Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My Truth in Pictures

If this isn't just the neatest thing ever.

WonderfulPages, who I love reading, have a beautiful post up right now. A while back they hosted a blog discussion called Wonderful Worship where several of us all shared our thoughts about various aspects of worship. Then they took all the text from our posts and added them to this Wordle website to come up with the beautiful new graphic part way down on my sidebar. You can click on it to see it better.

Well, of course it sounded like too much fun, so I decided to do it to with something equally precious to me as a discussion on worship: my blog on post partum depression. Without further ado: My Truth.

You'll have to click on the one in the side bar to see it bigger because I am so computer illiterate that I don't know how to stick it in my post properly... I love that the word "depression" is ridiculously small and pale in the cloud there. Love the whole thing.

Monday, June 23, 2008

An Intelligent Post for A Change

I read an interesting bit of educational stuff yesterday.

Did you know that these are aphids?

Well, guess what I learned? A female aphid gives birth to 3-4 live babies at a time.

every day.

until she dies.

Mind you she only lives about 28 days, but you do the math: That's dang close to a hundred little babies.

No wonder we have SO many aphids on our tree outside. They multiply like rabbits....except moreso. I may need to rethink my metaphors.

But here's the thing: I betcha that no aphid says to that momma "Don't ya know what causes this?" "You should get cable" "You must drive a BUS" because you know what? THEY ARE ALL DOING IT!!!

Yes those aphids are surrounded by likeminded bugs who are all reproducing at ridiculous rates. Did you know that at the rate a momma aphid has her babies, and her daughters following in her footsteps and so on, that one aphid is responsible for 1 heptillion descendents (that's 24 zeros if you were wondering). No one asks her "what about over population?"

Don't get me wrong: this is not my "and so I've decided to have another baby every year until I hit menopause". And it is also not a "why aren't you all having 7 kids like me" soapbox. This is simply an observation of the natural world and the freakish largeness of what God has called aphids to do.

Sometimes he does that. He creates things to do stuff that just looks weird to everybody else. And when he calls them to it, He says it is good. I'll take that.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

mental note to self

when you spend too long in the bathtub reading a book and drinking tea before breakfast the little kids (A,E and C) make "snowflakes" out of lots of coloured paper and scissors all.over.the.basement.floor.

they just know how much I heart vacuuming :-)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

One of the things my thinker is thinking

Remember the Dr.Seuss classic "The Glunk that got Thunk"? Love it. Anyhow, here I am still thinking and posting for the second time today.

But I thought you might want to know (as enquiring minds are wont to do) about what I am thinking.

Years ago, possibly nearly a decade ago, Mike preached a mother's day sermon on Psalm 128 and I have in my bible written in pencil (why pencil? I don't know, but I may need to go over it in ink) "Mike's Definition of The Fear of the Lord": You need 1) A Personal Knowledge of God 2) An accurate view of oneself 3) A Personal Knowledge of Christ and His work 4) A Genuine Dread of Displeasing God

So I'm thinking about this today, and how, sadly, my fear of man often overrides my fear of the Lord. I suppose for me I should rearrange those 4 points. Perhaps I should dwell on my genunie dread before I meditate on the work of Christ because otherwise I end up in the Pits instead of in freedom.

However, what I would like to know is when will Mike preach on the fear of man. I'll give him the summer to think about it, but it would be a wonderfully great way to start my fall. Or perhaps Jer could use that as his topic when he guest-speaks this summer. I'd ask my husband to preach on it when he guest-speaks but I'd just die if he said "As an example: I know this woman who is so stuck in the fear of man....": As all eyes turn to the blushing, weeping woman in the crowd it might be a bit obvious about whom he is speaking. Now mind you, both Mike and Jeremy know me well enough to use me as a sermon illustration, but hopefully the congregation would assume they were speaking about their wives instead.

As Kristina and I love to remind each other often: The fear of Man is a snare. And a mighty strong one indeed.

Where's the off switch?

Oh Lord, I clearly remember being 4 or 5 years old, living in Churchill Manitoba, laying awake in bed and telling my mom the reason that I was not asleep was because I "couldn't turn my thinker off".

I'm there today Father. Rather, I've been here for about 2 weeks.

Useless hurtful damaging fearful wasted thoughts circulating continuously. You created me: where's the off switch?

There's that verse I honestly do not understand: 2Cor. 10:5 "We destroy arguements and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ" ...I'm just barely starting to get this (I know it isn't rocket science, but there is a serious block there in my brain. The ESV translation helps to make it clearer).

But I stop: I confess and pray over my useless thoughts. I redirect. I distract myself. I intentionally say out loud the polar opposite of what I'm thinking.

And then 10 minutes later (if I be so lucky) the thoughts are back with friends.

I sit with the Word knowing that It is my only escape: nothing. Just letters on a page. I know it is I who have walked away from you recently Lord. I have broken the intimate fellowship. You have not left me. You are waiting. And yet when I come back to You, there is so much thinking and so much ground to recover that I feel like I'll never get there.

So today Lord I ask that you will plug my ears to all the noise of my brain, and only clear my heart to hear from You. Show me the off switch to my thoughts, so that I can concentrate on hearing Your voice.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

You Know you've spent way too long in front of a computer driving yourself crazy doing HIGH Day stuff when:
as you are reading an acutal, real, paper, in hand book, at your computer desk, you reach for the mouse and try to scroll down instead of turning the page....


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A New Beginning

Here we are at a brand new location. Looking to move all my old stuff here to start fresh with some new links and new perspective. Hope it works out!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Well, At least he didn't hang himself

Our lovely family was to go to homeschool soccer last night, 33 degree temperatures not withstanding. And I, in my new found "let's not be an out-of-shape mom" phase decided that while my adorable husband drove 5 of the children to the field here in town, I would walk with the youngest two in my prized double stroller.

Now let me tell you about this double stroller: I LOVE it. It has been my source of sanity for the last 8 years. My blessed mommy bought it for me the Christmas I was expecting my second child, and I cried. That might have also been the Christmas that my blessed mom-in-law bought me the world's greatest breast pump. I cried over that too. I was pretty desperate for the right tools to do my job and a pump and a stroller fit the bill. But I digress. That stoller saved my life. It freed me to leave the house when I was going stir crazy in the spring. It made errands easier by walking instead of buckling and unbuckling children in the car a million times. I used it to hold 3 children actually. When we had our 3rd, our 1st was still only 2 (whoa) and so I could get all 3 of them in and still pound the pavement.

And pound it I did. For two years we had no car at all (except on weekends when we borrowed our fantastic parents' van...and yes I meant the parents are fantastic...the van was too, but the parents take the cake). I would walk EVERY DAY just because I could with 2, 3, and then 4 children all the way from our little house to the nearest grocery store. Looking back to that big city walk from the perspective of a now small town girl, I can't imagine what I was thinking taking such little people across such ridiculously busy corners....however, we survived. I also used that stroller as a means of getting my groceries home from that store. On several occassions I would walk to the store with an empty stroller and come home with it loaded to the brim with 2 weeks' worth of food. Good times.

Then there was the time that we accidentally left the stroller behind at a splash pad. I thought Chris put it in the back of the van. He thought I did. It was left on the wet concrete pad at a very busy place in said big city. I freaked out when I realized it was gone. Chris did too, but only because his WALLET WAS IN IT. I thought "who cares about your wallet. We can replace the cards. I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT THAT STROLLER!!!" Slight overreaction. still.

Thankfully some kindly lady took it to her house and left a note at the park saying that if someone lost a stroller we could retrieve it from her house. So glad we got there first!

And now, after 7 kids, the stroller is getting old. When I put groceries in the storage basket in the bottom it drags on the sidewalk (really annoying). And when I tried to fold it up to fit in the van, it doesn't exactly work as smooth as it once did. But she's a beauty.

So back to last night. In my energetic frenzy I smartly put the not quite 2 year old in the front as usual and laid the wee baby down in the back. One of the things I love about this stroller is how excellently the back lays down. One hand control, a foot rest that comes up and "locks in place" to hold the baby nice and horiziontal, and the very all-covering sunshade so baby can rest without the sun beating down on his face. Many a nap has been had in that stroller. Our 2nd born even slept in it overnight once in a hotel in Ottawa many moons ago. Love.this.stroller.

I was really truckin' it. I love walking. I love walking fast. It is as close to atheletic as I ever get. Suddenly, my boy is crying. Funny, he never cries in the stroller. Heck, he practically never cries at all. Wisely, I stop (once I've finished crossing the train tracks) to check on the boy. Remember: I can't see him due to the all-covering sunshade.

The foot rest, after 7 children and 8 years, apparently had enough last night. It 'unlocked' and there was my wee boy, all of 4 months old today, sitting in the storage basket under the stroller with his head firmly wedged under the front seat where his tender scalp was being, well, scalped. nice. Praise the Lord my other children weren't with me, because 1) this is the kind of thing that just adds fuel to the "look at the freaky family with 7 kids" thing that I am always paranoid about (remember the Tim Hortons/Walmart fiasco?) and 2) I think I said a bad word....out loud.

So after rescuing him from the basket that (remember?) drags on the ground when weight in put into it and kissing the scratches on his scalp, I put him in the front seat that reclines slightly with a more strudy support between his legs and put child #6 in the back where she could just sit and continue sipping her water bottle like nothing had happened.

Now what, you may be asking, was the title to this post all about? I'm thinking that it is a good thing I didn't buckle him in because when he slipped down, I'm envisioning the seatbelt getting quite snuggly wrapped around his neck. So it could have been worse.

sigh. A day in my life. Gotta love a laugh at the "mother of the year"! I'm considering adding a "donate here" button on the side bar of this blog so that you can all contribute to a new stroller for me. Any takers :-)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Something to think about

My kids think I'm awesome. I mean, I am the cat's meow, I hung the moon, I hold their very universe together. I can DO anything. I can FIX everything. I can COOK better than anyone. I can READ with great emotion. I can SING like an angel. I can JOKE like a stand-up. I can HUG the tightest. I can TEACH like, well, a teacher!

They LOVE me! They think I'm the berries. They think I'm a ROCKSTAR (okay, they've never actually used that phrase but I've always wanted to be a Rockstar so I had to slip that in there).

On a fairly regular basis I hear them say "You are the best mommy ever!" "I'm so glad you are my Mommy" "You are the most perfect mommy in the whole world." "You are the greatest mommy I have" (of course that one isn't quite so flattering...and no, my husband does not have a ranch).

Ay, there's the rub: They are woefully misguided. I was going to call them liars, but that sounds harsh and they aren't intentionally lying. Rather, they are simply misinformed regarding the excellence of mothers and are deluded by their emotions for me. I know they are wrong about just how superlative I am.

Ay, there's the other rub (hmmm...that didn't sound nearly as Shakesperean as I might have hoped): If I continue to mope around my house bragging to the walls how dreadful a failure I am and belittling myself for the lack of hard work and my lack of good attitude and my lack lack lack lack lack then what kind of expectations and standards are my poor girls going to have for themselves?

They say "You are awesome": I say "I stink". So they see 'perfection' but hear this woman they adore say "who I am and what I do is not good enough". They will begin to think: "If my MOM wasn't good enough and I think she's awesome, then what are the chances I'll ever be able to succeed as a mom?"

Do I really want to heap that burden on them? Do I really want them to live under the guidance of a woman who constantly exudes an aura of incompetance and discontent at who God made me to be? And what if they read my self-described failure as being a result of my God being too weak to make me a decent mother and wife?

Lord I want so much to work and live as you are calling me, in your strength and by your standards. Help me to have the humility to say "I am a good mom". And help my girls see that you will strengthen them, and you are strengthening me, to do all the tasks you have in mind for us.