Jesus Wants You to Set a Fancy Table and Have Zero Phone Calls

Jesus Wants You to Set a Fancy Table and Have Zero Phone Calls December 5, 2019
Fanciest meal I’ve had here in Costa Rica taking place at a private club. Fundraiser to provide Christmas food for impoverished local Ticos. This plate of food costs an embarrassing amount of money, enough to feed a Tico family for a week. Notice plain white china, no table cloth. There is a paper napkin dispenser, paper coasters. There were no flowers on the table. Nothing that Nancy could call ‘Godly’ May we always be grateful for our food no matter how it is served, from the fanciest china to a styrofoam plate.

I really think that Nancy Campbell of the Quiverfull blog Above Rubies is joining Douglas Wilson et al in coming up with standards more appropriate for the 1850s while insisting they are appropriate for the now. Another one from a very different old generation promoting that which is not so much in the now.

Nancy is talking here of bringing heaven to earth via your own home. Her constant theme along with embracing your uterus and gardening.

Nancy does not say fancy tablecloths, flowers and china, but we know from all of her previous postings this is exactly what she means.

Plus her list of what your home must be.

Shrugs. None of those are necessarily bad… except for this one “Eliminating unnecessary phone calls” What does that even mean? Is this one of those backhanded ways of saying “do not gossip”?

Alrighty then! Yet again no negative emotions allowed. No needs allowed. No exhaustion allowed. No thanks, Nancy, I’d rather have real emotions, the good, the bed and the very ugly. The freedom to eat off paper plates when I feel like it. Freedom is so much more wonderful than this constant kowtowing to the extra Biblical rules of Nancy.

Just heard this Anna Wintour quote while putting this together and it really speaks to the heart of what we’re really talking about here.

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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

I Fired God by Jocelyn Zichtermann

13:24 A Dark Thriller by M Dolon Hickmon

About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 33 years. You can read more about the author here.
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  • AFo

    If Nancy had a perfect table like this in her home, it’s only because her children were terrified of the consequences of displeasing her or putting a toe out of line. Good parents understand that kids will be kids, and that there’s no reason to bust out the white linens and fine china every single night.

  • Exactly. I like white linens and fine china, but I like to keep both for special occasions, like a family member’s birthday.

  • Nea

    Every month, I go to a potluck & games party with a bunch of my friends. The plates are paper, the cups are plastic, the tablecloth is the hostess’ standard one for the season.

    It’s the company that makes it cheerful, exciting, fun, hospitable, etc.

  • Mary Hannah bates

    Not me. I am special enough for them daily and I like the finer things.

  • Polytropos

    I’m sensing that Nancy likes fancy tablecloths and fine china, and therefore they must be the will of god. There’s nothing wrong with liking a particular aesthetic, but pretending god likes it too is not very sane.

    The phone call thing sounds like it might be a version of the common complaint that people my age spend too much time on our phones instead of interacting with real people (or god, depending on the complainant’s religious leanings). I wonder if Nancy was picturing a bored housewife on the phone to her friends all day, back in the days before social media when to do this you had to make voice calls on a landline. People like Nancy often discourage any socializing that isn’t specifically god-oriented.

  • Tawreos

    Wow! It looks like she forgot a few asterisks in there.
    Acceptance – except if the person is gay or believes in god differently from you.
    Communication – From someone that believes that vague things written 2,000 years ago still have relevance today no matter what the subject.
    Compassion – Unless the person is gay or translates the vague writings of the bible differently than you do.

    Did anyone else get seriously creeped out by the line:

    You are just an “earthen vessel” with no power to do anything.

    Or is it just me that is completely creeped out by the thinking behind that line.

  • Tawreos

    She is reusing an old list or she would know that calls are not what phones are used for today.

  • Polytropos

    Not just you.

  • Nea

    The thinking is the foundation for it all, though – no one has the “power” to Not Respect Mah Authorit-tah!

  • Nea

    My mother once insisted on no cell phones at the table (okay) and then asked a question for which we all tried to look up the answer (to her annoyance). It’s choose one or the other when you’ve got a reference library in your pocket!

  • Anne Fenwick

    On ‘eliminating uneccessary phone calls’… well, actually, yes. I had one kid (1), and an explicit 50/50 co-parenting deal with my husband. But oh, those phone calls! When she was 18 months old, I started an evening exercise class, secure in the knowledge that he would feed her and put her to bed. Five weeks in a row, I returned at 9pm to find her crying at the front door because she had not eaten yet. The culprit? Incessant phone calls from manfriends he couldn’t possibly be rude to by blowing them off. Turned out the 50/50 deal was on the basis that he picked his hours at his leisure and I picked up all the rest. It wasn’t the kid’s fault so I gave up the exercise class and much else. How does it sound when it’s put that way?

  • Ingeborg Nordén

    Even if some angel gave me a brand-new, fertile body with no medical problems…AND pointed out a wealthy Quiverfull man who was interested in marrying me for some odd reason…. I would accept neither. Better to keep the little freedom allowed by my real life (even if that means a nursing-home bed) than to sell myself for someone else’s vision of heaven!

  • Mimc

    Ugh what a lazy bum. Especially since 18 month olds go to bed at like 7. He could have called his buddy back in like a half an hour.

  • persephone

    Also, the slave2 labor from the under the table adoptions helps a lot.

  • persephone

    My guess is that at least part of Nancy’s issues with phone calls is that you might call and talk to someone who has a more normal life and then start getting ideas about being treated like a human being.

  • persephone

    95% of the time, people calling my number are scammers. Almost everything is done through text. Or I’ll text someone first, because we all have jobs and lives and responsibilities, and ask if they’re free to talk on the phone.

  • persephone

    Men are always more important than women and children. Haven’t Nancy and Doug and Lori and Larry and Tim and their lot made that clear? /s

  • CindyatUnderMuchGraceDOTcom

    Are you allowed to talk to Jesus?

  • CindyatUnderMuchGraceDOTcom

    Oh, wait! She only lives in TN. She’s from NZ, so she might not be into this song. Folks her age really get into it as you can see by Bill Gaither.

  • Saraquill

    Nancy disappoints me. At first glance, her list was in alphabetical order. The more I looked, the less overorganized it became. For shame, Nancy.

  • Saraquill

    He was rude to make Daughter go hungry.

  • Polytropos

    Well, it is a slippery slope. Before you know where you are someone has invited you to brunch and there you are, enjoying a mimosa and realizing that the Puritan life is grossly overrated.

  • Snowflake

    Can’t have that.

  • Snowflake

    Once a year I want to do a fancy dinner, at Thanksgiving. I pulled out the good silver, china and crystal. We had the traditional turkey and sides along with an entree for our vegetarian guests. I requested tv off and phones down. My husband turned on some Christmas carols. Lovely. We are all atheists or at least agnostic, but decided to share what we were thankful for. Lovely, for an atheist family. Anyhow, my husband’s brother, the one Christian started commenting on one of the Christmas songs, talking about shepherds by their flocks by night. He was wondering if we could have shepherds pie, with real shepherd. Then my husband’s sister and her husband discussed with shepherd pie man a darker version of Silent Night. I think I wish Nancy was with us.

  • NikkiofAmystika

    Anyhow, my husband’s brother, the one Christian started commenting on one of the Christmas songs, talking about shepherds by their flocks by night. He was wondering if we could have shepherds pie, with real shepherd.

    So your brother-in-law went “A Little Priest” on you? In that case, I think he and I would get along well.

  • Snowflake

    Huh. It felt a bit more like brother in law went “Hannibal Lector” on me, but perhaps I was grumpy with all the cooking.

  • NikkiofAmystika

    I probably only noticed this because I’ve seen the Tim Burton film adaptation of Sweeney Todd 3 times, but the way he phrased it sounds like one of Mrs. Lovett’s lyrics from “A Little Priest”-“shepherd’s pie peppered with actual shepherd on top”. I can see why you might think Hannibal Lecter, though!
    Here’s 2 versions of the number for anyone who’s interested.

  • Jennifer

    Especially among women. Debi Pearl esp did a freak show telling women never to spend too much time around other women. No wonder, she has no clue how to act around them.

  • Jennifer

    Tim who?

  • LOL Our cat uses the “nice” dishes more often than we do!

  • Snowflake

    Oh, I totally forgot about Sweeney Todd. I love both the musical and the play. I’m going to have good songs stuck in my head this morning! Thank you! I wish you were there at Thanksgiving!

  • Mimc

    This is the kind of thing that makes me realize what is happening when people get divorced right after they have a baby. One of them realizes that if they have to single parent anyway they may as well leave.

  • Cynthia

    I do big family dinners on paper plates and tell people to help themselves to a buffet on the kitchen counter. Not pretty, but quite delicious and a way to get family together often without a ton of stress. I prefer happy sounds of children to doing things picture perfect.

  • Jennifer A. Nolan

    The end result will be happier young adults!

  • CindyatUnderMuchGraceDOTcom

    More power to whomever wants to do their family traditions however they want. If you love finery or convenience, you have the freedom and liberty to choose either one. Nancy fails to realize that it is not the window dressing of what you do in your own tradition that is important. The glue that holds all of those specifics together comes from the shared love of the company there and the joy that you bring to being with one another. If you burn the pie or you break a glass or spill the milk, it is only an opportunity to express love and gratitude for the most important things — the people who are there and are safe to be themselves.

    Vivat difference!

  • persephone


  • persephone

    That’s when most wives find out they already had one child all along, and caring for a 180 lb toddler and a new baby is way too much work. Or the husband decides that any time that his wife isn’t spending on his needs, especially the little head needs, which means it’s time to get a new house slave9.

  • thatotherjean

    “Are they made with real Girl Scouts?” — Wednesday Addams

  • Delilah Hart

    The moment I first saw the title, I knew it was about Nancy Campbell!

  • Yeah, the idea that I had no power to do anything without her god is pretty demeaning.

  • Jennifer

    Ohh yeah, hadn’t heard from him in a while.

  • Jennifer

    I prefer quiet shuffling to all that dang clinking and clanking of fine plates possibly getting chipped.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Whenever I get frustrated with Nancy, Lori, Debi et al I work on my fiction where all three of them are kidnapped away to a feminist compound. I always have Nancy twittering on and on about beautiful tables like a mad woman

  • Karen the rock whisperer


    However, I suspect Nancy means ***all*** phone calls where the purpose is simply to connect with a friend outside the home. If they’re church friends, you’ll see them in a couple of days anyhow, right? If they’re not church friends, you shouldn’t be wanting to connect with them. Hanging out on the phone shouldn’t ever take precedence over something as important as caring for children or other family members, when that’s needed. OTOH, connecting with friends is good for mental health, a notion that I suspect Nancy rejects.

  • Jennifer A. Nolan

    Not very nice. Did you break up with this clod?

  • Anne Fenwick

    Nope, because although he showed a distressing lack of self-control there, he is, by and large, a regular individusl human being, with the usual assortment of virtues and flaws. Operating in a world that consistently rewards male irresponsibility with respect to these everyday chores. That’s the unfortunate part.

  • Snowflake

    Well, I guess I did not say what SIL brought for dessert…..

  • lady_black

    I love the photo, and glad you had a satisfying Thanksgiving meal. That plate looks like my favorite “fine china” (er… cheap Corelle dinnerware in Winter White).
    I had a really nice set of ceramic stone wear plates that my husband has broken most of the pieces of, and being on a fixed income, I replaced it with the more break-resistant Corelle. The food looks delicious, and would no matter what it’s served on.

  • People have different tastes, and that’s o.k. 🙂

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Just as long as they aren’t pushing their tastes as the only Godly option. That’s where the problem starts for me.