Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

I'll say it first up...this is a fantastic book!

I had so many questions about contraception and reproductive technologies.  I have Christian friends who use the Pill and others who are deadset against it.  Other Christian friends have used IVF to conceive their children and some of their fellow believers have criticised them for it.

Is there a right and wrong in these matters?

The author of this book, Dr Megan Best, is a Sydney-based doctor and bioethicist.  She has been involved in developing legislation, at both state and federal levels, to regulate the treatment of unborn babies.  She is both a Christian and a doctor.  She is not some random crank on the internet whose opinion gets shared rapidly on Facebook.

The book is long and it looks daunting, like a medical textbook.  But it isn't.  There are some bits that went a bit above my head but, on the whole, it is a book for the average layperson.  I am by no way sciency, but I could understand it.

I loved the way she comes out and says it straight...'this is unethical for Christians'.  In the bamboozling world of health choices, I wanted to be told what to do by someone in the know.  She gives you all the information and then lets you know her opinion.

I came away from this book feeling confident that it IS ok for Christians to use the Pill.  Last year, I came to the conclusion that using the Pill was unethical because I thought it didn't necessarily prevent conception, but thinned the lining of the uterus so an embryo could not implant.  Megan rejects the idea that the first two mechanisms (the prevention of ovulation and the thickening of the cervical mucus so sperm can't through) could both fail and the third mechanism (the thinning of the uterine lining) could succeed.  If a woman DID ovulate, then there would be a hormonal surge and the uterine lining would thicken.  (See Appendix I: Does the Oral Contraceptive Pill Cause Abortions?)

I also came away with a much clearer picture of what IVF entails - an area of which I had previously been quite ignorant about.  Megan is quite clear that IVF in itself (the fertilising of an egg in a dish and then inserting into the woman's uterus with the hope it will implant) is NOT wrong.  Unfortunately the industry itself will always try to sway Christian couples who wish to use IVF in accordance with Christian ethics.  She raises a lot of questions that are important for couples to hear before they use IVF.  So often we just encourage couples struggling with infertility to use IVF because we are devastated that they cannot have a child.  But we need to consider the following issues I would never have thought of if we were to use IVF:
  • Couples will always be encouraged to create as many embryos as possible because retrieving eggs from the woman is not a nice procedure at all.  This is understandable (why would anyone want to undergo this more than they have to?  Plus it is expensive and dangerous if done too many times).  But the problem with creating lots of embryos is what are the couple to do with them when they decide their family is complete?  What if they end up with two children and decide they don't want any more, yet have four frozen embryos.  Many couples just discard them (let them die), but this is unethical for Christians.  They could donate the embryos to other couples, but this is like giving up your child for adoption.  Could you do it knowing your child is out there somewhere with another family?
  • Megan thinks there is nothing wrong with freezing embryos in itself, but a number of possible dilemmas could arise.  What if the couple divorce?  Or one or both die?  What happens to the embryos?  Since Christians believe that life begins at conception and the embryos are therefore people, are they entitled to a share in their parents' estate?
  • Megan states that she thinks surrogacy and egg and sperm donation is unwise.  It goes against God's design for marriage (one man and one woman) by introducing a third party to the baby-making process.  Could a wife watch another woman pregnant with her husband's baby, or a husband watch his wife pregnant with another man's baby without feeling jealous?  What impact will that have on their marriage?
I came away from this book feeling a lot wiser, but also a lot more sorrowful about the state of this world.  We condemn the Nazis for their desire to create a 'perfect race', yet it is assumed that all women want 'genetic screening' to determine whether or not to abort.  Has society really changed?  People with disabilities are seen by many people as a burden rather than people made in the image of God. Women are encouraged to abort because it's deemed more compassionate to kill the child.  Megan Best does not downplay the incredible sadness of learning that your child has a disability, the hardships that will bring on the parents and siblings, or the fact that sometimes children are conceived in horrific circumstances (i.e. rape).  She upholds the views of the Creator, yet is beautifully compassionate.

You won't regret reading this book.

You can order this book from the Matthias Media Australian online store here.
Or the US store here.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


We are currently in the midst of holidays....wonderful, glorious holidays!  We've been here, there and everywhere in the past week and a half - Dunsborough to see Duncan's family, Perth, Dalwallinu for our old church's 50th anniversary, back to Perth. Now we are home, washing clothes and repacking ready to spend the long weekend in Bremer Bay, four wheel driving with friends.  Rory's first trip to Bremer outside the womb, yay!

It's amazing how much better I've felt since I quit my job. The shoulder and back pain I'd been experiencing disappeared (probably caused by stress and from sitting hunched over at my desk so much). I can sit and put my feet up for five minutes while Rory naps, instead of running around like a chook with its head chopped off.  I know I definitely made the right decision. My boss was very understanding as she knew exactly what I went through last year and sent me flowers while I was in the Mother Baby Unit.

I've decided...I will not even consider going back to work until all our children are in full time school and, even then, it would only be part time.

It was a pretty awful week a few weeks ago.  I also found a stinking, decomposing mouse in the bottom of my wardrobe, and I found one of my hens, Eggnog, dying.  She passed away peacefully in my arms.  I only have five girls left now *sniff*.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Get On Your Soapbox #26

I planned to do a book review, but that will have to wait....

Last Wednesday, I started a new job.

Today, I'm going to quit.

My former boss rang me and asked if I'd be interested in working with her again, at a different organisation (she left our old place of employment five months after I did), doing admin work for the equivalent of one day a week at home.  It sounded like a dream opportunity, especially when we've been limping from payday to payday each fortnight.  It would only be for six months as I'd be filling in for someone else who is on sick leave.

But I can't cope.

In the past week, my depression has risen as have my stress levels.  Working from home with a toddler in tow is a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I've been madly trying to get things done while he sleeps, but there's never enough time.  I've been staying up to ungodly hours trying to catch up, I've had less time to spend with Duncan, I'm starting to get cranky with Rory....everything I feared.

Last night was the lowest I'd been for a while.  I was crying, couldn't sleep, having panic attacks, shivering (even though it wasn't cold), experiencing vertigo.  Yesterday I had to go to the doctor due to some other 'symptoms' which have arisen and I'm sure have been caused by stress.  One day a week is never just one day a week and, like study, there are no boundaries.  It's so easy for the work-life balance to become non-existent.

I'm angry at society and I'm angry at myself.  I'm angry at society for putting so much pressure on mothers to go back to work when they don't REALLY need the money, saying they need to do something else for themselves, to use their brains.  Well, my brain is now overloaded thanks to this job and I can't think straight.  My house is a mess, I'm eating crap food because I'm in a rush, I don't have time to read my Bible, I'm thinking about work when I'm trying to spend time with my son.  His nap times are filled with work instead of resting or cooking for friends in need....I hate how everything has become about me and my job, and God and other people have become a distant second.  I don't want to use my daycare day for work.  It'll never be enough time anyway and it's the only time I get to myself.

I'm angry at myself for being so weak that I can't even manage one day a week of work from home.  I could never be that working mum with multiple kids in tow.  I'm angry that I thought I needed to prove myself somehow.  I enjoy being a stay-at-home mum and domestic engineer.  I don't want to go back to work.  I just want to write.  I'm about to write a cover letter and synopsis for my book and send it off to a literary agent.

This has been a very humbling experience.  I'm not as well as I thought I was and I have a lot more limitations than many other mums.  We can manage on one wage.  We just need to budget really, really well.  Last night I received the welcome news that Duncan is getting a pay rise.

I'd just like to say to all the working mums out there....do you really need to work?  REALLY?  Do you really need the money?  Do you enjoy your job, or can you manage on one wage?  Are you working to buy things you could live without?  Would you rather 'do something for yourself' meant doing something you really like instead of advancing your career?  I know some people really do need to work, so I'm not having a go at anyone here.

I just want to ask the hard questions of society...and of myself.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Bible Verse of the Day

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:13-16

Friday, September 05, 2014


Rory's at that age where he loves 'helping'.  He gets so chuffed when we praise him for his help, that he wants to do it more and more.  Even though I could get things done ten times faster on my own, I want to encourage him.  After all, he probably won't always be so keen to help.

These are his current jobs:
  • Feeding the dogs - I scoop the biscuits out and he carries them down to the dog yard and pours them into the bowls.
  • Stuffing bits of grass through the wire of the chook pen for the chooks to eat.
  • Weeding the garden (sometimes he tries to pull up plants or just sits on the grass and pulls up clumps of it).
  • Watering the pot plants with the watering can (even though he gets more water on himself than on the plants).
  • Carrying things down to the car (usually his sippy cup or any toys he wants to bring along).
  • Stuffing the dirty washing in the washing machine.
  • Handing me pegs when I'm hanging out the washing.
  • Unpacking the dishwasher (yes, we have one now...woohoo!)
  • Handing me or Duncan our clothes to get dressed, and handing me my flannel when I get in the shower.  Yesterday, he brought my towel to me to hang up, too.
I'm really enjoying this age at the moment.  He's a lovely, helpful little boy.

He wants to be just like his dad, wearing his beanie, dressing gown and boots

Wanting to drive already
Carrying the dog biscuits

Here you go, dogs

Thursday, September 04, 2014


Nearly two weeks ago, Duncan and I went to a ball to raise funds for people in our local community suffering from Lyme Disease.  The aim is to help get them overseas for treatment since the Australian government still doesn't believe the disease exists in Australia (pffft).

Everyone had to wear something lime/green so I made some jewellery:

With our friend Asha
Alas, I did not succeed in my mission to get Duncan onto the dance floor.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

5 Most Improved Eagles in 2014

I think the Eagles have a good future under Adam Simpson.  He seems like a calm and all round nice bloke.  People calling for him to be sacked should be ashamed of themselves.  Give the bloke a chance.  He seems to have a good rapport with his players and isn't a psycho that chucks phones around.

These are the guys who I thought took the biggest steps forward in 2014 (not including debutants):

1.  Eric Mackenzie
I feared the worst when Darren Glass retired, but Mackenzie really stood up and became the new general of the backline.  He gets the job done with a minimum of fuss and seems to have a good head on his shoulders.  I would really like to see him considered for the captaincy.

2.  Jamie Cripps
I like this guy.  He gets under opposition teams' radar, bobs up and kicks goals.  He's a pretty good mark for his size, too.

3.  Scott Lycett
This guy has proved that the Eagles' ruck stocks are deep.  I'm so glad he's decided to stay!

4.  Jamie Bennell
The Eagles have lacked a small defender since David Wirrpanda retired.  This guy's the man.  Has good pace and rebounds well out of defence.

5.  Mitch Brown
He really held down his spot this year and played consistently in the backline.

Photos from westcoasteagles.com.au

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Farewell Coxy

Not only am I sad that the Eagles didn't make the finals, but I'm also disappointed that we won't get to see Dean Cox on the park once more.  At least his final game was a winning one.

He went from gangly and out-of-shape to one of the finest ruckmen...ever!  His mobility and the way he collected as many possessions as a midfielder revolutionised the game.

Image from here
 Apart from dropping the f-bomb on TV after the 2006 Grand Final, and losing a few bets with Dockers' players over who'd win the derby (apparently he had to run through the streets of Fremantle wearing a Dockers' guernsey and another time he had to wash one of the Dockers' player's car), his career was mostly highlights.

He will be sadly missed.  I'm thankful the Eagles' ruck stocks are so good though.

Bye Coxy!  Thanks for the memories *sniff*

When I saw Big Cox's arms go up, I knew they'd won since I
couldn't hear the siren over the noise around me.
Image from here
Oh the shame!  At least he was a man of his word.
Image from here