Thursday, February 25, 2016

My Child is Dying...

   

     I'm not going to say I wasn't concerned, after all, at almost forty-four years old, and with blood that wants to kill me, I have reason to be apprehensive. But, my heart was encouraged, there was a baby growing in my womb and I was seeing his beautiful heart beating on the sonographers screen. At first, I could not look. It was only one year ago, I stared at that same screen and saw my sweet angel, curled up in the safety of his mothers body, having been called home to the Lord before His birth. I saw the motionless center of his chest where his heartbeat should have been. I know the pain of loss, four children gone to the Lord before I had a chance to see their faces. And here I lay, again. The sonographer was gracious. He allowed me to look away this time, and once he saw that little heart beating, he asked me to turn my head and see. There it was. My heart wanted to rejoice, but my mind gripped it's release. This baby, although alive, had a low heart rate and was eight days smaller than expected. The doctor assured me that there was hope, that many babies do this and to not let my mama's heart grow weary.
    The next appointment was set for two weeks later, when another sonogram would be performed, and we would know definitively if our baby was going to be OK. It was a frightening time. My hormones were all over the map, and I had to apologize, more times than I care to mention, for my not controlling my emotions. My abdomen was bloated, giving the appearance of a pregnancy I was not ready to share with the world.  I was keenly aware of just how much I am at the mercy of God. My dependence upon my Lord deepened as I walked this lonely road of uncertainty. 
    A week later, I noticed a change. Something was not right. I hesitated to call my doctor, as not to be seen as "that" lady, calling again. But, I knew with my bleeding/clotting disorder, it was important to report any problems. The doctor agreed and asked me to come in right away. There, I lay, yet again. This time I looked. I wanted to see for myself what my heart somehow knew. The sonographer remained eerily silent, as he tried feverishly to record a measurable heart beat. But this baby's heart was skipping beats, so much so, that it could no longer be quantified. The baby had only grown two days out of the eight it had been since my last sonogram - my baby was dying.
    "He is fighting for his life", my doctor said. A fight he cannot win. And I am faced with the fact that I am losing my fifth child before he breathes his first breath. I left the doctors office, broken. I am carrying a child who is struggling to live and enduring a pregnancy that will result in a deceased child, through no fault of my own. Multiple times a day I check to see if he has lost his fight, if he has gone home to the Lord. Nothing yet, though it is only a matter of time. I grieve the fact I will never physically hold this precious one, though in my mind I have held him so many times. I have smelled his sweet baby smell, heard his gentle infant cry, and enjoyed many years in a moment with him.  I am comforted in knowing that this child will only ever know a perfect parent, our Lord Jesus. He will only know joy, and He will spend His whole life at the feet of His Creator. I labor in prayer that the Lord will spare his life, but in the end, I will rise and eat as David did (2 Samuel 12:16-23). 
We do not grieve as the world grieves, Saints. We grieve as those who have hope. Hope of an eternity spent in worship to the One who is the Giver of life. My sadness is only for a time, but my joy will come in the morning (Psalm 30:5b), when I see His face and sing aloud "Holy, Holy, Holy" with my precious children by my side. As the Lord leads you, please pray for me, for this mama's heart, as I wait for the moment I usher this child into the bosom of our King. There are risks to my health and the next few weeks remain uncertain, still.  I will have to endure much monitoring, twice daily injections of a massive dose of blood thinner to keep me alive, and many trips to the doctor to check for signs of clotting. Though the end is near for this dear angel, the fight has just begun for me. I am comforted by your notes of encouragement, your prayers for healing, and your offers to serve. The Lord is merciful to me. I give thanks to the Lord for my family, friends and readers who have/will offer their support. Life truly is but a vapor (James 4:14). Let us redeem the time, while it is ours to redeem (Ephesians 5:16)….

"Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep…" Romans 12:15


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Death By Sugar - How My Sugar Addiction Almost Killed Me



 I am a forty-three year old, homeschooling, mother of eight. I run everyday (Not Gazelle-like running, think more, wounded turtle). I eat right, take tons of vitamins, and get a decent amount of sleep, considering. Though I do have the metabolism of a woman in her forties, I have managed to maintain an acceptable weight. All that to say, overall, I live a pretty healthy lifestyle – except for that one little, tiny, barely worth mentioning thing – I am addicted to sugar. 
 I add sugar to everything, and not just a scant amount, but mountains of it. Four tablespoons in my 20oz cup of hot tea, in my coffee, or any beverage not already loaded with it. As a clearly health-conscious gal, I would eat trail mix for a snack (hello, nuts are heal-thy) grabbing a handful of trail mix, then dumping another handful of M&M’s on top. I added sugar to pizza crust, dinner rolls, corn pudding, and always poured myself a saucer full of syrup for dipping pancakes. I was constantly snacking on dark-chocolate covered cranberries, cranberries ARE fruit, you know. No meal went without sugar, nor ended with out dessert. 
I’d always heard that sugar was bad for me, but justified it because of all the other healthy things I did. I even used the organic raw sugar from the Costco, so seriously, I was doing it right.
Then, I got the insane notion that running a marathon would be a good idea. I started training. I was running more miles than any reasonable person should. As my body became marathon ready, I began having digestion issues.
 First it began with blood in the bowl after a bowel movement (sorry, should have warned you, more TMI to follow). That is enough to freak anyone out, and I’m no exception. I made an appointment with my doc soon after. She did some sort of test, that more than violated my personal space, and told me that there was no blood in my actual stool, but if it kept happening, to come see her again. She knew I was a runner and told me adding high-mileage can send your digestive system into a tailspin.
 I continued to monitor it, as it happened a little more than a handful of times. So I wrote the issue off as my body no longer wanting to digest certain foods. But then, I developed a sharp pain in my mid abdomen. It was infrequent, but there. It nagged me, until finally, I called a gastroenterologist and scheduled an appointment.
I wasn’t nervous going in, as I believed I would be told it was because of my intense running, and that after the marathon, things would settle down. But the doctor advised me to get a colonoscopy (yes, one of THOSE), just to be sure. Two weeks later, I’m drinking the colonoscopy Kool-aid that is designed to clean your innards (incidentally, it tastes and smells like lemon-scented dish washing soap), followed by the colonoscopy the next day (I had an endoscopy too, just to make sure they saw everything).
After the procedure, the doctor informed me, among other things, that he had removed a small polyp and they were sending it off for biopsy. I was like….

A week later the results were in, it was a pre-cancerous polyp growing inside my colon. Pre-cancerous polyps are slow growing and usually take roughly seven years to turn into full blown cancer, but there is no way to know how long it had been there and how close it was to developing into cancer. 
So let’s recap, at forty-three, I develop a pre-cancerous polyp. I would likely never have gone for a colonoscopy before the age of fifty, so this means they would have found cancer had I not went when I did (score one for the providence of God!). While these polyps are fairly common, it wasn’t common for me. This news literally knocked the wind out of me. Every scenario of my death ran through my head at a hundred miles an hour. It was sobering, to say the least.
I did some research, and found that sugar is the number one food that grows cancer. THE NUMBER ONE thing that causes cancer to grow and develop in our bodies, is sugar, and I was pouring it into my body at an alarming rate. I had to make a change, but how?... I came across a cookbook on Amazon, Trim Healthy Mama. I'd heard of them before, even had coffee with them once, lovely ladies (OK, we were at the same conference and they asked me where the coffee shop was located, but still). I knew they helped build a healthier lifestyle, but most importantly, I knew they were sugar free people. I bought the cookbook and gave it a whirl (I am not a paid endorser for them, but should you want to try it, click here.).
Giving up sugar proved to be a harder than I anticipated. I had a constant headache for four weeks, nothing I ate tasted the same, and using Stevia was about as good as, well nothing, it was awful. But I persevered. 
Me, handling it well...
 After eight weeks with no sugar (and no running, I pulled a hamstring and was not able to run during this time), I decided to see what the damage was and get on the scale. Prior to the colonoscopy, and in marathon training, I weighed 133lbs (I’m 5’6”), a number with which I was totally OK. I stepped on the scale, it read ONE HUNDRED and TWENTY POUNDS (sorry for yelling, but seriously!...). Eight weeks without sugar, no running, and I was down thirteen pounds!!! What was this stuff doing to me, what was I doing to me?!
Sorry for the stinky sock feet...
Well, the proof was in the pudding (organic, Stevia pudding, tho..). I was killing myself with sugar. The outside of my cup was clean, but the inside was screaming “MAY DAY, MAY DAY!!”. It was a slow process, but it was happening.
As I look back, I can clearly see the Lords providence through it all. His hand gently guiding me and putting me right where he wanted me to be, and experiencing just wanted he wanted me to experience. The reality is, even at 123lbs, I still don’t have the perfect body. My stomach looks like a severely malnourished Shar Pei. My varicose-veins covered legs look like a road map of the state of Texas, and gravity has not been a friend to me. Losing weight, whether it be giving up sugar or following a diet plan, won’t change your bodies history. As mamas, we have the marks of motherhood written all over us. Some of us bear scares of life before motherhood – or before salvation. But these bodies are part of who we are and less weight doesn’t change that. Though eating right and exercise will not add a single day to your life, these behaviors will definitely enhance the days you have left. In the end, no one really cares what size jeans we wear, but they do care about the content of our character. So, let's purpose to number our days, be good stewards of what the Lord has entrusted us with (namely our bodies), and set a godly example for our arrows. 

"So, teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" Psalm 90:12

xo,

shauna


Monday, June 22, 2015

Twenty-Five Years to Life


This weekend is my twenty-five year high school reunion. Sounds exciting, right? I mean who doesn't want to travel for four hours to spend another four hours making small talk with people I haven't seen in a quarter century? Well, I am going. And I am looking forward to it, especially since I was almost prevented from attending, with the recent barrage of medical conditions I've developed. 
First, and without warning, I noticed a malady just after my fortieth birthday three years prior. There seemed to be, what appeared to me like bird-type foot impressions on the outside corners of BOTH of my eyes. I don't remember having direct contact with any of our local fowl, though our yard occasionally attracts several crows. Next, I noticed that the top of my hair follicles down to the end of several select hairs began to develop a silver like hue. Now, I am a fairly health conscience person, and I'm certain to have noticed any silver content to anything I've ingested, so where this is coming from I've yet to determine. And I'm told without careful treatment from our local cosmetologist, these rogue hairs could take over my entire head! This treatment is only a temporary fix, however, and must be repeated every eight to twelve weeks to be effective. Then there is my gravity-intolerance. The skin, from my face all the way down to my knees, with special emphasis to my upper torso, has had an inordinate amount of gravitational pull which has caused the skin in the affected areas to sag excessively. I've even had to purchase special clothing that helps restore things to their prior position on my body, though this is only a temporary fix as well. I was also concerned that I had developed a mild case of narcolepsy. Though most people with young children develop this disorder and can fall asleep randomly (which is the case with me, for the most part), I've recognized a pattern, that I am want to fall asleep most days mid-afternoon and again, like clock-work at 9:00p.m.. This is a daily struggle, but you can see the concern, being that the reunion doesn't start until the latterly hour of 7:00P.M.
The most shocking affliction is the swelling of my entire body, the greatest concentration being at my hips, thighs and stomach. I noticed it after giving birth to my fifth child, but became fully aware of it when I went to purchase some new clothing and was unable to buy my normal size due to this unbounded distention. I'm told that many women my age have this condition, yet mine seems to be a more extreme case, to be sure.
My husband has hailed me a saint for pushing through and deciding to attend the reunion anyway, in spite of the numerous calamities plaguing me. Assuring me that many woman my age suffer these same infirmities - some even more so, if that's possible. And that I will likely find comfort and like-minds among the other women attending. I am grateful for his encouragement, he has been my rock through this entire ordeal, well, as of late, more like a giant fluffy pillow…
So here's to you, Nathan Hale class of 1990, may we all rest in peace together.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Should We Kill the Children?



Hello Again, my Pro-Choice friends,
It's been a while since I've been able to write to you. However, I have wanted to write many times, in response to many things you say and do, but due to the headaches I endure as a result of banging my head against a wall after hearing the deflated reasoning for your stance on the life issue, I was prevented from doing so.. Having said that, I have managed to gather enough strength, and am hoping to confer with you about a recent text I received. Here's a quote:
"Signed up to help out at a "pro-life" bake sale this weekend. I'll be selling cups of uncooked batter & insisting they're actually cupcakes"
This quote, which was posted on a liberal Pro-Choicers Facebook page, is troubling to me, so I'm wondering if you, my Pro-Choice friend, could help me gain clarity on a couple of issues. First, while this Pro-Choicer is speaking directly about cupcakes, I am able to understand the inference to that of an unborn baby in the womb not being human because of it's current stage of development. As a mother of eight children, I find this idea particularly intriguing. My question to you would be, at what point are they considered human? Because, quite frankly, I'm having a lot of trouble with a certain one of my children, and if we are basing their humanity on viability, then I think it might be time for this particular child to meet his demise. You, see, this child has quite a few behavioral issues. He is unable to contribute in any way to the proper functioning of our family. In fact, many times, he hinders it. His delayed development causes him to be unable to communicate properly with others. And don't even get me started on his sensory issues! Unfortunately for us, we were unable to know he would be this much trouble during his early development, but now, that his issues are clear, we're not certain if he will ever be able to function as a normal adult, so ending his life now seems like the best thing for him and more importantly for me.  And while we are at it, most of my younger children, who have yet to be able to self care, should probably be put to death as well. They too, are unable to contribute anything helpful. These young ones require me to feed them, bath them, dress them, even carry them from place to place. I have to constantly watch them and make sure they are safe because they are unable to do this for themselves. Oh, and my aging parents will be moving in with me soon, perhaps since, in the coming years, they will no longer be able-bodied, contributing members of society, I should end there lives as well? Yes, if I am able to carry your Pro-Choice ideology to it's logical conclusion, all this should be perfectly admissible.
Secondly, I'm having trouble with something that my conscience just can't seem to reconcile. Recently, I suffered a miscarriage, it was my fourth one. Since my body still believed it was pregnant, it was necessary that I have a D & C to remove the remains. What I cannot understand is, why all of the hospital staff, including doctors, nurses, right on down to the receptionist, referred to our "cupcake batter" as a baby. Not one person referred to the contents of my womb as a blob of undeveloped tissue. What's more, each one took the time to personally express their sympathy for our loss! And as if that weren't enough, the surgeon informed me that after the procedure, they would take the tiny remains of our unviable tissue and spread it's ashes in a small cemetery just outside the hospitals chapel. Why in the world would anyone, especially in the medical profession, who certainly have studied the issue and experienced this type of procedure before, refer to my unfortunate circumstance as a loss of a life? And why, for the love of Pete, would they offer to lay this blob of nothingness to rest? And though this pregnancy was only eight weeks in length, they each seemed to be convinced that this was not just some random procedure to remove an unwanted appendage, but that it was in fact a life that met an untimely end. Now, I will grant you that these were professional people, who worked in an actual hospital and not some fly by night strip mall surgery center, who understood and affirmed the Hippocratic Oath, but still. 
The truth is, both of us know the truth connected to each of these questions. Some of us know them, understand them to be truth given by God, and submit ourselves to them. While others of us, namely you, my cupcake batter, Pro-Choice friends, also understand these truths to actually be true, yet for your own selfish, self-centered, and self-absorbed reasons, suppress these truths to allow you to continue in your unrighteous behavior. While you can deny this, the results of your conduct and choices prove this to be so. Yet once again, I will offer you hope. If in fact, the Lord allows your heart to be moved, I offer you the hope found only in the giver of life, Jesus Christ. In Him you will find forgiveness for your unrighteousness, and your darkened heart will be made light. He alone can change your wicked choices and set you free from the evil that holds you captive. But you must confess the sin that grips you, and turn to the One that can only truly save you. There are two roads, the wide road that leads to destruction or the narrow road that leads to life eternal, choose wisely.

 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Our vacation, in the Hospital...


After hammering away at school work all summer, our family takes the month of October off from home schooling. The weather is beautiful, the festivals are a plenty and the lines to everywhere are practically nonexistent. We visited many places, learned many things, and enjoyed our break from routine. As our final week of vacation approached, my husband called me while I was out running errands on a Saturday, to tell me that our five year old had a low grade fever. We were out the night before at a local theatre watching a play, and though I didn't actually observe him licking the seat in front of him, I was sure he must have picked up some sort of germ.
I advised my husband to put some Thieves on the bottom of his feet and I'd be home shortly. The deep sigh on the other end of the phone was an indication that he'd already given him some Tylenol. I am a "sweat it out" sort of mama. I believe God designed the body to heal itself and a fever is one way it indicates to us that it is doing just that! Don't freak out, I'm not above giving traditional medicine, I just don't think I have to do it every time my kid is uncomfortable. Once I arrived home, I saw my son tired and lethargic, but no fever. We decided to keep him home from church the next day, as to not violate the unspoken, yet very much in force, rule of not going anywhere people are, until fever free for twenty-four hours,  and you're about to find out why in 3…2..
Sunday morning came and our son awoke with a fever of 101.5 and climbing. By supper it was up to 103, I continued to sweat it out and tried feverishly (pun intended…) to get him to drink - a lot. I stayed with him throughout the restless night, putting ice packs and cold compresses on his forehead. By Monday, the fever was creeping up to 103.6, so I decided to take him to an urgent care facility. With a house full of kiddos, if this was the flu or strep throat, I needed to know. The clinics flu and strep tests were negative, but the doctor advised that the fever was likely viral and she wanted to give him an antibiotic. I gently inquired, why? She told me that he MIGHT develop some sort of infection from the virus and this would help with that. So, he doesn't currently have anything the antibiotic would treat, but there is a possibility he might, so take this medicine? Isn't there an equally same chance that he would get nothing and the antibiotic would serve only to build my sons immunity to the antibiotic?…I left with instructions to rotate Motrin and Tylenol and keep him drinking - with no antibiotic…
As Tuesday approached, and fever was climbing to 104.8, even with using tylenol, I made an appointment with his pediatrician. Despite my best efforts, his fever was climbing, he was lethargic and visibly dehydrated. His doctor sent us directly across the street to the hospital. He also took this opportunity to not chide me for not allowing him to give any of my children a flu shot - but humbly conceded that this was likely not the flu and the shot would not have made any difference anyway.
 I skipped lunch that day (not unusual for me, since it requires sitting down, something I rarely do during the day), and thought perhaps the hospital trip would be a quick one, (stop laughing) and I'd eat on the way home. As we walked into the ER, we were asked repeatedly if my son had traveled to Africa within the last three weeks, my response was always no. Was he around anyone who had travelled to Africa? - no, but I had not bothered to ask everyone, everywhere we went if they'd been in an Ebola ridden country in the last twenty-one days. I applaud the hospital for their diligence, but fail them in their communication skills (read the paper you made me sign answering these same questions, or ask the guy at the desk, or that other nurse, or the doctor, talk to each other people…). Once in the back, a popsicle was promised to a brave little boy after the nurse started his iv and drew several vials of blood.

The room was freezing - FAH-REE-ZING - we're talking hang meat, north pole, shivering ice cubes freezing, and only provided a sheet to cover the bed, I wrapped my boy with my jacket. I was later told no blanket was provided due to my sons high temperature. The  lights in the rooms, however, were inordinately bright, not to mention florescent. I realize now is not the time to be vain, but seriously, everyone looks sickly under florescent lighting.  In addition to my no lunch, in my haste I also neglected to grab a phone charger. I enjoy my phone, but I'm not tied to it, if I don't have it for a day or two, it's not the end of the world. But when your son is seriously ill, and the network of Bible believing Christians (is there another kind?..) is fairly large, your phone is sort of a necessity. I used what remained of my phone battery to text and post updates to Facebook for all the Saints who were petitioning the Lord on our behalf. But very soon after, it's battery died, as did all my communication to the outside world. But calm remained, because I knew, so many people were praying, what a comfort this was!
 About 10:00pm my sons pediatrician showed up only to say, my sons electrolytes and sodium were very low and he was going to need to be on fluids all night long, in order to help restore his health and rid his body of the virus that was attacking it. Translation, you're staying here at least one night, maybe more. I lay on the bed, next to my son, as the male orderly whisked us upstairs to the pediatric floor, while he awkwardly explained how, although he and his wife were newlyweds, they did not like to cuddle. Upon arrival in the whimsically decorated, and to my delight, equipped with two blankets room, the orderly went straight to the television to turn it on for my son - umm, Dude, it's eleven o'clock at night, and he's five. After settling in, the nurse returns and places a large shelving of gloves and masks over the door of my sons room. Upon inquiry I was informed that, since the "virus" my son had was unknown, even after several vials of blood were drawn, he was being placed in isolation. No one could enter the room without protective gear, mask, gloves, clothes covering, and if my son left, he had to wear a mask. I however was allowed to go in and out of the room as I pleased wearing no protective gear at all - genius.
My son, now puffy with fluid, slept in between the poking and prodding that were continuous throughout the night. As I prepared to sleep on the woefully inadequate sofa that lay next to my sons hospital bed, he insisted that I must sleep right next to him, and since I knew I wasn't going to sleep anyway, I happily obliged. I lay there next to my precious boy, looking at the tubes, hearing the beeping of the machines monitoring his little life, I prayed a grateful prayer for this gentle soul. He is my son, my smile. I was grateful for all of the life he had given me with this child and I humbly asked that the Lord would give me decades more time with him, if that be His will.
As morning advanced, and my sons fever broke, I breathed a sigh of relief and another prayer of gratitude for this cherished life. The doctor came with good news, his levels were rising and it was safe to take him home once again (not before both my son and I ate a breakfast of waffles, scrambled eggs, and bacon, that the nurse insisted was free - isn't she cute..). 
As my feeble son and I emerged in the morning sunlight, feeling it's warmth on our frost bitten bodies, we smiled. This hospital stay was not in my plan for our vacation. What a way the Lord has of slowing us down and bringing us back to the things which matter most. We are indebted to those of you who spent so much time praying, rallying, supporting, texting, calling, emailing. My heart overflows to know, that at a moments notice, hundreds of you would stop what you were doing and pray for my son. We believe the Lord not only ordains the end, but He ordains the means as well. Thank you for participating in the healing of my son, to God be the glory…
xo,
shauna
On way to hospital

Sleeping "Comfortably"

A spaghetti stained face, when he was two, because seriously how cute is he...

Monday, September 8, 2014

No Christ, No Service, Please!


We are a Christian, pro-life family. We believe that life begins at conception, and we seek to help those who are intent on ending life in the womb, due to their unfortunate circumstances. We spend our spare time, educating others regarding pro-life issues and ministering to women seeking to end the life of their baby, through abortion. But more importantly than that, we believe the Biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ is what saves lives, and souls. When our family ministers at abortion clinics, our primary objection isn't to save the life of the baby, though we work towards this end, our primary objection is to share Christ. We want babies to be saved, but we believe, if the mother's heart is pierced with the Gospel and the Lord saves her, her baby will be saved too. Our mission is not to save babies, it is to preach the Gospel, that is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16).
 On a recent visit to a local clinic, we were met with a great need for the Gospel. I was there, with four of my children (hubby was at home, executing emergency home repairs), and a sidewalk full Catholic pro-lifers. These were the regular assemblage, about ten to twelve individuals, who routinely kneel and recite prayers, sing hymns of veneration to Mary, and read their missalette, on the side of the clinic building. There are some who come, and sprinkle water around, that they have deemed Holy. Some come carrying large crosses, with Jesus suspended from the top, to pray, a hand full of beads, in tow. Though these Catholics are faithful servants, I have never seen, nor heard, them share Truth. In fact, they have little to no contact with anyone going in, or out, at all, except to give them a pamphlet, offering help and services for the baby.  They are pleasant, though their faces are empty, as they drone out, their regurgitated prayers, to the bricks. I normally spend most of my time at the clinics calling out to the women going in, beckoning them to come out, to repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, offering help for them and their pre-born baby. I often plead with the abortionist and the clinic employees, to repent for the evil they are perpetrating.
  But this particular day, my heart was especially burdened for these Catholic emissaries. I was over-wrought with the thought, of these poor lost souls, believing they are saved, and knowing, that because they have believed a different gospel (Galatians 1:8), they will hear "Depart from Me, I never knew you.." (Matthew 7:21-23). My heart began to grieve for them, and I knew, I could no longer stand by and let them perish without warning. I called for reinforcements, and was glad when they arrived. We approached our Catholic friends, out of love and concern for their souls. We give the Gospel indiscriminately, it is for all those who are perishing, even, and especially, to those who claim to believe. To say that they were resistant, to the Truths of the Bible, we were sharing, is being generous. They were venomous in their retorts. They railed against us, telling us to leave and go away. Their once cheerful countenance turned to anger, even rage, at our audacity to plead with them to repent. We shared Scripture, asked them questions and were met with dismissal. I could almost tangibly see the scales over their eyes, as they stiffened their necks to the Truth of Christ. Most troubling was their willingness to serve, not only next to me, but with me. They were happy to see me, initially, and thanked me for being there. But why? Didn't they care about me, my soul? If they believe, according to their own documents, that I, as a protestant am anathema - read, damned to hell (Canon IX, Council of Trent, Sixth Session [1547], Decree Concerning Justification), then why aren't they pleading with me to repent and believe their Gospel? The reality is, they are not there for the souls of others, they are there for their own. The work they do, has absolutely nothing to do with the Gospel. They need works to free them or their loved ones from purgatory, to complete the unfinished work of Christ, and this is one, of the many means, in which, they've deemed, accomplishes this end. They claim they are on mission from God, however, according to The Bible, the only mission, given to those who believe, is to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). If they, or anyone who professes to believe, seek to help those in the world, who are perishing, and we fail to give them the Gospel, the only thing that will truly serve them, then it is a mere humanitarian endeavor, not a mission. It serves no one. But here is the real, hard truth -  I would rather these and other Catholics, say nothing. I would rather they not speak up. Their Gospel is false and it will send those who are deceived by it to hell. And though I long to see all babies, set for slaughter, to be saved, I do not wish to see it, if it compromises the Gospel- it's that important. Fellow servants, our aim and our end must be to preach Christ and Him crucified. Though a baby be saved, he is no better off without the Gospel. It is the Gospel that saves! If you believe, do not neglect the Gospel. There is no power behind your service with out it. We can not, pragmatically, link arms with those who oppose the Biblical Gospel. We must make our objective Biblical. It must be to proclaim Christ. To give others anything less, though it may meet their temporal needs, is to fail them. Give them encouragement, give them services, but give them Christ!
Romans 10:14-15
xo,
shauna

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fine, Don't Home School.



I've decided that I won't apologize. I won't apologize for being a Christian who home schools and for encouraging other Christians to do the same. I will also not stand here and be called a legalist for showing other Christians what the Word of God says about educating our children and expecting them to follow it. It's not unloving to tell you the truth, in fact, it's the epitome of loving you. I will not apologize for loving you enough to risk losing your friendship/readership/listenership(?), for the sake of Truth. Christian home schooling parents are eviscerated whenever they  call other Christians to stand by the Word of God and to raise up their children, the way Scripture so clearly commands. We take hit after hit from professing-Christian, pro-government school, advocates who defend abrogating their responsibilities by claiming their kids are being "salt and light". Just as I will continue to stand and fight for life, and for the souls of those who are perishing, I will also fight for the Word of God to not be trifled or contorted to suit others selfish desires.


The truth is, as Christian parents, we are called by Scripture to teach our children, WE are called; Not teachers, not tutors, WE. We are called to teach them character, life skills and to walk in the fear and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). We are to do this all day, everyday, until they leave our home, and are joined in marriage to another (Deut 6:7, Prov 22:6, Matthew 19:5). If you send your kid to anyone else, to do this for you, you simply cannot make a Biblical case for doing so. Are their different seasons of life and circumstances that affect this, sure, that's simply a result of the fall. There is no excuse for not doing what we know to be right, whatever the cost is to our personal comfort (Matthew 16:24). God has given us this very precious blessing, an awesome responsibility, and we to dare delegate it to people who care for our children no where near as much as we do? Many justify their choices for several reasons, of which these are the most common:

1. My "saved" children are being salt and light. - This twisting of Scripture is a common false notion that our children, who we claim to have been saved, can go into the schools and lead others to Christ. This notion is false because, even if The Lord has saved your child, they will clearly be babes in the faith and not yet ready to be thrown, literally, to the wolves. They will be, undoubtedly, be influenced by the worldliness of their environment. Jesus did not send His believing disciples out until he had carefully instructed them, and nurtured them, to maturity in their faith. He did not delegate training and preparing them, as it was vital for them to hear and learn from His teaching and His example. Your children lack the life experience to be effective ministers for the Gospel on their own.  Of course we let our children minister the, but under our loving, direct supervision. Just  like a seemingly healthy young plant, withers under the harsh elements if planted outside to soon, so it is with our children.

2. I do not have the patience/education/ability to home school - This one I find funny, in that, it assumes that I possess all of these qualities because I have chosen to home school. I do not. What I do have is a stronger, closer relationship with God as a result of my being in constant prayer for patience, ability, wisdom, and humility. If God calls us to something, He will equip us. He will not tell you to teach your children all day, and leave you helpless. We must have a humble, willingness to be obedient and He will supply our needs. (James 1:5)

3. Both of us have to work - Is this true? Most of the time it is,in fact true, because there is an established life-style that has to be maintained. Could you sell your home, cars, or take less expensive vacations? In all likelihood, yes you could, but you, frankly, do not want to . When my husband and I, made the decision for my staying home to raise our children, we had more money going out than coming in. Our ends did not meet. However, we knew the Lord was calling me to be home, according to His Word (Titus 2:5), and we surrendered our idea, of what life was supposed to look like and trusted the Lord with our finances. Since then, our needs have been met every month. We've never gone, hungry or without clothing, or without shelter (and that was twelve years ago!). (Matthew 6:31)

4. I want my kids to be socialized. What is socializing, exactly? The, basic definition is, to mix socially with others. What makes you think that doesn't happen in a home school environment? My children learn how to behave, interact and be responsible citizens right here in my home, and under the loving guidance of  their parents. We also, go to the grocery store, the library, field trips and all sorts of other places that provide more than enough opportunity to develop this skill.  Home school parents have the great privilege of being there to guide their children, through each and every opportunity. This is not possible if we send our kids away to the government for eight plus hours a day. In fact, quite the opposite happens. They learn to hone the greedy, selfish, survival of the fittest mentality that is already a part of their nature. It's difficult for government-school parents to see this truth in their kids, because their kid rarely discloses sinful detail of his day, because he's grown used to it's presence. But the truth is, the public schooled kid is surrounded by total depravity all day long, with no one to help them understand it in real time. While home school kids are not without this same exposure, they have, a parent right there, to help talk them through hard things, brining both security and strength to their faith.

5. My kids teacher is a Christian! - This means nothing. True, it helps you sleep at night, but in the end it is a placebo in place to make you feel better about letting the government educate/indoctrinate your children. Your child's teacher can no more talk about God and Jesus Christ, in a government school than I can in the middle of Iraq right now. I'm sure the teacher is kinder, gentler and more encouraging than the others, but it is meaningless with out being able to share the Gospel. It does not help your children in any way. 


 Life is hard, people get sick, get divorced, are widowed, all sorts of things happen. And if this is you, please know, that I have prayed for you, that your life and circumstances will be changed in such a way that will allow you to fulfill the call that God has placed on you. But for the rest of you, those who can but don't. I am calling you to a fresh examination of your heart. If you can reasonably and in context make a Biblical case for public school, I'm open to hear it. But if you are not Biblically effectuating the call because you are being selfish, self-centered, or self- absorbed, then you are in sin, and I urge you to repent and believe the Gospel. 

This post will not make me the most popular person in social media. I will likely lose friends and for that I am truly sad. But I refuse to back down. This is a hill on which I am willing to die, for the sake of the Gospel. Because, that is what it boils down to, folks - The Gospel. The world wants to rid itself of the Gospel. It wants to take it from you and from your children, and replace it, with its spurious version of the truth. Government schools compromise the gospel.  No amount of justifying it will change this fact. And we, as Christians, though we compromise on many things, cannot compromise here. 
Have you compromised the Gospel? Have you forsaken it for convenience? I make no assertions that this is an easy decision. Letting go of worldly things, for the sake of the Gospel, causes our flesh to scream. But our soul knows the right thing to do. (James 4:17). Is this a call to all Christian parents to home school their children or else they are in sin? No, it's a call for you to probe your heart, your motives, your justifications, and make them align with Scripture, not vice versa. 
So, as the school year approaches, I encourage you to weigh these heavy issues. Think through them. Be a Berean and search the Scriptures. Seek the Lord in prayer. Seek counsel from Godly people not afraid to tell you the truth. Please also know that though the overall tone of this post is firm, it is out of love for you, your children and Christ, that I stand. 

"I cannot, I will not recant, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, God help me."
 ~ Martin Luther

xo,
~shauna