Wednesday, April 30, 2008
We've been in a bind the last few weeks. Shane's brother needed the truck he graciously lets us use almost as our own. This is only a problem on Tuesday and Wednesday each week when I need a car during the day/evening for work, kids' practices, and church. We've spent 3 weeks begging, borrowing, and stealing rides on those two days. Sometimes at night I would wake up and worry about how I'd get the girls to and from the places they needed to be. God provided, but it sure can be hard to ask for help!
Shane's been looking around for a car that gets great gas mileage for him to drive to work, freeing up my van for us while he's gone. Well, the car that became available instead wasn't exactly my type.
Shane's aunt has a Lincoln Towncar for sale. Now, there's nothing wrong with Towncars, but I associate them with grandmas. I'm trying to make a clear distinction in my life that I'm not a grandma-not even close :) So, I had a little attitude about it.
Then I read this blog entry and fell under great conviction that I'd wronged my husband and the Lord. You see, I'd told him to go ahead and get the car (for an amazing price, by the way) if he wanted to, even though he knew I wanted to stay with the fuel efficient car search. When he told me today that he'd decided to do it, I got angry. Pride has a way of bringing on anger.
Shane found a car that will fit all of us right now and will work in a pinch for most of us when the baby is here. If his mom and grandmother want to take the four girls somewhere, they can drive this car. It gives us a nice, second car. It isn't beat up, it runs well, has a/c, and is more than adequate. Yet I had to balk at his (and God's) provision.
How many other ways do we (I) turn our noses up in the air when God is giving provision? I really don't think I want to know. I know he's given me a blessing I'm struggling to accept...is that about pride, too? Probably. I'm so thankful that He continues to work in us, aren't you?
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Stainless steel bottles-sleek, in demand, and expensive ($15-$20 a pop!)
We still have a drawer of plastic sippy cups and sports bottles for when we go out to the ballpark or for the little ones. Hope & I started looking at numbers and we probably want to get rid of some or ours (darn!). I'd love to replace the sports cups and sippies with something better, but boy the stainless steel and aluminum (lined with something safe) are not cheap! I'm looking at glass but want a cover to prevent breakage...then I found these: (If you poke around on this site, you'll find more baby bottles, kids' sports bottles, and adult sized sports bottles.)Isn't this cool? It's an Evenflo glass bottle with a silicone cover. Kinda retro. My babies never liked these nipples though, they like the wide ones...
I wish we could have a "I've been married a long time shower" or a "my kids are older and very expensive now shower". I'd register for all kinds of weird things I can't afford!
Friday, April 18, 2008
*I'm thankful that it appears I'm heading out of my first trimester with much less nausea!
*I need a deep Spring cleaning at my house!
*I'm wanting to do a few things this Spring: Sew an apron, really learn our GPS for geocaching, figure out how to make Quick Books automatically update itself from my bank account, and do some major decluttering.
*The story about the guy in Ellis county who's body parts showed up floating in two different lakes freaks me out. Can you imagine swimming and a leg floats up beside you!? Reminds me of the guy they found in a barrel in our lake years ago-anyone remember that? We were kids....
*I'm reading Cheaper by the Dozen. Don't worry, it's not inspiring me!
*I'm pumped about a garage sale, fabric buying, pedicure trip I'm taking next week-whoo hoo!
*I'm really touched by my husband's new "job" as resident counselor at work. Several guys have come to him lately for advice/support and he has offered to pray with fellow officers and even an inmate who was struggling with religion recently. I love my Shane!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
I still like Scarborough Fair much more than Medieval Times. MT seems so touristy and fake. The tickets are more than twice the cost, too. Scarborough was much more real, with authentic craftsmen like potters and glass blowers. It did cost about the same as MT in the end though, because you have to pay to do many of the attractions. Granted, it's only a few dollars per ride or maze, but when you bring four kids with you, that adds up!
I love my Ergo (and my friend's Ergo, too-Beth rode in it a little) and I love my New Balance tennies. They make a great combination, but not even NB shoes can help when you carry a 20 lb child on your back all day!
We all had different activities that we named as our favorites, which shows there's something for everyone. One thing was for sure-all the girls want to come in costume next time-they're already planning for next year!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
My friend Jennifer (who's getting MARRIED!) is good pals with the shop owner. I feel like I know Gina, but I guess we won't officially meet until August. (Pondering...do you "know" a person if their picture was on your fridge for 6 months???) I'll report back after setting foot in her store while I'm there for the wedding...as if she needs my analysis of the shop, she's already been in a string of magazines, including In Style. Very cool. Go check it out...and my birthday's coming up, remember, so anything from her shop would be great :)
Friday, April 4, 2008
Well, it's what Bethany said before she quickly changed her mind to Ally. Poor baby, if she's a girl she might just get a name like French Fry, we're kind of low on girl names...
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Life begins at conception-this is when the DNA from the father and the mother mesh into one new set of DNA, one that is totally unique to the new life. Moments after conception, this DNA is fully intact. From this point on, growth occurs, but no other changes happen on the DNA level. Just after conception the following criteria to establish biological life are present:
reaction to stimuli and
Related to life beginning at conception, here is a link discussing the fact that the baby is autonomous of the mother from the very beginning.
Life begins at implantation-this misunderstanding, I feel, is perpetrated by our current medical system. Since the 1960s, In order to continue to market products like abortifacient birth control methods, pregnancyhas been redefined as starting at implantation. This means that any method used to keep a baby from attaching to the womb/nourishment (like the IUD and any hormonal birth control methods) can be allowed (with the new definition). It's a definition of convenience, but it's not based in truth.
In truth, the zygote's cells have been multiplying away while it travels down the fallopian tube. Once it reaches its destination, the uterus, it plugs in for nourishment. The act of implantation doesn't jolt it alive or make any other changes, its just allows for nourishment to be given to the growing, fertilized egg and it sends signals to the woman's body to stop menstruation. In my limited search today of informative links, I can't even find this point, so I'm wondering if it's been left behind as our technology has progressed...
Life begins when the embryo looks human-does this even justify an answer? Looks human? How scientific is that? A charred tree doesn't look like wood, yet in science class we all learned that fire brings a chemical change to the wood. It was still wood and is still wood, it's just burned wood. Looks mean nothing-what does the DNA say?
Life begins at viability-this is a subjective argument. Viability depends on our technology, which is always changing. We can't base something as important as when life begins on our ability to maintain that life outside the womb. Viability continues to inch up earlier and earlier, so does that mean that 20 years ago life began at a later stage than it does now, just because we couldn't sustain that life outside of the womb in 1988? No. Life has always begun at the same time, it doesn't depend on us.
Life begins at birth-this again is subjective because birth can occur at so many different gestational ages. Just because someone wants to justify abortion doesn't mean they can decide to stamp personhood on only those who are born. Tell a mother the child in her womb, whom she can already see has a personality, isn't yet a person. No scientific changes occur at birth that would make a child suddenly become a person.
Life begins after birth-Peter Singer believes personhood arrives sometime after birth-weeks afterwards. This is also philosophical argument, not scientific and therefore can not be taken seriously. If science backed it up, yes, it'd be worth discussion, but science clearly points to the other end of the spectrum (conception).
I've tried to not spiritualize this discussion, because while I fully believe in the truths of the Bible, not everyone does. However, science and scripture will not contradict each other, so we can depend on true science. Here is an excellent site that explains succinctly when life begins without using any religious reasoning. If you don't check out any other links on this post, check out this one.
And for the visual learners, here's a beautiful youtube video of fetal development. It's been said that if wombs were made of glass, there'd be no abortion. Consider this the glass womb.
This argument shows why abortion can't be justified, simply using logic, not scripture (many people don't care what scripture says):
S-Size: My husband is larger than me, that doesn't make him more of a person. Ash weighs about 60 lbs more than her 20 month old sister, but they both have value, neither has more than the other. An unborn child is much smaller than a toddler, but as illustrated above, value isn't assigned to people according to size.
L-Level of Development-Having a crop of kids give me great examples for this. Obviously, my oldest child has a higher skill levels than our toddler. That doesn't make the toddler less of a person, it just means the toddler must still mature and grow. A baby in the womb is less developed than a 6 month old, but level of development doesn't change personhood.
E-Environment-I am the same person if I am at work or at home. The same person if I'm on a plane or stepping off a plane. Environment does not change personhood. A baby's environment-either in the womb or just arrived from it, doesn't change its value.
D-Degree of Dependency. Many people try to say that because a baby is dependent on its mother, that's reason enough allow abortion. Are we not dependent on anything? I'm dependent on the electric company to bring me power, to Wal-Mart to offer the food I don't grow myself, I depend on my employer for a paycheck. Dependency doesn't make us not human or without value. Dependency is not a valid reason to allow abortion.
So, even though the mother may not have planned this pregnancy, we can't offer abortion as an option because the unborn does have value, worth, and deserves the same protection as all other humans.
The SLED test assumes that life begins at conception, but there are several other schools of thought out there, one even states that life/personhood begins when a child is much older, I believe 9 months old. I'll blog about this soon.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
In 1999, 27 year old Shane felt called to ministry, but he only knew it was NOT preaching. As the year went on, the Lord refined the calling to show Shane the ministry related to children. I was 23 years old and a few weeks from college graduation when I went on a Walk to Emmaus retreat in August of that year. At that retreat, God allowed me to meet Marianne, who was grieving the loss of her miscarried child. God touched her on that retreat and showed her he was holding that little baby. I was so moved and touched by that, but also so heartbroken for the women who had lost children through miscarriage or early infant death that I knew God wanted us to minister to those women.
I came home so excited that God had shown me more, then as the weeks went on and we prayed about it, God showed us the ministry was to be a PRC. Y'all, my Grandma volunteered for a PRC. I told God I didn't want to do my Grandma's ministry. Surprisingly, he really didn't care and we carried on.
God lovingly nurtured us and confirmed the calling right and left. We had planned to contact Andrea about the ministry, since we'd talked for some time with her about the need for a PRC in the area (and she was already doing the ministry out of her car, essentially). But before we could call her, she called us and told us the Lord showed her we were supposed to start the ministry. Our church offered a spiritual gifts class and we found out my gift was encouragement and on the list of good ministry fits for me was....a crisis center!
So, in the late fall, we started speaking in churches to get the word out about our plans. We spoke first in a little group that was meeting in a feed store, we were so new at this and nervous. A train went through and we couldn't even be heard, but the Lord worked; we gathered our first board member there.
Throughout 2000, Shane, Andrea, Brian and myself met 2-3 times a month to discuss the details and tasks to opening a non-profit. I still vividly remember sitting on our second hand couch (it was UGLY!) nervously dialing the IRS asking questions about the mile high non-profit status paperwork. Oh, and I was pregnant with Hope this year and Marianne was pregnant with Katie-a miracle.
We found a building, it actually belonged to the church that was meeting in the feed store. They allowed us to rent-to-own it for $500 a month. They also gave us $500 a month as a donation. We raised the money and by Thanksgiving and paid cash for the $100,000 building. Who but the Lord could do that?
We remodeled just a little, painted-Mr. T painted 150 miles of trim! We were given most of our furniture. Its really nice when rich people decide their 4 year old furniture is "worn out".
On April 2, 2001 just a few weeks shy of my 25th birthday, I went to work as the Director of the PRC on it's first day to be open. I wore khaki pants and a green and khaki button down short sleeved shirt--green for life, I told myself.
Before we opened, we had a Yellow Page ad and a phone in our pastor's office. Through this arrangement, Tina had contacted us. She was pregnant and the father of the baby was in jail. We helped her find a maternity home, which she agreed was better than her mother's idea to abort. Bobby got out of jail and Tina left the maternity home--where she'd found out she was having twins. She delivered on our opening day. We felt that was the Lord saying he was going to doubly bless our center.
And he has! When someone important has toured our building, like a consultant for PRCs or a national trainer, they always told us we had the space, funding, and ideas of a center 20 years old. We added sonography services two years ago, we bought a property across the street for expansion, we have 6 or 7 paid staff, and God has provided much financially. So much that this PRC has been able to help support another center in Bolivia.
I've not been involved in the day to day running of that center in several years (that's why it's going so well!), but Shane and I will always be involved with PRCs, on way or another. It's one of the most rewarding ministries out there!
Oh, and just for fun-the church that met in the feed store is now our church. And yesterday I officially met Jan, who's training to be a new sonographer with us. She said she remembered when we came to the feed store and shared our vision; she was there, but had never imagined she'd be at the center over 8 years later. God is good and can do big things! (Especially when he uses people too young to know better!).
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
A girl who says she's a Christian responded and said, "I don't believe in abortion, but I think it's important that we protect a woman's right to choose, since it is a free country."
This is such a problem statement. I think its common for some Christians to feel this way, but its dead wrong. It shows that our society has taken PP's rhetoric for truth: hook, line, and sinker.
Let's think about why this is wrong. Let's finish the sentence. "I think it's important to protect a woman's right to choose what?" Are we protecting her right to choose a Big Mac over a Cheeseburger? No, we're protecting her right to choose to abort, to end the life of a child.
Let's say we have a nice little clinic that specializes in "taking care of" our toddlers once they reach the terrible two stage. They're so much work at that age, no mother should be forced to take care of curtain climbing ankle biters. Of course, I wouldn't take my child there, but I don't want to impose on your right to do so.
Of course no one would put up with that, but it's the same thing!
If your child comes up behind you while you're washing dishes and says, "Mom, can I kill this?" Your question is, "What is it?" Well, even Dr. Seuss knows that a person's a person no matter how small. There is much at stake-we must know what we are aborting.
We'll look at this using the SLED test in the next few posts. SLED stands for Size, Level of Development, Environment and Dependency. I'll show you that life begins at conception and that the newly conceived life, the babe that's been in gestation for seven months, a five month old, and a three year old all have just as much value as my 31 year old life. I think you'll then see that it's not acceptable to look the other way in the name of freedom.