Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Quick update

I've been crazy busy with school and gaven't had much time to be online. I do want to discuss something that was blogged about me and e-mailed to me by a few of you.

Some "stranger" blogged my identity and erased it 48 hours later. If you saw this blog that was created just to "expose me" (if you had razingruth in a daily google search, you might have seen what I am talking about), I am asking you keep it to yourself and not repost my name or address. The author of the site was almost certainly an old member of our home church. My dad, so I am told, was even more worried than I am about my name being given and therefore linking my story to him and he asked the author to remove the information. I won't lie- the things this person said about my leaving my family had grains of truth. I did write my dad asking for money (sort of). I sent him a registered letter, that legal aid helped me draft, inquiring about my inheritance from a familly member who passed away. The deceased supposedly left an amount to be divided between all us kids and I never saw it. I did not "beg" my dad for cash or threaten to wrongfully sue him if he didn't "pay up". I also didn't sleep around- that is not why I broke my engagement. I'll explain what happened in time.

Yes, I am struggling financially but I never threatened to blackmail my dad!
Thank you to those who alerted me to this.

Friday, April 23, 2010

More questions asked.

I would also like to know if QF families would continue to have Duggar-size families if not for daughters who are effectively unpaid au pairs (like the older Duggar daughters)? If a family has 10 boys, for example, how is the enormous domestic workload handled? Do church members come in and help cook, clean, etc.? Do young girls from other QF families come in to help for a few hours a day? Don't know if there were any such scenarios in your association of QF/ATI families.

There are several all boy QF families. They don't tend to reach the quantity of kids ala' Duggar or Bates but then again even most QF families consider 10 to be a lot. In my experience, all boy QF families tend to have mothers who age very quickly (that may be why they have fewer children, now that I think about it). These women are some of the busiest mothers I know because they have less help than if they'd had female children. You do see, in the better families, where the men and boys step up and make some "housework" masculine. The Arndt family who live in Illinois, friends of our family, have all boys and one girl, born later, and the boys did household chores but they're a strong family who helps mom. I've seen it go the other way where certain dads don't want their boys doing certain chores because they're fear it will feminize the boy. Unless there's a tragedy or illness, I've never heard of girls from other families going to stay with other families to help lighten the load. Most Gothard-follower, dads would see this as letting their daughter outside their protection. We did help local families out for a couple of hours if there was a temporary need. Boys go to other families for apprenticeships and work studies.

Ruth, I have a question for you ... I've been doing a lot of reading about Michael and Debi Pearl and their appalling books, especially in the wake of poor Lydia Schatz's murder. I've heard the Pearls are very influential in conservative Christian homeschooling circles. Were your parents and/or their friends big Pearl fans?

I think most all QF know the Pearl philosophy. Some follow it, some follow something else. QF families are more likely to follow VF or BG/ATI child rearing discipline ideas. I think QF families are like other families in the sense that they take what they will and leave what they don't. Almost all QF families follow some piece of Pearl wisdom. My dad spoke of them highly (towards the end of my time in his home), if that answers your question.

1) How are holidays celebrated? Not just religious ones like christmas and Easter but Independence Day and so forth? Did you ever have your birthday pre-empted by Easter?

Holidays relating to Jesus were celebrated with a focus on Jesus. Other holidays were less recognized or ignored - I never went trick-or-treating, for example. Fourth of July WAS celebrated well! ATIers are fiercely patriotic people (*we* just wanted America back "to it's roots"). (Note: the history you learn as an ATI kid is that America was God's created land for Christians. I don't believe that now.) I don't remember my birthday ever being preempted because if it was, I wouldn't have been celebrating it that day, my mom would've moved it to another day for cake.

2) Did you have any pets, or were the children enough to take care of?
We had a dog at one point. ATI doesn't have an official position (to my knowledge) on keeping pets. It's a family decision.

3) Did you ever go to any Gothard-sponsored conferences, retreats, or gatherings? What were they like?

Yes. They were all different. I'm not trying to be vague, it's just that I went to so many that for me it's like trying to tell someone else how many school plays or field trips I went on over the course of my life. It would be hard to tell you about each one, or the broader experience, in one paragraph because there were so many and each was a different experience. My dad was a Gothard friend! My whole life was a Gothard sponsored event.

4) I recall from an earlier post (or maybe I'm imagining it, quite possible given my brain) that when you left the movement someone said, "Why? What did Bill Gothard ever do to you?" -- like it was worse you were "betraying" Bill. Is that wretched man essentially revered?
He's regarded in kind of the way you see Catholics regard the Pope. Not holy, really, but somehow respected because he's the authority on earth. Does that make sense?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Thanks to all of your fine suggestions, I got a job!

Technically, I don't get paid so I don't know if it's a "job", but I get room, board, a gas allowance and car to use, and spending money for activities with the kids. It's perfect. I was hoping to make a little money for the coming year but this will do fine (beggars can't be choosers).

The family has two children (ages 10 and 11) that will be my responsibility. The kids love to be outdoors (a definite plus!). I'll be "on the clock" Sunday night through Friday afternoon, with weekends off, unless I want to accompany the family on weekend trips. I go with them on the two week vacation, too! They have an "extra car" (that sounds so extravagant) which will be mine to shuffle the kids around in or take them on fun outings. Best of all, they may want to use me during spring breaks and winter breaks if all goes well. I'm so excited.

Now - do I tell them about my history or my blog or would those be considered "personal"?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Interview with a gimp

Interviewing for jobs when you're on crutches does not inspire confidence in your potential employer. I went on two interviews this week and didn't get either job. They were a nannying position and a library assistant. I didn't expect to land the library assistant spot because it required "paid experience" and I have volunteer experience. Between leaving my home and coming here, I babysat, so I thought I had the nanny job sewed up and in the bag. They went with another girl who was younger and "could keep up with the children better".

There was another strange comment she made that made me want to ask your opinions. The mom and dad were only a year older than me. When the mom called me to tell me they went with the other girl (which was nice of her to call me), I asked her what I might be able to do to improve my next interview if she didn't mind telling me. She said it was the leg and that I had made her uncomfortable by the way I spoke to her husband. I don't know how I spoke to him that made her uncomfortable! I was polite and that's all. I didn't flirt or find him attractive in any way - I have Harris. That's a strange thing to say isn't it?

Back to the summer job hunt. I have one more nanny interview and I want it to go well so I would appreciate all the feedback I can get. It's a summer only job with a family of five kids. I want to mention my background without mentioning the QF. Should I do that? What can I do to downplay the cast?

Friday, April 16, 2010

More FAQ answers

, I could assume the pregnant sister is in her late teens. But you never mentioned anything about any of your sisters being married. Could you please clarify?

Also, about the shaving, you mentioned that you weren't allowed in the bathroom alone. How did you get away with shaving without anyone knowing right away?

I thought I'd talked about that here but I guess it was on the NLQ chat room. My brother's wife (my sister) was the pregnant one referred to in that post. We don't use the term "in law". She married my brother, helped me find my way out, so she's my sister. :) I do see how it was confusing.

I answered the shaving legs question in an older comment thread but I'll answer it again since it was missed. My bathroom buddies were my little sisters or my mom. If my mom was in with me, I didn't shave that week. If my sisters were with me, I could wait for a younger one who wouldn't know what I was doing. That an an opaque shower curtain with velcro tabs was my defense.

Do you think any of the Duggar children have a chance of escaping? Do you see aspects of yourself in any of them?
I don't know enough about the Duggar children to make an informed opinion. Numbers say that some of them will leave the fold. I think I had a post on this? I also see that they're in a totally different situation than we were. The Duggars aren't as isolated as they could be because of the show. They're getting out and seeing the world (even in a limited, observed fashihon). They're meeting people (from the camera to sound guys, to tour guides) they wouldn't normally meet. Those things suggest that they're seeing that the wolves aren't always dangerous wolves. They also have a comfortable lifestyle that most QF families don't enjoy and that may actually work to keep them in the fold. If TLC is keeping money for the kids, and paying the adult kids, it may help them with the debt free life and set them up for QF. Duggar is a brand and keeping the brand intact has an important role in keeping them comfortable. I think the older kids understand that.

I'd also like to know if there was/is any genuine affection shown to the kids in ATI/Bill Gothard families? Are there hugs given? Kisses? Or is it just one big Satan-fest if affection is displayed?

I think every family is different. Hugs and kisses aren't outlawed - just regulated. Ha ha! We were allowed to kiss our same sex siblings on the cheeks and side hug our brothers. We could do this anytime and were encouraged to show affection to our younger siblings especially as an encouragement. My dad didn't hug but that was more just his own boundary. He wasn't very affectionate. My mom was.

I can't answer the question about sex because I've never had it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More FAQ Answers

Please continue to post short questions for this FAQ in the first thread so I can keep my place. Thank you!

I'm curious about your transition into college, and how your upbringing has affected your class choices and interactions with other students.
My transition from home schooled, "preparing to stay at home" young lady to college woman was long and very gradual. As I've said before, it took a few years to get my pre-reqs in place and educate myself enough in some areas in order to do well on standardized testing and placement exams. My class choices are dictated, mostly, be the university curriculum and what's available. Now that I'm as "caught up" as any freshman, and I'm just finishing my freshman year, (maybe I have enough credits for a sophmore but I'll be here at least three more years), my upbrining doesn't affect that.

what the ATI views on Judaism were, especially since it seems that there are aspects of the ATI life that draw heavily from Orthodox Judaism.
Short answer- Judaism is an older religion that Christianity so it was respected but now they'd say Jewish folks are "wrong" because they don't recognize Christ's salvation.

Do I let my mom off the hook?
In some ways I do. That may not be right from a standpoint of accountability and it seems to have sprung some debate in my comments section but the answer is complicated. I hold my mom responsible for some things: the decision to marry my father, originally, perhaps, or the decision to follow my dad into Gothardism. However, I feel for her like I feel sympathy for the guy who bought a crappy car because of a suave salesman. In my mom's case, she had a whole team of salesman working on her. By the time she started to see the choice she'd really made, she had small children and had been told that she had no where to go. My grandparents would have taken her back in at that point and helped her. But my dad and everyone near her was telling her she'd be leaving a righteous life and their protection. Some one brought up Vyckie at NLQ. Vyckie is insanely strong for being able to leave with her children and she paid a heavy price (financially, emotionally) for it. I cut my mom slack, whether it's right or not, because I can see how limited her perspective was.

If I seem to let her slide in accountability, it's because I still identify with her - I almost became her. My therapist says that we tend to cut our "safe parent" more slack because we identify with them most. When we start to criticize them, we're getting close to criticizing ourselves. I guess I'm not there yet. If I have to criticize her, then I have to examine my part in perpetuating the abuses I saw around me. I doled out some swats to the butt and followed my father's house rules, even after I was at an age to know it was wrong.

I was going to ask if you would ever speak out even more vocally and publicly than this [very brave] blog, but Anonymous already suggested it. Do you think you would ever pursue bringing this to national attention?

Would I EVER? Yes, probably. Is that going to be anytime soon? I think the blog will be it for now. I *need* my anonymity for several reasons right now. Giving my information to Vyckie caused a panic attack of epic proportions. I can't imagine doing more right now. When Rani is out of the house and safe and Blessing is older or my father dies, then I'll feel better about it.

First Question: Do you now consider your upbringing to be a cult?


Second Question: Where you the first to leave and if not, who left first and how are they dealing with life now and are you close?

I won't divulge my siblings stories out of respect. It's their story to tell, not mine. I wasn't the first to have doubts, if that's what you're asking. An older brother followed the path before him and found it to be the wrong path for he and his family. I am very close to them and getting closer every day.

1. How IS the leg??? ;-)
2. What are your plans for the summer? Will you take classes or work or both?
3. Is it safe to tell us what year of study you're in, or does that need to remain confidential? (Completely understand if it does.)
4. Does Harris know about your blog, and if he does, does he read it?
5. Speaking of reading, what books have you been enjoying lately?

1. Healing! I'm still on crutches (my armpits hurt like you know what). I don't have any pain unless my clumsy self bangs it on something. No need for pain meds of any kind anymore. It's just inconvenient now.
2. My summer plans were hampered by my leg. I was going to get a job and do some hiking. I don't know how that will work now. The cast will be off around May 10th. I may nanny for a family in town in exchange for room and food. I'll still need to find some spending money income. I was going to take summer school but budget cuts at the state level blew that when my class was cancelled.
3. I'm a frosh. I consider myself a freshman, but I think I have enough credits to be an early sophomore.
4. Harris knows about my blog. He doesn't read it every day or comment.
5. I haven't pleasure read in a while. Too much school reading to be done. :) I started one of the Twilight books and I like it so far.

Monday, April 12, 2010


I'm taking a series break to let NLQ catch up. Speaking of that, everyone please pray (if you pray) and think of (if you want to) for Vyckie's daughter Angel. She's had a rough week and could probably use the support. Vyckie, too!

Since I'm taking a series break, this would be the time or place to ask any questions you have.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Part 16 - Puberty

(Note: This is not a post about "sex" or purity. This is a post about how my journey into puberty occurred. I'll get to the purity stuff later.)

Discretion vs. Simplemindedness
The ability to avoid words, actions, and attitudes which could result in undesirable consequences (Proverbs 22:3)- Bill Gothard

My body started developing secondary sex traits very early. By the time I was ten, I had breast buds and needed a training bra. What might surprise some is the fact that my mother and father saw this and immediately set about taking me to the thrift store to find some training bras. Yes, much to my embarassmenmt, my father went along for the purchase. It was humiliating to have the entire family standing outside the fitting room while my mother handed bra after bra over the partition for me to try on. When I found one that fit, she loudly announced the size to my entire family so they could search the racks. It's one of the subtle hypocrisies of my family: your body was supposed to be a highly personal, spiritual thing, but because of reasons I'll state below, it wasn't kept private.

I also started having body odor and a need to shave my armpits a year later. This was problematic because, unless you were a boy, there wasn't room in the budget for antipersperant or razors. I realized that I smelled gamey so I took to stealing my mother's deodorant on the sly. The razors were a bit more difficult. My father ran the boys' lives like a prison warden. To get a new razor, they had to leave the used one on his sink. He would look it over and decide if it was dull enough to require a new one and then leave the new one in their plastic basket under the bathroom sink. They were in charge of their razors and since my father hated wasting money, they were encouraged to use them until it cut their faces from dullness. If they went through more than a certain quantity every month, it was discussed during family time.

I wasn't allowed, technically, to shave. Anything. My mother wasn't allowed to shave anything, either. Dad decreed that god put that hair on our bodies for a reason and he didn't see why women should shave at all. I always wanted to ask him why men should shave, then, given the biblical justification for growing a beard and applying the same standard of "God put it there" rationalization to men. I never did ask. I did, however, start sneaking razors from the homes of people we visited and I'd hide them around the house, in places most people wouldn't think to look. I just wasn't comfortable with having hair under my arms and, at a certain point, I didn't like it on my legs. When it started growing on my pelvic area, I was in a panic! That hair stood for something I didn't want to think about. It was an outward symbol that my childhood was coming to a close and in ATI-fundamental-QF circles, that had broader implications. Consequently, for about a year, I butchered my pubic hair in uneducated attempts to get rid of it. I plucked it. I shaved it. I did anything to try to stop it's inevitable appearance or spread. One afternoon, I hadn't been so careful after my shower and I left some of the evidence in the bottom of the bathtub. One of my brothers saw it and told my father. He punished me publicly with the "rod". I was humiliated.

My period started when I was thirteen. I had been feeling very crampy and grumpy for several days. It was so uncomfortable that I had told my mother I thought I was ill. I had snapped at a younger brother for something petty and my mom reminded me of the JOY principle. In our house, there was no room for PMS. That evening, when I was changing into my nightgown, I saw the blood in my underwear. Once again, panic set in. I had no older sisters and my mother's idea of educating me on my own body was limited to telling me the rudimentarily how babies were made. She'd neglected to tell me about how painful a period could be or how much blood there would be. I knew that periods existed because I'd seen her sanitary napkins and been with her when she bought them. I'd seen the calendar and the dots marking the start and end of her flow. I knew about planning intercourse around ovulation. It was the physical experience of it that had never been discussed. I shoved my dirty underwear in the fireplace when no one was looking and shoved tissue into my new undies to keep from telling anyone about my new "womanhood". I went to bed.

As you might guess, this didn't go well. When I woke up the next morning, my nightgown and bedsheet were bloody. I didn't have time to hide the evidence. My younger sister woke up and started screaming when she saw the blood. My father ran into our room and shook uncontrolably. Seeing the sheets, he assumed I'd "defiled my body". I am still shocked that this was his first impression. Rather than seeing his teenage daughter standing there in obvious shock and terror and putting two-and-two together, he assumed I'd somehow snuck someone into my room and had sex! My mother followed my sisters screams and my father's shouts into my room. She, fortunately, recognized the look of confusion on my face and calmed my father into reason. It was like a light switched on in his head and his mood changed in an instant. He was now congratulating me and smiling ear to ear. Telling me we'd have a "special lunch" later in the week to "celebrate". That was the last thing I wanted to do but I didn't have the strength to argue after the shock of the morning.

My mother helped me clean up and it was business as usual until that evening when my dad handed me a marker and proudly, almost, told me to mark the day on the calendar with a "pink dot". Mom's dots were red. I was horrified. He meant for me to keep track of this publicly? In front of my brothers? But what could I do except obey him and walk to the calendar to "place my dot of womanhood"? The following day, he and my mother took me out to lunch and explained menstruation to me. It was one of the most humiliating days of my life but it didn't stop at menstruation. I was subsequently informed of my status as a woman, now, and how I should start praying for the "one God had for me" and thinking about the type of mother I'd be.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Part 15 - Hypocrisy

Sincerity vs. Hypocrisy
Eagerness to do what is right with transparent motives (I Peter 1:22) - Bill Gothard

Sincerity? - My dad was very careful about our public image. Most ATI patriarchs are. Though we didn't go out in public very often, and certainly we never went out alone, when we did go out, we were dressed and pressed. My sisters and I were required to have long hair. This hair was not allowed to be braided, however, because that was un-Biblical. Usually, our hair was curled on rag rollers or sponge rollers and left to fall down in curls. The boys had high and tight, ALERT regulation cuts.

The girls in my family wore dresses only, until we reached the age of ten, at which point we could wear skirts and tops. The boys wore pants and polo tops. No t-shirts were allowed for either sex (if we were in the public eye). If you were in a t-shirt, you were most likely male and in bed or wore it under something else. Us girls had to wear full underwear; bloomers, underpants, undershirts, and bras.

Hypocrisy: One of Gothard's teachings was that one shouldn't be overly concerned with appearance. The first time I heard Mr. Gothard say that on a retreat, I was dumbfounded. What? We're not supposed to spend much time worrying about our appearance...but we have to make sure we don't violate all these rules for dressing and appearance?

Sincerity? - We were taught that the sins of the father carried over to the child. That's partly why my dad was so concerned about our public image and remains concerned about our actions now. He sincerely believes that our actions reflect his sins. The more we stray outside the lines, the worse his sins must've been. This is why adoption isn't utilized in ATI families. I knew one family that experienced a horrible tragedy. Mom and dad were killed in a car accident and they had two children. The Aunt and Uncle of the children were ATI and ended up being named guardians of the children. They asked Bill Gothard if they should formally adopt the children and the answer was "no". Gothard allegedly told them that adopting the children formally would upset the "birth order" and be a lie. The lie being that the children weren't really the fruit of the marriage and these children bore the sins of their father, not the adoptive father and mother. We heard, from the couple, that Bill advised them to find another placement for the children and if they couldn't, to maintain the guardianship, but not formally adopt.

Hypocrisy - Gothard's ministries include ministering to orphanages. You go and spend a week or more encouraging these orphan children into "building bonds with the Lord" rather than building bonds with other humans and potentially finding parents. Why go to orphanage at all if you believe the children are flawed with the sins of their parents? Why encourage people to go if you won't counsel them to adopt?

Sincerity? - Homeschooling is a requirement for ATI. That's the point of the community - a group of people who believe in Gothard's method for education (The Advanced Training Institute) and spiritual path. Public schools are supposedly so evil that you're not even allowed to play on a public school playground unless there's absolutely nowhere else to play. Until you're deemed to be of an age or maturity level that you can distinguish "right living from wrong living", you're not allowed to associate with publicly educated children outside your own extended family (and even that is supervised).

Hypocrisy - Bill Gothard makes millions off of public schools through "Character First!". Character First is a biblically based character instruction program used in thousands of schools. I've read that it's eve mandatory in some states! Bill Gothard is a business man. He must have realized that selling curriculum to fundamental homeschooling families would never be the cash cow that is the public school system. Instead of following his own, skewed interpretation of being "equally yoked", he takes money from public schools and public school children. Is this ethical?

I'm not saying anything that hasn't already been said elsewhere. I'm just starting to realize that there were so many hypocrisies in my life and it makes me mad. Next stop- puberty!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Part 14 - Birthdays

Sensitivity vs. Callousness
Exercising my senses so I can perceive the true spirit and emotions of those around me (Romans 12:15) - Bill Gothard's Character Traits

Before I talk about my own experience, I want to talk about birthdays, in this movement, as a whole.

Birthdays in a Gothard family can vary wide and deep. The level of celebration depends on several things. First, how deep into Gothardism the family is and when they came in. Second, how many children the family currently has. Third, the level of legalism they adhear to. For some families, birthdays were spent in a very normal way, with friends and family, with gifts and cake. Our family was different - we were a Charter Family.

When us older kids were very small, our birthdays were nice occasions. Usually, someone from the community would come over and my mom would fix a nice lunch. We'd have a birthday cake and receive presents. Somewhere around 1987, my father read a lecture by Mr. Gothard and had an epiphany. Birthdays, he decided, weren't spiritually appropriate, as they had been celebrated and were being celebrated by "others". Like a lot of things, he felt we had to separate ourselves from the worldliness of society to be doing the right thing.

According to my father and other father's in our ATI community, it was decided that birthdays should be an acknowledgement of your gift of life and a rededication to your service and purpose for the Lord. No cakes were necessary. Just a pat on the shoulder or hug, followed by a lunch or dinner with mom and dad where they talked to you about your beliefs anda your future. I won't lie. It was something I did look forward to because time alone with my parents was a luxury rarely available. However, when I would see other families having big birthdays in the park, I was jealous. My mom, as I've said before, didn't like it much either. She felt that that kind of celebration may be appropriate for a much older child but she argued that little children should at least have cake and a gift. My parents battled on this. It was my mom's mission to make sure we each had this small trinket and a cake.

Dad finally realized that, not being home much of the time, he was going to have to let this one go. He gave my mother permission to "handle" our birthdays- but he gave her "limits". We could have a cake, but it had to be a cup cake. We could have a gift, but it had to be something useful in our life or useful in our future. Recently my brother and I compared our birthday lists for fun. Over the years when I was home, I received - a hope chest, a lace table cloth, a tea pot, my grandmother's quilt, an apron, a family bible, a picture frame, and -one "toy"- a small doll crib for my rag doll. My brother's girts were- a small tool set, a Mag-Lite flashlight, an adult Bible, money to put in his savings, a saw, and later a repair book for cars. Those are the things we remember.

My mom would bring in our cupcakes or cakes at lunch. We'd break from play or homeschool to gather around the table and sing. We sang the regular birthday song until someone taught us the Christian birthday songs that started the rounds in our community. Only the birthday child got the cake and this got ugly at times. We were all supposed to be gracious and happy for the birthday boy or girl but most of the time we just wanted to steal their cupcake! Sweets weren't allowed in our house and it was a prize.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Am I real?

Posting about my leg set off alarm bells for some people. Reading my blog with a critical mind, I can see how it looks and I don't blame people for their doubt. It seems like I just got over the throat sugery and now it's a broken leg. Right. I haven't been around the internet long enough to know about all the scamming that happens so I guess it's common for people who are scamming to use injuries or illness to try to get money. I don't ever want people to think that's why I posted about my leg. This is what I was afraid of when I put up the tip jar. It complicates things because people stop believing you if there's a financial incentive. This is my blog for venting and getting out all the things that were wrong for me with ATI and fundamentalism ala Bill Gothard. That's what is important.

This is the repost of what I said at Freejinger.
I'm not offended at all. If I read my story and the lack of wanting to "come out" I'd be wondering if the blogger was real. I don't know what to say. It's okay if you doubt me and the truth of my blog. That's what I tell people to do don't I? You should have reasons to follow or trust the people your expected to follow or trust. If you want to read my blog then you're welcome to, if you don't want to read my blog don't read it. That's why I don't advertise it. I'm not the only person who grew up in ATI with a blog. Some people had great experiences and you should read them too and then form your opinion on this breed of fundamentalism.

The tip jar was what I knew would make people suspect and I'm taking it down because it's not what the blog was about.

There is something that was brought up in freejinger that made me wonder about blogger. Is there a way to block certain commenters on blogger? I don't really like my dad, if it's always him, getting his digs in but I didn't know I could screen his comments or block him. I know I can set comments to a setting where I have to screen them all before allowing them but that seems like a lot of work and I'm not online often enough to keep comments flowing. Is there a better way?

I am 26

My phone rang very early this AM. My family not being in the same time zone occasionally causes early calls. It was my brother wishing me a happy birthday and calling to check in on me.

After that, my room was silent and I started thinking about my family. I miss them on days like today. Birthdays were something that my mom always did right. While we, technically, weren't supposed to spend too much energy or emotion in observing them (it could detract your focus from Jesus), my mom would always say that there was no better way to celebrate a Creator than celebrating His creations. She and my father would have these huge arguments around our birthdays and it was really the only thing I ever saw her argue with him about - she wasn't submissive on this issue. I didn't really understand why, of all the things she could've debated him on, it was our birtdays that really made her step outside of that submissive veil. I think I'm beginning to get it.

I think it was the one area where she felt like she had some authority. It was she that had gone through the nine months of pregnancy (or less/more). She suffered the depression and the births and the recoveries. She breastfed us and cared for us almost exclusively. She watched us hit all of those milestones and birthdays and they were probably just as much her celebrations as ours.

I haven't spoke to my mom in weeks and if she's reading this, as I suspect she is, I want to say this to her.
MOM, I LOVE YOU! I MISS YOU. Even if you can't wrap your head around it right now, I'm doing all of this for all of us. Thank you for giving me life and thank you for the cupcakes. I'll try to find one today and I'll think of you while I eat it. I love you. - Ruth