Sunday, April 24, 2011

Aslan Joins Our Family

We don't do Easter baskets.

We do this.

Zane is a lion lover. His bed is covered with them. So as Easter rolled around, I got the idea to add to his collection with an enormous Aslan.

Why not for Easter? Come on, you get the symbolism, right?

If not, pick up "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe". Good God, man! Read the book!

With Grams and Gramps on board, I entered Castle Toys and Games, gave the owner, Linda, a nod and a wink, and while Zane wasn't looking, paid for the one huge lion she had on display.

We set Aslan up on the couch on Saturday so that Dad could watch Zane's reaction to his new snuggle-lion a day early, for George would be out of the house early Sunday morning and didn't want to miss the unveiling.

Zane responded just as we thought.

I think he and Aslan will be very happy together. Along with the other lions in his stuffed pride: Lion, Liony, pillow-pet Lion, Playmobile Lion, and other assorted lion figures. Add to the weekend a viewing of Disney's "African Cats" and "Born Free" and I think we have outdone ourselves.

Harper is lioned-out.

Scout seems to be a bit confused by the newest addition to our family. Threatened even. Aslan is larger than she is.

This is how we do Easter.

Who needs candy???

Harper's Baptism, Take Two

Yes, she was baptized as a baby, but that was more of a decision we made on her behalf. Infant baptism doesn't hold any "magic" power. It was a public profession of OUR faith. It was during Harper's infant baptism that we communicated our commitment to introduce Harper to Jesus.

Ten years later and Harper shares with us that back when she was in 2nd grade she asked Jesus to be her Saviour.

She is not very vocal or overtly emotionally expressive when it comes to her faith in Christ, so when the opportunity to be baptized on Easter presented itself, we sat down to talk with her about making a public profession of her faith.

We wanted to make sure that if she did decide to get baptized it wasn't because she thought WE thought she should or because it would please her Grandparents or friends. It needed to be her decision and hers alone. So we talked about her "story", which went back to the years when she struggled with social anxiety. A very touching part of this story included the influence of our neighbor, Martha, who has made a huge impression on Harper - something we hadn't realized until we sat to chat about her faith.

After much consideration, she decided to be baptized, and we felt that she was ready to do so based on how she expressed herself to us.

George would already be up helping for the ceremony, so I asked Harper if she'd like me and her brother to join her as well.


We could tell she didn't want this to be a drama-filled event. She didn't want to be surrounded by us, which would only increase the attention. It was very "matter of fact" for her. A next step.

We followed her lead - didn't make a huge deal, no gift, no fawning over her. Nothing that would serve as a means of "influencing" her.

When her name was called, she bounced up there, hopped in, smiled, and then, dunk! This, from a girl who used to struggle and hesitate to do anything in front of crowds.

Yes, I cried. Am I proud? That's an interesting question. I am not as much proud as I am filled with joy that she has chosen to profess her young faith by this means. When folks say, "You done good, Mom!" I cringe. Yes, I pray for her, and we do our best to be in the Word and address daily issues from a Christian perspective, but strip all that away and really it's just her and Jesus. Strip that back even more and you hit a bigger truth.

It's not about us.

It's not about Harper.

It's ALL about Jesus.

So, I'm proud of Him. For dying. And then conquering death. So that Harper may live.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Introducing Daily Fast Fuel

Introducing . . . a dream.

For over a year now I've been bouncing around the idea of starting yet another blog. I know. As if I need another project. I was thinking the same thing. Only, as my Cuppa Jo blog began to incorporate a number of different topics, drifting away from the original intent of it being a family blog, my mind started to dream up a place to write about the spiritual lessons I have learned.

Last year I approached an old friend and fellow blogger about the project, suggesting we partner together. We sat on it for a while - not due to disinterest, but rather due to a lack of direction. As I took the year to really reflect and tighten the idea, I recontacted her. She spoke with a writer friend of hers. I then approached another gal. And another. Feeling led, we added one more.

Six. Six writers. Six women from around the country, all committed to loving God daily and inhabiting a NEED to write as part of our individual spiritual journeys.

We are now ready to present to you the outcome of months and months of praying, brainstorming, planning, and Friday conference calls.

Presenting, Daily Fast Fuel.

Debuting on Easter Sunday, 2011.

Join us everyday to read hearty morsels of fast fuel. Our desire is that our offering to you would be tight and concise. Meaty enough to challenge, real enough to be transparent, and so tasty that you will want to ponder and savor the tidbits throughout your day. We know that it can be difficult to commit to being in the Word daily, only we can not deny that this is necessary for living, right? So, we designed Daily Fast Fuel to serve you quick (notice I didn't say "easy") daily nuggets taken from God's word. And, in the process, you'll get to know us as well.

Sticking to a weekly theme, each of us in this cooperative of writers will serve you for a week at a time: Monday-Friday. You'll find that we are similar, in that we all desire to love God and love others in our relationships with Jesus Christ, and yet, our styles, outlooks, takes on life, and perspectives, vary, due to our own personal experiences. How exciting it is to be a member of the body of Christ where He has designed each of us so uniquely.

So, come. Read. Give us feedback (we're open to it), and most of all, enjoy.

The link will be available as of Easter morning.

Daily Fast Fuel: share it with your friends:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lenten Progress

Easter is almost here. 5 more days.

Great time to check-in and reveal how my Lenten Project has faired.

I give myself a "C". Ok, maybe a "C+".

For while waking with sun, (or, rather, at least 30 minutes earlier every day) was the initial plan, I've been very hit and miss on this task. (Caution: list of excuses to follow.)

Rain. Lots of rain. Husband in Belize. Staying up too late. All of these have contributed to my NOT rising as early as I would have liked during Lent. Rain, you say? Yes. I love a day or two of rain. But when one gets almost an entire month of it? It starts to bring a mother down. Seriously, I think we may get more rain than Seattle.

Ok, so the rising wasn't consistent. Thus, the drop in grade.


The morning ROUTINE has absolutely been redesigned. Transformed. Changed for the better. Refocused.

The ultimate goal was fellowship with my Lord, was it not?

I can honestly say, that while rising earlier may have fallen short, my devotional time with God before moving forward with my day has absolutely occurred daily, AND has paid big dividends. My reward has yielded a much better profit than simply adding "morning person" to my list of mad skills.

What have I gained?

Intentional, consistent, daily time alone with the One who establishes and orders my days.

Thank you Lord for gently tapping me each morning, and then patiently waiting for me to join you once I have dragged my night-owl wings out of bed.

For the record, I'll keep asking God to build the discipline of rising earlier into my life. I'm fun that way. Only, this Lent, I am thankful for His grace - that all my "ducks" (the goal of 6:30 AM) did NOT need to be in a row in order to have met with the One who gives me life and breath every day. Many get caught up in "I must DO this, in order to DO that", and had I put off meeting with Him due to my disappointment at not sticking to the plan (rising earlier),  I would have missed the richness that He has shared with me over these past 35 days.

That is progress.