Monthly Archives: October 2005

Tomorrows plans

This is when the big event begins – finally.  Tomorrow Grace goes to the hospital to be induced.  From there I guess we will wait and see what developes.  A c-section may be needed.  She is a bit scared. 

Keep her in your prayers. 

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Happy Halloween!

Dixie posts about getting ready for Haloween with her kids.  I have some good memories of costumes too.  Most involve other people wearing them.  My self consciousness always made me feel a bit stupid dressing up.

We had the most fun ever at Haloween when we lived in the Congo.  That is until some pious missionary family came out in the late 80’s and informed us that we were indeed wicked for our antics.  Then we all felt a bit guilty so the fun was greatly diminished.  Phooey on them anyway.  I wouldn’t let them get away with that these days.  I’d whip out the article Randall quoted and shove it under their noses – and laugh.  Then I would really have to think up a good costume to make my point I suppose.  Not likely I would actually go through with it but …

Some of the best costumes my kids came up with:
        – There was the year Rachelle went as a hut.  She had a small version of a thatched roof made for her and walked around under that all night inside her cardboard walls.  She won the costume prise that year.
       _ One of the boys and two friends went as an accident case.  They borrowed a stretcher.  One was the wounded, the others the stretcher bearers.  I think the wounded one that got the free ride was the smartest of the three.

Then there was the year Leo was the beauty queen – Miss Karawa.  Some well meaning group had sent out an ample one piece bathing suit.  One can not be too thankful for the well chosen gifts sent out to the mission field.  It was a beautiful royal blue.  My did he look good!!  I wish I could find the pictures.


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More lessons from Holy Listening

In her book Holy Listening  Margaret Guenther states in the chapter Women and Spiritual Direction:
          “…there are distinctly feminine patterns of sinfulness, and pride is not their besetting sin, even though many readily accuse themselves of it… Women’s pattern of sinning are different from men’s, and although embracing the role of victim is a way of remaining “sinless,” this very willingness to let oneself be hurt or even destroyed is a striking example of an essentially sinful way of being.
          Far from being pride, women’s distinctive sin is self-contempt.” (p.128)

She goes on to describe how women often centre self contempt on their bodies and how this can manifest itself in eating disorders.  She also says:
           “More important still, women’s self-contempt manifests itself as an unwillingness to grow and take the risks that growth demands.”  This may manifest in being overwhelmed by responsibility and a neglect of themselves, thus avoiding inner growth.

She identifies “tentativeness” as another manifestation of self contempt.  Women may not feel they can use decisive language or express anger, denying herself in a kind of unhealthy passivity that can reveal itself in addictions or consumerism.  Consumerism is a particularly insidious manifestation “since it is culturally reinforced and stimulated.”  I guess this is a way in which our senses are lulled so that we do not have to make any of the mature decisions we should be making.  Feeling depressed – go buy something and make yourself feel better.  

          “It is important not to minimize the sin of self-hatred and self-contempt.  It is a sin, for at its heart is a denial of God’s love and the goodness of God’s creation.  Pride plays a part after all, for the woman discounts herself as part of creation and assumes that the rules of divine love do not apply to her.  That love is there for everyone else, but not for her.
           Like all sin this cannot be private, hurting the sinner alone; instead its ramifications touch others, in the woman’s immediate circle and beyond.  There is the waste of gifts that have not been used, frequently not even acknowledged, coupled with the inability to receive the gifts of others.  Self-contempt is a loveless field that offers prime growing conditions to other sins, among them false humility, envy, manipulativeness, and sloth.” (p.130)

I think one of the reason that the chapter spoke to me is that it clearly identified an area that I have trouble in.  When I am stressed, I begin to listen to the voices inside me that tell me I am not good enough; I am not the kind of person that anyone would want to have as a friend.  Identifying this attitude as sin has let me deal with it, confess it and turn it over to God.  I realize I may have to repeat my confession of my self-contempt many times in the future but identifying this as sin in my life seems to help.  It helps me shut down the self-depreciating voices within me and listen to God who tells me of my value as his child and creation – just as he has made me.

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Still, we are…

Waiting.  I told her she could have it anytime now since I am off work for the next few days.  She never did listen!


Actually she is a bit mad at me right now I think – I am pretty sure. 

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Blue meets Maisy – Oh No!

This weekend was so good for me.  I had an extra day and a half off work and I was getting close to exhaustion.  Today I feel ready to face life again.

Just one thing.  Kieran’s Blue (as in a stuffed dog) lost part of his nose this morning.  We have a real live dog Maisy, you see.  She is still young and thinks most everything is one of her chew toys.  So this morning as I was upstairs getting ready to leave with Kieran for daycare, Maisy found Blue.  I spent about 11/2 hours looking in the stores for a replacement with no luck.  Tonioght I will have to tell Kieran’s daddy that I was a negligent grandmother.  Hopefully we will find another – but there are no ones like it in PA – as far as I can tell. 

And we are still waiting.  Grace is still carrying around her little basketball of a belly.  We are 3 days past due date and holding.  Dr’s appt this am may give her some news.  But we all know this boy of hers will eventually make his grand entrance. 

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We are waiting for several events around our house.  Grace is most of all impatiently waiting for her baby who was due on Friday.  It is not too surprising that it is going over her due date.  I wonder what the percentage of past due date first babies are?  I think it is pretty high.  I gave reassured her that it will however not forget to come forth and that there is no worry – she will not somehow sleep through it.  She was saying she was having some contractions last night and was afraid to fall asleep.

We are also right now waiting for Sara.  We are waiting to go to Superstore to do some shopping for things she “needs”.   I reminded her it has better be for things she needs.  She had to shower, straighten her hair, get dressed, and whatever else it has been taking her what seems like hours to do.  Grace and I got dressed.  we are after all just going to Superstore!

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Holy Listening by Margaret Geunther

I recently finished reading Holy Listening by Margaret Guenther.  I found this through a reference to it in another book I read recently Sacred Companions by David Benner.    I guess I was drawn to read more about the way God changes us through our relationships; specifically the kind of friendships where we work at growing deeper in faith in Christ together.  I have found this kind of friendship, a spiritual companionship, to be one of the greatest stimuli for spiritual growth in my own life.  It is a blessing to be involved in helping others grow spiritually and to be nurtured in kind by my friends. 

Margaret Guenther taught me many things as I read her book.  The book talks about the art of spiritual direction and I wonder if perhaps God is leading me in this direction.  We will see where he takes me.  I think there are aspects of spiritual direction of which I have been privileged to be a part.  Listening is something I am comfortable with although I believe that anyone who gives spiritual direction has to be fairly healthy in the spiritual sense.  I know God has things to work on in me.

One of the things that I found refreshing was the way Guenther was so comfortable with her femininity.  In one section she encourages women to read the gospels “with a woman’s eye” and to be comfortable “with feminine imagery for God in prayer.”

I found myself realizing that even though my own father has always been loving and approachable, it is still the memories of my mother’s unfailing love that probably portray best the unfailing and utterly dependable love of God.  In my mother’s example of love, there is that sense that no matter what I did, she would still love me.  It was to my mother that I went for comfort when hurt.  It was to her that I turned first for her motherly wisdom. 

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