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I have a confession to make. I used to hate being a woman. And I hated God for making me one. But it wasn’t always that way. My parents brought up my siblings (a brother and two sisters) and me equitably, with absolutely no sense of privilege based on gender. “Aim for the stars, and you’re sure to hit one,” was Dad’s constantly quoted axiom. So throughout my school years I competed favorably with my peers, male and female, and felt inferior to no one. My girlhood fantasies alternated wildly between becoming President of Nigeria and performing adorably before millions of fans—movie star, sports champion, politician, whatever—I just knew that I could and would be great. Nothing was beyond my reach. Read more
He just wasn’t hungry. It was a magnificent triumph that night when I got him to eat some sautéed chicken and pasta along with his usual bowl of fruit cocktail, but that was a charade for my sake. The meals my aunt Kathy brought down every night were left untouched in the fridge. His previous diet of canned chop suey and ice cream bars was beginning to look healthy to us; after all, some calories are better than none at all. But he didn’t want to live anymore, which was why he didn’t want to eat anymore, either. The facts added up, but that doesn’t mean they made sense to me. Read more
It is no contradiction to my Christian beliefs to say that I believe in ghosts. I have seen many ghosts. In fact, I see them all the time. Read more
As a male, I recently had an experience that involved gender stereotyping, from which I learned a lot. For one thing, I learned a bit about how my sisters have so often felt. There was a meeting in a major Southern city to plan for a large women’s conference. I attended in my role as chair-elect of CBE’s volunteer board. Read more
I was born into a Christian home, and my mother and father both believed in no smoking, no drinking, no card playing, no movies, no TV and no dancing. In high school I was always pulled out of gym class during the square dance unit, and I had never seen a movie until I was in college. My father ruled the home and listened to many radio preachers, while my mother worked many hard hours on the farm and in the home. Read more
Last September, as our third child began her senior year of high school in the home, a bittersweet awareness came over me. On the “sweet” side, our children fared well with home-based learning. They took the Christian faith with them through the frenzied teen-age years. Also, by the prospering of God, we surpassed our own academic goals. Our oldest son graduated magna cum laude from university and is working in a business career; the middle daughter, a college senior, is on target for the same high-honors graduation; and the youngest daughter will attend an outstanding Christian college in the fall with academic and voice scholarships. The task and experience of home schooling have yielded a cherished cache of sweet memories. Read more
“Zest for living” are three words that describe how Marion Haefele Longman has influenced my life. During her school years, Mom began bird watching expeditions early in the morning. She became a certified Water Safety Instructor, was an avid Girl Scout, and later saved lunch money to take flying lessons. After getting her pilot’s license and graduating from nursing school at the time of World War II, she and three friends purchased a car and headed out for a two-year, cross-country trip that included months of working in the Southwest, several weeks of travel in Mexico and a stint up the California coast. Read more
I’m not sure if I ever totally believed that the Bible mandated inequality between the sexes, but that’s just the way it was. I grew up in a church that didn’t necessarily preach such inequalities, but practiced them none the less. By their example I understood that there was a “man’s place” and a “woman’s place.” The men held positions of leadership and the women were in charge of the nursery and potluck dinners. Read more
When the news of my mom’s death spread throughout my congregation and the naval base in Port Hueneme, Calif., I began to learn about the kindred spirit that exists among women who have lost their mothers. These women cried with me and told me, “There is something deep that happens in our souls when a woman loses her mother.” All of these women talked of mothers who loved them and modeled that every woman can be all that God wants her to be. Read more
When we read an obituary in the newspaper, we see the visible side of a person’s life — his or her church or organization memberships and accomplishments in life. What we don’t read, however, is how the person touched others in some special way. I’d like to share how Mom spiritually touched the lives of my sister Wendy and me. Read more

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