Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Discipline of Love

Its amazing how the things you were told to do when you were younger without being given any reason for them can come back and haunt you years later...only with reason that was never revealed to you by parents who love you.

I remember getting into countless fights with my sister. We'd scream at eachother, kick, bite, tear eachother's hair out...ok, never that bad - mom usually got in the middle before it reached such heights! But we didn't get along that well. We still don't. Every time we'd get into a fight, mom would make us go and tell eachother we were sorry and that we loved the other.

I remember gawking at mom - "I have to tell her I love her?!?! WHY?!?!?!"

In my mind, if I didn't feel like it, I shouldn't say it - I thought I'd be lying. My mother's response? "You WILL tell her and you WILL mean it."

I remember years later how it felt to feel a thousand miles away from God - I felt like he wasn't anywhere near me. My head told me he was, my heart said he wasn't. I knew that the right thing to do was to continue in my discipline of being his child even though I didn't feel much like his child. Read my bible, make good decisions, think on good things.

It dawned on me yesterday in a way that hadn't really occurred to me before - I'm giving my life to one man for the rest of eternity. I'm promising to love him through thick and thin. What makes me think I'm capable of that when I can't seem to remain civil with my siblings for more than a few hours at a time? And our relationship is going to be MUCH more intimate than that of me and my siblings. Sure, I get to choose my husband whereas I had very little option in siblings, but after this decision of "I do", I no longer have a choice. He is my HUSBAND.

And the lessons taught me by my mother while having to tell my sister I loved her even when I didn't feel like it washed over me.

There will be moments when love is no longer a feeling. There will be moments when I will detest him and want to scream at him and tear his hair out. There will be moments when I don't want to have anything to do with him.

But through ALL of that, one thing will always be true - I WILL love him and I WILL mean it...because that's what I'm promising him, that's what I'm promising God, that's what I'm promising our family and friends, that's what I'm promising our children.

And in those moments when the entire world feels like its caving in on me, that's when the strength of my love for him will be on full display. Not when its easy, not when everything is beautiful...but when I don't "feel" it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Florida Fall Memories

I don't know what it is about this time of year that has my spirits so incredibly high.

The weather just turned to colder (high of 65 today with a low of 44 tonight). Normally, I can't stand the cold. But the last two days I've been dying to be outside at all hours.

I've been trying to think of WHY I have this feeling of contentedness with this weather and I think I'm realizing what it is.

From barbeques with Hot Dogs in the back yard, to soccer matches in the field across the street... There were Football games and madrigal dinner rehearsals in high school.

I remember outings to the park with the biggest wooden play ground in Ocala. I remember my birthday parties and getting ready for Christmas. Its the time of year of camping and canoeing, being harrassed by my cousin, sitting down to delicious Thanksgiving Dinner at my Uncle's, and flee markets for little kid affordable christmas shopping :)

I remember walks to the Tobacco Barns, hikes through the woods searching for wild boars (I do not recommend doing this in an area that actually has a risk of finding one...). I remember tree climbing and just curling up with a book and a blanket on my grannie's front porch.

And...this is actually Christmas Weather for I'm reminded of Christmas presents, learning to juggle, playing with bubbles, cousins jumping in the pool (yeay for growing up in chicago and switzerland...). Baking cookies and decorating them, Advent dinners, hand bell rehearsals, nursing home rounds, and christmas pageants.

I remember acting out nursery rhymes for parents, aunts, and uncles with cousins and siblings. I remember cold toes, smores, tree houses, and bon fires. Jumping in leaves, pancake breakfasts in the motor home, cranky grandparents, and the coolest cookies you ever did see.

I really hope that I can capture for my own children the spirit of this time of year the way my family did for me. So well done, that I walk out the door and try to think - what is it that I should be doing right now?

I vote for smores :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

For Learner

I'll add to this as I can, but you can start with this blog post I wrote a while back.

I'm not certain how well written it is or if it is viable - the only comment I got on it was from a guy who knows very little about scripture and christianity =p

I do like studying world religions. Islam is not mentioned in this because it is not an ancient world religion and, in fact, adopted heavily from Judaic history in its religious formation (again, Islam was first introduced around 600 c.e - 400 years before the crusades began).

All Those Roads

Zoroastrianism - Wikipedia
Lists the tenets of zoroastrianism as belief in one universal and transcendental God, the uncreated creator to whome all worship is directed.

Ahura Mazda's creation is truth and order.

Active participation in life is essential to ensure happiness and to keep "chaos at bay" - meaning actively participating in good thoughts, good words, and good deeds (sounds a lot like something christianity teaches, though not worded quite the same way)

Ahura Mazda will ultimately prevail, at which point the universe will undergo a cosmic renovation and time will end. At the end of time, a savior figure will bring about a final renovation of the world, in which the dead will be revived.

History of Zoroastrianism

This site gives a very brief history of Zoroastrianism. I guess I'm more prone to fall in line with conservative zoroastrians in that I think there was some of this theology alive and well in the Babylonian Empire at the time of Israel's exile there (time of Daniel). Like I say in my post, this is when apocalyptic writings are first introduced and it's also about this time that I think the idea of a savior is introduced into hebrew writings... even though the wording in the pentateuch is very "plural" when referring to God.

Overall, Zoroastrianism more closely resembles Christianity out of any other world religion. I realize this doesn't make it true, but it still holds that Judaism probably learned a lot from it. And given my post, I think you'll understand where I go from there =p

I guess something else I should add so you get a better idea of why I'm going here with this -

I strongly believe that the location of Israel is strategic. For such a small and "insignificant" nation, it has been exposed to the greatest civilizations of histroy...and they all knew about Israel. I strongly believe that God chose this spot for Israel so that he could display for the rest of the world what he was all about through his covenant with Israel. And I think that is what actually happened.

However, I also think putting Israel in that location also provided Israel with exposure to other peoples and their beliefs. Especially during Exile - first with Egypt, several times with Babylon, and again with Persia. The nature of Judaism never really changed - it maintained itself when surrounded by Asher, Baal, Ra, and Isis. However, it still managed to pick up some crucial elements...and I don't think it was by accident.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Purpose of Marriage

I had a debate with my cube mates about the ammendment to the Florida Constitution about marriage being between one man and one woman.

The concensus of my cube is that "why do we care?!?!?" Well, that depends on what you think the purpose of marriage is...

Is it
1) The institution in which a couple finds satisfaction solely in their own relationship, therefore having no impact on anyone else in a culture or society
2) The institution that provides a stable environment and economy for raising children, therefore providing a strong nucleus that helps create a stable society

So...when you give your answer, also provide whether you think the Government should endorse such an institution and why you think that =p

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In God I Put my Trust

I wrote this a long time ago (last June I think). I was going through a lot of pain when I heard this well as engaging in a debate on Abraham's sacrifice on a literature forum... When I heard this song, something just CLICKED. I don't know how it happened, but it just did.

So now, while discussing abortion on the last post and writing about trusting God, I remembered it...

Wake up little Isaac
And rub your tired eyes
Go and kiss your mama
We’ll be gone a little while
Come and walk beside me
Come and hold your papa’s hand
I go to make an altar
And to offer up my lamb

I waited on the Lord
And in a waking dream He came
Riding on a wind across the sand
He spoke my name
“Here I am”, I whispered
And I waited in the dark
The answer was a sword
That came down hard upon my heart

Holy is the Lord
Holy is the Lord
And the Lord I will obey
Lord, help me I don’t know the way

So take me to the mountain
I will follow where You lead
There I’ll lay the body
Of the boy You gave to me
And even though You take him
Still I ever will obey
But Maker of this mountain, please
Make another way

You know, imagine how difficult it would be to trust God enough to take up your own child to sacrifice. Now lets put this in perspective. We have an idea of God's nature. Abraham had none. Looking back through the Bible, we can get an idea of what God would or would not do, though we don't have a perfect understanding. Abraham couldn't do that, and yet, thinking God was just like any of the other idols that required human sacrifice, took his son up the mountain to sacrifice him. He trusted God. He put all his trust in God. He had absolutely no clue what to expect, but God said do it, and so Abraham did it. God had said he would make a mighty nation out of Abraham through his children with Sarah, and yet he trusted God and went to sacrifice his and Sarah's only child out of obedience.

So, having a better idea about who God is then Abraham did, why do we still seem to cling to things that God asks us to give up? We know that God has a plan for us, that he has promised to build us up and not destroy us, yet we constantly respond with stubborness when he asks us to sacrifice something and trust him. He's not asking us to sacrifice our first born or any other human being, yet we still struggle with obeying him. Why?

Since when did God ask us to do something that would cause us harm and destroy us? Why can't we trust him? Why can't we rest in the promises he has given us? Why can't we just give up our desires in exchange for trusting and desiring him?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What is our Goal?

When fighting against abortion, I have to question what our goal is.

1) Is it to avenge the lives that have already been taken?
2) Is it to prevent future lives from being taken?
3) Is it to punish the mothers that have had abortions?
4) Is it to protect women who would have abortions from committing an atrocious act?

Honestly, I think people over-focus on 1, 2, and 3.

I'm not certain what happens to babies when they die, but I believe in a just and merciful God and I trust that he'll do whatever is right - even if my feeble, limited mind can't comprehend the "rightness" of what is done.

When it comes to abortion, for some reason my heart is more for the woman than the lost child. Don't get me wrong, I feel VERY strongly for the lost child...but its much much more for the mother.

We treat women who have had abortions with so much contempt, consigning them to death - "You've committed a SIN!!! The penalty of which is DEATH!!!" Good, you know your bible. Let's see if you remember the rest of the gospel.

Do they do this because they are concerned for future lives at stake? Somehow, I don't think that's what they are thinking...rather, they're thinking more about the life that's already been taken. What do you plan to accomplish here? Revenging that child's life? Are you a holy crusader for God, now, cursing people to hell for the sins they have committed? YES, what she did was WRONG! But that life is already gone, now. Revengence is God's and God's alone - leave it in his hands. But I believe the rest of scripture says that he LOVES us and wants us to be with him so much that he gave up his own son for us.

There's a life still living in spite of the loss of an innocent child at the hands of a not-so-innocent adult. God wants her life as much as he wanted that child to live and grow. But we can't bring back what is already lost...however, we can fight for that which has yet to be saved. If you want to be a crusader for God, fight hell for the heart of the woman who's mind and heart has been decieved with the worst lies to leave the spiked tongue of Satan's mouth.

Show her that if she acknowledges that what she did was wrong, than new life is at her fingertips...all she need do is repent of her actions and embrace Christ's cleansing gift. Don't force her to acknowledge death with no hope for life. God NEVER did that. Even as he sent Adam and Eve away from his garden forever to face the gaping mouth of death, he left a promise for New Life.

Are you willing to fight for her, too? Because she needs life just as much as the unborn child.

Friday, October 10, 2008

What I REALLY want to say...

There's a fun discussion going on over at Boundless

I don't agree with Driscoll, that its a MUST to have men be the providers (meaning no SAHD's whatsoever), though I don't think that's completely what he's arguing for. However, I think its a VERY big mistake to allow SAHD's to become the norm and not just the occassional exception.

#96 on was my first post...this is what I want to post, but decided against it. Let #96 speak for itself.


More to go with #96...

There are a ton of modern conveniences that have been invented over the years.

We have the refrigerator, CD players, and computer chips...

I read somewhere not so long ago that communities that were led by women (matri-focal societies) were not technologically advanced like their patriarchal counterparts. The societies focused on the men being primary care-givers. Eventually, the societies would die out.

Did you know the vast majority of the technology created (its not that women aren't SMART enough to do this) would have been near impossible to do if relying on women to carry us forward to the future?

First of all, heavy machinery is not safe.

Second of all, radiation is a common hazard in the development of the vast majority of our technology.

Maybe its just THIS culture and THIS society that doesn't get this, but previous cultures and societies placed GREAT importance on protecting the children of that society - why? Because they were the ones that would make sure the civilization would continue growing. Children were taken more seriously as an investment...especially healthy ones - mainly because the death rate of infants was so high (probably as high as our pre-birth death rates...)

Everything would be done that was known to be done by all involved in the society to ensure that healthy, hardy children were produced - including protecting women capable of having and raising young children (while the man worked).

Its odd that our society is so willing to go backwards and completely reverse itself. Even jared in #95 is willing to let it reverse itself... let women work. When they stop, I'll step up and get a job. But until then, I'm staying home - cuz its damn hard getting a job with my skill set cuz I have to compete with so many women.

Seriously, there's a reason Madame Curie was one of the ONLY women to pioneer radiology...

Why do I feel a need to add to this?

First of all, I'm not saying men are incapable of raising children. I am, however, saying they are incapable of bearing and nursing children =p (I'm correct here, right? Or did I miss something in Biology class? The Pregnant "Man" notwithstanding...)

I AM saying that society would not be able to have made the kinds of technological progress (or intellectual progress) if women were solely in charge - because until VERY recently, progress included dangerous work not suitable to a pregnant, breastfeeding woman (I'm not talking about paper pushing and desk jobs). Which, if you're a woman (back then) and being pregnant about 12-14 times, maybe 3-4 miscarriages, 1 stillborn, and 2 early-infant deaths, you'd be out of commission for 3 months for each miscarriage (1 full year), 9 months for the still born and infant deaths each (27 more months) + 3 months for each early infant death (breast-feeding...) (30 months now?) and then 1 yr + 9 months for pregnancy and weaning for 7 kids...lets be generous and say she'd get pregnant about halfway through the first year...apprx 7 years on top of 3.5 years - THAT'S 10 YEARS OF STALE MATE IN WORK OUTPUT!!!

Oh...but wait...they could just NOT have kids...

Its a good think we have patriarchal societies...let me tell you...

Cuz of them, we have buildings, houses, roads, cars, electricity (in light bulbs), cd players, tv's, radios, microwaves, refrigerators...the list could go on and on and on...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Song of the Shrew

Kiss Me Kate is playing in Orlando. My fiance leaves next week for 2 weeks of travel and I desperately want him to take me to see it before the show closes next week.

Because I'm starting to doubt whether I will get to see this wonderful musical based off of my favorite play-wright's Taming of the Shrew, I've been dabbling in some You-Tube searches of songs (I have a strange feeling the show I'm going to see is of much higher caliber than what I'll find on the tube...)

Among the searches, I yielded the deleterious I Hate Men sung by the infamous Katherine, whose shrewish voice yields such a tasty phrase as "For husbands are a boring lot that only give you bother..."

And then there's darling little Bianca, with her lovely little antics, singing her declaration of love to Tom, Dick, or Harry - she'd take all THREE!

If you know the story, forgive the recap, but here it goes - Bianca is the youngest of two (Katherine being her older sister) in a society that requires the oldest to marry before the youngest. Woe be to lusty Bianca, whose older sister thoroughly despises men and refuses to EVER marry. A suitor is on the horizon, though, and together with Bianca and dear father, schemes to match Katherine with a suitor that will not take no for an answer - and the story continues with Katherine's re-education on the importance, necessity, and desirability

I just realized while thinking random thoughts how much this story is like everything I've been struggling with since stumbling onto Anakin Nice-Guy's and MLV's blogs. My issue with them was that the stance they took on marriage hindered any progress - specifically for the ones that actually WANT to marry and actually do the right thing as wives.

And then this thought comes up - and girls like me are the Biancas of modern society...and our big sister that's ruining our chances at marital success are all the feminists and women that willfully tear down their husbands by refusing them access to their children and sapping them for all they're worth.

I wonder if its possible to find Petruchios willing to marry all those Katherines and re-educate them so the rest of the unmarried Biancas have a shot at some marital success ;)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Qualified or Not?

I'm not a big Sarah Palin fan, to be quite honest.

It has my dad's toes curled to think that I may not vote for McCain/Palin. Nevermind that I've made it quite OBVIOUS that I will NOT (absolutely with no question) put my vote to that horrific man named Obama.

God help me if I ever choose to vote for him.

There are a lot of duplicitous opinions out there concerning Obama and McCain.

Here's an opinion I find very duplicitous.
My question is: Would any of these corporate success stories hire a similarly thin-resumed job candidate (male or female) to be their number two? To run their multi-billion dollar banking division? To launch their satellite into space? We've all interviewed the candidates who've been pushed too rapidly up the ladder, who can talk the talk but can't really walk the walk.

No, not a fan of dear Mrs. Palin and her Lipstick Campaign, but are you willing to give your number one slot in your multi-billion banking division to someone with a resume slim enough to rival that of Sarah Palin?

What good business sense have you really? Especially since your number 2 does significantly less (almost nada) in the running of your corporation while the number 1 is running the entire show...