12 December 2007
This sparked an idea in Beth to begin a business where she purchases items in foreign countries (mostly developing countries) and sells them in the U.S. Everything is fair trade and you can feel good about your purchase, not only because you've found something unique, but also because you are helping someone in another country earn money they might not otherwise have.
Great place for Christmas shopping!
The idea of the book is really interesting in itself but the most profound part is this quote,
"I had a stapled list of all the 700 rules...but it was impossible - I couldn't keep them all in my mind at the same time... Naturally, I broke rules all the time, despite my best efforts."
We are commanded in Matthew to be perfect as our father in heaven is perfect, so we know this perfection is the expectation of God. Now, here is a man who deliberately was trying to follow every law in the Bible and he could not do it. How much more do I break the laws because I am not consciously trying to follow all 700 of the ones in the moral code. I can't obey to that degree! No one can!
This is why Christ came into the world. This is why He was born on the Earth. Jesus did live a perfect life and because of that was able to be a spotless sacrifice for our sins and pay for our inability to follow all of the laws. All the more reason to celebrate at Christmas! He came to be a perfect sacrifice because I can not be perfect by my own efforts to meet God's requirements.
10 December 2007
30 November 2007
This is our whole crew (minus Asher who slept through Thanksgiving dinner -oh! and Walter was there too). My sister joined us, along with Walter's parents, grandparents, aunt and uncle and 2 cousins, and another cousin with his new wife!
But now we're back to the real world and ready to enjoy the Christmas season.
19 November 2007
09 November 2007
The class is an eye-opening journey through the Bible to see what God's heart is for the world. Beginning in the Old Testament and continuing through the rest of the Bible and early history to what is going on around the world today, I guarantee your life will be forever changed if you journey through the 15 week course.
Literally, it will change your perspective on life to understand that God's plan for the world from the very beginning was to bring people into relationship with Himself and to bring glorify to His name. Throughout the 15 weeks, you will hear seminary professors, pastors, missionaries, and ordinary people share on different topics and you'll also get to be accountable to read deep articles related to the topics.
The link gives more details, but let me know if you want more info!!!
05 November 2007
Inspired by this thought, this is my list of:
Top 10 Sins that are More Fun than Worrying
1. Eating a gallon of Oreo ice-cream in one evening.
2. Criticizing my boss to my coworkers.
3. Lounging in bed all day long for a few days.
4. Passing on the latest piece of "news" I heard about a friend.
5. Watching enticing tv shows that may leave destructive images in my mind.
6. Telling my friends my husbands faults (that is if he had any!!! :)).
7. Assuming verses in the Bible about giving and serving don't apply to me.
8. Taking a 2 hour lunch because my boss isn't around anyway.
9. Neglecting to pray for needs I've committed to praying for so I that I can watch Oprah.
10. Taking credit for any praise I receive rather than giving the glory to God.
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matt 6:34)
02 November 2007
After daddy got home, we went to the mall and got some yummy candy, rode on the carousel, and met up with our friends the bee and a flamenco dancer. Asher enjoyed Halloween and probably ate more candy in one night than he has in his entire life.
He was bouncing around in his crib that night on a little sugar high!
29 October 2007
26 October 2007
I ran in the scorching heat, on cool mornings, under draining sunshine, through the unknowns of lakeside darkness, extreme humidity, and soaking rain. Along the way I lost everything in my stomach several times, experienced dehydration chills, and slept my way through many Saturday afternoons after running long distances in the morning. My life was focused on training for the race and I camped on the verses in Hebrews that talk about the race of life we are all running and how we are challenged to fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfector of our faith.
When the morning of October 24, 1999 came, I was prepared and full of nervous anticipation. My long runs were over, I had tapered, eaten a carb filled dinner the night before, and had my pockets full of energy gels. It was time for the "victory lap." The race was amazing. Although my second marathon was full of friends and companions to encourage me, the 1999 run was a solitary experience that proved I could do it! After 5 hours, 4 minutes, and 26 seconds (I still easily remember that number 5:04:26!), I crossed the finish line and received the medal around my neck. I had done it - fixing my eyes on the prize.
I reflect on that time as an extreme physical experience of learning perseverance. I have run until I seriously did not think my legs could move anymore so I know what it means to persevere physically and now I am learning what it means to persevere spiritually and emotionally. It means holding fast to what I know to be true and refusing to give in to doubt and bitterness.
This summer, I began to memorize the first chapter of James. I picked the book of James because it is practical and God's Word is so important to know in full and in context. In the first chapter, James writes, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." These verses sound uplifting, easy, and inspiring when life is smooth. Just like my images of training for and running a marathon were full of weight loss, admiration, perfect weather, and no comprehension of real pain when I first read that newspaper article. It is a different story though when I was in the middle of the race and every ounce of me wanted to just stop.
James continues to say that perseverance must complete its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything! Do I feel more complete since running a marathon? In a way I do. I know I can endure physical difficulties and still go to work the next day. Will I feel more complete after enduring emotional and spiritual trials?
I think I will find out. In the meantime I will persevere.
15 October 2007
05 October 2007
"How have I been performance-based in my acceptance of God's love?"
I was reminded of a vivid memory from my freshman year in college. In my Accounting I class, of all places, my professor told us something that blew me away.
I had grown up hearing the Gospel message every week at church and living in a Christian home, but I never knew, until my freshman year at Wheaton, that "There is nothing I can do to make God love me more and nothing I can do to make Him love me less."
Wow! Growing up in a performance-based family, and church to some extent, this seemed like heresy! I didn't really think I heard her right when she said that. Surely, if I just spent more time in prayer or sang at the nursing homes a few more times, God would love me more. That's the goal of life, right? OR if I never read one more word in my Bible and saw every sleazy movie ever made, He would withdraw some of His love from me, right?
It is simply beyond comprehension that God loves me right now, and even there in Blanchard Hall, with an amazing fullness of love that will never grow or decrease because His love is already complete.
"Before the world was made, God looked into the future and chose to set His love upon (me). He says to every one of His children, 'I have called you by name, you are mine.'" Isaiah 43:1
04 October 2007
In case that appears to be an isolated incident, I got home from work at 4:15 on Tuesday. As Bekah, our babysitter was leaving, Asher said, "Night Night." Thinking that he would surely not want to be in bed long, I took him upstairs, put him in his crib, and turned on his music while I changed clothes.
When Asher was first born, we put him to sleep with music playing every night. This stopped after about 4 months and although the cd player has still been in his room, he hasn't listened to it on a regular basis until bedtime a week ago when he started crying and pointing until I turned the music on again.
After getting changed, I went to get Asher out of bed and find him as happy as the gorilla who is in bed with Mr. & Mrs. Zookeeper. With his blanket in one hand, pacifier in his mouth, and Roo and Roo Roo where he has just tossed them onto the floor, he waves his arms and says "NO NO" when I try to get him out. He continues to bounce around in his bed, rolling over and then jumping up. After 30 minutes, I finally convinced Asher to get up to go eat dinner. Throughout dinner, he continues to say "Night Night."
What is going on? Is Asher turning into a lazybones? Maybe I'll choose to believe that since he has been going to music classes for a month now, his musical genius is coming alive and he needs time to concentrate on learning music.
01 October 2007
I guess we've started a tradition. We went to the same Orchard last year and took a picture at the same cheesy picture cut outs. Although Asher is somewhat small for his age, its nice to see he did grow this past year! (I wonder at what age he will have a smile on his face and be looking at the camera?)
26 September 2007
Thank you for bringing Daddy home in time to read me bedtime stories tonight. He is so much fun. I had such a fun time today with my babysitter Bekah and my "cousins" Abby and Owen. Thank you for them.
I am excited to go to mommy's mom group tomorrow and play with the other kids. Please keep them from wanting to go down the slide so I can go up and down the whole time by myself.
You know I really like Winnie the Pooh. Please convince mommy to let me watch Pooh tomorrow and also I pray that she will take me on a walk tomorrow!
Help mommy to be patient with me when I throw my food and need to have lots of time-outs during supper. I just really don't like carrots (or noodles, or chicken, or even my spoon!).
Thank you for my friends and family who live far away. Please let them know how much I love and miss them but that you love them even more!
21 September 2007
Why does my son love bacon but refuse to eat other kinds of meat?
When Jesus was a little boy were the parents of his friends constantly wondering, "Why can't you be more like Jesus?"
Why don't those actuaries who grade actuarial exams have some grace and just pass everyone to relieve some of the studying pressure?
How long will Asher love helping mommy water flowers and look so cute while doing it?
14 September 2007
1. Winnie the Pooh show
3. Writing in this blog
4. Eating ice cream every evening
5. Falling Asleep with a Pacifier, Blanket, Roo & Roo Roo
6. Daily Sudoku
7. Fantasy Football
8. Daily Internet Chess Puzzles
9. Saturday morning Coffee Hound ritual
Some of these have become a big obsession lately to the extent that we wake up from naps wanting to enjoy them. Anybody know of a local WPA (Winnie the Pooh Annonymous) chapter?
10 September 2007
The other six or seven kids in the class were having fun swaying, jumping, running, hopping, skipping... and my son was leaning against the wall for the two minute duration of the song sucking on his finger and watching the action. Walter and I predicted this would probably happen, but as he clung to the wall, I imagined him in junior high at his first dance in a very similar position keeping the wall from falling.
Being a good mom, I thought of how I would react to a this type of situation and then had this flashback to my first junior high dances when I spent the evening holding up the wall. I have confirmed with my husband that he too was a wallflower.
Like parents like son!
05 September 2007
27 August 2007
Since I'm on the oh-so-exciting topic of Asher's diet, his funny new thing is to save his Flintstone vitamin that he gets each evening. Last night after he ate his Subway sandwich and it was time to go to bed, we gave him a vitamin and decided to let him walk around while he ate it - or as Walter would say "let him run around like a crazy person."
I was always a little girl who saved all of my candy. I am the reigning champion in my family for making my ice cream cone last the final 45 minutes of our frequent trips to Ohio. I often had the goal of making my "church candy" last through the week and would sparingly eat maybe one lifesaver per day. So I think Asher gets this new habit from me. He will hold on to his little vitamin and run around the house making us pretend that he has eaten it by putting his hand up to his mouth every minute or so. Then he will go to one of his toys and hide the vitamin in it as another way to make us think he has actually eaten it.
I'm not sure how long he would save the vitamin, but last night this game ended with Daddy having to make Asher eat the vitamin before he counted to three.
24 August 2007
This picture of Asher with spinach all over his face was taken several months ago. I would be happy these days if he would put vegetables that close to his mouth again.
I'm hoping that by making public Asher's recent fasting habits, it will be enough to make him start eating again - just to make mommy look like she's over-reacting.
22 August 2007
Walter started the summer off working REALLY hard to refinish the hardwood floor that was under our carpet in the dining room and entryway. It looks SO impressive, now, but it was a messy and hard job.
Every summer when my parents come home from Ethiopia, we go on a little Ifft getaway. This year we went to Arkansas (yes, Arkansas) and spent a week relaxing by a lake and also went through a cave that was like being inside of Fraggle Rock.
A momenteous event happened at the end of June when Asher got his FIRST Haircut! This place for kids to get their haircut is so fun! Asher got to watch a DVD, sit in an airplane, wear a cape, and all the while never letting go of his sippy cup. What a handsome young man!
My family happened to still be in town for the 4th of July this year, so we celebrated the Nations Birthday together as well as all of us kids' birthdays since my parents were scheduled not to be back home again until next summer. There's nothing like celebrating your birthday six months early (in my brother's case)!
Continuing a summer tradition, our small group went camping together at a local campground. It was just for one night, but we had a fun adventure. This picture shows the challenges of putting a child to sleep in a tent. Asher's friends (who were not having naptime) kept stopping by to say "hi" to him through the tent screen. It probably goes without saying, but that nap didn't really last long.
It has been a fun one!