Culture in a Car

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It happened fast. Before I knew it I was yelling at an old man in the parking lot. I don't make a habit of such behavior.

This was a typical sunny day in mid-winter and we'd just spent the better part of the morning in the library children's section soaking up good stories. I watched our kids teeter on a wobbly step stool to reach just the right picture book. We were peaceful, light-hearted, happy.

As we stroll to our beat up old truck to head home, I spot a shiny convertible (with the top up) parked beside us. My boys love cars. Immediately our littlest shrieks with delight. I whisper, "... no touching, ok hun?" and notice a man in the front seat.

He stares forward, mumbling to himself. His face is deeply creased with age and anger. Frown lines were everywhere. Immediately, I think of Scrooge. The one played by Jim Carey in the most recent version of the film. I actually do a double-take, he looks that strange.

I always have three children closely crowded around me. Always. It is no different when we are climbing into the truck. So here I am, diligently, oh-so-carefully trying to open the side door to ensure there is no chance the door might slip and nudge this ridiculously fancy vehicle beside us. Then, I hear him...

"DON'T TOUCH MY CAR!"


The old man's voice oozes with years of anger.  I quickly peel around to see our three-year-old with his chubby hand on the shiny car's gas door.  He quickly pulls his hand away and looks at me, wide eyed.  I mumble a 'sorry' to the growling man and quickly began herding the kids in the truck, my heart racing.  I hate confrontation.  What happens next, shocks me to the core.

The old man with hate in his face turns to my tiny son and audibly says, "Ass-hole...".

Now.  I am not an explosive person.  But this Mom's blood was boiling.  I was in complete disbelief that someone could ever speak to a child in this way.  With my whole family watching I turn around, look that man in the face and speak words that come without thought... from somewhere deep within.

"I can't believe you would speak to a child that way.  Sir..." (I'm shaking).   Sir...  YOU CAN'T DIE WITH THIS CAR, SIR!  (I'm yelling, waving my arms).  Do you understand that?  You can't die with this car.  You can't die with this car."  (Tears are falling now as I shake my head - people are watching, staring, waiting.)

He refuses to look at me, but I know he hears me.  And in that moment I wonder why I hadn't thought of something else to say - it seems odd that I only repeated the same statement four times.  My brow furrows as I wonder where 'that' came from.

The kids get buckled up and I sit down, lip quivering.  All three of those precious hearts are looking to me for some kind of explanation as to what just happened.

I breathe.  "Kids - what that man said to Alex was very mean.  He has a lot of anger in his heart and it is not right to speak to children in that way.  That is why I spoke to him.  Many people think their stuff is more important than others.  He is more worried about his fancy car than being kind.  That is a really sad thing."  I wanted to say something noble like 'we should pray for him' but I couldn't mutter the words.  I was too upset.  I was shaken.  There was more to this confrontation. 

This was Culture in a Car.

Beautiful and shiny on the outside, the car sits - begging to be admired.  But inside, the old man is creased with anger and raging with selfishness and bitter hate. That fancy car can't hide your unhappiness, Sir.  It just can't. 

But isn't this our world?

Stuff has become more important than people.  Greed has become a way of life.  My car.  My money.  My possessions. My stuff.   DON'T TOUCH MY STUFF.  It's mine.  MINE.


And all this, ALL THIS, at the very time my husband and I are repeatedly asking the daring question...
"God, are you asking us to sell our vehicle?  Are you asking us to minimize and then give?  To give, despite the inconvenience?"

And I hear my own words that sprang up from somewhere beyond me:
"You can't die with that car, Sir.  You can't die with that car."

And I think I have my answer.





Don't hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it's safe from moth and rust and burglars. It's obvious, isn't it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
Matthew 6:19-21

"Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot."
Luke 12:15



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Five Minute Friday - Grit.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Writing has always been the peacemaking of my soul. I write to find out how I really feel. I write through everything – including the bad. Including the seemingly impossible to write – in those moments when the pen falls off and my closed eyes take over.

I never claimed or promised to be a good writer, or even a writer at all – but I promised myself to keep writing. Even when I feel like my heart has nothing coherent to share. Not because it doesn't feel but because it feels too much. When life is a blur and you keep grasping at blessings and reaching for the joy – but this illusive joy falls just out of reach.


When convictions sting hot in my palms and my soul strings begin to unravel.  When I'm reminded - no matter how many times or how deeply I'm wounded, I'm called to forgive.  And not just forgive - love.  The words pump me through. In lamplight, curled in an old chair – a tattered journal lays open.
“Lord, fill me with your love and forgiveness.
Light my heart on fire. Tear these walls down...”


Through the grit, He is there. Through the pain, the pen leads me to the Cross. Chicken scratch sprawled on recycled paper. The remaking of me. Numbering my blessings, writing love notes to Jesus. Just like I'd write to an old girlfriend, I write to Him. He who never disappoints. He who fills. He who devours that which I sprawl, eagerly awaiting my quiet heart – my submissive heart... so He can write back. And I can fully read Him and embrace what He has for me.

“All you who are burdened...” He whispers.

And I read.  "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."  (Matthew 11:28-30, The Message)

“Cassandra – yes, you. You are burdened. Cast your cares at my feet. Bring everything to me. Cassandra, I love you more than any one can or ever will. Cling to me. I will not disappoint.  I will teach you have to really live.  I mean, REALLY live, and truly love.”

Closed eyes and stilled pen can be like falling flat on your face, surrendered, waiting. Twisted, broken – so completely broken.  Yet, in the distance, on that horizon, Hope shines through.





What Freedom Looks Like.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

We wind around a snow spattered path - nothing but the sounds of early birds and ice crunching under our feet.  There it sits, a little old farm house, nestled in the middle of acres upon acres of lush woodland.  I'm instantly mesmorized, a weakness for history takes over me and I stop - straining to see more.


Big wood planks, window frames old, paint peeling.  We all stand in wonder at this almost two-hundred year old cabin.  The plaque on the wall says it is a plain, modest farmhouse for its time.  But there is nothing ordinary about it.

This is the house that freedom bought.  Hands once bound by slavery, unravelled and blazing with passion and determination - those hands lived here.  And now I stand, free, gazing in awe at the very thing dreams are made of. 


The land was cleared and the home bought in about 1830 by Enerals Griffin and his wife, Priscilla.  A black couple born into slavery, they fought hard for freedom - and their long travels brought them right here.  Right to this land I stand on today.  The house was preserved almost to perfection because of a long line of family owners who cared enough to keep the story alive.  And it's like those walls breathe.  I wish they could talk.  Tell the story.

As I stand on the front step, I look out on the horizon.

So this was freedom's view for Mrs. Griffin.


Wide open spaces, land as far as you can gaze, it's a place no one would have found them.  And I get it.  And our family gathered here this morning.  Just us.  Running carefree through the snow, the bushes, the overgrown thistles.  Dreaming and capturing.  Wondering what it might have been like to have to actually fight for the right to build a life of your own.  Wondering what these people must have been like, the tenacity of their souls, the beauty of their freedom found. 

The complete wonderment of all things simple.  A simple home.  A simple outhouse.  A simple shed.  A simple window. A simple room. A simple door.  







The door that opened hope and shut out fear.



As my fingers trace the peeling paint I wonder, have I truly grasped for freedom?  Have I clung to hope?  Have a set my feet firm on the path set out for me?  Have I marched forward with reckless abandon - refusing to let today's culture preech to me about my worth?  About what is important in life.  About my place.  About what I should live for.

I'm in awe of this house.  The people who dwelled here.  What it meant to them.  What it symbolized to the oppresor.  The vain white man who saw it fit to control the fate of others.  With every plank nailed upright, the soul grew stronger.  The smell of freedom in that fresh cut wood.

And I ask, what does freedom smell like for me?  Fresh snow on a frosted morning.

What does freedom taste like?  Rye toast, dripping with fresh raspberry jam.

What does freedom look like?  Three children, sliding gleefully down a moss-covered rock, nestled safely in the arms of nature's tree-covered enclosure.


And do I see it?

Today I do.  And I soak it in through the wintery glaze. 



For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice,
 but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself
will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the
 freedom and glory of the children of God.

The Love Tree

Monday, February 13, 2012

In our family we call Valentine's Day, "Love Day".  Our daughter coined it when she was three and since it's so darn cute, we stuck with it.  So, on this, the day before the offical "Love Day", I thought I'd share this special activity.

This year, we created a Love Tree.  It's a fun, easy, simple way to bring a sunny display of nature indoors but also encourages children to think about the people they love and the things they are thankful for.  For ours, we also added the names of people we are praying for on a daily basis.

I loved creating this because it was a several step process that included a lot of family time and no consumption (ie: shopping).  Makes for a really pretty and interesting center piece on the table too!


Our Love Tree photo journey...

A nature walk on a beautiful day, searching for the perfect fallen twigs and branches for The Tree -






Clinging to the effort to embrace the simple things and reduce the consumption...

Keeping it simple: recycled cardstock for the tags, re-used pieces of raffia as ties.

For the vase?  A recycled glass milk jar.


Sitting quietly around this morning's kitchen table, we put together this little journey. We thought of those we loved, and those we pray for. We wrote on our cut-outs, decorated them, and carefully hung them on what seemed like sacred branches.  This was surely an art activity, but it is so much more.  Our plan as a family is to use the Love Tree as a prayer list as well as a gratitude 'journal' of sorts.  We will continue to add to it and use it daily for reflection.






Gratitude is the memory of the heart.
  ~Jean Baptiste Massieu




 "What makes life sweet?"























"Who should we be praying for and thinking about?"




"Who else should we pray for?"




"Who are we thankful for?"



"What do we cherish?"


From our family to yours, Happy Love Day!
Cherish it.

The Love Tree

Monday, February 13, 2012

In our family we call Valentine's Day, "Love Day".  Our daughter coined it when she was three and since it's so darn cute, we stuck with it.  So, on this, the day before the offical "Love Day", I thought I'd share this special activity.

This year, we created a Love Tree.  It's a fun, easy, simple way to bring a sunny display of nature indoors but also encourages children to think about the people they love and the things they are thankful for.  For ours, we also added the names of people we are praying for on a daily basis.

I loved creating this because it was a several step process that included a lot of family time and no consumption (ie: shopping).  Makes for a really pretty and interesting center piece on the table too!


Our Love Tree photo journey...

A nature walk on a beautiful day, searching for the perfect fallen twigs and branches for The Tree -






Clinging to the effort to embrace the simple things and reduce the consumption...

Keeping it simple: recycled cardstock for the tags, re-used pieces of raffia as ties.

For the vase?  A recycled glass milk jar.


Sitting quietly around this morning's kitchen table, we put together this little journey. We thought of those we loved, and those we pray for. We wrote on our cut-outs, decorated them, and carefully hung them on what seemed like sacred branches.  This was surely an art activity, but it is so much more.  Our plan as a family is to use the Love Tree as a prayer list as well as a gratitude 'journal' of sorts.  We will continue to add to it and use it daily for reflection.






Gratitude is the memory of the heart.
  ~Jean Baptiste Massieu




 "What makes life sweet?"























"Who should we be praying for and thinking about?"




"Who else should we pray for?"




"Who are we thankful for?"



"What do we cherish?"


From our family to yours, Happy Love Day!
Cherish it.

Before you buy chocolate this Valentine's...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I spent two hours listening to our six-year-old son read to me from the Better World Shopping Guide yesterday morning.  Sounds weird, right?  I know.  But Simon has such an interest in finding out which companies we should support and which ones we should boycott.  I couldn't help but chuckle, but inside, my heart burned with passion - the same passion I saw in my son's eyes.  The start of a global awareness that in my opinion, should start at birth.

This is a topic we discuss often and the children are involved heavily with our purchasing choices.  I'm used to getting very weird looks at the grocery stores, while I stand mid-isle explaining quietly why, "...even though Kraft cheese is on sale, we don't purchase Kraft - because they aren't a responsible company."
 
 
Yes, I'm THAT Mom.


So - it's almost Valentine's Day. 
Let's talk chocolate.
I want to challenge the notion that chocolate = LOVE.

It's hard to know where to start when cautioning about the purchase of chocolate.  The majority of cocoa beans are grown and harvested in very poor countries.  The cocoa bean industry is one of the most abused and exploited by the West.  Big name companies buy their cocoa from small companies where child labor and slave labor is always present.  In fact, the cocoa business was built on the backs of slaves.  YOUNG slaves.

Every time we take a big bite of chocolate from the West's biggest brands, we are literally savoring the taste of child labor. 

Hard to swallow, isn't it?

If I claim to walk in love, if I claim to care about the children of this world, how can I give my financial support to companies who are allowing child and slave labor to continue?  I can't.  It is so important that we think deeply about the purchases we make.  Just as we have the responsibility to love our neighbours and care for our fellow human - we also have the responsibility to use our finances wisely in this way.  We can choose to invest in companies (and by purchasing their products, you are INVESTING in them) that are doing good work and pledging to produce their goods ethically.

Before you buy your loved one or children chocolate this Valentine's, I'd challenge you to consider where that chocolate came from.  Who is the face behind that sweet treat? 


It's ironic and horrific that a 'holiday' supposed to be bent on LOVE is literally DIPPED in chocolate.  The very industry that has meant torture, pain, and inequality for far too many of our world's children.  And this is love?


The top companies to avoid include- Nestle, Perugina, Crunch, Toblerone.  These were rated "F" in the Better World Shopping Guide with Nestle as the Corporate Villain because of aggressive take-overs of family farms and the use of child slave labor.

Others to stay away from - Hershey's, Russell Stover, Lindt, Cadbury, Dove.


Chocolate companies who are ethically sound and free of child and slave labor include:


Endangered Species, Equal Exchange, Rapunzel, AlterEco, Divine.

 
From CNN:

Daloa, Ivory Coast (CNN) - Chocolate’s billion-dollar industry starts with workers like Abdul. He squats with a gang of a dozen harvesters on an Ivory Coast farm.

Abdul holds the yellow cocoa pod lengthwise and gives it two quick cracks, snapping it open to reveal milky white cocoa beans. He dumps the beans on a growing pile.
Abdul is 10 years old, a three-year veteran of the job.

He has never tasted chocolate.

During the course of an investigation for CNN’s Freedom Project initiative - an investigation that went deep into the cocoa fields of Ivory Coast - a team of CNN journalists found that child labor, trafficking and slavery are rife in an industry that produces some of the world’s best-known brands.
It was not supposed to be this way.

After a series of news reports surfaced in 2001 about gross violations in the cocoa industry, lawmakers in the United States put immense pressure on the industry to change.

“We felt like the public ought to know about it, and we ought to take some action to try to stop it,” said Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, who, together with Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, spearheaded the response. “How many people in America know that all this chocolate they are eating - candies and all of those wonderful chocolates - is being produced by terrible child labor?”



Links I found:

CNN Freedom Project
Global Exchange
Organic Consumers



Soul Surrender

Monday, February 6, 2012

This past Sunday our church family shouted and sang united, "The Stand".  And there I stomped a foot and clutched at the sky, a baby boy's hair twirled around my finger.  The words flew from my lips and the truth behind what I was saying sunk into my too often napping soul. 

It's like that sometimes.  Us, the Jesus followers say things like, "I'll pray for you..." because it sounds like the right thing to say but then - we never do it.  Or we sign cards, "In Christ..." but so few of us really understand what that truly means.  And I'm that same Jesus-follower.  And standing in our plain, love-filled church room (the room that really can't be called a sanctuary because I know our pastor wouldn't want it called that) I'm wondering if I've really meant the words I sing. 

The words I am right now dripping tears over.

You stood before creation
Eternity in Your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand
You stood before my failure
Carried the Cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders
My soul now to stand
So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

So I’ll walk on salvation
Your Spirit alive in me
This life to declare Your promise
My soul now to stand

So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You
So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You
So I’ll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
So I’ll stand
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours

I sing it, but have I lived it?  I'm examining my heart deeply tonight.  Have I really lived with arms high and heart abandoned?  Have I lived, no, breathed these words?

Arms high - pick me up Abba, Daddy... 
 I worship You,  I want Your will - but I am useless alone.  Carry me to Yourself. 


Heart abandoned - completely left to You, God.
Yielding my heart to you without restraint, no middle ground... totally and completely. 
Like a child trusting rocks to catch her leaping feet.


In Awe - of the One who gave it all.  Yes, God, in wide-eyed, gaping-mouthed wonder of who You are and what You've done for me.  Living the Awe, living the 'wow', every moment, every day.  Bending low to capture the glow of green in the middle of Winter's grey.

In Awe of these gifts... more precious than any words can express...
In Awe of this day.  This day - to just walk in the woods and stomp in the river...

So I'll stand, my soul Lord to You surrendered...
all I have is Yours.

I've started praying things I never thought I would.  I've started asking God to show me the wild and crazy dreams He has for this sinner.  For me, so imperfect - so undeserving.  Yet, all good things flow from God and His love is like that rushing river... carrying me to a different place.  Things are changing, this heart is turning.  I want to go - a place where I dare to open my eyes and beg to know what needs surrendering.  To breath in and pour out the all of my heart, broken and vulnerable but held up in my shaking hands, to the One. 
Yes, not just closing eyes, raising hands and singing the words, but walking them.  And I'm not sure what that will look like - because I've never lived in face-down surrender before. Not really.  But in the last while I've had tastes and it is so sweet... so incredibly sweet. 
Thank goodness though - we aren't called to know, we are called to seek.  So, I guess I'm seeking.  Seeking this radical soul surrender, and what it means... what it truly means.


 
"If any of you need wisdom, ask for it. He will give it to you.
God gives freely to everyone."
James 1:5
(The Message)



Linked in at A Holy Experience.

The REAL World.

Friday, February 3, 2012

I've lived through the condescension.  I've had the narrowed glares and raised eyebrows fired my way more times than I could ever count.  And just when I thought I couldn't bear being asked the same question any more, it's shot at me again:

"So, honestly, how are you preparing
your kids for the REAL world?"

People ask this when they find out we educate at home.  People ask this when they find out we censor what our children read and watch.  People ask this when they find out we do not have TV or video games.  People ask this when they hear we teach the gospel in our home.  People ask this when I tell them I don't believe in kids being over-scheduled and peer-reliant.   People ask that question a lot.

My answer always sits somewhere between, "Well, it depends how you view 'the world'..."  and, "May I ask how you feel you are preparing your child for the 'real' world so I can understand what you mean by that question?" 



 I'm a follower of Jesus.  For me, He is the 'world'.  The world is measured by graces.  My whole life is one big, fat, undeserved pile of grace.  I'm a sinner, I deserve nothing, yet, through God's mercy, I know Him and have a personal, intimate relationship with the Heavenly Father.  My life has literally, in every sense of the word, been SAVED by the love of God and through Jesus Christ.  Everything I have - my family, my friends, this beautiful world I get to live in, the sunrise, the snow, the flowers in spring... it's all a gift.  The REAL world is about living to accept God's gift and living that life with thankfulness and reverence to God.  



Yes, at times, I'm sucking at it... but praise God, I'm allowed to fail and flail and mess up and fight to get back on track.  He freely forgives... and I'm getting better, which I guess is the journey part.  But, I'm trying to live life as though this earth were a footstool and heaven, the throne.  This life is a moment, it's a fleeting spatter of time.  It is but preparation for what is to come...  the afterlife of Heaven and paradise with Jesus.  This is what disciples of Jesus believe.  Or at least, it's what we're supposed to cling to.

I want our kids to see the REAL world as a place where we fill our jars only for the purpose of spilling them out again for the sake of others.  I don't want them to live for the rat race of filling, filling, filling to only screw that cap on tight and stockpile that which is not ours to keep.



To help clear up the unending questions, I thought I'd share a list of the most important things for us when it comes to raising our children:

1. That they know God, love Jesus, and walk in His will for their lives, no matter what that will might be.
2.  That they have deep inner peace and joy only found through a life of generosity, gratitude and  a wide-eyed wonder to all the beauty with which God has surrounded us.
3.  That their 'earth life' would be a testimony to others, showing the love of Jesus through their very hands and feet so they may draw others closer to our Savior so they can discover for themselves this amazing gift of grace we've been given.
4.  That they would truly understand and help others understand that life is about that Jesus-sized hole inside of us all only Jesus can fill.  Nope, it can't be filled in any other way - not with money, career, sex, success, possessions, power, or  academic success *cough*.  So, selling all our stuff and giving to those in need is far more valuable than having a big house and a fancy car.

And when I say these things are foundational for raising our children, they are also foundational for raising myself.  We are on this journey together and we haven't yet arrived.

So, am I preparing our kids for "REAL" life?  The answer to this question lies in the fact that every single thing I do is done with our children's destiny and journey towards real, true, passionate, genuine LIFE in mind.  LIFE for God.  LIFE for others.  LIFE fully LIVED.  Not life of world success and 'fitting in' with peers and looking good on a resume.  I desire for my children to thrive spiritually and through their strong, unshakable foundation built on faith. 

They may not watch the newest movie or be 'up' on what's cool, but they watch the sunrise and have a living relationship with the Holy God.  They don't go to school and hang out with their peers all day long, but they walk every day with a family that loves them unconditionally, no matter what.  They have the undivided, love-drenched attention of a devoted Mom all day long.  Not a perfect Mom, a devoted Mom.  An imperfect, grace-awakened Mom.  No pretenses, no falseness - just love in its truest form. 

very wise woman wrote recently, "Love is the only education", and I agree with this notion.  Imagine if the whole world was schooled in love?

Our children lack nothing.  In fact, I believe their life is rich in every way possible - please stop asking me if and how I'm preparing my children for the REAL world just because we believe in limiting how we allow the 'real' world to tell us how to live.  I believe preparing ourselves for life in this REAL world means having God at the center, firm values, roots down deep in love, and razor sharp priorities... gaming and toob watching just doesn't fit the mold.



"I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes." 
~e.e. cummings

Oh, that our children would learn to live the "yes" to Jesus and to His gifts.  Live with wide-eyed wonder all the days of their earthy lives.  And we instill it.  We breathe it.  Every day.



And yes, I know the REAL world wants to burst my bubble.  To tell me this is a ridiculous, idealistic view and no one can actually LIVE like this.  Being unplugged is but a dream. But don't we live with choice?  Yes, I know, the "REAL" world has TVs.  I studied how to manipulate people with the box for six years.  Our children are all under six years old.  When they are older, they will learn MUCH about the reality of the world we live in and how desperately this world and our Enemy wants to snatch their joy and purpose by hypnotizing them into a life of consuming what will never fill.

Yes, welcome to the REAL world... "Buy, want, need, take, live for yourself, build up your fortune... stock it up... store it up... the better you look to everyone else, the better you'll feel inside..." and that's the lie.  And then at the end, when the lights are fading, see how quickly all turns to dust and we are left with only our souls and only what truly mattered.  Not the riches, not the status - nothing but how we used our one life to love as Christ loved.

I don't want my kids to ever have regrets about how they lived their one life.  And the daily surrender to self and the daily commitment to teaching them how to live their one life well in light of the cross - that is who I've become.  It is my calling in this season of life. 

We unplug because we WANT to prepare our children for the REAL world - the very REAL fact that the whole of this life only prepares us for and determines our eternal life is the entire point.  If you prepare your kid to 'get good grades', 'relate to their peers', 'excel at extra-curriculars', 'go to post-secondary school', 'excel at that',  'save money', 'build a great career', 'buy a big house', 'make sure you have a retirement plan',  - what are you teaching them that truly matters?  If they know not Jesus, they know not LIFE.  I'm far more concerned with eternity than I am with this little blurp here on the green and blue sphere.



Worldly education is no education at all -
it's just the kind you need to undo and do-over when
you grow up and wish to gain true wisdom. 

  I'm doing that now... desperately trying to undo all the world has told me and fill my cup with truth to see what's really important.  When every moment is sacred, what do you fill it with? 

What prepares us for REALity?   


Embracing a lesson about how the veins of a shining,
pointy-tipped leaf breath life into our very lungs?

Mornings spent searching for the tiny water creatures,
breathing in the beauty of sunrise on rippling waters?

Big brother sharing a phonics lesson with a baby boy -
bare toes wiggling and arms intertwined?


Time spent sorting beautiful art created by friends in Uganda– organizing, admiring, talking about our responsibility as friends and partners to these precious people so far from here yet so close to our hearts...?


Countless hours in a peaceful kitchen, jazz in the background, stories around an old table with warm mugs of hot chocolate in tiny hands, lapping up the joy of family?

The truth is, we are preparing our children for the life we pray they will live.  A life focused on Jesus, focused on love, and committed to living their one life well.  Breathing deep the refreshing breeze of God's truth and breathing out that truth in all they do. That they would lived bowed at the beauty of nature and over-joyed at the gift of time to enjoy it.  That they would value eternal things and place priority on God-things, NOT world-things.   That the world would be changed for the better because they walked here.

I want our family to measure success in God nods,
 not in people applause.



"Don't hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it's safe from moth and rust and burglars. It's obvious, isn't it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
 Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have..."  Matthew 6:19-24 (The Message)



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