Posts Tagged "fruit of the spirit"

Searching for silver in storm clouds

Posted by on Aug 1, 2012 in Miscellaneous | 11 comments

Searching for silver in storm clouds

It’s been ages since I wrote a post in my series about fruits of the spirit. I’ve felt a bit stuck on the theme of kindness – trying to think of something new and fresh to say on the topic. Or perhaps I should just say that I’ve felt stuck “trying to think”. It’s been a busy, exhausting couple of months. Most of the time right now I feel as if I’m walking around with half a working brain, a quarter of my personality, twice my normal quotient of irritability and anxiety, and not a single flicker of creative inspiration. These last few months have not been my favorite season of...

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Many hands make much kindness

Posted by on Apr 25, 2012 in Miscellaneous | 8 comments

Many hands make much kindness

The month of patience for my fruits of the spirit project is over (thank goodness) and the month of kindness has begun. Before it started, I assumed that this month would be all about me learning how to be more kind to others. So far, however, it’s pretty much been about me accepting kindness from others. It all started before we moved house in Laos, when my parents spent some of their visit packing boxes and helping me sort clothes. Then, the week before the move, half a dozen friends showed up to help us pack. They wrapped up pictures, moved books, boxed up our entire kitchen, and even...

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Fifteen years of longsuffering

Posted by on Mar 12, 2012 in Parenting | 16 comments

Fifteen years of longsuffering

It has been the month of patience. Or, maybe more appropriately, it has been the month of patience being tested. The last six weeks has held one broken leg (Dominic), two courses of antibiotics for intestinal infections (Mike and me), three trips to Thailand (all of us), and five colds. It’s been more than a month since Dominic broke his leg and I still don’t want to write about it. Truth be told, I don’t even want to think about it. Because every time I remember hearing the crash after Mike’s mother slipped and landed on the stairs, then the long pause, then that awful, piercing...

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From Peace to Patience

Posted by on Feb 3, 2012 in Parenting | 28 comments

From Peace to Patience

Every day of life is a gift. Sometimes, however, the daily gift feels a bit like finding polyester socks – the kind that make your feet sweat and itch – under the Christmas tree. So it has been every day this week. I’ve had a vicious head cold – the kind that makes it impossible to breathe easily and sends sharp pain through your ears. I’m also still breastfeeding, so can’t take any of the good stuff (the stuff that they now sell from behind the pharmacy counter in the US because people were buying it in bulk and using it to make illegal drugs). It’s only this morning, on day...

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Peace Like A River

Posted by on Jan 23, 2012 in Parenting | 34 comments

Peace Like A River

Two weeks after Dominic was born, Mike announced that he was going out for a bike ride. “Just a 50km loop,” he said. “I’ll be back within two hours.” I nodded and told him to have a good ride, but that wasn’t what I wanted to do. I wanted to cry. I wanted to clutch him and beg him not to go. I wanted to demand that he tell me how I would survive if a car hit him – which happens to cyclists all the time, you know – while he was being so irresponsible as to be out riding for fun. Fun. What was he thinking to be indulging in something so very dangerous and call it fun? I had...

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On Peace and Quiet

Posted by on Jan 6, 2012 in Parenting | 8 comments

On Peace and Quiet

When I think of the word peace, I always think next of the word quiet. I’ve always been someone who is extraordinarily sensitive to sound. As a student I would find myself distracted by the rhythmic clicking of a pen all the way over the other side of the lecture theater. Even now, any tapping or drumming of fingers tends to draw my attention with all the constant compulsion that magnets offer iron. Out in public I must sometimes make a conscious effort to maintain eye contact with the person I am speaking with, or I will find myself glancing around, restless as a sparrow, monitoring the...

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More than a brighter shade of happiness

Posted by on Dec 23, 2011 in Parenting | 12 comments

More than a brighter shade of happiness

“What have you been thinking about joy recently?” Mike asked me over lunch the other day. “I’ve been thinking about that research suggesting that people are happier before they have children,” I said. “And about how happiness and joy are different.” “Are you going to write the easy post about how you often feel less happy on a moment to moment basis since Dominic’s birth, but you have more joy in your life?” Mike asked. “No,” I said. “Because, although I would like to think that this is true, I’m not actually sure that it is.” Despite the fact that joy is the...

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On feeling joy-less

Posted by on Nov 15, 2011 in Life in Laos | 18 comments

On feeling joy-less

It is an unhappy sort of irony that ever since I switched the theme of my fruits of the spirit blog series to joy, joy has felt in rather short supply. On Sunday Mike bundled baby bear and me into the car and took us on a surprise adventure for the afternoon – a trip to Zen, a resort on the Khan River, about half an hour from where we live. It was a gorgeous spot on a relaxing Sunday afternoon and (despite the smile I have on my face in the photo above) how did I mostly feel? I mostly felt like this: The neighbors behind the house have been using electric power tools to sand wood for...

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From love to joy

Posted by on Nov 7, 2011 in Life in Laos | 8 comments

From love to joy

Last Wednesday I talked about how the arrival of one baby coincided with the death of a dream (at least temporarily) for another. During the first six weeks of Dominic’s life, doors with traditional publishers continued to close one after another. I received a lot of positive feedback from editors about my writing and the book, but no one was willing to take a risk on it in the current publishing climate. It was difficult not to let this disappointment dominate my thinking or taint the joys that other areas of my life were handing me. When it comes to compliments and criticism, most people...

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The Most Versatile Word in the English Language

Posted by on Oct 24, 2011 in Parenting | 10 comments

The Most Versatile Word in the English Language

In these bodies we will live In these bodies we will die Where you invest your love, you invest your life (Mumford and Sons) Love: What wells up when Dominic flashes a wide, gummy grin of delight when I bend down and speak to him. Love: How I feel about the chocolate ice cream that AB Bakery has just started making. Yes, folks, we may not have incredibly reliable electricity, but there’s now some good ice cream in town. Love: The fact that Mike, despite feeling completely exhausted, dragged himself out of bed at 5:15 this morning, took our flapping, squawking child and our whimpering dog...

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