My Courtship Story ~ Part 2: Waiting and Hoping

by Young Mom @ Permission to LiveNow that I had given up on being anything but what my parents wanted from me, I began to gain some sort of sense of contentment. I was still afraid that I was going to be a stay at home daughter the rest of my life, but I had hope that “the time of the singing” would eventually come. So I poured myself into being the best daughter I could be. I had discovered some food allergies that had been impacting my health, and after removing the troublesome food from my diet, I had more energy. I got better and better at cooking and cleaning, I dreamed about how I would run my own house someday. I was usually too tired to work on anything for my hope chest, but I was … [Read more...]

My Courtship Story ~ Part 1: Listen for the Singing

by Young Mom @ Permission to LiveI begged my Mom to let me go to high school when I was 14. She was shocked by my request. How could I fail to appreciate all the time they had invested in homeschooling me, she told me how the school system was filled with evil, and how easy it was for a young girl to get taken advantage of. She promised that if I worked hard to finish my schoolwork, I would be able to go to college anyways, so why bother wasting my time in high school? I gave up.At the age of almost 16, I was allowed to go to a small “homeschool” college that was holding it’s first ever summer camp for teens. The camp had strict rules about dress code and interaction with the opposite sex … [Read more...]

It's Not About the Clothes!

[Note: For NLQ readers who have not yet joined the forum, here's a small taste of what you're missing ~ :) ] by Whisperthroughtherain When I was little, before we moved to the Bible belt, getting dressed was simple. I liked wild colors and animal prints. I felt so pretty when I got my ears pierced. In the summer when it was hot, nobody thought twice about running around in a bikini... Most of us did. Even chubby grandmas! We had pool parties and ordered pizza and my cousin taught me to swim. I thought he was great. Sometimes little boys tried to kiss me, but I just ran away.When I was a little older, we got involved with a southern, backwoods Baptist church. In Sunday school they taught us … [Read more...]

Spoofing the Visionary Daughters Quiz

[Note: After NLQ featured the Visionary Daughters Quiz back in November, "Jadeswan" posted her own version of the quiz on the forum.  For NLQ readers who have not yet joined the forum, here's a small taste of what you're missing ~ :)] by Jadeswan    I decided to try my hand at spoofing the quiz. I'm sorry it's so long but once I got started it was just too fun to stop. I guess I "just couldn't help myself." How foolish! (Just a note in case any of what I wrote steps on anyone's toes: please keep in mind I grew up under this mentality. Yes, it is snarky but only towards the bonds that kept me chained to fear for so long.)1---How do you respond when criticized /corrected? A: I begin thr … [Read more...]

I Am So Much More Than a Maiden of Virtue! Part 4 ~ Little Things

by WanderingOneI am a nail-biter.  I don’t bite them because I’m nervous or scared or anything like that.  I just…chew.  My nails are ugly and jagged; short and stumpy.  I hate the way they look.Growing up my parents tried to discipline me out of the habit.  It showed a lack of self-control, an inadequate ability for self-restraint.  I tried to stop.   I hated disappointing them.  I was afraid of punishment.  And yet, I never could shake the habit.  I bit and chewed—perhaps it was a form of unconscious resistance:  this small imperfection, this awful habit, was a small way of ensuring that my parents’ authority was not absolute.  Maybe it was just a bad habit I could never kick.In any c … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: The Shift

by Sierra           Clear morning light filtered in the empty door of the bakery. I was alone behind the storefront, a wall of bagel baskets hanging like a curtain between me and the rest of the world. My mother busied herself in the front of the store, wiping counters and making coffee as I methodically drew and cut the clear plastic wrap in its long rolls. I wrapped another sponge cake, applied the golden bakery label, and set the finished product on a tray to be stored and sold for the Jewish holidays. It was normally one of the busiest weeks in the store: the owner was Jewish and had many connections with the synagogues in northern New Jersey. We were a hotspot for holiday feasts.The … [Read more...]

I Am So Much More Than a Maiden of Virtue! Part 3 ~ Biblical Chastisement

by WanderingOneAt this point, I think it's necessary to write something about how things changed after my sister was born. It's hard to know what to say here—I do not want to tell my sister's story for her, nor could I presume to do so. But it would be disingenuous to attempt to write about my life without explaining how and why things changed. My little sister was, in so many ways, my opposite. Where I was shy, quiet, reserved and even timid, she was outgoing, bold, adventurous, and confident. I went to her Sunday School class rather than my own; I followed her lead in so many things, even though I was the older of the two of us. This didn't always work very well, given that I was s … [Read more...]

I Am So Much More Than a Maiden of Virtue! Part 2 ~ Cousins

by WanderingOneWhen I was four years old my cousin Aaron was born to my mom's sister. The next year, my sister, and three other cousins were born on my mom's side. After that, every year, two or three or sometimes all four of my mom's sisters were pregnant.  By the time I was eight, I had thirteen cousins on that side of my family. When my sister and I were added in, that meant there were there were fifteen of us, and I was the only one not the age of five.   More often than not (we lived relatively near one another), my mother would take my sister and I over to one of her sisters' houses to do our schoolwork, or to help out with housework.  And we might not be the only cousins over that da … [Read more...]

The Formula Ruled Above All

by ErikaIf you remember from one of my earlier installments, right before we started our first year of homeschooling, I had spent the summer in Uganda on a missions trip with Teen Missions International. It was an amazing summer and everything had seemed normal in my family before I left. I was promised that things wouldn't change much even though we'd be homeschooling. Of course, reading back through my story, you know that things DID change. I enjoyed that summer away so much. I had amazing experiences and the travel bug had officially hit. More than the travel bug, though, I enjoyed the satisfaction of helping others and telling people about my relationship with God. Hearing the … [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 snowby 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 b … [Read more...]