Following . . .

By birth order as the oldest child of four … and by default as the child of two abusive and passively-involved parents, I am controlling and tend to take the lead. By nature, I personally prefer to follow and stay in the background. By Spiritual Gifts, I am driven by a Holy God living within to be more in the forefront. Often it feels inside that I live a paradox.

Learning to follow my husband has truly been, well, learning. The curve for that learning in my first marriage was much longer than it has been in this marriage. I am older, yes. But I have learned and grown and been taught much over the years.

So, against my fears, I followed my Husband. I wanted to run away, and I even stated such. But both my new-found-Old-Friend, and my New Husband, encouraged me to stay. So, I have stayed; and I have enjoyed the reaquaintance of an “Old Friend.”

One of the oddities of growing up in an abusive home is that those who knew me then were unaware of the abuse. And since it was, in fact, my normal, in many ways I was unaware of all the abuse until I distanced myself from from it and worked toward healing and recovery.

When I told my Old Friend of the abuse, he shared with me something powerful. As I’ve thought about this, he is the only male friend I had that I remember who had opportunity to get to know my parents. And, he was an adult male. His perspective was intuitive. But not only was it intuitive, it was healing for me when he shared it recently. It validated me. There is a sadness that this is, in fact, true. And then there is the freedom that I am not loosing, nor have I lost, my mind. I know my Truth. Regardless of what all of my family has said against me (which is common in abusive families), my Truth was, and is, real.

These are the words of my new-found-Old-Friend after I shared with him the depth of the abuse:

“I am so sorry, I never really trusted your father, and I wondered about his morals and ethics. I never knew he was abusing you. men that abuse their children in any way should have their “Manhood” removed and placed in a pickle jar….(well perhaps a Gerber baby food jar in his case LOL) I wondered why you father always wanted to have things that exemplified him and never really wee for his family. I felt he was a selfish and egotistical individual but was hesitant to say anything. I do hope your sister got out of the house but I shudder to think about any of this….Now I despise him!”

In 1991, Amy Grant released Ask Me, a song she wrote after she learned one of her best friends from childhood had been sexually abused as a child. That song and the story behind it have lingered in the back of my mind all these years, but not until the re-aquaintance of this Old Friend have I really thought about what that must be like for those who knew me.

When my Best Friend from High School and I were recently discussing this mutual Old Friend and the abuse, she said, “No one knew! None of us knew what was going on!” She has never denied my Truth or disputed me, but I know it has been difficult for her. We have known each other since Elementary School, were best friends all through high school, and we spent much time in each other’s homes.

In my reply to my Old Friend, I wrote, “unfortunately, now that you know, you must forgive him, too. it’s been a long, long road, but God is healing me, and my girls will NEVER have to know what i know.”

My late Mentor told me a story one day of when she followed her husband when she didn’t want to … and how the result was a powerful confirmation of how a wife is to follow her husband. Not always, when we as wives follow our husbands, is the result so powerful. Often it becomes a pattern of behavior acceptable to God. Ever so often, though, the result is powerful. This is one of those times for me. God, through my Husband, led me to another layer of healing. I am thankful I set my boundaries right off the top, at the beginning; and I am thankful I followed my Husband.

State Budget Disasters Looming

The problem with this is, in order for states to recover, the economic gains would have to be monstrous to overcome the ground already lost.

But state tax receipts are still in the dumps, and states have been plugging their budget holes with stimulus money. That money will run out soon.

Meanwhile, the pension gap continues to widen…

Job Creation

Let’s say you own a business that employs 10 people. The employees make $10 per hour, and work 40 hours per week. That’s a labor cost of $4,000 per week.

Let’s say that, with that cost structure, your company makes $100 of profit per week, after you include other costs (including your own salary).

Let’s also assume that you are running a very efficient organization; i.e., your overhead is minimal and very little can be saved through additional automation and efficiency improvements.

Now, let’s say that, due to legislation, your labor costs per employee go up to $12.50 per hour per employee.

Your labor costs are now $5,000 per week.

You are now $900 per week in the hole. To cover this deficit, you must eliminate at least 3 jobs.

Eliminating those jobs, in turn, reduces the total production of the business. That means the remaining 7 employees must find a way to produce what your business was producing with 10 employees, just to break even. Otherwise, you may have to cut even more jobs. (And, even then, you must trod carefully. After all, as Denninger says, “There’s a limit to how many people you can fire and still stay in business.”)

Worse yet, before your labor costs went up, you were considering adding two more positions, but now–due to the increased marginal cost for labor–you cannot afford to hire new people, and had to eliminate 3 jobs.

Rather than foster a culture that would have resulted in the creation of 2 additional jobs, government has caused the elimination of 3 jobs.

As a result, you have lost 5 jobs when you include opportunity cost.

That is what our current regime is doing to job creation.

And you won’t have an easier time getting health insurance, either.

Which Story Accurately Reflects the Truth?

This by MSNBS

or

this by Denninger?

I’d say that Denninger is right, because what he is saying is reflective of all the relevant information, and is consistent with the results we have seen to date.

In spite all the cheerleading from Obama’s butt-buddies in the mainstream media, (a) unemployment is still not abating, (b) incomes are not rising, (c) home sales are VERY weak even with the federal help, (d) every stimulus effort has been fruitless, and (e) every monetary policy initiative has failed to provide bang for the buck.

We have dumped trillions of dollars into the economy through deficit spending, bailouts, and creating liquidity through radical monetary policy. We have interest rates at all-time lows, and yet even WITH the first-time homebuyer credit, housing sales are terrible. Consumer credit is still contracting at rates unseen since it has been measured. State income tax receipts have not improved, and several states are on the verge of default. Right now, several European countries are on the verge of default, and “austerity measures”–such as those announced in Greece–are causing social unrest.

We just passed a “health care reform” law that brings us the worst of all worlds–even a “public option” would be better than what they passed–that is making it more expensive for businesses to hire new workers, AT A TIME OF HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT!!! Rather than report the obvious–this is going to hurt job creation, and may even cause some companies to lay off workers–Obama’s jockwashers in MSM are having pep rallies.

To date, the GOP response has been terrible. Except for some real mavericks–like Senate candidates Rand Paul (R-KY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL)–we aren’t seeing candidates who will take on the establishment. “Repeal and Replace” mantra only works when you have a better alternative. So far, we’ve seen some good rhetoric, but nothing of the caliber of “Contract with America” that says, “If you elect us, this is what we will do that is fundamentally different.”

No GOP leaders have stood up and challenged the rest of their party to grow a pair and start cutting spending.

This is because the GOP establishment is nothing but a right-leaning version of the same Good-Old-Boy network that is in place now. They are too busy fellating their K-Street allies, to give an airborne rodent copulatory act what happens to you and me.

interesting …

… gathering info, filling out job apps, after fifteen years at home. i was told that companies are only required to keep employment records for ten years … guess i’m obsolete! ha!

having to find three people to write Professional Letters of Rec … finally found three … funny … writing about what i professionally did all those years ago. (one, though, is the mom of the kids i kept last year).

fun thing about the letters of rec … i feel like i’ve been to my own funeral! they’re awesome!!! i only hope my real funeral someday is as good as those letters 🙂

all this room for volunteer stuff. guess being mom to two kids, one a special need’s daughter, isn’t what they’re looking for … hehehehehe.

and then doing this all technologically – that has been interesting, too. trying to format my resume so that when they pull it up it’s not all over the place. welp, at least i’m learnin new things!

my spec needs daughter is on a new med now, and that’s working really well. makes me feel safer leaving her in a day-care environment of some kind during summer months and after school and holidays. God is good.

skills … ummm … got some! golly gee … those lists where you can ck special skills are looong! does changing diapers, splitting kids when they can’t even look at each other, endless nights w/out sleep up w/ a kid who can’t sleep for a myriad of reasons, all medical, count?!

wonder if blogging is a special skill … hummm …

anyway … been enlightening, interesting. looking for pretty low-key, non-career-type jobs. tis not the season for a full-career-job.

Juvenile

Part of me understands the desire for violent reactions. It’s the part of me from my childhood that hasn’t quite been put to death yet.

I used to act like this.

When my brother wouldn’t listen to reason and knew he could get away with his shenanigans, I would wail on him. I knew that our parents would do nothing, so I wailed on him with all the anger I could muster.

I would often be told “You’re stronger than you think you are. . . you should come to us if he’s doing something wrong.” The only thing that would drive me to wail on my brother is that I knew my parents would do nothing.

In my mind, desperate times called for desperate measures.

Looking back, I know how juvenile my actions were.

It seems as a cop out answer to say “Well, there are other actions these people can take. They shouldn’t resort to violence.” That statement sounds exactly like something my parents would tell me. It negates the fact that people have sought to do the legal and right thing. It negates the anger that one feels after going through the right channels and still being the recipient of the morose behavior.

It would go farther to say “You know what, maybe you have a point. You aren’t going about it correctly, but maybe you are angry for good reasons. We should go back over this issue and see if there are some changes that are made. Yes, anger is understandable. You believe that you are the recipient of some unjust actions. I’d be angry too if I thought nobody was listening to me after I went through the correct channels and was told to just shut up. Let’s see if you were indeed wronged. We apologize for seeming like we don’t care.”

That, dear readers, is a dream on my part. However, it seems like the right thing albeit incredibly difficult.

Pride and hardness of heart is going to ruin this country.

Where Are Your Thoughts Going?

I hadn’t heard from him in almost thirty years when we reconnected a couple months ago. When my Husband’s vehicle died recently, we called him for advice since he is very knowlegable about all things related to automobiles.

When he and I talked, it was one of those interesting conversations. Thirty years is a long time. He said he’d wondered over the years how my Best Friend from High School and I were doing. I thought that was nice. His first wife up and left him and the kids saying she didn’t want any of it anymore, and he is now happily married to his second wife. He said he has wondered, though, if he and I had got together if we would have made it. Hummm. I thought that was interesting. I met him when I was fifteen and he was nineteen. Having a relationship leading to marriage was no where on my radar at that age. I was raised to go away to college, the farther the better, and to find a husband there. I wasn’t in college yet.

A few days after we talked he pulled me up on chat. I have several good, male friends, both married and single, and the friendships are very appropriate. They keep their place; I keep mine. It works. So I didn’t think much of it.

But it was the little things. Most of them, in and of themselves, were benign. As they started piling up, my radar went on alert. By the time it ended, sirens were going off in my head like fireworks over Cinderella’s castle ~ and a BIG, “Whoa, Nellie! What the heck just happened here?!” Before I exited out of that chat, I copied the whole conversation and emailed it to my Husband and my Best Friend from High School.

It is generally agreed that statistics show women file for divorce more often than men.* I am very concerned about these statistics. Off the top of my head, I can count at least seven or so men whose wives walked out on them for another man. They were not in abusive relationships – they were married to really good men. How does a woman get to this point where she is willing to destroy the lives of her husband, her children, and even herself, for another man?

James says in chapter one, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

You know how tee-tiny a baby is at conception?! The Bible says that desire is conceived … that means it begins microscopically small. We may not always be able to immediately discern that this itty-bitty, tee-tiny, desire we have could become so evil that it has the power to drag us away and entice us to sin, but it does. Once conceived, it will give birth. When full-grown, it gives birth to death.

What woman wouldn’t like to hear that a tall, handsome, attractive, Christian, church-going, well-travelled, talented, successful man has been thinking of her for thirty years?! Even though he wasn’t on my radar in High School or any time since then, I found myself wondering … “Hummm, what if?”

And then I stopped myself.

What if” doesn’t exist.

Would it be easy to continue having chat conversations with him? You bet. No one would have to find out. I could hide them from my husband; he could hide them from his wife. Can you see it growing? That “it” is sin.

..
My Sisters and Brothers in Christ, we are not immune to sin. Marriage is a powerful covenant in the eyes of God, and we must honor marriage. Whether single or married, we must honor marriage.
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A friend described this using the analogy of a Fish and Driftwood. “A fish needs to constantly move in order to keep moving up the stream. Sometimes it has to expend energy just to stay in place. The marriage is like the fish; if it stops struggling against those external forces, it will go back downstream. A piece of wood, however, will simply drift. The wrong kinds of attachments make you drift, and make a marriage drift, because emotional energy that should go into the marriage is given elsewhere.”
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Is your mind wandering? Is there a good man/woman around who is fun to “chat” with? Who makes you laugh and smile and feel good and exciting? Who is not your husband/wife? Who begins to take more of your energy than he/she should? This cannot continue. We must get rid of these sins before they become full-grown and give birth to devastating death. You must confess this to God, and then you must confess this to someone you can trust who will hold you accountable ~ for sin grows in darkness, but it dies in the light.
..
I want to leave you with the email I sent this old friend and his reply:
 .
Dear Friend,
It has been fun reconnecting with you, and I’m flattered with all the compliments. However, some of your comments made me uncomfortable today, and I don’t want to go there anymore. Marriage is a very serious covenant commitment before God. God has blessed me with a wonderful Husband! He is amazing. I want to protect my marriage, and other marriages, including yours, by protecting my mind and thoughts and conversations and relationships. If we are to converse again, it must be on a strictly platonic level – not personal or intimate or dreamy in any way – or not at all. Thank you for honoring my boundaries,
Ame
 
***
Ame,
I understand completely, I Love my wife deeply and would never do anything to jeopardize that relationship. I respect you for this and I have many strong feelings in this area as well. I saw many good marriages tossed aside by supposedly good people, and I decided long ago that my love for God and my wife was not something I would compromise. If I offended you in any way, please accept this apology…your friend always.
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*If you are in an abusive relationship, or even think that you might be, please seek wise counsel immediately.

Bitch-Slapping the Abortophiles

There is no way Ted is going to print my response to this abortophile. It is way too blunt. Ergo, here is my unedited response.

Justin:

Picking up on what MrsLarijani said, here’s another observation I noticed during my CPC days…

We would often get back-to-back clients who were facing potential pregnancies.

Client A was abortion-minded, not wanting to have the child for whatever reason. Her pregnancy test turned up positive. We presented the facts as best we could, appealed in many cases to her professed faith, and occasionally we were successful.

Client B was married, wanted to be pregnant, and was sad over her difficulty conceiving. She often came in with her husband, who was also wanting to be a daddy. They would be interested in adoption, except their financial condition was not adequate. The pregnancy test turned up negative.

I knew families–pro-life families–who were hoping to adopt children, and would have given a pound of flesh to be able to adopt from one of those abortion-minded clients.

Adoption agencies–such as Bethany Christian Services–had backlogs of parents wishing to adopt.

This “pro-lifers need to be more compassionate” line of reasoning is the most intellectually dishonest of canards, as it (a) ignores the fact that religious conservatives are already the most compassionate demographic group you will find–Arthur Brooks of Syracuse University has quantified that–and (b) minimizes the murderous depravity of the abortophilia movement, and (c) projects the guilt for the killing of those children, on the people fighting for the lives of those children.

When folks like Joycelyn Elders–a former Surgeon General during the Clinton regime–say, “We really need to get over this love affair with the fetus and start worrying about children,” she is expressing (a) her ignorance of pro-lifers, and (b) her utter disregard for children.

As for the premise that there is no legal ground to prohibit abortion, you obviously have no clue what you are talking about.

(1) That the Supreme Court Justice who wrote the Roe v. Wade opinion, had to express the rationale in terms of “emanating penumbras.” George Will does a wonderful job pointing out the absurdity of this rationale on which you are hanging your hat: “Does it seem at all odd to you that the meaning of the Constitution, or at least of its emanating penumbras, would be different if the number of months in the gestation of a human infant were a prime number?

(2) There is plenty of legal basis to extend protections to children in utero, as even pro-abortion states (California) have granted such personal recognition to them. You may also consider that we are prosecuting moms for child abuse, for exposing their unborn children to their drug habits. In order to have a legal case, we are recognizing the personhood of the child in utero.

If we have a legal basis to recognize their right to protection from abuse in utero–or even murder when the assailant kills the mother–then there is plenty of legal basis to protect them from intentional murder via an induced abortion.

(In the case of Scott Peterson, a California jury used the premise that he killed an unborn child, to find him guilty of double murder, which made him eligible for the death penalty, to which he was sentenced.)

Legally, we have established a house of cards of inconsistencies, and those inconsistencies do indeed provide a legal basis for the revisitation of the Roe v. Wade framework.

I didn’t ask you if you liked that basis, but your assertion that there is no legal basis for the prohibition of abortion, ignores a body of recent and relevant legal precedent that threatens the whole framework created by Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton.