“What's So ‘BASIC’ About This Health Care?”

As the mother of four, I’ve personally had dozens of pre-and post-natal check-ups and hospital visits. Likewise, I’ve been to multiple doctors’ offices, ER facilities, labs and clinics with my children, and yes, even had to call 911 twice. In addition, my father is a retired orthopedic surgeon who was forced to relocate his practice and his family coast-to-coast because of skyrocketing medical malpractice insurance costs.

I’m not an expert, but I’ve certainly seen something of the health care system from many sides. So, as a woman, don’t tell me that government-subsidized contraceptives and abortions comprise my “basic health care.”

Instead, allow me to provide a snapshot of urgent health care issues impacting my gender:
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death of American women, killing more than 1/3 of us. Over 200,000 women die each year from heart attacks. (1)
  • It’s estimated that there will be over 226, 000 new female cases and even deaths from breast cancer in the United States in 2012 alone. (2)
  • Osteoporosis – 68% of the 44 million Americans threatened with this bone-density loss condition are women. (3)
  • Twelve million women are affected by a depressive disorder each year – double the number of men. (4) (Ironically, a 2008 study of women in Norway concluded: “...young adult women who undergo induced abortion may be at increased risk for subsequent depression.”) (5)
To put it candidly: please don’t insult my feminine dignity by reducing my medical needs to the ability to “plan” a pregnancy and snuff out the life of my pre-born baby.

Superseding even these truths is my own constitutionally protected Judeo-Christian convictions regarding the sanctity of life and religious liberty. Abortion and abortifacients directly contradict my belief in the sacredness of every life as decreed by an omnipotent and loving Creator. I am called to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” (Proverbs 31:8) Therefore, as a woman of faith, I will not promote, support, or fund such “health care.”

I fear for this nation and agonize with the prophet Isaiah, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20)

May God have mercy on America. And may women across her great shores have the strength to stand and defend their beliefs in the marketplace of ideas. I, for one, will.

(1) http://www.womenheart.org/resources/cvdfactsheet.cfm
(2) http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/breast 
(3) http://women.webmd.com/features/5-top-female-health-concern
(4) http://women.webmd.com/features/5-top-female-health-concern
(5) http://abortionrisks.org/index.php?title=Abortion-Related_Depression#Abortion-Related_Depression

Good Job, Mom!

I was talking with a friend about her 14-yr-old son’s repeated habit of making his siblings late to school in the morning. It seems he’d been spending nearly 30 minutes every morning primping in front of the mirror. Today the predetermined consequence went into play: He forfeited his ride and missed a morning of school.

After the house emptied out she figured their conversation would begin by helping him devise a morning “Time Management” plan -- when she suddenly felt the Lord tell her, “No…go deeper.” So she thought she’d talk to her son about why he didn’t like the way his hair looked, when she was prompted, “No, go even deeper.”

That’s when it began to dawn on her that the real problem had nothing to do with either the clock on the wall OR his hair: rather, standing before her was an adolescent who was painfully aware that he didn’t look perfect on the outside...and it hurt.

Instead of a one-sided lecture, they spent time opening the Scriptures together that morning. She directed her son to several verses that outlined his eternal significance to the One and Only Maker of the Universe. Wow, talk about a teachable moment (and it was certainly worth missing morning Algebra class!)

I stand and applaud this mom. She did it right.

It makes me think about the dozens, literally hundreds, of unnoticed occasions that you moms DO get it right: you take a deep breath and smile when you could rightfully get angry….you wrap your arms around that daughter when you desperately feel like throwing them up in despair…. you put down the dishtowel and listen even though it makes dinner late....and on and on it goes.

Why then, do we so often concentrate on what we do WRONG as moms? Stop and think for a moment. If you’re honest, I’ll bet you, too, can think of something you actually did right today. And if not – you know what? There’s still time.

Good job, Mom. God sees, and smiles upon you.

With Love to My Single Girlfriends

There’s one thing that can get me seriously angry (well, actually I call it “righteous indignation.”)

I get downright indignant when I look around and see all the single women in my life whose hearts are repeatedly wounded by clueless men. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not mad at the men. In fact, I like men in general and have four pretty amazing members of the male gender under my roof right now. No, I’m angry at sin. My heart weeps over the foothold the enemy has been afforded here on earth in this area. The one who comes to steal, kill and destroy has been extremely effective in annihilating dreams of marriage and family for so many of my God-fearing female friends.

You see, I am happily married and the mom of four kinda fun kids (count it five with my son-in-love.) So I KNOW that what they long for is, indeed, fulfilling. It is good. It is dynamic. They crave what God truly ordained for delight here on earth.

So why are these talented, dynamic, adorable (and yes even physically beautiful) female friends of mine still single? I don’t know. I wish I did. But I also know this is not where our hopes and dreams will ever be fulfilled: I’ll never be a size 4 here on earth (and actually, I’m asking for a size 0 in Heaven)….I ache when children get cancer…I’m visibly annoyed when the good guys don’t win.

But maybe that’s just it. If life were super fulfilling here, we’d not yearn for Heaven. The very fact that my single friends awake to this ache every day confirms the hope of heaven; admittedly, they probably wait in expectation of that eternity more than I do.

I salute you, single women. I salute you.

And, by the way, if singleness includes parenting for you – check out my friend, Meg’s blog of her journey!

Carpool Correction

Of course I know the rule: “Parents, please don’t use your cell phone while in the carpool line on our campus.” It’s a great mandate and one I agree with 100% -- in fact I’ve often frowned upon chatty moms during the chaotic afternoon dismissal time.

So of course as I approached the crosswalk line I desperately tried to tie up the conversation with my girlfriend on the other end of the line, but her riveting story just wasn’t coming to a close. I hunched over a little to the right of the steering wheel so the math teacher monitoring the crosswalk wouldn’t notice me. Whew -- I hung up just in the nick of time. Wrong.

As I pulled over to the curb to pick up my child, the crossing guard followed me and motioned for the window to go down. Feeling much like a 10-yr-old who had broken curfew, I braced myself for the lecture. “Ma’am, you know you’re not supposed to be on the phone in car pool line.” I stammered for a response desperately wanting to argue that I’d NEVER done this before, and did he see all the OTHER moms doing the same thing?! - when I looked over and noticed my 12-yr-old had just climbed into the car. Busted.

I swallowed my pride and assured the dutiful teacher I’d be more careful in the future. My son turned away, trying to hide a grin.

Sigh. Will I never outgrow wincing through correction? And yet I’m thankful for that gentle reminder that my son needs a mom who’ll readily admit her mistakes and accept a scolding. After all, wasn’t it just that morning I’d prayed for humility? Prayer answered.

Oh Lord, make me teachable.

He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise. Proverbs 15:31