My Life Lately

So… the last week/two weeks have been intense, especially this past weekend. The good kind of intense.

It’s interesting how it works. I started praying more, and then I started getting lots of requests for prayer (Even though I didn’t announce that I was praying more), and lots of opportunities to serve. It’s been so awesome this time, too, because I feel like I finally have started learning to serve out of love and joy for God’s glory.

On Friday I was busy with housework and keeping my siblings busy… in the evening I went and took pictures of a young couple from church at the beach.

Saturday, Hannah and I helped scrape carpet glue off the floors in the new Pregnancy Solutions location (that is about five minutes or less away from our house!!) for a few hours and managed to get blisters on our hands (which was actually kind of cool in an odd sort of way. I know it’s very small, but there was something exciting about suffering in a physical way for Christ.). Then we cleaned and cooked in preparation for company the next day (I managed to burn both of my hands and my face with the jalapeno. Thankfully Hannah knew to put oil on it, so it only lasted a few minutes.) went shopping, and got Panera Bread. We rushed home, did a few last minute things, and then Mama, Emily and Esther got home! (with papa and William and Matthew who had gone to pick them up. They were in Orlando helping family.)

On Sunday a Missionary spoke and told about some opportunities for short term mission trips. Afterwards, he and two friends came and ate tacos with us. (yum!) After they left, I “randomly” decided to charge my phone. Then I took a nap. 😀 We started watching a movie, and then I checked my phone (which is actually a rare occurrence.) and deleted some texts since my inbox was full. Just as I finished that, I got a text from one of my friends and she ended up calling. We had a really good talk that lasted about an hour and a half. The day wasn’t over then either–Papa, Hannah, Emily and I went to church again and set up for Bright Lights.

Monday morning, Hannah and I were at work talking to Papa. And he said, “I think you two and Josiah should go to Central America in December.” We were like, um… okay! So we started looking up the website, printing stuff out, etc. Then we had to pull our focus back to Bright Lights, haha. So we prayed and talked about that… towards the end of the day, I had a talk with a cousin of mine who is quite troubled, and Hannah talked to another friend of ours on the phone who is also going through some really hard times. We picked up one of the BL girls, went home, ate chili and got stuff, went to church, picked up another girl and did Bright Lights. Later I talked to one of the BL girls on Facebook… she’s making hard but awesome decisions. Finally went to bed well after midnight… we were all excited and talking. 😛

There are many other little things that happened in the days before… conversations, prayers answered, new prayer requests and so on.

I guess I just wanted to mention all this to say that… God is amazing. It is an incredible privilege to serve Him. And PRAY. Seriously. That’s where all this other stuff starts. You’ll soon find, as I have, that an hour isn’t long enough.

Also–please pray for us as we get ready to go to Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador) in three months!!

P.S. An hour of prayer early in the morning, even if you went to bed late, is much more energizing than coffee. Seriously, you should try it.

The Issues Behind the Issue: Part One

Before we get started with my thoughts on the abortion issue, I’d like to make a few things clear.

One, I am addressing this with a Christian worldview. I have learned about other religions/philosophies and compared them with Christianity—and Christianity was the clear “winner” in several ways. Not only that, but I am a Christian myself and have seen God at work in my life and in the lives of MANY others.

I won’t get into all that here, however. If you have questions about Christianity vs. other religions, I recommend “Understanding the Times” and “The Truth Project.

Two, I do not appreciate when Pro-Choice people call the whole Pro-Life movement “Anti-Abortion” , as if the entirety of the movement is solely dedicated to getting rid of abortion politically, with no thought of helping the mother and father, and with no consideration of what happens to the baby after he/she is born, or “Anti-Choice”, as if we don’t want women to have any choices about “their body”. (when, in fact, we want to give them more choices, and better ones.) Maybe there are people like that on “our” side—but there are a great many other people who genuinely care for the mother and father, and the baby both before and after he/she is born.

In light of that, I am not going to lump Pro-Choice people all together under a “Pro-Abortion” (or “Pro-Death.”) label. From what I’ve seen, there are two main groups within the “Pro-Choice” movement: Those who actually care for women and are misled into believing that abortion is a helpful option or even a right (I will call this group Pro-Choice) and those who are blatantly all for abortion/killing babies, to the point of being downright creepy and definitely evil. (And I will call them Pro-Abortion/Death.)

Alrighty, here we go!

In all my reading on both sides of this issue, something I don’t hear talked about much is the issues behind the issue.

In other words, why? Why are abortions happening in such large numbers? (Around one third of my generation is missing!) Why is whether abortion right or wrong even a discussion? Why is abortion considered a good way to take care of a “problem?” Why are so many babies unwanted in the first place?

Everyone knows there’s a problem; even those who are all for abortion. But unless you know the source of the problem, and what the problem really is, all you can ever do is treat the symptoms in the way you think best. It’s very difficult actually slow down or stop it. And so it is with this.

Apparently, MORE than one third of pregnancies are unexpected and/or unwanted. That is just based on the number of abortions per women–it doesn’t include people who place children up for adoption, or people who have their baby anyways. In case you were wondering, that’s a lot.

So… my question (as usual) is–why? Why are we having this problem? I came up with 9 (or possibly more by the time I finish this…) possible contributing factors. (Once again, I’m not an expert. I’m just an thoughtful observer. Keep that in mind–and please, thoughtfully observe with me. Feel free to add your thoughts to mine, or even tell me you think I’m on a totally wrong track.)

As Maria Von Trapp says, let’s start at the very beginning (which, as the song goes, is a very good place to start.). No, not the beginning of the legalization of abortion in America. The real beginning. The beginning of the universe and everything in it, in including people.

File:Human evolution.svg

First Issue behind the Issue: Evolution/Humanism

Whether you realize it does or not, what you believe about the origin of the universe makes quite a difference in this issue.

If you believe that there is a God, and that He created the universe and everything in it and is still actively involved, then there are definite standards of right and wrong. If you believe that He made humans in His own image, you know they have inherent worth, and therefore should not be killed for the sake of convenience (or any other reason, really, with the exception of if they have taken an innocent life.)

If you believe there is no God, and that the universe and everything in it came about by random chance for no apparent reason, there is no ultimate standard for right and wrong. Therefore, whatever you think is “right” is “right”—or, whatever the majority thinks is right is right. (This belief is part of why everyone is so crazy about polls and statistics right now.) As people become more and more corrupt in their search for pleasure, their perception of right and wrong becomes more and more skewed, and the “majority” may end up deciding that a very horrible thing is “right.”

There may be some who do not believe in God, and for some other reasons (like science and logic and the kind of caring that comes with being made in God’s image) object to abortion–but most people who do not believe in God at all will see nothing wrong with solving their “problem” with abortion.

If you believe that we are animals, descended ultimately from chemicals and minerals (by random chance), humans have no inherent worth. Logically, it makes sense that it is not really a bad thing to kill humans, especially ones that are a bother or are less “evolved”. Survival of the fittest, right? (I wish I was making this up… But there have been some other absolutely horrific events (such as the Holocaust and various other racist/eugenicist movements) that have used that kind of reasoning.)

This explains how it is that some people who are decidedly Pro-Abortion know that it’s a baby that they advocate killing–and they don’t care. While chilling, this should hardly be unexpected.

The very beginning is where, I believe, the problem starts (or is averted.) Without the knowledge and fear of God, all sorts of dreadful and hurtful things become not only permissible, but welcome.

In conclusion: one of the first issues behind the issue is the foundation: Creation by God, or Evolution by random chance?

Part One: Introduction

Well, I got excited and finished the first part of my new series… hopefully the rest will be soon to follow!

Usually, I’ve managed to keep my ranting about various controversial issues to private conversations, and kept primarily to the most important Controversy on my blogs. (Namely, God.)

However… I’ve been reading many, many articles, comments, and so forth on both sides of the Abortion issue, and… I think it’s time for me to say something. Not that I can solve the problem by posting about it, or that I think I have all the answers. I can only do what one person CAN do–provide people with something to think about, and ask and trust God for the heart-change. That, I can and will do.

I’m not an expert.

I’m just a thinker, big sister, discipler of girls, concerned citizen, and follower of Christ.

Oh, and a writer.

And, naturally, with that combination–I started writing. It was intended to be one blog post–but over 2,000 words in with much more to say, I decided to split it up into several posts.

The next morning, I wrote a fancy outline of the issues I wanted to address (You must know how serious this is. I don’t write outlines any more. That was for writing papers for school. Not for blog posts.) It grew and grew until I realized that this was going to be quite the series. I think I’m even going to call them articles…

While we’ve already established that I’m not an expert, I do bring some unique things to this topic. For instance, my brain. 😛 Everyone thinks differently from everyone else—I just think really differently. I am skilled at making connections (everything is eventually connected in my mind.) and at taking large amounts of information and condensing them. I’m also fairly decent at thinking logically, something that is tragically lacking in this world. (haha, but it’s true!!)

I do not, however, bring compassion. I really am not caring by nature, especially to the masses… if it was just me talking, I’d just say something along the lines of: “Abortion is factually, logically and statistically stupid. Don’t do it. Also just don’t get in that situation.” 😛 The compassion that (hopefully) comes across in these articles you must directly attribute to Christ in me.

I am hoping that I will be able to take all of the things I have read, watched and learned and connect them all together in a caring, concise and helpful way in these articles.

I’m going to cover (some of) the reasons we have this problem in our country and some possible solutions, common objections to pro-lifers/the pro-life movement and responses to them, the dark side of abortion and contraception—and, finally (and maybe most importantly) problems with the pro-life movement and what we can do.

This issue is at once terribly complex and startlingly simple.

It is horribly complex, because there are so many factors–so many things that got us to this place; so many things that are making the problem worse; so many tragic situations.

It’s startlingly simple, because a baby in the womb is an innocent human life and to end it is wrong.

First, before we get to my articles…a story. The story of my little brother, the one who died at the same age many babies are aborted. I still remember how he looked. There wasn’t and isn’t the slightest doubt that he was a baby. That is one of the many experiences in my life that have led me to have such a strong stance on this topic.

I haven’t been as involved as I could have been… but I have done some things.

There was the 40 day dessert fast, when I focused on praying for the unborn. It was, I think, the first time I ever realized how HARD it is for some of these moms. This was back when I didn’t cry—but I actually did cry, praying for them. Before that time, in my logical, not very emotional way, I thought they should just–not do it. Now, I have grown to recognize even more the challenges some of these mothers face, and I truly have compassion for them, both the ones I know and the ones I don’t.

I also participated in raising money for a local crisis pregnancy center (Pregnancy Solutions.) by walking in their annual walk-for-life. I was sick, but I went and walked a few miles anyways.

I’ve started knitting baby hats to donate to Pregnancy Solution’s boutique… I’ll be going to our church tomorrow to knit with others who are also knitting things for the babies.

I’ve been reading, reading, reading… pro-life and pro-choice articles. I’ll be honest, I read more pro-life. The pro-choice ones get me ranting even more than the pro-life ones do. 😛

I have been saving up to give what little extra money I have (practically all) to Pregnancy Solutions.

I’ve been praying, praying lots. For the crisis pregnancy centers, for the mothers, for the babies, for the hearts of those who have suffered an abortion, for the lawmakers.

Tomorrow, I’m going to a volunteer info session for the Pregnancy Solutions branch that’s opening in North Port. Not sure what God is going to do there.

I guess the point is that I really care about this issue. I don’t just have a bunch of facts. This is about people. Real people, people I know. People who have been brave enough to not get an abortion in cases where others might have. People who have had an abortion.

And it’s not just something I talk about and write about. I’m doing things to help. Not enough. But I’m doing something. And I’m going to keep doing more.

Please join me.

The next post will be about the things I see that are causing this problem… stay tuned!