Friday, February 29, 2008

The Stars at Night...

The stars at night, are big and bright....

So if you just clapped 3 times after that line, you are one of my dear Texas friends. Gotta love Texas

And Selah and I were walking home together from our family night out and she and I were looking at the stars. She was so excited to actually see that they exist outside of a book. This country's stars have mostly disappeared behind the curtain of pollution.

But not tonight! What a magnificent sight. Even more incredible when you have been void of their display for SO long. So all of you who can see the marvelous canvas God has given you outside your windows, take it in tonight. It's such a vivid display of God's complexities and beauty. Psalm 139!

On a not so sanctimonious note here's today's Arbitrary Parent Rule:

Arbitrary Parent Rule:

"Malachi, you cannot breast-feed your brother!"

Monday, February 25, 2008

How Does God Make Rainbows?

Today, Malachi asked me, "How does God make rainbows?" Immediately, I struggled how to answer this, as I barely understand optics, and ROYGBIV (the color spectrum) wouldn't makes sense. Hmmm... I finally said, "It's a little to hard to explain."

Malachi said, "I know how. He makes rain and then gives the sun and that makes a rainbow." So simple. Why didn't I think of that?

It's a delightful truth and treasure that some matters can be both beautifully complicated andstill so wonderfully simple.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Jia You, Beijing!

My friend, Laura, was diving in Beijing the last few days at the World Cup. I didn't think I'd be able to make it, but my wonderful husband let me go to Beijing and spend some time with her! It was really such a great time. She is an incredible diver and I am in awe of not only her ability to dive from 10 Meters up, but also her testimony to the diving world. She loves the Lord and is a real encouragement to other divers. She and I did gymnastics together, ions ago and now we are friends again with both her and her husband.

I also got to have one of the first peeks at the new Olympic stadium. It was beautiful. Here's the inside of it. The whole thing is made to look like bubbles. It's a steel structure with these pockets of this plastic stuff. They are filled with air. So the entire structure is flexible and even bouncy. It's supposed to hold up well in storms and is some kind of cutting edge technology. I don't know what it is exactly, but it looks really amazing.

This is the diving well. You can see the ceiling looks like bubbles. There's even a diver in mid flight on the spring board.

Here's Kesed cheering on the Chinese divers. Here he is chanting "Jia You!" (that's what all the fans say at sporting events. It literally means "add oil", but means "go, go, go")

This is the stadium at night. They can also make it red or green or yellow. In the above picture, behind the "Water Cube" is the "Bird's Nest". This is the other stadium for outdoor events. Both stadiums are beautiful. I spent a few taxi rides helping the drivers with their English. They are supposed to be learning it for the games, but I found not a one that could speak it.

One funny thing they did was take the tickets according to gender. They made the women go into one line for security and men in another. I'm not sure if it will be that way for the Olympics-I'm hoping not.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A brief catch-up

Here's Kesed on his first official train ride into Beijing. We had to ride a sleeper train because the tickets were sold out. So we bunked out on a few beds (albeit, usually shared with some other Chinese finding comfort on our first level beds) and travelled into town. The boys found a good place to wrestle. It seems as if the male gender has a wrestling chromosome, because I've been at funerals, weddings, graduations, pools, you name it and if two or more men are gathered, there also will be wrestling. We spent the night in Beijing and were off the next morning.

We had a great time at some homeschool meetings and meetings of great encouragement. But we also had a day or two to play. Here's Charis at the beach. She's mastered the art of collecting sand in her diaper and hair. We dodged some Russian speedos and a few bikini's that were ill placed. But we had a great time with friends and a great time of mutual fellowship.

Here's a picture of my friend who comes to usually in the afternoons sometime. She works at a store nearby and is really patient with my Chinese. Brad always tells me that I'm never in pictures, so here I am.

Travelling was nice, but it's always good to be home. It doesn't appear as if any of our things were messed with while gone. And yet again, my plants were alive! They've gone 6 weeks before without being watered and I'm teetering on that same timetable this time. One of these days they are going to revolt and just choose to die out of spite. The kid started back at school today. Charis had her first day today. We'll post more on that later.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Parenting and Prayer

Parenting has again afforded us some lessons on prayer.


First of all, whenever we give a command to our kids, we always require a “Yes, mom” or “yes, dad”. We are teaching them that they do not have the privilege of asking “why” before obeying. Understanding is NOT a condition for obedience. Instead they are to trust us. Imagine how little we would obey the Lord if he followed this way of thinking…knowing why as a condition of obeying. This wouldn’t be trusting. Honoring authority is the first great decision people must learn to make before they can make other good decisions. (This is a root of sin)


However, recently, Malachi especially has been saying rapidly, “Yes, Mommy/Daddy, but why?” In other words, he has the “formula” right but the heart wrong. We’ve had to clarify our intention…be about the process of obeying, then you may ask why, though we still reserve the right whether to answer or not. This is exactly what we often do when we pray “in Jesus’ name”. It becomes a formula and our heart is not in it. We think the formula obligates God and constitutes our obedience.


Second, we sometimes give them instructions only later to find out they were not followed. We ask why and they say something like, “I couldn’t… [or]…I didn’t know how…” We have quickly realized that we too say this to God; however, as with our kids ignorance or inability is NO excuse for the disobedience. They could always ask for help! This is exactly the lesson of Scripture. We are NOT called to do things we can do. We are commanded to call on Him who can do all things…and wants to bless us!! God typically calls us to things we CAN’T do…for our joy!


Oh if we would but know the heart of God and trust Him….

Friday, February 15, 2008

Home Again!

Well, 10 pm and we rolled on into our apartment.  It was so great to be home.  We had one of the most encouraging and wonderful three weeks that we've had in a long time.  Lots of friends and lots of Western food (which translated into 3 meal of Tex Mex for the fam!).

I haven't downloaded pictures yet, but I'll see what I've got and try and get some up in the next few days.  Sorry for the neglect the past few weeks, internet was pretty scarce.  But we're back  now and ready to roll.  

It's always strange to return after a few weeks and remember that the world has still been moving forward.  We're just trying to catch up this weekend and then start everything back on Monday.

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