This week has been filled with fun and exciting, non-blogging activities! We've been eating well, playing board games, going on adventures downtown and soaking up sun. Also, Esther has been working on a new site to host my blog, so I'm looking forward to hopefully making that transition soon and getting off blogspot :)
Next weekend Matt and I are looking forward to throwing a party to celebrate paying off our student line of credit! (No, we won't be going back into debt over this party.) On our honeymoon in August 2009 we put $500 on it to bring the balance down to $18 400. Crazy I know - and now it's gone! Over a year ago when we were dreaming about ever having this loan paid off, we decided that when it happened we would take one month's payment and put it toward a party to celebrate with our friends! Then we will get back to paying off our government student loans like the responsible adults we pretend to be :)
While I'm posting pictures, some of you may be happy to know that back in April I did finish my Lent reading plan! I was one day late, finishing on Easter Sunday, but even that feels like such a huge accomplishment, and I'm really glad I made the time for this discipline because I got so much out of reading the Bible cover to cover (although not straight through).
Okay, that's it for now! We are alive and well and loving life, and I hope the same is true for you <3
I was really impressed with how my church handled Mother's Day this year - it's easy for the women in a congregation to be divided into mothers and non-mothers, but this can be really hurtful to women who may be struggling with infertility or who have lost pregnancies, those who deeply desire to be mothers but aren't yet, and those who are mothers unbeknownst to others and therefore go uncelebrated. It can also be awkward as a woman of child-bearing age if the ushers aren't sure whether they should offer you a flower (or whatever the token is) or not. And if there is pain under the surface, this confusion can bring it right out in the open.
The flip side of this recognition of mothers only, is the celebrate-all-women approach, which focuses on the mothering influence that many women have and the fact that emotional and spiritual nurturing are just as valuable as breastfeeding and diaper changing and homework nagging (I mean helping...), which is true! No woman is left out or left behind, which is nice, but I always feel a bit awkward being included in whatever gesture is made because being a mom is a big deal, and I haven't done anything to be celebrated as one.
Today I experienced a beautiful middle ground: flowers for all the women, to celebrate the mothers, the priest explained, "and if you aren't a mother, you had a mother, so take a flower in her honour."
I realize that if Mother's Day is a difficult holiday, there is no perfect phrase or gift or gesture that will make the pain go away, but I was touched by the simplicity and sincerity of this approach. I don't feel weird about having taken a flower even though I am not a mother, and as this day passes with my own mom thousands of miles away, I can enjoy this sweet reminder of the beauty and love she has allowed me to take for granted in this life.