Sunday, May 18, 2014

Weigh in on some motherhood things

I imagine I am not alone in being troubled with the present state of affairs in our world. I feel like I'm in a tanker with thousands upon thousands of passengers- women, men, children, of all races- and there is a dark, sly enemy lurking in the depths of the waters. He is slowly punching quarter-size holes in the bottom of the ship, with the intent of sinking all those wonderful people and families trying to enjoy the beauty of the ride. Because of how slowly the ship is inching deeper into the water, the happy passengers don't notice how dire the circumstances really are. Well- as a passenger on the bottom deck I just glimpsed down to find my feet in water. I don't know how to yell out to my fellow old-fashioned believers besides in the form of a blog post. I'm hoping somehow by weighing in on some important issues that I'll hear from you guys- my friends and family- what you feel about these things and what to do about it so I know I'm not the only one seeing the waters rising so we can prepare the life boats in case this sucker sinks. 

The first one on my mind is the decision to have a child. 

I read a couple weeks ago that Planned Parenthood legalized post-birth abortion. The content of that article has haunted me every day since readying it. Post-birth abortion. That doesn't even hide what those lobbyists are really going for. Murder. That is murder anyway you spin it. I mean- if I cause a car accident, and a pregnant woman is killed- I'm charged with murder. PP- you're downright crazy. And you being crazy is going to cost a lot of kids their lives. Mothers making this decision are robbing themselves of happiness.

I'm pro-life (except for in extreme circumstances of incest or rape). I think at the heart of this whole abortion epidemic are lies society is teaching about sex and what it's technically really for. It's just a free for all anymore. Like- the next step after you kiss someone. I think how lost I would be if my whole view of sex was based on what I learn from TV and magazines and music. Speaking of the evil little ship-sinker, he's really attacking the family from every angle. I hope we can open up our eyes and see how families are going to be hurt bigtime if we don't start playing by the rules the man upstairs has made. Open relationships, abortion, divorce out the whazoo...we can't expect society to teach family values anymore. It's just up to us guys. We've got to listen to our hearts about what's really right and wrong and draw some lines for ourselves instead of letting others erase them for us. 

I remember going to my first prenatal appointment at 10 weeks and being shocked that the nurse at this clinic did an ultrasound. I'd expected them to use one of those heartbeat monitor thingies to make sure the babe was alive- I didn't know I'd get to see her- or that there was anything to see. So the nurse squirts that cold gel on my yet empty-looking belly and voom- that black screen lit up with a white tiny human being kicking and waving at me (yelling hey mom! Watch this!) I couldn't feel a thing! But there she was kicking and waving like she could see she was on a 24" flat screen in front of her adoring fans. I didn't know she would already look like a little baby. I was still picturing the different sizes of fruit compared her to. A little strawberry just sitting there patiently waiting to become human. Silly mommy. She was an itty bitty little girl already. How, even in the depth of fatigue after the despair of labor, could a woman look upon her own beautiful new innocent child and with the fateful wave of her hand allow another person to kill that baby before her very eyes? The waters are rising. The only way a woman could do that is if someone is working overtime trying to sink her ship. The ways to combat the ship-sinker are not easy, but they are worth it. Read The Screwtape Letters. It opened my eyes a lot to ways the adversary had hold of parts of me I was clueless about. Zach has actually noticed a difference from me since reading that book. I'm on to you ship-sinker. 

I know that Satan tries to make you focus on how pregnancy/childbirth will affect your looks and your body size. He also makes you freak out about the pain you are going to experience. He makes you think you are not strong enough to endure the first 9 months of that baby's life and not good enough to parent him/her for the rest. He ensures you that the baby will ruin your freedom and probably your relationship with your spouse and surely your career. He starts making you real harsh on yourself to speed up this process and he is really really good at attacking when your hormones are going crazy. Such a stinker. 

Just don't believe his lies. 

The truth is- God built you strong enough to withstand all of the trials associated with childbirth and rearing and strong enough to combat Satan's temptations while you do it. I think the secret is to rely on the Savior for grace. 

"The main idea of the word is divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.

It is likewise through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means. This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts.

Divine grace is needed by every soul in consequence of the Fall of Adam and also because of man’s weaknesses and shortcomings. However, grace cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient. Hence the explanation, “It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Ne. 25:23)." (LDS Bible Dictionary, Grace)

There is so much more to say on this subject. To be continued in like 6 months when I find time to blog again. :)

Pre and Post baby boy musings

December 8, 2013

I have one month left until baby boy arrives. His impending birth is much different than Kate's was. I have no major lifestyle change to figure out. I am not quitting any job or wondering what on earth childbirth is like. But there are a few differences this time that really have my brain gears turning- always in the wee hours of the morning. (Somehow I only need 5 hours of sleep anymore?) One is how this will change Kate's life. And secretly- how this will change Kate and I's life. Nobody knows how much I love holding her hand walking through parking lots. My adorable little best friend who knows me so well. We have our routine so down pat that I know BOTH of us are going to struggle with baby coming in and taking over.

May 19, 2014

I just found this draft from before Jack was born. Much has happened since then. Jack was born January 8. It was quite the experience. I laughed when I read that I didn't have to wonder what childbirth was like. HA! Jack's labor (such a different beast than my labor with Kate!) happened so fast and so intensely that Zach delivered that little baby by our front door. More on that later. 

I have a smile now reading about my fears of Jack disrupting Kate and I's life. I  don't know where to start. He has in such a beautiful way. Kate now has to learn patience and independence. I could never have taught her those things so well, because now she learns them out of love for her brother. She is learning to put other's needs before her own. She is learning to care for a person smaller and more helpless than her.She is learning to share not just toys but her parents- much harder than sharing her stuff. She has learned the durability of our love for her. She is learning that our focus on him does not diminish our love for her. HOW could she have learned these things at such a tender age without a sibling? I had limited vision, as I thought bringing her a brother would make her feel neglected and that I wouldn't have as much time to teach her valuable life lessons. This was a classic "My ways are not your ways" situation. I read a quote once that the best thing you can do for your child is give them a sibling. I see more clearly now why that is true. And confession- I was scared I wouldn't love him as much as Kate. Her place in my heart has not (AND WILL NEVER!) budge one tiny bit out of the way to make room for someone else. My heart just grew bigger so Jack has a nice roomy place of his own now. The little dude has made Kate happier if you can believe it. She does not like his crying, but she loves holding him, talking to him, giving him toys and feeding him, and it seems she is as proud of him as I am when he hits developmental marks. I can tell that he is a part of her now too. I didn't know how much she needed him. Oh and how he melts my heart with the way he looks at her- with total trust and love. A baby's gaze of love is the most spiritual thing I have ever seen. It is that trust I am learning to place in God through this process. We three now walk through the parking lot and I still hold Kate's hand. Our relationship has not weakened. It's strengthened because now I look to her sideways- as a helper, a hug when I need one, someone to laugh with during the day when I have to change a narsty diaper or Jack's screaming about something. Now that Kate and I have endured something hard together, we are stronger for it. And sweet Jack has added so much love to our family. He smiles readily whenever Kate bursts into song- and truth be told Kate distrupts his life much more than he disrupts hers ;). It's now 7am. Naptime yet?