Monday, April 22, 2013

Late Bloomers


 *Twila, you were the first to comment and you won the book giveaway. Does that ever happen? Well, it did!*

 I love to see nature wake up in the spring. Tiny buds and shoots, seedlings and dew. New life springing from slumber.

Speaking of slumber, have you heard about the "early wake up" movement? There's an enterprise afoot in the domestic blog world aimed at motivating the mom-masses to add more value to their day by getting up before the rest of the household. This is so you can, ostensibly, get more things done and maybe have some quality time to yourself. I think this is a great idea if you are a naturally inclined morning person, but for us night owls it just won't work. It's merely chopping one end of the blanket off and sewing it back on the other end. If I'm getting up at 5 in the morning, it better be to milk a cow or run from a house fire. Also, if your family is like mine, then getting up at 6 means everyone is up and following you around by 6:05.

Oh, I know some unfortunate souls have husbands who leave for work at dawn and school start times that are alarmingly early so they have to do this. But I don't. I can be a moonflower.

Not to point fingers, but it reminds me of many of the one-size-fits-all solutions floating around in the domestisphere. I once read an article that promised to help you, as a busy mother, find more time to write. It made me anxious for a second because I was hoping she found a loophole in the universe and, aided by a time machine, was going to tell me how to get more hours out of my day. That is the only way I could find more time to write, and frankly the extra time probably wouldn't go towards writing. It would go towards flossing my teeth or eating chocolate or something else important.

After reading half a dozen tips which are already part of my routine, it came down to the big one: The writer has her husband watch the kids for four hours one night a week, while she takes the laptop and absconds into the cloistered security of a Starbucks. And that, THAT, was really how she found time to write. Four uninterrupted hours of quiet, courtesy of her spouse.

I imagined what the conversation would look like if I informed The Mister that I needed a few hours of alone time in the evening at a coffee shop. Well, I tried to imagine, but such a conversation would require just a little too much imagination.

"Would you mind being me for a few hours while I hole up in a cafe with the computer? It's important. I need to write a blog post. A dozen people are counting on me. No, really. I'll be back by ten. Thanks."

I'd like to propose a counter-movement which is synced harmoniously to the natural rhythms of us late night bloomers. One where we shamelessly stay up late after everyone has gone to bed and do whatever we want to get more out of our day. Mop the floor. Read the news headlines. Play solitaire. Embrace the pervasive and soothing quiet of a word at sleep.

From time to time I'll issue a cheer. "Who woke up to perfectly clean floors this morning? Who went to sleep when the clock said a.m.? Who is going to need an espresso as big as their head to get going today?" That's my movement. Those are my people. We'll bloom where we're planted, and when it suits us.

A ranunculus from my garden. An early spring bloomer.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: The Scent of Water: Grace for Every Kind of Broken

This book is over due. Way over due. This book was one of only two non-baby books I read during my pregnancy in 2011. It was a gift from the publisher in exchange for a review, and I quickly plowed through it, mesmerized, then promptly got too sick to write the review. But I never forgot the book, because it was magnificent. An engaging and important work of non-fiction. Allow me to make amends.

You are transported to a world where some form of enslavement exists in myriad ways, vivid and awful, a landscape of abused young women. Naomi Zacharias takes you on a harsh journey of redemption as she tells the story of women surviving violence, imprisonment, and prostitution. Her dark portrayals of at-risk women and children are also hopeful because of the international initiative she helps run which is aimed at helping these vulnerable victims. You can't help but cheer these women on, all of them. The ones in ministry visiting run down orphanages, the women trying to escape human trafficking, the ones who fail and the ones who actually do make it and change their lives. Admiringly, it's not always about fixing people either. Zacharias writes:

I came to offer something, to fix something. Instead, a woman I had just met accepted me into her country and her life, kneeled down, and washed my feet.

The places in the book were very interesting to me. Iraq, Pakistan, India, the Netherlands, and places I'd never heard of before because who ever hears about the red light district of Mumbai? In every place the reader meets women and young victims, survivors and sisters. The story of Annie, a prostitute in Holland was most thought provoking to me as she was trafficked into a situation where, because of the legality of the sex trade, she was permanently enslaved. A stark reminder that just because something is legal, doesn't mean it is right or without horrifying repercussions. In fact, it sometimes makes it worse.

The book has relatable moments for every woman: The responsibility of each woman is to find the particularity of her calling...In this way, every life is ultimately an individual adventure of finding her place in God's plan. To surrender that is to surrender who you are.

I have a copy of this book to give away. Leave a comment if you would like to entered and I will draw a name in one week.


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