Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Revenge of Conscience

Al Mohler wrote an article called The Revenge of Conscience. I appreciate him tackling this issue so well. It shocks me that women think in their freedom to choose to kill their baby that life will be better. The fear of inconvenience and life changes babies bring drive women to do things that I believe haunt them for life. What kind of freedom is that? Do we think we can really escape the repercussions of our decisions. I so agree the conscience will have its revenge. I am not writing off the individual for making a huge mistake but the cultural acceptance and drive to eliminate anything that "cramps our style". Though I believe the change comes one decision at a time.

I cannot understand going to receive help to have a baby; then only to kill those babies you so badly wanted. Where is the moral responsibility? How do doctors sleep at night who do these procedures? How did we get to the place that life has no value outside of our personal preference! This is very close to my heart....we our selves are in the process of receiving help to have another baby.



Here is a portion of his article:

"Have we now reached a point of no moral return? Mundy's article forces us to face the fact that we have become a society that considers "selective reduction" just part of what is necessary, given the power of new reproductive technologies. We will become killers even as we become givers of life. A needle is inserted into one baby in order to kill, another needle in yet another baby in order to save.
The cold, clinical, calculating nature of the decisions reported by Liza Mundy takes us to the heart of the human problem. The essence of sin is the ambition to be as God.
The appearance of these articles, published in major American newspapers in a span of mere days, tells us something important. So does the fact that each of these articles reflects a sense of moral disquiet. Mundy reports that many women develop intense moral disquiet and persistent depression after undergoing the procedure. A source cited by Mundy explained that "psychoanalytic interviews with women who underwent [selective reduction] describe severe bereavement reactions including ambivalence, guilt, and a sense of narcissistic injury, all of which increased the complexity of their attachment to the remaining babies."
Professor J. Budziszewski of the University of Texas describes this pattern as "the revenge of conscience." God has made us so that conscience emerges even when we attempt to shut it out and hide from it. As Budziszewski explains, "We do not lack moral knowledge; we hold it down." It does not stay down.
We can hide behind euphemisms like "selective reductions," but the woman on the table knows what is happening. She can hide her face under a gown but she cannot hide from her conscience.
The same is true for Dr. Evans, and for those who read Mundy's important article. Consider just these words:
Evans prepared two syringes, swabbed Emma with antiseptic, put the square-holed napkin on her stomach. Then he plunged one of the needles into Emma's belly and began to work his way into position. He injected the potassium chloride, and B, the first fetus to go, went still.
"There's no activity there," he said, scrutinizing the screen. B was lying lengthwise in its little honeycomb chamber, no longer there and yet still there. It was impossible not to find the sight affecting. Here was a life that one minute was going to happen and now, because of its location, wasn't. One minute, B was a fetus with a future stretching out before it: childhood, college, children, grandchildren, maybe. The next minute, that future had been deleted.
A future deleted -- as simple as that. This is what we have become as a society, if this is what we tolerate and accept as a necessary cost of the new reproductive technologies. Even the most enthusiastic advocate of "a woman's right to choose" must have to take a deep breath when reading these articles. Conscience will have its revenge. "

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Home Education con't

A while ago I posted my homeschool story and how we came to the decision to home educate our children. After making the decision it was time to explore HOW to go about doing it. One thing I always tell someone new to home education is find at least a loose approach to how you want to accomplish your goal. I have seen a few families waiver and sorta loose steam because they lack direction and some form of method.

I will start by saying that what we have chosen is best for us, not the only way, just our way. When I first started researching home education the one thing I did not want was learning and godliness to be two separate things. I often heard people say things like "character is more important then your academics". If you have to stop school for a week to get back on track do that....you want godliness before head knowledge. The other thing I struggled with was comments that children did not need to go beyond a certain point in say math because they probably wouldn't ever use it. Though I understand this to a degree....and every child is different it bothered me a bit. We homeschool first and foremost because we feel called to it and to keeping our kids heart at home. I also feel where I live that I can give them a better education at home. I do not understand why we cannot have a well educated child that loves to learn and think for himself that is still godly and Christ centered. It is as if you can do one or the other well but not both. Maybe I am naive considering I am only 2-3 years into this but I think you can have both.
What I am most drawn to in methodology is Classical Education. It is all the rave right now in home school circles but it is nothing new. We are just swinging back around and looking at what worked long ago because in my opinion what is going on in school isn't working well. I agree with the three stages of the Trivium and the building it does from each stage to the next. I am not die hard and believe that some kids for example will develop abstract thinking outside of this methodologies parameters. In fact my 7 year old has been doing math abstractly since she was 5 ish. My point is that for us this approach is requiring much from my child and she is stepping up to the plate. I feel she is learning to think and not be a parrot (like I was in public school). I feel she is developing a passion for books, discovery and learning which will only serve her as she grows. It isn't the knowledge she gains as much as the means to learn and find out what she needs to know as she grows. I remember teaching her to read and crying the first time I heard her read the Word of God. I want my children to be able to read and dissect the Word, to have the tools to learn from it and the Holy Spirit. It isn't the subject itself but the growth of the mind and character to further the gospel. All education in our home will hopefully help my children to serve God with all their heart, their mind and body. Education should be about glorifying God and learning to love and enjoy Him forever. In a rigorous approach to education there is amble opportunity for character growth. I don't need to create it through curriculum.
In history the great minds of the time were Christians.....what has happened? I struggle at times feeling like as Christians, as the church we don't even know what we believe or how to communicate it. We can hide away from current culture and anything that is "worldly" so we won't get sucked in....where is the articulation of the gospel in our culture if we do this. Our minds belong to Christ just like our spirit and body. It needs to be exercised, just as jogging effects our physical heart we need to "jog" our brains.
Okay I have been interrupted many times....my thoughts are rambling. Can you tell I feel strongly about this?

Stepping off my soap box..........

Friday, May 25, 2007

8 Things About Me

I have been tagged by Stepping Heavenward.


Here are the rules: Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Here are my 8, in no particular order : )

1. I used to own a 650 Honda Hawk street bike.

2. I raced 130 miles an hour down an airport runway on my motorcycle.

3. Phillip Yancy signed and personally delivered one of his books to me for blowing up a surgical glove on my head with my nose. He said he would never forget me!

4. I twist my hair when I am tired or bored and have done so my whole life.

5. I chew my tongue when I am deep in thought.

6. I snort when I laugh hard.

7. I love to drive around alone and crank up classical music.

8. I like to read science textbooks for enjoyment.


I don't think I have 8 people to tag but I will try. Please do not feel obligated to do it....but I do look forward to reading peoples responses :o).



Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Gospel Living Community and Hospitality

This past Sunday our message was about being A Gospel Living Community based on 1 Peter 4:7-11. There was much to learn and be encouraged by in this message but one point stuck out to me. One of Slava's points was that "True love expresses itself through extending hospitality to one another." He reminded us that it is not a nice idea but a Christian duty......not just based on being friendly. He said that the purpose of hospitality is to create an atmosphere of biblical fellowship. I felt the Lord begin to rearrange my thinking about having people in my home.

We have recently moved into a place that is perfect for hospitality and hosting. I am grateful. I must admit having little space and resources was a bit of a deterrent. It was also a bit of an excuse. I always struggled with feeling like I had little to offer in the area of nicely laid out food and drink. I was told so many times that it didn't matter but it mattered to me. I think having a pleasing and clean environment is glorifying to God but not if it drives me to be MOM-zilla. I could get so hung up on hospitality being about a clean house, a great meal, well behaved children that I lost sight of WHY we were having people over anyway. Did I invite people over to impress them?......why do we have people in our homes if it isn't to just be friendly?

I felt my eyes were opened. My role in hospitality is to open my home and my heart to real genuine fellowship. To create an environment where people are comfortable not just on the nice clean couch that I vacuumed and febreez-ed (so it doesn't stink) but comfortable in their own skin in my house. A comfort that sets the stage for honesty and trust. A place people can feel themselves with no need to perform or measure up. A place where I and my family are transparent and genuine in our interest in their lives and struggles. I want my home to be a place of peace for my family and for those who come through it's doors.


Now I have some work to do before God with the help of the Holy Spirit.... to see what changes we need to make. It's not like I didn't want these things prior....I just was not purposeful about it.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Home Education

My friend over at Motherhood Apologia has been posting about her home school journey. It has made me think about how we came to the place of homeschooling our children with such conviction. My story is a bit different from Melanie's.

I attended public school my whole life. Did quite well because I was good at jumping through hoops and memorization. My high school years were up and down. Toward the end of high school I became a believer. I meet some new friends at the church I was apart of and they basically adopted me. My friend Sunny is the person who had the most impact on my decision to home school. I was single when I lived with my friend and her family. I watched her parent and teach her kids. I watched her with her husband Dan and all her responsibilities as a stay at home mom. I watched her struggle through some hard times with grace and peace. I watched her kids over the years grow and flourish being educated in their home. I saw Jesus as the center of their lives and education. I even got the privilege of watching their 4th child be born. I was in owe of how she even handled that seemingly with ease. It sounds like I am putting Sunny on a pedestal...though I hope she is encouraged all her efforts pointed me to the savior. I had to learn what a godly wife looked like, mother, teacher, friend and servant. Sunny is one of those people that made me hungry to mother, to educate my kids at home and to serve my family with abandon. She isn't perfect but she was happy and full of joy. I never heard her complain.

Over all I feared having children because of how I was raised. I feared homeschooling because I never went to college and faked my way through high school. I feared commitment to marriage because my parents divorced. And God in his love and care for me...brought Sunny and Dan into my life along with a few other families that had such an impact on my life.
As I grew in the Lord...my heart knew if I had children I would keep them at home. I know there is a husband involved and his leading. When I met my husband and he made it clear he was interested I said these three things.

1. If you know now you could never marry me I am not interested. I am not saying you have too but I don't play games.

2. If you know you will not home school if we are blessed with kids then maybe we aren't the best choice for each other.

3. If you don't have a passion for missions and ministry and don't see yourself there long term this may not be right. (We were both in YWAM at the time)

I know these sound like ultimatums. And in a sense I guess they were. I wasn't going down a live long commitment with someone who wasn't on the same page. I was very up front and wasn't trying to change him. I was simply making sure we were compatible. I would rather stay single then marry someone who was headed in another direction.

So to home school was never in question. I decided to do it because of what I saw in the lives of people who loved their family, God and me. God in his mercy blessed me with a husband who felt the same way.

This developed more once it actually became a reality. I started research when my oldest was about 2. And the more practical why's and how's began to develop. That is another post.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Family Devotions

My husband has recently starting using the book Training Hearts Teaching Minds by Starr Meade for our family devotions. It is based on the shorter catechism. What we enjoy so much about it is the length of time it spends on each question. It has very applicable short devotions for 6 days on one catechism question. We have had some great discussions with our 7 year old. We are memorizing the questions with her. I had never heard of the catechism prior to the last 6 years. What rich truth!

For pre-school age we used Big Truths for Little Kids by Susan Hunt. The stories are very age appropriate and concepts pre schoolers are able to grasp.

Have a good weekend

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Been thinkin'

My one year blogger post got me to thinking about why I started blogging. This post is the main reason I wanted to blog. To talk about doctrine, theology and how that is so important for those of us at home with our children. The children that will grow up to be church leaders, community leaders and mostly glorifiers of God. In my experience I have seen a trend in women to avoid doctrine for various reasons. The one I have heard the most is "I'm not a reader". In my mind reading is a discipline just like anything else but I do realize a book loving history buff is writing that statement.....easier said then done.

As I have spent this year blogging...I have found a community of women on-line who puts my doctrine reading and studying to shame. Biblical truth seems to be the top priority on each blog I visit on a regular basis. I have been so encouraged by this and grateful to find a connection.

I have also felt that for the most part my posts tend to be "fluffy". This annoyed me slightly (still does). I think all the time...I often have much running through my mind but lack time to organize it and write it. Why? Because I am at home all day schooling my kids and serving my family. When I do have time I want to read truth and then lack the time to talk about it. I know these are the same reasons many women don't study doctrine....when do you have time especially with little ones?

I am brainstorming some ways to get more organized about my thoughts. It serves me in many ways to have to articulate what I am learning and growing in....so I want to make this work. I was wondering how you ladies go about finding the time not just to post but to collect your thoughts and organize them.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

One Year of Blogging!

Today is Mother's Day. I cannot believe it has been one year and over 100 posts since I started this writing adventure. I could have never imagined the roads we as a family have travelled in this year. I have so enjoyed the writing and building of blogger relationships. I have discovered some like minded people and have been challenged to think more biblically and pursue God more. I have come across those that differ from me and have learned many things as well.

Big things in this year:

1. Moved twice (don't want to do that again!).

2. Husband's new job working from home....yippeee!

3. My diagnosis of PCOS and battle with infertility (God has been so faithful to us).

4. Three failed attempts at potty training. (he will use the toliet at some point in life)

5. I've lost 25 pounds.

I am looking forward to another year of growing and learning to cling to my savior.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Sheep on a Ship

My three year old son has a love affair with these books. They are written by Nancy Shaw and illustrated by Margot Apple. He loves them! The illustrations are wonderful and the rhyming words are so fun for him. This week we bought "Sheep on a Ship" at a library sale. It is the best dollar I have spent in a long time!

We also have "Sheep in a Jeep" and "Sheep Out to Eat" Our local library carries them all.

I love a good children's book!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Ever Visiting Companion

Over at Girltalk there is a post about grief on Mother's Day. I am grateful to see them addressing this with such love and consideration. I have two awesome children running around my house (well one is swimming in the bathtub right now...not alone :o). I rejoice on Mother's Day for the gifts I have been given. The day is also mixed with memories and thoughts of those two children who aren't running around my house. What do they look like? Are they children in heaven or grown up?....do they know each other?.....do they have reddish hair like my other two? Does God call them by the names we gave them; Jonah Ethan and Sarah Grace....or something else?

My grief has become less all consuming as the years roll away. Grief has moved from an overwhelming emotion to a comfortable connection with the children I miss....... the one child I never met and an almost pleasant bond with my baby son who died in my arms. Grief has gone from being an unwelcome guest to an ever visiting companion. This is the mercy and kindness of God.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Two S's

We have been going through 1 Peter at our church. We have spent a few weeks on the topic of suffering. This past week related suffering and sin. I have been impacted by these few weeks. If you are interested in listening go here.

Here are few quotes that have caused me pause:

"Any sin is worse then any suffering, one sin than all suffering, and the least sin than the greatest suffering."

One may suffer and not sin, but it is impossible to sin and not suffer. Those who avoid suffering by sinning, sin themselves into worse suffering. "

Ralph Venning
The Sinfulness of Sin

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Seasons

We have have just come through a whirl-wind! Many times this means things aren't as we would like. This season is different then anything we have seen before. The last 5 or 6 years have been one trial after another......financially, loss of a child and parent, infertility, church struggles and a few others. God has shown himself the comforter and kind father as well as the powerful sovereign king. Who I am is vastly different from five years ago. God has been good to me in all he has allowed.

The whirl-wind has been one of prosperity for us. We are not used to this on a practical level. We have a new home that is beautiful, spacious and located in a great place. My husband just landed a job working from home that uses his training after 5 long years of wanting this. It all came to us with little or no effort of our own.
We are rich..... not in money but in gratefulness. Our prosperity isn't related to the things though I am loving it....it's related to walking out with a loving sovereign father the cares of this life. He CAN be trusted and relied upon. He is FAITHFUL and committed. He will PROVIDE in his time and as he sees fit.

The house will go and maybe even the job...we may never have another baby but HE will never leave us nor forsake us!

I am grateful for this season...for the things that will pass away and those that won't.

Monday, May 07, 2007

I'm Still Alive.... :o)

We have moved....it went well. I love the new house. I will post some pictures when I get around to it. I have a few boxes left but am having fun setting up house. We have had some internet problems that will be resolved for good this week. I am looking forward to blogging again.

We are starting a regular school day today for the first time in about 4 weeks. Life has been so unstructured and crazy we are all looking forward to a routine again. My dh is working from home now....and it is pretty cool! (yes, I know very 80's). My kids are loving it and I am too. I can go for a walk every morning!