Thursday, August 27, 2009

Packing

So, we've been packing, buying, checking and rechecking our lists in preparation for our trip this weekend. We'll be in the car all day Saturday. I covet your prayers. lol (This is why we live in the city; I'm not a fan of long distance driving. I like everything really close by.)

We let the kids pack their bags and then we dump it all out and review to see what they're lacking. Isaac was so proud of himself. He got everything in his backpack and made it all fit. He packed 3 shirts and 8 pairs of pants. (We'll be there for a week. Apparently he'll be topless half of that time.)

Monday, August 24, 2009

This Just Makes Me Sick

As the debate about healthcare rages, religious “leaders” are weighing in. In a recent teleconference, pastors from around the country gathered to discuss the issue with the White House (and record it for later non-partisan use). The call began with a prayer led by a female pastor from Georgia (one of several female ministers, deacons and church leaders in what was an obvious nod to feminists, and the theological and political left) then descended into sob stories about the need for universal healthcare (i.e., my friend got cancer and died... therefore we need socialized medicine), platitudes about “affordable healthcare for all,” social justice, and a smattering of children’s voices offering a tug at the heartstrings.

Of course, the call was ‘ecumenical’ in nature gathering both churches, non-churches (those holding to heterodoxy), Jews, and Muslims. The theme of the call was clear: the compassionate, ‘social justice’ seeking position is government intervention, and more specifically, uncritical acceptance of president Obama’s cause. Make no mistake, this was a clear case of liberal, feminist, unbiblical, quasi-Christianity on display.

Read the rest here.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Marriage


A couple weeks ago Paul Washer came and spent several days with our church. The majority of the time he talked about marriage. It was so encouraging, I wanted to share it with you.
He said, and I wholeheartedly agree, that marriage is all about our becoming like Christ. The purpose of marriage is to teach us unconditional love.
You can not learn to love unconditionally, if your spouse meets all your conditions.
If he manages money the way you want him to, never leaves his socks and underwear on the bathroom floor, always controls his temper, never watches too much tv, and leads your family in prayer and Bible study every night faithfully-- you wouldn't need to learn how to love like Christ. If your spouse is strong in all the areas you need him to be, you wouldn't need to learn to love unconditionally.

The reason your spouse is weak in the one area you most wanted him to be strong is to teach you how to love unconditionally.

Christ loves us unconditionally. Even in our wickedness. Even with our sinful struggles. Even with all our ugly imperfections, He loves us.
We are undeserving. When we realize how truly unworthy we are of the love and grace God gives us, we can easily give grace and forgiveness to the flawed human He graciously gave us to love.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Love At First Sight


Recently, after meeting our family and visiting with the kids quite a bit, a lady said:

That's such a blessing that you've adopted. And they're such sweet kids. Did you just love them from the very beginning?

And I told her the truth. No, I didn't love them from the very beginning. I love them now. And I'll love them even more in the future, but it wasn't automatic and it wasn't natural.

She was a little taken aback. And I don't blame her. This is an adoption myth that adoptive families all know is a myth, but we don't want the truth known. Because, in the beginning, we bought the myth too and were wondering what we'd done wrong. And then when we realize that these feelings are totally normal, we're still afraid we might discourage someone from adopting if we admit that it wasn't easy.
Even in the very beginning, when it was hardest for me, I would still smile and say I was so glad we did it and I didn't have any regrets. And I didn't.
It was very hard that first year. Daniel was stoic; he just didn't have a personality. We didn't understand a single word Isaac said to us and he had a lot of trouble communicating with us. And we thought that language wouldn't be an obstacle, since Liberians speak English. And every couple of months, Maya would break down crying because she missed her mother.
Despite the fact that it wasn't easy or automatic to love our adoptees in the beginning, we have learned agape love through adoption. I could never regret that.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Encouragement for Non-conformists


We got this DVD set as a gift recently and we've been plowing through them. The one DVD that looked most boring to me, was Kyle's favorite. He sat glued to this one:

Must be a man thing. I enjoyed the Ray Comfort and Voddie Baucham ones the best. Ray Comfort has quite a personality! Who knew?
And Ken Ham (Answers in Genesis), who I've never seen in person, is apparently a genius with a skill for speaking a mile a minute. Who was it that won that DVD when I did that giveaway awhile back? Was that interesting info or what? I really enjoyed that geek.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Grammar Police


Grammar is a big part of our family life. We have two young Africans with atrocious grammar skills. (Daniel doesn't count. His grammar is age-appropriate.) You see, Liberian English is better described as Liberian Creole. It only vaguely resembles proper English. (Not that we Americans can boast of excellent grammar skills. Thanks, public schools.) So, helping Maya and Isaac learn English grammar is a constant focus for us around here. For instance:


"How many do everyone get?"

"What does generic means?"

"Did you went to the store already?"

"You did saw it!"

"Yes, it do."
"Can I have a chips?"


These are just a few phrases I heard over an hour period. For those of you who know me and affectionately refer to me as the Grammar Police or worse, Grammar Nazi, you know this must certainly be one of the ways God is teaching me compassion. ;)



P.S. I just have to get this off my chest: "Should of" doesn't make sense. "Should have" is correct. This is my newest grammatical pet peeve. Thanks for bearing with my weaknesses. And no, I don't judge you by your grammar. I judge the school you attended. :D

Friday, August 14, 2009

He's Still Around

The other night, Pedro came by for a visit and HE CALLED AHEAD TO LET US KNOW HE WAS COMING! No minor miracle there. I'll never forget my parents telling me: You can't just show up unannounced. We might be ___ ____ on the living room rug. You need to call ahead.

For some reason, that vivid and uncomfortable image served as a powerful reminder of their rule. Now we have the same rule, minus the mental images.

We were so happy to see him. It had been a whole month! We've missed you, Pedro!


What I've Been Doing (and not doing)


Chloe was sick most of this week with Strep throat. She's fine now, thanks to my beloved GSE, and I've got a serious case of cabin fever now, thanks to sitting on the couch day after day comforting a poor girl with razor blade throat.
Yesterday, I called Kyle to warn him that I was losing it. I can't go a full week without at least a couple hours of social time. My head starts spinning on my neck like a cartoon character with a delirious look on her face. Luckily, tonight we're having two families over for a Phase 10 game. I told Kyle not to be embarrassed if I jumped into the arms of my girlfriends when they arrived and squealed: I'm so glad you're here!!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Little Help Please

We're going to be heading to Colorado in a few weeks and I need some new reading material for the trip. I've been on one of my non-fiction kicks for awhile now and I'm ready for some good fiction. Francine Rivers is my favorite fiction author, but I've read everything she's written. Do you know any books like her style (fiction, but also convicting) that you could recommend?

We'll also be listening to audio books on the way as a family. What do you think: Chronicles of Narnia series (The Magician's Nephew is the current "anointed book") or Pilgrim's Progress? Both are on our literature reading list for this school year. ;) (I like to kill two birds with one stone.)