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And though the fields look rough with hoary dew, All will be gay when noontide wakes anew The buttercups, the little children’s dower—Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower! The flag stuck on a heap of bones, A soldier’s doing! You’ll look at least on love’s remains, A grave’s one violet: Your look? Sir, ’twas not Her husband’s presence only, called that spot Of joy into the Duchess’ cheek: perhaps Fra Pandolf chanced to say, “Her mantle laps Over my lady’s wrist too much,” or “Paint Must never hope to reproduce the faint Half-flush that dies along her throat:” such stuff Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough For calling up that spot of joy.

HOME-THOUGHTS, FROM THE SEANOBLY, nobly Cape Saint Vincent to the North-west died away; Sunset ran, one glorious blood-red, reeking into Cadiz Bay; Bluish ‘mid the burning water, full in face Trafalgar lay; In the dimmest North-east distance dawn’d Gibraltar grand andgray;‘Here and here did England help me: how can I help England? 1072 ROBERT BROWNINGWe ride and I see her bosom heave.

I define “emotional purity” in the same way that popular homeschool writers have: it is the idea of “guarding your heart.” This sounds all noble and righteous and everything but in this context is really just a facade for fear. It was Josh Harris in and the Ludy’s in several of their books that popularized the idea that everytime you fall in love or get “emotionally attached” to someone, you give away a piece of your heart. Pride because suddenly you are better than everyone else. I am still uncomfortable hugging one of my best friends who is a guy because we were taught never to hug or have physical contact, even innocent, with a guy. We were taught never ever ever to be alone with a guy because it could look bad.

The more pieces you give away, the less of your heart you have to give to your spouse someday. my best friend, my sisters, my husband, my parents, my kids.

Life’s night begins: let h im never come back to us!

There would be doubt, hesitation and pain, Forced praise on our part—the glimmer of twilight, Never glad confident morning again!

The topic of dating and relationships came up and we started talking about my story. In my life it meant never having a crush on a guy, never allowing myself to “fall in love.” Basically, training myself to shut down a normal, healthy, functioning part of my human heart. I told her if she was to walk out of the room, leaving me and her husband in the same room, my first reaction would be one of panic.

Sometimes it’s actually comforting to me to be met with blank or incredulous stares from people I consider “normal,” good Christians. I’m 27 years old, and I’ve been married for almost 7 years. Shame because sometimes you can’t help but like one guy a little more than another. Pride because you are so much more spiritual than that poor girl over there who is crying because her boyfriend broke up with her. They made up laws that God never condoned, then patted themselves on the back for keeping them, while looking down on those who didn’t. Thus began a journey to know God and understand life; a journey from bondage to grace; a journey she's still making. At age 17 she fell in love with her best friend and her perfect little formulated world came crashing down.’—say, Whoso turns as I, this evening, turn to God to praise and pray, While Jove’s planet rises yonder, silent over Africa. PARTING AT MORNINGR O U N D the cape of a sudden came the sea, And the sun look’d over the mountain’s rim: And straight was a path of gold for him, And the need of a world of men for me. We rode; it seem’d my spirit flew, Saw other regions, cities new, As the world rush’d by on either side. There are many times that I don’t realize just how much strange teaching I’ve had to undo in my life. She now lives in gorgeous Montana with her husband and three kids, loving life, writing about spiritual abuse and grace, and leading worship for church, retreats, and special events.

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