Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Happy Birthday Julia!

"For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb." Ps. 139:13

My baby is five years old today. It amazes me- not only what God does in knitting a person into existence, but what He knits into your family through their presence. The whole process of a family growing and His intentionality in it is absolutely amazing.

Have you ever thought about what each individual brings to the family as a whole. About what they bring to you?

When Julia was first born, she had a pretty bad case of colic. I can vividly remember one early morning (or late late night!) up bouncing & walking with her while she screamed away, as she had already done for the 3 hours prior to my shift with her. She had already gone through Jason's shift and my mom's shift with no relief. I was tired, and this was pretty much the Julia we had known up until that point, and I found myself tiredly, but very seriously wondering, "Will I ever even like this child?"

I hated having that thought. I have reflected on that moment many times since the colic passed, and laughed. Not only would I like her, ... I had sorely underestimated how much she would capture the heart of everyone in our family.

With her, God knit into us as a family a WHOLE new level of affection. With her He brought us new sensitivity... new artistic talent.... conscientiousness.... hugging.... drama....mischeiveousness...more hugging.... singing.... confidence.... shyness..... laughter....DRAMA....and more hugging. Jason's always been affectionate, but Julia managed to drag affection out of Eli and I that we didn't know was possible, -simply by her existence and expectation of it's normalcy. I remember the first few years when it became apparent that she gave and expected a lot of affection. You can't tell a two year old that her brother doesn't always like hugs or being touched. And to this day, she can draw more spontaneous affection out of him than just about anyone. God knew we needed that... and knit it in her. :-)

She is an amazing creative, beautiful blessing. She is one more manifestation of His creativity, and His goodness towards us.

Happy Birthday Jules!

Monday, March 12, 2007


Save the date!
Please note that we have changed the location for AIM-A-Palooza to the - (upstairs).
The response has just outgrown our house! (Exciting!) With so many coming, please feel free to grab a 2 liter or snack on your way over and help feed the mouths.
AND there will be some SERIOUS catching up with people from all over!
If your AIM alumni- and headed to Tulsa for the Workshop, March 22-24, we are having our first "AIM-a-Palooza" (thank Tim Rush for the name! :-D) - on Friday night following the evening speaker. PLEASE COME! It's just an informal time to catch up all at one place - sing, chat and enjoy each other for a brief time. (We'll have snacks too!) You can pick up directions to our house at the AIM booth Thursday or Friday.

We already have alumni from 16 different classes coming so far!... So if your coming and can talk someone else into it too, let us know ! !! Spread the word and invitation!

Monday, March 05, 2007

A victory in failure

This Saurday was the final exercise in a disaster preparedness training course some of us at Memorial were taking through the city. (You may have seen some coverage of the exercises on the local news Saturday & Sunday.) The "Dream Team" at the church has a number of goals, one of them being to prepare Memorial to be a site that will respond to community needs in the event of a disaster. Roger and Zeila have begun an *incredible* ministry and I'm really excited to be a small part.

The class has been informative... and if you take it seriously, it's challenging. There was a lot to learn, if you really wanted to be effective with the training. As I mentioned in a previous post - the final exercise was a 4 hour 'disaster simulation' that we were to apply our education to, complete with victims and chaos.

To be honest, I was really scared of this simulation. I've shared before that I'm a recovering perfectionist. So I learned a while ago that if I couldn't do something well, I shouldn't do it at all - avoiding responsibility is a nice way to avoid guilt and pressure. :-) I don't give into that thinking much, but the battle still exists... and this was the first time in a LONG time that I found myself sort of praying to get sick so I wouldn't have to go. At the same time, I really wanted to do it.

You need to understand: I knew I would fail. I'm not sharing this out of some misplaced sense of false humility. The material was a lot to grasp. And in my heart I knew that part of the purpose was to fail. We learn from our mistakes. And if your going to make mistakes with peoples lives, ... better to do it with fake victims and fake blood than in real life. But I don't like failure, fake or real. I don't like making mistakes, I don't like other people depending on me and messing them up. I don't like other people thinking I made a stupid mistake. I don't like other people *saying* I made a stupid mistake. :-) If I can't do it well, I'd rather not do it.

The only thing I don't like even more than all of that is the fruitless, cowardly life it produces.

So I went into Saturday's exercise with a weeks' worth of pent up anxiety, but resolution to do it, never the less. I love our God. I needed His peace that morning before leaving. So I prayed and asked Him to speak to me through His word.

"Bible roulette" is not the normal way I study and listen to Him, but I was beginning a study of Nehemiah in my regular study... and figured that wasn't what I needed for that morning. :-) So I flipped open the bible... and prayed that He would speak to me.

First -it fell to the concordance. Which I didn't think "counted". :-) Until my I realized the heading at the top of the page was "lead." Hmmmm. Could fit for today.
Second - It flipped open to Philippians, where the next two things I read were the following:
"Pressing on toward the goal" - (phil.3:12 )- "...Not that I have already obtained this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. "
And lastly - I looked across the page, and saw this: "No confidence in the flesh" (phil.3:1) - "...Finally, rejoice in the Lord..."

Okay. Seriously, our God is good. I don't even know if all of that falls together for anybody else with the same significance that it did for me, but it spoke loud and clear to me. I went on with the day resolved to listen to those words.

It took me until the last part of the simulation to live up to the "lead" part of what I felt God asked me to try and do. As a result, I recieved some really encouraging words and some good criticism. And in doing it, ultimately, I came and did what I was supposed to. I failed. I tried. I learned.

I think my problem with failure is an authority issue. Worse, it's a humilty issue. God's right to work on it in me.

And instead of obessing over all that I did wrong, (okay, well, I did a little of that with my husband), at the end of it all.... I rejoiced. In Him. For having victory in my failure. For not giving into my flesh that didn't want to fail and hence didn't want to try. I pressed on ... for the goal of the day, but also for the goal of life.. to walk by faith and not by sight.

And I'm impressed, once again, by our God. He's amazing.

Backseat drivers...

My dad gave Jason a handheld GPS for his birthday last year. It is really cool, but Eli knows how to use it even more than anyone in the family. It does alot - even plays a "maze"game outdoors that can track you all over your neighborhood. One of the features is that it can tell you how fast you are moving.

This morning's drive to school was fun.

Eli: "Ewwww, mooommmm.....41.3 (miles per hour). 40.0. good. good mom. good job. ummm, 36. 5, .....32. 7,........28. 6,.........22.5 ,...........15,.......5.7,......0. GREAT stop mom!"

I don't know what's worse. That, or when my husband *calls me* from the car *behind* me to tell me I can make a right turn in thick traffic instead of turning left.

I'm not that bad of a driver. :-)