Friday, January 21, 2011


My darling little baby turns one on the 23rd of January. He was due on the 22nd but missed it by 38 minutes. I so wanted him to be born on his due date. January 22nd is the anniversary of Roe v Wade, when the court decided 38 years ago to exclude the unborn in the constitutional right to life through the horrific act of abortion. I have a passion for the pro-life cause. I wish everyone could put themselves in the tiny feet of an unborn baby and watch and feel what they have to go through in an abortion procedure. How different our world would be! Instead we leave it to our imagination. I suspect that these images must be blocked from those that call themselves pro-choice.
When I was a teenager, I was almost radical about the pro-life cause. If I caught even a hint that someone wasn't 100% pro-life, I was on him or her like white on rice. You could not stop me from talking and I'm ashamed to admit it but I lacked compassion in these "talks" too. I have since matured, thank God! Years ago, I volunteered at the pro-life booth at the Santa Calagon in Independence. I had done that every labor day for several years. Each year was the same. People would politely see what our booth was about, thank us, buy a shirt or a bumper sticker, maybe drop a dollar in our donation jar. Then as the day began to grow darker, the number of guests stayed the same but fewer people came to our booth for a visit. As it got darker, our supporters were gone and the pro-choicers were running rampant. People would yell and criticize us. How ironic that this always happened in the dark. It reminded me about all the Bible stories I read  when evil took over the story. It was almost always in the night. Out of the blue, in the darkness, a girl walked up to our booth and looked around slowly. Her eyes locked on our plastic babies that represented  what a baby looked like at that stage of development. I didn't know what to say. It was dark, the supporters have seemed to be home and tucked away in bed, so, who was she? Is she about to throw one of these babies at me? Is she going to start yelling? Crying? So I said the only thing that I could think of....get ready...."Hi". She looked at me and said, "I'm scheduled to have an abortion on Wednesday." I didn't know what to say. I was shocked. Here I am working this pro-life booth and it never occurred to me that I could be faced with this. I'm glad that I was struck speechless because it gave me the chance to look into her eyes. She wasn't there to debate me. She had such deep sadness in her eyes. It was the kind of sadness you would see in someone who just ran over a child in their car. The.."What have I done??" look, even though she had done nothing yet. It was scheduled and her baby was as good as dead. With my mother standing right next to me as cool and calm as she was, she listened to me tell the girl my story. Yes, this goody-goody, unmarried girl with her chastity bumper sticker got pregnant at 20. I told her where I went for help (Birthright) and how they compassionately helped me through this ordeal, even ready to help me find a home with a loving 2 parent family for my baby.  I had a stack of resources stapled together with "Do Not Remove From Booth" written on the front cover. Trying to hide the shaking of my hand and arm, I handed her the whole packet. I wanted to cry for this girl. I was so numb. I saw a glimmer of hope in her eyes as I told her my story. I do not know her story though. I do not know if she ever kept her appointment. I will probably never know. The look on her face is forever sketched in my mind. I am not praying outside of abortion clinics just for the life of the unborn babies that go in there but for the mom's that walk in suffering the way this girl was.
Now, my little man turns one today. I have taken advantage of every day with him. I love feeling seasoned with mommyhood. I can love on my baby without the weight of worry or stress that new mom's have. I nurse him like he could be my last, rubbing his hair and caressing his cheek and picking the  wax out of his ear:) I love every single diaper change so much that I can't wait for the next one....unless its a disposable diaper. Then I just grumble that it cost 13 cents and  leave it on him until I get all 13 cents worth of it.  Nothing in my life is more efficient then how I wash and care for the diapers. My life would be totally complete with just me and my gets even better! I have 7 other children that I get to love and reminisce of their baby days. I have 8 times as many baby stories! I want to talk people into valuing life but I believe my best hope for this is through my example. I have not met one pro-choice person since my teenage years. Sounds weird right? There are so many but I can't point to anyone I know and say that they are pro-choice. Why is that? They must be out there. I hope it is because when people see me, it sits right there on my hip and they can see it in my eyes and in my life that this person values life of all sizes.
                                                 My baby Matthew with big sister Josie

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Facebook Defense

Facebook is such a hot topic. There are those who love and spend way too much time it (me). Then there are others that think it is the work of the devil (my darling hubby). I think the reservation people have is a direct result of what they see on TV and the news. Facebook has caused so many problems! It can cost people their jobs. It is a near occasion of  sinful lustful thoughts in our young boys and a temptation for girls to ignorantly satisfy those desires.  People will gossip to a wider audience. Relationships crumble, as people are more apt to speak their mind behind a computer screen.  It can leak sensitive information to the enemy in the time of war...(I'm married to an officer...I had to add this to make him happy).  Yes, Facebook can be a serious vice for some. BUT, it can be used for a greater good as well. It can be used to glorify God if used properly.
I opened my Facebook account about 2 years ago. (Geez, it seems like so much longer!) My son, Nick, had opened up an account and was asking me questions on how to do it. I panicked and ran straight to my computer to ask my trusted homeschool loop what their opinion was. To my surprise, most everyone was in favor and they were all on the same page about monitoring it. So, thats what I did. I opened my account for the soul purpose of spying on my son.  And boy do I spy! There should be some kind of award for how well and frequently I spy.  If Obama can get a Nobel Peace Prize for just having some warm and fuzzy feelings, there should be something for me!  This is where I begin my defense of Facebook.
1. My kids can see the real love for God their friends have that isn't talked about when they are together playing video games, sledding or watching a movie.  
2. I can answer all the questions I get from the friend to the stranger, "How do you do it?...How can you afford it?...Don't you go crazy?...Do you get any free time?...etc. etc. etc.!
3. My acquaintances are now my friends. I'm talking to more people in the vestibule at my church now
4. Farmville (There will be a Farmville blog soon!)
5. I can see the hurt that some people go through and be there for them....especially the teens
6. I can promote my causes (Prolife, Conservative candidate, Boy Scouts, Theology of the Body, chastity talks, etc.)
7. My neighbors don't have to think I'm just an old woman in a shoe. I actually have a life that I enjoy and that is worth reading about.
8. It has opened discussions with Nick about what is appropriate and what isn't. (Don't complain about your boss on your status!)
9. My kids have priests and brothers on their friends lists and have developed closer relationships with them. (No nuns yet. Guess their too busy for Facebook:)
10. We grow closer to our faith by sharing our faith with one another, even those who have none or who have questions for us.
11. I can have small, meaningless, fun talks with people that help build relationships.
12. Don't have to wait until Christmas to "catch up"
13. Its a great avenue to ask for prayers
14. You can laugh more often and make others laugh. It keeps the world happy.
15. I have no time for non-virtual friends. I can get my fix here.
16. I am constantly learning. I can post a math question on my status and get the answer a few minutes later.
17. I have watched my son talk to girls on Chat about their purity and what it is worth. I have to hide in the bathroom and read it. He usually falls asleep 1/2 way through reading my blogs which was about #10 so he probably won't see this.
18. I can play and have fun with my kids on Facebook. We play games, and have cute "I Love You's" being posted back and forth.
19. I can now keep in touch with aunts and cousins that I had given up on ever seeing again
20. We can plan a grade school and High School reunion

My biggest pet peeve is not with Facebook but with parents who don't pay attention to what their kids are doing on it. I can't tell you the number of times that I have shared information with parents about their own kids that they didn't know. Some good, some funny, some very serious. I don't suggest that you learn all of my spy skills (I may or may not go overboard:). But, when your child is hurting, 1500 people shouldn't hear about it before you. Your child is more important than anything that is keeping you too busy to keep yourself up-to-date. When it gets abused, snatch it away like a thief in the night. When it is used to bring you and your friends closer to each other and to God, watch the blessings come down. It will be a virtue or a vice. Make it a virtue or cut it off.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

No Curfews! Freedom!

My son, Nick, is 17 years old. Wow, how time flies! It makes me glad we chose to be open to life. Who knew that parenthood would be so fleeting? I'm so happy that we are making it last longer then most. When my last child leaves, I want to wipe my forehead and say, "Whew! That was a good ride." If I only had one or two kids, I imagine I would be confused and bewildered.  What did we do with our time? And what are we going to do with all this time left?!!
I remember being a teenager. Stop laughing! It wasn't that long ago! Anyway, it was very common for all of my friends, and myself, to have curfew. Usually midnight. If you had a really strict parent, it was 11:00. How funny that all seems to me now. Lets be honest. What that really means, is if the movie got out at 11:00, you had an hour to "park". I mean, bringing your date home before curfew meant you really didn't want to spend every available minute with her, therefore, didn't really care about her. Being so old...I mean...wise and experienced, I pondered how I would deal with this when I had my own teenager. It wasn't until I studied Theology of the Body (thank GOD I did this before Nick got his license!) that I realized my answer! Its FREEDOM. Thats what teenagers truly desire. They all want their freedom. If I restrict that, then the rebelling will begin! Sounds like I'm giving up doesn't it? Well, no. We needed to teach Nick what freedom means. When he truly understood, no restrictions would ever be necessary. For example, do I need the commandment to not kill my husband? Am I walking around completely ticked off that God has restricted me from taking his life every time he walks in the door? Why is that? Maybe its because I have true freedom to love the way God intended me to love. If we desire to do Gods will and desire to live with Him in His eternal exchange of love, I will not need these rules and commandments. They will already be in my heart. This is what Roy and I needed to teach Nick and our other kids kicking at his heels to grow up.
Under my darling husbands instruction, Nick took a 6 month course in Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body for Teens. What a gift! This class covered everything...chastity, love, the purpose of our bodies, vocations, marriage, how Christ was the groom and His Church, the bride. It taught him how a groom loves his bride the way Christ loves His bride. It went in detail exactly how Christ loves His bride. 12 classes, 3 hours each. Roy made it fun, filling it with his closest friends, having pizza parties, lively discussions, a retreat, New Years Eve party, and finishing off nearly every meeting with a youth group function across the hall. Nick enjoyed it so much that he came back the following year to do the class again. One day when I was complaining for the hundredth time that he hates to read, he replied, "I don't like reading anything unless its Theology of the Body". I kept my mouth shut after that. I'm sure I will be opening it back up soon. He really does have to read other things!

This is one of our beloved students, Kerrianne, using her imagination with playdough on how she see's her relationship with God at the TOB retreat.

I told Nick that our city has a curfew for teenagers. He asks, "Whats a curfew?" I smiled. My teenager doesn't even know what a curfew is. He has no desire to come home late. He has no desire to use another person for his own gratification. He has no desire to turn others away from God. He does not need a curfew. I am so proud of Him. I thank JPII from the bottom of my heart. God has revealed to Him a truth at a time when it was needed the most in our post-sexual revolution world.
Please watch future blogs and Facebook status' of upcoming TOB classes for teens and adults.