Ahoy there beloved friends!
It's been a while (again) and I blame motherhood (again), but to be honest there's not a lot to tell you about. Whenever anybody comes over I bang on about nappies, poo and sick. I probably shouldn't do that on a blog.
B update: she likes grinning and shouting and doing some odd sounds that I think is what she believes singing should sound like. Poor little one, learning things off her mummy. She's happiest around lots of people and is generally agreed to be beautiful. She can't handle lactose so my ill fated attempts to chug her full of formula at night - sleep is all I want in life - have not gone well, but she's got some special milk now and I live in the constant hope of decent rest for both of us. She loves her Daddy a LOT and lives for his attention, and that's fine as he lives to lavish attention upon her tiny fluffy head. Here is her fluffy head:
So that's the musings. And here come the rantings.
People keep asking us when we're going back to Ukraine, with a tone of 'well you're going to wait a long time until you're really ready'. As if things are easier here, and that when we go to do missions the hard stuff is going to hit.
On one level, the UK is indeed less daunting. It's easier financially, in that I am allowed to shop a bit. It's easier practically, in that I can easily buy food and get public transport. It's easier to have a baby here, there's feeding drop ins and toddler groups and my friends with babies and my friends without babies who are happy to look after said baby. It's easier to communicate, it's easier to have a hot bath, it's easier to cook and it's just a lot easier.
It's also easier to stagnate, it's easier to get religious, and it's easier to gently slide into Sunday evening Christianity. In this country we have so much money and so much stuff, and after a while we start to believe that we need all the money and all the stuff.
I've never felt this more than since having a baby - the assumption that we're going to focus exclusively on wrapping our daughter in cotton wool/cash. That despite God's promise to love her, protect her and guide her my responsibility as a mother is ignore him and do a half arsed job in my own strength.
Two things: to 'protect' my daughter and cop out on my calling is the most damaging thing I could do. Why would I want my kid to grow up in this culture? Why would I want her to believe that eating disorders, casual sex and self obsession are normal? In this world that will sexualise her, bombard her with self doubt and generally try to break her cos she's a girl...i'm going to give her a life less ordinary. Because my years of youth work in the UK have led me to believe that our ordinary is failing our children. I don't want to fail my child. I want her to grow up experiencing worship, art, compassion, freedom, service, risk and sometimes not owning the entire contents of New Look.
Disclaimer: many people raise their kids amazingly well in this culture, but my faith wavers far too quickly and my perspective gets rubbish after a few months in the loveliness that is Lewes. This is because we're called abroad. Specifically, I would be a crap mum in England.
The other thing: to cop out on my calling and stay in the UK would be the most damaging thing I could do to myself. I would love to own the entire contents of New Look. This is not healthy. Even though things are 'easier' here, my main love is Jesus. He's the point of everything and if I stay here i'm going to slot him into a tidy box - a slightly nice God who doesn't want me to swear or be naughty. I'll believe that 'wisdom' and 'sensible' mean the same thing.
The Jesus I know and the Jesus I ignore when things are too easy looks like this: a loving, all powerful God who hates sin because he loves us with this burning, rageful, ecstatic passion. He's standing with the poor and the oppressed and he's calling us to come find out what it's like to live selflessly. And injustice gives him rage. And compassion gives him joy. And i'm sitting around in England obsessing over my five a day, because I am ridiculous - I have hugged orphans and looked into the eyes of people who have actually suffered and I come home and complain because I haven't got my own car.
And he has got to be the point of everything, because a life lived not orbiting him has to orbit something and in the UK that tends to be whatever makes life easy. That's usually money.
So no, we won't be staying here now we've had a baby. Because we are not strong enough to love God properly when things are easy - we have got to get out and grow up. To be the best parents we can be, because a life lived with God shapes a person into who they were always meant to be. And my baby girl needs a mum who walks in truth and passion. God loves her too much to give her anything less.
So come on John's arm ops, come on the 63 grand we need to raise, come on stupid road trip across Europe and come on Oh my soul. Ukraine!