Wednesday, December 28, 2011

feeling sad & Christmas Mass

I don't know what is going on with me right now. According to my new Netflix obsession "How I Met Your Mother," nothing good ever happens after 2:00 a.m. and I suppose that is accurate. It's hard to be devoted to the cause sometimes because it can make a person feel so small at times.

One thing that got me really sad a few days ago was just thinking about how isolated I can feel when I go back to my hometown. Christmas Mass, for example, used to be one of the loneliest and most awkward times of the year. Before I could drive it was the worst. I started going to Mass when I was 14 years old and I didn't realize that Christmas Mass would be different from the LifeTeen Masses I was used to, where you could show up by yourself and find your friends and just make your own pew. No, Christmas Masses aren't something you can do solo. Before I could drive was the worst because I'd get dropped off, no big deal, but then waiting for my ride and watching all the other families pile into their vehicles with the "Keep the Christ in Christmas" or "BABY DUE" stickers... that was just awkward... and cold. Not so much the weather, but mostly just in my heart. Was that emo? Yes... but was I fourteen when I experienced these emo emotions? Yes. Makes sense!

Once I got older, a new problem arose: I am tall and could potentially look like a young wife. One year I sat at the end of a crowded pew. The usher directed me to sit next to a young father with his 3 young children. The wife left with the youngest, who was crying, and then I realized that - at 16 - I appear to be the mother of these children. Obviously this is a total stretch, but in a way Christmas Mass kind of is about appearances to some (red sweaters, dresses, coordinated couples, bows everywhere, etc.) and it appeared that I belonged to this family. I don't remember much else about that Mass except feeling so weird and wanting to leave because I was such an extra.

Now, I don't cry anymore! Go Sarah! lame. But really, now I kind of have grown to like going to Mass alone. It beats not going and I can't imagine how strange it would feel to have my family there with me. This year I had prepared myself to sit alone and I did, until a friend's family absorbed me into their pew... which I would've enjoyed, had it not been for the texting & whispering when I was really feeling like getting into a reverent mood.

These rando Christmas Mass stories are just one little way that I feel isolated when I come home. The biggest, I realized over this break, is just the gap that exists between my life and the life I share with my family. It hurts that so much of what I have done the past 3 years and so much of what I plan to do in the future is wrapped up in the Pro-Life movement, along with my heart, while my family doesn't share any of my beliefs in the matter. I love my parents and family so dearly, and they love me too, and I know they will support me in whatever I do... but it sucks to feel like I am being supported, but not my ambitions. It's like "we support you, but not necessarily what you do." I think of friends' parents who I can share my Pro-Life ventures with and sometimes I feel sad that my parents don't share that. It's like they are missing half of who I am. I resort back to this reclusive and cynical person when I come home... and I am starting to think it's because I have to turn off "Pro-Life Sarah" and this sarcastic shell of a person is all that is left. I love my parents to the end of the world and back, but I'm sad that I cannot be myself in the place where I became myself- my childhood home. I feel like a lot of what I am expressing can be summed up in that moment where I am dressed and ready for Mass and leave in the middle of our family Christmas celebration, with extended family over and all, and it's kind of like everyone does their own thing... and Sarah goes off to do her little church thing. How much more open am I with Pro-Life friends I have only known for a short time? How much more do my NRL Academy girls understand me than my own family? Oh dear, now I'm crying.

Well... I'm waking up in 6 hours to take maternity photos for a friend, so I should be going to bed. Actually, I've been in bed for 2 hours but just can't sleep, so I guess I should be going to sleep.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

why do you not drive a station wagon?

This video encompasses so much of what has been annoying me lately. Love it.

"Why do you not drive a station wagon? Your car is too nice for someone with food stamps."

Saturday, December 17, 2011

lucky problems

Wednesday morning = doctor's appointment & I was like: whaaaat?
Wednesday afternoon = spent with Ryan on a boat & I was like: I'm so lucky.
I went to a new doctor this week to address some not fun symptoms I've been experiencing. I didn't think anything would really be wrong or anything, just thought I'd get some medicine and get out of there. I ended up getting a little bit lost on the way to his office and then encountering a really terrible accident in Kyle and then arriving 15 minutes late; I'm never late. Anyways, the doctor was amazing and brilliant and I loved him except for the problems he said he was concerned about regarding my situation (the internet is no place to get specific, y'all know that). Like, I'm just an everyday 20 year old college student going about her business and not getting into any trouble; nothing could be wrong with me... but after hearing about what he thinks I am suffering from, I started to take everything in and realize it wasn't something I'd heard about happening to someone else. He proceeded on to tell me how he would address the problem and the words "surgery" and "anesthesia" were casually thrown around.

I was thinking about the doctor visit later on that afternoon. After venting and confiding in a close friend about everything going on, I realized that my main concern at this point was just the potential pain of the surgery and just the thought of surgery. At no point during the day was I concerned, worried, or stressed about the cost. That's when I realized how lucky I am.

To be sick and have to worry not only about getting better and surviving, but having to worry about whether getting your medication will mean not feeding your children... that is what some people face. The next day when I went to pick up my prescription, the girl at Walgreens said, "That'll be two-ninety-two." I said, "oh my God, like two hundred and ninety two dollars...?" and she laughed at me. Praise the Lord... it was $2.92. The thing I realized, though, is that $2.92 is to some people what $292.00 is to me.

OH, some good news I want to throw in really quickly because good news is so rare this week- I was officially accepted into the School of Social Work this week.

This past semester, one of my social work classes focused in a lot on poverty and welfare. I had no idea what it meant to live on minimum wage. Some of the documentaries we were shown... just wow. This poor woman whose husband left her with her 3 dependent children. She had been working as a waitress for years. She was getting fewer and fewer hours due to a change in restaurant management. She could no longer afford her car. Her car was taken away. She had no way of getting to work. Her middle daughter was lashing out from the trauma of the divorce and became violent, needed therapy.With no car while living in the country in a home she couldn't afford or sell, going to work was nearly impossible. After divorce, men are financially far better off than women. At one point, her daughter offered her the $15 she had saved in her piggy bank. I don't remember how this woman's particular story ended, I just remember the scenes of her crying at the end of days where she had literally done everything she could... but it wasn't enough.

I'm going to be a social worker and I'm going to help people. No one should suffer like that. More on my social work aspirations another day.

I'm pretty lucky this week with all the problems that life has thrown at me: my weird diagnoses... at least I am insured and can go to a great doctor! my flat tire problem... at least I have an amazing boyfriend who was with me when it happened, and at least I am so incredibly and undeservingly fortunate to have a dependable vehicle (this is the first problem I've had with my little buggy)! I was almost positive my computer was completely broken today and I was so mad... but at least I have a computer to begin with and have access to computers at my university if something should happen to mine and I cannot replace it!

It's a week of "at least"s and I'm trying to stay on top of everything... but it's hard. Thank God for Ryan, my continually forgiving & tolerant parents, and my NRL Academy sisters who support me at all times.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

i love Stephen Colbert

THIS is why I love Stephen Colbert. 

most beautiful

members with some of the gifts after wrapping
A quick post to share one of the most beautiful things I have ever been a part of.

Bobcats for Life adopted a PRC client's family for Christmas this year. We used some of our funds (okay actually a lot of... more than expected) to purchase gifts and necessities for the children - 6 month old twins - a boy and a girl - and a 3 year old girl. Group members also donated out of their own pockets and hearts. I posted last week about the fun we had wrapping the gifts, but that didn't come close to the experience of giving the gifts.

I was the first to walk into the PRC and when I entered the room where the mother was waiting for us, she hugged me so tight and just started crying on my shoulder saying thank you, thank you, God bless you, thank you. I felt so happy to be there with her and so happy to know that we were able to help someone in such a state of need. We seriously had so many presents and so many cute things for her to take home.

"We had a tree donated to us, but we have no presents to put under it," the mother said, tearfully. We were all crying and taking in the moment, the gifts, the tears, the gratitude, the immediate closeness we felt with her. It was so wonderful. We spent a lot of time talking with her and hearing her story - which was another tearjerker cry-fest - and I couldn't think of a better way to spend my money and Friday afternoon. It was incredible. We are staying in contact with her and will be throwing a 1st birthday party for her twins next semester. :) Before we left, she hugged each one of us so tight and she could not stop thanking us or crying. She finally said, "I just want you all to leave so I don't keep talking and crying so much!" It was so great.

such an amazing memory

Sunday, December 11, 2011

knowledge is responsibility

now THIS is love.
Today I got into a conversation about Bobcats for Life and I ended up getting really negative. Later on, I had a "check-yo-self" moment and now I think I'm thinking clearly.

You see, sometimes I get really frustrated with the enthusiasm people display for organizations or groups that just don't seem relevant to me. I feel like once I learned about abortion and now that I'm learning more about poverty and social justice, it's like I get so frustrated by people who share my beliefs but don't share the desire to act. It's just like how can you know about what is happening and not give a few moments of your time to it? With the TX Rally for Life coming up, I'm trying really hard to get 100 students to go. Last year we had 75 so I think it'll be possible, but it's hard to reach out to other groups - especially within the Catholic community - because each of our groups has its own agenda.

People say "everyone is calling to something different" or "Bobcats for Life is your thing" but it's like, just really difficult sometimes for me to process how people (okay, I'm mostly talking to Catholics here) can be aware of such a tragic problem and say "I am pro-life" but not do anything about it. I'm not asking everyone to go pray at the abortion facility every morning and then follow that up with an afternoon life chain and then head over to the church to pray a Rosary for the unborn, I'm just asking for an event. Just one. Just come to the rally and be a voice- it's like 3 hours of your life.

I feel like if you've been blessed with knowledge, you are responsible for acting on it. If you are aware of abortion or of slavery or of abuse, you are responsible for stopping it.

on some building I passed in DC this summer

Okay that's my little rant, which didn't even end up being about what I thought it was going to be about... so the Mother Teresa picture is kind of random. Oh well!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

sorry I'm not sorry

sorry I don't hate gay people
sorry I hate abortion
sorry that I believe Rick Perry is awful and sketchy
sorry that I believe in social welfare

oh wait, I'm not sorry for any of these things!

you should be sorry
for discriminating against gay people
for standing by as millions of children are lost to abortion
for supporting unfit prejudiced politicians
for not taking care of your neighbor in their time of need

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
-Mother Teresa

When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.
-Mother Teresa

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

some words to live by

So relevant to the cause, and everyday life for that matter.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

gifts for a family

Bobcats for Life adopted a family for Christmas this year. The mother is a client at a local pregnancy resource center. She has twin babies and a toddler. Can you say HANDS FULL?! We are delivering gifts on Friday, but we had a gift wrapping party yesterday and I'm so proud of all that we've collected so far.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

two things

1. Planned Parenthood showed up on campus today. They weren't rude or anything, I'm not like mad about the actual people, just not happy about their presence. I was kind of too busy to get riled up. Some nice male friends of mine went on the offensive and talked to the volunteers. Peaceful.

2. Had a randomly nice evening at Wassailfest with Ry & a random group. Everyday I find more reasons why he is my best friend.

Monday, November 28, 2011

i'm so tired, but i can't sleep

an empty cup means a full heart

essay assistance from my elf friend

Thursday, November 24, 2011

a poem

If I had a genie right now that would grant me 3 wishes, I would wish that Ella Wheeler Wilcox could return from the grave and tell me the stories behind her poems that ring so true in my heart.

Life's Scars
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

They say the world is round, and yet
I often think it square,
So many little hurts we get
From corners here and there.
But one great truth in life I've found,
While journeying to the West-
The only folks who really wound
Are those we love the best.

The man you thoroughly despise
Can rouse your wrath, 'tis true;
Annoyance in your heart will rise
At things mere strangers do;
But those are only passing ills;
This rule all lives will prove;
The rankling wound which aches and thrills
Is dealt by hands we love.

The choicest garb, the sweetest grace,
Are oft to strangers shown;
The careless mien, the frowning face,
Are given to our own.
We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best.

Love does not grow on every tree,
Nor true hearts yearly bloom.
Alas for those who only see
This cut across a tomb!
But, soon or late, the fact grows plain
To all through sorrow's test:
The only folks who give us pain
Are those we love the best.

being thankful & being alone

This is my first, and hopefully last & only, Thanksgiving where I am alone. All the Facebook statuses and Tweets and mass texts about thankfulness & gratitude have been pouring in all day. I'm alone and sad and not  exactly brimming with grateful joy, but even as I reflect on what I have been blessed with (mostly "who"s I have been blessed by), I am sad. I ended up alone after a few little incidents and decided it was probably for the best that I just take some time to get work done... my to-do-list is starting to catch up with my blessings list in length. Not a good sign.

I've grown apart from a lot of people in the past year, mostly the past 6 months. I'm not sure if there is any way to have too many friends, but maybe that's what happened to me; maybe I just had too many people in my life and something had to give. 

Leaves change and people change. It's like when the colors in the trees start changing and it's beautiful (as a Texan, I mostly know this from photos and movies. We have a very short time of pretty fall trees.). The leaves are all sorts of reds, oranges, and golds, but if you get too attached to that you will be disappointed when they fall. Maybe that's what happened to me. Maybe I enjoyed the new friendships like a child might enjoy new leaves.

When leaves fall, we rake our yards. When people change or hurt us, there isn't much to do.

It was hard to make a collage of gratitude over the past year because so many of the photos I've taken were of blessings only temporary. It's hard to be thankful for moments that don't flee, but rather abandon. Maybe this is where the saying "don't cry because it's over, smile because it happens" comes in. Somehow though, it's hard for me to smile right now. Svetty told me the other day: "you don't need a lot; all you need are a few good & true friends."

This past year has brought me much inspiration and love. Two of my favorite additions to my heart are my NRL Academy girls and my best friend in the world, the truest friend I've ever known, Ryan. 

Here's to another year and hoping to be grateful for the same things next year. Reminds me of a quote I saw recently on Pinterest: "What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?"

Just walked away from this entry for a bit to answer the phone and now I think I am sadder than ever. I thought I would like being alone more than I am liking it. At the same time, there's not anywhere else to be that would make me less sad than the company of myself. It's a pathetic paradox, really. Sigh.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

a funny little day

a lot was due today and a lot was done for today. proud of myself.

today there was also an evangelical uprising followed by an atheist battle which turned into an all out uneducated philosophical throwdown in the quad. i observed for an hour.

after that hubbub, i had 2 pb&j sandwiches. then 2 sweet mormon missionaries came by my apartment. i had such a delightful time with them! catholic til the day i die, but i really enjoyed their visit.

finished my day with a new episode of "the office" with my sweet boy and now i'm going to hot chocolate it up and go to bed.... it is 9:40. WHO AM I?!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

can't commit to quit

another thing I have failed to bring to fruition: this "break."

only because I think I have solved my problem: I need my guitar back, I need some thinking/processing time, I need to turn off my phone every once and a while.

in my "song journal"
sanity restored (momentarily)

I have a lot of homework right now... I mean, a lot, so that means I get situated in front of my computer to be productive... and then somehow I end up playing guitar. I don't play much this year, and I think I should start doing it more (at more logical times though).

Last year I played all the times, and more therapeutic than that was writing songs, getting my feelings and thoughts and stupid infatuations clogging my consciousness out onto paper and out of my mouth & heart into song. It sounds so cheesy and cliche and maybe that ought to be a quote on an emo 15 year old's Tumblr account or something, but I attribute a lot of the growth I did last year to the writing and singing that I did alone in my room. Or alone in my room with my amazing roommate/favorite critic to be vulnerable in front of (she never gave negative feedback, love her. ha ha ha ha). I haven't done that in a long time. Once I get alllll this stuff on my to-do list taken care of, I'm going to write & sing again... on a day when I don't have a test the next day (TODAY).

I'm embarrassed about my irresponsibility lately, but I'm getting really good grades this semester. It's sad how I'm still getting my Fall-2001 life balanced and it's almost over. I feel most ashamed of my poor performance with my HLI writing. That's almost always the thing that pops into my mind when I have all my immediate tasks conquered and I am about to fall asleep thinking I am done with everything. I need to get my act together.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

taking a break

much like Ross & Rachel in the early years of "Friends," I am taking a break. from this blog. Probably not for too long... but at least until my heart conquers my anger.

The thoughts bouncing around in my head right now -- sadly regarding the Pro-Life movement and certain supposedly well meaning folks with a love for slanderous conversation -- do the opposite of what I intend to do on here: approach everything in life with love.

How does one approach a lie with love? Particularly when the lie is rooted in alleged "truth." Granted, I have my opinions on the strategies of certain Pro-Life organizations, but never would I ever vehemently tear down the efforts of a strong campus Pro-Life org that are not even based on fact. Is that what area Pro-Life leadership has come down to? Let's talk bad about the rest of the orgs so that ours will shine. Is that the mantra these days?

I'm getting hateful, so I'm going to go.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

haters they gonna hate

In the words of 3LW, "playas gon' play and haters they gon' hate." Tonight I will be complaining about a low profile hater group- Catholic mom bloggers.

I'm going to try to remove a judgmental and biased tone from this entry... social worker practice, or something.

I have 3 points to address:
1. Satisfied, Yet?
2. Only Snobs Call People Snobs
3. Delusional = Good At Photoshop

Some background on my grievances:
About a year and a half ago I wrote a song called "My Catholic Boy," not to be confused with my 2007 smash hit "God's Saving Me A Hottie." "My Catholic Boy" was intended to put to music some of the things that I, and other young women in my friend group, would enjoy in a significant other. The song was intended to shed a humorous light on my humorous dating life (non-existent). The song was a way for me to say hey, I'm single, I'm Catholic, I've got standards, I'm patient, I'm waiting for a great guy. 

The song was only posted in response to the widely reposted "Catholic Pickup Line Song" because, when it first came out, every semi to very devout Catholic college aged girl I know was drooling over David Casper who could sing, play guitar, and was a Catholic lyrical sweet talker; some lyrics from his song are: "what would you say, babe, if I told you that you reminded me of Mary?" So, if you are reading this and you are in your 40's and you can't wait until your Bunco group tonight so you can talk about this little Catholic snob, hope you read this paragraph carefully. Notice how there was never mention of a "checklist" or of "requirements" for a spouse? Was there ever a part of this paragraph that implied I feel that I am better than anyone else? If so- please enlighten me, because I'm probably a little bit more familiar with my song than you are - considering I wrote it and stuff. This is the song that got the mom bloggers flying with accusatory language:

I discovered the first rude & judgmental blog entry just hours after I'd settled into my dorm in D.C. this summer when I was spending 5 weeks taking classes at the National Right to Life office. I'm such a snob that I defend the unborn- what kind of delusional person am I! Oops. That was biased & sarcastic. I'm not deleting it though. This mom-blogger writes:
"There is a harshness, a sort of snobbery happening."
also, apparently one day after I raise children:
As she raises a family in the real world, she will see that attitude given voice over and over and over again, while Jesus weeps for his Church, broken and divided. 
SO from this song, she has declared that I will one day make Jesus cry. Her blog asserts this on its homepage sidebar:
God wants us to share and to encourage one another, so if you see a good idea here, please feel free to pass it along.
Well, thanks for all the sharing & encouraging, Elizabeth Foss! If judgment & hypocrisy are "good ideas" than I definitely have some things to pass along after spending a few minutes on your blog. And it's ironic that you chose a title about gentleness for this entry while being the complete opposite. Matthew 7:3-5, please and thank you. That was rude & sarcastic too. Don't care right now. Maybe that's how she felt while she was writing it... hmmm!

A few more moms posted it and opened it for comment-conversation ("comboxes" as some oldies call it). There were some who defended me and acknowledged the hypocrisy in Miss Elizabeth Foss's entry, which I appreciated... even from strangers. One entry in particular kept me from feeling sad while reading about what a Catholic snob I am. Really, moms? I'm no Catholic snob. I missed a HDO a few times ago. I have a nose ring. A NOSE RING. I'm not a little sheltered cotton headed ninny muggins looking for a cookie cutter husband. I'm a girl with standards. We're a rare breed. If you don't believe me, come to college again. Live in a dorm. Sit in the lobby on a Friday night and see how many drunk "couples" stumble in and how many hungover boys tip toe out in the morning...... all the while I've been sitting in my dorm knitting a scarf. Did I mention I have a nose ring?

1. Satisfied, Yet?
Just in general, it's like if we (college kids) don't have standards and we're like the 99% of our age group sleeping around (totally a B.S. statistic here), then we need to change! We are promiscuous; we are desecrating our bodies. We need to get ourselves over to a confessional; we need to sign up for a Theology of the Body study group. But, if we are the minority (or at least it feels like we're the minority at times) who aren't dating around... well... apparently we too need to change! We are snobs; we are self-righteous. We are delusional; we are naive. We will have unhappy marriages if we have standards now; we will one day make Jesus cry. My point is, will you - for the sake of this entry this goes out to you, mom bloggers - ever be satisfied? First we're (with "we" meaning college females) too crazy and immodest and getting drunk and "making Jesus cry" but then when we make a conscious effort to respect ourselves... we will still make Jesus cry? Will you ever be satisfied? Where is the balance? You will never be happy. You always going to find something to pick at... and blog about. Don't get me wrong- I LOVE MOM BLOGGERS! Omg especially this one. What I don't love is this whole attitude - like Foss's - that it's unreal to ask God for a love that he has taught you to desire. Everyone has different standards; everyone has a different type. I love beards, men who are good with children, and men who are Pro-Life. My friend J likes tennis players, isn't specific on denomination, and likes blonde men. Does that mean that I will break up with my super awesome best friend if No-Shave-November is a fail? Uh, no. Does that mean that my friend J wouldn't marry a soccer player? Uh, no. Actions become our habits; our habits become our character. It's not my fault that I pray for a man that has the character of someone that prays, respects life, and attends daily Mass sometimes.
So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. - Luke 11:9

2. Only Snobs Call People Snobs
-When I initially planned for this point, I was being rude. So I'm not erasing it... I'm acknowledging the fact that it was just as rude of me to make this statement (only snobs call people snobs) as it was for it to happen in the first place. Matthew 7:1-5. Matthew 7:1-5. Matthew &:1-5...

3. Delusional = Good At Photoshop
-Lastly, and mostly because I'm tired and have a great book to read before bed, if I am delusional... then I must be really good at photoshop to have created these photos of myself with this made-up imaginary boyfriend that doesn't exist. He couldn't POSSIBLY exist! Not after my checklist and my OUTLANDISH standards! By the way, in my prayer journal I have a real list of standards that is personal (and not for Elizabeth Foss to rip apart in her gentle way) and I've upheld this list for years waiting for someone to come along and - hold on.... is that a pig flying overhead? Oh wait no, it's just a really adorable picture of my really awesome Catholic boyfriend.


strength lolz
we <3 in n out


Just came up with this comparison:
Angry/bitter blogging is like drunk texting for opinionated minors. I am underage and I don't drink, but I've had friends become intoxicated and text people some things they regret...

Only plus with angry blogging is that I can delete and edit.

Oh, okay, one more super adorbs picture of my boyfriend.

I texted Ryan after I found the rude entry and told him that it was hurtful and he said:
"But it doesn't matter because those haters gonna hate and they're just jealous because you're hot and can sing. :)"

Ladies & Gentlemen, THAT kind of response is what I waited through 20 years of singlehood for. hahahahahahhaa <3

Charm & I

Charm & I have something in common- we are both deceptive. I deceived myself on November 4 when I claimed to have gotten my act together and would be on top of things.

I went home this weekend. That was nice.

Got a phone call while enjoying a morning taking in the scent of Anthropologie. My friend called to let me know that after praying at an abortion facility, he went inside to use the restroom (or maybe that was just his excuse? not sure.) and he said there were girls lined up against a wall. Most on the verge of tears, some past that point already. Just another day in the life of a Pro-Life advocate? "Hey what's up?" "Not much just went into PP to pee." Hashtag what?

Got a phone call driving back to San Marcos this afternoon from a friend who needed info about worldwide access to birth control and, ten minutes of rambling about UNFPA later, I was surprised by the things I'd said. I didn't realize I knew that much.

Also, I'm getting into a bad habit of verbally hastagging things...

This entry is pointless but I have something else to say so I'm publishing this so I can start fresh.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

shaking things up in SOWK 3312

So we have to write critiques of different studies for my Alcohol & Chemical Dependency class (social work elective) so I've somehow managed to involve religion & abortion in my first 3 critiques, pahah, and this one actually really intrigued me.

This is the article I picked.

~aNd My sUpEr sChOLaRLy rEsPoNsE:~

This article from the Elliot Institute describes the increased chance of substance abuse among post-abortive women, the likelihood of abortion among women who have substance abuse problems, and described the cycle of abuse that can form from abortion and substance abuse.
            I didn’t realize how many women begin to abuse alcohol after an abortion; I guess I had assumed more so that women would already be abusing alcohol and perhaps the impaired judgment that would result from the dependency or the negative relationship tendencies that would emerge from substance abuse could lead her to a situation where she would seek an abortion. It’s interesting that the scientific community is actually acknowledging abortion as having negative psychological and physical effects on women; I’ve found that to be very rare. According to a study of women who were pregnant prior to a history of substance abuse, 3.8 % of women abused substances after having their baby while 14.6% of women who aborted their first baby abused substances. Those statistics were astonishing to me. It makes me wonder how people can deny the negative and destructive effects that abortion has on women. Applying those statistics to annual abortion numbers, 54,000 women “may begin abusing drugs and/or alcohol as a means of dealing with post-abortion stress” annually. I personally think that number is probably a lot higher in the long run because some women may not engage in substance abuse initially but according to a recent study (British Journal of Psychiatry) post-abortive women “have an 81 percent higher risk for mental health problems and are more likely to attempt suicide, abuse alcohol and suffer depression.” It seems to me that if the woman were to first experience depression or if she were to repress the negative experience of the abortion, she may not abuse drugs or alcohol until further down the road. For that reason, I feel like the study may not have been as thorough as possible, but it did cover all of its bases on an annual scale.
            I think topics such as those discussed in this study are extremely important to the social work field. When faced with a client in a crisis pregnancy situation, some social workers may feel that it is ethical to encourage or promote abortion as an option, but this study is one reason that – in my opinion – rules abortion out as a healthy option. To care for a patient and “do no harm” it would be futile and counterproductive to recommend a procedure to a client that would very likely throw her into the arms of an addiction, a potential dependency, or make her more vulnerable to depression & mental health disorders. It is important to understand these effects so that rather than invest time into recommending the procedure, later finding an addictions counselor, or therapist to undo the trauma of what can’t be undone, a social worker can put that time and energy into locating resources and helpful materials, healthcare, and services for a client.

Friday, November 04, 2011


This weekend I really intend to get a lot of Pro-Life work done. Rorreal.
...and by "Pro-Life" work I mean mostly intraspective stuff.
I have an article I am DETERMINED to knock out in the next 48 hours and I'm actually excited to get back to researching the topic.
I also have a lot of thoughts lately about rando things in the movement that I really want to get written out so I can sort them out for myself, like religion & approaching the issues. I'm finding a lot of people lately do a crappy job at being Pro-Life and being a loving Christian. That embarrasses me.

Okay, but for now I am going to organize my BUCKET of papers and readings and notes from the NRL Academy this summer. I got so disorganized while moving that eventually I just opened all the binders & folders and dumped everything into a storage bin... now I'm dealing with it.

Also- been busy lately with school.... AND THE HUNGER GAMES SERIES. I'd forgotten what it was like to read for leisure. Ah, so nice!

Also, my bestfriendboyfriend & I carved pumpkins on Saturday. Here's my attempt at a Pro-Life pumpkin, y'all.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

daydream doodle

The other day in one of my social work classes, I started daydreaming a little bit. We were watching a fascinating documentary about the WEP program that Giuliani started in New York a while back and how crappy the program treated its workers. Total social injustice, totally ridiculous. However, it was really inspiring to see these people who were working so hard for so little pay as they stood up against the program. I had to leave in the middle of class so I didn't see the end... but my classmates told me it was kind of a bummer.

Anyways, as I got to daydreaming I made a list of changes I'd like to see in the world. Just a few tiny alterations in society:
  • end abortion
  • end Down Syndrome discrimination & eradication
  • make mental health treatment more accessible for everyone (my professor says in a neighboring county it can take up to 6 weeks for some people to get mental health, unless they make a threat on their own life. what?!)
  • end homelessness
  • expedite the adoption process, while keeping it thorough
  • increase cultural education in elementary school (like why is it that I'm 20 years old and don't know the difference between Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Gnosticism, etc... what exactly is Ramadan?)
  • end the establishment of $60 million dollar high school football stadiums... especially when there are children in that community going without meals. (cough- Allen, TX) Ridiculous.
"When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed."
-Blessed Mother Teresa

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

prayers for Jon

Jon Scharfenberger passed away this morning. He was a true advocate for life. Prayers go out to his family. I am fortunate enough to have met him this summer while he was an intern and I was an Academy student in the National Right to Life office.

Friday, October 14, 2011

and just like that I am new.

Here I am, 2 hours later, feeling restored.

My frustrations have been conquered by the love shown to me by my D.C. sisters.

When I am down, they pick me up. When I need a warm word to cheer me, they are like hot cocoa for my heart. I miss them so much.

Also, now I am crying. NRL Academy girls, if you are reading this, I love & miss yall more than you know!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"she's my pro-life crush, she's my hair crush."

Last night, 15 Bobcats for Life attended the TX Alliance for Life benefit. Lila Rose was the speaker and it was really wonderful. I'd heard her speak before, at the FOCUS Conference in Tennessee, but she just gets more inspiring every time.

Though we had some bumps in b4L coordination communication that may or may not have used up my last nerve, so to speak, it ended up being okay by the end of the night- hence these pictures! :)

bobcats for lifers with Abby & Lila!
Lila Rose of LiveAction, aka Pro-Life superstar

Monday, October 10, 2011


how can i study when my heart is struck with so much sadness?


I did a lot of reflecting this weekend on retreat and had a nice time. Upon returning home I read some devastating news about the death of a Pro-Life warrior woman and her unborn child, and about the critical condition of a young man I met this summer at the NRL office. A recent update about him said:
Jon Scharfenberger, the SFLA Coordinator of our Pregnant on Campus Initiative, in the car during the accident and Hawkins tells LifeNews he “is not doing well.” She said Monday morning, “Currently, he is in critical condition in a hospital in Georgia, where the accident happened.
I am heartbroken for the mother, her child, and their family. I just can't quite understand how things like this happen, I guess. I've never lost someone very close to me or even someone (other than family) that I have been acquaintances with really; understanding death is not something I do well.

Times like this are what really show us what matters, I suppose, and show us the fragility of human life.

What is difficult for me is the concept of being fine one second and gone the next; without even knowing it is happening your entire life can be taken from you. I don't know how to explain myself right now. I am so distraught over this and I hardly know Jon. He was very smart and very Catholic and very cheerful/full of energy any time I was around him this summer. Lord, please let him live.

I am heartbroken over this accident while barely knowing Jon; I cannot even imagine the anguish his family and friends must be experiencing.

St. Jude, pray for us.

[UPDATE] Just saw this:
Prayers for Jon ScharfenbergerOur other staff member injured in the accident that claimed Kortney and her baby, Sophy, is Jon Scarfenberger.
I’ve been in constant contact throughout the day with our SFLA staff getting updates.
It’s bad, and at 3 AM it turned really bad. It’s gotten worse throughout the day. At this point, we need a miracle for Jon to make it to tomorrow. If it’s God’s will, may Jon stay and grow old with us.
Please pray for this beautiful young man, and for his family who are beside themselves with grief and the hard work of keeping him alive. Jon’s mom is a nurse and at the hospital in Georgia. His dad is a physician and should be arriving there shortly, after coordinating efforts from their home here in New York.
Updates to follow, but for now, please pray!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

definition of rando

getting my caffeine on! this drink is bigger than my head so I
think it should be sufficient to keep me working for a few hours.
made these hanging blocks for my room a month or so ago 
Dalai Lama was in DC this summer for his birthday party apparently...
anyways, I bought this when he was in town!

caffeine + new bangs = ruh roh

back to work! bye!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

slowing down

Praise God from whom all blessings flow for:

  • my unexpected 5 hour nap today. I don't think I could have needed it any more than I did- yikes! Today was an 8-5 day that I wasn't quite anticipating. 
  • my teachers putting up both of my tests this week as ONLINE OPEN-BOOK ASSESSMENTS!
  • the 2 classes with tests tomorrow are cancelled- a.k.a. I only have class from 9:30-12:20 a.k.a. I can finish a piece I've been working on a.k.a. sense of accomplishment that I haven't felt in a while.
  • oh and speaking of tests- I've taken 2 so far this year and I'm normally not a grade-sharer but no one really reads this so I'm going to go ahead and say that I'm really proud of myself because I (somehow) got a 105 on my SoWk test and a 92 on another test. I feel really good about that!
  • retreat this weekend, holla. Same retreat where I met my bestfriendboyfriend 2 years and 4 days ago so it's kind of a big part of my life and stuff. A few fun retreat pics posted below for no reason.
  • I've already finished my 50 hours for my TRTL scholarship somehow and it's just the beginning of October. LOLing about that.
  • Bobcats for Life event is coming together SO BEAUTIFULLY. I was expecting it to be a lot more stressful right now but it's great. We have a state rep, Pro-Life (and Catholic) OBGYN, coalition for life employee, PRC worker, post-abortive woman, annnnd Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty coming to speak. I'm stoked about all of it but lately I'm most stoked for TCADP because I am way undereducated about that issue and I'm getting more passionate about it lately, especially after reading this story about the friendship between a nun & death row inmate. Speaking of nuns: see fun & unnecessary retreat pics below.
  • Also, no big deal, but Bobcats for Life made $250 on Sunday from the bracelets & headbands we made! So stoked. And we still have a lot of bracelets left and a ton of materials. So cheap & adorbs.

I'm so excited to go to bed and wake up super energized from all my napping and semi-early bedtime! Annnnnd I just reread that last sentence and realized that I am 70 years old. Awesome!

Hello, I'm Sister Mary-Christmas! 

performing "Hail Holy Queen" from Sister Act on our Awakening retreat- lolz

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

today was a lullaby

Left work after 45 minutes today after unbearable waves of nausea. It was terrible. It's happened "every so often" for the past 5 months now. That description sounds so pregnant ha ha ha. I went home, curled up in fetal position in my pajamjams and slept until my internship at the PRC started. Today was my first real day and I helped with an abstinence program. Definitely not what I expected - but in a good way! I really enjoyed it. It made me think about doing school social work/counselor type thing... who knows.

Then I started missing my NRL Academy girls and so I sent them a song and then I had my guitar out already and this song always reminds me of new beginnings and I'm kind of wanting to just go to sleep and wake up refreshed and renewed and energized and feeling healthy and organized and priorities in order. That's not exactly the type of new beginning the song refers to, but it still makes me feel warm inside.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

crafting and laugh-ting

On Friday I went to Houston for Texas Right to Life's 14th Annual Celebration of Life. I gave a little speech, so that was fun! It was so great to see a lot of my friends from across the state that I normally don't get to see or chat with, like Ms. Carol! Saturday morning we had brunch with some state representatives and then headed back to San Marcos. It was a quick little trip to Houston, but very worth it.

Today marks the 31st anniversary of China's One Child Policy.... but I'm writing about that tomorrow night. Instead of today being sad though, we had a very productive Bobcats for Life meeting at my apartment followed by a craftathon for our upcoming fundraiser. I love crafts & I love Bobcats for Life... so it was a great combo. Here's some pictures of the craft (flower bracelets) that I'm so excited about.
so great, right?!!!

had a great time with these girls just chatting and working.
I'm really excited about these bracelets. We put some of the baby feet pins in the center of the flowers and it looks so cute. Buttons look great too. I think we'll sell a lot of these for B4L.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

so proud

Just got off the phone with a super awesome young gurlie friend of mine from my hometown. She is starting a chapter of YoungLives back home! I am so proud of her for promoting a culture of life in Allen; she's already been promoting a culture of life across the globe by working in an orphanage in China the past few summers, uh wow! I haven't heard of any other lifegiving organizations back in my 'hood so this is much needed & awesome.

Are you thinking "wHaT iS yOuNgLiVeS?!" Well, here's an answer from their website:
Treating each mom and her child or children with unconditional love and respect, YoungLives offers teen moms relief from the isolation and struggle of their daily lives and hope for the future. YoungLives mentors provide friendship, parenting advice and help meeting the practical demands of raising a child. At YoungLives club and camp, moms get to socialize and have fun while their babies get the best possible care.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

what i am & what i'm not

I've been doodling drafts of this entry in notebooks for a while now. Every so often when folks who disagree with my views on Life start getting rambunctious and can't have a calm and fruitful or at least respectful conversation, the same accusations (as seen below right) keep popping up. So consider this entry my disclaimer to all the haterz out there.

I've gotten called a lot of things and I just brush them off, but it gets old. 
I will probably go into further detail regarding some of these accusations later. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

not-so-secret weapon: my bfbf

Oh and in case I ever mention my bestfriendboyfriend, this is him and he is so great. Oh and he is Pro-Life, Catholic, sweet, funnier than funny, sho smart, and kind of nice I guess... aka he has it all. With school and work and especially so lately with Bobcats for Life issues that arise that stress me out/frustrate me, he is just what the doctor ordered to keep me from losing my mind (completely). He makes my heart happy. Must go to bed now because I'm picking him up on my way to Mass in 9 hours!

and to answer the question I'm sure everyone is wondering: Yes, it is completely exhausting being such a hawt, mature, and classy couple all the time. I kid. We are goofs and I love it.

back on track

I have a feeling everything is going to be back on track tomorrow. I am really looking forward to going to sleep tomorrow because I'm planning to fall asleep stress-free. I've got some e-mails to catch up on, some writing to do, a homework assignment, and some random little tiny tasks... but I can totally knock that out tomorrow by 7, which is when I'm picking up my bestfriendboyfriend and going to the Matt Maher concert. I've been so busy and running around that I've hardly really had time to sit around and listen to Matt Maher-esque music, Christian Music basically, and I've been struggling to find time just for myself to be still. Everyone should be still every once in a while and just reflect.

Sometimes I watch Spongebob just so I can kind of sit and stare dopily (new adverb? definition: in a dopey manner.) at the screen and all the vibrant colors and just kind of zone out like a baby watching the mobile above their crib. Spongebob is a good way to mentally just unwind; I feel like I'm asleep with my eyes open sometimes when I watch. Everybody Loves Raymond is another show I love to use as a lullaby.

I suppose even writing in this blog sometimes helps me to just mentally unwind and pour out what little energy I have left at the end of a school or work day. Today, for example, is one of those days that has no intellectual thoughts; this entry is for my own benefit. I'm just pouring out all these words so I won't have any words left in my head in a few minutes when I go to bed. I smile just thinking about sleep. :)

I wish Spongebob was on though; I would be out like a light.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


My sickness has reduced to a mere case of the sniffles & sneezles!
I spent over an hour going through my agenda and syllabi (syllabii? syllabuses?) and tried to get myself organized and I think I succeeded.
Advice: You may think that cramming all 4 of your classes back to back on the same day is a good idea... guess what... it isn't! I have 3 tests in one day twice this semester and a few days with 4 assignments due. All I can say to that is LOL!!!!!!!! It's going to be an interesting semester to say the least.

Oh btw... have I mentioned the beautiful paper that which is known as the Bobcats for Life sign in from this week's meeting? I haven't? Oh, well, then I guess you wouldn't know that we filled up the regular chairs at the table, filled up the rando chairs around the room, busted out extra chairs out of the conference room closet, borrowed a couple more chairs from a different room, and then we had people sitting on the floor. I was sweating like crazy because of all the body heat and the small room and lack of ventilation, but I loved it! We had somewhere around 40ish people show up. I was expecting 12. WOW, OKAY! And at least half of them said it was their first meeting; at least a fourth of them were people whose names I didn't know (a few familiar faces). Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Only said that because I love that song... but forreal!

Here's a fun little video featuring 2 things I love: that song & ASL! <3

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

you give me fever

I'm sick. I have been awake off and on since 4:30 this morning and it has been a strange day of waking and sleeping and nightmareing and throwing up (you're welcome for that much needed information) and trying to lay completely still in bed so that I wouldn't feel the urge to puke. It has been quite a day and I missed 4 classes... but the day is over. Just hoping it isn't the flu because I cannot handle getting sick right now.

On another note, I am really lucky to have a great support system all around me throughout my sickness and stress... specifically some lovely ladies, and a few select men, I have met in the Pro-Life movement. I don't just have one support group- I have 3!

First of all, my TX Right to Life family.
I only get to see them all together one time a year at training in June, but the times when I get to see one or two or a few at a time bring me so much joy. We are all facing so many of the same obstacles that we can help each other with and we can all share in each others' joy when one of us finds success. It's really a beautiful thing. These are only a few of the beautiful faces that are scattered across Texas working to defend the unborn and I am so proud to call each of them my friends.

Secondly, my Bobcats for Life family.
I'm so lucky to have these amazing ladies at my side as we deal with the problems life throws at us. They do a great job dealing with me when I get overwhelmed/just want to run away from frustrations, because those frustrations sure show up a lot. They keep me grounded and help me out anytime I ask. They take initiative and think ahead - insert photo of Caroline with her attendance clipboard here and Megan with her Rosary fundraiser ideas - and keep everything in B4L rolling. Also, they are beautiful and hilarious and make doing the work we do SO much fun.

Lastly, but DEFINITELY not least, my National Right to Life Academy sisters.
Spending 6 weeks with 10 girls is bound to create strong friendships, but I didn't realize just how strong and important each of these girls would be to me. I was reminded of that today when I sent a group message out letting them know what I've been going through with school, sickness, and trying to find a balance in life and I was quickly comforted by their kind and thoughtful words that gave me strength and made me laugh. I had expected to keep in contact with the group but I didn't realize how closely connected I would feel to them thanks to our little messaging group we created. Everyday I can hear from a different girl about a trial she is facing or about a joy she wants to share. It's as if I saw them all just last week; it's strange to think it might be a very long time until we will all be reunited in real life. I am so appreciative of them all... especially today.

These beautiful women with such incredible values, strengths, and hearts all have my back and I have each of theirs. I'm so lucky.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

reunited and it feels so good

with Elizabeth from Austin Coalition for Life & my darling babes from Texas Right to Life

Monday, September 05, 2011

bad a

one of my heroes shared this quote with me this weekend and i am currently obsessed with it.


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