Tag Archive: steve wiens


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This is most of my latest and last post on my second blog: The Weekly Mash [and Peace!] just FYI for readers of Irresistibly Fish…

I have decided to retire ‘The Weekly Mash [and Peace!] blog after 14 good weeks.

With the pace of life at the moment the pressure to produce 5 specifically themed blog posts as well as what I passionately want to write has at times felt a little overwhelming and I hate producing sub par stuff. So I am wanting to put more time, energy and focus into my main blog, Irresistibly Fish and so encourage you if you are a subscriber of the Mash to head across there and subscribe to that.

In the meantime, if you are looking for something to read today, in terms of looking back over the 14 weeks of ‘The Weekly Mash [and Peace!]’ the top blog that stands out for each day would be:

By far and away Cloud man for Monday – I am glad so many of you enjoyed this with me… gets me every time…

For Tuesdays it was surprisingly celebrity marriage advice [there you go again on the relationships!] with Ben Affleck and Will Smith.

No surprises that for Wednesday it was wife with nail in her head which sounds horrible but is just such a powerful thought-provoking piece that you have to watch and share if you have not seen it yet. Incredible and so hard to explain in a way that would make anyone want to watch it. But do it!

Thursday the top-rated post was the one I did titled John Piper and the three little pigs, but the one I want to put here is yesterday’s post ‘Time to let the church die’ as it hasn’t had the time to be read as much but no doubt will – an excellent article and an excellent video clip giving some strong prophetic voice to the church and the gospel message.

And lastly, Friday being my day, well interestingly enough ‘Blessed are the Geeks’ was the most viewed post for that day and it was all about the labels we put on people and so a really good read.

And then I also posted the three most popular posts on Irresistibly Fish that I would want you to read for people on The Weekly Mash [and Peace!] who may not have seen them:

For those of you who are single [but also those of you who are married – it is excellent for you to hear this stuff!] these stories by some good friends of mine on their journey as single people [desiring not to be] has been such powerful reading and very popular – read and share away cos this is encouraging stuff.

I also did a Taboo Topic [rarely spoken about topics, in church and elsewhere] on Parenting young children when it’s not particularly been easy and this post by my friend Candi for some reason just blew up – people resonated with it, it got a gazillion shares and she has been invited to write and speak in places because of it which has been so exciting for me to watch. Read this one and also the one by Steve Wiens which got a lot of airplay and share it if you haven’t because you have friends with young children who desperately need to read these.

Thirdly, largely due to a comment and link I posted on this excellent blog post, ‘How I know my wife married the wrong person’ by Tyler Mackenzie, which became a four part [and growing] series, there was the series I ran a while back called How to save a marriage [before you need to] in which I invited something like 18 of my friends who are in strong marriages to share one or two things that for them are the foundation for a strong marriage.

Seems like relationships are what a lot of my readers are interested in but one non-relationship one [well not people with people] that I would like to recommend is the series called ‘Aslan Jesus’ that I have just started which is looking at aspects of Jesus that show that He is good, but definitely not tame. I am very excited about writing [and seeing written – have some guest posts coming in] this series.

Thanks for being part of this experimental journey. And please come on over to Irresistibly Fish if you are not already there. There will continue to be humour and news-related posts, relationship advice and stories as well as spiritual hunger pieces and every day will in a sense be my day. As for this blog it is not going to be vaporised and so you can continue to catch up on old posts by using the day tabs at the top of the page which are archives for the whole journey.

And as a going away present, if you feel up to sharing this post, then it will give access to a lot of great blog posts to your friends and fellow ‘Farmville II’ players on Facebook.

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steve wiens

A direct share [thankx Steve!] of the blog post: To parents of small children: Let me be the one who says it out loud [March 12, 2013]

I am in a season of my life right now where I feel bone tired almost all of the time. Ragged, how-am-I-going-to-make-it-to-the-end-of-the-day, eyes burning exhausted.

I have three boys ages 5 and under. I’m not complaining about that. Well, maybe I am a little bit. But I know that there are people who would give anything for a house full of laughter and chaos. I was that person for years and years; the pain of infertility is stabbing and throbbing and constant. I remember allowing hope to rise and then seeing it crash all around me, month after month, for seven years. I am working on another post about infertility that will come at a later date.

But right now, in my actual life, I have three boys ages five and under. There are many moments where they are utterly delightful, like last week when Isaac told my sister-in-law that “My daddy has hair all over.” Or when Elijah put a green washcloth over his chin and cheeks, and proudly declared, “Daddy! I have a beard just like you!” Or when Ben sneaks downstairs in the morning before the other boys do, smiles at me, and says, “Daddy and Ben time.”

But there are also many moments when I have no idea how I’m going to make it until their bedtime. The constant demands, the needs, and the fighting are fingernails across the chalkboard every single day.

One of my children is for sure going to be the next Steve Jobs. I now have immense empathy for his parents. He has a precise vision of what he wants — exactly that way and no other way. Sometimes it’s the way his plate needs to be centered exactly to his chair, or how his socks go on, or exactly how the picture of the pink dolphin needs to look – with brave eyes, not sad eyes, daddy! He is a laser beam, and he is not satisfied until it’s exactly right.

I have to confess that sometimes the sound of his screaming drives me to hide in the pantry. And I will neither confirm nor deny that while in there, I compulsively eat chips and/or dark chocolate.

There are people who say this to me:

“You should enjoy every moment now! They grow up so fast!”

I usually smile and give some sort of guffaw, but inside, I secretly want to hold them under water. Just for a minute or so. Just until they panic a little.

If you have friends with small children — especially if your children are now teenagers or if they’re grown – please vow to me right now that you will never say this to them. Not because it’s not true, but because it really, really doesn’t help.

We know it’s true that they grow up too fast. But feeling like I have to enjoy every moment doesn’t feel like a gift, it feels like one more thing that is impossible to do, and right now, that list is way too long. Not every moment is enjoyable as a parent; it wasn’t for you, and it isn’t for me. You just have obviously forgotten. I can forgive you for that. But if you tell me to enjoy every moment one more time, I will need to break up with you.

If you are a parent of small children, you know that there are moments of spectacular delight, and you can’t believe you get to be around these little people. But let me be the one who says the following things out loud:

You are not a terrible parent if you can’t figure out a way for your children to eat as healthy as your friend’s children do. She’s obviously using a bizarre and probably illegal form of hypnotism.

You are not a terrible parent if you yell at your kids sometimes. You have little dictators living in your house. If someone else talked to you like that, they’d be put in prison.

You are not a terrible parent if you can’t figure out how to calmly give them appropriate consequences in real time for every single act of terrorism that they so creatively devise.

You are not a terrible parent if you’d rather be at work.

You are not a terrible parent if you just can’t wait for them to go to bed.

You are not a terrible parent if the sound of their voices sometimes makes you want to drink and never stop.

You’re not a terrible parent.

You’re an actual parent with limits. You cannot do it all. We all need to admit that one of the casualties specific to our information saturated culture is that we have sky-scraper standards for parenting, where we feel like we’re failing horribly if we feed our children chicken nuggets and we let them watch TV in the morning.

One of the reasons we are so exhausted is that we are oversaturated with information about the kind of parents we should be.

So maybe it’s time to stop reading the blogs that tell you how to raise the next President who knows how to read when she’s three and who cooks, not only eats, her vegetables. Maybe it’s time to embrace being the kind of parent who says sorry when you yell. Who models what it’s like to take time for yourself. Who asks God to help you to be a better version of the person that you actually are, not for more strength to be an ideal parent.

So the next time you see your friends with small children with that foggy and desperate look in their eyes, order them a pizza and send it to their house that night. Volunteer to take their kids for a few hours so they can be alone in their own house and have sex when they’re not so tired, for heaven’s sake. Put your hand on their shoulder, look them in the eyes, and tell them that they’re doing a good job. Just don’t freak out if they start weeping uncontrollably. Most of the time, we feel like we’re botching the whole deal and our kids will turn into horrible criminals who hate us and will never want to be around us when they’re older.

You’re bone tired. I’m not sure when it’s going to get better. Today might be a good day or it might be the day that you lost it in a way that surprised even yourself.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

You’re not alone.

[for the link to Steve’s original blog post and access to his blog, click here]

[For another story of a parent of young children when it’s not so easy, meet Candi]

This is not a topic i have a lot of personal experience of. Or any. The beautiful Val [tbV] and my philosophy about children is that we enjoy other peoples and the opportunity to give them back to them at the end of the day. We enjoy kids but we don’t particularly want our own. But we also understand that for a lot of people [perhaps the majority of people who are married?] having children is one of the biggest things in their life, especially for many who have wanted kids their whole life, even some of them from when they were kids.

We have both babysat kids though and we have witnessed kid tantrums [with kids of strangers and also with kids of parents we know] and i was a primary school teacher and did a year’s worth of practical teaching at least and we have both been involved with kids on camps and in holiday clubs and in many other shapes and forms. We get that sometimes [hopefully mostly?] they’re amazing. They’re like little people. Oh wait that’s exactly what they are. But little people who require a lot of love and grace and energy and patience and forgiveness and a whole lot of other stuff.

not always a bundle of joy?

And so we get that it’s not always easy. And for some of you there may be whole periods where it seems like it is never easy. There are books that have been written but there is no real users manual. Each child is different, each family circumstance is different and so there is no one-size-fits-all in any aspect of raising children. I imagine for some parents out there, parenting [or trying ones best to parent] can be a really lonely, frustrating or at times paralysing thing. People tend to brag about how amazing and well-behaved and excellent their kids are as opposed to taking joy in sharing how difficult or frustrating or hurtful their kids can be. So i thought this might be a great topic to get some stories on here. I imagine there is some help for parents of small kids in the form of books or groups or workshops, but not everyone will necessarily have access to those.

So i wanted to chat to some of the parents of young children [talking under the age of about 8 here] that i know and see if i can get anyone to share on when being a parent of a young child, or young children was not so easy and if there was a way that they managed to get through it [if they have yet] to be able to share that and hopefully give some help or encouragement to those of you out there who may be struggling. Maybe just the notion that it’s okay to struggle. You are not alone:

First up i have this most excellent letter to Parents of Small Kids by Steve Wiens

Meet my friend Candi Fourie [includes Postnatal Depression]

Meet my friend Nicolette Ferreira [juggling work at home with looking after baby]

Meet Terran and Julie [and their FIVE!] and a really HONEST, raw and rough cry out from a parent

An excellent post and series from a number of my friends with crazily creative ideas for raising young children as world changers

To wives before you were ‘Mommy’ – an important reminder to both new moms and dads, by Becky Thompson

I stumbled upon a blog by Steve Wiens a while ago, about parents and little children, and it was really great so i emailed him and asked for permission to use it as part of the Taboo Topics series and he graciously said, ‘Yes!’ and also sent me a link to the Infertility blog which he wrote which looks like it will be really helpful for people who have been struggling with that:

    Ten words that describe infertility by Steve Wiens aka The Actual Pastor

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post about the hilarious and exasperating journey of parenting small children. But for seven harrowing years of infertility, Mary and I would have given anything to have children, no matter how hard it was.

Here are ten words I would use to describe how infertility feels:

1. Lonely. We saw couple after couple get pregnant before us, our best friends included. When they told us, we high-fived them, then we went home, and hardly knew what to say to each other. We felt lost, sad, and even lonelier than before. We were excited for them; we were just very sad for us.

It’s okay to go home and cry your eyes out when your friends get pregnant.

2. Exposed. Everybody wants to give you advice, and some people say incredibly stupid things. My favorite: “You just need to stop trying so hard!” Some people want to know every excruciating detail of what you’re doing to get pregnant. Suddenly, your most private details are the subject of casual conversation. Once people know you’re trying, people want to know how it’s going, if you’ve done artificial insemination, if you’d consider IVF, and how it felt in that small white room with the gross leather chair & the bad magazines.

It’s okay to avoid the question, smile, and change the subject. Keep as many things private as you can (except to a few trusted friends).

3. On Hold. We were always checking the calendar, wondering if we should plan that vacation, or that work trip, because what if we’re pregnant? Then we stopped doing that, because we would have never lived if we would have scheduled everything around a “what if.”

It’s okay to miss a month or two; you have to live your life. This is hard, but over the long haul, it will create more stress if you feel so trapped that you can’t plan anything. We even found that it’s good to take a month off now and then.

4. Invaded. For women, there are so many things entering your body (probes, needles, drugs) and so many people measuring your progress. Even sex, at the mercy of a calendar or a temperature reading, can feel invasive. The loss of control can almost merge into a loss of self. But, it feels like once you’ve started down this road, there’s no stopping until you get pregnant.

It’s okay to say what you need, and it’s okay to shore up your boundaries in whatever ways you can.

5. Awkward. During one of the first visits where I was given the small cup and ceremoniously ushered into the small room, I actually ran into some people from my church afterwards. Of course they had their baby with them. I had a small cup that contained very personal contents with me. They asked, “What are you doing here?” I mean, what do you say?

It’s okay to laugh at yourself sometimes. And when someone catches you with your cup in your hand, that’s all you can do.

6. Angry. Unfair is the password that gets you into the infertility club. Mary tells a story of a friend asking her if she was angry with God. “No!” she blurted. “I’m angry at pregnant women!” She knew this was irrational, but she also knew that it was good for her soul to be honest in safe places. You actually may be angry with God, and you may need to find some safe places to be honest about that.

It’s okay to express the darkness, even the stuff you’re terribly embarrassed about, because it’s good for your soul. But in the right places, with people who can handle it.

7. Stressed. Even though it seems like a stressed out couple is less likely to get pregnant, The American Society for Reproductive Medicine finds that there is no proof stress causes infertility. Besides, trying hard to “not be so stressed about it” never worked for us. It also didn’t help to “just stop trying.” Everybody has a friend who was infertile for 73 years, and the day they stopped trying, they got pregnant. That never happened with us.

It’s okay to be stressed. Don’t stress about your stress. Trying hard not to be stressed is silly.

8. Despair. The cycle of hope and despair with infertility can take you out. I remember getting so excited when Mary was 2 days late, and just knowing that this time, it’s going to happen! Then, a few days or hours later, when she told me she got “it,” I would plunge into despair. The alternative is to temper your hope so that your despair doesn’t get so low. After about a hundred months of experiencing this cycle, we found that the best route is to keep hoping, and if it doesn’t happen, keep crying. It’s too hard to pretend that you’re not excited and that you’re not depressed. Be excited. Be depressed.

It’s okay to hope, and it’s okay to cry. Keep hoping and keep crying.

9. Loss. This was not how it was supposed to be. This was not what you dreamed it would be. And you don’t know how it will end.

It’s okay if you don’t know how to wrap your mind around your emotions. Be gentle with yourself for not totally having control of how you feel from moment to moment.

10. Ambivalence. Every time you have to go through another kind of treatment, you ask yourself: “Is it worth it? Do I really want it that bad?” And then in the very next breath, you are taken out by the sheer magnitude of how much you want a baby.

It’s okay to want and not want. That’s normal.

If you’re struggling with infertility, it can be such a dark time. You have to be out loud with each other about what you need, and every journey will be different. You have to give yourselves permission to do this journey in whatever way makes the most sense for you.

My blessing for you as you struggle: May God give you what you need, when you need it, over and over and over again.

[To catch more of Steve’s blog, The Actual Pastor, click here]

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