This year I participated in my third TTC mug exchange (a monumental effort seamlessly executed by fellow blogger Chelsea at Trials Bring Joy). Each year I’ve been matched with a wonderful partner: women who are kind, gracious, hope-filled, and who—unfortunately—emphasize with this sojourn called infertility.
This year’s mug exchange was no different. This year I was matched with a lovely mug partner who lives in a neighboring state. While our routes to mamahood are taking different paths and our medical diagnoses are very different, we still walk side-by-side dealing with the same struggle. Although she’s not a blogger so I can’t link to her site, I hope that she’ll take it up as an outlet and a means to connect with other IF women.
I was so blessed to come home yesterday after being away all weekend to find this package awaiting me!
I got a handmade mug, pineapple socks, a 60-day devotional written by fellow blogger Caroline (In Due Time), and a huge book of fertility facts.
Now I regret not posting pics of the last two years’ mug exchange; but trust me, they were just as good.
The women who make up the online infertility community never cease to amaze me. There is strength in numbers.
No fertility talk today. Seriously, if all I ever talk about on this blog is how not pregnant I am then I’ll probably put you all to sleep. Myself included.
So, something different: travel!
Recently I attended a three-day work convention in Vermont sponsored by a professional association I belong to (a convention for legal-ly stuff… I won’t bore you with the deets). I’ve always wanted to visit the New England states, but never had reason to, so it was kind of perfect. Plus, my friend/former colleague who lives in the same town as the event was also going to the convention and welcomed me to stay in her home. So, I hopped on an Amtrak and headed north!
Once we got past these places…
…the entire landscape opened up, and everything that I imagined NE to be came true. Each scene, each town, was like something straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Immediately I loved it. It was like I was home, even though I’d never visited this place before. Weird.
After the convention events wound down, I had a day and a half to explore. My resident Vermont friends showed me all the non-touristy spots that I otherwise wouldn’t have found. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but I ended up absolutely, completely falling in love with Vermont!
By nature, I am a conservative person in my religious, political, and social beliefs. That said, there is this complete, entire other side of me that’s uber hippy dippy/environmentally conscious/earthy/libby type. Catering to those elements of myself, I was pleasantly surprised to find in Vermont:
Green taxi cabs and recycling recepticles everywhere.
A walker-friendly, bicycle-friendly state where motorists don’t try to mercilessly mow you down just for kicks.
Dogs are welcomed virtually everywhere!
Miniature free library stands scattered around random public places. Why add to a landfill what someone else could enjoy? Plus, they’re ridic cute.
Vegetarian food abounds! Aside from a very few select areas, Philly is severely lacking in the veg department, save maybe a frozen veggie burger or a bland salad available on some restaurant menus. But in NE, I was treated completely normally when I requested that my hot chocolate be made with non-dairy milk. Every place we went was veg friendly! It was refreshing to actually have real options for once.
Also, I found that:
Locals were so friendly and extreeeeeemely chill.
People didn’t drive like complete crack-addled maniacs, unlike the trafficky, crap-icky mess that I usually drive in.
Outsiders are enthusiastically welcomed. My “Vermont friends” are actually relocated Floridians and New Yorkers. They couldn’t say enough about how hospitable and welcomed they were made to feel in their adopted state.
Right now Jake is in school for the next eight months finishing up his degree. We’ve been discussing lately where we’ll move to once he graduates (we’re currently renting and, three years in, haven’t even fully unpacked our stuff. We’re very uncommitted). Even though most of my family lives in the area, I’m not thrilled about staying in PA. Jake is originally from down south, so there’s literally nothing keeping him here. I left PA once before (for nine years!) before deciding to move back, but there’s nothing stopping me from leaving again. I love my family and all, but I know that it’s healthier for me to have relationships with them long distance. It’s complicated.
Obviously it’s a huge decision that won’t be made after just one visit, but Vermont so far is my #1 relocation choice… Jus’ sayin. 🙂
The mindset in postmodernism is that objective truth does not exist. But in post-truth, the person believes that objective truth exists, but they subordinate truth to their preferences, or their comfort. In other words, one doesn’t care that truth exists or what the truth is if it doesn’t line up with one’s preferences. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" - George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths--God's initiative and man's response--co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Believers are people of the truth (John 18:37), who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and who obey the Word of truth (John 17:17). People have rejected, neglected, redefined, and opposed God’s truth for centuries. Some cynically deny that truth even exists or that it can be known by men (John 18:38). Others foolishly think that denying truth will somehow make it go away. Truth determines the validity of one's belief. Believing a lie doesn't make it true. Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), He wasn’t expressing His personal belief or opinion. He was speaking the truth, a fundamental reality that doesn’t change from person to person. It doesn’t matter if our culture thinks all roads lead to God. The truth of the matter is “no one comes to the Father but by [Jesus].” This blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell