Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lessons Learned

You know how Christians like to find something good in really bad situations? It's the whole beauty for ashes, redemption dealio that our Bible happens to talk about. Example: if a loved one dies, well PTL because his/her life beautifully displayed at the memorial service will lead many to Christ. Yes, there are moments when I'd like to throttle people when life becomes sucky for them and they keep PTLing and say: "It's okay to say life SUCKS right now!!!!" Thankfully, those are just brief fleeting moments, and for the most part I believe Jesus is about redemption and with Him, even the worst situations somehow find hope and goodness because of who He is and what His community of believers stand for.

Well, my life is a bit sucky right now. For the past 2-3 weeks I've contracted a to-be-determined condition that leaves me dealing with crazy dizzy spells. I've been walking around without a sense of balance, sort of like floating in zero-gravity space. Or other times when the spells hit, I feel like I've been slammed to the ground even though reality says I am perfectly upright. It has debilitated me and it takes me extra effort to do everything I normally do, leaving me exhausted at the end of every day.

Having been a Christian and been around other Christians most of my life, I've been programmed so the Life-Sucks-Learn-Lesson mechanism kicks in at the first sign of trouble. So here are my lessons learned (or in the process of being learned):

1. Thankful. For an amazing God who has created our inner ear so delicately and beautifully so that we can walk around with a sense of balance. Hoping for restoration to said beautiful creation soon so I can feel like I'm walking upright again.

2. Thankful. For where we are at in Taiwan where we can get fairly decent healthcare and tests done at very low cost.

3. Compassion. Because of my condition I've searched all over the web for others who may suffer the same fate as I, and have discovered a whole host of people who live with this chronically. Hoping I do not join that crowd, but at the same time, I have such deep compassion for them as I actually know a taste of how it feels.

4. Grace. For myself as I seem to believe it is somehow my fault that this happened. Sounds so silly when I say it out loud but when one can no longer do some of the everyday tasks that hold up one's family (cook, chores, shuttling children places, etc.), it is tempting to place blame on myself.

5. Trust. Modern medicine is still limited, and I don't know if the doctors can actually help me. I know God has the power to heal me but He might not. Or He might not heal me as quickly as I'd like Him to. But I gotta learn to trust that whatever happens, I still need to live my life faithfully (i.e. stop moaning about how miserable I feel and develop a more joyful attitude).

6. Justice. I am sick. But not as sick as many many others, whether with dizziness or other life debilitating disorders. I feel helpless. But not as helpless as billions of people mired in poverty who has no access to healthcare. I pray for wholeness so I can continue to do whatever small part to fighting for these injustices in our world.

If you happen to read this note, I'd appreciate some prayers. Thanks.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mommy Brain

A while back someone read my blog and made the comment "you have some very thoughtful posts considering you are a Mommy of two!" A very nice compliment I smiled weakly and received but tried hard to find offense.

As if the act of birthing automatically destines us to brain shrinkage down to minimal capacity in which to retain essential survival mind numbing routine childcare tasks.

As if my ability to think critically, reason logically, reflect passionately, went out the window the moment the the umbilical cord was severed.

As if it is simply untenable that a woman could take on the responsibility of raising children as well as explore and engage in issues confronting our world.

As if.

Well friends, summer vacation is in full session, both the kids are home all day, and it may have come down to this: I've again contracted Mommy-brain-itis, the condition that surfaces from conception, comes and goes (more often the former) and tends to be especially crippling when the time exposure of your children are high. Example: NOW.

In my defense, and I always have one, I have very good intentions. I've got a wish list a mile long on my Amazon Kindle cart. I've been struggling to finish my current books. It's just that by the end of the work-cook-swimming class-errands-husband time-dinner-bath-story-prayer-catch up on emails day, a stimulating read sounds as desirable as a steaming cup of hot tea offered on a high temperature high humidity day. At noon. (Incidentally, this happens quite often as Chinese people believe sweating helps you stay cool.) The point is, I just wanna vegge (how do you spell this word?) and refuse to read anything longer than facebook status updates (What? Some people post Scriptures!)

I know this is normal. I have parenting heroes in my life, like those missionaries whose prayer letters I read who travel to remote parts of our world with newborn twins and literally rescue villagers and unreached peoples from life and death situations. Or the high power CEO's with three kids who are like, three years younger than me. Or my old professor at Fuller who have a beautiful family at the same time so damn smart and whose teachings still impact me to this day. But you know, those people belong in a different category - the ultra parenting set. I'm just a regular economy class Mom and I know most of my Mom friends are there with me (yeah, you know who you are, the ones who have nodded along this post so far).

I miss my brain. It wasn't that big to begin with, but now it is abysmally shrunken. And I envy my friends who have time to read and think and engage critically on facebook, in their blogs, and oh yeah, real life. I desperately want my children to have a Mom who teaches them how to live faithfully in this world, and not one who, in all honesty, "sometimes" shortens bedtime prayers so I can go shower.

But alas it looks as if Mommy Brain-itis may leave permanent damage, and kids can be raised by carefully screened, family friendly, wholesome facebook status updates nuggets of wisdom, right?