Ladyrebecca's Musings and Ramblings

The Increasingly Political Thoughts of Rebecca (Becky) Walker

Oh the things they say… December 22, 2009

Filed under: Anecdotal,marriage,military,parenting — Addicted to Yarn @ 9:37 pm
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This evening, Jael and Israel were talking in the other room while I cooked supper. Israel came back into the kitchen, laughing his head off.

“What?” I asked.

Israel stifled his laughter before telling me of their exchange.

Israel: Jael, do you know that I’m going to be leaving on a deployment in a few weeks and that I’ll be gone for six months?

Jael: WHAT? Does Mom know?

Israel: Yeah, Mom knows.

Jael: Good because I was like, “I’ve just GOT to tell her.”

Later this evening, I said to Jael that I’d heard she was concerned about me not knowing Dad was leaving and she said, “I didn’t want you to just ask one day, ‘Hey, why isn’t Dad here anymore?'”

Lots of family hugs this evening as the reality of Israel’s departure kind of hit us. While I am really excited to see my family during his time away, I’m really bummed about not getting to see my best friend, my lover, my daughter’s daddy, my confidant, my skeptical anchor, my favorite person in the WHOLE WIDE world, or my bed warmer for six months. 😦

 

WHICH WAY DO YOU WANT IT? November 28, 2009

A Facebook friend of mine joined this group called, “The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience.” Their mission: to “affirm…marriage as defined by the union of one man and one woman, and religious liberty….”

Wait, wait, wait. Let me get this right. This group “affirms” the right to religious liberty but wants to deny homosexuals the right to marry? What about a homosexual Wiccan’s right to religious liberty? What about a lesbian Buddhist’s right to religious liberty? Now, if this group were willing to say that marriage is purely a religious institution and tax breaks should not be given to married couples, fine. Define marriage however you want. But as long as marriage gets you, oh, 1,400 legal benefits, EVERYONE gets it!

THEIR religion defines marriage as between one man and, depending on the civil laws of your country, one woman. To define civil marriage that way is to oppress religions that define it differently. So which do they support? Marriage as defined by their religion or religious freedom?

Maybe what they really “affirm” is the right of their religion to be the only one given special privilege. That’s what “rights” only given to a few is called. Privilege. That’s what they affirm. They affirm their right to be the privileged religious class.

Let’s read it again straight form their website, http://manhattandeclaration.org/:

Christians, when they have lived up to the highest ideals of their faith, have defended the weak and vulnerable and worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen vital institutions of civil society, beginning with the family.

We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are:

  1. the sanctity of human life
  2. the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
  3. the rights of conscience and religious liberty.

Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. 

Freedom or oppresion?

I love the fact that they call upon nonbelievers to join in defending the right of Christianity to be the defining religion of the U.S. The hypocrisy of wanting the government to both define marriage as their religion does and to simultaneously recognize a right to religious liberty is just appalling. I ask again: WHICH DO YOU WANT?

State religion or religious freedom? The problem with freedom is that it is granted indiscriminately. That means the Wiccan’s and the Buddhist and the Mormons and the Muslims and the Shintoists and the atheists and everyone else all get the same amount of religious freedom that the Christians do. And that includes being granted access to the tax breaks and legal rights of being in a government recognized committed relationship.

Anyway…thought I’d vent.

 

Sleepless Nights and Jazz February 14, 2009

Filed under: Anecdotal,art,deutsch,germany,marriage,writing — Addicted to Yarn @ 8:12 am
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The other night, in an attempt to settle Jael down with some quiet activities, as both Israel and I were sporting severe headaches, Israel put on some jazz and instructed us to draw what the music made us see in our minds. I closed my eyes, leaned back against our wonderful couch and let the music flow through my head. And this is the picture it made:

Jazz; in colored pencil and charcoal

Jazz; in colored pencil and charcoal

Last night as I fell asleep, I was thinking of a picture I’d like to draw and paint. I’d bought a few things at Micados, watercolor paper, water colors, and a new sketchpad, and I wanted to try them out. So while trying to pin down something to paint my mind slipped off to another thought. German. I began running through the German phrases we are working on in class and remembering vocabulary words (or trying to remember). I began to count as high as I could before falling asleep when the following picture popped into my mind and I knew it was what I would draw and paint. I call it, “Danke schön, Herr Trost, for all my sleepless nights.”

Thank you, Herr Trost, for all my sleepless nights; watercolor and felt tip marker

Danke schön, Herr Trost, for all my sleepless nights; watercolor and felt tip marker

These are the pencil drawings I did first. They are pretty cool in their own right.

Sleepless Nights; pencil

Sleepless Nights; pencil

Sleepless nights, detail; pencil

Sleepless nights, detail; pencil

That’s what I’ve been up to. That and having dreams which made me realize afresh that I am committed to always being the best Becky Walker I can be, wherever I am, whatever life situation I am in. The dream involved an old crush and you know how dream emotions are. When you wake up, you still kind of feel them. So as I tried to fall back asleep (which I was unable to do) I thought about what might have happened between this crush and I if my life situation had been different when we met (I was married). Then I wondered what might happen between us if something were to happen to Israel (which I in no way want but it’s always a possibility. Death grabs many people by surprise.). I felt a stab of guilt before I realized that there should be no shame in living life to the fullest. When we first met, I was very happily married and so there could be nothing beyond friendship. I would not trade what I have with Israel for anything. However, if something were to remove Israel from my life, I would not have any guilt about living my new life to the fullest. Each life situation has it’s advantages and disadvantages.

As a single person, all I wanted to do was get married. I missed out on a lot of things that a married person simply can’t do, like take off across the country on a whim, bungee jump, sky dive, things like that. I could have had an art room and really pursued various interests with no expectation put upon me. I love my family and again, would not trade them for anything, but having a family does put limitations on a person, as does being single. When I was single, I did not have a husband to spoon with at night. I didn’t have the stability of eating three square meals a day. I didn’t have the accountability of sleeping well. Of course, I had the option of staying up late and being crabby in the morning. I don’t have that option when I have a child to care for. There are advantages to both sides and I wish I would have taken advantage of those more when I was single.

I am incredibly happy that I’m living my married life to the fullest. There are so many things that are wonderful about being married. Fifty percent of my college tuition is paid for because of my husband’s job. I am living in Germany because of my husband’s job. I have one of the most amazing children in the world, who I could not have had without Israel. I have an expectation placed on me of cooking healthy meals, three times a day, which at first glance seems like a disadvantage but for my health, it’s an advantage. I have an expectation put upon me of being responsible with our money which results in me having better money skills and more money to spend. I have an expectation put upon me of not wasting our resources, which means I’m getting out walking more than I would if I were single. So beyond the obvious advantages of being married (I don’t have to go to work and I’ve got a built in bed warmer) the things that would appear as disadvantages are advantages if looked at through the right lens of living life to be the best you can be.

I love life.

I love where I am in life right now and I hope that whatever tomorrow brings, I will love that too. Life sometimes throws us curve balls that are truly horrible but I hope that no matter what I will live each moment as the best Becky Walker I can be. If life throws me tragedy, I hope I can be the best depressed artist/writer/blogger/crafter that Becky Walker can be.

Life is good.

 

Marriage and Sex April 19, 2008

I realized something the other day. If this is too much information for some of you, I am sorry if you are offended but not sorry for what I am about to say.

My husband and I have a wonderful sex life. We have tons of fun in bed and are completely satisfied with each other. Our sex life is holy and pure.not our bed...but beautiful none the less.

I grew up believing a sex life could only be pure and holy if it was with the confines of marriage. That it was the marriage that made sex holy and beautiful. It was the fence around the marriage bed, keeping the participants in and everyone else out that made it good and clean.

That’s not what makes it beautiful. The performance of duty is not what makes it pure. The piece of paper from the county courthouse is not what makes it holy. It is the daily choice that I and my husband make to share our bed with each other and no one else. If we were not married, we would still make that choice. If the government decided that tomorrow was the last day of marriage and that they would no longer recognize any kind of marital union, Israel and I would still come home to each other and find solace and sexual pleasure in each other’s arms and never the arms of anyone else. It is not the fence that keeps others out of our bed and us out of others but our choice.

And that is what love is. Love is not a piece of paper saying he has to provide for me and any offspring we might have. It isn’t a ring on my finger or his. It isn’t a pretty white dress and a rented tuxedo. It isn’t the approval of our family and friends. It’s our choice. It’s daily sliding into bed next to each other when there are others willing to welcome us into their bedroom.

This is revelatory to me. I thought what made my sex life special was that Israel and I are married. No, no, no. Marriage has nothing to do with it. Marriage, as we in America and the Christian church know it, is a piece of paper, a legal contract. Our sex life is special because we choose to share it with each other. Daily. There are men and women who’ve made offers, outright and not, and it is the saying no to them and yes to each other that makes our sex holy.

It’s the choice. The free will choice to say “No” to every other person in the world, and “Yes” to each other. It’s free will and it’s beautiful.

 

The Worst Advice EVER!!! March 10, 2008

You may think the title of this blog is a bit presumptious. Wait until you read this before deciding I mistitled it.

Years ago, a friend recommended Michael and Debbie Pearl’s books on childrearing. We read a couple and while they had some good advice and interesting ideas, for the most part, they were a couple of freaky, freaky people. Before realizing the full extent of their creapiness, I signed up for their newsletter/magazine. After receiving it for a couple of months, we realized we didn’t even want it in our house. Neither Israel nor I wanted to write a letter canceling our subscription for fear that we would be chastized, because obviously, if we didn’t like what we were reading it was because we were being convicted and therefore needed to be reading it. And from the letters Michael Pearl received and the advice he gives, that would not be out of character.

We moved from Kansas City to California and the magazines followed us. I finally got online and after some searching was able to discontinue our subscription without having to talk to anyone. YAY!

Yeah…unfortunately, the canceling didn’t seem to take. We moved to Mississippi and continued to get the magazine. We never gave them a forwarding address and yet, here’s the magazine. We moved to a new place and yesterday, what should be in my mailbox but another “NGJ” (No Great Joy – the name of the Pearl’s ministry) magazine. This magazine did not have a forwarded sticker on it. Nope. It had my name and my current address. I don’t understand but am freaked the heck out.

Then Israel opened it and started reading it, thinking perhaps we’d find something ridiculous to blog about. Did he ever. Below, in blue ink, is a letter from a reader and Michael’s advice.

I have tried to read your articles to find an answer to my problem, but I have not been able to find one. So, I write to you in secret. My husband has been talking with another woman for several years without my knowledge. I just found out, and I’m so hurt. My husband says he’s sorry and that he tried to stop several times, but could not get victory.

This is the second time this has happened. My husband is a saved man in the ministry, and this girl has a high position in the ministry as well. I have decided to keep my mouth shut, because I don’t want my husband’s ministry to have a scar. I need help though, because I’m so hurt inside and have no one to talk to. I have to face this girl every week and act as though nothing is wrong. My husband has to work in the office with her a least once a week and act as if nothing is wrong. I don’t want him to talk to her, look at her, or even smile at her, etc., but if he acts funny, I know suspicions will arise in me.

My husband said that he would start being open with me when I ask him questions or ask to see his phone. But I feel like he’s starting to get irritated with me already, as I keep asking and I’m scared of his temper. My husband admits that he has a problem with wanted attention from women, and I fear that it may happen again. I feel so alone and I’m fighting so much with bitterness, anger, thoughts of their conversations and wondering why I wasn’t or am not good enough for him. I feel so betrayed.

I love my husband and our children, and I want him to do the Lord’s work. I don’t want to do anything that will destroy his ministry. Please help me with some advice.

Michael answers:

Fight for your man. Go to the woman personally, and tell her to get another job or you will make her wish she had. Tell your husband that you expect either him or her to quit and go somewhere else. If not, go to work with him and don’t let him out of your sight.

Here are my thoughts on this little tidbit…

I have tried to read your articles to find an answer to my problem, but I have not been able to find one. So, I write to you in secret. First problem. Why are you doing this in secret? Your husband already knows you are concerned. If he is actually interested in “victory” you shouldn’t have to hide the fact that you are seeking advice, unless, of course, he thinks the Pearl’s are a bunch of crackpots. My husband has been talking with another woman for several years without my knowledge. Talking, huh? What a cad. I just found out, You just found out. This woman and your husband have enough of a relationship that you are concerned and you are just finding out. You should be involved enough (and your husband should allow you access to his life enough) that you know about friendships, male or female, before then hit the “years” mark. and I’m so hurt. My husband says he’s sorry and that he tried to stop several times, but could not get victory. I’m not sure what he’s supposed to get victory over. If all that’s happening is conversations, where’s the sin to be victorious over? Maybe you aren’t being as honest as you need to be? Maybe they are having sex in the pews but you are too embarrassed to say so?

This is the second time this has happened. The second time he’s talked to a woman or the second time he’s hidden a relationship from you? My husband is a saved man in the ministry, and this girl has a high position in the ministry as well. I have decided to keep my mouth shut, because I don’t want my husband’s ministry to have a scar. That’s right. Because what’s really important here is that you all keep a nice happy public image while you die from the inside out. You should be more concerned with you marriage, your husband’s soul (if indeed there is sin occurring), and your own self respect and health (if you are continuing to share the bed with a man who’s sleeping around), than with public image. I need help though, because I’m so hurt inside and have no one to talk to. Ironically, no one to talk to except a man you aren’t married to. Hmmm. Ironies aside, why are you alone? Why don’t you have friends you can share this with? If it’s because you are too afraid of “ministry scars” you are a fool. Build some friendships that are deeper than what you had for dinner last night. Be vulnerable and open and then accepting and nonjudgemental when your friends are open and vulnerable in return. I have to face this girl every week and act as though nothing is wrong. Why must you pretend nothing is wrong if something is? Of course, if all that has happened is that your husband and this girl have been friends, than you are overreacting and there isn’t anything wrong. If there’s been an affair, the Bible has guidelines for how adultery should be handled in the church. Follow the Scriptures you claim to believe. My husband has to work in the office with her a least once a week and act as if nothing is wrong. See previous statement. I don’t want him to talk to her, look at her, or even smile at her, etc., You have just given much more validity to their “relationship” by putting all these rules in place. What had been a friendship has now been classified as “illicit.” Again, if there has been adultery, it needs to be dealt with at a corporate level. but if he acts funny, I know suspicions will arise in me. I think you need to be in therapy. Seriously. You shouldn’t be this upset and this “suspicious” over a friendship. And if your husband has committed adultery, you probably need to be in therapy to deal with the betrayal and the hurt.

My husband said that he would start being open with me when I ask him questions or ask to see his phone. Again with the not trusting. He’s a grown man. I would get irritated if Israel wanted to count the cookies every day to make sure I wasn’t having more than my fair share (food being my addiction). But I feel like he’s starting to get irritated with me already, as I keep asking and I’m scared of his temper. Stop the train. You are afraid of you husband. This should not be a letter asking for advice on how to stop him from talking to another woman. This should be a letter asking for advice on how to get yourself and your children out of the house without endangering anyone needlessly. If you are afraid of you husband, get the hell out of the house. You both need counseling. Him for being angry or violent enough to make you afraid; you for staying in a dangerous relationship for all these years or, and this is the clincher, for being willing to say your husband is abusive (what else do you think “afraid of his temper” means?) when in reality you don’t have the maturity to deal with normal adult relationships, which include some conflict. My husband admits that he has a problem with wanted attention from women, (I’m a woman and I like attention from woman. I like attention from men, too. I enjoy people noticing me. I also enjoy people noticing my husband. I like it when people think he’s neat and want to talk to him. I find it very complimentary to me. I chose well.) and I fear that it may happen again. What happen again? Talking to another human being who happens to be female? I feel so alone and I’m fighting so much with bitterness, anger, thoughts of their conversations and wondering why I wasn’t or am not good enough for him. I feel so betrayed. Again, you need friends, girl. You need to make some friends outside of your immediate family. You need to deal with your bitterness. That crap will eat you up from the inside out. Seriously. Bitterness will destroy you. Anger is not necessarily bad. If something wrong had happened, you I should be angry. Of course, if you are angry because he chats with a coworker, you do probably need to be dealing with anger issues. Stop thinking about their conversations and ask your husband what they’ve talked about. Maybe you’ll find out that they went to the same highschool and have many mutual friends. Maybe they both like painting and have been discussing different water color techniques. Maybe they are having phone sex and you do have reason to be upset. You will never know until you ask you husband and he has the integrity to tell you the truth. And if he doesn’t, a “scar” on his ministry is the least of you problems.

I love my husband and our children, and I want him to do the Lord’s work. So much that you are willing to sacrifice your marriage so he doesn’t look bad. I don’t want to do anything that will destroy his ministry. Oh, like keeping your mouth shut until he has a high profile, public affair that blows up and makes the whole Christian community look bad? Thanks. Please help me with some advice. Or, give me some really crappy advice that won’t help at all.

1. “Fight for your man.” Not bad in and of itself. But the way he advises to go about fighting for her man…yikes.

2. “Go to the woman personally, and tell her to get another job or you will make her wish she had.” Okay, okay, I am trying to write about this but the laughter in my brain just won’t stop. The Pearl’s pride themselves on being based on the bible. Where do they find support for making someone’s life miserable in order to get your way in the Bible? Because that’s what he’s saying. First, you make an ultimatum. “Quit or I’ll make you wish you had.” Okay, then when she doesn’t quit, what are you supposed to do? Start slashing her tires? Begin telling people what a slut she is? Maybe egging her house and calling at all hours of the night is the answer. With open ended advice like that, anything is possible. Michael stresses consistency and following through with threats in his parenting advice. Why would dealing with adults be any different? So, if this girl doesn’t quit, now this woman is stuck with having to make someone else’s life miserable. Sounds like a great way to model Christ.

3. Tell your husband that you expect either him or her to quit and go somewhere else.” Whoa, Whoa, whoa. TELL you husband? TELL? I thought that Michael Pearl supported women being submissive to their husbands. Maybe telling your husband what to do means something else to him but to me, it smacks of being unsubmissive. (I am NOT agreeing with Michael Pearl’s view of submission but simply pointing out his own inconsistencies.) My question when I hear this is “Or what?” What if he doesn’t quit or she doesn’t quit? Oh, yeah, last sentence…

4. If not, go to work with him and don’t let him out of your sight.” Wow. Well, that is certainly one way to build trust and faith in a relationship. And I’ll bet his boss will be really pleased when wife and kids (because they should all be homeschooled if you are a follower of the Pearl’s) show up to shadow Daddy at work. And what if you husband doesn’t happen to work in the ministry where that sort of thing might be acceptable? What if one’s husband works in a controlled or secure area? What if he works in a construction site? What are you going to do when he has to leave town for a business trip? Come on, Michael.

There are just so many things wrong. I think the first thing that needs to be addressed is the truthfulness of this letter. I don’t think she’s telling the whole story. Either her husband has done more than just talk previously in their marriage or he’s doing more than just talking right now. OR, and this is a big OR, she’s seriously this worked up because her husband is talking with a coworker.

My husband and I have a great relationship. We also have great friendships outside of each other. One of my best friends, is also one of his best friends. She came down and spent two weeks with us last summer. We went up and stayed with her for two weeks this fall. She plans on coming to Germany and staying with us for 6 months. Israel and she talk on the phone once a week or so, sometimes less often, sometimes more often. Sometimes I’m home, sometimes I’m not. If I’m not, Israel makes sure to tell me so that it doesn’t seem as though he’s hiding anything. I’m not concerned about him having an affair with her. Do you know why?

Because I’ve made a conscious decision to trust my husband and my best friend. Would I want them to go on a month long back packing trip through the Rockies by themselves? No. If such a situation happened (through no fault of their own, like a plane crash or something) would I believe them when they said nothing inappropriate happened? Yes, I would. I can’t live any other way. If I can not trust my husband to be honest with me, than there’s nothing I can do. Yes, I could follow him around and watch his every move. If he doesn’t respect me enough to tell me the truth, why would he respect me enough to change his behavior just because I’m watching. And if the only reason he’s behaving is because I’m watching, what happens when I can’t watch him?

The only way to have a relationship with any meaning is to trust. What Israel does is his responsibility. If he has an affair, there will be consequences and he knows that. If he looks at too much porn, there are consequences. If I eat a whole bag of Hershey’s Kisses, there are consequences. If I don’t clean the house and he has to come home to a pigsty, there are consequences. If I have an affair, there are consequences.

Part of being an adult is taking responsibility for your actions. Israel and I have made a commitment to be 100% honest with each other, which includes telling the other when we’ve screwed up.

We don’t hide things. Why be married if you aren’t going to be soul mates?

We don’t lie to each other. How could I lie with a man, allowing him access to me while I am more vulnerable than at any other time, if I’m lying to him and vice versa?

We are honest about our weaknesses. How can you address a problem if you don’t know it exists? How can we be a help to each other if we don’t share our struggles?

We help each other and lean on each other when we need a shoulder to help us along. Why have a relationship if you aren’t going to be bettered and neither is your partner?

My point is that Michael Pearl’s advice smacks of distrust. It smacks of someone who thinks the best way to find out what’s going on is to follow the person around. The only way to make sure your spouse is doing what they are supposed to is to shadow them. Where’s the trust? Where’s the love? Love doesn’t do that.

God doesn’t hound us, following after us, waiting for us to screw us so He can pounce on us. God doesn’t give us ultimatums. Well, only the “follow Me or suffer eternal damnation” one but other than that, God doesn’t say, “Preach the gospel here or I’m going to give you fecal incontinence.” God says, do this. God sets the standard. We make a choice of whether or not we are going to strive to meet that standard. If we decide to not meet it, than we suffer the consequences, be what they may. If we decide to meet the standard, than we must do all we can to meet it. If we are unable, God is there to help us. He’s more than willing to help us. I think He enjoys giving us a hand for that last heave up the mountainside. He’s not just going to do it all Himself. He expects us to put some effort into it.

The conclusion I’ve come to is that I’m going to have to make this magazine stop. This man’s advice is so bad, I don’t even want it in my home. I am not looking forward to having to speak to them or write to them or in any way alert them to my existence but this drivel has to stop coming into my home. I get enough drivel through the news.