Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Graduate

On May 22, 2008 Dave graduated from Westminster Theological Seminary with a Masters of Arts in Religion.  It took five years, but he did it while being a dad of two and working full-time in ministry at liberti church. I'm really proud of him. The amount of reading and intellectual rigor required to succeed in his program of study was tremendous. I have to say that I have a new respect for Dave's ability to apply himself, his discipline to study and his patience to actually learn the material. I was always the kind of student that learned quickly and spit out enough of the information correctly in order to get by. I never once asked myself, "Do I really get this?" I feel like watching Dave has led me to a new definition of Intellectual. He isnt going to toot his own horn or use heady words (actually, his vocabulary astounds me!). I mean, he isnt a saint...he tries to get his self worth in other ways, but for someone who personally tries to get props from being quick and witty, I am often humbled by Dave's understanding of things way beyond my grasp. 

One of Dave's favorite authors, Abraham Kuyper, writes, "There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, "Mine!".  I'm convinced that Christ has claimed Dave's degree as his own. Where ever we land vocationally, God has used this time at seminary to fulfill many purposes already. I see another side of Dave that I would never have seen had we not come to Philly. Even though that is enough for me, I know that God will continue to use Dave's gifts to serve others and to image the One who created him. Congratulations Dave!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Creative Rage

Ellie (after losing a few priviledges due to some disobedience): I hate my family! I hate the world! I want to put up my middle finger at the whole world!

Pretty creative, right? I mean, I figure I should just go ahead and find the positive in her tantrums. Please dont be disturbed, it only makes sense that my little extremist would only rant in extreme ways! :) So, I'm kind of impressed with her level of verbal accuracy that describes the norm for most human experience...rage to the point of flipping the bird at the whole world. It makes sense, really.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers Day

Being the mother to these absolutely beautiful children is the biggest blessing and challenge of my life. 

Atticus, my little friend, brings me such uncomplicated joy. I am nothing but delighted by this intent, happy, curious, destructive, active, talented, monkey-like child. While Atticus is around, there will always be someone who makes me laugh. My heart is at peace knowing he is my son.

Ellie, my soul, is as equally horrifying and as she is awe-inspiring. She reflects the best and worst of me. She will always be my mirror. I am amazed by her depth and her intelligence. Her insight into others and the world is far beyond her years. Her thoughtfulness is overwhelming. While Ellie is around, there will always be someone who sharpens me and seeks to care for me. My heart is proud that she is my daughter.

This Mothers Day has been a special one. Not because it was fun or I received great presents, but because I reflected on the blessings that have been heaped on my head by God. "Mothers Day" could possibly end up being just a set up for a huge disappointment. Seriously, moms dont just need a day off. What kind of rest, gift or brunch really celebrates the sacrifices mothers make for their children? How do you honor someone who feels constant guilt for not loving you better? 

The standards that have been set by society are impossible for moms to meet, yet everyday we toil to care for the hearts of our children, protect them from harm, keep a house like Martha Stewart, cook like Rachel Ray, perform at the A level in our work...yet if we work, we have compromised our roles as primary care givers and if we stay at home full-time, we are laughably out of touch with culture and marketplace. We think that we have been liberated by the feminist movement because we are now included in world of work. But, what have we really been liberated to? Feeling guilt for our failure to be perfect in two arenas now. 

So whats the answer? Not to go back to the '50's, that's for sure! No, its again, the Gospel. Our guilt can only be eased by knowing that God has paid the penalty for our failures as mothers. He, in his overwhelming love for our kids, can even use the pain we have caused to draw our children to himself. He has gifted us to take part in the redemption of the world. It is not our responsibility to save our children, nor the world, but the gift to participate in his redemption of it. It is an honor to use our gifts to serve, sacrifice and die for our children and for the world. Today, I celebrate the blessing of serving, even though I fail miserably at it. 

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sweet Sisters Bakeshop

My sister in law, Laurie just opened a bakery in Blue Bell.  I spent the afternoon there yesterday, taking photos for the website that Dave will be designing for them. The treats that her and her sisters were churning out were amazingly decadent. Atticus was so hopped up on sugar when we left that my attempt to go shopping at Home Goods afterward was not only futile, but completely dumb. He crashed into a sugar coma on the drive home with a ring of chocolate and Dorito crumbs lining his face. What a happy day for him! Everyone needs an aunt with a bake shop!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Little Miss Miss

Ellie: What are you reading?
Mama: Parenting with Love and Logic.
Ellie: (snort!) Just 'cause I lied to you?! 
(see the steam rising off my head...)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Quotable Ellie

Ellie: I decided not to vote for Hilary.
Mama: Really? I thought you wanted to.
Ellie: Nah. I want to be the first woman president.

Just Another Evening Stroll

Last night we took a walk down Kelly Drive, just to let the kids run around before bed. We took advantage of the beauty that we have so close by. We walked past boat house row and the statue garden. The kids ran around the dogwood, cherry and poplar trees. The air was crispy and so many people were out getting their evening exercise, walking their dog, practicing crew. Ellie jogged most of the time with Atticus trailing close behind. Ellie stopped only to pose in her best Miley Cyrus impersonation. Atticus was mostly worried about the dog he overhead me mention that I saw floating in the river last week. Oopsie, so much for sentimentality. Anyway, they both slept great last night. I did too. Its amazing what a walk will do for you.