Archives For olive chan

At the start of each new year, we like to choose one word. A guide or theme for the year, so to speak. Something to give us focus in the ebb and flow of life.

Our word for 2015 was “Strengthen.” We wanted to become stronger; we also needed strength. In retrospect, it was a hard, dark year marked by the unexpected presence of Post Partum Depression, but we did receive all the strength we needed to get through it.

For 2016, we are choosing the word, “Moments.”
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There were many difficult things about the first year with two children. There was the adjustment of trying to split our attention to meet the needs of both kids. There was the challenge of trying to get sufficient rest when they’d take turns being awake during the day and then take turns waking us up at night. There was the strain on our marriage and trying to stay connected when each of us barely coped with our own responsibilities. There was the seemingly futile fight against germs as colds got passed around and around in the winter months. But as I thought about it, I realized that the hardest part of the transition for me wasn’t something external. It was asking for and accepting help.
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If there’s one lesson I am constantly learning and re-learning in my life with God, it’s how to rest. Every time I think I’ve got it, I am confronted with another application, another dimension, another depth or angle to which I need to learn to apply the lesson.
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Daring to be Dangerous

olive chan —  April 27, 2015 — 2 Comments

“Are you a dangerous woman? PROVE IT.” Such were the opening words for the invitation to the SheLoves Magazine event I received. My first thoughts: “I’m NOT a dangerous woman. And who are you to ask me to prove it?!”

And yet, I RSVP’d “Yes,” bought my ticket and marked it in my calendar.

I went because I wanted to meet these women in person. I’d wanted to meet them for the last year and a half. These were the women who had agreed to publish my amateur writing on their incredible online magazine. These were the women whose writing, lives and hearts inspired me in my journey. These were the women who I’d become online friends with through likes, shares, comments and private messages.
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No, I’m not Jesus. But I am practicing resurrection. Before I explain, let me give you a bit of backstory.

About a month ago, I had the fortune of attending a one-day retreat facilitated by a former professor of mine. It was the first time I was away from Kayla (who was almost 8 months old) and I was nervous about how she would do. I knew, however, that I needed to go to this retreat because my soul was in desperate need of care. Kayla did great. And I was refreshed and inspired.
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Why I Chose a Home Birth

olive chan —  March 9, 2015 — 6 Comments

Choosing a home birth was not an easy decision, but I’m glad we gave it a try.

“Redemption” is probably not the first word that comes to mind when you think about childbirth. But for me, it was. The moment I realized I was pregnant with our second child, I wanted redemption. My experience of birthing my first baby was pretty tame as far as birth stories go, but there were elements that made it a traumatic experience for me.

I gave birth to my first baby in a hospital and I came out of that experience feeling unheard, disempowered and simply run through the system. I wanted to do it differently the second time. I wanted to actually experience birthing my child the way I was built for it.
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On January 18, 2015, I had the privilege of speaking to our local congregation at Heritage Mountain Community Church in Port Moody, BC. We are currently going through a series on meeting God in the various seasons of our souls. I shared my story as part of meeting God in the Winter. Although it was not video or audio recorded, I wanted to share the written version here.
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“My toddler is getting a sibling! Now how do I prepare her for it?” Storytelling, I’d learned from the brilliant book The Whole-Brain Child, was a fantastic way to engage then 21-month-old Allie, so I turned to my favourite resource – our local library.

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“You are so loved.” I paused when I read that these were some of the last words spoken to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo as he lay dying at the National War Memorial in Ottawa last week. So fitting, I thought. And so true. Everyone should hear that they are loved in their last moments. After all, there is probably nothing that is more true of us.

But as our country mourned the soldier’s death and celebrated his heroism, I found myself mourning the death of the gunman just as much.
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Mornings and I don’t get along. Even on the best of days without children, mornings are hard for me. Add round-the-clock nursing into the mix and getting up, let alone going out, takes herculean effort. All this to say, if I make a public appearance before noon these days, you can be sure it’s someplace that matters to me.

Now that we have two young children, getting out of the house is quite a production. In the three weeks that we have existed as a family of four, we have made it out as an entire family a grand total of 4 times. Of those occasions, only once have we gotten out the door in the morning.
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