Hello! Welcome to the Quivering Daughters website. Please note that this site is no longer being updated with new material but I hope you find the archives helpful. God bless you.

Death of a Different Kind

How many more little girls need to die? 
I asked this recently in response to the murder of Lydia Schatz. 

In light of this tragedy,
I want to ask something else.
How many quivering daughters die everyday?
How many daughters of patriarchy have already died on the inside?
How many young women, present in body, hide hearts 
which suffer death of a different kind?
How many women 
want to die?

Try to die?

How many spirits, broken, fall into early graves?
Perhaps as others rise up 
we can also remember those who are dead 
while they're still alive.

So you, by the help of your God, return; 
Observe mercy and justice, 
And wait on your God continually.
Hosea 12:6

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God? 
Micah 6:8

How Many More Little Girls Need to Die?

Y ou shall know them by their fruits, says Jesus.  And the life of little Lydia Schatz ended recently in tragedy. For an intimate, heartwrenching, behind-the-scenes account, view this post by Laurie M. I beseech parents, teachers, and fundamentalist leaders . . . Please humble yourselves and examine the fruits of what you teach, what you believe, and of your lifestyle! If it is good, it will remain. But how many children will be sacrificed on the altar of white-washed idolatry? 


Other bloggers concerned about this:

Facing Abuse in the Christian Family

As women from deeply religious, conservative families, most of us can say without a doubt that our parents truly desired to live righteously and raise us in a godly manner. Drawing from biblical texts, through prayer and selective external influence, our parents did the best they could to ensure we would grow up to seek the Lord, to love Him, and to walk in obedience to His voice. To have a pure heart and to take a stand against worldliness, and be strong Christians. While exceptions may exist, I have not heard from one young woman who believes her parents intentionally, willfully tried to damage her.

And yet, abuse and heartache abounds. Where does this leave us? We can ignore it and pretend it goes away. We can live our days in denial. Or we can let the Healer do what He came to do ~ and help us face our pain, and make us whole.

But in a sad, strange irony, those who attempt facing issues of childhood pain, abuse, and family dysfunction often encounter objections.
  • "You are just blaming your parents."
  • "Why can't you take responsibility for your own sin?"
  • "Love covers a multitude of sins."
  • "They did the best they could. You shouldn't judge."
  • "Just forgive."
  • "If you honored your parents, you wouldn't bring this up."
  • "Leave the past in the past."
These responses are unhelpful and crippling in the least, with potential for inexpressible emotional, spiritual, and physical damage at the worst.

Let's say you draw a bath for your baby and unwittingly make the water too hot. And after you place him in the tub, you notice that his skin blisters and burns through your inadvertent mistake. If you dismiss these very real concerns by defending your actions, saying, "But I didn't mean to," or "I meant well," what's to become of his poor little skin?

And say you ignore them and he grows up with scars. Yes, there is a chance he will forgive you. But as an adult, if he desires to discover the truth of his scars and seek recovery, he must take necessary steps to address the well-intentioned (because he did need to bathe) fruits of your mistake. Would you begrudge him this?

And when scars touch not only skin, but heart and soul ~ what then?

The only way healing can occur is to acknowledge the truth of pain and abuse. Sometimes this gets messy. Parents get defensive. Daughters (or sons) feel torn. Yet Scripture teaches that the fruits of doctrine, teachers, and those in authority reveal whether something is good or bad, healthy or unhealthy. And in most cases, the fruits of patriocentric, fundamentalist doctrines are bad. Depression, chronic fatigue, self-injury, attempted suicide, and murder are just a few serious ramifications from doctrines of man perpetuated in patriarchal households.

Consider that it is actually honoring to parents for children to examine the abusive environments that affect them even into adulthood. Because this way they can heal and learn how not to perpetuate the same lies, the same hurts within their own families. Parents, particularly Christian parents who claim to want to "be a light" or a "witness" or to "transform the culture", should be overjoyed that their offspring seek recovery from false teaching, lies, and spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical abuse.
If you have been injured by some of the common objections to seeking recovery, realize that these only serve to perpetuate pain and denial and keep you from receiving the healing touch of Jesus ~ who came to heal the brokenhearted, to set free the oppressed, and to bind up their wounds. Don't let others stand in the way of Christ.

Love Streaming

I am snuggly with my husband this Valentine's Day morning, warm coffee in hand and nibbling his special request: freshly baked Carrot muffins. My brain is mush this weekend. As I wrap up my book ~ for real! ~ doing some final tweaking in the next few days before I send it to my editor, I'm hit with an emotion I didn't expect . . . I'm almost sad! Not quite ~ but as I've spent the last year trying to turn pain into prose, wrap words around deep internal darkness, and listen to God's Spirit, Quivering Daughters is as much me as my very bones and skin.

And it is you, too.

I am in labor, and the time of fullness has come.

This is my first book so I don't know if this is normal or not. But despite nostalgia, I am so.so.so.so.so excited!! Look for it on Amazon in May! And sign up if you want advance notice. :-)

I hope all of you are having a lovely Love Day. Any special plans?

"Thin Places" by Mary DeMuth | A Review

"Are you sad?" I ask him. We stand on our balcony, arms tangled, souls weaving within the tapestry of shared space, shared lives. Our eyes find stars a million miles away.
    He hesitates, choosing words.
    "I don't know," he says.
Pregnant moments need fewest whispers. His warmth draws me close; I snuggle, womb throbbing, keening with emptiness. So rejected, before. Being, personhood, heart, body, mind. Not enough, not good enough. Yet I welcome, love, want, and crave ~ empty does not make sense.
    It ripples, this portal between eternal and temporary. Perhaps this is when He passes by?
    Yes, says Mary DeMuth. In Thin Places ~ A Memoir, her words craft glimpses of what we hope for, yet sometimes cannot see. She stretches towards infinity and brushes mortal with everlasting.
"Thin places are snatches of holy ground." 
–Mary DeMuth, “Thin Places”

    So long ago, I fill womb. I, first a dream, then frail and breathless with soft flutters of life. My mother ~ holy ground, as the fingertips of God enter the sacred and knit bone, skin, soul in a reflection of Him.  
    "You look like Your Father" ~ words I crave, seek in the utter longing of frail-becoming as life thins me, makes me weak.
    And she is no stranger to longing, to pain. Through intimate poetry-prose, DeMuth unveils her soul and walks us through moments in her life when the portal ripples, shimmers. "Thin places are snatches of time, moments really, when we sense God intersecting our world in tangible, unmistakable ways." Birthed words, conceived through poignant intersections, spilled from experience. Shame, abandonment, abuse. Achingly spirit-thin, frail.
    I lay hand on barrenness, close eyes.
    Emptiness: thin place?
    Like an older sister showing us our Father's heart, Mary DeMuth offers a peek into unabashed vulnerability and invites us to witness Emmanuel ~ God with us, in our thinnest places. In the moments we regret, wish we could re-do, re-live, erase. When our soul-shatters leave sharpest pieces. Even when we push Him away. Yet DeMuth also weaves gospel-love throughout her journey. We follow little Mary, ravaged and tormented, to the wife and mother she becomes, with a love for Jesus and a humble desire to comfort with the comfort she's received. As we watch God transform her pain, we learn to recognize His hand within our own.
    In the hands of Jesus, her crucible becomes redemption.

“I claw at the seams of life, questioning God’s ways, seldom realizing that if I’d stop clawing, I would capture new glimpses of Him through the thin places. God woos me from behind the veil through the tragedies, beauties, surprises, simplicities and snatches of my life I might overlook.” –Mary DeMuth, “Thin Places”

    I ache, awareness of rejection stinging fresh. Why so empty, when I have much to give? Yet His spirit hovers, breathing life to barren places. He stills restless waters, taps emptiness with Himself. To want the unwanted. Is that not You? Your calling?
    The stars glimmer and husband's arms tighten as though pulling me to his soul. "We could always adopt," he says, heart-echoes answering mine.
    "Or try to help others not hurt anymore." A solitary tear wets my cheek. On this portal, between the temporary and eternal, between our life, His, and a thousand others craving love, we catch a glimpse behind the veil; even now frail and breathless, we poise with the soft flutters of life.
    We stand on holy ground, he and I.
    And the Maker of stars, Emmanuel.

~ Hillary McFarland
Win a copy of Thin Places!
To win my review copy of Thin Places ~ A Memoir by Mary DeMuth, provided by Zondervan, please join me on facebook and leave a comment about a thin place in your life. On Saturday, February 13th, a friend will choose a winning entry to receive the book.

To view the Thin Places book trailer, click here. 
Mary DeMuth

Author and speaker Mary DeMuth helps people turn their trials to triumph. Her books include Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God; Building the Christian Family You Never Had; Watching the Tree Limbs; Wishing on Dandelions; Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture and the first two books in the Defiance, Texas Trilogy: Daisy Chain and A Slow Burn.
National media regularly seek Mary’s candid ability to connect with their listeners. Her radio appearances include FamilyLife Today, Moody Midday Connection, Point of View and U.S.A. Radio Network and is frequently featured on Chuck Colson’s BreakPoint. She has published articles in In Touch, HomeLife, Writer’s Digest and The Writer.
Mary lives with her husband Patrick and their three children in Texas.
Learn more about Mary at http://marydemuth.com. 
Visit the other bloggers participating on the "Thin Places" tour:

Saturday Evening Blog Post

Join Elizabeth Esther for a new edition of the Saturday Evening Blog Post! Highlight your favorite / most interesting / inspired / thought-provoking post from the month of January by inserting its direct link into her list, then compose a post about it at your own site. This is a great way to meet new friends, be challenged, encouraged, or refreshed.
    Although it's recent, I chose White-Washed Idolatry because it is so prevalent within fundamentalist groups. I can't wait to see what you think! Back on Monday to share a review of Mary DeMuth's memoir, "Thin Places"  and tell you how to win a copy of your own. You won't want to miss it!
    Have a beautiful weekend!