Posts

A Biblical Take on "Best Practice"

Image
 I'm going to let a bee fly out of my bonnet just now, so brace yourself. The term 'Best Practice' annoys me. It annoys me A LOT. It has burned me. I've used it myself; I've had it promoted to me. I've seen it in research, in literature, in pseudo-guru-speak jargon. And now I think I finally have the courage to push back. Hang On a minute!! Isn't 'Best Practice' automatically, by its very literal nature, completely warranted as acceptable? Doesn't everyone want to follow 'Best Practice' in every situation? Actually, No. No, we don't. And I'll tell you why. Because it's arrogant, proud, assuming, and lacking in nuance. It lacks a 'here and now' understanding of things. Sure, there's probably times where 'best practice' is helpful. If you are a clinician of some sort, and following a static experimental process; if you are a professional whose work is to follow exacting procedures, fine, go ahead, and consult

What it's like being an adult with A.D.D.

Image
I notice there are lots of articles out there for parents to address how to raise a kid who has A.D.D. or is on the Autism spectrum. And for good reason! There are unique challenges and difficulties that arise in helping a child to grow whose brain wiring and personality are different than the norm. I get that. Mostly because I was  that child, and I have  that/those child(ren).  I used to write a lot as a child - sometimes inventing imaginative stories, sometimes just chronicling my life. It was a way I could cope with all the world around me. And I dreamed of being a writer someday - of putting my thoughts on paper and seeing them reflected back to me, and imagining others would read my words, and they would land in other hearts. Like an arrow going out from my inner life and landing in the soul of another. And as I grew and had my struggles, and faced my woes (I was a lamenting type of soul from very young, apparently), I made a sacred vow to myself. 'Never forget.' Never fo

The Telling of my Life

Image
 People tell me I've had an interesting life. And finally, I've begun to believe them. But here's the thing: I was taught that talking and writing about myself was a form of self-centredness. When I was younger, I used to talk about myself and my life and experiences and stories quite freely. But likely some of this was excessive. And along the way, with certain ones giving me negative input and reprimanding me over this issue, I became more cautious. Now, likely some of this negative input was valid. Maybe I was self-centred. Maybe I did talk about myself too much. And well-meaning others meant to help me learn to interact better. And I hope, these many years later, I have learned something of the value of limiting the telling of my life. But I'm not sure the shaming and reproach were exactly helpful to my soul in this matter. And I've had to overcome a lot to even begin to tell some of my life here on my blog.  Joseph in the Bible comes to mind. He had dreams and

Emotional Leprosy

Image
 Part of being highly distractable is that when something is mentioned that has a whole category of memory or feeling, the mind takes a small hiatus - a short adventure into the realm of everything-in-that-category. This happened to me on Sunday when the sermon was regarding the 10 lepers (or, more accurately, the 9 and the 1). He was talking about what gratitude looks like, and trying to help us appreciate, in some small measure, what having leprosy was like in those days. He started saying how it was a socially isolating disease, a disease of separation, loneliness, scorn, rejection, humiliation. They had to walk about if they encountered healthy others, by calling out, 'unclean' to warn people to stay away. And he went on to focus on the theme of his sermon, which was gratitude. But I was already captivated, and brought to tears.  (There is something very healing about church: I go there to cry, then wait a whole week to return, only to cry again).   I believe God speaks thr

Grief Changes Us

Image
 I know the words in me have dried up. But they're in there, and somehow, in someway, maybe they'll seep out of me, albeit slowly. I go through my days and many times it feels like I'm floating, with my feet not quite on the ground. It isn't only grief, coming into the reality that my Mom left this earth over 6 months ago. It is all the many changes and challenges that a life holds - a life that is mine somehow, the life I live as mother, wife, friend, and neighbor.  The traumas of my life have seemed to break me. And it is reasonable to think that. But I don't say that to engender pity or even awe. I simply state it as fact. I'm not quite all here, and I trust God allowed even my own responses to trauma to protect me...somehow.  And yet, adaptive strategies like floating through life without really feeling everything that can be felt, or even the natural normal things that would bring others - unbroken others - joy or sorrow, these are not helpful in the long r

In My Covid Trial - Psalm 116

Image
 When I was at the worst part of covid last year, I could barely keep awake and when I was awake, I had no mental stamina to read or concentrate on anything. I couldn't listen to a narrative, or I'd get lost. My mind felt numb and consumed with the pain going on in seemingly every part of my body. So I went to BibleGateway.com and started to listen to Psalms. I have been memorizing Psalm 119, so I listen to it routinely. I've made my own voice recording but I hadn't a year ago so I was still using the online Bible Gateway version, in the ESV. Because I wanted to focus on Psalm 119, and I often was tossing or turning for a few minutes beforehand, I would back it up to a few chapters earlier. Sometimes I'd start at 113, or 115. I wasn't necessarily focusing on the words - simply letting them fall into the air and pick up a phrase here or there which might settle in my soul.  Somehow, in some way, my mind was clear enough at one point to actually hear  what Psalm 1

My Letter to Priscilla

Image
 So what might one write when not quite in a lucid state of mind? What might I say when I struggled to breathe, to prepare my teenage daughter for her life ahead?  I thought a lot about death a year ago. I looked at my life and told myself, 'Well, I guess 44 years is a good enough life. God hasn't promised more or less. Who am I to say that is too soon to go?' Then, of course, I noticed that in Hong Kong they didn't seem to like the number 4 very much. They thought the way it sounded 'say' sounded very similar to the word for death: 'sei'. And in fact, to me, they sound identical. And here I had completed 44 years around the sun, and in my glum state of being, figured my life was rapidly closing up shop.  I asked one of the kids to deliver the laptop to me, and I was able to put together a few thoughts for Priscilla on her orientation weekend.  Here is what I wrote, thinking it might be the last thing she hears from me: Dear Priscilla, I so much wish I c