Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rant of the Day:

Let’s face it, children can an inconvenience, a hardship even. They take money, time, sacrifice. They can ruin the plans we have for our lives, ruin our reputations. But they’re precious, life is precious; killing a child at any age is murder, no matter the circumstances, no matter how much easier it might make your life. So why is it that killing a child before their first breath is a 'health choice'? I don’t understand why so many people think that’s okay.

What makes the lives of children precious anyways? Is it the potential they hold, all that they might someday be, all the lives they might someday touch? Is it their helplessness, their dependence on us? Their innocence? Their trust? The simple fact that life itself is precious? Is it their uniqueness, the fact that they are a soul, a set of DNA that will never be duplicated? What makes children precious? And what makes the life of an unborn child worth so much less than the life of a newborn?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wake Up

You know, I used to see every bird, every butterfly, every breeze that whispered in my ear, every fragrant flower, every burst of color I spotted in a field, every sunbeam that warmed my skin as a sign that God loved me, as a reminder. I’d catch a glimpse of beauty and think, “maybe he put that there for me, just to make me smile,” which seems a little bit… I don’t know, arrogant maybe, but it did make me smile and it made me grateful and content and closer to God.

I’ve gotten out of that habit. I’ve “grown up” too much, gotten complacent and far too distracted. It’s a habit I want to get back into, noticing blessings, talking to God more than just a brief prayer when I wake, a quick thanks, a plea for help when I’m worried. I want to learn to pay attention again.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


               There never seems to be enough time.  There are friends to see and family to connect with, shows to watch and games to play, more stories to read that I could ever get around to.  That’s one of the things I look forward to about heaven: time enough to do all those things, to see every work of art, hear every piece of music, meet every Christian and hear all their stories.  I’d also like to see all the half-forgotten dreams that so frustrate me as they slip through my fingers.
               Admittedly, no one really knows what heaven will be like, but that’s how I imagine it: an eternity of time with extraordinary people, my family, the presence of our Creator, our Savior, and worship.  Oh, the worship.
               When I was little I got the impression (or maybe there’s a verse) that we’ll worship forever in heaven.  Which makes sense (our God will be right there with us after all.  How could we not?), but at the time that sounded quite boring.
               Not anymore.  I mean, it’s never really enough here on Earth: the art, the words, the music, it’s just never enough to fully express our emotions, our longings, our worship (haven’t you ever been in the middle of a worship song and your heart and spirit are so full of hope or joy or longing that you think you might burst and you just can’t sing loud enough, strong enough, sweet enough to get it out?).  In heaven it will be (or so I imagine).  We’ll sing with the angels and purge every ache of emotion in worship, whether that’s audible or visual or both.
               My imagination tends to have a hay day with ideas like that, dreaming of what I hope heaven will be.  I dream of having all the time in eternity, of being whole and safe in our Creator’s arms, of meeting the one who gave so much to save us, of being with my mom again and all the others that have gone before.  I dream of no misunderstandings, no distance between hearts, no sorrow or loss or doubt ever again.  I dream of joy and peace and a forever just loving and being loved.
               The amazing thing?  Somehow it’s still going to be so much more than I ever dreamed.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I don’t get how abortion is so widely accepted as an option.  I really don’t.

I mean, no matter the reasoning behind it, no matter the situation, it’s still the murder of an innocent.  If doctor’s were killing newborns for any reason, people would be horrified, right?  Wouldn’t they?  Please tell me they would.  I don’t get why killing a baby before it takes its first breath is any better.

Even if you don’t believe in souls, a fetus is a life, a unique set of genetics that’s never going to be duplicated.  How is taking that life, killing a fetus any less murder just because it hasn’t finished developing yet?

I know babies are a big responsibility, that pregnancy can be a painful, life-altering burden but consider this:

If it was a newborn instead of a fetus, but for some reason the mother would still be stuck with it for nine months before they could give it up for adoption, would you still consider killing it a practical option?  Even if it were a burden and a source of heartache, if it was outside the womb, living and breathing, could you condone killing it?

Why is a fetus any different?  Because you can’t hear it cry when it dies?  Because it hasn’t finished growing?  Because it’s socially acceptable?

I just don’t understand.


This all started out when I posted my short story (which is more or less about abortion) and a short rant about why I think it’s wrong (murder is murder; despite the hardship of the mother, the fetus is still deserves the chance to live.  If the fetus was a few months older and baby outside the womb, would you still think it was okay to kill it?).  I got a comment asking whether I supported Social Welfare, cheap education, sex education, adoption and fostering services, affordable healthcare and easy access to effective, convenient contraception.  It startled me a little (they weren’t being mean; it was an honest question), but my first thought was ‘Seriously?  Why ask that?  Of course I do.’

Then I got to thinking about the way much of the world (or this little corner of the world anyway) sees religion and realized maybe it wasn’t an odd question after all.

[My answer, btw: “Yeah, I think those things are important. We're supposed to look out for each other, whether financially or making sure everyone has the same opportunities for education. And while I personally believe in abstinence, I hardly expect everyone else to. It's incredibly important for kids to understand both the potential consequences for their choices and all the ways to make sex safer.  While I don't feel I'm old enough (or at the right point in my life) to adopt or foster kids, I'd like to some day. I'm adopted myself.”]

So I kept turning it over my head and getting all worked up and now I need to rant.

I here about things like people protesting at military funerals and I want to shake them and yell “What part of ‘love one another’ didn’t you get?!” (Though of course I wouldn’t, being passive-aggressive as I am.)

It’s so terribly frustrating the way the world sees us (I’m generalizing again, I know).  Has “Christian” always been synonymous with “intolerant” and “judgmental” and I just never noticed?  How exactly is that striving to be Jesus, the Savior who spent his time with fishermen and tax collectors, prostitutes and sinners?   How is that showing God’s love?

It makes me angry, and frustrated, and hurt because look at the kind of reputation we’ve given the God we love.  Who’s going to follow a God portrayed by a religion like that?

On the other hand, there have been times when Christians who are too tolerant, who ignore the biblical rules/laws frustrated me almost as much.  (I feel a bit hypocritical on that point these days, perhaps leaning a bit too close to too tolerant than intolerant myself at times, but I’m trying).  After all, how are we supposed to convince people to come to Christ if we act no different from them, if we pick and choose the rules we follow and the rules we break?

If we give up our beliefs and rules and morals to live like the rest of the world, how are we ever going to convince them we have something they don’t?  If we don’t live like we’re saved, how can we expect them to believe us when we say we are?

Again, feeling a little bit like a hypocrite because I’ll stay silent about all of this most of the time, both sides of it unless asked outright for my opinion (or when ranting on here obviously).

It shouldn’t have to be one or the other, right?  Having Christian morals does not have to be synonymous with “judgmental”.  But being tolerant doesn’t have to mean giving up your morals and beliefs either.  There has to be some sort of middle ground between being judgmental and being a complacent pushover.

Doesn’t there?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'm Not Lost

               It has been one of those days where my mood goes up and down and my thoughts are all over the place.  So I’m going to ramble, not so much because the topics are important as because maybe if I get them written down they’ll be out of my head and my thoughts might be quiet for a while.
               First off, I commissioned a digital painting a little while ago and just got the finished product.

               It’s AWESOME.  You should definitely go see it then tell the artist what a great job she did.
               Sunta & Vi (the dragons in the picture) are from a story I did with my cousin a while back.  They’re just getting to know each other; I think that scene over the water is the first time they actually relax enough to play around.
               I’ve been hanging around a lot lately (when I’m not watching TV with my roomies or obsessing over Doctor Who, writing the occasional bit of fanfiction, reading fanfiction, reading online manga, writing with my cousin, or going over the chapters I’ve gotten back from our editor.  Can you tell I spend a lot of time on the computer?)  It’s an awesome site and I love seeing all the amazing art.  It makes me a little jealous (while I’d love to see the images in my head on paper, I’m something of a lazy-perfectionist and even if there were talent buried somewhere inside, I don’t think I have the patience to muddle through drawing mediocre art for as long as it would take to get good enough to actually be satisfied with my work), but mostly it makes me want to be a little bit richer so I could commission a whole lot more art to go along with the stories in my head.
               A lot of things make me want to be a little bit richer (or a lot richer).  Maybe that’s a little shallow, but mostly I think it’s normal.  (Isn’t it?  How many people don’t occasionally wish they had more money?)  I see all the houses on the market or the neighbors upstairs start getting noisy and I wish I had the money to buy a house.  I get bored at work and wish I had enough money to stay home and mess around all day (though occasionally I want to stay home to do something semi-productive, like writing).  I go on and see all the things I’d like to buy.
               Such is life, I suppose.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy my life as it is.  It’s just that I have a very active imagination and can picture a life of “financial freedom” very well.  I also enjoy “retail therapy” a bit too much.  Shopping always cheers me up and I rarely regret it, even if I have to watch my money for a while after.  (I am not good at budgeting, but I’m not awful either.  I know myself well enough to not let myself cross over the line of using money I don’t have to pay for stuff.)  Anyways, buy a house, quit my job, commission a whole bunch of art and go shopping: that’s what I’d do if I won the lottery.
               I suppose getting a whole bunch of money also appeals because I’d feel kinda let off the hook as far as figuring out what to do with my life.  As it is, I don’t really have any plans.  I mean, my saving grace right now is the fact that we have a book in editing (not by a publisher, just a freelance editor I hired), so I can at least hope and dream that we might actually manage to get something published someday.  Other than that, I don’t know what I’m doing with my life.  I don’t have any other ambitions.  I don’t feel much passion towards anything else (aside from spending money and keeping myself entertained with stories in various forms).  I’m honestly not sure I could handle going back to school, at least not on top of a job (I feel lazy and a little bit pathetic admitting that, but there you go).  The thought of school does not appeal in any way at all.  I hate homework and pressure and I kinda feel too old (which isn’t all that logical, I’m only 25, but I’m not exactly fresh out of high school anymore either).
               I like my job well enough, but it’s never going anywhere and it’s not something I want to do with my life.  I’m stuck, more or less, and barring an act of God, the book thing is pretty much the only way out I can see.  And I’m not sure how much potential there is in that anyway.  I’m a fantastic dreamer, but I’m not necessarily the best writer, you know?  I mean, I love the characters and enjoy the storyline, but I can’t tell if it’s something the general public would find worthwhile to read.
               I suppose that’s what the editor is for, right?  To make the story the best it can be, to draw out it’s potential?
               I’ll try to stay hopeful and just deal with things as they come.  A few more months and the weather will start warming and I’ll feel better anyways.  I tend to feel a bit lost/moody in the winter, especially after January.
               Of course, in the summer I wish I had the money to spend half my time taking road trips (Glacier National Park, Seattle to see the grandparents I haven’t seen in ages, home to Nebraska in time to eat the ripening mulberries…).
               Anyways, life is good, I just need to focus on what I have instead everything that’s out of reach.  I might not understand what God has planned for me, but I do believe there is a plan.
               I love the line from the song “Waking Life”: “I’m not lost, just looking for footprints.”  Because I’m not lost really, I’m just… finding my way, trying to find the path God has marked out for me (even if I can’t always see the markers or understand them when I do see them).  Maybe I’m a wanderer and maybe I’m walking slowly, but that doesn’t mean I’m lost.  I’m just searching.
               Isn’t everyone?

I can’t see you but I know you’re here,
I know you’re here.  I know you’re here.
I’m not lost, just looking for footprints.
I’m taking it, one step at a time and I’m getting by.”

From “Waking Life” by Schuyler Fisk

Sunday, February 20, 2011

For all my struggles...

               For all my struggles with doubt and complacency, with my tendency to entertain worst-case scenarios and my need to ask “what-if”, I really do love my God
               And I love my church for reminding me why.
               God has always looked out for me.  When I need Him most He’s there.  When my mother died He brought me comfort, good friends, loving family, and the reassurance that I’d see her again.  When I was scared of nightmares, He took them away.  When I was terrified of change, He gave me calm.  When I don’t know where I’m going to live or where to find a job or what the next year is going to hold, He reminds me that he has always looked out for me.
               And it’s not just the big things; finding the right place to live or a much-needed roommate or keeping a close call on an icy road from becoming a life-threatening accident.  It’s the little things too that remind me how He loves me; the perfect song on the radio or in church just when I need to hear it most, the sun peeking from behind the clouds to take my breath away, a glimpse of wildlife or flowers just when I need something to smile about.
               There is such joy in worship.  In faith there is hope and purpose and life.  There is FREEDOM in surrender.  There is safety in belief.
               The only time I truly feel whole is when I’m worshiping, whether it’s with song or prayer or with my life.  I feel whole and certain and at home.

“You stood before creation.
Eternity within Your hand.
You spoke the earth into motion.
My soul now to stand.

You stood before my failure,
Carried the Cross for my shame.
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders.
My soul now to stand.

So what can I say.
What can I do.
But offer this heart O God,
Completely to You.

So I'll walk upon salvation.
Your Spirit alive in me.
This life to declare Your promise.
My soul now to stand.

So what can I say.
What can I do.
But offer this heart O God,
Completely to You.

So I'll stand,
With arms high and heart abandoned,
In awe of the One who gave it all.

So I'll stand.
My soul Lord to You surrendered.
All I am is Yours.”

“The Stand” by Hillsong