March for Life

Watching the deaths of two friends this month has helped me be bold.  Yes, another friend passed away a couple days ago, bringing the death toll to two.  A quick calculation in my head helped me see that had we not had a miscarriage, we’d likely be celebrating that child’s 2nd birthday this month.  January, a month of beginnings and endings.  Oh what a vapor we truly are!

“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.” Eph. 6:19

As I’m realizing the importance of boldly declaring the gospel, I’m also recognizing that it is okay for me to have convictions.  Asserting my opinion does not make me heartless.  In fact, my silence and appeasement very well might embitter me so.  In silence, we shame those we claim we want to assist.  Let’s talk about the hard topics.  Let’s be real and in doing so, find that we are truly free and living.

I’m pro-life.

I have been pro-life for as long as I can remember.  You can think it is a result of my conservative upbringing, and that likely played a part, but it still remains, I have been pro-life for most of my life.  [Interesting that I have a choice because God and my parents gave me life.]  I’ll agree that I didn’t use to operate with mercy, compassion, and understanding that I try to exercise now.  I can remember getting into a Facebook argument and saying, “Legs should be kept closed.”  Yes, I said that.  I regret that and for every woman that that would harm, please accept my apologies.  That was cruel and unsympathetic!  The statement was sinful!  I have repented and hope you understand that statement was an emotional outburst.  It was inappropriate and I’m sorry.  It was that very argument though that helped me to address my conviction in an entirely different manner.

Over the course of a few years, including years of infertility and my own loss, I began to see a person.  I no longer thought it was just a self-absorbed person choosing their own comfort in regards to abortion.  Instead, I witnessed an individual who was scared, anxious, and concerned.  This beautiful woman was wondering how she might provide for a new life, if she was capable of doing so, how the church might perceive her if the child was out of wedlock, or if the quality of life for a disabled individual would be sufficient, to name only a few emotions in the gamut of them.  Yes, I no longer saw an issue, but a person.  Oh thank God for his mercy.  My struggle with infertility and my miscarriage actually assisted me!

I no longer saw the issue in terms of legality.  I see women, and sometimes couples, needing help, assurance.  I also see the foolishness of some arguments.  Note:  Correcting a foolish argument is in no way meant to dehumanize or belittle the individuals in which the argument may impact.

For instance:

1.) A woman has a choice to her body.  Abortion doesn’t matter because it isn’t a human anyways.

First, removing all semblance of morality or religious reservations, let’s analyze this statement from a purely biological standpoint.  Can a human beget anything other than a human?  If you can provide historical records of a human giving birth to anything other than a human, please do so.  Also, has science been able to create life at some other stage than conception?  If we can create a human being at a later stage of development than we might be able to argue that the early stages of pregnancy don’t qualify a human.  We must realize that throughout time, people have also used the “non-human” clause to promote racism.  Which argument are we going to accept?  Is racism acceptable or is something that has human DNA not necessarily human?

Let me clarify the racist clause.  For centuries, individuals have argued that people of different intellect, social status, skin color, etc. were somehow less human or inferior.  These arguments were used to oppress, ostracize, and even kill people they thought unworthy of life.  Hitler used abortion to kill thousands of Jews.  Eugenics.  Sadly, the developmentally disabled community has suffered from such foolishness as well.  Hundreds, if not thousands, of babies are aborted because a woman or parents are told that the child will be born with down syndrome or some other developmental disability.  Are we saying that the developmentally disabled can’t have a good life; that they can’t contribute positively to society?  I don’t think that is the intent, but understand that is what are actions denote.  In the same regard, are the poor less worthy of life than the rich?   By no means!  However, we are saying that their quality of life (a subjective measure in regards to money) will definitely be dependent on their socio-economic status!

A child born to poor parents doesn’t have to have a horrible life.  Children born to affluent parents don’t automatically have an easy or blissful life.  Also, just because you start out in a particular social class doesn’t mean you will stagnate there.  My father was very poor growing up.  They lived in campsites at times.  They had no heat or hot water, but used fires to stay warm and heat water for a bath.  My father studied and worked hard.  He came out of the poverty he was born into.  Could anyone have foretold that?  No.

I’ll make another point in a similar fashion to my argument on racism.  Is sexism acceptable?  Abortion has been used in countries like China and India to kill baby girls.  In fact, ultrasounds are forbidden in India because they were being used to find out the sex and when it was discovered that the child was a girl she was aborted.  Can feminists (of which I would call myself one) say that choice is permissible here?  We are killing the women we say we want to defend, build-up, and promote.  Is this a logical fallacy? Does the argument implode?  I think so.

2.) It is a woman’s choice.  We are cruel when we deny a woman a choice to her own body.

Even if we omit the term baby, a zygote is not comprised of the sole DNA make-up of a woman.  A zygote is half the DNA of a mother and half the DNA of a father.  Yes, a woman incubates the zygote until the next stage of gestation is reached, but the zygote still is part of the father.  Does the dad not have a choice in abortion?  Are we promoting true equality or not?  Why does a woman get the whole decision if she wants to terminate the pregnancy when the father played a necessary part in starting the process?  (Cases of rape and incest to be discussed a bit later.)

Why are there double standards too?  When a woman is beaten and the child is lost, isn’t the abuser charged with some form of murder?  Would we say it was unjust if there wasn’t a murder charge?  Why would our justice system do this if a gestating child isn’t in fact a child, a human?  Do we only call it murder when the baby is wanted?

[I realize some will think I’m reaching callousness now.  It reads as though I’m calling abortion murder.  As such, it must follow that an abortionist is a murderer.  Someone who assists in the premeditation of that would be an accomplice to murder. Right?  This is where the argument frequently breaks down between pro-choice folks and pro-life folks. I’m not trying to be cruel.  I reiterate, I’m not intending to deface or devalue the woman who has made the hardest choice in her life.  By no means should a woman who has endured such a difficult decision be made to feel scorn, rejection, or judgement!  Anyone who makes a woman who has endured such a hardship into a monster, is themselves, a monster.

However, I’m not going to mince words to make things feel comfortable.  How would the gospel be if I did that to it?  The gospel says that Christ died on the cross, resurrected on the third day, and after 40 days ascended into heaven.  Christ said that he is the way, the truth, and the life, no one gets to the father but through him.  Yes, if we don’t take Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we will not enter heaven.  That is the bold claim of following Christ.  It isn’t comfortable.  It isn’t easy.  We can’t understand how seemingly good people, according to our measure of goodness, would be eternally separated from God.  I don’t have the answers.  I wish I did.  They confuse me too.  I’m baffled.  I question and sometimes doubt plagues me as I mull these questions too.  You are not alone there.  Faith is faith and it isn’t without suffering or wrestling.  Even Jacob had to become Israel.  (Jacob wrestled with God and after sustaining a permanent limp, was called Israel, the promised one of God, an heir.)

I realize I digressed some.  Yes, I do think abortion is murder.  We are taking human life.  Miscarriage is not the same as abortion.  My body terminating a pregnancy because it isn’t viable is not equivalent to a willful termination of pregnancy.  (I had a friend correlate the two once.)

Now, all this to say, I realize that a woman who chooses abortion is wrought with emotion. She should not be imprisoned for taking the life of her gestating child.  (Just like someone who felt defenseless and protects themselves should not be imprisoned.  Self-defense.)  A woman who had an abortion is most likely feeling confused, sad, and alone.  She needs love and support.  It is our duty to come alongside her and know that she is forgiven.  She is given mercy and love.  We can teach these women that there are other choices though.

I am a proponent of literacy (shameless plug for Usborne…yeah, totally inappropriate) and education.  Programs like First Choice are wonderful because they educate women and then still let them decide.  If a woman chooses abortion, they provide after-care and counseling.  Sometimes a woman earnestly feels she has no other choice and will opt for an abortion.  It is at that time, we wrap our arms around her and cry with her.  We hug her and let her know that she is loved!  This woman was made in the image of God and her actions don’t devalue her worth before God!

It is time we helped lower adoption costs though. We need to make foster-care better.  For individuals who want to adopt, like my husband and I, the process is arduous and expensive.  Why?  There are so many loving, infertile couples who yearn to adopt.  There are many couples who have children already, but just have even more love to give away.  (FYI, I do think that homosexual couples should have a right to adopt.  If they want to save lives or make life better for a child, then I fully support it.  I realize I can come into controversy with people over this.  I also know that this statement is not necessary to add, but I did anyways.  It is superfluous.  My brain fires rapidly.)  Let us find programs to make this process stream-lined, efficient, and beneficial for everyone who is involved or wants to be.

Now I will briefly touch other cases here: rape, incest, and the health of the mother:  First, these instances are rare in abortion cases.  A woman who has experienced rape, incest, or has severe health concerns is not likely to want to undergo an experience where she feels even more vulnerable, prodded, etc.  It does happen, but it is rare.  In these cases, the argument is more nuanced.

Frank and I talked.  If we had a situation where I could survive if I aborted my baby, we would make the difficult decision to terminate.  I have two other children and him.  It would be the hardest decision of my life, but to I tell you this to let you know that I have thought about the issues further.  It isn’t always an easy decision.  Sometimes, there are grey areas.

As for rape and incest, I think we need to come along these women and assist financially, emotionally, and physically.  A baby could be the good that rises from the bad.  Having never been raped (I have been sexually assaulted however) and impregnated, I can’t tell you what choice I would make or another woman should make.  In this instance, it is not so black and white.

So yes, I want to be a voice for the baby who hasn’t yet found its voice.  However, I want to do so in a manner that might actually help and not just with red tape.

Advertisements

In Sickness and In Health: God never forsakes you

4 am stomach contents littered the trash pail.

A feeble body trekked to the back room and found a slumbering man.

In her stupor she requested assistance.

The shifting stirred the children.

Now a silent night gave way to peels of screeches.

Already weakened from the disease’s attack,

the energy grew thinner as the wails groaned on.

He took the babes and tried to quiet them, but for naught.

She relieved her partner.

In her last resort, she drew the babies to her, having nothing left to give.

Drained, she pressed on further.  In the wee hours of the dawn she witnessed his grace sufficient for her.

When she was weak, he was strong.

Her stability was a miracle.

Thank Jesus.

When she yearned for slumber, but the requirements of children pulled her away from such endeavors, she found a source of strength impossible with her current state of affairs.  It was only possible through the Holy Spirit’s strengthening.

Praise the Lord, oh my soul.  Thank you for helping me give more than I thought possible.  When I emptied myself and thought I couldn’t give more, you came in and lifted me up.

To God be all praise.

From him, all blessings flow and the ability to parent patiently, especially through illness and fatigue, is only a power capable through him.

A Seal of Approval

He was only seventeen when the good Lord called him home.

Loved ones left behind stumble bewildered.

One thing is certain, the man had faith,

trust in things he did not know or understand.

His mother has taken solace that he is relieved from the judgement of this earth.

He struggled here, always contemplating, questioning, having a philosophical bent.

People didn’t quite understand him.

At only seventeen, he yearned to proclaim the gospel message.

He memorized a verse prior to his passing.

His ways [God’s] are not our ways.

Oh, how true this is.

We would never think a righteous man to be taken so soon.

Why didn’t he have the opportunity for romance? For intellectual pursuits found at college?  For offspring? For a fulfilling labor?

Maybe he did, but not in how we imagine such things.

His romance was Christ, a deep intimacy with him from a young age.

At seventeen, he was interested in topics not often found intriguing by his peers.

The children he played with and supervised will remember a life devoted to God, even to the end.  With a family’s forgiveness, his nieces and nephews, should he have any in the future, will stand in awe of such compassion.

High school is a challenging time, a labor not for the faint of heart.

He ran the race though.  He ran it well.  In this life and I’m sure the one eternal.  His accolades speak volumes to his endurance.

If anything, his unrelenting devotion has taught me a thing or two.

I no longer care what others think of me for my faith.  Now, don’t misread me.  This does not excuse me from misbehavior.  Rather, I am called to a higher standard.  Now, not only am I not to physically act out violently, I am not even to think maliciously.  Jesus calls us to a higher standard of living.  I just don’t care what others think about me for it now.

I want to love and love radically.  However, I’m not going to excuse myself for the convictions I have.  In fact, sometimes love requires me to be honest even when it is seemingly cruel.  As a parent, I instruct my children to do things they might not want to.  It is for their ultimate benefit, not their desires or demands, even if they can’t comprehend that currently.

This life doesn’t seem as important anymore.  It is so fleeting.  We aren’t promised tomorrow.  How am I going to use today?  Will I use it for my own accords or will I use it to make Christ known?  Will I share the message of a Savior crucified on our behalf and the victory gained over death through his resurrection and ascension.  Will I submit to him in receiving this or will I still assert my plan as better?

The gospel can seem offensive.  I claim that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  No one gets to the Father but through Christ.  I believe in a God who was crucified, buried, and arose on the third day.  Yes, our Messiah endured the death meant for thieves, rapists, murderers, the vilest of society.  He was beaten on our account.  He hung on a tree, a mockery.  Individuals have thought Christians foolish for believing in such a meek Savior.

The world can think me a fool.  I’m not living for the here and now.  I’m living for Christ eternal and the things of this world seem petty in comparison.  Acceptance and approval seem less critical in light of such perspective.  I’ve carried this burden too long.  I’ve fought to be approved of.  Who am I living for though?  Man or God?  I’m tired of straining for humanity’s acceptance.  It has only left me fatigued.

I’m thanking him for his example.  He didn’t care if he fit in.  Your death was not in vain.  If anything, it is teaching me to run harder, faster, to the footstool of Christ.  I want to memorize Scripture and know that things aren’t what they seem.  I can have a peace which surpasses all understanding.

Christ makes beautiful things out of us, out of my ashes, my dying self.  Christ is becoming more important to me than the platitudes of man.  I’m not excused from goodness, but rather charged to be even more kind.  I’m more tolerant when I become less concerned with appeasement and agreement.  Tolerance isn’t agreeing with everyone and spiraling downward to the implosion of relativism.  Tolerance is hearing other people and responding with a loving answer.  What is more loving than to share the good news in truth and grace?  Now, understand this does not mean I need to belittle the thoughts of others who disagree.  Rather, it means I show empathy in the questioning, solidarity in the searching.

I’m finding that I care less about the impression of man though.  What is the thing of greatest importance?  What will take the utmost priority in my life?

Let your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.  My part is to be a vessel for the good news so that that prayer might be ushered in, actually transpire.  May his praise be always on my lips.  May my heart seek his praises more than a human’s.

Take my life Lord, seal it for thy courts above.

Searching…Searching

When I try to connect my bluetooth to my car, they search for each other and the signal is linked.  During that process, you’ll audibly hear my car say it is searching for my phone’s signal.

Let your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. 

We are searching, yearning for something more.  In our losses and our grief, we hope that there is something more.  We want sorrow to have a purpose when it makes no sense.  We search for meaning in the uncertainty, the things which sometimes mar our souls.  I’m really struggling with the recent loss of a teen I knew.  I am not quite sure why I feel so impacted by it.  I knew him, but not incredibly well.  I did ministry with him, but it was brief.  Still, I find that I have been inconsolable the past couple of days.

I started off the year wondering if I needed to take my blog in a different direction.  I’m still wondering.  I read a blog that asked several questions and it helped me to see what my priorities are.  A natural flow of writing entails transcribing the things which matter most to us.

As much as I didn’t want to be a “mommy blogger”, I am a mother and it is a huge part of me.  It isn’t the whole of me, but a sum, and a significant one at that.  I want to be acknowledged as something more than just mom, but for as long as I can remember, I yearned to be a mother.  Most of my blog has been about my attempts to be a mom, failing, experiencing a loss, and then gloriously receiving the gift I didn’t think I’d ever receive.  Then receiving an unexpected blessing a little longer than a year later.  It has been about the nuances of parenting two under two and how that has shaped me and my faith.

Throughout my Christian walk, I have taken many spiritual gift surveys.  I tend to find that I encourage.  I have spent most of my life seeking approval, mainly from my mother, but that is another story for another time or perhaps never to be written.  As it stands, I think I try to encourage others because I feel that lacking in my own life.  We are told to treat others as we want to be treated; in fact, we are told to treat others better than ourselves, not out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.

So how can my voice encourage others?  Typically, we encourage others because we have a better perspective after having experienced a situation or enduring a consequence.  As I wrestle with this recent loss and manage my grief, I’m realizing that I can discuss how to cope with loss and rejection because I’ve experienced it frequently throughout my life.  I can also say that while I might feel abandoned by God, I know he is always there.  He sustains me.  When I care enough to look, to usher gratitude and praise rather than complaining, I can see that he is there.

Yesterday I was having one of my most difficult days to date.  While running errands in the evening, a friend called.  This is a close college friend.  It is unusual that she called me.  This friend is a PA and has odd hours.  She also isn’t inclined to pick up the phone just to call someone.  It was out of the ordinary to say the least.

Regardless, I could see this as a coincidence or I can realize that God unifies us in Christian sisterhood. He pressed upon her heart to call me, even if she was unaware of it.  He used a friend to assure me that I’m not processing grief alone.  His grace is sufficient, even if he uses humanity to assure us of it, the same humanity that drives recklessly and life is cut short [as perceived by those left behind] because of it.  He seeks to complete the work he began in us and consequently, uses the messiness of this life to do so.

I’m searching.  I want my life to be guided purposefully, controlled by the Holy Spirit.  My history and experience must be used for his purposes.  He knit me in my mother’s womb to play a part in his story.  How am I going to use my stories to tell others the greatest story?
As I search for purpose and meaning as I wonder, dazed and confused, I’m contemplating what words should transpire as mere thoughts and which ones should be stamped forever in the digital world.

How will I allow my voice to be a voice for the mute?  How can I encourage those who feel discouraged?  I’m finding that it is in letting go, embracing the losses, and using the emptiness that I’m coming alive.  It is when I am empty that I am made full.  Minimalism is giving me freedom to live life to the maximum.  When I pour out myself, I can fill myself up with him. I am becoming the vessel I yearn to be, a light for the creator of light.  It is in dying that I truly live.  Maybe, just maybe, that is the reason I write anything at all.

 

FYI, as I wrote this it made sense, but I’m feeling a little circular after perusing it.  Did you get lost during this?  If not, how were you encouraged and where might I improve on the dialogue to be more efficient for the essential message?

 

Pursed Praise

Sirens wailed.

Flashes of light,

while you were welcomed to the King of Light.

A community stunned,

breathless because yours stopped too soon.

We are left to make sense of this.

This?

In a bleary eyed stupor we must persist.

We must usher praise, even if it is stuttered,

reluctant.

There has to be a reason and we must trust that love wins,

death is defeated.

If not, we’ll remain prisoners to grief,

slaves to bitterness, growing cold and isolated.

In Christ, united we stand

as you, now with angels sing

praises to Jehovah Rapha.

(Jehovah Rapha-the God who heals)

This is a tribute to a dear life recently lost, Dominick Cecere.  I did ministry with Dom when he was 12.  We set up the Preschool wing together.  He was only 17 when God called him home this past Monday.  I’m still trying to make sense of it.  My heart is incredibly grieved.  This death, a friend in the hospital who isn’t doing well, and some financial duress is leaving me calloused and hurt.  I’m trying to press into God.  I’m telling my soul that I will yet praise God.  I know that this isn’t the end.  This can’t be it.  There is something greater and because of Christ, we can be confident that there is victory over death and the mundane, difficult things of this earth.  Rest in Peace sweet Dominick.  Our hearts are grieved, but we rejoice because we know the life you lived for Christ will be etched forever on the tablets of these hearts left behind.

Resolutions

2017.  The pages of a new year are blank.  What will your new year look like?

We make plans, we break them.  We start out with lofty goals, only to find we’ve gone off track a little less than a month later.  I’ve fallen prey to this as well.  Here are some areas that I want to revolutionize in my life but have yet to figure out a concrete plan:

1.)  Spiritual Health. Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.  I want to memorize Scripture.  I want to be transformed.

I often ask myself about what aspects of my faith are truly setting me apart from atheists and other faith holders.  Christianity is a revolutionary religion.  How has it made me different?  Am I truly operating as a Christ follower or am I simply acting out of American idealism; the roots of a Judaeo-Christian foundation, i.e. have I internalized it or am I simply a product of this culture?

I have a great privilege to walk around with Scriptures and knowledge of church history.  Some of my fellow Christians aren’t as fortunate.  They are locked in prisons and beaten.  Their only source of comfort is recalling the verses they have imprinted on their hearts.  Fewer things are as beautiful as witnessing an individual meditating on Scriptures out loud and watching their actions follow suit.  I want that.  Transformation begins with transition, inclining yourself to intentional worship and relationship with God and subsequently, fellow humans.

2.) Relational Health.  I don’t want to be so selfish.  I want to be intentional, check in on friends who have confessed struggles or are actually wanting my friendship, rather than dwelling on missed opportunities, indifferent relationships, or superficial connections that often transpire over the internet with greater occurrence than in reality.    I want to notice the poor and oppressed.  I want to start sentences without I.  (Failing already, but not giving up the goal to do better.)  Friends have confessed depression.  There are friends struggling with infertility.  I began this blog as a means to encourage infertile women and talk about my journey.

Oh how I have deviated greatly from that aim.  Frankly, I want to move past that.  It is an event that occurred in my past and has greatly impacted me, but I have accepted what has happened and I have two lovely girls.  I don’t want to miss their growth and life because I’m continuing to focus on what I didn’t get or have rather than the treasures God has sought to bless me with, even those he still withholds.

As such, I’m struggling with what I will write.  How will my voice be separate from others while still maintaining a perspective that is other-centered rather than on myself?  Blogging is therapeutic for me, but how much am I helping my fellow travelers, people living out general life.  What relationships have I let falter because they don’t seemingly appear to benefit me?  Oh how vain that sounds!  How have I been more inward focused rather than Kingdom focused?  How much has social media distorted the cries of the masses around me?  How have I been deaf, blind, and mute to the injustices occurring in my backyard because I’ve been preoccupied with narcissism? Is my blogging or time on Facebook really narcissistic?  Can I pursue it in a godly manner?

Let your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.  If I’m earnest in that plea, then it begins with humanity.  I make up part of that population.  My life is important because he sought it to be part of his plan.  I need to stop living in guilt and selfish gain.  He put me here for a reason and it is time I start seeking that purpose so that his message resounds more than my weak input.  May my story be meek and in it, his voice seek greater masses.  In turn, we’ll witness a revival of individuals who are truly God focused and as such, have a heart for their neighbors, even those radically different than themselves.  However, we can’t change others.  We can change ourselves and how we influence those around us.

3.)  Body Health.  I know part of this entails what I eat.  Now, I’m less concerned with calorie counting because I can tell you it doesn’t work.  I grew up around dieting.  My mom has been a Weight Watchers member for 30 years.  To an outsider, it seems like a cult religion.  I understand you need accountability. When you attend weekly meetings and talk about it constantly, I feel like it becomes a religion, a weight loss idol.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  We often don’t talk about how you can actually be fat and healthy.  Muscle weighs more.  The scale is often misleading.

I’m “skinny” but my nutrition is decrepit.  I don’t want to talk about ascetics around my children, at least not as it pertains to outward beauty.  Outward appearance and acceptance is relative to cultural mores and preferences.    I want them to appreciate their looks, and more importantly others.  It isn’t necessarily the fault of speech I heard growing up, but I often thought fat equaled ugly.  Yet some obese individuals I know now have the most compassionate souls and there are some wicked rail (bony) folks.  I would have missed out on incredible friendships if I didn’t have an overhaul on my thought processes.

Models are often airbrushed.  Our “imperfections” often lend to gained strength.  I always thought my height was a disadvantage until I learned that I could climb without thought, bend down more readily, and am generally disposed to vocal strength and thought (Napoleon complex, perhaps).  My husband finds my looks captivating.  Other men do not.  Seriously, how we look on the outside is truly not important.  At least, we shouldn’t be concerned about how we look to anyone but God and ourselves.  If dressing a particular way makes you feel empowered, if exercise and eating certain foods makes you feel alert and alive, and if you feel that it is pleasing to God (because I inevitably view all of life through the lens of my Christian faith and I want to), then pursue those goals and act on them.  I need this as much for myself as I am encouraging others to do the same.

4.) Financial Health.  Intentional budgeting.  My purchases reflect where my heart is, my real pursuits in this life.  While I want to give it all to the church, I know that I have bills too.  It hurt to cut back on our contribution to the church because I know it is a command, but I noticed that we were giving so much (due to a miscalculation on a percentage of our salaries)  that it was impacting our ability to pay other bills which we need to survive.  You really can’t live on a dollar a day here.  I don’t know, maybe I could if I really tried, but I don’t think you really can.

Part of this pursuit requires education.  My husband started his own business.  I want to be his biggest cheerleader.  Lately, I haven’t encouraged him as much as I’ve needed too.  The duress of income has me nagging more than I’d like.  He is a man with great integrity.  He is learning how to quote and manage time.  I need to give him the grace to learn that, even if it entails repeated failures that I see as the same mistake, but in actuality are slightly different.  Rather than striking him emotionally for his contributions, I need to analyze how I can contribute better.

I need to stop elevating myself and touting how much I do.  Yes, I do a significant amount for my family and often don’t feel gratitude for what I do, but how selfish is that?  If I feel there is something wrong, I can’t change people around me.  I can change myself.  If I feel our budget is off, I can ask how I’m causing issues.  How can I save and impact my family’s financial survival?  It is time I take responsibility rather than placing blame or seeking entitlement.

I can take classes to help educate myself on business management to encourage my husband.  I can coupon and ask friends to educate me on such matters so I spend less on retail.  I can take classes on gardening and actually start one so we can save money on our food bills.  I can look at what my skill-sets are (and stop saying I don’t have any because I’m mediocre in everything but don’t excel in anything) and try to market those skills to sell my innovations.  If I love writing, how can I do so to honor God while providing for my family financially?  Can I do this in a righteous manner and if so, how might I do so?

Thus, the biggest dilemma I’m encountering is how I will go forward with blogging.  If I want this to be a success (read: having my heart more devoted to Christ and I pray, my audience asking and seeking him more readily too), what niche do I need to fall into?  How will I revitalize a blog I feel is falling flat (themes, content, etc.)?  If I don’t think constantly writing about infertility is beneficial anymore, then what do I write about?  Should I still be writing about infertility and am I being selfish if I don’t?

What do people need help with?  How can I help through the words I type?  (If I have managed to engage my audience long enough for them to reach this paragraph.  Oh how I need to be more concise.  (That is something I can definitely learn from my husband.))  How will I glorify God with my writing? My writing needs to be about glorifying him first and foremost.  Eternal perspective is important.  Life here is a mere breath when compared to eternity.  How will a few stutters this side of heaven impact the greater story, his message?

The answer is more pressing than I care to confess.  As I embark into the next decade, how will I seek his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven and pursue endeavors to make that reign?  How much of it is my responsibility versus God’s sovereignty?  This is no easy theological matter.  My soul contemplates and is walking away feeling confused, battered, and lost. Holding onto faith, I wonder just how I might use this venue for him and unsure what that looks like.  As such, I’ll just do SOMETHING.  I just don’t know what and can we ever be really sure?  Ideas would be helpful.  God uses others to guide us at times just as he can use us to reach multitudes.

How?

Perhaps I should have made that the title because that is the ever-looming question.