This sculpture was made by Martin Hudáčeka of Banska Bystrica and dedicated to the unborn and the mothers that are forever changed and forever keenly aware of the value of human life. The first time I saw this sculpture, I cried for a solid hour, I found it so moving. I thought of all the mothers whose arms are empty and who ache to hold their children.
Little Soapbox moment: Loss is painful, Loss is hard, Loss is not fair. Miscarriage, Pregnancy Loss whatever you wish to call it, is all of these. Losing a child at any age is like this. There are no answers and even when there are, they are never sufficient as a piece of your future is forever missing. A piece of your heart is gone.
Having said this, with a heart full of compassion and love, Abortion is not loss, it is a choice. No matter how many try to "reframe" it into being the same as pregnancy loss. It is NOT the same. Pregnancy loss has no choices. Healing after making this choice, just as making other choices, is possible. If you choose to reframe choosing abortion into pregnancy loss, what healing is felt, what healing is possible when you lie to yourself? I have known women who have spent their entire lives lamenting their decision to end a life. True healing for those who have chosen this road can be possible, but just like healing from other choices, one must first acknowledge it and it's truth.
Seek out a spiritual father, there is hope.
For those considering it, please consider another choice, a loving choice, a choice for life and respect,
As painful as it can be to make this loving plan, and it is painful for all sides, it is less painful than the other choice. There is pain, there is a sense of loss for both mothers the one placing and the one accepting. It takes a strong woman to acknowledge this and to go against society's push to end things quickly, to move forward, to hide a pregnancy, and to choose destroying a life. It takes a strong woman to acknowledge her limits. It takes a strong woman to love another person so deeply, and to accept the limits in their world as part of God's will. I have known women on all sides. It takes a strong woman to choose adoption. The women whose children were massacred by Herod, had no choice, only loss and pain and grief.
There are no easy choices. But out of pain, there can be JOY!
The Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) has launched an online White House petition urging President Obama to “Stand up for the rights of endangered Christian minorities around the world this Christmas season.” The petition can be found at www.hellenicleaders.com/freedom. According to WhiteHouse.gov rules, if the petition reaches the 25,000 signatures threshold, the White House has to issue a formal written response. We have until January 6, 2013.
The petition language explains that:
Christians in the greater Middle East face extinction in their homelands. In Syria’s civil war, Christians who make up 10% of the population are targeted. Christians in Egypt (12% of that population) suffer social persecution and political exclusion. Christians in Iraq (1% of that population) face daily threats and violence. In Turkey, the number of Christians has plummeted to less than .1% due to systematic rights violations, including the oppression of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In occupied Cyprus, the Turkish military has essentially snuffed out Christianity to around 400 survivors. The administration should act now to protect the rights of these groups by calling on countries in the greater Middle East to protect religious freedom, especially that of their Christian minorities.
Endy Zemenides, Executive Director of HALC explains the timing of the petition: “As we wrap our gifts, Syria’s Christians are being attacked, Egypt’s Christians are being excluded from the forming of the new Egyptian state, and enclaved Greek Cypriots need to seek permission to celebrate Christmas in occupied Cyprus. Turkey continuously lied about opening Halki throughout President Obama’s first term, and this Christmas, the future of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is as uncertain as ever.”
The rights violations identified in the petition were analyzed by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom which, earlier this year, downgraded Turkey to the list of “Countries of Particular Concern,” the list of the worst violators of religious rights in the world. The grassroots effort of this petition can help turn the USCIRF recommendations into actions by Washington to protect the human rights of Christians whose very survival is at stake. Christians can voice their support for the universal human right of religious freedom by signing this petition and by calling attention to the vulnerability of Christians struggling to survive in the ancient lands of Christianity.
I used marinated mozzarella balls,
cut them in half,
then placed them inside the peppapew.
What is a peppapew, you ask?
Just about the yummiest sweet pepper there is.
They are about the size of a cherry tomato
and have a teeny tiny kick to their flavor.
I've seen them both in the gourmet mediterranean bar area of grocery stores
and pickled in jars.
Jarlsburg cheese and Granny apple slices on a Triscuit cracker.
Both of these really complement the flavors of their partnered food
and are super-easy to make.
Who wouldn't love that combination?
What a beautiful day this gets to be, thanks to the good works of St Nicholas.
There are so many resources out there and even societies about preserving his memory.
He is one of the most popular saints in the world.
I am not exaggerating.
There are 43 churches in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America,
which includes, the sweet community whose church building was destroyed on September 11, 2001. There are 65 churches listed in the Orthodox Church of America, 14 in the Antiochian Orthodox Archdioceses of America and 4 churches in the Romanian Orthodox Church.
640 churches listed by the Catholic Church of America.
In our home, we start the day checking our shoes for treats left overnight?
If we get something, it is a good indicator that he may come back at Christmas.
We always find some assortment of chocolate and oranges and candy.
This year, it was one orange, with gumballs, lollipops and gold coins (three of each).
After the oranges are eaten,
the peels are added to a pot of boiling water with some cloves and a cinnamon stick,
for the beautiful aroma.
St Nick cookies and Raisin Tarts are a sweet treat for the day.
I don't have a special cookie cutter.
I just use the one shaped for a girl.
We have in the past also surprised a family member, and/or a parishioner or two,
with decorating their front door with candy canes and gold chocolate coins.
To be discovered when they come out in the morning.
Not as easy to do with a little one in the house and early church services
but I love what we have now, and look forward to restarting this fun tradition,
in the future.
How do you celebrate?
The winner of the 100 and Counting Giveaway is Mat. Anna.
I had to share an experience from today. While shopping for our Church's Children's Christmas Party today, I dissolved an entire group of sales-ladies (not sales associates) for they were ladies and sweet ones, at that. Anyway, I had finished my purchase which included a brief discussion of what it was all for. The sweet girl ringing my out, finished and looked at me meekly and said, "Happy Holidays". I glanced at her for a moment, and said, "Merry Christmas!" at which she looked relieved, her whole face brightened and she responded, "Yes, Merry Christmas to you, too". I asked her in a hushed tone, "you're not allowed to say it, are you?" "We are allowed to respond" she replied.
So, before I exited the store's electronic doors, I put away my receipt and loudly exclaimed,
"MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!" Which was met with gales of laughter and a very enthusiastic 'response'.
For those who do not believe Christianity is under attack, you are wrong! So, I have a Christmas challenge for you! When met with a "Happy Holidays", I urge everyone to give the people serving you a chance to get to say what is truly in their hearts, "MERRY CHRISTMAS!"
Hard to believe, Fields of Basil, is 100 posts old.
So happy you are all here to, SHARE THE DAY!
So you may have noticed a gap in posting...
I'll admit I have been staring at this 100 number for the last little while and blocked on what to write.
Do I say anything, do anything, or just let it pass?
Not to mention I've been swamped with life in general.
Thought I would share some stats with you.
People who have visited to share the day have come from (in no particular order)
USA, Canada, Russia, Philipines, Sweden, Ukraine, Romania, Australia, New Zealand, France, Belgium, Brazil, Tanzania, Spain, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Israel, Venezuela, Portugal, Germany and a few more I didn't get to catch and write down at the time. Every so often, stats drops them.
Thank you to all for visiting and I will also admit, when we see an interesting location pop up, we do go to the map and look it up. We love geography!
Posts from this little place to share the day, have also been featured on Knock Off Decor Jennifer Rizzo Doodles and Stitches Cozy Little House
Now to something fun. Haven't done this before and so...... drumroll please....
Our first Fields of Basil giveaway!
I found something sweet and that feels almost decadent to use.
Exotic Rosewood Crochet Hooks and Knitting Needles!
The giveaway includes, Crochet Hooks (sizes I and J) and a pair of knitting needles size US 10
and a little baby white yarn.
Can't wait to see who gets a little early Christmas present and what you will make from it?
I imagine little snowflakes, hmmm.
So if you would like a chance to enter,
please click to follow me and leave a comment below.
If you have been already following, please just leave a comment.
Everyone who has already been following also gets a double chance!
(Hee hee, my blog, my rules.)
Thank you all!
Share the Day! Drawing will be held on the Feast of St. Nicholas (December 6)