Birth Control

A woman in victorian garb using her parisol to threaten the advancing stork-w-a-baby-hanging-around-its-neck.
No you have never seen anything better than this.

 

I love Buzzfeed.

This post is written by a member of the community and like all things on the internet, tended to get a bit…reductionist: We Asked 24 Women Why They Don’t Use Birth Control…

There are a few assumptions one could make about this topic:

  • It’s obvious from the content of their answers that they’re referring not to birth control at large (which includes anything used to prevent birth, such as condoms, spermicide, IUDs…), but “The Pill.”
  • They could be catholics.
  • They could be allowing for “Fertility Awareness” methods that mean you don’t have sex during that particularly fertile window. Still birth control, technically.
  • They could be like the Duggars, and hoping to have 19 children.
  • They could be against all forms of modern medicine and not vaccinate their children or accept blood transfusions.
  • They could be lesbians!

The point is, we just don’t know. These are women who have made deeply personal, and hopefully well-informed decisions based on a lot of factors. Their religious background, their moral compass, their understanding of medicine as well as their own bodies are all factors in making this decision.

But alas, when it’s presented on a piece of white cardboard, it just seems so simple, doesn’t it?

One assumption that many of the cards suggest is that The Pill is for women that can’t control themselves. This is unfortunate. We love to divide ourselves into these camps of people who are morally righteous and pit ourselves against those whom (we judge) aren’t.

Comparing ourselves against others just distances us from others… which seems to be the noble goal but it’s a temporary ego boost for long-term loneliness, anger and doesn’t get us any closer to God.

The only righteous one, the only good one (you know, fully, completely, ultimately good – the one who makes completely informed decisions because he’s all knowing and is a fair yet merciful judge) is God… surprise.

So quit throwing stones. Keep reading other’s stories. Keep practising compassion and if you’re really interested in informing young women about the potential risks of The Pill, then go into education, or medicine!

But for the love of God, put down those signs.

What’s the most important stuff in life

Food.
Sleep.
Reading (the Word of God, and the words of a whole bunch of other good folks)
Um…
Friends. (or perhaps “People”…you know, spending time with them, giving to those in need… family).
Faith (church, things like retreats, and praying.)

Art. Like, being creative. Making stuff. Maybe “making stuff” or “building” or something is the “thing” and then “food” and “art” and “quilts” comes from within that…

 

Anything else you can think of?

Be Kind

From www.society6.com on Kindness. (you can find all these and order them on t-shirts, mugs, get prints, etc. by searching “Kindness” and “Be Kind”)

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I can’t think of one characteristic that stands out more distinctly than the kindness of my co-workers … co-priests that work to bring people to Christ and live out being in Christ … and how incredibly healing and restorative their unrelenting, surprising kindness is… it’s like walking with Christ  … and being constantly blown away by undeserved sweet kindness that fills long empty, hardened parts of my soul.

Thank you. Your humility humbles me. Thank you for serving me.

Year End Report

Here are a few lines excerpted from the report I wrote on the “Field Education” component of my degree. This is in regards to my work in from September -  April.

 

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What do you feel you have learned at this particular placement?

  • How to conduct an efficient weekly meetings that fosters closeness of a team by covering both the encouraging and challenging aspects of ministry, giving time for praying for one another and sharing “what everyone needs to know”.
  • Creativity, flexibility, as well as problem-solving skills is essential when it comes to week-to-week planning of Sundays or major events. Good planning is key for a Sunday morning to run smoothly, and to avoid stress, but things will still pop up unexpected – we’re constantly learning and growing and developing our ministry to better meet the needs of those we serve.
  • Working near a coffee shop where you can go and clear your mind is key to productivity.
  • The support of a team is incredible for feeling confident and courageous, like your co-workers have got your back in putting on a Sunday morning. None of us work in silos, we do many events and activities together and we meet weekly as a whole team to make sure we know what’s going on in the church generally. It is a great environment for ministry.

Add any further comments you would like to about your “readiness for ministry.”

I feel ready to do my job, but obviously still lack experience at this point in areas of ministry that are pretty central to the role of a priest. I still don’t “feel the call” to the priesthood but I do feel that ministry in the church is where I wish to continue. I believe that I have grown in my confidence in my abilities as I’ve experienced the life of this parish, and recognize that the great unknowns of ministry – as they become known – are making it easier for me to envision myself participating in the future of the church. I still feel a ways away from ordained ministry, but I recognize that I am on that path (however long it may be).

Rick Warren’s son commits suicide

Tonight I was browsing through Facebook when I saw a friend from university had commented on a post about how Rick Warren’s son had died. He was 27, and had succumbed to mental illness. He had taken his own life.

I read the article. It was sad. It was familiar (dealing with mental illness myself, I’m drawn to the stories, and they seem to be drawn to me). It felt familiar. But it was in a new context. It was in Christendom, Evangelical Christendom. The mainstream. America.

I am sad for Kay and Rick. Parents of three adult children. This child of theirs, twenty-seven, had been sensitive. Had benefitted (they mention) from medication, doctors, counselors, prayers. But…had nevertheless chosen to take his own life.

It’ll sound like words I shouldn’t say. Another language. Foreign. misplaced. But I say them anyway: “I get it.”

I get why.

I get that pain of mental illness. I get the suicidal thoughts that seem to set up camp in the brain and come back, time and again. Sometimes I feel like I look at my life and think, “Will I become a statistic?” Nothing keeps my friends and family – my husband – from experiencing tragedy. And I see this son, who just so happened to have the mental illness, and the stars aligned in a sad array and his end was tragic. “Suicide.” The stories of such an end stand out in memory. I know of a friend of a friend. Someone’s cousin. The brother of a T.A. I’ve read articles, books, blogs. Maybe you haven’t read stories like this but I read them. My eye and heart are drawn to them and I read.

Battlestar Galactica  Do you remember the character who killed herself? She had a night of fun…and then there was the quick, unexpected pulling of a trigger. And as much as you didn’t like the character (as a selfish consumer audience member), you realized… she was loved in her world. She was missed. It didn’t make sense to those she left behind and they didn’t want life to be without her. You felt the void she created by dying. Credit goes to their performance. I felt it. It was awful.

Suicide marks the lives of all those who know the self-killed.

There is a part of me glad…

That the statistics worked out that someone famous would have a son who died. Not because I have anything against Rick, or the rich and famous. Not because I want anyone to reach that point of despair where they’re pushed beyond the brink. But because I know that because it’s Rick’s son, more people will feel less alone when it happens to their son, father, brother, sister, wife, child. Perhaps the conversation will happen, about mental illness, about suicide, before it’s too late. Maybe lives will be made better due to better understanding, familiarity. Because it happened to the son of a famous, influential pastor, perhaps guilt will have less of a foothold on those left behind.

This young man, although life became too much for him, through his death can bring others awareness of suicide and the dangers of mental illness. How amazing that even in our greatest weakness, God can shine light in darkness, heal, restore, redeem. But we shouldn’t be too surprised, after all, God’s greatest victory involved bringing salvation out of death.

Come, Lord Jesus.

& Thanks. For being here with us.

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Anchor tattoo

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

Hebrews is a great book. You should read it. (Here’s a link.)

But it’s also hard to interpret. Apparently. I had to preach on it last semester. I didn’t. Had a bit of an anxiety attack that morning. Whoops.

But when you read that chapter, Hebrews 6, you start to see that hope is an anchor, and that sturdy bedrock, that foundation you hook into, that keeps you grounded, and safe from the rushing waters and roaring waves…well, that’s Jesus.

Jesus isn’t the anchor, he’s the bottom of the sea. Your choice to hope in him – to have faith, to trust, rely – is the anchor.

At least, that’s my understanding of this verse.

The concept of choosing to believe is something I’ve reflected on quite a bit since my husband left the faith. In his words, he “discovered Christianity wasn’t true.” He can’t choose to believe in God because he sees no evidence. Everything – to him – is explainable, and a god of the gaps is no god anyway (I’d have to agree).

Perhaps life is the boat-in-the-ocean metaphor for all of us. But we throw our anchors in to different things.

Abandoned Homes in Detroit

Forgive the blog title.

Today, my happiness is brought to you by

100 ABANDONED HOUSES OF DETROIT.


Some of these houses are gorgeous. I kind of have a thing about the end of the world and abandoned cities for some reason (why I love I Am Legend for the shots of New York grown over and desolate save for deer).

Sad. I need to learn more (time to google “Detroit documentary”!), but for the moment, I love looking at them and IMAGINING: who lived in them, what they did and what era, when did they leave – why did they leave?

life is short and sweet

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