Friday, January 28, 2011
Ran home (Noah was outside throwing a football around) after honor choir, changed and left. I despise doing that. I didn't get to be with my kids at all. Levi was not happy. A very long day for him. Got to Mark Darr's thing... which was fun. Always good to see him and Kim. Saw some other OBU folk too. Then to the Paint the Town Red thing. We stayed thru the auction then the 4 of us were going to attempt to go get sushi... but Levi had had enough. He wasn't going to sleep without me. I told my mom to have Abigail try and I'd pay her $20 if she succeeded. But he wasn't having it. So, we went home around 9.
Long crazy day. Would have been fun ending it being able to really visit with Mark and Kim... they were two of my favorite people looooooooooong before this political arena. But, I needed to be with my baby.
And THEN?? My mom got the bug. I have no idea how. I disinfected everything before she came and yeah... Noah got it and she was home with him Thursday, but he was far away in the bonus room and not puking anymore by the time I left. He had him some gatorade and stayed up there til all better.
Most contagious bug I've ever seen. My mom can't remember the last time she threw up... and she was a teacher! She'd been exposed plenty, just never got sick like that. This bug is a whopper. It will find a way in!
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
And then Abigail. Sounding like fun yet? David managed to keep it all together even though he was going from child to child with a bucket. I did manage to get myself to the toilet all on my own thank you very much. And then... Levi. Ok, so I guess it wasn't a bug. It was food... and now poor baby, has a bug. He was all up and chattering with me when I didn't want to be chattered with when... HUHBLEH.
Next morning, Noah was supposed to be at school early for a practice Math Olympics test (he placed first in the ACSI disctrict competition). This is fun to him. He was excited. I had to tell him he couldn't go. Not just miss the test, but the enitre day. The boy loves schoolwork. Not just school, but the actual work. I wanted to let him go, but I couldn't see letting him go to school when his entire family was sick (cept for David and Elijah at this point). He was bound to be upchucking within the hour, right?
So he stayed home and filled sippy cups of water for us. We camped out in the family room. I moved the futon mattress from the back bedroom to the floor. At some point in the morning, Elijah got it too. I'm saying 11am, but I really have no idea. I was in a functional haze. The puking died down later and I added crackers to the family room. They seemed to stay down relatively well. By the time 4pm came around, we were all hungry, but I didn't have anything close to the BRAT diet other than those crackers... My MIL was going to make a trip up from East End after piano lessons, but David was able to get away and go to the store for us. (and I know, my neighbor Jill is thinking... why didn't you ask me??? And I would have, but honestly, right when we were wanting something, my MIL was going to come, and then David was able to... I promise!) SO he got home with bananas and popsicles and we feasted. (Oh, and much needed quality paper towels. All I had all day was a roll that might as well have been sheets of computer paper.)
Everyone was pretty good by 7pm (I couldn't wait for a time I could call bedtime... I was so ready to be OUT). Took everyone's temp and we all still had 101, self included. I went upstairs with Levi. Noah went to his bed. The rest stayed downstairs with David. Who did, eventually, get it... during the night. He was fine by morning though. He had drunk this tea stuff. I don't know what it was but I do think helped.
I kept them home from school this morning to be sure they were ok. Sent Noah... who is still, fine (and who did all his schoolwork from yesterday, plus his work from today, at school... STILL no homework). My mom came down a bit earlier than planned (she was coming tonight to keep Levi tomorrow and Friday) so I could get to school half the day. Levi's awesome babysitter got sick with it too :( Everyone was fine today. No one had "the other unmentionable problem" that often accompanies stomach bugs :) Praise the Lord for that!
Monday, January 24, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
June 10, 2004, 10:30 a.m.
Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation
Ronald Reagan’s pro-life tract. -written in 1983
The 10th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade is a good time for us to pause and reflect. Our nationwide policy of abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy was neither voted for by our people nor enacted by our legislators — not a single state had such unrestricted abortion before the Supreme Court decreed it to be national policy in 1973. But the consequences of this judicial decision are now obvious: since 1973, more than 15 million unborn children have had their lives snuffed out by legalized abortions. That is over ten times the number of Americans lost in all our nation's wars.
Make no mistake, abortion-on-demand is not a right granted by the Constitution. No serious scholar, including one disposed to agree with the Court's result, has argued that the framers of the Constitution intended to create such a right. Shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision, Professor John Hart Ely, now Dean of Stanford Law School, wrote that the opinion "is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be." Nowhere do the plain words of the Constitution even hint at a "right" so sweeping as to permit abortion up to the time the child is ready to be born. Yet that is what the Court ruled.
As an act of "raw judicial power" (to use Justice White's biting phrase), the decision by the seven-man majority in Roe v. Wade has so far been made to stick. But the Court's decision has by no means settled the debate. Instead, Roe v. Wade has become a continuing prod to the conscience of the nation.
Abortion concerns not just the unborn child, it concerns every one of us. The English poet, John Donne, wrote: ". . . any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."
We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life — the unborn — without diminishing the value of all human life. We saw tragic proof of this truism last year when the Indiana courts allowed the starvation death of "Baby Doe" in Bloomington because the child had Down's Syndrome.
Many of our fellow citizens grieve over the loss of life that has followed Roe v. Wade. Margaret Heckler, soon after being nominated to head the largest department of our government, Health and Human Services, told an audience that she believed abortion to be the greatest moral crisis facing our country today. And the revered Mother Teresa, who works in the streets of Calcutta ministering to dying people in her world-famous mission of mercy, has said that "the greatest misery of our time is the generalized abortion of children."
Over the first two years of my Administration I have closely followed and assisted efforts in Congress to reverse the tide of abortion — efforts of Congressmen, Senators and citizens responding to an urgent moral crisis. Regrettably, I have also seen the massive efforts of those who, under the banner of "freedom of choice," have so far blocked every effort to reverse nationwide abortion-on-demand.
Despite the formidable obstacles before us, we must not lose heart. This is not the first time our country has been divided by a Supreme Court decision that denied the value of certain human lives. The Dred Scott decision of 1857 was not overturned in a day, or a year, or even a decade. At first, only a minority of Americans recognized and deplored the moral crisis brought about by denying the full humanity of our black brothers and sisters; but that minority persisted in their vision and finally prevailed. They did it by appealing to the hearts and minds of their countrymen, to the truth of human dignity under God. From their example, we know that respect for the sacred value of human life is too deeply engrained in the hearts of our people to remain forever suppressed. But the great majority of the American people have not yet made their voices heard, and we cannot expect them to — any more than the public voice arose against slavery — until the issue is clearly framed and presented.
What, then, is the real issue? I have often said that when we talk about abortion, we are talking about two lives — the life of the mother and the life of the unborn child. Why else do we call a pregnant woman a mother? I have also said that anyone who doesn't feel sure whether we are talking about a second human life should clearly give life the benefit of the doubt. If you don't know whether a body is alive or dead, you would never bury it. I think this consideration itself should be enough for all of us to insist on protecting the unborn.
The case against abortion does not rest here, however, for medical practice confirms at every step the correctness of these moral sensibilities. Modern medicine treats the unborn child as a patient. Medical pioneers have made great breakthroughs in treating the unborn — for genetic problems, vitamin deficiencies, irregular heart rhythms, and other medical conditions. Who can forget George Will's moving account of the little boy who underwent brain surgery six times during the nine weeks before he was born? Who is the patient if not that tiny unborn human being who can feel pain when he or she is approached by doctors who come to kill rather than to cure?
The real question today is not when human life begins, but, What is the value of human life? The abortionist who reassembles the arms and legs of a tiny baby to make sure all its parts have been torn from its mother's body can hardly doubt whether it is a human being. The real question for him and for all of us is whether that tiny human life has a God-given right to be protected by the law — the same right we have.
What more dramatic confirmation could we have of the real issue than the Baby Doe case in Bloomington, Indiana? The death of that tiny infant tore at the hearts of all Americans because the child was undeniably a live human being — one lying helpless before the eyes of the doctors and the eyes of the nation. The real issue for the courts was not whether Baby Doe was a human being. The real issue was whether to protect the life of a human being who had Down's Syndrome, who would probably be mentally handicapped, but who needed a routine surgical procedure to unblock his esophagus and allow him to eat. A doctor testified to the presiding judge that, even with his physical problem corrected, Baby Doe would have a "non-existent" possibility for "a minimally adequate quality of life" — in other words, that retardation was the equivalent of a crime deserving the death penalty. The judge let Baby Doe starve and die, and the Indiana Supreme Court sanctioned his decision.
Federal law does not allow federally-assisted hospitals to decide that Down's Syndrome infants are not worth treating, much less to decide to starve them to death. Accordingly, I have directed the Departments of Justice and HHS to apply civil rights regulations to protect handicapped newborns. All hospitals receiving federal funds must post notices which will clearly state that failure to feed handicapped babies is prohibited by federal law. The basic issue is whether to value and protect the lives of the handicapped, whether to recognize the sanctity of human life. This is the same basic issue that underlies the question of abortion.
The 1981 Senate hearings on the beginning of human life brought out the basic issue more clearly than ever before. The many medical and scientific witnesses who testified disagreed on many things, but not on the scientific evidence that the unborn child is alive, is a distinct individual, or is a member of the human species. They did disagree over the value question, whether to give value to a human life at its early and most vulnerable stages of existence.
Regrettably, we live at a time when some persons do not value all human life. They want to pick and choose which individuals have value. Some have said that only those individuals with "consciousness of self" are human beings. One such writer has followed this deadly logic and concluded that "shocking as it may seem, a newly born infant is not a human being."
A Nobel Prize winning scientist has suggested that if a handicapped child "were not declared fully human until three days after birth, then all parents could be allowed the choice." In other words, "quality control" to see if newly born human beings are up to snuff.
Obviously, some influential people want to deny that every human life has intrinsic, sacred worth. They insist that a member of the human race must have certain qualities before they accord him or her status as a "human being."
Events have borne out the editorial in a California medical journal which explained three years before Roe v. Wade that the social acceptance of abortion is a "defiance of the long-held Western ethic of intrinsic and equal value for every human life regardless of its stage, condition, or status."
Every legislator, every doctor, and every citizen needs to recognize that the real issue is whether to affirm and protect the sanctity of all human life, or to embrace a social ethic where some human lives are valued and others are not. As a nation, we must choose between the sanctity of life ethic and the "quality of life" ethic.
I have no trouble identifying the answer our nation has always given to this basic question, and the answer that I hope and pray it will give in the future. American was founded by men and women who shared a vision of the value of each and every individual. They stated this vision clearly from the very start in the Declaration of Independence, using words that every schoolboy and schoolgirl can recite:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
We fought a terrible war to guarantee that one category of mankind — black people in America — could not be denied the inalienable rights with which their Creator endowed them. The great champion of the sanctity of all human life in that day, Abraham Lincoln, gave us his assessment of the Declaration's purpose. Speaking of the framers of that noble document, he said:
This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to His creatures. Yes, gentlemen, to all his creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on. . . They grasped not only the whole race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children and their children's children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages.
He warned also of the danger we would face if we closed our eyes to the value of life in any category of human beings:
I should like to know if taking this old Declaration of Independence, which declares that all men are equal upon principle and making exceptions to it where will it stop. If one man says it does not mean a Negro, why not another say it does not mean some other man?
When Congressman John A. Bingham of Ohio drafted the Fourteenth Amendment to guarantee the rights of life, liberty, and property to all human beings, he explained that all are "entitled to the protection of American law, because its divine spirit of equality declares that all men are created equal." He said the right guaranteed by the amendment would therefore apply to "any human being." Justice William Brennan, writing in another case decided only the year before Roe v. Wade, referred to our society as one that "strongly affirms the sanctity of life."
Another William Brennan — not the Justice — has reminded us of the terrible consequences that can follow when a nation rejects the sanctity of life ethic:
The cultural environment for a human holocaust is present whenever any society can be misled into defining individuals as less than human and therefore devoid of value and respect.
As a nation today, we have not rejected the sanctity of human life. The American people have not had an opportunity to express their view on the sanctity of human life in the unborn. I am convinced that Americans do not want to play God with the value of human life. It is not for us to decide who is worthy to live and who is not. Even the Supreme Court's opinion in Roe v. Wade did not explicitly reject the traditional American idea of intrinsic worth and value in all human life; it simply dodged this issue.
We must all educate ourselves to the reality of the horrors taking place. Doctors today know that unborn children can feel a touch within the womb and that they respond to pain. But how many Americans are aware that abortion techniques are allowed today, in all 50 states, that burn the skin of a baby with a salt solution, in an agonizing death that can last for hours?
Another example: two years ago, the Philadelphia Inquirer ran a Sunday special supplement on "The Dreaded Complication." The "dreaded complication" referred to in the article — the complication feared by doctors who perform abortions — is the survival of the child despite all the painful attacks during the abortion procedure. Some unborn children do survive the late-term abortions the Supreme Court has made legal. Is there any question that these victims of abortion deserve our attention and protection? Is there any question that those who don't survive were living human beings before they were killed?
Late-term abortions, especially when the baby survives, but is then killed by starvation, neglect, or suffocation, show once again the link between abortion and infanticide. The time to stop both is now. As my Administration acts to stop infanticide, we will be fully aware of the real issue that underlies the death of babies before and soon after birth.
Our society has, fortunately, become sensitive to the rights and special needs of the handicapped, but I am shocked that physical or mental handicaps of newborns are still used to justify their extinction. This Administration has a Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop, who has done perhaps more than any other American for handicapped children, by pioneering surgical techniques to help them, by speaking out on the value of their lives, and by working with them in the context of loving families. You will not find his former patients advocating the so-called "quality-of-life" ethic.
I know that when the true issue of infanticide is placed before the American people, with all the facts openly aired, we will have no trouble deciding that a mentally or physically handicapped baby has the same intrinsic worth and right to life as the rest of us. As the New Jersey Supreme Court said two decades ago, in a decision upholding the sanctity of human life, "a child need not be perfect to have a worthwhile life."
Whether we are talking about pain suffered by unborn children, or about late-term abortions, or about infanticide, we inevitably focus on the humanity of the unborn child. Each of these issues is a potential rallying point for the sanctity of life ethic. Once we as a nation rally around any one of these issues to affirm the sanctity of life, we will see the importance of affirming this principle across the board.
Malcolm Muggeridge, the English writer, goes right to the heart of the matter: "Either life is always and in all circumstances sacred, or intrinsically of no account; it is inconceivable that it should be in some cases the one, and in some the other." The sanctity of innocent human life is a principle that Congress should proclaim at every opportunity.
It is possible that the Supreme Court itself may overturn its abortion rulings. We need only recall that in Brown v. Board of Education the court reversed its own earlier "separate-but-equal" decision. I believe if the Supreme Court took another look at Roe v. Wade, and considered the real issue between the sanctity of life ethic and the quality of life ethic, it would change its mind once again.
As we continue to work to overturn Roe v. Wade, we must also continue to lay the groundwork for a society in which abortion is not the accepted answer to unwanted pregnancy. Pro-life people have already taken heroic steps, often at great personal sacrifice, to provide for unwed mothers. I recently spoke about a young pregnant woman named Victoria, who said, "In this society we save whales, we save timber wolves and bald eagles and Coke bottles. Yet, everyone wanted me to throw away my baby." She has been helped by Save-a-Life, a group in Dallas, which provides a way for unwed mothers to preserve the human life within them when they might otherwise be tempted to resort to abortion. I think also of House of His Creation in Catesville, Pennsylvania, where a loving couple has taken in almost 200 young women in the past ten years. They have seen, as a fact of life, that the girls are not better off having abortions than saving their babies. I am also reminded of the remarkable Rossow family of Ellington, Connecticut, who have opened their hearts and their home to nine handicapped adopted and foster children.
The Adolescent Family Life Program, adopted by Congress at the request of Senator Jeremiah Denton, has opened new opportunities for unwed mothers to give their children life. We should not rest until our entire society echoes the tone of John Powell in the dedication of his book, Abortion: The Silent Holocaust, a dedication to every woman carrying an unwanted child: "Please believe that you are not alone. There are many of us that truly love you, who want to stand at your side, and help in any way we can." And we can echo the always-practical woman of faith, Mother Teresa, when she says, "If you don't want the little child, that unborn child, give him to me." We have so many families in America seeking to adopt children that the slogan "every child a wanted child" is now the emptiest of all reasons to tolerate abortion.
I have often said we need to join in prayer to bring protection to the unborn. Prayer and action are needed to uphold the sanctity of human life. I believe it will not be possible to accomplish our work, the work of saving lives, "without being a soul of prayer." The famous British Member of Parliament, William Wilberforce, prayed with his small group of influential friends, the "Clapham Sect," for decades to see an end to slavery in the British empire. Wilberforce led that struggle in Parliament, unflaggingly, because he believed in the sanctity of human life. He saw the fulfillment of his impossible dream when Parliament outlawed slavery just before his death.
Let his faith and perseverance be our guide. We will never recognize the true value of our own lives until we affirm the value in the life of others, a value of which Malcolm Muggeridge says:. . . however low it flickers or fiercely burns, it is still a Divine flame which no man dare presume to put out, be his motives ever so humane and enlightened."
Abraham Lincoln recognized that we could not survive as a free land when some men could decide that others were not fit to be free and should therefore be slaves. Likewise, we cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion or infanticide. My Administration is dedicated to the preservation of America as a free land, and there is no cause more important for preserving that freedom than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings, the right without which no other rights have any meaning.
Friday, January 21, 2011
While I don't agree with all of what Mother Teresa has to say in her speech, I wholeheartedly agree with her words on abortion.
Mother Teresa's Speech
On the last day, Jesus will say to those at his right hand, "Come, enter the Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me."
Then Jesus will turn to those on his left hand and say, "Depart from me because I was hungry and you did not feed me, I was thirsty and you did not give me drink, I was sick and you did not visit me."
These will ask him "When did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or sick, and did not come to your help?"
And Jesus will answer them, "Whatever you neglected to do unto the least of these you neglected to do unto me!"
Let us thank God for the opportunity He has given us today to have come here to pray together. We have come here especially to pray for peace, joy and love. We are reminded that Jesus came to bring the good news to the poor. He had told us what that good news was when he said, "My peace I leave with you, My Peace I give unto you." He came not to give the peace of the world, which is only that we don't bother each other. He came to give peace of the heart which comes from loving, from doing good to others.
And God loved the world so much that he gave His Son. God gave His Son to the Virgin Mary, and what did she do with Him? As soon as Jesus came into Mary's life, immediately she went in haste to give that good news. And as she came into the house of her cousin, Elizabeth, Scripture tells us that the unborn child - the child in the womb of Elizabeth - leapt with joy.
While still in the womb of Mary, Jesus brought peace to John the Baptist, who leapt for joy in the womb of Elizabeth. And as if that were not enough - as if it were not enough that God the Son should become one of us and bring peace and joy while still in the womb - Jesus also died on the Cross to show that greater love.
He died for you and for me, and for that leper and for that man dying of hunger and that naked person lying in the street - not only of Calcutta, but of Africa, of everywhere. Our Sisters serve these people in 105 countries throughout the world. Jesus insisted that we love one another as He loves each one of us. Jesus gave His life to love us, and He tells us very clearly, "Love as I have loved you."
Jesus died on the Cross because that is what it took for Him to do good for us - to save us from our selfishness and sin. He gave up everything to do the Father's will, to show us that we, too, must be willing to give everything to do God's will, to love one another as He loves each of us.
St. John says you are a liar if you love God and you don't love your neighbor. How can you love God whom you do not see, if you do not love your neighbor whom you see, whom you touch, with whom you live?
Jesus makes Himself the hungry one, the naked one, the homeless one, the unwanted one, and He says, "You did it to me."
I can never forget the experience I had in visiting a home where they kept all these old parents of sons and daughters who had just put them into an institution and, maybe, forgotten them. I saw that in the home these old people had everything: good food, comfortable place, television - everything. But everyone was looking toward the door. And I did not see a single one with a smile on his face.
I turned to Sister and I asked, "Why do these people, who have every comfort here - why are they all looking toward the door? Why are they not smiling?" (I am so used to seeing the smiles on our people. Even the dying ones smile.) And Sister said, "This is the way it is, nearly every day. They are expecting that a son or daughter will come visit them.
See, this neglect to love brings spiritual poverty. Maybe in our family we have someone who is feeling lonely, who is feeling sick, who is feeling worried. Are we willing to give until it hurts, in order to be with our families? Or do we put our own interests first?
I was surprised in the West to see so many boys and girls given to drugs. And I tried to find out why. Why is it like that when those in the West have so many more things than those in the East? And the answer was: "Because there was no one in the family to receive them."
Our children depend on us for everything: their health, their nutrition, their security, their coming to know and love God. For all of this, they look to us with trust, hope and expectation. But often father and mother are so busy that they have no time for their children, or perhaps they are not even married, or have given up on their marriage. So the children go to the streets, and get involved in drugs, or other things.
We are talking of love of the child, which is where love and peace must begin.
But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child - a direct killing of the innocent child - murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?
How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts. By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world.
Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.
And for this I appeal in India and I appeal everywhere: "Let us bring the child back." The child is God's gift to the family. Each child is created in the special image and likeness of God for greater things - to love and to be loved. This is the only way that our children are the only hope for the future. As other people are called to God, only their children can take their places.
But what does God say to us? He says, "Even if a mother could forget her child, I will not forget you. I have carved you in the palm of My hand." We are carved in the palm of His hand - that unborn child has been carved in the hand of God from conception, and is called by God to love and to be loved, not only now in this life, but forever. God can never forget us.
From our children's home in Calcutta alone, we have saved over 3000 children from abortion. These children have brought such love and joy to their adopting parents and have grown up so full of love and joy.
I know that couples have to plan their family and for that there is natural family planning. The way to plan the family is natural family planning, not contraception. In destroying the power of giving life, of loving; through contraception, a husband or wife is doing something to self. This turns the attention to self and so it destroys the gift of love in him or her. In loving, the husband and wife must turn the attention to each other as happens in natural family planning, and not to self, as happens in contraception. Once that living love is destroyed by contraception, abortion follows very easily.
That is why I never give a child to a family that has used contraception, because if the mother has destroyed the power of loving, how will she love my child? I also know there are great problems in the world, that many spouses do not love each other enough to practice natural family planning. We cannot solve the problems in the world, but let us never bring in the worst problem of all, to destroy love, to destroy life.
The poor are very great people. They can teach us so many beautiful things. Once one of them came to thank us for teaching her natural family planning and said: "You people who have practiced chastity, you are the best people to teach us natural family planning because it is nothing more than self-control out of love for each other." And what this poor person said is very true. These poor people maybe have nothing to eat, maybe they have not a home to live in, but they can still be great people when they are spiritually rich.
One evening, we went out and we picked up four people from the street. And one of them was in the most terrible condition. I told the Sisters: "You take care of the other three. I will take care of the one who looks worse." So I did for her all that my love can do. I put her in bed, and there was a beautiful smile on her face. She took hold of my hand, and she said one thing only: "Thank you." Then she died.
I could not help but examine my conscience before her. I asked, "What would I say if I were in her place?" And my answer was very simple. I would have tried to draw a little attention to myself. I would have said, "I am hungry, I am dying, I am cold, I am in pain," or something like that. But she gave me much more - she gave me her grateful love. And she died with a smile on her face.
Then there was a man we picked up from a drain, half eaten by worms. And after we had brought him to the home, he only said, "I have lived like an animal in the street, but I am going to die as an angel, loved and cared for." Then after we had removed all the worms from this body, all he said - with a big smile - was: "Sister, I am going home to God." And he died.
It was so wonderful to see the greatness of that man, who could speak like that without blaming anybody, without comparing anything. Like an angel - this is the greatness of people who are spiritually rich, even when they are materially poor.
And so here I am talking with you. I want you to find the poor here, right in your own home first. And begin love there. Bear the good news to your own people first. And find out about your next-door neighbors. Do you know who they are?
I had the most extraordinary experience of love of a neighbor from a Hindu family. A gentlemen came to our house and said, "Mother Teresa, there is a family who have not eaten for so long. Do something." So I took some rice and went there immediately. And I saw the children, their eyes shining with hunger. (I don't know if you have ever seen hunger, but I have seen it very often.) And the mother of the family took the rice I gave her.
"Where did you go? What did you do?" And she gave me a very simple answer: "They are hungry also." What struck me was that she knew. And who were "they?" A Muslim family. And she knew. I didn't bring any more rice that evening. I wanted them - Hindus and Muslims - to enjoy the joy of sharing.
Because I talk so much of giving with a smile, once a professor from the United States asked me, "Are you married?" And I said, "Yes, and I find it sometimes very difficult to smile at my spouse - Jesus - because He can be very demanding. Sometimes this is really something true. And there is where love comes in - when it is demanding, and yet we can give it with joy.
If we remember that God loves us, and that we can love others as He loves us, then America can become a sign of peace for the world. From here, a sign of care for the weakest of the weak - the unborn child - must go out to the world. If you become a burning light of justice and peace in the world, then really you will be true to what the founders of this country stood for. God bless you!
- Mother Teresa
This article was published on the World Net Daily website.
Here is the piece my choir is singing (the director is the composer)... the reason I was looking for info on Mother Teresa.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
As disappointed as I was that Alyse Eady (she went to my church... though my last memory is of her at around age 4) didn't win... I am happy that Miss Nebraska did. Read her blog she posted before leaving. How wonderful that this is the young lady little girls will be looking up to. At first I thought it a shame that a 17 year old is Miss America... but in a culture that seems to have you as "out of touch" at age 21... maybe this 17 year old will be able to reach some youth.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
On our way to church, Elijah had not seen Abigail since that morning.
Elijah: Is Abigail there?
Elijah: Can I hug her? And give her a kiss?
We were playing an alphabet game of sorts using the letter B. I was saying "b- b- bathtub" "b- b- button" and pointing at various things. After doing everything in sight, I pointed to his backside and said "b- b- bottom" He furrowed his brows and said "that's not nice."
After a long night of being sick, David told him he needed to stay in bed to feel better. He said "I want to feel better on the couch."
He recently got what it means to be someone's mother. He knows Gramma is my mother. He knows I'm his mother. This morning he said "Are you my mother?" I said I was his mother, Abigail's, Isaac's, Noah's, and Levi's. He said "and Daddy's." I told him no... Gmommy was his mother but sometimes I feel like it.
One of his favorite things to say when he isn't getting his way with siblings is "Mommy told me said!"
And he thinks I'm magic... any time something happens that he didn't personally see. The other day when he was eating brownies, he asked for another one, but was distracted by the TV when I put one on his plate. He got up to get one and I told him I already did... he said "Mommy, are you magic?"
Levi got sick Thursday. Had a fever of 101. This was taken at the Dr's office yesterday morning. He has a double ear infection... first time for him to need antibiotics. He feels almost 100% better today.
Elijah got sick yesterday afternoon. He had fever too, but no congestion. He threw up once. Totally fine today though.
and so far... no one else has gotten either bug.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011
I also say I don't like the regular use of sunscreen. I feel like we are guinea pigs in that arena too. Sure serious burns are bad... and I'll use sunscreen when burning is the alternative... but I won't use it all the time. I know what "they" say... but I think 50 years from now we'll be reversing what "they" say when it comes to spreading a chemical all over ourselves every day so strong when it is absorbed it prevents skin from sun damage.
I know, I'm crazy.
And I know they are not away from all chemicals. We ingest more than I'd like, but I try to keep out what I can.
The weekend before the election (was thinking it was on halloween, but it was actually the 29th) someone shot her or hit her, not sure which. I found a trail of blood leading to the garage. So glad my mom was there. David wasn't happy about searching the garage for what we thought would be a dead cat... and I was totally, and I do mean totally... freaked out. He had a friend over who helped him... then they saw her. She was just laying on the floor of the garage. Appeared to be ok, but she hadn't been meowing or anything... and wouldn't move. I would have been scared to pick her up (I was inside with the kids), but my mom scooped her up. She was walking funny and I thought her foot was broken. David and friend went to the midnight hours vet. She was fine except for a puncture wound in her chest. The vet also informed us she was pregnant. Great. Cats are pregnant around 65 days. It is now Jan 7. Eh hem. We didn't have her spayed b/c we thought she was pregnant. She wasn't THEN. But of course she is NOW.
She is a beautiful sweet girl... solid black with green eyes. She has become an indoor cat, as much as I can keep her in anyway. We were keeping her in the office when we thought she was going to have kittens (of course, that was quite a while ago b/c we thought she'd have them end of November originally). One night I came out of the bedroom and saw a furry little mouse in the hall. Freak out returned and cat was allowed to roam free. Haven't seen him again.
She was named September and the kitten October... but we ended up calling them Mama and Baby. We are still trying to change Mama to something else b/c I think we are confusing Levi :)
Baby disappeared right before the accident. We hoped someone took him. Abigail takes care of pets down the street when their owners go out of town. When she went beginning of November she had a welcomed surprise... Baby. They've since found a home for her. They also said they'd help us find homes for the kittens. Their daughter works for a vet clinic.
Levi loves her. He doesn't love walking (though last night he walked about 25 feet all in one attempt), but he'll walk to her! She is sweet to him too. Elijah doesn't love her. He's more timid, but she has never done anything to E either. She's very tolerant of over-done attention. Let's you pet her when you feel like it, but doesn't crawl all over you demanding it.
SO while I did not want cats... and I sure as heck didn't want a pregnant one... it's been fine with her. You don't even know she is here most of the time. Of course, I'm sure we'll know when we have kittens... but it'll only be for 8 weeks and it'll be fun for the kids. Unfortunately, looks like it will be right when David is gone all the time for the session. Yippy.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Click on that to hear a song I fell in love with over break. You'll hear a statement about the recording every once in a while... but you can still hear the piece. I can't find another recording of it anywhere. Not on a CD, nothing :( The words are Mother Teresa's daily prayer.
DEAR JESUS, help me to spread Thy fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with Thy spirit and love. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of Thine. Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Thy presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus. Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as you shine, so to shine as to be a light to others.
I knew I wanted to take this piece to festival (competition, choral performance assessment... whatever you want to call it), but it divides into many parts. My kids are talented, but they are not numerous. I'd have one on a part at times... and while that is risky b/c they could get sick... I still wanted to do this piece. I get so excited to teach music that speaks to me this much. I have been on cloud nine every day when leaving school b/c they are doing SO WELL. Love it!!
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
I went to the doctor last week about my knees. They were *killing* me. the day I finally decided to go, I couldn't walk. I'd picked up Levi, put him down, and then went back to pick him up again and I could not take a step without serious pain. My mom had her knees replaced this summer. I've known arthritis was in my future, but I thought "surely not now?!" Had xrays, bloodwork, all that... doctor said it likely was the beginning of arthritis. He said my x rays didn't look too bad, except the alignment looked odd. He didn't know if it was the way I was standing or something else.
So, went to therapy today. I have my dad's feet (flat) and my mom's knees. Not a good combo (and then there is that 5 kid thing which means I'm stressing everything all the time). It probably flared up over break b/c I was doing more than usual with everyone home. Therapist said my hips were weak, my hamstrings are tight, and my feet are "over-prone." Good news is none of it is awful and therapy will help... and better shoes. I seek out shoes with no arch support b/c arch support feels funny to me. And I'm barefoot when home. Bleh. Really don't like the thought of that ending. I hate shoes. HATE them.