Titus 2:3-5

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving

We are almost finished our Thanksgiving preparations.

Pumpkin Cheescake was made yesterday. I added a new dimension this year by using homemade ginger cookies for the cookie base instead of graham crackers.

The whole house has been cleaned.

The dinning table has been polished and redecorated for the Thanksgiving feast.

The turkey is prepared with a spice rub and sitting at the bottom of the 'fridge, waiting for my darling husband to deep fry it tomorrow.

Pecan pie is about to go in the oven.

Vegetables are in the 'fridge, chopped etc ready to cook tomorrow.

Even my heart has had an overhaul this morning.

I wasn't very thankful when I first woke up this morning. Our sweet little baby boy had me up four times during the night. Each time was just for a minute or so, but disturbed sleep is disturbed sleep. Then he heard his daddy in the shower at 4:30am. Knowing daddy was up gave Aiden the impression that it was time for him to be up too.(He had gone down to sleep before 6pm last night.) So as Rob left for work at 4:45am this morning I was left to get up with Aiden.

I dragged myself out of bed, muttering to myself about what a ridiculously early time this was to be up. It wasn't even 5am yet. Meanwhile Aiden went from crying to smiling as soon as he realised I had come to his cradle to get him up for the day. I continued complaining to myself all the way down the stairs, while my happy early bird son smiled at me and babbled and giggled and smiled some more. Then as I switched on the kitchen lights, with my son still safely in my arms, I stopped and just looked into his innocent eyes. They were beaming with joy and energy for the new day. I realised that I am so, so blessed to be the mamma of such a wonderful, contented, joyful little boy. I am so blessed to be forced out of my bed before I am ready to care for this young life. I am blessed that I even have a nice comfortable bed to get out of.

I don't know why the Lord didn't make me a morning person like everyone else in my family (both the family I came from and the new one I am in,) but just because I take a while to truly wake up after my feet hit the floor doesn't mean I have permission to be grumpy about it. Thanksgiving isn't just a day. Thanksgiving should be a way of life.

Have a wonderful, thankful day tomorrow.

Feminism

I just read this wonderful post over at Domestic Felicity

Anna is answering questions about feminism, and I don't think I could have answered any more articulately than she did.

Enjoy

Friday, November 19, 2010

Resident Aliens

Last week I received approval the have the 2 year conditional status of my residency removed. This is because I received my immigrant status through marriage, and had been married less than two years when my residency started. As part of the application process to remove the conditions to my residency we had to prove that we still had a genuine marriage. I think our son's birth certificate said it all.

I was surprised that my application was processed so quickly. Removal of Conditions applications are one of the lowest priorities for processing. Many people wait over a year to have their conditions removed. After our initial immigration application (while having to live in different countries) took a year to complete with high priority (only below naturalisation and dependent children under 21) I was expecting the removal of my conditions to take at least as long. Instead it took less than four months from posting our application to receiving my green card, which arrived in the mail today.

I am now officially a immigrant resident, otherwise known as a legal alien resident. The surprising good news about my immigrant status has caused me to pause and reflect about what it means to be an alien in a foreign land. As a christian I am an alien in this world, just passing through on my way to eternity. As a foreigner and alien in the land in which I live there are plenty of areas in my life that show my alien status.

My darling husband gets great amounts of amusement out of one of the most obvious differences. Although we appear to speak the same language (English) in truth neither of us speak proper English. My beloved speaks American English (along with everyone around me) and I speak mostly Scots, with some British English thrown in for good measure. I use words like creche instead of nursery (which to native ears sounds like crash) and car park instead of parking lot. One of my friends loves how I use the word post instead of mail. Rob can always tell when I'm talking to my family on the telephone because then I use Scots words instead of English ones.

But it isn't just the words that make the difference. Its the figures of speech, the songs I sing to Aiden and the small unimportant traditions I bring with me that for me are second nature, but for those around me are strange and meaningless. Who knew there is an actual difference between porridge and oatmeal. I found out the first time I served porridge to Rob. He didn't know Thomas is a Tank Engine and not just a Train. The Mr Men, Roald Dahl, The Famous Five, Ali Bali, Wee Willie Winkie and Bagpuss never had a part of Rob's childhood. My frames of reference for raising our son are so different to Rob's.

These differences are also a reflection of how as a believer my frames of reference should be different to the world. As a foreigner I get to choose how much I immerse myself in this new land. Do I blindly and completely immerse myself in everything? Do I cling to the ways of the old country no matter what? Or do I choose carefully and wisely what I keep and what I adopt from the new? There has to be some adaption, especially in my language, otherwise I would never be understood by those around me.

I have to live in this world, but how much it changes me is my choice. It isn't easy being a foreigner and always being a little bit different from everyone around me. Neither is it always easy being a christian in a world that no longer accepts absolutes. I want to be relevant to those around me, to be understandable, that I may share the good news of the gospel with them, and by example lead them towards the Lord. Yet I don't want to be so alike that they don't see any point or need to change and seek after God.

Just as I want to find a balance between the Scot and the American I also want to find the balance between the world and holiness. Are either of these going to be easy? I don't expect so. Will it be worth the extra effort? Most definitely yes.

I am a foreigner in a foreign land, it is only by the grace of God I navigate my way through.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The miracle of good naps


Ever since Aiden came home from the hospital a little over five months ago we have struggled to get him into a good nap routine during the day. He is a champion sleeper at night. Within the first two months he had developed the routine of sleeping ten plus hours at night. When he first started extending his night sleeping I was a little worried that he was going too long between feeds. I needed to nurse him at night more frequently than he awoke to feed. We both adjusted and I was surprised at how well he slept at night with no effort on my part.

Being just like his dad Aiden knew that when it is dark outside it is time to sleep, and to stay asleep until it gets light again. Right now he wants to go down for the night by 6pm. With the long dark nights upon us he will happily sleep for between eleven and twelve hours during the night. Yet daytime naps continued to be a struggle.

No matter how tired he got, Aiden just would not stay asleep during daylight hours. Every day was another battle to get him to nap for more than fifteen or twenty minutes. I always lost. He would take four naps but together they would add up to little more than an hour of sleep.

Then at the beginning of last week it changed. Rob and I had been doing some spiritual spring cleaning. We decided not only to unplug the cable (which we had only connected for the teenagers who stayed with us last school year) but we also removed it altogether. Along with the TV went to home theater system that had survived from Rob's bachelor days. His extensive DVD movie collection went too. We removed the world from our home and it resulted in a miracle.

We are now half way through our second week of the miracle of good naps. Our little boy now has a one hour nap after breakfast then a two hour nap before lunch. Later in the afternoon he will have another one hour nap. That's four hours of daytime naps. And he still sleeps all night long.

Finally I can get caught up on chores. Finally I can once again feel organised. Once again my darling husband can come home to dinner on the table and other delights like freshly made cookies. My son is happy. My husband is happy. I feel so blessed.

I am at peace now that I have order again. I am calm now that the distractions are gone. We are more together as a couple and as a family. I am reinvigorated with an energy I haven't felt in a long time.

The Lord is so good to us. He is patient and merciful. He was willing to wait for us. Then once we were ready to do whatever He required, He met us and transformed us.

Rob and I have agreed that from this point on we have to be a lot more careful about what we allow in our home. We have a responsibility to protect our son (and any other children if the Lord so blesses us) and guard his heart until he is old enough to guard it himself.

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Baby Mordecai

Our blessed first baby, Mordecai, gone to heaven on July 23, 2009 at 13 weeks gestation.

You will never be forgotten by us.