Jessa Duggar’s Happily Ever After

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So Jessa Duggar is officially courting and seeing the headlines on news sites and the links people were sharing made me feel nauseous. Reading the articles where they are portrayed as a young couple making a quaint and cute (albeit different) choice when it comes to romance. And then reading the comments where clueless person after clueless person gushes admiration for the “values” and praises them for being “role models.” My heart rate goes up. I close my laptop. I try not to think about it, but still end up feeling vaguely sad. Because I know the rest of the story, I lived it.I know the stuff that the news articles and the commenters don’t know. How a girl in this movement is told thro … [Read more...]

Yes I buy ice cream with my food stamps.

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When we were on the brink of transition, and facing the prospect of losing our income and home, we spent a lot of time crunching numbers. How much money would we need to survive for 3 months with no income? How about 6 months? We added up the costs for rent, insurance gas and upkeep for our 13 year old van, utilities, our life insurance policies, and diapers. And one of the costs I always included in my calculations was food.It never even occurred to me to get food stamps. That was something “lazy” people got, who “didn’t work” and “lived off the government”.  Even when times were tight in the past, we put food expenses on our credit card, never even considering that we might qualify for … [Read more...]

Learning Humility

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We got a mattress.It’s the first big ticket purchase we’ve made in a long time so it’s kind of a big deal.The delivery guys were coming between 9 and 12 on Saturday to drop it off. This was good. I don’t work Saturday, Haley does, but I usually take advantage of an entire day where I am not tired from already working an eight hour shift on my feet to get some cleaning done.And then they showed up at 9:14, when I had just finished feeding everyone breakfast and getting them all dressed and barely started picking up. I let them in, and showed them our bedroom down the hall. One of them was sweet, he smiled, gave the kids mints, and didn’t seem to mind stepping around the piles of la … [Read more...]

Substance and Spice

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 I worked second shift for 8 months. 30+ hours a week, going to bed at 1 in the morning, getting up to watch the kids during the day, and going to work as soon as evening arrived. 2 months ago, I had the chance to switch to daytime hours, so I did. And the deal came with full-time hours and a decent raise to boot. So now I get up early, work 8 hours and come home before my oldest gets home from school. They are good hours, dream hours really, some people work their whole lives to get hours like these. It’s been good. And it’s been new.New is exhausting sometimes. We enrolled Ms Drama in school, and went to her kindergarten orientation. I sat back in my chair and yaw … [Read more...]

On Being Evangelized

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I can usually spot them when they come in. The "superchristians". The excessively patronizing men make the order while the women stand quietly in their long skirts behind them. The group of middle aged women who come in for their bible study, order each of their drinks individually, and never ever tip.Or the conservatively fashionable woman who takes forever to make up her mind what she wants, and then when she decides on an herbal tea for it’s health benefits, she plucks up her courage and shakily makes her evangelistic comment about how amazing it is that god has made tea.One time I spotted a middle aged couple sitting rigidly next to each other across from their long-haired  adult … [Read more...]

Shame and Hospitality

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Haley had scheduled the get-together a week in advance. I knew all about it. And then we both forgot.Haley called me at 4 in the afternoon, “Do you remember that we have people coming over at 6?” My whole day came crashing down.We hadn’t cleaned the house that weekend, because no one was feeling that well. There was a mountain of laundry in the kitchen in front of the wash machine, and the sink was full of dishes. Toys were scattered throughout the house along with used tissues from all the snotty noses. I had nothing on hand to serve a guest. I wanted to cry.I snapped at the kids, I turned up the radio and buckled down to cleaning as fast as I could. I cleaned up the bathroom, mo … [Read more...]


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