Thursday, January 22, 2015

I am Pro-Choice.

In the past few months I have come to realize I am very pro-choice. The medical school I am attending has a "Students for Choice" group that meets every so often and a "Students for Life" group that was recently started but has not had its first meeting. Between some recent discussions at school and some things I read recently on Tumblr (where else?), as well as my volunteer job at a women's care center, I've been reminded quite a bit recently about all the time I spent in high school reading books about abortion and all the issues surrounding it. I read books by nurses who had left abortion clinics and by doctors who were still working at them, by women who regretted ever after what they had done and by women (Christian and not) who were writing because they were thankful for the abortion they had.

It's been a few years since high school. I've been to college and I'm in medical school. I've watched babies born and I've heard stories to spin your brain and break your heart. What I believe is not simply the product of my parents' beliefs or their decision to homeschool me or churches they took me to. I'm an educated (by my own research, not just my parents or the state) adult woman who thinks about what she believes.

I love choices. I believe in giving people choices. Options. Possibilities. 
Which is why I reject out of hand that "pro-choice" has come to stand for the forever-ending of choice.

Call me anti-abortion. No kidding. Abortion. Defined by Planned Parenthood as a safe and legal way to end a pregnancy. Do you know what ends a pregnancy? Two things. Birth. Death. Abortion usually doesn't involve a birth. (If it does it's considered to have failed.) Therefore. Abortion is death. In other words, obviously not safe for the pregnancy and sometimes (more often than you'd like to believe?) not safe for the woman. 
Yes, I am anti-abortion.

But don't you dare call me anti-choice.

Once you choose death, there are no more choices coming. Clearly no more choices for the baby** and so many fewer choices for the baby's mother (and father).
**or fetus or embryo or whatever you want to call it. Straight-up google fetus and the literal meaning is an unborn offspring of a mammal, in particular an unborn human baby more than eight weeks after conception.  Google embryo and the literal meaning is an unborn or unhatched offspring in the process of development, with synonyms being fetus, fertilized egg, unborn child/baby, zygote. And to simply use common language - how many expectant mothers do you know who talk about their baby? How many talk about their fetus? Basically fetus is the medical term for a baby at certain stages of development. Just like embryo and zygote.So spare yourself the embarrassment and don't tell me it's "not a baby." I live off words and science and I know what the words mean. 
Having the baby will change the woman's life? Clearly. So will killing it. The difference is once the baby is born she can chose the kind of change she wants. Keep the baby? Have the baby adopted? Every choice has so many choices following it...unless you decide to give up your choices. And it's one thing to give up your choices. It's another thing to take away every choice your child could ever have.

Nine months will not destroy your life.
I could have gone to college a year earlier than I did. I decided not to, and spent an extra year in high school living with my grandmother while she was treated for cancer. I'm in medical school this year and not even behind. I had a friend in college who had just had a baby - she's now in graduate school and posting adorable pictures of her husband and child on facebook in between posts on her work and school. You can recover from a nine month interruption.
Abortion does destroy life.***
Your zygote, embryo, fetus, baby, isn't going to recover from that. 
***Surely with medical technology where it is, we are not still arguing about whether or not a fertilized egg constitutes life? An egg or a sperm alone is like any other cell in your body - part of something that is alive. It is not, in and of itself, alive, anymore than a piece of your pancreas taken by itself fits the definition of life. But once an egg has been fertilized, it is something else.
This is why the fingernail clipping as equivalent to abortion argument literally makes me want to cry. Stop talking before you humiliate yourself and spend the time your mouth would have been moving to go educate yourself about basic biology and what cells are and the different kinds and how meiosis and mitosis work and what the difference between them is.

And yes, that might sound a bit harsh. I know that not everyone has supportive family or the opportunities for graduate school or medical school - that maybe it does look like 9 months of pregnancy will lose someone her job, her insurance, or any chance of becoming who she wants to be. 
And I hear a lot that "anti-choice" people care only about life pre-birth and that mother and child afterwards can go starve for all these people care. (This and this kind of stuff.)
To which I say baloney. You have a fundamental misunderstanding of why you are even being opposed. It's not that certain lives or stages of life are more valuable, but that if you do not have value and rights from conception you do not have value or rights at all. I could go on and on, but I'll stop at saying I'm volunteering at a women's care center - its entire purpose is to provide women with an alternative to Planned Parenthood's choice-destroying option. And no, they don't lie about statistics and shame women into full-term pregnancies there. Baby clothes, supplies, support, education, connections...all are available, and that's just one small place run by a few volunteers in my town. Yes, some places focus more on supporting women through pregnancy than afterwards. Please don't tell me you expect every single organization to offer help to people all over the world at any point in their lives? Dividing and specializing works a lot better. But there is support available. 
Personally, I would rather work with young children/families in difficult situations, and that I what I hope to do in the future. But I can't serve them there if you've already killed them, can I?

I always want the third option. The alternative to the alternatives. More choices. More possibilities. I reject either-ors whenever I can. How many babies would I personally adopt to save from abortion? As many as I needed to. I'd rather not adopt anyone unless I was married, but I'd stop medical school right now if it would be the impetus needed to stop someone from having an abortion. I am for life at any stage, and I don't think there are many excuses for not finding a way to better the lives of those around you. I'm going into medicine just to be able to serve the best that I can. 

And no, I'm not against women have the right to their own decisions, or their own bodies. God Himself gave free will, and there are few things I want less than a fellow human telling me what I can or cannot do with my body.
 But that thing in them is not their body.


Whether they wanted this baby there or not, he or she is there, a different person with different DNA, and as such does the baby truly have no rights at all? Are you willing to follow that logic all the way to the end? (You know where it goes, right? Have you read the things linked to here?) There are many times people become dependent on others, and will die if they are not cared for. Should we really have the option of killing anyone not fully independent? (You're on a ventilator. You're a conjoined twin. You're two days out from conception. You still deserve to live.)  And quit calling an unwanted fetus a parasite - you do realize pregnancy provides benefits to the woman's health, not just discomfort and inconvenience, right? Also that this is the way humans (and quite a few mammalian animals) reproduce? It's how the whole thing works?

The only way you can defend getting rid of a fetus is by denying his or her humanity, and so destroying your own. 
Is that truly worth it? 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Med School 2015

Now that you've read all my thoughtful posts, I hope you take this one in the tongue-in-cheek manner in which it is written. Or giffed. XD 
But anyway.

I feel like I was just doing school. 
How did two weeks of break go by already?
which means tomorrow is back to at least 6 hours of class and however many hours it takes to learn the information presented in those 6 hours. 

Y'know, there are times when working on school just kinda goes like this

and I'm like

and then I just sit there and say to myself:

but then I get a hold of myself and tell myself

since after all


people complain about school and I'm like...

they ask how I'm doing and I'm just like...

because my biggest question in med school is definitely

every time tests come around I look at the questions and just...










After that complicated argument between me, myself, and I...I really have nothing to say if you look at me and think:


but no matter, here is a picture for you. 


Saturday, January 3, 2015

he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed

So in my 2014 post I promised a Valuable life lesson you learned in 2014, and mentioned a little bit about miscommunication and backstabbing. 

Something you may not know about me, as readers of my blog, is that I am a very quiet person.
Very quiet. 
I don't know how many times people have laughed about "watch out for the quiet ones!" around me. Or looked at me in surprise when I said something teasing, once I'd gotten to know them better. 
The family I lived with last year dubbed me a "mute cocker spaniel."

I was shy as a child, and starting med school felt slightly like starting life all over again. Literally learning a new language (200,000 new words in 2 years), having complex new information shoved into my brain between 4 and 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, spending lots of time with really, really smart people (and feeling like a complete moron most of the time - which I later learned was a feeling not exactly uncommon among my peers)...simply being an introvert spending every day all day with new people - I got quieter than ever.

Usually I am fairly able to read people, though historically I have not been the best at responding to situations. (I know what they're thinking but now how to react...worst of both worlds. Except that there is hope I may figure out the latter part. :)
This past year I sensed a lot of unpleasantness in one particular new relationship, but since every incident was a little thing (tone of voice, slightly odd question, puzzling comment), I felt like bringing it up would be overreacting and figured I was probably just being really overly sensitive. 

And then all of a sudden I found out they had gone to someone and complained about my personality, about my quietness, and basically about my interactions with them in general. To the point where counseling was suggested. 

I was completely blown away. 

Usually, getting along with people is a basic thing that I kind of count on. It is rare that I work somewhere that doesn't ask me to come back, or isn't willing to write me an awesome recommendation letter. I usually make at least a few friends wherever I am. People usually like me.  

And these people didn't. They were fellow Christians, people I hugely looked up to and respected (and had placed on a pedestal that probably increased the miscommunications between us), and they thought I had serious problems. 

Given the nature of the relationship and the people they complained to, I pretty much rethought my entire year and a half of school. And then college, and high school, and my existence. (Well, not quite. XD)

On the one hand, I am fairly certain I was not the only one miscommunicating (I asked for clarification and got no response; they told other people they had issues with me and never mentioned it to me), and so tried to take the hurt with a grain of salt. (Despite what they say about salt and wounds.)
But I realized a few things. 
I was letting my fear of making mistakes, of saying the wrong thing, of being overly sensitive, blind me to what I should see, abilities I knew I had, things I knew I could do. If I'd trusted my gut feeling about the situation and said something early, things would probably have gone differently. I was shutting down what I could do in fear of what I perhaps couldn't do. People didn't know me because I wasn't letting myself be known - fearing they wouldn't like who I was made them not like who they imagined I was. It had come around to bite me hard. 

Praying miserably about it gave me this:
That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing that is in you in Jesus Christ.
Not only is my normal communication impaired, the communication of my faith is completely ineffectual, when I am not willing to acknowledge the gifts, talents, abilities God has given me. He has given me so much...thinking I have little to offer is throwing His gifts back in His face. 

I've never thought of myself as a fearful person (horses can scare me, but I'm not scared of horses! I used to indignantly proclaim). Rather prided myself, actually, on making my younger siblings work to startle me. Did well in public speaking, despite hating it abominably. (It was scary. But I'd smoke it.) 
But somewhere in the past few years I forgot about how in ski racing you have to just go for it. Who cares if the course is icy and the curve of the hill is dropping out beneath you and your body is screaming that you're going to smash to pieces! Dig your edges in and ski! I forgot that if you fight a horse's motion you're probably going to go off - move with the horse and you're a lot more likely to stick with it. I forgot it doesn't matter if your hands shake when you play piano in front of people. You practice an hour a day and then you get up and play in front of every who showed up at the recital. And you enjoy it.  
I forgot to be the girl who wore a long skirt or dress every single day to her AP class in a place where no one else did because she wanted to stand out and make people curious about her. (She did, and it did open doors for talking about faith and beliefs.)

I know I said I want to succeed this year. 
But I also want to fail. I want to throw myself into whatever is before me, trying it out and not caring if I get it right or wrong. This is my year for learning, for practicing, for making mistakes and them not mattering. 
Around the middle of the year, I start clinicals - then I might make mistakes that matter (still less likely than later). But I have 6 months to try anything and fail without it destroying me or anybody else. 

Jesus Christ has given me many good things, not least of which is the opportunity to learn incredible stuff and spend lots of time around awesome people. By not acknowledging my abilities and skills and doing less than I should, I hurt myself just as much as I might by attempting more than I am able. I'm not just being cautious or careful. Am I not doubting what He's given me and where He's placed me? 

So here's to 2015. If I think I should say something...this year I want to say it. I rather doubt I'll ever be a noisy person XD but I don't need to mute myself to avoid messing up. Here's to messing up and looking stupid - and learning from it! :D (Since after all...maybe I won't mess up at all.)  :)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Beautiful Books

I ran out of time to join the link-up, but I have a thing for finishing up random details like this, and also
I completed writing Contract to Time Travel

so here is the third and final installment of Beautiful Books. :D

1. On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best) how well do you think this book turned out?
10 being best of my writing so far? :D Or 10 being best of writing I've read...never mind, let's go with out of my own writing. XD

It took me 2 years to write...but at no point in the story was I really frustrated with the writing. (Unlike And It Was Love, the last novel I finished, and which drove me insane. Insaner, anyway.) It flowed. Yes, I changed scenes and redid the beginning multiple times. (I wrote the first chapter last, which I have never before done. I also have never liked a first chapter as much as I like this one.) Yes, I deleted entire sections and changed the ending over and over and over again...but I reread sections over and over without getting bored with my own writing, also. I edited chapters 1-20 the other day (20-40 shortly after that) and actually enjoyed it. I'm excited for the few changes I know I have to make, and not as worried as I should be about the things I don't yet know how I'll fix. I really enjoyed writing this book. (*apologies to those reading it who are currently in pain*)
I think I have to give it at least a 9 on the scale of my writing. It's not a particularly safe book - I didn't hold back: characters do things I never allowed other characters to do, and it's not a book I'd recommend to everyone. But in letting my imagination throw in all manner of craziness, I've been very surprised at the strength of the story that resulted. And by editing so much as I wrote, I'm far more satisfied with the finished version 1 than I usual am.

2. Have you ever rewritten or editing one of your books before? If so, what do you do to prepare yourself? If not, what’s your plan?
My short story! I edited the living daylights out of that thing. And sent it to an actual editor. And had every person I knew with any kind of writing experience read it and give me feedback.
I don't know if I'll be able to afford an actual editor this time...don't write books over 100K....we'll see what I manage to do with it myself. :D

3. What’s your final wordcount? Do you plan to lengthen or trim your book?
Trim, trim, trim, please be.

4. What’s are you most proud of? Plot, characters, or pacing?
Pacing... :P One part of editing I need to figure out - I don't know how many days the novel even covers. (the first 28 chapters cover 2 days. :P)
photo manip Safirewriter and moi 
Plot...stay alive? that could maybe use a little work also. Especially considering I wrote three chapters and then the entire plot changed on me. (Which is why I finally had to go back and change the first chapter to fit the story. I might need a new title now.)
Characters...yes, I like my characters. And I adore watching readers fall in love with them. XD

5. What’s your favourite bit of prose or line from this novel?
Don't ask me favorites.
And I edited out some of my favorite lines because that section of the book needs its own novella. (I couldn't make it longer than it was. I couldn't.)
Mainly I can't share my favorites because they're spoilers.

6. What aspect of your book needs the most work?
The fact that I gave one of the main characters a head injury which pretty much knocked her out of commission the whole middle half of the book, frustrating myself until I turned it into a broken nose, which didn't help all that much, definitely needs fixed. Her personality as a whole needs to find itself...she's very much a reluctant leader anyway, and my throwing injuries at her did not help her move along the plot, or change very much. (Everybody else changes quite a lot. I don't think she's a Mary Sue, but she could use a few changes.)

7. What aspect of your book is your favourite?
I don't knowwwwww...characters. XD

8. How are your characters? Well-rounded, or do they still need to be fleshed-out?
Aside from what I answered to #6...there are some side characters who could probably use some work. There are a few characters who just are mysterious, and I'm not sure I want to change how they come I think this is something I'll decide as I edit. I'm wondering about a few, but I haven't decided on how much they need fleshed-out yet.
via Safirewriter

9. If you had to do it over again, what would you change about the whole process?
have more time to write... :)

10. Did anything happen in your book that completely surprised you? Have any scenes or characters turned out differently to what you planned? Good or bad?
ha. I got to chapter 3 before I realized there were chimeras in the story. So that was kind of a complete surprise. XD
And I was quite a few chapters further in before I figured out a particular character was in love with another. (Very much unplanned there. But don't mess with my OTPs.)
I don't know what readers will think, but I say those are all good.
Bad...I didn't realize Ellian's little sister and Ellian's ex-schoolmate-turned-villain would get so little page-time. Really, they deserve more. And I'm not sure what I think about how that story-line wrapped up. I should probably give it some time and come back to it later. XD

11. What was the theme and message? Do you think it came across? If not, is there anything you could do to bring it out more?
truth, love, and grace triumphant against evil...which sounds rather grandiose. I just wrote a story, but that is the theme that seems to have come together in the writing of it. Those who have read it so far seem to have gotten the main idea. XD

12. Do you like writing with a deadline (like NaNoWriMo) or do you prefer to write-as-it-comes?
*sigh* I have too many other deadlines in my life to write with one. That's why I don't. (Also why I did not take the route of full-time writer. I never wanted to have to write. Which somehow led me to med school where I barely get to write... XD)

13. Comparative title time! What published books, movies, or TV shows are like your book? (Ex: Inkheart meets X-Men, etc.)
Oy. Things it reminds me of...Dark Angel (a show I'd thankfully never heard of until I was mostly done with CTTT...the similarities in ideas, though not in execution of the ideas, is rather impressive)...The Shadow Things (Jennifer Freitag - in level of violence/age appropriateness/some thematic elements, though the story and style itself are quite different. XD) and other that that...I will have to think about this one... XD

14. How do you celebrate a finished novel?!
Read it.  Then tell other people and make them read it... ;) aaaaaand apparently I then jump into editing it. And writing a sequel. (I was only going to write one book about these characters. *sigh*)

15. When people are done reading your book, what feeling do you want them to come away with?
Bittersweet joy in life and humanity and a renewed sense of sin's evilness and awe of God's grace.  If they feel any part of that, I will be happy. :)

via Safirewriter

Thursday, January 1, 2015


It's funny how choosing a word for 2015 was harder than years previous. I've thought a lot the past week about what God wants me to focus on. To learn and understand. To grow into this year.

One verse that has a bit of special meaning for my 2015 is 
There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty
Do you know what the "more than is meet" phrase translates as when you look it up? 
uprightness // straightness // honesty // duty // truth

What do we know of that can be scattered and yet increase, except for the Word that will not return void? Withholding truth that is your duty to tell tendeth to poverty for sure...and this year I want to increase. Not myself increasing, but as Paul said:
Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for [your] food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
 I do not want to simply be better at this or that...I want the fruits of my righteousness to increase, my seed sown to multiply, and my own growth needs ministered to/dealt with. 
But for that to happen - I need to be ready to have my failings dealt with, to be ready for that Minister to hand me bread. I need to sow seed for it to be able to multiply. And I need to be righteous for that fruit to increase. 

If I withhold truth...If I continue to hang back when I could speak...(whether The Truth or a smaller one - silence tends so easily to poverty) how different will my 2015 be than if I scatter truth everywhere?

The words that I keep thinking of are

this moment
this instant in time


time everlasting

Now and Forever. 

Not simply focus and dream, like last year...but now. Living every moment in the now, wherever I am being all there, training my mind to focus, to concentrate, to leave out distractions, to ask again and again as the seconds pass what is it You would have me do in this moment? Abiding now, Obeying now, Truth-scattering now. Not at some later date. Now. And forever. How will now impact then
Living in now but for forever. 
Because only one life that will soon be past; only what's done for Christ will last. If my moments are not purposefully spent for eternity...are they not aimlessly spent for all eternity? The only things that matter are those that matter eternally...I want my moments to reflect that.


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