Thursday, October 27, 2011

Introducing Kade

So, here he is, Mr. Kade River Pratt-Russum. If he is looking a little angry, it's probably because he has a really long name. This, is how we realized that Kade is indeed a boy:

You are looking at Kade's bottom (from below) and well you can take a guess at what part is being pictured here. As the ultrasound technician approached this area, Beth and I knew instantly what we were looking at. It was one of those moments when you felt everything changing. The little one was named, and I uttered the words "son" for the first time. 

I feel layers of reality being peeled back in bi-weekly doses. Yesterday was huge, there he was, laying face down, his tiny spine, a beating heart, his left and right hemispheres. Life. I feel unbelievably connected, humbled, and awed. 

We thought we were 19 weeks pregnant, but it turns out we are 16. Kade will likely be an April baby and we cannot wait. 

Monday, October 24, 2011


post by Mark

Since 2006 I've been aware of my struggle with anxiety. It was around this time five years ago that I sat in the living room of Nancy and John Linton in Lincoln, OR. Surrounded by heavy stillness, and the magic of living in a cabin for months, I was more fully aware of myself then I had ever been. Connections were being made between my past, and my current understanding of God and my spirituality. Nancy wondered aloud if my anxiety (specifically my fear of death) was connected with my sense of worth to my family. Would they be okay with out me?

In the years that have followed I've been acutely aware of the anxious voice that visits me daily. Only recently have I begun to disassociate that voice from God's. I would have liked to believe, years ago, that God's voice was one of comfort, but it didn't seem likely then. I trusted instead that God's voice was the loudest, telling me to be worried about everything, and to feel judgement when I let others down.

I've discovered that God's voice is the faintest, telling me instead that everything will be okay.

I'm inclined to listen to those who have experienced the voice of God as gentle.

And now, swirling in the winds of anxiety that comes with being a parent for the first time, it is a spiritual discipline to listen closely. Everyday feels like the work of deconstruction.

Monday, October 17, 2011

moved in

Seven tea light candles burn on the window sill of our new apartment. Their reflection adding to the sparkling lights of downtown Portland, visible as well, through the windows. It smells of cardboard. We are here, our new apartment, backs, arms and legs aching.

When I tell people that we had 16 people from our Church come and help us on Saturday, they typically respond with surprise. Not everyone has a community like the one we have.

For now, we are taking deeper breaths, and longer rests between boxes.