Sunday, September 23, 2012

picture this

(our big baby is really still quite small)
chub cub!

"I'm not so sure I want the kids wandering toward the bulls, with a questionable fence in between", I plead.

"Yeah, I'll keep 'em back" replies my non-chalant husband, who keeps us all balanced, if not safe.

I just walked inside from this conversation.

Two days ago....

Ahhh, back up to two days ago.  Thursday: it was the first weekday in I-can't-remember-how-long that I would have time to do something other than all the HAVE-TOs of school, cook, clean, bathe, laundry, dishes, unpack boxes, while nursing on demand and remembering to quiz the kids on their math facts.  I had settled on spending my free time mounting some pictures on these walls.  It was going to be glorious.

We were just finishing up our school day when I peered out the window and observed 2 gigantic bulls wandering around our back yard.

Upon this realization, I flew into damsel in distress mode and began dialing neighbors' numbers.  I figured they would know who the cattle belonged to, and who to call to get them rounded up.  The neighbors that are usually home were not (of course), and the one phone number I did track down... well, it was disconnected.  So I drove myself + 5 kids next door (for whom I did not have a phone number), and explained.  Within minutes, one neighbor was driving around to an adjacent property to get help, and the other neighbor sent 4 of his employees walking into my back yard to moooove the bulls on out!  So there was a rodeo of sorts in our back yard, and I was very thankful to only be a spectator!  (I did conclude that the wranglers would have been much better off on horseback).  At one point I feared that one of the young girls was going to get gored, so I did the only thing I knew to do ~ picked up the video camera ... you now, just in case I shot something that could be a youtube sensation.  Thankfully, no people or animals were harmed in the making of this story.  And not a single picture was hung, either.

"Hey Mom, look!  I have clean hands!"  Just a few minutes ago, Aaron displayed his chubby little palms and fingers for me.  He had just been playing in the dirt, so his face was covered in dust (plus some leftover lunch), his shirt had food drips and dirt on it, and his ripped jeans looked like they had just come out of the sandbox.  He had come inside, a real life Dennis the Menace, dropping crumbs of dirt as he walked.  He walked in Grandpa Aaron's cowboy boots (on the wrong feet) to the farthest bathroom from the door, pulled himself up a stepstool, and washed his hands.  He left behind all sorts of mud on the porcelain white sink.

This scene immediately reminded me of Isaiah 64.6:
"All of us have become like one who is unclean, 
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; 
we all shrivel up like a leaf, 
and like the wind our sins sweep us away."

All my righteousness (anything I think I'm doing for God), like Aaron washing his hands, is just the same as the dusty, dirty, muddy clothes he was wearing.  My good deeds are just dirty clothes.  No, not just dirty ~ filthy.  The kind of grease, stains that oxy-clean can't remove.  We can't for a minute clean up our hands (what we do) and expect God not to notice our mud covered clothes.  He would much rather hear us admit our need for a bath ~ a plunge in the blood of Jesus ~ than to hear, "well, my hands are clean!"  What can wash away my sin?  Nothing, no nothing, but the blood of Jesus...

I adore the many ways God talks to me through experiences with my kids...

sometimes when i'm overwhelmed
and can't imagine finishing,
i pick up the camera.
this was the
"catch up on laundry + summer to winter and new sizes for the boys"
clothing project
Ella, who has an eye for true beauty, took this

this might just be the sweetest thing
I've ever stepped out of the shower to see
(and just when i snapped the photo, he smiled in his sleep)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

kids teachin' me

I'm so glad the children were listening when we were at worship several weeks ago.  
They have repeated (more than once) one of the pastor's points:

"If you ever wonder what's going to happen, read the back of the book (Revelation)!  It's all there:
Jesus gets what he deserves, Satan gets what he deserves, and we get what we DON'T deserve!"  

Ahhh, I love how the simple message of God's story sinks into our hearts, no matter our level of education!  


The beauty of the gospel message is vibrant in those with simple lives.  


The most beautiful people are those who are not trying to be anybody but themselves.