Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It's not my life to live and I have everything to give

For a couple years now I've had the "Year of the Doing" as my general theme.  Instead of sitting back and watching things happen, complaining about them and saying "I wish someone would..." I decided to be that someone.  Lately, I've dealt with a lot of negative aspects in the areas I've been involved with. I actually joked with Chris that from this point on, it might just have to be the "Year of the Done."  We all reach that point where we work really hard at things and are emotionally invested in them and then something happens and we wonder why we even bother. 

I was feeling this way the other day when I came across a quote that made a big impact on me. 

“When you realize it’s not your life to live, you realize you have everything to give.”

I read this quote the other day on a Christian band's facebook page.  It's ridiculously simple and yet incredibly profound.  One of the band’s fans responded and said, “It’s not my life to live! He paid an expensive and extravagant price for me and gave it all for me! The very least I can do in light of such a sacrifice is to offer my all in return. Every last little bit of me.”

Wow! What an attitude! What if we all lived each day according to this?

After being impacted by this short quote I’m going to upgrade my attitude. I’m looking at this quote and trying to remember that it’s not about me. I have God in my heart and have a place reserved in Heaven. It’s time for me to give EVERYTHING for Him, not just a part of me.  Even on the bad days when I want to give up.  When people are mean and thoughtless and seem to enjoy making things more difficult than necessary.  It's not about me.  And I have everything to give.  Pretty cool thought isn't it?  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Adventures at the Doctor's Office...Part 2

Doctors visits are not my favorite part of being a parent.  I've made that pretty clear.  Let me just describe today's wonderful visit. 

Today we showed up for Isabella's 5-year well child appointment scheduled for 10am.  The doctor was on time and we got in right away.  We left at 11:20.  It started with the great news that a med student was visiting today. Perfect.  I know they've got to learn somewhere, but it's not always easy being a part of the learning process. 

First, he did an exam for Isabella.  It started with a couple minutes of silence where he looked at her charts and eventually hummed while thinking of his first line.  After a while he asked a few questions using words she didn't understand.  I interpreted and slowly we proceeded.  Quite a while later when he was done, our regular doctor came in and did a repeat and identical (minus the awkwardness) exam.  Just a thought, but the kid future doctor could have done his exam with our regular doctor in the room.  We could have saved time and maybe she could have taught him a thing or two about being a doctor.  Just an idea.  What do I know?

Then the good news came that there would be shots.  Awesome.  After announcing that, the doctors left and we literally waited 10 more minutes for the nurse to come back in.  "Quick and painless" is not the office philosophy.  Isabella had a long time to think about those 3 shots and spent the entire time crying.  By the time the nurse came in she felt the need to scream a bit.  Sam started crying and saying he needed to help his Izzy.  The little girl I was babysitting at the time was plugging her ears and yelling that she didn't want to hear Sam cry anymore.   So.  Much.  Fun. 

Then we got the even better news that we needed to go do lab work.  Of course, that means a finger prick and taking "a sample."  I'm not really sure what tests they use the sample for, but I hope they were important because when a 5 year-old is asked to potty into a cup, the mom gets the wonderful pleasure of helping with that process.  Awesome.  Oh, and try to manage two more kids in the process.  Easy enough. 

As the kids were buckled into their car seats Isabella announced that the shots didn't hurt at all.  So, apparently, the screaming was just for my benefit!  Good to know.  We raced through a drive thru window, ate in the car, and made it home with exactly 60 seconds to spare before the little girl was picked up by the kindergarten bus.  Good times for sure. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Happy Birthday to my busy Izzy!

Five years old!  Really?  It's crazy!  Maybe it's because she's so stinkin' little, but it's ridiculously hard to believe that Isabella turned five today.  If her birthday were one week earlier, she could be in kindergarten right now riding to school on the bus with her sisters.  Luckily, she's just as content with moving up to the "big kid" class at preschool.  She's pretty easy to please! 

She has been calling herself the "birthday girl" for a week now and says things like...
"Shouldn't the birthday girl get to pick what we eat today?"  And "Since I'm the birthday girl, I should get to skip my nap today."  There's only so long she can milk it, but she's been able to squeeze every ounce out of this birthday! 

Sunday we celebrated her birthday with all our family.  She was extra excited because this was the first time her Uncle Chris and Aunt Catherine could make it to a birthday party - thanks for making her feel so special!  After we found these cute plates, we knew she needed to have an owl-themed party.

Here's the cake.

And the cake pops we made. 

Just a note, when the directions say "quarter-size balls,"  you should follow those directions.  Mine were bigger and some were a bit too heavy to be true cake pops.  I got a little lazy and let the rest of them be upside down.  Cute anyways and still yummy.

The birthday girl got to go out to Red Robin last night, which just happened to be kids' night with the balloon man there.  Lucky us.  Where the other girls are actually mortified at the idea of the waiters and waitresses singing to them, Isabella loved every minute of it! 

And tonight we're all going swimming as a family and eating a few more cake pops to finish off a week long celebration. 

Here are a few pictures from the past of my cutie pie

We love you so much Isabella!  This is going to be a great year!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Big changes heading our way.

There are times in your lives where things are just running along smoothly.  Your life is in order and everything seems right in it's place.  And then something happens and it's shaken up.  It might be something good and it might be something bad, but things change and sometimes they change forever.  Sunday was one of those forever changes in the life of our family.

Sunday at church our pastor announced that Chris has accepted the position of Associate Pastor.  This is big.  He's been doing graduate school for his masters in Theology for over a year now and in ten months he'll be done.  But this goes back much further than that.  We can look back now and see a long path that God has been leading Chris down.  Frankly, it's a path that would have scared the bejeebers out of us if someone would have mentioned this ten years ago.  Neither one of us would have believed it!

It started with us finding a great church to attend as a newly engaged couple.  We had wonderful friends that quickly became our "other family."  We got married, had our first two children there, got involved in our first small group and Chris started teaching Sunday School for the first time.  Next we moved to Topeka.  We weren't there that long, but we found a wonderful church home and Chris found some strong Christian mentors in a group of men who met weekly to plan Sunday school lessons together. Another small group and another baby added to our family while there.

Finally we moved to Valley Center and God sent us directly to VCCC. The church was a lot different than what we were used to, but from the very first time we visited we knew, without a doubt, God wanted us there for a reason.  We just weren't sure what that reason was at the time. 

Years have passed and we've gotten involved in many different church ministries.  Then last August God called Chris to start praying for one person every day for a year.  Thus the BLOG was born.  As he started doing this he also heard about a new degree program starting up in Theology.  Within a week had had applied, turned in all the paperwork, ordered books and was starting class.  It was one of those rare moments in life where we can say that God said to do something, and we obeyed immediately.  So cool to see. 

Then last February my Grandfather fell and was hospitalized.  He had good days and bad days, but in the end we knew he wasn't going to be coming home.  I had never really asked him if he believed in Jesus and I had a desperate need to know that I would see him again in heaven.  I didn't have the words, but Chris did.  And I'll be forever grateful that he had the courage to ask my Grandpa that day if he believed in Jesus.  It was such a relief to hear that he did and I knew I'd see him again.  During those days in the hospital Chris was able to pray for Grandpa and before he passed away he told my Grandma and others that he wanted Chris to do his funeral because Chris was his pastor.  It was such an humbling and honoring thing for Chris to do.  Grandpa was the first one to ever say out loud that Chris could be a pastor. 

All this time Chris was doing grad school he never really knew what he was going to do with his degree.  At times he thought about different ministry areas, teaching, or just using it for his own benefit and knowledge.  Then this summer, just a few days before heading out of town on vacation our minister stopped and asked Chris if he would be interested in the position they were creating.  It seemed perfect.  To work as a pastor in your own home church where you already know and love the people!  By the next morning he was able to say without a doubt he wanted to do it.  God called, and he was ready to say yes. 

Finally, Sunday it was announced at church and Chris starts in one week.  We couldn't be more excited...and nervous...and excited...and nervous.  Change is never easy even when it's good.  And going from a reporter to a minister is a good definition of change.  But here we are embracing this change in our lives and looking forward to what God has plannned for us!  Can't wait to keep you updated!