Monday, July 28, 2008

the gift card road rally.

The gift card adventure:
Stop 1- starbucks $.55 iced caramel macchiato
Stop 2- Stein Mart $14.01- little outfit for baby luke
Stop 3- Motherhood Maternity -$3.23 Undisclosed April items
Stop 4- Belks $33.01 (actually old Parisians credit)
Stop 5- Dillards $31.09 - shoes for Josh.
Stop 6- johnny Carinos $26.33 - chopped salad and pizza for the family + tip.

Who knew we had more than $100 in credit lying around. It was a great day. 
Look for your old merchandise credits. It all adds up. 

Saturday, July 26, 2008

why blueberries are expensive.

Now I know why blueberries are expensive. This saturday morning, we went "pickin" for these lovely little morsels of juicy goodness. 


Not to mention, April and I forgot shoes for Josh. What kind of parents are we? 

His feet were blackish blue from the fallen fruit. Nothing a couple baby wipes can't remove.

It was a good day. 

Caleb was in charge of water. 

We picked two gallons. 

Thursday, July 24, 2008

i would live in a dog house with you

The other day april and I were talking about life and the future. We have been reading several books about minimizing our stuff and clutter (which we will soon give away to avoid yet more clutter).

Streamlining things. We were having a lighthearted conversation about the possibilities of where we would be willing to live given random scenarios, what kind of space, etc...

April, in a quick retort, says, "I would live in a dog house with you." 

Enough said. Silly woman. She's that into me. Not bad after almost seven years of marriage. 
Not bad at all. Love is in the air. 

Thursday, July 17, 2008

tuning in.

There are seasons in life where the stakes seem higher and the call to trust God seems more pressing. On some days, it is far easier to trust my eternity (forever and ever and ever and ever) to God than it is to trust Him for today.  

I believe one reason why is because in the moment I fail to believe Him for who He is and what He has promised us in Christ. Confidence in God. Real trust in Him -- is my responsive choice, it is what I can bring as an offering. 

Childlike faith meeting the human condition - sometimes gets messy. Just like the wisdom of the world/american dream can square off against the ways of the kingdom/wisdom of God like a heavyweight UFC match. 

Good thing I know there is only one winner. Good thing His ways are NOT LIKE my ways, or yours. 

I am really asking the question, what does it mean to fix my eyes on Jesus as the author and perfecter of my faith --- in all things, like when I'm in the pool with my children, or when I'm in the grocery store, or when I'm emptying the dishwasher with April or when I'm really tired at the end of a long day. 

Why is it that under the pressure of not meeting other people's expectations for us I shift my gaze from Him to them? Yikes. It's my sinful default mode of choosing to live like there is no God, choosing to engage life from the temporal rather than eternal. 

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; YOU ARE MINE." Isa 43:1

This blog post will serve to remind me that in all the questions, choices, dreams, and convictions we are wrestling with now --- will be much clearer. I desire to live with expectant confidence in Him -- believing He exists and rewards those who seek Him. 

"I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them, I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are things I will do, I will not forsake them."
 Isa 42:16

I am writing this post in a hotel lobby in Alpharetta, GA. April and the boys (all three) are having nap time, and I'm tuning in for a wedding ceremony for dear friends a couple hours from now. Today, we woke up and went to the pool, spent time with our auburn family, went to Chic-Fil-A. Then the boys watched a Kermit movie while April and I spent time further processing where we are sense God's leading in our lives. Let me say - my wife is amazing. Her insight is like no other - so thankful for her. 

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

yes. I do.

So - I just need to say, these two bring me great joy. So much of how I relate to our Father - is shaped by either my imperfections (in light of His perfection) or my inexpressible love for them (in light of His love for me) - and as I have enjoyed fathering these two boys this week, I am reminded what a privilege, blessing, and honor it is to be their father. 

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us - that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

more than acknowledgments

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor 4:16

And without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe he exists, and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6

For many years of my life, my "faith" rested on what was seen, on information, and feelings. The turning point came when by grace my eyes were closed, and the eyes of my heart were opened (Eph1:17-23) to move beyond acknowledgments about God. I think about the difference between Josh and Caleb saying what I already know to be true (like - Yes, you are our father.) and what is happens because of them knowing the truth (like - yes, you are our dad, and all we want to do is what you are doing. You love us and we love you. Can we wrestle? ) 

This morning, I was leaving for work, and the boys were watching The Wonder Pets. We normally don't allow them to watch tv in the morning, but today was an exception. I was telling them goodbye, but truth be told, I was in their way... of the tv. All I got, was an acknowledgment... a courtesy nod, and then back to tv. 

I've been thinking about how often I give Him a courtesy nod. Hey God... and then move on with my day. But that verse in Hebrews 11:6 is getting to me. More than belief, He also wants me to treasure Him, confidently believing He is the best of everything I could ever know or experience. 

Most days, Josh and Caleb are passionately in pursuit of me, doing anything and everything they can to be with me, play with me, go with me, be around me, enjoy me ... to the point, where I (as a mere human father) reach my end. By the end of most days, I have given my everything (and loved it) and I'm on E. A good nights sleep, and I'll start all over again... 

But the point - The One who has redeemed me never grows tired, never reaches E, never has to dig deep and find more life - HE is LIFE, and He promises to reward me when I earnestly seek Him. So, for today, I am earnestly trying to fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith. 

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

life before luke.

When I got home today, I was attacked by two water-gun-wielding midgets. The war was on. Within moments Josh and Caleb were were soaking wet. They didn't realize I am an expert water gun assassin. In fairness to them, I was soaked as well. Tonight was one the nights where we packed a lot of things in before sunset. Water gun war. Riding "big red" in the woods looking for mud. We saw a hawk and deer tracks. We then went fishing. Caught nothing. Great times.  

Here are some things I don't want to forget about the past 24 hours.

1. April and I had a great visit with my parents last night. Very encouraging. 
2. Seeing Josh and Caleb sword-fight their "dee-dee" (my dad). 
3. Thinking about ISA 42, Phil 4:8 all day. 
4. Making pad-thai with April for dinner. 
5. Reading "Don't Worry Bear" and "The Tricky Fox" before their bedtime. 
6. Praying with J/C about snakes and frogs God made. 
7. Seeing plans for October's trip to HK come together. 
8. $1000 reminder God is committed to GCM (and paying for a Ugandan friend to join us this year)
9. Jon & Kate + 8 = Vomit episode. Was Jon really breathing that loud? 
10. Seeing adoption paperwork / updates go faster than expected. 
11. Catching a lightning bug with Josh. 
12. Asking Caleb what his favorite animal was? Green.