faith · social issues

On Euthanasia…

What a heavy topic to return to blogging on, hey?

Just quickly I would like to say thank you to my followers. I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus as I finish my study (just 30 hours of placement to go!) but this blog is nonetheless always there for me when I’ve got something I feel I need/want to share with the world. It doesn’t matter if those draft thoughts never leave my head, knowing I have this space and even better people who are interested, is a wonderful blessing.

But back to this topic, yep, I’m going there….Euthanasia.

It came up at bookclub last night, as the last dregs lingered on around the table discussing work, life, financial planning and end of life.

The state of Victoria recently passed assisted dying laws which came into effect this month. I do not support these laws and pray other states do not follow suit – why? Quite simply because I am a christian. Is that a good enough reason to support protests against these laws for other people, mostly non-christian? That is a very good question.

I believe God is in ultimate control of our lives, and despite a fallen world with pain and injustice, I believe God is good. Despite daily questioning of His will and ways I trust Him and am content (relatively!) to leave my life and death in His hands. This choice became very clear to me when I was presented with the option (opportunity?) to terminate my second pregnancy. Whilst the medical reality for my child was very scary, abortion was never really an option – life is a gift. A gift I believe God chooses the time for giving and taking away. A gift I am more than happy to put into His capable hands, placing my trust in Him.

At this time in my life it also became really clear to me why people might choose differently to me. Without faith in God, given the option of a life of likely pain and challenges for your child versus regulated safe termination (death), I can see how it could be  a decision of love rather than perhaps convenience.

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So when at the other end of life and someone is facing certain death, via painful disease or illness, yes the loving choice could be termination. I still choose however to believe and trust in God. I don’t understand why he allows people to linger in pain but I do believe He is all-loving and all-knowing and I do believe there can be continued purpose and meaning in life.

I have not experienced constant pain and I have no idea what it’s like, so it can easily be asked, what right do I have to say how a non-christian chooses to end their life?

I’m not sure I can justify my beliefs….I DO wish for all people to come to know God as I do and to trust in Him….but I also acknowledge free-will. So I guess I don’t think that my choice is anymore valid than yours but I do believe I have the right to express it and continue to make decisions based on my faith, even if they affect others with different beliefs.

I have experienced the death of two grandmothers from bowel cancer. Both had lived long and blessed lives. My Dad shares what a privilege it was to be sitting nearby as his Mum took her last breaths. My mother cared for her Mum at her home until her death, which she too experienced as a great honour and privilege. It was interesting to hear an uncles perspective, who also helping with care saw it as cruelty for his Mum. I’m sure my Mum didn’t find it pleasant and wished for the suffering to end but I believe she also believed the care was dignified and an appropriate way to die.

I guess I wonder why we assume death should be painless? I think many are afraid of death and wish for it to be as uncomplicated as possible….I don’t think that’s realistic, as with all of life, the real picture often isn’t pretty but nonetheless invaluable.

I’m wondering now how to end this…..I feel I’m done.

Would love for any thoughts, alternative views, questions to be shared

GJ

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life · Uncategorized

Front-yard Cricket

Welcome to 2019 🙂

The weather finally cooled down enough to actually be outside and we had a family moment ❤

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December was a tough month. It’s the anniversary of my stillborn son’s birthday. I slowed down early and then when break time really came around I felt I had to ‘do’ especially as I had Hubby home ‘thanks’ to an achilles injury. So then the guilt started and the flatness spread and I just couldn’t get into the Christmas energy. Thankfully I trust my family and friends and feel no need to act, so much food and joyful fellowship was still had. My energy is gradually returning and I’m working on focusing on the moment rather than stressing about what hasn’t been done and what I feel needs to be done in the future (and trying to be understanding towards my family). I still generally feel like an over-privileged princess as I constantly choose puzzles, reading and tv over houshold tasks. But I get the washing and dishes done and I’m confident my children feel loved which is priority no. 1.

I usually like New Years Resolutions but havn’t had the motivation yet – still working on my Christmas letters! Having said that things must be improving…..

  1. One blog a month.
  2. I’d like to do something political this Australian election year. I got some ‘beginner’s guide’ books for Christmas
  3. Finish my counselling degree – to be honest I’m pretty scared about this, I had hoped to finish last year but due to mental health slowed this right down
  4. Make our spare room functional
  5. Rehash last years goal of spending more time outdoors/exercising

Each day is an open book for me at the moment – such a gift – such a responsibility.

There’s going to be good moments, nothing moments, some shockers and a whole lot in between. I pray I continue to seek connection. I’m not sure what God’s purpose for my life is but I will try and trust that each step in this journey, even the one’s I take in a dysfunctional direction are teaching me what I need to know.

 

faith · social issues

National Shame

Last week Sammy Hope wrote a blog about judgement that rung bells in my head, especially in light of something I’d just read  –

“My church bulletin talked about judging this week in relation to the eighth commandment… it was a much needed learning especially in light of social media “we should remember that no one has the right to pass judgement on anyone else and rebuke him in public…theres nothing wrong with knowing it but we don’t have the right to pass judgement”

Today I wanted to share an article on my Facebook feed – (link here)

for WP

But wouldn’t this be a prime example of passing judgment. Who am I to compare the sin’s of others? Why is it (as Sammy asked) so hard to get off our Self Righteous Horses?

And yet don’t we also need to advocate against issues like domestic violence in our society?

for wp 2

Sin and forgiveness. Shame. Does Jesus forgive even Steve Smith?! Even Matt Lodge? Sin and consequences…are some sins worse than others…what should the consequences be? What is the media or society’s role? Does society know its own demons?

On this Good Friday the one thing I know is that Jesus died for me, and Praise God, Gtook my multitude of sins upon himself on the cross. 

Sammy suggested that we need to remember that only love and acceptance can win people over.  Please pray that people will recognize their sins and that as Christians we can show them the way to the cross, the only place where true forgiveness can be found.

 

 

life · Uncategorized

Summer Holidays

I’ve had a great week 🙂

  • I finished my work notes and shut that computer off
  • Hubby took kids for a swim in the farms finally ready swimming pool (was out of action 2017) while I finished a nap
  • I finished a book and a puzzle
  • I enjoyed a new tv series but ready for a break which means I can start latest season of Grey’s Anatomy tonight
  • It was great to have Vacswim give the kids and I some routine this week
  • Found my daughters Vacswim book (yay!) and my son did a whole lesson without crying (even if my Mum had to take him for this to occur)
  • I cleared the floor of the toy room
  • We caught up with friends
  • I continued to feel positive about the New Year
  • Hubby and I have been on similar pages this week
  • The weather was awesome!

Basically I have nothing to complain about and I’m not sure there’s many people who can say that.

I do have a few resolutions to add to my list (and a confession that I’ve not really been outdoors the last two days – yesterday was a work day and today is just hot :p )

  • I realised there were no resolutions regarding my children which I think was a bit of an oversight. I know self-care as a parent is important but I think I do tend to put my needs first especially in regards to free time so I’d like to aim for a purposeful activity each day with each child – we’ll see how that goes
  • Also watched a One Million clip this afternoon reminding me I want to make decisions in my shopping that reduce my negative impact on the environment
  • Lastly because you know it’s the first week and I’m feeling great and gonna reach for the stars (!) I want to keep focusing on advocacy – have just been in touch with a friend whose son is suffering from bipolar and unfortunately when she reached out to services they were overstretched with waitlists – so many areas our community local, state, country can improve on.

Hope 2018 has been treating you well so far too – I’d love to hear about it…

GJ

 

life · relationships · Uncategorized

So Much More than Just a Sport

I’ve wanted to write for quite a while about a topic very close to my heart. despite the fact I can easily imagine others looking at it as a complete non-issue. I’d like to start therefore by proclaiming that I am a strong believer in the concept that it takes a village to raise a child. Indeed I am very fortunate to be among wonderful supportive ‘villages’ that both make my parenting life easier and also enrich the lives of my children. A predominant one of these villages is my sporting community. My husband is an avid aussie rules and cricket player, so year long our saturdays are taken up by sport, our sundays by recuperation and the week for preparation. I also play and love netball but this year made the BIG decision not to play for the same club as my husband but another local club which plays in a different league.

It was an incredibly hard decision to make, especially when at the start of the season I was basing the decision most pressingly on a memory I had that I wanted to change clubs next year. At the start of the season I couldn’t precisely remember why I’d been feeling that way but I decided to trust that memory and try out for another club.

Things that made the decision difficult:

  • I love the club I was leaving behind – the people and the sense of community
  • They were struggling for netball numbers – actually I thought they would only have one team instead of the usual two which meant I’d be ok
  • Friends not understanding why I was making the decision

One thing that would have changed my mind:

  • My husband was very against the idea. He’d said so and yet (and yet) he didn’t (wouldn’t) discuss it with me. He wouldn’t give me his reasons and he didn’t (wouldn’t) ask for mine.

My husband won his grand final yesterday, I am so happy for him and proud BUT I am also now sitting here in bed reflecting (crying involved) on why I want to make the same decision again next year. I’ve decided to put finger to keyboard and communicate some of these reflections.

Reasons I made the decision:

  • The lifestyle/culture – the only way to celebrate a grand final is to drink all night and all day, or at least that’s how it feels to me. I’m not good at this. I get tired and grumpy and unsociable. I’m more a stay home, read a book, cuddle up kinda girl.
    • I don’t think my husband minds this about me but I feel like I miss out. I want to be apart of his victory, I want to celebrate with him but it just doesn’t work that way.
    • There are other wives/girlfriends who seem to be able to do this and I’m jealous.
  • As I’ve said I LOVE so many people part of this sporting club. My children have so much fun with friends there. I decided though that there’s a difference between loving people and wanting to spend majority of your time with them. They are my family but they are not the people I would sit down and chat with for 4+ hours on a weekly basis. We are different and that’s ok.*
  • I started to hate particularly after training nights walking in and waiting to find someone to sit with. It was a weekly decision/agony and why should I put myself through that?
  • Training nights were the same for both me and my husband making child care difficult. Also due to tea and socializing they were late.
  • Relationship/family stuff – I would always feel like as soon as we arrived at the footy oval my husband would clock off. Now was his time to prepare for the game while I was responsible for the childcare even though involved in my own sporting game. He would often be last out of the change rooms and sometimes I would feel that even after he did arrive out he would not look to acknowledge or come see me. This was his domain.

It was the right decision to make, for me. Not so much our family, we missed out on travelling together for games and the kids missed out on seeing as much of their friends. I would still often head out to club rooms after my games, which would be nice but not great. I enjoyed playing netball with a different group of girls. I enjoyed that the focus was solely on netball and not working on maintaining a whole community. I also appreciated the flexibility of training on a different night.

But now we are at the end of the season (actually I still get to play in a grand final next weekend!) and I still feel the same way about many of these issues. I believe it’s important to my husband for me to be there as a sign of support but I want to be wanted for my company.

There is no conclusion to this story, it’s a work in progress. In good news for me though my husband and I are starting to see a counselor so maybe just maybe by the start of next season we will be making a decision together.

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*I’d like to note that some of these people I would happily spend endless hours with and that some of my feelings are likely overly swayed by my moods. I also want to say how supportive many of these people have been – a number will be there to watch me at my grand final next week and an even larger number asked me yesterday how my team went.

Books · life · social issues · Uncategorized

Bookish (AND not so bookish) Thoughts Thursday

I missed WWW Wednesday yesterday so had a look around for a Thursday Meme, this one hosted by Bookishly Boisterous  looks perfect!

  1. Attended yet another awesome bookclub last night. We were all fans (except one prude :p) of An Almond for a Parrot by Wray Delaney (pen name of Sarah Gardner) a great, easy, fun (sexy) read
  2. Signed a petition today for Amnesty International regarding child labour on palm oil plantations in Indonesia (specifically Wilmar) – I’m not 100% sure about it and did a little research which initially was mostly about the environmental impacts of palm oil plantations. To this end it does seem that some companies have been improving their practices – WWF Scorecard  and Australia Scorecard . This website had a good explanation. However my friend asked a good question regarindg the child labor – if the companies stop buying these products what happens to the children? Do they get pushed into other areas of slavery/sex objects/ etc so that they can survive?
  3. Read a bit about family law and royal commissions – absolutely love Rosie Batty and all the work she does
  4. Also read about the new Australian Conservative Party and although I liked this tag line ‘policies, not personalities. Principle, not politics.’ I don’t think I’m onboard with them.
  5. Have had two home days, yesterday super relaxing as both kids at school/kindy, today was harder to get motivated and harder to indulge for second day.
  6. Tried to get my head around Four Corners expose on the Murray Darling Basin, quite relevant for my local area but not sure of anything. Good list of ABC articles here  but my question is which response is best out of a federal judicial inquiry (Labor option), independent inquiry (Australian Conservatives) and senate inquiry (Greens option)? Disappointingly I havn’t seen anything from Liberals.
  7. Just had a lovely 30 minute phone call with my Mum, love that woman!
  8. Other parentals on my mind are my father and father-in-law spending the week together volunteering in the Bush – not sure how I feel about that!
  9. Oooh and last but not least I havn’t started any other books so have made progress on Silence

 

 

Hope you are all having a good week. Would love to hear your random thoughts on all and everything too 🙂

political · Uncategorized

My Political Pants

Last Sunday the Australian Federal Minister for Education announced that an
expert group had been formed to work on the implementation of a nation-wide phonics assessment and numeracy check for year 1’s. He asserted this action was part of a plan of getting back to basics in Australian schools. I spent the afternoon reading comments and looking into it more – I was excited to finally have some something from my Facebook feed spark my attention. Even more igniting was a blog I read that night by Cate Speaks –Imperfect activism. She wrote  about the shared despair resulting from the politics of the wider world and the mental exhaustion resulting in a lack of time or energy to devote to activism.  Most importantly she proclaimed that while it may be impossible to do ‘enough,’  even if you only do one thing, ever, that’s still one thing that wouldn’t have been done if you hadn’t done it.

She particularly inspired me with the goal ‘to do your one thing, and then encourage two or three more people to do their one thing too’, in order to make a difference. She plans to do 2 things a week , one that is political or big picture and the other small and local – ‘something that aims to maintain and build the communities I am a part of’.  I’m pretty keen to follow her lead so am adding yet another 2017 blogging goal to me list – the political post.

To recap this year I’ve said I’m going to do – a reading post (WWW Wednesday and When are you reading challenge), an issue post, my regular whatever posts and now a political post. Let’s just not set too many timelines on these! I had a bit of a crazy busy week – daughter back to school, now a big Year 1, son started kindy, I attempted to work clients around various schedules, hubby had shearing and our puppy broke his leg! I was extremely happy to make it to the weekend. I’m now trying to work my way through several tabs open in my internet browser and this is where my first purposeful political post shall begin….

Firstly I am still trying to get my head around Simon Birmingham’s education announcement (mentioned above). My first thought was WHY more assessment? H’s reception teacher last year did reading at least once a week with each student, I’m sure all teachers already know where their kids are at reading-wise. More important than assessment in my opinion is resources to respond to what teacher’s already know. Resources to help the students who are identified as struggling. Anyhow I still need to look into this one further – maybe next weeks post.

Secondly Trump. I don’t know who I would’ve voted for if I was American but I am not 100% against this guy. Then I read this summary of his first week in office…

Thirdly Trump. again. well no actually Russia. A lovely friend joined me on the five hour round trip to pick my puppy up after surgery and we discussed all and everything. She mentioned fears of Trumps relationship with Russia, especially since Russia was seeking to decriminalise domestic violence, what the what?! She wasn’t making it up:

According to CNN ‘The pending legislation would consider an assault — if it’s a first offense that does not seriously injure the person — an administrative, rather than criminal offense. The legislation would also apply to children…Women’s rights groups say domestic violence has an insidious hold on many Russian families and fear that decriminalizing assaults will only encourage more violence… An old Russian expression “If he beats you it means he loves you.”…Official data on domestic violence in Russia is not centrally collected so it’s hard to verify. But the state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports that 40% of serious crimes in Russia are committed in the family, 36,000 women are beaten by their husbands daily, and 12,000 women die yearly as a result of domestic violence — one woman every 44 minutes.’

‘Yelena Mizulina, the politician who introduced the legislation believes it will bring domestic violence offences into line with other assault and battery charges, which were decriminalised last year.The change would mean that ‘battery within the family’ as an administrative offence would be punished with a fine, community service or brief prison term.’ (http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/01/13/despite-outcry-russia-set-de-criminalise-domestic-violence). It also returns the crime to the realm of “private prosecution”, where the victim is responsible for collecting evidence and bringing a case. Repeat offences would be criminal infractions, but only within a year of the first, giving abusers a pass to beat relatives once a year.’

The Economist reported that Russia is one of three countries in Europe and Central Asia that do not have laws specifically targeting domestic violence. Instead it is treated like other forms of assault, ignoring the fact that spouses and children are more vulnerable than other victims.

Alena Popova, an advocate for laws against domestic violence, is reported to support the new law, believing that more women will come forward if they do not think their partners will be sent to Russia’s harsh prisons. Similarly comments on the Economist article shared

For those still confused [with the] difference between “criminal” and “non-criminal” violations in Russian law
1. While both types of violations are prosecuted by the state, only courts (1 court per 1 mln people, roughly) can do criminal cases. Many smaller offices can process administrative cases. Speed of processing will be much higher after de-criminalizing.
2. Standard of proof is easier for “non-criminal” violations, more domestic abusers will be sentenced after de-criminalizing.
3. Range of punishment is lighter for “non-criminal” cases, but still includes forced community service and short detention ( weeks / months ). Certain types of theft and battery are routinely treated as non criminal.

Another commentator suggested that while the first punishment is administrative there is then an INEVITABLE criminal case for the second offence led by a government prosecutor that cannot be closed by the “consent of the parties”, with maximum punishment of 10 years in prison. Thus giving family members more protection – previously calling the police was useless; police could do nothing; now they can fine the offender, and lock him up for 15 days to think about his behavior, and get into him that the next time he will be on direct way to state prosecutor and 10 years imprisonment with very high chances of case going through.

I think in the end I will have to leave this issue to the Russians (although I did sign an online petition). The most important takeaway message for me is, one woman dying every 44 minutes from domestic violence, ANY woman/child/person dying as a result of domestic violence is unacceptable.

‘Enough’ for one day I think.

 

 

Although FYI

More ideas from Cate’s Blog https://catespeaks.wordpress.com/ (I also like Leaning to Speak Politics https://learningtospeakpolitics.wordpress.com/)

Here is a highly incomplete list of really small, easy things you can do for yourselves and for each other.

  • Donate to a charity on behalf of someone else.  Oxfam Unwrapped will send a friend a card on your behalf, telling them what you donated in their name.  The bag of pig’s manure seems like an appropriate choice right now.  So does the Women’s Rights gift, that trains women in Bangladesh for leadership roles.
  • Bake something delicious and give it to someone.  I feed my colleagues a lot (but not tomorrow, because I’ve spent all evening writing this.  Sorry, my scientists!), but dropping something in to a local homeless shelter, or for the doctors and nurses at your local hospital is a nice touch.  Or you could do this.
  • Write a letter to a politician thanking them for their work on something you appreciate.  Or write a letter or a card to a teacher or friend who has helped you, telling them how much you value them.
  • If hand crafts are your thing, make a quilt or a cape or knit a teddy bear for a sick or traumatised child, or check out one of these campaigns.
  • If you are in a choir or orchestra or other musical group, get a group together and see if there is a local retirement home, or hospital, or detention centre, that might like a short concert.
  • Recommend a book to someone.  Buy it for them, if you can afford it.  Make it something fun and clever and escapist and quietly feminist.  (My recommendations this week are Sherry Thomas’s book A Study in Scarlet Women, which is a really clever gender-swapped Sherlock Holmes; The Invisible Library, by Genevieve Cogman, a fantasy adventure with secret agents, alternate worlds, and stolen books; and anything by Lois McMaster Bujold, but especially Paladin of Souls.)
  • Ring someone who you know is having a rough time right now for a chat.
  • Volunteer for a tree planting day, or at a wildlife shelter.
  • Download Mapswipe, and help Medecins Sans Frontières find people in disaster zones (note that you will need good eyes for this activity)
  • Take a bath, turn off your phone, and have an early night.  Books, music, favourite TV programs, partners and pets might all be part of this arrangement.  It doesn’t have to be tonight.  But give yourself permission to take a night off from the fear.  You can afford one night.  We all can.