Monday, November 27, 2006

Nathan - news


Tomorrow Nathan will be 2 weeks old.

He has settled in very nicely and is enjoying home. So far, he has given us more than enough opportunity to sleep. He feeds at about 10:30pm and then again at 4:00am and then every 3-4 hours.

Nathan is peaceful and does not cry much - only when he gets impatient (a trait he got from his mother).

Matthew has moved into the role of "big brother" very well. He is proud of his brother and wants to share everything from his yellow motorbike to Smarties with him. In the photo you can see the love.

Thanks for all the well-wishes and interest! We believe that with all the love shown to our boys, they will grow knowing the family that God created which extends beyond bloodlines!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Masks

Last Sunday we had Remebrance services at our church. We remembered those whom we are in relationship with, but who have parted from this life.

Our focus was on our method of remembering, or our lack thereof. So, using the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1, we remembered together about our remembering. It is so difficult to remember effectively sometimes,for we all have our Elkanah's, Penninah's and sometimes critical Eli's wanting to comment on how we should feel.

This poem by Chalres C. Finn proved to be helpful in creating a place where we allowed ourselves to feel what we feel:

Please Hear What I'm Not Saying
By Charles C. Finn

Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear
For I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
Masks that I'm afraid to take off
And none of them is me.

Pretending is an art that's second nature with me,
but don't be fooled,
for God's sake don't be fooled.
I give you the impression that I'm secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me,
within as well as without,
that confidence is my name and coolness my game,
that the water's calm and I'm in command
and that I need no one,
but don't believe me.

My surface may be smooth but
my surface is my mask,
ever-varying and ever-concealing.
Beneath lies no complacence.
Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness.
But I hide this. I don't want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed.
That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant sophisticated facade,
to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.

But such a glance is precisely my salvation,
my only hope, and I know it.
That is, if it is followed by acceptance,
If it is followed by love.
It's the only thing that can liberate me from myself
from my own self-built prison walls
from the barriers that I so painstakingly erect.
It's the only thing that will assure me
of what I can't assure myself,
that I'm really worth something.
But I don't tell you this. I don't dare to. I'm afraid to.

I'm afraid you'll think less of me,
that you'll laugh, and your laugh would kill me.
I'm afraid that deep-down I'm nothing
and that you will see this and reject me.

So I play my game, my desperate, pretending game
With a fa├žade of assurance without
And a trembling child within.
So begins the glittering but empty parade of Masks,
And my life becomes a front.
I tell you everything that's really nothing,
and nothing of what's everything,
of what's crying within me.
So when I'm going through my routine
do not be fooled by what I'm saying.
Please listen carefully and try to hear what I'm not saying,
what I'd like to be able to say,
what for survival I need to say,
but what I can't say.

I don't like hiding.
I don't like playing superficial phony games.
I want to stop playing them.
I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me
but you've got to help me.
You've got to hold out your hand
even when that's the last thing I seem to want.
Only you can wipe away from my eyes
the blank stare of the breathing dead.
Only you can call me into aliveness.
Each time you're kind, and gentle, and encouraging,
each time you try to understand because you really care,
my heart begins to grow wings --
very small wings,
but wings!

With your power to touch me into feeling
you can breathe life into me.
I want you to know that.
I want you to know how important you are to me,
how you can be a creator--an honest-to-God creator --
of the person that is me
if you choose to.
You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,
you alone can remove my mask,
you alone can release me from the shadow-world of panic,
from my lonely prison,
if you choose to.
Please choose to.

Do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you.
A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach me
the blinder I may strike back.
It's irrational, but despite what the books may say about man
often I am irrational.
I fight against the very thing I cry out for.
But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls
and in this lies my hope.
Please try to beat down those walls
with firm hands but with gentle hands
for a child is very sensitive.

Who am I, you may wonder?
I am someone you know very well.
For I am every man you meet
and I am every woman you meet.





Hope you find it helpful too.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Nathan Daniel Bentley is here!

Nathan Daniel Bentley is here! He was born at 12:45, weighed 2.85kg.

Here is a pic of him shortly after birth.




Here is a proud dad!



Mommy and Son, happy together.



Here Nathan is sleeping.



Thanks for all the prayers!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Almost here!

Our baby boy is almost here. Natalie is scheduled for theatre at 12:30 on Tuesday the 14th November.

We are very excited about the little one's arrival, but a bit anxious at the same time. We ask for your prayers for health and a pleasant birth-experience.

We hope that Matthew and Little One (Name to be announced at his
birth) will grow up in a world that is tolerant, serious about peace and has the ability to love beyond the spectrum of faith and nationality.

Won't be blogging until next Tuesday. Got exams to write, baby to catch, dogs to feed, doors to open for strangers...

A positive experience

After writing on Tuesday, I quickly popped into MacDonalds for a hammy (To console my soul). On leaving the premises, I noticed a black guy heading for the door that I just pased through. Both his hands were full, so I quickly jumped to open the door for him.

Passing through, he looked my way and said "Thank you. I love the new South Africa. I now see you as a brother!".

Well, I didn't know what to say. In typical Dutchman style, I fumbled over my words, just to get the tail-end of "It's a pleasure" through to him. In retrospect, I should have given him a hug.

Just made me think that small things like opening a door for someone who's hands are full can affect the way in which we relate to each other.

Have you got a good story to share?