Friday, October 31, 2008
Below is a picture of us not dressed up and then pics from tonight:
The family downtown:
Monday, October 27, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
In Mexico, I met poverty face to face. I cannot express in words the impact that this trip had on me. I only know that I am different.
Upon my return, I wondered, “How do I go back to the way I was?” How do I worry about the typical middle class American issues – the election, high gas prices, whether I will get through the pile of contracts and policies that need review on my desk, whether I will get my kids into the right school, whether I will be able to retire, what will I have for dinner tonight, whether or not to buy a new tv? The answer is that I do not, in fact, I cannot go back to the way I was. I am changed. My perspective is different – my worldview has been broadened.
Despite this, I cannot live my life in guilt. Just after returning, I felt guilty for everything – for having a home, for having a toddler that “wasn’t hungry” for dinner and wasted food. I felt guilty for having an education, for being born – it seemed as if everything was luck of the draw – I was born in America, not in Mexico, thus I had the basic necessities (food, clean water), while others do not. And to make matters worse, work felt like torture. The job that I had taken pride in, and the career that I felt was centered on “making a difference” – working at a nonprofit hospital, impacting the lives of patients daily – it all seemed so irrelevant in the face of hunger, homelessness, abuse, and hopelessness.
Now, I am working through this. I am trying to find a way to continue to care, and to continue to make a difference, without losing my joy in the process. Feeling guilty and hating myself will not make the world a better place. I am trying to work through what I need to do to make a difference.
I also want to stress that I was not unaware of poverty prior to this trip. I’ve been on numerous mission trips in rural and urban areas. I’ve fed the homeless, repaired broken homes, and ministered to the sick. I’ve seen pain and suffering. I also read, I watch the news, and I am aware that there is heartache. However, something different happened to me in Mexico. I fed fruit and gave juice to a child that lived in a shopping cart. When I looked into that 2 year old’s eyes, I saw my children. When the child came to show me his toy and we tried to communicate, I saw a child that simply wanted to play. When I met the child’s parents, they, like me, were proud and did not want to accept help. However, in the mother I saw desperation when she asked if we had a diaper (the child was wearing a paper towel). There is something powerful in meeting poverty face to face – now poverty is not just a social issue, but it is a child – poverty is the people – a city full and overflowing with beautiful people that desperately reach for a glimmer of hope.
I have no answers, I only have pictures – this is my only way to share a glimpse of the poverty that I witnessed.
When Maria was one she fell down our steps (13) at our house. When she was two she passed out at a Doodlebops concert because of a fever and had to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance. Now that she is three I've been waiting for her next traumatic physical accomplishment. The wait is over.
Yesterday Jacob and Maria were busy chasing each other around the house. I warned a few times that they might want to slow down before someone gets hurt. (I sound like my mother). Finally the sounds of laughter were filled with cries of pain. I was in the next room and just casually asked the kids what happened. Maria was crying but not in a "emergency" kind of way. As she walked into the room with her hand over her mouth the first thing i noticed was the large amount of blood running down her arm. I rushed over and carried her into the bathroom. Once she saw the blood her tears and cry turned to curiosity as she casually asked me where the blood was coming from. After cleaning her up I did a quick exam and didn't really see anything out of the ordinary that would have caused that much blood. As I looked in her mouth I noticed some blood around her gums so I went to wipe it off with my finger. That is when I realized her front two top teeth were now loose.
The story I have been able to piece together from her and Jacob was as they were running she ran up and bent over our coffee table. Jacob then ran into the back of her causing her to fall face first onto the top of the table. Basically she did a face plant on our coffee table.
I called the dentist who wanted to see us first thing this morning. Her prognosis is 50/50. There is just as likely of a chance that her gums will heal up and everything will be back to normal in a few weeks as there is a chance she might lose both teeth. The dentist said everyone was different in the way they healed and we'd just have to wait and see.
So for now Maria is on a soft diet for a few days and no more thumb sucking for a few weeks. Other then that you would never know what happened. She was as wide open 5 minutes after it happened as she was 5 min before. I thinking she'll either grow up to be a stunt woman or a MMA cage fighter. She's a lot tougher then anyone else in this house.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Also, please pray for my dear sweet Anne (the kids call her their Fairy Godmother). She is very sick and in the hospital. She had a kidney transplant a year ago. Some pictures of Anne are below - I love you girl!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Basically, thinking burns more calories than relaxing. However, the calorie burn is minimal - thinking only burns about 3 extra calories in 45 minutes. The really bad news is that people are likely to eat a lot more when they are thinking and involved in intellectual activity. The researchers found the following:
The scientists noticed that even though the differences in calorie expenditure were minimal, those engaged in thinking work had much larger changes in blood glucose levels during and after the session. Glucose is the main fuel for the brain and thinking may increase the brain's requirements for fuel, leading to fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
The researchers guess that these fluctuations in blood sugar might trick the body into thinking it has burned more calories than it actually has, leading you to overeat.
This further emphasizes the need to exercise for those of us that are paid to think and use our brains all day.
On that note, I failed to blog a few weeks back that I reached 30,000 fitlinxx points at the Y. Mike and I have been in a race to see who can exercise the most (we make everything a competition). The YMCA has a great program where you get points for different activities. Generally, an hour long cardio workout may earn about 300 points. You also get points for doing weights on the weight equipment (points are based on machines used and total weight lifted). I am generally in a routine where I do an hour spin class 2-3 times a week, 45 minutes to an hour of pilates 1 time a week, yoga one time a week, weights 2 times a week, elliptical hiking 1 time a week and/or walking on the treadclimber.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
“The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed.
1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Strike out the books you have no intention of ever reading, or were forced to read at school and hated.
4) Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve only read 6 and force books upon them.
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 The Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
I don't know how this list was compiled but I am surprised by how many I have read!
J is obsessed! He wants to dress like Dave Crowder, sing like him, act like him, draw him, etc. He told me last night that he was wearing jeans and a shirt like DC. He asks which instrument Dave plays in each song. M also loves David Crowder and loves to sing at the top of her lungs.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
A few pictures of my babies (that aren't babies anymore).
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
For only $500, you too can have a great phone with these features:
You can save up to four speed dial numbers in the bear, one in each paw, which are activated by pinching internal sensors. It vibrates and makes custom noises for incoming calls, which can be answered and finished by pressing the tail. Read more about this product here.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Mike has been preaching a series about friends. This week he talked about Deborah. Deborah rocks(Deborah was one of the few people in the Bible that held the titles of prophet/prophetess, judge and military leader). You can read all about her in Judges Chapter 4 and 5.
One aspect of Mike's sermon looked at the way Deborah had Barak's back (he was a military leader in the story and she went with him to war). In his illustration, Mike talked about how many of us may have numerous people praying for us that we do not even realize are praying for us. This had an immediate impact on me. A few Sundays before, I shared a praise for my sweet miracle, Jacob. As most of you know, Jacob was a miracle baby. I was on bed rest with him from the time I was 24 weeks pregnant. I was in the hospital for 12 weeks. You can read about it in this post. After the service when I shared a praise that Jacob was celebrating his 5th birthday, a lady that attends our church now (Main Street) approached me. She told me that she and her entire department at a hospital in High Point had been praying for me and my son. She did not know me at the time, but another lady, from our previous church (Shady Grove), had shared my story and requested prayer. It was amazing that this woman and her coworkers had prayed for me for weeks. I did not know that they were praying, but I could feel their prayers.
This post is simply to say THANK YOU to the many friends and family members that have loved me and supported me from near and far. I am so grateful.
My miracle thanks you too.
“We are always getting ready to live but never living.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
I identify with this. Although I am working harder to enjoy the moment, I tend to focus on the past or the future. I spend time crying over regrets from the past, or I spend time thinking that "when I finish school, my life will start;" or "when I pass the bar exam life will be great;" or "when I have a baby my life will be complete;" or "when (insert some future accomplishemnt or event), my world will be complete." I guess that is why Matthew 6:34 (the message translation) says:
"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."
My favorite recent blog quote from my friend, Kipp:
"we have too many lips flapping for Christ and we are short handed on workers."
The text of the post is below. The comments are good too (but are not included here):
get up very early each morning to write these posts. Part of the reason is that I want to get them done before work, but it's also because I am afraid of the P.O.P. What's that you ask? The Pastors of Power, a secret society of famous pastors that operate in the shadowy underground of most churches. (They have a secret handshake like that winner of the Bachelorette where you bump fists and blow up your hand while mouthing "POP.") They're mad at me for telling secrets like that you only ever see a minister in shorts during VBS week or for admitting that there is also a Pastor's Kid Guild that regulates how PKs live. Who do you think commissioned our theme song, "Son of a Preacher Man?" You think that lady just wrote that for fun? That's adorable.
And today, both groups are going to be furious. That's because I'm going to tell you the three most common types of pastor's wives. These three distinct types are no accident, but are actually carefully sculpted roles that all pastor's wives learn in a secret lair under a volcano. I've said too much already but I can't stop now, here they are:
1. Sunny Rainbow Happy Lady
My mom, a pastor's wife, is one of the nicest people on the planet. She is able to find something sweet about anyone. If you are a jerk she will say, "he really knows how to be direct with his emotions." If you are hideous looking she will say, "he has such a nice personality and is great with animals." She sees the silver lining in every cloud. And, when my dad said "hey, let's move a thousand miles from everyone we know, go to a frozen land where the sun goes down at 3:30 in the winter, and start a Baptist Church in a car wash," she said, "I'm in." I love her and love her approach to life. I think most Pastor's Wives are this way. They are just genuinely kind hearted people that God has put on the planet to make all of us a little happier.
2. The grumpiest person on earth
This is the polar opposite of type 1. This person is kind of like an ice queen, able to stare you down with a judgmental stare from a thousand feet away. This is like the pastor's wife on the Simpsons. She's mean, gossipy and secretly the one controlling the whole church. She has an inner circle of friends that rule things like the mafia. Want to bring a jello dish with fruit suspended delightfully in the middle? Better check with her. Feel good about your job interview for the youth minister position after talking to the search committee? Ha, better talk to the real search committee, the pastor's wife. She will break you. I never, ever cross this lady. She's liable to stab you in the bathroom with a shiv she carved from a church pencil if your family accidentally sits where her family usually does. Seriously, be careful. In her defense, I think she got this way by having hundreds of people criticize and nit pick and berate her husband for years. All too often, I think unhealthy churches turn type number 1 pastor wives into type number 2.
3. The Keyser Soze
In the movie, "The Usual Suspects," Keyser Soze is the unseen mastermind that no one can figure out. He is a myth, a legend, a ghost that can never be pinned down. Some pastor's wives are like that too. You just can't figure them out. It's not that they are robotic or fake, just that you can't quite understand who they are. It's almost like they're in the witness protection program. They say all the right things. They are polite and friendly but you can't help thinking to yourself during a slow sermon, "that pastor's wife probably stabbed a mobster in Reno and is on the run." You're like the kids from Scooby Doo, gathering clues, trying to put the whole puzzle together, thinking maybe that the haunted lighthouse was really just old man Jenkins with a sheet. Give it up. Some pastor's wives are great at establishing really firm boundaries. They know how easy it is to get emotionally drained at a church when hundreds of people want personal relationships.
Now I must admit, it's fairly common to have a pastor's wife that is a combination of these types. For instance, the other day my mom told me that someone that hit her car while she was backing out probably didn't realize it because they were on the phone. That is an incredibly nice way to interpret a hit and run. But then one time, much like my wife, she chased a man down that hit her car, running red lights and jumping a hill like in Starsky and Hutch until she forced him to stop. OK, the hill part didn't happen but the rest is true. The point is that she can channel her grump when necessary.
And I bet your pastor's wife can too.
p.s. Next week I will do the pastor's husbands version.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com
|You scored as Emergent/Postmodern|
You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don't think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
I fell in love with Hawaii. It is amazing to be on an island that is actually growing and has an active volcano. I loved snorkeling. I could have stayed in the water with the fish for hours on end.
As I watched the waves, smelled the flowers, listened to the birds, and marveled at flowers that found a way to grow in a lava field, I was in awe of God's amazing creation. I felt renewed and closer to God than I've felt in a long time. The Big Island is raw, amazing, terrifying, and beautiful.