I Love My Husband (Anyway)

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10 reasons I love him anyway:

  1. He insists that we watch a certain show or movie and then starts snoring immediately after it starts.
  2. He is helpless when faced with any baby creature and will force me to look at it.
  3. He tickles me in his sleep.
  4. He claims he hates our toy dog and then cuddles with her for hours and drives her everywhere with him in his truck.
  5. He sometimes comes sprinting into the house, grabs his gun, and runs back out without explanation.
  6. He thinks exercise and water are for “other” people.
  7. He considers it a given that I would remember details about every animal/person he ever talks about/introduces me to.
  8. He can carry on a conversation about chickens with no encouragement, response, or breathing sounds from me.
  9. He thinks he just said something mean to someone, and they think he just hugged them.
  10. He’s a better person than me in every way (and he doesn’t know it).

:K

“You can do no wrong, in my eyes.” – Thom Yorke

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Alice and Kev

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This is cool! Several years ago, someone used a video game to tell a story about homelessness.

Alice and Kev

If you have followed a link from another site straight to this page, you might want to visit the Introduction before you start reading, to learn what this is all about.

This is Kev and his daughter Alice. They’re living on a couple of park benches, surviving on free meals from work and school, and the occasional bucket of ice cream from a neighbour’s fridge.

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Abortion (Is Not a Women’s Health Issue)

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This started as a Facebook post. I was just going to share an article with a comment when I realized the comment had reached nonfiction status and signed into WordPress instead (you’re welcome, FBers). I’m about to talk about something near and dear to my heart, which means my voice is a little shaky and I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to make my point. But here goes nothin’.

This is the article I read:
http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/242001-hillary-hits-back-against-gop-abortion-bill

It’s a good picture of Hillary, and I have to be honest – I think she’s a pretty smart lady because even though she gets a little silly with Twitter and isn’t my political cup of tea (wink), she uses logic and compassion to make her decisions. OMG WHAT AM I TALKING ABOUT, said my family, church, and everyone in Alabama. Well, hang on to your beard and let me explain.

The article says that today, the House of Representatives passed a bill which bans all abortions after 20 weeks of gestation. In it, Clinton says this is bad because women and doctors are the best authority on women’s health, and random males in politics shouldn’t have control over what they do. I understand her point as an attempt at favoring small government as well as exhibiting human compassion. Don’t let the government in your uterus and don’t let men make baby decisions for women (who are a little more invested in the whole pregnancy thing). Sounds good to me. A bunch of men with law degrees shouldn’t get to decide how ovarian cysts are removed or how many children we’re required to have or what kind of diet or exercise women should follow. Right? The problem is, this bill isn’t about mammograms or prenatal vitamins. In my opinion, it’s not even about women’s health. It’s about humanity. It’s about abortion.

What gives me the idea it’s not about health? I know that the main pro-choice argument meant to appeal to Christians, cashiers, and other people with souls is that women should be allowed to protect themselves from the physical and psychological concerns of dangerous pregnancies and those resulting from rape. Well, it just so happens that statistics are not the same thing as stupid math and have a way of speaking the truth without all the drama. So here are some statistics about U.S. abortion from the Guttmacher Institute, Center for Disease Control, and the National Abortion Federation. These are not necessarily 2015 numbers, but from within the last 6 years:
– 88% of all abortions are performed for non-health reasons.
– 99% of all abortions are performed for reasons other than rape.
– 1.21 million abortions occur every year.

I don’t know how it feels to be pregnant at all, not to mention pregnant as a result of rape or pregnant in a situation which might kill or otherwise endanger me. So, according to the above-mentioned sources and leaving out all abortions performed because of health reasons, last year 1,064,800 fetuses were aborted because their existence might have interfered with their parents’ work, school, finances, or romantic relationships. 1,197,900 terminated pregnancies were the result of consensual sex. Let me point out that both these numbers make up the suffocating majority. It kinda makes me ask, “What about the abortions that aren’t about women’s health? (read: most abortions).

I think the answer is pretty obvious: People put an awfully low price tag on the value of other people. It’s not just America doing it; it’s the history of our world. For example, there was a time when it was okay to subjugate black people as slaves because they were less than human. No, really, they just didn’t feel emotions the same way white people did. They didn’t have the same reasoning skills, memories, or souls. Then suddenly something changed, and guess what, it wasn’t the status of black people’s human-ness; it was white people finally realizing they had been treating actual people worse than animals for a really long time. The consequences have been heartbreaking. Now we look in the history books and think, “Man, we used to be such jerks; how could we ever have treated people that way?” Many saw it was wrong all along, but it didn’t stop others, even Christians, from buying into lies and committing the mass degradation. Less than a century later, Hitler came along and convinced all of Germany that Jews were less than human. It became okay to strip that sect of people of their clothes and dignity, starve them, rape them, shoot them, gas them, dismember them, and mow them into ditches. Droves of people did this because it was their right; furthermore, it was for the good of all genetics. I hope you see where I’m going with this.

To bring this argument up-to-date, humane behavior should take priority with people first, animals last. Unfortunately, that’s just not always the case. We hear over and over, “If we loved our pets, we would get them all fixed. It’s inhumane to let them breed when there are so many pets in the world without a home.” Meanwhile, these same people go on to have their own biological children without a thought for all the thousands of orphan people in our country who will turn 18 with no concept of being loved and no one to visit on Thanksgiving, forever. Children are dehumanized left and right, and I believe abortion is just one example of it. But we just don’t like to see ourselves in that light. We’re all just a bunch of kind, law-abiding citizens. But what do slavery, the Holocaust, and abortion have in common? They were all legal, and most of its supporters did not actually witness it happening.

So now you’re definitely saying, “But fetuses aren’t humans!” I know. They’re not viable to live outside the uterus. They can’t feel or remember. However, the fact remains that fetuses which cannot survive outside the uterus depend on the humanity of adult women, who are the only people who can keep them alive. The women choosing whether to have abortions are human, aren’t they? That’s why they have little humans growing in them, not blobs of amoebas or monkeys or frogs. By the way, babies need us after they’re born for survival, too. Carefully extract a fetus, set it on the ground, and walk away – it’ll die soon. Do the same thing to a full-term baby, and he, too will die. I repeat, they completely depend on our humanity for survival. And I’m sure being born really hurt my head, and I was probably really excited when I took my first step, but I honestly don’t remember those events or feeling one way or another about them. In fact, in my very first memory, I was looking under a barn for a puppy, and I was three years old. Everything before that? Pfft. I might as well not have existed. Should it have been legal to terminate me before then if my parents decided my existence interfered with their finances? Maybe that’s taking it a little far. I was an innocent baby, after all.

By the way, what the heck is a baby? There are many who are really offended that it’s now illegal to abort fetuses after 20 weeks, but I looked up pictures of 20-week old fetuses, and buddy, they sure do remind me of babies. What’s more, most people announce they are pregnant around 12 weeks, and you would never know a fetus was involved. All they can talk about is the baby. Why, when unwanted, is it suddenly scientifically not a baby at all and therefore okay to terminate? And why can’t we say we’re killing it? We’re okay with saying that we kill bugs and weeds and other living things that aren’t really humans, so why can’t we admit we’re actually killing these baby-looking fetuses? It’s not that complicated. It’s sad enough to squash a duck egg that has been fertilized, or perform an abortion on a mother dog because the owners were scared for her or didn’t want to deal with finding homes. It doesn’t really matter how long they had been developing; they were ducklings and puppies, and yeah, they were killed. But they were just animals. What about us? When is it not sad to kill us? When our political leaders say it’s okay? When it empowers women? When we’re really passionate about it?

I am a Jesus freak, so you already knew where I stood on this. And I’m not a political genius. I didn’t even know what GOP stood for until I Googled it just now. I think most people should be allowed to conceal and carry a gun, so you can immediately decide I’m ignorant based on that if you like to make uninformed decisions about people (read: if you like to be ignorant). But respecting human life is not specific to one political party, gender, or religion. Especially for people, the safest place in the world should be in a woman’s uterus. There’s a life in there, a soul with a purpose. It doesn’t matter how scared the father is or how devastated the mother is; that hidden life in her is that of another human. It’s not about politics. It’s about being a person. It’s that simple.

:K

Goodbye, College (and other reasons to cry)

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I keep waiting for the pinnacle – for the one dramatic moment when I feel it. When I realize I’ve bought my cap and gown, turned in my senior Capstone project, held my last club meeting as president of anything and saw the new officers elected. I want to hug the town, the whole school, the campus, the sidewalks themselves and tell them how much they mean to me, how much they grew me up and spread me out. I need to say good bye and thanks and how I don’t want to leave it, even though every second I spent there was in systematic preparation to do that very thing.

I can say with quiet triumph and some surprise that no matter the trials and fatigue and staggering change I felt from the ages of 18 to 22, I cherish every second of it. The roommates, the hot dates, the registrar declarations, the escapades with friends, the long hours in the library, the job switches and commitments, the let-downs, the victories, and everything in between… My God, it’s been a ride, and I can’t believe it happened to me. And even now, before it’s really over, I can’t believe this part of my life is done. That same pool of dread I got in my stomach following my first summer romance, that same grating thought enters my mind again: “How will I ever top this?” Will it ever again be such an adventure? Will I ever feel something like the warm rays of opportunity and promise as I have basked in these last 4 years?

If high school is where I found out who I was, college is where I found out what all that could mean for me. It made me breathless with freedom and exhausted me to tears. It wrapped a waitress’ apron around my waist and stuffed impossible bills in my pockets. It pushed me into quasi-adulthood and added thousands of late-night miles to my Jeep’s engine. It walked me down the aisle to my awesome husband and flew me across the Atlantic to study in Africa. It saw me fulfill secret dreams and create wild new ones. And somehow, along the way, it tricked me into an awesome future career in a field that I actually like.

This time, I don’t really have a note to end on. I think all this goodness means I’m just getting started, that God was just warming up… But what do I know about the future? What do I know about this thing I’ve been working my butt off for? All I know is change is coming, and change is the heartbreaking beauty of life.

:K

“Sidewalks, running away from the streets we knew. Sidewalks, like the times we thought were made for you.” – Story of the Year

I Wish I Had a Pony

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Tonight on my way home from Step Sing practice, the clock struck 11:11. After the usual mental scramble, it suddenly occurred to me that I had nothing left to wish for. By that, I mean I seriously have everything I want. I’m about to graduate college in a few months, I’ve done what I could getting ready for my career, and I’m as involved as I want to be at school. I have a good house and a cute dog and an even cuter husband. I have hobbies and friends and family and clear direction. If I jumped off a cliff right now, I would land on a sea of happy, woolen sheep and body surf across them into chocolate pudding. It’s like I emerged from some kind of dark, discontented rut, got to the top of the mountain, and this is the part where I get to watch the sun rise.

And then what, you ask?

Oh, I know exactly where I am, and not just because I’m a Geography major; I’ve been here before. This is where I start to really screw things up. On my way down the mountain, I’ll reflect on how well things have been going and stop thanking God and asking him for help. About halfway down, I’ll start to feel guilty about that; so I’ll become proud and hard-headed with a dash of self-righteousness. What do they say pride comes before? Stumble-stumble-bounce-splat? That will be my obnoxious entrance into the next valley, just when a graceful step down might have really helped me make it out of the rough times without too much damage.

Because hard times are coming, right? Plans don’t just get carried out and dreams don’t just fulfill themselves and fears don’t just become dispelled unless something super-awful is about to happen, yes? Isn’t it normal for suspicion to bubble up inside of you at the mountain peaks, to remember Newton’s Law of Gravity, to feel yourself start to tip forward, waiting for what went up to come back down? Something deep inside of me knows I don’t deserve such ease of life, makes me uncomfortable and jealous of this version of myself who cannot be touched, because this is not the perpetual me.

Or maybe I’m delusional for thinking things are so good right now, anyway. Come to think of it, some pretty lame things have been happening, too. I concocted an elaborate business deal over about six months and did everything in my power to make it happen last week, but still the whole thing just went up in flames. And then my schedule got crazy just at the same time my husband started having to work every Saturday and Sunday, taking away most of our time together. Todd was asleep when I got home tonight, for example, and I never even laid eyes on him today. It will be the same tomorrow. Then this weekend at a restaurant, someone stole my purse. Besides my adorable purse and wallet, I lost about $150 cash, check book, debit card, credit card, driver’s license, student ID, etc. That loss was also gravely disappointing, but it’s been more inconvenient than discouraging. And next week, the stars will misalign again and target my hormones, or my Jeep, or my sandwich, or whatever the devil deems likely to ruin my day. So, maybe I am in the midst of trials right now and God just keeps showing me the sunrise.

You know what, I don’t really need to know why it’s happening. If 11:11 wants to trick me into thinking I have nothing left to wish for, I’ll take it every time.

Who’s that casting devious stares in my direction? Mama, this surely is a dream. – Marcy Playground

:K

The Post That Makes You Think I’m Weird(er)

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When I was a kid, it seemed like whatever tan, wrinkled man happened to be on stage at whatever Baptist service I was attending was inevitably going to say some variation of, “I look back on who I was before I knew Jesus, at the shameful things I once did without feeling shame, and I know that the change I went through was none other than a miracle of God Himself. If you can’t look back and see that same change, that you are truly a new creature in Christ, then you might need to ask yourself, ‘Do I need Jesus?'”

I was a proud little girl with natural highlights wearing a white dress with pink flowers on it. The grumpy Nazi who sat in front of me thought I was just a giggling miscreant who only used church to pass notes to other giggling blonde girls and make fun of Songs of Solomon. He was pretty much right, but what Joe Nazi didn’t know was that I always, always heard that changed and looking back bridge into the point the preacher was about to make. That it always ended with me asking Jesus, “Do I need Jesus, then?” That if he paid attention, I cried tears of gratitude during our simple, country church worship almost every Sunday. He didn’t know that when I went to bed that night, I was going to pray with desperation and utter faith that God would not let any spiders crawl on me or anyone in my family while we were sleeping. Also, no robbers.

I was 10 years old, I was mischievous, and I was impatient, but I had always known Jesus. I had no “wild oats” phase to look back on to compare my life to. So all through growing up, whenever I heard that familiar hook, I got a little insecure. “Why didn’t I get that time to look back on, Jesus? Is it going to happen later?” I hadn’t done it right, I hadn’t had enough time, I had always known him. Even at 22, a childish remnant sometimes wonders during church when I’ll start to rebel and come back the prodigal daughter. But I think it’s not going to happen. I think he decided to do a little experiment and let a girl just know him her whole life, to let her never remember a time when she was alone or unloved, despite how she sometimes felt. To watch her grow up and slowly, year by year, pour a little more faith into her, beyond spiders, beyond loneliness, beyond car crashes, beyond water and fire and evil itself. He knew I would be the kind of person who makes friends slowly, so he took a head start. I never got to change from my wicked Kindergartner ways, but he’s changing me anyway.

And more than anything, I need Jesus.

:K

Patriot

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You might feel I’m a taker
It’s just my center of gravity
My ego has its own moons
But don’t worry, I’m fine

Money’s not green, it’s mine
Yet I’m starting to get bored
Think I’ll run a credit score
And pretend there’s even more

It’s not my problem, it’s the bank’s
And my grandkids will give thanks
That my own kids had no clue
It’s in the genes, it’s what we do

They’ve been doing it for centuries
Those who don’t work will somehow eat
They say nothing comes for free
Oh silly drones, it’s free for me

I can’t help that my car’s newer
Blamed the boss so I could sue her
For my accident at work
I’m creative, not a jerk

I don’t know God, but I’m religious
A kind of Starbucks superstitious
Sustaining love is so fictitious
I’m not pretentious, just ambitious

And I’ll keep lying to myself
I don’t need truth, I don’t need help
I’m not so desperately alone
Not just a man, not skin and bones

In just 10 years, I won’t be wrong
It was someone else’s fault all along
But just this moment I’ll admit it
I lost my heart back when I hid it

The globe owes me something
That is to say, everything
I’m not a self-entitled drama queen
I’m just America.

:K