Thankful My Mother Chose Life

I’m here because my mother chose life, and that goes beyond a bumper sticker slogan for me.

ultrasound wordsMy mother was 41 years old when she discovered she was having a fourth child; I was, as they say, a “surprise.” Any pregnancy past age 40 at that time was considered high risk, and my mother’s doctor didn’t sugarcoat his words. “At your age, there’s a good chance your child will be mentally or physically handicapped. You should consider terminating your pregnancy.”

I don’t think she ever really considered that option, and honestly I never thought that she legally could. I mean, abortion wasn’t legalized until Roe v Wade in 1973, right? I did some research regarding laws in 1968 when Mother found out she was expecting, and it turns out that indeed she could have aborted me. Maryland was one of 13 states (shown in green in this map from Wikipedia) where abortion was “Legal in case of danger to woman’s health, rape or incest, or likely damaged fetus.” According to my mother’s doctor, she was a candidate because of the danger to her and to me.959px-Map_of_US_abortion_laws_pre-1973.svg

Some of my wanna-be-commedian friends might say I do have brain damage, but on the whole I think I turned out OK. As I sit here today, I’m thankful that she chose life. So are my children. Continue reading “Thankful My Mother Chose Life”

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What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Pray

Sometimes we’re so exhausted emotionally that we can hardly find words for prayer. Our circumstances vary: a chronic medical condition, a wayward child, a prolonged job search, the list goes on. We still have a sense that God is listening, but we’re not quite sure what to say to Him.

So what should we say when we don’t know what to pray?

prayer with wordsJesus gives us a perfect example of prayer during an emotionally charged time, during the final hours before His crucifixion. He knew He was about to be betrayed by His closest followers, rejected by the nation He came to save, crucified in excruciating physical pain, and separated spiritually from His Heavenly Father for the first time ever. It’s hard to imagine any more emotional stress than that moment for Him.

In that moment He prayed a short prayer – one that you and I can pray when we don’t know what to say: Continue reading “What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Pray”

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Sitting by a Hospital Bed

Last night I sat in the dark by my son’s bedside as he drifted off to sleep. The thing is, this is not his bed, and this is not his room. It is a room lit by glow of an IV monitor, where I can hear a nurse down the hall loudly asking questions of a patient who is hard of hearing.

hospital with wordsHe’s had a fever on and off for the last week, and yesterday it spiked at over 105. That’s when we knew we had to get him to the ER. Fortunately, they took him right away, ran the needed tests, and his prognosis is bright. A few days of antibiotics and he should be good as new. He doesn’t seem to feel too bad but just needs some rest.

And so I sit here, by the hospital bed, thankful. I can’t help but think of other parents in other rooms beside other children who are much worse off than we are. I am reminded, even in the midst of the disruption of medical emergencies, that there is always something to be thankful for. Continue reading “Sitting by a Hospital Bed”

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