Monday, 20 July 2015
Saturday, 6 June 2015
I've finally given up on sleep for tonight... because my heart hasn't stopped racing yet... and for the cries that break the silence every 45 minutes as my not-even-three-year-old exits a sleep cycle and remembers again, the fall, the fear, the pain, the immobilization...
Deep, deep breath momma.
He's not even three.
He will eventually forget... even if I never do.
But maybe, if I write it down. Right now. I'll think back and instead of the gory details I will remember that which is truly and always most important...
The kind of grace that says this is nobody else's fault and there is no room for guilt here... not even a little bit.
Grace that allows a spouse to handle the stress and fear of it all however they need to. It doesn't have to mirror mine, it doesn't have to make sense. It just has to happen... hopefully without the next world war breaking out in ER room A7.
Grace from the paramedics, nurses and team of doctors that put my son back together again. Truly, they were so gracious with us.
Grace from the friends and family who showed up in some way. We love you.
Grace that reminds me it could have been worse... thank you God that it wasn't worse.
Grace that heard the gut-wrenching cries every 45 minutes and got up to soothe him back to sleep.
Grace to bury my head under the pillow to drown out those cries after I realized I wasn't helping.
Grace all around.
And thank God...
Thank you for your prayers... seriously. Thank you so much. Telis is in a cast for the next 4-6 weeks and we won't be able to leave the house at all. It's going to be rough, but... there's grace for that too. He would love some visitors. He also loves Thomas... and Veggie Tales ;)
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
My husband habitually asks me why I have a vegetable garden, can dozens of salsas, sauces, jams and jellies every year and batch cook meals every week. It's a lot of work and a lot of mess. Truthfully, I am only a decent cook and a horrible baker, but I do love spending time in both the garden and the kitchen. I love working with my hands and anticipating the fruits of my labour. I love all the different aromas and the contentment in knowing the meal I provide required a bit of sacrifice for the people I care about. But probably, most of all, I love the nostalgic feeling of daddy's kitchen. It's always there in the background, mixed in with the repetitions and the sights and smells of home. And then there's the knowledge, that we had this in common. That this is a language of love, passed down from generation to generation. Even in the busy-ness and high demands of our current culture it is something that is impossible to forget. I suppose that's what I too am aiming for...
Monday, 15 September 2014
I have been trying to grasp the concept of submission for some time. I wonder what our marriage would look like if I was one of those women that came by it easily. But I am not... it is not my nature. I never saw it modelled and my husband has even told me if I was the submissive type he would be less attracted to me. However, I know that there cannot be two heads of one household for "a house divided against itself cannot stand." And yet I yearn to experience the kind of marriage that actually functions as a team. I don't believe submission looks the same on every person. I just still haven't figured out what it should look like on me. I have wondered if perhaps it looks less like the wife I know I can never be, and more like a trust in God to fill in all the gaps apparent in both husband and wife. And that doesn't start with a "change him" prayer. Maybe this house cannot have two heads, but it can have one head and one heart. I think I'm beginning to understand God's purpose and design in that. The point is not who needs to change but rather who is willing to change. That is a prayer; a heart that God can work with in a situation such as this. And in truth, if I knew how to change the things I don't like about myself, I would have done it by now. I don't know how. I need the unconditional love of my father and creator to work through my walls of insecurity and pride and remind me of who he created me to be.
Marriage is not easy. Throwing children into the mix does not make it any easier. I firmly believe that couples, especially in this day and age, should know that any area of the relationship that has problems, will be magnified when kids are added. Children are a blessing. They are beautiful and incredible and... they bring out the worst in us! They demand the entirety of our attention and reflect all the ways we fall short every single day. But for some reason it is still easier to lay down our lives for them than it is for our spouse. Unfortunately, I think all too often, it ends there.
Wednesday, 20 August 2014
This… wilderness. Where God’s people wandered aimlessly for 40 years before they were fit for the promised land. Where John the Baptist exercised his devotion and complete surrender to his creator. Where Jesus was tested for 40 days before he set out for ministry. And the season of life in which the apostle Paul had to re-learn every thought pattern and belief that had previously defined him. All of these happened in a wilderness. And that sums this up perfectly… for this is mine.
Deserted. Uncomfortable - painful even. Confused. Empty-handed. Alone. Even still… If I had the choice, I would choose this same path again. I may have kept my convictions to myself in the process but… we all learn our lessons in our own way. And I still would have had to come alone.
Conviction: a fixed belief. In other words - it’s not changing (even if sometimes I wish it would.) The only thing that is changing is me. I can’t be the same naïve people-pleaser that I used to be. Nor can I continue living as if my actions don’t have power to build or destroy. Because they do. I’ve had my seasons of misguided self-sufficiency. I’ve had my seasons of insecurity. But this season I am in, (be it a wilderness) I have irrefutable clarity on who God has created and equipped me to be. I have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor 2:15, Phil 2:5) I have the power of life and death on my lips. (Prov 18:21) and I can move mountains. (Mark 11:23) Every decision that I make and every word I speak causes ripple effects. Whether I like it or not I AM changing the world around me for better or worse. And if anything matters, everything matters! I sometimes wish I just knew how to be something in between all or nothing… but I can’t. I can’t just succumb to the matrix of this life. I can’t chase after the American dream while the rest of the world suffers for it. I don’t buy into the lies that what I am searching for can be found in anything this world has to offer. The joys of simplicity and the miracle of the moment beckon me. I just want to be where He is…
So… Here I stand in the stillness of this desolate place. Where the influences of man and the distractions of my own plans are nowhere to be found, and I can truly hear His voice. It comforts and guides me. And suddenly I don’t care if it takes 40 days or 40 years… I know the one who led me here and I trust Him. I asked for a change of heart and I got it. My soul craves something different, something deeper. I know that I will find it here… and just knowing that enables me to embrace this season more fully.
It is a word that society teaches us not to say out loud. It instils negative connotations. It is aptly used as an expletive when things go really wrong… And yet something about our comprehension of this word is strangely amiss. What four letter word am I talking about?
Today’s reading is brought to you by… an expert failer! Seriously, I could probably host my own weekend seminar. I could call it “How to Fail - Successfully.” But don’t sign up. I can‘t guarantee that it wouldn‘t be a huge flop! :) Besides no one I know would actually take such a course. No one sets out on anything with an intent to fail. No one posts even a single failure on their timeline. We just try to hide it, forget about it and move on. Except that big `F` word is stamped over our heart and for some of us, we know we will never truly be able to dream the same way again. In my 30 years I have dreamed big dreams. I have worked my butt off to get them. And I have failed miserably.
Did you know that there I a difference between a failer and a failure? We are all inevitably failers. We can't avoid failing. It happens to the best of us. But a failure is something that none of us have to be. Let me explain. A failer believes that their lack of success is due to a lack of effort. They either didn't work hard enough or they haven't kept at it long enough. They believe that by changing their effort commitment, they will eventually succeed. On the contrary, a failure believes that their lack of success is due to a lack in and of themselves. They don't believe that they have what it takes.
I used to believe that I wasn't capable of success. I have struggled with this wrong belief for most of my life. I was so convinced of this in high school that despite the fact that I was ranked as one of the best high jumpers in all of Canada, I never actually won a medal or achieved my dream of getting a scholarship. I jumped a national ranking height once in a low-level track meet and then I could never do it again. It got so bad that I would run up to the bar at a height that I could have done in elementary school and I would hit the bar on purpose with my hand. It couldn't have been more obvious that my belief was wrong - I had done it before! But that was what I believed in my heart. So if you feel like you believe something stupid about yourself that you know you shouldn't... I feel you.
If you have kids and if you're anything like me, you probably don't want to see your kids make the same mistakes you did. So how can we keep them from letting their failures define them? I had terrific parents and I did pretty good in school, but I didn't learn this concept until recently.
If you want to train your kids to think positively about their failures - praise their effort instead of their accomplishments.
Say stuff like, "I'm so proud of you for working really hard" instead of, "You are so talented." Because not unlike the majority of the population, they just want affirmation. You train them what to value based on how you praise them. AND buy them lot's of puzzles! Puzzles help them understand that they need all of the pieces to succeed. They are less likely to expect shortcuts and they value each learning curve. Children raised this way have a refreshing attitude towards failure. They do not ruminate over their mistakes. They simply perceive errors as problems to be solved and get to work.
Finally, if you want to turn your own failures into stepping stones, develop gratitude about each failure you come up against. It is teaching you a valuable lesson that you MUST learn before you can move forward. AND recognize your true worth. Every decision you make and every word you speak causes ripple effects. Whether you like it or not, and whether you are aware of it or not, you are changing the world around you. If anything matters, you matter! And the way you view your failures matters.
So friends... don't stop dreaming, don't stop trying, and don't stop failing!
It is presently 3:45am, Sunday, August 11th and you hold a brand new baby in your arms. I know that you haven’t slept for 72hrs and you are very much wishing to be elsewhere - in bed fast asleep, or somewhere just beyond this current season of your life where baby has turned your world upside down and needing all - perhaps more - than you have to give. I know that your body is aching and recovering and you have every physical right to not want to participate in the moments right in front of you. But there are also a few things that I want you to know, that you may think you know, but you don’t really know, or else you wouldn’t allow yourself to feel this way. So I’m just going to remind you…
In a matter of days… your baby won’t need you to hold him every waking second. He won’t need to hear the constant beating of your heart in order to feel safe in this world. He will adjust to life outside of your womb. He will need you less than he does now.
In a matter of weeks… you will be packing away outfits and booties that he no longer fits in and you will be able to leave him with a caregiver so you can start to get back to the rest of your life. That precious little baby won’t need you quite as much as he does now.
In a matter of months… he will be eating solids and walking and talking. As much as you love to see him thrive you will miss the days you spent nursing him, carrying him around everywhere you went and trying to interpret his cries and coo’s. He will need you less than he does now.
In a matter of years… his days will be spent studying, playing and working. He will be in quest of his identity and independence. He won’t need you as you does now.
In less time than you think… he will be having babies of his own and only occasionally calling with questions. He won’t need you as much as he does now.
I know these things because I am at already at the end of your life… when your best days are behind you. When that little baby doesn’t need you the ways he does now. And I know that these exact moments that you are in a hurry to get through are the very moments that your heart will ache for. So right now, while you are in the midst of midnight feedings, changing dirty diapers and longing to just get past this season of life I beg of you, be present. Never forget that what you hold in your arms is nothing short of a miracle. Know that I am here and I am longing to hold his little fingers. I’ll never get those moments back. So treasure them while you can. Turn off the distractions. Ignore the voices that try to tell you your fulfillment is elsewhere. Because right now he does need you. These precious moments that he won‘t even remember, were created especially for you to enjoy. Be thankful for every moment. They are among the greatest gifts you will have in life. Know that I am sitting here at the end of your life… and there is no where in the world I would rather be than where you are right now.
Your Future self