Posts

Time to Leave the Comfort Zone - Sukkot Meditation - Part 1

Image
Our family has been celebrating Sukkot*, and other biblical fast and feast days, since my oldest was 3. That makes this year the 17th year that we have celebrated this feast. When I remembered this morning that Sukkot was about start, I did not feel the joy and excitement of my younger children, who ask me all year, “When is Sukkot?” The first thing I thought about was the discomfort of eating and sleeping outside in a booth. “I don’t want to be uncomfortable.” I thought to myself. A moment after that I realized, “That’s the point. That’s the whole point of Sukkot. It’s not supposed to be comfortable. It’s supposed to be happy and joyful. But it’s not meant to be comfortable.” Every so often something will happen that reminds me that our home is not actually ours. We have lived here a long time, but we are just tenants. Our landlord is the one who has the final authority. This week he cut down trees, most of which needed trimming, but some seemed to be trimmed too harshly. I loved

Show Your Work

Image
I am thankful for makeup tutorial videos. They show me that with a little every day wizardry, and some choice products, I too could look luminous. They show me that no one wakes up looking that way. If I wanted it enough, I could invest time and money, and practice until I was good at making my face look flawless every day, or, at least, enhanced. I love it when people show their process and let you in behind the curtain, so you can see how much work went into them getting to where they are. Donald Miller , in a webinar I watched last year, estimated that he rewrote Blue Like Jazz 72 times! He goes to bed early, gets up every morning at the same time, and spends 2-3 hours at his desk before he does anything else, including coffee! Jennifer Fulwiler once shared the spreadsheet she used to track laughs per joke when she was starting out as a comedian and trying new material. Her success isn’t magic, it’s the result of hard work, practice, and time invested. For me this is really freeing

Episode 1 - You Can't Give From an Empty Tank!

Image
If you’ve ever been responsible for the care of small children, you know how important it is to stay ahead of what those children might need. You probably learned the day goes better if your children are well rested, well fed, have a chance to run around and play, and don’t spend too much time on screens. You don’t expect them to behave well when they are tired, hungry, or restless.   (If you don’t already know that, bonus tip, try it. If you anticipate your child’s needs and meet them quickly, you will all be happier for it.)   But here’s the thing. When was the last time you did this for yourself? Often we grind through our days without proper rest, or nutrition, or exercise, and then get down on ourselves for not being the person we expect ourselves to be. You don’t expect your child, or maybe even anyone else, to do well when their needs aren’t being met, but often we forget to give ourselves the same gift. Or we don’t even believe it’s possible.   Maybe right now you are rolling y

Everyday Courage

Image
At the fruit stand across the highway from my turn off I see an old man sweeping every day, sweeping, until the lot is clean. Every day the trees litter, the leaves blow back across, and he sweeps it clean once again. His once tall back is curved now, in a never-ending stoop, and his white head bobs in rhythm with his arm.  I wonder how many days he has done this, restored order to his corner of the world, fought back the chaos and encroaching entropy with his broom. How much courage does it take to wrest order from chaos, day after day, never letting it win? We come home, after a week away. I see signs of how much we fight against chaos, day by day in all the places that it has taken over in just one week. The balcony is piled high with fallen leaves the drainpipes clogged with them and the mud backed up behind. Bat guano litters the sidewalks. I’m ankle deep in fallen tamarind leaves outside the kitchen door. In the kid’s bathroom the ants have moved in, excavated the foundations aro

Thoughts from the Sukkah

Image
  Scenes from our Sukkah It's the time of year when those with an eye to keeping ancient feast days are finding a way to live outside for a week, in remembrance of the time when God dwelt with his people in the wilderness. Usually, when our family does this we go through an oral retelling of the times God has lived with his people. In the beginning He would walk with Adam in the cool of the day. Until the serpent talked Eve into eating the fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and she gave it to Adam. The next time God came out for a walk with Adam he, newly aware of his own nakedness, inadequacy, and vulnerability, was too ashamed to meet God and walk with him. He hid. And the future of all mankind was changed. We were doomed to know, and be intimately acquainted with, our own weakness and shame, and our capacity for evil. We knew things and we were not brave enough to walk with God. Not most of us, anyway. The next time God dwelt with his people it was after leading them

My Children Have Always Been Third Culture Kids, and That's a Good Thing

Image
When you live overseas with children a conversation you might often have is about raising third culture kids, or TCKs. TCK is a term coined to describe people who grow up outside of the culture of their passport country, but also outside of the culture of the places they grow up in because as an expat you are never fully part of the local culture. These kids are third culture then, a culture that is unique to them and their experiences living overseas as expats in different cultures. There are many positive things to be said about the TCK experience, ease with transitions, comfort learning about other cultures, lots of interesting life experiences, capacity with other languages, travel, etc. There are also negative things about the TCK experience. The grief of saying goodbye to people over and over again, as the expat life is transient and people rarely stay a long time. The grief of leaving friends from your host country when you return to your passport country. The grief of mis

The End of an Era

Image
It was February 2001 when I became pregnant for the first time. That baby is now 17 years old, and probably leaving home in less than a year. Since that day in February when I first conceived I have been either breastfeeding , or pregnant, without any pauses, for 18 years. The last picture I ever took of me breastfeeding. I was always pregnant with another by the time I weaned the child who was nursing. It's not like I planned it that way. It just sort of happened. I was committed to extended breastfeeding, and I just kept getting pregnant before I'd had time to wean the previous child. So the new baby became the catalyst to wean the older sibling. All that to say, I'm done! A month ago my youngest, just before turning 3, stopped nursing to sleep, and I am no longer lactating. My body is no longer nourishing an extra person, for the first time in 18 years! Yes, I'm repeating myself. I'm not sure you get the significance of it. My breasts are

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Support the Blue Family's Work in Thailand

I'm always on Instagram