Friday, August 31, 2012

Summer Haze 2012 - My Reading List

Since Law & Order, Parenthood and the Mentalist don't air new episodes during the summer :), I've been getting a lot more reading done!!! I guess that's a good thing (though I am ready for a good crime drama plot!).

Here are a few highlights....

When it comes to fiction, very little comes close to a Lisa Samson novel. She and her husband are working towards justice in suburban North America (and have co-written a book on the topic). Her most recent book, The Passion of Mary Margaret, is so breath-takingly fabulous. I read it earlier this spring (does that count as pre-summer reading :P?). I re-read this book (something I very seldom do) upon the recommendation of my sister because of work that the LORD is stirring in my heart.
Quaker Summer

This summer I longed to read books by people who had (or were) walking the journey of raising children who had (what some would consider) disabilities. While I longed for inspiration (which I got a healthy dose of in the following two books) I was also looking for someone to honestly comment on how frustrating and isolating the experience can be. These books did not provide that.

However, they were a great read, and I often sat turning page after page (somehow, almost always after the kids were in bed, waaaay too late into the night!) with tears streaming down my face. This was really speaking to me in a way I hadn't imagined. If you read them, and have not wrestled with the whole child-with-disabilities thing, it might come across as slightly romanticized. As though living with children with disabilities is all about daily miracles and nostalgia. It is not. It can be heart-aching and a lot of work. But it is WORTH it! Did you know that many many children that have detected "disabilities" are aborted before they are born!? WHY!? So that we are not "inconvenienced"? So that our life doesn't have to be "interrupted"? with additional responsibility?? less "predictable" and "safe"??? What these books did beautifully is contend for life regardless of the challenge. 

Eagle Doctor
Expecting Adam

I also thumbed through a book talking about the more technical side of developmental issues. I am not finished it yet, and I only intended to read snippets - but it's surprisingly good, and I find I am reading most, if not all, of every chapter. She's a very sensitive author and has a lot of good insight to share.
Different Learners

Oh my goodness!!! If you've ever delivered a baby, wrestled with cultural concepts of whether or not to do this at home - to midwife or not to midwife, to deliver at home (comfort, natural) vs. hospitals and doctors, this is a beautiful story. There are some circumstances that some readers might have issues with - marital violence (and the choice to abort a baby in an aging, abused mother), infant death, and some extra-marital sexual relationships. However, these portions of the stories are well-written, and contribute to the overall understanding of the time period in which they were written.
The Birth House

Here again, another tear-jerker. I have thought about heaven from time to time, but not like this!! If you're interested, there is also a youtube video of an interview with this family.
Heaven Is For Real
What it means to life a Christ-like life, in a culture saturated with much-ness and with a pervasive sense of entitlement, is something I've been reflecting on for a long while. I am needing some input and guidance into my thought processes. It's a work in progress, meaning I read it sometimes during my morning quiet time. This one would really really benefit from having a discussion group - not just to discuss, but to walk it out, together, with accountability and camaraderie!!
180 Degree Christian

As you can probably tell, my blog reading (and writing) really slows down during the summer. I do follow a few blogs regularly, but here are two that I will highlight for now :): - a friend of mine is literally in the process of building her own home. Under the guidance of a professional builder, she and her husband are sawing, hammering, measuring and constructing. Here's their adventure! - as K transitions into kindergarten, we will be starting her off part time. Presently, our school runs kindergarten full days, every other day. On her full days at home, I will be spending intentional time with her, working on the basics. On her half days at home, we will spend more time reading in the afternoon. This is a website I've spent hours scouring, and it is a good one!!

What good reads have been sitting on your bookshelf these days :)?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Learning how to share, even after 13 years....

Earlier in July, we decided to replace our computer rather than try to piece together the old one. It was so exciting receiving that package TWO WHOLE DAYS earlier than anticipated, and we've spent a lot of time (sometimes too much time???) trying to restore data (some precious pictures are lost, however. I am sad!!), work out the kinks, and learn the programs that are new(er) to us.

And, we've had to practice sharing :).

On July 24, Jon & I celebrated 13 years of married life.
Seriously, where has the time gone :)?
You mean to say I'm not still in my early twenties (twenty one to be exact, when this picture was taken!!!)???
I don't think we've aged a bit, do you :)?

Several years ago, when M was first entering into that "I don't wanna share" stage, her & I were discussing the "rules" for sharing - "sharables" are things we leave out when other friends come out to play (most of the toys); "breakables" are precious items (baby blankie, special dolly, etc.) that we don't need to share yet. It was a system that diffused some of the stress around sharing and seemed to work well for us. As we talked I explained to my wide-eyed three-year-old.... guess what baby, even GROWNUPS have to learn how to share!! Really??? She wondered. Oh yes, honey. It's a skill you get to practice for your whole entire life!!

We've had thirteen years of practice. Some of it has come easy(-ier :P), some of it has come with a lot of hard work. And it's one thing learning how to share your possessions, your interests, your space, your bathroom :). It's another thing to learn how to share your dreams and your heart, your passions, expectations (realistic or not, voiced is better than guessing!). We've had to practice sharing respectfully, diligently and what NOT to share (ummmm, it's my opinion that not ALL opinions need to be spoken :)!!).

This summer, we got to practice sharing our new computer :)!
All in all, I think it went well, all things considered :P.

PS - I wanted to share an updated picture of us, but unfortunately those are RARE indeed!!! I went to find our previous family picture, but alas, it was lost when our computer crashed. Sigh.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Summer Haze 2012

It feels like it's been a while since I visited this page.

These prairie-humid days have been filled with sprinklers, camp outs, fire sides, Mr. Freeze, chai tea slushies (still working out the kinks on that recipe!!), and bike rides (learning to zoom through life on two wheels or four wheels :P).
Sharing laughs, a backyard swimming pool, afternoon visits and the town fair with friends.
A trip to the Manitoba Museum, tons of picnics and even the occasional, sweet nap for mama!!

These summer days are not all fun and games :). Sometimes it feels like the walls are closing in around us, and a bit of space and privacy wouldn't be a bad thing :).... housework must be worked in between family outings. Going camping means days of prep work and days of clean-up. We negotiate, complain and even argue :P.

And some how, the time whizzes right by.
And now we're into August.
The time of harvest, cooler nights and a few quieter moments.

It feels good to be back :).

What has your summer haze been like :)?


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