Fight like a Girl

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Thought of The Day

It’s becoming extremely clear that in today’s culture being a Christian is perceived as being a bad person. Christians are looked at as unloving and judgmental. We are thought to be ignorant and naive. I’m torn on why this is. In part, I think it’s because many of the most outspoken “Christians” are such things. They forget that Jesus hung out with the people that the religious folks looked down on. He chilled with real, normal people and was a friend to them and treated them with respect. Some Christians seem to think that God and science are not compatible either. They think that any kind of evolution cannot exist and they argue against evolution because of their faith in God. I see all science and development of life as a work of God, though. I see the progress of lifeforms through generations as his art. I dont think the two concepts- science and God are mutually exclusive events but that the complexity of the world is just more evidence in a God who is the greatest chemist and physicist that has ever existed. They take the scripture on creation to mean a literal 7 days and argue the world is only 2,000 years old, instead of remembering that to God “a thousand years is like a day and a day is like a thousand years”. Each one of those 7 “days” could have been a billion years each in our way of marking time.
But then I also remember that Jesus was hated as well. He wasn’t persecuted and nailed to a cross for no reason. He was not always the most popular fellow either. So maybe times aren’t so different. Being a follower and believer in Christ means being hated. Depending on the day- that can mean being hated by the super religious or it could mean being hated by the world.


Thought of the Day

I dont usually like being a Christian. Sometimes I wish I could just shake that part of myself off and walk away from it. It just does not work that way, though. I know Jesus is Lord of my life like I know my left leg is part of my body and that without him I risk eternal death. That isn’t a risk worth taking for me.

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Dear Women’s Ministry/conference/Church,
Almost a year ago I signed up for a local church women’s conference. It is a fairly popular one day conference that many of the ladies go to from all different churches in my region. My mom and Aunt were attending and I was so looking forward to getting out and being blessed with them. There was only one problem. I was nursing a baby. My youngest daughter was about 6 months old at the time and exclusively breastfed. This means, she did/would not take a bottle (we tried a few times. She wasn’t having any of that) and as a young baby, she still needed to nurse frequently enough that I could not leave her for more than about 2 hours at a time. Maybe 3… but that could be pushing it. After all, nursing infants can be unpredictable. When I called to register I asked the nice girl on the phone if there was a cry room or some place I’d be able to move to if my nursing infant were to become fussy. She replied that she was sure there were places i could go but she needed to double check and would call me back. Now, I know these conferences are like vacations for us moms. We don’t bring kids. There often is no childcare. I knew my older children were not to attend and I had to find childcare arrangements for them and that was fine. but surely I could bring my nursing baby, I thought. I wouldn’t be rude or make people hear her crying. I’d slip out respectfully if she got fussy but how could a baby who still depends on their mother for their food and drink be unwelcome? Hours later I received a call from the same girl, now embarrassed letting me know that a nursing baby was not able to come. No babies. period. I knew this girl was not the decision maker on this issue and was purely the messenger of bad news. I took the news and swallowed it and she asked for my address so she could send my a free copy of the audio of the conference as an apology. I accepted this offer and hung up in disappointment. As it sunk in what had happened and the day went on I became more upset. Hurt even.

While I understand that children are not always able to be accommodated for or welcome to all events, how could my nursing infant caused me to be shut out of a women’s conference?

nursing my baby girl

nursing my baby girl

So this is what I want to tell you all. Anyone involved in church leadership or coordinating events with your religious organization-

A lot of your women are moms. I’m sure you see it all the time. You look around your congregation and think, “Surely, this is the most fertile church in the world?!” There are babies everywhere at church! Us moms are rocking them and bouncing them and shushing them and pacing your welcome areas and filling your cry rooms and checking on them in your nursery and feeding them in your nursing mothers room. We are a fertile people! Blessed. and tired. Very tired and lacking proper adult socialization. We need breaks! We need renewal. We need some time out of our homes being reminded that we are more than just dirty diaper changers and PPD battlers.

So we need your women’s conference! We need it like we need clean water to drink. We are begging for your fellowship and love and motivating message of renewal and strength.
With how many mothers there are, Many of us are breastfeeding moms. Actually about 76.9% of us U.S. moms are breastfeeding our newborns and 25% of us are still breastfeeding when our babies reach 12 months old. That’s a big chunk of your moms. And while some of us have great eaters who will switch from breast to bottle, many babies who breastfeed  refuse eat from a bottle so leaving them for hours to attend any kind of lengthy event is not an option for us.

When I turn to scripture on breastfeeding it is also evident that God is not ashamed of breastfeeding. He encourages breastfeeding and he also invited mothers and their nursing babies out to large public events-

“Joel 2:16 – Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber.”

Our nursing babies seem more than welcome to this wedding.

And while I am not anti moms leaving their babies for some time to themselves, it just is not my style. I am emotionally and hormonally bonded to my infant. When I am not with my infant, I miss them and my breast become uncomfortably full, and I even leak milk. This is all part of how we are designed to be. We are designed to be with our infants and not separated for long periods down to our core molecular makeup.
I’m not the mother who forgets my baby and can run off for awhile. “Isaiah 49:15 – Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?..

So lets face it, When nursing babes are excluded from an event, it is not babies being told not to come- it is mothers. The mothers are the ones being shut out. The mothers battling hormone changes and explosive diapers and cluster feedings from growth spurts. Sleep deprived, under-socialized, just coming out of their postpartum fog- moms. Because lets face it, God created us to make our babies our priority. Unless I’m running to the food store down the block to pick up a quick item and running straight home again- my baby is not being left home. My baby is part of me. When she is hungry, my breasts are full. When she is tired, my arms cradle her. When I go to a women’s conference, she comes with me.
So do your church a favor, show love to your nursing mothers. Show them that they matter, that they are cared about, thought about, remembered, included, and wanted with you at your church. Because we do matter.

For more Scripture on Breastfeeding: Click HereIMG_4800


New Jersey Vaccine Exemptions- a basic break down and links for how to get more information on vaccine exemptions in New Jersey State

The first thing to understand is our NJ laws on vaccinations. We have two that merge together to make our exemptions here.

NJ Statute 26: 1A-9.1 Exemption for pupils from mandatory immunization; interference with religious rights; suspension. Provisions in the state sanitary code in implementation of this act shall provide for exemption for pupils from mandatory immunization if the parent or guardian of the pupil objects thereto in a written statement signed by the parent or guardian upon the ground that the proposed immunization interferes with the free exercise of the pupils’ religious rights. Effective Nov.11, 1974.

NJ State Constitution: Article 1 paragraph 3:  No person shall be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshiping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; nor under any pretense whatever be compelled to attend any place of worship contrary to his faith and judgment….

What this means is that the parent or guardian needs to submit a written and signed letter to the school stating that immunizations interfere or are against their religious beliefs. The word *religious* must be present because NJ only has a religious exemption, not a philosophical one.

People sometimes mistakenly believe that a religious exemption means one needs to have a house of worship or religious head figure sign off on or confirm that the entire practice of thus religion is anti- vaccination. This is NOT true.
Religious exemption’s do not even require you to state your specific religion. Schools have sometimes tried to request further evidence from parents but have been discouraged from doing so. For more info Click Here.

Private schools and religious schools/organizations are not obligated to accept vaccine exemptions but sometimes, if the parent pursues it and offers the same kind of exemption letter that they submit to a public school, they will accept the exemption. Those situations are different per school/organization, though.

For more information on Vaccine options in the state of New Jersey-
New Jersey Coalition for Vaccination Choice
NJ Vaccination Support group on yahoo
National Vaccine Information Center
New Jersey Alliance For Informed Choice


I get a lot of people wanting to know why I am so passionate about babies being breastfed. Why does it matter? Why do I insist on talking about it? Why do I think it’s ok to do in public?
Besides for the thousands of medical, scientifically proven reasons to breastfeed, like breast milk provides your baby with all the nutrients he or she needs (while formula tries and constantly improves, is still missing many vital vitamins, nutrients and *hormones*- yes hormones, that baby needs to properly grow and develop), promotes bonding between mom and baby, decreases postpartum depression, is always the right temperature, is always ready, and never requires bottle washing- Not to mention to decreases moms AND baby girls chances of ever getting breast cancer, there is also a foundational reason to breastfeed. It is what we are biologically meant to do and how we were created to feed our babies. As a Christian, I firmly believe that God did it right the first time and no amount of tampering in a formula lab is going to make baby formula even come close to how God made it.
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The Bible actually speaks quite a bit about breastfeeding. Awhile back I wrote a Facebook note, (this note was also published on The Guggie Daily) listing scriptures that mentioned breastfeeding and throwing in bits of my own feedback throughout. This is going to be an updated, cleaned up version of that because that is what every Christian should be asking themselves if they are questioning appropriateness and the necessity of breastfeeding.

Luke 11:27 (New Living Translation)

 27 As he was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, “God bless your mother—the womb from which you came, and the breasts that nursed you!
whoa mama! You just yelled over a crowd to Jesus about sucking on his moms breasts? And it was put into scripture?! Hey, why doesn’t this very public announcement to sucking on boobs not sound more offensive than this? Maybe because it simply is not considered offensive?
Being able to nurse and be nursed was actually considered a blessing and it was a curse for those who couldn’t.


Genesis 49:25

By the God of your father Who will help you, and by the Almighty Who will bless you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings lying in the deep beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb.

Have we come to the place where we consider the boobs who haven’t nursed to be the blessed ones?

Luke 23:29

For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!

Have we become cruel by taking nursing away from our babies? By taking the perfect food that God created for our infants and replacing it with medical emergency replacement supplementation?

Lamentations 4:3

Even the jackals draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones, but the daughter of my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness { that desert their young}. The tongue of the nursing babe cleaves to the roof of its mouth for thirst; the young children beg for food, but no one gives it to them.
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I really dont believe God minds us feeding these delicate little babies who gave to us wherever we are at the time they need to be fed. After all, he himself invites nursing mothers and babies to a huge public affair.

Joel 2:16

Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber.

After all, God speaks so fondly and comfortingly about breastfeeding.

Isaiah 60:16

You will drink the milk of nations and be nursed at royal breasts. Then you will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

He shows such compassion to these children that he loves so.

Isaiah 49:15

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!

Scripture shows us what a high priority breastfeeding was and how it was encouraged to continue on until the right time for the mother and baby. The average weaning age during this period (and all people, if we allowed children to nurse until self weaned) is 3-5yrs!


I Samuel 1:21-23
And Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice, and his vow. But Hannah did not go, for she said to her husband, I will not go until the child is weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the Lord, and remain there as long as he lives. Elkanah her husband said to her, Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him; only, may the Lord establish His word. So Hannah remained and nursed her son until she weaned him.

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God considers a mother who breastfeeds to be devoted and one who cherishes.

I Thessalonians. 2:7-8

But we behaved gently when we were among you, like a devoted mother nursing and cherishing her own children. So, being thus tenderly and affectionately desirous of you, we continued to share with you not only God’s good news ( the Gospel) but also our own lives as well, for you had become so very dear to us.

Psalm 22:10

 9-11 And to think you were midwife at my birth, 

      setting me at my mother’s breasts! 

   When I left the womb you cradled me; 

      since the moment of birth you’ve been my God.

 

And there are even more examples of where God proves that he is not skittish about our breasts or the act of breastfeeding. Please, take note that he never hints at “being discreet” or using a public restroom to nurse in. He looks at breastfeeding as a beautiful act that embodies his closeness to us and his desire and ability to nourish and fill and love, all in one act. He often uses breastfeeding as a symbol to describe how he adores and cherishes us and nothing God does is indecent or something that needs to be hidden. So let your light shine. Let your baby nurse and let your shame and distorted views of this wholesome, pure act fall off of you.

Isaiah 66:11-13 

11 For you will nurse and be satisfied 

   at her comforting breasts; 

you will drink deeply 

   and delight in her overflowing abundance.”

 12 For this is what the LORD says:

   “I will extend peace to her like a river, 

   and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; 

you will nurse and be carried on her arm 

   and dandled on her knees. 

13 As a mother comforts her child, 

   so will I comfort you; 

   and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”

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Psalms 22:9

“Yet you are He who took me out of the womb; You made me hope and trust when I was on my mother’s breasts.”

Song of Solomon 7:8

“Let your breasts be as clusters of the grapevine, and the scent of your breath like apples..””I resolve I will climb the palm tree, I will grasp its branches. “

 

Hosea 1:8

“Now when [Gomer] had weaned Loruhamah, she became pregnant again and bore a son.”

Isaiah 40:11

“He will feed His flock like a shepherd, He will gather the lambs in His arm, He will carry them in His bosom, and will gently lead those that have their young.”

Genesis 21:7
And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

Proverbs 5:19

19 A loving doe, a graceful deer— 

   may her breasts satisfy you always, 

   may you ever be intoxicated with her love.

Song of Solomon 8:1

If only you were to me like a brother, who was nursed at my mother’s breasts! Then, if I found you outside, I would kiss you, and no one would despise me.

Isaiah 28:9

“Who is it he is trying to teach? To whom is he explaining his message? To children weaned from their milk, to those just taken from the breast?

*disclosure- I do not think moms who can not nurse or have a medical condition, or have adopted children are cruel or doing anything wrong. I simply want people to see the beauty in breastfeeding and for those of us who have been blessed with the ability to nurse not be put down or shamed for it when God clearly created it to be a pure and wholesome way to nourish our babies*