Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A New Blog for a New Time

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Despite not having sufficient time to blog on a regular basis, I've decided to start up a new blog to chronicle my journeys as a new momma-to-be.  You can find it at:

loquaciousfamily.blogspot.com

I might still blog here from time to time, but my days are no longer as they were, so it seems to make sense to move to a new look-and-feel for this new chapter in my life.

Happy reading! :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

She

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At least, I hope she's a she. That's what I've been told by two separate techs at two separate times, though of course there is always that 1% chance that she turns out to be a he, in which case I'm going to regret several purchases I've made of late ;)

This is probably my first official post that isn't about me or Hubbs, but about our soon-to-arrive newest member of the brood.  Forgive me for not being quite so "out there" with her; I've been cherishing my little (and now, not-so-little) secret and basking in the awesomeness of the moment for the past few months.  I've also been tired, busy with school, busy with weekend trips south of the border, tired, hungry, involved with our awesome (not-so-little) community group, and tired.  Blogging was just the last thing on my mind, you know? But now that I have this thing called insomnia, I can return to my musings and ramblings and officially announce my little one's arrival. :)

Though, perhaps, is it premature? Should I have waited until post-partum before even saying *anything?* I've heard the horror stories, and listened through tears to those who've lost their beloved babes within days and hours after the first cries were heard.  Dare I hope that my story will end far more happily? Or will my current bliss be short-lived?

I've wrestled with this for months (31 weeks and 6 days, actually, but who's counting?), and have had to work through fears heaped on fears.  It's the culmination of so many sad and woeful tales that everyone around me has shared with me; for some reason, pregnant ladies get to hear the worst stories, the ones that don't get told to the unpregnant population.  It's some sadistic social norm that gives permission for the hormonally-juiced up to be subject to a seemingly endless supply of horror stories about birth, and babes, and mortality and pain.  There is also, of course, the opposite end of the spectrum - the ones who've walked the dark valley with empty arms and broken hearts who've shared their hearts with me in the hopes that I might pray.  Though I have felt great privilege in being able to partner with them on my knees, those stories linger in my mind too.

And so, my fear (and my fatigue) has prevented me from posting moment-by-moment announcements about her.  Not that you want to read every detail, anyway; I don't think I am so unique and my stories so grand that it bears repeating when so many sisters before me have already walked this path and shared their tales.

However, fear is the opposite of faith.  The lie I believed, and have agonized over, has been the belief that somehow I am in control of my little one's fate.  I'm not.  God is.  I have had no control over her conception (it took us 2.5 years of trying plus some medical interventions, and in the end it was still God's provision alone), I have had no control over her growth and development (she sprouted limbs, eyelashes, a brain, everything and all I did was sleep and eat and pee), and I will have no control over the number of her days.

In the end, I've had to fix my eyes back on Jesus and surrender this semblance of control with which I've deceived myself.  He is good all the time, and all the time, He is good.  He is sovereign and He knits her together in this mother's womb.  She is fearfully and wonderfully made, and she belongs to Him.  I am just the privileged bearer (not unlike how Mary must have felt at being told she would birth the Messiah), but in no way am I the one who created this life.  God did.  And He will, in His wisdom and for His glory, do what He wants in my life and in hers.  My job is just to rest in the assurance that He is good all the time, whether I will end up walking in the valley myself, or whether I am so blessed to be able to soar with the eagles on mountaintop bliss. 

So my wrestling subsides, for now.  And it is in that spirit of boldness and faith that I write this post and proclaim publicly (for the first time) that Hubbs and I have been blessed, and are expecting, a little she. :)


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Middle of the Night, Hormone-and-GI-Induced Ranting

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Sometimes I like to listen to what parents have to say about their child-rearing practices and children, and other times I wish I could just drown them out.

You see, I've noticed that there are two ends of the spectrum: on one end are those parents who are completely chill and down-to-earth about child-rearing, and don't allow their offspring to rule their lives.  These folks are the same today as when I knew them p.k. (pre-kid); their identity is intact and they actually have interesting things to say apart from their child's last poop and most recent adorable anecdote.  Who they are is defined in multi-faceted ways, which include (but isn't exclusive to) their role as parents.  They're also musicians and artists and chefs and world travelers and working professionals and spouses and current events enthusiasts and athletes and...and...and.

Then there is the opposite end of the spectrum.  This is where one might find the sanctimonious, "expert" parents musing about their little idols, I mean children, and offering advice like it was the Gospel or something.  If only they actually spoke of the Gospel more, and of their precious youngsters less!  But you know what I mean, right? From FB status updates/tweets/blogs to in-person conversations, these people know only one topic to speak of, and it's *boring* to most of the world.  However, these folks have all but lost their identities as individuals, and are now defined (or derive the bulk of their self-worth) by their progeny, so that's what they talk about, and that's what they offer all of their well-meaning (but completely unwelcome) advice on.

(Forgive my annoyance.  It's 4:00 a.m. and I've been hit with a gastro-bug that woke me up with belly pains and bathroom trips.  For the two nights prior to this one, I had thse pleasure of waking up to charley horses in my left calf in the middle of the night.  Also lovely).

Every so often, I muse about the contrast.  The folks I seek out tend to be those who fit on the former end of the spectrum, whereas I find myself distancing away from people who elevate their children (or their role as parents) to the ultimate level; I find I have a dwindling list of things in common with them and then the conversation just gets dull.  Don't get me wrong; most people probably fall somewhere in the middle (and most of my friends are probably in the middle too - if I've spoken with you recently, you're more than likely still good), and there is absolutely nothing wrong with loving your kids and/or feeling proud of them and wanting to share some of that with the world.  However, it's a whole different matter when your identity or value or sense of self is entirely dependent on being a mom/dad or having children, and that's the only thing you know how to speak about anymore.  *yawn* Plus it isn't even Biblical, since apart from God alone there is nothing under the sun from which we should derive our value or our identity, and to elevate parenthood or children to that status is most definitely a form of idolatry.

So here's to balance, and to the preservation of self in light of parenthood.  Here's to loving your children but not making them your gods, and here's to having more to talk about than the topic of your tykes! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Oh Where, Oh Where Did My Summer Go?

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I remember daydreaming, on a glorious June day, about a time in the summer when I would be free. Free of report cards, meetings, lesson plans...free to read, to lounge and sip cool beverages, and to find awesome last-minute travel deals with Hubbs.

Alas, 'twas not meant to be. It's now a week and a half from the time I start back at school, and so far our summer has consisted of traveling to Calgary, then Edmonton, then hosting my lovely sis and bro-in-law and cutie pie nephew (and a quick jaunt to Seattle), and back to Edmonton. What's left is another quick jaunt to Seattle and a third trip to E-town.

This is not what I had in mind when I was thinking about summer 2011. I really wanted to read a bunch of young adult books, plus finish other assigned readings. I wanted to go to the beach, and to the art gallery, and to food cart/stands for lunch dates with Hubbs. I wanted to take a spontaneous last-minute tropical holiday, walk through the flower gardens of the various Van parks, and check out the PNE and the aquarium. I wanted to have a selfishly indulgent summer.

Instead, I've been going non-stop, and doing laundry in between travels. And though I recognize that it is a blessing to be able to afford flying back and forth to see family so often, I have to admit that I wish I had one more month of summer just so that I could have some "off time" to myself. When I'm traveling, it just isn't the same.

*sigh* Maybe next year, things will be different. Maybe summer 2012 can be my lazy, hang-out-in-Van summer. I can always dream.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rant: "Chinese Time" or Constant Tardiness

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(In the interest of full disclosure, this used to be me. I used to be chronically late for everything from dinners to small group to you name it. However, I am a repentant and reformed person, redeemed from my lateness by Truth.)

So lately I've been really bugged by people who are always late. You know what I mean, right? You set a time to meet, and then you're left waiting for 30+ minutes before they show. These folks have developed such a reputation for being late that you automatically assume it, and are never pleasantly surprised to be wrong. I know of several people in my life who fit this description, and to be honest, I find it incredibly rude, disrespectful, and dishonest, which means it isn't Biblical.


Matthew 5:37 instructs us to let our yes be yes and our no be no. I think that can be summarized as, "Say what you mean, and mean what you say." Be truthful and walk with integrity. If you agree to meet someone at 6:00, show up at 6:00. Otherwise, make alternate arrangements so that you can show up on time at 6:45. Don't say one thing and do another; don't disrespect those with whom you're meeting by making them wait a long time, since their time is also valuable and should not be wasted because of your own inability to make your time commitments.

Sure, I understand the concept of grace, and yes, I think that anytime travel is required, there is some measure of grace that should be extended because nobody can predict traffic patterns, road closures, and construction work entirely. I am happy to extend 15 minutes of grace and would expect others to be equally patient with me if I end up having to detour several times because of some random parade being held downtown.

However, I'm not talking about an occasional bout of lateness. I'm talking about the people who predictably, constantly show up super late, and attribute their tardiness to "Chinese time" or some other lame-arse excuse that is frankly inexcusable. Hubbs and I are almost tempted at times to tell certain people to meet us 30-45 minutes earlier than the actual time we want to meet them since we're so certain (as in 90%) that they will be 30-45 minutes late.

So what does your punctuality say about you? Do your words and your actions match, or do you constantly show a disregard for others' time? Check your heart, people, and your watches too. And show up on time.