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Archive for November, 2008

A Little Late

The tooth fairy is visiting us for the first time tonight. Anna lost a baby tooth. I’ll try to take a picture when she’s awake tomorrow.

Also, I’m making yet another babywearing article. It’s becoming an illness, I think. This time it’s a mei tai.

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Here

We made it down the length of California in very good time yesterday. Ella was just fine, as long as we stopped whenever she said she’d had enough. I think we made five stops total, which is a lot, but they were brief.

We found out on the way here that our friends’ baby was in the hospital with a collapsed lung. He’s still there, and the news from the pediatricians only seems to be getting worse. Please, pray for baby Micah and his family.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Just in case I don’t get to tell you later. Since we’ll be in Ojai. Tomorrow evening. (Yay!)

I’m going to hang out with my family and other people we like and shop and cook all day. Thanksgiving is my favorite. Truly, truly.

So if you feel in any way inclined toward us, please, please pray that Ella has a good first travelling day tomorrow. She’s a little young to understand why she has to stay strapped in a car seat all day long. Poor baby.

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Providence, Continued

Well, it looks like the new parsonage will be finished long before we have to leave our current rental house (which is for sale– want it?). So there was nothing to worry about.

Sometimes I think God does these things just to be funny.

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Pouch Sling Edition!

I never owned a pouch sling before. They’re convenient in that you don’t have to adjust them. They’re inconvenient in that you can’t adjust them.

So the trick is buying the perfect size for your body and your baby. Or you can just follow the instructions at this lovely site, and make your own custom-fitted sling in your choice of fabric.

I picked denim. It goes with everything. And I had some lying around. Plus, Jason said it would blend in whenever we make it out to Texas, but I think he might be wrong about that, because it is a sling. Last time I lived in those parts, slings were totally weird. And so was I. Probably still am. Who can say?

This is my new denim pouch sling. It makes Ella sleepy.


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So I settle her deeper into the pocket.

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And, after a little ride while Mommy washes the dishes, she naps. And gets heavy. So I slip the sling over my head and let her finish her nap on my bed.

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Then she wakes up all happy!

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Hello, bright eyes.

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I made one in charcoal colored fleece the other day. It’s oh-so-snuggly for winter. And the pretty cotton Modas in my garage are calling to me. But I think I’m going to have to lay off the sling-making for a while. It’s getting a little out of hand.

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How it Happened: Part Two

This is the second installment of the story I began on our wedding anniversary last spring. You can read the first part here.

Rash Vows

In California:

Late in the fall of my freshman year at CBU, I made a hard decision in a dry, neglected field, in the dark, a quarter mile from my dorm room.

My greatest fear at that time was mediocrity. It seemed to me that as people aged, they became less passionate, less purposeful, less alive. I was terrified of self-satisfaction. I thought that the quickest way for me to become useless was to settle into a marriage, have a few kids, and live quietly and safely for the rest of my life. How the heck could God get glory from that?

The only alternative to this fate, I reasoned, was a solitary life in the most hostile regions of North Africa, the Middle East, and India. I would make sacrifices and take risks and die a violent death before I celebrated my thirtieth birthday. If God saw fit to send a husband to accompany me in the trenches, so be it, but it didn’t seem feasible. Why form attachments that would have to be broken by an untimely death?

(I’m sure God got a big kick out of all this. Not the self-aggrandizing drama, of course. Just the well-intentioned naivete. So willing. So earnest. So totally misguided.)

So that night, in the fall of my freshman year, in a stubbly Riverside field, in the pitch-black darkness, I was reading Jeremiah by flashlight.

In case you didn’t know, Jeremiah’s alias is “the weeping prophet”; there’s a little clue into his life. And I happened to be reading a passage where God basically tells him how much his days on earth will suck, for the sake of being God’s guy. And I came to the part where God tells him that he is not to marry or take a wife in that land. And it came into my head that God was not telling, but asking, gently, that I forgo marriage for the sake of what lay ahead. And it was pressing, and real, and overwhelming. And I didn’t know how to answer.

But I searched my gut and quieted myself, and I realized that I was willing to do that. I felt that I was uniquely made to do that. I felt unutterably happy to do that. And with full knowledge that I was giving up children and companionship and legacy, I said yes, with resounding joy and many tears.

And I took it a step further.

Now, this is where a more thorough understanding of Old Testament law, wisdom, and history would have been useful, because the OT has quite a lot to say about vows. Especially rash vows. Made by young people. Specifically girls. For in that moment, I took the initiative to up the ante. Not only was I willing, more than that, I promised, solemnly swore, made a covenental vow not to marry. Ever. And then I ran home to my dorm room, got on the phone, and broke up with the guy I thought I might marry. And cried some more.

He was confused, understandably. So were my parents, who were more than a little concerned about their daughter possibly running off to unfriendly places alone. Not to mention the no-grandkids proposition. They tried to gently persuade me that I was mistaken. But I was certain. And I had sworn. I would not be moved.

The crack in my resolve appeared a month later. You see, I was a Christian Studies major, which meant that I was often the only female in a class full of highly motivated, highly marriageable preacher boys, who were in the market for a like-minded young woman. And despite my certainty about a life of celibacy, one of them was like-minded enough, and persuasive enough to make me reconsider my vow.

We started dating. And by dating, I do not mean a series of planned outings and subsequent make-out sessions. I mean staying up until three a.m. every night absorbed in intense discussions of life goals and ministry philosophy and marriage. And no kissing, because I didn’t do that. Really.

I had never wanted something as much as I wanted to marry that boy. It was consuming. It was entirely irrational and perfectly sensible at the same time. It made me stupid. My conscience was screaming NO the entire time, but I resisted my conscience until finally, it shut up.

I was going for it. I had utterly shattered my vow. And I was in denial, because in my bewildered state of mind, I believed God was giving me what I wanted.

Suffice it to say it knocked me completely off kilter when Preacher Boy called it off, one month in.

There was no consolation. I had never been more confused and hurt. Not only had I lost what I thought was the most desirable path for my life– to be that silly preacher boy’s wife– but I soon realized I had lost any intimacy I once had with God. And I didn’t know why. All I knew was that something was wrong, and I wanted it fixed. And if that meant never looking at another guy for the rest of my life, so be it.

In Texas:

Jason’s mode of dating was a bit more culturally correct than mine. It included actual dates. And make-out sessions. And break-ups.

Some of his choices when it came to girlfriends were good. Others were made out of boredom or convenience.

In December of 1998, just a few weeks before he would board a plane for Hong Kong, he decided to break up with a girl he had been dating for a short while. It went badly for her. She was hurt; he was angry with himself, and in a youth meeting on the topic of dating, he made a rash decision. Specifically, a rash vow.

The deal, he decided, was this: no dating, January 1st to December 31st of 1999. No asking girls out. No going out on dates. No making out. No breaking up.

And just for good measure, he added no haircuts. For a year.

Then he boarded a plane to Hong Kong.

And he met a giddy Christian Studies major.

Who liked guitars.

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Reality Check

Naiah (age 3) handed me the Mommy doll from the dollhouse.

Naiah: Okay, I’ll be the Naiah doll, and you be the Mommy doll, okay?

Me: Okay.

Naiah: Make the Mommy be really mean to her.

Me: Why is she mean? Is your mommy mean to you?

Naiah: Mommy. We are not dolls.

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