Years ago, far more than I was comfortable with when I realized exactly just how many years ago, I worked at a Montessori day school. We had a method of tracking the progress of our students that was pretty basic but effective. It involved a triangle...one side meant that the activity had been introduced to the student. Two sides meant that the student was actively working on that particular task or skill while a completed triangle meant the child was proficient at the task from beginning to end. They didn't receive a completed triangle the first time they did the whole activity either but only after they showed themselves consistently completing the task. From beginning to end included a lot of steps. Like, a lot of steps. I think our dish washing station had something like seventy-five steps including choosing the work on the shelf, bringing it to their table, all the stuff involved in the activity itself, as well as the clean up, and lastly pushing their chair under the table.
I feel much the same way right now viewing the political landscape, in particular on the pro-life front. I am surprised, shocked really, at how incredibly fast President Trump has moved to change things on the pro-life front. There is much to celebrate and rejoice over. Much to give thanks to God for.
But, I don't want us to view it as a time to let up. Our work is not done. The laundry is getting washed but it will still need to be dried, folded and put away. And while the President may be turning the washing machine on it is our honorable task to complete the work. The White House can do their part moving legislation along in the right direction but it will be us, the people in the streets and on the ground as they say, that will be doing the rest of the work.
God willing pregnancy centers will begin to see an uptick in client numbers as women who previously sought abortion now come to them for counsel and help. They are going to need more money and more hands than ever before. Rejoice that Vice President Pence will speak at the March For Life in Washington. But know that it won't be his face that greets a confused, frightened, or overwhelmed mother-to-be as she walks into a pregnancy resource center.
We are beyond excited that our own Pregnancy Resource Center in Milton is making a long prayed for and anticipated move to becoming a medical resource where women will have access to an ultrasound. This is a big deal since we know that the odds of an abortion go way down when a mother can actually see her baby's heartbeat. Be a part of that work. Find out how you can help that happen sooner rather than later by visiting their website.
But even giving your support to Milton PRC or Safe Harbor in Pensacola won't close that triangle. We must be more than pro-birth.We need to be pro-life at all stages. One of the greatest arguments used against pro-lifers by pro-choicers is that we only care about the babies, not the mothers and not about people in general.
People, all people, are made in the image of God. It is cracked and marred by sin, but it is intrinsically stamped upon everyone of us. It is present on the baby in the womb and the street thug on the corner with the baggy pants. It is a part of the junkie, the whore, the refugee, the homeless, the mentally unstable, the protester, the political opponent, the crack dealer, the school teacher, the movie star, neighborhood kid, the grocery store clerk, and your bank teller.
Get involved in things that restore the dignity of humanity. Volunteer with a literacy program. Find out the needs of the women and children's shelter in your area. Do you know that there are churches with clothes closets designed especially for people needing something to wear to a job interview? I heard of one church that hosted a car health clinic every couple of months in their parking lot. They would change the oil and check fluids and simple vehicle things for single mothers and the elderly. One church hosted a play day for foster families to come relax and have fun. You can bake a cake for your fire and sheriffs departments. Take your kids to the park on a sunny day and pass out popsicles to everybody. Hang out and get a basketball game going each week. Let people see your face enough that they recognize it and associate it with good things, with safety, with hope.
Although good things, really good things, are happening in some quarters of the pro-life movement we cannot act as if the work is done. Our task is far from finished and if we truly want to push back against those who oppose us then we must not give them room to say our way doesn't work, that it isn't enough.
Rejoice, but roll up your sleeves, because the dishes still need to be put away.
Every year at the beginning of that year my beloved bemoans the fact that he still doesn't have the jet pack society was basically promised in his childhood.
Me? Not too concerned.
But you know what would be neat?
An ink pen that would let you set a radius of usage and gave off a little jolt of electricity to anyone trying to leave the usage area with your pen. Like a shock collar only made for writing instruments.
You know what else would be seriously neat? And incredibly helpful?
A peanut butter container made in a box shape so that when you get down to the very last bit of peanut butter your hand doesn't get smeared with the creamy goodness as you try to scrape the jar clean.
Oooh, you know what else would be pretty neat?
A bumbrella. A clip of some sort that connects your umbrella to your car that allows both hands to be free as you load children or groceries into your vehicle so that your bum doesn't get soaking wet in the process.
Hey, you know what I just thought of? Hair brushes! I have three sisters and when we were kids we were always loosing the hairbrush. So one day my poor long suffering father drilled a small hole into the end of the brush and attached a really long stretchy rubber band that he then hooked to the ceiling. Our hair brush was effectively on a leash.
My girls are constantly losing their hairbrushes. We've tried everything short of my Dad's trick. But maybe if the little shock collar-esque thing worked on a pen it could work on a hair brush too, no?
For most people Christmas ended the evening of the 25th and now they are biding time to ring in the new year. For some of us though, the seasons of Advent and Christmas are the beginning of our year not the end of it. The 25th was the beginning of twelve days of joyfully celebrating, in big and small ways, the birth of our King. It will culminate in a great big ol' Epiphany feast with roasted pig, copious amounts of delicious foods, libations, laughter and cheer.
But it really is much more than that. It's not just a beginning of a new church year it also points us to something bigger, something more, something to come.
Have you ever considered the baby Jesus being laid in a manger...a feeding trough?
"For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world..."
It wasn't just a miraculous birth. It was a miraculous birth that pointed to a miraculous death and resurrection.
"The world is not as just, not as loving, not as whole as we know it can and should be. But the coming of Christ and His presence among us ~ as one of us ~ give us reason to live in hope: that light will shatter darkness."
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were both full of worship and love and laughter and so many more words to share but for now here are the last two pictures for this year's DPP. It was another fun filled adventure and a big thank you to the community that participates and makes it so much fun.
Day 24 ~
Day 25 ~
Seriously, I took the picture on the right day but for some reason my phone and email were not playing nicely and even though I sent it multiple times from both my phone and my husband's it just actually sent this evening.
The delay in posting the following days was by choice. I took pictures but just figured I would do a catch up post and share the whole last week all at once. So, why am I sharing them now with two official days to go, you ask?
I have no idea except that I am sort of procrastinating other activities like more gift wrapping and Christmas card writing. I will get to all that later, pinky promise! But for now enjoy some DPP eye candy.
Day 20 ~ Date night sushi with friends. That stuff in the middle? So good!
Day 21 ~ I've been so busy. With five kids and 12 days of gift giving, even though not every day is an unwrap kind of gift day, plus wrapping for grandparents it's a lot of wrapping.
Day 22 ~ Right in the midst of all the holiday hoopla and festivities quiet beauty can be found.
Day 23 ~ Claire and I made homemade lemon curd today. Tangy, tart, creamy and smooth...practically perfect.
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