Carpe diem

I’m finally seizing the day regarding a couple longtime goals of mine.

ARBS volunteering

First, I began volunteering at our local pregnancy care center in February. Sure, I’m just in the shadowing phase, but I’m so excited that the ball is finally rolling on this worthy work.

I actually took part in training more than a year ago and even shadowed once in early 2013, but then something happened, or didn’t happen. I’m not really sure of the details. But the miscommunication and/or mishandling last winter was just enough for me to get wrapped up in all my other to dos and tasks.

Looking back now, I firmly believe it was the devil trying to deceive me into giving up on this purposeful plan. After all, he is the great liar who relishes in our culture of death and brokenness, and whispers excuses into the ears of all who care about life. Well, I won’t get fooled again!

The mass amounts of snow Carolina got in February let the kids to do all sorts of extreme physical feats, like Zeke’s death-defying pipe jump!

As opposed to being an advocate for women experiencing crisis pregnancies, which was my original objective, the Lord has since called me to the abortion-recovery Bible study (ARBS), a 10-week class for women who are trying to cope with the trauma of taking the life of their own child or children.

Whether the abortion was recent or long ago, women are created with a maternal instinct. And when that bond is broken — voluntarily through abortion or involuntarily through miscarriage — the woman can feel the emotional repercussions of that loss for a lifetime.

Choosing to end your child’s existence is not a simple matter, despite what the mega-million-dollar abortion industry and the mainstream media would have us believe. It belies the nature of women’s physical bodies, it wounds their hearts, and forever tears at their psyches.

Check out Houston’s makeshift snowboarding skills. Sure, he’d never attempted it before, but no better time to try than when there’s a whiteout going down in the South!

It’s interesting that those who are the most vehement supporters of abortion are the very ones harmed most by the grand conspiracy (minus the unborn, of course). Such is the cunning nature of the evil one. Tricky SOB.

It’s a Stockholm-Syndrome mentality in which these social hostages (post-abortive women) exhibit an ardent and passionate defense of their captors (the abortion racket), despite the physical and mental abuse they’ve endured. It’s irrational. It’s emotional. It’s sad.

But it’s how some humans handle such suffering and stress. It’s a dejected survival skill that has created an army of willful victims, martyrs for the movement, and collateral damage for the cause, as well as a brigade of proponent apologists and foot-soilder equivocators too numerous to mention.

Gabriel knows that blizzards are also a great time to hang w/ a snowman, make snow angels, & eat snow cream & drink hot chocolate w/ friends!

Thus, my aim is to facilitate in the healing of those who have come to understand the magnitude of lost life and the subsequent struggles of living with that monumental decision. It’s an enormous task, but with God’s grace, it can be done.

I know this firsthand because I participated in the class at my former church a couple years ago and am proof positive of the redemptive love of God’s healing. The ARBS experience helped open my mind to the truth and my heart to God’s love and forgiveness, thus, washing away my grief and anxiety.

Through my repentance and ultimate acceptance of dark past deeds, I have not only been freed from the shackles of suffering, but I’ve also gained a strength to want to aid others in their own spiritual restoration. And true peace can only be found through the life-sustaining power of the Gospel, which is at the core of the class.

I am so blessed to even have a chance to serve in such a role, and I look forward to every challenge, every revelation, and meeting every unique woman. If you would, please pray for the pregnancy care center and the incredible life-affirming work they do joyfully in spite of the cultural jeers, political hurdles, and social derision.

On a recent toasty, spring-like afternoon, Houston & Gabriel hike around Liberty Loop w/ Jackson the day after his first-ever sleepover; what a treat to be able to host our sweet friend for such a monumental occasion!

Mercy Hill community group

Second, I’m finally involved in a weekly Bible study, which our church calls a “community group.” It’s a co-ed thing that both Stephen and I can attend.

Do you remember the Wednesday morning women’s group I went to a few times late last year? Well, that ended up not working out.

See, that’s the same day as the kids’ Awana, and trekking into twice in a day (with rushed homeschooling sandwiched in between) was just killing me. Then it seemed like every other group I looked into also met on Wednesdays nights, right during Awana.

I was further frustrated because one of the main reasons we left our former church was because Stephen and I felt like we never really “fit” into the two groups we tried out there. And we gave it quite the noble effort, considering we attended that church for two years.

Zeke (Batman) thoroughly enjoys dress-up during our greatly anticipated playdate w/ his best CC pal, Matthew (Optimus Prime).

So, attending a group has been another longtime goal of both mine because I know being in community is a necessary step in becoming a maturing follower of Christ and an integral part of being in relationship with Him.

Plus, it’s a great way to fellowship with other church members, make friends, provide and get support, and just have fun. Really, Bible study is fun: thought-provoking, soul-cleansing, spiritual-strengthening fun. So, yeah, I’m so psyched to be plugged into a warm and welcoming group filled with genuine folks!

Some additional coolness is that our church reimburses us for childcare to attend Bible study. And we’ve secured Callie, an amazing gal we know from CC, for the weekly babysitting gig. So nice to have all those details are worked out, too.

Gabriel hangs w/ Eli, a buddy from both CC & Awana, during a birthday party for another CC friend @ Build-A-Bear!

Learning & loving

I ditched using the iPod timer during Houston’s independent lessons soon after trying out the time-management technique. The mere presence of the tech tool was simply too much of a distraction, not to a tad stressful for him, as well.

What I do now is casually time him myself. I don’t let him know the exact amount of time; that way, he won’t obsess about the clock. Instead, I set an amount that I think would be efficient for him and then usually tack on an extra five minutes or so.

I do sometimes have to gently remind him to stay on track and/or encourage him to avoid dilly-dallying. But so far, this mellower method has proven pretty successful — a welcome tweak since Houston can sometimes be the “Slow Poke Rodriguez” of homeschooling when left to his own devices.

One thing that does bother Houston on occasion is Gabriel and Zeke’s volume. Even when they are behaving, they’re just some loud little dudes. And because of the doorless set-up of our living room and kitchen, I felt I had to get creative, instead of cracking the whip. Being a drill sergeant gets old really fast.

I almost forgot this Rebeeler self-portrait snapped down @ the bottom of Liberty Loop during the first day of the big southeast snowstorm on February 12. Brrrrrrrr!

So, I bought some children’s headphones and now let Houston listen to classic music on my iPod when he does solo work. This has been so effective with big bro that Gabriel and Zeke like to take part in the symphonic solution to our often noisy “two-room schoolhouse,” as well.

Homeschooling is oftentimes difficult and thankless, but there is surely a pay off when you see your kids making a discovery, embracing a newly learned concept, or retaining some nugget of information you were sure they hadn’t even heard you discuss.

Then every now and again, they’ll say something that just makes it all worthwhile. Houston recently told me, “I want to homeschool my kids, Mommy.” So, unless he just considers home-education a good way to torture his future offspring, I think I must be doing something right.

Houston loves tickling the ivories! Miss Julie even told me how impressed she is of his comprehension of notes & their various key positions on the piano — something that’s quite evident on his newfound improvisations.

Other February notables

  • We hosted a Boycott-the-Bowl Party with the J-Crew. No NFL, politically tinged sports commentary, commercial mania, or half-time show around here … just eating chili and chilling out with friends.
  • The boys and I saw the play “Hans Christian Andersen Tales” at the High Point Community Theater with CC.
  • Daddy took the boys to see “The Lego Movie,” with which the dudes have been obsessed ever since. Everything is awesome!
  • The clan drove to Danville to have dinner with Lisa, who was semi-nearby for work. Great seeing you, sis!
  • Houston attended Miss Julie’s Valentine’s piano party. He performed two songs, including one he had just learned the previous day. Way to go, Houston!