47 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 4-4-18

  1. Today’s the Day!!!! It’s Maddie Day! Mommy went in the hospital last night, they will start the drip this morning and Little Miss H should be here some time today. I am thinking before 5 because the doctor will want to get home.
    I was finally trusted with the information of which hospital. It is near my office. Finally, something in my life that is convenient!

    A smidgen of sanity has descended upon Grandpa. He isn’t going to the hospital right away today. He has decided that his back can’t take waiting room chairs ….and wait for it…….. It isn’t like he can be in the room with them like he was when his own children were born! Ya think?
    He is going to wait and let Son call him when it is closer to time. I agreed that it was a brilliant idea.
    Now, excuse me while I gather up the things I will need to have on hand.
    Also what do you think? 11 white roses for Mommy and 1 pink one for Maddie? Flowers are more special if they are delivered by an honest to goodness florist, but oh they do cost an arm and a leg. We had no choice with the “Yankee Grandchildren” but this one I could have them made at Fresh Market and take them myself.

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  2. An exciting day for Kimi. I am tired. It was a good first day, then staff meeting, then I went running. I did one minute more, so did 3, 5, 3, 2 with walking between. I am having a haus meri come clean tomorrow so had to get rid of clutter tonight.

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  3. I can’t imagine why a man would want to be in a room where a baby is being born.
    He has already done his part.
    And it is just starting.
    A girl?
    He will read her stories.
    Teach her to ride a bike.
    Teach her to drive,
    and lots of other things.

    Likely pay her way through college.
    Chuck had three girls.
    When a guy came to take his daughter out, he had to come in to get her.
    Chuck wanted to see his face.

    I tell you that because in Annandale, we lived across the street from a family with a girl.
    Guys would drive up and honk his horn and she would come out.
    Not the way it should be.

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  4. How exciting Kim — big day at last. Enjoy. Mr. P will be over the moon, I’m sure.

    I could have slept on today, but no such luxury. It’s up and at ’em as we used to say. But it still is so darkish out, even though it’s almost 7 a.m.

    I’m anticipating a color burst in the backyard any day soon. That should also bring the butterflies. Dog Park Worker said there were quite a few butterflies in the front yard yesterday as he was painting windows.

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  5. Morning! Oh happy Maddie day!!! So exciting and I’m a tad bit envious you get to drink in the delicate fragrance of a newborn babe!!
    My precious husband is sleeping soundly after having spent the evening in the hospital with his dear friend Bill. Husband came down off the mountain yesterday. He was home long enough to eat and take a shower then headed to Denver to sit with Bill. The room was full of ultra runners wher he arrived. The last one leaving at 3AM…then it was Paul and Bill..and our Lord. Paul was afforded the precious time to read scripture, pray and play an old old hymn whilst Bill slept. 6AM this morning Bill drew his last breath on this earth peacefully. We have trusted our Lord with his very last breath and continue to know Bill was entrusted into His care. ♥️
    I’m off to Zumba and coffee with dear ladies in my life…be blessed dear friends…for He is good…

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  6. Chas, my brother’s in law all provided a supportive role to my sisters when they gave birth. There are many things a woman in labour needs help with, including physical support, and her husband, if he is at all concerned about and sensitive to his wife’s needs, is the best person to give that help and support. After all, the child is his too. In your day, the delivery conditions in the hospital were set up more for the convenience of the physician than the woman, so labour was managed much differently, and it often was not good for mother or child – the delivery table, for example, made it convenient for the physician, but it made it much harder for the woman to deliver her baby, and a prolonged delivery is dangerous for the baby. The best position for delivery of a baby requires the woman to be actively held and supported by at least one, preferably two people (I have been one), and it requires some strength to give that support.

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  7. Cheryl, it is true that there is a grief to being childless which often goes unacknowledged for the single. There is also a physical toll. Being childless places a woman at greater risk of a number of long term health complications. The constant ebb and flow of the monthly hormone cycle is not good for a woman, and pregnancy stops that cycle for a time. Pregnancy and breastfeeding actually decrease the risk of, for example, breast cancer.

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  8. Cheryl, to your comment yesterday about getting conscience exemptions for not working on the Lord’s day, to compare having to work on Sunday, which has been established to not be the Sabbath, to having to participate in an abortion is a completely false analogy. There is no command in the New Testament to not work on the Lord’s day [considering that a portion of the early Christians were slaves – as evidenced by Paul’s words to slaves – to give such a command would have laid an impossible burden on Christian slaves]. The prohibition against murder is upheld in the New Testament [it occurs to me that the prohibitions against committing murder or adultery are negative – in order to follow them, one does not have to do anything]. I have taken the risk of saying I could not participate in abortions during a job interview (and not got the job), but my first paying job was working on the weekends, including Sunday, in a Christian resort centre. I missed going to church on those Sundays I worked and would have been glad of the opportunity to go, but to suggest that my missing church was on the same level of spiritual and moral importance as potentially participating in procuring the death of an innocent child is ridiculous. If nothing else, my conscience, which, as a Christian, is guided by the Holy Spirit, was not troubled at working on Sunday the way it was at the thought of assisting with abortions.

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  9. Roscuro, you’re right that was probably somewhat of a false equivalency; it was, however, nearly midnight and I had already taken a melatonin. At the same time, it wasn’t a completely false equivalency since I said a firm no to taking such a job. It’s kind of like this: When I was marrying my husband, I needed a man who was male, a Christian, Reformed, not unbiblically divorced, and without some specific bad habits (pornography use, gambling, alcoholism, even excessive TV viewing). These are obviously not all on the same level of importance, but they were all “level” in the sense that all of them were potential deal killers.

    When I was looking for my first job, it took quite a long time to get it. That is because I had no transportation to the job (my mom was unwilling to drive me, even occasionally) and thus was limited to a job within walking distance AND limited by my inability to work on Sundays and my inability to work outside daylight hours (my mother’s stipulation that I wasn’t allowed to, because I would be walking or biking to work). So I basically could work at any of the jobs in a district that was about one to two miles from my house, as long as they were willing to accept an employee with no job experience, unwillingness to work Sunday, and unwillingness to work after dark. (The next-closest cluster of businesses was several miles away.) I even had one small hardware store where I took a ten-question math test, questions like “Brand A paint costs this much per gallon and covers this many square feet, and Brand B costs this much and covers this much. If a customer needs to cover this many square feet, how many gallons of paint would it take for each brand, and how much would it cost for each brand?” The man who gave me the test told me I was the first applicant ever to get a perfect score, and he really wanted to hire me. Problem was, I couldn’t work evenings, and that was non-negotiable since it wasn’t my rule but my mother’s. Having already tried for months to get a job, I hated that. And days later I saw an ad for that job in the paper, and it was paying more than minimum wage. I ended up taking a part-time, minimum-wage job at a place I didn’t want to work (the McDonald’s where my younger sister worked, and where I knew the management to be harsh enough to leave employees in tears regularly), and that didn’t give me enough hours. I graduated high school at 16 (and was living in a location with literally no job opportunities until I was 17–out in the boonies–but took a year to get a job of any sort other than occasional babysitting once we moved back to the Phoenix area), and didn’t get a “real” job till I was 20 because of those limitations of what days and hours I could work. (By the time I was 20 I had saved enough for a used car, and was able to get a job a few miles away, and to work into evening hours if I wanted to, though no Sunday work.)

    So this isn’t just hypothetical to me, nor is it something like “Oh well, not working on Sundays may be a personal preference, but you don’t always get all your personal preferences.” It was not as significant a matter of conscience as I don’t kill babies and I don’t do anything illegal, but it was (and is) completely a conscience issue, and thus completely non-negotiable. Now, were I taking a part-time job today, if pressed I might potentially agree to occasional late-afternoon Sunday work (say 3:00 or after) . . . it’s not something I’ve had to deal with. I’m inclined to think I would still say no, I’m not available, though if my job were to call me with a true emergency (an employee just had a heart attack and they need her shift covered) I might consider it. But as a scheduled day, no, I still would not do so, and it’s still a conscience issue. If I ever work in a nursing home or otherwise in a position of “mercy” care, that would change my answer, but I don’t think it would change otherwise.

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  10. Uncle Chuckles peacefully passed away in his sleep some time around 4 this morning. While I am sad, I am thankful. I couldn’t stand to see him weak and helpless.
    It’s a good day for me as well to think one soul went and another is arriving in my life.
    Thanks be to God.

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  11. I’m sorry, Kim. I’ve experienced something of the same feeling – my aunt died the day before her eldest daughter gave birth to a baby girl. My cousin always remembers the anniversary of the loss of her mother because it is the day before her daughter’s birthday. The grief of missing your uncle will ebb and flow, as it always does when we lose those who are woven into the fabric of our lives. Praying for a safe delivery for the little one.

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  12. Cheryl, I respect your conscience in this matter. But beware of speaking as if what you do is what others should or even could do of they were just willing enough to take the cost. Working or not working on the Lord’s day is a matter of an individual’s conscience, as Romans 14:5-6 says. Refusing to engage in a procedure that leads to the deliberate death of another human being is a matter of loving one’s neighbour as oneself, as Romans 13:9-10 says.

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  13. This isn’t the same as losing someone and gaining another someone within a day of each other, but. . .My mother died not quite five months before The Boy was born. She knew he was on the way, and was so happy that I would have the joy of being a grandmother, a role in which she had delighted. I had been helping take care of her while she was dying, including being available to accompany her to appointments, as well as her chemotherapy days (one day every three weeks, for about six hours), during the couple years before she declined to the point of needing our care in her home.

    (SIL and I switched every 24 hours, except I covered the weekend before Mom died since SIL and Brother had their big Memorial Day party planned.)

    After a break of six months, I went on to become The Boy’s caregiver when Nightingale had to go back to work. (Kinda funny – she worked at a daycare, part-time, while I took care of her son at her home.)

    Mom adored being a grandmother, and she adored her Three Beautiful Granddaughters (that’s how she and Dad referred to them), so I’m glad that she lived to within a week of the youngest, my Chickadee, turning 18. (Mom actually died on what had been my due date with Chickadee.)

    (Thinking about that reminds me of how sad and disappointed I am that Hubby did not live to see The Boy grow up, or even just to be around for a few more years of his growing up.)

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  14. Remember the other day I said that I was wondering if I had maybe turned a corner in my grief? Guess I spoke too soon. Wouldn’t ya know, that night, and over the past couple days, the crying and missing him has ramped up. Granted, it is not as bad as in the first few weeks and months, although there are moments when it feels like it is. But those are a few moments at a time, rather than hours or days at a time.

    Even so, I’m doing fairly well. There are several practical things that needed to be done, that caused a lot of stress, that are behind me (except for going through most of Hubby’s clothes and belongings), and that is a relief. I do wonder what my future may hold, especially as Nightingale may marry one day, which will change my home life. But for now, we are good, and work well together.

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  15. Also, I would point out something, speaking as a former waitress who worked on Sunday because people expected to be served on Sunday. In a capitalist economy, supply is said to meet demand. The Christian who will not work on Sunday as a matter of conscience (to which they are freely entitled) and thinks that when working on Sunday is a matter of conscience one should risk one’s employment in refusing to wok, but who also attends a restaurant – or resort centre dining room – on Sunday, is expecting that someone will work. Suppose some of the employees of that restaurant are Christians who share their Christian customer’s conscience in the matter of not working on Sunday. The Christian customer is expecting the Christian server to speak to their employer about their matter of conscience, no matter whether the employer is flexible about their employees working preferences or not.

    In other words, the customer expects the server to be the one to risk the job that the demand of the customer to be served on Sunday is creating. Perhaps the Christian customer expects only to be served by non-Christians on Sunday, and justifies going on Sunday because so many non-Christian customers expect to be served on Sunday that Christians not going to a restaurant on Sunday will not make any difference. But that simply means that the Christian customer is expecting to benefit from a large population of non-Christians. If not working on Sunday was truly a moral matter, then all those Christians who will not work on Sunday but who will go to restaurants on Sunday are putting those who serve them into an impossible moral dilemma. If it is wrong for Christian to work in a non-essential service on Sunday, then the servers on Sunday at a restaurant should not be Christians. Perhaps that might present a witnessing opportunity for the Christian customer of conscience, but it does not seem like doing to others what you would that they would do to you.

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  16. Roscuro, I understand others will have a different conviction. If it comes to regularly missing services on the Lord’s Day because of unwillingness even to tell an employer so much as “I do not wish to be scheduled Sunday morning,” then I would urge a fellow believer at least to do that much. But beyond that, no, I wouldn’t speak.

    Kizzie, my grandparents didn’t live to see me born (all died 10 or more years before I was born), Dad did not live to see me grow up (I was almost 17 when he died), and Mom did not live to see me marry and become a mom. (She did live to see me publish my first book and buy my first house.) When our mom died, my sister was heavily pregnant with her third child, and Mom was supposed to be present at the birth. (She died less than two months before it.) Including births, adoptions, and stepchildren, Mom and Dad ended up with 22 grandchildren, with likely more to come (two brothers haven’t had their children yet), but Dad lived to see the birth of just four, and at least one of those he never saw in person, and Mom missed the birth of the youngest three, the adoptions of two, and the marriages of her two children who have stepchildren. My sister’s husband died when their youngest child was barely five and the oldest about ten years older. So in my own limited perspective, having a grandfather live to see the first several years of his grandson’s life, and to live in the same house with him, is an almost imaginable blessing. That is not to detract from you seriously missing your husband–but yours is the largest loss in this. Your husband lived to see enough of his grandson to know his personality, and lived long enough that his grandson will remember him–those are good gifts.

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  17. Phos @ 11:52
    I don’t have an opinion on this, but Elvera would disagree.
    She once said, “A father should not be allowed within five miles of a woman having a baby.”
    (Don’t know if it was “five” but you get what she meant.

    Her reasoning was that if something went wrong, she wanted something who knew what to do beside give emotional support. That is, a doctor who delivers babies.

    I was working WAE at USDA at the time (WAE=While Actually Employed. I got paid while on the premises.) She was in the hospital doing her thing and I was at USDA doing my thing. Both important. They called me when the baby started out. I went over there and still waited about half an hour.
    They showed him to me immediately after delivery. I was heartbroken. He looked malformed. I had no idea of what newborns looked like. They hadn’t even cleaned him.
    But everything worked out well

    He and part of his family is visiting NYC now.

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  18. Chas, long ago I decided I wanted a nurse midwife, not a doctor, delivering my babies, and I have always thought that childbirth is a female thing. When my sister was getting ready to have her first baby, I told her I was willing and interested in being there if she wanted me or was willing. She told me that it would be just her husband for that first birth, and then after that they would see. I was then invited to be present for the second birth, and when my mom then expressed interest, she was invited to the third (but didn’t live long enough). My sister’s in-laws watched the first baby during the birth of the second, and after that I was always the one who watched the older children.

    But I’m pretty much alone in my generation in thinking that childbirth is for women, that it is more natural for mothers and sisters to be there than for husbands. I might well have changed my mind had I married young enough to have babies, or had I married a man to whom it was important to be there, but my own sense has always been that it is something for women (and not male doctors, either, if it’s possible to avoid having them).

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  19. Childbirth is said to be the most painful experience of a woman’s life, and I have seen the agony on my sister’s faces, whom I know to be women with a high level of endurance for pain. A husband and wife are one flesh, and yet he is not even to be a witness to his wife’s greatest physical trial? I am convinced that the segregation of the birth process to only women in traditional patriarchal cultures is part of what perpetuates the degradation of women in those cultures. Would a man who has seen his wife’s pain in delivering his child be so likely to believe the cultural lies that women are weak and of less value than men?

    Childbirth is a messy process, but life is messy. I think the Western world’s indifference to the killing that is now acceptable at the beginning and at the end of life is in part because most people are never involved with either one – birth and death take place in sanitary places attended by uniformed people. It is very helpful to have a skilled attendant at a birth, since things do not always go right, but birth is a natural, usually healthy, process, and there is much a lay person can do to assist. I, whose closest relationship have only been that of sister and aunt, always feel the prickle of tears from joy and a sense of victory when the child gives his or her first gasping wail of breath. There are few feelings like that in life. Why shouldn’t the other half of the mother’s flesh share that feeling with her?

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  20. Cheryl – I am indeed very grateful for the time Hubby had with The Boy, and that he experienced living with him, too. I know that The Boy will have some memory of Hubby, even though his memories of him will grow dimmer as time goes by.

    My disappointment has more to do with the fact that Hubby was the only godly man in The Boy’s life, and he had things he wanted to teach him – about God, and about being a gentleman and a godly man of integrity.

    Now, I well know that God can still bring into The Boy’s life someone to fulfill the role of godly father-figure/mentor, but it saddens me that it can’t be Hubby, who so very much wanted to be there for his boy. (But yes, I will be very grateful for whomever God brings into The Boy’s life to guide him and inspire him. It would be wonderful and awesome if that could be his own father, saved, delivered, and transformed by the Holy Spirit.)

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  21. I think it is a generational thing. Men and women of Chas and Elvera’s generation tend to believe as they do, and it seems right and proper to them to not have the husband involved.

    I was quite surprised, though, to hear of a woman in her 80s, the mother of a friend, known as a strong believer, who believed that breastfeeding is “disgusting”. I would think that a strong believer would be able to see breastfeeding as God’s beautiful design for nourishing our babies.

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  22. Just examples of what men can do to assist their wives, things which I’ve seen my sibling’s husbands do for them: give the woman sips of water when they are thirsty, support them in whatever position they find most comfortable during contractions (such positions can be really awkward and the woman would tire too quickly to maintain them on her own), rubbing her back to distract her from the pain, and as I said before, supporting the woman in the best position to deliver the baby when it comes time. Such things the nurses are often to busy to do, since they have other tasks like monitoring the vital signs of woman and baby, while the physicians are only there at intervals for checkups and then come in just to deliver the baby. Even when midwives deliver the baby, they cannot do all those things – there needs to be at least three people, two supporting the mother and one to catch the baby at delivery. Yes, I have seen one of my siblings-in-law, who was a first time father, get a little worried by how the baby looked when coming out, but he gained an education in seeing it and handled it much better the next time around. Men are considered capable of fighting in wars and working difficult and dirty jobs, so they should be man enough to witness their wife deliver a baby.

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  23. Kizzie, yes, I did say that they did things differently in Chas and Elvera’s day. But it was not the best thing for women and children. Most physicians were men in those days, and they failed to understand how a woman’s body delivered – medical studies at the time used a healthy young male as the standard for normal, so that a woman’s body was by default, abnormal. This is a matter of historical fact, not some feminist interpretation – I recently heard a conservative Biblical scholar (male) acknowledge that this had been the case. Midwives had been edged to the periphery – in Canada, midwives were, for a period of time from the mid to late 1900s, not even legal – and their ancient conventional wisdom, such as the birthing stool mentioned in the Bible (a woman sitting on a birthing stool is in the optimal position for delivery, though she still needs support to sit on it), was treated as unsound because it had not been studied using the scientific method. In effect, the physicians stopped listening to women and acted as if they knew best, while women were trained to think the doctor knew best. Now, those traditional methods of birthing are being scientifically investigated, and wouldn’t you know it? They work. Women are now studied for their unique health challenges, and while the healthcare community does still have a lot of knowledge that the general public is not privy to, the focus is slowly turning to sharing this knowledge with the public, so that instead of them relying on our word for things, they can understand it for themselves and make decisions accordingly.

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  24. Kizzie, one of my maternal-child teachers told a hilarious story about her mother delivering a baby in the early 1970s, in a Catholic hospital in a North American city. Her mother decided she wanted to breastfeed her child, and she was put in a ward with all the immigrant women from Eastern and Southern Europe. All the cultured North American women who were going to feed their children formula had little training session where they had tea and were taught how to boil the water and mix the formula so it was kept sterile, but the ward of women who were breastfeeding had their babies brought to them at feeding time and were left to themselves. The sisters of the hospital were obsessed with cleanliness, because they swabbed all the women who were breastfeeding with alcohol before they were given their baby to feed. The immigrant women would wait until the sisters left the ward and then go to the sink, wash off the alcohol, the taste of which, they informed my teacher’s mother, would make the baby not want to eat, and then proceed to feed their babies as their mothers had taught them. The formula companies made a fortune out of convincing mothers that their milk wasn’t the best thing for their babies. We now know, through biological investigation, that mother’s milk is tailored to the child’s individual needs, and is the best thing for the child. Yes, some cannot breastfeed, and that is unfortunate, but it is still the best thing for children.

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  25. Roscuro, I admit I haven’t studied it, but I’ve never understood that it was only patriarchal cultures where women took care of childbirth, but really was all cultures up until it became a “medical” thing in the West, and thus something involving male doctors and not female midwives, grandmothers, and aunts of the baby. Is this incorrect?

    I have always figured that some “male” things (learning to hunt perhaps) were done in male society, and female society has its own support system. We have largely lost the female support system, but I don’t see it as innately inferior to the nuclear family being the basis of most things–in fact, I think that in losing the larger family network, plus the community network, we have lost a great deal.

    I would think that a Christian understanding of marriage, most definitely including “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church” would be much more fundamental to the health of women and children than whether childbirth was women-only or husband-present. If you believe that women are made in the image of God and co-heirs to the Gospel, the result is going to be far different than if you see women as being lesser beings, no matter the details of the delivery room. I don’t have strong opinions on husbands being present or absent from the delivery room, but I do think strongly that a community with a strong network of women (especially one’s female relatives) is better for women than our own system (in which you probably don’t live close to family and probably don’t know your neighbors well).

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  26. Interesting info to my ears.
    Son: I made twenty dollars today
    Husband: How is that?
    Son: selling raffle tickets
    Husband: huh?
    Son: we get to keep five dollars for every ticket sold.

    I did not know that. I would not buy raffle tickets knowing that. Not that I buy them anyway, but is that normal?

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  27. Mumsee, years ago, before your time, there was a scam going around where you would punch a number for a certain price. If you got the right number you got half of what was in the pot. There was a minimum, say $10.00 to start.
    Just another way of gambling.

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  28. Interesting topics of discussion. (Thought I’d pop over here for a change, since my concert-preparation has wound down now, three days before the event, and my student who is normally here at this time is coming tomorrow instead.)

    Roscuro, I have a question in regard to your comment at 11:52:

    Cheryl, it is true that there is a grief to being childless which often goes unacknowledged for the single. There is also a physical toll. Being childless places a woman at greater risk of a number of long term health complications. The constant ebb and flow of the monthly hormone cycle is not good for a woman, and pregnancy stops that cycle for a time. Pregnancy and breastfeeding actually decrease the risk of, for example, breast cancer.

    I have heard the same, about the problems associated with menstrual cycles that rarely or never are interrupted by pregnancy and lactation. I’m also aware that bearing one’s first child at a young age is better for breast health than having a first baby at, say, 30 or older.

    I’m very curious, though, as to why it seems nuns live longer lives than a lot of women, when they’ve presumably had cycle after cycle, uninterrupted, for many decades.

    When I see obituaries in the local paper of nuns who have died, a large percentage of them are in their nineties, and rarely are they below their mid-80s, whereas there seem to be a fairly large number of obituaries for women in their sixties, and even younger.

    What do you see as factors that contribute to nuns’ longevity (and I assume their better overall health than that of all women in general)? Or am I missing something / making assumptions about their health based on their longevity?

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  29. Further thoughts on nuns:

    Or maybe there have been so few women who became nuns in recent decades, that most of them that are left are the ones who have lived long lives? Did they used to die at similar ages as the general female population?

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  30. Cheryl, the short answer would be that all cultures are patriarchal by default. No, that is not something I have come to the conclusion by feminist influence, but by Scriptural influence. The book of Judges is all one has to study to understand that when every man does that which is right in his own eyes, women suffer for it. Even a man like Abraham operated in a decidedly patriarchal culture and he did not treat his wife as Paul instructs husbands to treat their wives. Instead of laying down his life for his wife, Abraham lied and got his wife to lie to protect himself, placing her in danger of being raped by powerful men who lusted after her beauty. So, the fact that even Western culture before the advent of modern medicine had only women attending a birth is merely reflective of the fact that Western culture was patriarchal, a fact that any study of the history of the West would show. Paul’s words to husbands present a strong case for a man supporting his wife in her labour, “Men ought to love their wives as their own bodies. No man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it.” Any man would have reason to think his wife would care for him when he was injured or sick. Why should he not care for his wife when she delivers their child? I know that my siblings have been very glad for their husbands’ support, and that my sibling’s in law consider it important to provide that support.

    I cannot agree that there should be a man’s world and a woman’s world. From Scripture, other readings, and personal observation, the more segregated by sex a society is, the more abuses between the sexes become accepted as a part of life. West African society is quite sex segregated, and although women work outside the home and are very strong, when a husband is a wife beater, she is expected to take it without complaint because that is the way things are. Induction into the ‘men’s world’ of young men enter not infrequently includes a deliberate introduction to sexual activity by providing a woman for practice. These are things that I was told by those who knew the culture much better than I. I read a book written by a Pakistani journalist on the Taliban, and he attributed the rise of the ultra segregated Taliban, which arose in the Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan, to the fact that the camps were segregated by sex. We all have heard the reports of how women are treated in Islamic societies, and everyone comfortably says it is due to the religion. Yet, Judges shows that it is not exclusive to any one religion, it is due to sinful human nature. We know that segregation by ethnicity, such as the Nazis placing the Jews into ghettos, facilitates dehumanization of one ethnic group by another. So it is between the sexes. The more segregated men and women are, the less they think of one another as human beings. The power dynamic from the curse to Eve means that women get the worst of it in such a situation: “he shall rule [the word denotes tyranny] over thee” (Genesis 3:16). Conversely, the more we share one another’s burdens, the more we learn to care about the wellbeing of each other.

    There may be a case for some segregation when it comes to intimate matters, although that would not apply to a husband and wife, who are already intimate. But if I as a female nurse can change and bathe a man who is not my husband, father, or brother, why cannot a male physician give care to the woman who needs it? Jesus healed a woman who suffered from what was in that day, a humiliating female condition which rendered her ceremonially unclean (in orthodox Jewish and conservative Islamic circles, it still does). He compelled her to tell him, in a very public place, about that condition. In a segregated society, where women’s matters were kept among women, that would seem as if he was humiliating her by doing so; but in reality, he was elevating her by treating this perpetually unclean and impoverished woman’s need as equal in importance to the need of the powerful and eminently respectable man whose daughter he was going to heal. Paul did not tell the church to segregate by sex, rather, he said for the sexes to treat each other as family members, just as Jesus did when he called the woman, “Daughter.” Much of the best in modern medical practice comes from the fact that many of its influential founders were Christians (not all were and the practice is not without flaws). The medical ethic of treating men and women with equal dignity and respect, whether the healthcare worker is male or female themselves, is one of the evidences of that influence.

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  31. 6 Arrows, there are a few basic questions to ask when looking at those obituaries. First, do the obituaries always state whether a woman is a nun or not? Second, are all the obituaries of nuns published in the newspapers? Are there other factors that could influence the nuns’ longevity, such as the environment in which they live, the diet which they eat, etc.? And, as you point out, are there just mostly elderly nuns and few younger ones? The latter is actually potentially valid – I noticed a headline not that long ago about the fact that convents are dying out because far fewer women are taking the veil now.

    This isn’t the headline I saw, but it has some statistics which bear that last theory out: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/local/2015/09/16/meet-sister-rachel-at-35-is-she-part-of-a-dying-breed/?utm_term=.1bb3ca6594b1

    Fifty years ago, deciding to become a nun was not at all uncommon. The U.S. population was 195 million in 1965, and there were about 181,000 nuns, the peak number for religious sisters in the country, according to a 2009 study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.
    Today there are 321 million Americans and approximately 48,000 nuns. And the vast majority of them are retired. Sixty-nine percent of all nuns are 70 or older. Just 3 percent of nuns in the United States are under age 49.

    That pretty much answers the question. You are just seeing the obituaries of the last and hardiest members of a dying breed.

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  32. Thanks, Roscuro.

    P.S. I sent you an email. I had two emails for you, but used the one that I think is the more recent one. Let me know if you don’t receive it.

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  33. Roscuro, I am definitely not talking about segregation by sex, I am talking about the beauty of such things as women getting together to cook together or quilt together while they care for their infants and their children play, and girls learning to care for children in that setting–but not a few women coming together once a week from all over the city (or however mothers get together now), just the natural course of events of neighbors knowing one another. Likewise, men have their own traditions. That doesn’t mean men and women never do things together. I personally prefer mixed Bible studies, and in family gatherings I prefer the times when men and women are together to the times they split up. But having a same-sex supportive community, and a group of friends who like to do things the other sex might not choose to do, is a good thing. My husband has no interest in making cards; I have no interest in most sports. If a group of women wants to get together to do craft stuff or a bunch of men to watch football on TV or go to a game, that is a positive thing (as long as such gatherings do not cost time or money that the family can’t spare).

    And women are perfectly free to go to male doctors to deliver their infants if they choose; I would prefer to have a woman ob/gyn and a nurse midwife for childbirth–no, I have not delivered a baby, but I made that choice long before my sister and a niece made the same choice for themselves, and women I know who have made that choice are happy with it. That isn’t being sexist or saying anything bad about men. I have a very close relationship with my husband, and I come from a family that is close to 75% male, which is likely why I am generally more comfortable in mixed groups than in female-only ones.

    I do think that societies are naturally at least somewhat patriarchal, and I know the negative connotations of that word in a religious sense. But in a cultural sense I fail to see that a gently patriarchal culture (as opposed to an oppressively patriarchal culture) is contrary to Scripture or to the way we were created. I also don’t see why a patriarchal culture would be more inclined to have women be the ones attending childbirth. Wouldn’t a matriarchal culture be even more inclined that way? For a matriarchal culture to let men into one of the most important feminine events would seem to me unusual.

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  34. Nun are married to God not a mortal man. ;).

    miss Madelynn arrives at 8:03 pm. Grandpa is doin well. 😉

    Mother and child are doing well also.

    Liked by 11 people

  35. Cheryl, men and women were created equal – the phrase ‘help meet’ means helper who is the exact equivalent – so cultural domination of one or the other sex is contrary to the original created order. Men and women may have differing roles, but that should not – in an ideal world that does not exist – exclude them from having equal cultural influence. Matriarchy and patriarchy are not exclusive – West Africa had a tradition of a hereditary matriarchy in its royal houses and the women had more freedom than the Mauritanian women from North Africa, but wife beating was still acceptable. Women often uphold patriarchy (the wife beating incident that was told to me in illustration of the cultural mindset involved the neighbouring women telling the battered wife to accept that was the way things were) while creating female dominated enclaves (I have mentioned before the joke that the thing that scared a West African man the most was a crowd of angry West African women). That is how strident feminism coexisted with gross sexual harassment against women in the inner circles of Hollywood. Fallen human nature creates two extremes, often simultaneously, but can never harmonize them, leading to perpetual conflict.

    In any case, when I mentioned my idea that men in patriarchal societies might be more inclined to value women if they witnessed childbirth, it was because I knew that in patriarchal societies, women were not supported by their husbands, not because the women in patriarchal societies are exclusively attended by women. Even if it was decided, for the sake of privacy, that a woman should be only attended by women, the husband stands in a different relationship to the woman than any other man and should be an exception.

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