Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Guy Named Proverbs

I step into the living room and double-take the sight before me on the couch. My boy is snuggled up into the arm of the big, fuzzy sofa and reading his Bible. He's turned a corner and is now enjoying it and understanding most of what he reads... did I say, most?  :)

I ask him what he's reading and he tells me he's been trying to do a little Proverbs each day. Then he asks if I want to hear about it. Of course I do. My boy shifts in his spot and prepares to share.

"Well, there's this woman, who never stays at home...
(Uh-oh, I think, recognizing the chapter. Where is this one going?)
and she stands out on the street corner. This guy named Proverbs comes along and she kisses him.
(He smiles.)
She takes him to her house and then he gets shot by an arrow! Mommy, do you think the guy died?" He's quite serious now and blinks at me for an answer.

"Well," I'm scrambling to simplify and protect at the same time, "I think if Mr. Proverbs stays far away from Woman-Who-Never-Stays-At-Home, the arrow's wound will heal and he will be okay." My son is perplexed and so I explain a little more. "This woman is not a godly person. She is trying to tempt all the husbands away from their families so she can have them instead. The arrow means he's in trouble if he doesn't run away from her like Joseph with Potiphar's wife. Do you think he should get out of there? Or better yet, never have talked to her in the first place?" He's understanding now and nodding. I'm giggling inside and grateful for this stage of my boy's reading comprehension and spiritual development. So precious.

The Bible contains some adult themes and thankfully, my kids either don't catch on to them at first, or they ask questions. As difficult as the subject-matter may be, we desire they see these scenarios played out through God's mercy and purpose, His healing and redemption. They hear about or see everyday the persecuted church, war, abortion, deception, injustice, adultery, etc. in this present world. The Bible is a guidebook for how we are to interact with the world and how to stand for righteousness. With a visual Biblical timeline on our wall from Adam and Eve to when we are born and placed in history, my children have a good view of the cyclical disobedience and repentance of the Israelites and then Christians, over time. Their questions about life are best answered by looking at that timeline. What happens if we fall away from God's plan? What happens when we return to Him wholeheartedly? Memorizing God's Word also helps them have a quick go-to in a sticky situation.

What about your family? Do you shelter your kids from the tough subjects in the Bible? Do you find creative ways to use it to explain the evil in the world? I'd like to know your ideas!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Eleventeen and Other Endangered Things

We're trying not to burst with laughter as she obliges and repeats her counting. "Nine, ten, eleventeen..." It's her littleness that captures us every time. Even Oliver is giggling at Ashanti's mistakes while his juvenility was the one we were enamoured with only a few months before. (He'd rushed into the house exclaiming that I needed to get outside right away because Emily would become an endangered species if I didn't hurry! Apparently she was stuck in a tree and with all the learning we'd done about African animals, that terminology was the first thing that came to his mind concerning her safety.) Ashanti has returned to "one, two, three..." She finds more satisfaction in our amusement than the actual correctness of her task. Performance driven? Yes, she fits in quite well at our family dinner-table-stage. We drink in the sweet counting errors again with this entertaining, newly-turned-three year-old.

But, these days, as I tuck a little one in for afternoon naps, I also find myself in the passenger's seat while my oldest drives around town. I am the recipient of profound and wondrous gifts and it humbles me when I take a moment to dwell on it all. The famous and transitory "eleventeen" passed through each of our children's lips at one time or another but it's also this fragment in the puzzle of life at home for Meghan that is endangered. She reminds us with a smile that her time here is short before she's off in the big world, conquering dreams and living out God's purposes. We nod and smile back and refuse to pause too long on that subject. But I must pause. I must wrangle every memory and every prayer before five children at home becomes four and our present is extinguished like a flame. Littleness, bigness--it's all endangered because time is fleeting.

Gratitude is my heartbeat but I seek God to rescue my sometimes misaligned attitude and words. What is most important in this small window of my life? Am I modeling Jesus to my children?  Thankfully, as He redeems me, I'm able to truly live like I love Him, which cages vulnerable times that might otherwise become threatened. No regrets is likely an impossible hope but redeemed moments are a promise from the One who gave the profound and wondrous gifts in the first place. And as this present era moves into a new and exciting epoch, I will praise Jesus for the opportunity to have joined Him in raising a few precious members of this generation.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Thankful, And A Little Silly

Get this many people together and it's difficult to take a great family photo... a formal one, that is.
However, give them opportunity to be silly--then it's no holds barred and a whole lot easier :)

We are so thankful for countless things, but we are learning to number our gratitude in order to truly show the Lord we notice His blessings, and we don't take His care for granted.


1967. Gratitude's effect on our hearts and minds
1968. in an instant, every one's silly personalities revealed (except Uncle Aaron, who is fun-loving but not so silly... oh, and maybe Papa :)
1969. dinner 'round my mom's table, all squished in a tiny space, sometimes non-family and others invited, spilling with love
1970. great conversation with sisters and brothers-in-law
1971. our nephew and his wife moving across the street!
1972. helping each other through the absence of Linda
1973. cousin connections across the street--every-day
1974. my sister, Holly's Facebook blogging that everyone laughs over daily
1975. and my sister, Hilary's FB photography page (Hilary Thompson Photography)
1976. unseasonably warm fall weather

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Truth Intravenous

I hook up to the Truth Intravenous early in the morning. The words of Jesus course through my veins and remind me where I've come from and where I'm going. They are life and liberty, love and healing, inspiration and hope for a new day. In a week where I've been drained of energy, my patience has been more than tested, and twisted philosophies attempt to inject the port-line to my heart, I return to the Truth I.V. for a recharge. Then, as the day wears on and I encounter toxic contagions that bring my spirit down, it can only be temporary because the Holy Spirit whispers the anti-biotic I so desperately need...and I receive it.


1839. this colour--all summer long
1840. the way they slowly and (im)patiently worked out a little song together--a first!
1841. driving with this kid and laughing together at her first drive-through
1842. her buddies and how they love her
1843. these two besties and how they are still little enough to mostly parallel play
1844. waking up to this scene (as they watch a movie together on a Saturday morning) 
1845. helping to decorate my nephew's wedding in our greenhouses
1846. how she fell asleep during the ceremony
1847. how Jenna's brothers checked out the groomsmen to the Mission Impossible soundtrack before she came down the aisle--all of us roaring with laughter!
1848. Mr. and Mrs.
1849. welcoming you to our crazy family, Jenna! Yep, you already fit in :)
1850. the way he carried his bride and swung her around
1951. getting roasted at the reception and taking it like a pro
1952. the way my sister-in-law makes everything she touches beautiful
1953. how she can be transferred and still sleep--none of our kids could!
 1954. lighting sparklers and creating more cousin memories
1955. all these amazing kiddos at Linda's memorial birthday party
1956. celebrating her life with fireworks once again

1957. all of us missing her and grateful for the years we were gifted after her diagnosis
1958. writing messages in memory of Linda on paper lanterns
1959. the way my brother-in-law, Martin (Linda's husband), is always the go-to man for fireworks and lantern launching
1960. sending them up and watching the beauty of light in the sky--whispering (a few more) goodbyes and see-you-soons
1961. when Grandpa gets into the food

Truth I.V.: gratitude glorifies God and God deserves the glory!

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, Luke 17:15

May I always remember to glorify You with my thanksgiving, Lord.