our story, our adventure

living life internationally, learning from those around us…

Gifts

Coming to Australia a lot of different things needed to fall into place; like, money for flights, a job, a place to stay, and a car. In a matter of months (maybe even weeks) we saw all of those things fall into place. Money was given, a job, a place to stay and a car were offered. Rodney and I were both excited and saw this as an ‘open door’ and decided to go ahead and move to Australia for the next seven months. 

We are now four months into our stay in Emerald and are now starting to plan our next few months down in Melbourne. Again, we would need a place to stay and a car to fit our family of five plus room for luggage, stroller and three carseats. 

And again, I am overwhelmed and amazed by the Christian community and how they have been so generous in their gift giving. Just the other day we received a phone call from Rods mom who received an email from a friend saying that they had a flat we could use for as long as we needed it, free of charge

Emerald, where we are currently living has become a precious gift to us. Living here has given us the chance to spend time with Rodney’s sister (who feels like my own sister) and her family. We love them and cherish the time we have with them. Between the two families there are now six children, two of them are fresh and do nothing more than sleep, cuddle and drink. The other four run around like silly monkeys, making up games and of course have the occasional fight… I’m not sure yet how I’ll say ‘goodbye’ and ‘thank you’… I’m not ready to fully think about that yet! 

I’m happy that we were given the opportunity to be in Australia for this time. I mean, what would life be like without knowing about Mast Chef and Curtis Stone?! My cooking is about a 100x’s better than it was in Haiti…!!!

We are still hammering out the details of our Melbourne trip and we are also looking for a car to rent. We leave here November 5th and will be in Melbourne the 13th of November with a week at the Gold Cost with some friends from California!! 

Our final goodbye of Australia (until some unknown later date) will be the 27th of December. 

………. ………. …………

Please be praying with us as I start in the next few weeks to sort through our things and get us ready to go. I’ve already put a bag of toys away to be given to the Salvation Army… I made the mistake of doing this with Asher in the room and he starting crying not wanting to give his toys away! We can’t take everything and a lot of really nice people gave us a lot of toys that Asher has grown fond of… Isaiah doesn’t seem to mind but if he sees that Asher is upset he will become upset as well… 

Until next time… 

-B

 

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small update & choices

My baby boy turned four last week. How did that happen?! We had a really fun party in the park. We bought him a few ‘nice’ (read- expensive) gifts and then I got him a used (but in good condition) rescue pack (from Diego) it cost all of $5… Guess which gift was his favorite?  Everywhere he goes you can see his orange rescue pack dragging behind him full of all his treasures.

My best friend of 14 years came to visit us all the way from California. She was here for 10 days, it’s wasn’t long enough but I’m thankful for the time we did get together.

Rodney and I are planning on have a date night soon and working out what we should do with our lives… You would think by age 30 you would know what to do with your life? Not us.

Live in Australia, move back to California, stay in Haiti? Do we raise our boys growing up with that title of MK (Missionary Kid) …. be near family, which family then?

If you are the praying kind of person, pray with us as we make some big choices in the next few weeks…

We trust that God will lead us, that He will direct our paths in the right (maybe not safe or even comfortable) path.

That’s all for now-

The Supernatural Circus

Strike another first off the list for the Meadth family: went to the circus in Blackwater, Queensland.

Cue the lions (very close with ringside seats); here’s the world’s largest hula hoop; a clown gets his pants pulled off on the flying trapeze; here glow-in-the-dark juggling; there a dog on a tightrope. The smell of horse manure and hay and sweat and dust and popcorn evokes something from our own childhood, and probably one day our own three boys will reminisce with their own children. (By that time, Lennon Brothers will have been going for around 145 years… and I hope for his sake that the same poor old man is not still the ringmaster.)

I couldn’t help but ponder this week, while hewing my timber and grinding my steel, just why it is that we all love the circus. Take away the coulrophobia that we all suffer from in varying degrees, and you’ll find us right there with smiles on our faces. The particular circus I remember going to as a child was called Silver’s Grand Magic Circus, and it used to roll up every year on the once-vacant lot that is now home to the Chirnside Park Reading Cinemas. Twenty years later, I realize that magic is actually the very most correct word to use for the circus, and probably a word we should use for the Olympic Games, too. We all love the circus because it is, in a quite literal sense, supernatural.

Let me explain, in a circuitous fashion: Strict scientific naturalism teaches that everything taking place around us does so according only to chemical and physical laws. Quantum physics throws some confusion into the ring, but the basic idea is that even if we don’t currently know all the rules, the rules do exist, and it is only a matter of time before we work them out through experimentation and observation. I agree and understand that most of what goes on around you and I is impersonal and entirely determined, most being the key word. Applying heat to water will cause it to boil, each and every time, in exactly the same way, provided that all environmental conditions are similar. A dropped hammer will always travel as quickly as it can towards the center of the earth, at a rate of approximately 9.81 m/s2
at sea level, and it has no choice in the matter. Even apparently chaotic processes, such as turbulent airflow over an aircraft wing, have a strong degree of predictability as a whole (we could not fly safely if it were not the case), and if you zoom in, each molecule, atom, and subatomic particle feels attraction and acceleration according to set rules.

But.

Laws of attraction and repulsion, impulse and momentum, heat and energy, are not the whole show. They can’t be. If it were so, no house would ever be built, and no song would ever be composed. Houses do not come together because any scientific law states that it must unavoidably be so (in fact, the laws determine that such houses should eventually deteriorate and disappear). The necessary ingredient for increasing order and decreasing entropy in any system is the application of creativity and effort from outside that system. Furthermore, human creativity and effort, all choice and decision, does not result because it has to. The hammer falls because that action is the only possible outcome from the trigger event – the hammer was released. But the song, this particular song, was not composed because it was the only possible outcome from any trigger event. Perhaps one aspect of the beauty of music is its fragility: the song almost didn’t sound like this. What I mean is that human choices and actions are not one link in an infinite chain stretching back to the beginning of time; human choices and actions are always the first link in a new chain of events and consequences.

This idea puts me in opposition to a great many scientists and psychologists, and all who would ask “Nature or Nurture?” In fact, it seems to me that the very question of Nature vs Nurture is completely misleading, if by it you mean, “Which of these more strongly determines a person’s life?” I prefer to ask instead, “Which of these more strongly influences a person’s life?”, leaving room for the most important element: human will. One practical outcome of this type of thinking is in regards to sexuality: I will never accept the theory that a person is homosexual because they are born so. Completely aside from any argument over whether homosexuality is right or wrong, such a deterministic idea puts all responsibility for events squarely in the court of Nature, as though Will were powerless, and Responsibility irrelevant, and it sets a very dangerous precedent for everything that follows (for example, how can pedophiles be held accountable, and how can there be any hope for their redemption, if they were simply born that way? For that matter, I can’t help speeding, officer… it’s in my genes!).

The picture I am clumsily trying to paint here is one of a whole, interlocked universal existence, with stars and trees and waterfalls all unavoidably functioning according to impersonal natural laws, and then billions of points of light scattered all about, shining in from outside the system: humans. We are truly hybrid, with one foot on the Earth and one foot in Heaven, influenced by those natural laws by not bound by them. We are the anti-chaos agents, appointed by a Loving Father, a sliver of His divine power in each and every one of us. The trees raise their arms because they have to, but we worship and build and compose because we want to. By any definition, human will and spirit is most surely supernatural.

So why do we love the circus? Whether we realize it consciously or not, the circus is a very real reminder of the not-of-this-world-ness of human will. The circus is a thing that would never exist in the natural, and it showcases the fact that we truly are the sons of God (Psalm 82.6, John 10.34, Luke 3.38). The carnies exercise their supernatural will on their own natural bodies, and on the dogs and camels and lions. There is real magic happening, with every trick and tumble, and all of it bringing glory to God.

The supernatural human race. Glad to be a part of it.

(P.S. For a much better explanation of these ideas, do yourself a favour and read C. S. Lewis’ Miracles. Really good stuff.)

where anguish meets joy

*
an·guish

 noun \ˈaŋ-gwish\

extreme pain, distress, or anxiety

joy (joi)

n.

1.

a. Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness.
b. The expression or manifestation of such feeling.
2. A source or an object of pleasure or satisfaction: their only child, their pride and joy.
v. joyed, joy·ing, joys

To take great pleasure; rejoice.

1. To fill with ecstatic happiness, pleasure, or satisfaction.
2. To enjoy.

Fact: I’ve now birthed in three different countries; America, Haiti and Australia. I’ve had three boys and all three boys have been born on their due dates, predicted by my Haitian doctor. I’ve had an epidural at a hospital, a natural birth with midwifes at a maternity center and a natural birth at a hospital with a midwife.

——————

My mom and Jocie landed in Emerald on the 12th of July. It was so great to see both of them! Honestly, I was feeling a bit ready to have our moms around. They can bring such peace in a time of uncertainty. They both have such wisdom and love to share, they both love my boys so well and they both are just wonderful.

My mom stayed with us and Jocie stayed with Katie and Nathan, just down the road from our house.

We all decided to dinner together at Katie’s house (it’s just a bit bigger than ours!)

We were joking that now that the moms were here I could give birth.

We ate dinner together, chatted on the phone with Rodney’s other sister who lives down in Melbourne and then they started.

Just 20min or so apart but I could feel them.

The moms were both getting me to time the contractions.

We decided to head home and try to get an early night.. you know… just in case!

Contractions kept coming on and off, we called the midwife. She said to wait.

We went to bed and I woke up to my water breaking…!

Rodney and I got my bags together, woke up mom, said a quick prayer and drove the 10min down the road to the little country hospital.

My midwife – Barb, was waiting for me. It was around 10pm. I was tired. She was talking about Kate Middleton the Duchess and how she was due tonight as well- not sure how she knew that… I started thinking about Joanna and Beth and being back in Haiti and how I was missing them and wishing they were here with me.

Barb sent us to a room to rest and wait. I couldn’t do either.

We went back to a birthing room around 11pm.

To the people who said that it would be easy and quick like the second one and to those that think it will even-maybe-fingers-cross be an euphoric experience … well, it was none of those things. It was hard. My body was shaking. I was in anguish. It sucked.

It was hard to breath. I needed to find something… anything to focus on, to pull myself together. To breathe. Be calm…

It was time to push … it was hard but my midwife was wonderful. Having my husband there got me through it. I’ve never felt pain like I had that night. I wanted to give up but I wouldn’t let myself say it. I quickly dismissed that thought.

But then that moment came… The one where I forgot all my pain, where I suddenly felt alive and full of pure joy… the moment when my son, my beautiful little baby boy was placed on my chest. Nothing could take my joy from me at that moment.

He stayed there for nearly an hour before the midwife took him to weigh, measure and dress him.

Micah Thomas

—————-

Micah is now 3.5 weeks old and doing really well.  Asher and Isaiah love him, I love the three of them. I can’t believe we get to be the parents of three amazing little boys!

—————-

So, three boys in three countries.

Out of the three: America, Haiti and Australia my favorite/best birth (not child, because, duh, they are all my favorites) would be in

Haiti. 

Easiest, quickest birth. Painful, but quick. 

Plus I was able  to birth with some amazing women doing something I really believe in, in Haiti

*(taken from online dictionary)

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Saturday in Photos

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Today has been such a beautiful day it needed to be spent outside. We took the boys down the road to the Botanical Gardens for a picnic lunch and a ride in the park. It all felt so normal and totally peacefulWe bought Asher his very first bike *tears* this feels like a major “mile stone”  like, when did he get big enough to ride a bike?! I loved just watching Asher enjoy the day, the bike and the new experience. Isaiah also got some new wheals, he was pretty proud of himself!

Just a few more weeks until baby-boy-number-THREE arrives. We are all exciting and waiting for his entrance into the world. Rodney’s mum and my mom will also be coming for a visit in a few weeks as well! We are really looking forward to having the grandmas around!

Until next time-

Life Is Unfair.

“…but the beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair.”

-Relient K, Be My Escape

It’s been said before, and it’s true. I’m going to finally join in the chorus along with everyone else and say it: Life Is Unfair. I mean, come on – Walt Disney would tell us that Doing Good is rewarded, and that the Bad Guy always gets it in the final scene. Karma is waiting around every corner, along with Santa Claus, so you’d better watch out. If you are nice, they will be nice, and nice things will happen to you. If you are bad, they will be bad, and bad things will happen to you. Well, let me completely disillusion you, loudly complaining. It’s all a big lie, and Life Is Unfair.

Here’s my proof: I woke up this morning to find that hot water was streaming out of the showerhead, whereas most people in the world have never even experienced such a thing. Is that really the way things ought to be, that such a blessing should come independently of any particular merits or virtues that I possess? Note well: when I lost my patience at one point with my children today, I went and checked, and the hot water continued to be available. That is so unfair!

To further my case, why should any person arrive in a foreign country to find two cars waiting for them to use, a house in excellent condition, family and new friends abounding, when they did nothing in particular to deserve it? Granted, it could happen by accident perhaps once, but twice in a lifetime? There are many, many people, probably even in this neighbourhood, whose quality of life would be improved even if they had just one car, or a nicer house; many of these people do more good every week than I myself. Again, totally unfair.

I felt actual green grass under my bare feet this morning as I watched the dramatic Queensland sunrise, with my two-year-old son flopping his head down on my knees with wide-open brown eyes. We adored the morning in perfect silence, and soaked up each other’s company. The injustice of it all! My enjoyment of the moment was no less profound than that of the more righteous, more heroic, more prayerful man just across the town. I remain convinced: Life Is Unfair.

Praise God for the magnificent unfairness of it all, and that all of us, bar One, received far better than we deserved.