Monthly Archives: June 2003

In Between Day

Today was sort of an in between day at work. In between the weekend and Canada Day and our office was running in slow gear. I guess it is easy to forget a dental appointment when the weather is nice and the lakes beckon. I would rather have been at the lake today too. It is easier to work well when things are running pretty tight. Then it seems that things keep moving on schedule and the day goes by fast. It seems that we all shift into sleepy mode when we have a big gaps in our schedule.

This week our summer student starts and our Hockey player wife dentist starts her summer locums the next week. Vacation is not too far away but my partner gets his turn first.

Tonight at supper we had to have a “little talk” with one of our kids. Christian the drummer, wanna be independent looking after himself guy, needed a little parental reminder that growing up and becoming independent does not mean that you get to do what you want to do without regard to the other people who live in your household. Otherwise, shouldn’t we parents get to do that too. After all, if life isn’t fair for us adults who get to do “everything we want to do”, it would hardly be right if it were fair for the kids! So we had the great setting of the curfew talk and reminded him that he had been pretty rude to all of us over the last few days and that if he didn’t want us to ground him(as he is quite aware we would have done if his sister had been the tardy one) he’d better use his great maturity to start letting us know his plans and keeping curfew.

And you know – a kid that, on his own initiative (because he didn’t spend the night at home) comes on time for worship practice(chalk one up for maturity) on Sunday morning smelling like he spent the night in a brewery (take off two points for stupidity) would be smarter not sitting so close to his mother in that condition. Mothers so provoked are highly likely to give out a lecture on the evils of drink! Actually I thought I did quite well to restrain myself till tonight. I’m getting wiser in my old age having made enough mistakes to learn from some of them.

Rudy in his urbanonramps blog is talking about how he is going to be “father” to a whole bunch of kids at Harambee. There is probably no greater or more difficult task. And it is so hard to do that in such a way as to pass on the faith. So I would pray for him that he will be filled with an amazing amount of love so that in spite of his mistakes(and every parent makes lots of those) the kids will see the love of The Father shining through him.

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Early Rising

Leo and I both tend to automatically wake up early – bad habits are hard to break. We are getting to be more “mature” adults – in other words we both have a lot of grey hairs. After 33 years together sex isn’t the only intimate thing we do in bed. This morning we began to reminisce about our life together and how God shaped us both. It is a wonderful way to spend an early Saturday morning. We have learned a lot from each other. And from God. And God seems to be pushing us to go a bit deeper with him all the time and it looks like this might be one of those pushes. We are sort of exploring how God might use us to share our faith with those who will never feel comfortable going to a church building, at first at least. How we don’t know, so we are talking and exploring. I want to see how the worship freehouse works so I’m planning on going to this event.

Then I go to a parent meeting for youth group and find myself being just the kind of parent I don’t want to be – the kind that puts their foot in their mouth – reacts first before thinking. Boy, God sure has lots of work to do on me yet. I always feel so drained when I know I’ve been a bit of a fool. I always wish I could hit the rewind button of life so many times.

Now we are off to Saskatoon; pick up a keyboard, meet with a lawyer about some immigration stuff and take part in Leo’s 30 year medical school class reunion. My classmates will be there too since we were in the same year and most of my calssmates still practice dentistry in Saskatoon.

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The Wisdom Tooth

Its been a day! Up by 6:00, to work around 7:30. Most of my morning was spent working on a 3 rooted lower wisdom tooth. The guy(who owned the tooth till I wrested it from him) was big enough to do little old me some serious damage. Oh the power of being a woman with tools! Makes men just do as they’re told!

One of the skills I picked up on the Congo was the ability to deal with most surgical extractions and stuff like that. In this province a patient needing to see one of the oral surgeons can face a wait of up to 6 months. Sometimes the wait is too long and I get talked into helping someone out of their misery or my partner will ask me ” Do you want to give it a try?” and how can I turn down a challenge? Some days like today my hands get quite a workout.

I made it home tonight in time to eat and run up to Sara’s soccer game. They beat Lakewood from Saskatoon but all the goals happened after I had to leave the game to go to the church executive board meeting. Leo is the chair and just arrived back from Saskatoon in time for the meeting. I guess we accomplished what we had to but I’m getting tired of meetings. Leo is watching some movie about a crooked cop now with Patrick and a friend and Christian is downstairs watching another movie with his friend. I have about had enough of this day and am ready to hit the sack. Good night!

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Meritas

Last night we enjoyed an evening in French. It was our youngest child’s “Meritas” or in other words “Awards ceremony” and last day of school except for picking up report cards. Next year she has chosen to attend St Mary High School with our other children. I am sorry to see this phase of her life come to an end but she really wants to move on to a larger school.

This last year Sara had the experience of being the president of her student body. So last night she had to give the speech to welcome everyone to the Meritas. She decided that since she was the president that it was legitimate to have a speech writer so like a true president she delegated the task to her secretary. It turned out to be a good speech. Sara has a very nice French accent so it was a joy to hear her talk. I hope she keeps this fluency as she heads out into the English speaking world.

The evening was also the retirement event for one of the long time teachers at Ecole Valois. Mme Marchildon gave a lot of herself in the establishing of Prince Albert’s Francophone school. Patrick was asked to give one of the appreciation speeches. Mme Marchildon was one of his mentors giving many extra hours to helping him adjust to life as a student in Canada. It was a fitting speech – oh that boy could be a politician or a lawyer. He doesn’t like being called a boy anymore though.

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Racism and prejudice

Racism and prejudice against “other” people seems to be such a universal evil. I read with sadness Randall’s story about a mutual friend and wish I could somehow do more for her. Why can’t we provide her with a safe place after all she has already gone through. Why can’t our government make immigration for her other daughter and husband less formidable and shrouded in red tape. Why, why , why… Life is too incredibly unfair for some people.

Linking to the BBC to see how things are going in the Congo, I come upon this story and it reminds me of other horrors told just too recently about the same area around Bunia. My heart cries for the innocent victims who have to raise their children in such turmoil.

On Hearing of the Atrocities in Bunia and Seeing the World’s Complacency

I Cannot Comprehend

It is impossible to comprehend
The weight of these atrocities
On my heart and mind.
I cannot, I cannot comprehend
The difference, the value lost
From being small and black.
These are my people
Does no one care?

How can one become so crazed
As to crush a babies skull?
In wanton luxury
Of all that is evil
Kill innocence?

Is the life of a small black child
So dispensable as not to
Matter at all
In the eyes of the economies
Of our world?

What value do we put on restraint
When those we are watching
Are mad crazed for blood,
Schooled and incited
To butchery?

It is impossible to comprehend!
The weight of these atrocities
Eats at my heart and mind.
I cannot, I cannot comprehend.
My anger ferments into rage
As governments procrastinate.
Their pain too shallow,
The child is not their own.

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Comments on cultures

Comments on cultures
There is some discussion going on about First Nations people. See Leighton Tebay and Mark’s blogs.

The early church had to deal with some very prejudicial attitudes and God spoke fairly directly as to how we are to treat each other. I think that racism exists among Christians at about the same rate as it does in the general population. This is inexcusable isn’t it? If we are equal before God, who are we to take whole groups and treat them as if they are inferior just because our forefathers treatment of them set them up for horrible social consequences. Oh sure, not all of our forefathers meant to be racist, they were just like all the other people around them. Maybe it is time we Christians began to take some responsibility for those past actions not in a way that the problems are compounded but in some constructive ways.

My problem is that I am not sure of what to do. I personally can treat First Nations people as I would like to be treated and I can listen to the First Nations people I know and work with. I can speak up where I can when I see and hear abuse – but sometimes I’m not very brave. When I get angry enough I will speak up but I am not always at my most articulate then. I would love to have some more interchange of ideas with First Nations people but that is not always easy – to have an honest exchange of ideas. And it will I know require a lot of humility on our part because we are categorized as part of the power structure that abuses.

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Look at all those children!

This morning my Psalm reading included two that have to do with a “problem” that is a constant recurring theme of my life – my children. Well at least 80% of my challenges in life come from the fact that I have so many children. And God says:

Children are a gift from the Lord
they are a reward from him. …
How happy is the man whose quiver is full of them!… Psalm 127: parts of 3,4,5

And look at all those children!
There they sit around your table
as vigorous and healthy as young olive trees.
This is the Lords reward
For those who fear him. Psalm 128:3b to 6

Do you sometimes feel that God is blessing you or maybe just has a good sense of humor as your children sit around your table eating every last morsel and then coming back to raid the fridge in an hour?

I guess we have chosen to fill our quiver but sometimes the arrows fight with each other and they certainly are a challenge to feed – not just with food but with the right emotional support. They seem to empty the emotional fridge as quickly as the electrical one. Restocking the emotional one is a lot more fun though as they return with a few hugs and as you watch them have a good time together – their quarrels put aside for awhile.

Today we have all the challenges of work for four of us, end of classes for another, and getting together the grandparents for an evening of celebration for our daughter who finished her GED. After there are soccer and worship practices. And I get to be the mom – the great disorganized organizer who tries to keep it all together. But I expect a few hugs at the end so it will be OK.

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