Thursday, October 18, 2007

Left Behind

It's been a while since I have blogged, I know. It's not been for lack of thoughts or inspiring insight, just simply the lack of time. Even now as I write this, the household tyrant may rise and demand a bloogyia (book) to be read to him...more like help open for him...So quickly on we go.

I traveled to the states recently with Leif while Chad went on a missions trip to Thailand. I had a great time, mostly, and Leif traveled well, mostly. A week before we were to leave the states Leif came down with croup, and so he was rushed off to emergency (with a 100 million dollar bill), since breathing, being a vital function, was becoming increasingly challenging for him. He was given some medicine which helped amazingly, thank God. The rest of the week was spent at home, fun plans canceled. The baby was ill.
Meanwhile Chad and associates were building a facility in northern Thailand at a children's home. They played with kids, built, and overall, just poured their hearts and lives out for these at-risk Akha kids.

Meanwhile, I was still holding a sick baby.

When we all returned home, it was a happy reunion! Leif was happy to see his daddy, and daddy was happy to be seen by us both. We traded presents, and hugs, and stories. As the stories came out, more and more I began to feel left behind. It is a drive of mine to do something big in the world. I want to make a change, and feel like I'm having an impact on my world. The more stories I heard the harder it became. I hadn't been able to go due to the tyrant. And I began more and more to ponder the things I couldn't do due to the tyrant. I began to feel more and more left behind. But less in a best-selling book kind of way, and more of a sad will-I-ever-be-anything kind of a way. I began to realize that I was being left behind in millions of aspects of normal life. Long walks of exercise being infringed by a child who wants to walk and no longer happy in the pram...a house that is maintained in an embarrassing mess due to his need to destroy mum's neat-ing handy work...studies left undone due to a brain that is coming undone...and a sense that more and more I am being expected by society to do more and more since I don't have a real job. Yet here I am, failing and definitely behind.

Days after me personal "Left Behind" saga had begun, I opened up a book, with no intention of really reading it. It just so happened to be a page on young missionary mums and what their job in ministry is. And to my amazement, I read what I already knew and believed in my heart. That missionary mums, along with regular mums, will find that their greatest contribution to the world, while their children are growing, is being an available mum. I realized that holding the little tyrant while he was ill will be looked on with as much favour from my heavenly Father as my husband's efforts in Thailand. I am reprieved.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


This weekend I was afforded the opportunity to hang out with some of my heroes. Susan Brown, Joy Kilpatrick, Noela Harmer, Jan Steane, and my mother in law Tammy Loftis have long been some of my favourite ladies. They are people that I admire, look up to, and highly esteem. Janet is single mother who has raised 3 amazing kids and works full time. I have though of her often...particularly before Elevator Camp when I felt quite on my own... Joy is very like my mother on many ways (mother happens to be another hero) in her cheeky humour and...well...she's just Joy. What can I say? Noela works quietly on the sidelines, serving faithfully and joyfully. Sue is encouraging and funny. Always has word pictures or images to understand things. My M.I.L. is tender and concerned...I was so lucky to spend time with this bunch. So lucky. I was even able to meet some new heroes I hadn't known before the weekend. Jeanne, the speaker, is intelligent in EVERYTHING and yet still has the capacity to chat and laugh (always a surprise to meet someone so wise who also laughs at silly jokes). It was an amazing time of life-learning. I know I have returned changed. I missed my little man and my big man,though. Upon returning home, I held Leif...boy-stink never smelled so good.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A Week At Camp

I wonder if his parents know before he was born. I wonder if they considered aborting him. They certainly would have been given the option. I'm sure they cried when it became apparent; the tell-tale eyes, the expression...Down-syndrome. Yet there he was, for a whole week of camp, surrounded by 200 other people. Every meal he served, taking the loathsome task of scraping the plates, serving those around him. When the week ended, everyone knew him. He was marked, not by the obvious genetic malformation, but by his servant's heart and the way he worshipped his God. The lives of all who attended the camp will forever be changed by this Christ follower.

When I was pregnant the first thing asked of me was whether I would abort if my child had Downs Syndrome. I said no, but thought about it over and over since...Since meeting this teenage boy, I will wonder no longer. I think his lesson will resound longer than any other teaching at that camp.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Little Things

In life it is the little things that we do for each other that can make the biggest impact. Someone recently handed me some movie tickets with a little note, and it meant the world to me. I've made an attempt at listing a few little things but I would LOVE to read any ideas anyone else has...

1. Write a note, unexpectedly, letting someone know what they mean to you.
2. Stop by their house with some flowers.
3. Call someone up just to see how they are.
4. Make someone a meal (a personal fave)
5. If someone has a new baby, offer to hang out for an afternoon so mum can sleep.
6. Ask someone out to coffee
7. Mow your neighbours's nature strip.
8. Bring an interesting tea blend to someone to try out.
9. Make up CD especially for them.
10. Bring tubs and give someone a foot bath (it makes it less awkward if you join in too!)
11. Leave someone a comment on their blog.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

An Apology

In my last blog I think I may have misrepresented what I've been feeling. I described a dying that I have only really come to realize. I meant death in a death to life kind of way. I think if pieces of me weren't dying or slumbering I couldn't be the mother I strive to be. Selfishness and even some of my more "important" pursuits have had to die in order for the mother-me to live. Now maybe some day I can study nursing and help AIDS orphans in Africa, but until then I am a super-hero mum, saving my child's life from his daily attempts to take it. I am glad to be able to stay home, but some days I get tired...( just a side note, I have a song for every bodily function, can you say the same?) I think that, as believers in Christ, our daily transformation can be tiring. As a mother, that transformation is excelerating. I have that daily battle of the dying me and the new-to-life me...and it wears me out and so I write blogs about it.

By the way, Congratulations Simon and Michelle on your new baby.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Just hangin out at home

I was speaking with someone the other day who asked me what I was up to. She answered for me,"Just hanging out at home?" I was speechless. I guess in some way she was right, in other ways, she was outrageously wrong. My job is a full time mother. No wait, I am working...ummm how many hours are there in a week? Well, I am working all of them. Every second of every hour I am on call. When I'm not on call, I'm on duty. I guess maybe it would be more impressive if I was in an office, or a surgeon. But no, I'm just at home. Just hanging out...(grrrr)

Lately, I've been burned out from working all the time. I'm running on empty...I have realized since my five minutes of aloneness previously described that I have died. I read a blog by a friend on mother's day discussing the life and death that lives side by side in a mother, and somehow it irritated me. I don't like death. I don't want to know that I look like death, or seem in any way dead. Yet in so many ways, I am. I have surrendered so much more than I ever thought I could. My old me is dying slowly and sometimes painfully. The things that used to make me excited don't anymore. I am forgetting what those things were. In some ways, it breaks my heart, and I wonder if I will find that person some day when I'm not on call 24/7. Some days I feel more dead than alive. Growing up my mom always said that raising children is about moments, that you survive moment to moment. I think it is those moments that make me alive...and so I am alive...but also dead.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Piece of Me

A few days ago, I was alone. it only lasted for about 5 minutes, but I was alone. I stared down at the ocean below at dusk. There was no one around, no baby hanging from my pant leg, no messy house beckoning, no dinner to make, no one around. The kind of mystical aloneness where magic happens. I saw myself, just a glimpse, in a wave which was gone and another wave replaced. It was beautiful.
I was shocked how amazing those 5 minutes were. It made me realize how much has been surrendured in the rearing of a child. In some ways the waves showed me my life of permanent carer for a fit-throwing toddler who's too damn cute to punish. I realized with brutal reality that in order to have 5 minutes of sheer blissful aloneness, I will have to travel 3 hours on a rainy day in a tour bus. 5 minutes in which my pants are not being pulled down by my child, when I don't have to pack a nappy bag to step out of doors, when I don't have to punish a child whom I love so much it hurts, when I feel like a real person...and I can breathe...if only for 5 minutes.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Man with Issues

We all the know him. The man who will email you luxuriant emails, he'll pray for you and tell you how much he appreciates you.He'll show you around, take you to his place, kiss you...he'll talk about a honeymoon...Then he drops the bomb. He's got issues. He won't be missing you because he's got issues. The poor man. He's got issues.

A *statistic I heard, probably on the scandal scoopers "Today Tonight",states that every 5 seconds a man is saying to a woman "It's not you, I've got issues." Every 5 seconds a woman's caretaking response is being triggered and having the opposite effect intended. Now, he is not rid of the woman he was planning to scare away by his shocking pronouncement, he has found himself a soldier who will battle all sorts of abuses to help him through his "issues". (Notice that what the issues are, are never really defined. They are simply stated "relational issues") So now, the man really does have issues. His poorly planned tactic has landed him in a heap of poo. His "honesty" has gotten him nowhere.

I would reccomend that the real truth is always the way to go. Claiming "issues", as we've seen, will backfire. However, if a woman is told that the man no longer is attracted to her, it hurts and makes her angry, but she will leave the man well the heck alone. And be better off for the truth.

So, please, we all have "issues" of one kind or another. If he really liked you, he would be willing to surmount those issues. If he's not that into you, well, we all know where that will lead...don't we. So leave him alone, the man obviously has issues.

*Note-Statistic heard is a complete and total fabrication.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Eating and other tedious activities

If there was one thing I would eliminate from the various needs of humanity it would be the need to eat. Eating is a tedious activity that begins with the loathsome trip to the shops. Buying up items that will either go off in your fridge, having been bought with good intention, or possibly worse, they will need to be boiled, baked, shredded, peeled, or mashed into a meal. You get the food home and then spend an hour trying to get it all put away while a toddler is trying to "help".
Food preparation is an all day activity. It starts with breakfast, that ends up leaving a wonderfully clean kitchen a mess that stays that way all day, because as soon as the dishwasher opens, there is the same toddler to "help". Lunch begins soon on the tails of the breakfast that is still not been totally cleaned up, and lunch leaves it's mark. As soon as the cheese and crackers from lunch have been put away, it's time for the toddler's snack, which usually ends up mashed into tiny bits by the "helpful" toddler and tossed onto the floor to be consumed at a later date. Once the snack has been cleaned up, it's time for dinner preparation. Which, having been pondered all day as to what to have, various ideas being shot down by the man of the house though no ideas contributed on his behalf, ends up being some mish mash of something "healthy" which will take at least an hour and a half from start to finish. That entire hour and a half beign spent with a toddler attached to my knee-caps, who has ceased to "help" and is intentionally just being a nuisance.

So what's for dinner? Pizza anyone?

Friday, April 20, 2007


In order to write this post I took a peek at the Planned Parenthood site. There you will find loving open arms who will happily encourage you as you plot the murder of an inconvenient "fetus". They phrase things so would be easy to be sucked into that death trap. They warn the reader about "anti-abortionists" who "claim" that there is such a thing as "post-abortive depression" which is similar to Post-natal depression. They claim that most women feel relief once the abortion is complete. They attempt to salve any fears and calm any quaking. In the list that they have describing why women have abortions, women who don't want their babies is number one on the list. Later as they are describing what occurs in the abortion, they point out that the fetus doesn't (probably and most likely, as far as they know) feel any pain until after 28 weeks gestation, so be sure to get the abortion before that time. Interesting, as far as I know cancerous tumours don't feel individual pain at any point in their existence and I don't think anyone would feel the need to have that pointed out.

I find it disgusting that in a society that claims to look out for the rights of children there is the legalized slaughter of children. By showing a concern about the pain of the fetus, Planned Parenthood betrays themselves. If a pregnant woman is murdered and her fetus dies as well, that is tried as a double homocide. Interesting that if the baby is wanted it's a baby from the time is conceived. If it is unwanted, it is a fetus and can be carved out at your earliest convenience. Dear child you have rights only as long as you are wanted.

I feel the weight of millions of babies that are defensless and the one person that thay have to defend them has the legal right to have them carved or sucked into a million pieces. Some mothers have the legal right to have their babies heads smashed as soon as it appears...What are we to do against the tide of all-consuming societal hedonism? I would brandish a sword if I could to defend the defensless. I know it wouldn't help. I ,myself, am an undeniable hedonist. I pity women that are sucked into the lie that infaticide is okay. I desperately wish that there was something to do. As a believer in Christ, it is my duty to care and to love. I don't hate the women that use this means to return to a life of immediate normalcy, but I don't think that there are many women who go through it unscathed. Every woman is marked by her children whether they survive or not. A death is a death. It grieves me that Planned Parenthood will not acknowledge that the murders that they help commit will have an effect on a woman.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Someone to blame

I heard about the Virginia Tech killings when my broken hearted father called me. He delivered the sad news with a slight quiver in his voice. I knew he was thinking of all the dads who wouldn't have their "babies" coming home for the summer holidays. A grief that parents don't want to even try to comprehend.
The situation is bad. One of the things that makes me saddest is the desperation of the media to find someone to string up. Who is to blame for tragedies such as this? How could anyone have known? Did his right to own a gun really have any impact on his intent? Doesn't it seem like he would have been a able to get a gun whether they were legal or not? Drugs are illegal and yet they are used prolifically, if someone really wants them. Would that really have made any difference at all? Do the grieving families really give a crap about the politics of gun control right now?
I wish that the families could be left to grieve without being caught up in a blame game. Their grief will not be eased by knowing that the university stuffed up and that the police stuffed up and that someone is getting fired for not having given Cho counseling. They are suffering deeper than any of those issues can touch.
The media manipulates our shock, grief, and outrage at the depravity of man by channeling our emotions into their own agenda. "See what the guns do?" they say. But guns didn't do it. Whether guns are legal or not, people would still die by them. Banning guns is the issue of the media, the issue of politics. Once again, the media is heartlessly using heartbreak to create controversy at a time when tears would suffice. They care about nothing but the political party they are serving at the time.

My prayers are with the families that are grieving this terrible loss including Cho's family. May it never happen again.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Parenting and such thereof

You plan for 9 months. The day comes and your plans are shot to heck in beautiful sparkles of unknown-ness. All of a sudden your heart is ripped from your chest and tied to the wrist of a tiny little clueless bundle. He grins and you hurt with the beauty of it. He rolls for the first time and nothing matters in your world but that one masterful acheivement. He hurts and you experience pain beyond your wildest imaginings. He reaches for you and there is nothing but softness and warmth and baby-scents in the air. Parenting is unfathomable beauty and pain bound up in one little uncontrollable being. You can guard and protect him, but only a little. And so the wound in your chest never heals...Your heart will never return...and there's nothing you can do about it.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Breasts in Public

I read an article the other day discussing women's right to breast feed in public. Evidently there is yet another group of people who are standing alone against public opinion. Some women are demanding that they have the right to breast feed in public because it is "natural" and because breast feeding is best for the baby. I don't argue that breast feeding isn't natural or even that it is best for the baby. However, I don't think that women should feel comfortable letting thier girls hang out anywhere they feel like. I'm not against breastfeeding in public. It can be done modestly and in a way that does not make everyone around feel desperately uncomfortable. I once witnessed a yummy mummy as she exerted her right to breastfeed in public while wearing a flesh coloured tube top she let her breast hang there, unattached to a baby, for a whole minute while chatting to her girlfriends. She was facing the restaurant. I was very uncomfortable with it. If she had even pulled her top up while she chatted it would have been fine.

Now the argument that women should be able to breastfeed like that in public simply because it is natural is a ridiculous argument. Vaginal discharge is natural, normal, and healthy. But I still wear pants and underwear. So sporting baby feeders like an accesory because it is normal and natural and healthy is silly. All a woman has to do is endeavor to be covered when the baby is not attached. It that too much for those of us in the general public to ask?

So please, breast feed, because as we all know Breast is Best, but maybe just pull up that tube top in between times.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

In Defense

I am a stay at home mother. I do it because my mom stayed at home with us and I really valued that. I do it because I think it is best for Leif. And, yes, I think it is best if all mothers can stay home with their children. Leif went from sitting to standing in a second and I missed it because I was looking away, how much more would I have missed if I was away the whole day? I find parenting a challenging role. Someone asked me if I wanted a part-time job for some stimulation, and I answered that I had all the stimulation I needed. Which is true. If I wanted a break from stimulation maybe I'd get a job. (The woman who asked me this worked in administration in a hospital...I almost asked her if she needed some outside stimulation...) Life would be so much easier if I only had to worry about me for a solid portion of the day...Just to leave the house for a minute I have to change a nappy, make sure he's fed, make sure I have a bag of stuff to have on the ready, make sure that bag has all the stuff that I might need in it, I have to make sure I have my wallet and keys, and then we're off...but wait, something smells...let's start all over. And I love it. I'm so glad that I can be here with him. But some days I do need a break from all the stimulation.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I want to change the world. I want a lot of people at my funeral. I want it to be said of me that I was "Barnabas" a "son" of encouragement. I want to go to Africa. I want to learn to make stain glass windows, and sew. I want to relearn all the higher level maths I used to know. I want to be willing to help, sacrificially (and learn how to spell.) I want to learn another language, fluently. I want a little girl. Boy would be fine too. I want to be patient, and wise.

I love my son, I love my husband and my family. I love my God. I love my God.

I love freedom. I am grateful beyond words for my friends.

I am nearly 28 but still feel like I'm 17.

I get sad sometimes that I'm so far from my parent's and siblings. Abused children around the world break my heart.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


It's been a long time. I've thought so many things that I wanted to blog, but never the chance. Now, here I go. I've seen amazing things since my last post (whinge) and have come back to this country changed. I suppose if you are traveling like you should you should be changed. I realized going home, that since leaving the U.S., my home country, that I have now rendered myself homeless. The U.S. is not as easy as it used to me. I am a foreigner in my own country. I am a foreigner here as well. What's a girl to do? It's a little bit freeing, but also a little sad. I have no where to really belong. No where that is really home. Who knows what God will do with my new found homelessness.

I've been learning so much about parenthood latetly. I have a child now who is capable of independant movement. Help God! Leif is busy. He used to snuggle, now he makes sure to maintain an elbow firmly planted in my chest in the case that I try to sneak a cuddle. He laughs when I try to tell him "no". I suppose if I spoke to him solely in raspberries he might understand. He seems to have developed a highly complicated communication system based on raspberries. Depending on how his brow is furrowed, his body positioning and the length of the particularly raspberry it could mean, "hey give me more of that" or "Um, did I ask you to change my nappy?" Leif is getting a new batch of teeth, well, that's my guess anyway, so he was up all nite in misery. So was I. Leif joined Chad and I in bed last nite, and it seems like we have a sleep crawler on our hands.

With Leif's new levels of activity and his lack of naps during the day, I get nothing done. I feel a little frustrated creatively. I have so many projects lined up to the end of time. Chairs to be refinished and painted, walls to be painted, paintings to be painted, jewelry to be made, Bible studies to be done, lessons to be planned, rooms to be reorganized...

I'm tired.

Parenting is not for the feint of heart. Don't think I spelled "feint" right.

Over and out.