Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Birth Control Commercials

Have you ever noticed how Birth Control Commercials are drenched in selfishness?

I'm literally sad when I watch them.

You know, I can conceive of a woman who uses birth control without understanding the extent of her choice. I do not automatically accuse that woman of selfishness. However, those commercials express and present birth control in a very selfish light.

The way that the commercials present children as desirable only when convenient is a selfish presentation. There are several commercials that go from "I don't want a kid a right now" to "Maybe I don't want to wait" and back to "On second thought, not now." All the while, showing scenes of child doing something well-behaved and cute alternated (in pace with the changing thoughts) with scenes of them causing some kind of mischief.

It's all about how the woman feels in the moment; it is not at all about the value of new human life. It places great weight on the importance of a woman's fleeting desires.

The child is presented as wanted and worthwhile only under certain circumstances. This is a far cry from the unconditional love a child deserves.

Perhaps you think that I'm over reacting.

Here's the thing though. The decision to have children should not be made based on convenience. Having a baby is not convenient. Raising a child is not convenient. Nurturing a family is not convenient. In fact, these are beautifully complicated and chaotic things. At times they are decidedly inconvenient.

But the thing about babies and children is that the gift that they are is to be celebrated even when they flushed your new watch down the toilet again right after they poured syrup all over the living room carpet. They are a blessing that perfect those around them. They teach to us to love by demanding that we hold on to less and less of our own selfishness as we learn to give more and more of the love we receive.

This is not something that women with the birth control commercial mentality understand. In fact, I'm sure that there are moments when the holiest mothers in the world struggle to hold on to that vision. The difference is that some women choose it anyway.

Those are the joyful women. Those are the women I strive to be most like.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Alive and Well

This blog has been quiet. Strangely quiet. I quickly made a daybook post last week, but I had an obvious typo in the TITLE that I didn't even notice until today.

I'm alive. And well. I'm praying and thinking and growing. God is teaching me things, showing me things, and asking me to give Him things. It's all happening, and I'm living it. I just haven't found ways to express it here. I'll give you some brief updates, but nothing too spectacular today...

1.) I've been distant with myself. There is a lot going on, but it feels like it is going on in a way that is so compartmentalized that my emotions are not in touch with my thoughts, which are not in touch with my feelings, which are not in touch with my prayers, none of which seem to be very in touch with my actions. I'm not feeling torn - just disconnected.

2.) It has been difficult to have a well-considered prayer life. I'm going to Jesus. I'm talking to Him. I'm pausing to listen. However, there is .... something ...that isn't quite there. Yesterday, (in an admittedly angry/frustrated fashion) I expressed to God my discontent with this situation. I'm somewhat certain that right now, He wants to teach me to love and trust Him more, wants to change my heart more for His will, by calling me to change the way I interact with the people around me.  I think His lesson to me now is that as I allow myself to be open to them more, to trust them more, my relationship with Him will be transformed also.

3.) I'm the kind of person who could to talk to you all day without saying anything of real substance. You could probably spend several days in a row with me without ever learning much about who I am. I tend to be guarded. It takes me a long time to open up. I can perfectly construct an answer (to just about any question) that will give you absolutely no indication of what I actually think. Some days, I could give politicians a run for their money when it comes to cryptic responses.  In many cases, this needs to change. Granted, in many friendships it has. I have close friends who know me well. However, there is this new thing happening in my life, and it demands that I overcome my tendency to avoidance.

4.) There is a place I know will lead me to God. I can walk into that place and breathe Him in. It is that breath that keeps me going. Even when things don't quite make sense, when I feel disconnected from myself, when I want to run, to scream, to abandon this path, I can walk into the place and breathe: holy breath in the presence of God. The Holy Spirit. Life itself.

I'm going to try to breathe more deeply.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Daybook: My First Full Week of School in a Long Time

(February 13, 2011)

Outside my window... We had a beautifully warm day today! I didn't wear a coat (or hat, or scarf, or gloves). I even took a nice walk outside. I'm told the 5 day forecast looks nice, but also that I should avoid looking at the 10 day forecast. So, I will.

I am thinking... about what a blessing it is to have so many people to pray for. When it is tempting to allow my prayer time to be consumed by one thing, I never have an excuse to let it happen.

I am thankful for... amazing teenagers who really do want the best out of life.

I am wearing... PJs! It's almost bed time...

I am creating... new commitments.

I am going... to make sure that I am giving. This morning (with a particular situation in mind) I asked myself, "I have really given anything to this?" The answer could, quite honestly, be no. So, I am going to make certain that I give.

I am reading... nothing much. Though I did just move my ribbon to the correct week for In Conversation with God.

I am hoping... that I'm listening to God.

I am hearing... the fan blowing. It's almost bed time, remember?
Around the classroom... I can be a better teacher. That is just a fact. Now, it is time to start focusing on that fact and living it.

One of my favorite things... smiles. :-)

Visit Peggy for more daybook entries!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I Didn't Let Him Sit

I've been avoiding something in my prayer life.

Want to know how I found this out?

I noticed that when I imagined Jesus in prayers and tried to encounter Him in the Gospel stories, I didn't let Him sit down. My mental picture kept Him walking. If He stopped to act in a story, I switched my perspective to that of a more distant character.

Sure sounds like avoidance, doesn't it?

The most shameful part of this is that I've been complaining in my prayers that God has been keeping things from me, hiding His wisdom and love.

It seems that all I had to do was let Him have a seat.