Sunday, October 31, 2010

They Arrived...

I'm getting more and more used to his new look and he's doing a GREAT job of keeping them on. But most of all, he can see...and really, that's all that matters! I'm thankful.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Little Yellow Note

My firstborn is a straight arrow. And I mean, a straight arrow. With that personality comes the added trait of being a rule follower. Typical. Well, I've seen this part of his character go to a new level this year with school. Here's an example: everyday the students get their initials on the board and if they get caught with their fingers in their mouth or nose, they get an initial erased. If both are erased at the end of the day, they don't get a sticker. But if they still have one, they get to bring home a sticker on their hand. I think the system is brilliant. Their teacher is trying to promote good sanitation which helps stop the spread of germs amongst the little tykes, as well as curb bad habits like nose picking. But, she does it in a positive way. They don't get in trouble for doing it they just don't get a sticker. I like that.

Anyhow. Like previously mentioned, my son is a rule follower and so these types of systems work very well for him. Each day he happily carries home his sticker and places it on his take home folder like the little type A personality kid that he is. He has gotten a sticker every single day and as he told me on Monday, he's been in school for fifty days. Now hear my point here before you think I'm boasting. Although I like it that he's listening and doing well at school, sometimes I would like him to flub up just a little bit because, like he'll find out soon enough, nobody's perfect and we can't expect too, too much out of ourselves or we'll end up disappointed. Life doesn't always work itself out into neat little boxes. It just doesn't and the faster he can learn that the better.

But anyway, enough background. Isaac is a straight arrow through and through. His Dad and I have definitely helped him a bit in this area but, being that he's a first-born and that its his personality, even if we hadn't encouraged him to follow the rules, I think he'd tend this way of his own accord anyway.

So today I went to pick him up from school and I was told there was a note for me in his folder. I immediately thought he'd gotten in trouble for the first time and was thinking quickly about how I'd wade through that with him. I was picturing him being totally upset at himself and all sorts of images flashed through my head. Yet, as my mind was moving through that, I actually pulled out the note to find that it simply said he was out of dress code that day. He was wearing a gray sweater and not a black or red one. Normally he wears black but occasionally I've let him wear this other sweater to mix things up a bit. I didn't know it wasn't allowed (I had obviously forgotten the exact color of sweaters allowed) and it wasn't brought to my attention until today. To me, it wasn't a big deal. I thought, "Great. Now I know. He won't wear it next time."

But to him, oh to him, when I mentioned he couldn't wear that sweater, the tears started to roll. "Why Mom?! Why? Am I in trouble?" His little brow was furrowed and his lip quivered as he spoke. He took the news so hard and didn't understand why that little yellow note said he wasn't allowed to wear his precious sweater. I wracked my brain trying to come up with a response and then, BINGO, I remembered that he is his father's child and needed a logical, simple answer to satisfy him and bring him out of his pit of despair. If I could show him it made sense, he'd accept it without question.

So I casually said with a grin, "Because Isaac, it's not your school colors. Your school colors are red and black (a certain type of plaid too but don't tell him that because it'd make things too complicated!) and your sweater is gray. That's why you can't wear it anymore." And it was as if the scales fell off his eyes and he could see. Immediately his tears dried up and a smile rebounded onto his face.

"Oh... of course Mama. Of course. Yes, I can't wear that sweater anymore. Only to church Mama."

And that my friends, is how a creative writer-type responds to the logical, "mathy" type...I guess I have learned something these past eight years being married to my nerdy of a husband. I usually have so many words (anyone surprised?) and tons of explanations. But to them, it just needs to be simple and make sense. Whenever I can pull this off, I usually am quite please with myself. Why? Because, it doesn't happen often.

However, I must say, I do think being married to my hubby has helped me to see the world in a totally different way and even though I don't always get it, I like it.

And even though I don't always get them, I must say, I do love them and all of their little logical ways....tons.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Well, I've been out of town and then sick for the past few days so the blog has been neglected. Sorry. Let me just tell you, we had a great time visiting San Luis Obispo for AGO's annual football tournament. It's always so fun to see old friends and hang out. Friday night we made our usual stop at our beloved Mondeos for dinner and then spent the evening with the Weeks. Debbi and I of course made a run out to Balis frozen yogurt. The boys loved camping out at Grandma Debbi's. Then the next morning we hit the Pismo Dunes.

Kappa (Cal Poly) Actives in green and alumni in blue. Even through the years, the brotherhood stays strong. We have such wonderful, lasting friendships from AGO. We love coming back to this tournament every year.

This year was the first since having children that wasn't stressful for me. I almost couldn't believe it. Usually I spend a really short time out at the beach and then trek everyone back to SLO for naps and a much needed time of respite. But this year, aaaahhhh, this year, was wonderful. We got out to the beach at 8:30 am and didn't leave until 1 o'clock. The boys were all content to play in the sand building castles and tunnels. I hardly did anything with them except for feed them some snacks. Elliana nursed and then slept in the carrier and I actually got to have some conversations with people. Amazing. It's never happened before. Usually I am so exhausted by the end of it but it felt doable this time. I think my kids are getting a bit older. It's also so fun to see our kids playing with our friends' kids. It's a really special time of all getting together.

We then spent the afternoon at a dear friends' house who lives close to the beach letting the little ones nap and the older kids play. It was really great. The guys went back to play a last game of football and us women did what we do best-talked. So fun. That evening we skipped the alumni party to hang out with our buddies up in Paso. They couldn't come to the party and we just couldn't let the weekend go by without seeing them. It is so rare that we get to sit around and talk uninterrupted with them, or any of our college friends, so we just soaked up the time. So refreshing. So encouraging. We just love them.

Sunday we came home early for Steve to finish up working on his projects due Monday for his grad school class. Yet by the time we got home, I was really sick. It came on suddenly and I ended up with a case of the 24 hour stomach flu. Bummer. I'm much better today. And Steve had to stay up nearly all night, but he got his projects turned in. Poor guy ended up taking care of the kids most of the day instead of finishing up his work. My Dad came by and brought us dinner though and helped out for awhile. And then Steve's mom took the younger boys this morning so I could regain some strength and sleep it off. I'm very thankful for family. It always amazes me how a little illness like that can really set us back for awhile. Good thing I don't get sick all that often.

But when I do, I always have favorite book put into movie's been my friend for years now. I've watched it while in labor to make myself smile or also just for fun. It's six hours long and I have it memorized. Last night the hubby turned it on for me. Ahhh Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. You make me so happy when I feel so horrible. I think it's time for me to read the book-again. I'll never forget the first time I read it for my high school AP English class the summer before my senior year. Good times.

Well, I must go get a bit more rest before the littlest boy wakes up. He's the one that keeps me on my toes these days. Until next time...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Just Being Honest

Yesterday my mother-in-law and I made the trek to go see an eye specialist for Joshua. I've thought that something was wrong with his eyes since he was a baby and started asking our pediatrician about it when he was six months old. I was told to wait and that it'd probably get better with time. I couldn't quite put my finger on it but, it seemed that his eye turned in occasionally. Most of the time it was his left eye but sometimes it was his right. I asked around the family to see if anyone else noticed it and most people said "No." Both of the grandmas did but very infrequently.

Nevertheless, when he started to walk, we also noticed that he was quite clumsy. Okay, most kids are...but he was especially clumsy and when he would fall, he'd almost ALWAYS fall and hit the left side of his face. When he had his two year check-up, I finally got his pediatrician to give me a referral to an ophthalmologist. He said he didn't see anything wrong on his eye exams but that he believed me and since I'd been bugging him for so long about it, that he'd oblige me. Thank you very much.

So that brings us to yesterday. Everything went quite well. We did get wrong directions to the doctor's office over an hour away, but were able to recover quickly and still make it to the appointment. The doctor didn't see anything wrong at first either but when they dilated his eyes and they relaxed, it was very apparent, even to us, what the problem was...he's cross eyed. What you say?!! Cross eyed? Isn't that something that is extremely noticeable? Well, evidently not. Some kids show signs from birth and those are more obvious cases. However, others like Joshua, have intermittent eye turning that slowly gets worse with age. If it's not caught, they can lose vision in the eye that turns in. Luckily for Joshua, it was caught early enough for glasses to fix it. The doctor looked at me triumphantly as she pronounced that he'd have perfect vision with glasses (evidently a lot of kids with this problem, don't end up with good vision so this is something to be thankful for). I quickly processed the announcement and then asked if the problem would be corrected after a few years of glasses or if he was to wear them forever.

She cheerfully responded it was forever as in...the rest of his life.

Now, I want to preface the following comments with this statement. I know that him having to wear glasses, in the grand scheme of things, is NOT a big deal. At least he doesn't have cancer or something way more serious. But even though I knew that I needed to keep it in perspective, there was something that bothered me about him having to wear glasses for the rest of his life yet, I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

Sure, I thought about how he might get made fun of for being different and I didn't like that. He has such a spunky personality though that I don't think he'll have too much of a problem with that. I also thought about how him having this condition would make more work for me with regards to doctor's visits, keeping the glasses on, etc. However, that didn't bother me much either because all parents don't truly mind being inconvenienced for their kids especially when it comes to their health. No...none of these things were the problem. Something else kept nagging at my heart and it took me all day to figure out what it was.

Then finally, when I got some time to think through the whole thing a bit on my own with a little peace and quiet, I figured it out--his face was going to change. His face. The face that I've known, loved and cherished for two years now was going to go through a permanent change and I didn't want it to happen. Why? Because I think he's perfect even with his eye turning in. I don't want any glasses getting in the way of his adorable expressions. Why should they? I want Joshua. And to me, Joshua doesn't wear glasses.

I was actually really surprised at myself and this reaction. I hadn't realized this would bother me so much. I know it needs to be done and really, I fought to get him checked out so I'm not sad at all that they found the problem. I really am relieved and thankful that glasses can correct his eyes.

But his face...I'm going to miss his face. I'll have to get used to a new one. I know I will. I'll get to know Joshua with glasses and I know he'll still be as cute as ever to me. Ultimately, glasses won't change that. But it will take me time.

And you know what, I think I'm okay with that.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vanity, Vanity?

Today I got a haircut. It's always so wonderful to walk into the salon, sit down by myself for a few hours and just be quiet. And the best part about it is that I get to walk out looking much better than I did when I walked in. Don't you always wish you could do your hair like your stylist does? I do. But I never can. And it's always the case that I don't get to go anywhere after that to bask in my post '"hair did" glow since my trip to the hairdressers already required a sitter...and there ain't any time left for another adventure. Bummer. Today I got to go to Safeway quick. That'll have to do. Although going out to dinner with my hubby would make me feel more like a princess indeed.

But anyway, the lady who does my hair is well known around these parts. She's good, she's fast and she's cheap. She's everything my mommy friends and I, who are all on a tight budget, need. My friend lovingly calls her "The Secret Weapon". Today was no exception. The weapon was fully loaded and operating smoothly. I had a wonderful trip to the salon. The launch from the home front went off without a hitch and I even got to drive my mom's car (a souped up version of our own beloved Pilot...gotta love that leather). I sat for twenty whole minutes (HUGE) under the "dryers" while my highlights were ruminating and an extra bonus: I read Sunset magazine while sipping an ice cold Diet Coke. It was quiet and peaceful. That was worth the money right there. It was refreshing. Too bad I don't go more often. I usually make it, on average, about twice a year.

Which brings me to the point of this post. For awhile now Steve and I have been dialoguing about why it's important for women to beautify themselves. He's been asking me some tough questions-some of them I haven't had any good answer for. For example, I have a lot of gray hair. Thanks to a renegade gene, my older brother and I have a "dusting" to put it mildly on our heads. It's not just a bit. It's a lot. I hate it. My solution is highlighting my hair. Steve has asked me a few times why I don't like the gray and why I feel I need to cover it with highlights. If he doesn't mind it, then why do I? I don't know. I just don't like it. He then has asked me if I'm just afraid of getting old. Because if I am, he says with a twinkle in his eye, that he actually can't wait to grow old with me. Cute...but I still want my highlights.

Here have been some of my responses.
-Yes, the Bible does say that gray hair is a crown, but I'm not old yet. When I get there, I don't mind acting the part. But I don't want to now when I'm not even thirty (I've got six months people).
-One of the innate things God has put into the heart of a woman is the desire to be beautiful. Some things we can't change like our noses or eye color, etc... But the things we can, we should at least losing weight if need be, buying some new clothes, wearing make-up, etc...Interesting post on that topic here.
-I just like doing it (not a good argument but it's still true)

Now let me be fair to the hubbs. He's not asking me to hole myself up and be frumpy. He also NEVER denies me anything when it comes to material things. I hardly ask. I'm just not that type. But whenever I do, he obliges very willingly. He always wants to bless me. So his point is not how much money is being spent or anything like that. He simply has wanted to know why I feel a need to alter myself all in the name of beauty, especially when he thinks I'm beautiful without it. Awwww...okay. I also might add, he really likes to get me to think. Which is a good thing. And this little dialogue has been yet another discourse I've had an opportunity to just sit and think about. But after thinking about the highlights, it didn't dissuade me much as I still made that appointment.

So that's the question. Where does this all cross the line into vanity? How can a woman keep it balanced? If she doesn't, she'll find herself wanting implants before long since she'll never be satisfied with her appearance. And frankly, I think that's ridiculous. But aren't there some things that are fine for women to do to themselves in the name of beauty? I guess it comes down to balance and motives but...where is the line? Also, of course beauty is just "skin deep" but there is virtue in a woman trying to keep herself as lovely as possible. Not in a gaudy or excessive way but in a classy way. How does that all work out?

Obviously for me, I still got the highlights. No guilt there. And let me tell you...I love them. And for that matter, so does the husband.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In Case You Were Wondering

There are all sorts of blog thoughts swirling in my head but I simply have not had the time or the wherewithal to get them down. Yes, there will be more on baptism coming...I've started but haven't finished the next post on that. Sometimes it can be hard to find time to turn off all of the other distractions to actually write an intellectual post. Hmmm...I'm not really sure why. Anyhoo, the last few weeks have been a bit crazy. I guess I shouldn't say a bit- they've been a lot crazy.

It all started with Joshua's asthma flare-up and him needing breathing treatments numerous times a day (quite a feat to conquer with a VERY busy two year old...good thing we require first time obedience or I would've been up a creek) and then his birthday followed with all its fanfare. Elliana is a great baby but keeping up with her needs can be time consuming as she still is an infant you know. Steve's grad school class has proven to be quite burly and has required much attention on his part. A midterm, two projects and various quizzes have all forced him to be studying elsewhere for large chunks of time. I don't know why he doesn't study well here. Ha ha! This class will probably be one of the hardest ones he'll face in his pursuit of becoming a Master of Mathematics. In layman's terms, he's learning the proofs behind how computers/calculators do math. Don't ask me to explain it. It's all Greek to me. Good thing it's fascinating to him. These things, a few other situations and just keeping up with life in general have sent me into a sort of mini panic. Hyperventilation if I'm being totally honest.

Luckily I have good friends and I also have running shoes. I've been back to running for awhile now but these last few weeks I've definitely been clocking in the miles. Feels good though and helps keep me sane. The husband knows to let me go when I ask. Over the years, he's come to understand it helps me deal with stress.

I'm no stranger to stress. None of us are. I don't always show it on the outside and really, what that boils down to is pride and a stubborn will that says, "I can do it myself!" I tend to make it sound better by calling my individualism American but really, it's pride and it's a pride that destroys rather than builds. And to make matters worse I sound like my two-year-old whose most common phrase these days is, "I do it." I just say it with euphemistic words that are all grown-up like, "No really, I'm okay. I'm fine." Yet inside I feel like I might burst any minute and let out a fountain of tears.

Yet, really it's all relative. The problem isn't my circumstances because I've felt this way before in all sorts of different situations and life stages. I felt stress while I would study for exams in the dorms or stay up all night writing a paper knowing how badly I wanted that A. I felt it numerous times when I got married and had to learn to be a wife which required me to think much more about someone else rather than myself. I felt it when I brought my first-born home from the hospital, and my second and my third and my get the point. It doesn't matter what stage of life I'm in, I am still susceptible to and experience stress. You know, the kind that weighs on your chest and slowly suffocates you if you can't find a way to relieve the pressure.

If stress is a part of life, then what am I meant to learn in it? Obviously something since these periods cycle in and out like the seasons. Usually I just want out. I want someone to burst the bubble and make everything feel better again. But that's not the solution. Recognizing I need help is the first step toward decompression but sadly enough, almost always one of the last places I turn. One morning last week this Psalm came through my reading and reminded me that when I am overwhelmed, I need to seek help from the One who is always watching and never needs a break-the Maker of Heaven and Earth. For He won't let me fall.

Psalm 121
I lift up my eyes to the hills
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber
Behold, he who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your keeper,
The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all evil,
He will keep your life.
The LORD will keep
Your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forevermore.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Stand

So as most of you know, my husband is in grad school. And being as though we'd already paid off all of our school debt, we really were not interested in anymore. We basically figured out that we could barely pay his tuition out of pocket if we were really careful and diligent. Too bad we pay out of state tuition since he attends Texas A & M online. Bummer. It just makes things that much tighter. Then we added Isaac attending school. Even though he goes to a very, very affordable school, it still adds up. But anyway, you get my drift.

So we sat down to look at it all before the new school year started and just shook our heads. Every single dime and penny was accounted for. At least we could pay for everything but we had absolutely no wiggle room. Between saving, giving, tuition and all of our bills, there was not a single dollar left. Now before you start thinking you should feel sorry for me, please don't. That's not the point. We're no strangers to this type of lifestyle. In fact, we lived it for many years while we were married and still attending college. We kinda laughed as we realized that we just had to go back to the same ole same ole again and simply tighten up. So tighten up we did. We fixed some areas of our budget that were bleeding and things started to settle a bit.

But we still didn't have any spending money. No money to eat out (which we don't do often but like to every once in awhile), no money for a Starbucks coffee here and there, no money for gifts or really anything unless we wanted to spend our savings. It was all accounted for. What were we to do? I had to think of something I could do to make us some spending money that wouldn't take that much extra effort on my part. Then I remembered what I had attempted for awhile when Caleb was a baby-The Cookie Stand. I actually didn't do it for long because I was too overwhelmed with two small babies. You probably are laughing as I say that it's easier for me to pull it off now with four small children but really, it is. I'm a lot better at my job now than I was three years ago and the two little ones were tiring for me- but I'm digressing. Back to the cookie stand.

So about six weeks ago we started selling cookies and brownies to the students after school once a week. It has totally taken off. I can't believe it. Every week we're selling out. And most days we have lines. We're also starting to get regulars. It doesn't take me too much time to make all of the yummy treats and the older boys help me sell them. They're actually the selling points. Isaac is quite good at marketing...he asks everyone that comes by if they want a cookie. And Caleb reminds everyone that they "only need just one dollar." They're also learning some life skills about how to deal with customers, etc...It's been great.

Yet, one of the best things that's come out of this little business is that we've used the opportunity to start teaching them about money and working. They each get paid every time they work. And part of their training is learning to put some money away for tithe, some for savings and the rest can go toward spending. It's been interesting to see how they handle it.

A couple of weeks ago we let them bring their money to Target to spend. They each wanted 100 piece puzzles. Before you think they're totally nerdy, both my boys are puzzle kids. It's just in their blood. And both of them can do the big puzzles. Caleb keeps Isaac on his toes. Ha ha! So they each got one. It was so funny because after they spent their money (that they'd saved up for a few weeks at that point), they panicked that their money was gone so quickly. Isaac said, "Mom! We're not supposed to spend it all at one store!" And Caleb responded, "Yes! We're supposed to keep our money!" It was a great opportunity to talk about how money can be spent so easily and how once it's gone-it's gone.

Don't laugh at my outfit here. I'm doing well to even be dressed on some days. And I just love that skirt! I just probably shouldn't be wearing a sweatshirt with it but what can I say? I have no fashion sense whatsoever. I was given that skirt by a friend who also gave me a brown one as well. I wear it all the time. And about the sweatshirt, in my book, Cal Poly sweatshirts go with anything!! So I have no shame.

This is what's left. We sell after school and after all of the sports practices get out. There's not too much left for the football players. Awwwww...too bad. You snooze you lose! Ha ha. So as you can see, it's a very simple little business. But it's helping to keep us afloat while the hubby gets his Master's in Math so that we can still enjoy some extras every once in awhile. And it's been fun to work with the boys. It's also been fun to interact with the students and get to know them a little bit. All around, it's been a really great experience.

I look forward to seeing how God uses this little stand in our family and in the lives of the students we interact with. Because there's just nothing like a homemade brownie to make someone feel special. And if it help us out too by teaching the boys about money and by giving us some spending money, then I say everybody wins. You know, as Michael Scott put it, "It's a win, win, win!" And that, my folks, is just splendid.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Journey Ended

Today we ended a five year journey. Five years ago, Steve was interviewing for a job at a Presbyterian church and during the interview process, he was asked his thoughts about infant baptism. We were both brought up baptist (or non-denominational which is basically baptist without calling itself so) and so he responded that he didn't have much experience or understanding of the practice, which was true. He did, however, comment that he would love to learn more. (Steve had actually thought about it even before this time as a result of a conversation he had with a buddy from Cal Poly after a debate they heard between James White and Doug Wilson over baptism. Yet this was the first time we as a couple encountered the issue.) I was there during that part of the interview and left totally baffled that there were real Christians out there who baptized their infants. It was simply not how I grew up and my understanding of the practice well...I didn't have any understanding of it really. Nevertheless, it intrigued me tremendously.

He didn't get that job but instead got a teaching job. For that we are grateful. However, that little seed planted then has come to fruition many years later. After moving away from our beloved San Luis Obispo, we ended up attending a non-denominational church for a few years. However, after some time we realized that the things we had learned while away at college with respects to reformed theology, etc...just weren't adding up at this church so after much thought and wrestling we started attending a little Presbyterian church that was much more traditional and liturgical than our backgrounds had afforded us. Not to say that made us any better Christians at all. It just fit our belief system better and our preferences as well. Basically, it was the environment we wanted to raise our children in.

Yet this church believed in infant baptism. There it was again. We did not have to baptize our children to be members of this church. It wasn't required as they accepted both paedo-baptists (infant baptists) as well as cred0-baptists (believer baptists). The reason both are accepted at our church is that the issue of baptism is a secondary issue. It's not a salvation issue. Therefore, if brothers and sisters disagree on the issue of when to perform a baptism (whether at infancy or at a profession of faith), they can still fellowship together in unity. But when it comes down to where our church stands on the issue, our church practices infant baptism.

At that point, we began to think about it and dialogue about it. One of the things we started doing was we looked at church history. Martin Luther, one of the major reformers of the church, believed in infant baptism. What?! How could he believe in such an unbiblical practice? We read some of his sermons on the subject and they were quite compelling. For a man who reformed many things in the Catholic church, infant baptism was not one of them. Why? He simply couldn't just be afraid of societal pressure since he obviously had enough courage to nail 95 other issues to the door of the Catholic church. seemed to us that he didn't reform it because he thought it was biblical. His sermons bear that out. Then we looked at a few other "greats" of the faith like Augustine and puritan Jonathan Edwards (there were also many other puritans who believed in infant baptism as well but Edwards is one of the most well known). They all talked about the subject like it was a no-brainer. How could this be? Church history itself also seemed to show that Christians had been practicing this form of baptism (baptizing the children of believers) for nearly two thousand years and these realizations caused us to dig deeper.

Neither Steve nor I are very impulsive. In fact, we often over think issues chewing on them until there's simply nothing left. So in true Steve and Nikki fashion, we chewed. We read, we listened and we chewed. Sometimes we'd go months without talking about it much. Then we'd have another baby and the topic would get brought back up and we'd chew some more. That's just how we work. We weren't in a hurry. We knew it was a secondary issue but, we also knew that we wanted to understand it because there seemed to be much more to it. With so much history riding on it, it had to be given some weight. And most importantly, if we came to the conclusion that we should do that for our family, we wanted to honor God in it. So we continued to dig and chip away at it and this process took years.

Explaining the validity of infant baptism in a single post would be difficult as it is a very intricate and lengthy thing to delineate. I would like to discuss some of the reasons why we decided to take this step for our family but I won't have the time to do that this post as it is already long enough. But there are many reasons and to us, they're solid. I don't want to enumerate them to try and convince you we're absolutely "right" and that this is the only way. We don't believe it is a salvation issue nor that differences over it should cause so much disunity to break fellowship amongst believers. There are truly amazing, brilliant Christians on both sides of the issue. I simply would write about it because it's our journey...our story and it's just another chapter.

Today we ended a journey. We baptized all four of our children and it was wonderful. It hasn't been easy. Not everyone in our lives has understood or seen eye to eye. But it's been an amazing journey. It has brought us to the depths of our faith and produced in us a hope- a hope that one day God would capture the hearts of our children through faith. We cannot make that happen. Only God can. Their baptism today did not save them. But it looks forward in faith. It says, "If you will believe, if you will have faith, the Lord will save you."

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Happy Autumn Sabbath

"Summer's loss seems little, dear, on days like these." Ernest Dowson

There is something in the autumn
That is native to my blood-
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
and my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and
The crimson keeping time.

The scarlet of the maples can shake
Me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
To see the frosty asters like a
Smoke upon the hills.

There is something in October
Sets the gypsy blood astir;
We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill of flame
She calls and calls
Each vagabond by name.
-Bliss Carman

Delicious autumn!
My very soul is
Wedded to it, and if I were a
Bird I would fly about the
Earth seeking the successive autumns.
-George Eliot