The Beautiful Girlhood Doll ~ Part 4: Enthusiasm & Industry

by Liberty
Proverbs tells us that a virtuous woman “works with her hands with delight,” and “does not eat the bread of idleness.” The truly beautiful girl is one who sees her life as a mission of service. What others view as a burden, she views as a blessing and opportunity.

I was nothing if not hard working. In fact, I often got up early in order to complete all of my school work before lunch, so that I could then turn to reading, sewing, or any of a number of other hobbies. School was something I excelled at, and my parents were proud of me. I studied advanced science and math and loved learning languages. In fact, I wanted to be able to read the Bible in its original languages, so I studied Greek and Hebrew. And I loved it, and my parents couldn’t have approved more.

Of course, as much as my parents valued academics, I knew there were other areas a young woman must excel in if she wants to attract a proper husband. I therefore learned to cook, both from my mother or from simple experimentation. I prided myself on my pies, and even made noodles from scratch. Even though my mother did not can, she had the proper tools necessary, so I taught myself how to can vegetables. I knew that this skill was needed in a proper wife.

I also enjoyed gardening. We always had large gardens, and we children did a great deal of the tending and weeding, sometimes waking at dawn in the summer months to weed before the summer heat. In addition to learning to garden, I found books at a homeschool convention about edible plants and medicinal herbs and set out to teach myself these important skills. I learned that dandelions could be eaten in salads, that plantain was good for mosquito bites, and that raspberry leaves made an excellent tea for pregnant women (such as my mother). I even tried to make flour out of clover. I loved walking through marshy areas or abandoned lots looking for plants that matched the pictures in my books, becoming excited at each new find. I knew that a proper wife should be able to forage for food and prepare herbal remedies, especially if the government collapsed and the country descended into anarchy as we always feared it would.

In addition to cooking and gardening, I knew a proper wife must know how to sew. This was no problem for me as I sewed clothing for myself and my younger siblings and crocheted sweaters for whichever child was the baby at the moment. At one point, the Lord of the Rings became a bit of a fad in our circle of friends, and I quickly outfitted everyone in homemade costumes. I also sewed a quilt, because I knew a proper wife must fill her hope chest with homemade quilts. I cross-stitched several samplers as well, ever proud of my growing accomplishments. I would be ready, I knew, for that moment when a godly man would seek my hand in marriage.

I also spent a good deal of time teaching my younger siblings and other homeschoolers we knew. I taught languages and math, eager to help my mom out by taking some of the load off her shoulders while at the same time practicing for when I would someday homeschool my own children.

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10 things that happen when you leave the Quiverful/Patriarchal movement

by Ima Wakenow

The following is a list of things that come to your awareness about the QF/P life once you are out of it for quite sometime.  This is just a partial list of realizations that most of the women who escaped have had in the years following their liberation.

1. You realize you weren’t the only one.
This one is huge and that is why I list it first.  Inside the QF/P movement you are told you are wrong for having doubts.  Wrong for being disgruntled.  Wrong for having desires.  Eventually you find that you can not sustain a life of self sacrifice never attending to your own essential needs.  You may question everything you feel since you were told you can not trust your own perceptions.  When you walk away from the QF/P bondage you meet other people that have similar stories.  The shock you experience can be intense.  There are many many women out there just like you that have been duped.  They, too, were sucked into a movement with an ideal that can not work.  It can be disheartening but also very liberating to realize you are not alone.  There are others that have been there.  Others who understand.  Many others that can support you.  The QF/P system is broken.  And the problem is not you. [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 10: It's in the Lord's Hands

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snow

by Shelly Cruz

I walked over to the phone, and dialed Cecilia’s number. My first thought was that it would possibly be disconnected, but who knows, maybe they finally moved. Cecilia always talked about how the time would come, and their house would be demolished, and then they would have to move. They were living rent-free in an old farmhouse. Someone had blessed them years ago with a property. They had to care for it, and in return they could live there for free, but once the owner passed away, they’d have to move.

They were even given a 15-passenger van as a blessing too! Regardless of their ways, the Lord always saw fit to bless them, in abundance, too. Oftentimes, I wonder why all the big families always get so many blessings? If being Quiverfull, is an Old Testament mandate, why does it seem like extra-large families always get extra-large blessings?

I have seen this in church many times, the family with the 8+ kids, receive box loads of children’s clothing for their children. They get free food dropped to their doorsteps, their mortgage paid for them, or they get a blessing of not having any mortgage at all. Do people feel sorry for them, or are they really the “chosen ones”? I know I should not be questioning these things, but sometimes I do. It seems, to me, like the most legalistic people I know are the ones who get enormous blessings.

Anyway, the phone rang three times, and then someone picked up, ”Hello, whom may you wish to correspond with please?” [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 9: Draw Near to God

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snow

by Shelly Cruz

It was not until a period of distance was placed between my family and Cecilia’s, that I began to see the blessing that Cecilia gave me. It was an ABUNDANT blessing in disguise! At the time, I felt sad, lonely, depressed and even angry with her and with her whole family. I felt that Cecilia divorced our friendship, and I had no idea why.

I went from being a babe in Christ, to a woman, desiring nothing more, than to love my Savior Jesus. God was changing me little by little each day. I began to pray for specific things, and within weeks, sometimes days, prayers were being answered.

As I spent time in prayer, I started hearing the Lord speak directly to me. I became sensitive to hearing his voice. Good things began happening in my life. It felt amazing! I felt on fire for the Lord, and wanted to scream it from the rooftops! I felt that I had been lost, walking around in limbo for so long, but now I was found.

I clung to this verse: “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)
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Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 8: Somehow, I Lost My Entire Identity

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snow

by Shelly Cruz

There was so much to read about this man; I didn’t even know where to begin. I stumbled across a message board that had a whole bunch of people who grew up following his teachings. They were adults now. The thing that perplexed me the most, was that these folks were calling him a religious cult leader, and that did not seem right to me.

Cecilia and her family were very strong, mature Christians. They would never get involved with something cultish, would they? The time I spent reading about this man, seemed so déjà vu to me. Everything I was reading from these strangers, was stuff I had heard before, from Cecilia herself, and it all began making sense.

Some of the things I was reading were things that I had no idea about. Things such as: there were 100+ chosen ones that were taught under this man back in the early 70’s. They signed up voluntarily, and some paid a small sum of money and were ministered too. They were given books, and literature to take home and study with their children. This was the first generation of Bill Gothard followers.

A lot of these former followers were very anti-Christian nowadays. Some were even atheists! This did not make any sense to me. Some were confused, and just strayed from religion altogether, yet some, managed to find their way back to the Lord, and were ministering to the ones that left the warped teachings of this man.

I could not spend more then several minutes at a time reading all this. I kept taking breaks, and then would go back and read some more. My heart wept so much while reading the stories. These poor helpless children had been taught that God was harsh and unloving. Who would ever want to worship a God that demanded such harshness? Who would want to remain faithful to a God that was just waiting for his children to mess up, so that he could punish them?
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