on thinking differently

I certainly wasn't surprised at the SCOTUS ruling last week, and I also don't believe that every governmental act needs to align with my own personal values. That's one of the things that makes this free country so beautiful, that we are free to think differently.

But that's also what concerns me most about the Supreme Court decision. I'm not worried about same-sex marriage, but I am worried about how I will be able to express my own personal dissent in future. I'm worried about how schools will teach my children about this moment in history. On Friday my social media feeds were flooded with celebration--which I do not object at all--but it also contained noticeable doses of snark, gloating, and derision toward those who disagree with the principles at hand.

I've written before about my feelings regarding sexuality and marriage (see here and here). While I cringe over the tactless and unkind expression of my stance from my adolescence, I have spent the entirety of my adulthood seeking to find a balance between defending values and doctrines that are important to me and still treating everyone with kindness and compassion.

My opposition to same-sex marriage does not stem from hate or bigotry; rather I understand gender, sexuality, and marriage differently. I don't expect others to share that view, and that's why I'm not sulking about or bemoaning last week's historic court ruling. I understand that we all come from different places and that I can't expect people to see things the same way I see them.

So when I see posts and links that ridicule my sacred books, marginalize the opposing side, and throw around accusations of bigotry, I hurt. I hurt because I know how hard I've worked to find balance and kindness and understanding. I know how much I've thought about why I see matters differently and how much I've strived to cultivate empathy in my heart for those with whom I disagree. And I also know that not once has anyone come to me to ask how I see things, how I understand these essential tenets of personhood and love.

Because I do have a differing approach, one rooted in doctrines of my faith that, if discussed, could at least give explanation to an opinion that's too often labeled hateful. If I ever express my views to someone on the "other side" it's because I volunteer them in a medium like this one, not because any individual actually sought out a discussion of understanding. Perhaps liberal tolerance isn't always as far reaching as the media would have us think.

I don't want to argue or debate--I want only mutual understanding and respect. For those of you celebrating this ruling, I encourage you to celebrate because that's your right. We all should feel comfortable to rejoice when values close to our heart are validated, especially when it happens in such an official and public way. But please don't be a sore winner. I have to believe that mutual kindness and respect really are possible in an environment wherein disagreement is inherent. I have to believe that this country can continue to afford me the freedom and safety to think differently. I have to believe that even with all that makes us different from one another, that there's a world in which we could all shout from the rooftops that love wins.


ice cream for lunch

I had actually already planned on having ice cream around lunchtime. But our plans suffered a twist. This morning I lugged my toddler, my sewing machine, and my serger down to Portland's Alberta Street where I dropped off my machines at my favorite local Bernina dealer for some quality TLC. (These babies work hard--they deserve some spa time, right?)

I reached into my bag for my wallet. And then I started pawing through my bag for my wallet. But it wasn't there. And I didn't know where I'd left it. So not only could I not shop in my favorite independent sewing shop, I also couldn't treat Asher and myself to Salt & Straw or the Grilled Cheese Grill where you get to eat your sandwich a school bus. So many things wrong with this situation.

With Asher buckled in and the AC blaring, I called the last place I remember paying for anything: Costco. And they had it. So back to my Portland suburb I went, ice-cream-less but soon-to-be wallet-carrying. Some good soul had turned in my wallet, complete with credit cards, cash, and identification. In celebration, Asher and I shared a full-sized swirl frozen yogurt for lunch. Asher thought it was spectacular, and I couldn't help but agree.


on big brothers and ultrasounds

Right around when Josh and I decided we were ready to grow our family, Asher started talking about a "bebe sis-uh." Few of his friends had baby sisters, so he had little social context for his persistent assertion. Yet over and over, he would talk about this baby sister he was convinced he had. 

I listened to him and took him seriously. One of the key pillars of my faith's theology is the teaching that our spirits existed before mortality, that mortality begins when the spirit and body unite. So in more practical terms, I firmly believe that every child that will come to us already exists and is spiritually already a part of this family. So when Asher kept going on about a baby sister, I felt a sweet peace that perhaps he really did remember a little girl.

Though just because my two-and-a-half-year-old talks about a baby sister, doesn't mean that this baby will actually be that baby sister. So as we talked to Asher about the baby I tried to prep him for the possibility that this babe would be a brother. As far as my personal preferences went for this babe, I had none. Being a total boy mom would be so fun, but that "bebe sis-uh" would be equally delightful. I couldn't lose either way.

Yesterday morning before I headed off to my 20-week ultrasound (20 weeks already!), I asked Asher one more time, "So, is the baby a boy or a girl?" Asher gave me a look that said, Mom, how many times do I have to tell you? and stated matter-of-factly, "Girl."

Our ultrasound showed a blessedly healthy, growing, active little babe--and she's a girl. Asher will, indeed, be big brother to a "bebe sis-uh," and my heart is full and expanding to make room for both tractors and tea parties. Baby lady, we're so excited you're halfway here.
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