Quotable Quotes

“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”
~ E.L. Doctorow

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

- Oscar Wilde

Month of November

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

In which I shed tears and tell hypocrisy to go to hell

January 22, 1973
The nation waited with bated breath, to discover the Supreme Court's decision on one of the most stunning cases in the history of the United States.

Up until that era, the question of human life and its sanctity was rarely debated. I'm not saying it wasn't taken for granted or abused or destroyed. The taking of another human life is as old as Cain and Abel. Abortions have been taking place for thousands of years and the methods used have been varied. Anything from poisonous plants to forceps to salting the womb to a myriad other absolutely abominable practices have been utilized.[1]

It’s nothing new.

Laws were created to prevent abortions and to allow them.[2] Both sides had legal arguments regarding the right to a woman’s life, the child’s life, health, exceptional cases of incest and rape, etc. The point is, abortion is not a modern concept and it’s been fought against and defended on all continents since the fall of man.

It’s ironic, you know. One of the very first acts of Creation involved breathing life into a human being. The very name ‘creation’ invokes visions of Life. Even the fictional Dr. Frankenstein creating his monster claimed that he’d given life to the mass of organic matter on his operating table.

At 8 weeks after conception, the tiny little being in utero has a heartbeat. I know. I’ve seen those four chambers pump at 150 beats a minute, two different times in my womb as I watched the ultrasound screen to confirm that yes, I was really with child. I find the complexity and wonder of conception so completely mind-boggling and so absolutely amazing. Two human beings come together and in the middle of sin and death and hell’s curse, they create something so pure and so innocent—so untouched by corruption and decay. Until they leave the womb, there is no active dying process—it’s ALL life.

And by God’s amazing, creative grace, my own body—already in a slow, invisible dying process—is able to sustain and nurture that life.

Today is January 22, 2013. It’s been forty years, since a single, pregnant woman sued the state of Texas for its strict laws concerning abortion. Up until then, most states had treated most active forms of abortion as murder or at the least, a felony.[3] Able to be prosecuted by the law. In MOST of the country’s minds, abortion was the taking of an innocent life, and it was a crime. Same as murdering a child of three or a geriatric adult. It didn’t matter that the infant in utero could not, in some stages, survive outside of its mother’s protective womb. It was still murder.

I could go into all the inconsistencies of the case. How the pregnant woman had two children prior to this third pregnancy, how she claimed she’d been raped in order to get a doctor’s orders for a hospital or ‘safe’ legal abortion, how she eventually rescinded that claim, stating she’d lied about the rape. How she gave birth to the child anyway, but the Supreme Court still ruled in her favor. How she gave up that child to be adopted on the advice of the local attorney assisting her and THEN continued to press the charges.

The point though, is that in 1973, this country’s highest court decided that the woman’s right to her own body were more important than the child’s right to life. Not only did that decision spit in the face of the Declaration of Independence, (ALL men are created equal…endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights…LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness[4]) but it spit on the Creator’s face as well by declaring HIS creation to be unworthy of life.

I have to ask a question. Why do we mourn those victims of school massacres and terrorist attacks and wars? Why do we grieve when loved ones perish in accidents or nature’s fury or viral epidemics? What’s the point of grieving for ANY loss of life—natural OR unnatural—if we don’t even believe LIFE and the Creation of Life is sacred?

Today, the President lauded Roe v Wade while pussyfooting around with words like ‘minimize the need for abortions’ and ‘support maternal and child health’ and ‘reduce unintended pregnancies.’ Just like he does any other controversial topic. A whole lot of rhetoric and kissing up to the masses and I bet his speechwriters had a field day with it.

I agree with ONE thing he said in that speech…that the government shouldn’t be involved in the private affairs and rights of its citizens. (Which is another topic around the subject of hypocrisy…but I won’t go there because it makes me too angry to logically and rationally discuss it on this blog)
The government DOESN’T have the right to interfere with whether or not abortions can be done. That is the decision of each individual. It’s also our individual decision whether or not we want to pull the trigger on another person. What the government DOES have a duty to do, is protect the rights of EVERY last human life under its care. That’s why, the moment a finger pulls a trigger to end another life, the moment that life bleeds out on the floor, the law has the responsibility to make that murderer pay. (I am not talking about gun accidents or cases where the death was not intentional or planned…whole other ball of wax, though the killer SHOULD still make restitution in some way, shape, or form) Restitution is a Biblical and it is a Constitutional principle.

So who makes restitution for the unborn? Who is paying the price for the unborn child murdered in ways that Hitler and his Third Reich were punished for in the Nuremberg Trials? (They called it experiments, most life-supporting humans call it torture and murder)

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in the power of forgiveness and the healing power of God’s grace covering all of our sins. I believe that the doctors and nurses who perform abortions CAN be forgiven. I believe the mothers who abort their babies CAN be forgiven. I am not callous and unforgiving. They are human beings too. I am a human being who sins daily.

I also know I don’t want to keep on sinning.

Unborn does NOT mean Not Human. Those phrases are not synonymous and we have enough technology to even SEE that now. The settlers called that proof of life ‘quickening.’ That happened right around the time the baby’s heart beats for the first time. We don’t even need THAT proof though. We argue that it’s just a bunch of cells, that until birth, it’s not really a human being. My daughter, my son, were human the moment conception began. Every last strand of DNA, every last programmed attribute and genetic puzzle piece was known by the Creator even BEFORE conception.[5] At the moment of conception, He breathed LIFE into that new human being.
So Mr. President and others who celebrate this Roe v Wade ruling as some major achievement in human history, I say this:

You are no better than those who stood by and allowed Hitler, Lenin, Mussolini, and the hundreds of other mass murders to commit those wretched crimes. You do not value human life, or you would value it at ALL stages of its development. You weep over the school massacres and you use your politics and power to wield the killings like a weapon against your opposition. You mourn for those victims of terrorist attacks and use them to start your own personal wars. You wax poetic about the sanctity of human life, the evils of slavery, the horrors of war (or your speechwriters do).
Then you praise the achievements of a base and evil court of law who has accepted and ALLOWED the mass murder of nearly 56,000,000 human lives in the last forty years.

Don’t you DARE tell me that you value the sanctity of and right to life. Don’t you DARE tell me that THOSE innocent lives didn’t count. Don’t you DARE tell me that you are mourning the loss of LIFE in the tragedies that have occurred around our nation.

You “mourn” THOSE innocents.

Who is mourning the 56,000,000 innocents who have lost THEIR lives at the cruel and callous hands of others?

I cannot even begin to shed that many tears, but I will spend the rest of my life trying.

I will mourn them.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

In which I reflect on communication and saying it best without words

My son is the most vocal member of our family. He doesn't say a word.

Don't get me wrong. My daughter can talk the hind leg off a donkey and her incessant need to know why is the reason for my overwhelming insanity and my excessive pride. My husband is a talker (See: not your typical, average guy for which I'm extremely grateful). He's been known to hold a conversation with me long after I've stopped listening.

I myself like to talk, but I also love long, delicious periods of blissful silence in which I can reflect upon my inner dreams and perhaps come up with a coherent idea or two to add to my writing repertoire (See: tame the muses and make them actually behave).

My son does not seem to have any desire for long periods of silence (See: not quite my genetic twin after all). He loves to chatter and barring that, he loves to express himself at the top of his lungs - regardless of how close one's ears are to ground zero (See: powerful set of lungs).

If he doesn't grow up to be the world's greatest orator, he is going to be an opera singer. Or a metalhead. (See: one of the very few career choices his parents will adamantly veto)

The thing is, most of what comes out of his mouth is not at all understandable (See: no language known to man). Oh he's expressive, so I can usually tell what he wants by how high the pitch is or how wild his arm movements get.

My guess though, is that he won't start talking until he's good and ready and he will more than likely start in full, run-on sentences.

What a mouth on that kid.

I realize I've done a good job of tuning him out lately. (See: only so much noise and screaming a mom can handle) From the moment he wakes up in the morning, until he goes to bed at night (See: sometimes not even then as I have heard him chattering away in his sleep many evenings) he doesn't stop vocalizing. He screams when he realizes the door is closed and he can't get out without my help. He doesn't even have to get out of bed to do that and man is that annoying when I can't go in and give him hugs and kisses in the morning because he's having a meltdown.

He screeches at his sister, he yells at the cat. He wails when the cheesestick is not in his hand the moment I take it out of the drawer in the fridge. He whines and throws himself to the floor when I tell him he can't have the fifth cup of milk that day because--for the love of all that is holy--he NEEDS water for a change.

I find myself wondering sometimes if that is all God hears from me in the midst of my daily living. Sure, He can figure out pretty quickly just what exactly is bothering me and how exactly I want it fixed. Still, is whining and screaming and yelling all He hears as I go through my routine. I may not speak things vocally, but is my mind full of wailings, complaints, tantrums, and wordless speeches designed to grate on the ears of anyone listening?

You know, I stand corrected. My son does have small, blessed moments of time in which his methods of communication (See: inneffective tantrums to communicate his wants or needs). He's a cuddler. When he's beyond tired and the lights in the room are dimmed and a warm blanket covers us both, he will sit still and be silent.

I cherish those moments. I also pray for the day when he starts to use some real words. :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

In which I celebrate a win and cry over my checkbook...

I did not do a lot of things this month that I had planned. (See: Life is what happens while I'm busy making plans) However, I did accomplish two amazing things - not counting the fact that I and the kids managed to not kill each other this month. That's a huge win... :)

Anyway, the first WIN was my National Novel Writing Challenge. I actually WON! :) It was not really a for sure thing until I got to the 28th. Then, with the AMAZING help of a good friend and writing buddy, I managed to crank out the last of my words. The Novel(s) aren't quite done (See: Last time I EVER try to write five novels in one month) but I've gotten a rhythm going. I think it might stick. (See: Cosmic Joke/Murphy's Law)

The second WIN was the balancing of my checkbook - well, OUR checkbook as it's the hubby who brings in the funds and me who ends up making sure I know where it all went that month.

I have a confession to make. This is the first time in my life that the checkbook has balanced out TO THE PENNY...

In the past, I've always missed SOMETHING and spent a whole lot of frustrating time trying to find the mistakes. Most of the time, I just said, 'Screw it' and quit balancing it.

Now, I think I've FINALLY gotten the hang of it. (See: Bloody, hellish math was never my strong suit) Don't laugh. I can add and subtract. I just can't stand the fact that it's actually a necessity in life. Most of the time, I love things that don't seem to make much sense. (See: Dear Husband)

For now, I'm enjoying my WINS and thanking God that I have a whole year to prepare for another NaNo challenge...I'm also having it out with Him that in order to steward HIS finances, I have to balance a checkbook every month...(See: weekly if I actually want it done right)

Whoever said life was fair, never balanced a checkbook...

Why did I choose to be the nerd in the family again?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

In which I realize there's a lesson we are still learning...

I'm thankful for my family. :)

I'm thankful for the friends and support structure we have around us. We may have roots here in the Midwest, but the people in our lives give us wings as well.

Without going into exhaustive detail, my husband and I have been struggling (See: wrestling) with a decision. As we seem to do when life-changing decisions happen in our family, we pray (See: desperation, need, dependence on God), we sometimes fast, and we ask for wise counsel.

We also test God. (See: Malachi) Our whole desire as a couple, as individuals, as parents...is to do God's Will. We don't always do it right and we are far from perfect. However, we want so desperately to stick to His plan. So we call on His promises and we surrender our Tithe (the firstfruits of everything we have...not just money).

Then we wait and see how He provides - answers, abundance, life.

So this decision. We put up the test. Called on His promises...

And he decided to teach us something (See: Reteach, because we are kind of sort of stubborn and thick-headed)

Without going into exhaustive detail, the lesson that keeps coming back to us is this: That WE may plan our way. But the Lord God directs our footsteps. (See: Proverbs 16:9)

I haven't learned yet to Never say Never...

I get why God asks us not to make promises, but just yes and no. Because the promises often come back to bite me in the rear. Yes and No seem to be a bit more flexible for some reason. It leaves us open to God's Will as we are not held to obligations or guilt from broken promises.

It's an interesting idea this planning of our way. I love dreaming up the future and thinking over the big picture. It's just not always smart to keep those as expectations, not just dreams. Disappointment comes when I cling too tightly to my dreams.

All that to say, I think we are the semi-proud owners of a cat...

More details on THAT situation later... :-D

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

In which I reflect on the state of the union...

I'm going to go on record and say that if you are not married or you are under the age of eighteen, I would strongly advise not reading past this point. This contains adult material and is not age appropriate for children, though I don't belive there is anything morally wrong with what I say here.

I am a normal, healthy girl with a bit of an above average, highly enjoyable sex life. And that is all I will ever expound upon regarding personal intimacy with my husband. However, for the purposes of this blog post, I wanted to make it clear that I have experience in this topic - not as one who spends her time in erotic novels wishing for ideas to spice up her marriage bed, but as one who realizes that all the erotic fiction in the world isn't going to do squat for me or my husband. In fact, it just may end up damaging our relationship when expectations and objectionable values drive a wedge between spouses who vowed before God to love, honor, and cherish one another for as long as we both live.

I'm sorry. Comparing one's spouse to a sadistic, abusive, controlling, psychopathic freak to "spice" up one's bedroom life is not my idea of a healthy romance.

I will halt my commentary by prefacing something. I have not actually read the 50 Shades trilogy save for the opening chapter of each book. (honestly, even if the sexual aspect of the books hadn't been such a strong turn-off, the poor grammar and context would have had me burning the atrocities) I have read commentaries, news articles, and heard secondhand reports from the readers of "mommy-porn" as to its general storyline. I have perused both the secular and Christian insights into this novelty (yes, pun intended) and have formed my conclusions based on that.

One other preface. I have read both Christian and secular novels with tasteful love scenes. I have nothing against the implications of sex in a fictional work because it is just that - fictional. However, I do take high offense to an author who's made millions on trashy, raunchy porn all because our society clamors for immature, poorly written material to fulfill their sexual fantasies.

It's no better than the pornographic websites we in the Christian world speak out against, and yet many God-honoring people justify it. Why?

An article I recently read is what set me off today. Author of 50 Shades of Grey, E.L. James stated that her novels were meant to be a holiday for ladies from their husbands. In the same article, a woman filed for divorce because her husband refused to pretend to be the novel's main character - Christian Grey. Apparently, her marital bed wasn't spicy or satisfying enough and her fantasies had dissolved into lust for a fictional character whose main goal in life was controlling every last move and thought of his naive and petty girlfriend/wife.


The husband in the newstory was actually hoping to expedite the divorce process for a variety of reasons. I will never condone divorce as an option, but in the husband's case, I almost wish him godspeed in getting out of THAT unhealthy, damaging relationship.

A HOLIDAY FROM ONE'S HUSBAND? Are you kidding me? I have choice words running through my head and none of them are pleasant or "Christ-like". Instead I will say this...

Sorry E.L. James. I don't need a holiday from my husband. Especially to fantasize about an abusive, controlling psychopath in a crappy work of fiction based on another ALMOST equally crappy work of fiction.

My husband is worth a THOUSAND of your stupid, immature fantasies. I will take one night with him over hundreds with the supposed dream guy in your novels. Nothing about that man you wrote is a dream - I'd call it a nightmare of hellish proportions.

I've also seen several commentaries on what the authors called "true BDSM" as opposed to the fudged version in Jame's work. I won't judge another's lifestyle, but I will say this.

My husband was my first and only partner. I have no need of the kinky and pain-filled fetishes and practices of that particular brand of sex to satisfy either of us. We don't need to watch porn or read erotica or participate in bondage and domination to find a spicy, satisfying intimate relationship. And I can tell you 100% that the relationship we have is healthy and pure. We are open and honest with one another, we love each other as unconditionally as two humans can, and our family life proves it.

Are we perfect? No. Are we always lovey-dovey and romantic? Not at all.

But I can tell you that we honor God when we come together and we serve one another before meeting our own needs.

This trend towards fantasy, fiction, and play-acting disturbs me. Mainly because if you can't find satisfaction with your lover alone, if you cannot be content with one another and give to one another without the assistance of a fantasy world - and a dark, disturbing one at that - what else are you unsatisfied with in life? What else drives your discontent and leads you to seek out alternate means of happiness or fulfillment?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

In which I reflect on a thousand words...

My dear daughter has spunk, attitude, and humor. Some would call her contrary (including me when the mood fits) and others would call her a free spirit.

My son is fearless, (except when he turns the vacuum cleaner on and freaks himself out - gets himself EVERY time...) fresh, and flirtatious. Some would call him stubborn (including me when I've had enough) and others call him determined.

I love them. And I love capturing their personalities on camera! So much is forgotten or missed when I don't. All the cute captions and smiles.

They tell stories with their whole heart.

And they both have BIG hearts. :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

In which I change up the routine just a bit...

All right. I have to wonder how many of my 'readers' are actually human beings and not cyberdroids pinging this site whenever key words pop up on their radars.

So I'm going to ask a question to see if I'm just flapping my jaws in the wind - or whatever that phrase is - or if my readers actually care what I write about.

Question: Are you human?

I feel like one of those weird scientist people asking if there's life on Mars and if so, is it humanoid or some other unknown?

In other news, I'm gearing up for NaNoWriMo2012 and if you're a writer and you don't get your hands dirty with this challenge, you ain't worth your salt. :)

No, I'm kidding. I did read on another blog post just yesterday by an editor acquaintance of mine - Jamie Chavez - that some published authors are a bit snobbish when it comes to NaNo. Apparently, it's not worth the time of day or it's an insult to all the hard work they do to think that just ANYONE can write 50,000 words in a month.

I'd say I was insulted, but as an unpublished writer, it just made me laugh really hard. Why on earth would I care what a published author thought about my taking up a writing challenge? To me, it's a great excuse for family members when I ask for more childcare. Plus, I get to mingle with other writers and budding writers on their path to self-fulfillment (See: publication, bucket list completion, general socialization with intelligent life after being stuck in the house with babbling toddlers all day long)


Yeah, that last one is me...so is the first example.

Anyway, I'm doing a half-rebel, half-NaNoer thing this November. I will be working on a new manuscript, but I'm also in the process of completely revamping my fairy tale. I'll hopefully be adding updates and insights into my experiences this month. If not daily then weekly at the least. (because I am human and have other obligations)

I'm going to be participating in some write-ins (See: a bunch of adults and teens/preadolescents getting together to stare at their respective computer screens/notebooks and attempt to create word art.), brainstorming with my long-suffering husband, and looking for childcare in exchange for good homecooking (See: blog post about budgeting/debt free challenge)

Along the way, I'll be looking for support in the form of love, prayers, money (See: start-up costs to publishing), and a lot of laughter. This should be great fun and a whole new adventure. I'd love it if I had company along the way (See: as long as you don't expect me to actually be social while my nose is stuck in my computer)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

In which I discover that being a parenting pantser is an epic fail...

My daughter's preschool teacher just informed me that DD is rather contrary. As in, she likes to take the position of Devil's Advocate in most of the daily activities.

She's four years old.

In no way am I being disrespectful when I say that she is her father's daughter. Exasperated, yes. Disrespectful, no. I try to laugh when I discover the arguments between my DH and I are all because he decided he wanted to shake things up by taking the opposing side. Even though he agreed that I was right...


So I can call my little darling a free thinker, or I can get panicked that she's got a stubborn streak a mile wide and it's mostly my fault.

For one, I've got the same stubborn streak - and it sucks.

Two, I have discovered recently that I've been parenting the same way I do pretty much everything else in life.

By the seat of my pants.

The funny thing is, pantsing parenthood just doesn't seem to work all that well. I mean, who'd have thought that quick reactions, too much flexibilty, and a lack of consistency in routine and disciplien would have such a hugely detrimental effect on a child?

Thing is, we started out pretty good. I remember, I didn't lose my temper with DD in the first two years of her life. Not once. I was calm, cool, collected, and I even did the consistency thing.

Then we stopped moving around the country and settled down in a small midwestern town. I'm amused at the irony of that statement. The instant we get into a stable environment, my carefully planned parenting goes OUT the window.

Of course, it might have had something to do with the arrival of the second child. He did manage to shake our world up a bit.

I'm a writer. I don't really follow a schedule, outlines screw me up (unless I outline after the manuscript is written), every day my writing looks a little different. I'm not one to follow the norm, and I love being flexible with my time and resources. (Hence the getting out of debt so we CAN be more flexible with resources)...

The point is, I'm a pantser. I like not having a plan. Sure, a to-do list once in a while is okay and I don't mind having a vague schedule - especially if there are non-negotiables in the calendar. However, most of these issues are - strangely enough - negotiable, and more like guidelines anyway.

I injured myself recently and don't like the limitations that puts on me. However, I much prefer socializing, writing, playing, and reading to cleaning, appointments, and structure.

I agree, I can take it to the extreme of laziness. For the most part, however, it's just the way I thrive the most. Lost in a sort of offbeat rhythm, each day a different song to sing and dance to. I'm okay with the unknown and I love the excitement of spontaneity.

Parenting, therefore, is a huge weak spot for me. I'm not ashamed to admit it, but it does land like a cold dose of reality in my gut. I wanted to be a mom my whole life, and I don't think I'm doing that good a job at it. In part because of the epic failure of pantsing it and in part because I just didn't have realistic expectations of what my mommyhood was going to look like.

I'm Sarah, and I'm a pantser parent.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

In which I lament the forced laziness and wonder why I'm lamenting...

As a person whose natural tendencies sway toward laziness, you'd think a two week hiatus from heavy lifting, exertion, and work would sound like heaven.
Note to self: When the desire to be lazy gets overwhelming, remember not to injure myself in such a debilitating way. It's NOT WORTH IT...
I fell in the beginning of October. Some of my readers may already know the story, but I will not be sharing the embarrassing details on this blog. I'm just not that masochistic. The only thing you need to know about this story is that I fell. The resulting impact left me with a bruised and swollen left arm and a bruised and swollen right knee. And some major skin wounds that bled more when the scabs rubbed off on my clothing than the initial period of wounding.
Now they just itch like crazy.
But my arm and leg both still hurt - a LOT.
I'm okay with pain. I just did Tough Mudder last month, I've birthed two almost nine pound babies without the help of drugs, and I was in the ROTC for a short stint in college. I'm not a victim when it comes to pain and I usually don't let it slow me down.
Except of course when it gives me no other choice because it's screaming that its presence is necessary to remind me of the healing process taking place in some important joints and muscles.
Who'd a thunk it?
The first few days I thought, cool! Now DH can't complain that nothing is getting done around the house, because I have a darn good excuse.
Day four rolled around and I was starting to miss sleep. My arm and leg still hurt like crazy and do you know how difficult it is to chase a two year old around when you're crippled? I don't recommend it.
Day seven rolled by and I wanted to tear my hair out with the pain, insomnia, children who take advantage of their poor, injured mother's limitations, and a husband who left thinly veiled rebukes about the dirtiness of the house. Even though he said he understood.
It's day eleven. And I want to go into my garden and rip up all the old vines and plants by their roots...with BOTH hands.
In the realm of human limitations, I can't.
I have never felt so lazy, nor have I felt so powerless and incompetent than I have for the last eleven days...
Did I mention my kids have been sick throughout this whole ordeal? And my DH is working a lot of overtime.
God, if you keep me from EVER harming myself like that again, I promise I will never be lazy or use laziness as an excuse for why my house is not clean.
And I will clean my house on a regular basis too...just to sweeten the deal.