Friday, June 13, 2014

Sheltered Lives

I probably should shelter my kids a bit more.  How many times do I have to watch My Little Pony?!?! 

My latest article for Managing Your Blessings:

   Living Sheltered Lives

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Laundry Washing World Changer

This women is an artisan in a residential program in Tennessee that provides housing, food, dental, medical, therapy, education and job training for women who have survived lives of violence, prostitution and addiction.
I think most people want to make a difference in the lives of others, but often they don't know how.

That was me.

Wanting to make a difference in my home, in my new community, in the world, but completely unaware of how to do it.    I wanted to fulfill the commandment of Christ to make disciples in all the nations.  It was a command I had been neglecting.  I knew this command went deeper than monetary support with our sponsor child and missionary support. He was calling me to take action.  I was excited at the prospect and wanted to get messy, get loud, get moving, but I still had a husband and seven kids to care for.  That's when I sought out Trades of Hope.

They are doing the work.  They aren't just throwing money at the world's problems, they are changing lives by empowering women; strengthening community by giving hope; transforming generations by breaking harmful cycles; and because of that they are making disciples in all the nations.

I thought, "Amen! I want to be a part of that!"

Thanks to Trades of Hope I can. I can actively pursue helping others, building relationships, being an advocate, making disciples, and still keep up with my children's neverending laundry. Life changing and Laundry? Amen, again!

I am now a voice for a woman whose voice is lost across the sea, whose voice is stifled by government, pimps, and culture.  I think you will want to be her voice too and the way to get her talking is wearing her handmade goods. When someone asks you about it, you tell her story and then her voice is heard once more.
This woman is an artisan from a group in Uganda that feeds, educates, and encourages orphaned and vulnerable children and families in Uganda.
This woman is an artisan from a group in Uganda that feeds, educates, and encourages orphaned and vulnerable children and families in Uganda.
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."
Proverbs 31:8-9 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Touch of Jesus

I've been missing.

I know I've been MIA from the bloggysphere before, this time my excuse was legit.  We have picked up all we have known, everything our children were familiar with and left it behind as we transplanted from one coast to the other.

It's been tough.
It's been tougher than tough.
It's sucked.

After months of loneliness, frustration, of loathing, I have sought the Lord and endured.  It's not a hundred percent, but I'm walking.  I'm lonely, frustrated, and occasionally loathing but I'm holding His hand.

I feel it.

My latest article for Managing Your Blessings:  The Touch of Jesus

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Life and Death

My most recent post for So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler still makes me cry three months after writing it.  All fourteen of Brynna's chickens passed away this summer and we are still mourning over our loss.

Life and Death

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sometimes I Don't Want to Write

I want to be a great writer, but I lack the ability to write when I don't know what to write.  Hence, the reason my posts are few and far between, but now that I have committed myself to writing for "So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler" I have to write something even when I don't have a thing to write.  I'm still not sure how I feel about that.  Sometimes I want to rebel because it feels forced, but I think in the grand scheme it's good for my writing and me.  Here is my post for them that lacked inspiration:

Homeschooling is Much Like This

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Write Stuff

Consistent writing has never been my strong suit.  In an attempt to have some accountability and stretch myself as a writer I began writing monthly for a homeschooling website, called "So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler".   It's a great website offering resources and Christian encouragement to homeschooling families.  I've linked to the articles I've written for them thus far.

My first attempt was at sharing our new culinary view point.  I don't think that cooking posts are my "cup o' tea", but these vegetarian meatballs prove better than my culinary writing ability any day.

I shared our family's path to discovering our homeschooling style. (Don't worry grandmothers, the kids are learning stuff.)

Brian and I headed to Hawaii for a week and the anxiety I felt beforehand regarding tsunamis was no different than the fear I feel when I meet more academic-minded families. 

The trip to Hawaii taught me more than how to say, "Hello" and "Thank You".

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Truth in the Uterus

For decades a debate has raged in our country over women's uteri and what they can/should do with them.  I have yet to meet an individual that does not claim allegiance to one side over the other.  Both positions are passionate and have fought to the death for their cause.  The Pro-lifers advocating for the lives of the unborn by explaining that every life has value and that life begins at conception. The other side of the coin, Pro-choice, disputes when life actually begins, contesting that a women's body belongs to no one but herself, and she should have complete authority over what she wants to do with it.  Battling over lives and prerogative, the two sides seem to stand unbending.  Their backers just as resolute in their stance, or at least it seems that way, until  it comes to uteruses like mine, uteruses that have more babies than deemed "normal" by 21st century American culture.  Then some, not all, begin to back away from their steadfastness.

I am currently pregnant with our seventh child.  I haven't really announced it, announced it, until now for a couple of reasons.  First of all, my last pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage and I didn't want to
have to say those words again to those outside of my immediate family.  Telling someone, "I lost the baby," is more difficult than I had ever anticipated.  Secondly, as our family and close friends celebrate with us over our new addition, many do not.  It's exhausting coming up with responses or faking laughter yet again, when strangers and acquaintances alike creatively share their witty comments regarding our sex life, my lack of hobbies, or my ignorance about the facts of life.  Not to mention, it makes me a bit angry that I have to defend my family's size.  Really, I shouldn't have to.  After all, it seems that everyone falls into one of the two "pro" categories.  Yet, the less-than-humorous comments continue and sometimes even out right mean things are said by individuals of both parties that seem to have lost their bias.

As a woman, is it not my right to do with my body what I want to do with my body?  We with larger-than-most families could really go without the "it's a uterus, not a clown car" comments.  If we want to rival Michelle Duggar, shouldn't that be our choice?  Our choice.  Yet the words of some Pro-choice women to a preggo mom with multiple children in tow are as strong as the incense one has been burning or the power in which another grandstands in her corporate heels.  Words that don't mince the belief that birth control is an option that should have been exercised.  If it had been used they assume the world's problems could be avoided, after all we are contributing to the world's  overpopulation, a growing carbon footprint, taking tax dollars for government assistance, and perpetuating the belief that women should be uneducated birthing machines.  At this point, they no longer believe the choice is the individual woman's, it's theirs, because our choice no longer matches what they want for themselves, our gender, or our world.

Having a Pro-life bent myself, I would like to say that my family of soon-to-be seven is celebrated by all on my "side", but it's not.  Often it doesn't appear as offensive, but anyone that can read between the lines, a.k.a., everyone, can see the slight disdain in a curled upper lip.  Although the church-going financial supporter of the local pregnancy center with no more than two Baby Gap attired children would never want a mom to terminate, they are bewildered by a mother who would sacrifice comfort to have gobs of babies.  Her concern for moms of many often revolves around the work of more than the number of children she has and the ability to live as comfortably as she would like. The value placed on life is great as long as it doesn't interfere with her contentment. Do you sense a disconnect?

I'm not saying that everyone needs to have "a lot" of children, what I'm saying is that if you believe life is of value and begins at conception, then you celebrate life. Period.  We don't need to hear that this isn't the life you could handle.  Heck, half the time we can't handle it.  Remind us of the what you believe to be true--every life is a gift and has value.  If you truly believe that a women's body is hers to do as she chooses, but you think she's crazy to have a more than three children, then admire a women who is going against societal norm and embracing the beauty and power of what a women's body can do.  We mamas who make the choice to allow baby blessings in our lives don't need criticism, supposedly funny comments, or even belly rubs (okay, that last one is my own personal preference), what we do need is the truth.  And regardless of what point of view you agree with, to a mom pregnant with her seventh baby, there is truth to be found in both.