October 12, 2010

40 Days for Life

To those of you who didn't know this is going on... we are in the midst of the "40 Days for Life" campaign, a worldwide prayer vigil and volunteer anti-abortion event that continues for over a month.

It is day 20 of the campaign today, and so far there have been 241 stories of women who, either because of speaking with prayerful people outside abortion facilities, or upon simply seeing the volunteers at those clinics have chosen to reconsider aborting their children.

No child is born into an ideal circumstance, though many are clearly at an advantage having two parents present, loving extended families and sacrificial mindsets within all those people. Children born with diseases or physical abnormalities are difficult as babies, and are a hardship to their parents in some way, little to large. Young mothers, especially those who are single, face unique problems of their own when faced with an unplanned pregnancy.

Some may say that abortion is "for the good of the child" when the child imminently faces one of these challenges...

An unplanned pregnancy does bring to light a person's self-deficiencies. As opposed to those in a loving, married relationship where both people plan to be parents one day, those who face the certainty of having (and maybe raising) a baby by themselves should not be without sympathy. There are many reasons a person might end up in that spot, and it's hard to be there alone.

I know a girl who had an abortion. She isn't a whore, or stupid, or a misguided secular humanist. It was the hardest thing she ever had to decide (she has told me), and she hated that she had to do it alone (the father was already gone when she found out). She also regrets that there was no one who knew, to talk her out of it (she and I were not in touch then), and that she didn't think she could make the decision to keep the baby by herself. Abortion is the biggest regret she has, she still thinks of that baby and wishes to God she could go back and decide differently. Forgiveness has been hard for her to receive - for many things - since then.

Women like her need our help, either tangible or prayerful (tangible being just as much needed in those situations). This is where the 40 Days campaign steps in. They offer support to mothers and fathers who decide to keep their babies, they provide supplies and support structures for anyone who needs them, both during and after the babies are born. Many come out in public - both as individuals and in groups - to pray. They don't approach women, men or clinic workers. They simply show up, love God and honor His command to protect children.

And they have some amazing stories to tell. Here is one of them, coming from a Nevada 40 Days group member:

"Last week I showed you pictures of the 40 Days for Life vigil in Reno, Nevada — where the abortionist uses a sprinkler system to soak the people praying outside his fence. Despite this aggressive hostility, we just received an incredible report from that location.

A woman driving out of the abortion center’s parking lot stopped to ask one of the local volunteer for her phone number. Shortly after, the volunteer received a text message. This text sums up what 40 Days for Life is about — and the impact a local vigil can have. Here is the exact text message:

'I just wanted to send you guys a text to let you know that what you do out there does make a difference.

When I went to that abortion clinic last week to drop off my money to terminate my pregnancy, I saw people standing out there with signs. I didn’t expect to see that and part of me felt ashamed.

I drove through the gates anyway and went inside, gave them my money and made an appointment for 2:30pm today.

As I was driving away I couldn’t help but think that maybe there was another way. All this week I thought and prayed about it and I realized in my heart what the right thing to do was.
I can’t help but think, that had you guys not been there that day to remind me that I had another choice, that maybe one more baby would have died today.

Don’t stop what you’re doing. It matters. It did to me. From the blonde lady in the white SUV who picked up her money instead of aborting her baby today.' "

In Fargo, ND (right next to my home town of Moorhead, MN), there is a prominant abortion clinic right downtown. It is the yearly meeting site for the 40 Days volunteers. Here is a report from this year:

* One woman stated that when she and her husband went to the sidewalk to pray they were greeted by 18 college men praying in unison. “How powerful to see these men praying out there,” she stated, “They looked like a football team!”
* One college student made a personal goal for himself…100 hours of prayer on the sidewalk during this campaign.
* David Bereit joined the prayer volunteers Friday evening and was joined by students from Shanley High School. Someone brought song sheets and the singing began…Over an hour of music and prayer ensued.
* Calls are going out and people are responding. Another man goes by daily to pray while others thank us for calling them and are delighted to join in this campaign.
* One woman goes out to the sidewalk to pray whenever we call her – even at the last minute.

How can one know that they won't be able to love and provide guidance for their baby? How can someone predict what they can handle, what wellspring (or even just a trickle) might spring up to nourish the child with what he needs? How can we say we "can't" be parents; are we saying that because we don't think we're ready?

Please pray for those faced with the difficult reality of raising a child they did not plan for. Many of them do not know God, or His grace, or that His people are so willing to reach out to them without judgment. That last piece is critical.

Please pray that they would keep their babies, and that they would all come to know the Lord.

October 11, 2010

Is Obama a Socialist?

According to the socialist quoted in the following article, if you're not accomplishing your socialist agenda you're not a socialist. Our high unemployment rate? Sorry, a real socialist would create an environment of 0% unemployment. And the public health option, since it wasn't accepted into the final bill, wasn't really a socialist agenda item. Because, you know, it didn't get passed.

Um... right... Check the link below:

is Obama a socialist

Post script: I'll go ahead and answer the question - Yes, Obama IS a socialist.

October 7, 2010

A Few Days Left Fun: Name Guessing

Whoever said working while you're pregnant is terrible was definitely working the wrong job. My experience has been great, easy on me and has made me money in the process.

Why is it so wonderful? First of all, tons of people pay attention to you. Now, I'm not one of those "I'm pregnant and therefore deserve special treatment" ladies. But the emotions do run high - along with the hormones - and having some extra compliments along the way is really nice. I don't fish for them; I hate that. But I'll take 'em. So instead of having a couple of family or friends who check in as they can, there are people who see you every day and ask you how you're feeling, what's the latest progress, if you need anything. They even threw me a baby shower with gluten free cupcakes! Seriously, how sweet is that?

A lot of my need for social interaction is fulfilled at work, too. This makes me completely ok with spending time alone at home, which is necessary since Nic is studying for the LSAT and can't really do anything else right now. I don't get that whiny "pay attention to me!" thing... at least, not too much.

Thirdly, I have a desk job which requires me to stay in one spot and relax. I even put my feet up and have a fan to keep me cool. No one bothers me and I don't have to run around. And, since I have plenty to do, I haven't suffered too much from the inevitable pregnancy boredom one feels (especially near the end). I work my eight hours - complete with hour lunch, during which I often take naps in the car (double score!) - and go home. I bring nothing mental home from work, so there are no stresses at the end of the day.

Lastly, my coworkers are fun. They like to guess names. All I've said is that one name begins with a C and one begins with an R; I haven't even said which sex for each letter. For some reason, this has translated into them only guessing C names (along with a couple beginning with neither C nor R). It is an ongoing list, but listed below is part of it.

Do you have a name guess? Leave it in the comments!

Chi Chi
Charlie - boy or girl
Rosemary (the only R name guessed so far)

and... Bear and Saffron. I have no idea where the inspiration for those came from!

October 5, 2010

Less Than a Week?

My due date is on Sunday!

I can hardly believe it... seems like it went by SOOOOO quickly. I didn't keep good notes (I'm not a "journaling" type) except for a symptoms list! Funny, those are the things I will probably remember without jotting them down. A lot of them came butted up against each other at the end (thank goodness).

I remember when my nephew Eli - now almost 13 -was born. And my nephew Connor (I was in the bathroom in my dorm washing dishes when I got the phone call!). My niece Maia arrived in the summer, to my adoring sister and brother-in-law. Lastly, nephew Joe was early.. born two weeks shy of his due date, but the biggest baby of all of them (even though he looked absolutely tiny in pictures).

I heard stories of Aidan's birth before I even met his mother and father. We got a phone call that Amelie was being born and started getting ready to head over... only to get another call a half hour later saying "It's over!" Juliette had a fanfare of her own, being born into her dad's arms, just like her sister was - although Juliette wasn't in quite as much of a hurry.

Now... Eli is almost 13, Connor 8, Maia 5, Aidan 5, Amelie almost 3, and the babies are one and almost one, respectively. People always say time flies with kids, and so many days go by without your being able to recollect them later.

I have great memories of my cousins as we grew up, and my nephews and nieces are all uniquely special to me. We have painted pictures together, stomped in the mud, read stories, played Legos, investigated the outdoors and enjoyed dinners together. I have so many good memories of them; it makes me sad that distance now dictates I see my sisters' kids only a few times a year. I still don't want to miss anything. Thank goodness for pictures, video calls and e-mail.

What will my own kids be like? I don't know very much about this baby so far. What I do know is that he/she doesn't startle easily (in fact, not at all), is very active (still), is on the "small side of normal" (about 6 lbs right now, maybe a smidgen more), likes every kind of food I like and is a little stubborn (at least as far as getting settled in a comfy position goes).

But what else? None of these things I mention are personality. Nothing about what he/she looks like, or will behave like. What will he/she like to do? To think about?

I suppose all that comes in the far future. I'll soon enough be lamenting the days of sleepy, snuggly nap and feeding times, with the greatest cares he/she has are being warm and well fed.

None of this captures what I'm feeling about the whole thing. I'm not a very emotional person.. my mom wasn't nor hers before... Or maybe I just don't know how to express it correctly? I thought writing it down would make it easier but.. it's not. The closest I can come to describing it is being a jumble of anticipation, nervousness, curiosity, excitement, joy, fear, wistfulness and calm. On any given day, at any given moment, the proportions of those feelings change.

And I don't think that's going to go away any time soon.
But I am looking forward so much to meeting this little person face-to-face.

Pray it all goes well.. it's very uncertain still how it will transpire... isn't it always?... Pray for all three of us, if you would. We would greatly appreciate it.


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