Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

City Kids

The other day, while walking with a friend who grew up here but now lives rurally, we noted how different a place can seem when you don’t spend your life there. For her kids its a difficult adjustment to suburban sidewalks, driveways with danger and the need to use the restroom inside the house (that last one is totally my favorite. Nothing like a mother’s mortification when it has to do with bathroom habits and the great outdoors. If he’s still dropping trou when he’s sixteen in semi-public places, that’s a different story. As a toddler, it is pretty much awesome).

For my kids? Well, they may have called this camping:

This may have been the very first time we let them roast things over an open fire:

They were fine with the Hebrew National, all beef, hot dogs with mustard and buns and all, but they did not love the marshmallows. Why was it crunchy? Why was it brown? Why did the pink ones suddenly taste awful? (They were right about that last one, but I thought the pink marshmallows were gross from the get go)

And then they played outside until it was time to shower up and lay down their sleepy heads. Nothing tastes as good as playing with dad feels.

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My favorite Tweet from this past week:
I survived the tornadoes yesterday, just hope I can survive hearing all the tornado stories today…

I don’t know if she wants me to put up her Twitter handle, so I’ll just let you figure out who wrote this. Yes, she is that awesome all the time, by the way.

In honor of the storms that swept through a place we used to live, I give you Piper’s interpretation of Spring:

From right to left: Piper cheesing, a tree, raindrops, grass, a flower, a tornado, more rain.

Enjoy!

Book Review: The Grace Effect

I started to write this book review on February 29. Today is April 3. My life is moving fast. Yours is too, which is why you are looking for books now that you will read this summer on vacation…right? Or sitting in your backyard while the kids play in the sprinkler. Or, like I did, while you nurse a baby round the clock for a day or two. That’s how long it took me to devour this book. Two days. And I’d just had a baby. That isn’t saying something about me or my reading skills. It is absolutely saying something about the book.

My friend, Neil, was going on and on about the book right around the time Greer was due. Honestly, I wasn’t really listening that closely to his book description, probably because he was focused on the big picture part of it. That part, which Neil should probably write about because he was STOKED about this information, has a bunch to do with a guy named Larry Taunton. The name wasn’t familiar to me at all, most likely because his Wiki description begins like this: is an American author, columnist, and cultural commentator based out of Birmingham, Alabama who serves as the Executive Director of Fixed Point Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the public defense of the Christian faith.

And then there is this: Taunton has personally engaged some of the most outspoken opponents of Christianity, including Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Peter Singer. His often controversial and outspoken beliefs led to his dismissal from The Altamont School, an independent college preparatory school in Birmingham, Alabama. In 2007, he organized “The God Delusion Debate,” on the merits of Dawkins’ arguments against Christianity as set forth in his bestselling book, The God Delusion. The discussion was heard by over a million people worldwide. In 2008, he chaired a follow-up debate at the University of Oxford. In addition to producing several Fixed Point films, Larry, along with his team, launched LookUp316.com in February 2011, a project that displayed the message of John 3:16 before a Super Bowl audience. He has been a guest on a variety of television and radio shows, and has been quoted by the New York Times and Vanity Fair, among other newspapers and magazines.

I don’t know about you, but I’m just not that interested in the debates about Christianity and atheism. Not in the giant lecture hall, people boo-ing or cheering ideas and asking questions trying to stump people. It just all winds up feeling like posturing or at least like a Fox News/MSNBC panel and I stopped watching those a long time ago. The shouting just got too annoying. I’m tired of listening to people from opposing sides yell. When no one is listening, what’s the point of speaking, ya know?

Which is why a book by this guy seemed like something I would politely take and ‘read,’ ahem, skim and then return to said friend.

But then he gave me the book.

And I started reading.

And I couldn’t put it down.

Because it isn’t just a book about how one side is wrong and another side isn’t. It’s not that at all. And the title, though appropriate, just doesn’t cut it for me either. I would’ve never picked this book off the shelf based on just the title. It sounds like something I already know, something that’s been done before or at least a little tired. Of course, I don’t have an alternate title or anything, so that’s very convenient of me to pick on the current one. But, it’s true. Also true is that the book is fantastic.

It begins with the author’s very personal conversations with an atheist (see, doesn’t sound all that exciting) but it quickly moves to his personal story of adoption. So many friends have and are adopting. We are committed to adopting too. Not right now, per se, but sometime. Eventually. When we are sure it is the right time and this was a story of a family with that same mentality – when the time was right. And then it was. And the child was right. And the foreign country…well, what can you say about a place that hasn’t been touched by the common grace of Christian influence? You could write a book about it.

And Mr. Taunton did just that. He wrote a book and I cried and laughed and was painfully moved toward gratitude. I find myself caring just a bit more about the impact Christianity has on the whole and much more ready to read a book by a man who debates with people. I think you might be too.

Officially

The girls and I went to see the midwives today so that I could get cleared for running and working out and lifting and that vacuuming I started doing a few weeks ago. She proclaimed a number of things.

About Greer:
She looks like the Gerber baby!
She looks nothing like her sister.
She is GOOD.
The midwife would take her with her if I wasn’t watching.

About Piper:
She is obedient.
She has wonderfully curly hair.
She is so GOOD.
She loves her little sister.

About me:
I have plenty of estrogen!
This line will go away around month four and I can wear a bikini then without noticing it (ha!).
Everything is back in its rightful place.
This is all just skin. It will shrink back slower than the last two times.
I am doing just fine.

Straight from the mouth of a professional. We are all GOOD.

Good.

So good.

On Tones and Talking

I’m sure you already know that I am often overflowing with sass and opinion. I’ve always been this way. Since I was able to put words into our language and even when I was speaking my own, I would offer up my own ideas with too much power, too many words and a general idea that I was right about them all. I’m raising someone very similar to me now and while it is often amusing to watch it all unfold, the thing that sits directly in the middle of those folds is not pretty. I know all of that because I live it and because the Word tells me that my desperately wicked self cannot survive on its own and achieve beauty. 

The past six weeks have been survived. That is my post baby mantra – survive, survive, survive. This time I blinked and we made it. Six weeks of allowing a tiny human’s every whim to rule my minutes. And now begins the process of stamping out self – not her personality or her ideas or her uniqueness – but her self will that is bent to rule and ugliness and sin.

It starts small. Sleep when it is best for you. Wake when you need to eat. Tiny steps to remind her tiny soul that this world is not spinning around her. 

Somehow I’ve got to remember this same thing. I need more time spent in quiet, more time meditating, more time devouring the things that transform me – the Word and the Spirit working together to change me. I’ve got to let go of the house running perfectly and remember that its more important to say the words gently to these tiny ears than it is be ten minutes early. The earth isn’t spinning around me.

Bigger

She turns three in a just a few days. Time warp.

Putting away the newborn clothes and switching to size one diapers. It goes faster and faster every time.

A big kid bike for a kid who is big. Hoping to loose the training wheels this summer.

Three Weeks

Three Weeks

Just a little crosseyed here. No worries. She’ll get them straightened out soon enough. Let’s not rush anything this time.