Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Gospel of "Clean House"

Today on our way home from Sydney's dance class she told me we "have to clean the WHOLE house" so that her friends can come to play dress up.  Then she asked me not to tell anyone that we cleaned and especially NOT her friends' moms when we called them.  Normally I might have shrugged it off in lieu of planning out the best way to get lunch into the girls and Savannah off for a nap, but today was different.  Today I told her we don't clean the house to hide our mess - people are welcome to come to a messy house.  Today I told her we clean the house to have room to play.  Her response?  "Oh, okay."  

Nothing earth shattering, or so it seemed.  But in teaching her the principles of messiness and people, I hope to have laid one small piece of the foundation that we do not hide our sin - we do not present ourselves cleaner than we are - we lean into God as His Spirit moves and transforms us, in order to more fully experience the freedom that life with Jesus brings.  She doesn't understand that today, and she won't understand it tomorrow, but maybe in a decade, she'll have the courage to say to a classmate - "Yeah, I have that problem too..." and invite them into her messy heart.  Because once they see her mess, then they can ask her if she knows any cleaners - and that is the conversation that leads to saving faith in Jesus.  How I long for my little girl to lead others to Him, for the sake of their lives and for her own.

Praise be for The Holy Spirit who reveals the truth of the Gospel at all times and in all places!

Friday, January 18, 2008



Thanks to our friends, Brent and Wendy, and their wedding in Orlando, we were able to fulfill my Father-in-Law's lifelong dream of going to DisneyWorld.  One day was all it took (and all we had).  Here are a few a my favorite shots from the week (non-wedding).

Savannah just before she tried to eat Mickey's nose.

Sydney and me.  I overcame my weird, unexplained, water phobia and played with her all afternoon.  She was fearless and I was cringing,  but we had a great time!

As much as Sydney was energized by the water, Savannah got in and promptly fell asleep.  We were all so jealous...

Oh, and there are so many more - of the fam, meeting Mickey, seeing Ariel, and the famed "before" and "after" shots of Savannah riding on "It's a Small World."  Plus, there's Sydney in the parade becoming a certified CowGirl with Woody's Roundup Gang... and the "after pouring showers" clothing change.  As we were making the last obligatory bathroom stops before leaving the park, this woman says to Sydney (who's waiting ever-so-patiently, and yes, I really mean that) "Would you like to play with a hula hoop?"  I thought to myself, "This really is the Happiest Place on Earth!"

New House (sort of)

Okay, so the biggest news of 2007 was the massive remodel of our house.  The problem is that I can't seem to find a good before or after picture.  I'll try to take one of the house tomorrow and that should do it for the after, but I'm still searching for the before (I want the full aaahh effect).  To sum it, I'll say this:  Our pediatrician started a home remodel shortly before we did, and his advice was, "Run, stop, do not begin.  Worst experience of my life."  We ignored him, but rest assured, we take his medical opinion more seriously.  However, after our usable house space was cut in half, we now had to eat every snack and meal in the office (an already crammed space) and Savannah, age 7 months was suddenly sleeping in our room, plus Sydney, age 3.5 and as full of "life" as ever, and the incessant pounding all day every day, we realized our pediatrician was definitely on to something.  That's the short version.  Then there's all the hours Kevin gave up of work (because planting a church, well, is that time-consuming?) and the fact that as soon as we moved the furniture back in place the converted garage had a plumbing issue and we had to rip out the floor and start over in September (that only took another month and meant the loss of the dining room again)... but that's for another time.  God is faithful and good, and we love our new space.  Here's a teaser - my favorite demo shot - looking up at what used to be the garage ceiling...

Easter Snowman

Yes, you read that correctly.  Sydney's first snowman (in her memory) was Easter Saturday, 2007.  Kevin, much better in the cold snow than I, waited until the perfect moment to run out and make him - his name was Arthur.  With the promise of snow from the weather man, Syd seems to think Arthur's making a comeback tomorrow.  I'm thinking if it snows that much we're skipping gymnastics and having hot cocoa.  Maybe we'll make a snowy card.  

New Year's Cards

I knew I wasn't going to make it in time for Christmas, but this year I thought I could send out some kind of electronic (no printing, stuffing, addressing, or postage) New Year's card updating all those well-intentioned folks who send us their family musings every winter.  I failed to do that.  And, after reading many a wonderful blog and also needing a better way to show folks our cute-as-anything children, I took the plunge and started this blog.  That being said, I plan to start with a few, short updates highlighting our 2007.  Maybe short writings will actually get the job done.  To good ideas and maybe a follow-through!  Happy 2008.

Here goes

So... I'm entering the world of blogging.  I'm not sure I have too much to say, and I'm certain I have no time to say it, but here I am.  Let the wild rumpus begin.