Abortion: Can we please stop having this conversation?


Disclaimer: Like many of my posts, this one is preaching.

…DIRECTLY TO MYSELF.

Okay, so… I messed up.

I broke my own rule.

Sometimes you are baited and sometimes you just get a rebellious streak and sometimes you are just a sleep-deprived new mom. (Yes, thank you, she is 6 weeks and thriving!)

I did the unthinkable.

I commented on a “friend’s” post on Facebook and I told her my stance on abortion.

*bomb drops*

That’s right, abortion.

That one magical word that immediately makes your gut drop and your jaw clench and a million ideas, arguments and otherwise completely offensive and defensive thoughts cross your mind.

 

I am pro-life. I make ZERO apologies for that.

I am entitled to my opinion and it is my OPINION that INTELLIGENT people can have differing views and STILL RESPECT ONE ANOTHER.

 

I have several friends who have differing opinions on this issue, they are pro-choice and they have their reasons.

As an INTELLIGENT person, I can respect them, while also disagreeing.

I knew I shouldn’t have hit enter.

I should have let that sleeping dragon lie.

But I did NOT.

Let’s just say that this person was NOT intelligent enough to respect my differing opinion, and we’ll leave it at that.

Here’s the thing: I broke my own rule.

(Apparently, without realizing it,) I came off as judgmental and abrasive and I hurt this person’s feelings.

Once again, I’m not apologizing for the opinion that I have every right to have, I’m apologizing because…

ABORTION DOES NOT NEED TO BE A CASUAL CONVERSATION.

NO ONE WINS THIS ARGUMENT!!!

(Much like in a headbutt, no one wins…)

For the women who have suffered the extremely traumatic experience of being sexually assaulted and then had to endure the “salt in the open wound” indignity of carrying their attackers child… this conversation is a slap in the face.

For the women who have buried children and did not get a choice when their child died… this conversation is a slap in the face.

For the women who are in dire financial circumstances and have no where to turn.. this conversation is a slap in the face.

For the women who have tried to conceive for years and would gladly adopt your precious, precious child… this conversation is a slap in the face.

 

I don’t agree with abortion, but I am a HUMAN WOMAN. If you think I don’t understand what it’s like to make an agonizing decision that you are hated for and that haunts you for the rest of your life, please see my blog “Scandalous, The Dirty Truth from my perspective.”

I’m not better than ANYONE.

We all make decisions about our lives, and we are NOT all going to agree about what is right and what is wrong.

But no matter what I believe, I need to stop it with this one.

It’s too personal.

It’s too visceral.

It’s too hard not to slap someone in the face with this conversation.

I’m not saying this conversation never needs to happen, but unless someone is asking my advice about whether or not they should do this thing FOR REAL… I need to let it pass.

LADIES, WE need to let it pass.

This is not some rhetorical question or fun debate subject, we are talking about real women who have real lives and real hurt and…

I forgot that.

And for that, I am truly sorry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What He told me


I went to church this morning.

I do that sometimes.

In fact, I do that most Sundays and most Wednesdays.

It’s not just something I do, it’s something I believe in.

No matter what I am facing, I KNOW, as sure as I know that I will die without water, that I NEED to go to church. I need to be in the house of God.

It is water to my soul. =0)

So I went today.

The pastor preached on a few women in the Bible and what they did for God, which got me thinking… what am I doing for God?

*guilty conscience*

I am pregnant. I am 35. I am SUPER nauseated. All. The. Time. =0/

My last pregnancy was NOT like this. =0) I know, they’re all different. I’ve heard it before. I’m not really writing this to complain, but you need to know that my nausea is the reason I am (temporarily) no longer singing in choir.

I have been SICK, y’all.

…but… that’s not an excuse for me to pull away from God.

I was worried that when I stopped singing, I would pull away from church and God, as I have done in the past, but this time it’s been different. Better.

Maybe it’s because every day the news shows me that we are that much closer to God coming back and that I need to get OFF the fence and decide where my loyalties lie.

Maybe it’s because I can now see the MILLIONS of ways that God has shielded me and protected me and taken care of me all these years.

Maybe it’s because I have so much more to be thankful for than I could possibly begin to tell you and I owe God SO much more of myself that it’s a no-brainer to try to get to know Him and His ways better, if only to acknowledge and thank Him for all He’s done.

Whatever the reason, I have been drawing nearer to God.

And I have met opposition, oh, yes.

The devil is NOT happy with my new found motivation to draw nearer to God.

I have faced some of the strongest anxiety/panic attacks that I have ever faced. I have practically become a hypochondriac with every medicine I take, with the food I eat, and every social interaction I have had recently including but not limited to going to the store, going to the doctor, and driving my daughter to school has become almost painful.

Satan is not liking this, I’ll tell you.

So, naturally, I KNOW it’s doing good in my life. =0)

I don’t think I can sing in choir until after the baby is born, but that does NOT mean I can’t try to use whatever gifts I have to worship God.

I was in church today and though the Pastor was saying one thing to me, HE was saying something different.

Has that ever happened to you?

God works in mysterious ways.

The pastor was busy reaching other hearts, but today, God had something to say to mine.

I have been worn out, spiritually. This anxiety and nausea has been taking it’s TOLL on me.

He told me that I need to start encouraging other people. I need to speak life into other people, no matter what I’m going through right now.

Even if it means stepping out of my comfort (introvert…) zone to tell strangers something nice… I need to do it, because encouragement is a spiritual gift.

I may not be able to sing in choir, but I can pray for people and I can encourage them in love.

So, of course, I was thinking these things and then Satan started to make me feel guilty for not listening to Pastor.

I started thinking that maybe it was all in my head, when the children’s church handed me a bottle of water for mother’s day with THIS verse:

Proverbs 11:25, “She who refreshes others will herself be refreshed.”

=0)

That’s good enough for me.

The Prince of Egypt…’s brother


I like the story of Moses.

It’s a pretty cool story, and a pretty well known one, as far as Bible stories go.

My first experience of this story was Charlton Heston in “The Ten Commandments”.

I’ll admit to you now, that when I think of Moses, I think of Charlton Heston, in his slow, powerful voice, saying, “Let my people go.”

There  was so much power in that, you just KNEW Pharaoh had to see sense and let the people go.

Sadly, he didn’t.

It says in the Bible; “But I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand.” (Exodus 3:19) and “…but I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.” (Exodus 4:21).

God said that he hardened the Pharaoh’s heart so that the people would know the wonders of God and tell them to their children.

Remember the plagues? Of course you do, and, we still teach them to our children. Even now we can remember the miracles of God because God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. (God always has a plan.)

What I find most interesting about this story, though, is how Hollywood chose to downplay the role of Aaron, Moses’ brother.

In the Bible, when God told Moses to talk to the Egyptians, Moses had a few things to say:

“But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)

God’s answer was that He would surely be with him. Moses asked a few more questions, got some more instruction from God, then protested again:

“Then Moses answered and said, ‘But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.'” (Exodus 4:1)

The Lord gave him more instructions to follow and told Moses exactly how He would show His power.

“Then Moses said to the Lord, ‘O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.’ So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”

But he said, ‘ Oh my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else you may send.’ So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said: “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And look, he is also coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. Now you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth . And I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and I will teach you want you shall do. So he shall be your spokesman to the people…” (Exodus 4:10-16.)

Excuses, excuses!!!

But God has an answer for all my… Oh! I mean MOSES’ excuses.

Did YOU know that Moses was slow of speech?

I certainly didn’t know that from Charlton Heston’s performance. At least, he didn’t speak so slowly that I thought there was a problem, I just thought he measured his words really carefully.

I certainly didn’t think Moses (the GREAT Moses) was self conscious about it.

 

My excuses are many! Far more than the few that Moses gave.

And yet, though he had excuses, God showed him that He had an answer for each one.

Satan told Moses that he wasn’t enough.

God told him that he WAS.

And Moses ended up being instrumental in bringing the people out of Egypt!

He made his excuses, but then he was obedient to the call of God.

He couldn’t do it alone, but God gave him help.

Oh, yeah, speaking of that brother of his…

It also tells in the story that on multiple occasions, Aaron was the one who used the rod (the staff of Moses) to perform miracles.

I didn’t know this!!! (This was NOT in the movie. Yet another reason that The Book will always be better… ;0) See what I did there?)

This certainly changes the image I have of Moses as this quiet, powerful man who had such confidence and eloquence.

Here is Aaron, his brother,  just going with the flow.

He stood in obedience to the words that Moses spoke to him.

I don’t know if God ever spoke directly to him, but it said that Moses would be “as God to him.” Aaron loved his brother and was obedient to him and therefore to God, whose will it was that he should follow Moses and do his will.

What faith Aaron must have had, to follow his brother like that!

…and because of Hollywood, I never knew he played such an instrumental part in the work God had planned!

Moses needed help and God sent Aaron.

I have to say that I’m glad I finally read this one to get it straight. This story gives me hope.

If a man who once called his lips “uncircumcised”, can be the voice (albeit with the help of his brother,) of the people, there is hope for me and my clumsy self. =0)

It brings me joy to know that one of the most powerful men of the Bible felt helpless and unprepared, because I feel that ALL THE TIME!!!

God has an answer to all of my excuses.

Whenever I think “Who am I, Lord, that you would send me…” I need to remember Moses and Aaron. Their obedience to God resulted in a POWERFUL work of the Lord. One we are still in awe of thousands of years later.

And I need to remember what Jesus said:

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

Who am I?

I am an instrument of God, and with Him, I can do GREAT THINGS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bathroom safety, yet another opinion.


I keep seeing memes about the new bathroom laws and I’ve debated saying anything, but I feel like I should say something.
I shared something to my  Pinterest page a long time ago that brought up the fact that when you laugh and joke because girls go to the bathroom in groups, the joke becomes a lot less funny when you realize that the REASON women go to the bathroom together is because sexual assault is so prevalent in our society that it is a SAFETY issue.
We’ve forgotten why it was important, and now it’s a cliche and a joke.
The sad fact is that women use the bathroom in groups because it isn’t safe to do so alone.
I’ll go one further, in THIS society, males are no less safe. Both males and females entering a restroom alone become easy marks for predators.
This is not about transgender individuals.
I WILL say, at this point, that transgenders are often victims themselves and that’s NOT OKAY.
But the issue with this law is NOT about transgender individuals.
One issue I have with the new bathroom laws is that it removes accountability from would be predators and casts doubt on the voice of the victim.
If a man is not allowed into a restroom and he goes in anyway and someone accuses him of assault, HE is at fault, because he wasn’t supposed to be in there in the first place.
The law in that case is on the side of the victim.
NOW, however, if he claims he identifies that he is a female, it becomes [an accusation of assault] versus [a potential discrimination]. (Note that I didn’t say versus [a sexual predator]) The law here becomes ambiguous.
In any case of “he said versus she said” there is room for confusion and deception. If one tells a more convincing story, a jury is likely to decide he/she is innocent, because there may not be any definitive evidence.
So the victim no longer has a voice. And because we are all so afraid of being accused of some sort of discrimination, we become silenced. Those who actually DO say something, are immediately shut down as “prejudiced”.
Meanwhile the young child or woman or whomever spends life in therapy because they were legitimately abused.
THAT is what is upsetting about this.
This law ENABLES legitimate predators to take advantage of innocent people.
Women, children, those weaker than themselves.
What the heck was wrong with the “family” bathroom?
Did that not offer enough of a refuge for not only people in the LGBT community but, as Target said, for mothers with sons, fathers with daughters and/or moms with multiple children and strollers far too big to fit into a typical bathroom stall???
I wonder when it happened that the needs of the few became more important than the safety of the many.
I know this is the world we live in.
I know I’m going to have to have some serious talks with my child about how it’s not okay to go into the bathroom by herself, ever, at all, period.
After all, haven’t I been going to the bathroom in groups for as long as I can remember?
I know that not everything is in black and white.
I know that LGTB people are not all a danger to my children. Some probably are, but if the Catholic church has taught us anything, it’s that there are many faces of “sexual predator” and they are not all alike or expected.
I know there is prejudice and there is room for improvement.
I get that.
I just wish I didn’t have to try to explain this to my child when she asks why she can’t leave my sight.
That’s pretty much parenthood, though.
That’s also life.
The only way I can know what Jesus would want me to do in the crazy, dark situations of this world is to get to know Him better.
He’s not about hate. He’s not about prejudice.
He’s about love, and peace and safety.
In this uncertain world, that’s just the comfort I need.

Happy-scared.


We’ve all been there. Something you’ve been looking forward to has finally happened, and you’re terrified.

I’m 35 (or will be in April,) Obese, and 11 weeks pregnant for the fourth time. (If you read my blog, you know we have one living child.)

I’ve spent the last month MISERABLE with nausea I just can’t kick and every time I felt low, I just kept telling myself, “Team baby! We’re doing this for the baby!”

Just when I started feeling better, I  got a urinary tract infection. The medicine added to the already considerable nausea that I felt and I was knocked out for another week.

As I’m writing this, I have what I suspect is the beginnings of a sinus infection, (which I am prone to anyway, but have read that during pregnancy, have a higher chance of getting.)

*Awesome*

The last time I did this was 5 years ago and I think I’m feeling my age. I was pretty much HUGE then, too, so I did have to deal with weight, but the fatigue has really been knocking me on my rump.

I’ve taken more naps in the last 3 months than I have in the last 3 years.

It’s weird, being in what I would consider middle age (as a matter of fact, I asked my hubby if I could have a “halfway to death” birthday party, but he didn’t see the humor in it,) and thinking about starting again.

Life is unpredictable.

We had a miscarriage in August. I was stressing at work and less than 3 months later, we decided work was not where I needed to be. I really should have known that. I think I really did.

I proceeded to start eating healthy, trying to get away from the anxiousness I always felt. I started feeling really good.

I lost 26 pounds.

And, out of the blue, here we are, pregnant again.

=0)

I’ve had one ultrasound and, since there was really no official cause of death for Cali, I am going back in a month, instead of two weeks.

I could worry about it, but worrying hasn’t done me any good in my life.

I’ve been reading my Bible, trying to get closer to God, and I really feel that this leap of faith is one I’m meant to take. Every day of sickness is bringing me closer to joy.

Obviously there are going to be a lot of decisions to be made.

Obviously things are going to change.

That’s going to happen anyway. This is a big change, but it’s a GOOD change.

I’m not worried about this baby.

I’m scared about labor, I’m scared about back pain and fatigue and nausea, and all the little things that go into having a baby, but… I’m not worried about THE BABY.

This time it’s going to be OKAY.

I TRUST GOD.

And it’s going to be okay. =0)

 

Time is running out.


One of my favorite quotes in the entire Chronicles of Narnia series is in the last book of the series, “The Last Battle”.

In this book, Mr. Lewis describes the end of the world.

Those who believe in Aslan (God, Jesus,) go to Aslan’s Country (Heaven.) Those who don’t believe, go to be with their god, Tash (The Devil.) Because Tash does not care for those who love him, he devours them.

During this time the last few inhabitants of Narnia are thrown into a stable and killed. [I love that their world ended with a stable as that’s (arguably,) where our world really began.]

The Pevensies, the main characters, come out and see the sunshine of Aslan’s country. They are taken aback by how much more REAL everything seems.

However, they were not the only ones thrown into the stable. A group of dwarves is sitting in the stable, and because they neither believed in Tash nor Aslan, they are unable to see where they really are.

They think they are still in the world that they have always been in.

When the Pevensies try to give them food, they can only see such things as would belong in a stable because they are so blinded by what they think they know.

In the story, they are untied and able to move freely, but they still think they are bound, (as they are, by their own thinking).

In frustration, Tirian says: “Are you blind?”

And, in one of my favorite, most heartbreaking lines of the series, Diggle the dwarf replies: “Ain’t we all blind in the dark?”

This breaks my heart every. single. time.

Ain’t we all blind in the dark?

It’s so simple, but it hits me right in the gut.

I have known God most of my life, but I have seen people who refuse to acknowledge His presence.

They call him a myth, false, a lie, a veil.

They sit in their proverbial stables, neither here, nor there, arguing that there is no God, and no devil.

That we are all products of DNA and upbringing, completely ignoring the fact that there are SO many who have overcome both of those things with God’s help. We are not some code. We are not (necessarily, metaphorically) our parents’ children.

This is no accident. WE are no accidents.

Plato said: “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”

Oh, the darkness we create for ourselves by refusing to see the light!

Ain’t we all blind in the dark?

Ain’t we all sad, and lonely, and afraid, and vulnerable in the dark?

Why don’t we turn on the light?

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”*

God is the light.

He is the lifter of veils.

He is the one who causes our blind eyes to see.

…but…

There is also a Tash.

He does not care for us, and in the end, he will devour us.

He uses us for his purpose and then throws us away like the garbage he believes we are.

The devil wants you to believe that God is a lie. That He has no place in this world governed by science and technology.

That God is old fashioned, defunct, dead.

The truth is that we are in THIS book, now. We are in “The Last Battle”, the end of days. We can no longer afford to straddle the fence.

Christians are being persecuted across the world. Our rights are being infringed upon in numerous, horrible ways. We are literally being KILLED for what we believe in.

Our God is being mocked, vilified, beaten to death by those who think that He is a veil, a lie.

They claim freedom is in renouncing God when the truth is that freedom is in EMBRACING God.

We don’t have much time. It’s becoming urgent, every day, it becomes more so.

The devil has NO use for you. He WILL devour you when he can no longer use you.

One of the basic laws of the universe is that for every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction.

IF there is a GOD, THEN, there is a DEVIL.

Make no mistake, there IS A GOD.

Ain’t we all blind in the dark?

Yes.

Yes, we are.

Turn on the light, before it’s too late.

Dear Reader,

I will be praying for you. Not in some judgemental “Sinner, go to Hell” way, rather, in an “I love you and want to SEE you, and KNOW you, and FIND you in Heaven with me” way.

If you knew God before, but have fallen away, I pray you seek and Find Him again.

If you never knew God, I pray that He will make His presence in your life known in an undeniable way.

If, like me, you are trying your hardest to make God a part of everyday of your life, every moment, every thought, then I pray that He will continue to reveal Himself in you and through you.

May you all find the light.

I love you.

Sincerely, a stranger.

.

.

.

*Dumbledore, Harry Potter, JK Rowling. I did not want this name to be a distraction, though, those of you who are fans will recognize it immediately. Truth is truth, no matter whose mouth it comes from.

 

 

 

Letter from a Prodigal Child


“Come in! Come in! Fortunate favourite of the Queen – or else not so fortunate.” – The Lion, The Witch, And the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis

Here I am.

Former fortunate favorite.

The prodigal child.

It’s funny, in walking to my bookshelf to grab my copy of the Chronicles of Narnia to get that quote, (yes, I did it the old fashioned way, and YES, I KNOW I could have googled it…) I knocked over something precious.

In my hurry to tell you another sad, sorry tale about poor little me, I broke a piece of my history. Something irreplaceable that tells another story.

As it’s broken, and I may not think of it again, I will tell you that it was a small bottle of sand; colored sand artfully arranged to look like a camel in the desert.

My dad got it for me when he was in Saudia Arabia for my 16th birthday. I told him to bring me some sand from the desert, and he delivered.

A treasured possession, perhaps a little more skewed than it once was, still, I have held it in a place of honor and remembrance.

Now it’s broken, and irretrievable.

…Story …of my life.

In point of fact, I WAS going to tell you another story. One about my adventures as the prodigal child, but I think, maybe, that this was a sign.

I live far too much in the past.

I’ve made mistakes, I’ve squandered opportunities, I’ve lost time I can never get back, but I think, letting go of something I’ve held on to forever is just the ticket in this case.

I think, if it’s okay with you, I’ll just skip to the end.

So, back to the beginning, to end.

The Queen. She is sin. She is mad ravings called logic. She is the squandering of a good upbringing and a fine mind. She is temptation and submission to that temptation. She had been my master for far too long.

I was the fortunate favorite, but, the queen is also the ferryman, and, as Auron from Final Fantasy X will tell you; “The Ferryman asks a high price.”

She will follow you forever telling you of all the times you gave in to the Turkish delight she dangled in front of you. She will tell you that you are worthless, that you are hers, that you cannot escape the net you helped create.

Here’s the good news.

I am no child of the queen.

The prodigal child has returned.

I am a child of the KING.

My tests, have become testimonies, my sorrows have become songs, my agonies have become empathy, my laments have been heard and answered by my Father, who hears and answers all if not in the ways we expect.

I am loved.

I am special.

I am HOME.

May I never wander again.

I wanted to be able to tell you how I messed up so that you could avoid my mistakes, but the truth is, that you don’t need to know how I messed up. (If you read my blog, you know that anyway.)

What you need to know is that there is ALWAYS a welcome for you. You can never go too far. If you genuinely regret your mistakes and vow (as I do,) not to make them again, you are ALWAYS welcome to come back home.

One more geeky quote for the road: “Memories are nice, but that’s all they are”. -Rikku, Final Fantasy X

The good news is that even the bad memories are just what they are. Memories.

They have no power over you.

They cannot stop you from living your life or moving forward.

They cannot stop you from being welcomed home.

I am glad I am no longer a fortunate favorite of the Queen, because now I am a fortunate favorite of the King.

And His kingdom is big enough for all of us.