Monday, December 3, 2012

Just Sittin' Here...Hoping

It's been a while since I've written a real "meat and potatoes" type post. It is not from my huge social calendar nor because of the lack of time I spend at home but more because I, again, struggle with putting a finger on the emotions that I feel each day. I'm not sure if it's because I am peri-menopausal (am I??) or just plain C.R.A.Z.Y. but I have become a prisoner of my emotions the past 6 months.
Perhaps the negativity of the past presidential election seeped in to my every day life? Yes, I'll blame Obama The One for any problems with handling my emotional health!! No, it's not just the fact that there is a politician out there that I don't like - there are many - it's more the morons that like the politicians! I know, it's not very Christ-like of me to label them as morons and then doesn't it make me as angry and moronic like them? Sigh...Part of me can't wait to sit back and watch all of the b.s. happen and see "his" followers frothing at the mouth or starting revolutions because they want EVERYTHING without working for ANY of it. Let's keep abortion legal because, after all, why should it be any of our business if 60,000,000 babies have been murdered in the name of choice or convenience or confusion or manipulation or deception or fear? Again, sigh... ok, I'll move on from the stomach-turning emotions I have in regards to this administration!
So, where to go from those emotions?? I'd like to add many up-beat and lively ones but those are few and far between. I take great joy in seeing my children adapt and thrive here in Ohio. It really does take the sting away to know that they are happy and finding a few places that make it feel like home here. Murphy has an amazing ability to draw people to him. He doesn't change the way he is to suit the group of people he's with - people like him because he's loyal and funny and confident. Briege, as I've mentioned many times, is kind and giving and funny. She has never met a person that she doesn't like - and that causes hurt feelings more often than not but it also makes people love her. It's my little Keagan that I'm most worried about now. I thought, for sure, that he would have the easiest time with this transition because he was only 7 when we moved but that has not proven to be the case. He struggles finding friends because he can come across very strong and a bit "over" confident. He's not cocky but he is agressive in sports and likes everything to be completely fair even if it rubs people the wrong way. He hates his school and I, as mommy, do not know what to do to fix this because, frankly, I feel the same way. I feel lost and lonely and angry most of the time.
I could definitely look back at previous blog posts and see that I have struggled with finding my place long before the move. It is probably just all of those same issues magnified because I don't have too many outlets to work through them. I have read many wonderful spiritual books which have given me lots of medicine for my soul but, at the same time, kind of make me feel worse than I did before reading. Does that make sense? I am a rather simple gal - I see a problem, I find solutions, I attempt solutions, and the problem is "fixed". It's great in theory but it doesn't work in life exactly the same way! Why the heck not??? Why can't it be that simple?
The holiday season is tough for me because I love it but I have, in my head, the way it all should look and sound and smell and I always fall short. A few weeks ago I reached out to a woman here in Ohio and told her how sad I was to be away from my extended family over Thanksgiving and probably Christmas and asked if we could get together just so I could get out of my funk. I was reaching out and her response? "Um, can it wait until the holidays are over, I'm redoing my kitchen?" Are you kidding me? I know, on the one hand, she was just being honest and that's what friends do. On the other hand, who does that? Apparently people in this bubble of a town in which I reside do THAT! It's been a year and a half and I've met some nice people but I have not gone out socially with a single person in a year and a half. ONE.YEAR.AND.A.HALF. I volunteer at the high school, I volunteer at the grade school, I coached my daughter's volleyball, I volunteer for the pro-life group in the city, and so on but nothing. Why? I mean, WHY?
I know that my life could be worse and it has been, at times, super bad :( but I have never felt this isolated or this unimportant in my whole life. My marriage is a constant struggle with me wanting my husband to even notice me or to do what he says he'll do. I want a true partnership but I feel like he is still lost in that selfish caveman mode whereas I come in to his world with 3 kids with 3 independent and busy lives and he just stays in automatic. There are benefits to this as he keeps us all calm but it makes me sad to see him so unplugged to the world that is happening right in front of his nose. I have hope and that means a ton! I know that God brought us together and He will see us through this but it sure hurts sometimes.
So, I'll just keep sittin' here and I'll just keep hoping!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Just Because I Can!

There are some things in this world that bring me great joy. My children, my husband, my God (of course!) and my IRISH!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Must-See

I think I should view this video daily! I cannot even begin to describe how lonely and how sad and how tired I am. It is medicine for the soul! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Keagan Christopher

Oh my Halloweenie baby, Keagan Christopher! It is only fitting that Keagan was able to squeeze his way on to the calendar with his birth on the LAST day of October which is also Halloween! I gotta say, I've always hated Halloween (the scary crap, the dark crap, the costumes, etc. - I have issues) and so I felt that God, most definitely, smiled from above when Keagan came into our lives! He has redeemed the day for me - well for ALL of us! He is funny, smart, creative, wacky, energetic, and is always right there with a kiss for mom! And so, Keagan rounds out the crazy birthday month of October for us and so I leave you with this parting shot of the 3 birthday kiddos! I'm so blessed!

Sweet Briege

Holy moly! I forgot to make a special mention of my dear, sweet, lovely, funny, adorable, smart, and terrific daughter to mark her 13th birthday! I can't believe she's a teenager!! She's such a giver and she's so unbelievably unselfish in everything she says or does! God continually smiles on all of us because of the gift of her life! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRIEGE MARIE!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Joseph Murphy

I cannot find the right words to describe how much I love this boy! I know I've shared time and time again how we share the same birthday and so, every year, on our birthday I am reminded of God's amazing LOVE. I cherish this day because it all made perfect sense when Murphy came in to my life...on this day...15 years ago. I shall hold him tighter today (won't he just love that???)I will nag him less today (he will definitely love that!!) and I will shout God's goodness loudly today! Thank you, dear Lord, for the gift of Murphy's life!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My Apologies

It seems as though I am always apologizing lately. I'm apologizing because I dare to have an opinion on a particular political candidate - code for: Obama. In my opinion, he is down-right evil! I realize that some may say that he may be misguided or that he merely shares a different political agenda that I do but, as for me, the writing is on the wall; the proof is in the pudding; where there's smoke there's fire! Take, for just one tiny example, as part of his lovely Obamacare MANDATE (not suggestion, not choice, but MANDATE) there are frightening little bonuses that allow states, such as Oregon (and any other state that would allow or propose it) the following: "With back-to-school season in full swing across the nation, parents in Oregon have more to worry about than shopping for sweaters and purchasing pencils. In the state of Oregon, the Obamacare mandate, which went into effect on August 1, 2012, provides free sterilizations to girls as young as fifteen. Now, your daughter, your high school freshman, can choose, without your consent, to be permanently sterilized." What the heck?? Am I to apologize because MY president is proposing that states should have the freedom to allow their young people to be sterilized at ages as young as 15 without parental consent and this saddens me? I'm apologizing for what? I'm apologizing because I, personally, have not had a tubal ligation, been on the pill, or used a condom to prevent children. Now, do NOT get me wrong, this is what I have done personally - never in my interaction with anyone have I judged someone that has taken this path. I realize we all have our own paths and we all are doing what we feel is right and just in our own lives. Here comes the but in my statement: But, do not ask me to apologize because I have NOT chosen this path. If you feel guilty or feel judged because I'm not patting you on the back for these choices and telling you, "Hurrah", then that's something you should examine. And, don't expect me NOT to tell you why I have made these choices if YOU ask me!! 'Cause, I'm gonna tell you if YOU ask - I very rarely offer my opinions on things that may cause hurt unless someone, pointedly, asks me my opinion or asks me why I don't believe in using any of these things. I'm apologizing because I dare to correct someone when they, verbatim, make a false statement about the Catholic Church...MY Catholic Church! One example, recently, was a statement about yoga and the Catholic Church. The person stated that the reason that yoga is frowned upon by Catholics is because of yoga's former pagan roots. This is a completely false characteristic of why the Catholic Church has stated that practicing yoga is contrary to CHRISTIAN and Catholic principles because of its CURRENT connection to New Age mysticism found in NON-CHRISTIAN religions like Hinduism and Budhism. Yet, I am asked to "lighten up" and to "shut up" about correcting the statement which portrays MY Church in a false light - making Catholics seem like we just sit in our rockers thinking of ways to be buzz-kills!! "Yoga is incompatible with Catholicism because the best known practice of Hindu spirituality is Yoga. “Inner” Hinduism professes pantheism, which denies that there is only one infinite Being who created the world out of nothing." - FATHER JOHN HARDON, S.J. Yep, I'm only citing one priest because his explanation makes sense and I need nothing more to "convince" me to stay away from yoga. Is there only one way to exercise and relax? Are we just so obsessed with finding ways to de-program that we are willing to engage in practices that shift focus away from Christ towards a more self-centered approach to life? I know, I don't get it because I am a lazy gal whose only job it is to be a stay-at-home mother. Therefore, I apologize...groan! I'm apologizing because my "friends" just don't have time to be friends. I would know that if I actually had a J.O.B. I apologize because it is impossible to return a text from me with the words; "BUZZ OFF" or "MISS YOU" or "LEAVE ME ALONE" or... I apologize because it must take hundreds of seconds to type out an email catching up with me or, on the contrary, telling me to get lost! I aplogize because returning a phone call must take hours. I mean punching in 10 numbers - exhausting! I know I sound bitter and perhaps I am. I am sad that years of tears and laughter and advice and chats about nothing and everything all seem to be worth nothing anymore. It is particularly painful because I live in a new (relatively) place without the attachments of years of friendship in my pocket like everyone else here seems to have. I value and I am open to new friendships every day and I am still hopeful it will happen to me here in Ohio. I guess I just never thought that I would be that friend. The one that people just forget about because it's all "out of sight: out of mind" kind of a thing. I mean I'm 41, not 17!! I'm capable of making a new marriage work, incorporating his 2 sons in to my life, driving my oldest 25 miles away for baseball practice 3 times a week, coaching eleven 12 year old girls the game of volleyball 3 times a week, and also preparing my son for high school and my 2 younger kiddos for another year at their school all while my husband travels 4 days a week. Yep, I can sure manage a 10 minute phone call in there and I can figure out how to pound on my keyboard to shoot an email and I, most definitely, know how to point my chubby fingers across my QWERTY phone to send a text. But, I apologize for being an obligation - my bad! MY APOLOGIES!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

More Pictures

I have plenty of time to write in the blog but just haven't felt moved to do so. But, I have been busy taking lots of pictures, attending a ton of baseball games, and entertaining my kids this summer. Here are some pictures of our summer so far:

Sunday, June 24, 2012


I needed a little levity today - it may not be the most reverent thing to post but it sure gave me a case of the giggles!! Ha!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Version of a Photo Dump

I don't have a smart phone so I can't post some cool photo dump that people with the iPhones periodically do and I don't have any cool apps to make my photos look old or whatever. What I do have is a camera and I take it everywhere and so I'm going to dump some of my more recent photos on here. Why? Because I love my family, I love our travels, and I love our life :) Basketball in the c-c-c-old!
Briege & Keagan toughing it out in the cold - there's that Indiana blood :)
Better weather for some b-ball w/ Briege, Keagan, and Murphy
St. Ignatius class of 2016!!
Bill and Sugar (before her summer shave - she looks like a homeless dish rag in the picture)
First time on an airplane - going to Bonita Springs, FL (Easter Break 2012)
The kiddos in the airport
Finally, pool time!!!
Lots of "in the air" shots at the pool
The kids first day on Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs
Amazing sunsets in Florida
Keagan, well, being Keagan - hee hee!
Briege and hubby, Bill
The Family in Bonita 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I have certainly neglected pouring my thoughts on this here blog lately, sorry! Of course, my apologies are not because my huge following of readers cannot live without my thoughts and musings but the apology is directed at myself. Writing is a wonderful release for me and I have MUCH to release at this point in my life! I'm sure that this blog post is going to be full of spelling errors, grammatical errors (is it gramatical? See??), and the mother of all run-on sentences but I just need to put thoughts on "paper". So grin and bear it...please. It is graduation time in our extended household. Murphy graduates from the 8th grade this year. I am so proud of him as he is such an amazing young man. He's funny, sweet, talented, and I cannot wait to continue to watch him mature! It is a little bittersweet as all of these "end of middle/grade school" activities are at this new school. If I had to pick out kids, from his school, in a line-up, I could perhaps pick out maybe 11 boys and 2 girls. Compare this with his classmates from previous years - I coached many of the girls in volleyball and have had several of the boys over to my house. It is hard when it comes time for huge events like the May Crowning when the two 8th graders chosen are kids that I do not even recognize. I know, it's not about me and I embrace all of this as I don't want Murphy to look back and remember his nutball mother as ruining his year. It is also graduation time for Alex. He graduates from high school and moves on to KSU in the fall. It's exciting for him - he's a sweet kid and I pray he does well. With it has come the snarkiness from the ex-wife (not my ex-wife, of course!) as to how much SHE believes we should kick in for our portion (I say our because, although he is not my son, financial decisions affect me) Apparently, in her "Parent Book", college tuition is OWED to one's graduating senior. And, so given all that she has had to pay for out of pocket throughout the years (yeah, apparently, child support doesn't count) we should pay half - which is roughly $9000 a year. Really? When the amount was disputed, her response was, "Why doesn't Kelly get a job?" Are you kidding me? I would so love to stick a fork in her ear! And the saga continues... Have I mentioned how homesick I am...STILL? I repeatedly am told that it could or should take about 2 years for me to feel like this my home. 2 years??? Well, it's been 1 year and I am not an inch closer to feeling any warm and fuzzies for NE Ohio! I try, really I do. I do not sit around crying in my cereal! I volunteer for whatever I can at school; I reach out to other women that I know that stay at home, etc. I'm miserable! I miss my siblings and their children! I cry as I see pictures posted on FB of the birthday parties, graduation parties, cookouts, baseball games, or whatever that I have missed. I know that millions of people live away from their families and have made lives away from their families. I do not want to be Aunt Kelly on the phone - I want to be Aunt Kelly down the street (or at least across town) Which leads me to another thought... It is the year 2012, can we PLEASE stop tearing down other women if they choose to stay at home with kids, stay at home without kids, work away from home, work at home, have children, don't have children, have 12 children, have 3 children, on and on! I am certain that I judge people according to what I see but I always take the time before opening my big, fat mouth. I don't feel like it's my job to point out why my way is the best way and things like that. I have lovely people in my life that have all sorts of reasons for the choices they've made in their lives and I love them anyway. If I don't happen to agree with them, unless I'm asked (and, sometimes, even if I am) I SHUT UP! But, I am finding that, clearly, not everyone employs this tactic. Within the past 3 weeks, I have been mocked for being a stay-at-home mother by working mothers who do not know me and have never bothered to get to know me! The comments ranged from, "Oh, you're bored...forgot, you're a stay-at-home mom" to "I don't have the option of staying home with MY kids" UGH! We encounter choices every moment along the way and with them come consequences, both good and bad. I like being home when my kids get home from school! That is not to imply that working mothers do not enjoy it but the situation that is right for them is that mom works. I would NEVER judge my friends or family that for whatever reasons do not have children. I have never said, "If you had kids, you would know" There are obvious differences in our life experiences and would never judge someone according to my own idea of what life should be so why don't I get the same respect? I have heard the saying that "You teach people how to treat you" but how am I able to put it out there when I get judged because of my situation? It is a constant suggestion that I get a job - yep, that will take care of MY needs. I'll be more fulfilled; I'll be out of the house; I'll feel smarter and more important but, in MY heart, I feel the need to be home for my kids. Is that bad?? UGH! and UGH! I have repeatedly said this, I know that I am supposed to be in Ohio. As part of the package deal in marrying Bill, I made certain sacrifices...willingly. I can't imagine my life without him in it! I love him, every little part of him (even the crap that drives me BONKERS) So, how do I translate this real love into action? How do I continue to make a life here when he travels a ton and going to visit family is an ordeal? I am starting to see myself getting resentful. I don't want to resent Bill for this move! I continually regroup so that these feelings do not ruin my marriage because I'm in this until death - really I am! I wasn't expecting roses and rainbows and I still don't! I know that marriage is work and I'm working!! I just want to feel (I realize that feelings are not always rational so I don't usually give voice to most of these feelings) protected. I want Bill to reassure me that he's here for me and the kids! I want to feel that he would walk away from all of his connections FOR me like I did FOR him (yikes, there's that bitterness) Which leads me to this final thought... I force myself to pray each and every day. I say "force" because it isn't always easy to communicate with my Loving Father when I feel so unlovable! I know! This has been a constant path for me. My emotions toward God have not changed - they are as deep and as beautiful as always but the disconnect comes from my end. This is why I "force" myself to pray. I want to always stay connected with God and I always will. At the end of the day (heck, at the end of my life) I realize it will be me at Christ's feet pleading for His mercy and I know that He will give it to me as He has every other moment in my life! I also realize that by going to God with my struggles every day, He will bring me through it! And, he has!! With that, I am done... whew

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Bonita Springs - Trip #2

Heading to Bonita Springs for Spring Break and I cannot wait!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

2012 Cleveland Color Run

My sister, Kerry, and I are signed up and ready to do this on June 16th!! It's a 5k and so I'm praying that either; a) I can work myself up to running a 5k (with my back problems, it's not likely) or b) Kerry won't mind "slumming" it with me doing it via a walk!! It's not a timed race and it's for fun so I'm excited to do something with just my sister and friend...I miss her tons!!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Roller Coaster!

I should start a new blog all on the perils of raising a teenage boy. I know, those with teenage girls will jump up and down trying to "one-up" me with their stories but I'm willing to resort to kicking them in the shins if they try to stop my rant!! I am deeply enamored of my 14 year old son. He is handsome, sweet, funny, talented, smart, and many more adjectives (I cannot recall them now as I am on the death-thrill portion of the roller coaster ride which is our relationship) He is, also, stubborn, lazy, flippant, mouthy, sarcastic (gee, not sure where he gets that from???), frustrating, frustratED, and stinky (had to add the last one in there because, gravy, what happens to boys at this age?)

I grew up in a home where there were 2 boys and 3 of us girls. My parents, at least in dealing with my twin sister and me, had a pretty clear-cut expectation from us. When it comes to school, we were to get comfy, have a snack, and then do our homework. Everything else was secondary - unless the house was on fire or we were on fire! In talking to my parents now, it seems that their battles with my brothers were much more, um, active. I can only remember my own struggles - perhaps I blocked out the drama that ensued with my siblings at homework time?? They never threatened me if I were to obtain a bad grade in school but something compelled me to study, do my homework, and ask for help when I was lost. I am, by far, not one of those people that is naturally smart - I had to work for every grade that I received. It wasn't until college that I determined that I could write my way out of or in to any grade that I wanted but do NOT make me guess on math or science tests because I would fail. So...I studied!

Is this a trait reserved for the female gender? Are we, generally, more self-motivating? Are we less prone to living life on automatic pilot? Are we less apt to be surprised if we missed a week of school and find out that we missed tests and that we have homework to make up for those days? Are we more concerned and, consequently, proactive, when a teacher doesn't come to US with said assignments with a gentle reminder that we need to get on the ball? Well, I'm on the verge of setting up some sort of scientific trial to prove or disprove the theory that girls are much better self-motivators than boys! Am I the only one surprised or ignorant of this information?

A typical scenario at my house on a weekday after school:
Briege - at the table at 3:05 (unless she has drama club or choir or newspaper) eating her snack AND doing her homework. This, most often, lasts until roughly 5:15.
Keagan - rolling his eyes at 3:05 because he has to do ALL of his 1st grade homework. His homework session usually lasts until about 3:45 (with 10 minutes built in by his chattiness)
Murphy - on the couch catching up on the myriad of texts that he had received throughout the day (what?) and then rolling his eyes at 3:25 when I ask if he has any homework. More eye rolling when I don't seem to believe him when he says, "No" or "I did it at school" Then ensues the lecture about study-habits and that life is not about only doing what is expected but it sometimes requires going above and beyond the minimum. More eye rolling... see the pattern?

Have I mentioned that I love my son?????????

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I don't care, at this point, which Republican candidate is on the ticket...Obama MUST be voted out of office in November!!!

Found on

Obamacare $1 Abortion Payment Surcharge Upsets Pro-Lifers

Leading pro-life organizations are upset by the news that the Obama administration has issued the final rules on abortion funding governing the controversial health care law allowing for a $1 abortion insurance payment surcharge.

As LifeNews initially reported, the Department of Health and Human Services has issued a final rule regarding establishment of the state health care exchanges required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

As a knowledgeable pro-life source on Capitol Hill informed LifeNews, as authorized by Obamacare, “The final rule provides for taxpayer funding of insurance coverage that includes elective abortion” and the change to longstanding law prohibiting virtually all direct taxpayer funding of abortions (the Hyde Amendment) is accomplished through an accounting arrangement described in the Affordable Care Act and reiterated in the final rule issued today.

“To comply with the accounting requirement, plans will collect a $1 abortion surcharge from each premium payer,” the pro-life source informed LifeNews. “The enrollee will make two payments, $1 per month for abortion and another payment for the rest of the services covered. As described in the rule, the surcharge can only be disclosed to the enrollee at the time of enrollment. Furthermore, insurance plans may only advertise the total cost of the premiums without disclosing that enrollees will be charged a $1 per month fee to pay directly subsidize abortions.”

Tony Perkins of the Family research Council was quite upset by the news.

“The day that Bart Stupak said would never come is here. Almost two years after the former congressman agreed to an executive order “banning” abortion funding in ObamaCare, the President finally proved how useless it was. For all the time spent trying to shield taxpayers from any involvement in the abortion business, the executive order dissolved this week into what it always was: a meaningless piece of White House letterhead,” he said. “As part of the new regulations on how state health exchanges will work, anyone enrolled in an insurance plan that covers abortion will be responsible for sharing the cost.”

He pointed out how HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius explained this way back in 2009. “[W]hether you’re male or female, whether you’re 75 or 25, you would all set aside a portion of your premium that would go into a fund, and it would not be earmarked for anything, it would be a separate [abortion] account that everyone in the exchange would pay… It is a bit confusing, but it’s really an accounting that would apply across the board and not just to women, and certainly not just to women who want to choose abortion coverage.”

“For all intents and purposes, this is just another mandate on abortion, which, like its contraception counterpart, makes no exemptions for people with moral objections. Despite the accounting gimmicks, taxpayers will still have to reach into their own pockets and fund the procedure,” Perkins continued.

The Life Legal Defense Foundation also complained about the new rules.

“The rule provides for taxpayer funding of insurance plans that include elective abortion. This departure from the longstanding policy is accomplished through an accounting arrangement described in the Affordable Care Act and reiterated in the final rule,” the pro-life legal group said.

LLDF continued: “To comply with the accounting requirement, plans collect a $1 abortion surcharge from each premium payer. The enrollee will make two payments, $1 per month for abortion and another payment for the rest of the services covered. As described in the rule, the surcharge can only be disclosed to the enrollee at the time of enrollment. Furthermore, insurance plans may only advertise the total cost of the premiums without disclosing that enrollees will be charged a $1 per month to directly subsidize abortions.”

“The final rule mentions, but does not address concerns about abortion coverage in “multi-state” plans administered by the Federal Government’s Office of Personal Management (OPM). There is nothing in the Affordable Care Act to prevent some OPM (government administered) plans from covering elective abortion, and questions remain about whether OPM multi-state plans will include elective abortion. If such plans do include abortion, there are concerns that the abortion coverage will even be offered in states that have prohibited abortion coverage in their state exchanges. The final rule indicates that specific standards for multi-state plans will be forthcoming in future rules from OPM,” LLDF said.

The group concluded: “The final rule extinguishes the hope that the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would respect the rights of the unborn and the religious liberty of pro-life citizens who have conscientious objections to their tax dollars being used to fund abortion.”

The pro-life women’s group Feminists for Life also complained about the $1 abortion surcharge.

“The President’s promise to women and children has been broken,” said FFL President Serrin Foster. “This is most disappointing because it affects those most vulnerable–the poor and working poor, young working women who are otherwise uninsured, and students who are not on their parents plan, and who now be forced to pay $1 for an abortion surcharge through the exchange. A dollar is a dollar too much for abortion. Abortion does nothing to address the unmet needs of women.”

“If abortion was such a great thing, why keep this coverage such a secret?” Foster asked.

Nestled within the “individual mandate” in the Obamacare act — that portion of the Act requiring every American to purchase government — approved insurance or pay a penalty — is an “abortion premium mandate.” This mandate requires all persons enrolled in insurance plans that include elective abortion coverage to pay a separate premium from their own pockets to fund abortion. As a result, many pro-life Americans will have to decide between a plan that violates their consciences by funding abortion, or a plan that may not meet their health needs.

As LifeNews reported, the final HHS rule mentions, but does not address concerns about abortion coverage in “multi-state” plans administered by the Federal Government’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

“There is nothing in the Affordable Care Act to prevent some OPM (government administered) plans from covering elective abortion, and questions remain about whether OPM multi-state plans will include elective abortion,” a pro-life source on Capital Hill said. “If such plans do include abortion, there are concerns that the abortion coverage will even be offered in states that have prohibited abortion coverage in their state exchanges.”

The final rule indicates: “Specific standards for multi-state plans will be described in future rulemaking published by OPM…”

Set to go into effect in 2014, the unconstitutional provisions found in Section 1303 of the Obamacare Act compel enrollees in certain health plans to pay a separate abortion premium from their own pocket, without the ability to decline abortion coverage based on religious or moral objection.

That provision was the subject of a legal document that Bioethics Defense Fund’s Dorinda C. Bordlee, lead counsel for the group, submitted to the Supreme Court in February.

“This violates the Free Exercise Clause because religious exemptions are made for groups such as the Amish who morally object to purchasing any insurance, but no exemptions are made for Americans who have religious or moral objections to abortion,” Bordlee said.

“President Obama’s healthcare overhaul includes an ‘abortion premium mandate’ that blatantly violates the conscience rights and First Amendment religious rights of millions of Americans,” AUL president Charmaine Yoest said. “Nowhere in the Constitution does it require Americans to violate their beliefs and pay for abortions.”

ADF Senior Counsel Steven Aden says Americans should not be compelled to pay for other people’s elective abortions.

“No one should be forced to violate their conscience by paying for abortions, but that’s precisely what ObamaCare does,” he explained. “ObamaCare requires that employees enrolled in certain health plans pay a separate insurance premium specifically to pay for other people’s elective abortions and offers no opt-out for religious or moral reasons. Such a mandate cannot survive constitutional scrutiny.”

BDF president and general counsel Nikolas Nikas said the individual mandate not only forces individuals into private purchases, it also effectively mandates personal payments for surgical abortion coverage, without exemption for an individual’s religious or moral objections.

He told LifeNews in an email, “Like a Russian nesting doll, the individual mandate has nestled within it a hidden, but equally unconstitutional scheme that effectively imposes an ‘abortion premium mandate’ that violates the free exercise rights of millions of Americans who have religious objections to abortion.”

Monday, March 5, 2012

At the Cross

I have been contemplating the suggestion "Leaving it all at the foot of the Cross" I hear it time and time again and I also read it in awesome books from awesome people. I struggle with it not because of God's limitations but because of my own. Seriously, how does one sit in the presence of the Crucified Christ and then just "leave it all at the foot of the Cross"? I get the meaning behind the suggestion - that Christ died for our sins and that when you leave your pain, suffering, sadness, etc. at the foot then it is redeemed or eliminated (cannot think of any good descriptive words tonight, ugh)

Here, again, is where I falter. I have 2 bulging discs in my back and I have been so depressed and very pained by it. I soooo try to offer up my pain because I am able to live (albeit with much discomfort) with it and know that there are so many that are afflicted with much more serious issues - physically and/or emotionally. So, I do ask Our Father to use my pain for someone else. I do remember my friends and my family in my prayers and ask that any suffering that I endure be offered up for their happiness and well-being. Don't get me wrong, I am the WORST kind of martyr. I am certain that God will never put me in a situation where I must suffer silently. I called or emailed every single person I know that has experienced back pain just to commiserate. Martyr? No! But, I try - I truly try to get something from all of this. I am, however, unable to stare and contemplate the Cross and then "leave my pain" there.

The other day I was at St. Paul Shrine in downtown Cleveland (just one of many beautiful churches in the Cleveland area) and they have several wonderful statues around the perimeter of the church. I knelt down before the Pieta and looked in to Our Lady's eyes and I could not bring myself to ask for prayers for my back. I realize that I am missing the point of the Crucifixion in my not being able to do this. I know that the Crucifixion was for me and for all of my sins and that Jesus' intense love for me includes His WANTING to take my cross for me. However, I want to take His Cross for Him. I want to soothe Our Lady's pain as She held Her Son. I want to be the one that is there at the foot of the Cross giving Him comfort as so many abandoned Him. I simply just do not know how to "leave it at the foot of the Cross"

Am I depriving myself of a certain amount of blessings because of this? Is there another way of asking for healing without feeling as though I am ungrateful for asking for it? Perhaps it just stems back to the age-old issue that I struggle with constantly: I do not feel worthy of it! I do not feel as though it is right for me to ask such a huge blessing. And, maybe most of all, I am fearful that if I ask for a healing and I do not receive one that it will feed that sinful thought of me not being worthy.

I was talking with my husband about this a few weeks ago that I truly just don't know how to offer things up nor do I know how to do this whole "leaving it at the Cross" thing. I mentioned that I just don't understand the purpose of it all - the suffering, the frustration, the loneliness. And Bill reminded me of all of the things that I have endured the past 20 years or so and how it all builds on itself. He reminded me that I was blessed to be the birth mother of a baby 20 1/2 years ago that was to be born on my birthday but wasn't. Only to give birth 7 years later to a son that was born on my birthday. It was as if the pain and loneliness from that huge event in 1990 was rewarded with an equally huge event almost exactly 7 years later. God doesn't forget - He uses all of our experiences as part of a Divine plan. We often spend many of our days wishing that we could just get a glimpse into why things happen the way that they do or what will happen in the future as a result. My goodness, the wait is always worth it.

In a few days it will be 5 years that my husband died. At the time, I just could not figure out why this could have happened. I couldn't understand why this was something that MY children had to endure. In 5 years, I don't necessarily understand all the whys and why nots of Bill's death (Bill 1 - as Keagan sometimes calls him) But, I see that I am a better wife now because of the experience of loving and losing a husband in 2007. I see now that because of the suffering we all experienced, we are able to really appreciate the love and peace that we have now with this new man in our lives (Bill 2!!) So many things to be thankful for all because I was able to embrace the cross that God gave me. The cross given to me not because I am not worthy but because I AM worthy...we all are!