Thursday, January 24, 2008

About Tantrums

*Note - this is mostly just a reminder for's been a rough week.

I've been reading a book called "Raising your Spirited Child". It's wonderful and had helped me to better understand my daughter (and myself).

One of the things it's helped me change perspective on is tantrums. Hana began throwing fits at about 10 months of age, and since then she's become an expert. She gets so intense, her face gets red, she screams, lays down on the floor crying, moans. It's quite a site. Usually I'm left wondering what it is I'm supposed to do.

I could give her what it is she wants, but there is always a reason she shouldn't have it (like when the phone rings and she wants to answer it). I could get mad at her, but that isn't productive. I could ignore it, but ignoring things doesn't really make them go away.

Instead I try to understand it. The disappointment, the frustration, the inability to communicate, the sense of injustice, of misunderstanding. Those are a lot of really big things for a very young child to have to deal with. Heck, those are things that I still have trouble dealing with now and then, let alone having to deal with them all together. When she throws a fit it's not because she's "bad" or somehow wanting to ruin my day. It's because she feels a lot and just doesn't know what to do with it.

I don't want Hana to hold in her emotions. I don't want her to feel ashamed or somehow "bad" because she has a need to cry to express how she feels. I don't want her to be one of those kids (or one of those adults) who is unable to handle their emotions and so instead ignores them.

I want her to learn how to express those feeling and work through them in a healthy way. I name them for her, telling her I understand she's frustrated and confused, that it doesn't seem fair, but it really is for her safety. I hold her while she cries, or take her up to our bed and let her have her soother for a few minutes while she calms down. When she gets frustrated because of her inability in some area I help her accomplish whatever task she's set her mind to. When she wants something that is not allowed I do my best to show her other options. I want her to be able to problem solve, to express herself, to work out her emotions.

And I need to remember that. Especially while she's getting in four molars at the same time, when sleep is being interrupted, and the constant pressure and pain in her mouth cut down her tolerance level, when we're both stuck in the house too much and need some more stimulation. When it seems like the only things she wants are things she knows she's not allowed to have.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Now this is simply amazing. Enjoy!

Friday, January 18, 2008


Please read this.

Alright, I know a lot of you won't read it. It talks about how parents and caregivers who murder autistic children and adults are given lighter prison sentences compared to other murderers.

It makes me sick, makes me ashamed to be human. And at the same time I'm not entirely surprised that it's happening. We've gotten so good at dehumanizing others (through propaganda, media, racial slurs, comments about mental/physical/social functioning, war etc.) that it becomes justifiable to rid ourselves of anyone that doesn't fit our human standards.

We justify it - of course, these parents are in a tough situation, it got to them, you can't really blame them for giving into the pressure.

That's just sick.

This is something people should be outraged by. This is where laws need to change. We rally to save the unborn (even to the cost of the mother) and yet ignore the lives - lived lives, enjoyed lives, lives that may not be "normal" but are still enjoyed - that are taken away unjustly.

Please, if any of these cases have happened in your state or country, contact a local politician an express your outrage. It will only happen as long as we allow it.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


While attending Bethany I was appalled by the stats on how many (few?) grads remained in ministry 5 or 10 years after graduation. I thought, honestly, that there must have been something wrong. Maybe they didn't understand their calls. Maybe there was some sort of moral failing. Maybe they just had the wrong attitude, something.

And now, I am a Bethany grad who is no longer in ministry. Heck I'm not even a member of a church right now (tho I am still a regular attender).

I was in ministry. I was passionate about what I did. I had plans, I had a vision, I had dreams. I prayed and wept and worked and was kept up at night by a burning passion.

And now I'm not sure if I'll ever do full time church ministry again.

It puts me in an awkward position. I know my call - to serve God and draw others towards Him. I know my gifts. I know my passions, my strengths and weaknesses. And I can't see any of those things fitting together in a church.

Ministry is a hard vocation. It's hard to measure success. We talk about deep spiritual things, about bringing people one step closer to God, about the importance of authentic community. And still at the end there is a need for numbers, for measurable growth, for something tangible beyond receipts from a coffee house.

In the time since going to Bethany I've seen the harm that the church can cause in a person's life. I've heard stories and witnessed things that made me not want to identify myself as a Christian so that I would not be grouped with the people who had caused such unnecessary pain. The problem with being Christ's hands is that we are seen as such more when we hit than when we heal.

The last year or so has lead me down an interesting path. Not a crisis of faith really, my faith in God, my dependence on Him, my security through Christ has never been clearer in my mind. It's more a crisis of church, of belonging. I feel I don't fit anywhere.

Still, at the same time, in this past year I feel I have done more, learned more, and reached more than I have in years. There has been no agenda, no reports, no requirements, nothing to prove to anyone. There was no time wasted avoiding the judgment of people who know better instead of serving people who don't. There was an understanding, a surprising realization that no one really expects my perfection. That in my weakness He truly is strong.

So I'm one of "those" - the ones who for some reason just didn't cut it, didn't make it in ministry. But that doesn't mean that I am not doing the work of the Kindgom, or that I have failed in the task that God has given me.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

OB appointment

Aside from being horrendously long (2.5 hours!) things went great! Baby's heart rate was 155-160, I'm measuring right where I should be, and everything looks great. I also got my blood work done and got a ton of info to look over for the next month until my next appointment.

The best thing is that a repeat c-section wasn't even mentioned! They just need to get my surgery notes from Calgary to make sure the closure was done properly (it was) and it should be no problem for me to deliver vaginally. This is a HUGE answer to prayer - I do not want to go through surgery again, I want to labour and birth my baby. I also didn't want to have to fight in order to get what I wanted.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."

This is such a beautiful passage. So concise, so simple, so straight forward. It almost seems to simple, too easy.

There is nothing there about repentance. Nothing about works and good deeds. No stipulation on tithing or daily Bible reading. Just confession and belief, public and private.

All the rest, the changes, the actions, the lifestyle, it all comes afterward. It comes as a result of the belief, not as a prerequisite to it.

We so often get our expectations so mixed up - for ourselves, for others, for God. We expect others to act as saints when they are sinners, we expect to be able to fix ourselves to gain access to the presence of God, we expect God, at times, to do nothing.

The changes that happen in the life of a believer happen through love - God's love of us and our love towards Him. He empowers the changes, we see them through. They are not a requirement for our salvation, but evidence of it.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


How is it that life seems so busy, while at the same time I feel like I get nothing done?

The pregnancy is going well, I'm assuming. My chronic tiredness is starting to lift, but I'm still feeling pretty sick most of the time. I'm 12 weeks in and have my first OB appointment next Monday. Honestly I'm getting nervous. I know many woman have gone through healthy pregnancies without ultrasounds or hearing the baby's heartbeat. Still, I'm nervous. Such a precious little life and no way to know how it's doing. I know most likely everything is fine, but Ben's taking Monday off work to come with me to my appointment, just in case.

Hana's doing well. Well, right now she's screaming because I won't let her play with the keyboard, but other than right this moment she's a happy, energetic, curious toddler.

Alright, now that she's happy and calm again...

Otherwise in life, things are good. Ben's looking for a new job - something more stable. He's working great hours right now, but once the contract with this company is done, who knows what he could be doing. That's the problem with placement agencies. We're hoping the job search doesn't take long.

Things with the house are good. We still need to paint and such, but are waiting until Spring. I can't wait to be able to have our patio doors open all day and have the fresh air come in!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Friday, January 04, 2008

14 months

My baby is 14 months old.

She loves to sing, dance, chase the cat, read books, snuggle and play with her blocks. She's learning how to communicate. Right now she knows 5 signs and 7 words. When you ask her to say dog, she says "woof woof".

She's almost walking. She stands for a few seconds at a time before she sits down (sits, not falls) and she is learning to climb up and down stairs. She's going to be in a toddler bed in the very near future.

While we were home over Christmas I found my old baby doll. It still smells like baby powder like it did in all of my memories. When Hana saw it, she said "maymay!" and that's been it's name since. Every time she sees it she reaches for maymay and gives her a hug. It's more precious than I can express.

She doesn't look so much like a baby anymore, but there are still times when all she wants is her soother and to snuggle up in mama or daddy's arms. She's growing so fast, those moments are a precious reminder that she is still my baby.