When the lawyers found her in 1969, she was, “ill at ease, incapable of small talk, pale and unkempt besides. She looked like she got out of bed and forgot to comb her hair.” [x]
The pregnant plaintiff, Norma Leah Nelson McCorvey adopted the legal pseudonym Jane Roe in the 1973 Supreme Court Case Roe v. Wade.
180 Degree Journey
Years later, Norma was working at an abortion clinic. An aggressive pro-life organization called Operation Rescue (OR) moved to the office next door. Amazingly, the two polarized groups coexisted on the site for more than a year. One of the OR staff members routinely brought her daughter in to work and she’d give Norma consistent hugs and invitations to church. This touched Norma McCorvey, and she finally accepted a request to join the girl’s family at their church.
What happened next could only be explained by a miracle; Norma’s life made a 180 degree turn.
Here are her words:
“I was sitting in OR’s offices when I noticed a fetal development poster. The progression was so obvious, the eyes were so sweet. It hurt my heart, just looking at them. I ran outside and finally, it dawned on me. ‘Norma’, I said to myself, ‘They’re right’. I had worked with pregnant women for years. I had been through three pregnancies and deliveries myself. I should have known. Yet something in that poster made me lose my breath. I kept seeing the picture of that tiny, 10-week-old embryo, and I said to myself, that’s a baby! It’s as if blinders just fell off my eyes and I suddenly understood the truth—that’s a baby!
I felt crushed under the truth of this realization. I had to face up to the awful reality. Abortion wasn’t about ‘products of conception’. It wasn’t about ‘missed periods’. It was about children being killed in their mother’s wombs. All those years I was wrong. Signing that affidavit, I was wrong. Working in an abortion clinic, I was wrong. No more of this first trimester, second trimester, third trimester stuff. Abortion—at any point—was wrong. It was so clear. Painfully clear.”[x]
In 1995, Norma embraced God’s love and forgiveness and her life completely changed. [x]
Norma McCorvey passed away February 18, 2017 at the age of 69.
You’ve probably never encountered this embarrassing situation, but have you ever seen anyone come up short of cash at the grocery checkout?
It could happen to you. You enter the store, hoping only to get a few necessities. You add prices as you go:
Romaine….almond milk….unsalted butter…shredded cheddar — we’re at $12.50 now…
But when you arrive at the checkout tribunal, the cashier pronounces the total and you know immediately that you are convicted. Although you frantically rummage around in the bottom of your purse and find a warped and forgotten checkbook, the cashier shakes her head. “We don’t take checks anymore.”
Moments before, your fellow customers were on your team. You eyed the long checkout lines together, rolled your eyes and waited as one. Now, you are the criminal, holding up the line, found financially wanting. Although you definitely don’t make eye contact with them, you know they are judgmentally and impatiently tapping their toes.
How have you come to this place?
Somewhere between the frozen broccoli florets and the applesauce squeezies, things started to break down. Perhaps you mindlessly tossed a quart of spumoni into your cart, followed by a bag of artisan coffee beans instead of the generic variety. And maybe your ten-year-old slipped a discounted Lego set in there at the last minute. Either way, your budget has gone unheeded.
Thus begins the humiliating process of deciding what to put back — starting with the Lego figures, followed quickly by the spumoni.
This is highly humbling, which is actually the silver lining to all this. Like a dentist’s drill, it’s something you resist, but it’s good for you in the long run. The flesh cringes at the thought of being humbled, but the God-seeking soul craves it.
This is the point: I woke up at 3:00 a.m. last night, with dozens of thoughts, which tumbled out in rapid succession as prayers to the God who never sleeps.
It suddenly occurred to me that I could keep adding requests to my prayer cart and it would never be too much for Jesus. He is like a welcoming cashier that would be saying: “Get some more! There’s a BOGO on requests today! Go grab another — right there! Fill up your cart and put ‘em all down! Don’t worry, you have all the time in the world — there’s no one behind you!
A full cart. An unlimited supply. A generous God who has already paid for everything. I never have to decide if it’s too big or small to bring something up to the Throne of Grace…and I never have to put anything back.
~~~ Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. — John 14:13-14
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. — Philippians 4:6
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! — Luke 11:13
We are studying similes and we are trying to avoid the trite cliches that are “as old as the hills”, so we are making up our own. Everyone chose five abstract nouns and wrote two similes for each one. I thought these were some of the best:
He felt freedom like a feather in the open air.
Hatred melted away like a stream in the spring.
Reality is like a punch in the face.
Forgiveness is like a safety net.
The crime was as big as a bonfire.
His anger was like a house-eating wildfire.
He was as dishonest as a killdeer.
Their romance was like a budding flower — ever changing.
His anger bubbled up like a volcano.
Accepting defeat is like trying to know somebody you’ve never met.
His adventure was as fun as a ride at ValleyFair.
The moonlit snow sparkled like a thousand tiny jewels.
Jealousy is like hair loss; it might take someone else to point it out.
He was as calm as a painting.
His hatred was as hot as a burning furnace.
Music is like a therapy session.
He was as fast as a full-grown cheetah in the desert.
The lion’s power was like a legion of angry dragons.
“Reading these similes was like an eye-opening ride through an undiscovered village.” — Me
This is how I chose the word STRETCH for my 2020 Word of the Year:
I’d like to withstand and even embrace the changes that come my way. I’d like to learn to stay joyful in the middle of a changing family, life and world.
So I Googled: “What’s a word that means can withstand changes?
That led me to the online publication: An Introduction to the Study of Physics, Volume 1By A. F. Walden, J. J. Manley. (Recommended reading for those who struggle with insomnia.)
The word I found there was elasticity.
I looked up synonyms for elasticity and found: words like stretchy, flexible and pliable.
The word stretch can also mean: reach, develop, extend.
I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
To find your Word of the Year, try following these simple steps, courtesy of The Dolly Mama.
I live in Minnesota, where snowy forecasts threaten and chapped lips are a way of life.
Despite a desire for a little more elbow room, I simply cannot bring myself to banish my children out to the frozen tundra on restless January afternoons.
So, I, with many other hearty Midwest parents, have been forced to plan creative indoor activities, thereby saving our kids’ eyes from electronic combustion.
Here are three indoor activities to offer your children — and if the parents play along, the fun rate exponentially increases…
Puzzles may look like a simple, slow activity, but working jigsaw puzzles is actually a brain-building, skill-building pastime. Jigsaw puzzlesenhance problem-solving skills, improve learning, support social interaction, and generate a feeling of accomplishment.
Puzzles are an absorbing, therapeutic activity that can last days or weeks. If you have a spare table where a puzzle-in-progress can stay available, this is optimum. (We don’t; we just let the puzzle take over the dining room table until it’s completed.)
Jigsaw puzzles are great for many ages (but not all — watch those tiny pieces and keep your babies away.)Puzzles are beneficial for older people, too; they stimulate the brain and may delay the onset of dementia.
Kids can listen to audiobooks while they draw, build, or work puzzles. Audiobooks are also great for car trips — long or short.
Young readers can listen to an audiobook while they read along with the print version and reluctant readers who aren’t enthusiastic about print books can be wooed into a love of reading with audiobooks. (True story.)
Audiobook narrators are usually awesome, and they transport a child right into the pages of the book. Some of our favorite audiobooks for kids include:
Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries
Chronicles of Narnia
Mysterious Benedict Society Series
Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Note: We listened to three (Hardy Boys) audiobooks while we worked the Ocean Life puzzle shown at the beginning of this post.
Okay, this one was dredged up from my childhood math class (thank you, Mr. Kesti) and it’s more educational than it is pure fun. But, approached creatively, Krypto can be a pleasant addition to your indoor arsenal of activities.
There is a commercial version ofKrypto, but this is how we play it at home, without buying the game:
Choose 5 cards from a joker-less deck of cards.
Write those numbers on a white board.
Choose one more number and write it at the bottom.
Everyone looks at the board and tries to find a way to use all top 5 numbers to get the target number at the bottom.
You can add, subtract, multiply and divide the numbers until the target number is reached.
This uses all of the numbers, and the result is the target number (2) at the bottom.
When someone arrives at the target number, she yells, “KRYPTO!” and demonstrates how she got the answer.
We keep track of points and play it regularly as part of our homeschooling routine.
If your kids take to it, you can plan a lively Krypto tournament.
With or without competition, you’ll have some fun and keep math skills sharp over the holidays. Krypto is also a great low-key summer activity – a great way to stay math-savvy over school break. For more explanation, here’s a Krypto video.
Whether you live where it’s cold, or just need some rainy day ideas, hopefully you will enjoy some of this indoor fun that keeps Minnesotans snowbound but smiling until March.
I like a clean living space, but, cleaning is not a cherished hobby of mine. I generally value clutter-free over dust-free.
Years ago, my Spanish friend Ana invited me into her small apartment. I was amazed at how shiny-sparkly-clean it was and I commented on it.
“Yes, I like to do this!” Ana bubbled enthusiastically. I’ve never forgotten her radiant response; scrubbing the home spotless was a happy thing for her.
My Norwex-selling friend recently educated me on the stunning benefits of micro-fiber cleaning.
I’m totally not going to have a Norwex party, but I appreciated her zeal and knowledge; I really learned something.
For a recent birthday, my daughter gave me a cleaning tote, stuffed with Mrs. Meyer’s sprays and other goodies. Was this gift a not-so-subtle hint, because she knows my housecleaning flaws? Hmmm….
Anyway, cleaning is more fun, now that I have Mrs. Meyer’s help.
I will now awkwardly transition to some brief thoughts about spiritual cleaning.
I was reading my Bible the other day and I cannot remember exactly what I was reading. I didn’t feel spiritually dirty and didn’t set out be to be purposefully “washed” that day, but suddenly I truly felt God’s words cascading over me, cleansing me.
As I have chewed on this the last few days, I have felt that reading God’s word is a powerful spiritual cleaning agent because:
It reminds me whose I am
It purifies my life perspective
It shines a loving light onto my heart
It pours hope down on me
It showers comfort over my soul
It cleanses festering wounds
It removes destructive thoughts and damaging lies.
“…wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7
“The Gospel is a cleansing agent, for it is the good news of Christ’s atoning death at Calvary. The Word is a cleansing agent also for sanctification. That’s why it’s important for us to read and study the Scriptures; they are a cleansing agent in our lives. It’s amazing what the Word of God will do with people when they read and study it. — John MacArthur
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. —Isaiah 55:8-9
I am not a math whiz. Of all my extended family members, I am probably the least gifted with numbers.
My brain lives in the realm of pictures and approximations. Math is too exact; too detailed.
Yet, other family members seem to be fearless of numbers. My math-major sister-in-law said once in a casual setting, “I love abstract math.”
What is that? Math with no visible symbols? Who would want to make math harder than it already is?
So, the other day, I was visiting a church, watching a group of missionaries assemble at the front.
This caused me to think of my daughter, who is working at a refugee camp far away, going beyond her comfort zone, doing brave things in a company of global strangers.
Which caused me to consider all my children and who they are becoming.
“Lord, how did this happen? How can it be that you take children from a humble home, raised by imperfect parents, and grow them into amazing, beautiful souls?”
It doesn’t add up.
So, I was thinking about God’s kind of math, right there in the church service.
God’s equations go beyond 1+1=2. God’s math goes beyond what seems logical or rational. God’s math even seems to work backwards sometimes.
God’s kind of math says:
2 small coins can sometimes mean more than a large sum of money. (Mark 12:42)
Weak can be more powerful than strong. (Isaiah 40:29)
A few resources in God’s hands can multiply at a miraculous rate. (John 6:13)
Those who are last shall be first. (Matt 20:16)
When you give to God, you get back way more than you gave. (Luke 6:38)
Things put into God’s hands seem to explode exponentially.
Finally, the omnipotent God is not only a master multiplier, he is a caring Creator. Which earthly number cruncher would not only count stars in the sky, but also lovingly name them?
He determines the number of the stars; He gives to all of them their names. Psalm 147:4