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What if Instead of Monkeys...?

What if Instead of Monkeys...?   by April Rowen (and Genesis)

Once Upon a Time...

In a land far, far away, and in a forgotten time, there was a perfect world. It was perfect, because it was created by Love.

Perhaps Love looked like a wizened old man, or a cheery Santa Clause, or a plump Grandma carrying oven mitts and cookies... however Love looked, the world was created in Love, by Love, and for Love.

Love created a world so perfect, that instead of rain, lovely mists sprang from the ground. Everywhere sparkled pools of water, forming waterfalls beyond imagination, all fed by underground springs and the Four Great Rivers.

Love created a world so perfect, that instead of  harsh direct sunlight, and gloomy clouds, and blizzards, there was a canopy that surrounded this beautiful world. It created a perfect greenhouse effect, thus enabling incredibly huge and hearty plants, animals and people. They were the epitome of health. The oxygen of the planet was deep and rich, enabling the huge people and their animals to run unending miles. At night, the canopy reflected the moon and planets and stars, making space larger than life. It softened the burning sun, turning the skies pink, and bathing the world in a perpetual sunrise/sunset glow. 

Love created a world so perfect, that all the animals were tame and gentle, existing for simple joy, companionship, and to lend a hoof, or paw, when needed. They weren't wild and untamed, and they weren't endangered. Countless myriads of different animals existed that we can only imagine today. The perfect environment enabled all the species of every kind of animal to peacefully exist.

Love created a world so perfect, that the people didn't have to eat the animals. Instead, the people were able to be completely nourished from the vast multitude of differing plant.

Love created a world so perfect, there were no weeds, no thistles, no burrs, no foxtails... In fact, there weren't normal things like famine, drought, or even seasons... there was just one perfect gardening day after the next... all of the planet just waiting for care and stewardship.

Love created a world so perfect, that the people would live forever. So would their children. And their children's children... There would never be sickness, disease, drama, struggle. But there would be lots of fellowship, laughter, sharing, singing, delighting, discovering, gardening....

Love's favorite time of day was in the evenings when Love walked with the people. How Love would sing over them! How the people loved Love!

The only thing Love wanted was love.

Love showed ultimate love in giving the people free choice -- a single tree that had very special fruit on it. If eaten, the fruit allowed evil into the world by giving the people knowledge of evils existence. Love's only request was that the people not eat of this tree. It was forbidden; it would cause ruin and destruction on the people. But Love had to create the tree so that the people would have free will.

For a glorious, unforgettable time, Love walked with the people and delighted in their delight. 

But the people became deceived. It happened for only a moment -- they forgot how very much they were loved. They wanted more.

And so, they broke the one rule Love had given them. They ate the fruit.

And with that bite, the perfect world was changed;

  • Self entered.
  • Lust entered.
  • Greed entered.
  • Murder entered.
  • Despair entered.

Love knew the people's hearts wouldn't be able to endure the hardship of their sin-filled lives. And so, because Love adored them, the people's years were mercifully shortened and they became mortal. Death entered. With time, the people's lives became shorter and shorter, until they numbered no more than 122 years.

Because Love adored them, and because the people's sinful hearts would consume them with time, Love gave the land new rules: The planet was to grow weeds and thistles and burrs and have to be worked. This would see that mankind must work and not be solely bent on self and power and destruction.

Because Love adored them, and because the people's evil hearts would take advantage of good things, Love changed the animals, too; He took away the animals trusting, helpful nature, and let them become wild and dangerous, that they might better survive man's evil ways.

Because Love adored them, Love gave the people trial in caring for their families and bearing children, lest they become too consumed with their evil ways.

Years Later...

when the entire world was filled with evil men, so evil they filled Love's heart to mourning and regret of their creation, Love loosened the canopy over the world, and the deep springs underneath, and filled the sinful world with cleansing water. It ripped apart nations, continents, man and animal. It changed the atmosphere, it rocked the world on it's axis, it created seasons, it created deep valleys and high mountains. Gone went the greenhouse effect -- forever more would all of creation be short, stubby, small, weak. The sun would burn, the snow would freeze, the ground would crack, and the atmosphere, now only held together by Love's hands, would cry.

As for the animals... Love knew the people would no longer be able to stay alive without the use of animals to rebuild civilizations and nutrition. He gave the people new instructions; they were to eat the animals.

The plants would never be the same; the animals would never be the same; the planet had been first cursed, and now ripped apart.

Her days began ticking down. 


we use the fossil fuels from the flood to power our houses, our cities, our cars. 

Today, we observe the Grand Canyon, the North Pole and her vast, mysterious forests surrounded by miles and miles of snow and ice, unexplainable fossils and animals and plants that looked as if they 'suddenly died without warning', pyramids -- and we wonder, what happened? How can that be? We find bones from humans who walked with dinosaurs, humans too big to imagine. We see wonders that humans did long ago, things we can't begin to understand.

'What if...?' tickles our hearts.

What if...

people were bigger, better, stronger, smarter, healthier back then? What if we are de-evolving now? What if we are cursed, and we're at the tail-end of that curse, not near the beginning? What if we are part of a long, unfolding story -- the ultimate love story?

What if we were intentionally created out of sheer love, and delighted in, and then we goofed it up, and somehow Love made up a plan to redeem us back? And what if that plan already has been set in motion, and all we have to do... 


receive Love? and share Love? and show Love?

And what if instead of coming from monkeys, we simply hung out with the monkeys and did swinging challenges?

What if?


Help Wanted! Love, New Mommy

Help Wanted! Love, New Mommy   by April Rowen

My cousin just had a baby and I've got infant on my mind!

Infant stage is definitely the most wonderful and the most difficult of all childhood phases (she says smartly, although she only has young children.) I helped raise my two hell-hounds brothers and trust me, as awful as they made my teenage years with their constant mess, constant smell, and constant wildness, they were nothing, NOTHING to mommying an infant.

For some reason, we forget this. Even us moms.

And so, when the new mom arrives home with her new baby, we coo and cuddle, and continue giving advice, but forget that she needs our help. More than ever.

She might have all the baby books.

She might read all the mommy blogs.

She might carry Babies R Us right in her nursery.

But she still has no idea of the physical, emotional, physical, spiritual, and physical toll the next few months will take.

Or maybe she does. And she's fine. (But she's not.)

She's going to need help. Not more words, but us barging over and cooking, cleaning, taking pictures, preparing a sitz bath for her, bringing her Soothies and creams and bottom spray...

She's going to need a break so she can take a shower (ever so slowly and painfully as she eases her broken body under a spray that torments aching breasts...)

She's going to need support -- our vital help. And our vital encouragement; that she's doing everything right, that she's not alone, that she's got this. 

Because on Day 3, when she's slept for all of 6 hours, when she's slammed awake from a deep, healing coma to the sharp reality of pain -- perineum pain, breast pain, and sleep-deprivation pain...  when she's woken yet again in being needed... she's going to go a little batty in losing herself (like we all do) and wonder why nobody told her about this, how she's supposed to survive this, and what's wrong with her anyway for being a terrible mom. And why won't baby stop crying? While each cry is another jolt of joy (my baby is HERE!), the act of bringing said baby to a broken breast that can't handle ANOTHER grueling nurse is the act of heroes. (Think re-attaching snapping turtles and jumper cables to the girls every-other-hour, over and over and over again...) 

Yes, it gets better. Way, way, way better.

...Until you have Baby #2.

But that's for another post! :) In the meantime, having a new baby is hard the hardest. It's also the best, but really, it's the hardest. Let's shower those new moms with our initiative in inviting ourselves over to cook, clean, bathe, diaper, cook, take pictures, feed grapes, cook, paint toenails... anything. She's got this, yes, but let's help her ease into it and give her another baby shower. Or two. Or three.

It's always harder than we ever imagine.

But YOU make all the difference!


"I'm a Non-Entity." (I'm a Mom.)

"I'm a Non-Entity". (I'm a Mom.)   by April Rowen

It turns out I'm a Non-Entity. And you might be, too. (Yikes!)

Because Grandma said so.

Really, she did.

We had a huge family reunion as the entire family (on husband's mom's side) gathered to mourn the passing of Grandpa and partake in the spreading of his ashes.

And to enjoy the annual crab feed.

What can I say? They're Portuguese and can handle loads of crab, wine, and good cheer amidst heart-ache. They also prefer a ratio of 5:1 linguica to scrambled egg. Want some egg with that sausage? No? Ok. Here's bacon. And garlic.

It was on Day 3, around lunchtime, that I became a non-entity. (Or came to realize my new title.) Kids were fed, cleaned and being MONSTERS! The Portuguese husband was outside with his Portuguese family (probably making sausage) and I.JUST.WANTED.TO.FINALLY.EAT. whaaa! Every time I shooed the kids and dove back into the fridge, one of them promptly found trouble. AGAIN. Hm, let's see what's in the trash...Let's see how long I can pull Molly's tail... Let's see what Grandma thinks if I rearrange her cupboards...

About 45 minutes later, I had lunch on the table. SUCCES---

"I need help wiping, Momma!" 

Arg! Hadn't I just pottied the kids? Poo again? I just wanted ONE STINKIN' SECOND OF PEACE AND QUIET AND SANITIZATION AND FOOD!

I blinked and choked back frustration. 

That's when Grandma hereby knighted me 'non-entity'. She put aside her tablet (she's very happily addicted to Hay Day, thank you very much) and leaned her ample, aproned bosom over crossed arms on the table. And chuckled.

Which irritated me.

She said,

"You're a non-entity right now."


"I'm a non-what?" Maybe she'd had one too many bites of linguica. And garlic. Did she just say what I think she said? Because that might really be too much! I might cry in my uneaten lunch.

"A non-entity." Grandma's eyes radiated warm love and fierce understanding. "It's the most difficult time in a woman's life-- to be a mom of young ones. You exist to meet their demanding, constant needs. Your comforts and desires are second-place to their comforts and desires. For now, the little ones come first and you... You're a non-entity." 

It must have been Grandma's eyes. Because suddenly -- just having that fierce struggle between SELF and SERVING be known, be recognized, be heard... well, shoot, it forever changed me. 

Someone else out there got it. Completely. They knew how hard it was. And they knew of that special season of non-entityness.

Then she made it all better by squeezing my arm and saying; "But it won't last for long."

So I'm a non-entity. For now.

There is a Season of Non-Entityness...

And while this might go against the whole "Love yourself", "Make sure you take a moment for yourself," "Take care of yourself FIRST" business... which I hear and believe and agree with my whole heart (except the love yourself thing, that's stupid.) there IS A SEASON of little ones that (mostly) just won't let you!!!

And if our expectations are that we're going to get and accomplish lovely showers, and lovely lunches, and lovely sips of coffee, and finish a lovely thought, and lovely ANYTHING (even chores) then We.Are.In.For.Disappointment. 

This is our time, Dear Mommas! Our time to rise up and serve and go hungry and be stinky and STILL STAY STRONG because we, Dear Mommas...WE ARE NON-ENTITY'S! HEAR US ROAR! (weakly, due to lack of food and sleep.)

Are you with me? (She says as she cries in a corner...goodbye, sweet self...) 

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:" Ecclesiastes 3:1


How to Make a Strong Husband (for Wives)

How to Make a Strong Husband (for Wives)   by April Rowen

Please Note: This post was prompted from seeing discouraging posts online-- spouses complaining about each other, taking each other out. This one is for us wives, this one is for husbands. Thank you, Peter, for teaching me how to keep you strong(er). Thank you for teaching me how to grow your strength as my man.


"A man's wife has more power over him than the state has." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

A husband is a strong creature. Yes, he may or may not look strong on the outside, and might knit the best socks this side of the planet, but trust me — he’s a strong guy.

Like bacon. Soft OR crispy; Both strong with delicious baconness.

It’s not uncommon for comments to droll and gossip to spread when talking about said husband. “He never does ___ and always does ____ and it drives me crazy! At least YOUR husband makes money. Mine only knits!”

And a husband hears these words.

So he swears to do better. And he tries really hard to do better, too. He shows up more, accomplishes more, says more (or tries to say less), and even brushes his teeth more.

And you really needed him to show up MORE, accomplish MORE, say MORE! And floss, just once, for the love of all that’s holy.

And a husband sees your frustration.

So he once-and-for all pledges to do better. And he tries really hard to do better, too. In fact, he pulls out a few suprises: fresh paint on the picket fence, new tires on the car, installed garden sprinklers. He did good this time and he can’t wait to see your smile. He gets to be your hero.


Until it’s tomorrow.

And the enchantment is over and the now white picket fence isn’t the exact white you wanted, plus he went cheap and bought cheap paint that will fade within the year, and couldn't he have oiled the car, too?

The garden sprinklers are awesome. You smile.

But wonder if you should have made the garden bigger (or smaller.) and what to do about those gophers this year and why didn’t he think to put chicken wire under the bedding and will he get the right compost this year, unlike last? You reasonably sigh wondering why he can't seem to get it right.

And a husband sees your disapproval. In him.

So he attempts to buy lots of things and makes big changes. He even gets a sitter for an evening. He becomes desperate, living for only one thing — your approval. (Ok, and maybe your admiration, your joy, your smile...)

But he's walking on eggshells which sit on a time-bomb which sit over a pit filled with allegators and, um, brussel sprouts.

And you see that he will never be the guy you always wanted to marry. He will never get it right. He will never be your complete hero. He just can’t seem to be enough, do enough, make enough, say enough, shut-up enough.

Your heart shuts down. You speak to him through sighs, frowns, and irritated glances, like an angry cavewoman in a mate-toss. Cutting sarcasm and nit-pickiness take over. You reach a fork in your marriage....

And a husband becomes weak. 

And he completely gives up. He tunes out. “He gone.” If he was already absent, somehow he’ll become more absent. Rather than work and bleed for your elusive happiness, he’ll find it elsewhere… online, at work, at church, in his man-cave… Anywhere but here. His strength is no longer fueled at home.

And he does need fuel. Desperately. Strength always has — and always will — require fuel. But YOUR fuel is the kind he was made to receive.

How to Make a Strong Husband

Praise him in the morning

Praise him in the evening

Praise him when the sun goes down

And praise him when he’s not around.


How to Make a Housewife (for Husbands)

How to Make a Housewife (for Husbands) by April Rowen

Please Note: This post was prompted from seeing discouraging posts online-- spouses complaining about each other, taking each other out. This one is for husbands, next one is for us wives. Thank you, Peter, for helping me become a happy housewife. Here's what he didn't do, except for the end. <3


"Be to her virtues very kind,
Be to her faults a little blind." -- Matthew Prior

A wife is a delicate creature. Yes, she may or may not look delicate on the outside, and might make the best Moose call this side of the planet, but trust me -- she's delicate.

Like a chocolate. All tough on the outside and deliciously gooey on the inside.

It's not uncommon for the comments to droll and the jokes to be cracked when talking about said housewife. "Well... her cooking might please an army of Klingons, but..." And "Her cleaning is awesome. I still don't know where the kids are. At least there's a cleaned path through the house."

And wife hears these words.

So she breaks out The Joy of Cooking, Volume 1, and makes a little something special. For the first time everything that's supposed to be soft, is, and everything that's supposed to be hard, is, and not one single thing is burnt. It's a Hallmark Day. 

And you really, really, really weren't in the mood for meatloaf and tuna with asparagus, sans ketchup. You just weren't. So you offhandedly mention that, "Haha..." while trying to choke down her first perfectly-cooked meal.

And a wife notices your lack of enthusiasm.

So she once-and-for-all unburies the kids from the rubble in the house and does something about the dust, the mold, the fumes, the dirty diaper pail, the overflowing kitty litter, the Mt. Doom of laundry, the scary toilets that are about to eat people, and even the dishes. 

This time you can't find the car keys and that really important sticky-note. The house smells like ammonia. And the housewife looks like everything that she cleaned threw up on her. She smells like ammonia. Or vinegar. Maybe dinner.

And a wife sees your frustration.

So she attempts to look amazing. She gets her hair done, her nails done, buys 6 new outfits, 3 new pairs of shoes, a few matching accessories, throws a few makeup parties for free products, and spends as much time as she can scrape in the mornings putting herself together. She even thinks about becoming a consultant.

And you see how expensive it all is. Truly, it costs about half your monthly mortgage. This is shocking and dangerous and what can you possibly say? Plus, her lipstick is now faded and she looks like she outlined her lips with toddlers purple marker, her mascara has melted, and her once-shiny hair is now a complete frizz as it frantically tries to escape your scrutiny. The new clothes now sport all kinds of pretty stains and she is unhappy with them and her life in general. You reasonably sigh.

And she completely gives up. On goes the TV, out comes the chocolate (and the chocolate song), and dialed is the phone as the pizza guy once again shows up and you enjoy dinner, once again, in tornado house.

How To Make a Housewife

Praise her in the morning...

Praise her in the evening...

Praise her when the sun goes down...

And praise her even when she's not around.