Tag Archives: kids

To Have and To Hold

 there was a woman… 

 

She was married to a wonderful man and had a handsome son and two beautiful daughters.  The man was a hard worker and an even harder working full-time college student.  The 3 children were all in elementary school and loved their parents very much.  The woman kept diligent watch over her children and took  marvelous care of her husband, supporting him in his work, his schooling and his dream;  his dream to become a minister.

One day, the woman and the man engaged in a heated argument.  An argument that, 15 years later, they no longer recall.  This argument lead to hurt feelings, broken hearts and foolish choices.  Choices that devoured the rest of their lives.  Apparently, the man was not always kind and was prone to angry fits – fits that left the woman feeling tiny and worthless.  His frustration,although justified, was out of control and violently expressed.  Over the course of marriage she had forgotten that her worth was in Christ, not in her husband’s treatment of her.  The man had forgotten his first love, Christ, and in defense of his family responsibility, loved himself more.  He made himself feel big by making his wife feel small.  The woman had enough.

Other men made her feel appreciated, important, attractive and one-of-a-kind.  A job made her feel worthy, necessary and valued.  Spending less time with her children gave her a sense of freedom – freedom she had never experienced before.  She liked feeling free.  She enjoyed doing whatever she pleased.  Earning her own money gave her satisfaction.

Eventually, she found the real love of her life.  She had a child with her love – glorying in the stark difference between him and her previous children.  The woman lost weight, colored her hair and let her ex-husband move their children across the country.  Now THIS was the life God intended for her!  Finally!  After so many years of wasted time, wasted love and wasted energy, she was finally where she belonged…

Until she wasn’t.  Again, she had married the wrong man.  She had lost so many more years to someone who treated her like crap – just different crap than before.  Surely if she moved on to this other guy…oh, that wasn’t it either.  Three marriages and three divorces later, she still has no idea of who she is or who she’s supposed to be.  But each time she moved on, she was certain it was God’s plan.

Or was it her plan, wrapped in god wrapping paper?

How many times do we use God’s written word to justify the means to an end?  Looking up verses that “speak” to us, “calm” us or even “prove” His will for us?  How can God be telling us we’re on the right track if we’re blatantly moving against His guidance?  How can we be sure it’s God telling us to divorce our husband when we’re already involved in another relationship with another man?  (Oh yes, this the woman did also.)  How can we know?  Where are we getting our advice?  From friends who have made the same stupid choices, or from those who have suffered through and come out on the other side?  Does God give us permission to right a wrong by doing another wrong ourselves?  Or does He expect us to keep our promise

To have and to hold,
From this day forward,
For better, for worse,
For richer, for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
To love and to cherish,
‘Till death do us part.

 What do you think?  Leave me your comments below.

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My response to Eugene Cho’s prop 8 topic…see Beauty and Depravity on right

Michelle Says:
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at

Here’s my thoughts – as scattered and quick as they might be at the moment.

Changing the definition of ‘marriage’ would be like changing the definition of ‘cow’. Calling a cow a horse doesn’t make it a horse…calling a marriage that is not created by God doesn’t make it a marriage, either. BUT, neither does calling a marriage that is flooded in pornography, adultery, hate, spite, anger, agendas and sin. I don’t know if this makes sense or not, but I don’t really think it matters if Gay Marriage is legalized or not.

Because it’s legal under our judicial system does not make it okay under God. Why don’t we hunt down premarital sex, shacking up, multiple marriages and divorces and teenage pregnancy with the same venengance? What about excessive alcohol consumption, beating our wife in our living rooms, using our children as pawns in our game of life instead of human beings due the same respect as adults? Because those are such commonplace sins that bringing attention to those would bring attention to our own little ‘hidden’ sins we commit behind our personal closet doors. The sins no one knows about. The hateful thoughts we harbor, the way we eat our chocolate only after the kids go to bed, the purchase of shoes and purses that we hide from our husbands, the internet sites we visit, making sure we clear the history so no one knows where we’ve been.

My point is, it really doesn’t matter. Sin is sin is sin, and until the return of Christ, every single one of us is due for redemption – gay or straight.

Such a beautiful morning

I went into Caedmon’s room early this morning to borrow her comb and spray bottle. She was sleeping, and my attempts at being quiet of course made more noise than necessary. She awoke, but the most amazing thing happened. Not only did she wake up, but when I looked at her, she had a giant smile on her beautiful face. It was a smile that lit up her eyes and lifted my spirit. There was no apparent reason for her joyful countenance, but it touched my heart in a way I haven’t felt in a while. Immediately, her pearly white beam said to me, “Another day! How exciting! I can’t wait!”.

I don’t know about you, but I can assume the vast majority of us do not start our days with that kind of enthusiasm! For the past few months, not only have I not looked forward to the start of a new day, but I have dreaded each start, afraid to feel only anxiety and loss and sadness. I have very reluctantly dragged my broken spirit through every roller coaster of a day; either not feeling at all, or feeling so much I can’t concentrate or even breathe; fighting every invasive thought that enters my confused and angry mind.

Many years ago, long before it had a name, I began ‘cutting’ myself. I would carve tiny incisions into my wrist, just to feel something – to let myself know I wasn’t completely dead inside. For a few days this past month, I wanted so badly to cut myself again, this time engraving words of hate and anger and disgust. Loathe. Hate. Sick. Fear. Hell. Gone. Void. Dead. Fall. Fail. I could envision myself doing it. I contemplated how to go about hiding it from my husband. I imagined what a release it would be to experience the knife in my skin again, shredding away the unwelcome thoughts that trespassed.

A friend of mine reminded me that lamentation is one of many parts of worship. Another friend brought me back to Job, showing me where Job’s relationship with God was purely hearsay before God allowed Satan to destroy everything that was his life, less his beating heart. Job did not truly appreciate the awesomeness of God before he suffered through every adversity imaginable. He learned through writhing pain that because it was from God, it was good and flowing with purpose.

I am struggling without Rhonda. I miss her so much, I think I actually feel my heart ache. Jeremy and I felt so abandoned when we couldn’t be a part of her funeral. Now, it seems Papa Boyd is doing all he knows how to include us. Because of this, we are spending quite a bit of time with him. Wonderful? Yes. Without pain and agony? No. But, we are so grateful for the time he is giving us. Life is just different without Rhonda – she was such a moving force in our lives.

This summer, my family and I have undergone some fairly intense crap. My mother-in-law’s husband of 10+ years somehow decided he was going to come to my house to sleep with me. Ewww. We then found out he had actually invited me via note (which I did not read) to come to his house while Barbara was out of town, and had been planning his visit to my house for quite some time. Needless to say, my kids were crushed, as they loved their papa. That has been the most painful part of this entire drama. That he would do something so stupid, only to risk his relationship with his grandkids he adored? My mother-in-law left him, and is now divorcing him. He is no longer part of our lives, as Jeremy put a stop to that as soon as I told him what happened. Unfortunately, just because he’s not a physical presence, he is the elephant in the room. The kids don’t know exactly what happened, only that it was wrong and we are protecting them. I can still feel him kissing me, touching my shoulder, hugging me, stroking my face…yuck, yuck, yuck.

Life is full of pain. Full of heartache. Full of problems. Trouble. Affliction. Irritation. Torture. Agony. Sin. Only through all of this do we see the beauty of what Christ did for us on the cross of Calvary. The magnificence of His sacrifice on behalf of His creation who sinned against Him. The brilliance of God’s plan to save our souls through Love, not law. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians how important suffering is to our relationship with Christ. Because we suffer, we understand Christ’s suffering. Because we fall, we appreciate the blood that flowed from His sinless veins. Because we hurt, we reach out to those who are hurting, expressing Christ’s love for them through His death. And, as I am going to get tattooed on my hand as a constant reminder, it is the ‘but nots’ of life that give us hope in Jesus :

2 Corinthians 4:8-10

We are hard pressed on every side, BUT NOT crushed;

perplexed, BUT NOT in despair; persecuted, BUT NOT abandoned;

struck down, BUT NOT destroyed.

We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus,

so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

rEAD iT, yOU mIGHT bE iN iT!


1. Sometimes, I like to be depressed. I feel most like myself when I am in the depths of those dark places my mind has created and my childhood has survived. I haven’t had a major bout of depression for almost 2 years now, for which I am very thankful…but when I’m far enough in, I don’t want to come out.

2. I am easily hurt by those I love. Not because those I love intend to do harm, but because the way I feel loved is to spend time with those I love. In today’s world, we all have seven places to be at once, and only one of us to do it. So when I don’t hear from someone in a long time, or don’t see them for longer than usual, I quickly build a wall, protecting myself from rejection.

3. Someone told me once that a very dear friend of mine called me her “diamond in the rough”. That is the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me, and even though she has no idea I know she said it, I cherish those words with my very soul, and love her even more.

4. My husband is the epitomy of understanding and compassion. He threatened to take our son and leave, if I didn’t get help for my depression NOW. That was 9 years ago, and I love him so much for loving me enough to want to help me get better – not just for me, but for he and Jonathan. He married into a situation we had no idea was coming, and when I faced some very chilling memories of my childhood, my sanity hit the fan. He stood by me, sometimes pushed me, through it all. We sometimes wonder if anyone is as happy as we are in our marriage…

5. I love to read and write. Once upon a time, it was my life. I even went to college to major in English, so I could teach HS. Since 5th grade, I knew English was my passion. Now, 2 kids and 10 years later, I hardly crack open a book. I have about 7 books I’ve started, but I’ve not finished one in a long time. I recently read “The Golden Compass”, but only because I was asked to write an article on it. I got so sucked into the wonderful fantasy land, and wanted to rush out and check out the sequel. But life continued, and I haven’t gotten to it. Blogging is the closest I come to writing anymore. When did the passion die?

6. One of my greatest fears is losing Jeremy. I often pray that we will die together, so I never have to be without him. Even though we’ve only been married 11 years, it’s so hard to imagine what life was like without him. He cares for me, loves me, protects me, laughs with me, sasses me, and spends time with me. I don’t deserve any of it, yet he constantly gives himself to me. We found out a long time ago that marriage wasn’t 50/50 give and take – it’s 100/100 give give. The more we give of ourselves and give up ourselves for the sake of our relationship and lifelong commitment to each other and God, the more we are given in return.

7. I love my kids with a heart I never knew I had. From the time I was a young girl, I knew I didn’t want children. I think a lot of it had to do with my parent’s divorce, and the butterfly effect it had on the rest of my childhood. I didn’t like kids, felt very uncomfortable around them, and avoided them at all cost. Until I went to college, and met a wonderful woman with a wonderful family. I fell head over heels in love with her children, and I really think my relationship with those kids prepared my heart for my own. I no longer have a relationship with them or their mother, but I firmly believe God placed Tamara, Josh, Madi and Hannah in my life to show me how to love and how to parent.

8. I love myspace. Not for the typical teenage atmosphere, but for the openness of it. I have gotten to know 2 of my cousins, who I had not seen since the youngest was a baby (he’s a freshman at University of Texas at Austin now). I literally got to know Troy and A.J. via myspace, and I have stayed committed to it for that reason. Patty, the young girl I mentioned in the intro? She was Troy’s high school girlfriend, who I met once in real life, and have gotten to know since with myspace. Looooove it!!

9. I miss my best friend Shell. A lot. A lot, a lot. That’s all I’m gonna say about that…

10. My sister is the wisest (is that a word?) person I know. God has blessed (cursed) her with the gift of discernment, and she uses it so well, and so very effectively. I’m sure she gets tired of being the constant “go-to” person, but so many of her friends count her words as truth, as God-given. I am grateful that we have stayed so close, and grown in our friendship over the years. She crashed my new car when she was 14, and I still love her! There’s something special…wow, that was almost 15 years ago…I am getting so old.