July 31, 2015

a choice of the heart

My Facebook feed is a CONSTANT stream of abortion videos and blog posts these last few weeks. The horrors that have been exposed are truly jaw dropping, but they are also not surprising. What is surprising is that so many are acting as though this is some outrageous oversight of our government that if we just elected the right people then all this would be "stopped". But all of this abortion talk has reminded of me of what I wrote in my book draft and I'm breaking my "silence rule" on sharing any piece of my book before it is finished to share this excerpt here today:

.....The other important thing about my surgery, happened in Pre-OP as well.  While Dr. R was going to be performing the surgery, his boss, Dr. B-who is the head of the Fetal Medicine Department was going to be assisting him in surgery. Dr. B came in and went over all the options that we’d been given the night before one more time before the surgery, just to make sure we fully understood our choices. After going through the list, he said, “Oh, or you could get an abortion, which I’m assuming you don’t want to do because you’re here...”

Now I’ve thought about this a lot more since then, because at the time I just rushed on past it assuring him that we wanted this surgery and off we went to the next battle that needed to be fought. But I’ve since had time to think and  I learned something really interesting that day. In fact, I learned it pretty distinctly over the next few days actually. While I did not get an abortion, obviously, I did lose a baby in the next 36 hours. I saw a baby go from being incredibly active, to very very still, to completely still. I saw that happen with my two eyes. She was 20 weeks to the day.
Did you know that you can have a late term abortion up to 24 weeks in the state of Texas? I did not. Or if I did, I hadn’t thought about it.
Now, I’m not a political person. I’m a staunch Libertarian and libertarian candidates never make it very far. I hate talking about politics because they make people MAD. Whether a person is right or whether they are wrong. Whether they are arguing or agreeing with the person they are talking to- no one EVER seems to leave the conversation uplifted and hopeful and happy. Well, maybe not ever, but it’s rare. So rare, that my rule is that I do not talk about politics. But luckily, I've realized that by talking about Abortion I'm not breaking my rule at all, because what I learned was that abortion is not a matter of politics. And if we try and find the answer there we will keep on searching forever. 

Because, you see, I watched my daughter die in utero. And just because she was a “fetus” and just because she had not breathed air in the same way that we do, does not mean that she was not a human little girl fighting for life. Every single child deserves a chance at life. And let me tell you, I know what a heavy statement that is! This world can be cruel and it can be unfair and it can definitely deal really harsh hands, even to babies- but thinking of all that negative leaves out Hope. The hope of all the good that can come from a Life. Even a very tiny life. I believe that my daughter, Priscilla will impact this world even though she did not ever see it. Any baby who someone has dared to love has already changed the world just a little bit, they have impacted a Life and therefore they have altered the course of that other Life from that point on.  Isn’t that amazing? If you have loved a tiny baby that has miscarried, or has died after only living for a few hours or days-that baby has had a very full life indeed, it will ever afterwards, have changed your course and the course of anyone else that baby's life touched!! And I think of all those babies who have been aborted, and, like never before I see them as I saw my own daughter. A person.  A life. A chance. But I also see the other person in the room: The Mama ( and sometimes the Daddy is there too). The ones who made the awful choice. They too are a person and a life and a chance. And oh, how my heart breaks for them too. Because abortion is a matter of the heart.

And so I don’t think politics is the solution to the Abortion problem in our world. It has become such a political hotbed that I think I had just pushed it into the “governmental pile” of my brain, but in actuality it should be front and center of my human rights pile. Friends, our society needs help if we are going to save babies lives. We need to help families and children, women and mothers, men and fathers. I, as a believer in Jesus, need to spread His Love. Because I truly believe that that is going to be the only thing that can truly stop the terrible Lie of Abortion to end. If we look to our government to put a stop to abortion in our communities then we are only pointing a finger at someone else to stop a problem that at its very root is sitting in the heart of Man. When it comes down to it, men and women are sitting at home, in hospital rooms, in clinics, in their cars, in classrooms, in offices making a Decision to choose Life or choose Death. It is a decision we are all making ( though often much more subtle) each and every day. Friends, the choice of Life is personal, and we serve a PERSONAL God. If we do not make it our priority to share HIM and the glorious choice He gives us then we are not doing our part. And in the same way if we do not share Love in a very tangible way with the lost of this world then once again, we are not doing our part. What sends men and women into abortion clinics and what allows others to take part in abortions is a strong and very real example of the lack of Life and Hope and Love we as a people are dealing with here in this World, but then that's also pretty much the definition of a sinful world. So instead of acting surprised or shocked that it is happening we should be fighting with every fiber of our being to spread the Good news of Jesus Christ who came to die for all sinners ( abortion clinics and all) before it is truly too late.

July 21, 2015

HabitAT living room!



Heeeeeey, we're back with those lovely wonky "pictures of my computer screen" BEFORE shots of our house!!! I know you've missed them!

But today, for the purposes of context you must subject yourselves once more to what our house looked like before we moved in...white carpet, wood paneling, it's all there on my computer screen pictures for your enjoyment....


And just in case you aren't getting the FULL EFFECT of those built in bookshelves: 

And now you REALLY see why I had to get those awful awful bookshelves painted before we moved in! So, now, that you've let that wash over you like some warm Gulf of Mexico dirty water ( only those of you from Texas will truly understand that analogy).... let's take a little look-see into the current state of our living room today. With new flooring and painted built-in, I think the room changed considerably. As for the "moving in" process; there are two pieces of art work that have yet to be hung ( actually, I've yet to get them really...they have been commissioned and I'm pretty sure once I get my little hands on them they will deserve their own post) but other than that I think the room is pretty much complete: 

Here we are looking into the room from the entry way: 



And from the kitchen looking back:  


And now let's take a good close up of those built in glorious shelves now that they are much, MUCH, MUCH better looking....

There are really so many things I love about having such a large and useful living area- I think it reflects our current season of life well, particularly with the open shelves of toys ready to be played with and then happily returned to their spot ( ha!). I LOOOOOVE those closed off cabinets at the bottom of the built-ins, perfect for all my newly acquired school supplies plus our always growing collection of board games and art supplies. I always struggled with how to store these in a place that was accessible but also didn't look junky. HOORAY for cabinet doors! 

I must say, that on an almost nightly basis when I walk through this room to turn off lights and get things tidy for the next day, I find my self thanking the Lord again for this huge blessing.  I am just continually grateful for the gift of this house! I really DO love it and am finding what a gift it has been so far. 

If you've missed other HabitAT posts you can check out my tours of the  Kitchen, Entry way artwork, and guest room  here for your amusement. 

July 16, 2015

There is a season


My entry way is not even remotely close to completion ( and it probably won't be for quite some time because I'm waiting to find the perfect bench that is also the perfect price and looks just like the one in my head...so yeah. Don't feel like you need to hold your breath on that one. That being said, yesterday I was thinking about this lovely little piece of "art" that I decided to hang in our entryway when we moved into the HabitAT house. It use to hang in Tabitha's room and I first wrote about it here.  When I created it, it was meant to be a little something to hang up in Tabitha's room to help tell her story. The idea being to combine the once-a-day-pictures that I took from the day we arrived in Houston during our ordeal with Tabitha's birth all the way until the day we left. 

The cool thing though, was that I started the project while I was in Houston. I did my formatting and layout long before I actually knew how many days we were going to actually have to be there. At the time I figured I'd have to edit it, or fudge and add a few more pictures on to the end.  And yet, it is is worth repeating over and over again, that I filled up my little collage exactly TO. THE. DAY.

The first and last pictures being almost identical pictures of Ransom looking out a plane window as we arrived and departed Houston. 108 days exactly.
All of a sudden this cool piece of picture art turned into a full on lesson on God's Perfect Timing and I felt like it might be timely ( pun intended) to share it here again today. 

Sometimes we find ourselves in horribly hard times: Dark days that seem to spill endlessly into more dark days. And yet, we must know that all our wall collage seasons have a Last Day. Sure we don't know when it will be, but rest assured the Lord has a day in mind and its already been formatted into place. So hold on. In the same way that He has planned out how many days, He's also going to be there for each and every one of them. 

In the same way, our lifelong wall collage-with its good and bad days posing next to each other, showing victories and struggles and life in all its little and big milestones, also has an Airport Picture. Right there at the end, already set and ready to go. We're filling in collages every day and if you're stuck in a hard one, like the one pictured above, than I hope it is encouraging to you to know that it has an end. I also hope that whatever season you are in: that you see those little picture squares as a challenge, that we fill up our pictures with things that are worthy. Sure, the collage above has a picture of my iPad showing that I watched the ENTIRE series of 30Rock while on bed rest ( so clearly I'm one to talk), but it also shows people and the relationships that got us through and that changed us and challenged us. It shows pictures of ultrasounds and miracles, of hard days and bible verses and no two days are the same. So if you are stuck on a repeat picture or you are having trouble imagining another picture square then don't worry, we've got a wonderful God who is ready and willing to help us fill in those pictures and to create the perfect wall art for our lives! 

I'm so thankful I get to look at this particular challenging season every day and remember that even in its salty-tearstained way it made us better. And also that it ended. 

July 08, 2015

Be our guest....


So, today I figured it was high time to continue our little tour into the HabitAT House! And since I'm currently procrastinating from mopping floors in the preparation of my Sister's family's arrival this weekend it seemed only appropriate for me to give you a little look-see into the guest room.

This is really very much a "before" look because I had hoped to wait to show you this room once I had DIYed myself some totally awesome side-tables...but that hasn't quite happened yet! OOPS! Turns out my whole "Take some of the leftover counter tops and drill some table legs onto those puppies." is easy in theory but I have yet to find a cheap table leg that I can live with...thoughts?! Am I going to have to go visit a junk yard?!?!

Annnnyway here is a quick look see:

And one of my favorite prints on the opposite wall. ( not pictured: a very empty bookcase) 


So, yes, there is a lot yet to be done to this room to make it the perfect Guest Room. Things like ear-plugs, bottled water, reading material, a lamp, and obviously a good bedside table....But, we are getting there. And really, since this room will more than likely be lived in by a more long-term guest in the relatively near future ( details are still in the making). I trust that no matter how many amenities I have yet to pull together, this room will hopefully serve its intended purpose well. 

And before I go....I would be remiss not to show a shot of the the totally awesome Avocado Green guest bathroom....Yeah, this bathroom is BEGGING for a redo...but until then we'll just tell ourselves that it keeps us grounded in the house's 1970s roots ;-) 


And did you miss the tour of the HabitAT Kitchen?