Addicted to Ink

Friday, June 29, 2007


My nieces are insatiably curious about my pregnancy.

Every time I see them, they ask me hundreds of questions...and they ask their mom questions daily.

Today, they were playing dolls in their playroom, and their mom couldn't help but overhear this conversation that they were pretending to have on the phone:

8-yr-old: I'm at work now. How are my kids.

3-yr-old: Oh, they're fine. Guess what, I'm pregnant!

8-yr-old: Congratulations, that's wonderful! What's your name again?

3-yr-old: Aunt Amber

8-yr-old: Oh, how do you spell that?

3-yr-old: B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

(Hey, it's one of the few words she knows how to spell. Apparently, it's in a song.)

And at that point, their mom dissolved into laughter and raced for the phone. "Pretty accurate," she told me.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

rumblings of the pod

So last night, I'm frantically trying to edit 20 devotionals, trying to prepare for a two hour meeting today.

I'm sitting on the bed [only our upstairs is air-conditioned, but THANK GOD for that one little window air conditioner!] with my legs stretched out, three pillows piled on my belly, and my laptop on top of all those pillows.

Apparently, the Pod doesn't like all that extra weight, so "he(?)" starts kicking. To this point, I hadn't been sure if I was feeling anything or not. But this was definite, absolute kicking - a half-dozen times. But of course, I can't lay on my stomach, because the Pod REALLY hates that. So for the rest of the time, I just sat with my legs crossed, the laptop on the bed. And I got no complaints.

Monday, June 25, 2007

ordinary people

I think somewhere along the way I have blogged about this quote before:

"It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare.

All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics.

There are no 'ordinary' people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations -- these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whome we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit -- immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously -- no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.

And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner -- no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment."

--C. S. Lewis, From The Weight of Glory.

But all day yesterday, this passage was going through my mind... just with the whole missing-pregnant-mom case, and all that goes along with that (they found her body, by the way. The whole saga is at . And of course, reading The Good News About Injustice, and well, all the stuff I was blogging about the other day.

So much injustice. But thankfully, so much of God's incredible love and grace, too - God's people standing up - and moving - when and however He gives us the courage to do so.

The most horrible acts of injustice are created by humans; yet, to paraphrase a quote by Haugen (Good News About Injustice) - humans are surprisingly easy to kill, yet also surprisingly difficult to kill. And by and large, the human spirit that God has given us tends to be incredibly resilient.

I think the bottom line is that we have great responsibilities - not only as parents, but as human beings in every day contact with each other.

And you just wonder what could make a man kill his pregnant girlfriend in front of his two year old, or pay to rape a four-year-old girl in a police-owned brothel in Cambodia? Who, along the way, inflicted such pain upon these people? What happened to them to cause them to lose their humanity?

And then you think about the person who stood up for others and did great things... like last week, the 21-year-old who risked his own life to rescue two people from a burning, exploding car, then was devastated to realize their was a third person in there. Or the nine brave firefighters who gave their lives in South Carolina, or the good law enforcement agents like my husband who risk their lives often to keep people safe. Or folks like Gary Haugen or my friend Carl, who gives every ounce of talent, every penny, to fight human trafficking. Or the greatest person of all, who died for humanity. Who shaped those folks? Who pointed them in the right direction? What influenced them?

There are no ordinary people.

Friday, June 22, 2007

found this Ukraine pic today... :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

God of Love

Katie was walking along the dusty African road, carrying her infant sister on her back in a sarong when she was spotted by an orphanage worker, “Sami”.

Sami was unsure how long that Katie, 3 1/2, had been caring for her sister. But the infant was healthy and in obviously well-cared-for.

“Instinct,” Natalie told me as I rapidly jotted notes as the stories tumbled out of her. She, Dave, and I were meeting at Bob Evan’s and suddenly embarrassed when the waitress brought us our large plates of food.

Natalie spent nearly a month last summer in Zambia, and I was interviewing her for a project I’m working on.

Natalie, I told her, I’ve never met a person your age with so much “it” factor. It’s true. She’s phenomenal. If I told you all of the amazing things about her, you wouldn’t even believe me. But they’re all true.

The other story told me… Nat, a tiny little thing, confessed this morning that she has struggled with eating disorders in the past. While in Zambia, one day they were working in an AIDS clinic. Her job was to record the weights of the patients there.

“Seventy-six,” she would call out.


The numbers swirled about her… as her life was changed forever by these disheartened people who were slowly watching themselves waste away into nothing.

“Ninety-one,” she called. That was the heaviest person she weighed.


By now, I’ll bet many of you have heard the national news story of the missing pregnant woman in Canton… Mike has been around it 24/7 this week, with little rest. It’s so big, so hard to get our arms around! Last night, I was with him for four hours at the ‘suspect’s’ house as the SO and FBI searched it.

They’re searching with cadaver dogs today and have had a few devastating leads. Everyone in our area is heartbroken over this case… and even more so to know that it happens every day, in nearly every city, despite all of those who don’t make the news.

And Nhu… ( I’m on the board now & we’re trying to bring Nhu to America. Her family is in debt again and are threatening to SELL HER BACK into the sex slave trade. I can’t even imagine. Carl & Laurie desperately want to adopt her… we just need to work through the immigration mess to get her here.

Last year I was interviewing one of my heroes, Celia for another story I was doing about service-learning – she’s now the director of service-learning here.

“Some say we should only serve those here in America, because that is where we are,” I began my question. “Others say we should only serve overseas, because that is where true need is. What do you say?”

“There’s no end to need,” Celia said, “It’s never inappropriate to relieve suffering. But it is appropriate to both begin and end right where you are.”


I am a bit emotionally overwhelmed today… can you tell? God is expanding my heart at the same time as my belly. But God has a plan for my little one. My little world-changer. I just know it. I pray it every day, that my baby will be one who changes the world, who knows God, who loves God, who loves justice and mercy. Not because of me. It has nothing to do with me.


Life is so big right now. But nothing is too big for my God.

God of Justice. God of Love. God of Mercy. God of Love. God of Canton. God of Love. God of Zimbabwe. God of Love. God of Ukraine. God of Love. God of Malone. God of Love.

God of Big. God of Love. God of Small. God of Love. God of Suffering. God of Love. God of Joy. God of Love.

God of Katie. God of Love. God of Sami. God of Love. God of Natalie. God of Love. God of orphans. God of Love. God of AIDS victims. God of Love.

God of Jessie. God of Love. God of Jessie’s family. God of Michael. God of Love. God of Rescue Workers. God of Love.

God of Nhu. God of Love. God of Carl. God of Love. God of Laurie. God of Love.

God of Celia. God of Love. God of Nations. God of Love.

God of my baby. God of Love.

God of Amber. God of Love…

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

God's Justice

Some friends from Malone read a book together almost every summer, and this time I'm joining them. They are an amazing group of the people - and it's an amazing book (so far!).

We're reading Gary Haugen's The Good News About Injustice. Haugen is the founder of International Justice Mission, a group that is phenomenal. And so relevant to what I believe is an area with which God is calling me to be more involved. Heck, not just me - anyone who will listen ;)

So... we ask each other questions that make my head and my heart hurt, and get me out of my own little world. It's so easy to be self-involved, especially these days, because for some reason I seem to be getting so much attention lately... .

Anyway... my fellow bookworms - here's a book if you wanna get your heart broken & your eyes opened.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Thank God for 7-up!

I knew something was amiss the second I became conscious this morning. My overly-heightened sense of smell told me disaster was in the air. Literally.

I walked downstairs, knowing what I would see. Yup...

In a state of exhaustion, I didn't give Sam enough time outside last night before I went to bed, so there were big surprises for me all over the floor this morning. I went back upstairs to arm myself with cleaning supplies and told Mike to go ahead and get ready (I usually go first) because I had a HUGE mess to clean up.

For a while, I just sat on the bed, staring at the roll of tp... trying to prepare my nose for its up close and personal date with disgusting. Need I mention that we've been discussing our dilemma of what to do about impending situations that may arise from our household managing a hyper 112-pound dog (with no yard to speak of and no playmates) and an 8-pound baby?

With both my nose and stomach refusing to cooperate, I cleaned up the mess as quickly as I could and took it outside to the garbage cans - thankfully, today was trash day. Then I used the trash cans a little more myself, and walked the sidewalk in my pjs, trying to take in as much fresh air as I could before going back to sweep & mop the floors.

Finally, I went back upstairs at about the same time my dear husband got out of the shower.

"You know," he said sweetly, "I'm sure Sam feels really bad about th--"

"Stop it!" I said firmly. "This is not the time to take his side--"

"Hey, I'm a member of this family, too," he says, obviously hurt at being interrupted. "I can state my opinion."

To which I snapped, "Yes, dear. You are the most important person in the world to me.[It's true.] But I cannot handle your opinion this morning."

And... I couldn't. Neither could my stomach - which has been sick all day. Or my nose, which has gained a ridiculous capacity for holding in smells for hours.

So my stomach thanks God for 7-up.

But what do we do about Sam... until we do have a bigger yard & bigger kids?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Am I really?

Am I really going to have a baby in a few months?

Seems kind of obvious, right? I mean, my stomach is getting bigger, I'm nauseous and sensitive to smells, I've been to the doctor, I've seen the ultrasound, I've heard the heartbeat and yet it's something so life-changing that I just can't help but wonder - is this really happening?

It's such a natural-yet-absolutely-foreign concept just how much my life will change by the end of this fall. It's fun, exciting, scary, and sobering.

God definitely knew what He was doing when he made this a nine-month process... (I can say that at 5 months :) )

Friday, June 08, 2007

Daddy's pod

I'm in trouble.

Our kid is ornery already!

I had my 17-week appointment today and Dr. B. was trying to get the heartbeat of "the pod" (Mike's nickname for the baby) and every time she would put the microphone on my belly, we could literally hear it swim somewhere else. Just as she was about to order an ultrasound, she got the heartbeat. It's a beautiful sound!

Also, the baby is deciding to be sly about it's identity. According to all the stuff I've been reading, a baby's heartbeat in utero is between 120 and 180, and the higher it is, the more likely it's a girl.

Our baby's heartbeat? 150. Smack dab in the middle!

Hopefully, it won't hide from us at the week 21 ultrasound!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Mom guilt

Already the "mom guilt" is starting... I should be writing more, keeping better track of my pregnancy so I can show it to my child someday. Sheesh - I'm at 17 weeks already! Time is flying!

Sorry it's been almost a whole month since I've blogged. But, hey, no one leaves comments anymore anyway! Does anyone even still read this thing? I promise, I'll try to blog at least once a week :)

So anyway, I'm very happy to be out of the first trimester. Sometimes I still feel like crap, but at least I'm not getting sick every night :) That is a wonderful thing.

Most of you know I had an insane craving for blueberries last month. The cravings are continuing. But thankfully, they're still healthy! In addition to blueberries (yum!) I'm also craving Greek-spiced green beans (the Greek Festival is this week, and they make the best green beans in the whole universe!) and sauteed spinach from Papa Bear's. I'm also craving fried cauliflower with fresh lemon from PB's, but that's not so healthy!

Well, I better go clean my kitchen because Mike & Paul-the-chef are fishing right now, and when it gets dark, they're going to come home and Paul's going to cook dinner. Away I go :)