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Living with a Teenager

I guess I'm going to use this to talk about the struggles I go through raising my teenage daughter, as a widow, and continue homeschooling her without the support of a husband.

Busy Days Mean No Time For Myself.
Posted:Apr 17, 2006 3:00 am
Last Updated:Jul 17, 2006 9:09 pm
This week is going to be a pain for me. I should be all right today and tomorrow. But, beginning Wednesday, I'm going to be going through the wringer. I have to drive 200 miles, round trip, to pick up my mother from the Greyhound station (she's moving in with me from California). She's already given me a list of things she wants to do immediately. She wants me to take her to the grocery store, the furniture store, a car lot, and drop her off at a casino to see if she can make some more money before she has to get a job. Grocery store: no big deal. I need groceries anyway. Furniture store: not too big a deal. I need to get a new mattress for her bed. Car lot: if I have time, I'm willing to do that. But, I have to pay the rest of my bills first. Casino: it's twenty-two miles away and I drive a Dodge pickup. Do I have to do that?

My is also making plans for when my mom comes out. "Nana's going to take me to the roller rink and the movie theater as soon as she gets here, Mom." "Oh really," I said. "What car is she going to use?" "Oh," J pouted. "I forgot that she's coming on the bus. Can we use your truck?"

It's so funny. I've been getting calls from family members since she left California, Friday, telling me all the bad things my mom has done. But, I tell them that they need to learn to ignore her a lot of the time. That's the only way I'm able to live in the same house as her now that I'm 37 years old. Pray for me. I don't want to blow up. Both my sisters, in California, kicked my mom out of their homes for less than what she's done with me already.

What a Difference a Day Makes.
Posted:Apr 8, 2006 8:52 pm
Last Updated:Apr 16, 2006 3:50 am

The other day, my decided to pretty much "wage war" with me on anything and everything I said. All day yesterday and today, she's almost been an angel.

Of course, that could have to do with the fact that my mother is leaving California next Friday to move out here with us. She knows that Nana will pretty much be on her side with anything.

I am asking you all to pray that I will have the strength to deal with my mom being here. Both my younger sisters have kicked her out of their homes because of the same thing I'm going to have to deal with (and have dealt with before): telling the how mean mommy is for making them behave, etc. Please, don't pray for me to have patience with her. I know that praying for patience is like asking for fire. I just want the strength to deal with her.


Today's Battle
Posted:Apr 5, 2006 9:33 pm
Last Updated:Apr 7, 2006 1:07 am

Today, I went through a minor skirmish with my . She decided to invite a friend over without telling me.

I heard her friend's dad pull up and the door open. About twenty minutes later, after a lot of whispering in the living room, my came in and told me that her friend showed up and surprised her.

This is the second time my 's pulled this on me in the last two weeks. Tonight, I told her that if it happens one more time, I'm calling her friend's parents and telling them not to bring their over unless they hear it straight from me that she's invited over. Obviously, my didn't like that and started talking about how mean I am. So, I told her that she couldn't go online tonight. Such a mean mom, I am!

Oh well! Such is life with a 16 year old !
A True Friend
Posted:Apr 5, 2006 8:20 am
Last Updated:Apr 7, 2006 1:07 am
In today's world, everyone is friends with someone who can do something for them. But, are they true friends to others, themselves? I've had to ask this about myself a lot lately. It's caused me to honestly look at what a true friend is.

A true friend will give of him or herself unselfishly. If they see someone who needs something, they will just go ahead and give what is needed with no thought to their own convenience or comfort.

A true friend will tell the truth, no matter what.

A true friend will either keep their promises or not make promises because they don't want to forget what they promised, later.

A true friend is willing to lay down his or her own life so that another may be saved.

Right now, I can say that I fit the first three qualications without a doubt. I've never had to think about the last. But, we all have a friend who did lay down His life so that we may be saved: Jesus.

I would like to think that, if I'm ever called to do so, I would be able to lay down my life for a friend with no question. After all, we're supposed to try to be like Christ.

We're supposed to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Does that mean that we just accept everything they do, with no condemnation if they are going against the word of God? No. We show more love by warning them that their behaviour is leading them to hell and then encouraging them to choose to turn from that sin and follow Christ. Christ always told people to "Go and sin no more," when he forgave and healed them. Leading the same life of sin would lead to having the same problems again.
Waiting on the Lord
Posted:Apr 3, 2006 12:26 pm
Last Updated:Jul 22, 2024 1:0 pm

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31 Why should we wait on the Lord? In today's world, everyone wants what they want when they want it. And, in most cases, they get it. But, there are times when waiting on the Lord is a good thing. The Bible tells us in the above verse that if we wait on the Lord, we will renew our strength. That, to me at least, is a good thing. It tells me that if I wait on His answer, I will not waste all my time, energy, strength, and patience on what I want.

Psalm 25:2-4 says, "O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths." To me, the phrase "wait on thee" has two meanings: one is to wait for God's answer or wait for God to move; the other is to serve the Lord. I will not be ashamed because I decide to wait for the Lord to show me what I'm supposed to do. Neither will I be ashamed because I choose to serve the Lord.

Psalm 37 says, "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass." Again, the Bible is telling us to wait on the Lord, to be patient. We're not supposed to be jealous because of other people's prosperity that may come, not from waiting on the Lord but, from their own work.

Psalm 39:9 says it all for me: "And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee." My hope is not in what I can get or do with my own hands or from other people. My hope is in what God may bring me.

2 Peter 1:2-9 says, "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins." God has given us certain promises that we are supposed to hang onto. We are supposed to be part of the divine nature if we escape the corruption and evil around us in the world. There are several places in the Bible where patience is described as a good thing or a "virtue." It is something that we are supposed to possess.

I will wait on the Lord for my answers. I know that He will give me what I need.
The Blood of Christ
Posted:Apr 3, 2006 12:25 pm
Last Updated:Apr 4, 2006 2:59 pm

As a Christian, what saves us? Is it doing good things for others? Is it belief that God ordered each of our footsteps before we were born? Is it belonging to a certain denomination? The answer to those questions is a resounding no! What saves us is the blood of Christ! Nothing else can do it.

I see people from different religions, who are supposed to be a light into the dark world, arguing all the time about how their beliefs are right and others' beliefs are wrong. How one denomination is the church of Christ and no other denomination is worshiping or serving Christ correctly.

The answer is so simple. There is not one Christian church on earth today that is one hundred percent right in what they do or how they serve. But, the church that Christ talked about in the Bible is not made up of a denomination. It is made up of the Christians who serve Him. The one thing that all Christians share is the belief that without Christ, we are lost. We are deserving of the worst punishment in judgement of our own sins. But, because of Christ, we are free from that judgement.

I've watched as Christians from many different denominations tear each other down for one's beliefs in doing good works, for one's belief in predestination, for one's belief that God performs miracles today, and for the opposite of each of those. I've watched as the atheists, agnostics, and other religions laugh at us. They laugh because we can't agree on anything. We're brothers and sisters in Christ. Come on, people! We can have differences in opinions on the non-salvific issues of Christianity. But, we need to come together as one body, the body of Christ, and show that we agree on the only thing that can save us.

God, in His infinite wisdom, gave each of us a mind to think with and a heart to feel with. Lately, it seems that we're using our minds and hearts for what the other is supposed to be used for. We need to stop attacking each other for, what I and others see as, our minor differences. We need to join together and start being the light in the darkness. We need to realize that without the blood of Christ, we would be nothing.
Thanks to Nana!
Posted:Apr 3, 2006 12:22 pm
Last Updated:Jul 22, 2024 1:0 pm

Thanks to Nana, I grew into a mother who loves my , despite having grown up in an abusive home. I can look at the scars on my body and cringe with the memories. Yet, I still smile, knowing that my will never have to deal with the same thing.

Thanks to Nana, my knows her father even if she doesn't have contact with him due to the choice he made to live outside the law. I grew up not knowing my father. It scarred me badly and made me look for love and approval from men who didn't know what those two words were.

Thanks to Nana, even after growing up in a home where my mother didn't care, I love and respect my mother just for the fact that she is my mother. I worry about how she's going to survive. Without a job or steady work history, my mother has to depend on the whims of her daughters. Right now, she's living with one of my sisters in exchange for babysitting. My sister told me not to tell my mother, but as soon as she gets her tax refund, she's going to quit her job and give Mom two weeks to get a job or find her own place.

Thanks to Nana, when something good happens to me financially, I ask myself, "What would Nana want me to do?" She would want me to take care of my and myself first. Then, if I have anything left, help out my mother and then help out my sisters.

The moral fiber of previous generations was different than it is now. I lot of people say that morals are relative. They're only relative if you allow them to be. There is right and there is wrong in the world. We have to choose one or the other. If we choose to do right, chances are that others will look at us like we're aliens because today's generation is more about what feels good than what is right.

Yes. I thank Nana for making sure that at least one of her grandchildren grew up with a good sense of what's right and wrong. But, above all that, I thank God for loving me and for giving me a grandmother who loved me more than she loved herself.
God's Hand in My Life
Posted:Apr 2, 2006 3:44 am
Last Updated:Apr 5, 2006 9:24 pm

I was born December 20, 1968, in Merced, CA. I was raised by, at best, agnostic parents. My mother and father were divorced before I was two years old. And, my mother remarried before I was three. By the time she married my step-father, my sister was born and she was pregnant with another baby. That sister was born just before they were married for seven months.

For some reason, I felt that my step-father didn't like me from a very early age. I don't know why I thought that. But, looking back with 20/20 hindsight, I see that it may be possible that he thought I remembered my father and he wanted to be my father. I remember being held responsible for my younger sisters' actions from the time I was about seven or eight years old. If one or both of them did something wrong, I got in trouble because I was supposed to teach them to stay out of trouble.

Both my mother and step-father were alcoholics. I was washing dishes before I was five years old and cooking meals for my sisters by the time I was seven. I remember standing on a chair to reach the sink and then the stove. Neither Mom nor Dad were home that often. Dad was in the Navy, so he was out to sea a lot. While he was gone, Mom was usually at the bars. When he was home, they would go to the bars together. When they weren't at bars, they took turns "punishing" me for the different things I or my sisters did. I still have burn scars on my hands from the cigarettes they would hold to my fingers because my youngest sister colored on the wall. I have a scar on my wrist from when my mother dipped a spoon in hot oil and held it to me because I didn't move fast enough when she wanted a glass of water. I still have nightmares about all of that.

Mom and Dad got divorced when I was ten years old. It was then that I found out that Dad was not my father. My mom told me that she had been married once before and that Dad wanted to adopt me but my father wouldn't allow him to do so, even though "he paid no support (according to Mom)." Mom, my sisters, and I moved in with Nana then. Nana saved my life. I was suicidal at ten and eleven years old because of the abuse I had and still was suffering. My mom had taken to telling me that I was a lower form of life than the worms on the ground after the rain. Nana always told me that she just said that because she was jealous of my youth. I don't know if that is true or not. But, it's what I needed to keep me from killing myself at that time.

I still had never set foot inside of a church when I was twelve years old. I was at school and a bunch of my friends were talking about the strange new church down the road from my house. They were laughing about how they always heard all of the yelling on Sunday mornings. Then, one of them turned to me and dared me to go. LOL! Even back then, I was stubborn and foolish. I could never pass up a dare. I told my mom that a friend had invited me to her house one Sunday morning and went to the church. God must have planned that day down to the moment. He had me snared. I accepted Christ that morning.

When I went back to school the next day, I told all of my friends about it. They couldn't believe that I had become a "holy roller." It was funny hearing them talk. They all thought I was nuts. But, I felt loved for the first time in my life by someone other than my grandmother. And, when I told Nana about it, she was thrilled. Her father had been a Methodist preacher back in the late 1800's and early 1900's. And, she and my grandfather had attended pentecostal churches throughout their marriage. She told me that even though my mom had forbidden her to take us to church that she had continuously prayed for mine and my sisters' salvation. She told me that she was glad that she lived long enough to see me come to Christ on my own.

When I told my mom, she was less than happy about it. She told me that I wasn't allowed to go to church unless I went with Nana or one of my "uncles" that she was dating at the time. Thanks to that edict, I got to go every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday evening for about two years. Then, we moved to Oklahoma. In Oklahoma, I wasn't allowed to attend church at all. In fact, the only time I ever set foot inside a church was when my mom went in to ask them for help getting our utilities and rent paid, and then, once again when she asked for help getting Greyhound tickets back to California six months later.

When we got back to California, we moved into a house owned my one of my great aunts, Arlene. Arlene was a member of the Mormon church and told my mother that the only way she would allow us to rent the house was if the three of us girls attended the church for every service and ceremony they had. Of course, my mother said yes to her. By the time we had attended for a month, Aunt Arlene was trying to convince me to become a member of the church. For some reason, their doctrine didn't ring right for me. Maybe, it was because I accepted Christ in an Assembly of God church. I don't know. But, I refused. My refusal caused Aunt Arlene to throw us out of the house. So, my mom decided to move in with Nana again.

I was allowed to go to church. But, I was not allowed to wear any short sleeves or knee-length skirts because the bruises would show from my mom taking her anger with the world out on me. And, the one time she gave me a black eye, I wasn't allowed to go anywhere, including school for about a week. My mom made me tell anyone who asked that I walked into a door while taking the cat outside.

Because of the abuse I was suffering, I once again became suicidal. I started questioning the existance of God. I couldn't believe that He would allow the things that I was going through to happen to one of His if He was real. If I remember correctly, from the time I was thirteen until I was seventeen, I tried to commit suicide four times. Each time I tried, a person from my church would show up and make sure that I was going to make it through all of that.

Nana died when I was fifteen. But, not before she helped me to find out where my father lived and get in touch with him. When my mom found out about that, she was ready to strangle Nana. She didn't want me to have any contact with Dad at all. But, I called him collect twice a month and wrote to him frequently. It was during that time that I found out I had an older brother, an older sister, and a baby sister. Dad asked me to move in with him when I was seventeen years old. Mom told me no when I asked her. But, I got a summer job and gave her all of my money except for the last paycheck. So, she allowed me to go for my senior year of high school. She told me that she was expecting me to hate my dad and come back within two months. I left in August.

I loved it in Illinois! One of the first things my dad and his wife did was to help me find an Assembly of God church so that I had a place away from home to socialize (their words, not mine). Then, they enrolled me in school. Just before my eighteenth birthday, my mom forwarded a form to have my school sign stating that I was still in school so she could continue getting welfare for me. Instead of taking it to them, I called my mom's case worker and told her that if anyone should get welfare for me it was my dad because I had been living with him for three months and planned to finish high school in Illinois. I found out later that my mom had to repay everything she got from August to December that year for me.

While I was there, my dad showed me the paperwork that proved that he had been paying support from the time my mom left him and copies of the letters he had written her attorneys to ask if he could have pictures of me and my sister. Every one of those letters was accompanied by a letter from my mom stating that if he wanted pictures, he had to send $500 for each one. I couldn't believe it! All those years, she kept me away from my dad because he didn't send her more money.

After I graduated high school, I went back to California. Because of the welfare situation, my mom told me that she would not allow me to stay with her for more than three nights. I had to get a job, get paid, and get my own apartment in three days. I knew that that wasn't possible, so I looked into Job Corps. I decided to go to Job Corps because they offered room and board with job training for low income people ages sixteen to twenty-four. While in Job Corps, I totally dropped my relationship with Christ and joined a coven. I did my share of drugs and alcohol. Because of the fact that my mind was often fogged over by drugs and alcohol, I was right before I turned twenty. That caused me to go into a deep depression and I tried to kill myself again.

Because of the attempt to take my life, the Job Corps administration asked me to leave before they had helped me to get a job. My boyfriend asked his mother if I could move in with their family in Bakersfield. She said yes as long as I followed her rules. I had no problem with that. I just needed someplace to stay and finish maturing mentally. I wasn't ready to be an adult yet because I had never been taught what that meant. While living with his family, I got my first full-time job. It was McDonald's, but beggars can't be choosers. I decided to try to get a second and then a third job as well. I was working eighteen hours a day. Then, I found out I was pregnant. James and I got our own apartment and got married after that.

We weren't married six months before James decided that he wanted to see other people. So, he moved out of our apartment and I ended up losing it because I couldn't afford to pay the bills myself. My was born one month later. James and I couldn't get along no matter what I tried. By the time my was ten months old, he had left me permanently. I didn't believe in divorce, so I wouldn't file. But, I told James that I couldn't force him to love me and I wouldn't fight it if he filed. Then, he took my . All I was worried about was getting her back. He took her on a Friday evening, so first thing Monday morning, I filed for custody of her and a restraining order against him. My paralegal told me that I just beat him in filing the paperwork. I got temporary custody and a restraining order on him. He filed for divorce and tried to paint me as an unfit mother. I ended up winning custody and our divorce was final on our second wedding anniversary.

It seemed that he would file for custody every three or four months. Whenever he thought I was getting a life, he would file for custody. Now, I know that he just wanted to have control over my life even though we were no longer married and he was remarried. There was no way I trusted men at all at that time.

After we had been divorced for two years, my mom introduced me to Steve. At that time, he was drinking heavily all the time and I didn't want anything to do with that. So, I just said hi and walked away. About a year later, James filed for custody again. I had no money to take the train to Bakersfield from Modesto, so my mom asked Steve to drive me. He said yes. We talked the whole trip there (about three and a half hours). He had quit drinking and our beliefs were almost identical. I ended up winning the custody case again so Steve took me out to dinner to celebrate.

We "dated" for about six months before we got married. I needed a father for my and he had fallen in love with me and my . He knew that I didn't love him that way. But, he was willing to take responsibility for me and my in hopes that I would one day fall in love with him. Right before we got married, I rededicated my life to Christ. I saw that even through all of the bad things that happened to me, God was there. He's the one who kept me from killing myself. He put the right people in my path to keep me alive.

One week after we were married, James's grandmother called me to tell me that I should be very careful. James was going to be on America's Most Wanted because he had molested several and then took off. He had told friends that he was going to come to my house and take my and leave the country. Steve decided to take off of work because of that. He knew that James had molested my because she had told us both. And, he didn't want her to be in any danger ever again. James was arrested the next day about fifty miles from Modesto. He went to court and pled guilty. He was sentenced to thirty-two years with a minimum of twenty-one to serve. And, he was to have no contact with ever again. A week later, my got a letter from him that was written the day after he was sentenced. He told her that if she wanted to write him to do so in care of his wife so he could get the letters. I took the letter to an attorney and filed for termination of his parental rights based on that. Steve then began the adoption process.

Over the next six years, I grew to love Steve. He was a wonderful husband. He made sure that my and I were well taken care of. Then, he had a stroke and died on January 17, 1999. I was so mad at God for taking him away. I almost hated Him. I left California for Indiana to get away from my family and the terrible memories I had of my childhood. I started drinking again and pretty much stayed mad at God for almost three years. Then, I went to Arkansas to visit my brother.

The last time I saw Freddy, he was a heavy drinker and on the verge of divorce. This time, I was highly surprised. He is now a youth pastor and has been married to his wife for over twenty years. In fact, they just had their first grandchild about a year and a half ago. I told my brother about my anger with God and how I felt it was starting to harm my . I can't remember what he said anymore (I had been drinking the night before), but whatever it was, I have gotten over my anger with my Lord. I have been serving God faithfully now for about two years.

By doing this, God has given me the strength to quit drinking, to forgive my mother for the years of abuse, and to raise my without the benefit of a husband. Although I miss being married and positively hate being the head of my household, God has given me the strength to face what I must do. If it is in my future to remarry, I leave that in His capable hands. But, I know that with God on my side, I can pretty much do anything that I want.
Mi Vida Loca
Posted:Apr 1, 2006 8:45 pm
Last Updated:Apr 3, 2006 9:30 pm

Life is crazy. Isn't it? I mean, in my own, I get all kinds of stuff thrown at me. Right now, I'm dealing with a who is sixteen going on thirty. That, alone, is enough to drive a single mom nuts. On top of that, my fifty-eight year old mother is acting like she's sixteen. In other words, she can't take care of herself (or won't). The weather is yo-yo-ing back and forth from the low twenties and snow to the mid fifties and sunshine. So, I keep catching a cold. I have a cat who thinks she's a and a who thinks she "mother" to any "babies" she just happens to see, whether they're kittens, puppies, birds, or raccoons. We had to bring in two kittens she found outside because she kept going to the door and whining when they were left outside. My 's constantly on the telephone and I keep missing important phone calls (Thank God for voice mail!). I've tried limiting her time on the phone, but that is near impossible with a . Oh. And, did I mention the that climbs fences and trees like a cat?

I've volunteered as a teacher in a Christian school for a semester. That was fun, yet insane. Try homeschooling your when you are teaching during school hours. I ended up enrolling my in the school until the semester was over. I have, and still do occassionally, counselled pregnant teens. I'm against abortion in any shape or form. So, I've offered to adopt about-to-be-aborted . I've paid medical and living expenses for pregnant girls who decided not to have abortions. I've helped people begin homeschooling when they either are afraid to do it or think they cannot do it. I've also moved single mothers in with me so I could homeschool their for them while they work to financially support those .

As crazy as it gets, I know that there are many people who deal with more than I do, on a day-to-day basis. I wouldn't want to go through some of the things that others I know go through. I know two people who volunteer for a suicide hotline. I don't know if I could talk someone out of committing suicide or not. I was a suicidal . After Nana died in 1985, I felt that there was no one left alive who loved me. All it took for me to snap out of it was someone showing me some love. But, I don't know if that's the case with others. Like a lot of women now, I got pregnant before getting married when I was twenty-one. I ended up marrying the father. But, that marriage only lasted two years. I raised my alone until she was almost four. Then, I married a loving man who was willing to take on the responsibility of raising someone else's as his own. We were married just over five years when he passed away. So, I've been raising my alone again since she was nine years old.

I don't write about these things to get people to admire me or feel sorry for me. I definitely don't want pity. I write about these things to say that no matter how crazy your life is, there's always someone whose life is more crazy. The same is true of my life. You'll live through your crazy life. And, I will live through mine.

I encourage others to say what I do: "¡Dé gracias a Dios para mi vida loca! (Thank God for my crazy life!)"
Life's Not Fair!
Posted:Apr 1, 2006 8:44 pm
Last Updated:Apr 3, 2006 9:31 pm

"Life's not fair!" I hear this from my sixteen year old almost everyday. She thinks that if life were fair, she would get to do pretty much anything she wanted. In fact, she says that, as an adult, I get to do anything I want. :chuckle: Most, if not all, parents go through something similar to this with their own teenagers. And, if they don't, surely they must remember saying it themselves when they were teenagers.

Sometimes, even as an adult, I want to cry out, "It's not fair!" to my Father. Right after I turned thirty, my husband passed away, leaving me with a nine year old to raise alone. At the time, I didn't think that was fair. Hearing Christians tell me, "It's all God's plan for you," didn't help much either. I didn't know how I was going to be able to support my and continue homeschooling her, as I had done before my husband passed away. I knew that our lives were turned upside down and about to get even more messed up.

That was about seven years ago. Through these years, I've come to realize that I'm fine. Although I miss my husband, dreadfully, I am making it. Although we had to move from California to Indiana, my and I are able to survive quite well on my husband's retirement. I am even able to continue homeschooling.

You see, God never promise us, as Christians, that life would be fair. He never promised us lives without troubles. In fact, we are warned that the opposite will occur in Matthew 10:22 ("And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."). All through the Bible, we can see that people who worship God are blessed significantly. Yet, most of these people experience periods of suffering (Job, for instance).

What God promises us is that if we believe in Him and serve Him, we will have eternal life. Hmmm. I think that's a more than fair trade. I would rather have an eternity with Him than to have a short life (77 - 81, according to [url][/url]) of everything "being fair."

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