Wednesday, December 31

Year In Review

A rather forthright friend just spent a chunk of time reading through all of my 2008 blog posts. He suggested I change the name or at least add a subtitle because it is “neither about music nor about your life!” Hmph. That had me glancing through this year’s prose, being reminded of what a full scene this act of the musical was.

When 2008 began, I was nursing my baby-child and completely and utterly sleep-deprived. It was not a pretty picture. By early spring the sleep deprivation began to manifest itself in (greater) forgetfulness and disorganization; I’m afraid this hasn’t gotten any better. Wallet - lost, replaced, currently lost. Keys - lost, found, currently lost. Wedding Ring - lost, replaced, found original, both currently lost. Depressing, I tell you.

Late spring brought two events that are highlights in my year. First, a trip to New York for the Women in Ministry conference and some fabulous sight-seeing. Second, a trip to the Pepperdine lectures with my mom. I love, love traveling and these fun exertions gave me a much needed boost.

Summer brought activity and energy and excitement! All of my family together for the first time in years...PUMP Summer Program with its amazing kids, loving youth groups, and fantastic interns...a car accident...a beach trip with my three dear childhood friends...the Olympics!...FaithQuest...The Luis Palau Festival at Portland’s waterfront...a beach get-away with the family...good times.

Early fall seemed to be all about politics and back to school and picture taking (our favorite photo time of the year). I also had the great opportunity to take a month sabbatical, where I spent time reflecting, rejuvenating, and talking with my family and my God. But late fall had very difficult parts to it...Cascade College announcing its impending closure...three little girls I know having terrible, frightening diseases...a baby having surgery on his troubles for friends...unexpected death. It has been a season of prayer and reflection.

A monumental personal event of the year, though, happens today for me - this last day of 2008. As of midnight, I will no longer be employed by the PUMP Church of Christ, but will now minister again as a volunteer. This is the church that the Lord led us to plant with six amazing people at the beginning of this decade. I’ve been on staff for seven-and-a-half years, wearing more hats than I could describe.
I absolutely love this ministry. I love my friends in this church family and those in the community who do not yet know about the hope found in Christ. I love the amazing work that PUMP has done for so many hundreds of children, adults, and families, and I love the dream of who PUMP can still be under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

What’s to come in 2009? I can’t imagine. But, with my family, friends, and Lord with me, I am content in heart as I watch the clock strike midnight to see what happens next.

Wednesday, December 10

Heard Around the House

Fiona sucking on toes...
Mom: What's that toe taste like, Fiona?
Fiona: peanut butter & jelly


Kristi: I think Jesus is coming tomorrow.
Trinity: How do you know?
Kristi: I don't actually know. I'm just hoping.
Trinity: Awww - but tomorrow is show-and-tell!


In the midst of a frustrating conversation with a child who was speaking disrespectfully...
Allan: Do you know why you need to talk nice to your mom??
Connor: Yeah, she gave birth to me!

Friday, December 5

Merry Christmas to All

Like many of you, this time of year is a paradox for me. I love this season - the lights, the tree hunting, the baking...and the gifts. I really enjoy picking out something for each person on my list that I know will be a joyous surprise. All the while, I hear my kids have conversations, like the one they had yesterday in the car, that go something like: "I love Christmas - it's my favorite holiday." "Mine, too. But maybe I like my birthday more because I get presents AND cake." *sigh* Doesn't that just warm your heart?

We've all heard it this year. America spends multiple gazillion dollars on Christmas; in contrast, the world could be fully vaccinated with a small portion of that sum. Although Americans plan to spend less on the holidays this year than in the past several years, it's not just about holding back a few additional dollars; it's about making the world a little better place for others as well. It's about generosity and humility and a little perspective.

After that conversation start yesterday, the kids and I decided to put together a list of ways we can help others enjoy their holiday season and choose as a family which ones we will join with this year. I'm starting our list, but I would love to have input. What are other organizations or ideas for giving that you think are great?
  • Sponsor a child through Compassion International, Samaritan's Purse, or another reputable child sponsor organization.
  • Buy a malaria resistant mosquito net for an African family (this is what we gave our dads for Father's Day - to help a few children who may not have fathers).
  • Provide a micro loan in order for someone in a developing country to begin a business that will support their family.
  • Buy a goat, chicken, alpaca, pig, or some other cute animal that will help support a family.
  • Take food to our local food bank.
  • Choose a family we know personally and sneakily drop off gifts & food (I read of one family who blesses a family every year with an anonymous twelve days of Christmas countdown of decorations, food, and small gifts).
  • Give needed clothes or toys to a foster child.
  • Make homemade Christmas decorations for elderly people in a near-by retirement home.
What else?

Wishing a fabulous holiday season for ALL of us.

Wednesday, December 3

What I Needed to Hear Today

Stay in the boat. You don’t have to walk on water. He can. And he’s coming to you.
-Mike Cope