Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bulldoze my Yard

I know I have asked you before, but the whole contest thingy ends on May 2. I really want to have the most views on the video and the highest rating possible.
If you have already voted, you can clear your history and maybe vote again? Give it a try!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Baby Bird

Just over a week ago, we had a nesting bird hatch four baby birds on front porch in a very convenient location for us to watch the whole thing unfold.
It was very exciting and much anticipated. 
On Sunday, the baby birds were chirping super loud and the kids wanted to "take a peek" so we lifted them up to look inside the nest. The birds were so small and so cute.
We gave a stern warning about no touching and headed inside to get ready for the day.

That lasted approximately 30 minutes. 
While I was getting ready, Asher grabbed one his little chairs and headed onto the front porch for further investigation. 
He comes back inside with a big, triumphant smile on his face and declares, "I just touched the birds!"
The looks on our faces must have conveyed how displeased we were because immediately he started crying, followed by leading us to the scene of the crime. 

We had no idea what would happen to them. But had a pretty good idea. 
We left for a couple of hours only to return and find three featherless, baby birds gasping for breath on our front porch and sidewalk.
Teachable moment #4056 of Asher's life.

I googled what to do and google said, put the birds back and leave the nest well alone. 
We all complied.
And have been nervously watching over the nest ever since and the Momma bird just resumed feeding the birds as if she hadn't given them the boot just hours before. 
And she feeds them all day every day ever since. I love watching it. 

So now, all day long-I hear the birds chirping, calling for their momma to come and feed them. Totally dependent on her for everything and it reminds me. 
It calls me.

It has set within me the reminder that this is how I am with God. I am dependent on him for my everything. Every bit wisdom. Every bit of depth, gentleness, goodness, self-control. Anything good or worthy has been hand-delivered to my soul by him. Through him. Through Jesus. On the cross. 
And he watches over me.

When I throw myself out of the nest, he lovingly puts me back.
And watches over me as I feed again.
As if nothing ever happened.
And get nourished.
And grow.
What a picture of grace. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tina Fey's Prayer for her Daughter

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.
May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.
When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.
Guide her, protect her
When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.
Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels.
What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.
May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.
Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.
O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.
And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Crap. I will not have it.
And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.
“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bulldoze My Yard

My yard has been a disaster for years. We all know that. To borrow a quote from Bill Goans, "we are raising kids, not plants."

But, in part of the Sabbatical plans we would like to do something about the yard. However, that usually involves a lot of what we don't typically have.


This summer we have the time. Just not the money.
So I entered us to win the DIY Networks $20,000 Landscape Makeover.

This is not really a social networking contest where you see how many views or votes you can get on your video or pictures. But I am sure that it doesn't hurt.

So, do you mind clicking on this here link and clicking that my video gets 5 stars? (cause you know that it does) and do that a few times between now and May 2?

It would be super fun to win.
Super fun. And if we WON, then we wouldn't be spending the whole summer working on our yard (see previous post) we would be able to enjoy our yard. See how this thing works together? Hmmm. I think it is meant to be...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sabbatical Preparations

One of the reasons why I have not been blogging lately is that we are one month away from Matt's sabbatical beginning.
That might sound like it is nothing much to prepare for. After all, it's just time off!
But when you step away from it, you begin to realize that you don't really want to spend your whole time 1) working on your house. 2) getting organized to figure out what you want to do or 3) end up doing nothing.

As Henri Nouwen says "Aren't you, like me, hoping that some person, thing, or event will come along to give you that final feeling of inner well-being you desire? Don't you often hope: 'May this book, idea, course, trip, job, country or relationship fulfill my deepest desire.' But as long as you are waiting for that mysterious moment you will go on running helter-skelter, always anxious and restless, always lustful and angry, never fully satisfied. You know that this is the compulsiveness that keeps us going and busy, but at the same time makes us wonder whether we are getting anywhere in the long run. This is the way to spiritual exhaustion and burn-out. This is the way to spiritual death."

we are trying to steer away spiritual death of more busyness but it is really intimidating to step away from life. To turn off your cell phone. To be "unavailable" to others. This is going to be a season of familial solitude for Matt. And as Nouwen says solitude is a "furnace for your soul".

I want Matt to have the kind of environment where he is free to explore the things that he always thought he "might" love but has never had the time to find out. Which is also intimidating.

Why is solitude so intimidating?
"As soon as we are alone,...inner chaos opens up in us. This chaos can be so disturbing and so confusing that we can hardly wait to get busy again. Entering a private room and shutting the door, therefore, does not mean that we immediatel;y shut ou all our iner doubts, anxieities, fears, bad memories, unresolved conflicts, angry feelings and impulsive desires. On the contrary, when we have removed our outer distraction, we often find that our inner distraction manifest themselves to us in full force. We often use the outer distractions to shield ourselves from the interior noises. This makes the discipline of solitude all the more important."

If you really think about a person who trades in relationships, placing them on hold for a period of three months-it is really difficult. Please pray for us. It is going to be hard on Matt. It is going to be hard on me. But I know there is going to be tremendous growth from going through the deep, difficult discipline of leaving relevancy in others eyes behind for period.

Another Nouwen quote: "As long as we continue to live as if we are what we do, what we have, and what other people think about us, we will remain filled with judgments, opinions, evaluations, and condemnations. We will remain addicted to putting people and things in their 'right' place."

We have to do this, there is no "doing it right" but I want there to be fruit in our marriage and family and in the ministry of Young Life to come from this time. So we are trying to ensure that we setting ourselves up in the best manner that we possibly can.

I will be blogging along the way, so don't lose hope! Just be patient with me :)