Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 6: Cecelia's Secret

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 The secret was "ATI", which stands for, "Advanced Training Institute." This was a word of mouth ultra-conservative home school program Cecilia told me about. It taught "Character First." It made children obedient, God fearing individuals, Cecilia explained to me. Cecilia shared examples of how much more obedient children were who were taught with this style of curriculum. How these children differed from other children. I was intrigued, and wanted to find out more about it. This was what I have been waiting to hear. If Cecilia's children were walking, … [Read more...]

Preparing a Visionary Daughter to Do Hard Things ~ Part 5: Waking Up

by Kiery A failure, that’s what I was, a giant failure. I couldn’t be the daughter my parents wanted me to be. I had tasted freedom, and I felt like I deserved it. I couldn’t go back to being the second mom after being told I was an adult. Adults can’t take their children’s adulthood away, can they? The 6 months between the split and my 18th birthday were the darkest days of my life. I was horribly depressed, I hardly ate, I contemplated cutting and suicide on more than one occasion. Honestly, if it weren’t for the friends I had made before and my boyfriend’s pastor stepping up and reaching me when I cried for help, I don’t know where I would be. I was mad at God, mad at my … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 5: A Leap of Faith

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 Our family was planning an out of state move soon. My husband had been praying about our life up North. For him, everything seemed mundane, so he started praying that if the Lord had more for us, he would have to shake things up a bit. For me, I felt that everything had already been shaken up enough. As always, the Lord answered my husband’s prayer almost instantly. The job that he thought he was going to have until retirement became very stressful for him. When folks at work found out that he was a believer, they started playing little tricks on … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 4: Everything Was So Confusing to Me Now

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 Getting back to the Cabbage Doll story. Let me explain. In the eighties, a very well known Evangelist that Cecilia's family was personally taught under, taught that Cabbage Patch Dolls were causing strange and destructive behaviors in children. They could only be alleviated when the dolls were removed from the household, or better yet, destroyed completely! There were some reports claiming... ladies were miscarrying while having these dolls in their homes. It was explained to me that when you got a Cabbage Patch Doll, they come with birth certificates … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 3: My Very Own Titus 2 Friend!

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 drew closer to Christ through my relationship with Cecilia; there was no doubt about it. The more time I spent with her, the more I opened my bible to see if all the things I was learning, matched up with the word of God. I was learning so much from her. Some good things, and some things that really made me scratch my chin in dismay. I learned that if you were a real Christian, then you were to only home school your children. However, My church taught us that we could also send our children to a Christian school. That was acceptable too. This really … [Read more...]

Preparing a Visionary Daughter to Do Hard Things ~ Part 4: Growing Up

by Kiery The thing about training is that eventually, you grow up and exercise what you were taught. I was taught to think for myself, to stand up regardless of pressure, and in the end, that’s what I did. The last half of my 16th year my parents spent drilling into me that I was a capable adult and ready for marriage. I went to visit my boyfriend after christmas and I think my parents fully expected a proposal even though (despite me being 16) we’d only been together since September. I was nervous, naturally. A hasty marriage was being pushed by my family  while his were much less hurried. I was scared, because at 16, I interpreted this as there being something wrong...maybe they … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 2: It was a beautiful vision of faith to me

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 The night before my dinner engagement was a nervous one. I wanted everything to be extra perfect for my get together the following day. I stayed up praying that evening. Morning came and I felt more at ease. After church service Cecilia’s family followed my family home and for the next 4 hours we talked and joked as if we had been friends for years. I seemed to connect really well with Cecilia even though I had nothing much in common with her. Cecilia was ultra conservative, modest beyond words. She was a skirts only, tailored neckline type of woman. … [Read more...]

The Destiny of a Virtuous Daughter ~ Part I: Beginnings of the Mask

by Starfury   Who is that girl I see staring straight back at me? -Mulan For as long as I can remember, I was somebody else. My driving factors were love, approval, and being wanted, for who I was. That never came, in part due to the fact that in my work to achieve my goals I molded who I was to others' specifications. As a result, I am trying to figure out who I am, even though I'm now an adult. Even now, it is easy to slip into the role that I deem others expect of me. It is hard to summon up the strength to remove the mask I've become so good at wearing, out of fear of reproach and backlash. Ultimately, I was to be the perfect daughter. My family had to appear as the model … [Read more...]

Preparing a Visionary Daughter to Do Hard Things ~ Part 3: Critical Thinking

by Kiery Many people tell me I’m brave, they can’t believe how strong I am. Ten years of playing “mommy 2” isn’t overly common in the outside world. People at church would often tell me how lucky my parents were to have me and say “I bet you help out a lot, huh?” and I would nod and say “yes” while scanning the room to keep tabs on my siblings. “You guys are so blessed!” They would exclaim to my parents, “I don’t know how you do it.” My parents would nod in agreement while other families noted how well behaved we were. It seemed people either wanted to have our faith or detested us. They would aspire to become like my family, or think we were crazy lunatics. … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 1: The Model of a Christian Woman

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snow This is a story of two very different families and how the Light of Jesus overflowed from one to the other. It is also a story about feeling rejected and very alone, when one family decided to end the friendship with the other.  Time heals all wounds though, or so they say..... by Shelly Cruz I have always been known as a free spirit, an extrovert; I see life as an adventure. I made friends very easily and always attracted all different kinds of people. That was before I became a Christian, though. Something happened to me which no one saw coming, not even me. One … [Read more...]


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