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Showing posts from December, 2014

"Getting [Everything] for Christmas"

Our relatively new tradition of writing a letter to Josiah each Christmas has taught us more about God (and ourselves) than we could have realized. We are sharing our letters with you, hoping they bring you laughter and joy this holiday season. If you decide to begin a similar habit of annual letter writing in your home, let us know! We would love to read your thoughts and memories, if you feel inclined to share.  Merry Christmas, from our home to yours -- Christ has come!!  

Sickeningly Sweet

The trust of a child is an astounding thing. Josiah does not do well with milk (i.e. he wakes up every hour if he consumes any dairy products the day before -- I know, I can't believe I am THAT mom with THAT kid either).  So tonight, when he ate a piece of the fudge (i.e. milk chocolate,  sweetened condensed milk, and butter) I left on the table for our guests, I leaped across the room and grabbed it out of his mouth with a quick blind sweep. He looked confused, but nodded calmly when I told him it would make him sick. With the taste of fudge still in his mouth, he snuggled into my shoulder. Seriously?  If someone took fudge out of my mouth,  I would be yelling or inflicting bodily harm.  Or both.  Shouldn't I trust God this way when He takes something that seems good to me? With faith like a child, I should.  God help me.

Connecting in a Connected Society

I used to worry that life on the mission field would be lonely. No doubt, it will be in many ways - language, culture and experience are potentially enormous barriers to intimacy. Recently, however, I have seen with fresh eyes the isolationism that has begun to creep into our interactions here in America. Strangely, God is using this understanding to loosen my grip on my life here in the States. The majority of my close friends in Rochester have moved or are in the process of moving elsewhere to pursue career opportunities. My friends outside of Rochester have become increasingly occupied with very good, very important projects and relationships. This busyness, however, translates to an obvious distance that is more than geographic in nature. I could count on one hand the number of conversations via text, email, or phone I have had in the past six months that were initiated by others. This situation is not unique to me; I have heard similar sentiments in response whenever I make this

Waffles with Peanut Butter and Advent

My prayer before breakfast and lunch often goes something like this: Dear God, Thank you for our family, our friends, our food, and all the good things You've given us.  We love you very much.  Amen. I figure simplicity is the way to go, since a one-year-old's attention span is limited -- particularly when food is waiting to be devoured.  A few days ago, however, Josiah kept holding my hand after I said Amen and started calling out random people that he wanted inserted in the prayer: Papa! Nana! Poppa! Beckies (Ethan's Mom)! So I repeated the prayer, inserting the person's name after "Dear God, Thank you for ---".  Today, after we went through Papa-Nana-Poppa-Beckies, Josiah moved on to, "Books!"  I kept a mostly-straight face as I thanked God for books.  But then... "Bum-bum!" Bum-bum is how Josiah refers to The Little Drummer Boy, his favorite Christmas song (much to my chagrin, since it is the carol with the least accurate theo

Landon Donovan, Jesus, and God's Eternal Purpose

Soccer has long been a passion of mine, and I dare say at times it has been an idol.  I love it.  One of my favorite things to do in the world is to play soccer, slightly lower on that list is watching it. Landon Donovan, without a doubt, is my all time favorite player.  I have watched every soccer game I could since I was around 9 years old. I remember watching the 1994 World Cup with fascination.  I remember watching the United States national team advance via an own goal by Colombia. Alexi Lalas and Cobi Jones were my favorite players.  Alexi Lalas' red hair and tall stature reminded me of my dad.  He was fierce in the air and fearless.  Cobi Jones was relentless, speedy, and crafty. I remember watching Brazil completely dominate the United States in the next round.  I remember Leonardo's thunderous elbow crashing into Tab Ramos jaw, one of the most horrific red cards I have ever seen.  A red card that simultaneously crushed any American hope (Tab Ramos was one of our be

Christmas Cards and Reciprocal Altruism

I love Christmas cards.  I love sending them.  I love receiving them.  We hang them all over our kitchen, and use them as a reminder to pray for our friends and family throughout the year. Recently, however, I read several articles suggesting Christmas cards (particularly the photo variety) are often narcissistic and therefore distracting from the true meaning of the Holiday.  Hmm.  Seems plausible.  It does seem the majority of our cards draw more attention to ourselves than to Christ.  Another article challenged Christians to use Christmas cards to bless those who might not otherwise get holiday wishes (widows, singles, the elderly), rather than practicing reciprocal altruism within our own demographic.  This is an excellent challenge, and one that I would encourage all believers to accept.  Are we really reaching out to those who need love?  Or are we simply passing around delicacies in privileged circles, while many outside are cold and hungry?   As I write this, our own Christ