Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Life in Little Boyland


My boys love them some soccer.
They play in the house, out side, on a field and in the car.
They love it.

Monkey

Season 1, Day 1 of soccer


The Monkey has just begun his first season of soccer and though he was admittedly nervous at age almost-5 and wandered around a bit confused at times on the field, he jogged around bravely with the other tiny players and occasionally got close to the ball.

It was 95 degrees and noon.
His shin guarded socks basically met his black shorts so that he was almost completely covered in soccer gear, head to toe.

He's my hero.
I would post a picture of the Big Brother, into his 4th season and dominating his first day on the field, but I am not a great photo-documentarian.
Sad.
He is also in constant motion and here are some playground pictures to prove that point:



I especially love Little One's mouth in this picture - true concentration.


priceless jewels!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Coming into Focus (or: Becoming FEARLESS)

***Warning: the following post has strongly worded faith-based convictions and may not be suitable for viewing."
This Move.
This Move from the Mountain to the Beach.
It has taken some time to make sense of, for This Writer.
There's no doubt that we were supposed to move and supposed to sell that house and supposed to change paths, but many times during all the last 9 months I have asked:
"God. What are you doing with us???"
We were just going about our business, loving our lives on the Mountain.
We were learning.
We were growing.
We were maturing.
We were happy.
We were enveloped in our surroundings contentedly.
Having fellow Believers to share life with closely - it was like
shooting fish in a barrel, it was so available.
Fabulous neighbors.
Tight friends.
Safety in a tiny town where the police are the crossing guards after school and the town's school carnival is its' main attraction every fall.
Challenging teaching at church.
Great mini public school.
A playground where you could bump into a plethora of buddies at any moment, unplanned.
Seasons.
Opportunities for volunteerism.
A yard.
A cul-de-sac.
It was embarrasingly idyllic.
Rockwellian.
"Mayberry, U.S.A."
When I think "home" ~ I think "the Mountain".
And God moved us far away.
So yes - there's been alot of:
"What are you doing with us, God? How come you are moving us away? What could be better for our boys than this life? What could you need us to change our whole lives for? Aren't we here because you led us here? Aren't we doing life 'correctly'?
Were we (gasp!) wrong? What has all this 2 years been about?"
I'm just being honest, folks.
These are the thoughts that run through the minds of parents of 3 young boys when you've moved
6 times in 11 years;
a couple devoted to loving Jesus who want to know His Plan for their lives.
This is what makes you stare at the ceiling at night, watching for neon signs.
"Did we mis-read? Did we mis-hear?
Are we mis-reading and mis-hearing now?"
It's taking time, but I believe we are starting to put pieces together.
I think we were indeed learning. I think we were indeed hearing challenging teaching at church, finding depth in matchless friendships, getting truly grounded as a family.
I believe that 2 years enlightened us as to how we wanted to do life.
We had some wonderful role-models on the Mountain and a whole lotta family time which we desperately needed after 3 years of a hellish residency.
We sort of marinated in love.
No small wonder that we were terribly reluctant to hit the road again.
Here's the truth though:
Marinating doesn't do anything for the world around you.
It changes you, but it doesn't change anyone else.
I have tought alot about Peter in the Word. I have always related to Peter because I get so fired up with love for Jesus and then slink away, afraid to open my once-brave mouth.
Thought about how Jesus blessed him with plenty
and then in the next breath called Peter away
to follow Him. (Luke 5: 1-11)
How Peter kept on growing in love and stumbling in failure,
2 steps forward & 3 steps back.
This feels very familiar.
I thought we were moving forward.
And this Move has made me wonder if we really were.
We have downsized, reformulated, recommitted, and shaken things up a bit.
Magically in the span of 9 months we have become a homeschooling, renting, beachy family, no longer a public-school-fundraising, home-owning, mountain family.
It's more solitary.
The address isn't one we own.
It's quieter.
And it's all been unexpected.
Sometimes it has felt as though we are moving backward.
Like Peter though, I want to be bold.
I feel Jesus asking us to get out of the boat, out to Him, out to the water.
I feel life changing and it is scary and freeing.
I am still a stumbler.
I certainly need Jesus now more than ever.
Call it a crutch-call it wheelchair--call me weak-deluded-foolish-call it misled-duped-brainwashed.
Call me a sellout, call me a zealot, a freak, a flag-waving idiot, a crazy.
Guess what?
I'm good with that.
I'm tired of living too easily and chasing comfort.
Confort, comfort, comfort.
It's been my main goal, announced or not.
My comfort, my children's comfort, my family's comfort - it's a shallow, short-sighted effort.
I'm tired of being worried about who my noisy faith will bother.
I'm tired of editing my love for Jesus
because if He really is Lord - if I really am called to follow Him - if I want God to break me down and fill me up and make my life have MEANING and PURPOSE - if I want His steadfast, rock-solid assurances - if I want to be led by His grace and march out in faith than I don't get to be concerned with my reputation anymore.
If I want to live a fearless life, if I want to
"live a life worthy of the gospel of Jesus" (Phil 1:27)
and not just live to acquire beautiful furniture, educate my smart, handsome, white American sons well, retire easily, have a great savings account balance, vacation worldwide in my 50's and above all have COMFORT (previous goals) then it is time to reach for uneasy change.
It's going to be noisy.
Prepare yourselves.
Jesus is showing me - showing the Two of Us how BIG His Plan is for us.
He has allowed this Move to start the changing process, taken us out of the marinade.
Jesus has asked us to follow.
And we are, man.
I am about to get "offensively religious."
Step back.
Fair warning.
"God is more concerned with your character than He is with your comfort." ~ Rick Warren

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Normalcy

Normal day,
let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me learn from you,
love you,
bless you
before you depart.
Let me not pass you by
in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
Let me hold you while I may,
for it may not always be so.
One day I shall dig my nails into the earth,
or bury my face in the pillow,
or stretch myself taut,
or raise my hands to the sky and want,
more than all the world,
your return.
~Mary Jean Iron

Friday, September 17, 2010

Autumn? Autumn Who?


This is a Dancing Lady.
Or so This Writer is informed by my BFF, who knows her horticulture.
She lives in my backyard in a hedge that no one but our family sees, along with her fellow Dancers, about a dozen of them, dancing right ouside our home.
The flower, that is -not my BFF.
And I think she is just lovely.
The flower AND my BFF.
Just FYI.
*************

We are still in the middle of a scorching summer here at the Beach.

It's still hot and we know it will be for many more weeks before we get relief.

However, this Writer can tolerate it WAY so MUCH more than I could when we lived near the Beach a few years ago when I was pregnant for the better part of 3 years.

~~~Quick FLASHBACK~~~

me, circa October 2005


YIKES.

me, circa April 2007

Holy Cow.
(No pun intended.)

So, suffice it to say: This summer has been MUCH more tolerable indeed!

Now that everyone lives on the OUTSIDE of my person, even if we do snuggle alot.


We might be a get all sweaty and miserable by the time it's over...but homeschooling affords us some really fun "field trips"

like this one to the "Happiest Place on Earth".




I complained to the Hub about this last one:

"He (DoodleBug) just cannot take a straight picture at age almost 8, can he?"

under my breath

to which the Hub responded:

"Well, he is in prison with Zurg after all, so..."

Enough said. I take myself too seriously.

So, summer may not be winding down here yet but we are finding plenty of ways to keep busy!

See you at the Beach...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Waiting to Wait

playing at our beautiful Beach
Doodlebug, 7.5


Honey Monkey, 4.5
Little Bunny, 3


married 11+ years already! wait...can that be POSSIBLE???


in he goes!

Daddy is relentless


I love this because you don't normally see the set-up of the family picture......and there it is.

Peaceful rest after a hard days' play.
*****
We are not adopting.

Not yet.

We are waiting.

Then after that's done, we will wait some more. And we know it.

Instead of filling out adoption paperwork or looking at lists of children or waiting on a referral with a picture of our destined daughter we are doing something first - getting things in order financially.
And guess what?! - it's boring. BORING. Bor-ING.
***NEWS-FLASH: Paying off debt is BORING***
BUT it is important.
Important enough to be the catalyst for a major move from the Mountain to the Beach, important enough to sell our home, move our boys, cause the Hub to take a new job at a new practice, cause us to refocus and and rebudget and change almost everything about the way we do life.
Sometimes important events are exciting:
weddings! birthdays! Disney trips! engagements!
Gotchya days! good news from a doctor! court dates!
(((YAY! EXITING!!!)))

And then again, other important events? Not so much:
Sending a check.
Watching it clear.
Checking off a list.
(((WOWZA. - NOT REALLY THRILLING ALMOST AT ALL.)))

But, it's what's happening.
The Challenge here is to be content while we are waiting and doing what amounts to feeling like watching paint peel or milk sour or grass grow. Again: boring.
Adoption is in our future; it's going to happen; it's approaching every day; it's destined and it's certain.
But we are aiming a slingshot without releasing it yet - we are waiting.
God hasn't let us begin, yet. He is teaching us something here, the same things He teaches us with every Challenge -it's not a new thing, it's not a different thing and it's actually what He will be using all future Challenges to teach us, once we begin the adoption process, once we are all home together, for the rest of our lives in fact: To Be Close to Him.

That's all. And do you know how much more I desperately seek Him, speak to Him, open his Word for direction and comfort and express weak neediness now that I am homeschooling and waiting to adopt than I did ever before?
My children, here at home and somewhere yet unborn overseas are already the cause of a greater love between me and my Jesus. They are amazingly pushing me towards Him in my own neediness. They are already glorifying Him. That's amazing.

Even though I am waiting.