Friday, May 31, 2013

"goosebump moments"

Love this video about an extraordinary family.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Booked and Ticketed

Ready for travel?  These books will take you from Afghanistan to Arkansas.
An excellent book full of the life transforming, mind bending work of our God.  It was a pleasure to read and be reminded of how unique and powerful is the message of the cross and resurrection.  God clothed himself in humanity for our sake.  Jesus completed the work so that we can be counted righteous before God.  Those who are called by His Name do not live in uncertainty of their future, such a stark contrast to the Muslim viewpoint where the scales are pulled out and only if they tip the right way will you gain access to paradise.  I particularly love how God used a single woman in a land where women are not respected.  God still works through unusual vessels.

At times a little bawdy, but this was an interesting firsthand account opening in the 1920s about the lives of British servants.  Though class distinction is strictly enforced, the son of the house scandalously marries the parlor maid.  The cook pens the nonfiction tale from her perspective and does so with jabs all around.   She possesses a pan full of secular wisdom and tops it off with the personality peculiarities of the other domestics.

A sweet family that love the Lord and consider it a privilege to be set apart.  It was a closer look at how they biblically parent and encourage one another.  I particularly liked the story of how Jim Bob growing up remembered a time when there was no food in the house and how there was one jar of decorative rice that his mom took off the shelf and cooked.  His frugal background and wise parents didn't rack up consumer debt so that their kids could have an abundance.  What a reminder that less with a lesson is more than feasting with strife. 
With the current excess in America, I appreciate that the Duggars have chosen to be debt-free and are grateful for thrift store finds.  I respect the decisions they have made and know that they have been found faithful with instructing their children in the ways of the Lord.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Highest Honors

Two years straight

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The world by plastic card keys

Room 423 has an inhabitant sleeping under the desk.

Room 424 has a person trying to get shut eye when the sun is up.  Hence pillow over the head.

Mirror image. 

Different reactions to the in-car movie.

Looking good for an interview.

Arranging some furry friends.

Another photo?

Walking the hills

Messy sunlit girls.  Precious sisters.
Enchanted spring.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

When holes have significance

Usually holes indicate emptiness, missed substance and depression, but this hole was remarkably different.  This hole was chosen in the vulnerable spot of the tree to house something even more susceptible to danger.  What really amazed me was the symmetry of the circle.  I can hold a power drill  and get something shaped like a moon winking or a pancake missing a bite, but a perfect circle is often elusive.
My precious children keep their eyes on the hole...a hole of significance and worth.



This hole on outward appearance is dark and cavernous, but it is hole that will contain life and the vibrancy of red.  The holes in our lives might be there for a purpose that we have to go back to the Tree.  The Tree that held holes from a nail pierced man.  The Tree that Christ's red bloodied. His act of submission to the ugly and piercing should make us gasp in remembrance.  But for the holes in his hands, feet and side, but for the holes in the Tree on Calvary, we would never enter the nest of new life. 
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
In ornithological terms, Matthew 11 might say: Little birdie, open your mouth like a gaping hole and watch me feed you till there is no longer a hole in your belly. 

Friday, May 03, 2013

I have a son named Bob

At the end of the day, our kids often congregate outside on the lawn.  When our kids are outside there is a magnetic force that pulls the neighbor kids near.  There are three new sets of neighbors in our cul-de-sac.  One of the neighbors is from Australia.  Emily and Jane already asked the little girl of the house if they sleep backwards since they are from the Land Down Under.  Another neighbor brought a kangaroo with them (I was convinced it had to be the Australians).   It wasn't.  The last neighbor doesn't have a kangaroo and isn't from Australia, but he does have a metal leg.  Maybe he isn't a war hero, but that's what I'm thinking.  Well, back to the child I didn't know I had. 

Alex knew that the Australian family has a son named Alex.  Well, yesterday evening a boy with a heavy accent was in our yard.  My Alex introduced himself to the boy as Bob to prevent confusion.  Really, why Bob?  Well, Fritz comes in the house at dinner time and says to my Alex, "I don't even know that boy."  The boy with the heavy accent wasn't "Alex".  He was the cousin of another neighbor and I bet he is over from England for the birthday bash of his eight-year-old American cousin.  It is all so confusing and comical at the same time. 

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Paper Pregnancy

I have had four fairly easy pregnancies.   I never experienced morning sickness or nausea.  God then gave Ben and I a desire to bring another child into our home.  This paper pregnancy has left me weeping, tired and hungry.  I weep for the days that stretch into the distance and our child is continents away.  I tire from the forms, bureaucrats and checks and double checks.  I hunger for the future when our child will be established in our home.
There is something more intentional about a paper pregnancy.   You wake up and don't think about a healthy think about the healthy, life-giving words you can write on your applications.   When your not quite showing, you still wear your tight jeans and favorite shirt.   You are hesitant to tell too many people in case your child is miscarried and you never bring him home.  But then there is the magical moment when you can't see past your growing belly and you know everyone knows you are pregnant.  There are people that want to know all the details and pat your stomach.   There are those that hurry to open doors because you are obviously pregnant.  And there are those that count kids as they file past and wonder how you can be pregnant again.  Despite the gawkers and the talkers, you take solace in the fact that this pregnancy was as supernatural as your others.   And then one night your water breaks when you least expect it.  God delivers the child born in your heart at 1 a.m. on a Tuesday.  But unlike most pregnancies, your child is a prisoner in the NICU and you can't bring him home till the doctors sign off and the governments give permission.  So you wait and you pray and you wait some more and you pray some more.  All the while trusting that when your child comes home, God will do the healing as only He can do.   

To have faith you don't have to understand the process of how you get somewhere or be assured of a positive outcome.   Faith is not blind, faith sees where human eyes can't.   Faith sees God.  And God is Sufficient.   I was told by someone through this paper pregnancy that I am naive and think that we won't have any troubles.  How little that person knew my God.   God doesn't promise a life of ease or pleasure, but he repeatedly says if you are to follow me you can expect it to be difficult.   But God doesn't stop there, he whispers in your ear when you are an emotional wreck and your ankles are swollen like watermelons..."I love you.  You have value to me.  I go with you.  Do not be afraid."

A new favorite blog I follow is, the author so succinctly sums it up:
"There are stories after stories of how adopting isn't easy. But it was the Spirit that took precedence over the flesh."