Friday, March 21, 2008

Hee, Hee! (Shammon?)

...And the winner seems to be the Michael Jackson dance with dad! Okay, so Israel hasn't quite got the footing down, but given his dad's influence, he'll get there. I have to share that as Pat watched his video, ho got that self-conscious grin of his and said, "You know, watching that video makes me think I'm pretty cool...cooler than I had thought." Maybe you'll agree!

In other news, Israel had his 6 month check-up and shots today. (He is starting to be suspicious of the doctor's office....) He is now 27 3/4 inches long, weighing 16 lbs. 3 oz!

Monday, March 17, 2008

This food is bananas: b-a-n-a-n-a-s!

Israel has a funny response to his first time eating bananas. (He now eats rice, oatmeal, peas, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, and bananas.) Israel has nearly this same response every time he tries something new. After a few times of trying the new thing, he decides he likes it. What's great is how many of these "Israel's first time trying...." videos we are accumulating. So, we're going to do a viewers' choice blog. Let us know if you would rather see Israel's first time trying carrots, Israel's first time in the bath, or a random first Michael Jackson dance with his dad. (Hee, hee!) Post your comments and we'll post the winner at the end of the week!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lord of "Hosts"

This weekend was a crazy one. Over the course of two days, we have hosted 16 people in our house for two different meals. The Bible verse that has been going through my head: "Practice hospitality." My hands are all wrinkled from another 45 minutes of dishwashing, but my refrigerator is full of left-overs (to use for hosting lunch guests this week, I suppose), my head is full of thoughts, and my heart is full of gratitude.

On Saturday night, we had "old Muncie" friends get together for an incredible meal and time of laughter and prayer. It was all instigated and the ingredients (food and otherwise) were all brought by our friend, Lisa. I often feel like a different person among that group of friends. I feel a bit more noble and my life feels a bit more epic -- like I actually play a role in a true, Lord of the Rings-ish myth. Or at least that I am called to play a role in the real-life epic.

The time of our lives that we all spent closer together was very much about learning our identity as children of God, first and foremost. That identity does not change based on life circumstances. Even so, at times in conversation that evening, I felt myself scrambling to come up with something exciting to talk about in my own life -- some job or big decision coming up or some talent of mine -- in order to feel like I have something to say other than, "So...did you know Israel can poop in the toilet?" I never came up with anything and then resisted the urge to make the unchanging-ness of my life currently into the crisis I could talk about. The faces of the people around me served as reminder of the lessons I "learned" about identity and I tried to relax, knowing that I am only supposed to be my Father's child and that I am only asked to do well whatever it is I have been given to do. Right now, that means being patient and caring for my son and being a good wife. That's plenty hard, even if it doesn't sound glamorous. And it's no more or less important than what my friends are all doing at this point in life: trusting God as single women, expecting children, running businesses, making music albums or art, what-have-you. Each station in life has its own blessings and challenges (and those words are not exclusive of each other).

But more than being an evening about where we all are in life, the evening was about God and who He is. We found ourselves praying, begging, "daring," (as one of us put it) God to be our God. There is so much that we need Him for. And we are each completely incapable of being who we are and doing what we're supposed to do apart from God continuing to make us. As Psalm 100 says: "It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves." I think this is about more than just a one-time act. We cannot will any part of ourselves into being. Unless God shows up, there is not anything to expect from life. As much as we all have changed and grown in the time we have been apart from each other, that has not changed. We are all living part of the story God is writing. It is such a joy to get together and talk about what has happened so far in the book, to guess about what He will write about in the upcoming chapters, and to marvel and worship Him for the great Author that He is!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Looking into a different world

I took this picture of Israel yesterday. He loves the camera. Every time I take it out, he tries to grab it from me. (This makes close-ups difficult to manage.) He likes to stare straight into it as though he's looking for the thing inside. He also loves that we just figured out how to use our webcam. We use it to talk to my (Lezlie's) parents. It is so crazy. I was still busy being amazed that I could take a picture and have it ready for people far away to see a couple of minutes later!

When I was a kid, I used to imagine that there were secret portals that lead straight from one location to another. And now, here it is...a little rectangle in my room that looks into my parents' tv room. It's a blurry version of the real thing, as though you're looking through watery glass, but who knew that would ever be possible during my lifetime! I guess the nerdy folk sitting in pasty rooms staring at screens and speaking in code are actually more like Willy Wonka than I ever would've thought.

This crazy invention is a great thing. It helps people feel like they're not so far away. As I try to share Israel rolling over or give people a look at the two teeth he now has, it helps me know that these times are important. And fleeting. I know that every day really is something new. It's been just a little over two weeks since we had Israel dedicated and many of you were able to come see him then. But in the time since then, he's sprouted these two teeth and seems to have learned to use the toilet for his real messes (no joke...), eats cereal and vegetables and can roll his way from one side of a room to the other (and from the middle of his crib to a corner of it in the middle of the night...much to my chagrin). These things happen too quickly, but I'm glad to be able to make them last a little by sharing them with you. Thanks for taking the time to peek into the rectangle that leads to somewhere between my head and a computer keyboard. It means a good deal.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

as they're meant to be

Somtimes we're fortunate enough to see a small glimpse of things and people as they were meant to be. These glimpses can be very short at times. This is C.C. and Schaivon -- two of our favorite kids -- making Israel's day. They love our son by letting their guard down and being downright ridiculous in front of each other. We love that these kids are some of the people who will influence Israel's young life. This moment will stick with me as a reminder to hope and to love for years to come, I am sure.