The Dangers of a Backyard Bumblebee

The Dangers of a Backyard Bumblebee

This morning, Jake and I were outside playing in the backyard, taking full advantage of the unseasonably cooler morning temperatures. I was sitting and enjoying my iced coffee while he toddled about the yard. As a new walker, I sit in the balance of letting him explore his new found independence while trying to keep him from smashing his face into the hard concrete. It can be difficult at times to allow him to hurt himself, knowing he won’t fully learn how to walk unless he knows how to fall. So I sat. Half relaxed and half ready to scoop him up at a moments notice. As Jake played, a bumblebee appeared. An intruder of our backyard haven. I jumped up ready to swat him away if he veered to close. Jake, on the other hand, was mesmerized. He was fascinated by this buzzing creature, a new addition to his tiny world. He watched in a trance until the bee got closer and then reached out with his chubby little hand. I immediately snatched him up. Perplexed, he writhed in my arms, trying to touch his new friend. I explained to him that this little bee, though cute, had a stinger and that if provoked, he would sting his little arm and it would hurt. But all Jake could see was something new and exciting… something he wanted to touch. In that moment, I realized that the next seventeen years will be filled with many moments just like that. Those moments will range from simple explanations of the dangers of a backyard bumblebee to life’s more complex subjects. And as I was lost in thought, I got a bit sad. The bee buzzed away in his quest for a flower and Jake went back to exploring the yard. But Jake’s little life had flashed before my eyes and the realization of his autonomy and free will hit me like a load of bricks. He won’t be a toddler forever (I’ve already accepted that). But the many life lessons yet to come seemed daunting. As his parents, we are tasked to train him and equip him. To get him ready for the big wide world beyond the backyard. We can have great conversations. Give him sage wisdom and deep insights learned from our own lives but, ultimately, the choice to apply that wisdom is up to him. We have no control over his life choices and, if I’m honest, that can be a hard pill to swallow at times. At the end of the day, Jake is a sinner just like me. He will be faced with moral quandaries and tough choices. He will be tempted by all the bumblebees of the world and will probably get stung more than once as he grows into the man he wants to be. Just as I can’t catch Jake every time he falls now, I have to allow him to make his own mistakes and learn his own lessons. The next seventeen years will be full of joy and probably some pain but thats how we grow. But for now, I choose to soak up our backyard adventures, watching my little person take his first steps in the wonderful journey we call life.

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Abortion is Not a Women’s Rights Issue

Abortion is Not a Women’s Rights Issue

It’s a Human Rights issue.

Pro-Choicers say that women should have the right to choose what to do with their preganantown bodies. I agree. People should have the right to their own bodies. However, these personal rights should never encroach on the rights of others. This is where we see an incredible double standardwomen can choose when their baby is a human being and when it’s just a clump of cells.

Ultimately, the issue of abortion comes down to what your definition of life is. If you think the fetus is a human being, you must consider it’s rights equal to your own. Life is not subjective. Life is not based on it’s incubator, it’s economic environment, or whether or not it will grow up in a loving home. It is permanent. Unfailing. Unyielding. Not dependent on size, gender, or flaws.

The debate on whether women should have a ‘choice’ comes secondary to this undeniable fact.

But I can understand why this would be difficult. I admit that pro-lifers often tell women what they don’t want to hear: that they have to do something they don’t want to do. As a gender, we’ve been discriminated against for thousands of years. We’ve been denied rights, been told we can’t fight for our country, been paid less for equal work, etc etc. So yes, it sucks to be told that you have to have a baby you don’t want. One thing that both sides of the issue need to realize is that having an unplanned pregnancy is HARD. Regardless of the fact that it’s a life, something we as humans are expected to celebrate, that new life can a bring disappointment, crushed hopes and dreams, put you in a difficult financial situation, etc. For a unmarried teen-aged girl, I can only imagine how traumatic and frightening it would be to discover you were pregnant and seeing the future you had planned out for yourself flash before your eyes. On the Pro-Choice side of the spectrum, the main draw is the fact that you can make all of it go away. There are no consequences because you can just get rid of it. So instead of looking at the facts, the situation is hushed up and ended before you can realize what’s just happened. It doesn’t even take effort to sugar coat the situation. By changing the word ‘baby’ to ‘fetus’, you can start to eliminate the emotional connection to the life inside you. Have you ever gone to an abortion clinic website and read the description of their services? Check it out. Every clinic gives you a step by step guide to your abortion and the term ‘fetus’ is never used. In fact, there is little to no reference of anything inside you except for the ultimate “emptying of your uterus”. If people are so confident in having this choice, then why not be honest about what you are actually choosing? In an article I read recently, the author explains the sugarcoating like this:

“I came to see this as yet another example of pro-lifers respecting women enough to tell them hard truths that they may not want to hear, but need to hear. And far from blowing women off with pat answers, as I had always imagined pro-lifers did, when I took a closer look at that movement I found it to be quite realistic about the complexities of life, and surprisingly understanding that things don’t always work out the way they’re supposed to.”

Life doesn’t always happen the way we want it to. But that doesn’t give us the authority to do what we want.

A quick defense has often been the fact that we need more safe-sex education. If teens had safe-sex, they wouldn’t get pregnant, and, therefore, abortion wouldn’t exist. Or so that’s how the thinking goes. Though I prefer abstinence, I am not against ‘safe sex education’. However, I think people overestimate it’s success rate. If you ask any teenager over the age of 12, they will know how to have safe sex. Heck, they probably know more crude, sexual acts than you could ever imagine. With the Internet as their sex ed class, how could they not? The thing we need to remember is that teenagers believe they are invincible. The always annoying “that will never happen to me” syndrome is actually a physiological part of the growing up process. I mean, just think back to all those stupid mistakes you made when you were younger? We all felt that way. The real problem is the fact our culture tells us we can have sex with zero consequences. But that’s just not how life works. Sex does have consequences and women are usually the ones who face most of them. It’s how we are biological made. So the pro-life movement is an eternal reminder that we,  as women, are “slaves to our biology” and ultimately, ‘trapped’. Because if the fetus is an actual human being, then we really don’t have a choice do we? If the baby does have rights, then when we get pregnant… we stay pregnant. Sex just got a whole lot riskier.

But pregnancy doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, it’s pretty amazing! As women, we are the only human begins on earth capable of bringing life into this world. We are the bearers of the future generation. That’s a pretty big job ! And to be honest, not every woman is up for it. There is nothing wrong with knowing you’re not ready to be a parent. Adoption provides the best way to honor life while accepting the fact you’re not up for the task. There is no shame in that. In fact, it is possibly the greatest act of love on earth. You gave your child a shot at life. If abortion is a part of your story, there is no shame either. Our God is a god of love and grace. You are not defined by your past or the choices you made. You are loved and forgiven.

At the end of the day, abortion is a messy topic because a lot of ‘rights’ are involved. A lot of feelings and a lot of choices. And everyone’s story is different. However, it all comes down to life and how it can’t be subjective. As women, we need to take a stand and make the hardest decision we can ever make: to sacrifice our freedom to choose for our children’s right to live.

That’s Life

That’s Life

Today I found out that the reason I didn’t get a job was because I am petite and look too young. I was told despite being highly qualified and having the best references and recommendations from current employees, my stature was a deal killer. And you know what? That’s life.

We Americans teach our children from day one that they are special and that they can do anything if they put their mind to it. In school we saw posters with corny inspirational sayings like, “shoot for the moon and if you’ll miss, you’ll land among the stars”. At my high school graduation ceremony, everyone was given a medal just because they graduated so as to make sure no one was left out. All these things were done out of good intentions. Parents love their kids and don’t want them to be disappointed or have their dreams crushed. They want to prolong the brutality of realty for as long as possible. But hey, life isn’t like the Disney Channel. We are not all going to be the main character who gets everything handed to them. You’ve got to work for things in this life. At least, the things thats matter. So yes, I do look young. I am frequently carded at movie theaters and am often asked which middle school I attend. And yes, I am petite. So with my powers combined, I may not be the most likely choice to meet your clients. I actually understand that. It makes logical sense. So despite my frustrations, I find myself thankful for the way God made me. He made me with a purpose in mind. I am an intricate part of His grand plan, as are YOU (Jeremiah 29:11). He knit everyone of us in our mother’s womb, hair by hair, skin cell by skin cell (Psalm 139). He made me petite, He made me youthful, He made me smart, and He made me talented.

So maybe I’m not the best fit for some jobs. I won’t necesarily get what I think I deserve in life. Or maybe I’m going to be the Doogie Howser of real estate. Only God knows. And you know what? I’m ok with that.

Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

As I’ve gotten older, I have begun to realize that life is kind of like a road trip. We are all driving down the road toward our ultimate destination: God’s plan for us. Like most road trips, its a long journey. For some of us its a family road trip, full of people who care about you but can get annoying after the nth rendition of “She’ll be Coming ‘Round The Mountain”. Never the less, God has given us family, or your college roommate, or the nameless “road trip buddy” to help us as we speed toward our destination. For others, we may be making the long haul alone. Our cars may look different, just like our lives. Some may be blessed with an escalade while others are hitchhiking their way. Either way, God has given us great directions (AKA the Bible) to help us get where we’re going. And like most situations, it is important (and necessary) to ask for directions if you get lost. I don’t know how many times I’ve needed 3rd party advice on decisions I needed to make. There is no shame is taking a pit stop now and again to refresh, refuel, and rethink your path. Always makes sure you’ve got either trustworthy passengers with you or trustworthy gas station attendants.

Now, I’m always trying to figure out exactly what God is thinking (I should really just stop trying and start trusting… working on that). I’ve devised a couple sure-fire tips for reading God’s mind while your on “Life’s Road Trip”:

  1. When God gives you a road block, He is saying their is a better way to get to where you’re going. Either you were headed down the wrong road completely or God knows there is a better route.
  2. When God gives you traffic, He is telling you to be patient. Enjoy the view. You’ll get there eventually.
  3. When God gives you a flat tire, He is giving you an opportunity to call on Him for assistance. Think of it as an opportunity to better equip yourself for the days to come.
  4. Lastly, singing makes the trip go by faster. We’ve been given this life for a reason. Each person has a purpose even though we may not not what that purpose is. But if you take the time to thank the Lord for your blessings, and even your curses, Life becomes more enjoyable. Whether you worship God through song, through art, or through business, use your talents to show your thankfulness and others His glory.