Monday, September 29, 2008


Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
King James version
Point your kids in the right direction— when they're old they won't be lost.
The Message Bible
Proverbs 22:6

We learned all our Bible verses in the King James version. Then came Living Letters, NIV, Living Bible, and now the wonderful Message Bible.

When you turned to mom for advice, encouragement, consolation, help... She always said, "Pray about it." or quoted a Bible verse. Sometimes you just need a hug, or a wise word, or loving understanding. We never got that. It was so frustrating, yet we did not rebel. Why? It baffles me still. I remember being intensely frustrated. There were no answers or comfort.

Yet, I do pray about things and I continue to seek help in God's word. I know hundreds of Bible verses and God brings them to my mind when I most need them. I remember being told that it was no good unless you remember the reference. I don't remember many references, but with the Internet you can always find what you need, now.

They used to spank us... on our bottoms. We were rarely hit, almost never slapped. But, they did spank us in anger and frustration. The worst was when GJ was in 8th grade and Dad insisted she wear JA's dress from the year before to graduation. GJ cried and complained. He grabbed a paddle [NC and I had brought back from Kentucky camp the year before--thinking it was funny... Hello?] and whacked GJ. Now, GJ was a good child and almost perfect. He broke the paddle on her rear end. We were horrified. He was immediately sorry, but of course could never say it. GJ got her new dress, I think. NC readily volunteered to wear JA's dress two years later. It was never an issue when I graduated the year after that.

My dad never apologized. I wrote a song and played it on the piano for him. I could neither play nor sing, but, somehow, I did it. I now remember the words,

Some people always pick on me,
and never say they're sor-r-ree...

He chuckled and walked away.

I was the biggest challenge. I never obeyed the 11:00pm curfew. My high school boyfriend didn't even know I had a curfew. My dad really liked him, so he never yelled at him. In frustration, Dad moved the curfew up to 11:30pm. I came in around midnight, because I thought that was fair--that was the curfew of my friends. He would start flashing the porch light at 11:30pm. I would ignore it. He would yell when I came in, but I didn't care. It was an ongoing battle that I always won.

I got good grades, worked at the Kroger store and earned my own money, had a nice boyfriend, hung out with mainly church friends. I was a good kid, just more stubborn than the other 4 girls. He had met his match.

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