All posts tagged: family

“Against Medical Advice I Chose Not To Abort.” This Mum’s Story Will Bring Hope – And Tears!

Doctors are not gods.  I’ll say it again, doctors are not gods.  They get it wrong and all too often their prognosis allows no room for the extraordinary.  This was the barrier that would have prevented Chercara and Tim from raising a family of their own.  Chercara shares how faith and a deep-seated value of life raised hope in her heart, not for one miracle, but two.  A This Little Life story… “I have six children but can only hold two of them in my arms.  If I was to heed the advice of many of the doctors and nurses responsible for my antenatal care, I wouldn’t even have these, my two beautiful boys. Losing our first baby was not only one of the hardest things for me and hubby Tim to endure but it made me lose faith in the medical system. I met Tim when I was 18 – it was ‘love at first sight’.  Within a month we were dating, another month and he asked me to marry him and a month …

Happy Birthday Jesus!

There will be a birthday party in our house on Christmas morning.  As soon as our two-year-old son’s sweet little head hits the pillow tomorrow night, hubby and I will be in mission mode; hanging balloons, icing the cake, wrapping presents, setting the table with party hats and whistles. I can predict his response. He will march from his bedroom – he always wakes up perky – and his eyes will double in size as he takes in the living room transformation.  He will laugh and clap his hands and sing, “I excited, I excited” while performing his little ‘I-have-more-energy-than-I-know-what-to-do-with’ dance. And all the effort will be worth it. Perhaps you’re thinking we’re one of those unfortunates with a birthday in the family that falls on Christmas Day.  Well, we’re not.  We’ve decided to celebrate Jesus’ birthday this year with the same dynamism and anticipation as we do our own birthdays.  He IS part of our family after all. I have delighted in establishing our own family traditions. There have been long discussions into the …

Don’t Lose Your Sense of Awe

There is no moment so laden with awe as when you hold your child for the first time.  The experience is preserved in my memory like a snapshot in a photo album.  I won’t speak of the hours leading up to it, but when the midwife lifted my son into my arms and his skin was pressed against mine, the world stopped. Awe wrapped us in a glorious mummy-baby bubble, where everything outside was reduced to what sounded like the gentle murmur of music on the breeze. We looked, making silent introductions, although we already knew each other.  I remember his fragility; tiny fingers and toes, downy skin and mighty lungs!  There was something immensely tender and humbling that happened in that first encounter that will never, ever leave me.  A new mother accepting her new child. Many years ago I wrote a piece lamenting the injustices of being born a woman.  In my pre-mother state, I mounted my soaring stead and decried the natural way of things, that a woman must endure the horrors …

Letter to the Prime Minister

26 August, 2013   Dear Mr Rudd and Mr Abbott,   In less than two weeks time one of you will be elected Prime Minister. You are educated men, determined men, thinking men. You have worked hard to reach your privileged positions and now, more than ever, your days are as long as your pressures are heavy. To the considerations of a politician in election mode, I add this letter. I will be brief. No jibes here on funding promises, policy unveilings and slur campaigns – just a memento of the strangled heartbeat at the core of community. There are two things foundational to any society: marriage and family. When these two things are crumpled and broken, split and repaired, Band-Aid slapped on top of bloodied Band-Aid, redefined, renamed and ripped open; brokenness becomes us. This is our reality. We exist in a culture that accepts brokenness as the norm. We are the broken culture. And brokenness begets brokenness. You both (appear to be) happily married. You both have (what appear to be) happy families. …

What Every Couple Should Understand Before Saying “I Do”

Rupert Murdoch has filed to divorce his wife of 14 years, the glamorous Wendi Deng. It will be Mr Murdoch’s third divorce and Ms Deng’s second. A pre-nuptial agreement signed prior to their 1999 wedding will see Ms Deng benefit handsomely (but not too handsomely) from the split – Mr Murdoch’s second wife Anna Maria Torv reportedly received a $US1.7 billion divorce settlement in 1999 at the end of their 31 year marriage. Yes, that was the same year Mr Murdoch went on to marry Ms Deng. Money. Power. Beauty. Convenience. Marriage was never meant to be like this. The divorce rate in Australia is about 43 per cent – that is, 43 per cent of marriages can be expected to end in separation within 30 years (ABS). And I don’t need to tell you of the damage that divorce inflicts – not only on the couple but also on children and extended family. I am convinced that the true definition of marriage has been allowed to slide. Over time, some definitions will change – it’s the …

What Shame and Guilt Tell Us About Abortion

Have you seen those Emily’s Voice ads about family? The one with the woman who explains how she fell pregnant at 18 and was told her life was ruined? (watch it here) These ads, which have been running for the past few months on Tasmanian television stations, reveal in a frank and joyful voice how things turned out well in this real life teen pregnancy story. “Now, with a uni degree and four beautiful kids, I know I didn’t ruin my life or have to give up my dreams to have them – they became part of the dream. I wanted my baby and I wanted my degree – and I got both.” I’ve seen some strong opposition to the ads on Facebook, including a petition to ban these “vile ads”, and I understand there was a complaint or two lodged with one of the television stations, but I fail to see what is offensive about a woman who chose to keep her pregnancy, a woman whose choice resulted in a beautiful family. Such reaction is …

Attention: Champions of Life

Never have I been more aware of how precious life is. In the past two weeks, three friends have given birth to beautiful, healthy babies. One made her entrance at just 30 weeks, weighing less than 1.4kg. She is doing marvellously, as is mum. Sadly, I know another couple who was only given an hour with their newborn son before he breathed his last. We joined that family as they lowered a tiny coffin into the ground. Still another husband-and-wife pair have traveled such a heart-wrenching journey with their son who has cancer. They have fought for his life so gallantly, making use of all the available treatment facilities in Melbourne, praying on his behalf like the warriors they are. And my husband and I have known the grief of miscarriage recently too. Through all these separate but somehow similar situations that champion the inherent value of life, our Tasmanian government is attempting to change abortion laws to allow greater access to pregnancy termination. And for every pregnancy termination, a little life is also terminated. …

Design Your Own Family Traditions

My dad has a pretty warped sense of humour. Case in point: I’m going to title this example The Vegemite Assassin. At some point in my teens Father Comedy thought it would be a funny prank to creep up behind his unsuspecting victim (one of his three offspring) and smear vegemite across their face, usually leaving a brown smudge that travelled from the bottom lip to the opposite cheek, allowing for an unexpected punch of salty goop in our mouths. Aussie or no, this is not something you can prepare for. As we groaned and rolled our eyes, licking our lips and heading to the bathroom to clean up, the not-so-covert Vegemite Assassin could be heard practically choking on his own laughter. Tears, holding his sides, the works. It began to happen more often – dad’s courage being fuelled by our reactions. He even did it to a friend once. Mortifying. It wasn’t long before The Vegemite Assassin got a taste of his own… gag, and that, my friends, was the start of a decades-long family tradition that is …

Marriage: is it as Sacred as Trees?

THE Greens are fighting fiercely to protect the Tarkine wilderness in Tassie’s North-West. This significant tract of temperate rainforest has been upheld as a sacred place worthy of protection. People feel strongly about it. Over the past few years we’ve seen protests from community groups and heartfelt speeches from Greens pollies against changes mooted including the Tarkine tourist road and forestry and mining operations. The Tarkine is beautiful and effective as it stands, they have cried. The Tarkine is a place with World Heritage values. The Tarkine nurtures life and should not be altered. Proponents for change reply that opening up the Tarkine would give access to all, enhance economic benefit to the region and show off something the rest of Australia doesn’t have. Ironically, these are the very arguments that Tasmania’s Labor-Green government is using to rip apart the sacred place that is marriage. We see our premier Lara Giddings revving up the bulldozer and preparing to clear a way for all homosexual couples to know what it is to be married. This government …