Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Shiny, Thin Veneer

So everybody knows I'm a little panicked about moving to S. Asia in the Fall. Fear #1 of course, is that my children will die. I have no rational reason for thinking this will happen. I just think that if we move to a third world country on the other side of the world, the likelihood of their eminent death increases.

But like a mighty wind that blows up from underneath you and lifts you high, a heightened awareness lifted me up to a knew understanding of the world in which I live: There is no place on this great green and blue sphere that is "safe" or "unsafe." And Jackson's words come curling through my thoughts, "I am as safe in my bed, as I am on the battle field," meaning, of course, that God numbers my days; my circumstances do not.

There is, I have come to understand, a shiny, thin veneer of safety in the U.S. that disguises a spiritual reality that most people in other countries know to be true. I trust the government, the supermarket, the FDA, the restaurant standard of cleanliness, doctors and nutritionists to keep me "safe." But really, I'm a fool. I am as safe in S. Asia as I am in the U.S. My children are just as capable of dying in Florida as they are in Belgium, just as vulnerable to illness or disease. I am not being fatalistic--I believe in doing all within my power to protect the ones I love. However, I will not sit idly by any longer in America, believing the lies that tell me I am safe.

Thank you, Lord, for a sweet lesson in truth. And thank you for the opportunity to trust you, even though I should have been trusting you all along, America or Asia, you hold us in the gentle, loving, gracious palm of your hand.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"No! Be Daddy's Little Girl!"

This evening, Jonathan and I were doing devotions with the girls and we read the story of Naaman from the Jesus Storybook Bible. Jonathan was re0-emphasizing to Annie the importance of having a soft heart and telling her about the importance of forgiveness, like the little servant girl forgave Naaman. Jonathan said, "Annie, that little girl was God's little girl! Don't you want to be God's little girl!?" "NO!" Annie said emphatically. "Be Daddy's little girl!" and cuddled close to her Daddy and held him tight with her two little arms. Both of our hearts just melted. Now I know we need to correct her problematic theology, but it was a precious moment in our parenting lives. Any other precious moments out there from your kiddos?

Friday, January 01, 2010

A Little Recap of December

So here's December, more or less, a month in photos:

Lily started really "crawling,"
not just scooting,
but officially one knee in front of the other on all fours

Annie started potty-training. Definitely not there yet, but it saves on some diapers. :)

Annie and I decorated Christmas Gingerbread Men one afternoon to celebrate the season.

Which, like most pleasant activities with Annie, ended in a lesson on obedience.
Yes, we did eat those cookies off the floor.

We attempted a Christmas card photo, that sort of succeeded, but not really, because a quarter of the family looked a little freaked out.
Still, we sent them out and if you didn't get one but wanted one, let me know your address and I'll try to dig one up.

Lily learned to climb up on things,

And really started to take an interest in people,

Like her Uncle Jimmy

and her Aunt Ray Ray.

Christmas Day was incredible.
We loved watching our two year old open "Mo Presents!"

We turned around for about 25 seconds to open our own presents, when Annie found some lipstick and put it all over her face.
I love it.

Also in December, Annie really perfected her "pretty face,"

Annie and Daddy are as close as ever...

Lily got really into exercising, thus, she remains slight and svelt, but I'm working to fatten her...
any suggestions?

Annie got really into play-doh.
Here she is with our rendition of Catywampus

And here is Annie's rendering of an "Eee Eee Ahhh Ahhh" (a dolphin)

Shortly after this photo was taken, Lily pulled herself all the way to a standing position. Then I kicked her legs out from under her. Just kidding. But I am really not ready for her be standing...and I hate it when she falls over.

And here are my babies.
And this is possibly the best thing that happened this December, the girls really started to enjoy each other. Annie has always loved Lily (except maybe for the first three weeks of Lily's life), but now they play together. Lily's eyes never leave her big sister and she follows her from room to room throughout the house. Annie spends a lot of time protecting Lily from chewing on Daddy's flip-flops, Mommy's sneakers and anything else she shouldn't have in her mouth.
In their stead, she brings her toys appropriate for babies her age.
Not that they're perfect, but I love that they love each other right now.

Happy New Year!
Here's to 2009

Gregory Alan Isakov

Anybody heard of him? I'm kind of thinking he's the right a very platonic-I'm-really-in-love-with-my-husband sort of way. Of course. But his voice is really deep and nice and honestly, it's good for my marriage to listen to music like this because I start to feel really romantic and in love...with my husband. Whatever the case, if you haven't heard any of his music, check it out. I highly recommend "That Moon Song."

ANYWAY, been gone for awhile and we're leaving the country Jan 11-Feb 11 for some training in Bruxelles, Belgium, so this little blog may fall silent, or at least sporadically vocal for the next month or so. Don't give up. I hope to post pictures at the very least. How else will my children remember their childhood?

In other news, did y'all (or just you, if I'm back down to my single reader: Mom, Hi! How are you? Call me sometime soon...and Sara Beth, if you're out there, I really miss you) know that we're moving to South Asia this Fall (hopefully!)? Jonathan and I accepted a call to train local pastors in reformed theology and church planting at their invitation! Due to some security reasons, I can't say exactly where we'll be, but I plan to eventually make this blog private and hopefully I can share more openly then. Because what am I, if not open, right? So I'll give you a hint. You know that little icon in the bottom right part of the screen that has a new unreached people group that you can pray for featured each day? Well, they're usually from the country I'm moving to in about 9 months (like a fetus). In fact, the vast majority of unreached people groups are in this country. And God is really helping me to love them, even though I don't know them yet. If you're interested in being part of our team for the next four years (or more), drop me a comment. Or email me, or drop me a facebook message. We are hoping to accrue about 10% of our support each month from now until August/September in order to get to the field by our goal of September 2010. We're at about 25% right now. We would also love some prayer warriors, so let me know that, too, and then I can send you our updates.

Thanks for reading. Sorry I've been so MIA. I'm working on it. And this really isn't about Gregory Alan Isakov at all.