All the Hatred

June 5, 2017

Well, I’m at the point in pregnancy where I hate everything and everyone. It’s a good look. Five more weeks of my stellar attitude before the postpartum tears kick in!

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of things I hate right now:

I hate trying to heave this painful belly from side to side in bed. I hate not being able to sleep on my back. I hate my swollen fingers, feet and face. I hate my very limited clothing options — I only have so many shirts in size “whale.” I hate the kind and well-meaning comments I get asking when my due date is and how have I not had that baby yet?! Or the comment I received yesterday from an older gentleman who asked, “Is that one baby in there or two?” When I responded “one,” he said “whoa!” and gave me a disapproving/disappointed/incredulous look. So that was encouraging. I hate that I have no appetite and nothing ever sounds good, but I still manage to eat bags of Chicago Mix popcorn (the Costco-sized bags) and gain 48 pounds a week. I hate that I’m always hot. I hate that I’m never comfortable. I hate that putting up a picture in the baby’s nursery gets me out of breath. I hate the waddling. Hate it.

I’m the one on the right.

I could go on. But, guys, I really like to avoid negativity.

As you can tell, I’m a treat for Andrew to be around lately. Poor guy. Yesterday we ate leftover salad out of a bowl for supper. Because nothing sounds good, so I can’t think of anything to cook and poor me! Also, poor Andrew who often offers to cook, but as previously mentioned, nothing sounds good.

Theo seems to be doing fine, though. He spends his time wearing flip flops or rubber boots and “helping” Andrew with the yard work.

He also likes to suddenly be up every hour in the night and completely wide awake around 4 a.m. Who knew there was an 18-month sleep regression? Not I, said the cranky 35-weeks pregnant lady. Last middle-of-the-night, I got up with him and thought he might be hungry, so I gave him a cracker, which he should scarf down in .2 seconds. Instead he licked at it for three years while smiling up at me with very awake eyes. Not cute. (But also, very cute.)

Who can stay annoyed with him?

Overall, I’m actually fine, guys. Calm down with the drama. This has really been a much better pregnancy than my last one, and it went quite quickly. I feel more prepared for postpartum life than last time, and adequately prepared/terrified for labor. The baby is growing well, and he finally moved to a head-down position, so overall, I am very grateful! (And also, crabby.)

So, what have you guys been up to? Enjoying spring/summer? Eating normal meals at normal times? Going to Target? Anyone read or seen anything good lately? I hear Wonder Woman is all the rage.

The other day I was feeling so discouraged about the world and our sin. Whether it’s family drama or terrorism or constant political fighting, it is wearing and often feels hopeless. It is why the prophets and the psalmist often cry out, “How long, Oh Lord?” We don’t know how long. But what it comforting to me is that, in the midst of it all, God is doing a new thing — do I not perceive it? He has made a way in the desert through Jesus. The hope that we have — the forgiveness of our sins and the reverse of the curse — is real. And one day, everything will be as it was meant to be. So we cling to that hope and we share that truth — that Jesus saves — because it is true and right. And in the meantime, for those of us who are disciples of Jesus, we do our part, through the power of the Holy Spirit in us, to walk as He walked and share His good news.

Well, how’s that for some positivity?! Optimism is just in my nature, guys.

OK, Theo is napping, which means I probably will too.

Kisses!

 

Hola, Amigos!

May 5, 2017

Apparently it’s time for my annual Cinco de Mayo post!

I’m not going to even mention how shameful it is that I haven’t blogged at all in the past six months, even though I pretend to be a writer.

I’m not going to mention it because I have something much more shameful to mention — the fact that I’m a billion months pregnant (almost 31 weeks) and have been too lazy to even write about that on the blog! Poor little neglected second baby.

Neglected second baby (NSB) is another boy and he’s due the first week of July. His wise and mature older brother Theo will be almost 20 months when he is born. I plan to deliver him and then leave for a vacation in Europe because the thought of taking care of a newborn and a 20-month-old together at the same time is terrifying to me. So, who wants to go to Spain this summer? (Or the Jesus Freak cruise?!)

Just kidding, NSB. I love you and I promise I will get you a dresser and paint your room and find you something to sleep in and maybe get you a clothing or two by July.

Maybe. Because this is what the “nursery” looks like at the moment:

So, that whole growing a human inside of my body thing has been going on lately. We’ve also been spending a lot of time with this guy.

Theo is a nut. He’s funny and full of personality and lately full of opinions which may or may not line up with what he’s supposed to do. Whenever he does decide to obey, though, he claps for himself, so his self-esteem is doing well. He’s still not really talking yet, besides a few random words here and there, which causes me to nervously go to the Internet because the Googles help me rationally diagnose him, obviously. However, I then hear him having entire babbling conversations with us and understanding every word I say, and using a few signs, and I realize that he’s so social that the minute he does start to talk, he’s never going to stop, so maybe we should enjoy the moment.

What else? I went back to work part-time at the end of October and had the best week of enjoying talking to adults and reading interesting things and putting on non-stretchy pants. Then at the end of that week, I discovered I was pregnant. It happened sooner than we had planned, but we are grateful. We’ve had a really great year — I’ve worked mornings and Andrew has worked afternoons, and we’ve both gotten quality time with Theo. (And since I am home in the afternoons, I get Theo’s nap times. 🙂 ) The baby will come right as Andrew gets off of work for the summer, so God actually had a great plan for it all!

This little King of the World is about to get a reality check in July…

I don’t have much to say about politics because — sigh. And obviously we can all just read Andrew Jackson’s views on the 2017 political climate and go from there.

I also don’t have much to say about TV since This Is Us is over for the season. Don’t we miss it so? It’ll be back this fall, though, to make us sob every week. Right now we are loving Survivor because kicking it old school with one of the first reality TV shows is what we are about. We’ve also been watching Big Brother Canada. Judge away.

Oh, did I tell you we bought a new house? Probably not because I don’t blog. Well, we did, and it’s blue and was built in 1956 and has lovely hardwood floors and nice upgrades.


We are loving it so far, except for the tiny closets. And the skunk who gets terrified a bit too often. Also, it came with a ghost.

But otherwise it is lovely. Theo especially likes the yard where he falls into puddles and gets his clothes muddy by 10 a.m.
Oh, here’s a little bone I have to pick with Internet commenters. Because that usually goes well. Lately when I read comments on articles (always a wise choice), I sometimes see Christians using the “Jesus throwing over the money changers’ tables in the temple” as a reason to get angry and be forceful with people who disagree with them. Jesus did it, so we can too. I’ve seen this argument used a lot — usually to defend why Christians can be harsh with others’ political beliefs.

Now, I certainly think I can be solid in my beliefs and defend them to others. There’s a lot of fear of offending people lately, and sometimes people need to learn that just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean they’re being offensive or hurtful or intolerant. People need to calm down with the getting triggered. However, I think using the argument about Jesus and the money changers is wrong and shows bad theology.

Jesus, first of all, got angry with the religious Jews who were overcharging worshippers who needed to buy their sacrifices. So, Jesus was getting mad at His own people, His fellow believers, who were being greedy towards people who wanted to worship God. Secondly, Jesus is mad at the fact that the money changers set up their shop in the Court of the Gentiles. The temple was structured with different courts that allowed people to only get so close to the Holy of Holies, where God’s presence was. The outer court was where Gentiles (non-Jews) were allowed to come worship and pray. Isaiah 56 talks about how God wants foreigners to be able to come and worship Him in His house (the temple), and how God will accept their offerings in His house of prayer for all nations. Because the money changers had set up their buying and selling in the Court of the Gentiles, it was crowding out the non-Jews who wanted to come worship God. This is the opposite of what the Israelites were supposed to be doing. Their mission from God (as given back in the law) was to be a light to the Gentiles and to draw them to worship Him, the one true God. And yet, here were God’s chosen people elevating greed over evangelism.

This is why Jesus gets angry — He’s mad at His own people for getting it wrong. It’s not because He’s mad at the opposing political party for voting for someone He didn’t like. So, umm, that’s all. I just wanted to share because I think people use this argument incorrectly all the time, and in doing so, misrepresent Jesus’ righteous anger.

The end.

OK, now that I’ve annoyed some people, that’s probably my cue to leave. NSB and I have to go not finish taking down the 1980s wallpaper in his nursery.

Love you all! Maybe I’ll write again before the new baby turns two!

 

 

All The Things

October 25, 2016

Oh haaay.

So many things we should talk about. When you haven’t blogged since May (seriously, May? I am such a slacker), so many things have come up like: Theo almost being a year old, our new favorite drama “This Is Us,” our new least favorite drama The Presidential Election, me going back to work next week, all my opinions on everything, and the fact that I am now a permanent resident of Canada!

We better get started.

So, this guy. What a fella.

 

Theo is 11 months old and will be walking very soon. He is smiley and funny and very often joyful. He’s a little too needy at times (aren’t we all), and he has a bad habit of throwing all of the food I try to feed him onto the floor, but other than that, he’s the cat’s pajamas. He has about five-ish teeth and enjoys using them to bite me on the hand or leg. He has been known to say Mama and Dada and Achoo when he feels like it. He loves waving, although lately his wave has turned into more of a salute (not in a good way — think Germany in the 30s. Just because he’s blue-eyed and has become blonde, his views have apparently gone wonky).


As many of you probably know, being a mom is weird. It is wonderful and hard and dumb and the best and terrible and beautiful all in about five minutes. I love Theo in a very different and more powerful way than I have ever loved anybody — my instinct is to protect him and care for him and comfort him. But sometimes he also bores me to death because I can only read that book about driving boats and combines across Canada so many times.


I am going back to work on Monday after my year of maternity leave. Seriously, I so appreciate this about Canada. I couldn’t have imagined going back to work when Theo was 6 weeks. I probably would have just stayed home with him, but I know not everyone has that luxury. But after a year, we are so much more settled, and I’m so much more confident in him, and it’ll be good. And to make it even better, I am only working mornings, and Andrew is only working afternoons this year. So we don’t have to do any daycare, we each get to spend quality time with Theo, and we each get to do some things we enjoy at work! I am very grateful for how this has turned out!

Speaking of gratefulness, I became a Canadian permanent resident this month!


We were expecting to have to wait at least another 6 months, but we got approved early. So, just to explain: I am still an American citizen. I am not a Canadian citizen. I am a permanent resident/landed immigrant/have a green card. This means that I am allowed to live and work anywhere in Canada, I have permanent healthcare, I have a normal social security number, etc. I basically can do everything except vote in Canadian elections. I am so happy that this process is done (it took two years and lots of money), but now I am settled and don’t have to stress when I go through customs!

So, I can’t vote in Canadian elections, but I do still get to vote in American ones. Goody. Just a couple of words on the thing we are over: the election. Over it.


I have been pretty vocal on Facebook about my dislike of Trump. I also dislike Clinton and will not vote for her. I don’t trust her, I think she’s a Shady McShadester, and I also hate her position on abortion. The reason I’ve been harsher about Trump is very related to my faith. Many of the Christians I am Facebook friends with are not considering voting for Clinton. But they might consider voting for Trump. I’ve just been so discouraged and frustrated with some leaders in the Christian community who have supported Trump when, if he were a Democrat, they would use every single thing about him (his multiple divorces, his affairs, his language, his bigotry, his sexist behavior, his flip-flopping) as reasons to denounce voting for him. But because they hate Clinton, ignoring all those things or calling them old news (although apparently Bill’s decades-old affairs aren’t old news), seems to be just fine. The hypocrisy astounds me. But, the argument goes, Clinton has done this and that and this as an elected official! True. Don’t vote for her. Trump probably will do this and that and this as an elected official as well. He’s never been one. Don’t give him a chance.

In my mind, both Trump and Clinton go against anything the Bible might have to say about leaders, wisdom, integrity or righteousness in any sense of the word. We are not electing a pastor, but we are electing a leader and can I really trust either of these people to stay true to any of their promises, lead with integrity or represent America well? Answer: no. Now, I know one of them will win. But I honestly don’t see a lesser of two evils here. And I also refuse to vote out of fear. I have been reading through the prophets in the Bible lately, and there is so much about poor leadership, but most importantly, about my responsibility to live a righteous life with the help of the Lord, no matter what the culture around me is doing. He is the one whose holiness I fear. So, I will send in my absentee ballot, and I will choose a presidential candidate, but you better believe it will not be Clinton or Trump. End scene.

Moving on to something that brings us joy instead of gloom: This Is Us!


Is this everyone’s new favorite drama in replacement of Parenthood? If not, it needs to be. As I watched the first episode, I was loving it anyway, but then I got to the end and my mind was blown, and you know how I love me some episodes that remind me (even in the smallest sense) of Lost. It’s just the best of both worlds. Please get to watching.

Well someone is standing up in his crib and acting like it’s the end of the world. (He was sweetly asleep one second ago.) I had better get going.

How are all of you? I will try to blog again before the Ivanka/Chelsea election of 2024.

Love you all!!

Theo just cried for ________ (it’s best not to give you the amount of time so you don’t judge me quite as much for being a terrible mother) while going down for his nap, which made me cry a bunch, so we’re just over here crying. It’s Monday, everyone.

Theo has become THE WORST sleeper lately. He’s never been good, but it has gotten out of control the past two weeks. Last night he was up for an hour and a half (from 2-3:30 AM) and then up a bunch of times after that too. At some point in the night, I think I stomped around and threw my phone on the floor (wise) and kicked a chair and ignored all of Andrew’s attempts to calm me. Or something. Who knows — it’s hard to remember things that happen at 3 O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING. I’m going insane.

It’s hard to stay annoyed with this guy, though.

I’ve tried the pacificer, I’ve tried letting him cry, I’ve tried singing, I’ve tried promising him that I’ll pay for his college education, but nothing works. Help! Maybe it’s time to introduce solids — he’s nearing 6 months. Or I think he may be in some kind of regression or developmental leap or he just has a deal with the devil. No one knows.

Please give me some advice or heavy sleeping pills so I don’t hear him. Either one.

In other news, my mom came to visit a couple of weeks ago! She hadn’t seen Theo in awhile, so it was the best and so fun and I miss her. We shopped and chatted, and she loved Theo so much, and we went to Banff and ate terribly, and we watched TLC, and it was great. Come back, Jilly Bean.

Isn’t my mom pretty? Theo thought so.

In even other news, I got to go to brunch and shopping with friends yesterday! That has happened never times in the past few months, so that was a fun treat!

I seriously have nothing funny to say today. The sleep deprivation and crying dehydration have taken everything out of me.

The high today is 79, so Canada is showing off its heat skills. (Who knew?!) Theo is wearing shorts pulled up real high on his belly like an old man, so maybe that’s why he was crying.

Next he’ll be wearing sandals with socks.

I get to go to Colorado in a couple of weeks! Woo hoo — besties and mountains and meeting new babies and my favorite restaurants and Target (yes, I will be shopping there).

I am doing a little talk at my church’s denominational gathering tomorrow. I’ll do the usual on some of the Jewishness of the Bible, and then I’m going to talk a bit about the Kingdom of God that Jesus talks so much about in the Bible. In the Jewish mind, the Kingdom is at hand (or here) when 1. God shows up in power, 2. He is declared to reign, and 3. We obey.

In the Exodus text, after the parting of the Red Sea, the Israelites sing a song to God and declare that He is reigning and will reign! I loved being reminded of that these past couple of days. No matter what is going on — in our nation, in our homes, in the world — God is on the throne. He is reigning. He already reigns whether or not we’re willing to acknowledge it. And one day, everyone will. And so now, I need the Lord to reign in my life. In my thoughts, in my words, and in my actions. I want and need to surrender all to Him. My sin, my selfish desires, my hopes, my all. (Even my sleep?)

OK, I have to go. My brain function is at minimal capacity, which is probably why I’m about to go see what Bravo has to offer.

Theo thinks that’s a terrible idea.

Sweet dreams tonight — I’ll be thinking of you while I’m up all night long.

 

 

 

 

Island Living

March 23, 2016

Hello!

How was everyone’s weekend? (I just realized that it’s Wednesday, so it’s really not a relevant question anymore, but whatever. Days of the week have no meaning when you still have to get up at 5 a.m. on Saturdays because your baby is feeling chatty.) Anyway, happy hump day?

This past weekend we went out to Vancouver Island. For those of you who are not Canadian, Vancouver is not on Vancouver Island. Vancouver is on the mainland. The island is a 12-minute plane ride from Vancouver and it is beautiful and filled with fresh ocean air. (Andrew talked about his love of the island air no less than 16 billions of times this past weekend. #marrytheislandairalready) Also, talking about the island reminds me of The Island and Sawyer and The Dharma Initiative. Those were good times.

Vancouver Island really is beautiful. And the air is quite amazing. #airomatic

Anyway, Andrew’s brother-in-law and sister pastor a church on the island and they asked me to come out to lead a Passover Seder to start out Easter week. So we quickly packed up our stroller, Ergo carrier, car seat, diapers, wipes, baby clothes, pacifiers, toys, blankets, video monitor, breast pump, bottles, sleep sack (oh, and Theo) and headed out. We had super late flights on the way out and the way back because they were such great deals. This was awesome except for the fact that Theo had no idea it was time for sleep and decided to stay awake way past his bedtime. But he was a pretty cheerful fellow, so it wasn’t too bad.

1 a.m. Happy as a clam. Go to bed.

He was a bit off sleepwise for the rest of the weekend, which meant we got to hang out lots in the middle of the night. It apparently also threw off his bowels because he decided to poop on my sister-in-law’s bed as a “thanks for having us” gift. Luckily he’s a pretty fun guy, which made up for the middle-of-the-night-peeing-on-mom-while-she-changed-him fiasco. (Keep in mind that this was separate from the poop incident.)

Loved. Poop and all.

Anyhoo, Passover! I have celebrated Passover seders for about ten years now, which means that I’m old. It also means that I’ve had ten chances to experience this amazing holiday that has taught me so much about Jesus and the Last Supper and the deep meaning and significance behind the bread and the cup.

One of my favorite parts of the seder is after supper, the kids go search for a hidden piece of matzoh bread called the afikoman. Once found, the child brings the afikoman back to the leader, but will only give it back for a ransom, usually a piece of candy. The afikoman must be redeemed for a price. How significant that Jesus, after supper, takes the bread (the afikoman) and says that it is His body, broken for us. How amazing! There is so much to learn from celebrating the holidays that God asked His people to remember every year. Most of us Christians don’t know much about the holidays of the Old Testament, but I believe that we should! They show us so much about God and His amazing character and redemption. If you ever have the chance to attend a Passover seder, do it! (If you’re in Red Deer, I’m doing one tomorrow at CrossRoads Church and there’s still room for you to join!)

Theo is not invited to Passover, but he thinks you should go!

Speaking of Passover and Old Testament things, if we were to take some time to explore questions and topics in the OT, what would you like to see discussed? Leave a comment with your suggestions!

Do you all have big Easter plans? We will be Passovering and then spending time at church on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. And Andrew’s spring break starts tomorrow! Next week we’re going out to Fairmont which means relaxing, hot springs, winter wonderland, and probably more poop incidents.

Anyway, if we don’t chat again before Easter, have an amazing day and take time to honor, praise, glorify and laud the One who paid the price for our sins and then proved that He was God by defeating death!

Speaking of paying the price, Andrew and Theo spent some time humming “Jesus Paid it All” recently. (As you’ll see, I was praising with my eyes closed.)


I love this song and its truths. Oh praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead! (Here it is with more words and less of me snoring.)

Happy Easter, friends! He is risen indeed!

Let the Madness Begin!

March 15, 2016

Hi!

What is up, my dawgs?

Here’s what’s up in my house: me. At night. With a baby.

March Madness starts this week!! Theo and I will be watching the nonstop upsets of this beautiful tournament starting on Thursday. He can’t wait.

This weekend we are going out to Vancouver Island to visit Andrew’s sister and her family and enjoy the warm weather. I’m scared to travel with Theo — he’s older now and antsy and bigger and louder. At least he’s not on the move yet. Also, how does a tiny baby have so much stuff? I now have to drag around strollers and car seats and sleepsacks and tiny socks and wipes and thousands of pacifiers. Babies are high maintenance.

He’s feeling bad for being so much extra work. Or he’s peeing his pants. One or the other.

How is everyone feeling about Ben the Bachelor’s choice? I feel good about it. Know what I did not feel good about? Jo Jo’s final rose dress color. The cut was amazing, but the color was Peptorific.

OK, here’s a warning. I have a rant coming. I just want to warn you, because it’s kind of long and boring. But I’ll intersperse it with pictures of my baby, so maybe that will help? Probs not. It’s pretty boring.

Over on the Facebooks lately, you know the best place for thoughtful political and theological discussions, I’ve noticed a few statements that I find interesting. I’ve seen, in a few different discussions about different things, people saying that the best way to be a Christian is to focus solely on what Jesus said and either ignore, throw out or redefine the Old Testament. So, for example, to be a Christian one must love God and love your neighbor because that’s what Jesus said are the most important commandments. Or Christians would be better off focusing on just the New Testament (or even just Jesus’ words) and getting rid of the Old Testament altogether. I have a couple of thoughts. (Surprised?) Here they are (after this pic of Theo):

He needed some “me time” to relax, regroup and prepare for the night of feedings ahead.

Now, as we all know, I love me some Shema. Jesus said to love God and love your neighbor — the law is summed up in these commandments. Love it. However, I do not believe that Jesus was saying that those commands were the only important ones or that the rest of the Scriptures were not important. (Keep in mind that the Scriptures at this time were solely the Old Testament, and solely what Jesus draws on in His teachings, prayer life, synagogue time, etc.) Jesus, first of all, is weighing in on an argument that was going on around Him — was the second greatest commandment to love your neighbor or to observe the Sabbath? Jesus says, love your neighbor. In saying this, He is affirming that as His followers thought about, interpreted and obeyed every aspect of God’s law, they should do it through that filter. Not ignore it or condemn it or fight against it. In the Jewish culture Jesus was a part of, if He had gone around not following the law or obeying God’s instructions in the Old Testament, no one would have listened to Him for more than a second.

Theo loves his neighbor, Sophie the Giraffe.

Speaking of culture, I think that’s where a lot of misunderstanding comes in. The Old Testament is hard for us to grapple with. There’s a lot that seems harsh and weird and mean. There are really difficult things to understand in the Old Testament. However, just because we don’t understand something doesn’t mean we should ignore it or call it irrelevant. It may be easier to dismiss something that is confusing, but that might just make us lazy. There’s actually a lot that can be explained and understood when we look into the culture of the time — I have been amazed by the compassion, evangelism, love and purpose in the Old Testament as I began to understand it better. (This is not to say that it’s still not hard or confusing sometimes!)

This focusing solely on what Jesus said as a way to live out Christianity is nothing new. Marcion, a heretic in early Christianity, believed the same thing. He liked Jesus but disliked Yahweh in the Old Testament, and thought they were not compatible. So, he rejected the Old Testament, found one of the Gospels that he liked and patched in a few of Paul’s letters (all with his editing, of course). This, he said, was the acceptable way to be a Christian — by cutting and pasting and making the Bible fit what you want to believe about God.

Theo is shocked that Marcion would do such a thing.

What makes me sad about this resurgence of Marcionism is that it takes so much away from the big story God is telling about Himself all throughout Scripture. The New Testament doesn’t mean much without the Old. The Old Testament needs the New to bring about its full meaning. There are not two different Gods in these Scriptures — there’s a God full of compassion and justice in the Old and New Testaments. There are reasons for the things God does in the Old Testament and there are ways of understanding what Jesus said or didn’t say in the New. This big story is about God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is all necessary to understand Him, praise Him and trust Him. The Scripture gives us a beautiful story that leads to repentance and salvation. It compels us to worship this great, mysterious, loving, powerful, just God who fully revealed Himself in Jesus. We need to understand, believe, and follow all of it. (I know there are lots of details and questions and and nitpicking about what that looks like or how we do it or what we do or don’t still practice, etc. Maybe I will do an OT series about some of those difficulties and questions someday soon. Maybe I can call it, “OT with the OT.” (I’m in a March Madness mood.)

OK, rant done.

Sorry this post wasn’t very funny or filled with my usual fascinating updates on our flu symptoms. (Although, I got some new xylitol (a sugar substitute) and after eating some last night I can tell you that it did not agree with my stomach.) There, now you have an update on my episodes, so you may go in peace.

Shalom!

We Took Ill

March 7, 2016

I meant to blog last week, but I was too busy dying. Of vomit. And other things. Other. Things.

Oh, you guys. Last Monday night, a couple of hours after dinner, I told Andrew my stomach felt weird. So I went into the bathroom and had a small episode. Then ten minutes later, Andrew had an episode. Then we spent the rest of the night having episodes from every orifice in our bodies. It was the absolute worst. Andrew threw up at least ten times and his eyes are still bloodshot (a week later) to prove it. I didn’t throw up as many times, but I had a terrible fever and did things like almost vomit on my baby while nursing him. It was a classy night.

Next year’s Christmas card. This is probably somewhere around 3 a.m. Monday night. We shared that bucket. For vomiting.

The next day Andrew’s mom had to come and hang out with Theo while we limped around, took naps, and nibbled on crackers. We’re still not sure what it was — we thought it was food poisoning, but I also got a cold and terrible cough out of the deal, so maybe it was a flu bug? Either way, it was awful and I haven’t been that sick in a long time. I am still recovering and I’m even missing strollercize, and we all know how I hate to miss a good workout.

When you’re sick, your baby suffers too. From poor fashion choices.

So, basically, March came in like a lion in the Snyder household.

My work visa expires in a month, which means that unless the Canadian government hurries up and grants me the extension I applied for four months ago, I will no longer have healthcare or be able to work or leave the country. So, pretty please, Canada?!

Guys, I miss Target. Oh Joy has all these cute new baby clothes that I don’t have access to. And in April, Marimekko is doing a special line at Target and I won’t even get to see it! My life is hard.

Oh boy. Here’s a thing we need to discuss: Trump and Hilary winning Super Tuesday. Way to be crappy, America. I don’t get this Trump thing. I literally know of no one who is supporting him, but apparently tons of insane people are. Does everyone understand that he basically wants to be a dictator and silence those who disagree with him? You know, like people who lead in North Korea and the Middle East. And he says pretty awful sexist and racist things? And he has no actual plans for running a country besides saying a lot of loudmouth things? And the KKK loves him? And his rise to power looks and sounds eerily similar to a guy in Europe in the 30s? I doubt any of you wise blog readers support Trump, but if you have a friend or family member who does, I actually implore you to talk to them and explain that they should rethink all of it. ASAP. Especially if they claim to be Christians. I honestly believe that anyone who votes for Trump would be elevating nationalism above their faith and that is no bueno.

He’s happy to be Canadian and is imploring his American friends to make sure that it’s #nevertrump.

Speaking of Trump, our sermon at church was so very good yesterday. Our pastor started out by asking if anyone was following the election cycle in the States. (This drew a loud chuckle from the crowd because, America, you are a huge international laughingstock with this ridiculous election. Be proud.) Anyway, our pastor pointed out that of all the ridiculous things Trump has said, the one with eternal consequences is when he said that he has never asked God for forgiveness. (You know, because he doesn’t need it.)

We’re doing a short sermon series on some of the lament Psalms in the Bible. Psalms of lament are actually a huge chunk of the Psalms, and they often ask questions of God or cry out to Him. Yesterday we looked at Psalm 130 — a lament over sin. The Psalmist knows that if God kept a record of sin, no one would be able to stand before Him. But thankfully, with God there is forgiveness of sin when we confess and repent. The sermon was so good — a reminder of our sin, of God’s great grace, of His Gospel, and of the hope we have in the God who will Himself, through Jesus, redeem Israel of its sins. Seriously, if you have a few minutes, watch this sermon — it will convict and refresh you!

Theo just peed all over the floor and then whined loudly while I took a 2.5 minute shower. #keepingitreal

Would anyone like to come stuff these cloth diapers for me? I’d rather watch Netflix. #keepingitrealer

Speaking of Netflix, we watched Fuller House. It was terrible, obviously, but so was the original Full House. So they stayed true to themselves. I did love the nostalgia, though, and they had some funny moments. Also, that Max kid. I’m not going to lie — he cracked me up.

OK, I feel that’s all I have to report on. I lost the last week of my life, so I’m going to try to catch up today by thinking about maybe making supper tonight. I have goals.

Have a great week!

Hi, guys.

So, here is a type of post I rarely do. I prefer to stick with TV talk and Old Testament sharing and sweet pics of baby animals who, like Michael Jackson, know that it doesn’t matter if you are black or white.

But my Facebook feed is full of talk on Ferguson the past couple of days. And so much of that talk has made me sad. I barely even feel cheered by this picture of a very, very tiny goat.

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(OK, that’s not true. I actually feel very cheered by this picture.)

Anyway, here are my thoughts on pretty much everything except the details of the Ferguson situation.

I don’t think I can be called out as a person who plays the race card. In fact, most of my friends probably forget that I’m black. Identifying as black or white — especially since I’m an equal mix of both — has never been my thing. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’d rather be known for a million things other than my “race.” (e.g. loving Jesus, being awesome, liking BBQ chips, knowing the lyrics to every dc talk song that has ever existed, etc.) I have never been treated poorly because of my skin color, and I am grateful for that.

So, it is probably partly because I don’t think of race often, that I feel such a sadness, disappointment and heartache when situations like this arise. I open my Facebook and see my friends lumping entire groups of people together. I read an article on the Interwebs and peruse the comments (horrible idea, I know) and see truly evil things being said about black people — things akin to what Nazis said about Jews. I see my friends post opinions that blame everyone but their group — be it black or white, conservative or liberal. I see acquaintances mixing their political beliefs with their faith in a way I’m not convinced Jesus would appreciate.

I see irony galore. Black friends who often call for blacks to be strong, outstanding citizens somehow find a way to condone looting, violence and threats against whites. Conservative friends who consistently post about police militarization and how if Obama pushes the boundaries any further they have their rifles loaded and ready to use against the state (police), are suddenly eager to defend police in Ferguson. Or people respond with apathy, annoyed that their reality shows are interrupted with the latest news because they simply don’t care.

And what floors me is that people don’t seem to care what the actual truth is. They claim that they do, but they don’t. I think it is telling that whenever something like this comes up, whether it’s Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman or Mike Brown/Darren Wilson or any other black person/white person, I know who will be posting what opinion before I ever open Facebook. I know which people will be defending the white person, no matter what. And I know which people will be defending the black person, no matter what. I know who will be blaming “those conservatives” or “those liberals.” I know who will be posting stats about black criminals or white privilege. I know who will be blaming Bush and who will be blaming Obama. I know who will be defending violent looting, and I know who will be denying that racism is ever a problem in America. The fact that I can predict people’s opinions on any situation, before there’s even any evidence, shows me that people have already decided what is true — on both sides. Their opinions — no matter the details of a situation — have already been formed. But here’s the thing — that’s not how truth works.

But what makes me the saddest is Christians. Christians who get into “screaming matches” on their comment threads. Christians who fan the flame by posting subtle race jokes or promote the “us against them” mentality.

Last night as I scrolled through my Facebook feed (the majority of which is filled with Christian friends), I could only think of Paul’s plea for the church in Ephesus:

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Eph. 4:29).

That verse got lost somewhere in all the opinions and vitriol. In fact, all of Ephesians 4 should probably be on our minds so that we do our best to get rid of bitterness, rage, anger and malice, and replace them with kindness, compassion, humility, gentleness, patience and love.

I don’t know why this situation has made me feel so uneasy, and I am probably just adding to the noise by writing this post. (Switchfoot would not approve. I am really dating myself with my music references in this post.) But this situation has just been a reminder in my own life that I often do very little to try to understand where others are coming from. I think I know everything. And what I should do is, through the power of the Holy Spirit, attempt to imitate the attitude of Christ — the one who humbled Himself for our sake.

Now I am not pushing for a kumbaya campfire sing. I know that there are harsh realities out there of violence, crime, pride, injustice — the harsh realities of sin. But what I am calling myself to do is, as a believer, make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (And honestly, I don’t want to make every effort. People often annoy me and make me want to make less effort. But, unfortunately for Denise’s Bad Attitudes, Christ has called me to something more.)

Reading Facebook last night made me ache for the finished restoration of all things. I wanted us to quit worrying about our “rights” and instead join with every tribe, tongue and nation in the worship of the One who is making all things new. I wanted us to recognize that the example we have from our God is one of mercy and justice — displayed profoundly through the death of His Son for our sins. For our riots. For our racism. For our apathy. For our hatred, piety and judgment.

It is only through the mercy of God that we can receive true justice. It is only through the power of His Spirit that we can live out Ephesians 4. And it is only through the grace of Jesus that those from every people and nation who were purchased through His blood will worship together in unity.

Amen, come Lord Jesus.

Hi, guys!

Well, I’m drinking coffee, looking through the Target catalog and getting ready to watch last night’s Parenthood (I have to prepare and hydrate for Parenthood because of all the thousands of tears.). I am feeling cozy and warm and nostalgic, which brought me back to the good old days. The days of Friday Listday. Shall we?

1. I feel like we need to start this post off the right way. My cousin Emily just posted this video on Facebook. The title is “Baby Bouncing” but the reality is 4,000 times better than that. Because it is actually a tiny monkey. In a snowsuit. Bouncing around. In the snow. He’s wearing a scarf. You. Are. Welcome.

2. So, Andrew owned a beautiful condo before we got married. Then when we got married he let me move into it. I have begun making a few “tweaks” to his decorating style. Andrew might interpret “tweaks” as a “completely unrecognizable home.” Potato/potato. (I pronounced both of those in my head as po-tay-to. So there.) Anyhoo, we’ve been doing some redecorating. We bought a dining room table the other day, but no chairs. Because who needs chairs? Except then we realized that we need chairs. So we started looking around, and why is a single dining room chair $200? Actually? Why? Me and my cheapness were not having it.

But then we experienced a festivus miracle. We had a couple days off and we decided to spend a night in Banff. It’s just we do, you guys. Off to the mountains for a spa day. (There was no spa.) Anyway, our hotel had just remodeled and they had a million dining room chairs in their parking garage. So we casually asked the hotel manager what they were going to do with all those chairs, whatever we don’t even care. He said we could take them for free!! Unfortunately, my SUV was already full, so we spent the next eighty years packing and unpacking and jerry-rigging chairs to the top of my car. FREE chairs!

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Yay! I’m going to paint them and re-cover the seats. Which leads me to my next dilemma. There are a million fabrics out there and I want them all. I’m going for a mid-century modern look, and there are so many funky, fun prints. Here are a few examples…

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Don’t even venture toward my Pinterest page. It is flooded with my indecision in various shades, colors and prints.

3. I have lots of videos today. Including this little gem.

4. Update: I watched Parenthood. I cried.

5. Our pastor has been preaching through the book of Deuteronomy and I am loving it. Why do I love the Old Testament so much? I just do, guys. It’s so beautiful. I’ve been blogging about each week because there’s some really cool stuff over in Deuteronomy. Check it out.

6. Umm, I have another video. I didn’t even know they were re-doing Cinderella until every single person on Facebook began posting the trailer for the new Cinderella movie coming out in March. So you’ve probably already seen it. But maybe you want to watch it again. I don’t know your life. Here it is. (Also, remember Gus in the cartoon Cinderella? I love him, but I hate mice. Very conflicting.)

7. Guys, I’m an immigrant now. Like actually. So that’s weird. We’ve been working on my permanent residency application — it’s so much paperwork, and it’s really hard to figure out. We have to provide tons of info on me, on Andrew and his job, and on our relationship history. We had to make a chart of every single visit we had while we were dating — the dates, the number of days we spent together and what we did. We have to provide all of our flight records and pictures. I have to send my fingerprints to the FBI and I have to get a physical. It’s a lot of work, but it’s obviously worth it.

But what I’ve been thinking about as an official immigrant is how hard it would be to go through this process if English weren’t my first language. In theory, I’m good at English. I make my career out of stringing together English words. But there are so many things on this application I don’t understand. I also would have such a hard time going through this process if Andrew and I didn’t have good jobs. In order for me to get a credit card and build my credit history in Canada, we had to put into a saving account the amount of money we want my credit limit at. So, it’s not even really a credit card, but it’s a way to build credit for me so that I can get a normal card in a couple of years. If I was an immigrant working a minimum wage job, it would be so hard for me to set aside a big chunk of money so that I could begin building credit in this country.

Anyway, through this process I am feeling way more empathy for immigrants. It’s a hard process and it would be tough to do without money or knowledge of the language. Which of course reminds me of Deuteronomy, which of course reminds me of how often God talks to the Israelites about loving the foreigner because they know what it was like to be a foreigner in Egypt.

OK, end of Listday! Have a wonderful weekend, friends! And Happy Wedding, Courtney!!!

Love!

Denise Ruth Morris Snyder

Updates from a Matron

October 24, 2014

Guess what I am supposed to be doing? (The answer is “not blogging.”) I should be writing a freelance lesson. But yesterday was my Jaci’s birthday and her one request was a new blog post, and I aim to please. (Also, I aim to procrastinate.)

You guys! Hi! Last time I wrote a blog post was more than two months ago! I’ve had a whole wedding since then. And moved. And bought a couch. I’m an old married woman now. A matron, if you will.

Umm, I would like to interrupt this post to show you something. I’m at a coffee shop, and the guy behind the counter keeps doing something back there with his leg. It just pokes out from behind this post and bounces around. When a customer comes in, he’ll go serve them, and then he comes right back here to do this. What do we think is going on? No one knows.

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I guess I should give some updates because you’ve all been waiting on tenterhooks to know the daily details of my life. (No you haven’t.)

* Andrew and I love married life! Like, I love it so much more than I thought I would. I mean, I assumed I’d like it and everything, but it’s really just been the best. Something changed once we got married. I’m so much more comfortable and peaceful and content. It’s just really, really nice to know that Andrew is here for me no matter what, and vice versa. (I have a lot of married wisdom to offer because it’s been a whole two months, so I’m clearly an expert.) All that to say, I don’t regret or want to wish away the years that I was single, because those were really great times too, but I’m enjoying this new stage of life a lot. Also, when you are married, you have someone who will tell you that all of your decorations and clothes have flowers on them, even though you didn’t think of yourself as a flower person, but apparently you are.

If you are my Facebook friend or follow me on Instagram (denise_ruth) then you’ve seen enough of my wedding pictures to make you wish I had never discovered Pinterest. So, I won’t post any more here.

Except maybe just one.

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* As I mentioned, it was Jaci’s birthday yesterday. And my mom just reminded me that it is my Grandma Betty’s birthday today. Betty Kay, hope you have a good day. (That was birthday poem, guys.) Jaci was a bridesmaid in our wedding, and I hadn’t seen her in literal years, so it was so fun to get to reconnect. She should move to Canada. So should all these other girls.

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*I’m not counting that above picture as a wedding picture. It’s a friend picture. I’ll stop now.

* Leg update — he’s still at it.

* My friend Suzanne just wrote a book, you guys! So, if you are expecting a baby or know someone who is, you should definitely buy her book because she’s a great writer and has three little kids, so she knows what she’s talking about. She’s also doing a giveaway for a free iPad, so you should definitely enter!

I wanted to pin the giveaway on my Pinterest page, but I figured if I did that no one would read the text and they would assume that I’m preggers, which I’m not. And then I’d have to write a whole blog post about how I’m not preggers, but my friend wrote a good book, and I just wanted everyone to know about it, and how when I am preggers in the future our baby will be nameless because Andrew and I will not be able to agree on a name, so little “Buster Brown” (that’s what we’ll have to call him until we agree on a name) will grow up to be socially inept because his parents could never agree on what to call him, and we’ll have to write our own book about parenting and how not to do it, and how important it is to name your children, and it would’ve wasted a lot of time and space to have to write all that… Where were we? Oh yes, get Suzanne’s book. And enter the drawing.

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* In other need-to-know news, I tried on this jacket today. Do I need it? (It looks better in person. And, also, what should we do with my hair? I don’t like it.)

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* So Andrew and I are leading a small group, and we’re all reading through the New Testament together this fall. We’re using this Books of Bible, which is the New Testament without chapter and verse markings.

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Andrew and I have been reading it aloud to each other, and it’s been amazing, for the following reasons: 1. It’s God’s Word, and therefore it is sweet. 2. This study encourages us to read the books of the New Testament in big chunks, like it was written. So, when we read one of Paul’s letters, we read the whole letter at once. It is how the original listeners would have read it, and we are noticing all kinds of new things. 3. Andrew and I are constantly thinking about and discussing the Bible together, which is so cool. 4. We have great discussion with our small group and learn a lot together. 5. This version of the Bible reads like a book, and it is cool to see the whole of God’s story this way. 6. God’s word is always useful and worth it. It shows us who He is — full of mercy and grace. Anyway, it’s great. Jesus is great. The end.

* Leg update — he was doing both legs at the same time for a minute. Fancy.

OK, I have to go. This lesson is calling my name. (Or a nap is calling my name. Who’s louder — that’s the question.)

Have a good weekend, friendsies!