Thursday, December 6, 2018

15 years!!!

Today Martin and I celebrated 15 years of marriage with a trip to West Lynn Gardens.

A helpful realisation

A few days ago I realised something important.

I've been feeling a lot of pressure to just slot back into the healthy world - and I've been frustrated that people don't realise how intimidating it all is and how it's not that easy.

Then I realised that, whilst there may be people who think that way, the main person who's imposing that expectation on me is me!

Several times recently I've had to let people down as I'm struggling to work out what my energy levels will be like.  I've been really embarrassed to do that.  But everyone I've done that to has been fine with it.  And quite possibly literally dozens of people have told me not to rush things and to allow myself time to adjust.

Actually, it seems like more or less everyone else 'gets' that this is a big transition and will be difficult and take time: I'm the only one who seems to think that's a problem ;-)  And as for thinking I'm 'letting God down' by not just slotting in (and so not being 'instantly healed') is just silly...

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happenings

I've been for a few walks now - on Friday and Tuesday I went to visit two different neighbours who both live across the street from the end of our driveway.  It was the first each of them had known that I was better, and their delight and excitement was fun but also quite overwhelming.  Each time the next day I struggled to get moving all day and didn't do heaps.  I wondered if that was because of being overwhelmed by those reactions, rather than the exercise itself.  So today I went for a walk where I basically went down the driveway, did a loop of most of the flat part of our street, came home and then did a loop around the house.  I deliberately avoided going as far down the street as the house of another friend who is home during the day, so she wouldn't spot me and get excited - I'll save that for another time (although she knows I'm better).  My walk was just under 10 minutes.  I also did some weeding and sweeping outside this afternoon but no overwhelming people stuff.  We'll see how I'm doing tomorrow!

In other news, I'm delighting in this gorgeous orchid Martin's parents gave me for my birthday.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

God has healed me!

On Saturday November 3rd, I woke up without the gluey heavy feeling I've lived with since February 25th, 2003.  I believe that God miraculously healed me in the night - and healed me so that I could be part of presenting my Just Kai work at The Justice Conference!  Which is, itself, super-encouraging, quite apart from the wonder of the healing itself.


Here's what happened.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

In God's strength

I have been so busy recently.  My existence is usually a fairly quiet one, but this year there's been so much that's outward-facing.  I've spent a lot of time on my fish project and have become more active on Facebook, both in supporting friends and in advocating for issues important to me.  In recent weeks my life has been consumed by work on Just Kai.

As the busyness has increased I've felt an increasingly urgent tug to return to spiritual practises that had become neglected.

So this week I've resumed doing lectio divina each morning, focusing on one of the day's lectionary readings as before.  It's been so helpful!  I've realised I've been trying to do God's work in my own strength, and getting so stressed by it.  Such foolishness!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Introducing Just Kai

As you'll know from this blog, a major project for me this year has been researching different sectors of the retail fish industry, looking for brands that have taken significant steps to remove slavery from their supply chains.  In the process I've come across some pretty hideous stories of literal rape and murder, both of which seem scarily common.  I've learned that fish is the food purchased in rich countries that is at highest risk of having been produced by slave labour.  I've also come across some amazing companies who are really going the extra mile: working very hard to eliminate slavery from their supply chains, despite this being an issue with very little public awareness to date.  I have been especially impressed by the work of Sealord in this regard.
https://www.sealord.com/nz/

To pass on what I've learned, I've produced printable buying guides for both slave free fish for people (covering the sectors I've looked at so far) and slave free fish for pets (fish is found in a remarkably high proportion of pet food but can be invisible as it often isn't mentioned in the product name).  These are part of a very exciting project that has consumed a lot of our time in recent weeks: Just Kai.


https://justkai.puriri.nz/


Tearfund is hosting The Justice Conference in Auckland in two weeks time.  As 'Just Kai' Martin, along with our friends Anna and Sarah, will have a table there.  They will be advising people on how to buy fish, cocoa and sugar (the three foodstuffs most likely to have slave labour in their supply chains) without supporting slavery.   You can download a pdf summary of that advice here or check out the Just Kai website for more detail.  For cocoa and sugar they will be telling people to look for various trusted certifications; for fish the situation is more complicated as there are no human welfare certifications used on fish in New Zealand - for that, people will have to rely on my research.

So is your kai just? Or is it just kai?  Check out the website to see!

And if you expect to be in Auckland with no particular plans in two weeks time, why don't you consider signing up for the Justice Conference?  There's a wide range of speakers addressing a great many social justice issues, collectively bringing the challenge for us to join God in His work of making all things new!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Why I support Nestle

Around the world today countless people are being abused in the supply chains of large multinationals: either directly through their working conditions, or indirectly through the destruction of their environment.  If we want this to stop, it is crucial that we either support Nestle, or boycott multinationals altogether.  A selective Nestle-only boycott can do nothing but harm people who are current victims of the misbehaviour of large multinationals companies.

Why would I say such a thing?  After all in the 1970s Nestle actively foisted infant formula onto mums who had no access to clean water to make it up, convincing them it was modern and hence better than breastfeeding.  Tens of thousands of babies per year died from diaorrhea as a result.  There was a widespread boycott of Nestle products as a result.

But have you noticed what happened subsequently?  I've only discovered this relatively recently and have been really surprised by what I've learned.