Fall 2013-dark leaves

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fall Break

Well, it's been a great Fall Break weekend!  Brian treated Thursday like a normal day, as did we at home.  We had some new friends over for dinner that night, so I sent all the kids outside to play while I straightened up some.  They played "country," as in out-in-the-country.  They've discovered a spot to call "home" way back up in the woods.  Our lot is entirely fenced in and goes twice as far back as you can see.  So the kids feel like they're on a big adventure when they're all the way up at the back fence.  They came back to the "city" (back to the house) to get "supplies" for their work out in the "country" (namely lunch at the time), and I was so thrilled that they were all outside playing together that I sat down with a book for a good 20 minutes in a very quiet "city." 

Dinner was with the Luthins, a family with 2 boys, ages 3 and 5, who are new to STL.  Bill is currently deployed with the Air Force, and Regan is fabulous.  We look forward to spending more time with them.  I was so excited for Patrick to have some boys his age to play with!  But my sweet boy was so tired from playing outside all afternoon that he fell asleep on the couch after dinner but before they left, lol!

Friday I had an early morning date with Sarah Frances at BreadCo (aka Panera) where she read some while I worked on preparing to tutor Monday morning.  When we got home, we got all the bikes ready and packed up a picnic lunch for a family bike ride around Forest Park.  Brian and the older girls rode from our house to the top of the zoo road, and I drove Patrick, his bike, my bike (thanks, Marne!) and Lillian to meet them there. 

We were a sight!  We rode in a long line--Brian pulling Lillian in the trailer, Catherine, Sarah Frances, Patrick, then me--from there to the bottom of Art Hill where we unpacked our lunch and threw the frisbee for a while.  The ride back to the car was a good bit tougher, especially since we stopped and played at the waterfalls some.  Patrick hit his wall of tolerance probably half way back, but eventually we made it.

There is a huge pond with many fountains at the bottom of Art Hill.  It so beautiful there.

Brian and the kids in front of the Art Museum.

Enough pictures, Mom!

On a side note, when I went to pick up the bike from Marne, we noticed that Halsey and Patrick had on B'ham rival high school tshirts.  So cute!

Later Friday afternoon Catherine went to the zoo for Virginia Lee's 5yo birthday party where they got their faces painted and rode the carousel.  Brian took Sarah Frances out for some 1:1 time, Patrick explored in the back with Peanut Butter (the dog), and Lillian slept while I finished prepping for Monday.  Catherine came home transformed into a rainbow butterfly.

To top off a perfect day, we fed the kids a mac-n-cheese dinner, put on a movie for them to watch together in Patrick's room, and Brian and I enjoyed a grilled steak dinner in front of a great movie, new to us.  Ever seen 500 Days of Summer?  We really liked it.  Too much language probably for a high school movie night, but there are definietly some GREAT scenes that describe a post-modern world-view.

Saturday brought a sick little girl, a yard-working-for-money husband, and three big kids who raked our yard and the yard next door.  I kept Lillian home from the girls' 3:00 soccer game and texted Brian regularly with Auburn updates.  He got home at half time, and we watched Auburn beat an undefeated LSU at home to remain undefeated themselves.  It was a GREAT game!  And a great day for me because if Lillian was awake, she was snuggled up in my lap reading a book until she fell asleep again in my arms.  So sweet!  And therefore an entire day of rest for me too.

Hope you had a good fall break too!  And WAR EAGLE!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ransom Fellowship

Can I just refer everyone to Ransom Fellowship?  Margie Haack and I should be friends.  But who wouldn't want to be her friend?  I did read this from somewhere on the website, and it resonated deeply with my heart's attitudes, which is why we should be friends.  She knows me because she's been here and apparently got through it well.  And I hope I get through it well too.  I also wish I could have her beautiful white hair one day too.  I digress.

"...I went through this time where I was extremely nasty to Denis (her husband) because he seemed to get to do all the fun things and I was sick of serving the tea and the tea-cakes and changing diapers while he sat in the living room with pearls of wisdom dripping from his lips. He could not ask a thing of me during that time because I completely unloaded on him. We had a lot to learn. I began to think about how much more fulfilled I would be if I had gone into medicine. And then I would have had money, too. You can see where all this might lead. What finally got through to me was a simple passage from Matt 20:26-28 “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave, just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” And then in John 13 where Jesus washed the Disciples feet, he asks them point blank: “Do you understand what I have done? Do you?” I had to answer, yes I do understand. And it pierced me to suddenly realize how very very destructive my attitude was. There were just no excuses against or around what God calls each and every one of us to do. I’m not only saying women here. I simply could not argue that I was the one exception to this calling and I could ignore that Jesus expected me to follow his example in all things including serving. It was hard to give up that anger. But it was so good for me and both of us grew through this time."

Want more of this good stuff?  See http://www.ransomfellowship.org/ or http://www.notesfromtoadhall.com/.  The Haacks and RF publish Critique and Notes From Toad Hall regularly.  They are always good, thoughtful reads.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dropping the Ball

I can't keep up.  I'm getting called out on not fulfilling responsibilities. 

I am weaker than I ever thought possible.

Please don't ask me to do anything until...Brian graduates?...my kids are in school?...I can hire help with the house?...when?  When does it "get better"?  When do I learn my limits?  When will I learn that my limitations are much greater than I realize and will quit over-committing? or over-volunteering?  I am currently incapable--yes, incapable--of remembering and handling anything above what is immediately in front of me.  At least I remembered our elder interviews on our way out the door this morning, 15 min. before they were to happen, even if we didn't have our paperwork ready.

Pathetic.  And weak, weak, weak. 

And gripey!  If my kids talked like this I'd tell them to count their blessings!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Dancing in the Minefields

I have a new favorite song--Andrew Peterson's "Dancing in the Minefields."  I know it was written about marriage, but from the first time I heard it, it was about our story of going to seminary and into vocational ministry.  So here's my translation of the words, in case you're interested.  And here's the link to the video on youtube.

Dancing in the Minefields video on youtube.

Well I was 19 you were 21 
The year we got engaged   
Everyone said we were much to young   
But we did it anyway
We got the rings for 40 each from a pawnshop down the road   
We said our vows and took the leap now 15 years ago

When we were in our 30's (older)
we decided to move away for seminary and start a new career.
And you have 4 young kids-what are you thinking?
But we did it anyway.
We sold our stuff and packed up--
one year down!

We went dancing in the minefields    
We went sailing in the storm             
And it was harder than we dreamed  
But I believe that’s what the promise was for 

We delight and have real joy in doing his work even hard times.
And, wow this is harder than we dreamed.
But God's promises to us sustain us.

Well ‘I do’ are the two most famous last words   
The beginning of the end     
But to lose your life for another I’ve heard is a good place to begin  
Cause the only way to find your life is to lay your own life down   
And I believe it’s an easy price for the life that we have found  

Saying yes to following God's calling us to move
(the end of our "old" life)
is the start of our "good life."
Our sacrificing personal comforts and security in order to be obedient to God is entirely worth it.

And we’re dancing in the minefields
We’re went sailing in the storm
And it was harder than we dreamed
But I believe that’s what the promise was for
That’s what the promise is for

So when I lose my way, find me  
When I lose loves chains, bind me  
At the end of all my faith   
to the end of all my days   
when I forget my name, remind me  

When I take my eyes off Jesus, Jesus come find me
When I try to run away from my calling, hold me to it
When I'm ready to quit
Until I die
Remind me I am a much-loved, well-provided for DAUGHTER of the KING!

Cause we bear the light of the son of man    
So there’s nothing left to fear       
So I’ll walk with you in the shadow lands   
Till the shadows disappear        
Cause he promised not to leave us    
And his promises are true     
So in the face of this chaos baby   
I can dance with you            .

I have the Holy Spirit in me,
no matter what my circumstances are.
So I have the goods to offer needy people
who are in their own difficult places.
God will never leave me or forsake me.
So here we go--and no matter how hard it is,
We can have joy while we do this together

So lets go dancing in the minefields
Lets go sailing in the storms
Oh lets go dancing in the minefields
And kicking down the doors

Oh lets go dancing in the minefields
And sailing in the storms
Oh this is harder than we dreamed
But I believe that’s what the promise is for
That’s what the promise is for