My newest project!

 

OK…here we go.

We (and when I say “we”- I mean mom) have decided that I need to take my writing to the “next level”. Since we are currently in limbo regarding the status of my Novel – “A Mother for Leah” – we have decided to do something a bit different.

While we wait, and I write more on book 2 of the original series, I am also writing a novella from the companion series – Hearts of Hope Springs – which we will be self-publishing.

Won’t you come along on the journey…

 

Tonight, I have added a grand total of 2,040 words to “A Choice For Karen”.

YAY!

 

Pop back over Monday for an update and a look at what “A Choice For Karen” is all about.

Then stop in on Friday for more updates and a special character interview with Karen herself.

 

My current plan is to work on both novels at the same time, and I plan to have “A Choice For Karen” ready for release by July!

Happy Birthday to me!

I may even offer the eBook free at some point as a special birthday gift FROM me!

Good evening and God Bless!

 

P.S. Pray for me please… I’m just the tiniest bit trepidatious about this step but I’m determined to put my work out there so it seems the logical conclusion!

 

© Rachel L. Miller 2015

Is courtship the answer? | Part 4 | #NoGreyNoWay

Courthsip IS the answer - post header JPG

 

Courtship may not be the answer for you but neither is Fifty Shades of “Degradation”.

That was the intro to my post last week. Since then I have seen multiple campaigns online that stand on the same side as me and I am thrilled to see so many people out there taking a chance and standing for what they believe in!

There is a massive facebook/twitter campaign going on right now – against the heinous 50 Shades of… books AND movie!

I am using the campaign’s hashtag in my title above – #NoGreyNoWay. You can click on one of the links below for more info…

NoGreyNoWay YouTube Video

Facebook Page

Twitter Page

 

You should be aware that some of the posts on these sites contain graphic information – as many women and men are sharing their own personal experiences about past abuse.

 

 

Please stand with us as we spread the word to friends, family and strangers. If you truly care – you will want to do everything possible to protect others from the damaging and devastating effects of this series!

 

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As I said last week, I have not – and I will not – read the book (or watch the movie)!

I know that there are times that Christian leaders feel the need to read or watch what they are begging their followers to oppose – so that they have all the information they need to present a well-argued case.

But in this case, in my opinion, that is a very bad idea! Exposing your mind to ANYTHING of this nature is just inviting the devil to create a foothold in your very soul – which he will then use to push more sin into your life.

 

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Allowing this story into your head allows it into your heart, your mind, your soul!

You think you can handle it. You tell yourself that you need to be able to make an informed argument. You tell yourself that you need to have ammo to feed that argument. You tell yourself that you can’t properly argue against something you haven’t read or watched personally…

But this series is FAR TOO DANGEROUS to adhere to these rationales.

 

“THINK ON THESE THINGS”

 

I am here today to ask you to stand with me and millions of others
and put a stop to this movie right now! 

We need to send a strong message to the makers of the movie. They HAVE TO KNOW we are serious!

They HAVE TO KNOW that they will not tear down strong women… men… families… marriages!

They HAVE TO KNOW that we will not lay down and let them roll right over us!

 


We will stand up for our daughters, our sisters, our mothers, our friends! We will not allow someone to tell us that it is OK for a man to mistreat a woman – even if she agrees to it!

An abuser is very skilled at convincing you that you asked for it, wanted it, enjoy it.

IT IS A LIE!

No one has the right to treat you like a thing!

No one has the right to treat you like trash!

No one has the right to degrade you and drag you down!

 

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An abuser will tell you that you are not enjoying yourself because you aren’t submitting in the right way.

 

The greatest trick the devil ever played on women was to make them think submission equals abuse… and then to make them think that choosing to be abused is not abuse but is instead, empowerment – that it is fun, exciting, sexy…

 

Choosing it does not make it LOVE!

Choosing it does not make it RIGHT!

Choosing it does not make it ENJOYABLE!

 

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It doesn’t matter if it’s consensual or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s by choice or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s “fiction” or not!

From what I understand about the series, the whole consent situation is murky at best anyway – as miss Ana was under the influence of alcohol at the time she “gave consent” – Men have gone to prison for less!

Abuse and degradation are nothing to take lightly or as something that is OK as long as we’re talking about two adults or even as long as we are talking about fiction!

It is NEVER OK – not in a fictional story, not in a movie, and certainly not in reality!

 

NO I have NOT and NO I will NOT read or watch Fifty Shades…!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Please say NO to 50 Shades… this Valentine’s Day!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Stand with us – Make this Valentine’s Day a day of TRUE romance!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Remember the true meaning of Valentine’s Day this year – Say no to 50 Shades of yuck!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Tweet using the Hashtag #NoGreyNoWay to show your support! If there was a way to put it into my tweets above, I would have but I don’t know the HTML for that.

 

And yes… I will be back next week with more!

© Rachel L. Miller 2015

 

 

Disclaimer: For now I will allow comments to this post. I reserve the right to delete any and all derogatory or abusive comments and if I must, I will turn off comments. 

 

Is courtship the answer? | Part 3 | PLEASE SAY NO to 50 Shades…

Courthsip IS the answer - post header JPG

 

Courtship may not be the answer for you but neither is Fifty Shades of “Degradation”.

I come to you today with pain… actual, physical pain in my heart (and that is just from looking through Google to find articles meant to support my cause)

 

First let me say, I have not – AND I WILL NOT – read the book (or watch the movie) that I am here today to beg you not to expose yourself to! I refuse to expose my mind to such… well, FILTH… is – in my humble opinion, too kind a word to describe it. Pure evil might be closer to correct…

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I’m not even comfortable saying the name. I’m sure I really don’t have to – pretty much every person who clicks on this link already knows what I’m talking about but just in case you need a bit more help, here are some links that back up my plea.

THE MATT WALSH BLOG

FAMILY LIFE.COM

MOVIEGUIDE.ORG

FOCUS ON THE FAMILY – PART 1

FOCUS ON THE FAMILY – PART 2

RENEE ROBINSON.COM

KATHY HOWARD.ORG

(NOTE: I don’t agree with petitions and I am not endorsing the signing of the one presented in the following article in any way but the attached article is worth reading)

LIFE SITE NEWS.COM

OK now – if you didn’t know what I’m talking about – you do now.

 

I’m sure there are more… hopefully lots more but those are all the articles I could stomach. Even within these articles, as tame as they are in comparison, there is so much horrific imagery that comes through – I can not begin to imagine how anyone ever convinces themselves that they are actually enjoying such things. And that’s just the people reading it or watching it. I don’t even want to think about how someone convinces themselves to actually do these things.

 

 

Once upon a time, I thought things like this had their place, that place being far far away from the norm. I thought the line was thicker between the romantic and the erotic. Boy, was I naïve…

I should have remembered from the descriptions in Genesis 18 – that these types of sin have been around since the very beginning.

So here are my arguments: And I’m going to keep this short because while it MUST be said, there’s only so much my nerves can take.

 

Do not let yourself be fooled

 

Argument 1 – Sin is sin, no matter what pretty cover you put on it.

It really doesn’t matter what you can convince yourself of. Technically speaking a person can justify anything – given enough ammunition and know-how. Lawyers do it every day. It’s what has earned so many of them such a nasty reputation. What really matters is why you feel the need to justify your actions. And there is a mile wide difference between defending principles and justifying actions.

To Defend: 
1. resist an attack made on [someone or something]; protect from harm or danger.
“we shall defend our country, whatever the cost”
To Justify:
1. show or prove to be right or reasonable.
“the person appointed has fully justified our confidence”

 

…and that’s all I’m going to say about that because it’s not an argument anyone can win – you either see the fine line or you don’t.

 

Argument 2 – It may be an old argument but it’s a good one… Just because someone else is doing it does not make it true or right for you to follow suit!

I can not begin to tell you how many times a man I dated (before I discovered courtship) used the excuse… “Everybody is doing it.”

First of all, there is NO WAY everybody is doing it! It’s a statistical impossibility.

Second of all, SO WHAT! Just because he is or she is or they are, it does NOT mean it’s the right thing for me or for you or for us. And even if it is in your opinion, that does NOT mean I have to follow along just because you say so.

Case in point – NO WOMAN wears high heels because she just LOVES how they feel or how easy they are to walk in. If that were true, we would NEVER see a woman take off her heels after a night out or a dance and wince in pain or sigh in relief or whimper in agony.

Before you start jumping and down and screaming hypocrite – let me say this – for the record, no, I do not wear high heels. I have flat feet, and because of that, I do need a tiny bit of lift to the back of my shoes so I look for shoes with a raised heel but I’m talking about an inch or less. I haven’t worn the impossibly tall, ankle-breaking, feet torturing heels since college. I wear sneakers in the winter and flip flops in the summer and I have one pair of dressy sandals that I pull out for really… really, really special occasions.

Women wear these impossibly high, ankle-breaking, devices of foot torture for one of several reasons (listed below are three)

  • they want to look sexy

This is where peer pressure and social pressure comes in to play. Some person, at some time, has told them that wearing high heels is just one of many things that will make them look sexy.

  • they want to be taller

This is another area where pressure from peers and social situation has been at play. At some point in our illustrious history, the devil convinced women and men that they had to conform to the “norm”. Even after thousands of studies have been performed to show that super skinny people or super tall people are not the norm – everyone seems to think that they have to look like the chosen few.

  • they want to be taken seriously

This one is by far the most disturbing because there isn’t even an ounce of truth to it. There is nothing about a high heel that makes anyone look at you in a more serious light. It’s just another one of the devil’s lies to make men lust over women.

 

Argument 3 – Would you consider it abuse if you read about it in a newspaper instead of between the covers of a novel?

This is the easiest one for me but the most difficult one for most other people – mostly because of the difference between defending and justifying.

First ask yourself this – if you read an article about a young teen girl in California having been the victim of these types of behaviors, would you have considered it erotic? No, you would have considered it abuse. The perpetrator would have been arrested, convicted and jailed and you would cheer.

Now ask yourself this – If you found out that your teenage daughter was participating in these kinds of behaviors, would you cheer – or would you feel the desperate need to hunt down Mr. Grey and beat him to within an inch of his life?

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It doesn’t matter if it’s consensual or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s by choice or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s “fiction” or not!

Abuse and degradation are nothing to take lightly or as something that is OK as long as we’re talking about two adults, and oh yeah… because it’s fiction.

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I used to see this expression and take it very differently. Now I see the danger in it – which just goes to show that perception is everything.

And while you’re thinking that over, think on this too…

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Please say NO to 50 Shades… this Valentine’s Day!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Stand with us – Make this Valentine’s Day a day of TRUE romance!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

Remember the true meaning of Valentine’s Day this year – Say no to 50 Shades of yuck!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

And yes… I will be back next week with more!

© Rachel L. Miller 2015

 

Disclaimer: For now I will allow comments to this post. I reserve the right to delete any and all derogatory or abusive comments and if I must, I will turn off comments. 

 

Is courtship the answer? | Part 1

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I started this article very differently… and after writing… a LOT… of information, I decided I had better just get to the point!

I’m an author – I know how to edit… so I hit delete and started over.

 

Several weeks ago, I started a blog series rebutting an article written against courtship. After posting 5 articles myself, I have decided that this situation requires a different approach. So I took down the articles and I have been slowly rewriting them.

This is the first one.

 

As an author of Amish fiction, I have to deal with romance in my novels quite a bit and this is actually more than a little difficult for me since, for myself, I am dedicated to courtship!

But the Amish don’t do things that way – and it has taken a lot of research and long conversations to get to the bottom of just why they do things the way they do.

And I will say this – they know what they’re doing! And their idea of dating is a heck of a lot closer to my ideas on courtship than any ideas the world has about “dating“!

 

I feel very strongly about courtship. I don’t look at it as just another form of dating. I look at it as a lost art, as a thing of beauty. Courtship is not just another type of relationship – it is an exploration, of who you are, what you truly want in life as well as who the other person is and what they truly want from life.

If you are someone who is only interested in a series of quick flings or a meaningless string of casual encounters – then NO, courtship is not a right fit for you.

If you are someone who is genuinely interested in seeking out a meaningful and lasting relationship, then courtship IS the answer for you!

 

So…what started all of this? An online article written by someone who clearly has no idea what he’s talking about and I have no patience for people who claim to know everything about a subject but obviously have no background to speak of, have done zero research and don’t even bother to check their facts.

For this part, I will be dealing with some common myths about courtship.

 

Myth 1:

Courtship is just another word for dating… The behavior is no different – it’s just a different name.

 

I can not count the number of times I have read articles where people claim to have read the very popular book I Kissed Dating Goodbye – but clearly did not get past the cover/ title.

Actually maybe that’s the problem – most of them don’t even bother to read the entire title – I Kissed Dating Goodbye: A New Attitude Toward Relationships and Romance. However, for the sake of space and sanity, I will refer to it by the shortened first part below.

 

The world is full of people who love to sound like they know what they are talking about – but that’s all there is to most of them. They sound like they know but they really don’t. They just like to be heard.

Despite what so many people would LIKE to think, the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye was NOT written as a be-all, end-all information guide on courtship. It was one young man’s take on the problems he saw with traditional dating.

As a matter of fact, among the families who have committed to follow courtship, you will probably get a little different answer from each one you ask… and their answers will most likely differ from Joshua Harris’ ideas too.

This clever young man saw a problem with how young people today treat a relationship that is supposed to be taken very seriously – and he gave us his ideas and his ideals and I applaud him for the courage it must have taken to do this. It’s never easy to go out on a limb and stand up for your principles!

Joshua Harris makes a very strong point several times in his book I Kissed Dating Goodbye that what he was doing did not look a whole lot different from dating. He simply doesn’t call it that because his approach to the “getting to know each other” phase was very different than what most young people do when “dating”.

 

Actual quotes from the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye:

“And I think that’s the story of our generation’s pursuit of fulfillment in relationships. We wished for intimacy without obligation. We wished for sex with no strings attached. We wished for the pleasure of love with none of the work, none of the vows, none of the sacrifice.

And we got it.

But the results aren’t what we hoped for. And we’re left feeling emptier than before. The intimacy is superficial. The sex leaves us dissatisfied and hungry for something real, something true.

Where is true joy? It’s found in God’s brand of love – love founded on faithfulness, rooted in commitment.

The joy of intimacy is the reward of commitment.”
Joshua Harris, I Kissed Dating Goodbye

“Intimacy without commitment, like icing without cake, can be sweet, but it ends up making us sick.”
Joshua Harris, I Kissed Dating Goodbye

“We express true love in obedience to God and service to others – not reckless or selfish behavior – and we choose these behaviors.”
Joshua Harris, I Kissed Dating Goodbye

 

“The joy of intimacy is the reward of commitment.” – Joshua HarrisTweet this!

 

And… I think I’ve found the first big problem in that last quote. “Dating” is full of selfish behavior and rebellion!
  • Teens become physically intimate long before they are truly ready to
  • They forego studying, time spent with friends and family time to be with their “significant other”
  • They sneak out to parties and experiment with drugs and alcohol
  • They “act” grown-up so they begin to make what seems like grown-up decisions when they are ill-equipped to do so
  • Often they are not truly seeking a life partner so they become too emotionally involved with a person they have no real interest in – hearts are broken, bad patterns begin and sometimes life-altering consequences follow their actions

 

Too harsh…?

Remember I speak from experience. I did the whole dating thing. And I fell into more than my fair share of these types of behaviors… and I was the “good girl”.

I witnessed much worse behavior from other high school acquaintances.

On the other side of the coin, I witnessed many couples who did not engage in any of these things. They took their relationship seriously. Some of them may have engaged in a bit too much physical interaction but they did not take it lightly.

Neither end of the spectrum can be applied to every single person – just as there are many young people who fall somewhere in between the two extremes.

The point is that dating in general is very different from courtship in general!

 

 

Myth 2:

Being home-schooled means you lack socialization and social skills.

 

Before I say anything else, I just want to take a moment to point out that I have two of the most outgoing children on the face of the planet. We tried public school with my son when he was in preschool. He went from being a happy, outgoing, social, sweet child to being a sullen, angry, withdrawn, shy child in just under four months.

It took nearly two years to get him back to where he was before that experience. Actually scratch that… he has NEVER gotten back to where he was before that experience but he is closer.

Suffice to say a traditional classroom is not the place for him.

My son and my daughter are both thrilled with homeschooling. They get to learn things that they’re excited about. They have time for their music. And they aren’t confined to socializing with twenty or thirty kids the exact same age as them.

They socialize with the maintenance man and the ladies who work in the office. They chat with the UPS delivery guy and the mail carrier. They talk to kids in the neighborhood and not just the ones who are the same age as them. My son especially has a soft spot for toddlers. He enjoys so much being a big brother – that it spills over when we are at the playground and he plays with the little kids we meet there as if they are his own siblings.

 

I was home-schooled in 1984. No it wasn’t easy – there were no local co-ops or support groups and we didn’t know about any of the fantastic home-school organizations who would have been thrilled to help us along the way, but all we had to do to find curriculum (otherwise known as school books) was to drive to the local Christian school and buy it.

And I would have loved to continue on that path but there simply were not the same sort of resources available to a single mother then so off to public school I went.

And I whole-heartedly believe that many of the issues I faced growing up were entirely due to the experiences I went through, the hardships I encountered and the influences of my “friends”. And those reckless, haphazard examples led me down a road that has seen so very many bumps and ruts and potholes, it’s amazing I survived.

 

I often wonder if my parents had been involved with the home-school organization I belong to now, how different my life would have been. Would they have stayed together? Would I ever have attended public school? Would I have made the same choices I made?

Clearly some of them would have been different simply because I would not have known many of the same people who I met after my parents split up and we moved far apart. But there’s really no use in playing the what-if game now.

 

Whether I would have made the same choices or not, the facts are that my public school experiences were not good. They started me down a path that only led to self-destruction and misery.

Oh how I wish I had known about courtship.

Oh how I wish I had understood the Biblical principles behind marriage and what it was meant to be.

But I didn’t and my story is an ugly, sad, painful one that far too many young women share.
(I’ll go into more detail later on)

 

Peer pressure is not just about drugs and alcohol.Tweet this!

 

 

Myth 3:

Our grandparents dated earlier and more often than we do. And their parents trusted them enough to go out and do pretty much the same things we do today on dates.

 

A note here: my Grandmother died when my Mother was 18. Less than a year afterward, my Grandfather remarried. They went on dates with my mother in tow (and often the two teen sons that became Mom’s step-brothers). They did this happily and the most shocking thing they did on a date was to go on a picnic…

Don’t you miss the simplicity of picnics…

Clearly the world worked differently 60 years ago, 40 years ago – even 20 years ago when I made my first forays into the dating world.

20 years ago, the phrase date rape was not around… or if it was, I never heard it.

And no matter what anyone tells you, 60 years ago – the average teens did NOT do any of the things that are currently typical for a “date”.

If you ask your grandparents what they would have considered a date when they were teens – they would likely mention things like studying together at the library, sitting together in church or having a soda together at the local diner or malt shop.

Yes I know, it’s shocking how light the argument is on this one – but there’s only so much you can say after the words “malt shop”…

 

And yes… I will be back next week with more!

© Rachel L. Miller 2015

 

Tweetables:

Courtship vs Dating – popular myths debunked!Tweet this!

Oh how I wish I had known about courtship twenty years ago!Tweet this!

 

Disclaimer: For now I will allow comments to this post. I reserve the right to delete any and all derogatory or abusive comments and if I must, I will turn off comments. 

A Not so Parallel Universe…

 

It has to be the strangest part of being a writer…

I sat at my laptop, watching the trailer for the movie “Interstellar” the other night and thought about “Life After E.L.E.” and “The Taken”… my Dystopian and speculative novels (the ones I write under my pen name).

 

It is quite possibly the most surreal part of being a writer…

As my “other” self, I write Speculative and Dystopian Christian fiction, so I find “myself” in the midst of intergalactic wars and I find “myself” running for the gates of the city because to be locked out means death.

I say other because JC Morrows is my pen name. But in many ways it is really my true self. The Speculative and Dystopian are my first love, the “REAL” me.

 

So then I come back to the other side of my writing – where I write Amish fiction and the biggest concerns I have are whether I am using too many Pennsylvania Dutch phrases and am I making the described emotions too realistic and sensual to be believable for the Amish?

 

It is certainly the most insane part of my life as a writer…

All I can say is that it’s a really good thing I write Speculative because most days it’s like I live in two completely different, totally NON-parallel universes.

 

On the one hand I have… teenage girl watching her father die and then repeating the same mistake he did. Will she die horribly or find some way to survive on this planet that has become hostile to our very species?

On the other hand I have… widowed mother of two who is kidnapped by aliens, changed, memories wiped – trained to fight in a war she knew nothing about, did not volunteer for and had nothing to do with!

And on the other hand I have… young woman whose mother died when she was 5 – will her father ever remarry? Will she be able to accept this woman as her new mother? Will she ever find love herself?

 

Go ahead… tell me that’s normal for a writer.

Life and Death

Love, Loss, War, Aliens

The Buggy Brigade

 

© Rachel L. Miller 2014