All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it's not only around us; it is within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We are feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.I want to be brave in my waiting, like Thoreau, and say, "so be it!" But instead I groan and I sigh. How loving it is of the Spirit to gather up those sighs and groans and fashion them into prayers.
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired of waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That is why we can be sure that in every detail of our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
Friday, August 29, 2008
(The only thing to sit on in my living room is a tiny black sofa Ross got from Walmart.com before we were married. While I try to have compassion on all God's creatures, the animate and the inanimate, I think I hate that sofa. There is not a single way to arrange oneself upon it that does not result in aches and pain.)
After the appointment, we went to Hobby Lobby and grabbed some fabric and upholstering supplies and then we spent the afternoon on the back porch giving the rocking chair new life.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
-H.D.Thoreau in his journal, July 19, 1851
I've been having similar thoughts, usually when I walk into my office and see a stack of unopened mail and two unfinished oil paintings. ;P
Monday, August 25, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
This Saturday Ross and I will be heading South for the Cangelosi family reunion! Our plane leaves O'Hare at 9am and, after a layover in Nashville, we'll arrive in Ashville, North Carolina, where his parents will pick us up and take us the rest of the way to Camp Kanuga.
I've been hearing about this place since the '06 family reunion, and I can't wait to see it in person! According to the website, Camp Kanuga is "situated on 1,400 mountain acres near Hendersonville, North Carolina, with scenic Kanuga Lake at its center." It has cabins, hiking, indoor and outdoor chapels, trails, swimming, arts & crafts classes...all the things you love about camp, plus mountains!
There will be some familiar faces (Caleb and Elizabeth, Guy and Connie) but I'll also be meeting a lot of the family for the first time! I'm glad I'll have a week to get to know everyone.
Packing essentials: summer reading, my new camera, lots of snacks for the pregnant munchies. :)
Monday, August 11, 2008
Friday, August 08, 2008
Did you guys hear about the $1000 screen saver app for the iphone that was purchased by 8 people before Apple pulled it from their App Store? The product description reads, "The red icon on your iPhone or iPod touch always reminds you (and others when you show it to them) that you were able to afford this. It's a work of art with no hidden function at all." Hehehe! Read the article here.
And, if you are in the mood for something a little grim, check out Chuck Colson's ruminations on the prophetic words of Solzhenitsyn in a speech delivered 30 years ago at Harvard University. Here's an excerpt:
Solzhenitsyn delivered each line in his high-pitched voice in Russian. The translation blunted the impact somewhat—in fact, there were even sporadic bursts of applause. But soon enough, outraged professors realized that Solzhenitsyn was charging them with complicity in the West's surrender to liberal secularism, the abandonment of its Christian heritage, and with all the moral horrors that followed.
As it happened, this summer I was reading a tattered copy of Solzhenitsyn's speech at the same time I was studying Jeremiah in my devotions. I was struck by the chilling parallels between the dissident's words and Jeremiah's warning to the Israelites.
For example, describing the Western worldview as "rationalistic humanism," Solzhenitsyn decried the loss of "our concept of a Supreme Complete Entity which used to restrain our passions and our irresponsibility." Man has become "the master of this world … who bears no evil within himself," he announced. "So all the defects of life" are attributed to "wrong social systems."
Solzhenitsyn also argued that this moral impoverishment had led to a debased definition of freedom that makes no distinction between "freedoms for good" and "freedoms for evil." Our founders, he reminded us, would scarcely have countenanced "all this freedom with no purpose" but for the "satisfaction of one's whims"; they demanded that freedom be granted conditionally upon the individual's constant exercise of his religious responsibility.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
WASHINGTON (NCRegister.com) - Veteran Democrat David Carlin knows what he’s going to do if Illinois Sen. Barack Obama becomes his party’s presidential nominee. He’s going to vote for the presumptive Republican nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain.
“Any Catholic who takes the abortion issue seriously will not vote for Obama,” said Carlin, who served as majority leader of the Rhode Island Senate in 1989-90.
Pro-life leaders describe Obama — who is now the heavy favorite to defeat New York Sen. Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination — as the most pro-abortion presidential candidate in American history.
“Based on his record he appears to be the most pro-abortion candidate ever to seek the presidency,” said David O’Steen, executive director of the National Right to Life Committee. “It’s hard to be more pro-abortion than Hillary Clinton, but he seems to have managed to do that.”
Obama has promised that his first act as president would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, a bill that if enacted would prevent any federal, state or local government entity from restricting access to abortion. O’Steen said this indicates that to Obama, “the most important thing facing America is to promote abortion.”
Both Clinton and Obama currently have 100% ratings from NARAL for their pro-abortion voting records in the U.S. Senate. But unlike Clinton, Obama has opposed legislation to protect babies who are born alive following unsuccessful abortions.
In 2002, Clinton voted in favor of the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which was approved unanimously by the U.S. Senate. Obama was not sworn in as a U.S. Senator until 2005, but he opposed similar state legislation in 2001 while serving as an Illinois state senator.
Obama argued against such legislation specifically on the grounds that it might undermine the right to abortion-on-demand throughout pregnancy.
“Whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the Equal Protection Clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a — a child, a 9-month old — child that was delivered to term,” Obama warned during debate over three state bills that would have offered protection to babies who are born alive after unsuccessful abortions. “That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place.”
Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) is scathing in his assessment of Obama’s opposition to born-alive legislation. “That’s pretty doctrinaire — that’s about as pro-death as you can get on the abortion issue,” said Santorum. “He’s a candidate who is not just for abortion, but also for infanticide in order to protect the right to abortion.”
Santorum said Obama is continuing to affirm his embrace of abortion on the campaign trail. He cited remarks the candidate made at a March 29 town hall meeting in Johnstown, Pa.
At that meeting, in response to a question about sex education for children, Obama argued in favor of educating young children about using contraceptives.
“Look, I’ve got two daughters, nine years old and six years old,” Obama said. “I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”
Said Santorum, “To view a child as a punishment, under any circumstances, to me shows that this is not a man who values life, who respects the dignity of human life.”
Obama’s campaign office did not reply to questions about his position on abortion and other life issues that the Register submitted by e-mail.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that a child has a right to be considered as a gift, now as a punishment: “A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift. … A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged ‘right to a child’ would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights … [including] the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception” (No. 2378).
O’Steen said Obama’s position on life issues is a stark contrast to McCain’s. He noted that McCain has a 100% pro-life record on abortion in the U.S. Senate, has voted against a Senate resolution to express support for Roe v. Wade and has stated that he believes Roe should be reversed, supports parental notification and opposes the use of taxpayer funds to facilitate abortion.
Perhaps the most significant difference between Obama and McCain is their position on judicial appointments. Obama has indicated that if elected president he intends to make it a top priority to nominate pro-abortion judges.
In contrast, in a speech May 6 at Wake Forest University, McCain pledged to nominate only lawyers with “a proven commitment to judicial restraint.” He attacked Obama’s “judicial activism” and was particularly critical of the Democratic candidate for voting against the confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito.
While McCain did not refer directly to abortion in his speech, opposition among Senate Democrats to the Roberts and Alito nominations centered largely on fears that if confirmed, the two judges might overturn Roe v. Wade and other federal decisions supporting abortion rights.
Said McCain, “Somehow, by Sen. Obama’s standard, even Judge Roberts didn’t measure up. And neither did Justice Samuel Alito. Apparently, nobody quite fits the bill except for an elite group of activist judges, lawyers, and law professors who think they know wisdom when they see it — and they see it only in each other.”
In response to the speech, Obama’s campaign said McCain would nominate judges who would threaten abortion rights, Associated Press reported May 6. “What’s truly elitist is to appoint judges who will protect the powerful and leave ordinary Americans to fend for themselves,” said Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor.
Santorum, who earlier in the campaign cycle was critical of McCain’s pro-life commitment primarily because the Arizona senator does not oppose embryonic stem-cell research, said McCain’s speech “was a home run from my perspective." Said Santorum,"It hit all the salient points, and it should give a lot of comfort to pro-lifers.”
Paying the Piper Carlin predicted that Obama “would certainly” apply a pro-abortion litmus test on all judicial appointments if elected.
And Carlin said abortion is only one of a number of areas where Obama, even more than Clinton, is advancing positions that appeal primarily to the most liberal elements of the Democratic Party.
“His support is among the secularist wing of the Democratic Party,” said Carlin, who teaches sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island. “He’s beholden to that wing of the party, the most extreme wing of the party, the “moral left” of the party. And if they put him in office, you know, ‘he who pays the piper calls the tune.’”
Added Carlin, “So I think if he gets elected as president, it’s going to be a very, very bad time for pro-life Catholics.”
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
In other pregnancy woes, my tailbone has become a ticking time bomb of agony. I'll be waddling along (yes, I waddle already), minding my own business, and all of a sudden, BOOM! My stately waddle becomes a humiliating hobble. Monday I made the mistake of attempting to jog out of the rain and immediately my tailbone notified me that if I didn't quit it she was gonna drop straight off my body and I could see how far I'd get without her.
Alright, enough griping for now.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Being the clever girls that we are we decided we could do better than just get away from the windows and headed to the ladies room. From the safety of the bathroom we could still hear the thunder and the rain pounding on the mall roof. Soon the management had moved the rest of the customers from the store into the bathroom hallways and we could hear all the excited chatter outside the Ladies room door. As we hunkered down and waited for the all clear the power went out a couple of times, but gradually the noise outside the building seemed to subside, and then the noise outside our bathroom subsided, and then a friendly head popped into the bathroom to tell us that it was safe to come out.
After the worst of the storm had passed and as we finished up our small group the power went out briefly a couple more times, and when I left the mall I saw that the power was completely out on the other side of the street. The drive home wasn't too bad but there was a 10 mile stretch on 59 with almost all lights were out. The rain wasn't heavy but lighting provided a pretty constant show off to the North. At home there is a big tree limb down in our driveway, but nothing got hit and we have power so we got off easy compared to a lot of people. ComEd estimates that 200,000 people lost power because of the storm.
Pictures stolen from NBC5 website :)
Monday, August 04, 2008
Below is an excerpt, but you can read the entire interview at NPR's website here.
Back in the 2004 election you sent out a letter to thousands of pastors in which you listed what you considered to be five non-negotiable issues and they were abortion, gay marriage, human cloning, stem-cell research and euthanasia. Are those still non-negotiable issues for you?
Well they might be for me. It doesn't necessarily mean they're for everybody in the nation. I have my own convictions, but I also believe in the common good. I think that's part of democracy. You have a right to promote whatever view you hold and you have a right to try to convince me that I ought to change my mind.
But would you be sending out that same list now in 2008?
I'm not going to send out any list this year because I'm obviously maintaining neutrality in order to do what I think is best for America and that is get these two guys to speak up in their own words. On a personal level, if I were sending out a letter today my view hasn't changed one bit on any of those particular subjects, but my agenda has expanded dramatically over the last four years. One of the things I've tried to do with evangelicals is to get them to not deny their pre-existing agenda but to expand it. I'm still pro-life but I don't call myself pro-life anymore. What I do is call myself 'whole-life.' I'm not just in favor of the unborn baby. I'm in favor of her when she's born. Is she a crack baby… is she an AIDS baby… is she a baby living in poverty? Is she going to get an education? It's not just concern for protection of the unborn but for protection of the born, too.
Today my calendar tells me I've entered my 11th week, I've completed 72 days, and I have 208 days to go. To me, in my pregnant state, this is fascinating. Tomorrow I'll check back on my calendar and it will say 73 days, 207 days to go, and I will be just as amazed.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
I caught these two making sweet Cicada love on my driveway this afternoon. They didn't seem too embarrassed about the camera, but they did buzz a little when Piper came to investigate.
Saturday, August 02, 2008
The good news is that most of the stuff I've read predicts an uptick in energy around week 12, which isn't so far away. Until then I'll try to avoid glowing screens as much as possible. Oh, except for maybe to watch my new prenatal Yoga dvd :)
Friday, August 01, 2008
The earliest sign was fatigue that set in on June 21st. I thought I was getting sick but no sickness appeared, so on June 28th, when my cycle was about 3 days late, I bought two pregnancy tests. I couldn't test right away because Ross and I had plans to go see Wall-E, but when I cried at the previews I had a pretty good clue what the test was going to say.
When we got home from the movies I went straight to the bathroom with the tests and Ross went upstairs to check his email. He didn't stick around because he was sure I wasn't pregnant! The fist stick immediately displayed two pink lines. For a moment I just stared at it feeling as if the air had been sucked out of me. I didn't know what to do but I had another test so I immediately used it and this time the pregnancy line was even darker. I just started laughing. In that moment I was as joyful as if I'd been trying forever.
But the truth is we hadn't been trying at all, so in the next moment the joy was replaced by fear. I felt weak in the knees, and my head started spinning. For some reason I wandered to the kitchen and back to the bathroom before I remembered Ross. I had to tell him! I slowly climbed the stairs wondering how he would react. When I got to his office I just blurted out that I was pregnant.
He couldn't believe it at first so I took him downstairs to see both tests. For the next 24 hours we were a couple of people in shock. He kept saying "I can't believe you are pregnant" and I kept echoing "I can't believe I'm pregnant." We did manage to go pick up some prenatal vitamins that night and we got online and plugged in my cycle information to get an estimated due date of 3/3/08.
The shock wore off pretty quickly for me because I felt pregnant. Dizzy spells, hunger, cramps and, soon, morning sickness were all impossible to ignore. For Ross it was still a few weeks before he stopped saying "I can't believe you're pregnant." :P
Last week I had my first doctor's visit and it went great! I had an ultrasound and got to see the baby's heart beat. Based on the baby's size, I also got a new due date: 2/28/2009. They printed up a couple of images from the ultrasound and I'm convinced it is the most beautiful ultrasound ever!
If you look at the bottom of the dark jelly bean shaped area in the lower right hand side of the image you can see the baby nestled down there. The big round part on top is the head, the thing that appears to come out of the back is actually the umbilical cord which is coming around from the front on the opposite side, and you can clearly see the curve of the back and the legs. The head can be deceiving because the dark spots resemble facial features but I think it's pretty much impossible for a baby to be looking up at this stage. Instead I think the head is actually tucked down in the normal fetal position and the bright spot on the face is the nose.
At this point kidneys, lungs, genitals and the gastrointestinal tract are all present and developing. Fingers and toes are becoming more defined. Bones are beginning to form in the arms and legs. Baby is just over an inch tall. And yet somehow I'm 7 lbs heavier, lol!