Friday, October 21, 2016

The Rhetoric of Abortion (In case you missed the Facebook post)

"My body, my choice."
"Right to choose."
"If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament."
"Protection from back alley abortions."
"If you don't want an abortion, don't have one."

"No woman can call herself free who does not control her own body."
—Margaret Sanger

It's ALL rhetoric. They are pro-abortion sound bites that have been declared and pronounced ad nauseam so that people pick them up as their mantra and pass it along until these faulty opinions are declared as Truth.

"My body, my choice." - There are lots of pregnancy preventative choices that can be made with your body, however, once a pregnancy occurs, it is no longer just a single woman's body involved. Yes, I realize at the female POTUS candidate likes to point out, an unborn child has no "constitutional rights" which would include "life." However life is not a right that the Constitution can even provide, so how logical is it that law should govern what God and nature provide. Life's value is inherent, not determined by want.

"Right to choose." - The REALITY is that abortion is a single choice that ends all other choices. If a woman decided to have an abortion, there is no "what else." You have the mother of a dead baby, period, end of story. However, when a woman chooses to give life, choices become unending. Keep the baby or give the baby up for adoption. In adoption a woman can choose open adoption to stay connected or closed adoption to move on with her life. That leads to the choice to reconnect or not reconnect later in life. If she keeps the baby she can choose to continue her education, postpone it or move her life in a different direction. Choosing to be a mother is not a tragedy. Choosing to be a birth mother is not a tragedy. With life comes an incredible amount of possibility.

"If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament." - Please, stop trying to pretend that protecting unborn babies is a priority only to a bunch of crotchety old men who just one to tie a woman to a stove and oppress her into some imagined substandard existence as a housewife and "baby machine." It's ridiculous to discredit the large population of pro-life people, INCLUDING women who believe abortion is wrong.

"Protection from back alley abortions." - Legalizing abortion has not made it fail-proof and completely safe. First of all the number of deaths and complications from "back alley abortions" before Roe is highly overstated. It was not the epidemic it was declared to be. And the reality is that abortion is STILL a complicated and potentially dangerous blind procedure that can cause harm to the woman (in addition to the unborn baby.) Abortion not only puts a woman's future fertility in jeopardy, but maternal death is a real risk from unremoved body parts that can cause infection as well as perforating the uterus and potentially other organs as well.

"If you don't want an abortion, don't have one." - First of all this dismisses that the pro-life viewpoint is NOT concerned with infringing on the sovereignty of the woman's body, it is concerned with the protection of the tiny unborn human being who is unable to speak up for his or herself. We take issue with that child being sacrificed at the altar of convenience. Again, the actual necessity of abortion for a mother's physical health is less than 5% of abortions performed and was NEVER illegal even before Roe v Wade. However the rarity of abortion being a solution to a mother's health issue is again, minimal. As for the topic of rape, that too is a very small portion of abortions performed that the pro-abortion supporters life to stick their flags upon and it is a teeny tiny hill. Pregnancy from rape is not a very frequent occurrence. As for me, I do not believe the child should have to suffer the consequences of his or her father's crimes. Also there are studies that indicate that women who have babies from rapes find it can be very healing and redemptive, where as the act of abortion after a rape can increase their trauma.

""No woman can call herself free who does not control her own body." - Margaret Sanger

Margaret Sanger, the original great proponent of "abortion rights" was a racist who advocated for abortion in order to eliminate/ reduce the births of minority babies. She had an agenda she sought to accomplish through abortion, and it was about oppression, not freedom. The reality is that abortion is NOT a liberating experience. It is not the "simple procedure" it is made out to be. Women, inherently, have been gifted with the ability to "create" and sustain life, and when a woman goes against God and nature, it is not simple. Hundreds of thousands of women every year find out after the fact that they have been lied to and deceived, that abortion was not "as easy as having a tooth pulled." They realize too late after the fact that it is a decision that cannot be unmade, and many women will live with the rest of their lives a regret that cannot be remedied. Another baby will not replace an aborted child, for women who find their fertility compromised they will mourn their only opportunity to be a mother with the biological experience attached, and for every baby aborted there is a mother out there somewhere who would have willingly loved and raised the life that was sacrificed at the altar of convenience and fear.

Planned Parenthood and other abortion services are a business. They thrive on the opportunity to appeal to fear and uncertainty in women with an unexpected. unplanned pregnancy. They are the ones who make what has been "unplanned" and turned it into a crisis. It doesn't have to be a crisis. It can and ought to be simply a fork in the road. Sadly it has been proclaimed that the right is necessary because we no longer believe in personal responsibility. Pregnancy is in fact completely preventable, but we are reduced to being labeled as irresistible urges. Abstinence works. I grant that not all will choose it, actually giving into urges, and that's FINE, but birth control as well is HIGHLY effective in preventing pregnancy. I would dare say that the 15 minutes and a drive to the drug store would be a better gamble than risking the likelihood of an unwanted pregnancy. We ARE and should ACT AS more than biological urges.

There is no freedom found in abortion. As most of you well know, I do not speak from a place of judgment, I speak from a place of experience. I have been through the system and business that is abortion. And yeas, I have heard "You had one, why deny someone else?" And I tell you that is because I can tell you with certainty and experience that no one involved in "helping" me "exercise my right" cared about me. They lied to me about the process, tried to keep me in the dark about what the procedure actually was ("product of conception" and "lump of cells" are LIES.) In my case I accidentally SAW the ultrasound of my pre-born baby, and I watched their panic as they tried to hide it from me. (I didn't fully understand until several years later when pregnant with my son, after my first of 2 subsequent miscarriages) what I was looking at. I also saw their "compassionate care" change from before the procedure to their assembly line hurry to get their "patients" (for whom they no longer have patience) out the door and out of the way.

I implore you, look past the rhetoric and visit factual information - medical information first and foremost, and please realize this is so much more than a political issue. One could suggest that a society is defined by the way it treats the weak, the voiceless, the helpless. Abortion is a wicked black mark on what our society has become. The reality is that from the beginning the "snowball" has continued to roll, from early term abortion (though I do not find that justified) to later and later allowances as well as the absolutely barbaric act of partial-birth abortion. There are advocates and arguers who believe that even after an infant is born it should theoretically not be considered a person with rights and still be candidates for termination. Others want to see this extended to the mentally and physically handicapped and you cannot unlink the subject of abortion from euthanasia as well. It is indeed a slippery slope and momentum DOES continue to move forward.

The right to LIFE has ceased to become a core value in our nation, and we need to educate ourselves and stand against that.

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." - Mother Teresa

"We must not be surprised when we hear of murders, of killings, of wars, of hatred. If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each other." - Mother Teresa

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Because I said so....

Parenting is hard.  No ifs, ands or buts, it's just hard.  And as exhausting as it was when I had two under two and a nine year-old, two teenagers and a young adult is WAY more exhausting.  The oldest was a good little helper at 9 with the toddlers, but far way as a 22 year-old, he really doesn't even factor in much with the 14 and 15 year-olds.  And living thousands of miles away now, he rarely contributes to my emotional and mental exhaustion anymore.  Which is why when something about "empty nest" popped up on the screen at church on Sunday morning, I leaned over and high-fived my husband.  There are some days, that I am happy to be in the home stretch.  Both kids will be in high school by fall, and after #1 blazed through, I am well aware of how quickly it will go.

I love my kids, don't get me wrong.  And honestly, I am pretty blessed - they ARE pretty good kids, especially when I send them out into the world where they are apparently a little more apt to remember all that I pounded into them about respect for others as they grew up.  They get it - well, they must, because their teachers like them, even find them "a pleasure to have in class." We're doing well with a girlfriend's mom, moms of friends tell me they are good kids. They are good kids.  But they are good kids who at home like to argue, press boundaries, push limits and more often than I care for, wade in the waters of disrespect.

I get it. They are TEENAGERS - and that's what TEENAGERS do. (I feel like I should come up with an acronym... Tiring, Exhausting, Exceptionally Naughty...I'll work on it....)  But a lot of times when it happens, the overwhelming thought that blazes through my head like a hot wind is, "I didn't raise them to behave that way."  And I didn't.  And sometimes my frustration really gets the best of me. (Though I have to admit my recent commitment courtesy of the swear jar to stop cussing, has brought the unanticipated side effect of more self-restraint... who knew?)

This past weekend both my kids crossed some boundaries with me.  (Why do they always feel the need to tag team? I told my mom recently that as the mom of an only child she actually had it a little easier in the teen years.  She started to disagree when I pointed out that at least when I was a teenager I sometimes went off duty to sleep.  My kids seem to take shifts... but I digress.)  

I'm not here to trash my kids.  And that's not actually what I am doing, but I noticed something this weekend, it really sank in deep.  And it truly screams loudly in the face of "I didn't raise my kids that way."

My daughter and I got into a disagreement about her wanting to get her nose pierced.  My decision is "No. Not till she's 18."  And I told her so.  I'm not saying that ought to be everyone's rule. I'm not saying it's a black and white issue, I'm just saying for me, "face altering decisions" ought to be made by an adult.  I don't want my 22 year-old coming back to me someday and asking me what I was thinking when I let my 14 year-old get her nose pierced.  My opinion for my child is that it is a trend that may not even last into her adulthood and it may definitely not remain her personal style, so "No, no can do."

She didn't like the "No," and she wasn't a fan of the "why."  But I'm the mom, and it's NOT a democracy.  I'm older, I'm wiser, I can foresee things she can't based simply on my added life experience.  She thought she could get her dad on board (actually she thought he already was on board) because he has considered piercing his own nose and he told her once he thought it was cool.  But when she tried to play the card in front of me, without knowing my thoughts and without any hesitation Neal said "No, not till your're 18," (much to my delight.)  She threw a fit.  And again demanded to know why.

I told her all my reasons to which she responded, "That's not a reason!" and later added, "You won't give me a good reason." Clearly I beg to differ, but when she harped and harped and harped I finally said those words every kid hates, "Well, I'm your mother and because I said so."

That made her indignant, and outraged, and a little too expressive, so I banished her to her room till she could better hide her disdain.  My kids wear me down sometimes, more than I actually care to admit, but not this one, not this time.  I feel like I can see what she can't, and I am confident I know better than her (for her.)  She's 14, she doesn't know near what she thinks she does.

I've heard the beloved (and despised) "Because I said so," get a bad rap lately in the "parenting world."  People have come under this misguided sense that our kids need to be treated like equals, and need to be reasoned with, and every answer needs to be understood and (gulp) agreed upon by all parties, and I say (because I'm not swearing anymore) HOGWASH!!!!

What a lousy bill of goods we have sold our kids to make them think that they always have a right to make their arguments and to make a way.  That's not how the real world works.  They will have coaches, and teachers, and professors and bosses all throughout their lives who will have the right, will and power to say "because I said so."  Because it's my team, my business, my class, and you have to do things my way.  And if we let them buy into the lie that they won't by letting them break the authority in our homes, we're fools.

But even bigger than the people they will face in their lives, their is an ultimate "Because I said so," that they will have to learn to submit to, and that's the voice of God.  God doesn't reason with us, or offer explanation of "Why" to everything He asks of us.  Quite the contrary, most of the time if we will it to be so, what God asks of us won't make much sense at all.  "Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. Forgive those who have sinned against you."  Yeah, I know, some of us understand the logic there, but we don't have to.  We could argue, kick and scream and resist. We could demand to know a better reason why.  But in the end "Because God said so" needs to be sufficient.

No, I'm not saying piercing her nose is equivalent to "don't have sex outside of marriage," but the heart issue that wants to argue both those points is the same-- self, selfishness, rebellion.  And as parents, it's our job to help out kids work that out.  Sometimes it's like pounding our heads against a brick wall, but "No," (to whatever YOUR conviction is with your kids) is NOT a dirty word.  Quite the contrary, it's a necessary one.  And "Because I said so," IS a sufficient reason.

At my age and stage of life, I find myself trying less and less to understand the "why" or get a good reason for what God asks of me. I actually find some solace in "Well, God said so, so I am just going to do it for that reason alone."  That's both in the logos (written) Word and the Ramah (personally spoken) Word that God offers.  I am still in school because God said to go back.  Does it make sense? No.  But I assume God has a good reason.  I also try really hard to continue to work towards forgiving those who I feel wronged by, NOT because I want to, but because God says I need to.  And I know God is a loving God who wants what is best for me.  And I trust in His character.  I trust in His wisdom. I trust in His heart.

And if you feel those same things about yourself towards your own children, then sometimes (more times than they might agree to) I encourage you, comfortably and confidently own the reason and express it freely, "Because I said so."

These kids live in a world where fighting that is encouraged.  They (the society as a  mindset) are so full of their "rights" that they will never even own their wrongs.  They think they are entitled to whatever they want.  But the real world isn't going to hold up that end of the bargain, and if you love your kids, neither should you.  Say no where you feel the conviction to do so as a mom or a dad, and state your reason if you will, but whether they come on board or not, hold no guilt, "Because I said so," is totally legit!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Totally Transparent (Because something should be thin)

Today I am feeling completely uncomfortable and bound as my "fat pants" are practically cutting off circulation (which would be outstanding if only fat would die and fall off, but alas, it doesn't work that way.)

I'm mad at myself - a year ago today I was about 30 lbs lighter and feeling great, but as is my idiotic pattern, I moved back on to the upswing of my weight roller coaster.  Since round and about my 40th birthday, I have been pretty much following the pattern -- loss, gain, loss, gain, loss (oh that that would be where it ends, but no.) Here I am, at gain again.

It's sin.  Totally and completely, without question - it is SIN.  Gluttony - I think that qualifies as one of the seven deadly - but not just gluttony, it honestly goes much deeper than that.  It's a lack of faith and trust; it's a rebellion - at least for me.

I am so disappointed in myself, but I can't blame anyone but myself.  I can make lots of excuses, and I can justify all day long -- stress, emotional hurts, busy schedules... pleasure, community, lack of support, but at the end of the day, I know what I need to do, and I fail to do it. Or rather I fail to keep doing it.

It's not wisdom or capacity I lack, it's perseverance.

The worst part about this sinful battle that I keep acquiescing in, is that I am really only hurting myself.  That's a common justification for sin, isn't it?  But i's also not true.  When I don't take care of myself, I fail to give my family the best of myself.

Recently, I asked my daughter if she was disappointed in me.  Her response was "I don't want to hurt your feelings."  Poor kid, she killed two birds with one stone. She hurt my feelings (upon my invitation) and she answered the question she didn't want to answer.  "Mom, she said, you're happier when you're thinner."  And, well, she's not wrong.  And it isn't just the best of myself that I am denying my family, but very possible, dare I say probably, I could be giving them LESS of myself (ironically) by shaving years off of my life.

I DO have an addiction problem - a sugar addiction problem.  And I have some biological and physiological health issues that compound that problem, but I cannot use that as an excuse.  Alcoholics shouldn't drink, and I shouldn't eat sugar.  But once I do, it's like opening the floodgate to overindulgence.  I need to better guard the gate.

The world is full of pushers.  My 7-11 clerk is a great example.  Starbucks and chocolate donettes as a weakness.  And when the Starbucks go on sale for 2 for $4 I practically run a groove into the path between home and the store.  And I like my little donuts with the drink.  I buy one pack and he insists they are on sale 2 for a cheaper price - and I am an easy sale.  Ice cream as a reward at 11 o'clock at night for surviving a difficult day, getting a cookie to go with my coffee when I am meeting with a friend, diving head first into the pack of Oreos because I'm feeling the stress - I never run out of excuses to go against good judgment and poison my body.

It really IS poison for me.  I have something called "insulin resistance," and when I eat sugar my pancreas overworks and though my blood sugar is properly maintained I have this excess insulin pulsing through my veins that demands more sugar to meet it - and the cycle goes on.  Why do I do it?

Because it feels good - for the moment.  Oh that all sin doesn't fit that excuse.  For the moment, the ice cream "on the lips" doesn't give an ounce of consideration to it's time "on the hips."  For the moment, eating an Oreo actually does take my mind off the stress, and promotes no concern for the unbelievable regret that I find at the scale the next day.

The scale.  I've stopped stepping on it.  I've honestly decided that denial is easier.  And for the moment, it is.  But it doesn't have the power and strength to fully stave off the regret, disappointment and... shame.  God - SHAME - such an ugly word.  It's even worse as a feeling.

So, tomorrow I am starting my detox. Hard and fast - literally a fast for a couple of days to kick myself into the process of getting sugar out of my system.  I have so much to look forward to - headaches, fatigue, body aches, nausea - all the classic withdrawal symptoms.  Not as severe as say detoxing from alcohol or drugs, but neither is it completely different.

I had to wait until my school spring break because I didn't think I could manage my schoolwork this week in the process of detox.  I wonder do drug addicts and alcoholics get "shit faced" the day before they enter rehab? Because I find myself making a point of final indulgences - Starbucks and donettes started my day. Why do I do that?

There is always an excuse NOT to do what I need to do.  My birthday is just a little over a week away.  Stupid time to start a diet, right?  No birthday cake?  No sweets for Easter?  And did I mention we are traveling out of town next weekend?  It's going to be so hard to watch what I eat on the road!

It is.  But I have decided that my birthday gift to myself is to try to get my act together one more time... and I know it will be hard, but anything worth doing is worth working at.  I'm starting detox on a Friday (1) because why one more weekend against me? And I am hoping that by the time we leave for our trip, my sugar cravings will be significantly better and I'm hoping it's enough time the worst of the detox side effects will have passed.

There is always an excuse or justification not to do the right thing.  Right now I am feeling the weight (literally) of doing exactly that over and over again.

I'm sharing here because once again I am trying to make myself accountable.  And because I don't think, in fact, I know, I am not alone in this ridiculous and difficult battle.  Maybe someone else will make a choice to take better care of themselves. And, honestly, I am a communicator and an outward processor - so here I am processing.

I pray God will get me to the place where the fruit of His Spirit will finally reflect Himself in this area of my life. I have always felt like there was a reason that Paul the apostle listed self-control last.  It's hard to get there.  But Lord, help me, I'm gonna try again.