Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Good morning!  Well, we are back from our wonderful time in Niagara Falls.  The laundry is all done, the suitcases are all put away, and life is starting up again...which means a chance to sit and chat with you!

I tried to group the questions into categories, but today is kind of a mix of stuff.  Again, if you ever want to ask any questions, feel free to e-mail me at artyler@mail.com or facebook me.

1) Can you fast as an offering of gratitude or thanks?
I got this question after I wrote last weeks questions on fasting, but I think it's good to touch on again.  This question was interesting for me, because normally it would seem that any fasting unto the Lord would be good.  And for the most part, I think it is.  The reason I am questioning this one is because it implies more than just fasting.  To fast out of gratitude seems more like you are trying to "earn" the blessings you have been given...like you want to make yourself suffer because you feel unworthy of His blessings.  I do not think that is what fasting is about.  Fasting is about denial of self for the purpose of going deeper- whether it be a pressing need in your life, a spiritual battle, or because He calls you to.  But fasting out of extreme gratitude seems like trying to feel worthy of His goodness, which you will never be.  His blessings are gifts, just like His grace.  We are not worthy of Him, but through Jesus we are redeemed and He takes us to be His own.  I think about how much I love my own kids.  I want to bless them and give them gifts simply because I love them.  And I want them to enjoy it and feel loved, not feel like they have to deny themselves to earn it.  There are better ways to show thanks.  Just love Him, worship Him, and honor Him with your life and with the blessings He has given you.

2)  Did you circumcise your son?
I have 4 sons and the first 3 were circumcised.  I did not circumcise my 4th boy.  Like many things, I did circumcision simply because "everyone does it" and never stopped to research it at all.  Well before I had David I started looking at it and I just was not convinced it was something that should/needed to be done.  Many other countries do not routinely do it, and some even have banned it.  And in America, the statistics for those who circ. versus those who don't in this generation is almost 50-50.  So socially, I do not see a problem, seeing as it will be pretty equal among his peers (not that I expect a lot of show and tell in this area, but still, it's a consideration to some extent).   Second, I see no medical benefit...I actually see it as harmful.  The foreskin has a lot of nerves endings in and is said to play a role in sexual pleasure, so removing that removes part of the sexual experience.  As far as there being fewer UTI's, I think this is absurd.  I won't cut off a healthy part of his body to lower the chance of him possibly getting a UTI.  If he gets a UTI, I will treat it...just like we do for women.  I feel that if he was born with foreskin, then there is probably a reason for it.  There are risks that go along with circumcision, and I do not feel they are worth taking for absolutely no reason.  He was born perfect, I do not see a reason to cut off part of his body.
Now, I am not as passionate about this as other things, mainly because I don't understand the God part of it.  I don't think we should circ. because the Israelites did it.  First, I am not 100% Jewish, nor do I follow any other Jewish customs, and second, I am a Christian and the Bible is clear that under the new covenant of Jesus we do not need to circumcise.  However, I do not understand why God would have circumcision done to begin with.  Was there a reason?  Then why did He create men with foreskin to begin with?  I don't know.  But for me, there are no religious, medical, or social reasons to do it, so I don't.

Just do me and yourself a favor though- when we touch on hot topics, don't start arguing.  Start researching.  Your decisions should come from prayer and understanding, not passion or social expectation.

4) How did Jeff feel about your not circumcising?
I have to take a moment and say that I am very blessed in my marriage.  I have a wonderful husband who accepts and loves me for me and does not try and change that.  That said, he does think I am crazy though!  Sometimes he will say to me "can't you just be normal??", and then he will laugh, knowing that I probably never will be.  This is how I am...I question things and will make a decision whether or not it is popular.  I don't do it to be "rebellious"or to make a point...I am simply living my life and trying to make the best choices for my family.  Ultimately Jeff is the final voice in our home, but he does not flaunt his authority- he takes it seriously and thinks about the matters we discuss.  Jeff wanted David circumcised, but he respected my feelings and allowed me to make the final decision. He knows my heart, he knows that I research before deciding, and he knows that my calling is our family and home and I take that seriously.  So while he doesn't always agree, he does always listen to me and makes his decisions after talking with me.  Communication and the state of your heart are very important in the home and in making big decisions.  Make sure you are being respectful, make sure your heart is right (as opposed to just wanting a fight), and make sure to really listen to your spouse even if you disagree.  Do your best to communicate, and then honor the decision your husband makes, even if you don't agree.  Take it to prayer.  Respect your husband and trust that he is your authority- and that God is his authority.

3) How do you find time to write?
This is a question I asked myself before I started.  The funny thing is, I still don't have the answer!  I do not have a set time each week that I go away and write.  I just incorporate writing into my life, just like anything else.  I think a lot...all day long I am thinking.  So with my writing, I typically am "writing" in my head all day.  I am thinking/tweaking/mulling all day so that when I do sit down to actually type, I already know most of what I am typing because I have "written it" in my head  Make sense?  Sometimes it works out that the kids are playing and I can write in one shot...other times, I get interrupted a million times and it gets written in bits and pieces over the course of a whole day.  Sometimes it is a hassle, but most times it's not- and that is because I really love to write.  There are things I love to do that I just cannot fit into my life without sacrificing something else, so I don't do them.  But this is something I love to do and can work into my life.

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