Author Archives: mrsmcmommy

About mrsmcmommy

I ask questions.

The Knight, the Tree, and the Waterfall

“My son, Collin, is a very deep-thinking, deep-feeling soul. Some of his philosophical insights have left me awed or giggling (or both), and he’s only 9-years old. Years ago, Collin and his big sister, Cami, were discussing the confusing nature of dreams and how hard it is to figure out whether you’re asleep or awake at night.

Suddenly, 5-year-old Collin declared, “I know how to do it, Cami! How you can tell is: can you taste stuff?”

In other words, Collin noticed that he CAN’T taste the food he’s trying to eat when he’s in Dream World. And that’s just the tip of the iceburg.

Collin has explained to me he doesn’t believe in magic, which makes it hard for him to believe in God. He has told me he often talks to God in the bathroom about “man stuff,” such as asking God to help him grow up and be a good protector. And–most recently–he confessed he often worries about getting to Heaven and messing up ONE MORE TIME, which might cause God to kick him out…

I’m talking really deep, heavy stuff for a 3rd Grader! (Perhaps I’ll share more details about how I handled those particular conversations another day.)

Today, I want to talk about Collin’s Growing Pains, which led to the telling of a bedtime story you might like to file away for a child in your life. Or, maybe you’ll find it helpful just for yourself. It was helpful for me.

On Saturday, Collin woke up with what he described as unbearable pain in his legs. Having some experience with this before, he was able to self-diagnose the problem as “growing pains.” But he became increasingly upset about the aching, unrelenting throb.

He clawed at his calf muscles as his eyes began filling with tears, and he whimpered, “It won’t stop!” Both Daddy and I tried to be sympathetic. We told him we understood the discomfort, and we tried to offer a couple coping mechanisms. Have a drink of water and stretch a little bit. Take a slow walk around the living room, even though it hurts. Eat some protein. Focus on the positive.

But Collin was inconsolable. He took a quick sip of water and didn’t feel any better within 15 seconds, so his cries became more desperate. “It’s not stopping. It’s not stopping! IT’S NOT STOPPING!”

As a birth doula, I sensed this was a good opportunity to explain to my young son that panic causes more pain and that relaxation can help with the emotional/psychological stress. Yes, it’s HARD, and nothing can guarantee the pain will go away completely–but I know a thing or two about helping to make pain more bearable!

Yet, Collin wasn’t interested in my doula techniques. As soon as he heard me say that nothing can numb the pain completely, he gave way to total despair.

NOTHING can stop it? Not clawing or crying or pleading with Mom/Dad or banging my head against the wall? NOTHING can make this pain stop immediately?! Well, then WHAT IS A SMALL BOY SUPPOSED TO DO?!

Fast-forward to later that same evening.

Collin had enjoyed a full day of fun at the race track with his dad and grandpa, and the growing pains from earlier were completely forgotten. He was on cloud nine, with a belly full of pizza and other goodies, knowing the long holiday-weekend still wasn’t over. Life couldn’t be better.

And then he got a pain in his throat.

Before any of us knew what hit us, Collin was in the bathroom snorting and coughing and crying, “I’m scared!” because he couldn’t make his throat stop hurting.

At this point, it was nearly midnight, and Collin asked if he could sleep in my bed. I told him I would let him, as long as he wasn’t expecting an immeidate fix. So long as he was willing to accept the sore throat–and stop trying to cough it out!–then he could take whatever small comforts were available from being next to me in his suffering. And the two of us pulled the covers up to our chins.

After a few minutes, a story started taking shape in my mind. I love reading out loud to my kids, but I don’t always make up stories on the spot, for their benefit. Like most mothers, I tend to use the Lecture Method when I need to teach an important lesson. But this time–for whatever reason–I knew a story would go further with my emotionally-exhausted son. And this is the story I told him…

Once upon a time, there was a brave knight. He had a strong horse, and he had a good heart. But there was just one problem: the brave knight often struggled to control things that were simply not his job to control. He was so good with a sword that he tried to use his brute strength for EVERYTHING.

On a particularly sunny spring day, the knight was strolling through the King’s garden, enjoying the sights and smells, when he noticed a tree covered in fat, green buds. The tree was just beginning to come alive again after a long winter. And the knight remembered, from many springs before, that this particular tree bloomed with the sweetest, most amazing, pink flowers.

The knight loved this tree, and he loved those beautiful, fragrant flowers. So, he marched up to the tree and whacked it with his sword.

“Come out, flowers!” he called to the buds.

But–to his disappointment (and even a bit of alarm)–the tree didn’t respond to his demand. So, obviously, the knight whacked the tree again.

“I want FLOWERS!” the knight shouted at the tree. But, once again, nothing changed.

Now the knight was growing pretty upset and began wondering if he was losing his strength and wit. What would the King think if he knew how badly the knight was failing in this mission? How could the public trust him to solve their problems, if he couldn’t even produce flowers in the spring?

In desperation, the knight grabbed a bud off the tree and tore the casing off, exposing the immature petals inside.

“There!” he said outloud, thinking at least he had something to show for all his effort. But the more he looked at the crushed bud and the torn petals, the more he had to admit the mess in his hands was NOT THE SAME as the beautiful flowered tree he had pictured.

So the knight walked away defeated and sad.

To clear his mind, the knight decided to walk along the river for awhile. He always enjoyed the pleasant splashing of the water and watching the fish swim along the edge. He was just beginning to feel at peace with the world again, when he suddenly noticed the water was moving faster… And, in no time at all, the knight arrived at a dreadful waterfall, throwing all of his beloved water over a cliff.

“STOP!” the knight shouted at the chasm. “You’re going to drain the river! STOP!”

With urgency, the knight unsheethed his sword and sliced at the rushing water, continuing to shout the whole time. “The fish will die! The plants will dry up! STOP!”
He splashed wildly and begged the water to turn back, but nothing helped. Glancing around wildly, the knight noticed a large boulder on the bank, and he desperately hoisted it onto his shoulders.

* Plunk *

He dropped it into the river. But, ultimately, the large rock accomplished almost nothing in stemming the river’s mighty flow.

Finally, the knight realized there was nothing left to throw in front of the waterfall except HIMSELF. So he waded as close to the edge as he could get and pushed with both hands…until his feet finally slipped.

Oh–don’t worry. It wasn’t a deadly fall. The knight went over and landed at the bottom with a hard thud. But he was able to make it back to dry land relatively unharmed. As he sat on the edge, soaked and beaten, he looked up and noticed the view of the waterfall from below.

“Wow,” the knight thought to himself. “It’s actually kind of pretty.”

The knight still wasn’t totally sure whether the fish andcrops would be okay…

But, as he watched the water falling freely over the cliff, he realized the river never seemed to run out.

And it sure was mesmerizing the way that mist sparkled!

The knight watched the waterfall for a long time, until finally he decided he would like to visit it again some time. He revisited the garden the next day, too.

Still, the buds remained. No pink flowers (yet). But the knight began to wonder if it was okay to appreciate things as they are…

Nearby, the knight noticed a tiny oak sapling, just beginning to take root. He pulled out his sword out and gingerly moved the grass around it. The knight knew a time would come when that tiny oak could provide the wood for a glorious table or a throne for a King…

He smied.

And then he put his sword away, and he waited.

If You’d Like Me to Join Your Fight

Some Pro-Abortion activists gathered at the Statehouse in Indianapolis this week, and many of them referenced Ruth Bader Ginsberg in their chants and signs. Ginsberg once said, “Fight for the things you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

With this in mind, and for those who are upset about the overturn of Roe V. Wade and are wondering how they could inspire me to join them, here are some things I look for when deciding which team I want to fight on:

#1. Know your medical history. For example–when you say “Abortion is healthcare,” you must also know that lobotomies were once considered healthcare. Until as recently as 1941, highly educated doctors still recommended this procedure, which removed chunks of people’s brains in order to “treat” their mental illnesses. In the same vein, standard healthcare practices have included using leeches and recommending that pregnant women take up cigarette smoking to control their weight-gain. As far as surgeries similar to abortion, we currently have MDs in this country voluntarily removing healthy organs in patients who “feel” like they were meant to be the opposite gender. This is what happens when we confuse imperfect physicians with the Perfect God.

If you want me to join your team and fight beside you, then you must understand that right and wrong aren’t determined by people who wear scrubs.

#2. Be Honest. If you start regularly use terms like “products of conception” or “termination of gestation” in order to sound smart–you’re actually hiding the truth behind complex language (possibly on purpose?) The healthcare system depends on INFORMED consent. But–if a 20 year old girl doesn’t realize that “products of conception” is medical jargon for “fluid similar to your period, mixed with bits of your deceased fetus’ body”–then how can she consent to the procedure? If she doesn’t understand your legalese, then you’re not informing her completely.
Words are meant to help us understand reality better… Many Pro-Abortion activists love to use the most obscure, scientific textbook terminology, but they’re uncomfortable with–let’s say–showing a picture of an-8-week-old embryo inside its mother’s wedding ring.

This is because they’re using words to COVER UP the reality of Life in the womb…not to make things clearer. If you say that abortion is “ending a pregnancy” because it’s less direct than admitting abortion means “ending the life of the embryo,” then that’s dishonesty.

If you want me to join your team and fight beside you, then you must speak plainly about what really happens during an abortion.

#3. Know your Social History. There are some fights through our civil history that cannot be treated as “agree to disagree” situations. The Southerners in the 1800s firmly believed the government was interfering with their property rights. (“My land; my choice.”) And they told the Northerners it was a personal decision whether or not to own slaves–so, if they disagreed, they could simply choose NOT to own them. Does that sound like familiar reasoning? Can we think of a group of people in the country TODAY who use the same argument to justify taking another human’s life, while telling the rest of the country to mind their own business? Well, thankfully, the abolitionists of yesterday understood that when Americans are beating and selling people like cattle, that’s everybody’s business. And, when you are poisoning and chopping up tiny, growing humans like weeds, that’s everybody’s business, too.

If you want me to join your team and fight beside you, then you must understand your “freedoms” and personal “rights” do not come above a slave’s or a baby’s right to be treated with human dignity.

#4. Have respect for ALL human life. Whenever I try to have a conversation with a Pro-Abortion activist, someone shows up with the personal attacks. It never fails. Sometimes they are over-the-top aggressive. (Like the many times I’ve been stalked in my private messages by people telling me I should die, or I deserve to have my kids taken away.) Other times, they are more subtle, like this pretty standard jab.

Personally, I think it would have been better to stick with “no words,” rather than use the dismissive line “some girl named Amanda.” I can’t help but think of the plantation owners who were intentionally condescending to the female slaves when they called them “girl.” These were black daughters and sisters and wives and mothers. They were strong, family-loving, God-fearing individuals with stories far more complex than what the word “girl” fairly conveys. Yet they were reduced to the status of “some girl,” by cruel masters, who wanted them to believe they were small and insignificant.

Today, Feminists often think of a pro-life mother, sister, or daughter as “some girl” who isn’t worth the time to get to know. But, it’s not surprising, when they see millions of dead fetuses as “clumps of cells.” Once we begin practicing dehumanization, it’s hard to make it stop…

If you want me to join your team and fight with you, then you’ll need to demonstrate respect for every unique human being–both inside and outside the womb.

There are other qualities I could add to this list. But this is a good start for any Feminist who wants to make Ruth Bader Ginsberg proud. RBG recommended that her fans take a look at their tactics and make sure they’re fighting in attractive ways! But, right now, Feminists tend to fight in such a way that history will remember their practices the way we remember lobotomies and Southern “Property Rights” activists shouting “My Land; my choice.” Instead of wanting to join them, the world is beginning to evolve past those barbaric, dehumanizing beliefs about the so-called “right” to end a life.

Take Every Thought Captive

I’ve started a project…
Whenever I notice a negative/unlovely/untruthful thought, I write it down. And then I write a lovely, true, righteous thought to counter it. (Some of these were contributed by my children, as well.)


“I don’t want to do school.”

—–School and other work helps our brains grow.

“I’m already tired thinking about tomorrow.”

—–God gives me grace for today.

“My kid dropped garlic butter on the floor. Of course! I just mopped!”

—–Messes are evidence that life is being lived and growth is happening.

“I might not sleep tonight… it might be worse than last night. Things always get worse.”

—–We count our trials as joy. God knows what I need.

“My husband hasn’t been much help today.”

—–He helps whenever I ask, and he’s not at fault for my mood.

“I empty these trash cans every day. It never ends.”

—–Thank God for work to do. I choose to do my work with joy.

“This is the worst day ever.”

—–God makes each day, and even when it doesn’t feel good, we will praise him.

“Life is unfair; I don’t get what I want.”

—–I will get busy serving others, which leads to blessings.

“I want this to be over. I’d be better off dead.”

—–God has a purpose for this and work for me to do.

“There’s no point being happy…every time, it just leads to dissatisfaction/disappointment later.”

—–Every feeling is temporary. That includes negative ones. The negative feelings will pass.

“Nothing will help.”

—–Even little changes in thought and behavior can have big impacts.

“I’m going to miss my chance to recover or not recognize positive changes if/when they happen.”

—–That’s why we’re practicing taking our thoughts captive!

“I’m growing weary in doing good.”

—–God is answering my prayer for growth/change.

“I don’t believe in miraculous healing.”

—–Actually, yes, I do. I believe pretty much everything about life is miraculous.

“My body feels borken and untrustworthy.”

—–God is trusthworthy.

“I probably have some serious chemical problem.”

—–Just because something is possibly true (or even probably true), that does not make it REALLY, actually true.

“I need to know how this works out.”

—–Don’t worry about tomorrow; it will worry about itself.

Mess Machines

Sometimes it feels like the only thing I ever do is clean up other people’s messes. The table needs to be wiped at least 5 times a day. The floor begins collecting mud again the moment I stop sweeping. The dishes and laundry are literally NEVER done.

For months, I’ve been struggling with the monotany of my existence: wash, rinse, repeat.

My work never stays “worked” for more than a few minutes before I need to start working again.

-Make the dinner.

-Clean it up.

-Flush the toilet

-Scrub the bathroom, because the kids made a mess in there with YESTERDAY’S DINNER. (Sorry, but that’s the reality.)

When my sister had her first baby, my niece spit up constantly. She was a happy baby, but a very, very pukey one. All of her outfits were stained, the bibs were useless, and the amount of soiled burp cloths, blankets, and sheets to wash was incredible.

Eventually, my sister asked me, “Should I try feeding her less?! I feel like I’m just reloading the puke canons every time she nurses!”

We laughed. But that’s exactly what we’re doing every time we feed humans of any age: we’re supplying them with the ammunition to make more messes. In one manner of viewing things, living creatures are massive Mess-Making Machines.

There are only two ways to deal with this situation: with hopelessness, or by intentionally seeking the bright side.

Hopelessness says, “Every day is the same. My work leads to more work.”

But joyfulness says, “Thank God I’m needed and my steps are laid out in front of me.”

Hopelessness says, “There are unending messes everywhere I look.”

Joyfulness says, “There are signs of life everywhere I look.”

Hopelessness complains that it’s loading canons merely to clean up the blast.

But Joyfulness embraces the fact that messes are the byproducts of GROWTH.

Oh, the growth is hard to detect. Sometimes it’s physical and sometimes it’s intellectual or emotional. But, where humans are making messes, things ARE MOVING. Energy is being converted. Bodies are being nourished. Thoughts are being connected. Discoveries are being made.

Messes are the byproducts of growth–like smoke billowing from a busy factory. Maybe you’re burdened by the smog. But the waste products are reminders that work is being done on the inside.

The same way our lungs breathe out carbon dioxide after miraculously using up the oxygen–our kids leave their bits of paper under the art table after miraculously making a memory.

Animals drop fur and old skin cells as they move about their day; and I watch my kids spit their toothpaste in the sink before heading off to dream a new dream.

Milk goes in. And–yes–some comes back out.

But let’s not forget what ELSE comes out of those little bodies: smiles and words and (eventually) whole paragraphs of poetry. Some day they will sing songs that no other soul has sung before.

We can’t simply stop supplying the fuel for those Mess Machines, but why would we want to?

There are important things sprouting that we miss when we only focus on the by-products.

Yes, those machines certainly do make messes, but that’s not ALL they make. They are embodied spirits, growing in knowledge of their Creator and learning to glorify HIM with every piece of dust they kick up.

Thank goodness for messes to remind us we are His workmanship. As we go about the business of converting raw resources into beautiful pieces of worship: we must be prepared to deal with the by-products of our trade.

Wash, rinse, and repeat cheerfully, Moms! Growth is being achieved in your midst.

The God Who Brings Disaster

I’ve asked God to intervene in my life. I have prayed that He would “show up” and reveal His will and lead me in the right direction. Literally hundreds of times, I’ve asked for instruction and guidance and miraculous revelation, because I earnestly desire for God to speak directly into my circumstances.

But I don’t often stop to ask, “What does His guidance LOOK like?”

When I hear his voice–will I recognize it?

When God is moving, will I know it’s Him, so I can follow?

Most of the time, I ask for guidance and direction when I’m in the middle of suffering. I want God to lead me over the obstacles and out of the pain. When I ask Him to reveal His Will, I mean, “God, please show me what I need to do in order to stop this struggle!”

And, yes, a vision of an angel or a handwritten letter in my mailbox would be great.

Under this view of God, I assume God is “really moving” when I start to feel better. The sign of God’s presence is when the clouds begin lifting and I can see the sun again.

For me, suffering is always bad and only comes from Satan. Which means God’s role is to come through and rescue me anytime the Bad Guy starts to get the upper hand…

…but this has been a wrong view of God.

It is WRONG to believe that God doesn’t cause calamity, disaster, and suffering, because the Bible plainly says that everything is under God’s control.

Isaiah 45:7
The One forming light and creating darkness,
Causing well-being and creating calamity;
I am the Lord who does all these.

Amos 3:6
When a trumpet sounds in a city,
    do not the people tremble?
When disaster comes to a city,
    has not the Lord caused it?

Lamentations 3:38
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That both good and ill go forth?

Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

These are not verses that were cross-stitched on your grandma’s pillows. They don’t make for good fortunes inside your chocolate wrappers. Furthermore, when you go looking for encouragment or positive thoughts on social media, you probably don’t mean for your friend to say, “Hey, always remember that God sends disaster and adversity as well as sunshine and rainbows!”

We don’t want to medidate on the truths of God’s Sovereignty–and we’re uncomfortable blaming Him for our personal “disasters.” But that’s a big part of our problem!

We’re afraid of GOD, so we have created a safer, less-powerful one to worship instead…

When we ask God to “show up,” we don’t really mean it.

We don’t want the God who surprises us, challenges us, and reveals our weaknesses with a terrifying urgency. We don’t want a Mean God who takes away our pacifiers and security blankets, because we don’t want to wrestle with the hard questions about why He would do that.

When we invite God to intervene, we actually want affirmation from an easily-controlled god–who sits on his throne simply waiting for a list of wishes he can grant to make us feel better.

But we reject the all-powerful God who knows how to give good things, including the pain of suffering when it’s needed.

Some people might ask, “How can I trust a God who causes disaster?!”

You mean, how can we rest in the knowledge that God knows better than we do?

In response, I ask the reverse question: How can you trust a god who has given his control and power to Satan? How can you trust a god who has tied his own hands and allowed sinful humans to boss him around?

How can you trust a god who gave Satan the driver’s seat?

I declare to you today that MY GOD IS IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT. He brings only good things–but those good things include calamity, disaster, and fleshly suffering. My God is more powerful than Satan. The buck stops with my God.

When I beg God to intervene in my situation, I’m forgetting that He never left. He sees my suffering. He permits it. He ORDAINS it.

He has been here, doing his God Thing, completely in charge of the events of my life, the entire time. When I experience pain and fear and suffering, it does not mean God has given control over to Satan.

Yes, humans still have free will to make choices, and much suffering is the result of living in a sinful world. But God is still driving, even when it feels like He gave the wheel to someone else. (He didn’t.)


I’ve been praying the wrong thing: asking God to take away the things Satan has planned for me, instead of THANKING God that HIS plan is better than mine…even when it includes struggle.

This is both terrifying and comforting. You mean God has been “leading” and “revealing” and “guiding” all along–even when it felt like He abandoned me in silence? Yeah, that’s what “Sovereignty” means.

The buck stops with him.

I certainly don’t have it all figured out. But it is a comfort to know that God does. He is the God of laughter and tears; the God of light and darkness.

Our personal disasters are NOT signs that God has retired or surrendered his control. Hallelujah.

Homeschooling Sucks (like Gardening)

Did you know there are some weirdos living among us who actually ENJOY growing their own food? I’m serious! They call themselves “gardeners.” It’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen:

These gluttons for punishment volunteer to wrestle with weeds and bugs and all the elements for months upon months at a time, just for the pleasure of picking, preparing, canning, and storing their harvests–quickly, before it’s time to DO IT ALL AGAIN next season! 

Personally, I’m like, “Why go through all of that labor, when I can drive to the store and buy the veggies that someone else grew?” (That’s literally how I feel about gardening. Like, I’m laughing, but I’m not kidding.)

But I am the product of the Convenience Generation, so my low tolerance for hard work shouldn’t be very surprising. 

* My peers and I are proud of our ability to streamline and automate everything. * 

I throw my dishes into a machine, and they come out washed.  I throw my clothes into a machine, and they come out washed. I tell my phone what to put on my grocery list, and it does it. (And, when I add those things to my Click List, someone else puts them in the back of my car.)

* We have machines and apps and pills to accomplish every goal. *

So– I COMPLETELY understand the desire to drop a kid off at a government school machine and expecting them to pop out “educated.”

I COMPLETELY understand viewing homeschool families with the same confusion (almost pity) that I have when I look at “Gardeners.” They seem to enjoy doing things the hardest way possible. If they weren’t such weirdos, they could simply go to the store and buy an education that works fine. 

If someone invited me to learn more about gardening, canning, and homesteading, I would be like, “Meh…that’s great for you guys! But it doesn’t fit my lifestyle.”  

We’re just not that family.
We have different hobbies.

I’m sure that’s how many people feel when I offer to show them how to get started with homeschooling. 

They think I ENJOY pretending to be Amish, but their modern convenience education works well enough.

…except it’s not working. Not at all. 

It turns out, kids weren’t made to be treated like products on an assembly line. Looking for the cheapest, easiest, least-time-consuming education hasn’t done them any favors.

Math and literacy skills are dropping. The government is becoming more and more tyrannical. Unions continue demanding more pay for teachers, while refusing to accept any responsibility for failing students. And when parents try to stand up and take control, they are called “terrorists” and told to stay in their lane.  

Educating our children isn’t supposed to be a hobby that only a few people enjoy. Teaching children is the God-ordained responsibility of EVERY parent, even when it’s not fun or convenient. 

I do it even though it SUCKS.

When you’re ready to learn how to take charge of your child’s education, reach out to me.

It’s a ton of work, season after season. But the harvest will be huge.

Marriage Doesn’t Require Amnesia. Try Humility.

I read an article this week in the New York Times that you won’t believe unless you see it. The female author (Heather Havrilesky) wrote that marriage requires amnesia in order to forget how much you hate your husband…

Yeah–I’m not kidding.

Here’s an excerpt of her exact words, to give you a more complete understanding of her points.

After 15 years of marriage, you start to see your mate clearly, free of your own projections and misperceptions. This is not necessarily a good thing. When encountering my husband, Bill, in our shared habitat, I sometimes experience him as a tangled hill of dirty laundry. “Who left this here?” I ask myself, and then the laundry gets up to fetch itself a cup of coffee. This is not an illusion; it’s clarity. Until Bill has enough coffee, he lies in a jumble on the couch, listening to the coffee maker, waiting for it to usher him from the land of the undead. He is exactly the same as a heap of laundry: smelly, inert, almost sentient but not quite.

Why Marriage Requires Amnesia, New York Times

That smelly, inert pile of laundry is a lucky guy, isn’t he? He gets to spend the rest of his life with a woman who insults him publicly and justifies her rude musings as simply “clarity” of thought.

And, if you read the whole article, you’ll see it doesn’t get any nicer… Miss Havrilesky doesn’t come around and realize she’s being unfair at best and emotionally abusive at worst. She actually doubles down on the belief that her husband is insufferable, and she proposes that only a certain Marital Memory Loss can make a relationship with him possible.

I see Bill with a scorching clarity that pains me. This is why surviving a marriage requires turning down the volume on your spouse so you can barely hear what they’re saying. You must do this not only so you don’t overdose on the same stultifying words and phrases within the first year, but also so your spouse’s various grunts and sneezes and snorts and throat clearings don’t serve as a magic flute that causes you to wander out the front door and into the wilderness, never to return.

The author repeats the same Theory of Amnesia here:

Bill also clears his throat constantly. He’s just a phlegmy guy in general. I can almost get away with being this mean about him because he has remained the same amount of smart and kind and extremely attractive that he was when I met him 17 years ago. This is just how it feels to be doomed to live and eat and sleep next to the same person until you’re dead. Because the resolution on your spouse becomes clearer and clearer by the year, you must find compensatory ways to blur and pixelate them back into a soft, muted, faintly fantastical fog.

You’re welcome to finish reading the article, if you can stomach it, by clicking this link.

But, for our purposes here, you only need to know that Ms. Havrilesky reveals she does hate her husband. And this leads to the enlightening rhetorical question, “How is hatred not the natural outcome of sleeping so close to another human for years?”

That gives you the gist.

Two things occur to me as I read the unrelenting criticism of Bill, and the suggestion that hatred for your spouse is inevitable:

#1. The author only gets away with publishing this belittling tirade because she’s a woman who’s denigrating a white male.

In the Matriarchy that is modern America, we don’t tolerate disrespect when it’s directed at wives/mothers. Our senses are sharply tuned to recognize signs of abuse/neglect that may disadvantage a poor woman. In fact, we insist upon all things Empowerment and Positivity for her. (“You are kind and smart and important, Mama!”)

But the “Bills” of the world don’t get the same treatment.

If the 1950s were known for anti-female sexism, I would say the pendulum in 2021 has swung about as far in the other direction as possible. We can only hope this NYT article will age as poorly as the old advertisements featuring husbands giving their wives a good spanking. (You know the ones I mean?)

Yet, even if we never wake up and realize how sexist we’ve become toward men/husbands, I can say with confidence the New York Times would not publish this same Amnesia Article, if the gender roles were reversed. Nobody in this decade will tolerate a male author, complaining about how loud and dumb and slovenly his bride is–especially if he declares the solution is memory loss to forget the reality of her awfulness.

The author’s female privilege is showing.

#2. Godless people often confuse “being real” with saying the first mean thing that pops into their heads. They don’t know how to confess their disappointments or unmet expectations…without resorting to selfishness, ugliness, and destruction.

It’s only through a redeeming relationship with our Creator that we come face-to-face with our own flaws first and foremost. Only after we’re sufficiently humbled by the truth of our own unworthiness can we be patient and kind to the other flawed humans in our lives.

We don’t need less truth.

Not less honesty.

Not less clarity.

We don’t need amnesia.

We need a godly clarity that encourages us to see the truth about our own sinfulness, rather than dwelling on petty grievances with others.

If your advice to married couples is to seek ways to dull reality and obscure the truth in order to carry on together, may I suggest a more honest worldview?

Jesus Doesn’t Always Cure Depression

The title of this blog post comes from a popular meme/quote comparing Jesus with other solutions for mental health issues.

The full context is here:

I’d like the opportunity to unpack this quote by asking a series of questions.

#1. Has anyone ever claimed that loving Jesus always cures mood disorders?
When someone makes a statement or sets up a premise, it’s wise to watch out for arguments no one is actually making. If I’m spending time telling you something completely uncontroversial–it may be that I’m busily building a straw man…

Unless Real Life humans are suggesting that Loving Jesus always cures mental health issues, why even bring it up?

I would submit to you, the first four lines of this quote are there merely to set up a soft target and encourage agreement with the rest of it.

Yes–Loving Jesus won’t necessarily fix everything.

Yes–Loving Jesus doesn’t cure all my ailments.

“YEEEEEES! I need to share this with all my Jesus-Loving friends…even though everyone on the planet already agrees.”

#2. Will I Cure my Mental Illnes by Seeing a Therapist or Taking Medicine?
The obvious answer is “NO.”

Seeking therapy and taking drugs won’t cure your depression, anxiety, or PTSD any better than “loving Jesus” does.


#4. Why Didn’t the Author Mention that Therapy/Medication Aren’t “Cures,” Either?

Hmm. Good question.

#4. Does This Quote Hold Jesus to a Different Standard than Psychiatrists?

YEP, absolutely. By starting out talking about “cures,” the meme sets up a challenge–but it never criticizes the pharmaceutical companies for having the exact same problem.

This quote is meant to be pro-Medicine and to show support for those who seek help from mental health experts. But, it’s not being CONSISTENT when it brings up Jesus’ results and fails to compare them with the results of the Mental Health Machine…

A fair/consistent/balanced quote would admit:


Can we be honest about that?

It’s disheartening to me when statements go viral because they SOUND encouraging rather than because they offer good, balanced, helpful advice.

We love being told to “do whatever we need to do” because it’s non-confrontational and positive. On the other hand, we hate the uncomfortable process of asking questions and unpacking ideas, as I’ve done in this blog.

When I share a quote telling friends “do whatever you need,” it’s (sadly) more about getting points for sounding supportive than actually helping a suffering person handle a serious issue.

Furthermore (and even more sadly), it will always be easier to talk about the shortcomings or failures of the Christian Religion than to be equally honest about the shortcomings of the Mental Health religion.

Here’s a quote that is just as true, but not as shareable, as the meme at the top of this post:

You can believe in science and still recognize when the mental health machine is broken.
You can be pro-medicine and still admit you need Jesus more than ANYTHING else.
You are more than a body full of unbalanced chemicals.
Your soul matters to Jesus.

It’s true that Jesus doesn’t always cure depression…

But supportive-sounding quotes on social media don’t cure anything, ever.

Vigilante Violence Being Praised… By Conservatives

If you haven’t heard, a father was convicted of murder in Spokane Washington.

John Eisenman dropped a cinder block on his daughter’s boyfriend’s head, and then stabbed him several times and left his body to rot in a car for over a year. Eisenman says he did it because the boyfriend sex-trafficked his daughter… But we won’t know whether there’s evidence to corroborate that, because he took the law into his own hands rather than allowing for a trial.

“Police said Eisenman learned in October 2020 that his juvenile daughter had been sex trafficked in the Seattle area and ‘obtained information’ that her boyfriend was responsible, according to the press release. Eisenman was able to rescue his daughter and get her back to Spokane that same month, police said. When the father learned that his daughter’s boyfriend was going to be at a location in Airway Heights, Eisenman drove there and waited for the 19-year-old to arrive. During that encounter Eisenman abducted the victim, tying him up and placing him in the trunk of a vehicle. Eisenman subsequently assaulted the victim by hitting him in the head with a cinder block and then stabbed him repeatedly, causing his death.” 

What’s most frustrating about this story is the way typically law-abiding Conservatives are suddenly praising a vigilante as a hero.

I guess they see the word “father” and immediately identify with THE MURDERER rather than identifying with the father of the boy who was killed without due process? I don’t know. But I’m getting pretty wary of one-sided perspectives like these:

So, after reading literally HUNDREDS OF COMMENTS defending this behavior, and zero comments pointing out that laws exist for a reason, I decided I need to help my Conservative friends think through this issue a little more.

First of all, I can see why the daughter hooked up with her low-life boyfriend in the first place.

Clearly, she has been taught that violence is what men do when they’re “protecting” her. She probably felt right at home with a boy who proved his love by behaving lawlessly. That’s exactly what her daddy does!

This mindless, vengeance-seeking is exactly what’s wrong with places like Chicago, where everyone with a weapon views himself as an Independent Law-Giver. Every night, the bodies pile up because someone “defended” his honor with a murderous impulsivity.

I thought we were better, Conservatives. 🙄

Just watch a prison documentary for five minutes.

Every, single Impulsive Male behind bars will tell you he was just being a Protector.

Please tell me the difference between a man defending his bio-family’s honor and a man defending his street-family’s honor?… In both cases, they think they’re being loyal, self-sacrificial, and courageous.

Seriously, how is it different?

Yes, I am absolutely saying fathers who kill and gang members who kill are the SAME THING.

In fact, if my dad had been an impulsive, violent meathead who solved his problems with knives and guns, I probably would have run off with a violent boyfriend, too.

Thankfully, rather than being an unrestrained thug who killed first and asked questions later, my father was a wise and temperate man who held himself to the same moral standards as everyone else. Oh sure, sometimes he was righteously angry. Sometimes he disciplined his children.

But, rather than modeling hot-headedness (which the Bible calls “foolish”), my dad was able to show us how to take a breath and tackle problems in a reasonable manner.

My dad knew, logically, that going to prison for a rash decision wasn’t going to help any of us.

If men want to protect their families, they need to understand something about feminine emotionalism and masculine strength. That is: it’s a chick thing to freak out and kill someone in a fit of passion.

*shrug * I’m probably upsetting both men and women with that statement, but I don’t really care. The fact is, women are more likely to make big decisions based on emotional impulses. It’s a masculine trait to pause and consider before acting. (That’s when their angry wives scream at the husbands for “being passive.”)

What women and children actually need from a father figures is cool, unshakeable leadership. We need someone to be reasonable when our emotions are threatening to make us act stupid. We need someone to apply the brakes and say, “Hang on–let’s be smart about this.”

A man who sees red and explodes is nothing more than a muscular child. There’s nothing comforting about being “protected” by a dude who is a enslaved to his own feelings.

Murderers are not heroes, even when they identify as Family Men. This guy is just a desperate dude with Big Feelings and a cinder block.

Conservatives: we HAVE TO stop with the eye-for-eye prison mentality and break the cycle of glorifying revenge.

Do you think we should apply the death penalty for rapists? Fine! But there has to be a process for dealing with the accused in court. Surgeons aren’t even allowed to operate on their own children because their emotions can’t be trusted. Yet we think we’re going to let parents be the judge and jury in a case like this?

That’s absurd.

I don’t trust emotional fathers to make sound decisions with deadly weapons. But, if I ever get the urge to live in a neighborhood where “real men” take the law into their own hands, I’ll go ahead and move to Chicago… I hear there are LOTS of “good fathers” up there, who are simply the victims of an unfair justice system.

Modern Self-Talk

I want to do this Thing for MYSELF… Not for anybody else.

I know I’m on the right track when I’m having fun.

It’s time to make a change, because I’ve lost touch with ME. It’s important that I put myself first.

Oh, I support hard work and discipline! Sure! I know life is full of challenges, and I don’t expect to get anything for free.

I’m willing to push myself and work for my reward… Sure!… Sure, hard work.

Sure, sure, sure.


This Thing is TOO MUCH work.

It was never supposed to hurt THIS much.

It’s not worth sacrificing my physical and mental health.

I’m not going sacrifice mySELF any more.

I want to do this Thing for myself.

I’ll know I’m on the right track when I’m having fun.

Yes, I’m willing to work hard, but not THAT hard.

I’m doing the hardest thing of all: putting Me First, above everything else.

I’m fighting even harder than people who lose themselves for the sake of others.

I’m fighting for me.