Wednesday, March 30, 2016

First Step

Guess who took his first baby step last night while Mom & Dad were cleaning up the kitchen after dinner? Love that we both were there to see it! Way to go, Asher!




Monday, March 28, 2016

the death of honor

Yesterday morning, while you were singing about the risen King, it was night on this side.  The services were done, and the day was almost over. As music poured out of the churches we love in our homeland, our brothers and sisters were being bombed in L+hore. They were targeted in a children's park as they went out with their families to celebrate a day remembering the resurrection of Christ.  My sleep was restless last night and I woke up with tears in my eyes for the fathers and mothers whose arms are empty today.

These bombings feel like the death of honor to me.

A world where men fight their battles by killing children and shooting nails into airport crowds. Mothers with infants and fathers chasing toddlers, elderly men and women sipping coffee.  I cannot, I cannot fathom such cowardice. The injustice of it swells up in me and I find myself fighting back both rage and hopelessness.

This is the world I'm raising my boys to meet.

And yet.  We are not without hope.  There is no day that is a more powerful reminder of that hope than Resurrection Sunday.  When we remember that death, through a Savior who overcame even hell itself, has lost its sting. The grave will not have the final victory.  There is weeping here.  There are tears now. But we are not without hope.  It is a hope so final that one day even bombs and cowards will be reckoned by righteous, complete justice. The ache of this world will be lost in the fullness of Jesus, the Messiah who came to save us.

In the meantime, I've started praying for something new, something that I find surprising even to myself. I wish you would join me.

We hear stories sometimes on this side of dreams and visions of Jesus.  He is alive even now and able to speak into the hearts of men so dark, so wicked, so broken that honor is killing.  Would you start now to pray with me that these dreams and visions would haunt men who seem far from redemption? That echoes of light would line the darkness of their world?  I am asking for them to be undone by light.  Grace is more powerful than the force of terror.  In the end, love will conquer hate.  Light will wash away the darkness.

Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

unholy Holy Week

It is Holy Week. And to be honest, I'm just dealing with a lot of unholiness over here. In my own heart and mind. In a world full of all kinds of wickedness. In those rival brothers' hearts, who can turn a serving of rice into a competition. And just in the general confusion of life on earth.

As the Lenten season draws to a close, the old routines of reading and singing passages in preparation for this weekend are doing my soul good.  The crucifixion and resurrection always strike me in a different way from the holy hush that I sense around Christmas.  This is the season when my own sin seems so startlingly present.  I am not listening to Mary, singing sweetly the welcome magnificat over the Savior's birth.  It is not the wise men, traveling from afar to worship the King of Kings.  There is an angry crowd, pressing in against the One sent to bring life and salvation.  There is betrayal from the innermost circle.  There is doubt and confusion and cowardice. We are not as holy as we would like to be.

The gospel - the good news that the work was done in FULL by Jesus on that cross, is all the fresher though in unholiness. I need this. I need saving.

A God who did not spare his own Son.  What, in all this wicked, weary world, can separate us from a God like that?
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.  Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died - more than that, who was raise - who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,  
For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered. 
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  
Romans 8, ESV


Friday, March 18, 2016

Fantastic Friday

It's Friday.  It happened again. The week flew past me and I'm staring at the weekend, trying to catch my breath.  Hubs has a big work project and I've been helping with some of the editing during nap time.  That means, goodbye blog time.  He's almost finished. 

So let's catch up! 

Here are those pictures from the big school play that I promised you. We should have some "professional shots" soon.  I'm sure you just can't wait! Check out Asher's cute kurta pyjamas that just happened to match my suit:







The boys best-gals (the ones we're holding out for arranged marriages with one day) came dressed all princess like to see the boys dance. It's really young love with these kids.


Later this week, we hosted a "family circus" night.  It was a big hit.  David's trick was push ups with the kids on top.  I did a balancing act with a book on my head. Jude made himself "disappear" by flipping behind the sofa. Silas did a somersault and Asher stood up, not a step yet…even for the family circus.  It was a real hit with the boys.  And Jude was thereafter obsessed with balancing books on his head. We followed it up with ice cream.  (We're sticking hard in the triple digit weather this week.)




Silas isn't really known for being a tidy eater.


I bought the first book in the Little House series to read to the boys this summer. But it's keeping me up late at night for now.  I'm sure somewhere in my childhood my mom read this series to me, I don't remember it though.  It's so fresh and fun, I am loving it.

Tomorrow, sweet hubs is giving me the morning off.  My plan: I'm going to order a fresh lime soda in a cafe and read Laura Ingalls Wilder.

But for now, there's a school pick up to make and a baby to change and a dinner to cook.  Fantastic Friday to you and yours! 

Monday, March 14, 2016

On Stage

The boys had a B-I-G school event on Saturday night.  I'll post more pictures later this week, but for now, check out these videos.

video



video

Let's just say, it was an exciting weekend. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Monster Truck Magic


This face pretty much sums up the excitement today.  It was a monstrously exciting Monster Truck party! Silas loved it.  I'll give you a little summary (and write it to myself because by next year, I'm sure I'll forget:) His best friend from school rode home with him.  We're talking, he loves this guy! He told David at bedtime a few nights ago that he'd like to go to college with "Otter." The kid is a faithful friend. 


We played a rousing game of Pin the Wheel on the Monster Truck. Here's Dad, accidentally pinning it to someone's forehead.  



Next up, a Monster Truck scavenger hunt with 6 "stations" in the house. The prize was a little piece of candy. And it was a complete hit! 



 We closed the games down with a few fantastic rounds of Musical Monster Chairs. I hate to write that the birthday boy may have shed a few tears over taking 2nd place in the final round.  But the recovery was quick.


Then, of course, there was the cake cutting.  It was followed by pizza, juice boxes and an episode of Chuck & Friends. (We were sticking hard to the truck theme.) One of the best parts of asian birthday parties? You never open your gifts in front of people. Can I just tell you how much mom-angst that saves me? There's just so much to go wrong in those moments. He had a great time opening them after the last guest left.  Let's just say our stock of remote control cars just increased significantly.  And that sweet FOUR year old could not be happier about it!









Thursday, March 10, 2016

Frenzy Thursday


It's Thursday. And it feels like this might just be the longest week. Things have gotten really hectic around here for all sorts of good reasons. 

Good or not, it's still hard for me to keep up. I have to admit that on weeks like this, I have trouble maintaining a calm and gentle spirit. There is a little line in one of Elisabeth Elliot's books where she writes that we ought not to take on more than we can do without rush and frenzy. (Or something to that effect, put in better words.) Well, I seem to be treading on frenzy lately. 

It does not help that Silas is celebrating four tomorrow with a crowd of lively schoolmates in our little apartment. He's been waiting for a full year for a Monster Truck themed party. And the closer it gets, the louder his sweet excitement gets. I had to ask him to stop shouting at least 3 times at dinner. It's like he thinks we are at the Monster Truck Jam now that the decorations are up. 



I also ruined the first cake attempt. It was more disastrous even than the above picture. Finally, having originally begun around 10:30am, the final cake was decorated and plastic wrapped by 8:30pm. Can someone email me for the next birthday and remind me to just go buy a cake? I think that's what Mrs. Elliot would've told me to do today. 


But, alas it is finished. And when that troupe of 3 & 4 year olds rush upon me tomorrow, I feel sure the word frenzy will take on a new meaning. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Weekend



To that amazing friend who sent us Velveeta cheese. We enjoyed it SO much. Maybe, just maybe, we licked the bowl. We might also have had more than our share of fried chicken this weekend too. 

Monday dinner prep is trying to turn the corner. 


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Quiet

I've been listening to a new podcast lately called Quiet: The Power of Introverts with Susan Cain.  I want to recommend it to you. If you're an extrovert, particularly if you have quiet children in your life, I think you'll find it truly enlightening and helpful. If you made it through childhood as an introvert, you might just listen to that first episode, The Long Runway, like I did…with tears on your face.

That analogy of a "long runway" put into words what I've experienced in so many ways with my own little introvert.  Remember those blog posts long ago from the preschool sports days gone awry? The times when every other kid was dancing for the parents, and little Jude was sitting with his back to the audience and his arms crossed. Sometimes it's easy for me to forget those moments.  This is, thankfully, because Jude is in a school now that has helped him celebrate the "long runway" and given him space to grow into his own personality.  I see him flourishing in such healthy, beautiful ways. We have a huge school production coming up in a few weeks and he is completely excited. I am so thankful.

It's also helped me think about my little extrovert, the one who loves to be in the middle of the party.  The other day at the playground, Jude was reading while everyone else was running wild all around him. He played for 5 minutes, and then went back to his book. Silas was, of course,  in the middle of the party with a big posse in the sand pit.  The crowd dispersed for a few minutes and Silas came to sit down next to me.  He told me he was lonely and needed some friends.  I pointed to the two children still playing in the sand.  He turned his sweet face toward me, "Mom, I need at least FOUR friends to be happy." Yes. He did say that.  And while I doubt I'll ever really understand that….it's so helpful for me to know that it's a fantastic part of his personality. He just loves a party.

Listen up.  I think you'll like it.