Archive | Faith RSS feed for this section

Thanksgiving 2013 – Counting My Blessings

28 Nov

thanksgiving

I’m going to take an opposite approach to Thanksgiving this year. Instead of focusing on what I DO HAVE I’m going to focus on what I DON’T HAVE.

Calm down. I’m not talking about in a materialistic way.

To properly approach Thanksgiving Day, I think we need to always keep in mind what the actual living conditions of the Pilgrims were. They had landed in the middle of a New England winter in a strange new land, intent on serving the One True God. For their faith and their freedom they faced harsh circumstances in an epic way. We don’t need to describe in gory detail the privation they endured because the statistics tell it all:

By the time spring came, only 47 of the original 102 colonists were alive. And of those alive, only seven were strong enough to function and had to take care of the rest.

With these heartbreaking, intense hardships, they still chose to praise God for his provision and were truly thankful that they had harvested enough food so that they would not become extinct in their second winter in the New World. They were thankful simply to eat and be able to live in a world with nothing but cold, work, and nights without light. In the words of Edward Winslow, one of the survivors who wrote an account of their experience the first year,

“And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”

In light of those circumstances, they still looked to their Creator and said, “Thank you, God. You are good.” Looking at the God-centered gratitude offered up by these brave souls, I feel humbled and blessed. Beyond blessed. Jeez, I don’t even know if there’s a word to describe blessed beyond blessed. Uber blessed?

So, that said, I am focusing on what I DON’T have this Thanksgiving.

I don’t have want in my life.

I don’t have hunger.

I don’t have sickness.

I don’t have death or loss.

I don’t have fear.

But when I do, (not if, but when) the ultimate blessing comes in know that it won’t change a thing. GOD IS STILL SOVEREIGN. God is still good. Whatever my lot, it is well with my soul. And that’s where the true “thanks giving” comes in. It reminds me of the quote I posted above:

Some people are so poor, all they have is money.

I am rich and I am blessed and it has nothing to do with my car, or my home, or my cosplays, or my book collection, or the plants on my patio (though those ARE things to gives thanks for). When I think of my many blessings, I think of my handsome husband – my hearts brother, my best friend, my hunka hunka lovin’ man. I think of my precious baby girl – my baby world, my little koala cuddles, my pretty princess. MY FAMILY. Dear God, how did I ever get to be so blessed?! It boggles my brain. But with all these blessings, what is even more amazing?

The realization that the heart of my happiness is the intangible blessings that come from knowing and loving the Creator of every good thing.

I may have more next year. I may have less. But through it all, I know God is good. And that is more than enough for me. Happy Thanksgiving everyone,  and God Bless!

Good Tidings and Great Joy by Sarah Palin – Book Review

23 Nov

palin-christmas-book1

First off, Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas isn’t about politics. It’s solidly and solely about keeping Christ in Christmas, protecting our rights as Christians and asserting our freedom of religion. It’s a book by a Christian, for a Christian.

Sarah Palin’s basic message is, “If you don’t want to celebrate Christmas, don’t. We respect that. But don’t try to impose your beliefs on me and my family and don’t infringe on our right to celebrate our religious holiday the way we choose.” Really. That’s pretty much it. A live and let live message. One of tolerance – that elusive concept that liberals claim to so admire.

Normally, if someone were to write a Christian book about a Christian holiday, with a little American constitutional law thrown in, non-Christians wouldn’t really give a rip – unless, of course, they were exceptionally sad and bitter with nothing better to do with their time than attack a peaceful religion during a joyous time of the year.

But this isn’t just ANY book on Christianity. It’s a book on Christianity written by SARAH PALIN. Bum bum bum BUMMMM!!

So, of course, if you plan on reading it in public, or posting on your Twitter or Facebook page that you’ve read it, expect some liberals with a hard on for hating Sarah that have never even so much as cracked open a book by Palin to come out of the woodwork and roll their eyes, scoff, or say ignorant things that they think make them sound “cool”. Yeah, cuz saying misogynistic and sexist things about a woman makes you such a strong manly man. (Or for the women, proves that you’re a real lady.)

I’ve long come to terms with the fact that nothing angers an insecure liberal man or an unconfident morally confused liberal girl more than a strong , intelligent, beautiful conservative woman.

Liberals go into a veritable frenzy when it comes to Palin. They attack her children, say grotesquely sexist things about her, embrace wacky conspiracy theories about her life, take comedians exaggerated “quotes” and ignorantly believe they came straight from her mouth, and insult every woman in America when they suggest that Palin can’t be a good mother and a politician, too. As John Hawkins of Townhall News says, it would be understandable if Sarah Palin were President and produced this type of reaction, but the former governor of Alaska? Most people couldn’t even name half a dozen governors, much less obsess over what they’re doing.

Sarah Palin represents a totally different style of woman: the conservative feminist. She’s had a successful career, raised a big family, and has done it all without aborting an “inconvenient” child or carping about men keeping her down. A true enemy to the liberal feminist ideal. But I digress!

More on this book! It is extremely short. It’s not overly profound or ground breaking in its observations and facts. For the news and current event savvy conservative it’s just old news polished and repackaged with a shiny new Christmas bow on top. So really, it’s either a good Christmas 101 for new believers or a good casual read for the Palin fans. Nothing more or less.

Not to diminish the topic at all, because the information is relevant and vital. The fact is, our environment is increasingly becoming hostile to Christians and Christmas. That’s no joke. And Palin gives some basic tips on how to keep the Christmas spirit, and how to keep it well.

Plus, it’s fun when read in Palin’s voice. She’s cute, she’s witty, she puts her opposition down in that adorably innocent way you’d expect a soccer mom to when having a dispute in front of the kids.

If not written by Palin, I’d say it’s simply a good short read for a Christian seeking to focus on the reason for the season. But because it’s written by Palin, I’d say it’s a MUST READ…. What? So, I have a crush on her, what of it?

Best part of this book? GETTING TO MEET SARAH PALIN ON HER BOOK SIGNING TOUR, WHEEEEEE!!!!!!!! *runs around in circles* Check out the photo that got posted to Sarah Palin’s Facebook wall of my handsome hubby and gorgeous baby girl getting Palin’s autograph… awwwww, yeah!

1471293_10152029429733588_1158109292_n

MERRY CHRISTMAS, YA’LL!

15 Thought Provoking Quotes From C.S. Lewis

22 Nov

blog

I was just finishing reading The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis this morning, when my Twitter feed lit up with the nation stumbling over itself to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy.

Then, a lone tweet from @winstoncoolidge stood out in my timeline. “So today we hear about old people reminiscing about where they were when C.S. Lewis died.” Huh?! What? By Aslan’s mane, it’s the 50th anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis, too! I literally discovered this with a C.S. Lewis book in my hand. (If that’s any indication of how much of a fan I am…)

Now I’m no soul-reader, but I think it’s fairly safe to say that the death of C.S. Lewis, just a few days shy of his 65th birthday, isn’t one to be too heavily mourned. I mean, I think we’re all fairly sure where he’s ended up.

A modern day literary saint meeting his maker isn’t something to mourn. It’s something to celebrate! So celebrate I shall.

C.S. Lewis is BY FAR one of my all time favorite authors.  An intellectual and an apologist, he used fairy tales, mythology, poetry, science fiction, children’s stories and scholarly essays to communicate the depths of truth. What’s not to love? He’s worth reading and rereading and then reading again.

cs-lewis

So without further ado! Here are some literary morsels to chew on in celebration of the life of C.S. Lewis. (Oh, yeah, and sorry you died too JFK…)

1. I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.

2. Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.

3. A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.

C.S._Lewis4. There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way.’

5. Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.

6. Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.

7. We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.

8. The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.

9. The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.

10. Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.

11. Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.

cs-lewis (2)12. The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only – and that is to support the ultimate career.

13. You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

14. The magic is not in the medicine but in the patients body. What the doctor does is stimulate Nature’s functions in the body, or to remove hinderances. In a sense, though we speak of healing a cut, every cut heals itself; no dressing will make skin grow over a cut on a corpse.

15. No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.

10 Things I Learned in 10 Weeks of Motherhood

22 Nov

10weeks

My beautiful baby Tessa turned 10 weeks old on Tuesday! I really, truly, have no idea how time has passed so quickly. How did time creep by so slowly when she was in my tummy and I was anxiously awaiting her… and now 10 weeks have passed in the blink of an eye? You need proof that time is relative? Get a baby in your arms and watch seconds melt into weeks.

Being a mommy is everything I’d dreamt it would be, and more. The only thing lacking from my visions of mommyhood?

I don’t feel like crap. I feel great.

Hearing the horror stories and warnings in pregnancy and mothering books had got me all prepped for sleepless nights and a dirty house and stress and loss of freedom and no more home cooked meals and no more showers and so on and so on.

Yes, I’ve been tired. Yes, I did get a few weeks of the baby blues (which I mostly took out on my husband… sorry honey!) And yes, I’ve gotten a little overwhelmed with mounting chores and housework, I’d be lying if I said we didn’t cave and order a pizza now and then and I do now shower like I’m in some kind of speed bathing competition in case the baby wakes. But it’s not “bad” or “hard”. At least not hard in the conventional sense.

As I reread the warnings and cautions found in basic “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” type books, I think I’m starting to see a couple of areas where some new mommies sometimes go “wrong”, in my opinion. As my husband likes to say, “Opinions are like a$$holes, everyone’s got one and they all stink.” So if you think I’m way off track, you might be right, who knows? I’m just speaking from my own experience. I know I’m a new mother, and I’m very new to all of this, but my 10 weeks with Tessa have made me realize what works best for me as a mom.

Maybe I have an amazing, easygoing, textbook perfect baby. Or maybe I’m on to something. Maybe it’s a little bit of both? (Probably.) But regardless, I’d like to share with any other mommies out there the ten things I’ve learned that has helped me in my first ten weeks as a mommy:

994976_10153450885910594_620108590_n (1)

This article needed an imagery break. So I present to you: The many faces of baby Tessa!

1. Don’t listen to the nay-sayers.

This is probably going to piss some people off when I say this, but I firmly believe that the widespread insistence that having children means you automatically inherit a messy house and a lack of home cooked meals is just an excuse for laziness. Now I understand that once a child (or two, or three, or four) are walking and getting into everything and being tiny little maniacs, order and cleanliness get hard. And I think “clean” clutter and mayhem in an environment can be HEALTHY and in some cases NECESSARY for a child. I plan on having my home being a delightful jumble of homeschool projects splattered all over the place.

But I think too many people propagate the myth that having children means there must therefore be a departure from domestic duties. In other words, too many women nowadays are using their children as an excuse for their slovenliness, in my opinion. And to excuse their messy house and chronic fast food meals, they ferociously stand by the ideal that children are to blame and “it will happen to you too”.

Maybe I’m just blessed to know a lot of awesome moms who can raise happy healthy kids AND cook and clean too (and teach their children to join in the housework!) or maybe I’m just stubborn, but I refused to believe this from the start. Entering motherhood with the attitude that I can be a mommy and maintain a house as part of my daily duties has helped enable me to do so. So when the going gets tough, I don’t just cop out. And I’ve spent every day since Tessa’s birth sticking by my duties as a stay at home housewife with an “I can do this” attitude.

Yeah, it’s somewhat harder to accomplish housework and social obligations and recreational time with a baby, and I’m sure it’ll be much harder when she’s toddling around and eventually running all over the place. To get chores done or run errands or even meet with friends I have to plan my day now, and work around her naps or carry her in the ring sling while I work and play. But maintaining the house and living my life while still giving Tessa my all as a mother is do-able. And if it’s ever not, this brings me to the second thing I’ve learned…

2. Take all the help you can get.

When I came home from the hospital, my in-laws were visiting from Washington State. When the dog needed walking, or a prescription for that sweet, sweet miracle of Tylenol-3 needed picking up or if mommy needed a nap, the in-laws would walk the dog, pick up the prescription or watch Tessa. My husband made a point (and still does) of taking care of as many dirty diapers and bottle feedings as he can when he’s home, to give me a break.

After the in-laws left, my parents came to visit, and the baby watching and chore helping happened all over again. As a result, I was one of the most well-rested, bright-eyed new mommies you’ve probably ever seen. I’d have had a spring in my step right out of the hospital if it weren’t for that damn perineal tear. Whenever people were amazed I was “so awake” or “out and about so early”, I thought I was just one tough cookie. A champ if you will.

Then the in-laws and parents went home and Jonathan’s paternity leave went away and he went back to work, and I realized, HOLY CRAP caring for an infant solo is no walk in the park! While I CAN take care of Tessa alone, it is far better for myself and by extension far better for her if I take all the help I can get.

So I’ve made a point of swallowing my pride (like a little kid trying to assert her independence, I still have a tendency to shout, “I can do all by self!” and try to take the reins on… well… everything) and now I ask for help when I need it. While I am lucky to have family and a husband that can and want to be involved in carrying the blessed and beautiful burden of raising a baby girl, I am convinced that if ever I can’t turn to them for help, I will – for my sake and for my daughters – find a network of people who can.

Most churches have mommy’s night out daycare nights. There are tons of friendly mom groups out and about in the community – from Crunchy Moms to Military Moms to Christian Moms – that are an amazing resource for babysitting co-ops, housework swapping or simply available as a shoulder to cry on. Not to mention lots of babysitters aren’t opposed to an extra few bucks for doing housework.

Just don’t be afraid to ask for a hand. I would not think being a mommy was such a walk in the park if I’d had to go through the baby blues alone.

3. Know what kind of a mother you want to be.

Know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Any business, corporation, heck even student clubs in elementary school campuses have a mission statement. It you know what kind of a mother you want to be, and what you expect to accomplish by your children, it will steer you in the right direction when the waters get choppy. I am convinced that clarity of vision and focus will get you through the darkest of hours.

I wrote a Mission Statement on Motherhood last Mothers Day, when Tessa was still just a wiggle in my belly. Jonathan and I were in Washington State visiting his parents before he left for Navy Boot Camp, and we were staying at a cabin in the gorgeous Olympic Peninsula. Surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of God’s creation (and the location of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight, haha) I spent a weekend just pondering what being a mother meant to me. And then I put it down in writing.

By charting out my course beforehand, I don’t feel so overwhelmed now. I don’t suffer the nagging doubt that I’ve heard so many fellow moms confess to: Doubt in their ability to be a good mom. Fears that their children won’t love them. Fears that they’ll “mess up” their upbringing or won’t be good enough.

When I look at my “Motherhood Mission Statement” I know that as long as I stay true to those principals, as long as I give my all in those areas and commit to staying true to my ideals, I will be the best mother that I can be. Even when I’ve fumbled in areas, I have no regrets over the past 10 weeks because I have kept my eye on my goals as a mother and have given Tessa my 110%.

I am convinced that more moms wouldn’t feel so lost or confused or doubtful if they simply determined beforehand what kind of mother they will daily strive to be.

4. Know that you are an imperfect person.

While we strive for perfection as mothers, the simple fact is, there are no perfect people on this planet. (Well, there was this one guy, once…)

Having a Motherhood Mission Statement is vital, but we must also realize that there is no such thing as a Supermom. We can’t do it all. And sometimes, even when we have the help of friends and family, it’s still not enough to feel “on top of it all”. And that’s okay. You are not perfect.

That doesn’t mean that you are valueless. You are loved by God. You are unique and you are indispensable to your child. But knowing that you aren’t perfect and that you can never be perfect gives you the freedom to try your best and accept grace when your best doesn’t seem to be enough.

The thing is, you WILL fall down as a parent. You WILL drop the ball and make some mistakes. But you just need to get back up and keep trying. Because your baby is worth it and your all is all that she needs.

Resting firmly in the knowledge of that fact makes my “failures” seem like learning curves and not an assault on my qualifications for motherhood. God gave me this child for a reason, and as long as I keep trying and keep moving forward (to quote that amazing Disney motto in Meet the Robinsons) I will do right by her when I give her back to God. So when I am too busy to water the plants or take the trash out, or so tired I change the litter box but put the lid on wrong so that the cats end up pooping all over the floor (sigh), it’s not a huge issue. I’ll plan better next time and I’ll do this next little thing I’ve learned…

5. Laugh at everything.

Laughter really is good medicine. When you’ve got a tiny little human on your hands, nothing is in your control anymore. Things are gonna get pooped on, peed on, spit up on.

So just laugh! Here are some benefits of laughter that I totally didn’t just steal from this website:

Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

So laugh! But even better than laughter…

6. Give everything to God.

Pray about every little thing. The good, the bad, the funky. I started praying for Tessa when she still in the womb (and before she was even conceived, truth be told) and I blogged earlier about Praying Through Your Pregnancy. While it’s important to cover your child in prayer, the benefits for you are impossible to exaggerate.

Can you think of any greater honor than to have an audience with the One who rules over ALL creation? We have been invited to talk with the one who put the stars in place. We are invited to seek counsel from the One who is truth and wisdom. We are invited to sit down with the One who knows all things.

And prayer makes a difference! Circumstances change when people pray. Diseases are sometimes healed, strength is imparted, guidance is given, hearts are softened, needs are met. I know that when I pray for others it helps them. But I also know that when I pray, I am changed. Into a better person, a better wife and a better mother to my little Tessa.

7. Don’t stop doing what makes you happy.

This was a BIG point that Jonathan and I heard a lot when we found out we were expecting. “You won’t be able to cosplay anymore once you have children.” “Eat up now while you can, you won’t be cooking anymore gourmet meals with a baby.” “Your poor cats, you won’t have time to play with them once Tessa is born.”

I will admit, I actually feared that these statements would be true. Like some inexplicable and irreversible virus in a zombie apocalypse flick, I feared that the infection of becoming a mother would render me hobby-less and passion-less for my personal pursuits, completely outside of my will. It was the thought of losing myself that scared me the most.

Because while my baby girl is my little baby world, I am not my child. If I find my identity in her and her alone, I am not living my life the way God intended. While my priorities have undoubtedly changed, I still think it is important – if not vital – to pursue you personal interests. From personal observation, the healthiest and most emotionally adjusted mothers I know take time to pursue interests, foster friendships, and make time for the things in their lives that bring them joy – both with and without their kids. So Jonathan and I are both making a point of taking time for the things we liked to do as a couple before we became three.

Again, it’s harder to, say, try out that new recipe in my New Orleans cookbook with a baby in tow, but it’s not impossible. It brings me joy, therefore I will make time for it and plan for it, even if it means hours of prep time between naps and feedings.

Just don’t lose yourself. Keep growing and cultivating who you are.

8. Don’t neglect your marriage.

Your baby needs two loving, devoted, madly and passionately in love parents. So flirt like a sexually frustrated pubescent teenager and indulge in some cheese-ball level romantics with your honey.

Find time for intimacy, in any and every way. After Tessa made her grand debut via vaginal birth, I couldn’t have The Sex for about 6 weeks post-partum, so Jonathan and I made a point of giving each other massages, making our own aromatherapy massage oil concoctions. (I don’t know what was sexier, playing mad scientist with tiny vials of smell pretties with my husband, or massages by the fireplace.)

While we aren’t alone anymore, we’re making a point of becoming closer than ever. We take our baby into the tub with us and have long talks about our hopes and dreams for her future. We watch Muppets Tonight reruns while hugging her between us. Just gazing down at a sleeping Tessa is one of the most romantic things we’ve ever done.

Keep the romance going. Your husband will be the one still by your side when your little baby is off making babies of her own someday.

9. Don’t neglect your friends.

In the same vein of people warning that we “won’t have time to pursue hobbies anymore”, we didn’t want to be the couple that neglected our friends once we had kids. We’re lucky because a combination of Jonathan working constantly and us being a country away from our friends and family has made it easy to neglect our friends out of necessity and not out of baby induced negligence. Haha!

But we have made a point to socialize with our little tot in tow. We attend community events from art walks, to book signings to anime conventions. We meet up with new friend at movie releases and church events.

No man is an island, and no family should be either. Get in the habit of fostering active friendships and maintaining relationships with loved ones. I know I sound like a broken record, but it’s good for you emotionally and what’s good for you, makes you a better mother. (Plus, you’ve got a really frikkin’ cute baby to show off!)

10. Take time for yourself.

Last but not least, take time for yourself. When the baby is sleeping, give yourself a foot soak. Read a book. Watch some anime. Write a blog post. Go on a hike. Take a nap. But don’t forget to take care of yourself.

Your baby needs a healthy mommy. So make sure you meet your own needs. When you are well-rested you can enjoy every minute with your baby that much more!

WELL! Those are the ten things I’ve learned these past ten weeks. I think these points really are the “secret formula” to healthy and happy parenting. I’m sure I’m overlooking some other vital points. So help me out. What have YOU learned as mother? Let me know, I’d love to share trade secrets! ^_^

Sarah Palin Book Tour in Pensacola, Florida

19 Nov

1450713_10153492093520594_1052228980_n

Guess who has two thumbs and got Sarah Palin’s autograph… IN PERSON?!?! Yeeeeah, that’s right. THIS GIRL!

The gorgeous Governor of Alaska was in Pensacola, Florida yesterday on her book tour for her newest work, “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas”. I finished reading it just in time for the autograph signing event. I don’t think you guys understand the importance of that. One of my biggest, biggest and I mean BIGGEST pet peeves is getting into the Christmas spirit before Thanksgiving. DON’T YOU ENCROACH ON MY FALL TIME SANTA.

So reading a book that is just chock full of warm and fuzzies for the holidays shows just how much I adore Sarah Palin.

1452088_10153494954205594_78201939_n

My husband had duty on the base and it looked like he wasn’t going to be able to make it.. buuuut! He asked for permission to ditch out long enough to get the book signed, and against all odds the big wigs on the base said okay! So I picked him up from work at the very last minute, we ran to Books a Million, and we joined the 1000+ people crowding the building to meet the lovely lady herself (along with her family – Todd, Piper and Bristol).

I’m told she signed 894 books last night! And we’re but one itty bitty stop on her massive tour. Poor lady better have a hot bath and a masseuse on hand, amiright?!

So. There we were, a young mother, a young man in military uniform and a tiny newborn baby in a tiny little sailor suit, mingling among a crowd of what I’m willing to bet were 99.9% Christian conservatives. Jonathan was stopped and thanked for his service countless times. And the reaction to a Navy man with a tiny baby in his arms? PRICELESS. It was like a constant surround sound track of oooohhhs and ahhhhhs and “how old?” and “whats her name?” and “she’s so precious!”

1479393_10153491910175594_1050302834_n

They made us leave our phones and cameras outside of the autograph area, but Palin had her own photography crew there taking pictures. When Jonathan approached the table with tiny Tessa in tow, we just KNEW we’d be seeing that image again soon. And lo and behold, the very next morning, what do we find on Sarah Palin’s personal Facebook page:

1471293_10152029429733588_1158109292_n

Awwww yeah. That’s my sexy family. I am such a proud mommy and wife. I wasn’t in the picture because they were pushing us along single file and after my book was signed, they ushered me away. I turned around to see Jonathan chatting it up with Palin. I tried to walk back to the table but the Books a Million gal stopped me like I was some crazed wacko trying to go back to lick the pretty lady. (In her defense, the thought had crossed my mind. I’VE GOT SUCH A CRUSH ON HER!)

Anyhoo, I’ll follow up with a book review soon enough. MERRY CHRISTMAS YA’LL!!

Jericho March Around the Pensacola Abortion Clinic

7 Nov

DSC_4564

To wrap up the 40 Days For Life campaign, a large group of Christ followers – my sweet little Tessa and myself included – participated in a Jericho March around the one remaining abortion clinic in Pensacola, Florida.

The Christians attending were made up of Catholics and Protestants of various denominations, and it was an amazing time of fellowship and Biblical based action. The majority attending were Catholic, (I’m a non-denominational Christian myself), so while I was left to pray quietly among the Hail Mary’s, it was still nice joining hands with my apocrypha-toting brethren. As I’ve always said, in the pro-life party, nobody parties like a Catholic.

Anyhoo, the Jericho March is based on Scripture from the book of Joshua, Chapter 6. The Israelites were able to take down a fortress by peacefully walking around the city walls of Jericho. And in reenacting a peaceful Jericho March around an abortion clinic, we are stating in our actions that we have faith that the same God that caused the walls of Jericho to come crashing down, can and will do the same to the spiritual fortress of sin that resides in an abortion mill.

DSC_4534

DSC_4433

Now, in my years of activism I tend to NOT identify myself as a Christian while approaching people on the subject of abortion. I am like a ninja Christian in that respect. I prefer the James Bond-esque approach of pro-life activism – booking abortions so I can get into the waiting room to loudly peruse over fetal development charts with the other girls considering abortion, and sitting through abortion counseling to get a better grasp of what lies are being peddled to naïve girls alone and scared with a new pregnancy. I do this because I strongly feel that you do not need to be a Christian to see that butchering babies is wrong.

Too many women take the easy out and sacrifice their intellect with the Christian faith as their scapegoat. The second they spot your cross necklace, or hear you quote Scripture, they try to justify their intentional ignorance by shoehorning common sense into the realm of “Christian faith” and “attacks on women’s health” that they, as non-Christians, don’t have to subject themselves to.

The fact is, it requires far more faith to believe that abortion DOESN’T kill an innocent human!

Medical textbooks and scientific reference works consistently agree that human life begins at conception. This means that the moment an egg is fertilized by a sperm, it brings into existence a zygote, which is a genetically distinct human being. This isn’t biased information. These are basic, indisputable biological facts that have been affirmed by medical professionals worldwide for decades. If you had a zygote on a medical slide in an elementary biology class and answered that it’s anything BUT a human being, you’d be flunked out of the class.

Pointing out the medically establish humanity of the preborn is no more an attack on women’s health than challenging the flat earth theory is an attack on nautical travel.

We would do well to remind our pro-abort friends who hold God’s word in contempt and love to paint themselves as the picture of modern progression, that to ignore the advance of modern medical science is archaic, antediluvian, and (dare we say it?) intolerant.

For a group of people who love to discredit their opposition by claiming to be above uninformed, religious opinion, it’s amazing to watch their persistent ignorance to the basic biological and medical facts of prenatal development. Who would have thought that in the 21st century, fairly intelligent individuals would persist in rejecting science, in the face of strong evidence, so that they can sit back comfortably in their subjective, faith-based worldview that killing a child is the equivalent of pulling a tooth?

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the definition of ‘Faith’ is, ‘Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.’ Since the statement, ‘a fetus isn’t a child’ is not based on any tangible data, and in fact goes contrary to all established evidence – it is quite literally a faith statement. It is an opinion. It is not grounded in reality.

When you listen to pro-aborts sputtering out nonsense about ‘a fetus is just a formless blob’, ‘it’s the woman’s body’, etc… you are listening to faith statements that directly oppose the most fundamental precepts of medical knowledge. You must willingly adopt ignorance and become intellectually retarded to believe the faith statements dehumanizing the fetus. And they call us the extremists?

DSC_4428

The abortion clinic in Pensacola. Seriously, who would take their vagina into that shady looking butcher shop?

The question of when life begins isn’t relative. It is clearly definable in terms of science. To keep a belief grounded in the elusive playground of ‘what’s right for me’ is not progressive. It does not help women. It hurts women.

This really is an intellectual war, as well as a spiritual one. You have to realize that people coming into an abortion clinic are essentially made up of two groups: Those who are uninformed or misinformed when it comes to the medical facts of personhood, and those who remain willfully ignorant of the medical facts of personhood. One group is deceiving and one group is being deceived.

Our jobs as activists taking a stand for life is to clear the fog. Tell it like it is.

Be blunt. Be bold.

Like toddler and adolescent, the terms embryo and fetus do not refer to nonhumans, but to humans at particular stages of development. And stage of development does not alter human worth. The pre-born are undeniably human and as such deserve equal rights. It really is that simple!

As pro-life activists, we’re up against a behemoth of lies and we are called to dispel them with truth and simple undeniable facts.

As Christians, we’re up against a behemoth of lies. But we know who the Father of Lies is (John 8:22). As a liar and a murderer from the beginning, he has made his stronghold in the abortion mills that deal in wholesale murder and lies. As much as I emphasize appealing to the intellectual side of individuals, that alone is not enough. The fog of moral confusion is more than just a self-imposed ignorance of a select few. It is a very real spiritual fog of confusion and deceit that oozes from the foothold Satan has in his stronghold of the abortion industry. Thankfully, we serve a powerful God that can, has and WILL act through his faithful children to bring the walls of Satan’s stronghold crashing down.

Hence, the Jericho March. Just like the pompous peas in Veggie Tales, I can just hear the clouded minds of the abortion mill workers… “Keep walking, but you won’t knock down our wall, keep walking, but she isn’t gonna fall…” But we know that the wall WILL fall. The fog WILL lift.

Just keep walking. ^_^

DSC_4493

Emerald Coast Coalition for Life Fundraiser

5 Nov

DSC_2853

This past weekend Jonathan and I attended a fundraising event for the Emerald Coast Coalition for Life. This group is a non-profit organization that is highly active in the pro-life community here in Pensacola, Florida – organizing outreach events, educating the public on abortion and offering abortion alternatives.

The theme for the fundraiser was a starfish, inspired by Loren Eisley’s “Starfish Story”:

One day a young man was walking along the beach, when he noticed a boy hurriedly picking up and gently throwing things into the ocean.

Approaching the boy he asked, “Young man, what are you doing?”

The boy replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”

The man laughed and said, “Don’t you realize, there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make any difference!”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it into the surf. Then, smiling at the man he said, “I made a difference to that one.”

And the Emerald Coast Coalition for Life (ECCL) is making a difference… one life at a time.

DSC_2988

DSC_2994

After Dr. Ernie Cyr, the Executive Director for ECCL (and a spitting image of Greg Gutfeld from Fox News), gave the ministry update and offered the pledge challenge, we all had the privilege of listening to the touching story of the nights keynote speaker, Mr. Chad Judice.

And by touching story, I mean a frikkin’ TEAR JERKER. A “I-can’t-see-to-take-pictures-because-my-lens-is-somehow-all-blurry” story. Chad Judice is the author of Waiting For Eli: A Father’s Journey from Fear to Faith and Eli’s Reach. Both books outline the story of his son Eli, born with spina bifida, a condition that moves over 80% of mothers to abort their babies that suffer from it. Choosing to ignore the advice and the social pressure of a world without morals urging them to kill their baby, they walked in faith and prayerfully welcomed their son into this world, where he is a source of joy and inspiration to many.

DSC_3115

DSC_3102

DSC_3181

DSC_3222

DSC_3218

It never ceases to amaze me that we live in a world that supports, protects and draws hope from children with special needs – cheering for the Special Olympics, recoiling in horror at those who would pick on or harm a kid with special needs – yet if those same children were to be brutally dismembered in the womb, many would see it as a “responsible” or “acceptable” thing to do. The same child that brings joy and hope to the world, would be left floating in a bloody abortionists bowl if many pro-choicers had their way.

This is why groups like ECCL are so vital to the health of our community. When the pro-death crowd is pushing for the relentless slaughter of babies – healthy or handicapped – those children in danger of “choice” need an advocate. Whether that means standing outside of an abortion mill to counsel confused young women, or lending financial support to those who have the time to reach out. While there will always be people in this world that seek to harm children, if you can say, “I made a difference to that one”, you have truly left this world different than when you came in. What higher calling?

DSC_2889