It’s Easter!

It’s a time of new life.  We were hit with a snow storm last weekend and the grounds were blanketed with snow.  This weekend is Easter and the patches of snow are mostly melted away.  The flowers are coming up and the spring may have finally arrived.

This week I  met a 94 year old lady, who had just learned to read this year.  She shared how lucky kids are to get an education.  She shared about the challenges she had growing up and working hard for low pay.  She worked in a chicken factory taking off the feathers.  But, more, she showed how important it is to keep listening to where God is leading you and listen to him and to keep learning.  Because even at 94, she was not too old to learn something and change for the better.

How are you bringing newness into your life?  What new thing should you learn this year?

Have a Happy Easter!


Project Awesome

In Sunday School, we are exploring how to make our congregation more awesome.  A lot of fantastic ideas have been contributed, but my favorite are the ideas on pastoral care.

I think this is the most vital and rewarding place to work.  How can we let other people know how important and loved they are?  What can we do to strengthen the relationships in our community?

This week, we discussed how to best reach out to people when they are absent.  Should we call them?  Send them an email?  Is it better if they are contacted by a friend or multiple people?

What about people who have been gone for a long time?  Months?  Years?  Should we contact them?  I loved the responses here.  Sending them information to let them know what’s currently going on at church.  Updating the website so that they can have a reference to look at.  Sending a survey to see what they are interested in.  Having people who knew them give them a call.

Anyway, exciting stuff is going on and I’m looking forward to seeing the new programs and ideas that will result of this project.  I hope we can harness the momentum and become a really awesome community.

Monsters and Fear

When I was growing up, there was this book my Dad would read called The Monster at the End of the Book.  It was funny and about fear.  It was about how we are often afraid of something happening when we don’t have all the facts.

I’ve been told that most of our pain happens when we are not living in the present.  Most of the time we feel pain it’s because we are worrying about the future or because we are having regret about the past.

There is a quote by Mark Twain:

I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life.  Some of which actually happened.

I think fear naturally amplifies the worst possibilities.  This week, it played out at home.  T was worried all weekend that the kids at school would not like his new haircut.  But, today he had a great day, and they said nice haircut.

In the story, Grover tries to keep from getting to the end of the book where the monster is and finds out that he is the monster at the end of the book.

So, we should strive to be less worried and afraid and take life as it comes.  :)Mon

The grass is greener where you water it….

Synchronicity – My definition is when you have a lesson to learn, so it keeps coming up in life repeatedly until you finally take a hint.

The lesson in my life right now is Relationships take a lot of work.

There is a song by Justin Bieber of the radio right now, with these lyrics:

But the grass ain’t always greener on the other side,
It’s green where you water it

That struck a chord for me.  I’ve never been especially good at taking care of my friendships and relationships.  They exist and I like them, but learning to take the totally required steps to be a friend instead of just being friendly is an area that still needs growth.

Taking a minute to call someone, or complement them, or bake them cookies.  Or at home, to spend the time interacting with family members, or giving backrubs.

It’s easy to be lazy in relationships, but the rewards of a healthy relationship make life awesome.

Another song, that has a similar message, that I love, can be found here.  🙂

The Joy of McDonalds!

Ok, as a parent, I know fast food is not healthy.  French fries and soda have to be way up there on the list of things that should not be eaten.

But, my kids received gift cards for Christmas and were dying to go spend their loot!  Thursday night, we took a field trip to McDonalds and I have to admit that it was a really good experience.

My son ordered two happy meals.  I told him he could just get one and an extra sandwich, but it was his money, so whatever.  He was so excited to have 2 toys, and 2 sodas, and 2 containers of fries.  He still had money leftover to get 3 cookies.

But, there was another family.  A family that reminded me of my childhood, there were 4 kids.  They were so friendly and rambunctious.  The kind of kids I can let my kids play with without fear that they will tattle because my kids were jumping and bumped into them and they fell down.  The kind of kids that you keep one eye on because the combination of them and your kids has the potential to have someone trying to climb the outside of the playground and having to make an emergency room visit.  You know, kids that enjoy life fully and are not afraid to have fun.

They reminded me of my childhood because there were so many little kids, because they were pretty frugal.  No happy meals for these kids, instead large orders of fries they could share.  And they were home-schooled just like I was when I was their age.

The kids had a blast playing with them.  We learned that one boy was so excited to get a checkers set for Christmas.  We learned that another really liked the happy meal toys and wanted to play with them.  My son showed incredible generocity, not only sharing his cookies and letting them play with his toys, but he also gave away one of his toys to one of the boys.

As a parent, when your kid surprises you with his ability to be compassionate, that is the best thing ever.  🙂

Singing for Fun!

We went Christmas Caroling this weekend, and a weird thing happened that I’m still not sure how I feel about it.

We were at this house singing Jingle Bells, and we finished and the lady said it was nice, but could we sing a Christmas Carol instead. She was quietly asking to hear a song about Jesus.  So we met her needs.

But, for me, the idea of giving to others, seeing their needs and helping them out fits beautifully in the celebration.  The Jesus story, Santa, trees, lights, it’s all Christmas.  It’s about sharing, generosity,  love, joy, family, friends, mystery, and impossibilities.

But, it was really fun, the weather was perfect, and we had a fantastic group of singers.

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

Making Someone’s Day

This week, my daughter REALLY wanted a sandwich to take with her on a field trip.  But, not just any sandwich, a pizza sub from subway.  With pepperoni, cheddar cheese, on flat-bread and toasted.  And chips.  She had $20 she received for her birthday.  She would pay for it herself.

She called me in tears because she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to have it, since noone was there to take her to the store.  But, super parent to the rescue, I picked up her sandwich and chips and her day was made.

She also has her first email account, and the first email she ever sent said…”thanks a lot. love you. thanks for the sandwhich. 😛  :)”

Best Parent Evah!