Tuesday, 29 May 2012

so different

I have one daughter who carefully folds her clothes.  She stacks them neatly in piles on her shelf; newly folded things go to the bottom of the pile.  Even the intimates are folded neatly in a row; newly washed ones put to the back and the rest shuffled forward. Each morning she takes the clothes on the top of the pile to wear.  It doesn't matter what colour or what style.  Any T-shirt goes with any skirt.  This way, she says, everything is worn evenly.

My other daughter doesn't have neat piles on her shelf.  It's rather a jungle in there.   She selects clothes according to their colour and style.  If they don't match, she won't be seen.  She couldn't care less if some long forgotten article of clothing never gets worn.  In fact, when she discovers one of those, she quietly passes it on to a friend.  When Mum sees said friend walking around in daughter's clothes and politely questions that said daughter, she says; "I was hoping you wouldn't notice Mum, I know how hard you worked to make me something nice."


Saturday, 26 May 2012

but that's not fair

Anyone who is the eldest child will share this grievance.

Younger siblings are always allowed to do things at earlier ages than the eldest.
That's not fair!  I had to wait until I was ten to do that!  You always let them do things that I wasn't allowed to do!
Well as a parent I have finally come to understand why this is so.

Tonight we were at a community gathering.  I let my daughter go and sit outside with her friends.  Then I let my five year old follow her and sit with them.  It occurred to me that I never would have let my eldest, or even the second born do that at five.

And echoes filled my mind.
Not fair! Not fair! Not not not fair!
No my child, it isn't.  But if you'd had a ten year sister like you, I'd have let you do it too.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

another visit to the clinic

Yesterday Lachlan climbed out of his cot and fell headfirst onto a toy truck.  He split his head open.  We heard the crash and ran.  He was standing, his hand on his forehead, shocked.  Blood was running down the side of his face and dripping onto the floor.

Once it was cleaned up, it didn't look so terrible.  No stitches.  It was dressed at the local clinic.

It could've been worse.

We are very thankful to God that it wasn't.  Lessons learnt.

Friday, 18 May 2012

collapsible toddler barrier

Would someone invent this for me please?

It must be made of strong but light material.

It must expand and lock into the lower portion of a door frame (or similar space) so that it acts as a secure and safe barrier for toddlers.  

It must collapse into a size suitable to carry around as an easy attachment to an ordinary nappy-bag.

It could be used in all sorts of places... church, friend's places, grandparents... the sorts of places whose occupants have forgotten or had no experience of the wandering yet speedy toddler.

It would bring peace of mind to the frazzled parent and perhaps enable them to have a decent conversation.  For once.

Perhaps it has already been invented.  Let me know.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

what about giving and saving

Tom Richards wrote a post recently about missionaries and money, asking the question: how much money should missionaries be given? Should missionaries in the majority (or developing) world have enough money to continue to live a "western" lifestyle or should they be given the equivalent of a local salary and live a local lifestyle?

Glen and I have been giving this a lot of thought.

We think there is another question to ask as well the question of lifestyle.
It is this;
Should missionaries be given just enough to cover their expenses while living in the field or should they receive enough so they can also give and save?
Why should supporters have to give enough so that missionaries also can give? Why should they give extra just so we put some aside for a rainy day? Won't God look after the rainy day? Everyone knows how difficult the world financial market is at the moment. Is it fair to expect people to give over and beyond what it actually costs for someone to live on the field? And if they could give extra, wouldn't it be better to send someone else with this money?

But what if the missionary has a mortgage in their home country? Shouldn't they also have enough to pay for this? If they don't have a mortgage, should they be able to save in order to buy a house later on? Should missionaries on the field save the same amount as most Christians back home? What about super? How much is reasonable?

Jesus calls us to leave everything and go. Aren't we just trying to look like we're leaving everything but actually hanging on to it all at the same time?

And what constitutes living expenses? Medical insurance? Holidays? Education?

There are mission agencies that use both systems. We know missionaries on both.

What do you think?

Monday, 14 May 2012

books I read with Matthew last term

School with Matthew has been lots of fun this year so far.

 Each week we have a "letter of the week". We learn its name, its sound and how to write it. We have downloaded all sorts of activities from the internet to help.

More fun by far has been our "book of the week". Somewhere in the title of the book, preferably in a prominent position, must be the letter of the week. Even better is if there is the Upper Case and the Lower Case letter.  We read the book together and do activities inspired by it.  Here are the books we did last term:

Mr McGee and the Biting Flea by Pamela Allen (M)
Alexander's Outing by Pamela Allen (A)
Ten in the Bed by Penny Dale (T)
Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion (H)
I will not Never, Not Ever, Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child (E)
I Went Walking by Sue Machin (W)
The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson (L)
Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins (R)
Bertie and the Bear by Pamela Allen (B)
Imagine by Ruth Brown (I)
There’s a Sea in My Bedroom by Margaret Wild (S)

We enjoyed the sound, rhythm and rhyme of words; we've enjoyed acting out some of the stories. We've learnt about opposites and backwards counting. We've been on walks and outings and eaten moon-squirters. We're not even afraid of the sea anymore.

I'm looking forward to this term's books. We start with "P" this week. I've found three books: Possum Magic (and guess what we'll be cooking this week!), Paddington and the Princess and the Pea.

Any ideas of books for U, Y, V or K?

Saturday, 12 May 2012

a little about cargo cults

One of my readers asked if I could write more about cargo cults.

I don't have any personal experience with the John Frum cult on Tanna.  One of Bethany's friends is the daughter of a student who has been converted from the cult and has been working as a Pastor amongst his people.  So I'll try and have a chat or two to find out some more.

It will take me a little while to write something thoughtful about cargo cults.  For now, here are some links that give some basic information.

Wikipedia on cargo cults in general and John Frum in particular.

Other articles Tom has posted:

Flags and Stones - Jon Frum
Streams of Living Water
Can Goods Suffice?
Reflections on Darkenss; cargo cults in PNG

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

missionaries and money

Here's a post I'd like you to read about missionaries and money.   It's written by Tom Richards at Talking about Tanna who is preparing to go and live and work with his family in Tanna next year.

I've written a lot of my thoughts in the comments, so rather than replicate them here, I provide the link for you to go and read them.  I'd love for you to join in the discussion.  My comments have been more about "which lifestyle" than money per se but the assumption is that it is more expensive to live a western lifestyle.

It's especially pertinent to us at the moment as our mission agency considers changing the way they support us.