Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I grew up without ever knowing my father. I'm so happy my daughter will have a better fate. She will never have to wonder who her father was; she has the amazing privilege of a loving Dad.
Our generation was most severely deprived when fatherhood, in too many families, was reduced to next to nothingness. So many children missed the security of being held in their father's arms; so many didn't have the model of good, solid, balanced family structure, with Mommy and Daddy united.
It has never been so easy to file for divorce. It has never been so easy to flippantly break a family apart; yes, sometimes there are valid reasons for divorce, but in so many cases it's a temporary crisis that can be overcome. I've often heard the argument that in the past, many married couples felt they ought to stick together because of social pressure. You know what, it wouldn't hurt to have just a bit of pressure to stay together. If it can get a married couple through the tide and make them work on their marriage, then maybe it's worth it.
I love this photo. Shira rests so securely. It's precious isn't it?


vbacwarrior said...

I love how he's holding her as if she's being nursed. I guess, though, in a way she is :)

Anonymous said...

What a cute pic. Your baby has quite a head of hair already! I wish you all the best. Times are hard everywhere, but it is nice to see some maturity about it all. Where I am in the U.S. everyone seems on edge and anxious very often these days due to the economy.

Mrs. Amy @ Clothesline Alley said...

Such a precious picture! I love Shira's hair...she nearly has more than Peapod. ;o)

Divorce has always baffled me but has become all the more upsetting since I've married myself and then we had our daughter. There has never been a divorce on my side of the family and in fact, all the most special older people in my life have celebrated twenty fifth anniversaries, if not fiftieth and more. I was very fortunate to never see the realities of divorce as a child in my own family, though I witnessed the destruction of many frends' families and was heartbroken to see the pain and confusion caused to the children.

When we had our first formal family portrait taken, the July after Peapod was born, I vividly recall looking at the pictures on the computer screen and realizing that *everybody* who divorces was likely this happy at one time, that they've essentially taken this picture (and the real life family) and just torn them to pieces. This realization made me feel a bit sick, especially considering this is the awful reality my husband and his sister lived through during & after their parents nasty divorce.

We'll be celebrating our fifth anniversary in just a few weeks and are happier than the day we married, despite the many trying issues that have made up these years. Multiple military deployments & moves. Infertility and repeated miscarriages. A major illness diagnosis. Financial issues. The death of some of my husband's friends and fellow soldiers, right in front of him. The effects combat has on a person and the injuries my husband sustained as result of a car bombing. All very serious issues and ones that many people would have divorced over, but the Lord has been good and helped us persevere. This is something I am immensely grateful for, not just to have gotten through these difficult times, but to have somebody to weather the storms of life with. This is such a blessing and one I cannot imagine living without.

Joanna J. said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful picture! Shira is indeed blessed to have two loving parents. Many blessings to you!

Kaitlin.Elizabeth said...

Wow! She has so much hair! What a sweet photo :)

She is indeed lucky to have a father with her.

Mrs. Jacqueline said...

What a sweet picture! You can absolutely sense the love from father to daughter.

My daughter was born with a full head of hair just like Shira has- I could never bring myself to cut it and now that my girl is two, her hair is all the way down to her waist :)

I got married and divorced when I was very young. I have since been remarried to a wonderful man. However, if my mother had encouraged me to stay and work it out with my first husband (instead of encouraging me to leave him) I most likely would have stayed married the first time. I'll tell you what, as much as I love my husband, I regret that divorce every day of my life. Sometimes it seems like our society is just broken!

Dragon Petals said...

I was another person who was about to comment on the hair, but I see everyone else has already. ;) Miss Critter is 13 months old now and doesn't have half Shira's hair! Very sweet picture, thanks for sharing! And yes, it's true what you say about divorce being too easy and fathers being a privilege.

Heather said...

Anna~ What a precious picture of your husband and daughter!!

It is to easy to get divorced. People become selfish, and don't want to work it out. I too believe that unless a person has a real reason (abuse, ect)I don't feel there is a need for divorce.

Marriage isn't easy and whoever tells you that it is, is either lying or has never been married. It takes work but that work pays off by having a happy and loving family that you can depend on.

Rachel said...

Oh! I can almost smell that warm, sweet, little bitty baby smell...the one that makes you just want to cup their little heads in your hands and inhale deepy.

They *really* ought to make a perfume that smells like that...

Such a sweet little snugglebug you have there, Mrs T...

AnneK said...

That is a precious picture! I am very close to my Dad and I truly know what a blessing it is to have a great relationship with your father. I am very blessed to have grown up in India where there are hardly any divorces. (At least used to be, not sure if it has changed now) The first kid I knew whose parents were divorced was when I came to America when I was 23. Now where I work, I can count on my one hand the number of colleagues who came from families who still have unbroken families.

It is truly heartbreaking.

jAne said...

Shira, in the embrace of her father's love. Beautiful, Anna. :o)

Bethany Hudson said...

So precious! I agree with you about the flippancy of divorce. I had a close relationship with my father as a girl, but now we have a strained one, because he decided to leave my mother for another woman after 28 years of marriage. She still thinks there's nothing wrong with what he did. The worst of it is, he didn't even need her consent to divorce her. Yay for the liberties of America, right? She fought to keep them together, but the law was on his side. What a shame; we have completely lost sight of what is important in this society. What's important? That photo of your husband and daughter says it all!

Joie said...

Great picture! My husband carried out Patrick around like that a whole lot. I call him the "papa penguin" because he, like the Emperor Penguin, takes such good care of his little baby.

Here's a question for thought, what if it were harder to get married but just as easy to divorce or maybe even easier? I say that because I think too many couples get married not having a clue how hard it is and also not having the support of a community to help them walk that road (church, synagogue, friends, family, etc.). At the same time, as one in a helping profession, I see a lot of situations in which a divorce needs to happen (abuse, infidelity that cannot be overcome, addictions which will not be overcome, etc.).

Walters Inc said...

Such A beautiful picture Anna! Fathers are so influential on how daughter view everything in life from leaders in programs, to their future mates.
As for divorce, my father used to say "Take two pieces of cardboard glued together, try and pull them apart. Everything is destroyed when you do." There is no clean or easy divorce. God brings people together in marriage and if that bond is broken... it rips apart the people involved.
I find your blog so encouraging!
Bless you today!

Rachel said...

Super cute!! My Aubrey turned one today, and Shira already has more hair than her!

Persuaded said...

i just adore how *solidly* your dh is holding shira... no tentativity in that embrace! (is tentativity even a word? spellcheck says no, but it means what i mean, so there it will stay)

shira is indeed a very blessed child♥

sally said...

Looks like Shira is going to have your pretty black hair. What a little sweetie!

I very much agree with Joie, saying that it ought to be harder to get married. You wrote something about that in an earlier post - that it's not necessarily about the age we get married, but about whether we've been prepared for marriage. Most pre-marital counseling is little more than a formality, and more and more frequently the church (I can only speak for the Christian viewpoint) is little more than a pretty setting for a wedding. You're entering into a sacred covenant and likely going to bring children into the world; better preparation is the most logical thing.

I'm glad you point out that there are valid reasons for divorce; in the turn towards making marriages last, I've heard of pastors trying to advise wives to stay with pedophiles, abusers, and addicts. Those, in my opinion, are deal-breakers.

Otter Mom said...

I was very close to my dad. He's been gone nearly 5 years now. I am so thrilled that my husband and my daughter are so close, it makes me remember my dad. So many times, I hear about kids that don't have fathers in the picture and it's sad. Shira will grow up with a loving father and she will be so much richer for it.
I agree, divorce is too easy. There are times when it is the only choice, but in general it's too easy and most of the time it's rushed into. We know a 92 year old couple who have just celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary, they are so sweet and still so obviously in love that it does my heart good just to watch them together. They are what we aspire to be.

Katie S. said...

That's such a sweet picture!!

Kaitlyn said...

I love Shira's hair! It reminds me of my youngest sister's hair. She was adopted from India at 3 months old, and had a full head of black hair that stood strait up!

Anonymous said...

There's nothing like the safety of Daddy's arms. I remember that sometimes my husband could calm our babies when my efforts had failed. Perhaps the broader chest, the lower voice....I don't really know what the reason would be. I know fathers are such a blessing, & in no way insignificant!


Kyle, Amanda, and Tobias said...

What a blessing a loving, involved father can be! Shira looks so sweet being held so securely by her father. I never met my own biological father until I was 22 years old. I did have a kind, if absent, adoptive father when my mother remarried, but it's not the same.

I feel so happy when I see my husband playing with our son. It gives me such peace to know that my son will grow up secure in his father's love for him and in his parents' love for one another. I only hope we can create the kind of relationship I'd like for him to have when he is grown and married.

K. Wilde said...


Your post and beautiful picture came on the same day I found this link about the importance of seeing happy marriages in action:

I hope the link works. It goes along with your ideas. Have a happy day.

Anonymous said...

Would you look at all that great hair! Too precious. I would give this photo a title:

"In Daddy's arms, safe from harms"

Seraphim said...

What a lovely picture! I totally agree with your comments about a little bit of social pressure. I sometimes wonder whether couples these days even realise they are supposed to TRY at marriage, not wander along until it gets bumpy and then just give up.

Mrs T, if you have a moment aside from your little one, I have a post on my blog which I would really love your thoughts on as a young homemaker. If you have time to help me out by taking a look I would be grateful - but don't let it take even a moment away from that wonderful family of yours :)


A Marriage After His Heart said...

Beautiful pic! I love the protectiveness of his hold on her. it so emulates a fatherly love! she is lying close to his heart and he is shielding her from the world! I just love it!!!!
I am a big old daddys girl and there were times when our relationship was strained, only bc I went through a rebellious streak, once I came back to my faith and the teachings of my upbringing he was still there to dust me off and hold me up as if I were an infant.
I married a man with the same qualities of my dad. I saw how he treated my mom and I knew I couldn't marry anything less than what I had seen. when I was in sin I dated way below the standard of example but tge example was always there.
Take comfort in knowing that more than likely, with your desire to remain home and give all of the attention to the family coupled with the display of marital love, honor and respect you show each other Shira will more than likely marry a man like her daddy and honor him just like she saw mommy and you my dear will have a blessed generation!

Anonymous said...

Divorce doesn’t strike me as something that is at all easy, even today. Even if the couple has no children and equal earning power (my case), I can’t imagine how hard it would be for spouses to walk away from all the years invested in each other, to split the assets, compromise their relationship with the community, to suddenly take on the expense of running two households, and to possibly be required to expose the details of one’s financial and personal life to divorce attorneys and the divorce court. If there are children involved or a disparity in income, it would be even worse. It is hard for me to believe that people make such a decision lightly. I don’t think we need to make it harder for people in bad situations, or to assume that we know better than the parents themselves what is best for their families or their children.

-- Pendragon

Elizabeth said...

The picture is SO beautiful, dear Anna, thank you for sharing it ... your little girl is blessed beyond measure! :)

Gombojav Tribe said...

The Lord didn't mince any words when He said, "I hate divorce" and about how it covers one's garments with violence.
(Malachi 2)

At a recent solemn assembly where thousands gathered to fast and pray for our nation, they asked the children of divorce to stand so we could pray for them and pray for the marriages in our country. It looked like the whole place stood up. I wept and wept when I saw it. Divorce hurts even after people grow up and it hurts our whole society. So sad.

Everybody's Mama said...

I, too, grew up missing a relationship with my father. Anyone that thinks it doesn't matter simply doesn't know what they are talking about. It affects who you are and how you think of yourself in such a profound way. On the up side though, it makes me that much more grateful for my husband because he is such a wonderful father and husband. Watching him with our children also gives me a glimpse of what my childhood could have been, had my father been the man he should have been.

Lauren said...

Oh, what a precious picture! I do wish that I had pictures of my father holding me, but we didn't truly know each other until adults. I am so thankful, though, that there are pictures of him and my children. I pray that soon he will see that his heavenly Father longs to hold him the same way... :)

Sheri said...

Anna, there is nothing like watching a loving daddy with his daughter... our little girls feel so safe in their daddy's arms and it's precious to watch their relationship grow. God has such a beautiful plan of our earthly father being a picture of our Heavenly Father's love for us. What a blessing when this can take place on earth, just as it is for your darling Shira.

Bethany Hudson said...

Pendragon - In my experience, the decision is undertaken often by only ONE partner, which I think is the greatest tragedy. More than 50% of my relatives are divorced. In every case, the one spouse was abandoned because the other was having an affair. They had no say in the matter, and the new "couple" didn't give the abandoned spouse a chance to fight for their marriage before the papers were signed. In that way, it is FAR too easy.

Analytical Adam said...

Well I am on Frumster and I am just shocked at how many 20 and 30 year old so called ORthodox women (in all camps of Orthoodxy) are divorced and it really has demoralized me when I read their profile and it usually is about them having a good time and braggin about raising a child without a father. There are a few exceptions but not many and since the Forum has opened up these women have no shame in this and talk about being NONJUDGEMENTAL (except for their husband and Jewish men of course) and many have labeled their husband MENTALLY ILL to get a divorce and block contact with the father. It is horrible. . Child support in America towards men is very harsh and of course even though the woman is breaking the contract the man has to pay. THis is againt basic contract law and is pure marxism in fact I have the book by Stephen Baskerville Taken Into Custody the War Against Fathers, Family, and the Children and how socialism the biggest moral issues to destroy are homosexuality, easy access to abortion, and liberalzing divorce. The soviet Union also had no fault divorce and it led to massive corruption as does the no fault divorce system in every western Country.


Analytical Adam said...

Also, Mrs. Anna T. I am beginning to find out that many young Jewish Orthodox girls at very young ages are being brainwashed by feminism and being taught to always look at what men have and be jealous and also to hate male leadership and have a new type of leadership (and the girl scouts are letting 9 and 10 year olds decide what is right and not as adults trying to teach them values and this type of hatred towards male leadership is why they are throwing their husbands at the home with no shame what so ever and taking their money and denying them contact with the children (which they can do in America sadly) and the Orthodox world is asleep at the switch. (I would hope you would be aware of this as your daughter gets older to be very careful of the type of activities your daughter is involved in even if it seems to be "ORTHODOX" as many are teaching horrific ideologies to young Jewish girls.) On Frumster I brought up the problems with the girl scouts that they now have that because of it Christian parents have pulled their children from this organization and started their own scouts yet Orthodox Jews are not doing the same and I mentioned this and lord and behold two divorced women who are raising children without their father and are very arrogant responded that the girl scouts great and EVEN WORSE THESE WOMEN ARE TRAINING A YOUNGER GENERATION OF JEWISH WOMEN. This really was shocking and depressing to me to see we have divorced women being the one's teaching younger women which will continue these problems. I am going to have to write about this on my own blog but they are teaching horrible things the girl scouts in addition to using studies that sound like they used a bias study which also teaches girls to only talk to men that fit your agenda and if they don't pretend they don't exist. Many of the problem with the girl scouts is EXACTLY the kind of bad behavior I see among women but what is so frightening is these women aren't learning a bad ideology as an individual but as a group and they can gang together to hurt men which I know some are doing with false charges and other terrible terrible behavior.

THe problems with the Girl Scouts are as follows:

1. Making girls feel they are victims because more men are in math, science, and technology. So what women have their area's reading and writing that they are better then men.

2. Teaches them we need a NEW type of leadership with the adult women claiming this is what 11 year old girls want. So the adults are hiding behind these 11 year old girls when of course this is what THESE ADULTS want. This kind of leadership is always about noncontrol and overly buddy buddy type which sadly is not true of either gender. Sarah and Rebecca in their area of control had to exclude some people from certain blessings.

3. Having studies that use few men and never any fathers which teach the girls to use men as pawns for their agenda's like the girl scouts do. They have a study with 2500 women and only 1500 men and no fathers only mothers. Of course that is a flawed study.

The Jewish Girls in America including ORthodoxy are being brainwashed by radical feminist idea's at very young ages and nobody in Orthodoxy seems to care.

I don't blame these girls when they grow up to be so arrogant and just want to focus on proving they can do everything a man can and throwing the husband out of the home and taking his money and thinking this is freedom. I am so disturbed how our leaders are so clueless as me a 35 year old Jewish single man has to spill the beans on this and I have my own problems.

Mrs. Lindblom said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly. Watching my husband with our children is one of my life's precious gifts.

cmoursler said...

I am a girl scout co leader. our troop leader and I do not encourage male hatred in any fashion. Girl scouts is about community service, being a sister to every other girl scout, honoring God and their country etc. The reason men are not an overwhelming majority in leadership is because generally it is women mentoring girls, much like in boy scouts it is men mentoring boys. This in fact is biblical as in titus 2. Some of our recent projects have been earning our sewing badge, caroling at a nursing home and donating our time and our girl scout cookies to a local food panty. I understand girl scouts has become more secularized. What you need to do is meet with your local leadership and find out what their philosphy is. It's like anything, it's the people who make it work.
God bless.

Tracey McBride said...

You are blessed with a lovely family Mrs. Anna!

I agree very much with your philosophy on marriage. My husband and I celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary last month. Our secret? Cultivating the art of acceptance, appreciation and admiration.

"A true friend knows all about you but likes you anyway." That's us.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experiences.


Analytical Adam said...

cmousler, at one point the girl scouts were teaching girls proper valies but sadly they no longer are and I did look at their website and they clearly are teaching girls everything that is exact opposite of what a G-dly woman is IMO and what the torah says. This is why Chirsitian women in America founded a group called American Heritage Girls becuase these women who were once scouts themselves feel the girl scouts are no longer an option for their girls. THey do teach the girls Judeo-Christian ethics the American Heritage GIrls and they feel it is more like the original girl scouts and it is nondenominational.

Here are a number of articles on how far extreme left wing the girl scouts now are.

The Girl Scouts New Radicalism

Girl Scout National Enclave to Feature Pro Abortion Pro Lesbian Speakers

The Cookie Crumbles the girl scouts go PC

Why the Jewish world is ignoring this is very bothersome to me and yes women are learning horrible ideologies from the girl scouts although many clueless Rabbi's will fall for these women claiming they are victims which anyway personal matters women should mostly deal with the Rebetzin anyway but that is a different issue altogether.

There is nothing wrong for women to enjoy various activities but it is wrong to teach them to feel jealous of men because they are better in certain area's when overall women are not being disadvandaged educationally. THey do studies comparing men to women and since they mostly deal with girls as you said then this really is not something they can be objective on. They do have this idea of A NEW FORM OF LEADERSHIP THAT THEY CLAIM GIRLS want but it is the adult women that hate male leadership and rather then admit it hide behind young girls. How is this teaching girls values and as I said the adult women who are defending the girl scouts and are involved with them are very vain, hateful women which cemented my views on how bad they currently are.