Friday, August 20, 2010

Christian Authors

Dear Christian fiction authors:

Please stop patronizing me with your writing. I feel like you don't believe I know how to think for myself. When you write about something that the character is feeling - try to let me know how they are feeling withOUT telling me every time. I know it seems like responsible writing to emphasize and re-emphasize struggles that the character has gone through in the past and how it affects that person in the story, but really, I don't need you to keep repeating it with words.

I have a great memory. I remember when you wrote how the heroine struggled with not feeling loved by her father. Please don't bring this up in the story by saying, "she felt this way because of the struggle of not feeling loved by her father." Give me some credit! Let me FEEL what the character is feeling!

Also, as a side note, I know these are Christian books - that's why I picked it out. I'm wondering, does almost EVERY Christian book need to have a preacher in it giving a "salvation" message for the climax of salvation to happen? Can a relationship with Jesus sometimes happen out of this context? Please?

One of your adoring fans.


Okay Readers, I know this came across a bit harsh. It's just that I LOVE to read. I really like a balance of different styles of books. I especially enjoy reading historical fiction. It just seems like I keep picking up "Christian" books that state the obvious TOO MUCH.

I have been reading more secular fiction lately and let me tell you - I have been getting caught up in the stories. I love that feeling. I wish it would happen more when I read stuff by Christian authors, but it hasn't been happening. Maybe I'm missing something. I would love the "caught up" feeling without some of the graphic stuff that I end up skimming over.

Can someone please lead me to some books that have this and not that?

Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

Breathe your life.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I was alone at home. Completely by myself. The only human here.

Yet, here I am. I have 20 minutes between the time Tyson has left with ALL of the kids and I need to leave for a meeting. This. Is. Amazing.

Don't get me wrong. I have an amazing husband who takes the kids (especially the little ones) periodically so that I can get some quiet time or a much needed power nap. But he usually takes the most energetic ones and leaves me with the ones who are napping or who will probably leave me alone. Sometimes that works...and...sometimes it doesn't.

But right now, for the next seven minutes, I am home alone. And really, I have nothing pressing to do. Most everything is picked up and clean. The bed is even made.

This is a very peaceful time.

I was going to go into what it is like when all seven children ARE here. A kind of - you don't know how peaceful it is until you remember how chaotic it can get. But instead, I'm not even going to think about it. I'm not even going to check my email to see who may want my attention. I am going to be by myself and not invite any other human in to this sacred space and time.

I have two more minutes.

Find some time for yourself and tell me how it goes. Do you enjoy it? Would you rather be amongst others? Do you need some background noise?

Until then...

Breathe your life.
Breathe deeply.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I'm not going to spend a bunch of time making excuses for the length of time that has passed since I've posted.. I'm also not going to make some grandiose empty promise about how often I've "resolved" to post this new year. Let's just move on.

We had a missionary from Botswana, Africa at our church this past Sunday. In case you are geographically impaired, here's a map.

So, yeah, just above South Africa.

What I really wanted to get into, is the fact that half the population in Botswana has HIV. That it only rains a few inches during the entire year there. That, in many places, people are afraid for their life for one reason or another.
The missionary shared that his home is surrounded by a NINE foot concrete wall with several strands of electrical wire over that. His home is separated in two different parts. There is the living quarters and then past an iron gate they have their sleeping quarters. The strategy to this is that all of their valuables are in the living quarters. If someone wanted to rob them, they would hopefully stop at the living quarters and leave the missionary and his family alone in the sleeping quarters.

Then there is the topic of the churches there. The missionary showed us many pictures of what I would call shelters that the believers use for churches. I'm not saying that their are no beautiful buildings in this country, but in these far off towns, the people their only require a structure that is helpful for keeping the sun off their bodies and some sort of wall to keep the animals out....I'll try to find an adequate picture for you...

Here are some things that we (as Americans) require in our churches: (I am NOT exaggerating about these things.) Air-conditioning, heat, soft and comfortable seating (hopefully some that I can etch my backside into because I will claim that seat as my own), amazing music that is not too loud/not too old/a good amount of hymns/not so many hymns/sounds professional etc. etc., a sermon that is not too long/not too short/uses the correct amount of scripture/is practical/is informative/gives me the greek and latin and hebrew pronunciation AND definition - BUT don't ask me to actually LIVE by what is being preached, programs for my kids because I certainly don't want them in church with me because then I would actually have to teach them to be respectful during service, no noise from children because that would be too distracting.

Okay, I'm sure you get where I'm going with this. We are obviously spoiled compared to third-world countries. But really, we do not have to compare ourselves with people who are starving (both physically and spiritually) we just need to have compassion for them. The kind of compassion that leads us to productive action.

And we should stop complaining so much.

Breathe your life.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I know!

I know. I should blog. Maybe soon. I don't feel like it right now.

Breathe your life anyway!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Okay. Confession time.

In case there are any of you out there who have a disillusioned view of me and my parenting - I now will confess how imperfect I am.

*(If you are easily grossed out or have a sensitive gag reflex, please stop reading now)*

Here's the story. Tyson gave Zac a bowl of cereal for breakfast this morning and then went to take a shower. I was in bed for most of this. Tyson went to clean Zac up and help him down from the table.
I came by later during my normal cleaning routine. The table needed cleaning after breakfast, so I sprayed it down and washed it. Next, I decided that since some of that sticky cereal was on the seat of the booster seat (which Eden usually uses, not Zac), I would take it to the kitchen and dismantle it and clean it out well. (I really do this every once in a while - not often enough - keep reading.)
When I removed that blue part from that white part, I was met with many crumbs and bits of spaghetti noodles etc. I was expecting that. What I did NOT expect was to see movement within the crumbs. Yes, movement. Upon closer look I see that the movement was...wait for it... some sort of worm. I'm guessing it was a maggot. Sick.
I hurriedly cleaned said booster - very well. Then I realized that I could have taken a picture of the grossness to blog about it. Then a little voice inside my head warned me that there are some out there who would see this as some sort of child abuse and call CPS. And you would have picture proof.
Now you know the truth. I am not perfect. Now go about your day, no comments necessary.

Breathe your life.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September....WHAT?!?! (and the baby)

I know, I know. It has been FAR too long since you all have heard from me. Well, I took a bit of a hiatus - about two months of a hiatus. As you will read over the next couple of weeks (hopefully) it was a much needed break. Here is why:

  • Birthing a baby is hard
  • Malea had a birthday
  • Hannah had a birthday
  • planning a school year is time consuming
  • Birthing a baby is hard
  • not sleeping through the night for 8 weeks is hard
  • I love summer
  • We've been BBQ-ing instead of blogging
  • and, you guessed, birthing a baby is hard
So, tonight, I will tell you about the birth of Jubilee Amira Lash. We'll get to the rest of it later.

This is Jubilee about a month or so before the due date. I wish I had a just-before-birth photo, but I don't.

It all started (well not ALL - we won't go into the ALL of it) on July 5th at about 7am. Stuff started happening. I won't go into details about this part as I have mixed company reading my blog. Tyson was already at church, so I called and told him that "stuff" was happening. Of course, at this point, he has no plans to get someone else to preach as these baby things take time.

I started having contractions as I am getting the kids and myself ready for church. I'm thinking that I'll just labor through service, no problem. Better than being at home, bored - right? We arrived at church, I had one good contraction, then everything stopped. It was like Jubilee knew that Dad needed to get through the service before her arrival.

Church finished and we went home. I had a couple more good contractions. Actually at this point they were coming about every 10 minutes. Then Dad had to leave for a softball game (seriously). So all signs of baby coming stopped. Again. I called my mom anyway so she could be on her way up from Oregon. Plus, she had Malea's new ITouch that Malea wanted bad.

Tyson got home and for some reason this part is kind of fuzzy two months later. Contractions started up again, but they were pretty inconsistent. Labor with Luke was rather inconsistent as well, so I knew this wasn't too abnormal...for me.

Mom got here. I am mostly just walking around the house, trying to stay busy. We get the kids all in bed except for Malea and Hannah who want to stay up for the party. And I say "party" quite loosely, you will understand why in a moment.

Contractions really start up nicely and I called my amazing midwife at about 10:15. She wants to know if I want her to come at this point. I REALLY don't know! She is the professional. I tell her yes. Midwife arrives and checks me. I'm only dilated to a 5. Dang. I thought I was much further along. I labor and walk and stop and have a painful contraction. Repeat. Repeat....for about another hour or so. Mom, midwife, and hubby are all sleeping on and off at this point. Malea and Hannah go to bed, they are tired and this is taking too long.

Shortly after midnight (July 6th!) midwife checks me again and I'm at 7 centimeters dilated. We choose to have her break my water. I mean, really, let's get the show on the road.

Wow. Now everything is intensely painful and contractions are one on top of another and I can't always see straight and I'm wondering what's taking so dang long and I don't want anyone to touch me and it really really hurts and I'm wondering why I didn't do this in a hospital with an epidural and I'm wondering why I'm doing this in the first place and I want to cry I'm in so much pain. You get the picture, right? I try pushing at some point, but it doesn't do any good. I labored on the chair and then on the toilet. For some reason the toilet was a bit better. When I say "better" I mean it VERY loosely.

My midwife was so great during this - and my mom and Tyson, too. They all pretty much left me alone and tried not to even look at me. I appreciate that. There was nothing they could do to make it better. Midwife checked Jubilee's heart rate periodically. All is well. Except this intense pain, of course.

It's finally time to push. My right leg will not do what I tell it to do. It is mostly stiff. It needs to not be stiff. It needs to move to the side. I literally had to will my right leg to move to the side. I need to get this baby out of my body. So, I push and push and her head comes out. Midwife gets a bit concerned because her shoulders are a bit stuck. I push her out anyway.

Don't get grossed out by the blood. It's really very minimal. And, yes, I birthed this beauty at home. In my bed. The IV is for fluids. I didn't have an IV with Zac. I'm glad I did this time.

Jubilee Amira was born at 3:22am on July 6th weighing in at 9lbs 14oz. and was 22inches tall.

That wet spot under my mouth is not drool. It's sweat. That was the most sweaty experience of my life. My shins were sweating. I know, gross.

On another note, isn't that a beautiful miracle of a baby? I've done this 7 times now and it is still completely amazing to me.

We woke only Malea to see Jubilee right after she was born. I thought my oldest should get first dibs on her new baby sister.

Incidentally, that towel was very warm. My mom kept blankets and towels going in the dryer and we rotated them on Jubilee and me. That was heaven!

Okay, last shot for now. Here's me and a couple other kids about 7am. They were all amazed to wake up to a new baby! They didn't hear any of it and never even saw the midwife! At this point, I'm working off of about 20 minutes of sleep in a 24 hour period. Not bad.

The only person I called to tell the news was my sweet dad. He and his wife came up the next day from Oregon to see us.

So, that's it! I still remember the event in fairly vivid detail. She is an amazing human. I love her. I am thrilled to see what incredible things she does with her life.

Thank you, Father, for a textbook labor and delivery, and for a healthy baby girl.

Breathe your life,

Thursday, July 2, 2009

July and summer!

I was debating (with myself) whether or not to have a challenge this month and have decided to NOT have one. I'm still pregnant - hopefully not for long. After Jubilee is born I will have the challenge of working her into our family life, recovering from nine months of pregnancy, and trying to keep the house cool. That's plenty. But I did want to write about how the other challenges have affected me long term.

February's challenge was memorization. I have not memorized any more, but I have to say that the time spent on Matthew 5 and the following couple of chapters have gone a long way in my spiritual life which transcends into my practical life - as it does for everyone if you haven't noticed. God's word is truly bread and life to me. This sounds weird, but sometimes I really feel like I'm breathing the words I read. Can you relate?

March's challenge was to practice piano. Let's just say that I'm leaving the piano playing to my beautiful oldest daughter at this point.

April's challenge was to read this series of books I had been working on. I gave up on that one if you remember correctly. And to be honest, I haven't gotten back into the reading habit. I am naturally a very avid reader - I don't know what has changed. Right now, I am spending time reading the Four Loves by C.S. Lewis. Very deep. That man makes you think in just about every sentence. But I feel like I haven't felt passionate about a book in a long time. Probably since reading Loving our Kids on Purpose. I'm very serious about everyone I know reading this book - parent or not. So if you haven't, there is your encouragement. Best parenting book I've ever read - and that says a lot since I've read so many!

May's challenge was to apply some of the information in the Seven Pillars of Health into our families eating habits. Between the memorization challenge and this challenge - these have been the two that have most changed in my life. We are still working on applying the new eating habits that I established back then. We are trying new things, yes, but mostly just enjoying food the way it is supposed to be. Many more fruits and veggies in our diet, much more water, doing way better than I thought on not having white flour and the many forms of unhealthy sugar. Meals seem simpler, which is a plus for me as head chef. The kids have really gotten on board with it too. I just subscribed to Clean Eating magazine which follows much of our new way and gives many yummy recipes. As an aside, Tyson read the section on stress and got a lot out of it. I should encourage him to blog about it.

So that's that. I'm sure the next blog post will be much about a new blessing in our lives, complete with photos. If you are a person of prayer, please pray for us during this time of transition.

Blessings on you and yours.

Breathe your life.