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Showing posts from September, 2016

Closed Doors and Googling Mouths: What Kids See

Some days, parenting is gripping tightly to the handle of a door you are afraid may incur serious damage from an epic temper tantrum. It is praying, in those moments, that your son will grow up to be a man with self-control, who can both experience and control his emotions.  Other days, parenting is looking up from a full sink in surprise as the same son clears your guest’s dishes without being asked. It’s thanking God for the privilege of raising His children. Most days, it’s both. How do we, as parents, live in (and appreciate) the already and not yet of our children as image bearers of God? The lists of parenting "must-do"s and "must-not-do" can be exceedingly exhausting. One simple way I’ve found to redirect a derailing day is to make eye contact. When I rush through a day, ticking “to-do”s off my never-ending-list, I miss out on experiencing my children as people rather than a summation of tasks. But if I consciously take a moment to look into their

The Rain in (Cameroon) Stays Mainly (After June)

Until this month, I had never met a Season I didn't like. Anything can be exciting, or romantic, or nostalgic for a few months. Except, apparently, Rainy Season. I was initially surprised when my Cameroonian friends had no concept of Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall. Having lived through most of the two Seasons here, I can see why. In Dry Season, we are waiting for rain to bring down the Harmattan so we can breathe again. In Wet Season, we are waiting for a break from the rain to escape our muddy, moldy houses. Why bother with meaningless designations like Spring and Fall, which to Westerners conjure up images of baseball opening day and pumpkin spice everything -- images that similarly mean nothing in the non-Western world? Last week, a cough drop reminded me of Winter nights in New York. And I was sad. I started playing Christmas music (I know -- it's September; this is ridiculous). I put clove and orange essential oils in a dinky little infuser (in light of my sentiments

Light in the Valley of the Shadow of Death

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” - Psalm 23:4 Nobody said love was easy.  God loved the world so much that He gave His One and Only  Son (John 3:16).  He beckons us to love Him so much that we “take up our cross daily (Luke 9:23),” and die to ourselves in the same way (Romans 6:11).  My love for Jesus has brought me here.  Sometimes I feel encumbered by the weight of death.  Yet Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:30)” Sometimes, the burdens I carry do not feel light.  (The remainder of this paragraph may be hard to read for some, so feel free to skip it).  In the past month, as always, I have seen an immense amount of pathology including an 8 month old with biliary atresia (a fatal diagnosis), a newborn with trachesophageal fistula that developed an abscess in the lungs after surgery and died, a teenager with metastatic cancer located behi