Friday, January 8, 2010

7 Quick Takes - Welcome to 2010!

-- 1 --

I have a question for all of you with kids. Isaac and I have been spending a lot of time chatting about the future, how to fit my schooling and having a family into our lives... etc.. etc.. ad nauseum. For the most part we can't wait to have kids, but as we talked it over the other day I thought, you know, I should focus on making the most of these last years without kids. So - what are the things you wish you'd done before you had kids? I want to take advantage of just being a couple for as long as this is the stage God has us in!

-- 2 --
Official Avatar The Movies Wallpapers By NOSHOMAX
Isaac and I saw Avatar on my last day of Christmas vacation. It rocked. Fantasy isn't my favorite genre and I'd heard reviews from people that passionately loved the movie and some from people who liked it but thought the plot was overdone and the dialogue a little shallow. My thoughts? IT WAS AMAZING. You should go see it, because it's so visually beautiful, it should really be watched the big screen. I thought the storyline was gripping, even if the dialogue was indeed cheesy. The fantastical world of beauty totally made up for it - often I thought of Papua, which has some of the most incredible flora and fauna on the planet.

-- 3 --
One of the things depicted in Avatar was a plant that closed or jerked away when you touched it. That doesn't make sense, right? Plants can't feel, right? I don't get it, but those plants grow like weeds all over the city I grew up in, and they do respond to touch. You don't want to step on them because they have thorns on them, but it was hours of entertainment if you found a field full of these:

-- 4 --
I taught a college class this week. Okay not really, but we were invited to a graduate course about international ministry and were interviewed about the experience of growing up overseas. It was super fun - always nice to have the particular unique effects of our upbringing recognized and legitimized. The proff talked about the unique third-culture created by the melding of the parent's home culture and the culture of residence, and how kids that grow up overseas often connect immediately with each other even if they were in opposite parts of the world and haven't ever met before. Turns out one of the guys in the class grew up in Nigeria, and that third-culture connection was exhibited for the whole class as we immediately found out that one of Isaac's groomsmen grew up with this guy, and within five minutes we were chatting like old friends.

-- 5 --
One guy in the class asked us if we'd felt the negative effects of growing up away from the support network of extended family. That was and interesting discussion. The short answer is no. Even if you don't see grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins very often, that need is usually filled by the expat community. The older members became surrogate grandparents, and I have so many "aunts" and "uncles" from overseas on facebook that I am still close to. However, there is a sacrifice made, and it's really made by the parents. Parents usually want their kids to know and love their grandparents and aunts and uncles - my parents do. They struggle when they see how disconnected I feel from much of my extended family. This is hitting home with me now as I think of Isaac and I going overseas - how much will they miss out on getting to know my brothers and sisters? That kills me.

-- 6 --
This color thing going around email and facebook? I think it's weird. I refuse to post a color, and I'm very disturbed when women post "none" as their facebook status! It's like... yikes... I didn't want to know, and you KNOW the men are going to figure out what that meant eventually!

-- 7 --
I've been talking about Josh Garrells for ages, but I finally got one of his cds for Christmas, and have been listening to him every morning since. Turns out his wife grew up overseas, which is an immediate connection. She wrote one of the songs, and it's about her struggle to be planted and grow in a place that isn't home. Or at least, that's my interpretation! Another song, Rejoice & Lament, really gets me. It's about the pain and hope of life. The video below is the song, and I've posted the lyrics below it.

Rejoice and Lament
Learn this lesson well, my friend
There’s a time to rejoice and lament
Every season will find an end
All will fade and be made new again
Standing on the rocks of the railroad tracks
Feet calloused, eyes open, sun beats on my back
As I gaze upon the unseen winds
And they are wandering, whispering
Wisdom that’s eternal
From the heart to the mind
To the hand to the journal
Now the kernel of the seeds in the cleft of the rock
And it’s watered by the winds
Having power to unlock and
Stop the clock of chronological logic
With its homogenized systems
That are dead and can’t dodge it
Being deaf to the voice of the Almighty One
Spirit illumines the dark like a fire
Revealing the way that was hidden but is higher
Now we must travel on the wings
That will never grow tired
Of searching the mysteries of God
I said Father the feathers of my wax wings
Fall away by the rising of the sun
And I have descended when I was undone
And I will ascend when your Spirit comes
Because what’s been done and overcome
Cannot be stopped by the power of any human
Like the number of sand we will stand
And we will fall, all
In the face of an eternal call
But those who call on His name
In the midst of the pain
In the guilt and the shame
And the world full of blame
And all the bloody stains
From the unjust gains
I learned all men suffer the same
Because we’re wayward sons
And all our jokes betray
Our foolish hearts and our selfish ways
But if we would turn to the Father’s grace
We would never be the same
This is an unseen land of a devastated soul
That’s prepared in contemplative silence
For the mighty working hand of an unseen Lord
To come restore this land from its violence
I said walk another mile
Stare across the fields of grain
This is how the prophets train
Learn this lesson well my friend
There’s a time to rejoice and lament
Every season will find an end
All will fade and be made new again


This Heavenly Life said...

I don't think I actually have any 'I wish I'd done this specific thing before kids' thoughts. I think it's more of a general mindset I should have had -- I wish I'd more fully appreciated and embraced the free time and ability to drop whatever I was doing for a change of plans. So, I guess my advice spontaneous. Enjoy your husband, your quiet home, and your relaxed meals :) Go on trips (which you seem to do anyway). Romantic weekends away. Stuff that you'll be able to remember when you're movement becomes more restricted with a baby.

But, it's a good restriction :)

Hans and Shinta said...

Haha..that plant. We have it in Indonesia, of course, and my husband totally got over excited when he saw the plant the first time =)

Jaimie said...

It's about the men figuring it out. It's genius "marketing"... All the benefits of viral marketing (like... free!) with all the wildfire of sex. Sex sells.

And all to remind women of the reality of breast cancer, reminding them to do self breast exams more often. I love it. Whoever thought of that... give him/her a promotion.

I'm seeing Avatar a third time tonight!

Alice said...

Well, we planned to wait 5 years before having kids, and God planned for us to wait 8 years. It was perfect timing, even though now we're "older" parents. I would say don't rush it. Get your schooling done first. Travel as much as you can (sounds like you do).

As for the color thing, I agree. I finally figured it out on my own. And my mom would think it is beyond tacky, so I refrained for that reason also! :-)

justaweeblether said...

The tough family issues has to do with my MIL and her needing and resisting psychiatric treatment and her abuses directed toward us. It has been like living a Dicken's novel with her. She is the reason I quit my old blog because she found it and said that I was spreading lies about her.

Kacie said...

Ugh, so frustrating! I've had two friends do the same for similar reasons!

saraebibb said...

#5, no one but other TCKs understand this one. I still have a hard time explaining to people how that works out. (and #4 too)

everydayMOM said...

The color thing was making me crazy! One male friend posted that he would like the women to stop because he didn't like the visual image it was creating for him. It made me think... if we were all sitting at small group face to face and someone asked all of the women to tell the group the color of their underwear, we would freak! we would be so offended. And yet we do it on facebook?!? ugh.

Sarah Eliza @ devastateboredom said...

Loved Avatar too!! Though the Pocahontas parallels are soooo obvious... it was still great though.

I'm so confused... what color thing? Where is this happening? LOL.

And y'all are thinking about going overseas? I guess I'm more behind then I thought I was... I'm subscribing via email, cuz my google reader hasn't been touched in ages. Looking forward to seeing you in my inbox! ;)