Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Not Enough

The Israelites were deemed “treasured, holy, famed and honored.” (Deut. 26) All they had to do was keep the Lord’s commandments. And...most of the time, they failed. God knew this would happen because their hearts weren’t changed. Their dispositions were the same. Their affections were still broken. Their souls needed to shift. Something had to break in and rob their hearts of self-satisfaction.

And that something was Jesus.

Was it not enough that God offered all these things? Motivation through fame and honor fails when struggle rises up and fills your lungs. At that moment, you feel like you are grasping for air, so you push yourself up by reaching for the known. By finding comfort in history. What you don’t realize is that as you are seemingly taking that last breath before your lungs start to seize, the Lord is rescuing your soul. He is picking up the manna from the dirt and nursing you back to life. The only way to fully recover is through the only person who can truly make you whole.

And that someone is Jesus.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Loving when it's too hard to love

I stood next to a monk in line today as he bought cigarettes. The very question that popped into my mind was "Monks aren't supposed to smoke!" As that question reeled through my mind, my next thought was "What are the things that people look at me and say 'I thought Christians weren't supposed to _______?' Or "I thought Christians were supposed to be _______?"

Later on tonight, I read this entry by an amazing girl that I hope my girls will become like when they are in their twenties. She moved to Uganda and has adopted all these girls and is raising them and in some cases taking care of their extended family members all in the same home. Her story is humbling, inspiring and makes me want to know Jesus. She wrote today about loving when it's gut wrenching. About hugging just one more time. It's an incredible post.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Finishing in Order

And another one's down, another one's down, another one bites the dust...yeah. If you just sang that sentence, then you also watched too much WWF. And that's when WWF wasn't about saving animals, but pitting Junk Yard Dog against Rowdy Roddy Piper.

As I have stated before, we have systematically done stitches or skin glue following a succinct chronological order.

Makaria happily fell in line two days ago when she slammed into a glass coffee table. She needed a few stitches, but it was a clean cut, so we opted for skin glue. It was actually just super glue, but when applied to skin, it becomes skin glue.

But...(sigh of relief) Buzz Lightyear was there to comfort the damsel in distress. Thanks Rachel for the costume and therefore, the moment of superhero glory my son got to show his hurting sister.

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Convenient Noodles

"Convenient Noodles" how I loathe you so
In my colon you stop the flow

Pre-packaged noodles hard as a rock
Tiny processed packets of chicken stock

Dehydrated veggies to add to my soup
I'd only choose to eat these if I had croup.

But these last few days of moving and stress
I love you more and loathe you less.

6 quick minutes and my family can eat
Feeding 7 people for only two-ninety three.

Without a kitchen and without a home
I will not complain, I will not groan

At the everyday occurrence of you at our table
Fast and easy, you are true to your label.

"Convenient Noodles" I love you so
No matter my colon, no matter the flow.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Out and About

Welcome to our new home. Where old people stare,

clothes hang everywhere,

signs tell us to beware,

flowers dance in their flare,

buildings cascade in the air,

benches for people to share,

throw your trash here, not there
(Our youngest son thinks this sign is telling us to not put ice in the trash can)

flowers to take care,

clothing laid bare,

signs to give us a scare.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

M's first day of school

Four of the kids had their first day of school today. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of Selah who started yesterday, but here are the other 4.

They have been asking all week when they could go to school. When we walked in, Malachi ran with Charis and Kesed up to their classrooms throwing a quick "bye Mom, love you!" as they ran up the stairs. Ahh, breathe in the sentiment felt as they whooshed past me and ran up to class.

Makaria was a little hesitant, but didn't cry. She is so laid back that she usually does fine in new situations. She gets quiet, but does fine.

After some explanation that black skin is normal and that yes, there are Americans that are black; and yes, President Obama is also black, we got Makaria settled in. They all scarfed down lunch and had lots of stories to tell us when we picked them up.

Another successful day for our little tribe!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Finding Roots

Home only feels like home to me when I have a sense for what surrounds me aesthetically. I want to understand which trees are so satisfied as to plant deep roots;

which trees provide shade for afternoon discussions between husbands and wives;

walk past the magnolia trees that bloom into smiles from back windows.

I want to have a tree that seems to keep watch and confidently grounds its presence among much more glorious counterparts.

I want to look up and find the most optimistic of trees planted in unlikely places;

to walk under the canopy of palms that promises fresh mangoes and short winters;

to happen upon old roots dug up to remind us that death of one brings life to another;

to breathe in stalky bamboos whistling their hellos.

Its all part of settling in. I guess we all just want to know we understand and are understood. Our lives have just begun in this new place but peace has been found and that is home enough for me.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rowing Upstream

A wonderfully godly and wise friend who obviously knows us well, reminded us of these things as we have been moving and transitioning.


So what is patience? Patience is understanding the settled reality that we are not in control. We are at peace with the fact that life is run by someone else. When we are patient we are paddling downstream, letting the force of life guide us along, knowing we can steer, but not turn upstream. Impatience is turning the boat, rowing hard against the current; we still move downstream, but with incredible exhaustion.

Impatient people are tired people.

We want more control than we have. But God wants patience to permeate our inner being. Why? Not just because life and its trials will require patience, but we need to reconcile our souls to our lack of control, trusting that God is good. If God is good and he is in control, then we can trust the satisfaction or obstruction of our will is the good design of a loving and gracious Father.

And that is worth the wait.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The week before...

The week before we left was fantastic. I am obsessive about packing early. It's a little crazy, but, I'll tell you that when you pack early, you get to do things like this:

do some cleaning with friends and then sit down and have coffee and desert;

practice your flute in front of friends and family while eating New York bagels;

have parties with friends that love you even when you are a punk;

hug new friends that have encouraged your soul;

go paintballing and then proceed to recollect when you encroached the enemy lines for the next week and a half;

hold babies and oooh and ahh at their cuteness;

wear Mardi Gras beads and giggle by the pool;

speak at an amazing conference filled with passion and vision for the Lord.

That my friends is why you pack early. So that your last days with friends and family can be spent with laughter and peace and not late night trips to Wal-mart and yelling at your husband like a crazy woman.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Crashing Their Party

Well, we leave for China today. As you read this, we'll be hunting for a Starbucks in the airport for our game day drink. As we have gotten ready these past few weeks, I've taken a few pictures of my sweet kids and their Mimi and Grandpa.

My parents have allowed us to collide into their lives, break lamps, destroy toys, ruin furniture, eat at Chic-Fil-A an ungodly amount of times, and remove all sense of routine and serenity that resided here before we came. And they did it with much love, compassion and grace.

They have taught our kids how to explore, do woodworking, trim peach trees, have lizards as pets, use an ipad, play Scrabble, and about a million other wonderful grandparenty things. Our kids have loved every minute of their time here.

And the most wonderful thing they have done is give our kids a bigger sense of identity. They all have a more vast and beautiful picture of family. They have seen my parents sacrifice their time and resources to help our family.

These lessons aren't taught to kids. These are the things that are observed and internalized.

Living together for almost 8 months can be tough. But honestly, Brad and I have felt loved, supported, and respected as we try and figure out how to parent.

There has been a lot of laughing,


and investing in our children.

I am thankful to Jesus for their lives and their love. We will get the green beans ready for your next trip to the Motherland.

We love you guys!
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