Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Working Together For Life

I have "accidentally" become involved in the prolife movement. The reason for the "quotes" is because I actually don't really believe in accidents...I believe in the sovereignty of God. A woman who leads a local prolife campaign where I live, stumbled upon a blog post that I wrote titled, 'Where Was I'  . Since then she and I have become friends and since then I have committed myself to getting involved with 40 Days For Life . If you haven't heard of the 40 Days For Life campaigns, I urge you to click on the link and research them...They are wonderful!

Because of my new involvement with 40 DFL I have experienced some pushback and some hostility. I was confused, hurt and even shocked by this. At first I thought maybe it was because some people just don't feel led to get involved...And, that's ok. I would honestly say that God doesn't call every Christian to stand outside of an abortion facilities to pray, counsel women, and to speak up for the unborn who have no voice. But, I would say that as Christians we should be concerned with the issue of abortion and we should be praying for it's end. Anyway...The pushback...I now know that it has more to do with the fact that I am partnering myself with Catholics. Gasp!!! A Protestant partnering with Catholics to pray for the precious lives of the unborn...Shocking!

This is something I am really trying to understand, but am really having a hard time with. Why are my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ turning their noses up at me because I have dared to serve with those who have theological differences than myself? I just can't see it? Where am I wrong here? Have I turned my back on my faith? No, of course not! If anything, I feel as if God is strengthening my faith by giving me a wonderful opportunity to get involved where He is obviously leading me. I have stood waaaay outside of my comfort zone and had the blessed opportunity to speak publicly by sharing my testimony, lead prayer with others, and even made a public presence outside of abortion facilities by committing myself to being there and praying. God is using these means as a way to grow me...and I am scared, excited, thankful and humbled all at the very same time!

And just as an FYI, 40 DFL isn't just a "Catholic thing". Yes, it was started by a couple families who also happen to be Catholic, but it wasn't meant to only be for Catholics. 40 Days For Life is a campaign made up of individuals of faith committed to praying, fasting and peaceful activism for an end to abortion. They are more than open to and even encourage Protestant partnering. Their goal is to unify around a common focus...To end abortion.

I know there are some theological differences. Differences that I do not take lightly...Differences that were important enough that the Reformers were labeled heretics, apostates, and even lost their lives over. I have not forgotten that, nor have I turned my back on that. But, would it be "more Christian" of me to reject a project or service opportunity because I may be the only "real Christian" there? Is that what our reformers, that we hold so dear did? No! They agonized over those that they disagreed with, trying with all that was in them to get them to see the truth. Their aim wasn't to reject them or turn their backs on them. Their desire was to reform the church they so adored! They loved the Catholic Church! To turn my nose up at partnering with Catholics or others that I may differ with theologically is, in my opinion, both arrogant and very un-Christian.

I think we can all agree that the Catholic Church has been the backbone and moving force behind the prolife movement...And, for much longer and broader than the Protestant Church's involvement. I praise God for their faithful commitment and service in protecting the innocent lives of the unborn. I am very thankful for the opportunity to be involved. I am humbled and honored to stand beside them for this precious cause!

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Disappointments Of Our Children

Have you ever noticed that when your children are excited about something, you are too? I mean of course as long as it's something safe...and well, legal. Their dreams and goals become our's too for them. When they are eager and anxiously awaiting for this really cool "something" to happen, you are too! And then, when they are disappointed because that "something" didn't really work out quite as they had are you. Their hurt becomes yours.

What's a mom to do? I know I can't just go and fix everything...Although I'd love to and sometimes I even try. But, as they get older I've learned that I have to step back and allow them to learn through their disappointments. Sometimes they get looked over and passed by, sometimes a friend may let them down, sometimes their disappointments are caused by unfair situations. Even though I'd love nothing more than to get involved and make things better, I shouldn't. These bummers now in life will help them deal with bigger bummers in the adult world. How my children learn to deal with disappointments now will help them deal with them as they grow.

Life will be filled with un-fairs, passovers, and too bads. Even though I will always want to defend my kiddos, it may be a bit inappropriate if at 45 years old my child has their 65 year old Mama showing up at work wagging her finger and giving their boss a piece of her mind because how dare they pass over her precious adorable pumpkin and give that other schmuck the position. Ya, that would probably be pretty awkward...for everyone.

No, I guess maybe instead I want my children to develop the skills needed to handle the un-fairs and too bads on their own...with humility. Is it ok to stand up for yourself if you feel you've been wronged? Well, yes, of course. But, not in a way that says, "Whaaa, you hurt my feelings!" It's ok to voice disappointment, especially if they feel like they've been wronged. I want my children to be in charge of their own reactions. Don't lose control and get all overly emotional. Don't take disappointments too personal. Sometimes it's not even about them, but instead about someone else and something that they may be dealing with. Sometimes people only see themselves and don't realize that they may be stepping over you...Be patient with them and give them grace. This doesn't mean to be a doormat, but it does mean to show them kindness regardless of how you feel they deserve to be treated. We are all dealing with something...Sometimes our personal lives affect who we are to others without even really meaning to.

I want them to honor themselves through their disappointments. I want them to keep being themselves...Don't lower their standards, settle, or become someone they are not just to please the crowd. If someone else has been given a position or a role that they wanted, it's ok. You still be you. Don't focus on the bummers of life...Instead focus on the awesome things you've done and have been able to do. Use your disappointments and grow through them, allowing them to strengthen you. As long as my children know that they've got nothing to be ashamed of, I want them to continue to be proud of themselves. Keep your head held high and smile!

Most of all, I want them to honor God in the midst of their disappointments. They are responsible for their own reactions to life and it's many ups and downs. Life will let us down...That is a given. But, how we live through those ups and downs is who we really are. We are not defined by our failures and disappointments. We are defined by He who lives in us.

My advice to my children is this...
The world may pass you by and look over you. The world may be unfair sometimes and hurt you. The world may let you down and disappoint you...But you just keep being you! Smile as bright as you always have! Love as big as you can! Celebrate your accomplishments! And shine for Him!

My girl...Celebrating in her accomplishments!