Monday, April 13, 2009

Reflections on Family Life at Easter-time

I listen to my young friend say "2 children only" in this day of family planning options. And I can recall when I might've said the same thing --as I couldn't imagine even being pregnant or being a mother --though I loved my dollies and playing "house" as a child. But I really wasn't around pregnant women much as I grew up. Birth control pills 40 years ago made me sick --and my first pregnancy was really difficult --nevertheless, four babies came to live with us --one after the other --until 2 C-sections in a row --the first because labor came early and preemie John nearly expired before he was born --so the next delivery was a planned C-section and in those days, they feared natural delivery after ONE C-section --and thought there was a limit to such surgeries. After the first one, I sure didn't want to keep having C-sections. I had the first one without anesthetic taking. Anyway, the 2nd one was reason for the OB to suggest tubal ligation--which is how we turned off the baby machine. And I've never felt guilty about it. However, each unexpected pregnancy brought a delightful person into our house --and I think bigger families are joyful ones --as are extended families with cousins and grandparents.

One wonders what we are doing to ourselves with all the abortions, late parenting plans and late marriages with their higher risk of infertility, and all the divorces and re-marriages. We have all this freedom and technology with which to do whatever we please, and the choices we make aren't necessarily good for us. God can redeem those blended family and step-parenting situations, late marriages, and single parenting, too, and make them all joyful, but there is a built-in sense of belonging that occurs when people commit to family life and work at obeying Christ in their homes, "striking the original match." We loved our children so much, and they, us, that divorce would have been very sad for all of us. How blessed they are by the father I chose for them! whom I believe God chose for us. How blessed WE were, to have them come into our home.

These four people and their spouses and the grandkids are our social network and community --apart from church. We had all 12 of us, including two great-grandmothers in their late 80's, at our Easter table. And it is always a lot of fun. Amusing is my mother who "can't eat very much" --and eats and eats --and will say after leaving a restaurant and arriving home, "What's to eat?" And she's not overweight --yet. Since her knee surgery, she's on her feet all the time, pacing from one end of my house to the other --wondering where all the people are --and if she should go to the mailbox --and "where is Rob?" (her favorite --as he lived with her some and looked after her, when he was in college in her city.) She washes dishes for me without soap, just wiping them with a dirty dishcloth, and puts them in the drainer -- and I say, "Thanks, Mom, now we're going to sterilize them," and I put them in the dishwasher and she's fine with that. No offense. She fusses over her suitcase and purse a lot. But doesn't really beg to go home. Since she's come on her extended visit, since Feb. 14, she has been to Elmwood's musical, their pre-contest choir concert, choir practices, CLC, CLC talent show, Tenebrae Rehearsal, Tenebrae Service, visiting Stephanie's house and home-school co-op, stephanie's Easter weekend brunch last Saturday, EAster services, Fremont Alliance's Easter pageant, and Christ in the Passover presented by Jews for Jesus, etc. etc. And numerous restaurant outings.

The grandsons, 7 and 9, have heard a story about Grandpa and Grandma that they love to quote a line from, "You're weavin' all over the road, Barb!" My husband said this before he took over the driver's seat and was mocking my driving by demonstrating the weaving --and here came the police!!! And when the officer asked my husband if he knew he was weaving all over the road, our carload burst into laughter --and explained that hubby was only imitating wifey, so as to get her to drive better! Our son in law happened to be along on that car-ride to Chicago --back in the girls' college days. For awhile he called us "the Weavers."

Shared faith, shared memories, shared silliness, shared chocolates, shared holidays --all part of the rich fabric of family fun in a functional family. Our son came home from college, filled with new-found insights and wisdom, and announced we were a dysfunctional family -- and my husband said, "You haven't seen dysfunctional!!" I don't even remember why he said it. But we know that any stress we experience in our family is minor compared to the world's. We know that we are blessed --though far from perfect individuals --especially me. I am the one most blessed by a kind and generous, energetic hard-working and loving husband --and children who are kind to me --who want to come home and see us fairly often. Our daughter made a statement at her wedding, that she knew we loved her --and that her father loved her mother and that he always would. If he ever thought he wouldn't, that sure was a challenge to him! He has always believed that divorce is destructive to children --at any age. And so I have been secure in his love, through all the vicissitudes of life and body. His grandfather, especially, set such a pattern for him. And he believes in the Bible --that he is to love his wife as his own body --and so he does.

The CHURCH --when it teaches and preaches the Bible, making disciples, it still holds the keys to FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE --and the greatest of these is LOVE.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible


mud_rake said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Barb said...

You have my email address, Mudrake. You need this public forum for your posturing as a sexist Christianaphobe?

Again you crossed the line for vulgarity and ad hominem attack.

bye bye!

about my posting on Mudrake's blog, dear readers --I almost thought it was MY blog since he copied my template and colors for his own and since he writes about Christians and homosexuality so often.

Valérie said...


I saw Mudrake's comment. I agree much more with his ideas than yours, but I agree with you that his comment was stupid and out of place. At least you have no moderation.

He is such a coward his blog is hidden, when you click on his name you get a hidden blogspot address.

Not long ago he was being stupid and harrassing to Jeanette on PP, and Stiletto blew up and told him to "go fuck himself", LOL.

kateb said...

This is such good news that young people are engaged in good activities. I can see what aggravated Mudrake - he would hate to see anyone engaged in healthy activities.

But you keep working at these things - no matter what he says or what ill will he has toward those who don't conform to heil - oops,,his decisions- it is good to keep the community involved and young people engaged in positive activies.

Barb said...

Good to hear from you both, Valerie and Kateb. It gets a little dull with no commenters --that's why I think Mudly should welcome me at HIS blog --for he hits a dry streak occasionally, too, and I do inspire participation at times in Liberal-Land!

Most of my comments to him are simply about his topics which are so often wrong about people I know first hand: Bible-believing, Christ-following Christians.

I'm glad to hear that Stiletto could finally see that Mudrake DOES stalk Christian bloggers --tackling the bloggers instead of tackling the topics as a good blogger should.

It's the personal hatreds people develop over differences of opinion which lead to the wars and terrorism of these times. It's not the differences of opinion themselves --we shall ALWAYS have those --and need to learn to care for one another anyway. Tolerance is not about agreement --but about disagreeing peacefully, amicably.

Barb said...

You wonder how people can be so cruel and indifferent to others in times of war and so on. We can't imagine how the Nazis, as recently as the previous century, could do what they did to their Jewish neighbors and to the Christians who opposed the Nazis. 11 million exterminated --including children.

I think if I were in a traffic accident in front of Mudrake's house and lay dying in the road, Mudrake would come along and say, "serves her right! I hate that woman! " Given the right circumstances, I think he is capable of murder where I am concerned.

Hopefully, he is too civilized for such depths, but I find him and other such intensely hateful bloggers to be representative of the killing mentality on the planet. Genocide and global turf wars, religious and racial bigotry and murder --all are accompanied or preceded by hatred.

Valérie said...


"I'm glad to hear that Stiletto could finally see that Mudrake ..."

I don't know why you say this. Stiletto has never sided with Mudrake. She never sides with anyone. She likes some people more than others, but even then, if they say something that annoys her she will talk to them like she did to Mudrake, even Microdot and Whynot. She can say I love you one minute and I hate you the next, it all depends on what you say yourself.

I admire this, I think, because it shows integrity that I don't have. I tend to be lenient to my friends and find excuses for them even if something tells me they are wrong some times. But she doesn't seem to care. She is true to herself.

It is quite funny to see her and TLGK, they are always arguing. He says things that really touch her heart then he says things that make her go crazy in anger and she is very rude to him then. I think he likes the challenge because he is more tolerant of her temper than of other people.

Ok, I hope you get more comments. I just thought I'd say that I didn't agree with Mudrake's comment here which you deleted, but I didn't mean any more than that. I'll go back to PP, there are some funny discussions there and plenty of comments, so it's not dull at all at the moment, LOL.

AndThenSome said...

Not sure who Mudrake is, or what he wrote to have his comments removed, but do I understand correctly, that he has published the phone numbers and home addresses of Barb and others?

If so, why isn't he banned at the very least, and reported to the authorities?

Barb said...

I did report him to Google and got no response as I recall.

I don't know what the law says currently, but he certainly has used a form of harrassment and attempt to intimidate --when he posts my full name, church photo,house photo, address, writes my pastor (granted, I have since posted my own church address and there is a church website from which he took his photos) --I don't think he knows my phone number, or you can bet, he would have printed it. He has slowed down some --since I learned his identity from another dear blogger who says she'll help me win a civil suit against him for harrassment and probably prevail since I have saved all evidence.

His message to me is always one of intolerance and hatred --which started before our blog history--Im willing to forgive any time he's willing to apologize. Meanwhile, by printing name and address while pointing me out as a hateful homophobic bigot as he claims, he seems to be suggesting or threatening harm toward me (and my church) from other left-wing wackos --if not himself. And he has blogged that the Right Wing religious should be denied free speech (as he denies on his blog except for the male Christian bloggers) and should be rounded up and put in internment camps. (He is of German heritage --but then, so am I, and I don't think that way about him and the liberals --or the gays.)

Valerie: I realize that Stiletto gets angry as often as she defends --but I certainly appreciate when either of you sees when a blogger is merely harrassing and not trying to communicate in a positive manner --though I believe I was mis-read as hateful ultimately and often at PP --and Mudrake helped in that process and does try to turn the tide of pubic opinion against people who hold contrary ideas to his --rather than dealing with the ideas themselves.

Seems there is a fear of good points brought up to counter his.

Yes, I know, PP didn't like scripture postings --but I knew what I posted was new to some of you --and I'm very sure that scripture is ancient wisdom applicable today --and ultimate truth about the hereafter. As you know, I really BELIEVE in the Easter message --that He is risen--and thus, He is the source of truth--and hope.

Barb said...

PS Valerie:

I never thought PP was dull. Which is why Jeanette returns there after swearing off. She likes the people whose personalities really come through in the writing. She'd do anything for you if she could.

I liked everybody too when I was there -- enjoyed sparring with Microdot. But he is more loyal to Mudrake and so, when MR came over to PP, Microdot had to get ugly and chime in with Mudrake's sour self, and the blog was not fun then for anyone --except those who enjoy cruelty and blasphemy via their artwork.

MR has accused me of trying to kill that blog --hardly. I don't go to liberal-oriented blogs to kill them --but to participate and challenge the erroneous thinking about Christians --to prove that the intolerance is not on the Christian side of debates at all. And to merely weigh in on topics that interest me.

But when you define tolerance as "approval and agreement," there is a basic disagreement about terms--a fundamental misunderstanding.

Moreover, PP is obscene --often. Nothing admirable about that.

AndThenSome said...

I'm not sure why after all this you continue to let Mudrake comment, but it's up to you, I suppose.

Some years ago, I was personally threatened in the local newspaper. A respected Christian businessman said he could easily round up his friends and "silence" me for a letter to the editor he didn't like. I complained to the editor, but nothing was done about it; I still wonder what might have happened if I pursued legal action.

And--what is PP? A blog of some kind, I assume?

Valérie said...


"Moreover, PP is obscene --often. Nothing admirable about that."

No. It is about real people of all ways of life and represent the reality of life, not a cocoon imaginary one like your blog. I personally never swear, but I don't see what is wrong in other people swearing on a blog, they swear in real life, don't they, or have you never been anywhere outside your church?

Anyway, it must represent something to people because there are regularly more than 2 hundred comments on each article.


"And--what is PP? A blog of some kind, I assume?"


Barb said...

Walerie, I've been busy or would have answered sooner --and next I have to go and be with 15 children in a few minutes.

Yes, it's a very popular blog with the people who sit by it for hours daily as though it were their only social life. It is truly a blog community, mostly for folks of like mind. It's hard to survive there for very long if you are not of a liberal bent on every subject. Both Jeanette and I have been kicked off in the past. The number of comments far exceeds the number of participants --though again, I grant you, it is a popular blog for those who go there --who have gone there for years, evidently.

I think readers should be forewarned who find out about it at my blog that PP is often an obscene blog --in photos and language. And a cruel one with vitriol and hatred toward any who disagree with them--however agreeably. You will be called an A-H and a bigot and homophobe if you disagree and defend America, the Bible, Christians, traditional family values, etc.

It's debatable, seems to me, as to which blog represents the cocoon vs. reality.

Yes, there is diversity in life --and I recommend completely the life recommended by the Bible --father takes a wife and they raise children in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord," hopefully protecting them from having fathers who brag that they didn't father their children --mothers who would abort them if they conceived.

Mine is not an imaginary life --nor a perfect one --but we really do strive to do as well as we can with the help of God, with His Word as a guide and His church as community. As an old Gospel song says, there is truly "victory in Jesus."

the issue about obscene and vulgar language is not whether it is right for people to do it on a blog because they do it in real life, but is it praiseworthy or defensible in real life -- any more so than in writing--just because that's the way the writer speaks? Is everything OK just because we DO it?

Barb said...

Sorry, Walerie was a misprint.

Valérie said...


"Yes, it's a very popular blog with the people who sit by it for hours daily as though it were their only social life."

Do you mean people like you posting new articles every day, LOLLL? Or do you mean people like you writing comments on every blog I meet, atheistcamel and others, where you write novel comments one after the other like you did on PP, and people become so tired of you they ban you everywhere, LOL?

I spend about 1/2 hour on PP every day and about 1 hour on other blogs I visit where I see you everywhere.

What a hypocrit liar you are.

Excuse me, I don't have 15 children to be with in a few minutes, but I have to go to work, like I do 5 days each week, 8 hours a day.

I know that you don't know what "work" means, but for most people it means surviving.

Barb said...

There you have it, Folks, typical PP response --name-calling, vitriol, and animosity.

I said, "as though it were their only social life." If the shoe doesn't fit, Valerie, don't wear it. I didn't say you all had no social life --but for sure, PP is a VERY social blog --complete with leaders, snobs, cliques, and social pariahs to pick on --who usually don't hang around for verbal abuse as much as Jeanette and I have done in the past.

Yes, I know you work. And my husband works as hard or harder than most and as a result, i don't have to go out to earn money to survive as you do--but nonetheless, I, too, work --I'm a laundry woman and kitchen worker for 4 and the secretary-treasurer of my household and a care-taker giving baths to my 89 year old, demented mother these days --and I worked diligently to raise 4 children for 25 years --from 1972 until the last one graduated high school in 97-- who are nice responsible people today --not asking the gov't to support them --not inclined toward crime, with interest in charitable and humanitarian causes, all in "people-helping careers." (Of course, I believe all jobs should be seen and performed as helpful to people --except crime and immoral activity.) I also directed churh music for 17 years and done some teaching and administrating roles there --as I am now teaching 2 classes of youngsters, 3rd and 4th grade on Wednesday and middle school on Sunday and director of Christian Ed. And I baby sit with my 2 grandsons as needed.

And granted, gov't pays my teacher daughter-- and tax monies do pay my husband and sons through medicaid and medicare --who are in healthcare --but they all work for it.

I have many many lady friends who do not have my luxury of not needing to work for survival. And some who do. And some who work for money by choice, not need.

I do not post new posts everyday --I do write fast and easily --and yes, you and I follow the links of bloggers on the same blog and thus often see each other on the same websites. I have commended you for not being just a "one blog woman" but having a curiosity and interest in others as well --which did lead me and others from my blog, where you visited once, to PP.

I have said you are basically a friendly blogger

but like STiletto and Mudrake, Microdot, and Excrement-stirrer, and sometimes Whynot, you vent your temper and dislikes more often than warranted--as demonstrated here.

and none of this was a lie --before or since you accused me.

Barb said...

Christians who follow this blog think we should never have confrontive exchanges such as Valerie and I here -- and they truly may be fruitless --but I always think TRUTH must be contended for in places where it is maligned and disregarded --whether it's truth about Christians in general or about specific people such as myself--or truth about the depths to which people can go when they disregard God, Christ, the Bible, the Church of Christ, etc.

The fault lay not in calling the adultress an adultress, in the Bible story --it was about wanting her punished for it with stoning. Jesus said we are all sinners and can't throw stones at each other. But he also gently told the woman to go and sin no more.

Ann Coulter said recently in honor of her mother who just died,
"Since I was a little girl, friends, relatives and neighbors would bring their problems to Mother. She had a rare combination of being completely moral and completely nonjudgmental at the same time -- the exact opposite of liberals who have absolutely no morals and yet are ferociously judgmental."Yes, Ann overstated --in that some liberals do have morals. But I found at PP that not one of them would say that adultery or prostitution were anything but a public service for needful men. Not one of them thought abortion was killing life. Not one of them thought it was wrong to use ad hominem attack and vitriolic name-calling as a discussion feature.

I didn't claim to be holier than thou --but I do claim that some behaviors and views are closer to God's heart than others --because the scripture says so.

And for that I didn't always turn Jesus's other cheek --but stood up for Him and the Word --and not unkindly --but perhaps as St. Paul when he defended himself against naysayers and critics --in the interest of TRUTH--instead of slinking away as though they were right in their condemnation of my views and beliefs --as though they were right in calling me a hypocrite and a liar as Valerie has done here.