Monthly Archives: July 2013

And Then She Was 6

I’m sitting here trying to think of something fun or quirky to write about Amelia and the fact that she seems to be growing up at lightening speed, but I’m at a loss. I just can’t believe that it’s been six years since we had her. Having Amelia (as with having all my children) was such a huge turning point in my life. I know that I’ve talked about it before, but the circumstances surrounding Amelia and her birth seemed to be a bit of a soul saver for me. I felt, and still feel, as though God used all of that to speak to my hurting heart. I look back on her infancy with fondness and part of me misses those precious months of blessing and renewal. I also miss my quirky little toddler in all of her spunk and sparkles. But it’s also fun to see the girl she’s turning into. I love that she goes to the beat of her own drum, not caring about what other people are doing or wearing. She’s a superb friend and is (almost) always willing to lend a helping hand. Her heart seems to be constantly exploding with love for everyone around her.

I’m constantly astounded over how quickly Amelia is growing up and how big she’s gotten (seriously, she’s wearing size 8!). Although the early years are hard and tiring, I feel so lucky to have had a little girl like Amelia. She’s truly a special spark in our household. Our family is made better with her in our lives. So here’s to Amelia Kate!

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Happy Birthday Ammie!

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Me and My Blessed Life

When I was younger my dad said to me a number of times, “Bria, you were born the right colour, in the right place, at the right time.” I never really knew what he meant, so I’d nod my head and smile as though I understood. Now, before you start ranting on about how that’s ‘whatever label or ist that you want to ascribe to it’, I believe he was trying to teach me to be thankful for my privileged/blessed lot in life, not to take my situation for granted and squander away my opportunities.

However, lately I’ve found it troubling. I’ve begun to understand what he tried to teach me so many years ago, but with greater understanding comes greater responsibility. These are the thoughts that have been plaguing my mind lately. Please don’t take them the wrong way.

I have blonde hair, blue eyes and white skin. I don’t know what it’s like to be a minority. I’ve never been a recipient of racism. I’ve  never been turned down for employment because of how I look or talk or because of where I come from. Yet I complain about my skin, my hairstyle and having to wear glasses (that are covered under my husbands benefits…I don’t even pay for the damn things).

I have my health and an able body, one that was blessed with growing three children. I don’t know the feeling of chronic pain. I’m a stranger to the long and lonely years of infertility. I don’t bear marks or scars of accidents or ailments. Yet I complain about having wide hips, about needing to lose 10 pounds, about a few stretch marks here or there and a saggy stretched-out tummy.

I have a house over my head, a kitchen full of food, a nice yard for the kids to play in and a car in my driveway (and a truck to tow our boat). I don’t know what it’s like to be homeless and I probably never will. I don’t know what it’s like to be truly hungry. Yet I complain about our renovations, about not having enough room, about our neighbourhood and I’m constantly think about moving to a ‘nicer’ place. I complain about not having anything to cook for dinner when my fridge, pantry and freezer are full.

I live in a province that is unbelievably abundant and beautiful in a country that is free. I don’t know what it’s like to be a refugee. I don’t know what it’s like to live in a place that is war-torn. Yet I complain about our harsh winters, our giant mosquitoes, our bad roads and our high taxes.

I have family who loves me, friends who care about me and a church community that supports me. I have money in my wallet and in the bank. I go on leisurely trips outside of the city to beaches and cottages and, on occasion, hotels. I don’t know what it’s like to not have a family. I don’t know what it’s like to not have friends. Yet I complain about the little things that irritate me with family, friends and church. I complain about not going on more grandiose trips to more exotic destinations.  I’m forever complaining about not having enough money.

I have a loving husband who has an amazing job and a secondary source of income. He treats me well and smothers me with affection everyday. He supports me in everything I do and loves that I stay home to take care of his kids. I have three beautiful children who are healthy and smart. They have things they need to work on, as we all do, but they are well behaved and love their parents and each other very much. They are free to go to school to learn and play with their friends, regardless of race or religion.

This is my privileged life. I don’t battle AIDS or famine or threats of war. I don’t fear widespread diseases or imprisonment because of my faith. Yet I complain and complain and complain. The things I battle are apathy, complacency and idleness.

Sometimes I just hang my head in shame over how blessed my life is and how ungrateful my heart is. I think back to those little outstretched hands poking through the fence in Haiti, begging me for a handful of rice and beans. What would they think of my life up here?

{Lord, teach me to be more like you.}

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Summer Surprise

I’m always relieved and anxious when the school year comes to an end. On one hand, no more schedules and alarms! On the other hand, I have to figure out how to keep three kids entertained and occupied so they don’t go stir-crazy and kill each other (or make their mother go postal)! Normally I have to pour over my calendar and compare James work shifts and his side jobs so that I know when I can have the truck. Then I have to research outings and events and budgets. On top of that we are throwing in a baby’s schedule this year. I was feeling pretty stressed two weeks ago because all of the camps that I wanted to put the kids into conflicted with when I wouldn’t be able to have access to our vehicle and taking the bus with two kids and a baby is quite difficult (and not all that cheap).

Lo and behold, my stellar husband surprised me with purchasing me my very. own. CAR!!! The next day I went and registered the kids for all of the camps I had been wanting to put them in. I was hoping to get a car next year, so this came as a total shock to me. Apparently he’d been quietly saving for this for a little while now. What a guy.

 It honestly feels like my whole world has opened up!

Now summer doesn’t look so daunting to me.

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