I Am Allowed Hatred Without Caveats

I hate the Holocaust.

Hate it.

I hate that it happened. I hate that the world stood by and watched. I hate that people were gathered, based on their DNA, into pens, camps, and gas chambers.

Hate it.

If I were to state this sentiment at a cocktail party (what a buzz kill, right?), or to express these thoughts during a history class (probably a more suitable venue), everyone would nod along with me. Everyone would agree. Everyone would join in with their hatred of this atrocity and suggestions of how we could have acted faster.

But let's say everyone didn't join in my indignation.

I shout, "I hate the Holocaust!" And everyone just stared, and then someone patted my arm and said, "Courtney, you can't really hate the Holocaust. I mean, you're only allowed to protest about it if you're also for a Jewish relocation program."

I stare at them blankly.

And the person on my other side said, "I mean, I understand you're upset about the super-intelligent Jews that were killed, but you can't really be anti-Holocaust unless you're also pro-Jewish education."

I blink. Shocked.

It was genocide. It was horrible. It was deplorable. I am allowed to hate it. Without caveats. Men were killing men based on a man-made determination of worth. I. Hate. That.

So, this is what I'm saying...

I HATE ABORTION.

It is genocide.

It is murder.

It is the mutilation of little babies.

Don't tell me I also have to support adoption. Don't tell me that I also have to be pro-woman. Don't tell me that I must caveat my hatred for this despicable, horrible, satanic practice.

Listen to what I am saying: I am a woman. I respect women. We bring something to the world that no man can. I love children. I've adopted one, birthed one, and am in the process of adopting our foster son. Because I love children. And I want to help and heal and serve those who are hurting, overwhelmed, and underprivileged. I love the women who work at those clinics. I love the women who are driven to desperation. If you've been through an abortion, my heart yearns over you. I want to hold you and let you cry. I want you to find help and healing. (If this is you, please. Please, there are women who want to help you heal... https://www.healinghearts.org/). I love the women who made this painful choice. 

BUT I HATE THE CHOICE.

I love the doctors, the nurses, the heads of these difference agencies. My heart aches for them, because I know that they are hardened or struggling. They are trying to provide truth in a vacuum. I cry for their souls. I shudder at their future.

I HATE ABORTION.

I do not need to provide a list of things I am "pro." I am pro-life because abortion is genocide. No one asks me to caveat my views of the Holocaust. No one insists I must be pro-Israel. I'm allowed to just HATE IT. In the wake of Planned Parenthood videos, I see many people stating that I must be "pro" a whole list of other things in order to justify my "anti-abortion" standing. Listen to me. There is no verse in the Bible where I have to support my intense dislike of murder. To demand that I must list thirty-seven ways I love children, women, and families, in order to be against the brutal mutilation of a silently screaming infant: THAT IS IDIOTIC. And completely unbiblical. 

I refuse to caveat my hatred of abortion.

These are babies.

Abortion is slaughter.

This is our Holocaust.

You're allowed to hate it. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Searing Vision

There are certain books I have read probably 10+ times, and I am almost positive (since I'm only at the tender age of 31), that I shall probably read them at least 10+ more. There are my staple Austen's (Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion), my requisite children's literature (Ella Enchanted and Little Women), my life-changing biography (God's Smuggler), the staple Victorian chick-lit (Anne of Green Gables and anything by Angela Thirkell), and of course... the delicious "Chronicles of Narnia" by C.S. Lewis, that I have read so many times, I can quote portions of them right along with the audiobooks.

One of my favorites scenes occurs in The Voyage of The Dawn Treader. A boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb (who was so awful, he almost deserved that name), has been transformed into a dragon. Incapable of changing himself back into a scrawny boy, he seems destined to live out the rest of his life on a forsaken island. One night, Aslan, the lion/Christ figure appears and takes him to a hidden spring. Eustace tries to get in to the bubbling, pure water, but is told first to "undress" from his dragon scales. He peels off his outer layer of scales. Once. Twice. A third time. But to no avail. His dragon coat remains impenetrable. Then, Aslan offers to help... “The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart.” recounts Eustace to his friends. Aslan proceeds to strip him, hurting him with a searing pain, and yet, Eustace says, it feels so good.

I'm in dragon stage right now. Sometimes, I'm legitimately a "dragon mommy." (I had a break down last week which involved me hyperventilating... to myself. Alone. In a toy room. While my family ate dinner. I'm not proud of that...) I have three small humans (and a not-so-small one in my uterus that is growing like gangbusters), who are the proverbial moral "blank slates." Every day is a battle. It's wrapped up in cuteness, but it's a battle. A battle for "please/thank you," a battle for obedience, a battle for thankfulness, attentiveness, politeness, kindness, and gentleness.

And my dragon skin is being ripped off, one layer at a time. I'm still a dragon. But my layers of scales are being peeled off. Bit, by painful bit. That's what I'm praying for, anyway. I don't want the hard days to leave me unchanged, or bitter, or with a handful of cute stories and nothing more. I want the brutal battle of motherhood to transform me.

But on the hard days... when I find a third puddle of urine, I've lost count of how many peanut butter sandwiches I've made, and we're having a 45 minute battle over wearing a sweatshirt (that yesterday was a favorite and today is apparently like acid touching the skin)... On those days, I dream about the day. The day when I shall see HIM. The one who will peel away every layer of dragon in one swift motion. I know that's what will happen.

Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. (I John 3:2)

We are not now what we will be... we are humans disguised as dragons, but in one searing vision, in one swift glimpse of our Savior and our God, our dragon skin will be ripped completely off. And we shall be seen for who we were meant to be. And that, my friends, will make all the urine puddles and toddler battles worthwhile. Keep peeling that skin, my friend. Keep peeling.

Work Those Muscles!

Several weeks ago, I wrote this blog post about motherhood squashing your talents. The slightly humorous fact about this, is that I thought I was finally emerging from a "squashed" period, and that writing would once again become a part of my daily life.

Um. Obviously, that didn't happen.

I did a lot of other fun things. I painted walls. I had pool parties. I went to the park... a lot. We read books, I worked on an art project, I cleaned... a lot. And it got me thinking about my energy allocations right now.

It takes a LOT of energy to do basic tasks right now. For example, the other day, I spent an hour washing dishes. Yes. An hour. Guess how many dishes I washed?

FOUR.

I washed four dishes in the span of an hour. Because, in that span of an hour, every crisis under the sun broke loose in my kitchen. Someone took someone else's toy... seven times. Someone kept trying to explore my utensil drawer. Someone slipped on a puddle of water (that they, themselves created by trying to fill up a glass at the refrigerator), and basically, the world ended. In preschool/toddler fashion.

It was kind of funny... in a sweating, chaotic, noisy, unproductive-sort-of-way. And when my husband walked through the door, and the counter was still covered in dirty dishes, and the "slipped in a puddle" casualty was bawling on my lap, and dinner wasn't ready, I choked a little. I'm not sure if it was laughter or tears. Probably a psychotic swirl of both.

Motherhood does that to you.

Actually, lots of phases of life do this to you.

Basic tasks take super-human strength, and focus, and tenacity.

In order to do laundry, wash dishes, clean my house... it takes a massive amount of work.

In order to create, write, or paint... it takes a massive amount of work.

In order to read, think, discuss... it takes a massive amount of work.

My life is one long resistance training program right now. Not impossible. But very, very difficult.

But here's the deal with resistance training. It leaves you stronger.

If I can clean a house with three preschoolers, you better believe I can clean it when I'm alone. If I can read books, find time to write, and whip out my water colors (all at 5 minute, precious, stolen increments), how much more could I accomplish in an hour of alone time? 

There are times when you walk away from things in motherhood. You have to hold them loosely. All of them... the cleaning, the creating, the managing... Everything but the eternal things... But there are also times when you don't have to walk away. There are times when you can run back, for a quick dip in the "extras" pool. You can scrub a bathroom, whip out a paper, read a book.

It won't be as leisurely as it once was. You'll have to squeeze it out of something else, something loud and demanding, but you can do it! Use those muscles! Every little moment you choose in a moment of adversity, will be multiplied in a moment of peace. 

So, go back to an old hobby.

Pick up a new book.

Discover something new you've always wanted to try. (This is one of my favorites... I've created all sorts of stuff in the kitchen lately, and about a year ago, I started teaching myself pen-and-ink/water colors. I'm not that good. But I really, really enjoy it!) 

Use those muscles, mommies! Motherhood is no reason to atrophy as a human being.