Artists for Life

.........Scroll down the right hand column for artist links...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Woman in Need...Let's Walk the Talk

I've been following the story of Haley and Baby Brayley over at Waltzing Matilda. Brayley has anencephaly and is due to be born on September 1st. In spite of financial and medical pressures, Haley will choose life (as long as God wills it) for her precious daughter.

Her obstacles are great. Personally, she faces this pregnancy out of wedlock. Financially, she faces mounting doctor bills plus the question of how she will provide a dignified burial for her child. A search for an organization in the area that will help provide a plot, burial and headstone have come up short; so people are coming together to support her.

Charlotte at Waltzing Matilda has set up a "Donate" button on her blog and is facilitating that effort. Haley is also asking for prayers for the baby's father, Billy, who has supported her decision to honor Brayley's life.

Please support Brayley with whatever prayer or gift you can. We can talk pro-life all day long but really living it is something else entirely.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

parental notification...what's that all about?

Forget about California's wild hubbub over prop 8. Here in Alaska the big vote is on Prop 2. Maybe you have something similar going on in your state.

If a child has to have a parent's permission to get a tattoo, ear pierced, see an R-rated movie, or even -gasp!- take a Tylenol at school, isn't it a good idea for them to also need parental consent in order to have their uterus surgically cleaned out, effectively murdering their child and compromising their own physical and emotional health - perhaps for life?

Did you know that most teens are impregnated by older men - statuatory rapists - and our current law in Alaska protects them? No, no, not the teens - I meant it protects the rapist. Funny, huh?

Not a bit.

Here's an article that illustrates the scenario. It's real life. Truly happened. One could even argue that there's more documentation of this than there is of our president's birthday (aw, that was too easy, I couldn't resist).

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Because we all need a little smile today...

pictured on:
A Precious Little Baby Girl made by Her heavenly Father 
(she's not for sale)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

ending abortion

Do you have plans Saturday? This has an all-star line-up you don't want to miss!

http://endingabortion.com/

I confess I do already have plans on Saturday, like many of you might - but don't let that stop you from registering! You can watch the speakers later on your own time once you've registered. I've watched many of these speakers before and I was moved - and I'm still moving. :) I hope you are moved, too!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

we can stop pretending now


First things first. This is not a G-rated post. So please preview this before leaving it open on your screen for your literate children to find. 
And second...if anything in this post starts hitting home with you...I want to say Shame off you. This is a shame-free zone. Conviction and change, yes. Shame...can go to hell, where it originated. Because you are safe and loved here.
On to business. I kissed my kids this morning. I always do that; they sit at the table eating breakfast and I go around and ruffle their heads and give them smooches. It's a good way to start the day. We smile, we're happy, life is good.
The day is beginning.
Then I opened the mail and read Abby's story.
I don't know Abby personally yet. You probably don't either...but you might have heard of her. Here's what I read:
I was called into the room. I remember thinking that I was actually kind of excited to learn a new procedure, to witness a new technique. I thought it would be a good learning experience.

I got the ultrasound wand in place and I looked up on the screen and saw this perfectly formed baby. It was a full side profile - from head to foot.
Then I saw the cannula, the probe that is hooked up to the suction machine. All of a sudden, the cannula began to prod the baby in the side. The baby started to move. The legs started kicking.
The arms started moving. It was like the baby was trying to find a place to go in the uterus.
At that moment I thought to myself, "Oh my gosh. I'm about to witness something horrible."
Then the doctor turned on the suction and I watched the baby begin to twist and crumple through the suction. It was over in a matter of seconds.
This was the end of a life. It was the turning point in Abby's. Do you know who she is now?
Abby Johnson used to be a Director at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas. But then she saw what she was promoting, and realized how she had lied to women just as others had lied to her...and now she's on our side.
Are there sides in this? Must there be sides?
Oh, yes. There must be sides. There is no middle ground once you stop pretending and face reality.
I am not an advocate for showing pictures of abortions...unless you still think that abortion should be legal. Unless you think unborn babies should be disposed of like so much menstrual tissue. Unless you are still pretending that it's all okay...because it's not.
If you fall in that camp, you need to see the pictures. Now, don't be afraid - if you are so sure you are on the right side of this, then what do you have to be afraid of? Right?
If you're convinced you are on the right side of this, and that side is for abortion (even if that means "I-would-never-choose-it-personally-but-I-can't-make-that-choice-for-someone-else"), you can see the reality here. You ought to know what you are advocating. You ought to know what women are being lied to about. You ought to know what our country is coming to. You ought to know.
But if you don't want to see the pictures, it is an indication that you already know that something in your heart does not match up with your professed beliefs. Shame off you...you can stop pretending.
We'll stop pretending this is about choice...because women are being lied to.
We'll stop pretending women have no other options...because there is no such thing as an unwanted child in America. For every aborted baby, there are at least five families who would love to adopt that baby and give him or her a loving home.
We'll stop pretending this is about women's rights. Because women deserve better.
We deserve the truth. We deserve to be respected as people who can face the consequences of our choices. We deserve to be empowered, not simply enabled. We are so much better than this.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I won't apologize

A five-minute-read that will add fuel to your fire and ammo to your artillery:

A funny thing happened to me the other day when my wife and I had, thank God, another baby (a boy). Many of my friends didn't seem all that happy for me. Sure, they went through the motions of smiles and congratulations. But it was evident that many thought me insane. Why would a young man and his wife ruin their lives with eight children? Who could afford the Jewish day-school bills? Didn't we want to live life a little, and not just be burdened with kids?

It got downright surreal when a European film company, pressed me, while my wife was in labor, to finish shooting a segment that had an urgent deadline (I obviously told them they were insane). And the next day, I was mildly criticized by a Jewish organization which was supposed to be hosting me for a lecture for having to cancel on them because the lecture clashed with the baby's [curcumcision].

I don't mind that the world doesn't really love babies, just that it pretends to. It's time we got honest about our priorities. Most people get a new car every two or three years, but one or two babies through the life of their marriage is plenty. You can get drunk on an airplane, laugh hysterically with your mates, and still not really anger people. But if you dare bring a crying baby on board you will be given malicious looks as if the little thing is a package that ticks. If you walk your dog along the street, people will stop you to tell you how cute he is. If you walk down the street with a baby, you might find a woman or two who coos, but for the most part, you'll be utterly ignored.

Indeed, the contempt shown to parents of many children is the last acceptable prejudice in our society. As a father of a large family, I find myself apologizing wherever I go, as if I committed a crime. The frequent and loaded stares from scornful onlookers imply that the famine in Africa was caused by my selfish insistence on overpopulating the earth. Long ago my wife and I discovered that few hotels were prepared to accommodate so many children, even if we took three of four rooms, which is why we bought an RV for travel.

How strange to live in a world where loving children casts one in infamy. Having a family with many children implies a backwardness and primitivism that is deemed unbecoming in the developed countries of the West. Large families, it is thought, exist only among religious weirdoes or the teeming hovels of the Third World.

Rich countries, by contrast, prefer to increase their standard of living rather than the number of the living. Looking at Western birth rates for the year 2001, the United States averaged only 14.2 births for every thousand Americans, and the birthrate among white Americans is so low that the United States will soon lose its white majority. Indeed, one can go for days in a wealthy city like Manhattan without encountering a single pregnant woman. Riches and children have become inversely proportional such that the more of the former, the less of the latter.

Hence, the high birth rates of extremely poor African nations like Uganda – at 47.52 births per 1,000 – or Niger with 50.68 births per 1,000, are deemed to be prime causes and indicators of their penury. The abundant fertility and unconstrained sexuality of these countries confirms the unspoken Western mindset of these country's inhabitants as being just one step above savages. Contraception has become a synonym for civilization.

A Christian mother of six once wrote to me, "I find it troubling to worry about getting pregnant again ... because I don't want to face the criticism of friends and family. Why do people not see children as a blessing?" A fair question which deserves a fair response.

Why is it that even many synagogues today are not children friendly? Why are people impressed that Jay Leno owns 20 motorcycles, but disgusted that some religious families choose to have 10 children?

Let's not finesse the response. We all know why. A world that has lost its innocence has trouble appreciating beings who are innocent. A world that has become selfish has soured to the idea of leading a life of selflessness. A world that has become grossly materialistic is turned off to the idea of more dependents who consume resources. And a world that mistakenly believes that freedom means a lack of responsibility is opposed to the idea of needy creatures who "tie you down."

They can go fly a kite.

By just looking at my children, I become more innocent. By loving them, I become more noble. By spending my money on them rather than myself, I find transcendence. And by being a father and liberating all of the love in my heart, my spirit soars free. I work hard to support a large family and I give up no pleasures in doing so because my children are my foremost pleasure.

I am often asked by women dating men how to tell whether they are marriage material. I tell them, "See if he enjoys children." A man who loves children is playful. He will spend his life joking with his wife because he loves to see her laugh, and will flirt with her because he loves to see her smile.

There was a time when husbands and wives worked hard to ensure they could afford the blessings of a large family. Today, the higher your earning bracket the fewer children you have, but then we always knew that many turn money from a blessing into a curse.

Before he died, the Lubavitcher Rebbe launched a campaign asking parents to have one more child than they originally planned. It is a campaign that a dwindling Jewish community should revive as it continues to disappear.

- Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, 2006

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

No Arms, No Legs, No Worries...

Nick Vujicic was born without arms or legs. That doesn't stop him from living a life of joyful gratitude. And from making it his passion to share a message of hope. Watch this video to be inspired and to see your life a little differently; and then visit his incredible website for more.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Woman Conceived in Rape is Grateful for Life...

Just another reminder that there are always two lives to consider in the decision to choose life or abortion.
Deborah Morlani, pro-life speaker and mother of five, defends Cardinal Oullet's stand in defense of those conceived in rape and talks about her own mother's decision, at the age of 16, to defend the life of her child:

"When she found out she was pregnant there was no doubt in her mind that I was her little baby and she was going to keep me and ensure that no one hurt me like she was hurt. She always felt very protective of my life while I was growing in her womb and throughout my childhood..."


"My mom made a doll named Suzie for me shortly after I was born and  I still have her to this day. This little 12" handmade cotton doll has meant a lot to me over the years; she reminds me that I was a baby worth loving no matter how I was conceived. She reminds me that babies are worth loving, no exceptions."

Morlani has made it one of the missions of her life to defend the lives of babies, like her, "who were conceived in rape and to work toward ending the discrimination and hatred aimed toward us."

Read the full article here and do pass it on: Woman Conceived in Rape Thanks Quebec Cardinal for Abortion Statements

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Raquel Welch takes an honest look at sexual freedom...

Raquel Welch, an award-winning actress and American sex symbol, has penned the following article for the CNN Opinion website discussing the pros and cons of a sex-saturated culture. Without knowing her specific position on abortion, I would definitely classify this as a "pro-life" article as she strongly recognizes the importance of family, children and the importance of limits to sexual freedoms.


(CNN)  -- Margaret Sanger opened the first American family-planning clinic in 1916, and nothing would be the same again. Since then the growing proliferation of birth control methods has had an awesome effect on both sexes and led to a sea change in moral values.

And as I've grown older over the past five decades -- from 1960 to 2010 -- and lived through this revolutionary period in female sexuality, I've seen how it has altered American society -- for better or worse.

On the upside, by the early 60's The Pill had made it easier for a woman to choose to delay having children until after she established herself in a career. Nonetheless, for young women of childbearing age (I was one of them) there was a need for some careful soul searching -- and consideration about the long-range effects of oral contraceptives -- before addressing this very personal decision. It was a decision I too would have to face when I discovered I was pregnant at age 19.

Even though I was married to the baby's father, Jim Welch, I wasn't prepared for this development. It meant I would have to put my career ambitions on hold. But "the choice" was not mine alone to make. I had always wanted to have Jim's babies, but wasn't at all sure how he would react. At the time, we were 19-year-old newlyweds, struggling to make ends meet. But he was unflinching in his desire to keep our baby and his positive, upbeat attitude about the whole prospect turned everything around. I have always loved Jim for how he responded in that moment.

During my pregnancy, I came to realize that this process was not about me. I was just a spectator to the metamorphosis that was happening inside my womb so that another life could be born. It came down to an act of self-sacrifice, especially for me, as a woman. But both of us were fully involved, not just for that moment, but for the rest of our lives. And it's scary. You may think you can skirt around the issue and dodge the decision, but I've never known anyone who could. Jim and I had two beautiful children who've been an ongoing blessing to both of us.

Later, I would strike out on my own, with my little ones, as a single mother to pursue a career in the movies. It was far from ideal, but my children didn't impede my progress. They grounded me in reality and forced me into an early maturity. I should add that having two babies didn't destroy my figure.

But if I'd had a different attitude about sex, conception and responsibility, things would have been very different.

One significant, and enduring, effect of The Pill on female sexual attitudes during the 60's, was: "Now we can have sex anytime we want, without the consequences. Hallelujah, let's party!"

It remains this way. These days, nobody seems able to "keep it in their pants" or honor a commitment! Raising the question: Is marriage still a viable option? I'm ashamed to admit that I myself have been married four times, and yet I still feel that it is the cornerstone of civilization, an essential institution that stabilizes society, provides a sanctuary for children and saves us from anarchy.

In stark contrast, a lack of sexual inhibitions, or as some call it, "sexual freedom," has taken the caution and discernment out of choosing a sexual partner, which used to be the equivalent of choosing a life partner. Without a commitment, the trust and loyalty between couples of childbearing age is missing, and obviously leads to incidents of infidelity. No one seems immune.

As a result of the example set by their elders, by the 1990s teenage sexual promiscuity -- or hooking up -- with multiple partners had become a common occurrence. Many of my friends who were parents of teenagers sat in stunned silence several years ago when it came to light that oral sex had become a popular practice among adolescent girls in middle schools across the country.

The 13-year-old daughter of one such friend freely admitted to performing fellatio on several boys at school on a regular basis. "Aw come on, Mom. It's no big deal. Everyone is doing it," she said. Apparently, since it's not the act of intercourse, kids don't count it as sex. Can any sane person fail to make a judgment call about that?

Seriously, folks, if an aging sex symbol like me starts waving the red flag of caution over how low moral standards have plummeted, you know it's gotta be pretty bad. In fact, it's precisely because of the sexy image I've had that it's important for me to speak up and say: Come on girls! Time to pull up our socks! We're capable of so much better.





Monday, May 3, 2010

Aborted Fetal DNA in vaccines linked to Autism?

 

In Febuary of 2009, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims denied awarding damages to three families who believe that vaccines caused their children's diseases. They are only 3 of 5,000 such families seeking restitution from a government program that exists to compensate people injured by vaccines. The very existence of the program proves that these injuries do happen. However, government studies say that the dramatic increase in cases of autism is not linked to vaccinations.

The foundation of these case against vaccinations was the use and potentially harmful effect of mercury. But others are saying that this is the fundamental reason that the families lost their cases; that mercury is not the cause of the disease. There still remains a strong connection between vaccinations and the rise of autism, they say, but Mercury is not the culprit.
Studies conducted by the Sound Chose Pharmaceutical Institute indicate that the link is not mercury but rather residual DNA from aborted babies used to make certain vaccines.

We already know that embryonic stem cell research has been an abysmal failure . Not only has it been shown to be ineffective but also damaging to patients. Is this further evidence of the same?

Pro-life activist and blogger Jill Stanek thinks so: "That virus-laden DNA of aborted babies could be wreaking havoc on the DNA of healthy children is completely plausible."

Moral objections to vaccines created using aborted fetal cell lines have been raised for many years although not loudly enough to affect main stream users. Many parents are frightened by the risk of disease from a failure to vaccinate and override their moral objections for the health of their children. What many do not know is that effective, safe and morally acceptable forms of these vaccines are available in other countries but not approved by the ethically compromised FDA. When enough people refuse to participate perhaps someone will think the effort worth it.

Do we now have a health concern to add to our moral objections?

For further information about how many of our vaccines are tainted with the cell lines of aborted babies, please visit Children of God for Life .

Thursday, April 29, 2010

HFL Artist Walks for Life...

Elizabeth Knox is a mother, artist and a pro-lifer who walks the talk. Literally! Please take a moment to read about her latest effort and find out how you can help her support life.
*******************

Hello Friends!!

My name is Elizabeth Knox and I am participating in an important event in my community. The Carolina Pregnancy Center of Washington, North Carolina is having its annual Walk for Life and I am asking neighbors, friends, and family to sponsor me.
Would you please be one of my sponsors?

This non-profit ministry served nearly 1000 clients and nearly 5000 students last year! Many of the teens, women, and men are facing difficult circumstances and need the emotional support and practical assistance offered free at the Center. The Center serves clients in 2 locations, Greenville and Washington, North Carolina.

If you would like to participate with me by being one of my sponsors, I would really appreciate it. Sponsorship is for the event, not per mile, and any gift you give is tax-deductible.

EVERY DOLLAR RAISED HELPS:
*Teens hear the challenge of sexual abstinence through the “Its Great to Wait” program in the public schools.
*Pregnant women hear the truth about all their options, while counselors pray they will choose life for the child.
*Young moms-to-be prepare for birth and parenting challenges.
*Young women & men earn vouchers for baby items through our parenting classes.
*Struggling women find emotional and spiritual recovery from an abortion through the “Mended Hearts” program and the P.A.L.M. one-day healing conference.
*Clients hear about the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

My goal is to raise $1000 to help these families in need! I know I have set my goal high but I am very passionate about this.

If you would like to sponsor me, please send me a email - lizzy_h_03 [!at] yahoo.com. In the email specify if you would like your commitment of $10 or more to be billed to you by the Center and your address. If your donation is under $10 or if you are making a larger donation and prefer not to be billed, please send a check made out to the Carolina Pregnancy Center to Elizabeth Knox, 113 E. 12th Street, Washington, NC 27889. 

I appreciate all your support! 

God Bless,
Elizabeth Knox


*************************
In addition to her pro-life work, Elizabeth also dedicates her time to supporting research for Trisomy 18, the condition which took the life of her newborn daughter, Lilly. You can read more about her journey HERE .
Mommy love and misses her very much!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Guilty...

  

I confess. I have been guilty of some serious blog neglect here. My only defense is that I am busy (and very sick) walking the pro-life talk. I'm pregnant for the 7th time (my 6th ended in miscarriage) and even though I've finally entered the 2nd trimester, I continue to be very sick.

I keep wondering what the problem is. Is my body chemistry out of whack? Do I have some underlying illness? My SIL thinks I'm having twins. Twins? I'm on Zofran and it's really only taking the edge off. I asked my midwife: "What's wrong with me?" She said, "Nothing dear, you just have a healthy pregnancy."

Oh, if only I could bypass pregnancy and just have the baby! Come to think of it, I'd rather bypass labor, too. I don't want to be pregnant. I don't want to go through childbirth. I'm uncomfortable, sick and exhausted.

And whiny.

This really is the point where I can see into the mind and heart of the pro-aborts. I  used to be one before I became a mother. And now that I'm a mother, I know the pain of a mother's sacrifice. I certainly will never minimize another's. I also know that it's not all about me. This is 100% my pregnancy. But I cannot claim any percentage of my child's life. It is all his or hers. There is no natural right that I have to shorten that life. There is however a moral obligation as a mother to care for and protect my child.

I am suffering. I am weary. And I am guilty. Guilty of many acts of selfishness. But this child is bathed in innocence. And will not suffer for my guilt. My reward for protecting the life of my child will be the unspeakable joy that he or she will bring to my mother's heart and the satisfaction of having given the best (and yes, the worst) of myself for their well-being.

The blog is lagging because of my current struggle. I hope you all hang in there and overlook my lapse. I'm guilty. But I'm very busy growing innocence.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

China enforces one-child rule with mandatory sterilizations...

The Chinese government once again demonstrates gross violation of the natural rights of the Chinese people.

"Doctors in southern China are working around the clock to fulfil a government goal to sterilise — by force if necessary — almost 10,000 men and women who have violated birth control policies. Family planning authorities are so determined to stop couples from producing more children than the regulations allow that they are detaining the relatives of those who resist..."

"Zhang Lizhao, 38, the father of two sons, aged 6 and 4, said that he rushed home late last night from buying loquats for his wholesale fruit business to undergo sterilisation after his elder brother was detained. His wife had already returned so that the brother would be freed.

Mr Zhang said: “This morning my wife called me and said they were forcing her to be sterilised today. She pleaded with the clinic to wait because she has her period. But they would not wait a single day. I called and begged them but they said no. So I have rushed back. I am satisfied because I have two sons.”

Thousands of others have refused to submit and officials are continuing to detain relatives, including elderly parents, to force them to submit to surgery. Those in detention are required to listen to lectures on the rules limiting the size of families." (Read the full article here)
On a somewhat related note, there is increasing concern that acceptance of voluntary sterilization brings a host of difficulties to individuals, families and communities. Is there any strength to this claim? Here are a couple interesting articles submitted by the Couple to Couple League clarifying those concerns:




Thursday, April 15, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Last Minute Easter Gifts...

I just did a Handmade for Life search on Etsy with some last minute Easter basket stuffing in mind. To search for Handmade for Life members on Etsy just type HFLteam  in the search field. Here are some sweet finds from my search today...

**HFL members...Please remember to tag your Etsy listings with our team tag so that we can all find your items more easily!**

 


 


 


 

Monday, March 22, 2010

It's time to become an activist...

Congress has narrowly passed the monstrous health care bill. Obama wins. Babies lose. It seems to so many that our representatives have turned a deaf ear to the will of the people and pushed through legislation that is so objectionable to so many.

It's easy to pass the blame to corrupt government officials. After all, many of us did not vote for this administration. But the fact remains that most Americans did in spite of the fact that Obama was incredibly clear about his strong pro-abortion agenda. Remember his promises to Planned Parenthood? "The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act."  It took him a little longer than he expected but he's now making good on the heart of that promise.

Most Americans voted for this administration. Americans elected the men and women who worked so tirelessly and shamefully to push through this bill which is so damaging to our freedoms on multiple levels. You and I may not have been among the number to cast our votes that way but we cannot completely reject responsibility unless we are confident that we did everything we could to stand up in defense of life.

I know that I did not do everything I could have done. I am a busy mom who often allowed my discouragement to serve as an excuse for inaction during the last election.

What we are seeing now is the practically irreparable damage that can result from just one election cycle. The result of too many Americans lamenting the state of things from their living room couches. We tend to shy away from being "activists" leaving that label to those a little bolder than ourselves. But every American is charged with great responsibility since we are a free people and bear the burden of choosing our representatives. We have no worthy excuse to exempt ourselves from that activist role.

"I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." --Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis, 1820


Midterm elections are rapidly approaching and we must make ourselves heard. If you do not know when your primary elections are taking place, find out. Some are only weeks from now. If you do not know who is running in your primary, find out. Find out immediately and do what you can to help with last minute campaigning for those who will truly represent the ideals of freedom. Many corrupt incumbents are powerful and have access to your tax dollars to fund their campaigns (a true outrage). Their opponents must hope and pray that a literate electorate will look beyond a glossy mailer to find the best candidate.

The fight over this health care bill is not over yet. State governments are preparing to fight on a local level. Let your local politicians know where you stand. Lend your support. Voice your opposition. Raise money. Knock on doors. Let your love for life and country overcome your distaste of politics.

Whatever you do, please get off the couch. America needs you.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Send Flowers, Support Life

At Faith and Flowers , you can send someone a gorgeous floral arrangement and support a Culture of Life at the same time. Faith and Flowers will purchase ad time with Virtue Media on a quarterly basis using profits from their flower and plant sales. Here is just one of many beautiful selections...

"This gorgeous, timeless beauty of spray roses and godetia with pale blue blossoms reminds of the wonder and glory in all God's creation 'which rightly gives Him praise."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Life and The Pain Scale...



If you've been to a doctor or hospital within the last 20 years or so, you've likely been confronted with this cute pain scale indicator. "How badly does it hurt with Zero being not-at-all and 10 being the worst pain you've ever felt?" I never get the answer right because I've been through non-medicated labor 5 times (one of which was back labor with a tailbone fracture). Everything else in life is clearly a 5 or lower when compared with labor so my real, but occasional, medical issues are dismissed because I'm perceived to be in not enough pain. My frustrated husband lectures me every time: "Why don't you tell them how bad it is? Isn't it bad?" Of course, but that pain scale keeps me totally honest. No injury, illness or surgery I've ever had holds a candle to labor pain.

In spite of that, I still sit here thinking that I'd rather go through labor twice than suffer through these weeks and weeks of 24-hour pregnancy sickness. My average labor is 3 hours long. Fast and furious. Multiply it by two...equals six hours of terrific pain. Contrast that with endless hours, days and weeks of perpetual, debilitating sickness. Tough call.

There's no question that pregnancy and childbirth are a true cross of motherhood. There are some mothers who love pregnancy. I am not one of them and go into survival mode for quite a while with "Help me, Jesus" constantly on my lips. It is a time when I get a glimpse into how I might be different without my Christian faith. I hate this suffering and know that without a firm belief in the sanctity of each and every life at every age, I might give in to the weakness of this Culture of Death.

Motherhood is itself an act of sacrificial love. We embrace a life of service and self-donation or we spend our lives bitterly trying to escape the cross that we barely consented to. We give these painful moments gladly in love to our babies or we spend our lives resenting their intrusion.

What would I give in love to this child? Would I be strong enough to choose this path of suffering if it was optional? What good can I make of it? If I lose this child as I lost my last , would I be grateful for this difficult but short time that I had to spend with this hidden treasure?

My love for my unborn baby is very similar to my love for the Lord. Passionate but imperfect. I desire a union of perfect love but love of my own comfort and preferences seem to constantly present a stumbling block.

Dearest Little One,


I will love you even when I am sick. I will love you even when you are sick. Because love is not an emotion but a choice. Love is not about comfort but about joy in service. And I choose to give my life for you as our Lord gave His for me. Help me, Jesus. 

Love forever,
Mommy

Friday, March 12, 2010

baby shower, anyone?

Babies are such a nice way to start people. - Don Herold
.
As a public service, I give you a sampling of our talented team's baby items:

Polka dot baby hat by Deusprovidebit

Sweet Pinks baby quilt by My Creative Threads


Baby's first year knit hat by Baruch's Lullaby

Reversible baby bib by Sew Appealing


Bottoms Up bodysuit by Baby Big Mouth

Handknit baby sunhat by A. Victoria

Baby bodysuit by Tiny Vessel Apparel

Burp cloths by Krispy Banana

Sweet Dreams sign by Family Attic (I bought one of these for my new nephew!)

Oatmeal, jade, and chocolate wool blanket by EllieFitz

Creme de la Creme earflap hat by Sugarfoots

Peasant dress with ruffle by Joyfully Sewn Designs

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

a place called simplicity

Have you noticed that some blogs are addictive? You stumble upon them, glance around, quickly become enthralled with something, and poof! An hour has passed. Here is such a blog. It is my joy to introduce you to A Place Called Simplicity.



A pastor. His amazing wife. And their ten kids. Their hearts for LIFE will thrill you. Their honesty will surprise and delight you. And their call to adoption will challenge and bless you.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Vegetative patients able to communicate with brain waves

London (Reuters) - A man in a deeply unconscious state for five years has been able to communicate with doctors using just his thoughts in a study scientists say is a "game changer" for care of vegetative state patients.
(Continue reading... )

Monday, February 22, 2010

Keepsake Jewelry Made from Flowers...

The inspiration for the work of JNJ Keepsakes blossomed out of tragedy. Jessica was only 19-years old when she died in an alcohol related car accident. One source of comfort to her family was having keepsake jewelry made out of her funeral flowers. These keepsakes are cherished by her family and Renate and Arlene started a business in Jessica's memory to provide the same special remembrance for others.

 

I have been fascinated with this idea ever since Arlene first approached me about membership in Handmade for Life. How many different times have I wished for some way to make our special flowers and accompanying memories last a little bit longer? Petals pressed in prayer books. Stemmed roses hanging to dry in the garage. Photographs. And that bittersweet moment when I finally and reluctantly relinquish those dying blooms to the trash can.


I recently contacted JNJ Keepsakes  to inquire about a custom order I would eventually like to make. Each time my husbands gives me roses, I am reminded of his love and fidelity. I don't need those roses to know he loves me because he shows it in so many ways but he knows I love roses and I'm always delighted. What if I could capture this symbol of his faithfulness and care and pass it on in a keepsake to a child on a wedding day? (You are standing here with your beloved today because of your Father's love and care. Every moment that he sacrificed for me and for you in love has helped to make you who you are and bring you to this beautiful day. May your marriage be as cherished and fruitful...) I thought a rosary or a pretty bracelet for the bride might be a perfect use for beads made from the flowers their daddy gave to me.

JNJ Keepsakes' shop on Etsy features pre-made jewelry in addition to the custom requests that they love to fulfill. They can create your perfect custom piece or just the beads ( 8mm-4mm) for you to incorporate into your own projects. The amount of flower needed for a bead varies according to type of flower and petals but a single rose will make 8 to 10 beads. The dried petals are then ground into a powder before being given a second life in the beads. The extra powder is then saved for 2 years in case the customer would like to order more items.

 

In addition to their passion for building up a culture of Life, Arlene and Renate also donate all profits from The Jessica Necklace to MADD to help prevent another tragedy like the one they suffered in the loss of their beloved Jessica.

I can think of so many special uses for the talented artists at JNJ.  A gift for a new mother. Memorial of the loss of a preborn baby or in memory of another loved one. First Communion or weddings. Memory of a special trip or event. I'm sure there are as many different ideas as there are special occasions.

Thanks Arlene and Renate for bringing your life and gifts to the Handmade for Life family!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

the parallels are everywhere

I wrote as I did because as a woman, as a mother, I was oppressed and broken-hearted with the sorrow and injustice I saw, because as a Christian I felt the dishonor to Christianity, because as a lover of my country I trembled in the coming day of wrath. It is no merit in the sorrowful that they weep, or in the oppressed and smothering that they grasp and struggle, nor to me that I must speak for the oppressed - who cannot speak for themselves.
 - Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin

This is Black History Month. I'm not one for celebrating any particular month by government-endorsed, small interest group designation, and when I see announcements like the one I just wrote, my brain usually tunes out and says "borrrrring..." But I happened to watch one of my favorite movies at the beginning of the month and couldn't help but notice the coincidence.

I'm also not one for doing movie reviews, so stick with me here...Ever seen Amazing Grace? It came out a few years ago, and chronicles some of the efforts of William Wilberforce and his contemporaries in their work to abolish slavery. As I watched it, I could not help but notice the parallels between the previous abolition movement - that of slavery - to the current abolition movement... that of abortion.

In the abolition debate, people were reminded that God made men equal. In the abortion debate, we remind them that God made men...period. The parallels are everywhere in history. Watch with me:

Frederick Douglass:
Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave I will...dare to call into question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery - the great sin and shame of America.

The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.

There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

John Jay:
To contend for our own liberty, and to deny the blessing to others, involves an inconsistency not to be excused.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton:
When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.

Margaret Sanger - but wait, lest you suffer intellectual whiplash, let me qualify this author by reminding you that she was the founder of a little business called Planned Parenthood, and she has been no friend of black people or women. This is what she said:
"We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the negro population."

Unfortunately for her, the word has gotten out. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, her business has had some success in carrying out her vision for society. Let us consider...
African-American deaths by cause, since 1973:
- AIDS - 0.2 million
- Cancer - 1.6 million
- Heart Disease - 2.25 million
- Abortion - 14 million
In short, in America, a black baby is almost as likely to be aborted as it is to be born.

Back to the movie. Remember? I was talking about Amazing Grace. There is a scene that takes place around a huge dinner table shortly after Wilberforce becomes a Christian. He is with a bunch of radical abolitionists and has been struggling with his purpose - whether he should do the work of God and focus his life on the abolition of slavery, or continue his growing career in Parliament. His friends challenge him to do both - and he does. And he succeeds. Eventually.

William Lloyd Garrison was another abolitionist who considered his purpose. Here's what he said about it:

Abolitionism is not a hobby, got up for political or associated aggrandisements; it is not a political ruse; it is not a spasm of sympathy, which lasts but for a moment, leaving the system weak and worn; it is not a fever of enthusiasm; it is not the fruit of fanaticism; it is not a spirit of faction. It is of heaven, not of men. It lies in the heart as a vital principle. It is an essential part of Christianity, and aside from it there can be no humanity. Its scope is not confined to the slave population of the United States, but embraces mankind. Opposition cannot weary it, force cannot put it down, fire cannot consume it.

In considering my own purpose...I confess I am tired of hearing those who think that doing God's work means that they can be aloof to the political scene around them. I am bored with the comfortable Christianity that challenges people only to pitiful introspection and a ten percent tithe. And I am disgusted with churches that push God's passion for the orphan and widow aside for mere discussions on doctrine.

I will speak more. I will pray more. I will give more. I will make people uncomfortable. But I will make myself uncomfortable, first...because I, too, have been shown amazing grace.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Friends for Life...

(Leah, Catherine and Anastasia)

It is the primary mission of Handmade for Life to give artists and crafters a way to stand up publicly in defense of the unborn. It is a huge bonus that many of us have become good friends along the way.

This post is the story of 3 friends who all happen to share a passion for handmade art, their faith in Jesus Christ, and the sanctity of life. They've been online and phone friends for a very long time and recently had the opportunity to meet face to face.


The first of these friends is Princess Daffy (otherwise know as Catherine). 
She runs two online boutiques featuring her lovely handmade gifts. Abbas Girl showcases many faith-based creations while Sweet heart Studio offers "pretty little things to bless your heart and home". Let it be said that Catherine is not only talented but is also one of the most thoughtful and generous souls to inhabit Etsy and the worldwide web. She has blessed many, many people through her time and treasure. And her beautiful custom artwork does hang happily on my wall!















The second friend is Anastasia who is a fiber arts magician. Her beautiful scarves and hats can be found in her two shops: Matt's Crafty Wife and Breath of Dawn Studio. Last Winter, I asked Anastasia to create a set of custom matching hats for my daughter and me (yes, she still wants to match mommy!). We were certainly not disappointed! Gorgeous creations from a true lover of life and the sweetest and most loving hands imaginable...














The third of the group is certainly not the least! Leah's creative passion overflows into so many different mediums that I'm sure I've lost track! She's on Etsy as Matic Studio (fiber/crochet/knit creations), Sugarfoots (fiber arts for baby and...java!), The Dream Giver (luxurious products for pain relief and relaxation), and Leah Moerschel (original art prints). Did I mention that I own some her her work as well? Her Saucy Senorita (pictured below left w/Leah of the haunting eyes) is one of my favorite accessories. Lovely Leah puts her whole heart into her life and work!












These three ladies recently met for the first time in Florida (at Anastasia's home) with the other two traveling many hours from their home states. What a sweet surprise for Anastasia when not only her expected company (Catherine) arrived, but also Leah. With squeals, hugs and giggles so typical of the fairer sex, they settled down to a feast of food, friendship and joy as if the miles had never held them apart.

Life is good and love blesses us unexpectedly. These three Handmade for Life members know how to open their hearts to life and bless the world with the fruits that blossom!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Unexpected Pro-Life Moment of the Super Bowl

 

The commercial was cool. I particularly loved how it exposed the anti-life forces for what they truly are since only crazy or mean people would object to such a gentle message. But the pro-life event of this game had to be the post game images of Drew Brees with his son. I barely watched the game but did catch the celebration and this man's love for his little boy melted my heart. With tears in his eyes, he tenderly kissed those baby cheeks over and over again. This winning quarterback not only had the courage to say "God is great" on national television but to show that true manhood honors the smallest and most vulnerable among us. Watch the video below to see the moment that made me so glad I hadn't gone to bed...





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