Daughter of the Patriarchy: Casualties

by SierraSoft breaths of cinnamon and vanilla wafted down into the basement from Anna’s kitchen. Laughter chorused over our heads as Sven and I busily fortified our Lego castle with rubber animals: his were the dogs, mine the cats. We worked together to fend off a motley invasion of snakes, hyenas and whatever other ugly miscreants we could dig from the toy bin. Pirates were only ever united by a common love of money. Bare light bulbs hung glaring over our heads, but we ignored them. Tiring of the siege, we took refuge under the stairs and ripped open a bag of butter cookies. Chessmen. We spared no cavalry or foot soldier in the cookie massacre. We were eight years old.Sneaking upstairs t … [Read more...]

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

by KieryThe 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 didn’t … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: Hairspray

by SierraI awoke with my lungs filled with something pungent and sticky. I sat up groggily in the upper bunk, fumbling around for a watch or cell phone to tell me why it was still dark when so many beds were vacated. A light shone dimly across the long dorm room through a hazy moisture hanging in the air. My hand closed around someone’s small alarm clock, and I squinted at it. 5:30am.It was hairspray, I discovered as I staggered toward the bathroom. Lithe, elegantly dressed young women gathered cheerfully around the bathroom mirrors as they unrolled golden-flecked curls that fell gently to their thighs. Each strip of hair, carefully unbound from a foam roller, was sprayed within an inch o … [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 snowby Shelly CruzThe 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. S … [Read more...]

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

by KieryMany 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. We prided ourselves on being p … [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 snowThis 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 CruzI 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...]

Preparing a Visionary Daughter to Do Hard Things ~ Part 2: Maintaining Appearances

by KieryIn time, I would begin to envision myself as a fair rose hidden inside metal armor. Afraid to grow, afraid to feel, staying inside a metal cage meant to protect. As far as appearances went though, you’d never know I felt that way. I don’t think my own family knew how I felt, when it comes down to it. Appearances were very important - we always had to look perfect, the house had to be spotless, when we were moving we had to be all happy about it (even if we weren’t), that way people wouldn’t think there was something wrong. The worst thing that could happen would be for someone to wonder if there was something wrong/ someone wasn’t “happy”.I joined a speech club when I was 13, an … [Read more...]

Preparing a Visionary Daughter to Do Hard Things ~ Part 1: Big Girls Don't Feel

by KieryI’m no stranger to hard things. In ways my life was built around doing hard things and part of that has made me who I am today. I’m no stranger to sacrifice, conflict, or rejection. For a while, these things seemed to follow me and my family wherever we went.In 19 years, my mom’s had 10 pregnancies and 8 children, most of them taking place over the last 11 years.  At 8, my life would become a cycle of doing my own thing, and then that being put on hold to take care of everyone and keep the house running until the newest baby arrived. This wasn’t always the case...We started homeschooling when I was in kindergarten, according to my parents, primarily because my private school w … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: Two Snakes and a Virgin – The Serpent’s Seed

 by SierraI was about nine years old when I started paying attention to some of the doctrines that were slowly infiltrating my life over the past two years. I’d stopped wearing pants or cutting my hair by the end of the first year, following my mother’s lead. The last pair of pants she wore were a lovely pair of wide-leg trousers with a sheer lace overlay; they could pass for a skirt until she took a step. She wore them to church, then threw them away – she felt “convicted” for wearing a man’s garment. She threw away her makeup, too, keeping only a sheer moisturizing lip gloss as a token of her past.I liked my new dresses, and I liked the long hair slowly descended across my shoulders. I’ … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: “Hello, Miss Dog-Meat.”

by SierraEvery so often, a story circulated around Message churches. Our pastor related it with a twinkle of humour in his eye. The precociousness of little children was always a failsafe source of amusement in a world that afforded so many sinful entertainments. Children quoting scripture were even better. Out of the mouths of babes, it was oft repeated, the Word of God was made perfect. And so, it was with paroxysms of mirth that the following anecdote was passed around.One day, a minister’s wife was out doing the grocery shopping with her family. Her youngest boy, then only four or five, spied a worldly woman in the supermarket. With frank and immediate assurance, he called out, “ … [Read more...]


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