born as a human being

nativity ornament

Jesus came as a helpless baby. He arrived in squalor and poverty, but within a family that sacrificially and faithfully chose love and obedience. His companions and associates emerged from the common masses of a Roman-occupied territory that was regarded with contempt. He showed love and compassion to the crippled, the anathema, the beggar, the thief, the immoral and the greedy.

Do you know who he showed contempt for? The prideful, the arrogant, the elitist… those who, in their own self-sufficiency, did not recognize him or their need for him.

He healed a man, blind and mute, possessed by demons. He spoke gently to and forgave the sins of a woman caught in adultery. He brought an extortioner into his closest circle, his own disciples. He associated with those who were immoral and dishonest. Yet the men who held to the strictest moral and religious laws, those he called a “brood of vipers” and hypocrites.

A couple of years ago, my former husband and I were making a last-ditch effort to salvage our marriage. I was already out the door, sleeping in a camping trailer in our driveway, but he “didn’t want me to leave.” We were seeing a counselor.* He asked me to make a list of 20 things Kurt could do to make me feel loved. I thought this list was ridiculous, but I worked on it…

1. don’t ridicule me, belittle me or call me names
2. hug your sons at least once a day
3. find at least one of my weaknesses endearing, not something to criticize
4. don’t ask me to engage in anal sex
5. i feel cared for when you pay attention to what is important to me
6. be more merciful and less judgemental/critical when i/boys don’t meet your standards
7. don’t yell or put others down
8. give gifts of service and take care of our house more
9. i appreciate that you’ve been accepting my less-than-usual cooking and cleaning lately since i’ve been in school
10. accept more responsibility for keeping your family cared for, protected, loved
11. don’t kick the dog
12. talk pleasantly to our children
13. go away
14. don’t disrespect me
15. have the same standard for yourself as others
16. fuck yourself
17. listen… pay attention
18. take care of the yard, vehicle, roof, etc.
19. go away
20. stay away

In my eyes, in my heart, this man who I married in love, had never genuinely expressed the love and acceptance I dreamed of, longed for. Very quickly the relationship became some sort of bad dream in which he treated me with a disrespect that I never witnessed while we were dating. There was a sense of control and ownership. An element of male privilege. An air of superiority and demand. It wasn’t a mutual love and affection, reciprocal need and nurturing, vulnerability and trust. It was manipulative and domineering. Arrogant. PRIDEFUL.

What we see in Jesus, the one who came to us in abject humility, who lived with us in such acceptance, who wooed us with unconditional love, is the unspeakable beauty of grace. Grace in all its amazing perfection. Grace does not deny truth or sin, but embraces it and corrects it with tenderness. Grace can only come from a position of absolute authority, but never condescends or belittles. Grace raises us. It opens our eyes to our best and encourages us to reach further.  Grace shines the light on our filth and washes us with mercy. Our response is not scripted or compelled, but a genuine abandon. When we experience such unutterable favor in the arms of God, we have nothing but joy.

My husband’s lack of acceptance, his arrogance, his pride, destroyed us. Please take notes.

Jesus shows us how to lead. How to live. How to love.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

Though he was God,

he did not think of equality with God

as something to cling to.

Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;

he took the humble position of a slave

and was born as a human being.

When he appeared in human form,

he humbled himself in obedience to God

and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

~ Phillippians 2:5-8

* My advice is that a couple with an abusive spouse NEVER EVER go to couple’s therapy or counseling. It is extremely toxic for the victim. Our counselor should have known better.


where did the monster come from


In 2006, I was trying to get a grasp on what was happening to me… how my marriage had turned into this monster that was destroying me. I jotted down some notes…

a reconstruction of the events:


  • first week or two of marriage- I realized there was a BIG problem (remember sleeping in garage and crying as if your heart would break?)
  • blame and lack of support very early months (over financial issues, esp. my small pre-marital education debt)
  • complete breakdown of all intimacy and one-flesh… violence during Twain Harte years (remember crashing through the closet doors? punches? wonder about those two broken ribs?) . Kurt began his threats of divorce over the “Men in Grey” stuff he and his mom believed. This is when I had my first dream-vision experience of the creepy knocking on all 4 walls of the house and I prayed and prayed aloud to keep Satan out of our home.
  • I sought counseling to deal with Kurt’s control and anger. He refused to take part and my parents paid for it. My mother’s counsel was to bloom where planted.


  • slightly better during first year in Sunnyvale I began to learn “compliance” and “submission” according to Kurt. I was happy working. Also, we did seek help together. Kurt was diagnosed as depressed but did not continue his medication. When Kurt got the counselor all excited about discussing the sex issue… a real arena of abuse… I refused to go.
  • with Ian’s birth, the violence and emotional/verbal abuse/control became unbearable. I remember once he kicked me and knocked me down while I had our infant in my arms. I got in the car and left, but had no where to go so I went back. I had terrible bruises on my thigh. I simply could not believe this was me. It was here that I’d say the worst several years began… I was in tears, I was so tormented by a relationship that in my gut I knew was wrong, so very wrong, but I had to make it work. I became very confused about submission and who was right. I prayed and sought answers, but got little or no guidance. We moved, we prayed over the house. I cried a lot, Kyle was born, I struggled with Kurt’s parenting, my heart ached for what I felt was SUCH a dysfunctional, sick family, such an empty and disappointing marriage. As always, I maintained an exterior of cheerfulness to others, but I became angry and bitter deep down. Deep depression hit several times, beginning when Ian was 1. I began taking medication.

hello my name is…



I need to talk.      I need to tell my story.     Maybe it will help someone else.

Jan 2, 2006

I am sleeping upstairs.

New Year’s Eve Day I decided aloud as I noticed all the post-Christmas mess, “Today we’re going to clean the house.” Kurt said, “Why would you do that the last day of the year? Just leave me out of it,” in an angry, crappy tone.

Not that I had intended to ask for his help, and not that I was going to do that thorough a job (just dust, vacuum, straighten up, boys clean bathroom), but what a pissy attitude, considering how I had put aside my agenda several times in the past week or so to participate in his bike business (powder coating, chrome, etc.) and just consented to make him and the boys waffles for breakfast (which takes hours and is a real time commitment because I make them from scratch with a super-rich recipe). Just the attitude of, “you can’t make me do anything I don’t want to.”

I responded childishly and mimicked his selfish attitude with something like, ”I’m not doing anything except play with my bike and you can’t make me,” in a whiny voice.

Well, he tells me to “shut up!” I say “NO”, and he hauls off and whacks me upside the head. He tells me I’d better watch out and shut up. “I don’t care if I go to jail!” “No.” He throws the waffle iron on the floor, hitting hard against my hand and wrist as it flies, and its handle breaks (not his precious mother’s waffle iron, but the one we got for our wedding.) He makes a show of what else he’s going to pitch across the room, shouts more stupid stuff and walks out… won’t eat the waffles I make and won’t even talk to me… just hides out in the family room all day with the door shut. No apology.. I leave a note which apologizes for my derogatory remark about his bike to make a point. I don’t resent his hobby.

He had made no overtures, no attempt to apologize. I prepared a nice New Year’s Eve spread which he ate, meals the next two days… I have gotten a compliment on my patience while teaching the boys, but no mention of striking me.

I am up here for two immediate reasons.

  1. He has hit me many times before. I have had him arrested, he has been in jail and charged with DV, I have told him I will not tolerate being hit. He hit me several times since that conviction, I have not called the police.
  2. Kurt does not treat me with the respect that I was raised to expect. I do not believe I can live this way any longer.

I am trying to decide what to do.