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Hannah’s first Ultrasound was at 15W1D. Her size  was 3oz and 8 cm and she measured smaller than her age, so they put her at around 13W6D and changed my due date. At 13 weeks gestation with a heartrate of 138 she was eligible for abortion had we chose it even though she was clearly a live human.

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Hannah’s first picture 13w6D 

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By my calculations and LMP her due date was 10/31 (she came on 11/1), but by measurements she was 13W6D and due 11/9.  Regardless, at 13W6D she had a heartbeat of 138, and was 3 oz and 8 cm.

According to medical testing we declined, that could have told us if she had any likelihood of birth defects due to my age (which would not have been %100), and according to pro-abortion people, we were totally within our rights to kill Hannah. She was unplanned, because our BC did not work (a reversed Vasectomy that was confirmed to not have worked, meaning he had a 0 sperm count), and because we were totally unprepared to have a baby at 37 with 3 almost grown kids. Even with a visible and detected heartrate, with complete legs, arms, hands, feet, spine, head, belly and face…we were totally within our “rights” to choose to kill her at 13 weeks most likely by ripping her apart and out of my body – according to the pro-abortion community. That is not a choice, that is a decision, against all logic.

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Hannah was blessed to be given to a mother that protected her precious body, spine and heart.  Not all babies are that lucky.

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Doesn’t look like a clump of cells to me.  Those adorable toes are some of my favorite things about her!

I am thankful that my mother chose life for me and my sister. I am thankful that she taught us that life is sacred, and that we were brought up to understand that a fetus is a baby. I am thankful that when I got pregnant at 17, I had been taught that my baby was not a “clump of cells” and that I had many options available to me. Not one of those options was abortion, because even at 17, I knew that mothers aren’t blessed with babies so they can kill them. Cody is here because I was taught, and blessed to have support from a my mom. I am thankful for a church (that even though the members shunned me) taught me that his life was important. I’m sure Cody Rivera is thankful that I didn’t choose to kill him because he was not planned and I wasn’t ready. He’s 24 this year, you can ask him what he thinks of abortion. Perhaps you can ask him about his 3 kids and one day they’ll tell you what they think of it too. I wouldn’t be blessed with him, or my 3 grandkids had I listened to the message of the world, that my baby was “my body, my choice” to kill. I’m so glad I didn’t.

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All because I chose life!  L to R: Cody, Jasmine, Hannah and Me then L to R front Emma (my granddaughter), Jaydan (grandson 1) and on my lap is Landon (grandson 2).

I’m thankful for my ONE planned pregnancy Jasmine Tiana Windham! Thankful she is smart, and knows that she has options, and support should she ever need it. Thankful that she is an adult that is learning, but can make adult decisions and doesn’t think that it’s ok to kill a baby.

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I’m thankful for Hannah. Unplanned, total surprise, and wanted and needed more than we ever knew.

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Hannah at 3 aka “super Hanni”

We didn’t march today, but we are thankful, blessed, proud and stand for the rememberance of the millions of babies that had no one to stand up for them, and the millions that still have a chance!

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Wiggly and loved

#marchforlife

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This week our Marriage Works (click for all couples) couple is my husband and I!  I LOVE reading other blogs, for fun, information, relationship stuff, mom stuff, kid stuff, and all kinds of other things.  We were lucky enough to be chosen by Dr. Psyche Mom for a fun post about our marriage!  So as the title says…here’s a look into how our marriage works.

I’ve included the post here just as she wrote it because there have been some comments that her link up wasn’t working!  You can read the full text below, or visit her page at http://www.drpsychmom.com/2014/10/31/functional-couple-friday/

Windham (42)

Just us

Here we are! (Her comments are in red AFTER our answers)

Today we have Melissa and David, both 38.  They are Christian and believe in a model of marriage where the husband is the head of the household and the wife supports his decisions, although she does seem to get her say, privately, which influences him.  They also have a blended family, and are co-sleeping with a new baby.  And they met in junior high!  Lots of interesting stuff here, dear readers.  So, let’s meet them now!

1.   How, when, and where did you meet and what is the first thing you thought about your partner when you met?
Melissa:  We met in 6th grade when we attended the same Christian private school, he left in 8th grade and we didn’t talk again for 20 years.  We were in the same grade, so it was the same class of about 24 kids.  I was absolutely oblivious to boys at that age but we all knew each other pretty well and I remember him being tall, much taller than me (he still is), and I remember his gorgeous eyes and blonde “flippy” hair.  The kind you keep leaning your head to the side and getting out of your eye.  I also remember him being told it was too long since it was over his eyebrows, and him being like “whatever.”  He thinks I don’t remember that much about him, because I wasn’t interested, but I remember lots:)
David: We went to school with one another for three years (middle school) then reconnected via FB/text/phone calls. I thought she was out of my league back in 6th grade! Cheerleader in a private school, and hanging with the “IN” crowd. The second time when we actually met as adults isn’t fit to be published! I will tone it down and say I was stuck with her beauty, absolutely amazed that she wanted me! Those 6th grade feelings were still there I guess. Then the lustful wanting to tear her clothes off and defile her thoughts came into the picture…they’re still there.
Again, guys who think they landed a girl out of their league are usually more happily married.  Very cute meeting story!
2.  What is your favorite physical feature of your partner?

Melissa:  Hey! No, um…seriously.  He’s tall, and hot, and he’s got great eyes, and his beard…oh, the beard.  He’s got meat on him, which is really great, because he’s not breakable.  Oh, and his hands, yes, please.  You said one.  My favorite feature is him?

David: Sexually, her butt without doubt, however I get lost in her eyes. It’s a bit of a draw!
Love couples who can’t keep their hands off each other and know how to express that to each other.
3.  What is your favorite personality trait of your partner?
Melissa: He’s got amazing self control (which he often uses with me).
David: She is extremely loving and a caretaker. It doesn’t matter if it is me, one of the kids or my parents.
Women do like men who have self-control, because they are stable and safe.  And everyone likes loving and nurturing partners!
4. What is something your partner does nearly every day that makes you happy?
Melissa: She shows respect for me as her husband and the head of the household. She backs my play in public even if I’m wrong. Then we discuss in private, not arguing for the world to see.
David: He takes care of, loves and pays attention to our girls (16.5 and 1 year next weekend).
Even though they have this head of household thing going that doesn’t apply to everyone, I do think they are right that both partners should back the other in public, and then discuss in private, if possible.  And women love men who love their kids!
5.  What is the nicest thing your partner ever did for you, in your whole relationship?  Describe in 2-3 sentences.

Melissa: There are too many to list.  Two stand out.  First, we are a blended family.  He has raised my children as his own and jumped in with both feet with teenagers, which was NOT easy.  Second, We had a very surprise pregnancy and I was not a happy pregnant woman.  I was miserable, tired, not fun to be around, and overall just blah.  He was a saint.  Waited on me when I was in pain, loved me even though I was mean or whiny, and did everything possible to keep me healthy and happy. Aww very nice.

David: She carried and gave birth to my baby girl! Neither of us wanted more kids but God had other plans.
Well she didn’t have much of a choice but it’s still nice that he considers it the nicest thing!
9. List the top five best qualities of your spouse: physical, emotional, mental, anything.

Melissa: He’s a Christian. He can stay calm when the crap hits the fan and when I’m losing my mind.  He’s awesome at rubdowns.  He’s a caring and loving leader/husband.  He’s an amazing kisser:)

David: She’s emotionally strong (more so than myself actually), She’s smart, strong willed, confident in who she is as a person, and a great mother.
Very nice.  It seems that even if David is the “leader,” he still wants a confident and strong willed wife.  I love couples who bring new dynamics to the table so we can learn about them and not see them as two dimensional; e.g., assume that a Christian “head of household” would prefer a passive woman.
10. What are the top five things you and your partner have in common?  Values, interests, goals, etc.

Melissa: We both agree on our beliefs – to a “T”. We both value health (mental and physical) over material things.  We’re like minded with work. We love our kids.  We have the same sense of humor – aside from the stupid movies I like.

David: We share religious beliefs, core values, political views, opinions on finances, and parenting.
They truly seem on the same page.
11.  Have you ever been in couples counseling.  Why?  Did it help?

Melissa: We have been to counseling separately, but attended together.  As in, he went to help with issues with his daughter, and I went for support to him.  I went for help with anxiety during a custody hearing, and he was there to support me.  It wasn’t couples counseling, but we found ways to help each other or get things out that weren’t being said. I think so for the issues at hand.

David: Yes, about her anxiety and the issues it caused in the relationship. No it didn’t help, but our communication got better after talking about how useless the counseling was! So I guess it did help actually…
I have a suspicion that one partner usually gets more out of counseling than the other, so this is probably normal.
12. How often do you hug?  Kiss?  Have sex?

Melissa: I was going to say “oh, at least a few times a day,” but thinking about it, we don’t.  We need to (hint, hint – I’m sure you won’t mind).  We kiss before bed (at least a peck) and usually if one of us leaves the room for a while (like to take a nap), or if leaving the house.  Totally not enough sex.  With a baby under 1, IN OUR BED (we’re about to move), and life, and every other excuse in the book…I’m embarrassed to even guess.  I’m sure he’s got a count going.

David: Hugs- Daily    Kiss- almost always on a daily basis but the baby, health and sleep schedules have gotten in the way a bit.     Sex- anywhere from weeks to months for the last couple of years. It’s an issue, but again health issues and baby are to blame not lack of passion.
13.  Which of you has a higher sex drive and how do you deal with any differences in sex drive between the two of you?

Melissa: We were well matched at first, for a good year and a half I don’t think we slept or ate.  After 4.5 years of marriage, he’s definitely got the higher drive now, I have the drive, but I have the tired too.  Not that he’s not tired, but we joke that he’d be down even if he lost an arm and a leg. We’re trying, I’m happy that our marriage is strong enough to withstand a rough patch, whether that’s health, or money, or sex.

David: My sex drive is MUCH higher! I could and would have sex with broken limbs (and actually have). We don’t deal with it. My health is better, but we co sleep with the baby, so we’re at a dead end for now.
I would have sex with broken limbs over sex when you haven’t been sleeping because you have a nursing newborn.  Kids, they really change your priorities.
14. How long did you wait to have sex?  Are you glad you had sex for the first time when you did?

Melissa: We got engaged after 3 months of dating long distance, and married 2 days after we got engaged.  We waited long enough to have sex.  Yes!

David: We got married within a month and a half of my first visit with her, you do the math! Yes I’m glad! It solidified our feelings and showed how compatible we were.
Wow, a two day engagement!  Guess you saved on a wedding planner.
15.  What is the number one issue you fight about, and are you working on resolving it?  How?

Melissa: There is not one issue, we don’t fight that often.  I wouldn’t even call it a fight, it’s more like a deep discussion, but each time the discussion turns to my responses to him.  It’s the typical Love and Respect cycle.  I am not good with the “I’m wrong” “I’m sorry” deal and that doesn’t go over well with him.  He’s working on me lol.

David: We don’t fight usually but when we do it’s because she REFUSES to apologize or admit when she is wrong. I’m working on her, but it’ll take time. It’s only been a few years. You can’t change someone overnight.
 
Really on the same page here as well.  I like how she calls the fights “deep discussions.”  There is usually one partner who calls fights “deep discussions” and one who calls them fights. :)
16. What are the top three stressors in your lives?

Melissa: 

Me – His health, work, need good sleep
Him – Health, money/work, life (ex’s/custody drama)
David: My health, the Ex situation (mine and hers are both insane, suck as parents, and are horrible human beings), and finances.
Same page.
17.  What is one thing that you’re looking forward to as a couple?

Melissa: We’re moving into a bigger place.  We both think that’s going to help tremendously with not being on top of each other at home.

David: Growing old together and looking back at a wonderful committed faithful marriage!
Very nice.  Congrats on the new place.
18.  Fill this in:  I am glad I married my partner because:

Melissa: If I hadn’t we would not have our child together and my life (and that of my older kids) has vastly improved, we needed him.   (one sentence) A long, run-on sentence?

David: She believes in me.
Men love to have a partner believe in them. And it is good for a man to also feel appreciated and valued, which she does in her sentence about him.
19. Give me one secret thought that you’ve never told your partner. Something you think about them, about the relationship, about yourself, anything.
Melissa: I pray a lot, and he knows that.  When I’m trying to or can’t fall asleep (which is usually every night, or in the middle of the night) I pray specifically for him and it calms me.
David: I don’t deserve her and I know it. I’m reminded of it when she takes care of me, handles responsibilities that I can’t handle, and when I think about my past.  She never signed on for everything we have had to deal with.
 
Thanks for playing, guys. My first one in a while where both gave me an answer for this question!  And the answers are very sweet too.
 
Well, this was fun, and I feel like I know the inner workings of a Christian [insert name for their specific type of dynamic here… traditional?] marriage.  Thanks for writing in and being so open and candid!  You sound like you have a long and happy marriage ahead of you here.
 
If you have a burning desire to be profiled in this column, write in here.  And until we meet again, I remain, the Blogapist Who Thinks I Will Start Calling My Husband The “Leader” And See If He Drops Dead of Shock.

We really enjoyed doing this and it was so cool to get to read each other’s answers for the first time when it was published.  We answered separately and didn’t discuss until the post came out.  Judging by the answers, we are totally on the same page and meant for each other!

~ Mel

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There’s a special occasion today, and for one day, I’m going to open up a bit about what it is I/we do…read on.

I have known, for years now, that my husband is amazing.   I have even blogged about it on a few occasions.  The times that I find myself thinking what a great husband and man he is are far more than the times I question his actions or intentions.  I’m not trying to imply that he’s perfect, as we all have our moments, but more often than not, to me, he is.

I don’t discuss business on here, but for those that don’t know, we work together from home.  It’s been a lifesaver when children are sick, or there are school functions, or when you just don’t feel like going to “work.”  For us it has blessed our marriage by allowing us to truly get to know each other and bond.  That bond translates to better parenting, better family ties, us being happier, and has allowed us to make a stronger team against outside forces.  We all face stress, trials, and attacks from the outside world and un-Godly forces, and the ability to be confident in your partner and know you have someone that has your back is the best gift you can give yourself and your spouse.  We often get questions ranging from “how do you spend ALL DAY together” to “do you really enjoy being around each other that much?”  The answer is the same from either of us…yes, most certainly.   My business partner respects me, backs me up with tough clients, steps in when I’ve had enough of someone, and is amazing in his work ethic and ability to land clients.   There is no one I’d rather spend all day with.

So, with that preface, I’m proud to announce that D has become a weekly blogger on a Christian website!  I am proud of him for being a provider and I’m proud that others view him as the strong business man, and man of God he is.  You will quickly see, in his writing, that he has a gift for words and conveying a message that hits home.  Please share it as we want him to have the opportunity to be a blessing to as many people as we can reach.  There is always the possibility that there are business minded people that want information, and if it’s presented in a Christlike manner two efforts can be accomplished in one manner.  The Christian Work At Home Ministries site is a great tool for learning about building business, working from home, and glorifying God in our lives.

So, with that introduction, please check him out at the link below, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and check back weekly at either link for his business blog entries!

Love those eyes…Oh, sorry. Serious marketing pic here.

Click here for his first post – What brought me home!

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So guess what, I’m tired of it too, and this guy disagrees with me…but he’s right, and you should read it. All of it, even if you cringe at first.

http://www.owldolatrous.com/?p=288

Over the past week, I have eaten at CFA (and before), it’s not because I hate gay people, or because I want to “win” and prove that Christians have rights too, and it’s certainly not because they are healthy.  No one is winning here, and since I don’t personally have a dog in the fight, and would only be eating at CFA because they are “Christian” from now on, I see (from his words) that it’s not ok.

Whether it’s CFA’s doing, or the “Christian public” – this whole thing has been handled horribly by anyone wanting to stand up and show the world what Christians believe in and what we will rally for.  We rally for chicken?  We rally to show those gays that they are WRONG and we will put all our money into heart clogging food to prove that point?  We encourage a company that twice removes itself (from direct donation) so they can continue to say they aren’t discriminatory and homophobic?  I am not homophobic, I am also not discriminatory. CFA in it’s stores is also not discriminatory, however, as I’ve been told (that is the main argument from the “other side”) – they spend their well earned sandwich money on other organizations that clearly and proudly discriminate and even go further than that.

Is this you this week?

As a Christian, no, I don’t believe that marriage is defined by opposite sex partners, but I have that right.  That will not change, it’s my belief based on my own research and my own upbringing.  I also know for a fact that many of the “Christians” in major support of CFA would not be loving or nurturing or open to an openly gay couple that walked into their church.  I know first hand how judgemental Christians are.  Try being 16 and pregnant in a private school.  However, my beliefs are not what’s up for debate here and I really don’t care if you like my view or not.  However, I can change the way that those I do not agree with view my beliefs and my way of upholding them.

I said yesterday, that I can completely see the “other view” – there are lines around the building in every city, for chicken…where are the lines for the homeless shelters?  Where are the lines for the hospitals to hold babies addicted to drugs, or hold the hand of a person going through chemo?  Where are the Christians who want to make a real difference?  They’re in line for a sandwich.

Through none of this, would I, if I were gay or a non-Christian, feel loved, and ministered to.  I would not feel like going to church, or reaching out to anyone that is supporting CFA  or spouting “we’re winning” or that CFA is tops.   Ask yourself this, my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ…at what point, if you were not a Christian, would you stop one of these Christians standing in line, posting pictures or shaking their fists up in victory to ask “why is it you are so happy and your life is wonderful and you have this spark?” I have not seen any Christian spark, not in myself and not in others that are so adamant about supporting CFA.  I have not seen the “light” that we are to shine among men.   I would do exactly as they have done, and fight back because they feel attacked.  Christians were not attacked, at any point in this, until we stood up to support CFA. Dan Cathy didn’t even attack, he stated what most of us Christians agree with and also believe, however he swept under the rug the part that is really making the “other side” upset.  The donations.  I’ve researched, the claims are correct, the organizations that CFA supports (indirectly down the line) are very discriminatory and even predatory on the gay community, and others that don’t agree with them.

It’s being touted that CFA stands up for “family values” – so does that mean your Christian family wants to eat unhealthy, and fall in with the crowd (as Christians we are called to be different and stand for what is right in the face of wrong). To me, wrong is pushing anyone further away from God. Does your family value pictures stating “we won” (over chicken) or do you want the non-Christian public to view you exactly like they view Westboro?  That is not what I want to support, nor how I want to bring others to Christ.

What I also will not be supporting is openly pro-gay companies that I disagree with.  Again, that is my choice, where I put my money.  There are tons of companies that I’m sure support things I do not agree with, as long as they aren’t singing it from the rooftops and I need their products, then not just me, but all of us are going to have to use them.  However, we should be aware that at any time, we may have to stop supporting them if they stand up and we disagree.

It is OUR duty as Christians to be a good example and love those that are not like us, and that aren’t our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Does it say we are to love only those that are receptive and take on our views?  NO.  As I’ve heard and seen on facebook, don’t judge others because they sin differently than you do.

Matthew 5:16 ESV

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

1 Peter 3:15 ESV

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

Philippians 2:1-4 ESV

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, ...

Did you read that last verse?  Read it again…and tell me…as a Christian, this past week, have you looked to the interest of others or your own?  As a Christian, I do not support gay marriage.  I support gay unions, and gay people, and I have no issues with them, they are part of my family, and I have been close friends for years with some very openly gay couples.  My beliefs have not changed, however my willingness to support the discrimination and vilifying of my friends and family has.

~ Mel

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It’s late, and quiet.  D is sleeping, YAY!  He’s been dealing with insomnia, so we are thankful when he sleeps at night.  Yeah, I know you don’t care…let’s move along.

I started 2 other posts tonight, one on Entitlement and one on Change.  Neither of them flowed out, and from experience that means I have tons to say…it’ll come when it’s ready.   I also wanted to start writing more about gratitude and being thankful for things in my life.  This blog will never be updated daily, I think that’s boring, I don’t even want to know what happens with me every day, so I’m sure you have better things to do.  I can feel that I have lots going through my head and need to get some of it out, let’s see where this goes.

Seems lately that I’ve been involved in more than one “heated” debate about a few things.  Girl Scouts, fathers shooting up laptops, Planned Parenthood, Susan G Komen, breastfeeding, Whitney Houston and the flag, Obama,  and gay rights to name a few.  I’m NOT getting into that here, and if you try to hijack my post I’ll delete your comment…I don’t really care what your thoughts are about any of that, so there.  I’ve realized through those conversations, mainly on FB, that people often forget their manners and basic home training when they realize someone doesn’t agree with them, and *GASP* they aren’t listening to their side or better, changing their minds.  It amazes me how full of themselves people are, there is a difference in standing up for your beliefs or a cause and being a pushy, childish idiot.  I actually unfriended 2 people, and was unfriended by 3 people over more than one conversation in the last few months…actual friends, not FB friends.

I find nothing wrong with stating your side, arguing your side, believing in whatever you believe in.  In fact, if you don’t stand up for what you think is right, then what’s the point?  I don’t want to be your friend if you have no opinion on anything.  For real.  I enjoy a good debate/talk/discussion about anything.  What I don’t enjoy is people attacking others for a random statement, or when you’ve stated your side and I’ve stated mine and I don’t succumb to your views.   What kind of world would this be if we all agreed on everything?  Boring.  Even in the home D and I don’t agree on stuff, hell we don’t agree on how to load the dishwasher, or what temperature to keep the thermostat at.  You can ask him…I love to discuss how wrong his way is, and I know full and well I’m not changing his mind on it, but I have to state my case.  I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind…but once you are informed of both sides, yours and the opposing one, and I have given reasons, and support for my views, the ball is in your court on what to do with the information.  Does it not occur to people that if you wouldn’t change your mind to agree with me, then no amount of your disagreeing with me is going to change mine?

Judge not, lest ye do it correctly.

That goes twice for my religious beliefs.  The morals/beliefs/Biblical principles I was raised to believe and choose to believe as an adult trump your argument that you are a good person.  Being a good person is not a principle, it’s a characteristic we should all possess, and as harsh as it sounds, no, that alone won’t get you into heaven.  Not my rules…don’t whine to me.   I’m tired of people using the counter that religious beliefs are unfair, or against our commandment to love one another and judge not.  We are to love the person, not the offense, and there are times when you are allowed to judge – study your Bible.  Why is it that non-Christians can’t just present the information needed and then hush?  I wonder why you so vehemently have to defend your views if you feel they are right, can’t you just sit back and know you are right?  I make it a point to not argue, but to find backup for whatever I’m stating.  If that means you keep disagreeing with what is said, then have fun with that, I’m not God…I don’t have to deal with you after I’ve done my part.   To inform someone on a topic where there is a Biblical disagreement (or someone that doesn’t acknowledge the Bible) is different than presenting information on something you are passionate about.  Passion is not commanded in the Bible, a non-Christian can just sit back and think they are right all day long and you won’t go to hell any faster than if you argued about your side all day long.  However, for someone that is religious/following God’s commandments, we are to spread the word and share it with those that are lost.  One problem is that in our society too many people think that doing good is enough, they don’t feel lost.  My view is that if you are supporting things that are against God, then you aren’t informed of what He said.  If you are informed and not following what He said, then I have even MORE of a duty to help you see the light since you have chosen to ignore it.  I can’t sit back and go “eh, let him be wrong…no biggie.”  You may not understand the difference, but when you are a Christian there is a huge difference in what you can and cannot ignore.  Being a Christian does not afford me the luxury of being silent while others sail along their own river of demise.

My goals for getting involved in the topics on FB were to be informative, have conversation and because I like to be heard (shocker).   I TRY to use articles, proof, facts or anything that backs up my view when involved in a heated discussion.  It seems though, that others like to just get involved to disagree, and try to strong arm others, or belittle them when there is a minority present and they have backup.  I’m always amazed at the things people throw out there with no proof or backup and then further stunned when they act offended when you ask for the basis of their statement.   Does no one know that we aren’t all idiots and don’t just accept what we are told?   When did it become ok to just take things as truth?

I’m really not surprised by much anymore on FB (or in life), it’s almost daily that someone posts some annoying picture on FB or via email about a warning or “support” whatever by reposting this hurt child/dog/military/medical/gang initiation picture.  Can you tell how much that stuff bothers me?  Why is it that people that know they are sending information out just hit “share” without checking the validity or using common sense before further spreading things that are old, false, or just plain do NOTHING to show your support for XYZ cause?  Want to show support for battered women?  Go volunteer at a shelter.  Want to support the troops?  Write letters, send care packages, say thank you.  Want to support equal rights?  Vote, go volunteer at the organization of your choice.  STOP re-posting pictures and thinking you’re actually doing something good.  The problem with FB and email forwards is that it gives people a false sense of doing something…and then no one is doing anything.  Oh, I posted this picture of a flight attendant with a feel good story about some old mean white lady complaining about an Indian man on her flight…so I’m not a racist and I’m a good person.  No you aren’t, you didn’t check to see that that story was FAKE, has been circulating for years, and just gets changed depending on what flavor of the year is on our radar as the “unwanted” race.  Don’t give me that crap about how “it’s a good moral, who cares if it’s real or not?”  I DO, and so do most people.  What about the moral of getting off your butt and actually supporting something?

I’ll hush on that front, I think you get the point.  Don’t share stuff if you didn’t see it, and you didn’t research it to find out if it’s real.  We aren’t going to stop for a baby seat on the side of the road, we were warned of that via email 8 years ago.  I promise not to go around licking the tops of cans because someone may have laced them with cocaine…I learned my lesson the summer of ’02.  If Apple/Coke/Microsoft/FB is going to start charging, or will give me a free anything for sharing or clicking, they need a better AP/AR department, because they’ve been saying they were going to do that for years now.  Hang on, I have to give this Nigerian man my routing number…Blessings to you too.

Oh, I got off topic.  Not sorry.  It just seems that we have lost common sense.  We have forgotten that social media is just that, social.

so·cial [soh-shuhl]

adjective

1.pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations: a social club.
2.seeking or enjoying the companionship of others; friendly; sociable; gregarious.
3.of, pertaining to, connected with, or suited to polite or fashionable society: a social event.

4. living or disposed to live in companionship with others or in a community, rather than in isolation:

Yes, you can stand up for what you believe in, you can support a cause, you can share your likes and dislikes, and you can be whatever religion you want to be.  You should refrain from pissing people off, ruining your friendships, or being overall douchy when someone doesn’t believe what you do.  If you’re going to do those things, then you’ll quickly find yourself in need of more friends and no one to be social with.

I blog better with tunes…tonight’s awesome playlist courtesy of SiruisXM 90’s on 9 and The Pulse:
Des’ree – You Gotta Be
Poison – Something to Believe In
Tupac – California Love
The Offspring – Pretty Fly (for a white guy) – why does he say 5 two times?
Train – Hey Soul Sister
Greenday – Basket Case
Len – Steal my Sunshine
Billy Idol – Cradle of Love
The Fugees – Killing me Softly (with his song) – 2 times
En Vogue – Free Your Mind
Matchbox 20 –  3 am

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Because I want to write more…my “draft” section holds nine, half written, barely started posts.  So I’ve decided to blog about things I like to talk about, my marriage to D and something new I have wanted to try, a gratitude journal.

Whether you are married already or researching vows to use in your wedding, you’ve heard the old standby lines:

I, ______ , take you, ______, to be my husband/wife, to have and to hold from this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, (and obey,) till death us do part, according to God’s holy law.

Short of a few more personal “how I love thee” type statements and the ring exchange, that’s the gist of most vows.  Like most people, I don’t really ponder those vows on a daily basis, or even a weekly one.  Most of us think about what vows we want when planning a wedding, but once they are said, not much thought is given to them until you experience or are forced to live up to them.  Even then, many people fail to understand and even have the desire to stand by the words that are what binds us to each other as spouses.  These are the same words you longed to say to the person you chose to be with, the words that probably choked you up, brought a tear to your eyes, and the words that make your marriage your best bet to survive the good and bad of life.

I’m no saint here, I’ve said these vows more than once, the relevance and meaning at the time, for me, was no different.  I meant them, no matter who was standing next to me, when I said them.  Life, feelings, circumstances, and selfishness (you and your spouse) changes you, and lots of us don’t make it through that as graciously as we’d like to think we had.  The difference is what you learn and how you grow through those things.

Casting stones…

Big Daddy and I have almost been married for 2 years now (it has flown by, I can’t believe it), and through those 2 years we have experienced so many things that most people don’t ever have to deal with in a marriage.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all hardship, but the good times and loving family come at a price, and that price is  job changes, anxiety, insomnia, health problems, ex’s, teenagers, grandkids, in laws, children with absent parents, being forced to be an absent parent, depression, normal growing pains of a new marriage, hurt feelings and overall tough times.

For us, it’s the harder parts of the vows have shaped our marriage into what it is, and what we wanted it to be.   We are by no means rich, yet we have all we need.  Shelter, food, medicines, entertainment, animals that we love (and love us), family, friends and a home.  I wouldn’t say we are living the poorer – we are in the middle, but if you ask D we have been close a few times.  He can’t stand to have a hard day/week with the bank account, and I have to remind him that “it’s been one day that we have a small balance…we get paid Friday.”  He’s pretty funny sometimes about it, yet I am totally comfortable and happy knowing that just because we may not have money one week, we’ll be back on track next week.  It’s also amazing to not feel the strain of fighting over money.  Whether we have it or not, doesn’t change how we treat each other, it’s never been an issue.

D’s health led us to him working from home with me, not a bad trade in my book.  We have been together 24/7 for almost 1.5 years now.  Yes 24/7.  Both of us have been told and heard “I couldn’t do that, how do you do that?” (I’m on FB chatting with a friend who just said “So you’re both home together all the time. Sounds terrifying to me”) We do it because it works, because it’s comfortable, and because why would you marry someone you didn’t want to be with all the time?  When the kids are gone, when the power is out, when you’re sick, when you’re bitchy, when you’re lonely, mad, upset, when you’ve been anything other than “OK” who else do you want to be there with you?  I want him.

It’s not just D’s health that troubles us at times.  We both have our share of insomnia, anxious moments, migraines, moods, and life in general.  Through all of these things we have learned more about how to lean on one another, care for one another, love one another, trust one another, and it has only served to strengthen our bond, which carries throughout every aspect of problem solving for us.

Coming to this marriage both divorced and both with children from previous marriages was something we both signed up for, but really, you can’t prepare for something like that.  While dating we talked it out, we tried to prepare each other, and yet, the real thing is more annoying, trying, and hard to gracefully saunter through than one would hope.  Yet through it all, neither of us has turned on the other because of a situation with an ex or the parent of one of our children.  We are now and eternally, on each others side.  If that were not the case, the court, jealous ex’s, custody, lies, “secrets,” ex’s that feel they know things your spouse doesn’t, and games in general would easily shoot down any shaky relationship or one that didn’t mean those vows.

Neither of us has experienced the level of love and security we have now.  With us both being mid 30’s and having multiple marriages, that is a sad, yet accurate picture of many marriages and relationships out there.   Not only should you mean what you say, but you should be sure that the person you are choosing to say it to means it also.  There is no reason to enter into something as serious as marriage knowing that the feelings and promises do not hold as much truth to your other half as they do you.

We have made a choice not to make our marriage harder than it has to be.  With so many outside influences and “drama” already being thrown at us, we had a choice to make.  I am proud and thankful that we have chosen to enjoy each other and to have the marriage we’ve always wanted regardless of what comes our way.

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Well, we all know I love talking about marriage, and submission/love.  It’s not that I dwell on it, but it always interests me to hear how other women view it.  There are so many women out there, married, single, Christian, non-Christian, happy, sad, all kinds that all have questions or have different variations on what they believe and practice when it comes to marriage vows/commandments in the Bible.

I’ve posted many blogs on it, if you haven’t read them here’s the links:
Husbands love your wives (more than just a little)
Submission…when he’s lovin’ you better be submittin’

This is what I think most women that don’t agree with submission view it as. Truth is, it’s much more than that.

Last time I posted a blog about it this conversation ensued on my FB page.  I’ve changed our real names, but it was with a friend who decidedly disagrees with me, at least that’s what I thought at first.  In the end, I realized that she’s been hurt before, and like most women, has changed her mind about how a marriage should work.  I am ever grateful that she opened up and allowed me to ask her some questions to further understand her.

  • HERE WE GO! (It is edited for names, irrelevant content and length – yes, it was longer)
    • MM I read your blog. I don’t disagree with what you are saying… but I don’t agree either. It could be that I was raised by hippies…. it could be that I have HUGE feminist viewpoints, or it could be that I’m just one big ol’ control freak. I’ve always felt that any partnership is equal.. with both parties pitching in, in all areas of the relationship. I truly don’t think I would ever be able to let go and just let someone lead me.
    • Mel Our marriage is very equal – ask Big Daddy. I think most non-Christians feel like you do. I don’t even know if you are a Christian…I’m just going with what I hear(in your words)! As always, everything doesn’t work for everyone!
    • J What does Christian versus non-Christian have to do with it…did I miss something? And the term “Christian” is veryyyy subject to interpretation and some interpretations are quite interesting. I’m not arguing…I’m asking because I’m curious.
    • MM you make a good point J. I’m not trying to argue either… just found it very interesting. oh, and I’m a christian. 😉
    • J I’m not…but I promise I’m a long way from a heathen devil worshiper, too.
    • Big Daddy Equality and submission are more closely linked than most would think. The christian vs non-christian is more of a point of view of the situation in general. Following biblical doctrine is why Mel is submissive. So if you don’t follow the teachings of the bible, your view point is completely different than her’s.  I actually seek her council on most everything, so it isn’t like I am “Lord of My Domain.” When she is submissive to me and I am submissive to God, then she is submissive to God through me. Believe me I always have her best interest in mind. Part of being submissive to God is having the best interest of her and the kids before any of my wants or desires.
    • Mel Sorry, I’m not answering, I’m over here doing family tree! D can answer for me…not because he rules but because I’m busy:)  Or they could read the other post about your duty to God and me! https://justalittlemel.wordpress.com/2010/10/08/husbands-mine-especially-love-your-wives-not-just-a-little/Check that, his commandment is much harder in my view!
    • Mel J, I say Christian/non-Christian, because it’s normally a huge difference if you don’t believe as a Christian does. It’s not any reference to who is better, simply the belief system/chain of command of a marriage is different between the two.
    • MM Very interesting. I thank your husband for his input. 🙂
    • Big Daddy If you really look at it, I am submissive to my family and especially my wife. The word seems to have a bad connotation, but anytime you put someone before yourself you are being submissive to their wants, needs and desires. It’s what we do every day for the ones we love. It’s an exchange of respect.
    • Mel Not to mention, if you don’t want to read that other post…he has to love me…he’s commanded to. All the time, no matter what, even to the extent of making me happy and taken care of BEFORE himself. What’s not to like there? MM – I would love to ask you some things without offending you…just to hear your take – is that ok?
    • MM Absolutely! go for it, and… for the record… my responses are not to offend anyone. Just my opinions. 🙂
    • Mel YAY! OK. So most people I hear from on this topic are either:a) not Christian, which I think makes a huge difference on how you view the household chain of command (God, husband, wife, kids)
      b) men who just want their wives to shut up and listen
      or
      c) Christian and agree with me.You stated you are a Christian and don’t see how you could let go and let someone lead you. I’d like to know what vows you used, and without sounding mean, did those include “love, honor, obey” or anything with biblical reference in your vows or how did you come to agree to vows to use in your ceremony? I guess what I’m asking is, being Christian, do you choose not to believe those verses (mentioned in the blog) or what’s your take on that part of the Bible? What do YOU view submission as, and how do you view the alternate command that your husband “love your wives as Christ did the church.” Do you feel your husband should love you that much, in the way that Christ did – dying for our sins?That’s pretty much it, I would also like to add, that when I was single and a mom, working full time, and doing everything…I felt VERY much like you. I couldn’t imagine letting go of the reins – nothing would have gotten done. I can make decisions, I can call all the shots, I can multitask, and I always think my way is the best way, we are women…it’s just how we are. That has not faded a bit! Someone said that women shouldn’t be submissive because when and if the husband ever leaves or dies she will have no clue how to handle life. I’ve been divorced and had a husband die…both not fun, but unless you are remedial, you can handle life. I have willingly given things to D that I used to stress over, or hate doing, or not want to do that I had to do…and now, I get to relax and enjoy life and things that I couldn’t before because I have a partner and husband that handles things for me. It’s quite freeing to not HAVE to handle everything!
    • Mel Oooh girl…. I’m going to have to smoke first. 😉 give me a few minutes.
    • Mel LOL, I hope that didn’t come across bad, I am truly asking. Just as many people don’t see how I or anyone could “agree” to submit, I want to know different views.
    • MM Ok…. here we go!! 🙂 Well… when I was married (getting a divorce I asked for) our vows said “to love and honor.”  I specifically omitted “obey” for a reason. See… we were originally going to get married in a catholic church. However, we had to do this like 500 question test thingy. In this test, it had as one of the questions “the MAN will be the head of the household…. agree or disagree” I not only circled disagree a 1000 times, I put “not a chance in hell.”  Of course, that got flagged by the priest. He asked me why. I told him what I told you earlier. He said what you said earlier. I said that I feel it should be 2 people working together to accomplish one goal. He said you can’t do that without leadership… I agreed and said God will lead us and together we battle the decisions. We got a letter later that week telling us the priest refused to marry us b/c I needed to prove to him “on a constant and continuing basis” that I was a good catholic. Yeah… that didn’t go so well for me. I have a sailor’s mouth… but I digress.  In my opinion, the Bible is viewed differently by each person who reads it. Take for instance some of the Morman’s believe that polygamy is not only the right thing to do…but the ONLY way… and God’s way. While having another gal around the house to do the cleaning and laundry would rock… I couldn’t see my husband sleeping with another woman. EVER. I’m too jealous for that. So, to them, I’m not living the way of God.
    • Mel Again, just asking questions here, and if it’s not something you wanna answer say so, and D said to make sure you know I’m not questioning your “Christian-ness” at all. I’m asking what you believe. Also, if you’d rather answer NOT on here, I’d be fine talking in PM. Got it, was it THAT guy or just anyone in general you don’t feel is “qualified” to be the head besides you? Where does your belief that it’s ok NOT to agree with the man as the head come from? Meaning do you feel there is some biblical backup for what you believe?I agree with what you said, 2 people under God’s leadership – hence what I said about if I didn’t like how D handled something I have backup…he has to be in line with God, and if he’s not, I go to God, I can go OVER D’s head. I guess it comes down to what you feel you can handle as a couple, and what you are ok with, I’ve just never known a Christian woman that openly said she didn’t agree with the verses, so thank you for letting me ask:)  I totally love Sister Wives…we watch it every week and on Netflix. I see an issue with that though, where Kody has said that he thinks it’s sickening and vile to imagine one of his wives with multiple husbands…really? However, that is their belief system, I also don’t believe in the book of Mormon, so I don’t know what it says but I do know what the Bible says, and Catholic or Baptist (or whatever) we use the same Bible…that has the same verses, so I wanted to know the…um…justification for not agreeing with it on the submission part.
    • MMMy husband took me for granted.. practically ignored me and I spent 12 years of my life trying to make it work b/c I do (or did) not believe in divorce. I signed up for this deal. I prepared to share my life with someone forever. I spent 12 years feeling more alone in a marriage than I did when I was single. So… as hard as it was for me… I left him. Shortly after. I met a most amazing man. He loves me, my kids and we take amazing care of each other. I believe God put him in my path. Is our situation ideal? Hell no. Would have this been the path I chose for myself? Hell no. However… I feel because I didn’t just submit and resign myself to “this is my life” and submit to my husband… I was given a new lease on life. I feel as if I tried every avenue with my husband to make it work, to make us (or should I say myself) happy. I guess that’s how I feel about the submitting to your husband thing. I feel that doing so…. you can loose a part of yourself by working so hard to please someone else. I feel I lost a bit of ME by trying so very hard to get him to be pleased with me. (which… I’m a HUGE people pleaser by nature and that’s not always a good thing).

      Now that I’m with this new person… I “spoil” him as I call it. He’s treated like a king. And equally, I’m treated as a queen. However… if we were to ever get married, I’m positive we would do things as a team. I want as much input as he does. And no one gets the final say. Not that I don’t trust him. I feel that we are both walking down this path together and we can both show each other the flowers and amazing things that we each see from our sides of the road. I want to learn from him and vice versa. I don’t feel that can happen if one person has the final say… even if it’s been discussed first. I’m sure a lot of that has to do with my upbringing. My parents discussed everything together. They also weren’t really into the whole religion thing. Ever really. (as a side note… I ALMOST became a nun. For real.) So, my examination of the bible tells me that what I do for my boyfriend is how I should be doing it. That’s my interpretation.
    • Mel We are very alike. I was in a relationship for 9 years, married for the last 3…he was a non-Christian and did not exhibit any type of leadership besides “you should do what I say.” I did not submit simply because he did not lead…had he led and not just demanded I do what he said, it would have been fine. I did all I could to make that marriage work, in the end he chose to try to cheat…I left. I do not allow anyone to treat me bad, there is no excuse for it. I met D, and we clicked immediately. He was a gift from God. (See ,we are alike) However, I was most ready and able to submit because D leads because he is led. He does not simply sit around telling me to clean and cook him dinner and shut up. He provides guidance and we together provide a happy home. I know happy homes can be achieved in other situations than ours. I feel like I gained back SO MUCH OF ME, because I am free to be me with D…and know I am loved through all of my “me-ness.”  Thank you for your insight! I wish you all the best in your marriage, and encourage you to step a little outside and see if it could be even better with the good man you have now!  Don’t be offended, but I think you have a submissive heart and don’t want to label it as that. There are not any differences in you and me through what you have said, except I admit to agreeing with the verses. I can’t tell you how many times my idea is the one we go with after talking about something. More often than not, D says “you know, you are right, I think this is how we should handle ____.” And it was my idea! We council each other. Submission has nothing to do with him having the “last word.” It’s about how I act/react to him.
    • MM I’m a hell of an enigma. But I LOVE talking about this. It is interesting and I get to learn something about others! 🙂 I think my reactions depend on the person I’m with. And I definitely don’t do labels. Except freaking AWESOME. Just because I am. ;)‎(and it takes a LOT to offend me)
    • Mel Me too! I really don’t see one bit of difference in our relationships or even our backgrounds (I was raised strict Baptist – no pants, no rock music). I think that there are some women, like yourself, who don’t truly “get” the submit and what it means. Or have been through a bad relationship and use that. You can ask anyone to describe me…headstrong and bossy is top of the list. D calls it “forceful opinions.”
    • MM  ROFL… I call it “my way or the highway.”  The only tattoo I have I got when I was 19. It’s a yin yang. It’s suiting for me. It shows balance, equality and that’s how I feel about all of my relationships.
    • Mel So, that is why I say I don’t think people “get it” it’s not about being shy, quiet, meek and mild…it’s about how to treat him and how he treats you. Also, to reference your post about your ex – I said it in the blog, and an old blog…you are not responsible to submit to someone who is devastating you. It is not a commandment to suffer. When you are with a man who looks to God, and loves you so much that he does everything for YOUR good and your betterment…there is no suffering or devastation. As I said, D is here as an extension of God’s love for me, he takes care of me in a human capacity as he is led by God. To me that is just amazing and I don’t get how someone could not want that?

I will say that I feel, after reading again and again (for editing), that my main question was not answered.  I’d love some input and answers from those that feel willing to do so.

My question is: if you are a Christian, and choose NOT to like/believe/live by/adhere to the submission part of your marriage, how do you justify that?  How do you just ignore those verses?  Also, do you feel your husband should love you as he is commanded to, if you do not believe in submission?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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