So I guess it's been awhile since I've written. Life has been so busy, and though I've been learning and experiencing a lot, I haven't had a whole lot to say that could be shared in this spot. But I'll give it a try....
~ Grasshopper is growing. He is such a delight. He isn't talking outside of a very few words. I worry sometimes, but his comprehension and ability to understand are so great that I'm trying to just be patient. People keep telling me that he will be one of those kids who just starts speaking in paragraphs when he turns three. I hope that's correct. For now, we he's good at saying "no, bah (for bottle), bo (for book), yeah, mama, dada, ball, dat (for that)" and he makes various animal and machine sounds.
He still sleeps in our bed. Henry David is probably going to build him a bed of his own, and I'm hoping to move out my dresser and put it there until I can feel comfortable having him in the nursery. Because the nursery has the boiler closet in it, that makes me more than a little nervous. Plus, I like having Grasshopper close by. I sleep better and so does he. But it's getting to be that time where the mama and the daddy get their bed back to themselves.
He still isn't a great eater and he still asks for a bottle at night. We're working on this. If chocolate could suddenly possess all the nutrients of the fruits and vegetables of the world, we wouldn't have a problem. But as it is not the same as a green bean or piece of kale, I will continue to try to get my child to eat enough so he can grow.
He loves to help me with chores, regularly running "errands" for me around the house, emptying out the dishwasher and handing me the dishes, loading and unloading the washer, and helping me mop and sweep and dust. He's actually quite good at it. For 21 months, I find that impressive. The trick will be helping him keep that desire to clean and do chores once he's into his elementary years.
~ I've been reading. After a long time of literary starvation, I am making up for lost time. I read David Platt's Radical recently and am attempting to take on the year long experiment he suggests. I also enjoyed some books about First Nations, and one woman's journey through Labrador. And of course, I'm always checking out cookbooks from the library and discovering new recipes and methods of cooking. My latest find is a cookbook from Iraq. Books for Grasshopper are also on my reading list, with the latest being one on mollusks. (Did you know a slug is a mollusk? We have a lot of those, and he is very intrigued with them, so getting a book on them seemed like a good idea.) I'm in the middle of reading Ravi Zacharias' latest, Has Christianity Failed You?, and it is proving to be rather intriguing. I'm also in the middle of reading Chesterton's Orthodoxy, which is one that I've been wanting to tackle for awhile now. And finally, I'm in the middle of reading Catherine's Gift, which is a sequel of sorts to the book Hospital by the River about a doctor who pioneered fistula treatment in Ethiopia. This book is breaking my heart all over again, and as much as the idea of traveling to Africa makes me want to puke, the idea of loving on women who have been through a hell that I can definitely begin to understand firsthand makes me want to go despite my fear. I keep dreaming of all the things I would load in my suitcase to take to them. (Poise pads included.)
~ Speaking of fistula treatment....that continues to be a journey. I continue to press on with physical therapy to regain my ability to run and do anything requiring the use of my core. I go on a retreat in less than two weeks, and during the free time I plan to use that time to put my experience into official words for the official complaints. A part of me would rather just forget this part of my journey and go on with my life, but protecting other women from the poor medical practice of the folks involved in my case is a responsibility of mine. (God didn't give me a justice complex for no reason.) The surgery appears to have been successful, and though I still experience pain at times, the fistula seems to be gone once and for all. We still won't know for some months, but I am hopeful that my days of living with an abscessing fistula are permanently over. Now the hard work of getting back into shape after nearly two years of mostly sedentary living has begun, though it is hampered by not yet being allowed to run or do anything that would use my abdominal muscles to a great degree.
~ We are going "home" for Thanksgiving for the first time since getting married. I am excited to get to celebrate with Americans and really experience all the tradition again. I try to keep it up here on my own, but it's not nearly as fun. And it's also not nearly as easy since Henry David doesn't get American Thanksgiving off as a holiday in Canada, which means I'm cooking all day all by myself. So going home is going to be special. I can't wait!
~ I'm being stretched and challenged in a few areas of life, not the least of which is my collection of clothing and books. I'm being moved to share it permanently with others around me who actually have greater need of it than I do. So far, I've made some small attempts to share. Nothing earth shattering yet, but I'm on my way. A friend of mine was gifted with my favorite wool skirt and some favorite wool sweaters and some favorite tops. I don't know yet if she has chosen to keep them (if they fit and if she likes them), but I'm hoping they bless her in some way. My goal is to feel the "freedom we find from the things we leave behind".
~ We're doing a marriage book as the current study for our home group (a small group of couples from our church). The women are reading For Women Only and the men are reading For Men Only. We decided to do this after realizing that we collectively knew too many couples to count who have been married for years but are throwing in the towel, as well as other couples who were going through a tough season (us included). So we're reading the books and discussing them, and then standing together to commit to encourage one another in marriage and to stand by each other as couples. After that, we're talking about reading a book that deals with the whole idea of being "downwardly mobile" and participating in distributing wealth. (In other words, there isn't a shortage of wealth in our world. There is just a shortage of distribution and sharing. Not to be equated with socialism or communism, of course!!!)
~ This summer I didn't get to harvest any berries, but I did get to can peaches and make grape jelly. A young couple in our church are starting up a community garden on the hazelnut farm our church owns for next year, and I jumped at the chance to sign up for a plot. I can't wait to get back into gardening and putting up fruit and veggies. It should be easier next year because Grasshopper will be older and my health will be hopefully back to normal, enabling me to actually go pick berries and plant a garden. When they announced this idea on Sunday, it took everything in me not to cheer loudly. As it was, even my "soft" cheering collected stares and some laughter from those sitting around us. Obviously, I'm pumped!
I think that's about it. I need to get back to chores and completing my "homework" to facilitate tonight's home group. The chapter is on respect. I'm just hoping my questions resonate with the women in the group. We are technically the babies of the group, having only been married for 4.5 years. Everyone else is in their second or third decade of marriage. Bye for now....