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Saturday, January 28, 2017

#March4Life2017

     I wasn't able to go to the March For Life this year, but I was able to listen to the last few of the speeches while cutting sweet potatoes, which I then proceeded to not cook. Anyway, I liked a lot of what I heard, mostly. Maybe I don't fully understand the purpose behind the March. Maybe it's just supposed to be a show of numbers, of the people who oppose abortion in our country. Maybe it's not to make persuasive arguments as to why we are pro-life and anti-abortion. If that is the case, then my objection is no issue at all. However, if we are trying to change minds and hearts, then I think we should stop "God bless"ing everything, and stop "Jesus is Lord"ing, and stop praying for the conversion of specific people during our speeches. No, I don't want to erase God/Jesus from the March, but I have family, friends, and people I follow who identify much, much more with the reasons for the Women's March, and their hearts are not being swayed by the religious talk. Quite the opposite, actually. Our message is being drowned out by the insistence on bringing God, specifically the Judeo-Christian God, into everything. It's fine if you are able to say "Abortion is wrong, and I know it because the Bible/the Church/my Faith says so", but we need to remember not everyone has the benefit of the supernatural gift of Faith informing their life. To me, that is the part we are missing. We seem to assume that "Jesus talk" is the quickest and most powerful way of changing hearts, because we already see with the eyes of Faith, so it all makes sense to us. To someone without that grace? Badgering them about the right thing to do because God said so just causes them to stop listening. We need to focus more on the natural reasons why abortion is wrong, good scientific and philosophical reasons, and let God quietly do the rest. There is nothing we can do or say to change the mind and heart of someone who is not yet ready to accept our message, and it is all too easy to do or say something which hardens their heart more. If it is true that we are living in a post-Christian age, then our approach is going to have to change to reflect that, and appeals to matters of Faith will only become more and more irrelevant and useless. We need to meet them where they are, on the solely natural plane. Maybe then, will our message really be heard. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Four

     I wish I could say that life has been busy lately, but that wouldn't exactly be true. Not since my last post, anyway. I've mostly been lazy, and wasting time scrolling through new feeds, trying to regain a little bit of sanity at the end of my days. But, we all know that is actually counterproductive. Yet, I still do it. It's so hard not to; and, it turns out, we get little hits of dopamine, the feel good hormone, when we do it, so it is no wonder that this habit is so difficult to break. And goodness knows, I could do with mood boosts. 
     Anyway, Jose turned 4 in October. 4! Turns out 4 is when the realization of competition and being first happens. 2.5 is when "Why?" starts, and Juanito has been in that stage for a few months now. Though people say that 3 is the year of why. Maybe my kids are just a bit early. I don't know. Little Miss is attempting to climb on All. The. Things. and getting into All. The. Things. But overall, life hasn't been that bad. In fact, it has much greatly improved from where we were last. 
     While we're talking about four, Baby #4 is due to arrive at the end of May! We are about 14.5 weeks along, and, overall, this has been the easiest pregnancy so far. The depression hasn't really shown up much, outside of the typical emotional ups and downs of the first trimester. I have no pelvic pain, yet, and the veins are behaving too. The nausea hasn't been overwhelming, though it has been pretty constant. And, thankfully, the extreme fatigue has gone away. Also part of the reason I haven't been blogging. It's difficult to find time when you get up with the children, and proceed to go to bed pretty soon after they do. 
     I also have some ideas for future posts, and, once I figure out how, I'd like to set up a give away. I recently finished Jennifer Fulwiler's book "Something Other Than God", and it was the most inspiring book I have read in a while, and I have read quite a few. I guess that's all for now, I should go in search of food. The key to managing the nausea is to eat, except for when it makes it worse. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Remember Who The Enemy Is

     As Christians, our worldview boils down to God vs Satan, Good vs Evil (lack of goodness). But, I think, we lose sight of that, and that's the way the Devil likes it. He gains power by separating, sowing discord, dividing, cutting off. He worms his way into our lives in the form of comparison, self-doubt, critique. He destroys our ability to see other people as people like ourselves, delighting when we can only see the "other", the not like us part. He wins, when we no longer see him as our common enemy, but think the other person is instead. And we tear each other down, rip each other apart, in an attempt to build ourselves and our side up, and he laughs, because we can't see how it destroys us in the process. 
     I've been noticing a trend, lately, that focuses around building each other up. The Girls Gone Strong community, focusing on strengthening the whole person, and not just the body. The Momastery community, full of Love Warriors. Others, too many to name, looking to find common ground amidst the division being sown among us. Loudly proclaiming that the only way to end the cycle of violence is to project love and peace, starting with those closest to you. What's more, these are overwhelmingly secular voices. The Gospel is gaining ground, even though many in religious circles might beg to differ, and many non-believers as well. "Love your enemy. Do good to those who persecute you." (Matthew 5-ish, paraphrased). The hearts of the secular world are stirring; it is no wonder that unrest and violence are growing. Satan sees it, and he is afraid. Why do you think there is such confusion and discord amongst the Church? He is losing his grip on the secular world, so it makes sense that efforts against the Bride of Christ would be redoubled. 
     But what of us? What do we do, when it seems that our only recourse is to draw the line in the sand of us vs them, and stick to our guns? When it seems that the only sure way to win is by completely obliterating the other? Stop. Breathe. Pray. Remember that this "other" is not the real enemy - Satan is. This "other" is a person, just like you, who Satan is using as a weapon, a human sword as it were. In battle, the fight is never with the sword, though it may seem like it. Once the weapon is out of the enemies grasp, the good warrior ceases to fight it, for it no longer has the power to harm. Instead, efforts are focused on defeating the living enemy. Don't lose sight of who the real enemy is. The Devil is using God's Children to do his dirty work. People Christ poured out His Lifeblood for, who He loves with an infinite and intense Love. In everything that happens, don't forget that. These people are not the enemy - Satan is.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cancer Awareness and St. Baldrick's

     Late to the game, as usual. But sometimes continuing conversations are better than one-time things anyway. Cancer Survivors' Day is the first Sunday in June. And as far as I know, no one in my family who has had cancer has beaten it. My father's mother lost to breast cancer when he was a child; my mother's father lost to blood cancer when I was six; a cousin also lost to blood cancer when I was young; and most recently, my mother's mom to breast cancer in 2013. It's something that has been on my mind a bit lately, especially now that I've got kids. What are my chances of developing cancer? How much of it is genetic? How much is environmental? What can I do to lessen my family's chances? 

     Genetics are what they are; I can't change those. But I can choose to limit the use of things which studies are showing to be toxic to health, most especially in the areas of personal products and house hold cleaners. I can't control the world, but I can control what I allow into our home. I can also be proactive about checking my house for materials and substances that could have already been there before me. Asbestos, for example, was commonly used in homes before the 1970's and can cause a rare cancer called mesothelioma. Same goes for lead and radon - they are common in homes, so we must be proactive about getting rid of them. 


     My first switch was from conventional antiperspirant deodorant to a natural deodorant. It took a few, but I finally settled on THIS deodorant from Whiskey Ink & Lace (based in WA), in the woodsy lavender scent. It works best with my body, still smelling of lavender at the end of very muggy VA days spent at the park. While it seems there is no conclusive evidence that conventional antiperspirants are a cause of cancer, I still think it best to be safe, considering my family history. I also use their face creams, too. 
     For our other personal care products, we use Radiantly You, which is based out of NY. I have pretty much loved everything that I have tried from them. From shampoo, to body soap, to foaming hand soap, to booty balm for the kids, to an award winning counter spray, and fantastic multi-purpose tub scrub, Radiantly You has your basic needs covered! Though I personally found the laundry soap to be not quite what I need. I decided to try ECOS laundry soap, and it seems to be working alright, considering all I ever do is throw everything in together with out pre-treating anything, because I can never remember. I use ECOS Dishmate for hand washing (almond smells like amaretto), and 1 TBS RY tub scrub in the dishwasher, with a splash of RY bleach alternative as a pre-wash and white vinegar as a rinse aid. No streaks or cloudiness on the glasses, which is fantastic! 
     Prevention is helpful, but sometimes there is nothing one can do. With this in mind, I'm fundraising for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, which helps to fund children's cancer research. Please consider donating; even $5 would be huge to these kids! And yes, I am shaving my head. On Friday. 
One last info-graphic, because they are fun!