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Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings was previously interviewed by NBC about her professional beach volleyball career and her fourth chance to win the gold medal in Rio. Media outlets are highlighting her comments because she’s pro-family and pro-babies. Walsh said in the interview, “I feel like I was born to have babies and play volleyball.”
She even went so far as to say, “I’d love to win a fourth gold medal and I’d love to have a fourth baby.”
Okay, if you can’t detect in my writing here, I am being a bit snarky. Let me explain why.
I am a huge advocate of life in the womb, out of the womb, and for celebrating motherhood. I understand Kerri’s comments because I too, feel like I was born to have babies. God gave me three of them and they changed my life.
Kerri commented: “Before I had more kids, I was like, this feels trivial. I’d been playing for so long, and I was like I need balance. All my eggs are in this one basket and it’s very self-centered and self-focused. They gave me that perspective and balance I thought I was missing. It took my game and my desire and my passion for life to the next level. I am hugely indebted to my children.”
A-ha! That revelation after we have children that the world no longer revolves around us because we are too busy raising these precious babies. It’s one of the greatest joys of being a parent when we realize that giving up of ourselves actually makes us happier human beings.
Now Kerri’s comments aren’t controversial. Yes, they do contradict some of modern-day feminism with putting careers before children and the whole “choice” mantra. There was some push back on Twitter from her comments. But who cares? She’s celebrating life. Three of them to be exact and maybe a fourth in her future.
Media outlets are now taking her words and labeling them with titles like, Liberals Go Nuts When Kerri Walsh Jennings Says… or USA Volleyball Star Makes Comment about “Having Babies” That’s Pretty Ballsy in This Day and Age. They are catchy titles meant to grab the reader but they are dishonest to Kerri’s comments who was simply sharing her life story.
As a writer, I have been guilty of this grab and attack technique. Someone celebrates our passion and we put labels on them to prove a point. I once called myself an anti-feminist because I disagreed so much with the feminist movement. I have written articles against feminism and I was even invited onto a radio program because I was a self-proclaimed “anti-feminist.” Then I realized something. Labels, catchy phrases, and shocking titles are not needed to define who I am. My life and the way I live it speaks for itself. I don’t want to be known for what I am against. I want to be known for what I celebrate.
That’s the thing that needs to change in our society and among us as women who celebrate the miracle of life, children, and motherhood. Just do your thing! Be a mother, celebrate your blessings, and even express how your children have added to your profession or career. Don’t define or label yourself how you’re different from women who don’t share your same perspective in life. Yes, you might get some push back from feminists who believe differently but don’t sweat it. Just be you and you will shine. You don’t have to win a gold medal to figure that one out.
I love Kerri’s comments but there was something that she said that wasn’t highlighted. She remarked, “My priorities are faith, family, and my career.” Now that’s balance and for those of us who share those same priorities let’s share the joy in that kind of living. That’s the woman God has called me to be and I am going to promote it- no labels needed.
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“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” – Luke 2:19Continue Reading...
Photo courtesy of theradiancefoundation.org
The only way to describe it is my soul just grieves.
The undercover videos from the Center for Medical Progress have caught everyone’s attention on social media. In the initial video, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services Dr. Deborah Nucatola is caught casually eating her lunch while describing how she kills babies in routine abortions – all while carefully trying to preserve fetal body parts for outsourcing.
It was mind-dumbing to watch. How could a person talk so casually about human life, and in such a callous and calculated way?
But really, why am I surprised? As a writer, I have done enough research on the subject to discover that many medical and pharmaceutical companies use fetal organs for research purposes. Those human remains have to come from somewhere.
I am also not shocked at the fact that Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in this country- with a staggering average of 327,000 abortions a year.
But in order to face the facts about abortion in this country, I do what many other people do: I compartmentalize this type of horror. It’s not a part of my immediate world so I draw a curtain over it and try to forget what I cannot change.
These viral videos are a dose of reality for all of us who try to place a veil over what we know is the reality in our world. We came face to face with evil, and she looks just like us. She acts just like us while casually enjoying a lunch. She is the product of what our society has become and there’s no way to describe it but soul grieving.
As I began to grieve over the reality of that undercover video, I decided to ask God for a scripture to encourage me that He is in control even amidst such evil. I decided to look up my daily Bible scripture on my phone app; Proverbs 22:6 was the day’s verse. “Train up a child in the way they should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Well, I thought obviously that didn’t really apply and I began to search my bible for more revelation to the day’s events.
The next day, as I was scrolling through article after article – some commenting on Planned Parenthood’s callousness for human life, and nearly every news organization coming to its in defense- Proverbs 22:6 came back to me.
I have always read that verse as a reminder to train my children in God’s Word, but I never really thought about how that scripture applies to guiding my children through the everyday events of our world. Walking out God’s commandments is about teaching our children how to apply those commands to the world they live in, where evils like abortion exist.
I asked God to encourage me, and instead he gave me a mission call.
I may not be able to end abortion today, or control the reality of evil that I often want to pretend isn’t there – but I can train my children to love the value of God-given life.
My generation has grown up with abortion as a part of our society. We’ve grown up with the lie that abortion is the answer to a mistake. But the world will never be able to teach our children what we know through the love of Christ: redemption and mercy.
I want my children to understand what abortion is, and I filter the events of our world based on their ages. As parents, we need to share with our kids how we react to the evil we see in the world. If we don’t, they will only witness the reaction of the world that rejects God’s commands and sees abortion as a solution.
Don’t throw a curtain over the world’s events to shield your children from evil. Evil exists and it’s our job to train them to live among the darkness offering hope that only Christ can bring.
My children know that abortion is a sin, but more importantly I want them to be able to understand that Christ already paid a price for our sins. I want them to know that life is messy, and there is evil in this world. Yet there is a freedom we can walk in that the world will never be able to give.
I hope my children are never faced with an unplanned pregnancy. I hope they understand that they are sinners and they live in a fallen world. I hope and pray that they understand forgiveness and grace so that they might be able to help future friends who are caught in what seems like an impossible situation.
I hope that my children know that abortion is never the answer because God’s grace is sufficient for all our needs. Sometimes God uses the ugly events of our world to remind me of my life mission as a parent.
As parents, God has given us all we need to change the world- if we just train up our children in the way they should go. This doesn’t mean there won’t be struggle and hardship; it means there will be freedom to walk out the unexpected in their lives.
I pray one day that there will be an end to abortion in my children’s lifetime. I pray that organizations like Planned Parenthood are put out of business from profiting off of destroying life. But until then, as a parent, I have a mission to train my children about the precious value of all human life.
The world gives us abortion as an answer but God gives us an ocean of grace that says, “Choose life and watch what I can redeem.” Let’s train up our children so that they can offer up that same grace, a grace the world fails to recognize.
“These commandments that I give to you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9
Last week, I had the privilege of attending the 2015 March for Life conference and walking in my first March. I was there as a volunteer for the Radiance Foundation – an educational, life-affirming organization that inspires people to live a life of meaning. (Check them out here.)
I had no idea what to expect at the largest gathering of pro-life advocates who made their way to Washington D.C. from all over the country and even Canada. I don’t consider myself a pro-life activist –at least not in terms that media often defines it with anti-abortion banners and staged protests. I am just a Christian woman, raised in a ministry family, surrounded by Christian friends and family who always held the sanctity of life and the pro-life belief.
At the conference, there was the first ever evangelical worship gathering called OneVoiceDC. This was a non-denominational event- open to all- to pray and worship to end abortion and bring healing to our country which has allowed legal abortion for 42 years. Hundreds of people were gathered to pray an end to abortion in our country and I was personally moved by well-known pro-life leaders who came to the gathering to bow before God and humbly seek the answer to abolishing abortion.
However, there was a point in the worship service that I felt such great conviction and I couldn’t stop crying. One of the leaders prayed about the church’s “sin of apathy over abortion.” His words hit me with such great conviction. I kept hearing that phrase over and over again in my head. I have been guilty of the “sin of apathy” over abortion. That apathetic notion that abortion is legal and I can’t change things so why dwell on something I cannot change. That was once me but tragically that is the state of the evangelical church in America.
I grew up in ministry, I have attended various protestant churches all my life, and I can’t remember one time where abortion was ever a focus of a sermon or a mission of the church. Of course, I have sat under biblical teaching preaching forgiveness and grace for sins. I know and have witnessed the healing power of Christ in lives of women and men who were healed from the pain and destruction of past abortions but I don’t remember the church taking up the pro-life cause to end abortion.
The sin of apathy has led me to the question, “Where is the church?”
Grappling with my own sin of apathy and questioning why the church has been so silent, I came across a timely book by Online for Life President, Brian Fisher titled, Deliver Us from Abortion. Like me, he too has questioned and “discovered that the American church, on the whole, is not actively defending and protecting innocent life.” In his introduction he addresses this great concern:
“In many churches, abortion is never mentioned from the pulpit. If abortion is discussed at all, it is once a year on Sanctity of Life Sunday, the sad reminder of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It is rare to find post-abortive recovery and healing ministries in churches, and almost all of them are for women. Support for post-abortive men is virtually non-existent. Precious few pastors or priests write about abortion, and few will publicly defend the unborn. Most denominations have no organized effort to assist families in a crisis pregnancy.”
Why has the church been so silent when it comes to abortion?
Most of my own questioning is regarding the protestant evangelical church in America not necessarily the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has often been outspoken warriors for life and they are without a doubt a strong presence within the anti-abortion movement. But unfortunately, even a recent study by the Guttmacher Institute (a pro-abortion research group) reports that 27 percent of Catholic women and 37 percent of Protestant women received abortions. A large population of Catholic and Protestant women are taking the lives of their unborn children.
Where are you church?
Brian Fisher’s book has important facts regarding abortion in America that I have never read before. He challenges all Christians to understand the biblical, moral, ethical, and social ramifications of being silent on abortion. It should be required reading for every pastor, youth pastor, and leadership staff in every church in America. Abortion is an epidemic that the church, as a whole, has refused to acknowledge. One out of every five unborn children are murdered through abortion. Fifty-six million people have died since 1973. Let that staggering number sink in and ask yourself if you have seen your church be a voice for this abortion holocaust.
What difference will I make?
This is a question I am asking myself over my own sin of apathy over abortion. How do I defend the unborn, stand for the sanctity of life given by God my creator, bring healing to the post-abortive community, and help the church to wake-up and be a pro-life voice? I don’t know the answer yet, but I know God instilled a conviction in my own heart as I was worshiping and praying with other pro-life believers. That still small voice that convicted and tugged at my heart is the same voice that God wants to awaken the church of America.
If we, as Christians, truly believe that God is the author of all life then we need to stand boldly against abortion and be the Church Christ has called us to be- reaching the lost and saving souls. The church cannot be silent anymore!
“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ –Matthew 25-45 (NLT)
Wake up church!
To learn more about Online For Life and order Deliver Us From Abortion go to: http://store.onlineforlife.org/collections/book/products/deliver-us-from-abortion