah 18 months)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Two Frugal Tips

1- This week is Wal-mart's big back to school sale. One subject notebooks only 20 cents. Off-brand crayons 25 cents. Two pack of maps just under $5. Get there before Saturday.

2- Did you know that you can get great mylar balloons at Dollar Tree for just $1 each? For Joshua's 4th b-day I picked out 2 balloons feeling completely guilt-free for the expense.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Meals without strife

In the last few years my bloggers have watched our family try a number of lifestyle changes. And, these past few months I have adopted yet another philosophy.

I was completely overwhelmed. The kids were not doing much of the work and I was getting stuck doing all the cooking, cleaning, dishes, etc. I was grumpy and tired and frustrated. Two close friends (in the same day) told me to ask Paul for his advice. So I did.

I asked Paul, “What do you most want me to do every day?” His answer (and from this you will learn how practical Paul is…), “Love the children.”
He did NOT tell me to do the laundry. He did NOT tell me to cook whole foods. He did NOT tell me to wash the dishes before bed every night. All he said was, “Love the children.”
(Can I admit to you, Reader, that this reply was about vague enough to make me want to scream?!)

The following morning I did my best to do all the jobs I was doing before… but to do them while consciously loving my children. Um – not pretty. I figured out real quick that I couldn’t do much work at all before my voice began to escalate and my thoughts would not be so nice towards my kids. I would hear this haunting voice, “Love the children, Beth, love the children.” Then, I would sit down and re-group.

My household does not look like it did a few years ago. If I was to post pics now (which I can’t because of Android/Blogger limitations), you would see a messier house, dishes stacked up, laundry REALLLY stacked up… and happy faces. I am indeed striving to love the children more. So, it turns out that Paul’s advice was a bit more practical than I originally thought.

I am no longer cooking healthy food for every meal… honestly, I am aiming at maybe one really healthy meal per day. The rest of our meals come from cans and boxes. And I’m okay with that. Here’s a verse that I stumbled upon the other day that really sums up our new cooking philosophy:

Better a dry crust with peace than a house full of feasting with strife. (Prov 17:1 HCSB)

So, if I feel strong enough/well enough to cook a healthy meal – I will. If I am sick, I will warm up frozen pizzas, or Eggos, or whatever is easy. And, if I have a day I feel good, I will cook real food. Last night, I felt stronger than usual, so I prepared baked oatmeal to pop in the oven this morning. If I have a really good day, I make double batches and pop the extra in the freezer.

So, who has practical suggestions for healthy foods that are easy?

Here are some of my ideas:
Breakfasts: oatmeal, grits, fruit, whole wheat toast, yogurt

Lunch: Natural peanut butter sandwiches, baked potato, rice and beans, salad

Dinner: Chicken cooked in a crock pot, whole wheat spaghetti (this is a meal that Becca can make all by herself!), baked potato, rice and beans, beef with seasoning in a tortilla, salad, pot roast with carrots and potatoes in the crock pot

This is a short list… help me add to this. But, remember – it has to be healthy and easy, like a one or two step meal.

We look forward to reading your ideas!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Alive in Christ - By Paul

Bethany has been sharing quite a lot recently about what we are going through. I have a strong push to share as well.

We are going through this journey together. It is so rich and meaningful. God has become so much bigger to us. He has broken down the walls that we erected up around our hearts and flooded us with His love. He has invaded the dark places of our hearts, the places that we tried to keep Him out of. I am talking about those places that seem in our own understanding too dirty and messy to give Him access to. We have recently discovered that Jesus has already been in those dirty, messy places of our hearts.

Consider these texts:

2 Cor 5:21 (NASB) says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”.

Isaiah 53:4-5 (NASB) states, “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well -being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.”

Isaiah 53:12 (NASB)”Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.”

Yesterday we had communion, and the pastor emphasized the fact that Jesus bore our sorrow, guilt, and shame. He also emphasized that he bore our iniquities. As I contemplated these things and listened as the pastor expounded on the profound significance of these things I was filled with great joy and happiness. As I recognized for the first time that Jesus knows exactly what I feel in my inadequacy and sin. He took these things upon Himself at the cross. Jesus had already broken into the messy places of my heart, but now I recognized that he was not a stranger to what was in there. He took that upon Himself long ago at the cross. This is heavier than words can convey. You know the significance of having a friend or relative come alongside and make provision for your weakness when you are in need. You especially find comfort when they say “I have been in your shoes before and I am no stranger to your pain.” That is precious and sweet. Yet their consolation and help only reaches so far. Then, along comes Jesus, He gently and powerfully speaks to your heart in ways that no one else can. He offers comfort and provision for your need. He reaches down into the depths of your heart and says, “I know exactly what you feel, I bore that sin, guilt and shame upon my cross and all of heaven will remember it no longer.” Then He speaks words like, “I have begun a work in you and I will bring it about to completion, you will prosper in the path I have set your feet upon, I have made provision for you and will continue to do so.” Upon hearing these things, all of a sudden the springs of living water flow from your innermost being and you will never be the same again. Christ is in me and I am in Christ and Christ will prosper. That’s good news.

Consider these texts:
Phil 1:6 (NASB) For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 53:10 (NASB)But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring , He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.

John 7:37-39 (NASB)"If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.' " 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

As you can see, Beth and I are entering into a renewed freedom. We are learning to walk once more with Jesus from a renewed reference point, the place where we first started. Consider: Rev 2:4-5 (NASB)'But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 'Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first’

It is great to be alive again. More to come . . . .

Breathing Easy

If you have not read yesterday’s post called “Uncondemned,” you might want to start there.
I am laughing at myself this morning. I am feeling so light and merry. Writing that post yesterday was just what I needed to sort all my thoughts! When I began the post, I was angry and confused. But, really, by the time it was published I felt a huge burden lifted. (I am one of those people who thinks best on paper!)

Ahhh… I’m breathing easy today.

Anyway, I still really WANT to homeschool. What’s more, Paul and I still think that homeschooling is best for our kids (yes, even if they are “behind.”) BUT, what I had to come to grips with was this – homeschooling does not effect my relationship with God one bit!

I am going to plan on teaching the kids this year, and try to get them caught up in math (using a different curriculum that I think they will actually like). I am planning to start Lydia’s first grade material. I will be doing Joshua’s pre-K/kindergarten (at that age it is hard to distinguish).


Here’s what happened:
I just had to shake off some of the ridiculous standards placed on me by real-life friends, bloggers, authors, and maybe even some imaginary condemnation too. (We homeschoolers tend to be a bit defensive.) Once I came to the place where I said – “I can’t do it” (at least I can’t do it like my friend SuperMom with 8 kids whose children are all learning Greek, Hebrew, and a few other languages on top of piano, physics, etc), and once I figured out for myself “that’s okay, if you can’t do it, God loves you anyway” THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING!

I want to homeschool even more than I did before. Because I think my motivation in doing so has changed.  I am NOT homeschooling to be right with God. I am NOT homeschooling to find favor with God. I am NOT homeschooling to fit in. I am NOT homeschooling to make anyone outside of myself (and Paul) pleased with me.

I am done homeschooling in a people-pleasing fashion. Done – and FREE! I AM FREE to homeschool. (Thanks to Mama Hen, who on my post “Liberated” made a wonderful comment about how being free in Christ makes us free to do these good works as well. Amen, sister!)

I thank God for unstrapping burden after burden from my back! Thank you God! Praise you, God!

To you, patient reader, who is watching as I process all that Paul and I have been going through for years… consider it a metamorphosis! We have been shut up in a cocoon for a long, long time and God is giving us wings to fly. And, I pray that our flight inspires you.

Our God is Wonderful! What a mighty God we serve!

Sunday, July 3, 2011


(5-7-2013 Mostly unedited. I am letting these raw emotions stay in print. I have moved beyond many of these concerns now. This was written during a very difficult transformation! I appreciate my authenticity here, and I pray that it helps other get through their transition times. I am now on different hypothyroid medication as well as hormone replacement therapy for female hormones and adrenal issues. I am much more able to function than before. I physically sick, but I am getting better. I am also more spiritually well. This has been our best, most consistent year of homeschooling yet. I believe that each year we will all improve. Lastly, In this post I mention being angry. I am no longer angry.) 


As a homeschool mom I think I have failed. I know, I know, “it is all a matter of perspective.”

But, I think I am uncovering another Christian lie…

I have homeschooled all of my children from the beginning. Rebecca was started very early with letter recognition, phonics, and writing. I began using Veritas Press curriculum with her at age 4. At that time I began Saxon 1, but she was not ready. No big deal… I would try again the next year.

I had years of happy homeschooling planned in my head. But, unbeknownst to me, each pregnancy, each birth, all the breast-feeding would take a huge toll on my body. When Becca was 5, I started showing signs of some kind of debilitating we-knew-not-what. We got my thyroid tested every few months and it was always, always out of whack. We just assumed that if I could ever get my thyroid medicine regulated I would be just fine.

Then, in winter of 2007 leading into Spring 2008, I started having extreme pains in my hands and joints. I could no longer cut my own steak. I could not pour Paul’s coffee. It was in the early Spring of 2008 that I was first diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency. I had a 15 week treatment that made me feel healed. I could walk, run, work, play, etc without any pain or fatigue.

… Then, we moved to MO. And, that winter I had my worst-ever (to date) bout with disability… real disability. Winter 2008 going into Spring 2009 I could not hardly even walk. I could not button my own shirts or tie my own shoes. All through this time, I kept on trying to homeschool the children. We have a conviction that children should be educated from a God-fearing world view. In MO, children are not mandated to education until they are 7, so even though I had started schooling Nelson at the Kindergarten level in 2007, I did not feel too concerned that the government would intervene if he was a little behind in some areas.

I read a lot of other bloggers who homeschool in a variety of manners, and I began to like the idea of “unschooling.” Don’t panic, Mom and Dad, it isn’t as bad as it sounds. It simply means that rather than follow a rigid curriculum you have more of a “strike while the iron is hot” mentality. In some ways this worked out great! The kids wanted to learn about stars, so we would get dozens of books at the library. The kids wanted to write letters to friends, so we would work on writing. And so on. The problem was that children are not by nature self-disciplined. So, unless you force them to study every subject – they won’t. And, as it turns out, my kids hate math. At least they HATED Saxon math. I stuck with it, because I know that even public school teachers have respect for Saxon math (a bad motivation by the way). Anyway, while we worked on reading and writing most every day (even during my disability) we rarely did math.
The following Spring I saw improvement. Then, the winter 2009 Josiah was born. All went well for a few weeks… but then the general fatigue of winter set in (along with post-partum fatigue and months of bleeding). I knew that we were terribly behind in math, but still had hopes of getting caught up.


Throughout my last few years of homeschooling, fighting this recurring winter disability, I have occasionally shared with a few people that I was “behind” in schooling the children. Almost all Christian homeschooling moms gave the same answer – “DON’T EVER SAY YOU ARE BEHIND!” They would go on to tell me that the very purpose of homeschooling is to do things my own way, and not feel pressured by the way “the World” does things. And, it usually comes across as a rebuke. If I admit to being behind (which I really, truly was) then I was in error for caring too much about the way the World does things, and comparing myself too much to government-run schools.

Fast forward to this summer (today, even) –
I am completely overwhelmed. My eldest is a few school grades behind in math. I think in all other areas she is fine (or even advanced). And, Nelson is half a grade behind in math. He also is not really reading well yet. The children are not the problem! They were just being kids! The problem was, I was too tired to force them to do work they did not want to do and teach lessons to kids who were scowling at me. I just could not do it. Judge me as you will. Say I am faking my sickness if you want. You can even rebuke me as one local Christian Super Mom did that “you could get up in the morning if you want to. You just have to do it.” I am still working through the scars left by this rebuke. But, it isn’t just her… it’s in a lot of our Christian books and blogs too. There is a tremendous amount of pressure on moms (especially homeschooling moms) to get the job done – and get it done well.

So, where are we at today?

Confused. Hurting. Angry.

I am angry that so many Christians caused me to feel that I would be in better standing with the Lord if I homeschooled my kids. And, I am angry at the types who say such things as “if the Lord gives you the conviction, He will supply the strength you need to follow through with it.” (Well, I don’t think that philosophy is a lie, but I think that forcing people in homeschooling – or having umpteen babies - when they might very well be too sick is unkind.) I formerly had the conviction to bear as many children as the Lord gives me. I LOVE my kids. And, I would not trade a single one of them. However, my body is completely depleted. I am always exhausted. I have a chronic vitamin D deficiency. My thyroid disease is always going crazy (up and down, up and down). Some mornings I cannot even get out of bed. No, I really can’t. I am not exaggerating… I really can’t. And, I finally admitted to Paul a few weeks ago that I can’t homeschool the kids anymore… at least not all of them.

So, we called the Christian school that is run by the church that we attend. It costs $5000 a year per child… well, there is a discount for members (if we were official church members)… and there is a multi-child discount… and they might be able to give us $1000 in tuition assistance. But, that still leaves a fee far greater than we can come up with every month. No, I cannot cut back the budget anywhere. We are already behind on several other bills.
What’s more – in talking to the principal of the school (who is also one of the pastors at our church), I was told that we would have to do a placement test. They told me that my eldest who is old enough to go into fourth grade would have to pass every subject at that level. We talked in depth, and I was honest that she was “behind” in math… but not because she is “slow,” but because of my health. Well, he said that she would have to be in a special learning lab for as long as it took to get caught up in that subject. Every day she would leave her class and go to the “independent learning center” for tutoring.

So, even if we could afford private school Becca would have a trying couple of years as she had to get caught up.

Maybe I wouldn’t feel so guilty if my kids were dumb. But, they aren’t. My kids are very bright. It is entirely my fault that they are behind.

Now, I am braced for all kinds of rebukes. I have already heard some from real-life people who tell me that it is not good for my kids’ self-esteem to be talked about as “being behind.” You might be right in that… but it IS the truth. Would you prefer that I lie to them, let them take the placement test and be told by the principal that they are “behind?” I think not.

Then today, Paul brought up sending the kids to public school. One of the pastors at church – who seems to care greatly about our family and my health limitations – has been encouraging Paul to send the kids to public school for my sake. And, honestly, I feel awful! I feel like a complete failure. I let my kids down. I let my husband down…

OR DID I? Who is it that is heaping this condemnation upon me? Is it from the Lord? I think not. There is no condemnation in Christ. So, who is causing me to feel condemned?

I admit it – I am angry with all the people (beginning years ago with a book by Douglas Wilson) who built a seemingly solid case for “all Christians should send their kids to Christian schools or home educate them.” These people have heaped years of difficulty on my life. Let me qualify – I love the idea of homeschooling! I even WANT to do it! But I can’t. As of today, it looks like our options are 1) move to the South, because maybe year-round sunshine would cure my winter disability; or 2) send a few kids to public school.

Oh, I am so confused! What would THE LORD have me to do? Not Doug Wilson, not Doug Phillips, not Voddie Bauchum – but the LORD. His opinion is the only one that matters. (His and my husband’s, of course ~ smiles)
Lord, what would you have me to do? I know that you see my health as it truly is, and I stand before you uncondemned. But, before my Christian, homeschooling friends I feel nothing but shame and condemnation. Before them, I see myself as a failure. Oh, please, Father, let me see myself only through Your eyes! Help me to block out all other opinions but Yours. Show me and Paul what to do. Show us where Your Word ends and legalism begins. Show us the difference between Your rules and man-made rules. And, show us the Truth where we have been believing lies.

Last but not least,
Friend, I can tell you for sure this one thing – IF you think that you are in better standing before the Lord because you homeschool your children you certainly are deceived. Your right standing before the Lord was purchased through the blood of Jesus Christ. All Christians are of equal standing before the Lord, because He sees His Son covering all of our sins (Praise be to GOD!). There is nothing you can do to gain a better place before Him… He has already done it all!

In this I find peace amidst the storm.

Whatever we do – it will all be okay. We cannot fail Him, because our mistakes will be covered by the blood. We will try our best to obey Him, knowing that we will sometimes fail. And, that’s okay. Because God LOVES us anyway! He loved us while we were yet sinners! He loved us while we were His enemies!

In this I find peace amidst the storm.

Praise be to God.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Unwritten Rules

(May 7, 2013 - The tone of this post is raw anger and a lot of sarcasm. I was processing a lot of pain in a difficult time of transition. I am leaving it *as is* to help anyone else who is in this transition time. I was hurt and said hurtful things. I am no longer angry or bitter as I was then.)

(Edited July 19, 2011 for content.)

We have a dear friend, a single young man, who is often daydreaming about how someday he will have ten kids and his wife will stay at home and home school them all. Paul and I listen quietly, but sometimes in the back of my mind I want to shake him. I dedicate this post to single men and women and to young marrieds who have not yet learned the un-written rules of Christian marriage and child-rearing.

Unwritten rule for newlyweds: When you are struggling in your first few months and years with trying to make your marriage work, you must not tell anyone. You must hold all your aches and pains inside and continually wear a happy face. This way you will not be alienated and rebuked when you are around your other church friends.

Obviously this rule is completely absurd, and it caused Paul and I extraordinary pain in our early years. All the other young couples we knew seemed to be doing just fine, so I would never have dreamed of opening up to them and sharing our problems. I wander now… were any of these same couples looking at Paul and I thinking how very happy we seemed? Were they afraid to talk to us? The trouble is that in most churches there are few real relationships, few safe places to have such vulnerable conversations. Granted, the pastor hears a lot of what is really going on in pre-divorce counseling… you know that last-ditch effort to save your marriage before you walk out. How many young marriages could be saved by older couples being honest about the struggles they went through at that time? Why can’t we all live as authentic Christians? No, I am not saying “walk around town and pour out your sob story to anyone who will listen.” I am saying that we need to create safe environments within our relationships and fellowships for people in need to share legitimate concerns without being crucified for their honesty.

Unwritten rule for pregnant women: You must never complain about feeling sick… even if you are so sick that you cannot function and your children are left for weeks on end to fend for themselves while Daddy is at work.

I think that part of the reason this rule has had such a stronghold on our family is because of all the years I spent writing posts that were in favor of the quiver full conviction (the conviction that women should leave all decision making of when to have children to the Lord, thus they might have as many as ten children before falling down dead from fatigue.) Paul and I used to hold to this conviction, but because of the extreme toll that having babies has had on my body (being pregnant or nursing for 10 straight years) we have come to a different understanding. We no longer believe that a woman should destroy her own health in this effort to please the Lord. As I have pointed out in a few other posts – our righteousness before the Lord is found in Jesus Christ. God is pleased because we have accepted the sacrificial death of His Son as being our own. We cannot do anything to add to that. We cannot make ourselves more holy by keeping rules (written or unwritten).
Ahem, back on topic – I was saying that when a person is “quiver full” then obviously he/she cannot complain about the real trials of pregnancy. Because anyone who disagrees with your position will be happy to point out that “you knew pregnancy would be hard, but this is your conviction, remember.” (Yes, we Christians can be very hard on one another, can’t we?)

But even in quiver full circles, and within the most family-centered churches, a woman ought to be able to admit that she has a need. When Paul was a pastor at the little country church in IL, I felt free to say I was feeling awful. And, the women helped me with cleaning my house, washing my laundry, and feeding my little tribe. What a blessing! And, no one there scolded me. In fact, many of the women said, “I remember those days, I wish someone had helped me…”

Again, I am not in favor of pregnant women walking around town trying to look pathetic and whining to ever passer-by. But, there ought to be a safe place where women can share genuine concerns with real friends and church family, without being rebuked for admitting weakness and fatigue. IN FACT, this should be the case all the more within such groups as those who are anti-birth-control, who know the difficulty of stairstep pregnancies.

Unwritten rule for parents of many children: You must never admit to being overwhelmed.

Seriously, how are we helping young, exhausted mothers by forcing them into pretending to be SuperMom? I have a new theory. My theory is that all families are overwhelmed, and that only one or two women care to admit it… the others are all faking it.

I am very angry about this point. I am angry at magazines like Above Rubies (and others) who print story after happy story of young families who are all smiling. I believe that the stories printed are true… but, I am concerned that if we were to see the other 98% of that family’s life we would see chaos, screaming, crying, hurting, etc. I am tired of blogs written by mommies of ten or so kids who “have it all together” and are always sharing happy stories where everything goes right. Or, even if everyone is sick, they are writing a post about how great it is clean up puke. I don’t buy it!

I know that one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is joy, so it is possible that some of these families really are happy and love one another a large percentage of the time. But, in our experience, these families with ten-plus kids are locked into the bondage of legalism and rule-keeping… not the spirit-filled life.

What I think is that most families with a half dozen kids or so is a lot like mine has been: We have posted pictures where we are all smiling (which does happen on occasion). We have mainly published the posts where things were going well, keeping with the fa├žade of having it all together. We have not admitted to very many people that we are completely overwhelmed, completely over our heads… and most days I wander if I will even make it through the day.
I have a whole new sympathy for Andrea Yates (a Christian woman who snapped and drowned her five kids in the bath tub.) I feel genuinely sorry for her! Was she deceived like I have been? Was she involved in sects that (more or less) require women to have baby after baby to fit in. Add to that the pressure to be the perfect mother – cook the right foods, discipline the right way, have children that sit perfectly still in church, wear all the right clothes, etc. I have a new sympathy for Mr. Yates! Was he was supposed to be the perfect husband, the perfect father, the perfect provider, in order to be a good Christian. Were the poor Yates’ victims of these lies? My heart breaks for families like this who I consider to be casualties of legalistic Christianity.

I didn’t mean for this post to turn into another anti-legalism post, I really didn’t… but it is so heavy on my heart! I would much rather talk of GRACE. To those of you who are currently locked into rule-keeping – can you please admit how destructive it is? Can’t you start by admitting that your own family is falling apart, that you are depressed and miserable, that you know something is not working out as it should?

I ADMIT IT! After five or so years of putting on a happy face, I have finally come clean – and it feels good (read the previous posts). Our family never was perfect. Our marriage never was perfect. Our kids never were better than anyone else’s. We never truly felt any closer to the Lord. In fact, the more we got caught up into legalism, the farther away from God we felt. The more rules we were trying to keep (but not at all able to keep!) the more we doubted our salvation. We just kept beating our heads against the wall wandering, “will I ever be a good Christian? Will I ever get it right?!” What a horrible way for a Christian to live.

So, I am writing this post as a way to be freed from the rule-keeping. Maybe I will print out these unwritten rules and burn them in effigy (not really, I’m not that bitter). But, seriously, I want to remember what nonsense it is to pretend to be perfect. In Christian homeschool circles we have a tendency to strive for perfection… in a bad way. We want the on-looking world to see only the best of what we have to offer. Don’t believe me? Have you ever been to a homeschool convention? I have not, but I know what they consist of. I recently had an offer to attend the St. Louis conference for free and I happily turned it down. I saw the list of speakers… some of them famous within the vision-forum crowd. But, as I read the print out of speakers and topics I started having a panic attack. I don’t need any more pressure to be the perfect wife, the perfect mother, and the perfect homeschool mom. Find me a conference with speakers who are real… whose only agenda is to push Christ crucified. A conference whose speakers admit that they are not perfect and who certainly will not call the audience to perfection. A conference from which I walk away loving Jesus more, loving my family more, and feeling renewed – ready to face the many trials that we all face.

I just read this post out loud to Paul and the children. Rebecca said something along the lines of “you’re not really going to post that, are you?” Then, she proceeded to name all of our friends that she hoped would never read this post.

What Becca does not yet understand is that – I am posting this because I care about people. I hate seeing people’s lives ruined. I hate seeing women snap under pressure.

I HAVE to publish this post, because women are suffering. Families are being destroyed. How many more women have to snap before the truth of legalism comes to the surface?

Please, Lord, please show your children where they are in error, thinking that following certain rules will bring them assurance of their salvation? Oh, please, God, won’t you break in upon their hearts and cause them to admit that this is not really working. Oh, Jesus, please, please spare hurting women who are at the point of suicide and homicide because they cannot begin to keep all the rules they feel obligated to keep. Please, Father, please use this post to prevent more loss of lives. And, God, please, please bring healing to the lives of Andrea and Rusty Yates. Fill them with your Holy Spirit and give them joy and peace in the midst of a lifetime of pain. I ask all this in the name and for the glory of Jesus, Amen.

Survival Skills for the Early Years - Part 2

If you hear your son say, "let's play haircut," then you hear the drawer open where the scissors are kept - RUN to the room where they are playing.