Category Archives: Family

Reflections on Christmas, by a Doula (me), and not a Theologian (the hub).

I love Christmas. There is so much to love about it – the food, the festivities, the giving, the joy. Only this year did I calculate exactly how many family traditions (or events) we shmoosh into this beautiful period of celebration. There are many.

Between my husband and my family, I could count over 10. From baking our own mince pies, to acting the nativity scene (dressed up and with specific roles!), to Uncle Paul’s Christmas Party and Carols at Kirstenbosch. This season is full – and wonderful.

And so full of WONDER. For so many years we celebrated Jesus’s birth – in the manger, with angels and shepherds and that all important star – all so neat and tidy and lovely sitting in the church pew thinking ‘let’s hurry home now and open presents’ (a firm childhood memory of mine)…

Only after having my own kids (and falling in love with birth) have I begun to imagine that birth differently. I love to imagine how hard it must’ve been for Mary and Joseph to (physically) escape to Bethlehem. (If you’ve had those STABBING pains UP your vajay-jay as if you’re about to give birth there and then can you imagine what that must have been like for Mary). I wonder how often she thought she might not make it – with the bobbing up and down on a donkey and Jesus most likely decending into position, pushing on her bladder. I imagine her fear and desperation not finding a place to stay, and then the mix of relief and discomfort finding a stable, a place to finally sit down, and then ‘prepare for the birth’. I wonder how long her birth was, how long did she push for (birth-nerd talk), and how the baby was delivered? At what point did her waters break? Was he breach? Was he posterior? How did Joseph handle it all? Did he freak out? Had either of them seen birth before – they were young… What did they do with the umbilical cord? Was there a moment of divine intervention from heaven above, or was it all really… human. This is BIRTH. Real, raw, scary, beautiful, empowering BIRTH. Yet the birth of a King.

Was there a split second of Peace on Earth? I doubt Mary was wearing white cloths neatly wrapped around her body (for one, there was no Aerial or Omo back in that day). If you’ve seen birth, nothing remains white. The cloth Jesus was wrapped in must have been covered with amniotic fluid, vernix and blood. This was the very messy, very real, very on-the-run birth of Christ. The Christ, the Saviour of the World. I wonder how long Mary and Joseph stared at Jesus wondering if he really was their Saviour.

And so as I reflect this Christmas, I think what I’m realising is that things often don’t look ‘right’. Surely Jesus should’ve had more to wear than swaddling cloths and a more comfy bed than a used animal trough? This picture is nothing like immaculately wrapped up gifts under the tree and the perfectly roasted gammon presented on a Pinterest worthy dining room table. There is nothing wrong with those things – I too love to celebrate WELL – but it seems the picture of Jesus’ birth and the deeper truth sometimes don’t seem to match up in ways we might imagine. This messy birth, and our Saviour on earth. This confusion leads us to Trust; to have Faith – two things it seems we need to possess in larger and larger quantities nowadays, in a world spinning off its axis and one in which we control far less than what we like to believe. Life is hard, and life can be scary; there are unknowns, and mess seems to be everywhere. In our humanness, we cannot understand it – well, I sure can’t.

Luke 2:12: “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the Highest and on earth, peace, good will toward men.”

Wherever you find yourself currently… It’s coming. He is Hope. Be it in your heart, or here again in his Creation, we await his coming. We sit in the labour pains of the mysteries to come.

It’s almost time. Keep pushing, keep breathing. Behold, He is coming soon.

Image Credit: Photo by Jaimie Trueblood/newline.wireimage.com, https://brandonacox.com/advent-always-hope/.

Adventure Clubs Unpacked – and WIN!

If you’re a parent, have a smart phone and haven’t been living under a rock, you would know all about Adventure Clubs. No?

If you don’t have that there app on your phone, it’s time you downloaded it. Adventure Clubs offers exciting planned experiences (outings/adventures) for families with young kids. Fun is had, memories are made – and it’s all planned for you! What Adventure Clubs are trying to do, is facilitate a lifestyle of community and intentional parenting… which I couldn’t agree with more.

It’s easy as pie to get involved. You download the FREE Adventure Clubs app, scroll through all the available adventures in your area, pick the ones you’re keen to join in on and book your place (obviously, get your fellow mama friends in on it because all adventures are more fun with a friend!). You pay for each adventure using your credit card, which is saved on the app for future bookings. It honestly takes a few minutes to book yourself in on any adventure.

So far, we’ve been to watch the ducks parade at Vergenoegd Wine Estate, hopped on the Cape Wheel at the V&A Waterfront after dark (followed by a mug of hot choc), and most recently built a Gingerbread House at Vovo Telo Artisanal Bakery in Steenberg. SUCH FUN! You rock up, meet the adventure leader, get going and ENJOY! Also, they don’t cost the world.

Research shows that the number one indicator of the future happiness of a person is the happiness found in their childhood relationships. Adventure Clubs exists to support the parent-child relationship by building strong families through intentional memory making. And what makes it all the more fun is that adventures are experienced together with other families.

A First: 

Founded by mom-and-dad team, Janelle and Jedd Schroy, Adventure Clubs is a ‘mobile first’ tech company with the only child-focused, group experience based app for both Android and iOS. Parents can turn on their location and browse the various adventures based on a 150km radius of their location to find the adventures that are the best for their family’s interests, schedules and budget. Adventures are offered at all different days and times (and are often repeated), so regardless of each family’s school, work, or extracurricular activities, there are adventures available for everyone.

We had a ton of fun (and mess and some sucking icing straight from the piping bag) on our gingerbread house building adventure. The kids shared a house (lesson 1: in sharing) and tried not eat the sweets before the house was even up (lesson 2: in patience). And then once built, we had to get it home (lesson 3: in growing 4 more arms to ensure our masterpiece did not cave in on drive home). So really, there was parent-kid bonding and so much more. And it DID NOT involve me IN the kitchen (or cleaning up!) WIN!

And now, it’s your turn to WIN!! Adventure Clubs would love to spoil YOU with a free Adventure for you and your kid/dies.

HOW TO ENTER:
* Like the Our Greenish Life page on Facebook
* Comment on the Facebook thread mentioning one of the three outings we’ve already been on with Adventure Clubs.
* Entries close on Wednesday 20th December, 2017 and the winner announced on my Facebook page.

(Adventure to be redeemed by mid Feb 2018)

For ant more info, and to download the app, find Adventure Clubs here: Website, App Store, Google Play, Facebook and Instagram.

Come on! Join in the adventure!!