Friday, May 30, 2008
Once upon a time, even the thought of having to do that struck terror in my heart. I always said that my child would never go to a daycare and assumed I'd be able to stay home. My vision for family life did not include my working.
The reality of my situation, though--financially, mostly--slowly changed my mind over the course of many months. My Ideal and my Real weren't lining up.
The honest truth? I am torn, but not despondent. I'm at peace. And I am really surprised to feel that way.
Sure, a part of me wants to be with Noah all the time--every minute of the day. I treasure every word he says and every cute smile. A part of me is pained to think that I would miss even one of them.
But another part of me is glad to get some quiet time during the day, to have some time to work out, to be around other adults. Sallie at A Quiet, Simple Life was just mentioning that she is an introvert with an extrovert child (great post). Noah is just the same way! He loves people, loves other children. I think he's going to adapt really well to the daycare I have chosen for him. It's so hard to get my mind out of the "daycare is the devil" mindset, but the truth is that it's just not. (Kind of like Angela's post about public school.) The truth is that I have had sixteen months alone with my boy, and that's so much more than many moms get. I've had many months to heal from crippling PPD. God has been so gracious to me and has given me the time I needed (and that Noah needed). I think we are both going to be okay in this next step.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Maybe some of you more experienced moms can help me here.
Um, how do you deal with a baby pinching you (and others)? Obviously, I firmly say, "no pinching," and "ouch." He'll then look right in my eyes, smiling as though what he did was funny. Sometimes he will do it to himself, lightly, and say "ouch," as if to confirm that is correct.
He's so impish, it's hard not to laugh when he does this, but I am usually successful at hiding my amusement. What's the answer? Do I ignore the behavior? The pinches sometimes hurt, but more often they are...testing pinches. Little ones to see what I'll do.
Help! Where is my instruction manual?
Monday, May 05, 2008
The article is worth reading to get a synopsis of the savvy marketing done by occult businesspeople. Occult publishing is definitely a business, and for Hay House publishers, it's to the tune of $100 million last year. I think that sometimes people tend to envision crystal-laden, patchouli-scented hippies when someone mentions "occultists." The truth is that the people who market alternatives to the Bible to the masses have to have their fingers on the pulse of what people want. If you don't want to hear "Thou Shalt Not," then they cater to you.
It's nothing new for occultists like Louise Hay or Rhonda Byrne, author of The Secret, to tout positive thinking: it's the idea that you can think into existence whatever you desire. Mel Lawrenz, reviewing The Secret in Christianity Today, explained:
It's the nasty underbelly of "positive thinking" that you don't hear about when the occult writer or speaker is telling you what a fabulous life you can dream up. If things don't go as you dreamed, you must not really have done a great job of thinking positively. Louise Hay, a legend in New Age circles and publishing giant, knows it must be your fault.
The secret is simply "the law of attraction." Think about wealth, and you will become wealthy. Think about that new car, and it will come. Think about getting a good parking spot, and one will open up. Think about your ideal weight (really, dwell on that number, write it on your scale), and you will attract that reality to yourself. Byrne reports that since deciding her "perfect weight" was 116 pounds, she has reached it, and nothing has moved her from it, no matter what she does or eats.
"Thoughts are magnetic, and thoughts have a frequency," the book assures us. "As you think, those thoughts are sent out into the universe and they magnetically attract all like things that are on the same frequency. Everything sent out returns to the source. And that source is you."
Now here's the bad news: Whatever happens to you—the good and the bad—was attracted by your thoughts. Appendicitis? Auto accident? Poverty? You brought it on yourself.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
But while Hay may have hedged about whether positive thinking could cure AIDS, in her writings she was adamant that thoughts — not just sexual behavior — could help cause it. "Venereal dis-ease," Hay writes in "You Can Heal Your Life," using her eccentric spelling, "is almost always sexual guilt. It comes from a feeling, often subconscious, that it is not right to express ourselves sexually. A carrier with a venereal dis-ease can have many partners, but only those whose mental and physical immune systems are weak will be susceptible to it." And that mental weakness can be self-loathing, hating one's looks or just a fear of aging.
In person and in print, Hay mentions these causes only to play them down: "In no way am I trying to create guilt for anyone"; "this is a time for healing, for making whole, not for condemnation." But she cannot escape her own logic: if our thoughts create our circumstances, then we are always, in the end, to blame. When I asked her if, since people's thoughts are responsible for their conditions, victims of genocide might be to blame for their own deaths, she said: "I probably wouldn't say it to them. I don't go around making people feel bad. That's not what I'm after." I pressed harder: Did she believe they are to blame? "Yes, I think there's a lot of karmic stuff that goes on, past lives." So, I asked, with a situation like the Holocaust, the victims might have been an unfortunate group of souls who deserved what they got because of their behavior in past lives? "Yes, it can work that way," Hay said. "But that's just my opinion."
She doesn't want to, you know, make people feel bad or anything, but victims of genocide are to blame for their own deaths?
I find that sentiment nothing short of terrifying. It's illogical, and it's always kind of frightening to be presented with bold, profoundly illogical thinking (where do you go with someone you can't reason with?), but this is in another realm of nonsensical.
Don't be fooled about where Hay and other occult writers get their material.
I was curious what sort of research Hay does before adding new items to her list. “I seem to do my best channeling on the computer,” she told me. “People would write me letters: ‘What about this?’ ‘What about that?’ I’d just type and send it off and people would write me back and say, ‘How did you know?’ ”Yeah...from the demons.
That technique — it was once called channeling, although the term fell away as New Age became more mainstream — is still a favorite in the Hay House family. Wayne Dyer has written 33 books by going where his pen is led. “I write them by hand and without an outline,” he says, “and I have written them by just letting it come. I know about automatic writing. I don’t know where it comes from. . . . I am just an instrument, and it keeps flowing."
I like what Berit Kjos writes in her expose of The Secret:
It does matter what you think and imagine. When we set our minds on self-empowerment and self-focused idolatry, the consequences can be devastating. Again and again, God's Word shows His concern over the corrupting influence of our rebellious thoughts:"GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5
Lawrenz ends his CT review by contrasting The Secret's secretly bleak outlook with God's offer of "help and hope":
Contrary to the real gospel, The Secret proclaims: "The universe is supporting me in everything I do. The universe meets all my needs immediately."
Byrne says she is most gratified to hear of children discovering The Secret. But having raised two kids, I've always thought that one of the most important lessons young people must realize is that the universe does not revolve around them, that they are not God. When we believe in a God above us, apart from us, beneath us, and for us—then we find help and hope.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
Sometimes he yells it if you aren't paying enough attention. "AMEN! AMEN!"
Or if he just ate a particularly good Honey Nut Cheerio (which he calls "bee" because there's one on the package--"Bee? Bee?"). "AMEN!"
I don't know how much he knows yet about being thankful, but every time he says the word I realize how often I forget to thank God for everything He's given me. My days are so full and busy--more and different than before Noah--and I just put God on the back burner. Embarrassing, shameful and wrong, but true.
I've got to get my priorities straight, because I want Noah to know that Mommy is thankful to God, not just speeding along in life, taking each day for granted.
I mentioned a long time ago that I went through some post-partum depression. I know first-hand now how crippling it is emotionally. Honestly, I don't think I am completely over it. I don't feel like I used to feel inside. I experience joy with my family and have so much fun with Noah, but it's like there's a gray film over things, or like there's a dead weight inside my chest. I can tell--just because I remember how I used to be--that I am not experiencing good emotions all the way to my bones like I did before. I hope that makes sense.
In the beginning (right after Noah was born, like the day after, and lasting for several weeks) I was a huge wreck. I cried a lot and had terrifying visions of Noah falling or getting hurt--not of my hurting him, but of it happening despite anything I could do. I felt like the whole motherhood thing was too much for me, that it completely overwhelmed me. I remember sitting in the doctor's office right after Noah was born and just holding back tears. The doctor asked how I was doing, and it was everything I could do to hold myself together.
My friend who had a child within days of Noah's birth also had PPD. She says that she felt angry almost all the time, without cause. I can identify with that, too, and I have always been a happy person, not a negative, easily angered one. It's kind of scary not to recognize yourself, and to constantly be asked, "Is something wrong? Are you okay?" when you thought you looked normal or neutral.
I think that getting help is important, but it's also important for me to cry out to God. I know He is there and I know He will help me. There are so many things to be thankful for!
Psalm 69:1-3, 14-18a
Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.
I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God....
Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.
And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it.
Friday, May 02, 2008
Remember Growing Pains, circa the late 1980s? The Seaver Family, Kirk Cameron, Tracey Gold?
Apparently, the show was a huge hit internationally as well as in the US.
The show was not, however, called Growing Pains overseas. Below is a chart taken from Wikipedia that lists how other countries referred to the Seavers (my hands-down favorite is Italy):
|Mainland China||成长的烦恼 (Chéngzhǎng de Fánnǎo)||Growing Worries|
|Taiwan||歡樂家庭 (Huānlè Jiātíng)||Happy Family|
|France||Quoi de neuf docteur?||What is new doctor? or What's up doc?|
|Germany||Unser lautes Heim||Our loud home|
|Italy||Genitori in blue jeans||Parents in blue jeans|
|Japan||愉快なシーバー家 (Yukai na Seaver Ke)||Happy Seaver's family|
|Latin America||Ay! Cómo duele crecer||Ouch! Growing up hurts|
|Poland||Dzieciaki, kłopoty i my||Our kids, trouble and us|
|Spain||Los Problemas Crecen||Problems grow|
Parents in Blue Jeans about sums it up. I also like Our Loud Home. Awesome.
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