It was a beautiful July evening. The sky was still bright. I had all the windows down as I drove home from work with the smell of mowed grass drifting in on the breeze. I rolled to a stop at a red light. I suddenly thought to myself that I didn't want it to change, as that would mean going home to an empty house.
My life had been in a tailspin ever since my wife had told me that our marriage was over, that she had met someone else. She filed for divorce soon after that. Two years later here I was, still struggling.
The traffic light turned green and I slowly eased the car forward. Just as I drove through the intersection, a thought popped into my head, so clear it was almost a command: Pray for your wife. But that's the whole problem, I thought. I don't have a wife. As the strange thought seemed to become a command, I pulled over to the side of the road.
Sitting there in the car with the engine ticking as it cooled, I felt a little silly. But I was here now, I thought, so I might as well follow through...
I didn't know what to say. I decided to ask God to protect her and remind her that I loved her. I concluded with a hasty "Amen" and got back on my journey home.
This strange little episode soon slipped from my mind. Until the next year.
That's when I finally felt ready to date again. I made a profile on a dating website and was matched up with a woman named Nancy. She and I seemed to share a lot of the same values and interests. And she had a beautiful smile.
Nancy and I hit it off right away. In fact, we had more in common than I would ever have guessed from her profile. Her husband had left her the previous year. "It was a dark time for me," Nancy told me over dinner. "I didn't think I'd get through it."
"When was this?" I asked. But I was sure I already knew the answer. "July of last year," Nancy said. I could only nod in silence.
Several dates later I felt it was time to tell her about the compulsion to "pray for my wife" that had so forcefully come over me on that beautiful summer evening the previous July.
Nancy and I will soon celebrate our nineteenth wedding anniversary. Every day of these nineteen years we have spent together, I have continued to pray for my wife -- the wife God first told me to pray for a year before we met.
- Douglas Wells, from GUIDEPOSTS magazine, Aug. 2019
Someone finally decided to check up on Joyce Vincent. She was badly behind in her rent.
What they found was a skeleton on the couch. She had been dead for more than two years, the TV still on and the Christmas presents she had wrapped for friends lying on the floor along with a landslide of mail scattered inside the front door of her apartment.
Vincent, 38, lived alone in a city of several million. Her corpse was so desiccated that the coroner couldn’t figure out a cause of death, couldn’t even positively identify her from dental records.
It could happen to any of us. Apparently she just sat down and died as the TV then flickered and talked to no one for months on end.
Joyce Vincent had been estranged from her father and four sisters — her much-loved mother had died when she was 11 — but by all accounts, she was a vivacious, accomplished woman, said to resemble a pre-decline Whitney Houston. She had a pile of friends and a terrific job in the accounting field until, without apparent reason, she simply decided one day to quit.
A lot of our cultural problems are issues with no clear government or policy solution. But the problems are huge and growing bigger. One of them is the cultural phenomenon of loneliness which stems from the decline of the family unit.
The loneliness thesis taps into a widespread intuition of something true and real and grave. Foundering social trust, collapsing heartland communities, an opioid epidemic, and rising numbers of “deaths of despair” suggest a profound, collective discontent. It’s worth mapping out one major cause that is simultaneously so obvious and so uncomfortable that loneliness observers tend to mention it only in passing. I’m talking, of course, about family breakdown. At this point, the consequences of family volatility are an evergreen topic when it comes to children; this remains the subject of countless papers and conferences. Now, we should take account of how deeply the changes in family life of the past 50-odd years are intertwined with the flagging well-being of so many adults and communities…
While the loosening of traditional rules gave women freedom to leave violent or cruel husbands, it also changed the cultural environment for couples trying to weather less dangerous stresses and disappointments, including a pink slip. Lower-income men and women are bound to have more financial anxieties, more work accidents, and more broken-down cars and evictions, and they lack the funds for Disneyland vacations, massages, and psychotherapists that might take some of the edge off a struggling marriage. And they see few, if any, long-term married couples who could offer a successful model. With single parenthood and cohabitation both on the lifestyle menu, what they see instead is an easy out.
When so many marriages melt into thin air, lower-income kin networks, a source of job connections, child care, and family meals, attenuate as well. Your mother’s sister’s husband—your uncle by marriage—might give you a tip about a job opening at a local machine shop; an uncle separated from your aunt and living with a girlfriend with her own kids in the next town over, maybe not. Communities flush with fatherless households tend to be troubled. In his landmark study of county-level social mobility, economist Raj Chetty discovered that places thick with married-couple families created more opportunity for kids, regardless of whether they were living in a married or single-parent household; places with large numbers of single-parent homes, on the other hand, pulled kids down—including those living with married parents. It’s hard to imagine more concrete evidence of the truth of the old cliché that family is the building block of society. (From city-journal.org)
Are we likely to fix this by changing laws?
It's not likely that many Americans would want to dramatically change divorce laws, although we may prefer to encourage counselling and trial separations before finalizing the legal dissolution of a marriage. At heart the question is how to get people to make better and more responsible choices -- to not have children before they're ready, to try to make the marriage work when times get hard, and to embrace the responsibilities of parenthood rather than running from them.
The story of Joyce Vincent is paralyzingly sad, all the more because she was the model of what women set out to be: smart, kind, ambitious, and attractive -- and yet these qualities failed her. Perhaps they actually doomed her and contributed to the miserable loneliness of her death.
One of the few who tried to investigate how and why she died was able to gather a few facts. “I was told she was quite beautiful, which makes her death more poignant because we always think beautiful people have everything going their way.”
A boyfriend of her youth commented that Vincent always seemed confident and in control. “The trouble with Joyce was that she was so attractive,” he said. “Wherever she went and whatever she did, there were people trying to get her into bed. It was a burden that she was so beautiful and a lot more intelligent than she let on.”
She seemed ultimately to have linked up with a brutal boyfriend. It was a battered women’s shelter that placed her in the subsidized rental where she died, and she may have felt ashamed of her perceived failure. But why didn’t the friends whose names were on the wrapped gifts ever track down their mysteriously vanished friend?
June 8, 2019
NEXTDOOR.COM is a relatively recent addition to the world's social media, but in a very short time it has been accepted and widely used worldwide. There are now more than 197,000 communities all across the USA registered on Nextdoor, and it has expanded to many countries around the globe as well. At a time when so many people do not know or interact with their neighbors, it would seem that this open door to our local communities is something that is filling a big need!
From WND.com Alongside the political and cultural wars dominating today's painfully divided America, there is also a huge war raging within the news media itself! We're talking about the Big Three broadcast networks, cable channels like CNN and MSNBC, and Big City newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post.
They no longer report the news, they make it up. Exhibit A: The never-ending Russia collusion hoax they reported breathlessly, every single day, for more than two years. Pathetic. And they are paying for this mockery of real journalism in lost viewers, fewer subscribers and cable ratings that continue to drop like a rock.
It is clear that the American people — far from being "ignorant hicks" and "smelly Wal-Mart people" living in flyover country — are hungry for real news, accurate information and intelligent analysis on issues they care deeply about.
Our coverage spans everything from the state of the nation and national defense to the economy, to the all-important "social issues" like abortion and the religious freedom challenges that are ripping our nation and culture apart, to daily updates on crucial developments throughout the 2020 Election season.
As we approach our next national election in 2020, please remember that fake news is NOT news. Fake news is fiction. What you need when you search for news is TRUTH. WND will always give you the truth. WND promises to always be credible, independent, and fearless when it comes to researching and reporting the news.
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The Mighty Oaks Foundation is making a mighty big difference in the lives of America's military warriors, both active duty and those now back in civilian life. The basis for all the success Mighty Oaks has had in helping our military personnel is sharing the Christian faith of the Foundation's leadership. Please visit the Mighty Oaks website now to learn how you might get involved.
I absolutely love being a mom. Every year offers new challenges and discoveries — from the car seat, to the bus seat, to the driver’s seat! That’s what Bus Stop Mamas is all about — growing as people around the life stages of our kids. Working around our kid’s schedules and bridging gaps in the home and workplace is the mission of Bus Stop Mamas.
Prior to Bus Stop Mamas, I worked in advertising agencies as an account executive and then I moved to in-house at law firms, eventually serving as chief marketing officer. In 2009, when my daughter was 3, I left the corporate world and started a consulting firm that specializes in law firm branding. I work with law firms around the country. Soon after launching, currently employed moms joined the network. This is big because we thought we offered an “untapped” talent pool. Now we know that 30 percent of our talent pool are working moms who are ready to jump ship for a company that will honor their commitment to their family or their mama schedule. Many of the moms joining the network are in high-level positions at Fortune 100 and 500 companies and we are successfully matching moms with small- and mid-sized businesses. (Mary Kay Ziniewicz, founder and CEO)