25 January, 2008

My "March for Life"...What's Yours?

I read a wonderful piece this morning on the pro-life march in Washington. It really brought a different thought process to my end of the dialogue.


For those of you, much like me, who don't have enough time to link to the article and read it (although I highly recommend doing so), the just of the article is as follows. Why does the march end at the steps fo the Supreme Court and not the steps of the Capital? The pro-life efforts must first be legislative not judicial. If they are judicial we simply lay any decision that is made in our favor in the path of overturning. This is the same reason we have hopes for the overturning of Roe v. Wade. And that is why he didn't march this year. Now Steve Skojec is much more eloquent and detailed in his writing on this issue, but I hope I've acurately represented the basic tenets of his thoughts.

And here is my response...

What an interesting viewpoint and addition to the pro-life dialogue. I have often felt an outsider because I don't march or pray outside the clinics. It isn't because I don't think there is a place for it, but because I find that God is calling me with my gifts and talents to serve in other capacities for the cause...like changing diapers, feeding "birdy" mouths at midnight, and contorting my 24-year-old body into a commercial airplane...

You see, I come from a family that cares for foster children. I come from a family that when the youngest biological child was 17, my parents adopted a 2-year-old boy who was in their care. I come from a family that regularly witnesses to this ministry to faithful and unchurched alike. It is that kind of pro-life witness that changes hearts. I've seen it.

There is a much bigger illness in the world that can't simply be changed through legislation. All the laws and enforcement in the world will not change the mind of a desperate, jobless, mother of five when she discovers she is pregnant with number 6. Laws won't soothe the heart, mind, and soul a women faced with an unexpected life in her womb when she must make the choice to carry her baby 10 months to term and then be tragically seperated from it in its better interest or to end its life before she thinks she will bond with it, forever scarring herself and her relationship with the world.

I suppose, at least in my mind, it comes down to one thing. We are Catholic. We are all parts of one body and the hand does not serve the same purpose as the foot. However, we should be aware, grateful, and respectful of the abilities and efforts of each part of the body, knowing that we all come from God with a unique purpose. It is out of our gratitude for God's greatest gift, life, that we must pray and serve on its behalf.

13 January, 2008

Worry Warts...

I am so glad that there is no such thing as worry warts...there are worry lines...but those I can handle...

Why my sudden concern with with bumps of viral persuassion that are supposedly caused by worry? Well, maybe because I am a perpetual worrier.

Those who spend time with me may or may not realize this. I tend to be a very upbeat person, but the reality is that on the inside I am a bundle of anxiety. My upbeat nature isn't false, in fact it is my effort to change the world one crabby, anxious person at a time, but it doesn't always completely represent what is going on inside.

For example, last night, I was in a perfectly good mood. I was pleasant, jovial, and down-right pleasing to be with. And then I went to sleep. My inner being started to turn and worry and writhe. Literally I drempt about work all night...I was up every two hours...You see, we have this big survey going on at work right now that I am responsible for. So far we've had a great response so why I worry, I don't know. I just do and it affects me.

I often ask myself, knowing the internal turmoil, "Amberly, just how do you manage to get through the day without imploding???!!!" and my answer always comes back to, "Because you have faith."

Most of the time that answer from my soul isn't good enough because then I feel like I must have only a little faith if I am still anxious inside. Then there are those precious moments in life where I realize that yes, I am human. I am anxious and worried. But my faith in God's ultimate and loving plan is still there.

This from the woman who sat in the back of church pleading with God, "Your will Lord, not mine. Your will, not mine. Please, please make this work!!! Oh, and by the way, bring me peace..."

But that is what sets me apart from despair. I might not always get it right and I might not always get it complete, but I know where to turn. I know where to start. And God hasn't failed me yet. Each day I am given a new opportunity to offer my worries up to God. Each day a loving Father tries to teach me how to walk with Him and trust Him. And, I think I am learning. It is slow...probably the slowest I've ever learned something, but it is growing and God is patient.

I guess my point is, God doesn't let us get worry warts. He doesn't feel the need to give us ugly scars from our learning curve. He does however allow us to form gentle "worry lines", or as I prefer to call them "character lines". It is a reminder of His faithfulness as we try each day to bring Him more and more into our lives and offer Him our greatest hopes and our greatest fears.

And maybe someday my effort to change the world one person at a time with my upbeat attitude will do just that...it will change me.