Saturday, January 31, 2009

Why not adopt?

I've been reading all of the press today about the woman who gave birth to octuplets (Nadya Suleman). While not knowing her situation, I don't think any of us are in a position to judge her, she does bring some interesting concepts to the forefront of societal ethics. I think we can glean a lot from the situation that the Suleman family finds itself in, although I don't think there are any of us who have a right to cast judgment on her.

First of all, I think everyone worrying that she is going to be a burden on us as the taxpayer is ridiculous. She got paid for the in vitro fertilization, which tells me that she was probably part of a medical study. She's living with her parents, and she's working on a Masters Degree. She's obviously not just sitting back and letting the taxpayers give her a cushy life. Friends have stated that she has plenty of money to take care of the children, so obviously everyone's speculations that this woman would be a burden are based simply on the economic fears of this era and our current economic situation. It is amazing to me that a woman can give birth to eight children, and everyone's instantaneous reaction is, "She's not expecting ME to pay for them, is she???" HELLO! Life has just come into the world, and all the American public is worried about is who is going to foot the bill!

And for those worried about overpopulation: what is wrong with you?? We do not have an overpopulation problem in the United States. We have a "convenience" problem, and we have an urbanization problem. There is plenty of room in this country, out in the countryside. and having a million kids is perfect for living in the country. Children grow up learning about the benefits of hardwork and discipline. But in this United States of Work Smarter Not Harder, everyone wants to live in the city and make a quick buck working in posh office trading nonexistent money. So, yes, the cities are crowded. And real estate is at a premium in the cities. But only in the cities. In the country there is still plenty of available land and housing, and no such thing as "overpopulation." Urban Americans who think this country is overcrowded have no concept of life outside of their convenient urban bubble. When I lived in Boston, there were 5 Starbucks locations within a 4 block radius of the retail store I worked in. Down here in Georgia there are 5 starbucks in the city of Buford, and only 2 starbucks within a half an hour of my town (one north of us and one south). I am not saying we need industrialization down here (although everyonce in a while I do think that it'd be great to have something open 24 hours other than Waffle House and Wal*Mart). I'm just saying that not every area of this country is the same, and we do not have to chop down protected forests to make room for more. But the more people try to squeeze into crowded cities, the more we believe there is an overpopulation problem in the united states.

I also think it's amazing that she had these extra embryos implanted because she didn't want to just destroy them. That actually shows a modicum of personal responsibility for her actions. She had all these embryos created in order to try and have a child, and when things worked out so that the first several that were implanted all worked out, she did not just want to throw away the rest. She had a mindset that this was life, and I appreciate that. She could, however have sought recipients for her embryos to be donated. People less capable of having children than even she was might have sought out such a thing. So while she demonstrated a strong sense of personal responsibility, she maybe did not demonstrate a great deal of prudence.

Now my main thought is actually at the beginning of all of this, when she first decided to do in vitro. She wanted to have children, and that is a beautiful thing. There are so many unwanted children in this country, just waiting for someone to come along and adopt them, give them a better life. Kids who have been neglected and abused, for sure, but some even who have been "in the system" since immediately after birth. If anyone wants to have children but finds themselves medically unable, then why not adopt? Instead of working your hardest to bring "your own" children into the world, why not make one of these other children your own? Why not provide love and care to someone who desperately needs it, instead of leaving the lonely lonely and creating your own people to love?

If you desperately want to be a mother, than obviously God has given you a gift for loving as a mother does. There are so many lost and lonely in this world, do you really need to scientifically force yourself to create a family? Why not be used of God in His own task of "setting the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6)" instead?

I think that more prolife people need to find themselves willing to adopt. I know of a family who is putting up their picture at abortion clinics stating something to the effect of "We would love to adopt your child." That is an example that women like this one should be following. I'm not saying Ms. Suleman needs to do this, she now has 14 kids of her own. But I do believe that more people who find themselves unable to have kids should be willing to make a home for these unwanted children in their lives. Even just the phrase "unwanted children" breaks my heart.

Now, I am not condemning Nadya Suleman, because what is done is done and it is not like she can go back and undo it. She made her choices and seriously I am elated to see a woman who takes responsibility for the aftermath of her choices, even if I think she could have given the gift of life to other couples rather than increase the size of her own family, she did what she did out of a conviction not to destroy life, and that is beautiful.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Turning over a new Leaf

Striving for consistency. Today I hit the gym for the first time in several months, and it felt sooooo good to be working out. It made me think about some things. As I was there with my friend Jess on the elliptical machines, we were discussing how ironic it is that working out feels so good. Because, when we think about working out at any other time, it's like, " I have to?" But when you get into a rhythm, and you're feeling suddenly energetic, it's incredible.

It got me thinking...maybe there's a spiritual application to all of this.

I've been listening to digital text for The Necessity of Prayer by EM Bounds. Chapter 4 is all about desire being necessary for fervent prayer, and it seems to correlate directly to this concept. Before you have the desire to pray, you need to ask for it, but once you get into a habit of prayer, desire multiplies.

Good stuff.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Making my own...

Laundry detergent. That is what got us started. Just starting out in life with one job between the two of us, when a friend of mine tipped me off that you could make your own (very effective) laundry detergent for MUCH cheaper than what you buy in the store (and it is much more eco friendly).

We started making it, started using it, and we really liked it! Plus to learn that it costs us about $1 per batch, and a batch is 2 gallons....there was no reason why not to keep using it, right? The big sell for us was when we were walking through Sam's Club and saw a "bargain container of Tide. 2 Gallons for $20. Remember what I just said, how it costs us $1 for 2 gallons? that's a 95% reduction in cost. That's a big deal.

Well, when we ran out of dish soap, we decided we should see what we could find online as far as recipes that we could make from things we had at home. Eureka! Again with the eco-friendly much cheaper homemade products (I should note that we cut the proportions by 3/4, and that we replace the not-as-eco-friendly octagon soap with Ivory, like in the laundry detergent). Then toothpaste, then fabric softener. Then I got smart and read the box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, and you can do sooooo much more with it! We can wash our whole house with inexpensive eco-friendly products. How fascinating is that??!

I'm pretty excited. It always infuriated me that "Green" products were so much more expensive than the non-earth friendly ones. I'm so glad that I can save money AND be a better steward of this planet that we're on.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

To-Do List

Today has been a busy day. I am learning how to organize my space better. Spent the day so far with my husband swinging back and forth from food project to cleaning project (and cleaning along the way). It's been really good, but it has required sooooo much focus (I have A.D.D.). I think I'll sleep well tonight from the efforts.

Now, the to-do list is actually a lot more fun.

These are just projects I want to do or goals I (or we, Jeff and I) have. In no particular order:

1. Bake with fresh ground wheat (done, and also an ongoing process. It's been a fun experiment, seeing what does and doesn't work).

2. Make homemade cheese.

3. Make homemade butter. (Just did this today! The idea is to use fresh (aka raw) milk to make as many of the typical dairy products as I can, so that Jeff can eat them without getting sick. We recently found that while he is allergic to pasteurized dairy, he can drink raw milk without any side effects.

4. Homestead - this is more of a long term goal. We are looking for property where we can homestead and be as self-sustaining as we can. We're talking bio-diesel generator run electricity, goats for milk and meat, a few chickens, and a huge garden. Pray for us...that we can find good land for a gooooood price.

5. Spend an hour every Wednesday writing out my music. Little by little :)

6. Work out daily (like the above, this is an ongoing plan). Just trying to be healthier overall, be sick less, have more energy, feel better :)