Monday, March 30, 2009

Red Envelope Project

For all those who haven't heard about the Red Envelope Project yet, I'd like to share some details with you about this grassroots movement. It started out as a simple idea to send a strong pro-life message to our government and its leaders. Founder of Red Envelope Project Christ Otto writes:

Dear Friends and Intercessors:

Red Envelope Project Image This afternoon I was praying about a number of things, and my mind began to wander. I was deeply distressed at the symbolic actions that President Obama took as he began his presidency. Namely, that he signed executive orders releasing funds to pay for abortions, permission to fund human stem cell research, and federal funding for contraception. I have been involved in the pro-life movement for nearly 20 years, and it pained my heart to see a man and a political party committed to the shedding of innocent blood. This man, and this party lead our country, but they do not represent me or the 54% of Americans who believe that abortion is wrong and should no longer be legal.

As I was praying, I believe that God gave me an interesting idea. Out in the garage I have a box of red envelopes. Like the powerful image of the red LIFE tape, an empty red envelope will send a message to Barack Obama that there is moral outrage in this country over this issue. It will be quiet, but clear.

The website goes on to explain the significance of the color red for the envelopes as well as why March 31st was the date chosen for this mass mailing. Know that all envelopes must have a return address on them as they will not be delivered without it (apparently they will instead be put into the "Dead Letter Bin")! If you cannot find any red envelopes at this late date, you can either make them using a template and red paper or purchase pre-made envelopes which have been pre-addressed with message included here by midnight tonight.

The facebook page for Red Envelope Day even includes the suggestion "that you go to the post office between the hours of 12:00 - 1:00pm on the 31st if you work during the day. If you do not work, we would encourage you to go to the post office between 10:00 - 11:00am.

The purpose of this is to unite everyone and give you a chance to meet each other during the event. Please take photos of you with your envelopes and other participants in front of the post office. It might be fun to make a sign with your city and state as well so we can see everyone around the country represented.

If you are already doing Red Envelope Day with a group, we would ask that you go as a group and document your experience."

If you would like to send a strong pro-life message to Washington to remind them of who we are (the ones they represent) and what we stand for (LIFE!), please consider joining with us in this movement. Honor the unborn and let our leaders remember them as well by getting your red envelopes in the mail tomorrow!! God bless!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

We All Fall Down

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

It's been a whole month since my last posting, and I've actually been missing having something to say. I feel as though my voice has been lost this season as this has been one of the worst winters on record for our family's health. Since January, there has been sickness in the house. I'm talking about stuffy and runny noses, headaches, stomach bug, blocked sinuses and even bouts of vertigo. We're dealing with constant lack of sleep, missed appointments, canceled meetings, cabin fever and more snow this winter than I've seen since I was 4 years old (do you remember those winters from your childhood where the snow piles were bigger than you?). Not to mention the other huge piles of white laying around the house - tissues. Too bad we don't have stock in Puffs Plus because I bet, even with this awful economy, they're still making huge profits! With the exception of one week off here and there, I myself have been sick the most. As the mom, I am exposed to every virus that walks in here. My lack of sleep and the overall modus operandi of typical mother martyrdom has taken a toll on my body and my mental state. I'm not writing this simply to complain but to convince myself that Spring truly is around the corner. That there is always hope.
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 1:24
Chronic sickness chips away at our mental faculties as much as our physical bodies. Our spiritual lives may become a bit stagnant as the only thing we have energy for is prayers of restoration to God. Church is not attended much anymore not only because of how we're feeling, but because I'm wondering what other germs can be caught while we're there? If there is space for doing daily devotions, it becomes rote and somewhat burdensome. After all, I'm missing out on what - an extra 15-25 minutes of desperately-needed sleep? And whose mind can easily understand the spiritual truths laid out before them with brain fog and tissues stuck permanently up their nose? Thank goodness for the Holy Spirit and His invisible hand working and directing in our minds and spirits even when we're not fully aware. Yes, indeed...this has been a bad winter.

Sickness has not only made me weak, it has humbled me. Being sick and tired of being sick and tired is not a fun place to be, and it reminds us of our frailty and mortality. It also becomes very frustrating for the ones who are left to care for everyone else. My husband is a dear man with a sensitive spirit and a warm heart, a man who doesn't balk at changing diapers, is a great cook and regularly encourages me to take care of myself. But every person has their limits, and my husband will be the first to admit he doesn't do very well taking care of the sick and needy. My husband can probably count on his hands how many times he's been sick in his entire life. One can't have much empathy for something which one doesn't have much experience. One day a few weeks ago, he asked me if the nausea he was experiencing was how I felt when I was going through morning sickness with my last three pregnancies. He couldn't imagine how one goes through that on a daily basis throughout pregnancy. Welcome to my life, honey! It's hard to feel less pathetic though when one is constantly weak and tired, unable to satisfactorily fulfill the role of mother and wife.

As Spring heralds its weak arrival (it's 36 degrees out today), I cling to the hope of warmer weather, better health and happiness. It's hard to be content in these circumstances, and I marvel at Paul's resignation, nay joy, in his own thorn in the side (II Cor. 12:7). It seems when it comes to hope, many times the Bible refers to waiting for it.

  • I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him." Lamentations 3:24
  • It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:26
  • There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. Psalm 23:18
  • Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. Psalm 24:14
  • Wait on the Lord: be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, on the Lord. Psalm 27:14
  • But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Romans 8:25
  • For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Titus 2:11-13
I know my sufferings are trivial compared to others. After all, I'm only speaking about a cold virus and, Superbug that I think it may be, it is not lupus, cancer, mental illness, heart disease or any number of true chronic illnesses. I have not lost a loved one recently, and my family is intact. Others have gone through and are going through real tragedies where the slimy pit, mud and mire of sorrow, anxiety and depression are daily realities. God knew this world is quite hopeless and that we would not find much hope within it. So though I long for Spring to come and health to return, my real hope needs to be in God, my salvation. Otherwise, my hope is in vain, and my soul cannot be satisfied with any other help. Even when I don't have the strength to set my feet on the ground, may I find the strength to praise Him with my lips.

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:1-3a
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