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Vulnerability, Facebook and the Election

9 Nov

As I stated a couple months ago, I deleted my Facebook account. I was having a very hard time processing a few aspects of my life changes along with the day to day of mothering, teething, toddler antics, homeschooling, being the family chef, etc. All of that was overwhelming enough without the input of 200 other people in an increasingly bitter political climate as the election loomed closer. Truth be told, about once a week or so, I would log into my husband’s account to get a feel for how our friends were doing and try to keep tabs on any major life changes. Stephen was also pretty good about letting me in on any important news.

So on Tuesday as I logged in for my weekly check-in to see how people were reacting to the election (the newsie in me that used to work overtime on election day at a big pizza party in the newsroom couldn’t resist), I just kind of realized that this whole sneaking in for peeks on my friends and family was a little ridiculous and that I should just get an account of my own again already. Especially because I was so very tempted to “like” certain things people were saying or cute pictures, but seeing as how my husband and I view things slightly differently with regards to our “public” life I didn’t want to make it seem like he was “liking” something he normally wouldn’t or taking a stand on an issue or making a public statement on something that he wouldn’t.

Furthermore, there were many great things that I missed out on by not being on Facebook: words of encouragement, insightful thoughts or articles, important life announcements from other people, etc. It’s a give and take just like anything else in life. We’re all sinful, imperfect people and unfortunately coexisting on this planet with other sinners means we get hurt, angry, and the like sometimes.

As an example of something that I would have missed out on, during one of my “covert” Facebook log-ins, one of our friends posted a youTube video of a talk on vulnerability by Dr. Brené Brown at TEDx Houston. It really resonated with me and was very much in line with some stuff I had heard one of my very good friends, that also happens to be an MFT, say recently.

I am so terrible about being vulnerable. Maybe it is because I’ve been hurt too much. Maybe it’s because I’m an introvert. Maybe, who knows? Dr. Brown’s research suggests that because of this, I am likely to live a life that is not as happy with less love. I don’t want this. It’s interesting too because I feel like I have constantly struggled with friendship and maintaining friendships. I feel like I have a hard time connecting with others. Well, no wonder, I’m not vulnerable with others.

The followup talk she gave on listening to shame is equally good.

So, I’ve been processing all that she had to say for the last couple weeks and what that meant for my life, how I wanted to live it, and how it impacted my need to have meaningful friendships and relationships. Both videos have seriously changed my perspective on life in a lot of ways.

I have also been thinking about these things in light of the wake of the election reactions I have seen. Admittedly, there has been so much I have seen that has absolutely infuriated me. This is me being honest and slightly vulnerable. I think if you have read this blog long enough or know me in person you can kind of grasp where I stand on the issues and what kinds of things I would find infuriating (or maybe not because I have vulnerability issues, haha). I wonder though if expressing those feelings to those that have said the infuriating things is a form of societal shaming? Many have already done so to them in direct comments or as blogs or general status updates to “no one specific person in particular” or “you know who you are”.

I tend to be slightly more political and openly opinionated than most I know, yet I find myself hesitant to post my viewpoints and for the backlash I might receive if I do. More societal shaming. More closing down the vulnerability. Is that good for me? I don’t think so.

Many have already come before me and eloquently stated things that I believe too. Like this post by Jo Ashline. Or this one by Brannon Hancock.

So, I’m not sure I have much to add to the conversation in light of these and probably many more posts in this vein. It helps to know I’m not alone though. I don’t want to shame others, just like I know explicity stating all my political viewpoints would likely lead to shaming of and negative reaction to me in the very tense current climate.

At the same time, while having a differing political opinion is completely fine with me, some things that seem to come along with that opinion are not. I get feeling disappointed, I really do. The candidate I would have liked to see win was no longer an option on the ballot and I was left feeling like I had to pick between all not so great choices.

However, I don’t think it is OK to cut yourself off from friends and family that love you because they disagreed with your viewpoint and your guy lost. It was not OK for Democrats to be a “Sore Loserman” twelve years ago, but completely OK for Republicans to be now? I think not.

Stating that someone (or rather the entire group of Americans that voted a certain way) is ignorant, voted blindly, or without morals is NOT OK either. As Hancock said in the post I linked to above, “In light of this, the question of how we live as citizens of our this-worldly cities in the time that remains is not at all simple. In fact, I think it’s incredibly complex, which is why platitudes like ‘vote biblical values’ strike me as not only meaningless but rather irresponsible – I want us to take our Bible, and our responsibility as citizens, more seriously than that. I believe sincere Christians can come to radically different conclusions about politics, because I believe there is a bit of good and a bit of truth — as well as a whole lot of broken, sinful humanity — involved in ALL of our attempts to govern ourselves and organize our common life in the present age.” The way we vote is not a litmus test for our love of country or God. I know plenty of Christians that weighed the issues, the records, and the backgrounds of each candidate and still voted for Obama. I know I stated this before in the months leading up to the last presidential election, but all that the office of President encompases and how we come to the decision of who is best suited to that role is much, much more than the two hot-button issues of abortion and homosexuality.

I was only in high school and not able to vote when it happened, but I remember the presidency and election of Bill Clinton pretty vividly. I had quite the spectrum of adults in my life at the time and I remember extreme statements like I have seen in the last few days leading up to that. A Catholic turned Jewish woman in my life was terribly afraid of what would happen to our country and Jews in particular if the Republicans won. She vowed to move to Canada if they did. When they did, following that presidency, she did not move to Canada. She made it through. We all did. Christians in my life at the time were equally afraid of this country going down the tubes if Bill Clinton got re-elected, “We would never have economic success because small businesses and big corporations would fail, and the Christians would be imprisoned and persecuted for their faith. The morality of everyone in our country was definitely in peril if we elected the adulterer,” they opined. As an adult, I have a wide spectrum of adult friends and I have heard many of these same things from those on all sides of the issue. It just kind of seems like melodramatic posturing to me that has no real basis in historical examples and fact.

Electing Obama to a second term does not mean the country is going to fall apart. It does not mean that Christians will be persecuted and imprisoned. It does not mean we are going to become a dictatorship. To quote that Jo Ashline post, “Get it together people and gain some perspective. Because this country will go to hell in a hand basket not because of a single man, but because we allow ourselves to forget just how amazing and resilient and FREE our nation truly is. Maybe you woke up this morning feeling frightened about your future because you were counting on the other guy to make things better. But you also woke up in the same country where you are Free to express your religious beliefs, Free to speak your mind, Free to choose where you want to live, and Free to think idiotic things such as ‘this is a tragic day for our nation.’ I urge you to find a way today to remind yourself just how good we have it, even if you’re facing economic strife or some sort of adversity. So if you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps today because Mitt Romney won’t be moving into the White House come January, remember that we live in a nation where you get to do this all over again in four years. In the meantime, empower others by getting involved in your community somehow. Do something kind for someone. Be someone’s hero. Spread kindness and tolerance. Teach your children that diversity is the cornerstone of this country and show them that not only is it possible to lose with dignity and respect, it’s imperative if we’re to move forward as nation. Then meet up with your coworkers at the water cooler or your friends at the bar, and talk about what an idiot you think Obama is. Because you can.”

So we had the stomach flu this week…

21 Sep

I’ve really debated writing this up. I am sure my opinion on vaccines or our experience is not new. I’ve also debated writing it since we later figured out some stuff that happened was unrelated to the vaccines. After all was said and done though, even though everything we experienced was in the “normal” range, I wound up filing a report with the site that the CDC and FDA use to monitor the safety of vaccines. So, for the same reasons that I did that, I decided to go ahead and write this out here as well.

Last week the boys had a catch up shots appointment with the nurse at our new health plan.

It’s kind of been my mode of operation (MO from here on out) to just get 1-2 shots per visit. I do this for a variety of reasons, but the main one is aluminum exposure levels. Yes, that’s right, aluminum, not the media-sexy mercury you’ve all heard about. I learned about aluminum after I read The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears. You can read all about that here for free where he has put that excerpt up on his site. While many of the people I know read that book and became anti-vaccine, that was not the case for me. I was mostly just concerned with the aluminum and overwhelming my kids’ immune systems with too many shots at once.

Anyway, we are really, really behind on shots because of this policy of mine and because the kids were sick starting last summer and continuing pretty much all last year until we moved back to Bakersfield in April (which is slightly strange considering the asthma and allergies and poor air quality this area is known for). My other MO (and our beloved and dearly missed pediatricians’ policy) was no shots when sick.

So our new health plan is very much all about meeting their standards and preventative care and governmental protocols and benchmarks, etc. and I’m not completely sure how it works, but I know that health plans get rewarded somehow when they can show that their members are up to date on certain benchmarks, like vaccines. And all three times that I have walked into the offices of our new health plan, the nurses and staff and doctors get all twitchy and wide-eyed when they pull up my kids’ records on the computer. “Do you REALIZE how far BEHIND your kids are on their vaccinations?” they gasp and lecture. Which irks me to no end, treating us as if we are walking bio-terrorists or something.

So before I really realize what is happening at this shots appointment that is taking place in a hallway-ish holding area while I am trying to comfort scared-of-pokes-kids and keep them from touching everything and without being able to discuss it with someone that actually can talk to me about about it (the nurse had to go get another nurse to make sure she was giving the right ones because “shots aren’t [her] thing”), I’ve negotiated down to two shots only, but one of those happens to be the 5-in-1 Pediarix.

Now, if you go to that handy little link I provided you above you will see that just from that shot alone, both my boys got 850 micrograms of aluminum in their system. Their other shot was Pneumococcus which was another 125 micrograms of aluminum for a grand total of 975 micrograms of aluminum. If you read that link you will also see that the “FDA requires, that all injectable solutions have the 25 mcg limit,” vaccines excepting (no one knows why vaccines are exempt). That’s right, folks, my boys got 39 times the FDA’s safe limit injected into their system in one sitting.

Once I realized this, I started researching some natural methods of detoxing aluminum out of their little systems. We had a spa day of sorts around here.

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Immediately after the vaccine, Sprout became this sopping wet emotional puddle and it’s been almost two weeks since the shot and he’s still acting that way. Everything that doesn’t go his way is a major meltdown, tantrum, flood of tears and incomprehensible whining nearly hyperventilating gibberish. Just today I tried to give him a new kind of juice and he got so upset that he was having a hard time breathing and his lips turned bluish purple. Breathe, little boy, breathe.

He also immediately got welts and a red, hot rash at the injection site. A few hours later there was a big knot under the skin that he also still has.

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And then there was the throwing up and the diarrhea. Sprout got it first. All day Thursday and into the evening. He was much better Friday and Saturday, but things came back with a vengeance Saturday night. So I stayed home with the boys Sunday morning.

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When Sparrow started throwing up Sunday night I kind of still thought maybe it was the vaccine. But part of me also knew that there was a good chance that was not the case. I was up all night with Sparrow throwing up every few minutes at times, but an occasional longer stretch would allow us to doze off on the couch together. It was so heartbreaking.

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Just as we were finishing up our billionth load of laundry from the boys, Bean wakes up late Monday night and starts. Stephen was up with her all night since I had my turn the night before.

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Side note: The last few weeks she’s seemed so especially big and grown up to me, but during all this she seemed SO LITTLE.

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After Bean got it, I knew it was just a matter of time and that Stephen and I were going down. And I was right.

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Last one standing.

We only just started to feel normal yesterday, though Sparrow did throw up a couple times again yesterday afternoon. Today we are recovered and I no longer have that feeling of wondering whether I am partaking in reality.

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Cheers! Breakfast of stomach flu surviving champions.

Even though it turns out the stomach issues were unrelated to the vaccine (though Sparrow’s vaccine weakened immune system could have made him more susceptible to picking it up, I suppose), many other things were not. I will definitely be more prepared and we are spreading those shots out more for sure!

Bean on factory farm feed lots

19 Oct

“If the fence is too small, then the animals don’t have enough room to move around. Then they can’t get the grass they’re supposed to eat because they stomp on it. Their pee-pee and poo-poo goes into the ground and makes it yucky and muddy. So you have to make the fences bigger and give the animals grass, it’s what they’re supposed to eat.”

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The day my baby sister deployed for the first time with the Marines (and the Navy, but we don’t talk about them)

24 Feb

This past weekend we went down to Southern Orange County and the San Diego area to spend time with my family and see my sister off as she deployed on the USS Green Bay.

It was an interesting experience. I guess I haven’t really ever considered myself to be especially patriotic (shocking, right?). I mean, I think we live in a good country and I am lucky and all that, but I also see problems and don’t always agree with decisions that are made by our country. Plus, I have a certain romantic spot in my heart for the UK, always have. A few friends of mine in the “same boat” (haha, gotta love that little pun I stuck in there), said that seeing the deployment of a family member changes that a bit for you. And I guess that was partially true.

I think it was kind of talked up quite a bit so my expectations were pretty high. Plus, I guess I expected way more families to be there, actually. My sister said that there were three ships deploying that morning and that there would be thousands of families to say goodbye to the thousands of marines and sailors that were deploying that morning. So it was kind of weird to me that there were maybe 30-50 people total at the pier saying goodbye. It felt empty. And I felt bad that some people didn’t even have someone there to say goodbye to or see them off.

I did not get emotional, or choke up which I was told to expect. But my sister said that was probably a good thing because it makes it so much harder for her. She said it was good having emotionally stable people there.

So anyway, for those of you not on Facebook, here are the photos we got before she left.


I forgot to check all my settings before clicking away, so this photo was totally over exposed. I loved it though and couldn’t just send it to the trash. Picasa helped me edit it and I actually think it wound up looking the best of all the photos. Ha! The magic of digital photography. :)


Bean’s face in this one is just hilarious and priceless. She was being such a stinker that morning. I don’t think she completely understood what was going on, but I’m glad we brought both the kids anyway. Still, they were more concerned about breakfast and going to the children’s museum later than anything else.


“That’s the big ship!”


I am really glad we got a little time with my sister that morning before she set off. Because between all the last minute errands she had to run and us seeing my husband’s San Diego family I felt like we hardly saw eachother even though we were down for four days.


Yes, I look like a ragamuffin. It was cold. And early (I woke up at 4am). I feel like the last two days we were down I never felt warm the whole time. All the people bragging about their 85 and sunny weather down there in the weeks before completely failed me because I did not bring proper shoes or clothes for the weather we did encounter. Except my wool coat. It wasn’t enough though. Still, who am I to complain… my sister was in her very thin, short sleeve “Charlies”. Her hands were numb.


This is not the ship my sister is on. It is the USS New York which is being built in San Diego harbor, but will be stationed on the East Coast. It was built with scrap metal from the World Trade Center. You don’t see that kind of thing very often so I decided it was worthy of a picture. My sister said just a few weeks ago it hardly looked like a ship at all and she was surprised when she came down to drop off her stuff at how much they had gotten done on it in that time period.


There she is “manning the rails” and sneaking in one of her signature peace signs right before they set off.


A more appropriate picture.


Everyone else in place now too.


Raising the flag. So interesting thing happened while this was going on. I expected the Star Spangled Banner. Not unreasonable, right? Instead they played the short trumpeting fanfare that they play at the start of a race, like a horse race (Google tells me it is called “The Call to the Post”). A little while later there was another flag raising ceremony on a ship behind us and they played both that and then the Star Spangled Banner. I guess the title of the fanfare sort of makes it make sense though.


And there they go off into San Diego Bay.

Here is a little blurb from the San Diego Union Tribune that my husband’s grandparents clipped for us that morning.

So funny thing happened. We didn’t leave San Diego until around 2:30 that afternoon. We decided to go to a big breakfast and then take the kids to a children’s museum afterwards. As we were driving thru Camp Pendleton, on the horizon what do we see? Three ships, including a big one in the middle with towers and shaped just like the Green Bay. We were a bit puzzled because we know those ships go faster than that and they left pretty early in the morning. So why in the world would they still be here? I talked to my sister this afternoon and turns out they just floated on up to Pendleton to pick up some equipment. I am kicking myself for not having Stephen pull over at the viewpoint there and take a big expansive sunny picture of the three ships on the horizon. Oh well. This also explains why my sister had cell reception a few hours later and was sending me text messages and posting on Facebook. Ha!

Oh and as to the title of my post, there is a bit of a rivalry between Marines and Navy even though they are technically the same department. My sister found out shortly after getting on that she is the only female Marine on the entire ship. Which means 7 months of razzing for her from her female Navy counterparts. Not fun. :(

I just want to cry because I care.

13 May

I think I care too much.

Really I do.

I started reading The Unhealthy Truth by Robyn O’Brien and I am about halfway through. The book isn’t necessarily anything new for me. It’s all stuff I knew by reading other books or watching Food Inc. I knew that our government, particularly when it comes to the food regulatory agencies, was corrupt and that a revolving door for former industry executives exists and major conflicts of interest exist.

I guess I just didn’t connect the dots into making it human. Putting a human face on the matter. Maybe it’s because O’Brien’s story also involves food allergies and that is something that I deal with every day. Maybe it’s because Bean’s been having really awful eczema behind her knees that cracks and oozes puss lately. Maybe it’s because we got food poisoning when we ate at a fairly reputable restaurant this weekend.

I just feel so frustrated and helpless on this matter. Overwhelmed and angry. It’s been all I can think about the last two days or so.

People, children just like my precious two little ones, are getting so sick and harmed because our food system is not safe. And it isn’t safe because the people who are supposed to be keeping it safe aren’t doing their jobs. Instead they are looking out for the corporations.

People like me are having their kids develop food allergies because of pollutants and toxins in our environment, genetically modified foods, factory farming, and overuse of antibiotics in the animals in our food supply as well as in ourselves.

People like me are then told by their pediatricians (not the one I currently go to anymore) that when their kid develops a dairy allergy that the best thing to do is to have them guzzle soy milk instead. Something that is so unhealthful and harmful.

I count myself lucky that six months after I was told this I did my own research and found out that this wasn’t a good idea at all. How many other parents, though, are just following their pediatrician’s advice because they are supposed to be the expert on nutrition and health for children?

Some say personal responsibility is the answer and I should just worry about my own family and make the food decisions I want to make for them and I should be the one to do all the research and own up to what we consume. Yeah, maybe that is partly true.

But for me, I just can’t stop there. I can’t sit by while other people and other people’s children suffer. I care about my friend’s kids. I care about my friends. I care about those that aren’t my friends and their kids. I care about our future. I care about our planet. I care.

So what am I supposed to do now? I want to make a bigger difference than just my own family.

Faith versus modern medicine

31 Jul

This morning Stephen ran across this article on MSNBC. For those of you that don’t follow my links, this is my synopsis of the case… Couple thought their daughter had the flu and instead of taking her to the doctor they invited people from their Bible study over to pray for her. In actuality, she had diabetes and was having a diabetic attack. And, unfortunately she died. Now they are being tried for second degree murder in her death.

My husband brought the story up as a conversation starter and something to ponder: When as Christians do we trust God or modern medicine or both? Of course this whole faith thing is what the media is clinging to in the case and making a big deal about.

In the middle of his telling of the story though, I could hardly contain myself and not interupt him because as a journalist I had done a story with nearly similar circumstances, minus the prayer part. The article I did is here, but a lot of the family’s story got cut due to space and the fact that we were really doing a story about the JDRF walk and not just about the family. So the part that is missing from the story is that the mom took her son to the doctor/ER a bunch of times in that 10 day period and he was misdiagnosed each time with the flu. It was flu season and the news reports were all about how overcrowded the ER was and how if you thought you had the flu you should stay home. She was basically told by the on-call doctors in her previous visits that there was nothing they could do for him, that she should go home and make sure he got plenty of rest and fluids.

Her mother-instinct told her something wasn’t right though so she persisted and went back to the ER again. Finally, an on-call doctor recognized the symptoms as a diabetic attack and not the flu and immediately gave him insulin. The on-call doctor said her son was just hours from death and that it was a good thing she brought him in.

So anyway, faith debate aside, if doctors who are professionally trained to treat sickness and disease have a problem misdiagnosing diabetes as the flu, why should we expect lay people to be any different? Is it so wrong that this couple decided to stay home and turn to prayer as a cure? I mean for all they know had they taken their daughter to the hospital they may have been turned away with the prescription for rest and fluids. They may have even been told they should have just stayed home because she had the flu just like the mom in my story.

Isn’t the death of their daughter enough pain? Do they really need to be charged with second degree murder too? What do you think?

A rant on the California AFP test

26 Jul

While we were on vacation for a week we got a huge stack of mail, most of it junk. Amongst it all was a letter to me from the state informing me of the test results that I already discussed here. In California, the Alfa-Fetoprotein (AFP) test is covered by the state. I was informed of this in the letter and told that further testing and genetic counseling would also be covered by the state because of my positive test results.

Like I’m sure anyone in my position, my husband and I have been doing TONS of research on the test, the possible meaning of the results, and Downs Syndrome since finding out. Oddly enough, the more research I do, the better I feel.

For example, in an initial inquiry my husband found that the official false positive rate for the test is five percent. This percentage just didn’t sit right with me, however, when it seemed that almost EVERYONE I knew either knew someone or themselves had gotten a false positive from this test. Every positive test my midwife has seen has turned out negative. There was just no way that a mere five percent could be accurate for the false positive rate. So, I started looking into it and I found that the actual number should be much, much higher. Basically, they throw out any “false positive” if the person has diabetes, hyperemesis gravidarum (like me!), miscalculations of cycle dates (like me!) and a whole host of other conditions and circumstances. If those cases were included and not thrown out, some estimates suggest that the false positive rate for the AFP test could be as high as 80 percent!

The more research I do, the more I am convinced that this test is completely bogus! Yet our state continues to pay for it (and most OBs make you feel pretty guilty if you refuse the test) and, as I found in my letter, further testing and genetic counseling upon a positive test result. Why put people through this test and all the worry associated with the results when those results are horribly inaccurate? It seems uncessary. Furthermore, why should the state pick up the bill for the test and more? This just seems ridiculous to me when we are in such a budget crisis that we are having to lay off law enforcement, teachers and other important state employees, my sister and friends amongst them. And why should my tax dollars go to paying for some “genetic counselor” to tell me or other people that a life with Downs Syndrome is horrible and no life at all and it would just be better for everyone involved if I had an abortion?

So yeah, that letter just made me plain pissed off. End of rant.

Clarity

9 Mar

So I feel like there have been a couple blogs here that require some further clairification.

The first one is on the move. Because I think some people think we are a little crazy for leaving a beautiful house, family, friends and a secure job in Bakersfield. While we are leaving friends and family here, we are also going to some great friends and family in Thousand Oaks. We will be living about 10 minutes from Stephen’s sister, Ruth. Stephen will be working with Ruth’s husband. Our girls are going to have so much fun together. Through various events that Ruth has had over the years, we’ve also had the opportunity to already meet some great friends in the area. So I’m looking forward to getting to know some of them better and hanging out more often. We also just love the area. I’m also already signing up for some Mommy & Me classes through the parks district and hoping to meet some friends there. In a lot of ways, what we’ve seen of Thousand Oaks is like what we think our neighborhood was supposed to be before the building bubble burst, only on a much larger, city-wide scale. As much as we love our home we’ve discovered that the location within Bakersfield is less than ideal being on the opposite end of town of many friends and family, we are frustrated at the neighborhood’s unfinished look, and Bakersfield in general is not the place we would ideally like to end up. Thousand Oaks, on the other hand, definitely makes our list of top places we want to live and watch our kids grow up. The other thing is that Stephen grew up in Ventura County and so I think in a lot of ways he feels like he’s going back “home,” even if we aren’t going to be in the exact town he lived in. We also love the proximity to so many southern California attractions (beach, Camarillo outlets, baseball, concert venues, etc), but without the crazy rushed feel of LA or the hauty feel of OC. Thousand Oaks just seems really friendly and family oriented.

Next thing I wanted to address are my statements about adoption. I just don’t want anyone to think that the only reason I’m even considering adoption is because of the pregnancy I went through. This isn’t just some new idea or whim. I’ve wanted to adopt for a long time. I distinctly remember talking about it with friends as early as high school. Long before Brangelina made it cool, I wanted to have a beautiful little rainbow faced family. For some reason whenever I talk about this I always remember the song “Jesus loves the little children” that I used to sing in Sunday school as a Sparkie in Awanas. Over the past few days I’ve come to some more conclusions about pregnancy and adoption. I even think that the more I pray about it I’m becoming open to domestic adoption too. Here’s my theory so far… adding another person to your family takes sacrifice. When you get married you sacrifice time alone, being able to do whatever you want etc. That’s your first experience with sacrifice in growing a family. When/if you get pregnant you sacrifice your body. If you adopt internationally you sacrifice financially. If you adopt domestically you often sacrifice emotionally before things are finalized. And through all three you probably go through various levels of those sacrifices (physically, emotionally, financially). I think sacrifice is good. Sacrifice is the picture of grace that God gave us. It seems to me that in order to show love you have to sacrifice and take risks. I think sacrifice takes great trust in our Creator. I think that the sacrifice in adding to your family is there for a reason. I think God intended it to be there.

And then one last point. I sort of left you hanging with asking you to pray for my friend over a week ago. Her water broke in the early morning hours of Feb. 27. They of course went to the hospital where she was told there was no hope and they would begin an induction. She was told the baby boy would not survive much longer. Amazingly enough he continued to move (she could feel him kicking!) and have a heartbeat and survive day after day. He was finally born March 3. She was told by nurses that if he survived delivery she would maybe have a minute with him. Well, his heart continued to beat for over an hour and a half giving this precious family some beautiful moments with him. While my heart breaks for them, I am just amazed at everything… their faith in God, the love so many people have for them, the fighter that he was, the miracle of his hour long survival. There are even pictures and seeing all of his tiny features just really gives whole new meaning to Psalm 139:13-16,

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance;in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

I guess these next statements might get me in trouble with some readers, but here goes anyway. After seeing this little form of a boy, I just really can’t understand abortion. I can’t. Especially since like these friends, Stephen and I have struggled with fertility and pregnancy and all that. There are so many couples that desperately, desperately want children. I just can’t comprehend killing something that is so obviously a life. A few months ago when Kourtni shared her story about struggles with miscarriage, the part that really stuck out to me was this,

“Though relatively common, miscarriage is a topic whispered around obstetricians’ offices and rarely discussed in a society that regards the unborn—especially at the earliest stages of pregnancy—as disposable nonentities. Many people undermined my feelings with platitudes such as “You can always get pregnant again” or “These things just happen.” But I believe life begins at conception; my unborn children were people with a soul. The loss of that unique person left an enormous void in my life, leaving me physically and emotionally empty, lonelier than I’d ever been before. All I could do about it was cry.”

Today Stephen , Bean and I went to the funeral. While I do not at all like that my friends had to loose their baby, that they had to have a funeral, I absolutely loved that they did have one. Instead of this just being a “common” miscarriage, by having a funeral we all got to recognized that this little boy was a life. That he had a unique soul that was known by God.

Well anyway, this thing is starting to ramble. I’m sure I’ve trampled plenty of toes at this point and Bean just woke up so I’d better tend to her.

Let’s talk politics

7 Mar

As it is already well known I tend to lean toward the liberal end of the political spectrum. I would say that I am more of a moderate than a liberal, but definitely a liberal moderate.

The following statement would scare the heck out of my conservative friends, but I believe in government programs and government regulation of society. They would call that “big brother on our backs.”

While government programs do have their problems, I believe they are in the best position to help people at this point. We do not live in a perfect world where the church takes care of everyone’s needs and the poor do not always have somewhere to turn for help. My friend refers to these people as “welfare junkies.”

However, the Bible says to care for the poor, the sick and the widowed. As a Christian I just can’t stomach a conservative goverment agenda which leaves people like this out of luck. This is what happened during the Great Depression and that’s why the government had to step in to begin with. So I guess you could say that I’m a classic FDR liberal all the way.

Furthermore, classic liberalism says that government ought to have a say in what we do. That our liberties do not extend out of control. So to me, classic liberalism tends to fit in better with positions that the church holds on things like gay marriage, abortion, prayer in schools, legislating morality, etc.

So now you know why I belive what I do, I think I’m in a better position to make some comments on this election. I’m really fired up over the happenings within the Democratic party over the past few days.
I’m tired of hearing all this crap in the media about how Hillary is somehow the victim and they are being hard on her. It is totally her spin becoming a news story instead of reporters actually doing their job and filtering the flak to present both sides. For example in this article I read today:

“By raising Starr’s name, Wolfson revived memories of the investigation that led to former President Clinton’s impeachment. But many Democrats feel the Starr investigation was politically motivated, and injecting Starr into the debate is one more way for Clinton to depict herself as a victim of enemies out to get her. She’s already complained recently about the media being against her.”

I don’t know if anyone is watching the same “media” that I am, but they all seem to be a bunch of Hillary lovers, not haters.

For example, after the last debate, MSNBC played more soundbites from Hillary’s answers than Obama’s. I counted them. They only played his soundbites when they were asking a direct question about something he said to the analysts. But as bumpers in between each commercial break during the analysis part they would play her soundbites before going to commercial break and upon returning from it. It was ridiculous.

Furthermore all the headlines and pictures were about her. Obama gets hardly any coverage except the bad stuff her campaign says about him. And now her campaign wants to try and act like Obama has all these “skeletons” that we don’t know about and he’s somehow this secretly devious person. Hello? Do people not remember the 1990s? Ken Starr or no, there was a lot of bad crap that came out about the Clintons. I don’t care if it was politically motivated or not. It was still bad either way. Why are so many democrats obsessed with that era? It wasn’t a good one. It was a hugely embarassing time in our nation. That’s why everyone jumped on the W bandwagon right afterwards.

Hillary is also trying to claim that she will be the one to unite our nation. I don’t think so. Ask anyone of my conservative friends. They HATE the Clintons. And she only continues to prove day after day how polarizing and divisive she really is. Meanwhile more and more Republicans find that they can be OK with and even support Obama (Obamacans). The nation has enough problems right now. We don’t need a psuedo liberal McCain in Republican’s clothes and we don’t need a super liberal Hillary screwing up this nation anymore. We need the one person who has promised to change things and unite our country.

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