Monday, December 31, 2007

Ha!

Oh Pants, Lauren...

This will make you laugh.



But I say, "Shush-it funny man...

I still want one."

And Then...

On Christmas Eve, we headed out to Santa's Wonderland to see the lights and to listen to some friends of ours sing. We go every year to see the lights, but this was the first time we got out and went into the little "city." It's so neat.

The Bacak Nation goes every Christmas Eve and gets out...so we had so much fun meeting them there.




Then...

I experienced another Christmas "first."

I rode a bull.

Could I be more stupid?


When I got on the bull, I said to this nice man helping me...

"I have never done this before. How do I stay on this thing?"

He replied...

"Just hang on."

Thanks.

Super.

And then the wicked fast bucking began.


At least it felt like wicked fast bucking to me.

The legless bull was bucking and I was screaming...

"I'm falling, I'm falling."

And then it bucked me off and threw me...

But I landed on my feet, which made me so happy.

While I was being knocked around mercy-less-ly, I imagined being thrown right over the fence onto the people watching me....kind of like that girl on Saturday Night Live, who sticks her fingers under her armpits and then smells them...that's how I thought I would land. But I didn't! I landed like a gymnast...in my mind, so if it looked differently to the people watching, no one better say anything...because I felt like a rodeo bull rider and then a gymnast, and I want to keep it that way in my brain.

Bull riding...

That's one more thing I can mark off my long list of things I never really wanted to do, but managed to do anyway.

Oh...the best part...

Since I rode the bull, Aaron is buying me a new apron.

Here's the one I want, honey...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Hendricks Go Wii, Wii, Wii, All the Way Home




I got done with the calendars, and then we headed out to see my brother, Lynsey, KK, Laney Rae and my Aunt and Uncle who live in Brenham on Yonder Way Farm. Lynsey's whole family was there too...love those people!

Going out to the farm is one of our favorite things to do.

I love seeing the boys running around being boys, exploring and finding scary critters. Although Hayden was not in any pictures, he was there...he was just far too busy looking for bugs to be in a silly picture.

Little did I know when we ventured out to Brenham that this trip would mark the last evening I would be able to use my arms without feeling intense pain.

We came home with a Wii, and I've never been the same again.

Right now, life before aching arms and shoulder blades seems like a distant memory.

We came home, set it up and I boxed like a crazy lady.

I love boxing.

But, I can't beat Anson, so I keep trying it over and over...which means, eventually, my arms go numb and just hang loosely by my sides.

I have been so sore, that I cringe when I wake up at night and know I need to roll over or reposition myself.

And just when my arms start working again...even just a little...I go right back to punching faces in. It's crazy.

I sweat and work out harder than I ever have at the gym.

Right now, my Wii age is 66...but I don't care. Aaron's is 32...so wow...he really digs those older women.

I will probably never get any Wii younger because I only want to box. Baseball and bowling? Pu-lease. I just want to beat people up. I have perfected my upper cut and side arm to the head and to the kidneys. Be afraid...very afraid. I will box your gallbladder right out of your bellybutton.

Aaron emailed me this link...all the lady Wii owners, can clap with excitement with me! I can't wait!



Hooray for being crippled!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Calendar Craziness

After the fruit cake tasting, I got down to business.

Every year, I spend a solid week sitting at the dining room table making calendars to give to my family and friends as gifts for Christmas.

I love making them.


I print the calendar part on card stock. Then, we take them to Copy Corner and get them bound for about $2 each. The calendars are blank except for the name of the month and the days of the week. Then, I take each one and write in the numbers and holidays. For each person I'm giving the calendar to, I also write in all the birthdays, anniversaries and other special days for each family member.

For instance, a couple years ago, I emailed Lynsey's family and asked them to send me all the special days on their side of the family so that I could write them on the calendar I was giving to Lynsey. This year, I also emailed all our friends and asked them to send me their special days they celebrate in their home so that I could include them on the calendars that applied.


Then, on the holidays like Father's Day, Mother's Day, their birthdays, anniversary, instead of just writing those holidays in, I like to write, "Happy Birthday Jason!" or "Happy Adoption Day, Justus!" or "Happy Mother's Day Kirby!"


Each month is decorated with fun paper and my favorite pictures from that year. I sit down one evening and pick out the pictures I want for each person for each month. All the calendars end up having different pictures in them. I think it's especially fun to try and include a picture that corresponds with someone's birthday for that month. So, for April, in my family, I try to put a picture of Kaylyn or Aaron. Then, I send the pictures to HEB in College Station and get to go pick them up the next morning! So fast!

It was extra fun making the calendars this year, because so many of my friends are bloggers or have their pictures uploaded already on slide show dot com, in Kodak Gallery or have pictures right on their blog I could steal and get printed. I loved including pictures of my friends and their kids in the calendar for their family.

This is a fun, inexpensive project, and even though it is labor intensive, I enjoy it, and get to be right in the middle of my house, out in the open, available to my kids while I work. This year, about 8 Scrabble games went on at the same table I was making calendars. So fun.

I had to wait and post this after Christmas, so my friends and family would NOT see their Christmas gift online before they unwrapped it, but I would LOVE to know other meaningful, inexpensive gifts you gave or received this year, or in years past. If you post pictures of them on your blog, I'll link to it, and then repost this whole thing next November to give others some great ideas for Christmas.

Some things we have done in the past are...

Make crosses. Most of them slid right off the frame after about a week on the wall...so that was awful, but the ones that stuck were so cute. I'll get Ashley to send me a picture of hers since it was a keeper, then I'll post it later.

Made mousepads. These are cheap, but come out INCREDIBLE!

We also made coasters. There were four grandkids at the time, so we just did one grandkid per coaster. I don't know if Kodak Gallery lets you pick four different pictures, but Snapfish does.

We made cookbooks, after asking our friends and family members to send us all their favorite recipes they actually use.

One year, Jason and Lynsey made us ornaments...



and they made us the coolest chicken wire picture holder.



Aaron's mom makes blankets for the kids...is there anything better than a handmade blanket? I love them.

I want to know your ideas! Share the love!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Hendrick Christmas Play by Play

Ah Mistletoe!

I am so far behind.

I've been having way too much fun to blog.

And, my arms have been too sore to lift into the typing position.

Explanation later.

First things first...

THE FRUIT CAKE TASTING

A week or so before Christmas, Aaron mentioned, in a group setting that he had never tasted fruit cake before.

"You've never tried it?" several of us asked.

I could not believe Aaron had managed to reach the age he is and had never tasted a fruit cake before. He really is the luckiest person I know.

Erin Mosier told me that one got sent to Rusty's office (776-5191). I asked her to steal it and bring it home so I could make Aaron taste it.

She did...because she's such a good girl.


Look at this thing!
It looks like baked vomit topped with pecans.


Although Aaron is usually completely against tasting things that are universally known to be hideous, for some reason, we got him to take a bite.

Ew!

Gross!


As a matter of fact, we all tasted it....because, well...

Sometimes it is just so fun to gag...admit it.

We all chewed and convulsed.

Aaron, D.O., Matt, Erin and I.

I can't remember everything that was said, but I think Aaron summed the fruit cake up best.

He said...

"Why would people want to eat a cake that has boogers baked in it?"

It did seem more like a booger cake than a fruit cake.

Thank you, Doctor Bacak, for keeping my family healthy and for supplying us with the booger bread.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Baby

Happy Birthday
Punkin Doodle Head

How I love this boy!

Four years old today.

Four years of wonderful.

Four years of meticulous.

Four years of watching him line up toys, sort things, wash his hands, and change his shirt if oatmeal gets on it. If he gets his sleeves a little bit wet when washing his hands, I know that a new shirt will soon be seen on his torso.

Four years of watching his face light up when food is mentioned.

Four years of observing his infatuation with his underwear. He walks past laundry baskets filled with clean, folded clothes, sees his underwear, can't stand it...so he picks them out of the baskets and goes and puts them in his underwear drawer where they belong.

Four years of listening to his sweet, sweet voice.

Four years of hearing him say, "Mama."

Happy Birthday wonderful one.

You fill this house with peace, sweetness and smiles.

I am blessed to have a front row seat to watch all the days of your life.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Extremely Miscellaneous


I'm sure some of you have noticed that I have been avoiding writing about the twins, the adoption stuff and how I'm doing.

I know.

It's just...

I don't know what to say, and for a little while I struggled with that, and then I struggled with my need to always have something to say...to sum up God...like I can really do that...like words really are adequate for such a task.

We found out the girls are in CPS custody.

I had a few dark days.

Really dark.

Days when I had to lean entirely on Aaron for every thought and step.

I questioned things that are too scary to write out fully on a blog for all to read.

Scary questions.

Does God speak to me?

Are there such things as coincidences?

Maybe those questions don't seem like whammies...but they are.

If God doesn't speak to me...am I His?

His sheep recognize His voice.

If God doesn't do crazy things anymore...is He really God?

He says He's the same...the same God that spoke to Mary many days ago...is my savior today.

I tried to live for about 12 hours making myself believe that maybe God doesn't speak to me. Maybe He's not really in the details of my life. I was mad, upset and hurt. I walked around numb. Numb. That's the best way to describe it. No tears. Numb.

After a full day, I broke down sobbing in my car sitting in the grocery store parking lot, crying out to God...

"I can't believe you are not here with me. I can't take that thought. My life today, pretending like you are not near, telling you to shove off, hasn't even made sense. I don't make sense without you. I don't know why you would allow me to go through something like this...feeling like YOU initiated something I wasn't even looking for, just to end up hurting me and letting me down...but this other option...living like you are not in complete control doesn't make any sense either."

"So what do I do with this, God? Huh? What the CRAP do I do?"

Though I don't understand this trial, try as I may, rejecting God right now is ridiculous. I don't know what to do with this one thing in my life. But, acting like God is distant, that He isn't the one orchestrating my life in this moment, even these tough, confusing ones, makes less sense than looking back over my messed up past, seeing all that God has done, seeing how the beauty around me does not make sense judging from where I've come...and acting like God wasn't involved. That would be insane of me.

His hand is evident far more than it is not. I can't deny that or dismiss it.

So it's not even going to be a question whether or not I trust Him.

But there are still so many other questions...

Why would He lead me to hope in something that would never come to be?

That seems cruel.

Why did He have me pray and fast and weep and yearn for girls who would end up in CPS custody?

Why would He invite me in to something just to crush me?

Again...it seems mean to me.

Why did I even have to know that, God?

Why did you involve me in something just so that I would know that the end result was my worst nightmare.

I know Harris County CPS.

We've been there.

Why, why, why, a million times...why God?

I don't know why.

And this post is not here to ask you why.

Right now, the wounds are so deep and raw, words from mere men would never be able to heal them.

So I sit here waiting.

Waiting for God to teach me.

To show me.

To help me learn from this mess of uncertainty.

We found out last Sunday night that New Life has five birth moms carrying biracial babies who are due to deliver between now and February.

We are still praying for the twins. God deliver them! Place them in a forever family! Place them in our family!

But we are excited that one way or another, God is about to increase the number of bodies in this home.

It could be so soon.

Right here is where the men might want to tune out...

Breastfeeding is fixing to be discussed...

But, I promised I would bring you with us on this journey into adoptionland.

So buckle up!

I have started pumping...which is not fun for lots of reasons, but also pretty much the most awkward thing I could possible decide to do in a household of all boys.

I said, "Get out!" about 8 times in 30 minutes today. Hayden can not understand what it is I am doing with Kirby's horns.

I borrowed Kirby's sister's hospital quality pump, which is so great, but Hayden opened the case the night I brought it home and well...I looked up and he was chasing Ashton around with the cup part, attached to a bottle, making blow horn noises.

Frequently, when this topic comes up, I will hear people say, "I had no idea moms who adopt can nurse their babies."

"You're going to breastfeed your adopted child?"

I LOVE breastfeeding, am a breastfeeding counselor, help lots and lots of women from our church and community get through breastfeeding problems...so I know my response is always unexpected.

I should say...

"Yes, adoptive moms can breastfeed their babies by using a nursing system, or by working on producing milk themselves."

Instead, I say..

"Shoot yeah, I'm going to nurse this new baby. I'd breastfeed your baby if you would let me!"

I am taking a medication right now that has a side effect that makes women lactate.

Cool.

The only other alternative was pot...and well...I don't have the money.

I started my pills, got some stuff from the health food store and have to pump every four hours.

This is called trying to "relactate."

My body has done it before, so we're trying to encourage it to reminisce and start again.

Whether I make my own milk or not, I'm thrilled that adoptive moms can nurse using a supplementer system. I'll explain more about that later.

I have lots more to say about this...how the new Hendrick baby will be fed is INCREDIBLE to me.

That's what's going on in the Hendrick Home.

Getting ready for Christmas...and pumping while watching the Cosby Show.

Love the holidays!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

When Boy Meets Nativity


I don't have many strong opinions about stupid stuff - but here's one I do have:  I think every family with children, (or clumsy parents) should have a touchable nativity set.

Immanuel.

God with us.

That's hardly true with my Willow Tree Nativity Set.

They touch it...they die.

But I think every home should have a nativity set that can be touched, played with and marveled over.

We just found the entire nativity set stacked in an 18 wheeler.

The culprit...Bryce Garratt.

When Hayden was a tiny infant, I caught Anson with the baby Jesus under his shirt.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Feeding baby Jesus," Anson said.

Immanuel.

God with us!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Homeshool at its Finest

Chewbacca Scares Me


I just watched the end of Star Wars with my boys.

I haven't seen it since I was in like...fifth grade maybe...

We had to rewind the part where Darth Vader tells Luke about his true identity.

There's nothing funnier than watching Luke's face as he screams out...

"Nooooooo!"

We rewound that part and then took turns doing our best ugly-face-Luke-scream.

That was fun, but really...I forgot how much Chewbacca freaks me out.

Is it just me

Or does everyone want to spank him in the face every time he makes that awful noise?

Listen to this.

It will make you cringe.

I want Chewbacca to swallow...or cough...if he would just cough...a few times...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Brutal Honesty

400 years of silence.

Can you imagine?

Between the old and new testaments, God's people waited...

for 400 years

never hearing a Word from God.

He had made lots of promises.

Their past was filled with miracles.

Incredible miracles.

Obvious workings of the Lord in their lives.

And yet...

They went 400 years without hearing anything!

I don't know how they did it.

Three weeks ago, we got a call from New Life asking us to pray about taking twin girls. That same day, I had a dream that we were chosen by a birthmom.

Since then, every single day, I have read in my Bible verses like...

Joel 2:12-13

Therefore also now, says the Lord, turn and keep on coming to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning [until every hindrance is removed and the broken fellowship is restored].
Rend your hearts and not your garments and return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness; and He revokes His sentence of evil [when His conditions are met].
Habakkuk 1:2-5

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help and You will not hear? Or cry out to You of violence and You will not save?
Why do You show me iniquity and wrong, and Yourself look upon or cause me to see perverseness and trouble? For destruction and violence are before me; and there is strife, and contention arises.
Therefore the law is slackened and justice and a righteous sentence never go forth, for the [hostility of the] wicked surrounds the [uncompromisingly] righteous; therefore justice goes forth perverted.
Yes, I thought as I read this...I feel these things right now towards you, God. But then God answers Habakkuk...
Look around [you, Habakkuk, replied the Lord] among the nations and see! And be astonished! Astounded! For I am putting into effect a work in your days [such] that you would not believe it if it were told you.(A)
I could list a bajillion scriptures right here that I read this week, specific verses that I did NOT look up...that were just a part of my normal study time that all said the same exact thing...but I'll stop.

All that to say, it seems like every single day this week, God has placed scripture in my life that has shown me He is big, He is powerful, He can be trusted. I am to wait. I am to keep coming to Him and asking.

At the same time, I've been reading the Christmas story to my boys in the morning from a book called, Mary's first Christmas. Don't go buy it. It's not that awesome. But, God has used it this week to challenge me, and again, teach me. I have seen so many of the same issues, I'm going through right now in this story.

God's people sat for 400 years not hearing anything from God.

I can't imagine what they did during that time.

I can't imagine the darkness of the doubt they surely had to be wallowing around in.

"Did God really make those promises? Are the prophecies real? Where is He? What is He doing? Did we ever really hear from Him?"

Did they have to go back to the last thing God did...did they have to re-read the prophecies over and over, seeing evidence that God did INDEED do miraculous things in their midst? Was that the only thing they could hold onto during the waiting...during the silence?

And what about Joseph?

Do you know the way the Lord told Joseph to get involved in the life of Mary and the child Joseph was about to adopt was because an angel of the Lord came to Him in a dream and told him to?

Crazy.

I was fine with waiting on Monday...and even on Tuesday...sort of on Wednesday...but by this morning, I sat down and cried out to the Lord...

"What are you doing? Are you doing anything?"

I confessed that my faith is weakening, and it was never very strong to begin with.

"Lord, why did you include us in the life of this woman, and nothing has happened?"

I believe, that when I had that dream...the one where Cindy Seay said to me, you are about to be picked by a birthmom...and we were rejoicing...and then, that same day, Cindy Seay called us and told us about the twins...I believe that was a crazy miracle.

I do.

Forever, I've thought, "Maybe people can miss the Lord" on something.

I don't know if I believe that anymore. Disobey Him...yes, miss Him? No. If there is scriptural evidence of that, someone please send it to me! I need you to!

God came to Mary, who was probably NOT praying, asking God if she was to be the mother of Christ. He came to her and told her what was about to go down. She couldn't miss that.

The angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph in a dream. He was about to wash his hands of Mary and her baby...but the angel told him to get involved. There was no missing God.

The angels came to shepherds, who were probably sitting in a field, lighting their own farts at the time and told them God's son had been born...go find Him. Do you think they could have missed that? No way. Were they even looking for Him? No.

By thinking I could "miss God" does that infer that I have anything to do with hearing Him?

Or is it by His grace, His ability in my life that I ever hear Him in the first place?

And so, I'm sitting here today, so downcast, so honest before you...and the Lord, confessing that I'm confused. I believe that God spoke to me in a dream. Scripture supports that He can do that, and does that...and even does that about babies. I just read about Joseph this week!

But now, I'm forced to do, what I'm sure God's people had to do during the silence...going back to the last thing God said...the last thing God did.

I'm forced to do, what I'm sure Mary had to do during the years and years she raised her son. Was it hard to wait, having heard the prophesies, having lived through something as crazy and obvious as the angel coming to her...God sending wise men to worship her son. Were there times when she would watch her 8 year old son and think, "Is he really supposed to be the king? Did I hear God? Was all that true? But it must be true. His birth was incredible. God did miraculous things." She would have to wait until Jesus was in his 30's to see God's plan unfold. I can't imagine that wait! I wonder if she had doubt. Did she confess at times that no matter what God had done in the past, her faith was weak?

Right now, if I'm terrifyingly honest, here's what I think...

I think God told us three weeks ago that these girls would be ours.

I do.

I believe if it were not for that dream...if it were not for the fact that on the same day of that dream, Cindy contacted us, I would be FINE right now washing my hands of all of this. I would be FINE with saying, "We were supposed to pray for the twins. That's how God wanted us involved." But, because of the dream...I can't say that. In the dream, we were CHOSEN to parent those kids. In the dream, it was settled. Then the phone call, that day from New life...

"But what about the dream...about the phone call God?" I say.

"But what about the prophesies...about your promises God?" I'm sure God's people said during the silence.

"But what about your plan for his life, Lord?" I'm sure Mary had to have said to God as she raised her son and saw no miracles, saw how human Jesus was.

If I had not had that dream, gotten the phone call the same day and then read scripture after scripture over the past three weeks, where God has made it very clear to me that He is God, He can be trusted, He still does big things, we are to wait on Him, keep asking Him, keep expecting Him to do something...I could easily let go.

I want to let go!

Everything in me wants to let go!

But, I'm so afraid to let go. It's the strangest thing.

Right now, as far as we know, the babies are still in the hospital.

Right now, as far as we know, the babies have no family.

It's getting harder for me to trust the Lord.

I sat and cried to Aaron this morning, not because the babies aren't here, but because I'm terrified that I don't know how to hear the voice of the Lord. "Do I even recognize His voice? Does He speak to me?" There's nothing more scary to ask...to think through.

"If God wasn't moving in this situation, through that dream, through that phone call, through prayer and fasting...then do I even know how to recognize when He is at work?"

"Does He really speak to me? Does His Word really speak to me?"

I confessed to Aaron that I am afraid.

I'm afraid, that if God doesn't do something...something I feel He has led me to believe He is going to do...then I'm afraid of what that will make me think...will I be able to EVER think God is speaking to me, or involving me in what He's busy doing? I'm more afraid right now and troubled by the fact that I don't know how to listen to God than I am that He hasn't added children to our home.

Maybe God does want me to step out in faith, having heard Him speak to me through a dream, confirmed by a phone call and His Word...and say..."I believe those girls are supposed to end up in our home. In the dream, we were chosen. And then, we got a phone call that day. Sure, we can all pray that "God's will be done." That's nice and safe. No one goes home a loser. But, if I am honest...I think He told us we were chosen to bring babies home."

God keeps telling me, through His Word to wait on Him...He's about to do something.

I got up from crying, in prayer with my boys this morning and this email was sitting in my inbox...an email from someone who has never emailed me about what is going on with the twins...

Hey & good morning!

I just wanted you to know that I have been praying for you guys. Let me know if there is anything that I can pray for YOU specifically.

Psalm 33:4 “For the word of the LORD holds true, and we can trust everything he does.”

It was all I could do to keep from pressing, delete. "I don't know how much more I can take of this, Lord. What do you want from me?"

So...wow...that's where I stand right now.

I'm trying to be genuine in how I feel. I don't want to hide my feelings from people. So many have asked how I'm doing.

I want to believe that God spoke to me...that this is not over...that those girls are coming here.

I even think that's what God wants me to believe.

I just wish I could! I have confessed to Him through many tears today that it seems impossible to have that much faith.

And yet, after boo-hooing to Aaron today about this...when I was done...

He was just sitting there...smiling at me.

That's not what I expected.

I was sitting there telling Aaron..."It's not that if God doesn't come through, I'm going to question His existence...if He doesn't come through though...I'm terrified I will at least doubt His ability to speak to me about anything in my life."

That's a big deal! I was shaking and crying even admitting it to Aaron...

And yet...Aaron said...

"Heather just hearing everything you just said makes me know God is in this! I am sitting here, so encouraged."

I couldn't believe him. "Encouraged? I'm sitting here crying, telling you I'm afraid I'm going to have huge issues with God after this is over and you're encouraged?"

"Yes. We can't give up. This is not over yet. I don't want you working through the aftermath of God not showing up, when this isn't even over yet. The problem here is more about impatience than any of those other things. This is NOT over yet!"

I wish I could leave this post by saying..."I am convinced God is going to bring those girls to our house...but I can't.

I can say...He has sure set this up where it looks like that's what He wants to do...and even what He wants me to believe...

So some of you can pray I will.

The rest of you can think I'm crazy.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Life Altering Story


Some of these Christmas posts will be about practical things...honoring God with our finances on His birthday, gift-giving, etc. However, the story of Christmas, every year has done something astounding in our every day lives as a couple. Every year, we walk away from Christmas changed...challenged...convicted...the story of Jesus coming to our world is so powerful.

A few years ago, one of the questions Aaron and I asked ourselves while thinking through the Christmas story was...

How does God do ministry?

Before I go any further, here's a confession...

The way that Aaron and I are tempted to do ministry is by treating ministry as an event.

We are tempted to think that ministry only happens at church on the weekends as we serve and love the body of Christ.

We are tempted to feel like, we've checked ministry off our Christian list if we show up to a block party and eat hot dogs with people on the wrong side of town.

We are tempted to believe that God's call to minister to the orphans is satisfied when we put money in an envelope and send it to a needy child.

Surely we've done enough ministry since we buy shoes for kids who don't have any, and gave a back pack to a child who needs one.

The problem Aaron and I ran into, was we liked our ministry to be something we signed up for, showed up for, fulfilled our "duty" and then ran back home to real life. When we saw a problem, our first response was..."What is our church going to do about this?"

As a couple we never asked God if we should be doing something more...something less easy...something less scheduled, planned and organized.

What about living out Jesus' heart on a personal level?

When Aaron and I had to stop, look at Jesus' life...and ask ourselves some hard questions...like how are WE personally being imitators of Christ's way of loving others...the answers were depressing.

Looking at the Christmas story, we found that our way of loving and serving people, isn't really the way that Jesus loved and served people. That bothered us!

Thankfully, when He saw our needy, pathetic condition He did not put money in an envelope and mail it to earth.

I'm so glad that when He saw how hopeless our lives were He did not put together a PROGRAM to meet our needs.

I'm so grateful that when he saw how depressing our lives were He did not show up for an afternoon and then retire back to his comfy home in heaven. Well, He eventually went home to heaven, but that was after He gave up His life and comfrot to serve us.

He came here.

To earth.

God WITH us.

Among us.

Slap-dab in the middle of us.

There was no place He could hide.

His disciples were with Him all the time...except when He went off to PRAY.

There was NO separation between life and full-time ministry for Jesus.

God saw our need and inserted HIMSELF in our sad situation.

HIMSELF! His hands, His heart, His feet, His love, His rebuke, His availability.

He came here and lived among our issues, sat with us, talked to us, hung out with us. If I'm honest, I would prefer to do ministry, then come home and leave that ministry on the other side of town. But, that's not how Jesus did it. He put skin on and moved to town...the wrong side of town. He didn't swoop in from His high and mighty social position, stand back and smile at us. He made Himself look like us...wore our skin...became one of us...and loved us. He moved right into our neighborhood.

I love that He didn't show up on a Saturday, serve us, then hop back in the car and head home...returning to His real life. From what I read, loving others was His life.

We are called to imitate Christ.

We are called to be doers of the Word.

Sure, that means obeying the Bible...but we are reminded at Christmas that Jesus IS the Word...the one who took on flesh...and lived among us.

Which means, we have been challenged to be doing the same things we see Jesus doing in scripture.

After looking into this, we found that ministry to Jesus, was not something He did because the church calendar told Him to do it. Ministry to Jesus was life consuming. He did not merely "work us in." Jesus' ministry to us brought Him to earth...and then to the cross.

When I look at the people God used in the Christmas story, I'm blown away by their obedience and willingness to serve.

Pregnancy was not just something Mary could do on Sundays.

She agreed to long-term service to God by raising His son. Motherhood is a 24/7 job.

Joseph adopted. If you have read this blog at all, you know how terrifying that can be when God initially calls you to it.

He revealed Himself to wealthy wise men and to poor, dirty, social outcasts.

Immanuel...God WITH us...ALL of us.

Aaron and I have to constantly ask ourselves...

Does our life look like Christmas?

Are we loving others the way Jesus modeled for us through the Christmas story?

Are we showing God's love to all people, not just the people who look and act like us?

When we see needs, how do we respond? Are we too quick to pull out our checkbook, to try and solve problems with a system, with a plan...do we even consider that God may want to actually use us...us...our lives...our every day lives to intervene in hard, sad situations?

Do we still have hiding places, away from people?

Do we see problems and run, instead of interject?

Are we willing to get involved, even when a problem can't be fixed in an afternoon? Are we okay with real commitment, with being in it for the long haul?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

What NOT to do


There are a lot of things I think everyone should do.

I think everyone should

Eat Indian food

Look at an Ikea catalog

Wet their pants all the way

Go to a soupus

Moon someone

Snort Kool-Aid

Shop for clothing out of season

Here is ONE thing you should never do...

Never teach your sons the words, "anus" and "rectum."

Never do that.

I apologize upfront to everyone they know, to the AWANA workers, their Children's Worship Leaders and my neighbors.

I'm sorry.

I should have skipped that part in their digestive system unit.

I know that now...

After I've heard things in my house like...

Two boys wrestling on a bed, laughing...one yells out..."Get away from my anus."

Hayden walks in, hands down his pants (common posture for little boys, I swear, some days I want to cut off their arms)...I say, "Get out of there." Hayden says..."I wasn't touching my anus."

Three boys jumping from the top bunk onto a mattress on the floor...

"What are ya'll doing in here?" I ask as I enter the room....

"Jumping on our anuses."

You live and you learn.

They have been saying the most awful things...but I can't get onto them with a straight face...I start with a straight face...and then I start smiling and walk away.