Saturday, April 28, 2007

From the lips of a child

Ethan woke up this morning all excited! Saturdays are his favorite day because daddy gets to stay home. Today was even better though because daddy promised him we could go to the Children's Museum. Ethan usually wakes up happy, but this morning he was bouncing off the walls.
We ate breakfast and got all ready to go. Ethan likes to dress himself, so when I got out of the shower, he was already dressed and ready to go. I didn't pay much attention. I was putting my makeup on when Ethan said, "Look, mommy! I got dressed all by myself, and see???" He was pointing to his shorts and short sleeves with great excitement. The thought crossed my mind that Caleb must've told him it was supposed to be warm today, and Ethan must be excited to have a warm day instead of a rainy one. But, then he kept talking. "I prayed to Jesus last night that it would be warm today so daddy and I could play outside. So I put my shorts on!" I applauded him for his intelligence, and he bounced off to play. I just stood there and thought for a minute. That must be what Jesus meant by the faith of a child. Ethan's three. He can't read. He puts absolutely no faith in weather forcasters. He didn't wear shorts 'cuz daddy told him it would be warm enough. But, he did talk to Jesus about it, and he just assumed that Jesus would work it out for him. And then he got dressed. I pray that as he gets bigger and the world gets more confusing and Jesus sometimes doesn't answer the way we thing he should that he will keep this childlike faith in his heart.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Update on Dawn Marie

I want to give those of you who have been praying an update on Dawn Marie (our pastor's daughter with terminal cancer). Pastor Tom was in church yesterday for the first time in three weeks - he actually missed Easter. Dawn Marie has been in the hospital for most of the last 3 weeks. The hospital actually moved her to hospice and pretty much just waited for her to die. Doctor after doctor lined up and told the family there was nothing they could do and that she could not possibly live long. But, she is home with her family now! The doctors can't explain why, but all her numbers in her lab results went up enough that she could go home. She is still very sick, and she has to have a nurse there pretty much all the time. But, she gets to be home with her kids at least. Pastor Tom gave his "Easter Message" yesterday since he didn't get the chance over Easter. He spoke about Ressurection hope. Basically that the reason we have anything left to rely on when all hope is gone as far as the world can see is because we believe in Christ's ressurection. He has already won the victory over death! So, we have hope that even if people we love are taken from this earth, the separation is not forever. I'm amazed that our pastor can get up and preach a message like that when he has to struggle to live it every day. Anyway, keep praying for Dawn Marie, please. The days ahead are still going to be difficult, and I know her family would appreciate your prayers.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I think I missed Easter...

The last few weeks have been crazy! Easter was especially bad. I kept wanting to stop, sit, and reflect on all that Jesus' resurrection means in my life, but I just kept running. We babysat at church Friday night, practiced for choir Saturday morning, spent Saturday afternoon and evening at a wedding in Central City, picked up the kids, and went back to church on Sunday morning to sing. I was EXHAUSTED! I did nothing all day Monday - unless you count sitting on the couch with a book while the kids played as productive. We did have fun with the kids, though. On Sunday afternoon, we hid Easter eggs for the kids to find. They had such fun! This last weekend the kids and I went back to mama and daddy and Tam and Alan's houses. It was fun to see them, and I got alot done. Mama and I made curtains (in other words she sewed, and I ironed). I'm not much of a sewer, I don't think. I could be if I wanted to badly enough, I suppose. It's just so much easier to go to the store and buy what you want already made. Then, I scrapbooked at Tam's on Saturday. I was happy that I got quite a bit done. And we have curtains in our bedrooms now!
I've been thinking alot lately about how to fit all the suffering around us into what I know about God. I think I grew up fairly sheltered from pain, but the older I get, the more suffering seems to pop up all around me. The list is long just of people in our church that I don't even really know. A three year old girl has leukemia. A mother of 3 is dying of cancer. A baby died after living only 17 days of a heart defect. An 8 month old boy has a brain tumor. Those are just a couple. None of these cases seem to make any sense. What could a small child do to deserve the pain and suffering associated with cancer? Why save a 2 year old girl from cancer only to let her die from it in her 30's when she has a 2 year old daugheter of her own who needs her mommy? These and many more questions don't make any sense to me. God's reasoning seems completely unreasonable. A man preached at our church yesterday about Romans 8:28 "For God causes all things to work together for good for those who love him and are called according to His purpose." He basically said that if we love God and are trying fufill His purpose for our lives (which is becoming more like Christ), then He will take even the terrible, heartbreaking things in our lives and use them for the good of His kingdom. That doesn't necessarily make the bad things ok, but it gives us hope that God knows what He's doing. I guess that's what trusting is - believing in the character and omniscience of God even if He doesn't make sense to us. That's why we can have such hope and excitement in looking towards heaven - there will be no more pain and we will see Jesus face to face.

Monday, April 2, 2007

It's spring!...kind of

I love spring! It's my favorite time of year. For one thing, I HATE wearing real shoes, so as soon as it even pretends to be warm, I start wearing my flip-flops. I just have to remember to paint my toenails. I also love to watch everything grow and come back to life. Our grass is all green and we actually have flowers coming up in our flower beds. How they survived the neglect of the last lady living here is beyond me. The other thing that survived her neglect is all the BUGS! They've been freely and happily roaming our house for the past couple of years, and seem to think they should be free to do so now, too. When Caleb woke up this morning, there were "Five Million" ants swarming our kitchen floor. You can't blame them for coming in. Kylie and Ethan drop enough food on the floor to feed more than 5 million ants. No matter how many times I sweep and mop, more crumbs always appear. So we're now in an all out war with ants. And weeds - which survive with no prompting whatsoever. I decided if people were smart, we'd just purposely grow weeds in our yards instead of grass. It doesn't matter if they have water or good dirt. It doesn't matter how many times you spray them. We raked up a bunch of bare spots in our back yard, and planted grass seeds. Guess what grew? That's right. Lots and lots of weeds. The grass is finally starting to grow, but the weeds definitely have a head start.
The other way people can tell it's spring is that my kids are covered in dirt ALL the time. They both LOVE to be outside. Kylie brings me her shoes all the time and asks "Go? Go?" She's still not all the way steady on her feet, so her knees and hands are always covered in dirt. Then, she tries to clean her hands by wiping them on her head. Don't ask me why. The other night we ran out the door to Sam's for some desperately needed groceries. I didn't pay much attention to how my kids looked til we got in the store. Kylie found this other little girl - 16 months old just like her - walking around the store. This little girl looked perfect. First of all, she had HAIR! Enough to put in pigtails. Then, she had perfect clothes on - jeans, a white shirt (that was actully still white!), an adorable pink sweater, and shoes (of course we forgot Kylie's shoes at home). I was complaining to Caleb about how our daughter looked like an orphan child standing on the street corner begging for food. And he said, "Well, that little girl looked just like her mom. Her mom had lots of makeup on and was perfectly dressed, too". I thought, does that mean I look like Kylie?? Scary!
Anyway, so I'm excited it's spring. I've pretty much given up on clean kids or a clean house. Weeds are just a reality in our yard. But, I'm thankful - for a place that my kids can play outside, for a home to call our own (even if alot of work does come with it), and for my garage door opener (which Caleb put up last night).
Totally off subject, as we drove to Sam's that night, we passed a pond - it would probably be called a puddle in New Orleans or Bellingham. Ethan looked out the window, saw it, and gasped "It's the ocean, Mommy!" His voice was full of such wonder, awe, and excitement. That's the beauty of spring.
Now that I've written this, I remember the weather forcast for the rest of the week. After today in the 70's, highs in the 40's and 50's the rest of the week.
Oh well. That's life in Nebraska.