The Bright Side

A sword AND a knife!!!

I was enjoying the unseasonably warm weather yesterday by taking a walk with the youngest three kids and Johnny.  Johnny was my big helper.  Those three little ones are packed closely in age and don’t exactly listen very well yet.  James is the one you have to worry about most.  He is old enough to run and thinks any instructions you yell at him are optional at best.  (Let’s face it, my older kids think this same thing too!)  


Johnny had a stick which, in his mind,  was a sword worthy of the finest knight.  He decided to spear a lose crabapple only to have said sword snap into two pieces.   He was looking at the piece in his hand and the broken off piece on the ground.  I reassured him it was still a very nice sword.  He then looked back at the ground and exclaimed, “I now have a sword AND a knife!”  He picked them both up and took off running after James.


Children so often remind us of who we should be.  This ability to look on the bright side and see the good in any situation is only one of their innumerable talents.  Children are a great blessing.


In some of my newfound zeal for history, I was reading a book on World War II.  An especially sad chapter spoke about the Nazi experiments that were conducted on so many innocent people.  They conducted thousands of these, but what they spent the most time on was discovering the most effective way to sterilize women.  In the end they discovered that one doctor aided by ten assistants was able to sterilize 1000 women in one day!  I know this sounds completely unbelievable and when I first shared it with Tate I actually had to go back and read it again to confirm.  (This was a Time Life book on the war.)   It was not enough for them to kill so many, they wanted to prevent any future births.  This focus of the Nazis on preventing life went hand in hand with their mentality that not all were deserving of life and not all were born equal.  Children, who are in reality a great gift of God, were to be avoided at all costs.  Children who give us hope.  Children who remind us of simple pleasures and the beauty of God’s creation.  Children who make us want to be better people.  Children who are so willing to look at the bright side of things like my Johnny.  Children are so full of LIFE and LIFE is a beautiful gift.  


I think all would look to the Nazis and agree that their view on the value of life was twisted and wrong.  However, how willing are we to take a close look at how our society, our nation views life?   Abortion continues to be a great sadness in our nation and there is an ever increasing legalization and acceptance of euthanasia.  Further, this mentality that life should be avoided at all costs is rampant in our country’s consciousness.  Children are seen as a burden and a monetary cost is assigned to their lives.  Our freedoms and desires are found to be of more value than the self sacrifice required to raise a child.  In the end, these freedoms and desires prove to be fleeting and empty, while the love of a child is beyond price.


Tomorrow, on Friday January 27, hundreds of thousands of people will be marching in Washington and all over the nation in smaller marches to stand up for our belief that all life is sacred.  Life is precious from the moment of conception until natural death.  We should do all that we can with our time, talent and treasure to help bring an end to this great evil.  Children taken from the very womb of she who should love them the most.  Women, too often lied to and misled into thinking this decision will solve their problems, are left to carry the pain of regret.


However, if we are ever to end abortion, we are going to have to fundamentally change how we view life, how we view children.  Children are a gift, a gift that we should be open to in our marriages.  In countries around the world, you find that birth rates are falling even as the standard of living continues to rise.  What does this tell us?  Having children is not as valued as it once was.


As for me, I am so very thankful for the life of each of my children.  I am thankful for those who were spared from abortion by their birth mothers and made the loving choice of making an adoption plan.  I am thankful for those I so unexpectedly conceived. Their lives continue to amaze and inspire me to be a better mother each and every day. They have given me far more than I could ever give them.


One thing I know, however new life comes into your family, it is an occasion of great celebration.  Could God be calling you to have more children or to adopt?  Leave your heart open to His call and you may just find a gift beyond measure.

Johnny, thanks for encouraging Mom to always look on the bright side!  JMJ