Tuesday, December 15, 2009
O ye beneath life's crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow;
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.
When you're in school (seminary or middle school) there is a crushing load filled with slow steps leading up to Christmas. So these last two lines, "Oh rest beside the weary road/ And hear the angels sing" are my song of hope today.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Some people run a marathon.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
We sat in the balcony, AKA kids' area. Pretty sure kids outnumbered adults up there, but everyone was great. Advent service was tonight, and the next pictures are from Saturday night at the annual Christmas event downtown in Wilmore.
Too Many Drummers, our band friends, totally rocked it at Solomon's. Love those guys!
On our way back to the van after a very short visit to Main St. for Old Fashioned Christmas this year. Either we're getting softer, or it was colder than usual.
(I'm catching up since I just now downloaded pictures.) Isaiah can be such an enigma. I'm still not sure about that kid- just who he will be or how to best to handle him. But I know one thing for sure. He LOVES to be in control. I know all toddler/preschoolers like to control whatever aspects of their environment that they can, but Isaiah takes this game to a whole new level. Halloween was a perfect example. He had wanted a wizard costume for weeks. We picked out fabric together, made it together, hot-glued beads on the cape together, and he even wore it around the house all day a few times. Then, the big day comes around and all of a sudden he decides he no longer wants the wizard costume. He has no idea what he wants. It wasn't a battle worth fighting, so I just let it go, let him wear whatever he wanted and painted his face for him at his request. I still have no idea what happened, and no one really asked about his interesting "costume". Oh well.
Friday, December 04, 2009
Bedtime was quick and easy and I'm looking forward to our day tomorrow. These are the kinds of days that I want to slow down and live in for years instead of hours.
Wilmore Old fashioned Christmas, Basketball for Micah and a Too Many Drummers concert tomorrow. Maybe some decorating in there too. Can't wait!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well"
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
I will rise
There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes
I was drawn to confess my lack of faith this morning during the worship service. I have not been seeing my world through faith filled eyes. I confessed my faithless worry to my Father and He filled my heart with peace and the comfort that His love is better and more sure than anything I can concoct or scheme. He spoke to me through the image of me falling on my knees before Him in humility and Him bringing me in and up toward Him in love. How could I doubt a God who has always taken care of me so well. Thank you Lord for your presence and message today. On this Thanksgiving weekend, it is You I am most thankful for.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Yeah, that's been me lately.
It's not that life isn't great. It really is. We are so blessed. Healthy kids. Amazing kids. Jobs that provide what we need. Loving family and friends. A beautiful thriving marriage and a peaceful home. Meaningful ministry experiences etc. So why the blogging drought?
Usually, when I write, it has to be about what is occupying my head, heart and hands at the core. When I try to write about the periphery of my being, it ends up sounding fake and contrived- write, read, press delete, go to bed.
Such has been the routine for the past month.
So what is at the core these days? Just my own impatience. That's all. Its God working on me during our early morning jogs together. It sounds something like this, plodding along in the chilly, fall darkness.
"Less of me God, more of You. Less of me God, more of You. Teach me to love God, let them see You. Less of me God, more of You." Over and over and over. I've tried other words, and they don't seem right.
The rhythm of my feet, my breath, these thoughts, my heart, the fading stars, the growing dawn, it all seems to fit.
Then throughout my day... when I've tried to give the same set of 5 minute directions to a group of 30, 13 year olds 5 times in a row and they can't seem to close their mouths long enough to listen to one simple set of directions, when the multitude of their voices drowns out any hope of us getting through the carefully planned and prepared lesson, when the 15th person asks me 'what page?' and it's written on the board behind me. "Less of me God, more of You."
When yet another teeny girl looks at me with her naive brown eyes and snaps, "I'm not doin this. Its dumb" and she's the 4th one that day... "Less of me God, more of You."
When a gangsta-wanna-be who had been doing so well suddenly stops coming to school then returns and has as much interest in school work as I have in earthworms and I just want to cry for him... "Less of me God, more of You."
That's it. For a whole month, that's all I've had to say that wouldn't be pride, impatience, whining, groaning, or fake.
Prayers are always appreciated. :)
Monday, November 09, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Twenty-One Things the World Will Say About Christians
Lauren Winner shares her vision during the Christianity21 conference.
by Hollie Baker-Lutz
Friends, I'm up late in a hotel room writing what is too good not to share, just like any good live-blogger does. Day One of the Christianity21 conference in Minneapolis has been full of provocative ideas, revelations, and creativity. I spent the chilly afternoon sipping Peace Coffee (I stepped on an ICE patch in the parking lot, thank you very much), listening to 21-minute sessions, and limping under the weight of my computer bag as I interviewed greats like Phyllis Tickle and Mimi Haddad (more reasons to stay tuned to Kyria in the months ahead!). While I can't describe every way the Lord is working in one late-night blog post, I'd like to share Lauren Winner's 21 characteristics that - if we all are faithful now - the world will say about Christians by the end of this century. In other words, she hopes that the average person on the street in the year 2092 might think of these qualities when asked what Christians are like.
By the end of the 21st century, Christians will...
1. Be peacemakers.
2. Be expected to be the first ones to show up when disaster strikes.
3. Rest, because they know they're not the ones in charge.
4. While resting, reconfigure their work.
5. Live well in their bodies, whether by their diet, their sex lives, or the clothes they wear.
6. Practice boredom. They will not succumb to the "fetish of the new or the cult of novelty" when it comes to their faith.
7. Be truth-tellers, even if the answer is "I don't know." Even "authenticity" and confession can be a pose.
8. Practice silence in small and big ways, including in solitude.
9. Live in communities where everyone has access to power, and everyone can and will share it with others.
10. Live in communities where women can do anything.
11. Go to church with the people they live near.
12. Persist in making Kingdom demands. This means taking the same request to God, over and over!
13. When we think about God, we think about what needs to change next. This is largely informed by Tozer: what we think about when we think about God is the most important thing about ourselves.
14. Eat fewer strawberries. We will tread lightly on the planet and not risk the energy and harm to our planet just so we can have strawberries in January.
15. See ourselves as small characters in a larger story. As Winner's colleagues at Duke suggest, a "saint" can fail in a way that a "hero" cannot, which opens the doors to ideas like forgiveness and new possibilities of God.
16. Lament. ("We don't do this well. Jews do it a bit better.")
17. Throw good parties. Afterall, we're here to practice for the heavenly banquet!
18. Not gossip. This means talking about someone who is not present. Period.
19. Have unity without obliterating diversity, and that's because of the Trinity.
20. Understand something about grace (despite our 19 wonderful attributes above).
21. Describe reality and the spiritual sacraments in such a way as to "make mouths water and hearts hunger."
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Can I just reiterate how much I love this little town? Wilmore arts and crafts festival was today. It is tiny- little booths line the 2 block main street, and there are no rides or parades- not even any elephant ears or funnel cakes. The food includes some hotdog and chili booths, lots of homemade goods like jellies, honey, bread and pickles. And there is the kettle corn tent. I love kettle corn. All three boys and I split a bag kettle corn and 2 IBC rootbeers- $5. We all rode our bicycles to the festival, Isaiah on the trail a bike behind mine.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
On a recommendation from a friend and mostly becuase of the fantastic weather this weekend, we decided to go camping one last time before rainy cool weather. We had family church next to the lake this morning. I won't lie. The kids were exhausted after staying awake in the tent way too late, Mommy and Daddy didn't sleep well which probably made our tempers a little shorter than usual, all three boys were struggling to listen and obey which meant that our intentions of having family church seemed out of the question.
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Preheat the day to a perfect 78 degrees.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Father Paul had his last dinner with us Tuesday night. He brought some gifts from Kenya for all of us. His generosity and love for us has been a huge blessing. The skirt and beads I'm wearing were from him, Eric got a beaded belt and the boys all got keychains. Paul and his family are loving, generous people. We're glad to know him.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
My husband gave me a gift yesterday- a day of spiritual retreat. It is a practice we've wanted to instill regularly for a long time. We'll take turns, him one month, me the next. So on my day (I only took a morning this month), I went to the Arboretum and spent some time listening and reading. I learned what a sycamore tree looks like, that sassafrass trees have random mitten shaped leaves, and I watched flowers literally turn their budded heads to face the warm sun from under the shade of a tree.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Isaiah's first day was terrific as expected. He fell asleep on the bus on the way home. A friend from my school looked after my class so that I could come home and put the baby of the family on the bus with Eric. The highlights of school, according to Isaiah, are that he gets to eat pizza and chicken nuggets for lunch every day (2 days of school so far). He also loves the "Quiet Place" station in his classroom. It is a little tent with a sleeping bag and stuffed animals inside.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Me to Isaiah at bedtime tonight: "Good night sweet-pea."
Sunday, August 16, 2009
No problem! Kindergarten is a walk in the park for this middle child. He shrugs it all off with ease. Even after 20 questions about what it was like, what he did, who he sat with, what he learned etc., almost every answer was something similar to, "Good. Just stuff." I haven't downloaded pictures yet so we'll post one with Isaiah's first day pics next week. Micah was excited to sit with our neighbor friend on his bus, and he didn't seem to have any bad experiences, so I guess that's a good first week.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
The previous 45 minutes had sounded something like:
E: "Mommy, when can I get my motorcycle driver's license."
Me: I don't know. When you're not living at home anymore.
E: But when am I allowed to...
I: (interrupting him) Um, Mommy?!? Where are we going?
E: Hey, Isaiah interrupted me.
Me: Yes, Isaiah, you interrupted. Elijah go ahead and finish.
E: Um, yeah so, I forget, but Mommy?...
Me: Yeah, ...
I: Mommy? Can we go to McDonalds
Me: No we're not going to McDonalds
E: Hey, Isaiah interrupted me again. You guys keep ignoring me.
M: Hey Mommy!
M: That was Toys R Us. Can we get a Nintendo DS?
M: When can we get a DS? How much does it cost?
E: Mommy? How much money will you and Daddy give me to buy my first car?
I: Can I buy that car right there?
Me: (Silence- ignoring them)
I: (louder) Mommy! That red one right there beside us... look now... you're going to miss it... (crying now!!!) Mommy, you missed it. It was the car I really want!
So yeah, replay that for 45 mintues and I'd had enough. Our day continued much the same- we played on the trampoline, Eric got home, we ate dinner, and he took the boys outside to play for the last 45 mintues of the day. I did dishes and swept the floor... and I felt it- the beauty of solitude. The 45 minutes I spent cleaning the kitchen and sweeping the floor were my best moments all day. I prayed, hummed a tune, had a complete thought or two without interruption, I savored the laughter of children outside, I smelled dish soap, washed fresh garden veggies and marveled at the perfection of a red ripe tomato.
Foster writes, "These tiny snatches of time are often lost to us. What a pity! They can and should be redeemed. They are times for inner quiet, for reorienting our lives like a compass needle. They are little moments that help us to be genuinely present where we are." Capturing little moments of 'silence' helps us to be genuinely present. I can not imagine the crazy person I would be if these pockets of time didn't avail themselves regularly- with the help of Eric of course who knows better than anyone that without a few minutes to myself, you'll get nothing but sarcasm out of me. :)
Monday, July 20, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Last night he was sharing about school in Kenya. Students have to pay for uniforms, books and school fees to attend school. It is a great privilege to attend school. Children cry if they have to stay home from school for any reason and walk many miles sometimes to get an education.
I shared that overall, the perspective of US school children is disappointingly different. Most don't want to go to school. Teenagers work hard to skip school and many drop out as soon as they are old enough in favor of going their own way.
He was not surprised, just shook his head and said wisely, as he often seems to do, "They do not understand that 'I am because we are, and we are because I am. (from Desmund Tutu I think he said)'" He went on to explain that in Kenya, children know and understand that their entire existence is dependant on the "we" and the fate of the "we" is dependant on the responsibility (or lack thereof) of the individual. So if I am successful in school, I can help my whole family and whole community. If I squander my chances, I may indirectly or directly cause the death of my family members, friends and community because I become a burden to them, a mouth to feed that can not contribute as effectively as one who pursues his opportunities- whatever they may be- farming, education, etc.
So, short of exposing our children to the travesites of poverty and death, how do our children learn a sense of "we." How do they come to the important realization that their actions, even as young adolescents, will have far reaching effects for their children, their husbands and wives and even their grandchildren? From teaching this age for a few years, I would assert that they have little to NO understanding of cause and effect that transcends their own lives. Psychologists say this is a normal phase of their development- that adolescents are trapped in a "me" world that is healthy and normal until they move onto the next phase of their development. But is that entirely true? It may help us understand them but should we let them languish there? What can we do to broaden their perspectives? And in so doing broaden our own as adults.
I am because we are, and we are because I am.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
You can change your life. Wherever you’ve been, whatever you’ve done, the teacher invites you to build on all that you are, and to begin again. There is always something more to do, more to learn and know, more to experience and accomplish. You must change your life, and if you will, you can change your world.
This sense of opportunity and renewal—for individuals, for whole communities and societies—is at the heart of all teaching; it constitutes the ineffable magic drawing us back to the classroom and into the school again and again. Education, no matter where or when it takes place, enables people to become more powerfully and self-consciously alive; it embraces as principle and overarching purpose the aspiration of people to become more fully human; it impels us toward further knowledge, enlightenment, and human community, toward liberation. Education, at its best, is an enterprise that helps human beings reach the full measure of their humanity."
So how and when is education at its best? And is reaching the full measure of our humanity really the ultimate goal?
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Simile Metaphor Collection
Elijah on urination: Pee is like horses galloping out of the gate. Once they get started you just can't stop them.