Patrick with Elder Nielson, the first missionary he ever met, 1998.
In the greater Brisbane (Australia) city area, if there is a news report of a stabbing, armed robbery, police car chase or drug-related arrest, chances are it’s in the southern suburb of Logan. So, obviously, that’s where my sixteen year old son was called to serve for a week on his “mini-mission”.
Cue parental heart attack, anxieties and worry.
I dropped him off one Saturday morning to the missionary flat, where two elders came out to the car to help with his bike, his suitcase, backpack and groceries. A final “Bye Mum, love you” tossed over his shoulder and I was driving back home, an hour north of where I’d just abandoned my firstborn to the cruel uncaring world. The entire way home I was praying – pleading – with God to make sure Patrick would be well, and happy, and gain something positive out of his mini-mission (and not be mugged, or hurt, or…) Continue reading
What does a knock at your front door early in the morning mean to you: curiosity or alarm? What if you knew a couple from church and one day the wife was reported missing, or her husband said she had deliberately left her husband and daughter the night before? What have you already decided?
So begin’s Mette Ivie Harrison’s contemporary exploration of the world of ward politics, judgements, snap assumptions and above all everyday people trying to make sense of the mess and joy of life, and each other.
I’m usually hesitant to read contemporary LDS fiction novels, as I have read too many which have been formulaic, stilted, in desperate search of a plot, or just painful or boring to read. Thankfully, The Bishop’s Wife suffers from none of these struggles; it’s an engaging read, with a compelling mystery that had me puzzling about the plot as I went about my day, and sneaking a couple of pages in at every opportunity. Continue reading
“She’s going in now for an emergency caesar [c-section] – his heart rate keeps dropping too much.”
My Mum ended our phone call to chase up the theatre staff, a thousand kilometres away I hurled up some prayers, and less than 10 minutes later I was looking at the first picture of my new baby nephew.
Both my sister and baby J have been given the all-clear, and I have added incentive to finish the baby blanket I’m making for him. In the past twelve hours, I’ve been further amazed and have marvelled at the care and medical techniques available to us today in Western civilisation.
Just think: four thousand years ago women were using hippopotamus dung as a contraceptive, and hysteria was a mental illness believed to be caused by the uterus wandering around inside women creating trouble and weird symptoms. Two hundred years ago leeches and mercury were accepted medical treatments, and hysteria was still a bane to polite society (although a popular “cure” for many was *ahem* literally in the grasp of a small group of investigating doctors). In the early 1900s women were sent to the asylum for conditions such as asthma and unkempt hair. In the 1970s smoking had no known health consequences, and unmarried mothers-to-be weren’t given pain relief during labour. I quite like living in the twenty-first century, thank you very much. Continue reading
Several spiritual wildernesses ago, I found myself a new scripture hero. Caleb, from the Old Testament, was one amazing, tough dude: faithful, honest, courageous and determined. In the second year after escaping Egypt, Caleb and Joshua – at the direction of Moses – go exploring into the Promised Land¹. Ten others went with them, all twelve being a representative of each of the tribes of Israel. When they all returned and told of what they’d seen, only Caleb and Joshua reported positively on the land they had explored.
Joshua and Caleb said “The land is flowing with milk and honey! Huge grapes! Pomegranates! Figs! It’s amazing, let’s go right now” but the remaining ten started freaking out, saying “Nope, no way, the dudes who live there are HUGE and they’ll squash us like bugs!” Continue reading
I’m in my mid-semester uni break, and seem to be deficient in Vitamin Fiction. So I’m self-medicating with the (at last count) thirty-seven fiction books I have scattered around my bedroom. At the moment I’m glutting myself on magical, fantastical fare and while it’s not my usual preference, it is hitting the spot right now. Nothing serious, nothing challenging, just great reads and escapes, adventure and fun. What’s not to love about that?
I truly believe that while our brains and selves can hugely benefit from a healthy, varied diet of intelligent, thought provoking reading materials, there is also a time for a bit of sugary, light deliciousness. Continue reading