Just like his Daddy, he likes his stuff to be "just so". As a result, I entered the bathroom and discovered that all my toilet paper had been efficiently displayed in a more pleasing design than the humble three I had placed myself. Likewise, Oliver's cars must be "driven" to their proper locations or it simply isn't a productive playtime :)
We stepped back into the Middle Ages and sampled a taste of how serfs and nobles lived. What we discovered is how truly blessed we are in this era. There were exciting aspects, to be sure, but in the end, my children wrote a thankful list in comparison. Even still, it's so much merrier celebrating any time period in history with your amazing cousins.
Do you know that kind of prayer when you're not really praying? You lie still on your bed or somewhere else and you're just quiet. The Bible talks about it as meditation (Psalm 4:3-5). You can focus on Scripture as you meditate or simple be still and know that He is God. Soak in His presence. He'll meet you there. Why? Because you're honouring Him with your time and your focus. He promises He will... "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." (James 4:8)
In a quiet place with brisk air and brilliant autumn colour, we met together to spend time with the Lord. It's not that we need to be in a group to hear our Creator, but somehow, setting aside the time to truly focus on Him makes the "things of earth grow strangely dim".
Soak in His presence, today, my friend. He'll speak to you in ways you can't hear Him when you aren't really listening.
The trees above us swirled and dropped bits of their autumn garments like lint falling from pockets. A sweeping gust of wind broke through the hedge of maples to our left and Annie warned, "Are you ready?"
Ready for what? I wondered.
Just then, our iron, bird-watching perch began to move and we swayed as the tree we were attached to lurched with that gust. I mustered the resolve to ignore the guttural uneasiness and to continue the search for unique migratory creatures.
Only 17 feet up but feeling oh so tippy-top!
"Usually," Annie told me, "I sit up on this platform alone with my Bible and binoculars."
I didn't know that and it inspired me. She shared her private location with me so I could experience the breathtaking scenery she loves. However, the rare birds were elusive that day. She was disappointed for me, but since I enjoy the thrill of the hunt for any treasure, I took with me a fresh perspective of my friend and her heart. That was worth the quiet wait, indeed.
"I want to be God," Oliver stated and I almost choked on my Early Grey tea.
"Pardon me?" I retorted and checked the rear view mirror (yep, the van is where all our best conversations occur). It quickly dawned on me that he was referring to his costume for the church party. "Oh! And what does God look like, exactly? I don't think they sell that type of costume."
He continued, "You know, Mommy, the kind of scarf that goes across His body?"
Ah, yes, he was talking about the pictures he'd seen of Jesus. I set my tea in the cupholder and offered my boy some hope, "Yes, Buddy, I think we can pull that off."
Later my son chose to be a knight donning the armour of God (Ephesians 6) and what a
sweet, sword-wielding knight that boy was.
Boy in the Armour of God
Pharaoh's daughter, a.k.a. Emily, was insistent that we remember that she knew baby Moses was a Hebrew--a bit of information she'd just learned and was determined to incorporate into her overall character. Our angel, Molly, spoke of heaven all evening. It just kept coming up in conversation and I think she may have been getting some revelation on the subject in that outfit :) The Mad Hatter, well, she was so proud of her costume as she had scrounged through her closet and my craft fabric and put together the whole character. In the end, Meghan had to hold onto her hat, but she was pleased nonetheless. She joined a couple of friends for some doorbell ringing this year.
Mad Hatter (hat designed by Meg)
Rubber Chicken Company performing at our church's party.
Joshua enjoys the show.
Glow-in-the-dark puppet show
Angel and Oliver are mesmerized.
Kyla is chosen to play a game.
Emily wins best costume for 6-7 year olds!
Oliver and Jax (Superman) are chosen to play a game.
Molly enjoys the show in deep concentration.
Mrs. Pat and Mrs. Emma--two fabulous women who work so hard for our children.
Another year accomplished and with gratitude we applaud our church staff on their incredible efforts to make this often controversial evening so much good, clean fun for our kids.