Monday, March 29, 2010 |

The Radical Series

I've started listening to "The Radical Series" online in the past few weeks. It's a series of sermons done by The Church at Brook Hills. I discovered them after Katie (a young missionary in Uganda - read her stuff, it's amazing) talked about them in one of her posts not too long ago.

Oh, man, this stuff is good. Please, check it out some time.

The preacher talks about what the gospel demands of us - radical giving, radical love, etc. (based on Luke 14:25-35). And that when Jesus called people to follow him, he warned them of the extreme cost. To be a disciple of Jesus is much more than reciting the so-called "sinner's prayer", but is actually a very costly way of life. I don't really think a lot of us live that way. I know that I don't.

A while back, I started planning a BIble study about what the Scriptures say about money. I tried to find some commentaries on the passage with the rich young man, to whom Jesus commanded to "Go, sell everything you have and give it to the poor..." (Mark 10:21). It was the craziest thing - EVERY one of the commentaries I could find said that Jesus' command was not literal. That it was symbolic. Or merely a suggestion. Or just a calling to be mindful to the poor. And I often hear believers (myself included) that "it's not like we have to live in poverty". Really?!

But the preacher in the Radical Series says that, just like most (ALL!) things that ever came out of Jesus' mouth, he meant it. When and where did we ever decide that he didn't?

All of which has some really scary implications.

Well, I'm certainly convicted. And scared. And still trying to convince myself that I don't really have to be prepared to give everything up. But knowing, deep down, that I know the Truth...
Monday, March 22, 2010 |

Spring nesting?!

Call it what you will - Spring cleaning, nesting (that's the term Kris prefers to use), or being anal (I think he likes that one too, actually...) - I am in extreme cleaning/organizing mode these days. I think all of those terms are probably correct in their own way, and then it doesn't help that I read a great blog about de-cluttering our lives.

I hate clutter. I don't even think that I really have that much, but I have more than I care for. And I really liked the general rule that the blog lady used when she de-cluttered her house: If I don't use it or love it, it's GONE! She talked a lot about how we spend so much time and money organizing and cleaning stuff. Buying it. Finding a place for it. Tidying it. Sorting it. Cleaning it. And then having such a hard time letting go of it once it's no longer useful. (Or perhaps never really was.) And she talked about the freedom she felt after she was done. Freedom from her things.

I started going through some stuff, and really getting things down to the basics. I don't need 7 (yup, seven) twin sheet sets. When we have 2 kids in twin beds, 4 sets should do nicely. I also got rid of a bunch of towels. We don't need more than a couple towels per person. We have a washing machine. I don't need to keep books that I've read once that I liked, but have never picked up again. So I got a little journal to use as a kind of "book registry", and wrote down the titles I decided to get rid of. Then, if I'm looking for a good book to read, I can peruse my little book, find something that fits my mood, and I'll just get it from the library. I really like that place. If I don't use it or love it, it's gone.

It feels really good so far. But I am shocked how hard it is, too. Kris tends to be more of a pack rat than I am, and he expressed his concern that I might get rid of something I really like, or something that I might want to use later. I was kind of concerned about that too, and really had a hard time deciding on some things. Worrying about needing it later, or regretting that I had gotten rid of it. Or feeling bad because so-and-so gave it to me. It alarmed me how attached I was to this stuff, and not in a sentimental way (those things I keep), just in a hoarding-things kind of way. But it felt good to just make the decisions and break the hold that these things had on my life. And the space it is creating (both physically, and emotionally) is SO refreshing.

So, whatever is causing me to go on my little rampage (I'm pretty sure Kris is scared of me right now, and is hiding all his things), it's been wonderful! And I'm sure one more motivator for all this work is to make room for a sweet little person who will be joining our home really soon. I'm glad to be bringing that little one into what I hope is becoming a peaceful, simple home.

Monday, March 15, 2010 |

Finally a post!

I sure have not been doing a very good job of keeping up my blog lately. It's been over a month now! I've thought to myself on numerous occasions, "I should blog today", but then I come here, and don't really know what to say. I just feel kind of silent. The weird thing is, is I do have lots to say (when don't I?!), and lots of things floating around in my head.

I kind of find it therapeutic to be silent. We've had a lot going on around here these days, just with life, a growing family, a tougher pregnancy... and it's kind of nice just to be, and not worry about what others require or want from me. And instead of looking around for something or someone to fill me up, to just work on letting my Father do that. He does the best job, after all. :)

But here's some highlights from our household this last while:
  • Our due date is just 10 weeks away. While that feels like an eternity to me in some ways, I also know it will come SO fast. I'll be full term in just 7 weeks! And we're praying that we make it full term this time - but hopefully not too much past! (Isn't that every woman's hope?!) This baby just feels big (I was 9'3"!), so a bit early would be nice. We'll see.
  • Sam is still his hilarious, joyful little self. His sleeping is back to normal, praise God for that! He loves to colour, play outside, go "kadooing" with his Dad, and play any kind of sport that requires a ball. He's talking SO much more every day, it amazes me. I love knowing what he thinks and what he wants ("Mommy come downstairs NOW!"). We're excited to set up a play centre we bought for the backyard. We know Sam will just love it.
  • We're thinking about gutting our kitchen and redoing it. It's just so tiny, and it would be nice to have an easier workspace when there are 2 little people who want to help. Not to mention that Kris and I could be in the kitchen at the same time (!), which would be much more efficient. But, we also want to be humble and be good stewards of what we're given... so we're just praying about it for now to see if it'll work for us or not. We remember that we are blessed just to have a kitchen.
  • We can't wait for some warmer weather. Partly because that means our baby is closer, and partly because we all just love being outside. We're SO looking forward to camping, days at the beach, walks with 2 little ones, playing at the park with Sam. Winter sucks. But at least it appears to be on the way out!
I think that's it for now. And I'll try to be better and coming here more often!