Posted in Faith, Hope, and Love, Family, Freedom, God, Hope, hypocrisy, lessons, life, life lessons, Love, marriage, Marriage and Family, mission, Neighbors, Obstacles, Pain, Passion, soul surgery, Spiritual disciplines, Transparency, Uncategorized, Vanity, Winning, Writing

In which the “gospel” sounds a lot like me…

I’ve been sitting on this post for about a month now for various reasons. I’d thought about writing it from the first conversation I had about the subject, but held off for a time. I was sick and in my first trimester, not a good combination for forming coherent, cohesive blog posts, if I’m honest. Then it took me a while to realize there was an overarching theme to various conversations I had over the month and I wanted to formulate a good, solid post connecting the dots. For myself and for my readers.

My first conversation was about marriage. My second about parenting. The third was about modesty. The fourth about homosexuality. And the fifth dealt with heaven, hell, and atheism.

Yeah. I know. Broad topics and really? I’m going to somehow find a connection between all of them?

That’s the beauty of the particular worldview I adhere to, rather imperfectly though hopefully on a solid growth curve. The one that says God is in charge, I am not, and if I want to see fulfillment and joy in this life and the next, it’s not MY will I want to be following. It’s His.

So I’m not going to go through EVERY specific conversation and it’s conclusion. That would take me too long. I’ll focus on two of them, because at the time, they hit me hardest and were the first two I managed to connect together.

Marriage. In the last two years, I’ve seen roughly half of my friends and a few family members end theirs in divorce. A couple of those friends hadn’t even signed the papers before they were already “choosing their own happiness” with another person. I’ve seen another solid number of them struggling to stay afloat in the midst of infidelity, pornography, depression, miscommunication (or the lack of it all together), dishonesty, and the worst one, apathy. I’ve been an active part of marriage mentoring and multiple conversations with couples I know who just want to throw in the towel and are looking for the first, “Biblical” excuse to do so. Marriage, when done on our own terms, ends in disaster as the world seems to prove more and more every year. The sad thing for me is that Christian marriages, where we have an even greater reason to thrive and find blessing and joy on our journey together, seem to struggle worse than the secular unions. We could blame it on the Devil and his desire to destroy anything God creates and calls beautiful, but we’d only be partially correct. In the end, Christian marriages crash and burn for the same reason the world’s version does. We make a mockery of the sacredness and symbolism of marriage (Christ and His Bride) when we choose to pursue our own happiness at the cost of all else. The world might have an excuse. Christ Followers don’t.

Modesty. I had a couple of these conversations with people I love and this is a difficult one. On the one hand, I talked to a fellow parent who is struggling with her almost adult daughter and the lack of modesty, even in her own home. Her own brother had to get up and walk away from the dinner table because her dress style is closer to hooker than wholesome. In her eyes, it’s her brother’s fault for looking in the first place. Men are perverted and disgusting pigs, and she should be free to wear what she wants, when she wants it. So how does she explain my six year old son who sees a pretty girl and gets a physical reaction that terrifies him and makes him think something’s wrong with him? Is he a perverted, disgusting pig because his body’s been biologically wired to respond to a sensual visual?

I talked  to another fellow mom who thinks more like that daughter does. Her own seven year old daughter is wearing bikinis and she thinks nothing of it. It’s for the guys to turn away from lust and sin. Confronting a girl for wearing less than modest clothing is considered shaming and degrading.

It’s getting more and more difficult for me to find appropriate clothing for my eight year (going on pre-teen) daughter. If it’s not midriffs, butt-baring shorts, and sexy little polka dot bikinis, it’s advertising for the latest fads and unrealistic body image expectations. I’ve contemplated making her clothes myself, but even patterns nowadays are either Puritan in nature, or would need some major modification for an 8 year old with a 12 year old body.

I remember those growing up years. Nothing fit and everything pretty and decent went to my sister who’s growing form seemed to fit the typical female body type. I’d end up with baggy overalls and too-big shirts because anything in my size wouldn’t accommodate the fast-developing lumps on my chest. It was frankly humiliating and led to years of self-esteem issues. The first time I wore a (modest) cleavage baring dress, I wilted with embarrassment and swore it would never happen again. But it didn’t matter really. Even in sweatshirts two sizes too big and cargo-style jeans, I still got wolf-whistles and dirty jokes. It doesn’t take much to imagine what’s under my clothing, because I’ve got a lot of it. I ate junk food to compensate, and filled out my belly too, thinking if I was fat all around, guys would stop looking. Of course, my health suffered and it took me years to lose the weight.

I still struggle to this day with the issue of modesty. I mean, is it really MY fault that guys look at my chest? Who cares if I wear a shirt that sells my assets rather than hides them? Where’s the middle ground? What IS modesty anyway?

Seeing a connection yet?

No?

Okay. Here it is.

The Christian life is about centering OUR lives around GOD’S good and perfect Will. The two greatest commandments: Love God and Love our Neighbor as ourselves prove this. It’s about surrendering OUR will and fully giving ourselves over to be used by and up for God. It’s about Christ filling us with HIMSELF so fully, that there’s no room anymore for our selfishness and our sin and our will. It’s about spending ourselves for the sake of Christ and His gospel and taking our eyes OFF of our own petty, human wants and desires.

The gospel I see played out in my life and the lives around me doesn’t look a bit like Christ, but it looks a hell of a lot like us.

Marriage is a symbol of Christ and His mystical union with us, His Bride. The Body of Christ joined with the Son of God to form a union so beautiful and so absolutely pure. Not on any merit of ours, but through the blood of Christ shed for us and covering us in HIS righteousness. It’s ALL His work. While we were His enemy, He offered us salvation and called us by HIS name. Made us in His image, but we are NOT God. Our marriages, if they are to reflect that beautiful, wonderful, terrible story, MUST include us dying to ourselves, daily, hourly, sometimes moment by moment.

Given this Truth, it should be in the moment of our greatest woundings (at our spouse’s all-too human hands) that we demonstrate best the agape love of Christ. If Christ can forgive us, who made ourselves His worst enemy by rejecting Him over and over again, is there ANYTHING we cannot forgive our spouse, who was created in the image of God and is a co-heir with us in His kingdom?

Does this negate the terrible wounds we can inflict on one another? By no means! Physical abuse, sexual infidelity, pornography, deceit…the list goes on. None of these are light offenses and sometimes DO require us to walk away (at least for a time) until God can get ahold of the wretched sinner and change him or her. Many of these issues require counseling and mentors who can walk alongside and pray for and with you as you struggle to love and honor and remain faithful to the vows you made before God. My husband and I went to a godly counselor in our first couple years of marriage because of sin issues that we both struggled with and it was the BEST thing that could have happened to us. There is NO shame in bringing sin to light and letting others walk with you through the journey. The shame is when you hide it or hope you can deal with it on your own…or in the worst case scenario, you just give up and walk away.

What kind of a God do we represent when His first human institution, marriage, becomes a joke. What are we telling our children when we file for divorce and break up our family because we’re no longer happy or we’ve fallen out of love or our spouse has done something unforgiveable? Aren’t we telling them that God drops THEM like a rock when they make Him unhappy or when they commit what they believe is an unforgiveable offense? Do we not demonstrate that God gives up on us when we screw up and are all too human?

The hardest lie I see nowadays is when someone tells me they prayed and feel like God is releasing them from their marriage vows. Really? The God who HATES divorce told you that you’re an exception to the rule? I’ve seen friends reach ROCK BOTTOM in their marriage with NO HOPE left that their spouse will EVER repent and turn back to God. They broke their hearts weeping and praying for reconciliation, sometimes for YEARS. And their faithfulness was rewarded at long last when their spouse finally came back. Did that make all those terrible months or years go away? No. Did they have to build up trust again and fight to love the person who wounded them so bitterly? Of course. But they also found out what exactly Christ meant by the mystical union, because through Him, they found restoration and redemption in a situation that the world (and many “Christians) would have written off as hopeless, unresolvable.

Who’s Will is being done here on earth as it is in Heaven?

Modesty has the same roots, although it might not seem that way on the surface. I mean, really. Who are we hurting by wearing sexy clothes and dressing to please ourselves? And there’s such a wide range of definitions when it comes to modesty, right? This culture is open for interpretation, so we should have the freedom to express ourselves and find our own happiness, regardless of what the opposite sex thinks or how they act.

Love God and Love Others. I don’t see that in our culture today regarding modesty, marriage, or anything else, to be honest. And Christians are just as bad as the world on this issue. Because it doesn’t REALLY come down to what we’re wearing on the outside. Or how unhappy we are in our marriages. Those are surface symptoms of a deeper, and far more dangerous, root issue.

What I see more and more is us saying to God, “Not YOUR Will, but MINE be done.”

Instead of raising our daughters to clothe themselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, meekness, patience, and love, we teach them to sell themselves under the guise of “confidence” and “happiness”. Instead of teaching them to be shield-bearers  and warrior maidens for the men in our lives, we teach them to wear the cloak of victimhood and blame the other gender for lack of “equality” and for what we like to call the “rape culture.” We dress to please ourselves and whore our bodies in order to feel beautiful, desired, strong.

Instead of teaching our sons to use the gifts and desires God gives them for the good of others, to bear the Sword of Truth, to defend the weak and powerless, to look after the oppressed, and to stand in the gap for the widows and orphans, we emasculate them. We tell them their biology and make-up is wrong and perverted. We shame them for their natural reactions to the beautiful and pure things in this life and tell them it’s their fault when they can’t take their eyes off the assets we’re so “generously” displaying.

Where is the Gospel of Christ in these and other issues? Where is the dying to self and seeking the good in and for others? Where is the taking up our cross and following after Christ? Where is the sharing in His suffering and the suffering of His people? Where is the Radical Generosity that pours ourselves out until we have NOTHING left to give and then continues to pour out long after that?

When do we FINALLY lay down our own lives at the foot of the Cross and say, “Not MY will, but THINE, Lord Jesus?”

NotMyWill.jpg

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Posted in discipline, Finances, Healing, hypocrisy, Impossible, laziness, lessons, life lessons, Obstacles, Pain, Possibilities, Random, soul surgery, Tattered and Mended, Telling Stories, Transparency, Uncategorized, Whining, Winning, Writing

In which I realize I play the victim well…

It’s insidious, dangerous, and damning.

Most of the time I don’t realize it and when I do, the cycle tends to repeat itself because I find myself blaming its presence on my circumstances, my events, my past…

Playing the victim is EXTREMELY easy for me. I do it well.

Doesn’t mean I WEAR it well. It’s NOT a pretty look on anyone. It’s ugly, it’s petty, and frankly, most of us, if not ALL of us have worn it at least once in our lives. Human nature. From the Garden in Genesis when God asked man where he was and man (woman and serpent as well) replied with the victim card.

Because that’s really all it is in the end, right? A place to hide, a shroud to mask us, a blanket to cover up the truth that would stare us in the face otherwise.

The truth?

We’re NOT the victims. We’re the perpetrators of the crime.

I’ll give you a GREAT example in the interest of transparency.

My college years were spent in financial disarray. I had a part time job that paid JUST about the minimum wage, and that job changed rapidly for various reasons. I attended school full time, taking out loans because my grades slipped to the point that grants were no longer options. I depended largely on the kindness of friends to feed me anything close to three square meals and at one point, I subsisted on rice and cheese. My rent, utilities, and other sundry bills were often late and I rarely had money for gas, which meant the bus lines and walking were my sources of transportation. I lost a ton of weight, about the only bright side to the whole screwy situation.

I spent evenings working my crappy jobs, late nights poring over textbooks (or writing BS papers on a procrastinator’s schedule), mornings attending classes with my eyes half shut, and afternoons in clinicals. At least, that was what I told myself I was doing.

It’s funny looking back on the situation I used to lament loudly to anyone who would hear, my perspective has changed and brought with it a lot of regret and shame.

Because in spite of my cries to the contrary, I did not give my absolute best during that period of my life. If I had, I guarantee you, I would have been working two steady jobs, studying my ass off, and graduating with High Honors and a whole lot less debt.

As it was, I still managed a social life, high-priced frou-frou coffees from Starbucks, and frequent restaurant visits. All while “mourning” my financial distress, my family dysfunction, and my dropping grades as if had absolutely NO idea why I was failing so spectacularly.

All while my bills went unpaid, my friends pitied my poor starving college self, and my grades dropped like a rock.

I graduated with the BARE minimum passing score and that, only due to the mercy of my adviser, who felt my pitiable situation to be the reason for my lack of excellence in my work. I’m not certain I should be thanking her for that.

It’s a pity I actually managed to pass my boards and with flying colors. In reality, all that tells me is that I can take a multiple choice test.

The best part of this whole story is that I look on it now without wearing my victim’s shroud and I can see myself for exactly what I was then, and in this present time.

I was and am the decider of my own destiny. I decided back then that I would not thrive and so I didn’t. I decided that I would fail and so I did.

Of course, the whole time I was deciding this, I was vehemently denying that decision and whining about why my life seemed so painfully, awfully bent on mediocrity.

It’s a wonder ANYONE liked me at that time of my life. Looking back, I can’t say I really like who I was when it’s all said and done. Who I oftentimes still try to be.

I ended my college career with the distinct feeling that I’d wasted five whole years of my life (actually six given the gap year I took to TRY to get my debt under control). I still wonder what might have happened had I chosen wisely and refused to be the victim in my trumped up scenario.

I still struggle with making the wise choice even today. It is SO difficult to acknowledge my position in my own story. I’m either the villain or the hero, but I have NEVER been, nor will I EVER be, the victim. I have to stop telling myself that role is even available for me to fill. Because that particular role has NEVER been part of the story. Not for me or anyone else.

You are either the villain or the hero. You don’t get to play the victim in spite of your best efforts to try.

EVERY decision you make WILL make you the villain or the hero in your story.

So which is it?

 

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Posted in BeachBody, benefits of exercise, child, Dinner Time Entertainment, discipline, exercise, Family, Home, Humor, hypocrisy, Joy, laziness, lessons, life, life lessons, Love, Marriage and Family, Passion, Random, spiritual training, Telling Stories, Train Up A Child, Uncategorized, Whining, Winning, Writing

In which I enjoy a little humor and late night exercise…

My son tells GREAT stories. He makes them up off the top of his head and just spills it out. If there’s a slight change in the plot and we call him on it, he has an answer that makes a strange, logical sort of sense in the context of the story.

AND, he tells the whole thing in this sweet little lispy voice that makes you just want to squeeze him, it’s so cute. I’m going to miss that a few years from now when puberty hits.

So this story. It’s about a cotton candy woman and soon becomes a candyland, sugar infused tale that makes your teeth hurt just listening to it. And the finale is a gigantic explosion that takes off the roof of the cotton candy house and places ALL of the candy in Candy Land into little boxes to sell in a a candy shop.

That is the nutshell version. The real one took about twenty minutes long and wound its way around like the actual Candyland board game. We got stuck in the Molasses Swamp and a slight detour in Licorice Castle, but eventually Princess Lolly (or was it Gramma Nutt) found their way to KIng Candy’s castle. (Via the aforementioned rooftop explosion)

Needless to say, dinner time at our house is ALWAYS entertaining.

However, we had started late because Jake got home from work late. Which meant our workout got put off until after the kids were in bed late. So we didn’t do our workout until about ten o’clock last night.

GROAN…

When I don’t want to do something, for whatever reason, I resort to a two year old throwing a very silent temper tantrum. I grump and sit down like a stubborn a…donkey and refuse to do whatever it is I don’t want to do. The harder someone pushes me, the more stubborn I get.

My husband is devious. He’s learned this secret of mine and has decided to use it against me. Because the only thing that will get me off my butt is when I’m left alone.  Like a kid who doesn’t whine and complain at children’s church UNTIL his mom is in eyesight again and suddenly the whole HOUR and a HALF she was gone is the ULTIMATE BETRAYAL and MUST GET ATTENTION NOW!

That’s me. Only the adultier version…

So when silence happened after my stubborn refusal to move, I got curious and decided to find out why his attention wasn’t on me anymore.

When I found him, I asked him why we weren’t working out and what on earth was he doing ignoring me like this? (I’m paraphrasing here)

His devious, evil plot worked because the next thing I know I’m grumping my way through a 35 minute workout and wondering why I was grumping anyway.

I KNOW what’s good for me. I KNOW the best thing for me. Most kids do too when they take the time to really think about it. But our stubborn natures don’t want us to admit it. EVER.

Moral of the story: If you’re going to listen to a LONG, sugar-laden story at the dinner table when you have to exercise that evening, start dinner before seven.

Candyland_Game_Board

Posted in Abundance, and Love, Celebration, discipline, faith, Family, Free Fall, God, Gratitude, Hope, hypocrisy, Joy, lessons, life, life lessons, Love, marriage, Marriage and Family, Pain, soul surgery, spiritual training

In which my desire is for my husband…

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I’ve read that part in Genesis so many times, the page is marked and torn. You know the part.

To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”

It’s Genesis 3:16 by the way. In case anyone else wants to rub the page thin, trying to figure it out.

I’m no Bible scholar. I have passages memorized from days long past when my parents lovingly and rightly drilled them into my rebellious brain. I get a kick out of the fact that sometimes in the middle of a Sunday sermon, I will find myself whispering the words just one step ahead of the Pastor and my husband’s eyes glow with pride.

“You are amazing, you know that? To have all that knowledge in your head and to recall it so easily.”

Which is high praise when you consider it’s coming from a man who once (and still) suffers from a traumatic brain injury. I think it a source of pride for myself as well, especially when he recognizes it. I’m not saying it’s healthy for me to be proud of my accomplishment in this area. Just that, considering the topic of this post, it’s a kind of irony.

This Christmas, I came face to face with my pride (and this verse in Genesis). I strongly desire my husband’s approval and attention. So strongly, that it colors my own actions or feelings toward him.

I finally get it. The punishment Eve faced was even more insidious and cruel than I first believed and I wanted to be angry at both men and God in the moment the revelation hit me. In the end, though I struggle with wanting to hold on to my own self-righteousness, I place the blame where it belongs. On Eve’s head. And boy, does that admission hurt.

See, I always questioned why Eve would desire the very person who had, in her greatest hour of need, failed her magnificently. Why on earth would she desire him and how could he rule over her when he couldn’t even keep her from taking the fruit of the tree?

Then it hit me. Because I was always thinking the curse actually hurt Adam more than Eve (minus the childbirth part). But I was focusing on Adam. Eve would struggle (women would struggle) for the entirety of their married life with a desire for their husband that often overwhelms their desire for and service to God. It wasn’t so much that Adam would rule over her.

It was that, his action or inaction, words or lack of words, could make or break her. This was not how God designed marriage obviously. He designed it to be a reflection, a shining example of His love for His bride and her submission to Him.  And how could that be when everything in her cried out for her earthly husband’s approval and affirmation? How could she possibly seek after God with her whole heart, when her heart could break over the simplest misstep her husband made.

If he chose passivity, she would struggle over insecurities long buried. If he chose inaction, she would question what she’d done wrong and whether he still loved her.

In the end, her focus, her desire, could very well pull her away from the one thing she needed most. Her heavenly groom’s unconditional and unwavering love.

I gave in to that this Christmas. I focused so hard on my desire for my husband, that I missed my Husband’s joy and affirmation. I focused so hard on my (his) lack, that I missed out on the overflow of His abundance.

I admitted all this to my poor husband, realizing that I’m still not over it. I’m still struggling through it, but I’m aware of my struggle now. And I  pray that I can accept and take joy in where my desire should be focused.

Because I may come to a day when my husband can’t give me the desires of my heart. Not that he won’t, but that through no fault of his own (whether through death or disability or illness–temporary or permanent) he will not be able to be what I need. So I need to stop expecting that now and focus on the joy and gratitude when he does meet a need–focus on it in the right context.

As a part of the overflow of a good and abundant God. Not through any ability or talent of my husband’s, but through the blessing of a God who longs so much to give His children–His bride–good things. Who wants our eyes on His abundance, not on our own lack.

Posted in child, discipline, Family, grief, hypocrisy, Pain, soul surgery

I screwed up.

Royally.

Not just a little bit. Not just a quick mistake that I can fix with a smile and a hug.

At this point, I don’t even know if I’m sorry will cut it.

I just wounded my children’s hearts with angry words and a raised voice. I dealt with their disobedience with not a shred of self-control or love on my part.

I hate that this part of me even exists. The worst of it is that at this point, I don’t even want to apologize.

I’m tired of apologizing. I’m tired of losing it with them and having to make it right. I’m the parent–the adult. I should be the grown up one, the mature one who doesn’t need to make things right because I am making the right choice in the first place.

I promised myself when I got married and started a family with my husband, that I would not EVER be like my father. Quick-tempered and prone to angry outbursts with very little restraint or self-control. I promised I would approach my children with love and patience, with a forgiving heart and would never raise hand or voice against them in anger. I promised they would never see that ugly side of myself that I’d inherited from a lifetime of living with an angry man.

Now,  after tonight and a broken promise–again–I cannot even blame my father for my actions. It was all me. My ugliness. My anger. My unforgiving heart.

My choice.

How do I make that right? Does sorry even work when I’ve bruised their hearts and shown them so much ugliness? When I’ve given them every reason to make this same choice someday with their own children?

Oh God, please. I promised. I’ve even thought at times that I put that ugliness behind me with your help. Why let my kids suffer because of MY sin? My anger?

I’m exhausted. I’m sick. I feel alone and lost and foggy. I know a lot of it is pregnancy stuff wreaking havoc on my body, but I cannot excuse the hurt I caused two precious–and broken–little hearts.

How can I say that I love them? How can I proudly bear the name of mother when nothing I did tonight was with a mother’s heart? I failed whatever test You put in front of me and there was nothing magnificent or good about it. It’s not something I’ll forget and move on from. Every time I see their eyes, I’ll know. I stole a little bit of their precious innocence with my harsh words and actions tonight and I’m afraid it won’t be the last time.

They might be young enough to forget most of the details of this night. I won’t. And something will stick in their spirits, a little extra fear, a timidity that was not there before.

It’s all well and good for me to read parenting books and go through the nightly routine of a Bible story and prayer. I can DO all the right things to learn how to be a parent.

Tonight tells me I’m not learning a whole lot of anything.

My husband and I both prayed for us to make it through this pregnancy whole and drawn closer as a family. That God would give grace to us and peace in the home in spite of my weaknesses and limitations.

Sometimes, I wonder why I even thought bringing three children in to the world was a good idea. Or rather, I wonder why I would ever want any child to endure me as a mother.

And we can go through the whole, “kids are forgiving and resilient” and “they’ll survive and be stronger for our weaknesses and failings.”

I can’t tell myself that when my daughter is sobbing her heart out and my son is crying alone in his room while I try to find the courage to walk over to them and begin the process of healing.

I’m not even sure I’ll heal from this pain. Why should I expect them to?

Posted in faith, Faith, Hope, and Love, Family, Free Fall, God, grief, hypocrisy, Joy, lessons, life, life and death, life lessons, Love, soul surgery

In which I reflect on judgment and vindication…

Psalm 82

New International Version (NIV)

A psalm of Asaph.

God presides in the great assembly;
he renders judgment among the “gods”:

“How long will you defend the unjust
and show partiality to the wicked?
Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

“The ‘gods’ know nothing, they understand nothing.
They walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

“I said, ‘You are “gods”;
you are all sons of the Most High.’
But you will die like mere mortals;
you will fall like every other ruler.”

Rise up, O God, judge the earth,
for all the nations are your inheritance.

I went to the scriptures for comfort tonight after a disturbing talk with someone I love. The pain radiating from her voice at the situation she was thrust into breaks my heart and I don’t know what words to say to comfort or encourage her. I’m having a difficult enough time not shouting to the heavens for fire and brimstone on the ones who hurt her in the first place. Then I remember that I shouldn’t take up an offense for another. God alone is responsible for judging others.

What I can do is pray and cry and forgive.

Oh how easy that might be if I were not so very human.

I’ve learned through some VERY difficult lessons in life, that the human race cannot be trusted–myself included in this judgment. We are vindictive, sinful, base creatures with selfish motives and not a kind bone in our body. But for the Grace of God, we are all condemned to death because of the choices we willingly and willfully make day in and day out. I am again stating that I count myself among the worst of the human race. Deceit, pride, unforgiveness, slander, (did I mention pride) flows in our blood as swiftly as the disease and devastation that has destroyed God’s world–all because we “knew better” than God. What a joke. We just condemned ourselves to eternal separation from the one being who loved us enough to bridge that gap with His own pure blood.

So when I reflect on my human tendency to want to rip another human being to shreds for the pain they’ve caused, I might as well finish the job with my own hardened flesh.

Besides, God doesn’t need me to defend Him or His all-seeing, sovereign plan. He works EVERYTHING out for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. We just like to attempt to screw it up with our own pigheadedness and selfish ambition. Whatever gets us our own way, right?

I shudder for those who walk so far from God’s will. Nothing I ever did on this earth could come close to standing before an All Mighty God someday and having to give an account for our choices here on earth. I’m not a huge fan of fire and brimstone preachers, but I can honestly appreciate their fears that we as a human race have lost our fear of the All Mighty God.

We treat Him as a salve or a quick fix. We act like He’s this miracle worker or someone who answers to our whims just because we asked. We pretend that He’s our best bud and that we DESERVE the time of day He’s giving us.

I shudder at the thought of standing before God someday and having to explain to Him exactly why I treated Him more like a bobble-head on my dashboard than the All Mighty Creator of the universe. Somehow I don’t think He’s going to accept that I just didn’t know any better.

Deep in my gut, I KNOW and I shudder.

I also rejoice, because I know that He is ever merciful and forgives so much–His Grace is sufficient in our weaknesses and His strength and love covers a multitude of wrongs.

Praise be to God because this wretched sinner has a whole lot of wrongs to be covered. (No, not hidden–covered by His sacrificial blood)

As angry and pained as I am tonight, I know that God is asking me to forgive and show grace as He has so often shown me. Tonight, I have to ask Him to forgive them for me.

Tomorrow, I might have to ask the same thing…

Someday, I pray that His forgiveness would be mine as well.

Posted in abomination, abortion, child, grief, hypocrisy, life and death, sanctity

In which I shed tears and tell hypocrisy to go to hell

January 22, 1973
The nation waited with bated breath, to discover the Supreme Court’s decision on one of the most stunning cases in the history of the United States.

Up until that era, the question of human life and its sanctity was rarely debated. I’m not saying it wasn’t taken for granted or abused or destroyed. The taking of another human life is as old as Cain and Abel. Abortions have been taking place for thousands of years and the methods used have been varied. Anything from poisonous plants to forceps to salting the womb to a myriad other absolutely abominable practices have been utilized.[1]

It’s nothing new.

Laws were created to prevent abortions and to allow them.[2] Both sides had legal arguments regarding the right to a woman’s life, the child’s life, health, exceptional cases of incest and rape, etc. The point is, abortion is not a modern concept and it’s been fought against and defended on all continents since the fall of man.

It’s ironic, you know. One of the very first acts of Creation involved breathing life into a human being. The very name ‘creation’ invokes visions of Life. Even the fictional Dr. Frankenstein creating his monster claimed that he’d given life to the mass of organic matter on his operating table.

At 8 weeks after conception, the tiny little being in utero has a heartbeat. I know. I’ve seen those four chambers pump at 150 beats a minute, two different times in my womb as I watched the ultrasound screen to confirm that yes, I was really with child. I find the complexity and wonder of conception so completely mind-boggling and so absolutely amazing. Two human beings come together and in the middle of sin and death and hell’s curse, they create something so pure and so innocent—so untouched by corruption and decay. Until they leave the womb, there is no active dying process—it’s ALL life.

And by God’s amazing, creative grace, my own body—already in a slow, invisible dying process—is able to sustain and nurture that life.

Today is January 22, 2013. It’s been forty years, since a single, pregnant woman sued the state of Texas for its strict laws concerning abortion. Up until then, most states had treated most active forms of abortion as murder or at the least, a felony.[3] Able to be prosecuted by the law. In MOST of the country’s minds, abortion was the taking of an innocent life, and it was a crime. Same as murdering a child of three or a geriatric adult. It didn’t matter that the infant in utero could not, in some stages, survive outside of its mother’s protective womb. It was still murder.

I could go into all the inconsistencies of the case. How the pregnant woman had two children prior to this third pregnancy, how she claimed she’d been raped in order to get a doctor’s orders for a hospital or ‘safe’ legal abortion, how she eventually rescinded that claim, stating she’d lied about the rape. How she gave birth to the child anyway, but the Supreme Court still ruled in her favor. How she gave up that child to be adopted on the advice of the local attorney assisting her and THEN continued to press the charges.

The point though, is that in 1973, this country’s highest court decided that the woman’s right to her own body were more important than the child’s right to life. Not only did that decision spit in the face of the Declaration of Independence, (ALL men are created equal…endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights…LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness[4]) but it spit on the Creator’s face as well by declaring HIS creation to be unworthy of life.

I have to ask a question. Why do we mourn those victims of school massacres and terrorist attacks and wars? Why do we grieve when loved ones perish in accidents or nature’s fury or viral epidemics? What’s the point of grieving for ANY loss of life—natural OR unnatural—if we don’t even believe LIFE and the Creation of Life is sacred?

Today, the President lauded Roe v Wade while pussyfooting around with words like ‘minimize the need for abortions’ and ‘support maternal and child health’ and ‘reduce unintended pregnancies.’ Just like he does any other controversial topic. A whole lot of rhetoric and kissing up to the masses and I bet his speechwriters had a field day with it.

I agree with ONE thing he said in that speech…that the government shouldn’t be involved in the private affairs and rights of its citizens. (Which is another topic around the subject of hypocrisy…but I won’t go there because it makes me too angry to logically and rationally discuss it on this blog)
The government DOESN’T have the right to interfere with whether or not abortions can be done. That is the decision of each individual. It’s also our individual decision whether or not we want to pull the trigger on another person. What the government DOES have a duty to do, is protect the rights of EVERY last human life under its care. That’s why, the moment a finger pulls a trigger to end another life, the moment that life bleeds out on the floor, the law has the responsibility to make that murderer pay. (I am not talking about gun accidents or cases where the death was not intentional or planned…whole other ball of wax, though the killer SHOULD still make restitution in some way, shape, or form) Restitution is a Biblical and it is a Constitutional principle.

So who makes restitution for the unborn? Who is paying the price for the unborn child murdered in ways that Hitler and his Third Reich were punished for in the Nuremberg Trials? (They called it experiments, most life-supporting humans call it torture and murder)

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in the power of forgiveness and the healing power of God’s grace covering all of our sins. I believe that the doctors and nurses who perform abortions CAN be forgiven. I believe the mothers who abort their babies CAN be forgiven. I am not callous and unforgiving. They are human beings too. I am a human being who sins daily.

I also know I don’t want to keep on sinning.

Unborn does NOT mean Not Human. Those phrases are not synonymous and we have enough technology to even SEE that now. The settlers called that proof of life ‘quickening.’ That happened right around the time the baby’s heart beats for the first time. We don’t even need THAT proof though. We argue that it’s just a bunch of cells, that until birth, it’s not really a human being. My daughter, my son, were human the moment conception began. Every last strand of DNA, every last programmed attribute and genetic puzzle piece was known by the Creator even BEFORE conception.[5] At the moment of conception, He breathed LIFE into that new human being.
So Mr. President and others who celebrate this Roe v Wade ruling as some major achievement in human history, I say this:

You are no better than those who stood by and allowed Hitler, Lenin, Mussolini, and the hundreds of other mass murders to commit those wretched crimes. You do not value human life, or you would value it at ALL stages of its development. You weep over the school massacres and you use your politics and power to wield the killings like a weapon against your opposition. You mourn for those victims of terrorist attacks and use them to start your own personal wars. You wax poetic about the sanctity of human life, the evils of slavery, the horrors of war (or your speechwriters do).
Then you praise the achievements of a base and evil court of law who has accepted and ALLOWED the mass murder of nearly 56,000,000 human lives in the last forty years.

Don’t you DARE tell me that you value the sanctity of and right to life. Don’t you DARE tell me that THOSE innocent lives didn’t count. Don’t you DARE tell me that you are mourning the loss of LIFE in the tragedies that have occurred around our nation.

You “mourn” THOSE innocents.

Who is mourning the 56,000,000 innocents who have lost THEIR lives at the cruel and callous hands of others?

I cannot even begin to shed that many tears, but I will spend the rest of my life trying.

I will mourn them.