Friday, January 28, 2005

Carole Lombard and the Art of Living

Some actresses are famous for their off-screen lives, with their screen roles playing an almost inconsequential part in their appeal. I would classify Marilyn Monroe in this category. Her pitiful, sad life and remarkable beauty are the objects of our interest, and, had she never starred in a movie, film history would not be noticeably altered.

Some actresses are famous entirely for their virtuosity on the screen, with their personal lives rousing little to no interest outside the most rabid of fans. I would classify Bette Davis in this category. Who cares what she did off-screen? She was a phenomenonal actress, whose work stands on its own merits.

Some actresses meld both on- and off-screen personalities so perfectly, that the lives they live infuse their art with a totally new, unique spirit, one that cannot be imitated or replicated. This category's premiere member is Carole Lombard. She had such a zest and appreciation for living, that her particular vitality poured over into her work on-screen and left us with memorable performances that came to personify a fledgling genre of film: the screwball comedy.

I am endlessly fascinated by Carole Lombard - the actress to a certain extent, the woman to a great extent. To me, she is one of the few persons I've ever read of who truly got the purpose of this earthly life. As far as I know, she was not a Christian by name, but you'd have to look far and wide to find someone more Christian by nature. It is almost as though God created a person so infused with His spirit, that public testimony of faith would have been almost redundant. (I'm probably verging on heresy here, but God's grace is bigger than my heresy, and I'm trying prayerfully to express my observations.) She lived with a joy and immediacy that stuns me and humbles me. For instance, this quote from a 1938 interview with Gladys Hall for Motion Picture magazine sums up Carole's philosophy nicely:

"I love everything I do. I'm intensely interested in and enthusiastic about everything I do, everything. No matter what it is I'm doing, no matter how trivial, it isn't trivial to me. I give it all I've got, and I love it. I love living, I love life. Eating, sleeping, waking up again, skeet-shooting, sitting around an old barn doing nothing, my work, taking a bath, talking my ears off, the little things, the big things, the simplest things, the most complicated things -- I get a kick out of everything I do while I'm doing it.
If I don't love what I'm doing, I don't DO it. But, if I have to do something I'm not nuts about now and then, and who doesn't, I DO it and get it over with. I never anticipate trouble. I never worry, never fret. I can't duck issues. Ducking issues causes more grief than the issues themselves ever do. I never sit around and clutch my head and moan, 'I HAVE to do so-and-so, alas lo, the poor Lombard!' -- I just say, 'Let's DO it!' or 'Okay, let's GO!' -- and it's done, and there's nothing to it."

There is a true art to this kind of living. This grabbing life by the ankles and shaking it upside-down until you empty its pockets of every joy, every sorrow, every laugh, every sob, just everything, everything it has to offer, reveling in all of its gifts - good and bad - this exulting in every facet, arms open wide - there is holiness in this, for God is at the center of it all. And, knowing how to come through it all and maintain this kind of exuberant attitude, speaks to me of a faith that is boundless.

I love her views on growing older, as expressed in the same interview as the previous quote:

"With age there comes a richness that's divine. Age takes on a beauty everyone can't see, perhaps. But I see it ... I don't know of anything in the world more beautiful, more fascinating than a woman ripe with years, rich and lush as velvet with experience, her humor as tangy and flavorous as sunriped fruit. If women wouldn't get so self-conscious about getting old, they wouldn't get old metally, and then they wouldn't be old at all, only wise and simply divine. I LOVE the idea of getting old."

I wish we could have seen Carole Lombard perfecting the art of aging in the same way she perfected the art of living. What a salty, sassy old broad she would have made!

Whenever I re-read one of the many books that I have collected about Carole Lombard, I usually end up sighing and asking Jason, "Is it possible to miss someone you didn't know personally?" Because, I do miss Carole - I miss her incredibly.

Her view on her career in movies is also refreshingly balanced. On one hand, she loved and took seriously the whole business of movie-making. She was grateful to have such a lucrative career in the midst of the Great Depression. She never took her position as a film star for granted. On the other hand...(from the same interview as the previous two quotes):

"I love my work and I take it seriously. As I love everything I do and give everything I've got to whatever I'm doing. But I do not go about clutching my Career to an otherwise naked bosom. If my work were to be taken away from me tomorrow, I wouldn't be stopped. I'd go on living, and still love it. There are a thousand things I could do, would do, would want to do. I'm like old Solomon. If he had lost one of his wives, he wouldn't exactly have been a widower. I couldn't be widowed by the loss of any one facet of my life. Because it's too rich, life is too abundant. There are too many things to want to do, to have, to get, to lose, to find out about..."

Carole didn't bow at the altar of false idols.

One last quote from Carole about God. This is from an interview given to Adela Rogers St. Johns shortly before her untimely death while coming home from a war bonds-selling tour. It was published the month after her death in Liberty magazine.

Of the concept of God: "I don't seem to get solemn about it, and some people might not understand. That's why I never talk about it. I think it's all here -- in the mountains and the desert. I don't think God is a softie, either. In the end, it's better if people are forced back into -- well -- into being right, before they're too far gone. I think your temple is your everyday living."

A life well-lived won't save your soul. Only Jesus through God's grace can do that. But, a life well-lived is a blessing to God, a way to honor Him, the best proof of gratitude to Him. Carole Lombard may not have known Jesus by name in this life, but He truly must have known her, and I have little doubt that in those final few seconds on January 16, 1942, in a DC-3 flying inexorably toward a Nevada mountain in the deep silence of a winter's night, Jesus came for His little lamb and lifted her out of her seat and into His arms. Such must be the grace of God.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

God is Weird

C.S. Lewis once said about the story of Christ's birth something to the effect that it is so bizarre and irrational, man could not have invented it; therefore, he was convinced it must be true.

Jason is currently reading through the Old Testament. He's almost to the end of Genesis, right now he's reading about Joseph. Occasionally, I hear him chuckling and sighing, and I see him shaking his head. He turned to me once and said, "These stories are so crazy and strange." I replied, "God is weird."

Because we were created by God, in His image, we often like to athropomorphize Him, make Him in our image. But God is not man. We cannot comprehend Him, but He has put in our hearts the desire to try to do just that, and our frustration of trying to understand the eternal from the standpoint of the finite has been the earmark of the human condition since time began.

I bet there were many times that Abraham had wished that God had not chosen him. Likewise for all the men and women that God has worked through throughout time to effect His will on earth. Probably the one way authentically to know that God is active in your life is that you really do not want Him there sometimes. If there is no struggle with God, no railing against Him, no frustration, no moments of delusion or even utter faithlessness, there is no relationship. I think of Jacob wrestling with God in Genesis, his grip not loosening until he received God's blessing. We wrestle, we fight, we complain, we rebel, we hide. And, if we are among the most fortunate, we stumble, scraping our knees on the gravel of our humanity, still grasping at the hem of His robe, and find ourselves lifted to victory in Him in the arms of grace. We do not let go of Him, because He will not let go of us. But, on this earth, in this life at least, we will never fully comprehend Him, and it is a grave injustice to Him if we ever think we can. But, it is an even graver tragedy for us if we stop trying to. That striving to seek the heart of God is the central theme of Carolyn Arends's excellent book, Living the Questions: Making Sense of the Mess and Mystery of Life.

God has an amazing sense of subtlety; we humans prefer grand gestures and sweeping demonstrations. While He occasionally employs those trembling forces of fire and brimstone, or triumphal displays of angelic choruses and thunderous voice, He more often works in hidden ways, especially since the work of salvation was done on the cross at Calvary. Ever since the new covenant, God has worked on the innermost parts of people's hearts rather than in moving mountains and parting seas. Yet, He tells us we too can do these things in faith.

I, for one, know that if I were God, I would use the smiting power a whole lot more. Abortionists, child-abusers, communists, war-mongers - all would receive a severe spanking of lightning right on the tushy. I would also never put a parent through the grief of planning their child's funeral, and I would stop 9/11s before they could get past the "Mohammed, contact me immediately! I have a wonderful plan to attack the infidels. Love, Osama" stage. Should the smitings be somehow seen as "random" by atheists, I would constantly be showing myself in the most awe-inspiring ways, with pageantry so grand none would have any excuse for not knowing that I am who I am. Then I would smite some more. "Spare the lightning rod, spoil the humans" would be my godly motto.

But God comes to us as a Nazarene, a man of no reputation, a humble teacher whose miracles were dismissed by the religious elite as demonic works. He comes to us to show us how to live a life of eternal significance in a world where we never feel fully at home. He dies for us, so that we might live. God's work on the cross, the shedding of Jesus's blood is to me (and I assume almost all believers) not an historic event, but a current event. Every day, when God allows sinners reconciliation to Him, He dies again so that we will not have to. This is truly weird - why am I so important to Him, that He continues to work on my behalf, offering me "beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for mourning, peace for despair" - meeting every sin with grace, tempering every judgement with mercy? Blessed weirdness! "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it. (Ps. 139:6)"

So, yes, God is weird. The Bible is a chronicle of that singular strangeness - the instances on this earthly plane where the holy has met the human, often with great messiness and elation and heartache, but never without significance and eternal ramifications. God shakes up this world He has made when we would rather He let us alone, eludes our understanding when we wish He would send unmistakable messages, and refuses to conform to our human sense of justice and fair play; but, in the midst of our doubt and anger, He never fails us. His faithfulness is extraordinary, and even the most stubborn of wandering lambs will find that famous "peace that surpasses all understanding" when they turn from the wayward path and realize they are already found.

P.S. "Weird" is weird, as it violates the entire rule of "'i' before 'e', except after 'c' and when it says 'ay' like 'neighbor' and 'weigh.' Wacky English!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

National Birth-Mother Appreciation Day

I, Justine, by the power vested in me by the desire for human decency and kindness and because nobody else seems willing to do it, do hereby declare January 22 to be known hereafter as National Birth-Mother Appreciation Day, acknowledging at long last those women who chose in the face of unexpected expectancy not to go the barbarous and despicable route of abortion, but instead generously nutured life and released that life into arms of love and care through adoption. Therefore, I beseech my fellow Americans, in this spirit of selfless giving and reverence for the fundamental Jeffersonian right to life, to take a moment out of this day to pray for these women who have traveled this difficult path and for those women who might be wavering between abortion or adoption to make the correct decision and let their babies live and flourish and bless another family.

Married mothers, single mothers, and adoptive mothers all have a special day in May where their motherhood is honored by society at large. On this day, the wretched anniversary of that aberration of justice known as the Roe vs. Wade decision, it is only right and fitting that we honor those women whose arms are empty on Mother's Day, but whose hearts are certainly always full, because they made the most selfless decision I can imagine and gave their babies life and then gave their babies to homes where they would be very much wanted and adored. Adoption has blessed so many formerly childless couples and countless children since the dawn of time, and, behind every joyous adoption, is a woman who recognized that child's right to live despite her facing inconvenience, discomfort, ridicule, ostracism, and scorn. These women are some of the unsung heroes of our world, and it is time for them to be recognized for the sacrifices they have made.

Well, here is another article I found on (a fabulous website wherein many news items that don't get much reporting in the MSM can be found as well as people's discussions thereof). Another example of why abortion is so horrific and must end in this free, civilized nation:

In case you wanted also to read the National Review article to which the above link refers in the first paragraph, you may click here:

Hopefully, this will be my last abortion posting for a little while. It is only natural that I have focused upon this topic so often these past two weeks, as the Roe vs. Wade anniversary always haunts me especially in January. Abortion is never "off" my mind, though, and the plight of the unborn is always in my heart. I would like to post on some other things, however, so I'll take a little break from abortion for the next week or two, and maybe try some more lighthearted topics.

Peace to all, and may God forgive our often misguided, but usually well-intentioned, country.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Happy Friday, Sad Saturday

I am rejoicing in every hunger pang, every instance of light-headedness. Every time I am reminded of my lack of food intake, I also remember to say another prayer to end abortion in the United States. 45 million babies erased, destroyed, there and then suddenly not there. Forty-five million. 45,000,000.

On this day, 32 years ago, babies were still protected in most states. A tiny baby swimming about in the womb was a baby on January 21, 1973. The next day, that same baby was a "choice." Scary stuff. Unimaginably horrible and tragic too. If you can stomach it, link to this site and read for yourself how the wanton destruction of humans destroys our humanity:

Everyone in the U.S. who thinks it's okay to support abortion should read this account. When abolitionists wanted to end the horror of slavery in the United States, they had an incredible weapon in the struggle - testimony from slaves and former slaves. The unborn do not have voices to tell of the cruel way their limbs are torn from them, their brains liquidated, their bones crushed and vacuumed out of the home where they should have been so safe and warm and guarded. All they have are the brave workers in abortion mills who dare to tell their stories, and the incredible pro-life activists who have risked arrest and derision to capture this mutilation on film and show it to the world. I've been next to these brave souls who hold signs portraying poor little babies ripped to pieces by a scalpel or mummified by saline solution. People yell and scream profanities at them for daring to show what abortion is, what abortion does. They are appalled and disgusted (rightly so) by these portraits of man's ultimate inhumanity toward man, but, instead of resolving to end this horror, they abuse pro-lifers as "sick" or "disturbed." Incredible how far into denial people will go to avoid putting themselves in the midst of a controversial issue. Better to close your eyes, turn your head, plug your ears and harden your heart; after all, you are already born.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

March for Life in Olympia, WA

Jason, Sadie and I went to Olympia yesterday to stand up for unborn babies at the annual March for Life at the capitol building. I'm not very good at estimating the number of people in crowds, and there was no mention of the march in the Seattle Times today, but I'd say there were at least 2,000 pro-lifers there and maybe 50 pro-abort counter-protesters. Again, the Catholics put all of us Prostestants to shame by taking the time to participate en masse in this demonstration on behalf of the unborn. I am always so ashamed of non-Catholic Christians at these events, because we should be just as involved with the pro-life movement, and our absence speaks volumes about our unwillingness to tackle this controversial issue. Shame on us and our self-satisfied, apathetic attitude toward the tragedy of legalized infanticide! How many Christians turned out for the pro-marriage rally at Safeco last summer? About 25,000, if I recall correctly. Where were they yesterday? Granted, that rally was on a Saturday, and this march was on a Wednesday, but, surely, this is an issue of greater importance. Jason, bless him, took the day off of work to support this cause. Jesus, please forgive us for our collective guilt in this travesty of humanity and decency, and please continue to bolster the efforts and resolve of all your people, Catholic and non-Catholic.

Today I started my annual 3-days of fasting and prayer leading up to the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. Norma McCorvey (Roe) has filed a petition with the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade, God bless her. I think often about the little baby she was carrying when she was conned into filing suit as "Roe" in 1972. That little girl was able to escape the death sentence, subsequently handed down to 45 million other unborn babes, by virtue of the fact that, if you don't turn them over to the baby butchers, all pregnancies (even "unwanted" ones!) terminate themselves around 9 months. She was adopted out (Thank God!), and would now be about 32 years old. I wonder if she's ever figured out that she was the baby that McCorvey so desperately thought she wanted to kill. I wonder if she's pro-life. Shouldn't all adopted babies be pro-life? Certainly, if you are adopted, you realize that you are not here because you were particularly "wanted" by your biological parents, but that they were selfless and compassionate enough to welcome you and give you to another family that could care for you and love you.

The march yesterday was very uplifting. They had some very inspiring speakers, none of whom I saw, as we arrived late as usual and had to stand in the very back. Sadie got a big kick out of running around the Capitol grounds in the unusually warm, rainless weather. Two pro-lifers started arguing about the Iraq war, to which I wanted to say, "Can it! This is about the babies!" The pro-aborts were particularly vile this year, with the pungent aroma of desperation clouding about them. They know they are on the losing end of history, and this knowledge led them to cry out rudely during the public prayers and speakers and try to be generally disruptive. Some had horrible signs that said, "I Love Abortion" or "I Got Knocked Up on Abstinence-Only Education." One of the favorite pro-abort sayings appeared on a few signs: "Don't Like Abortion? Don't Have One!" This, of course, is one of the most illogical sayings I've ever heard. How about, "Don't Like Murder? Don't Commit One!" or "Don't Like Slavery? Don't Buy a Slave!" Also, there was a lady there who wanted you to believe that she was "Pro-Choice, Pro-Child." Uh-huh. That's akin to "Pro-Nazi, Pro-Jew." You cannot be both.

A couple of years ago, the pastor of the church we were then attending gave a stirring sermon about surrenduring your life to God's plan. He spoke about how you can never fully prepare yourself for the way God might take your world and spin it about when you submit entirely to His will. The pastor said that it was scary and amazing and wonderful and terrible the way that God will deconstruct your tidy life and your shallow ambitions and rebuild you in His image when you pray to do His will without compromise. I was captivated by and spent many hours pondering this idea, terrified to pray this particular prayer, yet equally afraid not to know His complete plan for me. I tend to like my tidy life, you see. Plus, I was mostly afraid that God would call me to Asia or Africa for missionary work, and then what would I say to Jason?

So, I prayed a timid prayer, asking God for His guidance and direction for my life, asking to be made into what He wanted me to be, reminding Him that I was His - purchased at a great price - and His alone, pleading with Him to remember my limited abilities and prior commitments (Jason), but, in the end, acknowledging that His will ought to be done. This was hardly the triumphant averment of my faith that I had hoped secretly to be capable of, but it was the best I could do at that time. God is so good, so understanding and merciful. I knew that He who began a good work in me would be faithful to complete it, even if it took a lot of maneuvering around my protective barriers of unbelief. So, I waited to see what would happen. It seemed that nothing did.

Then, slowly and slowly, my waking thoughts and nightly dreams began to be haunted by the plight of the unborn and their precarious position in modern society. I began to be deeply troubled by visions of the destruction of life at its most innocent and vulnerable state. My heart's cry became the unheard, unanswered voices of those we lost to the barbarism that hides beneath a self-deluded mantle of "choice." I had been "pro-life" for several years, but not like this, not with this gut-wrenching acuity of horror and pain. Oh God, I thought, is this what it is going to be? Is this what You want me to strive for, to devote my life to? And I prayed again, as I have prayed many times since then. I must never lose sight of this sacred trust from God, this deep empathy and heart that He has given me for the unborn. Is it inconvenient? Yes, but so are most things that take us away from our selfish pursuits. Is it uncomfortable? Yes, I battle all the time to overcome my natural shyness and my tendency toward complacent self-absorption. Is it controversial? Are you kidding me? Almost everyone I know is pro-abortion (I refuse to use "pro-choice," as there is no such thing) to varying degrees. Is it holy? I pray everyday that it is holy and blessed in Jesus's sight.

I have so much work to do, or, rather, God has so much work to do in me, before I make a real difference for the unborn. But events such as the march yesterday are the little wellsprings of living water that Jesus so graciously provides those who seek His will. Even the most stalwart of atheists, Ayn Rand, understood that "the spirit too needs fuel; it can run dry." The March for Life is just one of the filling stations that God has placed on this amazing highway. It is an immeasurable blessing to stand next to those more mature in this particular mission of His, those runners who have lapped me several times in this race, and see that they still have the Spirit of truth shining within, feeding their souls, giving them the strength to continue.

I am confident that we will win. Hopefully within my lifetime we will see abortion in the same light as we now see slavery and wonder how we were ever so deceived as a nation. Heavenly Father, please bring us quickly to that point, and please forgive us all for the death of those little ones. Their angels always see Your face; may it be also for us. Amen.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Favorite Scripture

Luke 12:32
"Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
This is a wonderfully concise illustration of our relationship to and with God, through the Good Shepherd, Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7
"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
This passage brings me such comfort and joy.

Philippians 1:21
"For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
This reminds me why I'm here and where I'm going.

Ephesians 4:26-27
"Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil."
Foundational advice for a marriage or any other human relationship.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."
Whenever I get frustrated with Paul and his seemingly endless chawing through the epistles, passages like this above help me regain my gratitude for this Godly man and his inspired words.

John 1:4-5
"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend [overcome] it."
This says it all. No matter what happens, no matter how many battles are yet to be fought, the Victor has been known from the start.

Psalm 139:7-12
"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, 'Surely the darkness shall fall on me,' even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You."
It never fails to humble and amaze me that the Creator of the universe counts every hair on my head. He always finds me, no matter how far I run.

I am so grateful for the Word. And for the Word made flesh in Jesus Christ.

Monday, January 17, 2005

School Killings and the Great Tragedy...

How's that for an uplifting title?

Sometimes a person will say something that just sticks with you, almost haunts you on a daily basis for the rest of your life. That seems to happen to me quite a bit.

Shortly after the Columbine High School shooting tragedy of 1999, I was talking the incident over with my dad. I, as most of the nation, was horrified by the event. I was imagining the helplessness and trauma of being a parent whose child was held captive those long hours - the terrible uncertainty of not knowing whether your child was alive or dead - the utter inability to do anything other than wait and pray. I railed against this violence and lamented these deaths as insensible and almost unbelievable tragedy. My dad agreed with me, and then he said something that shocked me and left me forever a little changed.

"An even greater tragedy than these kinds of school killings," my dad slowly said, "Is the murdering of children's natural love of and instinct toward learning that occurs every day in our public schools."

Holy cow.

Not a day goes by that those words do not echo in my mind. Certainly, for the parents who lost their children that horrible day, the murder of their bodies is more significant than the mass-murdering of children's minds that passes for public education in our country; however, as a national tragedy, the latter holds more significance. Public education is not geared toward fostering a life-long love of learning in our children, but more, I do believe, toward indoctrinating them. Great teachers manage to fly under the radar and offer amazing educational experiences to students, but they are a more endangered species than the annoying little spotted owls that interfere so greatly with property rights in the great PNW.

If the public schools only taught to a degree of competency the skills of reading, writing and arithmetic to our children, they would not fall under my censure. Surely, the young adults graduated from our high schools would then be able to face their futures with some level of confidence. Oh wait! They already do! Instead of teaching basic skills our schools excel in teaching self-esteem, so, even if Johnny can't write a coherent sentence, he sure feels good about himself.

I'm not writing here about anything new or revelatory. These issues have been discussed and pondered with greater scholarship and skill than I can ever hope to achieve by such incredible writers as Thomas Sowell, Martin L. Gross, and John Taylor Gatto. What, to me, is a little new and different is the perspective of my father. The idea that the failure of the public education is not merely something to be ruefully discussed or criticized or poked fun at, but is a tragedy of unimaginable proportions.

From that moment on, my dad's unexpected observation caused my resolve to homeschool my children to become as much a moral commitment as it had previously been an ideological commitment.

Friday, January 14, 2005

A Pantyhose Tip for the Ladies Out There

When buying pantyhose, do not let your vanity cost you money!
Unless you have legs like matchsticks, buy the largest size.
Pantyhose are never baggy, even if you buy 2+ sizes larger than you are.
My height and weight would usually put me at a Size B, but I buy Size D or sometimes even Q.
Trust me, you'll be much more comfortable, and you'll be spending less money on pantyhose.
The less skintight they are as they stretch and bend (and I stretch and bend them a lot chasing after a toddler) the less likely they'll be to get runs and holes.
The less the fabric gets stretched out, the more sturdy they'll be to withstand multiple washings.
I have not bought pantyhose in over a year. Granted I usually only wear them once a week to church, still that's a lot of wearing over a year.
That store clerk will only have to look at you to know you're not the larger size, and even if he or she gives you the fisheye, who cares?
You'll save money in the long run.
Oh, plus, you should buy and wear tights instead of pantyhose whenever you can!

Roe Vs. Wade Survivor, Class of 1974

I count myself a survivor of Roe vs. Wade.

I was born to a "pro-choice" mother in the year after this travesty of justice paved the way for women to kill their babies without restriction in every state.

My mother used to boast about how I was the ultimate product of "planned parenthood." My parents waited eight years into their marriage to have a child. They finished their educations. They secured themselves in their careers. I was "wanted." I'm sure my mother told me these details to build my esteem, make me realize my worth. I used to buy into it. I used to be pro-choice.

Then I started thinking: What if in the midst of her pregnancy, my "wanted" status had changed? What if my father had run off with another woman, leaving my mother alone, vulnerable, suddenly unable to cope with the pressures of parenthood? What if my mother had been offered a prestigious new position within her field, one that would provide many additional challenges and accolades and stresses that would not have complemented parenting a newborn at that time? What if, on the other hand, my parents lost one or both of their positions, drastically and rapidly leading to a reversal in their economic state and destroying all the "planning" in which they had so prudently engaged? You can "plan" parenthood as much as possible, but life is ultimately unplannable. When a child's only protection under the law is his or her "wanted-ness" by the mother, then no child is safe.

If, however, each child were seen as a person from the time their unique DNA code is formed (i.e. at conception), deserving of human dignity and legal protection, this would be a better country, a more humane and civilized country. I survived a court decision that told my mother that I was not a person until she said so. I am certain my mother would be horrified to read my point of view on this (she died in 1998). She would protest and say, "No, no! Don't you understand? You were wanted. We planned, we provided, we did it right." Yes, Mom, you did do it right. I think that every child should be so welcomed into this world. You and Dad did a great job. But, even if you hadn't done such a great job planning, preparing and providing, should my life have ended? Even if, all of a sudden, I hadn't been wanted by you, I can assure you I would still have been wanted by at least one person - myself. Abortion denies a child the fundamental right of self-actualization.

No child can ever be duplicated. When you destroy a child through abortion, just as when you murder any human being, no matter how young or old, you are destroying someone irreplaceable. How can people live with these holes that have been punched through our society? I can't walk down a street anymore without seeing the voids created by 45 million missing people. What would they be doing? I'm sure some of those children would have gone on to do amazing, wonderful things, enriching countless lives during their time on earth. I'm sure some of those children would have gone on to commit horrendous acts of incredible depravity. Probably most of those children would be living lives like mine - plain, ordinary, everyday, bread-and-butter kind of lives - living peacefully, raising their own children, working hard, obeying laws, finding joys both great and small, living through their sorrows and regrets, finding redemption in an ever-loving God. No matter what the outcome, we should not deprive people of the chance to do with their lives what they will (or to seek what God wills, if they are a person of faith).

How horrible it is to think that we are adding to these missing around 4,000 human lives a day.

I am not a choice, despite what my mother may have thought. Neither are these tiny souls destroyed daily in abortion mills across this great nation, despite what lies are told to convince women otherwise.

My daughter and any other children my husband and I are blessed with will never have to grow up with the shadow of "what if?" hanging over them. They, too, will not have been choices.

Let us open our hearts and learn to want children more. Let us eliminate, as Randy Alcorn so eloquently put it in his excellent book Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments, the "unwanted" from "unwanted children," not the "children." And beyond "wanting," let us change our cultural attitude to welcoming these small people. They deserve to have choices, not to be choices.

2 1/2 Months Until Mariners Baseball Season Starts!

Here's to a more successful season in 2005 than 2004...
Go M's!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Sadie and Sadie's Mom Posted by Hello

Another Day, Another Post

Wow! The weather can be so tricky up here in the PNW. This morning when I awoke, the sun was shining brightly and the skies were azure. Now, the clouds have rolled in and are looking a bit threatening in spots. We'll probably get some rain this afternoon.

The new Carolyn Arends site should be launched within the next few days. The contest to summarize CA in one sentence ended yesterday. I submitted a few ideas - none very good, I'm afraid. First of all, I have a big problem with brevity - I tend to ramble. Secondly, Carolyn Arends's music is so complex and varied and significant, she's hard to condense to one sentence. For instance, one of the clues to writing this one sentence was to imagine how you would describe Carolyn's music to a friend who had never heard of her. Well, to me, that would depend on the friend. To a non-Christian friend, I might say that she has a folk-pop sound and concentrates her songs on the questions of life without easy answers. She doesn't just repeat "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus" over and over in her songs, but He's there in every note, nonetheless. Therefore, she is the perfect Christian artist to introduce to non-Christian friends. She speaks truth in a gentle, non-threatening, subtle way. To a Christian friend, if they were not of a literary bent, I would mention her grounding in scripture and her unique sound. To a Christian friend who tended to be very bookish, I would mention her amazing integration of many great writers into accessible songs. Her breadth of literary knowledge and references thereto never fail to leave me breathless. In any event, it will be interesting to see what they choose to use for the website.

There was another Nicole Brodeur column about abortion in the Seattle Times today. Her tag line is "Nicole wonders about the same things you do." I don't think so. She writes that she wouldn't "wish [abortion] on anyone." Amen to that. But she sees abortion as something that happens to women, whereas I see abortion as something that happens to babies. Women do not abort themselves, they abort their babies. And that is a sad, horrible thing. When 4 in 10 women in the United States have contracted to commit legal murder, when one in four babies (25%) is murdered before seeing the light of day, when wombs are turned into killing fields and lives hang by the thread of a "choice," and Nicole Brodeur speaks of women's bodies being "under siege by those who don't live in them" without thinking about the siege against those who temporarily must live in them, she is hardly wondering about the same things I am. Thomas Jefferson once wrote with slavery in mind, "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever." Today, slavery is even more insidious, because it is all but invisible in the form of abortion. Women can kill their children in the womb, because, according to the courts, they own these children. I tremble for my beloved country when I think of the ramifications of almost 32 years not just of legalized murder, but of murder embraced and celebrated as a Constitutional right.

Please, dear Lord, protect the unborn and the born. Protect the children and their childhoods, their sense of wonder, their innate sense of joy, their instinctive love for You, as is within Your will. Amen.

Sadie and Sadie's Mom Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Let the Blogging Commence

Well, I've been having such fun setting up my profile, that's it's taken me until today to post. Compiling a profile is very challenging. Certainly, the people most likely to read this blog are friends and family who already know that I am much more than my "profile." Still, this being a public and international forum, I wanted to put my best foot forward in presenting myself to any passersby who may happen along.

So, the problem becomes figuring out which aspect of my personality is most important and needs to be given precedence in my profile. Thankfully, I have an easy answer. I am a believer in Jesus Christ; I am a Christian. That is the foundation upon which the whole of my quirks and complexities hangs. This core of my beliefs is the alpha and omega of who I am. Since I was once dead in sin, and I am now alive in Christ, it would be highly negligent not to list this first in my profile.

The next most important thing that anyone should know about me is that I am a wife and mother. I think that I have been truly blessed to have a husband who is supportive of my staying home with our daughter, Sadie. He has given up many personal comforts and conveniences to keep us as a single-income family. To me, the most important thing I can do on this earth is to raise my child(ren). Being at home with Sadie, watching her grow and learn every day, giving her that sense of security and familiarity of having Mom all day and Dad every night and on weekends - I am so honored to be able to provide that in this crazy, scary world.

Every other facet of my personality is rather consequential, stemming usually from the above two. Of course, some aspects of who I am have nothing to do with anything really, just those random attributes that build a unique soul. This is an incredible, amazing world, and though it is a fallen world, it is still a God-saturated world. He is so faithful, and I am so grateful.

Thus completeth the first post!