Talking About Sex

On Thursday evenings I look forward to seeing the prompt  that  Kate   Motaung has chosen for Five Minute Friday. I enjoy linking up with this community of writers and seeing where the word takes us. Today’s prompt is: INTENTIONAL

I was born in the 1950s, before the b.c. pill became widely available

My mother had five of us. The women in my church had anywhere from three to five, maybe six children. My aunt had six children.

I was just out of nursing school when Roe v. Wade legalized abortion. I still remember the young woman that was brought in to the  labor and delivery unit where I was working. She was there for a saline induction and as I understood what was happening, I was horrified. The baby would die before being delivered.

The next day I went to the nurse manager and told her that I could never be assigned an abortion case. I wrote a letter about my conviction, and it was placed in my file at work.

I grew up in a different age. The sexual revolution has made things seem common, things that are harmful to women.

I want my granddaughters to know that they should protect their bodies. I want them to know that sex is a deep bond reserved for marriage. It is just one part of a life-long commitment to one man.

I want them to know that sometimes pregnancy is a surprise,  but  it  is  always a gift. Motherhood is hard; it is a self-sacrificing role, but it has many joys. It is a time to get close to God. A time to lean in to Him for strength and guidance.

I will tell them.

All Life is Precious

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Seeking Peace and Focus: Quieting the Competing Voices

On Thursday evenings I look forward to seeing the prompt  that  Kate   Motaung has chosen for Five Minute Friday. I enjoy linking up with this community of writers and seeing where the word takes us. Today’s prompt is: SIMPLIFY

Sometimes the news and political controversies stir up my emotions and distract me. The “news” is posted on my e-mail carrier, on my iphone, on twitter. I had a habit of watching the news on TV while eating breakfast (a bit of a news junkie?).

This year I need new habits. My husband and I are reading devotions based on the Proverbs every morning (God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life by Tim Keller). I am eating breakfast in silence and then spending time on my study of the book of Romans.

With so many competing voices in our culture I need to focus on the Bible.

The Word of God is the best guiding voice for each day.

Your Word is a lamp to my feet . . .

Your word is a lamp to my feet

And a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

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Sweet Potato Casserole: A Side Dish for Fish

When we are in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan, about as far north as you can go in Michigan, we enjoy getting a meal at the 4 Suns Fish & Chips. Sometimes we get fish & chips to go.

Sweet Potato Casserole: Side Dish for Fish

At other times we sit outdoors with a view of the Quincy Mine.

A Side Dish for Fish

At one time the restaurant offered a layered sweet potato bake. You could select it instead of French fries. But it is no longer on their menu. I liked it so much that I have come up with a recipe based on my memory of this dish.

Ingredients:

3 small or 2 medium size sweet potatoes

½ apple, peeled and grated

½ Vidalia onion, sliced thin

2 tsp. coconut oil

2 or 3 slices of Swiss cheese

Bake or steam the sweet potatoes until they are fork tender. Sauté the onion in the coconut oil, until translucent.

Then peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into rounds. Place half of the rounds in a small casserole. Cover with half of the grated apple, then half of the sautéed onion. Place a slice of Swiss cheese on top, and repeat the layers.

Bake at 375° for 20 to 25 minutes.

Sweet Potato Casserole

I like to serve it with tilapia.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Linking this post with the Homestead Blog Hop,   Sue’s Wordless Wednesday and Create with Joy

Finding Inspiration in 2018

The young men glided and twirled across the ice. Triple axles, quads and dance sequence steps. Occasionally there was a misstep or fall. But they picked themselves up and continued on.  I was watching the  National    Figure Skating Competition on TV.

Next month the winter Olympics will begin in South Korea. I look forward with hope, that for a while the political turmoil in the region will cease. Figure skating is my favorite event to watch. The artistry of the figure skating athletes is beautiful. I am inspired by their motivation to be the best.

We need experiences, art and words that inspire and encourage.

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.       Philippians 4:8

It is my prayer that I will write words of encouragement in the year unfolding before us.

Visit the Five Minute Friday community for inspiration. Today’s prompt is: MOTIVATION

Linking this post with Faith on Fire

Mary, Did You Wonder?

In the past couple weeks I have been feeding, swaddling and cuddling an infant. And I have thought about Mary. The account in Luke tells about the angel’s appearance and promise “You shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 2:31b-33

When Mary visited Elizabeth, she received encouragement and confirmation. She responded with a beautiful song of praise.

But then Mary and Joseph had to make the trip to Bethlehem. And the birth of Jesus took place in a stable because there was no room for them in the inn. Did she wonder about the circumstances of his birth, the Son of the Most High? If it was me, at this point doubt of the angel’s words might have crept in.

Mary, Did You Wonder?

The visit by the shepherds may have encouraged her once more as they told Mary and Joseph about the angels that had announced Jesus birth to them.

Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. Luke 2:19

God’s way are often different from what we expect.

Mary is an example for us. She took note of the signs that God gave. When she was called on to trust Him she sang an offering of praise. She treasured the events that demonstrated God at work. She pondered. She thought and considered quietly, soberly and deeply.

 

Mary, Did You Wonder?

I am linking up with Five Minute Friday, a community of inspirational writers. Every Friday Kate Motaung gives a word prompt. And then we write for five minutes. Today’s prompt is DIFFERENT. Click here to visit FMF.

The Nativity Scene is from a Raphael Tuck & Sons postcard courtesy of FreeVintageArt.com

 

Where the Reindeer Run Free

This past summer my husband and I traveled to Finland. We visited the village where my grandmother grew up, north of the artic circle.

We enjoyed seeing the pristine forests, rivers and lakes.

Finland

And we saw reindeer roaming freely. They graze in the forests, fields and even in yards adjacent to cabins. The lichen growing in the forest is a favored food.

Reindeer

We were amazed to see a couple dozen reindeer run past a strip of stores.

Reindeer

During the summer it is always daylight. But now as winter approaches the sun makes a much shorter appearance, skimming along the horizon. The reindeer are gathered in herds and taken care of by Lapland herders.

Linking this post with Sue’s Wordless Wednesday

Advent and the Family

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son . . . John 3:16

As I think about Christmas and God’s great gift to us, I find it meaningful that Jesus came to a family. He came as an infant to Mary and Joseph, to the family unit. From the beginning, starting in Genesis, God planned the family unit.

We have fractures and brokenness in family life, but it is God’s design for nurture. Jesus came to heal the brokenness. The church family is called to be a place of healing.

My daughter and her husband are taking in two children for foster care, hoping to adopt. This is a stretching experience. We have limited insight into the heritage and health history of the children. We simply know that they need a loving home.

It gives me joy to see my daughter and son-in-law welcoming them into their home. I am blessed in being able to help. As I swaddle and feed the baby he cuddles up against me.

And so I have new insight. As part of a church family my willingness to extend love needs to be stretched. God’s desire is for us to bring healing to those in need.

Five Minute Friday is a community of inspirational writers. Every Friday Kate Motaung gives a word prompt. And then we write for five minutes. Today’s prompt is ONLY.

Thank-you for visiting.   I would be pleased to have you stop  by my  Facebook page.

Draw Near to the Savior

The Bluebird Café and Bookstore is a charming shop, located on Main Street in Hutchinson, Kansas. Whenever I visit my daughter we make a trip to this bookstore. As I walked through the aisles this time a colorful picture book caught my eye.

Christmas in the Barn  was  written by Margaret Wise Brown.   My daughter and I paged through the book, enjoying the rhythm of the words. The animals came near the birth of the babe in the ancient barn.

The pictures enhanced the story told in poetic form. After the shepherds came, the bright star shining above the barn guided the wise men to the barn. The words are a lyrical version of the story recorded in the book of Luke.

So many wonderful parts to the record of Jesus’ incarnation. I like to think about the shepherd’s response.

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us”. And they went with haste . . . Luke 2:15-16a

The shepherds saw God’s plan of salvation beginning to unfold. Now we have the Bible with the full story and the opportunity to draw near to the Savior.

This post is linked to Five Minute Friday. Every Friday Kate Motaung gives a word prompt. And then we write for five minutes. Today’s prompt is NEAR.  Visit this community and join the fun by clicking here.

Sharing this post with Faith on Fire , Booknificent Thursday and Literacy Musing Monday also.

A Thanksgiving Birthday

This year I cooked the turkey on Wednesday, a day before Thanksgiving. I scooped out the stuffing and put it in a casserole dish. I deboned the meat and placed it in a  large  baking  dish.   I  put  the  bones in  the  freezer, planning to make broth sometime in the next week.

Turkey

When my daughter and her family came for Thanksgiving my meal was ready. I said to her, “This worked well. I think I might want to do this again.”

She gave me a peculiar look and said, “You cooked the turkey on Wednesday last year too.”

“I did?”

“Mom, the baby was due and we didn’t know when I was going to go into labor. You made the turkey ahead and brought it over on Thanksgiving.”

And then I remembered. She did go into labor late in the day on Thanksgiving. Sometime during the early morning hours of the next day she went to the hospital with her husband—and I went along as extra support.

The birth of my youngest grandson was beautiful. The doctor commented that he wasn’t really needed. Everything proceeded smoothly.

I remember the birth of this little boy,  now  turning  one  year  old.  Memory of the Thanksgiving dinner has faded into the background.

But I think I will keep the tradition of cooking the bird on Wednesday.

This post is linked to Five Minute Friday. Every Friday Kate Motaung gives a word prompt. And then we write for five minutes. Today’s prompt is FAMILIAR.  Visit this community and join the fun by clicking here.

No Thanks Birth Control

On Wednesday, November 15th, a social media campaign called #ThanksBirthControl went live on twitter. It is interesting that this was taking place while so many stories of sexual harassment were coming to light. What has happened to the way men treat women?

All through history there have been problems in relationships between men and women. We keep trying to figure this out in our human way, and some things have changed. In the United States we are blessed with equal opportunity for girls in our school system. In fact more girls are going to college than boys. (Why is that?)

Women have opportunities in sports, government and corporate jobs. But the area of sexuality is a big problem. Where is the respect for a woman’s body?   Do women appreciate  the  potential  they  have to carry new life?

Amazing Microbiome

I grew up during the sexual revolution.     The  birth  control  pill  was  released and quickly became popular while I was a teenager. It was claimed that men and women would have sexual equality. Women could enjoy sexual relationships without worrying about becoming pregnant. How has that worked out?

The birth control pill ushered in the need to legalize abortion. If the pill was not effective in preventing pregnancy, then there had to be another way.

Since the widespread use of hormonal birth control, the rate of breast cancer has increased. The Breast Cancer Prevention Institute (BCPI) has an article that explains the link between hormonal medication and breast cancer. You can access the article here.

Men were more than willing to leave the responsibility for the consequences of sexual intimacy entirely on women. It gave them a free pass. Casual sex became common.

I don’t think this climate has led to men being more respectful of women.

In truth, the only way for men and women to be truly equal is to follow the precepts of the Bible. Men and women have been created equal, but with different roles. A sexual relationship flourishes in a marriage that is centered on the love, sacrifice and forgiveness demonstrated by Jesus Christ.

#ThxBirthControl #ButNoThx

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