Thursday, May 27, 2010 |


God is teaching me a lot about patience in this last little while. And it is a well-needed lesson.

I have been pregnant a whole 4 weeks longer than I was with Sam, and now I am officially two days "overdue". (Although, who decides stuff like that? This baby is due when it's ready to come out. End of story. I don't need a term like that to make me feel more impatient!)

Anyways, I have had meltdowns, been downright grouchy and mean, and have not handled this last bit with any kind of grace or dignity. Sometimes I don't care, but other times, I'm kind of embarrassed by both my behaviour and my attitude. Thinking on all this, two things came to my mind:
  • I read a post a while back from Katie in Uganda's blog about a young girl (13 years old, I think?) who had been taken from her family by her uncle, and then abused by him and her cousins in unthinkable ways. She became pregnant, and therefore an embarrassment to the family, so they tied her to a tree in the yard. Pregnant, tied to a tree, forced to sleep on the ground, and still exposed to more torture, even being beaten in the belly to try to hurt the baby. Praise the Lord, this young girl was rescued and brought to live with Katie, where she had a healthy baby boy (what a miracle!) shortly after.
  • I took an English class in university in which we focused on slave literature, particularly that which was written by women. It amazed me how these women, when pregnant, continued their arduous work right up until the time they gave birth, only to strap the infant onto their back hours later and return to work.
Woah, I am such a wimp.

I know it is okay to have struggles. But thinking on these things is a good reminder for me to be patient, and to be thankful. The sore body, bad sleeping, heartburn, and huge belly in the way is just a sign that I am about to bring a beautiful little person into this world. I have a bed to sleep in, good food to eat, and a medical system working for me. I am spoiled. Truly and utterly spoiled. I think it's time for a shift in focus.

So... to end this, I'm going to share a couple of things I'm loving about being pregnant right now:
  • Knitting over my big, full belly
  • Cuddling with Sam on the couch, while he uses his little sibling as an armrest!
  • The way strangers are extra courteous to a pregnant woman, and the little smiles I get from people when they notice the tummy (especially from the older ones!)
  • Feeling this little person move around and just be, all while inside of me
  • Kris saying, "watch your belly" when he moves around me, knowing that I don't really like having it bumped
  • Knowing how many people are excited about this child, and what a blessing it is to have people who love my kids
  • Keeping people on the edge of their seats, and throwing them for a bit of a loop when we don't answer the phone, or Kris phones someone from his cell phone :) (or pulling a FB prank...!)
  • Just learning to savour these last few days of carrying this child, and dreaming about who he/she will be
Monday, May 10, 2010 |

The Cost of Things

I've been rethinking how I look at cost lately.

I had an interesting conversation with a friend about the true cost of things recently. We were talking about how to be socially and environmentally responsible with our purchases, and how unfortunately, that can often ending being a terribly expensive choice. I tend to be pretty frugal most of the time (which is just a pretty term for "cheap"...), and I often get caught in an inner conflict when I see that the jeans made responsibly in Canada cost 8 times as much as the ones I could purchase at Old Navy. My friend agreed, and then commented on how funny it is that as Christians, frugality is something that is praised and encouraged. Which is really quite backwards.

Is it really better to get a great pair of capris for $10 at WalMart than to spend $60 on something equivalent at MEC, where all their clothing is sourced and produced in a socially responsible manner? Am I really being a "better steward" of my money when I spend $6 on a HUGE can of coffee at Superstore (which is contributing to one of the biggest markets in the human slave trade), instead of spending $14 on a small bag of fair trade coffee from the little coffee shop on Main Street?

Just because something is costing ME less, certainly doesn't mean it isn't costing someone something. According to the world's standards, I am very rich North American. Is it not FAR better for ME to absorb the extra financial cost of buying fair trade, than it is to buy cheaply and have that cost fall on the shoulders of someone who's basic human rights are being violated in order for me to consume that product cheaply? I often have to remind myself that it is SO worth the extra money to know that my products are being made by people who are treated with dignity and respect.

And another funny thing happens when I spend more, but spend it responsibly. I waste less. I want less. Instead of making a huge pot of coffee and throwing a lot of it out, I make what's needed and drink it in moderation. If I were to be responsible with every clothing choice I make (still working on that one!), I'd probably be more satisfied with a more limited wardrobe. Is 10 pairs of jeans really necessary anyways?

So, I'm going to replace the word "frugal" in my vocabulary, with the words "responsible" and "informed". Because I really believe that those are the ways I can truly be a good steward of what God has given me.

I don't say any of these things because I'm trying to make you feel guilty, or that I'm trying to convict you in any way. These are just the ways that I've been convicted of, and these are the areas that I'm trying to make changes in!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010 |

Call me crazy, but...

I'm tired of living alone.

The North American way of life is really getting me down lately. (And by lately, I really mean the last year, or even two.) I just don't think it's meant to be this way. Each of us living in our own little homes, with curtains on the windows so no-one can see in, with high fences to maintain our privacy from our neighbours (what a shame if we actually had to TALK to them!). I don't think daily tasks were meant to only serve our own family, or be done on our own while we herd our children out from underfoot so that we can just "get it done". I don't think we were meant to eat apples that come from miles and miles away, beef that is raised with growth hormones, and milk that is stripped of all its nutritional value and packaged in a plastic container that will end up in the landfill.

Not at all.

I think we're made to live in community, relationally with one another. To share the workload, and to even make work something we enjoy, because we're doing it with people that we enjoy. I think our kids are meant to play together while we can vegetables from the garden. I think we're meant to support each other, be strong when our neighbour is weak, and accept help from our neighbours when we ourselves are weak. Playgroups and coffee dates (to socialize ourselves) wouldn't be necessary. We'd be living it everyday. I think we're meant to eat from the land that we work, and what we don't grow or raise should be obtained from within our community, if possible. I believe we're meant to live with others in mind, instead of spending our days looking after the needs and wants of our own individual little family units.

Sound idealistic? Perhaps. I don't kid myself into thinking there wouldn't be issues that would need to be worked out, or that everyone would get along peacefully all the time. But where true love is, and where a group of people share a common goal and love the same Lord, I believe it could work.

There's a really beautiful scene in the movie "The Secret Life of Bees", in which the women who own a honey farm, and their workers, are all working together in the kitchen. The radio is blasting oldies (well, the movie is set in the '60s, so it wasn't oldies then!), and everyone is dancing and singing while working side by side at their tasks. (Doing dishes sure looks more appealing that way, compared to the way that I get them done!)

Anyhow, that is what's really been on my heart lately (amongst some other things, and waiting for this baby!). Anyone else in?! :)