Monday, February 22, 2010

The Writer's Heart

The written word. It is such an amazing thing. It has such power to convey thoughts, ideas and emotions. It can bring laughter and tears. It can give hope. It can allow people to travel to places and times they never dreamed possible. The written word offers to the reader a great range of experiences and emotions brought to them by the hand of another.

All writing is an interaction of two parties, the author and the audience. The author writes with hopes of conveying thoughts and feelings to the audience. He opens his soul a little, bares his own private thoughts, for better or worse, for the sake of the audience. The audience comes bringing their own set of expectations, bringing their own baggage, thoughts, and ideas as would any participant in any relationship.

When the connection is made, the author hopes he had done a good job of conveying that which he wants the audience to feel or understand. Yet, inevitably, there will be times that the audience, sometimes as a whole but usually as an individual, will come away from the connection with a different view or mood than the author was intending. This can be due to the authors' lack of success at conveying the desired mood or due to the audiences prior baggage. As with any relationship, there is usually more than one party that brings "fault" to the miscommunication. However, at the end of the night, the audience leaves the interaction with their ideas and thoughts on the authors work, and the author is left bare, alone and sometimes hurt by results of his efforts.

When one writes for another to see, he opens a part of himself to another that can never really be closed.

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Have you ever heard your child say something so cute, so amazing, so downright funny you just had to call and tell someone? I have created a new column of things I have heard my children say and would like to invite you to add your children's comments. Leave a comment here and I will add them to the column! Thanks for your contribution!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sharing the Heart of God

I have been accused of a being great many things in my life. Many of them I would not choose to reprint here. I recently have found myself being accused of being, well, selfless. It seems so hard to understand to me. I know me and know just how selfish I can be (as an old country song plays in my head). Yet I have lately had statements similar to the following made to me:

"You are selfless beyond words."
"You are such a good friend."
"You are a so kind."
"You are a saint."
"You are amazing"

I am pretty sure "You are crazy" has been implied, along with some of these statements, but not actually uttered.

Now, I don't say these things to brag about me. I don't actually believe these statements to be completely true (some of them not even slightly true!), except maybe the one about being crazy. So why am I telling you this? Well, the truth is, I think we can all be those things, at times.

I have little to offer in way of helping people. I am a super busy homeschooling mom with 5 kids ages 10-2. I don't have much (if any) extra cash for giving to those in need. I don't have the ability to go to foreign countries and be a missionary and build houses and feed the hungry. I don't have the skill to do a great many things that people need done.

I do have one main skill, ability, resource to offer. I can offer my home and heart (such as it is) to care for the children of friends in need. I have been willing to babysit many friends kids and left them somehow amazed at my willingness. This puzzles me somewhat, and yet I am beginning to see that this is more than a nice thing to do.

A year or so ago, a friend of mine offered to teach my very musically talented child (with a nearly tone deaf mother) piano. I could not pay her normal rates, and yet she was will to just do it for the good of my child and for the kindness to a friend. I felt grateful, and yet unworthy. I wanted to do some great kindness to show her my appreciation. I brought her dinner as some small token of thanks. She simply said she believes in the power of "pay it forward". Wow!

I didn't realize until today, that is is basically what is motivating me to help my friends. I know they may not ever "repay" me with the same amount of childcare or whatever one would consider a "fair" trade, yet I know each of these people have the heart to help others. Each of them helps other people, expecting no return of favor.

Perhaps if we each help the next person when we can, that person can someday help another and so forth, and the world will be much more the place God intends it to be. So for now I will content myself to watch others go out and do glorious works for God, and I will plod along doing the few minor things I can to help out.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"So come on, let's leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ. The basic foundational truths are in place: turning your back on "salvation by self-help" and turning in trust toward God; baptismal instructions; laying on of hands; resurrection of the dead; eternal judgment. God helping us, we'll stay true to all that. But there's so much more. Let's get on with it!" Hebrews 6:1-3 from The Message Bible

Last night in my home a group of friends gathered to have a small bible study. We read this passage. We originally read it in the NIV. A friend suggested we read the interpretation from The Message. I found myself rather impacted by this statement. I wonder, how often do we, the body of Christ as a whole and Christians individually, waste time fingerpainting for Christ instead of using the gifts He has given us to create the grand masterpiece he is calling us to create? Do we content ourselves with fingerpainting, fooling ourselves into thinking it is the highest caliber of art we have to offer. Or are we contenting ourselves with having done some art, when we know others are doing none?

I find myself watching my children and seeing that while I am still fingerpainting, they, even the littlest of them, are busily creating masterpieces of God!

Holiday World 2011!

Holiday World 2011!

Baby # 6

Baby # 6
Welcome to the world and welcome to our crazy family!

Fort Benning

Fort Benning
We finally made it to Georgia!!!

Just a day at the park!

Just a day at the park!

My Hero!

My Hero!
I don't do dead things. Fortunately for me, God gave me boys!

Much awaited 2009 PJs from Daddy!

Much awaited 2009 PJs from Daddy!
Daddy and Grandma make Jammies every year for the kids, They love it!

Christmas in PJs

Christmas in PJs
Don't I just have the cutest kids?

2010 Jammies

2010 Jammies
Once again Daddy pulled it off. They look cute!

Round 2 birthday parties

Round 2 birthday parties
Cake number 1 of 3 done. I am so not an artist, but I think it came out pretty well!

My Girls

My Girls
Borrowed dance clothes, my girls sure look cute.

Couped up

Couped up
More images below showing the children feeling a bit "couped up" from the long winter!

Chickens: Take 2

Chickens: Take 2
Cute chicks!

The robot cake. I am glad my kids' standards aren't as high as mine!

Tree Climbers

Tree Climbers

Summer Fun!

Summer Fun!
Hi Daddy! Hope you are having fun at work!

This one is so bad, I had to label the cake so you would know it's not a cow!

Dressed for Church!

Dressed for Church!
Come as your favorite Bible character night!

Too cute for words!

If the boy wasn't so tall, I could get a picture of his face!

Establishing the pecking order!

Babies!