Friday, April 19, 2013

Motion of Mercy

   The last few months have been crazy, but at the same time blessed. As most know that have read my previous blogs Doug was laid off in January. As a result of that (because insurance was going to laps) I had major surgery to fix an issue that was preventing me to eat for the last seven years. My surgery was scheduled for the same day as Jada's birthday. I felt so bad, but I had no choice. Between Doug not working, and me being laid up in bed our lives have been less than normal. Doug took on the role of full time cook, clean, educator, nurse maid ect...
    When you have a house full of little mouths your first concern is always making sure belly's are full. Second you worry about keeping a roof over their heads, heat in the house and all the other expenses of having a family that fall under that. Through this time God has been faithful to his word.  Phil 4:19 "And my God will meet all your needs according to is glorious riches in Christ Jesus". I can't tell you how may times we didn't know where money for bills would come from, but somehow it was there. Our freezer and cupboards have been full, sometimes overflowing. Even the small things you think are small, God has taken care of. My boys were given hair cuts at an affordable price, two ladies from the church came and cleaned my kitchen, and straightened my living room. When I was in the hospital Doug would not leave my side, not even to eat. Someone we didn't even know brought Doug a hot meal and snacks to get him though the rest of the day. God has shown us time and time again He has not forgotten us.
    So what is the motion of mercy? It's keeping the cycle going that has been started. The mercy that has been given to show to someone else. So how do you do that when you don't have much money to give? So many people think that a blessing needs to come though money, while sometimes that's true, money is not the only way to give. I've been blessed with talents God has given my hands. Recently I started painting on canvas, and finding I'm...not great, but not bad either. I've given some of these as gifts. While this is not the way I'm use to giving, and maybe it's not as big of a blessing as what I have received, I pray it still blesses someone. There are so many other ways you can give. Check in on an elderly neighbor, offer to babysit for a busy mom, take a turn in your churches nursery, take someone sick a meal....the list goes on. This keeps mercy in motion.
     This brings us to the last 24 hours. I promised Jada a special day since my surgery was on her birthday. When I found out that Francescia Battistelli was coming to our area I knew this would make up for her birthday. Jada listens mostly to three artists, Franny being her first choice every time. I learned they were selling VIP tickets and went online and bought them right away. Francescia has been such a blessing by being a Godly role model for my daughter, I had to do something special for her. We took a gift bag for her with us to the concert last night. Without all the minor details of what was in the gift bag, the one thing we gave her was one of my paintings. Jada was so shy she couldn't give it to her, then asked her if we could get a picture with her. Jada's dream of meeting someone she looks up to came to pass. We took our seats and were enjoying the concert. During intermission a man came up to us and handed us a bag with all kind of Franny goodies were in it. Blessed again, there were shirts, and wrist bands all kind of goodies that I couldn't afford to buy Jada, They all had been given to her. What I thought was a little thing (giving a painting and other little goodies) came back as a HUGE blessing I wasn't expecting. Little is much when God is in it. When we got home we found that Francescia had liked the painting so much she tweeted about it.
    Next time you're thinking about doing something for someone, but maybe you think it's small and unimportant, let me encourage you to do it. You may find that keeping mercy in motion may not only end up blessing them, but it might bless you too.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

March For Life

     Since the loss of our baby in September I've become much more passionate about things in this life. One thing is life it's self and protecting the gift that it is. I've always been pro life, but not with the passion that I've had recently. Fact is life is a gift only God should be able to give or take, and taking a life is murder!
     When Doug was layed off I said jokingly to him "We should got to the March For Life". I knew full well this was not number one affordable for us, and number two it would be a strain on our only working vehicle. My wonderful husband knew my heart and told me if I could find a ride I could go. I didn't think that would be possible either, at this point I was sure all the people I knew that were taking buses would be full. Tuesday night I made calls and face book posts looking for a ride. At this point it was still an impossible desire and was sure I would be watching the news reports from the comfort of my own home for another year.
     I believe when it is the right time for something in your life to happen it will. Thursday night I got a phone call from my friends husband telling me they had room, and if I wanted to bring Josiah they had room for him as well. I was excited for the opportunity and told him both of us would be there to catch the bus at 6:30. My stomach had been very acidic all day Wednesday and I really didn't feel well. I was sure it was just another passing episode from my hernia and by morning it would be gone.
    I had no clue what I was expecting to get out of this experience, but I could tell by the feeling in my spirit early in the morning it was going to be a powerful day. When I woke Thursday morning my stomach was still reeling. I had only gotten about three hours of sleep, partly because I was excited to go and the other part was the amount of acid in my stomach. Josiah and I got dressed in as many layers as we could get on, but because I'm at the end of my laundry for the week neither of us could find socks. At Christmas time all the other kids got gloves but because of the size of Josiah's hands, the gloves we got him were way too small. Needless to say not only to say we didn't have gloves either. At any rate we warmed the van up and started our journey at 5:45 with the first leg of our journey to Stillwater Christian Church to catch their bus.
   We climbed on the bus and got seats next to our good friends the Bakers. Someone gave us a blanket and a pair of gloves just right to fit Josiah's big hands. Once everyone was all settled in we began in prayer. God spoke into my spirit and told me this would be the day I would become a voice for one that was never allowed to have one. I know my kids think I'm a  big bawl bag, but when I feel something bigger than me, I can't help to be moved to tears. This was just the beginning of a multitude of feelings that would flood my day.
     We stopped at Burger King for breakfast. My stomach still twisting and turning I was happy to be stopping for a bite to eat, maybe putting something in it would calm it. I guess I must have been pretty eager to get off the bus cause missed all three steps and ended up at the bottom of them on my rear end. Josiah just looked down at me like to say "really mom" while I sat there laughing at myself, I looked at him and said "well are you going to give me a hand". After brushing myself off and trying to walk in BK with some dignity, we ordered our breakfast. The only thing that looked non greasy was oatmeal and fruit. I'm no food critic, but it was misleading and tasted horrible. This made me feel worse than before we stopped. At our next stop I bought some gram crackers hoping that would help. It settled it for the time being, but I still wasn't feeling the best.
     We arrived in Washington at noon. It was quite a bit warmer than when we left PA, but still cold. The woman that organized the trip insisted that I take a blanket and wrap around myself because I didn't have gloves. We had a considerable walk from our parking area to the metro rail.Once off the metro rail we had another good sized walk from there to the rally. By the time we got there the rally was finishing up and the march was ready to begin. I was a bit bummed because I was very much looking forward to the speakers that were lined up to speak. A young man sang "God Bless America", and again I was brought to tears. For some reason every time I hear those words sang it brings tears to my eyes. We gathered in our small circle of 23 and all prayed before we began to march.
    I think we were the last ones to get in the line, in the street we started in. Just like a traffic jam even though the front of the line moves, it doesn't mean the back will for quite some time. We were quite a distance from where the march's official start line was. About an hour after waiting we began to move. However in that hour there was plenty of excitement around us to keep us entertained. Many groups around us began chanting around us things like  "We love babies yes we do. We love babies how about you." and another group would reply back. So many young people excited to stop the killing of the innocent, gave me hope for future generations. This current generation reminds me of the scriptures in Isiah 59. No one cares what's true and honest. Lawsuits are created in lies just like Roe V Wade. The lawyers that pursued that case did it for their own agenda. If you read "Jane Roe's" book you will understand exactly how this case came about, and how now she is a pro life advocate. They do this to shed innocent blood. Maybe with youth like this we may have a chance to redeem our nation.
     Once we began moving the pace was slow. Just as we started the wind started whipping and snow began falling. Thanks to our neon yellow-green hats we were able to spot each other quickly, and when would get separated, would stop and regroup. We were shoulder to shoulder with people we didn't know, but everyone was well mannered, and many smiles and pleasantries were passed back and forth. Many times I have little or no patients for big crowds, but this one seems much different than any other I had been in.; no one was rude, or pushy.
    After our second or third turn I began to hurt. My joints didn't want to move and I felt frozen, not because of the cold, but the pain that began to shoot all over my body. It was about this time we passed a group that had a running video of an abortion being performed. I looked up just to see the arm being ripped off a nine week fetus. I pulled the blanket over my head and began to sob. Just as we turned the corner again was another large poster of pictures of aborted babies, up to 24 weeks. They were thrown away like garbage. The pain through my body began to intensify, my friend Lisa kept encouraging me I could do it. Every time I felt like sitting on the ground I would pray for strength. Every time someone would ask me how I was I tried to smile and tell them "I'm getting there".
   After seeing those images I told the Lord I just couldn't take one more step. I felt strong in my spirit the reason I was doing this march. We have been given certain rights in this nation including "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" these babies were never given any of their rights, the one they had (life) was taken from them. These babies never had a chance to make a walk like this, they never got the chance to feel the joys or the pains of life. If I could stand in the gap and give just one of them a voice, I needed to finish this.
   The next corner we turned were women standing in a line in the middle of the street. They all had signs telling how abortion had hurt them. I wanted to wrap them all in my arms and make their hurt go away. I looked as many as I could right in the face. By the time I came to the end of their line, I had to pull my blanket over my head again because all I could do was sob. As I reached the Senate building a man was standing on the corner. He must have seen the pain on my face. He patted my back and said "you can do it, you're almost there". This gave me the final boost I needed to get to the end. As I reached the Supreme Court building I remembered, last time I was in D.C. I had to get around in a wheel chair, again I began to cry. God has been so good to me, the feeling He gave me at the end of this march, I could never put into words.
   Even though the pain was great I managed not only to walk all the way back to the metro, but also back to the bus. Thanks LARGELY to Josiah and Lisa. Literally Lisa gave me a good push back up the hill to get to the bus. I took two pain pills and crashed on Josiah's shoulders on the way back. My stomach was still hurting so badly, I wasn't thrilled about the thought of stopping at a buffet for dinner. I knew I needed to try to get something into myself though. Because of the weather we ended up stopping at Arby's instead. I managed to get down a small sandwich, and some green tea.
   Back on the road, next stop home....not so much. Next stop was special, just for me. About an hour after we had dinner I knew I was going to be sick. We won't go into detail, but the acid had gone through me on both ends. About an hour and a half later we were back to where we picked up the bus in the morning. Josiah and I jumped in the van. Because of the snow the roads were pretty bad. It took us about an hour to get home. I jumped in the tub and reflected on my day.
    Even though I ended up with a bruised rear end, a sore body, and fluids of a vial nature pouring from my body, I don't regret my trip. I was given a life to live, I'm thankful to my mother for respecting my life by giving birth to me. I'm thankful God has given me the ability to walk, and in His continuing to heal my body. Finally I'm trusting in Him to take care of my acid issues in my body, weather that be by Divine intervention, or though the wisdom He gives to a doctor. My fight will continue to abolish abortion. My passion for life greater now than ever before.