Tuesday, November 29, 2011


In case you haven't noticed, I am focusing on advent. And this week, the candle lit was the candle of hope or anticipation....

"........anticipations are never meant to serve as ends in themselves. They are intended to nurture and expand our God-given anticipatory capacities so that we will anticipate something greater: secondary anticipations are designed by God to point to the primary anticipation.
To borrow a thought from John Piper, the weakness of our anticipation for Christ’s return is not because it is uneventful or unimportant. It’s because we keep ourselves stuffed with smaller anticipations. As C.S. Lewis said, “We are far too easily pleased.” A friends wedding, a football game, and the arrival of out-of-town guests will never fulfill our deepest anticipations. These are shadow like anticipations; Christ is the substance. These are stream-like anticipations; Christ is the ocean. These are beam like anticipations; Christ is the sun.
So the next time you find yourself anticipating everything from a good meal to a good vacation, take a moment to trace that anticipation to its end: Jesus. This is what Advent is meant to do. Anticipating Jesus fulfills every other anticipation because the arrival of anticipated weddings and football games cannot change a human heart; they can’t take away our guilt and cleanse our conscience; they cannot make all things new. Only Christ can do these things."

I think this is why I love advent.  Our anticipation, longing and waiting is used to point us to what we are longing most for and what can fulfill every other anticipation we have.

Hope: the first candle.

I loved this article on the first candle of advent being hope

The lady in the story was struggling with impatience  and asked the monk what to do.....and the monk told her to cultivate hope.

"She told us she’d found this startling—she’d expected to be told she needed to cultivate patience. But hope? Yes: her impatience was an indicator that she had given up hope for change. And what that really meant was she’d given up believing that God would actually do what he’d said he’d do. Which, when you think about it, is a pretty dangerous attitude. One most of us indulge in daily."

Yes, we have troubles.  "But we exult in them, knowing that at the end of them is hope, and therefore we can hope too, because hope does not disappoint. Without that first hope candle, the rest—the peace, the love, the joy—they’re not coming."

I love how advent/waiting starts out with hope - hope in the Lord's birth, hope in His second coming, hope in His provision and hope that He will do what He said He will do.

The cure to impatience is not merely growing our patience but hope in the one who was patient with us.

Monday, November 28, 2011


I love advent. I relate to advent, in fact we all can, not just because of our Savior's birth at the end of advent but because of the anticipation, waiting, and hope that is a part of advent. No other holiday seems to focus on waiting as much as Christmas...from the purely secular reasons (waiting for presents), to waiting for our Savior,  to waiting for family or even waiting for a new year. (I also think that its very fitting a new year comes after waiting for Christmas).

Through church advent wreaths or devotionals or even calendars with candy inside, each day, we are a little close to Jesus coming, each day, more hope. I love that. I love that while in our lives, waiting for the perfect job, spouse, children may seem futile at times, waiting on the Lord-- for his birth, arrival, and provisions (even if not in the way we anticipate) is not futile. Where waiting can seem stressful and painful in our daily circumstances (just ask my sister who carried a baby to almost 42 weeks), waiting at Christmas is hopeful and reminds us that waiting is an essential part of worship.  Last year I used Christmas as a time not only to celebrate Christ's birth (and eventual saving of His people), but also to celebrate how the Lord uses waiting to bring about His purposes- both on earth and eternally.  I plan on focusing on waiting this Christmas also, and I will share some of the articles and verses I find on advent.

Check out this article on Celebrating the Waiting.

My favorite line from the article: Advent is a proclamation of the Gospel through the discipline of waiting.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A week in pictures

This week I went to see my sister, brother in law and favorite (only) nephew Jack in Vermont. My friend Paige came along too. 

Paige, Jack and I in the snow.

 First taste of ice cream on the Ben and Jerrys tour.

 Snuggling on the couch while it snows outside...

 at the von trapp lodge by his first fire.

 First ornament

vermont views. 

 Aunt KK brought him a reindeer outfit

 Jack's first snow

in front of the von trapp lodge....

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

10 things to be thankful for

10 things I am thankful for.....

1. Family. I could not imagine growing up an only child. What is a home like if there aren't people talking over eachother and constant chaos. My siblings and I have eachother's backs and my parents raised us to know Jesus since before I can remember knowing Jesus. Not a day went by without the gospel shared.

 I am particularly thankful for Jack Attack, the newest member of the family.

2. Friends. Life is simply better with a loving, fun and supportive community.

3. Democracy and freedom. I get so tired of attacks on our country by people who live here. There are things we need to improve, but let us not forget that this is the greatest form of government the world has seen. And, it is also fitting to be thankful for America on a holiday founded by some of the first settlers.

4. All the pleasent small things the Lord blesses us with that simply just make life more fun: College Football, Holidays, First Kisses, ice cream, cozy fires, Peonies, bright colors, the beach.

5. The Gospel, the Reformation, and grace that I don't deserve.

6. Daily Bread --- I recently read this article about praying for our "daily bread" -- we remember to pray for rain during the drought, but not during the rainy season? I am thankful for and should pray more for my daily provisions of food, shelter, medicine...

7. Trials. I cringed as I typed that...why would I ever thank God for the bad?  Because he is the great planner and even in the difficult times, he has a plan to use and redeem them...and my trials are His good.  I bet the Lord's "good" is better than my good, no matter how painful that can seem at times...I love this Piper quote:

God will not turn away from doing you good. He will keep on doing good. He doesn't do good to His children sometimes and bad to them other times. He keeps on doing good and He never will stop doing good for ten thousand ages of ages. When things are going bad that does not mean God has stopped doing good. It means He is shifting things around to get them in place for more good, if you will go on loving Him. - JOHN PIPER

8. I also am thankful that the Lord doesn't let me have my way. I don't always live like I am grateful for that, but I am. Truth is, If given the choice between the Lord's harder road and my easier road, I would ALWAYS choose my easier plan...this is why I am glad He does what's best for me, not what's easiest.  Unlike a parent that gives in to a screaming child and gives him ice cream before dinner, the Lord holds true to His plans and is not swayed by me.

9. I am thankful for God's heart for the least of these-- for orphans, widows, brokenhearted, disabled, young, old, addicted...because if we are honest, we are all "least of these" and so seemingly unlovable yet He loves us. Also, I pray he gives me the same love he has for these so that I may love others well too.

10. I am thankful for the husband and family God has for me. I am thankful for the life plans and job paths he has ordained. I am thankful for the ways He will answer our prayers, even though we have yet to see the answers. I am thankful that the relationships, job opportunities, etc that failed did because God has plans for me that I yet to know.  I recently read that we should thank God for answers before we receive them, trusting that He has answers and plans in His timing. When we pray with angst, we are doubting, but when we pray with a thankful heart, hope and belief He can and will provide, we are trusting Him.

 Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 21, 2011


Heading to vermont to see this little boogar, so you may not see me much. Happy thanksgiving to everyone....Remember our many blessings and that even in trials, our God is faithful and by our side.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I ALWAYS think of this as a thanksgiving hymn (Is it? I don't know). The song is entirely a praise song, offering God "grateful praise" for many different blessings.  I highlighted my favorite two verses- praising for family and friends and the church....my biggest blessings.

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies;
For the love which from our birth,
Over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For the wonder of each hour,
Of the day and of the night;
Hill and vale and tree and flow'r,
Sun and moon, and stars of light;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind's delight;
For the mystic harmony,
Linking sense to sound and sight;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child;
Friends on Earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For Thy church that evermore,
Lifteth holy hands above;
Off'ring up on ev'ry shore,
Her pure sacrifice of love;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For the martyrs crown of light,
For Thy prophets eagle eye,
For Thy bold confessors might,
For the lips of infancy.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For Thy virgins robes of snow,
For Thy maiden mother mild,
For Thyself, with hearts aglow,
Jesu, Victim undefiled.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For Thyself, best Gift Divine,
To the world so freely given,
For that great, great love of Thine,
Peace on earth and joy in heaven.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday Notes

First, best news of all: next week I get to see Jack and my sister and brother in law. My friend Paige and I are flying to Vermont monday to spend the holiday up there.  I can't wait to hang out with my favorite baby boy. (I hate when mothers are obnoxious about their own kids, but I worry how I will be, because lets be honest, I'm pretty obnoxious about Jack Attack, and he's not even my son.  So who knows how much I am going to make everyone listen to me drone on and on about my babies? Ha, hopefully, I'll keep myself in check.) I'm pretty in love with the little boogar though and am super excited to give him his first ornament and celebrate his first major holiday with him.

Here's a pic of me meeting Jack for the first time...

Other tidbits:

 Marley and I have decided to do a Thanksgiving brunch since we have dinner plans with some families from her church plant. Any suggestion on holiday brunch food? We would love ideas. So far our ideas include Mimosas and pumpkin waffles/pancakes....

Also, I was sharing some quotes with a friend today and thought I would share with y'all. I am not very eloquent and I can be wordy (d*mn ADD) so I love quotes because they say something so profound in so few words. Here you go....

"Don't complain as if you've been singled out for particular suffering.What you're experiencing is uncomfortable, transforming grace."  - Paul Tripp

"By His wisdom, he orders his delays so that they prove to be far better than our hurries."  - Spurgeon

"If it was God's will to bruise His own Son, why should it not be His will to bruise you?"  - Oswald Chambers

Finally, read this article on motherhood.  I thought it was great. I get so tired of moms fighting over breastfeeding, natural birth, teaching methods, parenting methods, diapers, etc! Its great to have an opinion on these things, but the true mark of a good mom is if she loves Jesus well and in turn, teaches her child to love Jesus well. I know its easy to say I won't fight about these things now, because I don't have a child yet so I don't feel things so strongly yet, BUT I hope that watching mothers - those that do obsess over silly details and those that don't- teaches me to remember whats most important. Then, whatever personal decisions I make will be secondary.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


To be honest, the past 6 weeks have been....well, tough. They have included a breakup (although even at the time, I was somewhat grateful for that, but even so, things ending are rarely fun), stresses at work, a friend moving, church drama and trying to decide if I am going to go elsewhere, and finding out a boy I really cared for last year (who left me because he was in love with his ex still) is finally over her and dating again (ain't timing a b*tch? we can't redo this but if we could, I would meet him now at the right time when there wasn't too much water under the bridge)  Each of these items may seem small, but pile them together and tons of stress!
So, as thanksgiving comes around, in some ways, I don't feel like thanking God. in some ways, being thankful this year has been a struggle. A year ago, I was praying the same prayers...Lord show me your will. Lord provide clarity on what I should do with my life. Lord provide healing in this relationship. Lord show me if I should live here or there. Lord bring me a godly man. And, a year later, no answers, still waiting... but even when we don't feel like thanking God, we should, and not only should we (out of obediance), we should strive to see the MANY MANY MANY reasons we have to be thankful.
And yet in some ways, I do feel like praising and thanking him. In some ways, its easy.  2010-2011, even with all its hard moments has included some of the BEST moments of my life (Jack being born, Auburn NC). And, what is more, I have seen  the Lord's provision on a daily basis. I do not think I have clung to the Lord and tried so hard to trust Him (asking him to make my heart trust and have faith) in any year past like I have this year. For that, I am thankful....  It's hard to be thankful for the process, but I am thankful for the result...so, I am thankful.
So, although things don't seem different this year, I am different. I have changed - and it only occured through pain and broken relationships and stress at church and constantly having to turn to my Savior to get me through. That is worth being thankful for.  Later this week, I plan on doing a post on my thanksgiving blessings and on that list, I am including some of the bad too. Because whether or not it was easy, every circumstance was God's will and His provision. And every circumstances served a purpose in refining me.
I saw this on Facebook today and I had to share:
"Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places."  Habakkuk 3:17-19
Even when it appears we don't have much to thank Him for, we do. . Despite what appears to be lacking in our lives, we have a God who is our strength, comfort and peace. Let us thank Him and rejoice in Him this coming week.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I love Fabs Harford's blog.  If you haven't ever read her stuff, do it today, you will love her honesty..She seems to say what I know we are all thinking.  I loved her recent article.

She talked about how she thought she "let go of" a situation and gave it to God because she quit wanting it so much, quit praying so desperately.  Essentially, she convinced herself that she didn't want what she wanted....

The she said,

I think one of the truths I’m learning through all this is that trusting God doesn’t mean you don’t hurt.  On the contrary, I think trusting God means you are not afraid to hurt.  I think trusting God means you can beg boldly with all the emotion in your heart without holding anything back.

You can tell if something is an idol when you pray for it with ultimatums and anger.  You can also tell if something is an idol when you don’t pray for it with all the emotion you feel.  You hold hopes unspoken in your heart in the name of ‘faith’ out of a desire to protect yourself from disappointment.  I couldn’t pray boldly because I didn’t want to get my hopes up.  I would be too devastated if God failed me

In reality, she had held on to that desire and was convinced God could do nothing about it.  She refused to bring her heart and all of its hurts and longings before the God who made it. When she was finally honest and came before God with her real prayers and real desires, she said...

There are no corners left for me to govern.  I can’t manage my expectations.  I can’t try to get ahead of whatever might be round the corner.  Trusting God means walking through pain and emotion without fear.

This article is so true of most people in so many stages of life. We alternate between extreme hope that God will answer yes, and he better do it or else...or we decide that if we really trust God, we will quit asking, quit praying, just take whats given, refusing to beleive He can change our circumstances and answer our prayers. Both are wrong. We should be somewhere in the middle, honest, vulnerable even pathetically hopeful with our desires, lying them before the feet of the only one who can answer....yet choosing to worship Him whether that answer be Yes or No.

I jump from one extreme to the other, but rarely am at the middle ground. Today, I pray I trust God enough to surrender, yet enough to hope. Both are essential parts of faith in Him and His provision. And, yes, trusting may mean hurting- longing - waiting, but if you trust God, you trust that He knows how to answer and that laying your heart before him will not be in vain.  Do you trust God in the hurt? Do you trust God enough to hurt?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Funday

You all know its true....... :) just a little monday humor. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Thoughts

Not much to say today except its been a LONG week and long weeks when you are single can sometimes suck.....because it feels your daily battle are only your own.  But, its all perspective, I guess, because as much as I wanted to have someone to come home to last night, I also realized I didn't have to go home and cook for anyone, change diapers, get anyone ready for bed...instead, I made myself dinner, watched TV, chatted with a friend and went to bed early.  And, I have the blessing of spending saturday in Starkville with friends this weekend, cheering AGAINST alabama (note: not for MSU)

ALSO, I was cleaning out my email and discovered this quote I had saved, reading it again made me smile.  It's true that waiting, trusting and surrendering all go together -- I so many times just hope or just surrender, but there is a unique balance of giving ourselves, our requests and our lives to God, trusting Him to decide whats best yet hoping that he provides what we ask.... there is a balance between hoping and trusting, and I am always trying to find that balance. Anyways, here's the quote - it was too good not to share:

To wait open-endedly is an enormously radical attitude toward life. So is to trust that something will happen to us that is far beyond our imaginings. So, too, is giving up control over our future and letting God define our life, trusting that God moulds us according to God's love and not according to our fear. The spiritual life is a life in which we wait, actively present to the moment, trusting that new things will happen to us, new things that are far beyond our own imagination, fantasy, or prediction. That, indeed, is a very radical stance toward life in a world preoccupied with control.

Henri J. M. Nouwen

Thursday, November 10, 2011

DAY 8: Places I've been

Back to the "days" thing...it may take a couple months to get through these, but I am a cheeseball and its fun....I love travelling, although the more and more I feel settled here in Jackson, the less need I have for adventure. It seems I would rather be here or at a ballgame.  Travelling is exhausting.  I hope my next trip is to Asia or the middle east....

I have been to Canada, Mexico (just over the boarder if it counts ha...), France, Spain, Italy, Vatican City, Austria, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Czek Republic, Belize, Malawi and Zambia....not to mention I've been in the airports or trained through several different places (England, Switzerland, Ethiopia, but I don't count those)

I promised with the blog I would discuss the ups and downs of singleness...Travelling is the biggest "up" -- I travel a lot-- a trip to Dallas, a road trip for a ball game, going to Vermont for Thanksgiving or NYC to see friends...and every couple of years, I take a big trip.  I realize that this phase of life will end one day (thankfully) but I will regret losing some of my freedom to come and go as I please.  I would be turning down a good gift from the Lord if I didn't travel (either to see friends, participate in missions -- although regretfully my missions trip this summer was cancelled due to mono, or see new places!)

Favorite three places I have been:

1. France -- went to Paris, Alsace, Provence and stopped in Nice (Riviera) for the afternoon. I loved French and France in high school and always dreamed of going so this was one of my favorite places I have been and I will go back. I am thinking about French lessons or classes soon because I loved it.

In 2007, I backpacked Europe, by myself (the girl I was going with fell through) -- so 5.5 weeks in France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, etc. This was such an important thing for me to do to regain my independence and celebrate surviving a broken engagement AND my first year of law school.  I doubt I ever "rough it" again...but at 23, roughing it was fun and an important trip for me to take!

2. Africa (Malawi and Zambia)  - In 2009, I went to visit Marley and Bech for 2 weeks in Malawi.

 With baby Ruthie
on Safari in Zambia
 3.  Prague - this is hands down one of the prettiest places I have been! I went with my friend Ann Kirk in 2010. I hope to go back one day.
Prague, at the Charles Bridge.

There you have it, my favorite places I have been....any suggestions for my next adventure? I'm considering Isreal (depending on safety), China, or a Christmas Market tour in Europe...but I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear your suggestions.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Proposition 26 did not pass. I am torn on my feelings about that, but mostly, I am emotionally exhausted as are most people in our state, especially those who struggled with this for months. So, today, I thought I would just provide some recent happy pics.... ENJOY.

                                                              My Little Jack Attack!

                                                      Chris and Me @ Jordan Hare Stadium

                                            Jack and his women at his first trip to the grove

Mistletoe Preview Gala with sweet friends....we cleaned up nicely :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater: why I am voting Yes.

(sidenote: I'd love to take credit for the pun in my title but my roomate first coined that phrase; Prop 26: don't throw the baby out with the bathwater!)

For those of you not from Mississippi or for those of you who are from my state but live in a cave, tomorrow our state votes on a personhood amendment -- a VERY SHORT proposition essentially defining life at fertilization. The main intent is to make abortion illegal... Should be a simple enough right?? Not even a little bit.

The proposition has caused much strife for many believers because of its uncertainties, because of its lack of clarity.  I wish it had simply said "This proposition makes abortion (except in case of ectopic pregnancies or life of mother cases) illegal." How simple that would be. And then one could decide if he or she was pro-life or pro-choice. But, instead it included so much more. After much prayer and many tears and worry, I decided to vote for Prop 26.  BUT not without concerns. Many people have laid out their reasons for and against, but I have seen few people show their struggle --- which is sad because MANY people have struggled with this decision, many Christians have struggled with it.

First of all, let me lay out my concerns/frustrations with Prop 26. This will not be a detailed analysis providing tons of resources (this is simply my view and why I am voting this way, I am not so certain about my decision that I could argue for you to see it my way... if you want resources on either side, I will send them along your way...)


1. The proposition is poorly written

This bothers me because it leaves uncertainty. The pro life people I know who are voting against this initiative are voting no because this could limit IVF, birth control, moring after, abortion to save the mother in ectopic pregnancies, protection for doctors and pharmacists who give the morning after pill, etc, etc.  Why be so unclear? Why not answer some of these questions on the front end? Even if I disagreed with a proposition limiting abortion AND all forms of hormonal birth control, atleast I would know what I am voting on.  I could weigh the pros and cons and decide if voting against abortion is worth also voting against birth control.  It is very unfair that we, as citizens of Mississippi, have to make that vote without all the knowledge.

It saddens me, as in literally makes me sick to my stomach, that this is the best we could do. Really? We have so many intellectual Christian conservative leaders, why did we not write a clearer amedment? I think we should do everything to the glory of Christ which means doing our best (whether lawyering, mothering, teaching, or writing legislative initiatives)  This was either a half-ass job which sickens me... or as I will write about later, it was intentionally so vague to push an ultra-conservative agenda which I also disagree with...

2. The people of MS can't decide how far-reaching or limited this proposition is.

As of right now, most pro-26 people will answer your questions, "What will happen to birth control? morning after? IVF?" with "the legislature will decide..." (or, I would like to be the dorky lawyer and say, the courts might decide as well) So, most of the ramifications of this proposition aren't even decided by us!

3. This is a push by the most conservative portions of the conservative movement and I hate to think they speak for conservatives as a whole.

Many pro-life leaders weren't fans of this proposition...why? because it lacked clarity. I fear this lack of clarity may have been intentional.  There are accusations that those who wrote prop 26 actually would like to EVENTUALLY get rid of birth control (something I would not advocate).  I think these two issues should be dealt with separately because many people would vote against abortion and for birth control. Its not all one issue. The amendment is generic enough to "not elminate" anything but all encompassing enough that it seemingly could eliminate almost everything.  Which is why, although so vague, so short, it used the word "fertilization" not "implantation"

4.  I believe life begins when we were knit in our mother's womb, i.e., implantation.

I had a hard time signing on to this proposition because I honestly, after years of prayer, don't have a problem with birth control or in the instances of rape, etc, morning after pill (as long as taken within that 72 hour window before implantation) Many Christians believe this is okay, many don't.  All of these Christians are against abortion.  If I were the authors of this piece of legislation, I would have used the word "implantation" because more people would have signed on to it, more agreement.  (The choice of words makes me thing the agenda is so much bigger, and although I support a family's choice for Natural Family Planning, I don't think we can biblically morally of legally state that as the only birth control option)

This proposition doesn't give believers (or MS citizens as a whole) the opportunity to vote against abortion but for contreceptives.  There is a huge line between the two and I felt we as voters should have the right to decide if we are pro or against each. Instead I have to be pro-abortion, pro birth control, or anti both.

5. Litigation costs.

Let's not beat around the bush. This proposition will be challenged by the ACLU probably the first day. And it will cost money to litigate (I should know, lawyers ain't cheap folks) I am 100% worth our state (poor as we may be) to spend money fighting abortion with an amendment or law that could go all the way to the USSC and challenge Roe v. Wade. But, I don't belive this law is specific enough or well written enough to do so. SO, essentially we are wasting resources fighting for a bad amendment instead of using resources writing a better one, passing it, and fighting for it.  Its not economical or practical.

6.  Attacks by others.

I have had a hard time watching other Christians attack eachother. I've known many people to accuse others of acting "unChristian" or ignoring scriptures or being pro-choice. I've witnessed attacks at anti-26 Christians being "babykillers".  I've had a hard time witnessing this and honestly, it made me dig my heals down deep and say, "I don't answer to you. I answer to God, so go ahead and tell me I am not Christian enough. Fine."  Finally, I had to look past my defensiveness and their attacks and decide how to vote based on scripture, facts, and prayer...not in order to prove others wrong.

Clearly these attacks aren't the fault of the authors of Prop 26, they are the fault of us, believers. And, I am sure I have been guilty of attacking others on many issues in the past. But, the point should be made, there is a way to have this discussion without attacking other believers, realizing sometimes people may interpret scripture differently than you and you can point out how you disagree without attacking them.  I've greatly appreciated those believers (from both camps) who have been willing to talk with me about my concerns without attacking my faith. I have actually learned from them and I hope they have learned from me, rather than it being seen that those who struggle with voting yes are evil and choosing to go with popular opinion over the Bible.  I am grateful for the many many friends and family who have wrestled through this decision or who have listened to me wrestle through my decision, even if we don't vote on the same side.

7. The head of the MS Personhood has made some very oppressive comments on women.

These comments include the concept that women were the reason for the fall and they have continued to give themselves over to darkness for years.  (maybe his parents should have explained to him where babies, even the unplanned ones, come from.... he might be surprised to know men are involved in premarital sex!!)  As someone who has been in an emotional abusive engagement where the words of scripture were twisted in an oppressive way, his comments make me squirm. They make me angry. While I don't believe in "women's choice", I don't want in anyway to support a movement that oppresses women. But, as I will discuss below, even I know, I have to put that aside and look solely at the amendment.

Okay, those were my concerns. Here is why I decided to vote for Prop 26 (and I'll try to point out how I overcame my concerns):

1. Statutory protections for life of mother cases

There is a statute (97-3-3) thats still on the books from before Roe v. Wade (this statute was never abolished) -- and this statute protects abortion in the cases of mother's life.  Also, there is a statute protecting the death of a fetus due to assault, homicide, etc but leaving an exception for physicians performing medically approved abortions (97-3-37). 

My biggest fear was that abortions to save the life of a mother would be illegal and that OBGYN's performing these abortions for medical reasons would be prosecuted.  No matter what is decided tomorrow and in the coming months, there are already statutory protections protecting both mothers AND physicians in these cases.

2. The specifics to any amendment are decided after the fact via legislature and courts and I find it highly unlikely that we will eliminate birth control.

My biggest fear is that the legislature will take this too far because of the lack of speificity of this amendment.  But, lets be honest, amendments are usually fairly brief and then the legislature defines them -- ie, the US Constitution gave us the right to bear arms, and Congress later detailed what that meant.  It's the same in this case, and yes, I don't trust the majority of the MS Legislature --- however, I trust them enough that I find it highly unlikely they legislate a ban on birth control in a state that has the highest number of teen pregnancies -- especially if we eliminate abortions.  There are some real risks to this proposition. Birth control is MOST LIKELY not one of them... I have no facts to back that up, just common sense.

Also, we have federal constitutional protection of the right to access to birth control through court cases already decided (starting with Griswald through a long line of reproductive rights cases) We also have federal protection for the right to abortion (Roe), but I just think that the attack on abortion will be the bigger issue fought for here. Would we really knock down birth control before trying to prevent abortion? No, that would be silly.

3. Honestly, this proposition does nothing -- and everything.

As I said above, this amendment like every other amendment will just lay a framework, not details. So, like most other propositions, this is broad, too broad, but its reaches will be narrowed by legislation. And, unfortunately for pro-26 people, this does not abolish abortion -- however it lays the basis for a challenge to Roe.  I, personally, think the strongest challenge would be an amendment that defines life at implantation, but at least this lays a challenge which is better than no challenge.

4. The fears I have are great, but the ramifications in existence are already greater.

I am scared that the morning after pill and hormonal birth control will be eliminated. I am scared for IVF and health of mother cases. (although some of this is already protected in our state code) This amendment is risky BUT the number of abortions allowed each year is riskier. In weighing both risks, I think its clear which one is worse.  I'd rather know I will have years without birth control (although that violates MY rights) for the thousands of lives saved.

5. I fall closer to the view of life at fertilization than I do at the view of life at birth or even viability.

I don't believe life begins until implantation. This amendment states it begins at fertilization... However, I am a lot closer to believing fertilization than I am to believing viability or breathing on one's own. 

6.  Most importantly, I decided that if I wasn't going to be 100 percent sure either way AND I would likely have moments of regret for voting one way or the other, I would rather regret VOTING for than VOTING AGAINST. 

 I'd rather be upset over losing birth control than losing babies.  It shouldn't be this way. It should be two separate amendments (birth control/contraceptives/IVF AND abortion) BUT it's not. And, although I'm far from 100 percent pro-26, the desire to vote against ROE V. WADE is too strong for me to ignore.


I have no rebuttal to the money argument. Litigation costs money and this will be litigated. But, we are already the poorest state in the nation, there is nowhere to fall. I don't agree with wasting money, BUT I also don't think that money should be my main argument against or for this amendment. We are talking about the right to reproduce and the right to life...so money can't be a deciding factor for me. These are issues worth the money.

8. Narrowminded attacks from the head of MS Personhood are not a good reason not to vote for this proposition.

His attacks on women are uncalled for. My fears of poor leadership in this movement are valid-- especially since some major religious or prolife leaders and groups would not support this amendment. But, by voting for proposition 26, I am  not saying that an oppressive view on women is okay. If I were to look at all the comments from the anti-26 camp, I would find some views I definitely disagree with.  We often may have one similar view with someone while no other views align. And, nothing in the text of this amendment adresses or supports his negative views of women.  I can't not vote for something because I disagree with one of its supporters. Although, I would highly encourage MS's pro-life movement to find new leadership as we move forward in 2012.

So, in the end, I decided (with much prayer and heavy heart) to vote yes.  I will likely cry as I leave the precinct. I will likely have moments of regret, but I would rather regret voting for this amendment than against it.  I am already in prayer that the legislature is able to pass statutes that properly apply this amendment to abortion and not the other many risky areas. It is a poorly written proposition, but I trust that the Lord can use this for good.  However, I encourage conservatives to work harder and produce better work in the future. We can't halfway do things and expect voters to blindly vote YES on morals...this election should teach us that.

Although I vote for this proposition, I strongly believe many Godly men and women vote against it (while remaining firmly pro-life). I trust these men and women studied the Word and prayed and sought advice just like I did.  I refuse to attack them or listen to others attack them. Also, I will not champion this as a huge win for the pro-life movement.  The proposition was lacking, BUT Our God is bigger than that. So it can be a huge win if and only if He uses it.

What I haven't appreciated is the scare tactics and peer pressure either way. I have had a hard time separating opinons I value from those I don't.  This will not have all the ramifications that Anti-26 people state. It is also foolish to think that an amendment so unclear will have no risky consequences.  You are not an idiot for voting for prop 26, but you are definitely not "unChristian" for voting against it.

In law school, one of my professors gave us a section of awful modified true/false questions on each exam.  Horrible. If it was false, you had to correct it and figure out what exactly made it false and how to make it true...He left space under each question to essentially change the answer to True. I wish thats how this ballot was. Can't I check NO and write a better initiative beneath my answer? Can't I say THIS IS WRONG, HERE IS BETTER?? If only life worked that way. Instead I have to vote for the least bad option. I am literally 60-40 so I am going with the 60 percent of me that says YES. I'm glad to have wrestled through this. I don't believe we can look at a situation and decide what the "Right" thing to do is without actually examining both sides.

I wish I had something to offer: a level of clarity that this is the right decision, some strong argument in favor of it. I did want to share my struggle though to say you can support this amendment while still being frustrated with it. Unfortunately for us, life is not black and white. I can only say that I never felt fully comfortable voting against this amendment so I chose to vote for it.  The pros simply outweighed the cons....although I still pray the cons are appropriately addressed. In the end, I vote for the premise over the flawed wording and vagueness. IN THE END, AS FLAWED AS IT MAY BE, I COULD NOT VOTE AGAINST A PRO-LIFE INITIATIVE. I choose not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Prayer - greatest encouragement

A couple days ago, my sweet sister posted this blog post about prayers for those waiting for babies...and in the post, she included in her prayers those who are waiting for husbands and children.

I read this after a particularly long day of realizing the milestone of Christmas was coming and still no significant other (even after dating several guys this year --- that always dissapoints me, when my dating seems to lead nowhere) and buying my sweet nephew a first Christmas ornament at Mistletoe Marketplace and fearing I would never be buying one for my own child.

Her post offered encouragement - but why? she offered no advice, no quick fix, no 20 ways to find a man post. She simply offered prayers. and concern. I've had people ask before, how can singles be encouraged? They genuinely wanted to know what to do. And I've thought, what is it I want? How can I tell people to be more encouraging? My sister is usually pretty good at encouraging me...what is it that she does?

And the concern she shows is generally what all people want, whatever their struggle is (infertility, singleness, sickness, grief, depression, finanacial struggles, marital problems, etc)

So how can you love singles effectively? Or really, how can you love others more effectively? (my example is just singleness since its what I know)

1. Offer prayers, not advice.

She offered prayers, not advice.

Not that there is not a time for advice...there is. If I am always in a sweatshirt with messy hair or I am rude or aloof, that's something I may need to fix...so please lovingly tell me. If I live in podunk, middle of nowhere where there are no men to meet, a suggestion to look for a job elsewhere or try internet dating or visit my friends in big cities a lot is a good recommendation.

But mostly, I need prayers. I have become a big believer in fervent prayer, in laying our desires down before our Lord. So, when someone tells me they are praying for me to meet a spouse, I find it incredibly encouraging. I pray weekly for my wonderful friends to meet husbands, as well as myself. Prayer is the most proactive thing that can be done....and prayers not just for contetment, but for provision.

Prayers are also encouraging because sometimes there is no advice that will help: you've done all you can - you are meeting new people, you are presenting yourself well, you are giving men a fair chance and not having an impossible list of qualities you are looking for. Sometimes the reality of God's soverignty in bringing the right person (job, child, etc) into your life is only realized through prayer. Not that much more self improvement can be done, only prayer and trust.

2. Do not trivialize someone's pain.

Notice how Marley includes the longing for husband and child on the list with those who lost children or who are trying to get pregnant. (I am not equating my longing to that of a mother who lost a child, but making the point that my sister classifies singleness as a real struggle) I've had friends trivialize failed dates, breakups, dateless weekends, turning another year older as not as difficult as the married/family problems. She included it right there in a list of married problems, she treated it as a real problem.  She treats it as a real longing, a real problem.

 How many times do we all do that? Hear about someone's problem that doesn't seem like a big deal to us because we haven't struggled with it...and make it seem silly? Sometimes just acknowledging someone's pain as valid is the kindest thing you can do for them.

3. Be grateful for what you have been given.

I am very guilty of lacking gratefulness for my blessings, so I can't point fingers too much on this issue. But, its hard for people who long for something to hear you whine about it too much without acknowledgement of the blessing. My sister made the point to me that whenever she hears women constantly complain about a baby being up all night, she thinks of those women who would love to have a baby keep them up all night. Not to say that you shouldn't complain, but an appreciation of one's blessings is good... some people seem to think if they make marriage seem less attractive, its easier for me to hear about it. Thats not true, don't try to convince me marriage and babies are hard (I know!) -- dont constantly whine to downplay it for me, because i rejoice with you for your blessings...and I want to hear your problems, but when you constantly downplay or whine about something I long for, its hard to hear.

4. Don't portray yourself as any more deserving of blessings.

This is my biggest pet peeve. I have had numerous people say to me things about them being more mature/ready for marriage, about how they didn't date around a lot so God provided the right man, etc etc. It's not true. I am not mature enough or deserving of marriage, but neither were you. None of us deserve any of the good gifts we have been given. And thining that we do puts us in (1) danger of bitterness for not receiving what we think we deserve or (2) in danger of false superiority in thinking we do deserve all we have gotten. In her prayers, my sister acknowledged that she was blessed and deserved it no more or less than others.

So, there is my answer for all who have asked what is it that singles want? (besides the obvious answer ha) -- prayers...lots of prayers and an expression of true concern and gratitude.

And, I will be taking my own list of tips here....how can I love others better? Prayer. Not trivializing their pain. True concern. I often times dont have answers, but I do have two knees and plenty of time to be praying for sick babies and broken marriages and people in need of jobs.

Day 7: Favorite movies

1. Sound of Music

In second grade, in music class, we sang 'Doe a dear..." and I came home and told my mom I had to see the movie. It's been one of my favorites ever since. LOVE IT.

I went to salzburg and took the Sound of Music tour.

2. Mary Poppins - a disney favorite!

3. Rudy -- a football movie, duh.

4. Little Women

5. All I want for Christmas -- probably my favorite Christmas movie because Marley and I watched it over and over.

6. The Princess Bride

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 6: a picture that makes you happy

Auburn National Championship --- January 10, 2011.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 5: Siblings

I said this yesterday with regards to my parents and I am saying it again today regarding my siblings: they are the best. Hands down. That may sound arrogant, that may sound thankful, take it as you will...I have been blessed with this family....every irritating moment, every fight, every bit of sibling rivalry has been worth it to grow up with these people.

This is my all time favorite picture of my family -- taken before marley's wedding.

Ansley, me and Blaise on Easter...

Bubby (Blaise) and me at charity ball last year....

Bubby, me and Annie (Ansley)

Marley and me last Christmas....

Sisters with baby Jack at his baptism lunch.....

A little about my siblings:

1. Marley -- 26, married to Bech, Mother of Jack, classics grad student in Vermont which is entirely too far away. She marches to the beat of a different drummer-- a very organized, precise drummer, but still a different drummer. Can one be a methodical free spirit? If so, she is. She loves a lot of weird things -- like latin, greek, weird music, rereading books over and over and over. She and I are a LOT different, but when it comes to morals and beliefs, we are pretty much the same. We also grew up fighting a lot because we are the siblings that are the closest in age, BUT we always have eachother's backs. :) My favorite memory of her (well favorite is a bad word, but sweetest memory) is the week after my engagement ended. I called her or she called me, but I couldn't talked, I just cried, and then I heard her crying too. And she just sat there and cried with me. Marley is a good mother and a good sister. She loves CS Lewis and Africa and Christmas. I talk to Marley and Ansley almost daily (in some form or fashion, even if its a text) -- some people tell me this is overinvolved. I think not.

2. Blaise, aka Bubby as we affectionately call him and he tolerates, is 21 and a Junior at Ole Miss. He has definitely taken the boy route through college, slowly figuring out how to study and what he wants to do. I am so proud to have seen him grow. He is in a fraternity and is a great example for some of his wilder "brothers" He loves Jesus and as a 21 year old boy at a party school where girls are always spending the night at the frat house and drugs are easy to come by, that isn't easy. He loves european soccer, college football, science fiction, star wars, etc. He is very overprotective of his sisters, especially Annie. And we all dote on him/pick on him some because he is our only brother! He wrestles through things before just accepting them which is an honorable trait.

3. Ansley, aka Annie, is the baby. 18 years old and a senior, heading off to Ole Miss or Auburn in the fall (I say Auburn knowing its like 90 percent Ole Miss but a girl can dream right??) Ansley is sassy and spunky but has a heart that cares for people. She loves college football, fashion, animals, and is the high school mascot! She has made some hard choices to do the right thing and its cost her some of her friends. I really respect that. She's young but already standing firm in her faith, even when that has consequences. I pray that the Lord will use this to bring glory to His name this at Ole Miss. She is our baby, so she has 3 mammas and 1 very protective older brother. She is also the sibling I am probably the most alike: hard worker, very social, sassy.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 4: Parents

This is going to sound arrogant, but I don't know a nicer way to say it: I have the type of family a lot of people wish for. (I will talk about my siblings tomorrow) Maybe that didn't sound arrogant, maybe that just sounded grateful. I certainly hope it comes across as I am grateful for the blessing of my family.

My crazy, sometimes dysfunctional, loud, annoying, over involved family.... :) we have plenty of problems but we stick by eachother.

At the base of every great family are great parents (or parent, i realize some amazing men and women have had to do the raising by themselves) This is true in my life: my parents are the glue that hold us together and here is why:

1. They love Jesus more than they love eachother. or us.

2. They love eachother more than they love us.

3. But they still love us dearly.

4. They love people outside our family.

My parents put God first, not perfectly, they are certainly still sinners, but as a whole, they have raised us to now that the Lord comes first in our family. I am blessed for this, so blessed. Because I was raised this way, I know that the Lord must be first in my life. I saw it lived out in my parents life.

My parents adore (and sometimes annoy) eachother. It never grossed me out to see my parents kiss or say I love you. In fact, it always made me feel safe. It still does, even at 27. I hope that I one day love someone that much and am loved that much.

My parents take care of us -- they provide what we need and much of what we want, they pray for us, they encourage us, they have fun and laugh with us. (sidenote: being in my family means much laugher) They stand by us. And, when they have to, they discipline us.

My parents love other people well. My mom is involved in all sorts of ministries and volunteering. My dad is a pediatric cardiologist and great with his patients. We have spent many many holidays with other people at our dining room table. We have welcomed many into our home. They took seriously the command in scriptures to love others. They show that to us daily.

Some tidbits about my dad: lover of all things sports especially Ole Miss and the cardinals, collects baseball caps, runner, rosy cheeks (where do you think I get it from??), avid reader (read to us growing up), loves history and theology, loves music.

Facts about my mom: very creative and great at planning events, good cook, makes holidays at our house amazing, very stylish, looks young for her age (I am excited for this trait), likes reading, photography, decorating, clothes, technology. Like all good southern girls, she likes college football.

Mom marley and me

last night before the mistletoe preview gala

before last years charity ball

at National Championship game

If you dont know my parents, I feel sad for you. You would probably like them!


I am linking up with kelly's korner's SUYL: non-mom bloggers.

I am a 20-something living in Jackson, with a great family and amazing group of friends. I like to have a good time and am involved in church and community. I try to write on issues dealing with singles and 20s, good and bad. I'd love to read what other singles had to say or just what other people my age had to say about life!

I'm the one in the middle!