She works with willing hands.

Five Things I’d Like To Tell The Teenage Me

1. Remember that guy who made you cry when you were waitressing?  He told you that your face is pretty and asked why you wear so much make-up.  He said you should go wash it off, and you were so embarrassed.

He was right.  You wear too much make-up.  You are a girl, and you’ll look mature soon enough.  Stop cheapening the natural beauty God gave you.

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:14).

2. Remember when you won that big writing contest in sixth grade?  You love to write, and you’re good at it.  Don’t let people tell you that creative writing lacks value and you must choose a more practical profession.  Don’t be persuaded that making buckets of money is the ultimate goal of education.

God gifted you with an affinity for the written word and the art of creating it.  You believe that words matter – and you’re right – they do.  So write.

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” (Colossians 3:23).

3. Stop giving yourself to that boy.  You’re not going to marry him, and he doesn’t value you as he should.  You are a treasure created in God’s image – treat yourself as such.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?  You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.  So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

4. I know that being a teenager is difficult and confusing.  It is for everyone.  I know that people are mean (don’t be one of them!) and teenage heartache is aptly named because it actually hurts your heart.  Sometimes life is hard…but this too shall pass.

“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

5. People will hurt you – terribly.  But God will not.  You are so loved by him.

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

Writing for Scary Mommy

Scary Mommy

 

So I’m sort of freaking out.  Next week my writing will appear on the mega site Scary Mommy.

Known for their snarky humor and edgy content, Scary Mommy is a place for imperfect parents (of which I am one).  Their Facebook page, which boasts nearly 1.5 million likes, is emblazoned with the disclaimer:

Attention!  Scary Mommy is intended for people who have a sense of humor, an appreciation for sarcasm and wear panties that don’t easily get in a wad.  You’ve been warned.

Over the past many months I submitted a number of articles to Scary Mommy, and this is the first that they’ve chosen to publish.  It’s also my first paid writing gig, which makes me feel sort of legit.

Some of you may consider my Scary Mommy piece edgy, but it’s a piece of my story, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

I just hope your panties don’t wad up when you read it.  You’ve been warned.

xo

2015 In Review

2015 was a year that took me far, far away from my comfort zone.  I struggled with – and was challenged by – what I believe God was asking me to do with this blog.

When I first started Unbored Housewife in February of 2015, I wanted it to be light and enjoyable, free of heaviness and any hint of sorrow.  I wanted to write about my lifestyle as a former lawyer turned stay-at-home mom to three kids ages five and under.  Far from the perfect veneer displayed by many bloggers, I decided not to manufacture anything for the purposes of this blog.  I would write about the life that I’m already living – and the food that I’m already cooking for my family.  I wanted to be genuine.

But at the same time, I was wary about sharing too much about my Christian faith.  I didn’t want to alienate any potential readers, or turn off any real life friends.  I wanted this blog to be just lightly seasoned by my faith – not too salty – nice and palatable.

But as the months passed, I felt God tugging on my heart.

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?  It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”

These are the words of Jesus, my Lord and Savior, in Matthew 5:13.  He spoke them when he was giving the Sermon on the Mount.  Jesus continued:

“You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).

I am a person of faith.  That is who I am.  And Jesus Christ is more important to me than anything this world has to offer.  To make this blog only lightly seasoned – not too salty – would be the opposite of being genuine.  It would be wholly inauthentic.

So I started writing about my faith, and the ways that God changed me.  I shared my abortion story, knowing full well that writing about the wildly divisive topic of abortion is one of the fastest and surest ways to drive away readers.

But Jesus calls me to be salt and light.  And how can I be salty and bright if I’m hiding the things Jesus did for me?

No, 2015 was not easy, and I laid awake many nights fearful of what I so openly shared.  I also had many difficult conversations (both virtually and in person) with friends and readers who had abortions themselves.  Some of them had abortions when they were just girls and some of them had abortions after they were raped.  Their stories are difficult and painful – and I will take them to my grave.  I am thankful that they trusted me enough to tell me their stories.  But it was hard.  And I ache for them.

So I don’t know what 2016 holds – only God does.  I’ll continue writing about my lifestyle as a stay-at-home mom raising three crazy kids, including the meals I prepare for them, the lessons I teach them (and they teach me), and the joy that they and Jersey Boy bring me.  But I now know one thing for sure.  God is calling me to be salt and light, and write about how the truth revealed in his Word changed my life.  I am a person of faith – and I put 2016 in the hands of my Savior.

Happy new year, folks.  Thanks for making Unbored Housewife possible.  You bless me so.

xo

What’s wrong with being a princess?

The other day, my Baby Girl was in the arms of her grandfather (who goes by the moniker “Big E”), when he lovingly referred to her as “sweetheart.”  She immediately placed her slender little hands on either side of his face, and drawing his gaze directly to hers, she proclaimed:

“No.  Me princess.”

Before I had a daughter, I was anti-princess.  Not in an aggressive and vocal way – but I had a strong distaste for the little girl princess culture.  Shirts emblazoned with phrases such as “I’m the princess,” or “Daddy’s little princess,” or even worse “I didn’t ask to be a princess…but if the crown fits…” received eye rolls from me, and I silently judged the parents whose little girls donned said shirts.

As a lawyer who understood the challenges that professional women still face, I determined that if I ever had a girl, she would know that she was valuable, but not in a delicate fairy princess sort of way.  My daughter would wear a shirt that said something like “I’m not a princess – I’m a boss,” or “Why be a princess when you can be a president?”

But like so many matters in parenting, I found my theoretical pre-daughter anti-princess ideology evolving after Baby Girl’s arrival.  And it began when, to my dismay, Jersey Boy started calling our daughter “Princess.”

Understanding the importance of cultivating their father-daughter relationship and desiring that Jersey Boy feel connected with Baby Girl, I chose not to discourage him by voicing my distaste for the pseudo-royalty nickname.  He was her daddy after all, and he could call her whatever darling little name he chose.  I had to admit, it was a little sweet.  And she seemed to love it.

With two older brothers and a house full of trains, trucks and soldiers, Baby Girl has spent much of her two years playing with “boy toys.”  But the truth is – she is fascinated by princesses.  She adores the sweet pastel pink and violet dresses, the flowing hair and sparkly tiaras.  And despite my reluctance, many of her Christmas gifts this year were princess related.  I suppose, as a family, we are finding ourselves firmly immersed in the little girl princess culture.

And you know what?  I think I’m okay with it.

If Baby Girl feels like she is daddy’s princess, is that really a bad thing?  If Jersey Boy makes her feel beautiful, delicate, valuable and royal, is it wrong?  Soon enough, the world will give her a host of perverted messages about her value and worth, and if she spends the first several years of her life being told that she is precious and cared for, I think I’m okay with it.

So sure, Jersey Boy and I will also teach her that she’s smart…and tough…and capable.  But can’t she be those things while wearing a lacy dress and a tiara?  What’s wrong with being a princess?

All is calm…all is bright.

Ahhh…now I can breathe.  This Christmas season was a true whirlwind.  And a true joy.  Surrounded by people who love us, my littles, Jersey Boy and I delighted in celebrating the birth of our Savior.  We hosted our first Christmas Eve open house (with lots of guests), and then we traveled to visit family on Christmas day.  It was a lot of work – and a lot of fun – all wrapped up in one big Christmas package.

And then today we did nothing.

Well…nothing except this:

potty training V

Today we potty trained our third (and probably last) child.

I’m not sure how I feel about being a diaper-free house, but it marks a new chapter of sorts for our family.  No more babies.  I don’t know whether to cheer or cry.

So instead of doing either, I cracked open this bottle of wine:

good jersey wine

And boy, is it good.

A Christmas gift from a friend with good taste, it’s a blend of Riesling, Pinot Grigio, and Gewurtzraminer.  I looked it up online and it has won some fancy pants awards.

And look where it’s from.  Try as I might to deny it, I have a thing for Jersey.

So tonight Jersey Boy and I toast (with our lovely fancy pants wine) to the calm of our post-Christmas whirlwind, to the bright joy of celebrating Jesus’s birth with loved ones…and to no more diapers.

Merry post-Christmas to you and yours.

xo,

Unbored Housewife

What Having An Abortion Taught Me About God

As I’ve shared before, fourteen years ago I had an abortion.  It was a horribly sad and traumatic experience, and the grief resulting from my choice to kill my child will stay with me for the remainder of my days.  I know that there are no tears in heaven, but here on earth I still weep regularly for that baby who would today be a teenager.

But I have not faced my pain alone.  God has been with me through it all.  And he has shown me so much about himself along the way.

In the days following my abortion, God used the people around me to point me squarely towards him.  He used my roommate to bring me to the offices of Amnion Pregnancy Center where I met my counselor Jane.  And he used Jane to point me to the Bible, God’s Word, which is the means by which God speaks to his people today.  Through the grief of my abortion, God blessed me with the desire to seek his Biblical truth, and he taught me these things about himself:

1.  A good tree does not bear bad fruit (Matthew 7:18).

When someone is a true follower of God, having placed their trust in Christ Jesus as their savior, the Bible says that they bear fruit.  This means that their faith is evident in the way that they live their life.  They seek to glorify their savior by obeying his commands and abiding in his love.  If a tree is healthy in its core, it will bear good fruit.  But if a tree is sick and rotting inside, its fruit will likewise be rotten.

Before my abortion, I would have called myself a Christian.  I grew up in a non-denominational Christian church, and attended corporate worship every Sunday up until middle school.  I prayed “to ask Jesus into my heart” when I was four-years-old.

I could have explained to you that Jesus is God’s son and that he died on the cross.  I could have told you that three days after Jesus died, God brought him back to life and he later ascended into heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father.  I knew many of the “correct” answers, and I believed myself to be a follower of Jesus.

But in retrospect, my fruit was rotten.

Nothing in my life reflected a regenerate heart.  I displayed a pattern of flagrant and willful sin, believing that I could repent and ‘get right with the Lord’ when I was ready.  After all, I wasn’t really hurting anyone by partying like my peers and having sex with my boyfriend.  I was arrogant and selfish, but then one day I got pregnant, and God taught me that…

2.  All sin is serious.

In Romans chapter 6, the Apostle Paul explains that while Jesus’s death on the cross sets Christians free from the wages of sin, those of us who are in Christ do not have a license to continue in willful patterns of sin.  All sin is serious, and heinous to God.  By continuing to willfully sin by engaging in premarital sex, I displayed a heart that failed to take sin seriously.  And the unavoidable truth is that…

3.  There are consequences to sin.

And those consequences are grave.  Back to Roman chapter 6, verse 23 tells us that, “the wages of sin is death.”  Paul uses the word “wages” in this verse to illustrate that we “earn” death by sinning.  In other words, we deserve death because we’ve worked towards it.  By continuing in sin, we earn not just physical death (as we will all die one day), but we also earn eternal death (meaning hell).

But we can’t forget the second half of verse 23, which reads: “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Meaning, sin = eternal death BUT Jesus = eternal life.  And once God called me to finally, truly, follow Jesus, he slowly taught me that…

4.  I am redeemed and set free.

I am still learning this all the time.

God’s compassion towards me is overwhelming, and wholly undeserved.  When Jesus died on the cross, he bore the weight of all sin, including the sin of aborting my child.  Although it has been many years since my abortion, this is still hard for me to understand, and sometimes still hard for me to accept.

In John Piper’s short book Exposing the Dark Work of Abortion, he says: “Jesus did not mainly come to stop abortions in this world.  He came mainly to die for abortion-committing sinners.  ‘I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance’ (Luke 5:32).  There is one way to know God as your Father.  And it’s the same for the people at Planned Parenthood, and the people at Pro-Life Action, and the people at Bethlehem Baptist Church—Come to Jesus.”

Maybe you’ve had one abortion or many, or maybe you’ve convinced a girlfriend or loved one to have an abortion.  Please know that God is rich in mercy, and he will forgive you if you turn to him.  Repent, and receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

5.  All things for good.

Romans 8:28 says: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

My abortion was a wretched, painful and heinous act, and the weight of it has been immense.  Far from a carefree act of female empowerment and bodily ownership, aborting my baby caused me deep emotional scars that I will always bear.  The guilt of my choice has been tremendous, and my abortion is something that I would prefer to keep hidden, stored away from the world.  So why on earth would I confess it to anyone who reads my words?

The answer is because as a Christian, I respond to Romans 8:28 by choosing to publicly confess my abortion in the hopes that it will point others to Christ.  Through Jesus’s death and resurrection, he bore the weight of my sin, and I am no longer guilty in the eyes of the Lord.  For that I am beyond thankful.

It is my prayer that God will use my abortion story for his purpose – and for my good.

What I’m Reading Right Now

Have I told you that I bore easily?  (Not exactly in an attention deficit sort of way, but more of an ‘I have varied interests and a hard time focusing on a single thing’ sort of way.)

As most writers do, I love to read.

(And yes, I just called myself a writer.  Maybe I’m more of an aspiring writer.  Or a wannabe writer.  Either way, I spend a portion of each day writing, so I can claim the title, right?  As long as I promise not to take myself too seriously?)

Books are good for my soul – a quiet retreat from the mundanity and stressors of life.  God’s Word (the Bible) is of course, for me, foremost among those soul-nurturing books.

But I also love myself a good cookbook.  Or a good book about food.  Or a good theological book.  And right now I just happen to be reading all three.

1.  The Pioneer Woman Cooks – Dinnertime by Ree Drummond

This woman is my soul sister.  (She just doesn’t know it and she might be creeped out by me saying that.)

pw dinnertime

Seriously, I adore Ree Drummond.  As I’ve shared before, I learned to cook by repeatedly preparing nearly every recipe on her uber blog The Pioneer Woman.  Her clear, step-by-step recipes are down-home yet interesting, and her style is laid back and comfy.  We would certainly be friends if we were to one day meet.

This book is classic Pioneer Woman, and I love it.

My friend Jenn loaned me her copy to peruse before I purchased my own.  [And here I must parenthetically add that I have awesome, wonderful, lovely friends who know me well and often loan or gift me books.  Thoughtful and encouraging friends also nurture my soul.  Thank you ladies.  I love ya.]

2.  Bread & Wine – a love letter to life around the table with recipes by Shauna Niequist

bw

This book was a gift from my friend Jaime.  I’m a few chapters in, and feeling thoroughly inspired by the author’s “Cooking Club” of girlfriends who gather around a table monthly to share a home cooked (often themed) meal.  They each prepare a dish (appetizer, main course, sides and dessert) and often bring their wee ones with them.  Schlepping carseats, coats, hot dishes and serving utensils, they meet around the table and share food – and life – celebrating births and mourning losses.  They eat and love.

Those are my kind of people.  And this is my kind of book.

3.  Knowing God by J.I. Packer

knowing god

Want your mind blown?

Then read this book.

This masterpiece by theologian J.I. Packer will transform the way you view God.  Written for the common Christian, Packer manages to communicate immense biblical truths in clear and understandable ways, no seminary degree required.

This book is so rich and so wonderful, I could read each chapter over and over, and some days I do.

Lake George-ing It

I hope y’all had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Jersey Boy, the littles and I had the pleasure of spending our Thanksgiving holiday on the banks of glorious Lake George, New York.  It was our first time there, and wow, is it gorgeous.

We stayed here:

Photo via http://www.thesagamore.com/.
Photo via thesagamore.com.

That’s the Sagamore – a historic island resort that’s straight out of the movies – with idyllic lodges right on the water, a 10,000 square foot indoor rec center featuring all manner of entertainment, and an Italian restaurant where the chef cooks a mean short rib.

It was a family reunion of sorts, hosted by Jersey Boy’s generous uncle, and wow, did we feel spoiled.

I didn’t wash a single dish, cook a single meal, or scrub a single pair of grass-stained pants.  And I spent nap time each day in front of the fireplace with my nose in this (a gift from a friend):

breadandwine

It was positively glorious.

Thanksgiving dinner involved a ridiculous spread, the highlight of which was a chilled mountain of crab claws, ginormous shrimp, and raw oysters.  The seafood was so yummy, in fact, that I barely touched my turkey.

The following day, while Jersey Boy played half court basketball with his much younger cousins (doing his best to show them that thirty-seven-year-olds still have game), my eldest climbed the walls (true to form).

wall climbing

How much do you think I’d have to pay someone to install one of these in my family room?  He needs all of the energy-burning activities he can get.

We got all hopped up on sugar during the gingerbread house making event.

sugar3

sugar1

sugar2

Gum drops can do some crazy things to a kid.

And we even got to see the big man (his wife, too).

santa

It was a Happy Thanksgiving filled with extended family, rarely seen friends, decadent food and abundant thanks.  I wish we could do it all again already.

adios lake george

Thanks for the memories, Lake George.  You were gorgeous.

Amnion Pregnancy Center’s Annual Fundraising Banquet

Last Thursday night Jersey Boy and I attended Amnion’s annual fundraising banquet.

amnion

There we are with dear family friends, and I have to say, my Jersey Boy looked pretty dashing (even after spending his wee morning hours dealing with flight delays on his way back from a business trip to Texas).

As I shared with you last week, fourteen years ago I received post-abortion counseling through Amnion.  All of their services, including ultrasounds, medical support services, counseling and sex education are provided free of charge, regardless of the recipient’s ability (or inability) to pay.

The folks at Amnion are men and women doing God’s work.  Every day when they head to the office, travel to a school to present RealEd (their relationship education program) or call a client over the weekend to give her emotional support, they are participating in an invisible spiritual battle.  Because – do not be deceived – there is a war being waged.  And Amnion’s employees and volunteers are the hands and feet on the front lines of saving precious lives.

The guest speaker was a woman named Carol Everett, a former abortion clinic owner and director whose clinics performed 35,000 abortions during her tenure.  She left the abortion industry in 1983 after a dramatic conversion to Christianity.  Carol’s personal story of transformation is a compelling example of God’s mercy and forgiveness, boldly illustrating Christ’s redemptive power over sin and death.

And while Carol transparently spoke of her personal grief and pain after aborting her own child in 1973 (shortly after the passage of Roe v. Wade), most of her talk focused on the business of abortion.

Because – do not be deceived – abortion is a business.

And there is big money to be made.

After she had an abortion, Carol learned how lucrative the industry is for abortionists and the clinics where they practice, and she set a personal goal to become a millionaire by selling abortions to vulnerable women and girls.  She ran a chain of four abortion clinics where she financially benefitted from each abortion sold.  And with each child killed, Carol’s pocketbook swelled.  She explained the sales pitch that begins the moment that a scared girl calls an abortion clinic and a “telephone counselor” answers the call, with the goal always being to sell that girl an abortion.  Following a carefully crafted script, the “counselors” are trained to convince the girl that abortion is her only viable option.

Overcome objections and make the sale.

Bring in the cash.

I want to be a millionaire.

Those were Carol’s goals.

This past summer average Americans got a window into the business of abortion when undercover videos were released featuring Planned Parenthood execs haggling over the price of aborted baby organs.  In one of the videos, Dr. Mary Gatter, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Medical Directors’ Council President, was captured saying, “Why don’t you start by telling me what you’re used to paying,” when asked how much money she would expect to receive from someone buying fetal tissue.  After a bit of negotiation, Dr. Gatter suggested that $100 per specimen would not be enough and concluded, “Let me just figure out what others are getting, and if this is in the ballpark, then it’s fine, if it’s still low, then we can bump it up.  I want a Lamborghini.

Negotiate the highest price.

Bring in the cash.

I want a Lamborghini.

It is bone chilling.

It is the business of abortion.  And with a first trimester abortion costing up to $1,500 (according to Planned Parenthood’s website), and second and third trimester abortions costing much more, there is serious money to be made.

Small non-profit organizations like Amnion Pregnancy Center are waging war against the business of abortion.  Amnion provides hope with its free services to vulnerable girls facing unintended pregnancies.  They are fighting a spiritual battle.  They are doing God’s work.  And I’m ready to put on my combat boots and join them.

Amnion Pregnancy Center’s Annual Fundraising Banquet

amnion

Next Thursday, November 12th, Jersey Boy and I plan to attend Amnion Pregnancy Center’s Annual Fundraising Banquet.

As I shared in My Abortion Story, fourteen years ago I had an abortion, and I received post-abortion counseling at Amnion Pregnancy Center.  My counseling sessions were completely free of charge, with a professional counselor who aborted her own child many years prior.  She knew my pain in a deep, personal way, and she lovingly showed me that I was not alone.  She also helped me understand that because of God’s love, Jesus died an undeserved death so that the sin of my abortion could be forgiven.  Through my counselor, Amnion shared the truth of the Gospel with me, and I am indebted to their cause.

I was thrilled when Amnion recently published My Abortion Story in their quarterly newsletter.  You can read it here.

All of Amnion’s “services are confidential and free of charge, regardless of age, race, religion, marital status, or financial situation.”  Amnion provides medical support services to individuals facing unintended pregnancies, high-quality counseling, and education to local schools and churches through RealEd – a program that encourages and equips young people to critically consider sex and relationships.

This year’s fundraising banquet will feature speaker Carol Everett, a former abortion clinic owner and director who left the abortion industry in the 1980’s after becoming a follower of Christ.  Today Carol uses her faith in Jesus to reveal the darkness of abortion.

Tickets to the event are still available and can be obtained here.

This is my first year attending the fundraising banquet, and I’m excited to see what the evening will bring.  And of course, I’ll blog about it afterwards.

Now go enjoy this gorgeous fall weekend!

Much love to you,

Unbored Housewife