Tag Archives: confession friday

Top 5 Things I Wish My Parents Did Differently

 

My mom and her lapse in judgement. She doesn’t believe she did this. I have a picture to prove this event transpired.

 

It seems like all parents to to give their children a better childhood and life than the one they had.

I was blessed with a very happy childhood, and I am trying to give my children close to the same one I have. However, there were things in my own childhood I wish my parents had done or hadn’t done (see above picture).

Here is a list of what I learned not to do from my parents:

1. I will teach my children how to ride a bike! That’s right, my parents totally dropped the ball on this one. They were older when they had me, I’ll let them slide on this one. I still don’t know how to ride one, though! So scratch that- Brian will teach my children how to ride a bike (and while they’ll learning I might as well join in and learn, too!)

2. I will not feed my children hotdogs and burgers except on very rare occasions. My dad and I would go antiquing together, but when allowed to his own devices we would have Kaspers Hotdogs or Nations Hamburgers…Or worse…7-11 hotdogs (*gag*).

3. I will not let my children have a TV in their room. I remember putting it on and trying to do schoolwork. Talk about a distraction.

4. I will not let my children near insecticides. My parents let me bug bomb and spray my playhouse. My poor little endocrine system.

5. Refined sugar will be limited. Mom, I blame you and your house full of delicious freshly baked cookies, brownies, and cakes for my sweet tooth.

 

With the above being said it is an extremely short list compared to the hundreds and thousands of things my parents did right.

What about you? Do you try to parent according to your own experiences in childhood? What would you change?

 

 

 

Confession of the Day- I’m a Pirate.

I actually have a pretty bad confession, and I want to share it because I never thought about how I might be contributing to something immoral.

We live in a building that is super close. Our floor leaves doors open and we treat it like an open community. After the TIME cover came out we were welcomed back to a supportive and protective group of people.

We also share our technology.

We all share the same internet, have synced iPods, a communal iPad, and any other technological device is a free for all.  I thought nothing of it.

Then I realized, if we are all sharing music we would have bought on our own someone is losing money. They probably don’t need the money, but on the same note if everyone was doing it the entire industry would go in the toilet. I felt like a pirate.

Conviction came over me pretty strong. Starting tomorrow we are going to be taking steps to buy all the music we felt like we had stolen.

I had told someone else about it and they go, “Oh, everyone does that!” Well, that still does not make it right.

Do you do anything wrong that is considered acceptable by our society? Confess here, no judgment. (It is therapeutic, I promise!)

 

 

Waterlink Africa: Why is Water Life-Altering?

Clean Water Projects Image 2Did you know? $1 can give clean water to one person for over a decade.

Why is water life-altering?

  1. Unsterile water is the number two killer amongst children. Around the world, fetching water is a woman’s task. Thus, one of the most crucial health issues for women in Africa is the clean water shortage. 1 in 5 children worldwide dies of a water-related disease.
  2. Water is a women’s issue. In order to get access to clean water, women and girls must carry up to 50lbs of water every day over typically 5 miles or more. Carrying this water has shown to stunt growth in young girls which has contributed to the extremely high maternal mortality rate in these areas, but girls and women also face dangers along their way to a water source.
  3. Water improves education and economy. Education has been proven to be the greatest way to improve a community. When kids get sick from water-borne diseases, they can’t attend classes – then fall behind, then drop out. Most students suffer from severe dehydration because they try to drink as little bad water as possible. When the brain is dehydrated, it has a very hard time focusing on tasks such as school work, and chances of success are greatly diminished. There are some children who walk daily to get water and are unable to attend school, and the adults are unable to put hours into a paying vocation. When children have the opportunity to be educated, they can become problem solving members of the community and have a hope of contributing to their society.

Waterlink Africa

Fayye Foundation has teamed up with Waves for Water to pursue a series of clean water projects throughout Africa. The filters that will be installed use the highest filtration rates available, can provide clean water for an entire village for pennies a day, and have a high flow rate which eliminates the need to store water. The filters are self-sustaining and easy to maintain. If cared for, each $50 filter lasts for many years, providing clean water for up to 100 people a day.

waterlink Africa: a chain of friends, spanning generations, from Africa to America and back to Africa. Donor, healer, helper – each link is necessary. Waterlink Africa delivers solutions from inventors to people in need of safe drinking water in every faraway corner of Africa.

Waves for Water and Fayye Foundation are certain that everyone who lacks clean water deserves to have unlimited access via an endless chain of caring, of which each of us is a single link. Experts are confident that the water crisis will be completely eradicated in our lifetime, but the only way we can do that is by every person in the link working towards this cause.

To donate to our first Waterlink project (Waves for Awassa/Project Ethiopia) you can go here. Your tax-deductible donation has the potential to give 20,000 people access to clean water. Every dollar counts.

CW2P6515

 

 

Hunger Hits Home

My confession for the week:

I’ve ignored hunger in our country.

I’ve been so caught up in the famine ravaging east Africa, and all other areas of the world where people desperately need food.

It doesn’t mean we should ignore those places that need help now, but we can’t overlook the fact that there are children in our home country going hungry.

The Food Network is airing a documentary about child hunger in America.

Hunger Hits Home airs April 14 8/7c

I’m definitely going to be watching when it premieres to find out what I can do to help feed these innocent lives, deprived of one of the most basic necessities in life.

Facts About Hunger:

  • According to the USDA, over 16 million children lived in food insecure (low food security and very low food security) households in 2010.
  • 20% or more of the child population in 40 states and D.C. lived in food insecure households in 2009. The District of Columbia (32.3%) and Oregon (29.2%) had the highest rates of children in households without consistent access to food.
  • In 2009, the top five states with the highest rate of food insecure children under 18 are the District of Columbia, Oregon, Arizona, Arkansas, & Texas. iii
  • In 2009, the top five states with the lowest rate of food insecure children under 18 are North Dakota, New Hampshire, Virginia, Maryland, & Massachusetts. iii
  • Proper nutrition is vital to the growth and development of children. 62 percent of client households with children under the age of 18 reported participating in the National School Lunch Program, but only 14 percent reported having a child participate in a summer feeding program that provides free food when school is out.i
  • 54 percent of client households with children under the age of 3 participated in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).i
  • 32 percent of pantries, 42 percent of kitchens, and 18 percent of shelters in the Feeding America network reported “many more children in the summer” being served by their programs.i
  • In 2010, 16.4 million or approximately 22 percent of children in the U.S. lived in poverty.
  • Research indicates that hungry children have do more poorly in school and have lower academic achievement because they are not well prepared for school and cannot concentrate.
  • In fiscal year 2009, 48 percent of all SNAP participants were children
  • During the 2010 federal fiscal year, 20.6 million low-income children received free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program. Unfortunately, just 2.3 million of these same income-eligible children participated in the Summer Food Service Program that same year.

-source Feeding America

 

Confession Friday- The Hunger Games

I am obsessed with The Hunger Games

I was at the book store today and I saw it on a stand that said “teen fiction.” I cringed when I saw the label because I am currently reading the series.

I was up until 2:30am this morning reading Hunger Games. It is the crack cocaine of books. My husband had to drag me out of my hypothermic bath I had been sitting in for hours, attempting to just get through reading “a few more pages” before bed.

I grew up in the cottage of great historical significance to American writing (it is where John Steinbeck met Ed Ricketts), I have a bizarre soft spot for Russian literature, and I know a lot is two words. I just thought more of myself…

Well, I have to run. I am late for my date with Katniss and Peeta. I would like to finish before 2:00AM today, but I won’t make any promises.

My Unpopular Political Views

Confession: I hate politics. Sort of…

Okay, in itself that isn’t a worthwhile confession, but my political views are.

It came to my attention the other day that I quite possibly am a closet anarchist.

Why I hate politics:

I love people. Period.

My personal goal in life is striving to understand why people believe what they do. In situations when I do this correctly, if there was any judgement to begin with, it will be gone when I reach my goal of understanding the person or people.

Now, just because I understand doesn’t mean I agree with their choices- but that is the thing, it is their choice.

When the government starts stepping in and regulating citizens on a personal/lifestyle level, that is where I seem to have a problem.

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. My desire, which I know I will fall short of, is to be as much like him as possible.

Jesus said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” Luke 20:25 -  Separation of church and state, baby.

God gave us free will with our lives. I don’t know why the government is trying to regulate something that is a God-given right.

You’re probably thinking, “well, what about murder or other felony crimes?”  That is a great example.

Laws, like the police, are not considered crime deterrents. They simply help in the course for punishment.Criminal punishment, whether it be what Beccaria would consider “savage,” or “civil” prison time, both have been proven ineffective in deterring criminal behavior.

We need respect for the government, but we also need to understand each person is their own entity.

Wishy-washy? No, I don’t think so. I have strong reasoning behind why I believe what I do.

Gray, yes, that may be a better word to describe my feelings.

It’s funny, you hear people assume that Christians are all Republicans. It’s just not true. Read Jesus Rode A Donkey and you will see that many liberal views go hand-and-hand with the teachings of Jesus.

So, what am I? Republican? Democrat? All of the above? I’m going with D, none of the above.

The 2012 Election year is in full-swing. I’ll give you examples of my views using the hot-button issues:

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Contraception- I lean more toward the liberal side.

I agree with most that contraception should be available through healthcare at the place of employment. What is the best way to prevent abortion and unwanted pregnancy?

Contraception. Plain and simple.

Here is where I will lose them:

I also agree with religious freedom. The Catholic Church has always been against contraception. This is not a new idea. (This does not apply to Catholic business owners of non-Catholic businesses.) I believe the Catholic Church has a right not to allow contraception in their healthcare plans (that would be like forcing Native Foods to serve veal.) If you want to use birth control then you probably shouldn’t be working for the Catholic Church. Also, If you are a pharmacist that is refusing to administer oral contraceptives, you probably shouldn’t be a pharmacist. Especially, if you have been silent about giving out addictive medication to people who you know are clearly abusing it.

Another thing- synthetic hormones *freak* me out. They do. It has been linked to autoimmune disodersbreast cancer, and arterial thrombosis.  IUDs make me uncomfortable, too. Do I think it is immoral? No, not at all.
I think people should be well educated on these risks of the particular hormone combination prior to getting their prescription, but the choice should still be theirs to make.

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AbortionI lean more toward the conservative side.

Zygote to 42 weeker- life, human life. That human being should have the right to exist.

Here is where I will lose them:

I have several friends who had had abortions. The mandatory preparation for one is a joke. Women need to know exactly what is happening in their bodies. That means mandatory classes on the gestational age of the child and free (required) ultrasounds.

Abortion is not a straightforward concept. By making it illegal it will not stop people from finding a way to prematurely end their pregnancies. See the Romanian movie 4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days, and you’ll understand what I mean.

Actually, the country of Romania is an excellent example of why abortion is not so simplistic. in 1965 Romania had the highest rate of abortion in the world (25% of pregnancies ended in abortion.) The country then came under a new communist dictator that was desperate to raise the population. Thus, abortion became illegal in 1966. With the fall of the abortion rate came the rise of maternal mortality and deaths caused by illegal abortions. Romania had the highest rate of maternal mortality in all of Europe. And interestingly enough, there was an immense spike in crime during the time the unwanted children came of criminal age. When abortion became legal once more, the maternal mortality rate was over 70% lower than when it was illegal. In addition, the crime rate dropped during the “coming of age” of the aborted children.

What strikes a chord with me is the maternal mortality rates rising during the era of illegal abortions.

There are many personal definitions bestowed upon the term abortion.

However, the “official” definition of abortion is:
a·bor·tion/əˈbôrSHən/Noun: The deliberate termination of a human pregnancy.

Well, there you go. I had an abortion with Aram. You may argue that it is completely unrelated to abortion… That I knew he would live giving his gestational age. I was lucky. This woman who shares her story (about her consent for abortion during her preeclamptic pregnancy), was not as lucky. We suffered the same condition in our pregnancy, we terminated our pregnancies, and I was able to bring my child home because he was a few weeks ahead of her child gestationally. It isn’t fair. And the most sickening thing to me- because her baby died some people are suggesting what she did was immoral.

What it comes down to for a lot of people is control over their own health. I asked to be delivered two days before my emergency C-section. The doctors told me I was fine and ignored what I was telling them. I screamed, begged, and pleaded for them to deliver me 24 hours before I developed full blown HELLP . The doctors refused. My body was not mine anymore, it was theirs. We often forget that medicine is still, in a sense, an art form. Deciphering lab results, physical symptoms, and risk factors is not fool proof. I’ve had countless doctors review my medical records since the delivery of Aram. Almost all said I should have been delivered 24-48 hours earlier than I was. Not only would I have escaped developing HELLP Syndrome, my recovery would have been faster, and we still don’t know the long-term damage of HELLP syndrome- it may have protected my future health to be delivered early, as well.

I knew I was sick. I knew the pregnancy needed to end early.It is my body. It should have been my decision.

With most abortion issues the basic problem is valuing life. By making something illegal you are not going to be able force someone to put value on it. If an internal pipe in your house broke and was leaking through your wall you wouldn’t leave the pipe be and just slap on more drywall. That is essentially what making abortions illegal is doing.

People always say if we stop fearing death we can start really living. I think the opposite is also true. When we start understanding life, we can also embrace it in relation to the importance of the natural time for death.

If someone thinks abortion is repugnant, then they need to explain why.
I would suggest giving scientific evidence in a neutral manner that would back up your beliefs. For instance, There was a recent breakthrough study done by neurologists that discovered Endorphinergic cells in the anterior and the intermediate lobes of the fetal pituitary gland were responsive to CRF by 20 weeks gestation.  My response to this was, “No sh*t Sherlock,” but in reality the only medical evidence for fetal pain was at 35-37 weeks prior to the study. Anyone with a child born earlier than 35 weeks (Aram is on that list) knows that babies clearly feel pain gestationally earlier than the timeframe mentioned.

Anti-abortion activists should be focusing on bills that require the doctors (by law) to give this education in a neutral manner. I do think we have a huge problem in masking the truth of our biology, and if this is a legal choice in our country, it would be an absolute injustice to allow females to make a choice like an abortion in blind ignorance.

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Gay Marriageliberal
I’m pretty much liberal all the way on this one. My best friend at college was a gay Christian man. We had already taken specific courses that touched on homosexuality in the Bible, but because it was such a personal subject to him I became enveloped in the topic. I won’t go into too much detail because I’ve already written a novel with this post- but  basically the Bible in general is misinterpreted thanks to translating it, and the cultural overlays that took over the passages.

What do I have to say to  people so outspokenly against gay marriage?

Sin is personal, just like your relationship with God is personal. If you were born attracted to the opposite sex good for you. Your life will probably a lot easier because of the culture we live in. But how does that give you the right to condemn something you know nothing about?

Read the biblical text that references homosexuality. Read it in relation to the story and the book that it is in. Now read it in the native tongue. After you do this, go to two Christian scholars with opposing views on homosexuality and have in depth conversations about why they believe this.

You may find your own apologetics may not be as rock solid as you originally thought.

Until then, I will not speak about this topic with anyone against homosexuality because it does make me angry. I have seen too many of my friends get hurt by uneducated bigots in the church.

Okay, here is where I may lose everyone:

I think polygamy and polyandry should be legal. I have thought this for years, and people mistakenly assumed I was referring to underaged marriages to pedophiles. Thanks to the show Sister Wives people are less likely to lock me into an insane asylum when I suggest legalizing plural marriages.

The deal is a lifestyle choice should not be illegal. Do I personally think this is an effective/healthy form of marriage? No, but that isn’t my choice to make. Do I think that the children of these families will grow up in an unsafe environment? No, not any more than in a conventional home.

The truth is that a lot of these plural marriages are “spiritual marriages” because of the current law. That means the wives that aren’t legally married frequently collect welfare. If for nothing else, we need to regulate that.

 

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And now that I have alienated myself from almost every person on the planet, I am going to bed.

Confession Friday

I don’t like dogs.

Heart of stone, you ask? Possibly.

I’m a cat person.

Here are a few of problems I have with the little mongrels:

  1. When you pet a dog your hand smells . (FYI that does not happen with cats)
  2. They follow you around begging for food (the nerve!).
  3. When you pet them your hand smells.
  4. They just look stupid (look in those eyes and honestly tell me you don’t think, “the lights are on, but nobody’s home”).
  5. When you pet them your hand smells.
  6. They poop on the ground (sure, a trained one will go outside, but then your grass is tainted).
  7. When you pet them your hand smells.

 

For some reason little dogs irk me far more than big dogs. Larger dogs look more regal and attractive to me.

At least big dogs have the protection angle to work with.

That was the sole reason I was a dog owner not so long ago. We wanted a protection dog.

Meet Valkyrie:

When we would take her to training, our friend and trainer would say,

“Okay, I’m going to have to be a bit aggressive towards her, I’m not hurting her, but I need to keep her in line, okay?”

My first response was a happy, “Sure! Don’t worry about it.”

But then I realized that people expect women to be overly attached to their dogs and sensitive to them like their own children.

So, I had to bluff and show emotion.

“Oh…okay, just be careful with her, she’s precious…”

Everyone seemed to be more satisfied with that response from me.

Unfortunately (okay, not really), when we moved into a high-rise, it wasn’t going to be any kind of life for a dog (yes, I do care about their quality of life).

So, now my parents are the proud parents of Valkyrie! (Dear Lord, does that make her my sister?)

Confession Friday

When I was little, I scanned a picture of my sister and pretended I was her in chat rooms.

In my defense, I was only 12 and it was my brother’s idea.

We had this picture of my sister when she was 21 in a bikini. It cracked us up. I wish I had it with me, I would show you all.

My sister was (and still is) hot stuff- it was fun for my awkward 12-year-old self to get all the computer geeks excited thinking they were really talking to her ;-)

My sister at age 35- still hot stuff

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