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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

LIFE | There's Not an Ap For That.

My brother in law passed along this incredible few words on the reality of Steve Jobs passing. I loved it. I have heard/read so many pithy, quick witted, "Steve Jobs was successful on earth but not in Heaven"-type twitter posts that I kind of had to surpress my gag reflex.  Christians, are we that calloused that we comment on someone's eternity in 160 words or less? I don't know Ryan Bricker, but I'm thankful for his words.

From: Ryan xxxxxxx@xxxx.com
Date: October 6, 2011 11:16:44 AM CDT

Subject: LIFE
'There not an Ap for that'

I feel compelled to share some thoughts in light of Steve Jobs passing. Thoughts that may be very hard for us to accept and to proclaim to a lost world. Without question, I can offer up my utmost respect and dignified remorse to Steve’s family, his friends and his fans for their loss. And all of them are fully deserved of their own loss and grief. And while I fully understand the need to reflect on all his accomplishments and his undeniable success, even still I have been utterly blown away by the responses I have seen and read in the media.
But it’s at this very moment in time at this unique juxtaposition of life, death, wealth and success that we can see all that Solomon spoke of in Ecclesiastics, ”….meaningless..meaningless “

The morning news shows are filled with stories of how he “changed the world!”, and “changed our lives” and interviews with Apple executives and devoted followers leaving flower shrines at Apple stores and how their lives we ever changed by Apple. Facebook and Twitter posts are going rampant on with adorations, and condolences at the world’s great loss.

All of Apple’s influence and accomplishments is last week’s news. Today’s news is about coming to the end of your life. And if there is anything to see here, it’s that 7 billion dollars can’t save your life or even sustain your life for one more day. It’s that technology will not save us, and that all our empires mean nothing when we leave the earth. Eventually, all the ipods and all the Macs in the world (even mine) will return back to the silicon from which they came.

The continual notion that He or apple has “changed our lives”, should make us ask ourselves, “What is life about?”. Apple is not life (ironically is brought death in the Garden), the things of this world are not life. Jesus alone came that we would have life and have it to the fullest. And even so you and I and the world fill our lives over and over again with more and more crap hoping that this trip to the well will be the last.

All the “i-world” has exposed is our ever quenching thirst for “ i ”, (ourselves) to be entertained and to be distracted. For us, life is found in our entertainment, in any way we can fill the silence and interrupt any stillness that may cause us to “really feel” or “really hear”.

I’ve watched people camp out for weeks in the heat of a Texas summer to be the first in line to get a new version of a phone they already have, and that will be available to everyone that same day. It looks like Zaccaeus climbing up a tree, or friends of a leper on the roof lowering their friend down to get the new Ipad at times in these stores. The same zeal for the search of life, but that well will not bring life, you’ll need to keep going back to draw water. (by design). If your life has been changed by instant access to your entire music collection, or a computer that fits in your purse or by Angry Birds, then where was your life to begin with?

I will never forget the time I was at the Grand Canyon watching an amazing sunset. I couldn’t help but to notice one girl amongst the entire crowd. Hers was the only head not peering out into the vast canyon. No hers was bowed down deep into her lap doing something else, something very intently. And then she shrugged to the side, seemingly annoyed by everyone else in the isles and I could see what it was that she was so reverently connected to, a Nintendo gameboy. I sat in amazement as the sun was setting and noticed she had never lifted her head, not even for a moment. Never did she even glance at one of the most beautiful places on earth. Eventually the crowd at the canyon’s edge were too distracting, so she actually turned her back to the canyon and the crowd, perhaps to get a better shadow and contrast on her 3 inch game screen. And as sad as I became to see a generation that seemed so lost that they could not disconnect for one moment of man-made entertainment, I was even sadder to think that they could not even recognize anything that wasn’t.
So when I reflect on Steve Jobs I ask the question that Jesus asked.

“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” – Jesus
I did not know Steve nor do I know what his last moments entailed (I am not his judge), but by all accounts he was an eastern religion spiritualist or Buddhist. At the moment of our death nothing done in our life will matter, no greatness we leave behind will mean anything. We will be face to face with the God of the universe who will look for our name in the book of life written in blood red ink from Jesus alone, the author of life.

There’s not an ‘Ap’ for that.
Glory to the King of Kings alone!

-Ryan (Even so I would like an Ipad for Christmas)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Day I Got Scared.

Yesterday my little girl blacked out. We're talking eyes roll back, slump over in my arms kind of black out.

I've heard this can happen.
But it does NOT prepare you for when it does.

My little pumpkin has a tendency to cry...rather, well.... passionately. (No clue where she gets it.)
You know the hard kind of cry that gets really quiet? That's the scary one. She came around after a few seconds, and of COURSE I did every wrong thing in the book. I shook her, kept saying her name over and over, and was otherwise pretty much paralyzed in my fear.  So of course when I stopped bawling/freaking out/having a crying fit of my own, we went home and like any good mom I promptly 'researched.' (aka 'googled') the symptoms.  I found some other moms in an old forum who had exprierenced the same thing.  They had better terminology so I looked up more on it here.  Davey didn't so much 'hold' her breath as just not really 'take' a breath. :)  Pretty amazing that passing out is God's way of helping the kiddo out. Once they pass out they start breathing - then come around. Wallah. So much easier said than experienced.

Moral of the story: He has numbered my days. He has numbered the days of my child. My husband. My parents. My friends.  Life is but a breath, and thank you Lord for using this small little thing to remind me that every moment is a gift.  So many times our attitudes reflect 'God, why is this happening to me?' Oh He is so full of grace that we get any moments at all!

Life in every breath.

"So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Next Steps - Part 2

Silly friends!
NO I'M NOT PREGNANT. If THAT was how I set up a pregnancy announcement I would be:
A) Not good at surprises.
B) Not good at hints.
C) Just a plain 'ole silly pants.

Now, when I said that babies are in my future, I wasn't kidding.  The thing is, they just won't necessarily be MY babies.  Sooo. There ya go.

Friends, you may, when you read the words below, think that I am entering into the unique world of Birkenstocks, long broom skirts, incense braided hair and tevas with socks. But I'm not (well who am I kidding I do love incense). I'm just going to be a doula.  This is the question I most frequently get asked after making the previous statement:
"A doo-lah?!? What in dee sam heyul is a doo-lah?"
Well, kinds sirs and ma'ams, I'll tell ya.  Read this from the DONA website - I think it words it pretty well.

"The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily." (emphasis mine)

Basically in short - a doula is a labor coach.  After coming up for air after my birth experience (you can re-live it here and here), I really continued to stay interested/passionate/excited about the whole labor and delivery experience.  I have battled those feelings that inevitably come when you feel a calling to do something 'out of the ordinarily accepted path.'  People literally look at me like a crazy goob when I even mention natural childbirth.  The reality people is that people don't choose natural childbirth because they WANT to experience an inordinate amount of pain. C'mon. We are daughters of Eve after all; completely averse in our nature to doing anything contrary to what we WANT to do. No, people choose natural childbirth becuase they want to have some say in what they want their birth to look like. They choose to because they consider birth to be natural and safe until proven otherwise, not the other way around (as most of our many people [but NOT all] in the medical profession would have you know).

Didn't mean for that to become a soapbox. :)

So, to prepare for certification, right now I'm reading or re-reading up on the following books:

  • Husband-Coached Childbirth
  • Natural Childbirth the Bradley® Way 
  • Children at Birth 
  • Assistant Coach's Manual 
  • Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
 Are you jealous yet? I know, you can totes borrow my bfeeding book later (to see how I feel about bfeeding, watch the video from this entry).

Anyhoo, I just wanted to share how excited I am about where life finds me right now, and the direction I feel God moving me in.  So, in light of that, along with allowing friends to keep up to date on the life of the mac-freakin' cutest babby EVER, i'll also share tidbits from time to time on clients and resources and good thoughts about natural childbirth.  So that you won't block me out forever, I'll make sure to be more concentrated on the cute baby side. :)

Go Go NCB. Over n' out.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Next Steps - Part 1

So last week my dad...er..boss :) wrote this email out to our company employees:

I knew this day was coming but I have to admit I am still in denial :)
I wanted to email you all and let you know that Callie is going to be transitioning her role at Macfarlan. Being a mom and adding to her covey has won out over her commitments to MCP. AND RIGHTLY SO…I NEED MORE GRANDBABIES! While she will be phasing out of consistent office hours, we look forward to engaging her particular gifts on special projects that will arise from time to time. Going forward she will likely be retained on a project by project consulting relationship with MCP & TMR. We are still in the process of brainstorming all of the areas where she might be deployed, but I wanted to let you all know so that if you have needs that would fit her skill set, don’t hesitate to let me, Todd, Greg or Mac know. Callie will continue to come into the office on Thursdays throughout October as we complete the development and migration of the website, and from there will contribute on an as needed basis to special projects as the arise. She will also be around to help finalize the transition of her current responsibilities.
We are thankful for her time here as a full-time and part-time employee, and are excited to continue that relationship in this new role.
In the back and forth-ness of email writing preparing to send out the above, through the coarse I wrote this to him:

Yours is so much better. :) I love u dad. It has been one of the great privileges of my life to watch you 'discipline yourself for the purpose of Godliness' in nearly every facet of your life: as a husband, a father, brother, son, elder, and boss. You remain consistent and steadfast amidst each one. Would that every daughter would get the privilege to work for a man and dad like you.

I'm sad but excited about this new phase of life. Glad you'll still be a huge part of it.

The reason for re-living this is two fold:
ONE - to honor a particularly increidble man who I have gotten to watch live life particulary well. My dad has been the champion of our family. Few women get to see their parental units live so victoriously in so many areas of life.
TWO - To self-disclose the ending of one chapter and the beginning of a new one. Hint - it has to do with babies. I'll update the rest in Part 2!