Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Morning Magic

Our girl was less than thrilled that we had to read the story of the first Christmas before celebrating our own.

I don't know if you remember last year, but not much has changed. Maybe next year??
Except that at least last year she held her gift until we gave her the go ahead. This year she took it upon herself to start opening before any of us joined her 'round the ole douglas fir.
aron was so excited to get her this frog; belle is anxiously anticipating their next daddy/daughter day in which they will see "The Princess and the Frog".
And, of course, you can guess who was pumped to buy his girl her first guitar. He's tuned it so she can press bar chords and make 'real music'.
lessons from the Holy Spirit....
I kid. I was playing with my aperture speed and somehow created a 'ghost arm' on Aron.

Judah had a great time chewing on his hands and trying to eat his stocking. 

Next year, sweet boy, next year!
Merry Christmas,

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'twas the night before christmas

(at least at our house, since we will be traveling on Christmas day) hopes that st. nick would soon be there...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

totally looking forward to

escaping the busyness of the last 2 months and spending a solid week together with no agenda other than "just be"!

Bring on the vacation! Christmas morning, 6:00 a.m.
ps...aron thought it was hilarious that I couldn't get off the ground for this shot. I could get off the just so happened that every time the picture took, I happened to be landing and he was mid-air! oh well:)


This Christmas season has been one of contemplation for me. There is much God is doing in my heart and mind, but I haven't yet found a way to articulate it. So I've been avoiding blogging.

I've been struck with several realities, glaring truths, that are causing me to slow down, live each day in the moment. 

It started with the discovery of a malignant brain tumor in a 35 year young pastor Aron & I listen to weekly on the Internet. Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church in Texas, is one of the most anointed men I have ever heard speak. He and his wife are walking through this in such  way that it can only be the strength that God gives. But this has rattled my "illusion of control" that we feel we have over our own existence.

In the midst of this, I had a moment when I realized, "Oh my goodness. I spend my whole life looking forward, onward to the next thing. I don't even realize God is allowing me to live out my dreams right now."

My life with my husband...even the smallest of moments like sipping coffee in the morning or snuggling watch football, watching aron read to Belle or delight in Judah. These are moments that I dreamed about, idealized as we dated. I couldn't wait. And now often, as I live in these blessed moments, I don't even realize the treasure of a dream come true. I often take them for granted as "life as usual".

Last night Aron & I listened to a podcast that literally blew my mind: the best Christmas sermon I have ever heard. Steve DeNeff is the pastor of the church we attended in college, and as I described Chandler, he too is among the most anointed men of God I have ever met. Think theologian meets orator meets scholar meets prophet. We would joke in college that after we'd leave church on Sunday, we would all be silent at lunch because we were still trying to wrap our minds around the truth we had just heard. I'm serious...listen to this podcast & you will see what I mean. God will stretch you and open your mind and soul by his words.

If you can carve 30 minutes out of your busy week - perhaps while you're baking or driving (if you put it on you ipod, of course) listen. And then lets talk about it. Aron & I are still digesting it. And its only the first message in the series. 

Then click "Podcast". 
itunes will upload. 
Choose "Inklings: Part 1 - Love". 
Click "Download" (this is free)
then prepare for your mind to be blown by these truths.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

germs germs go away

We've been a house full of sickies this week.  
(Above picture: Belle patiently waiting for daddy & bubba to wake up Saturday morning after we played musical beds all night long. No one ended up in the bed they started in, and we switched places 4, count them..4 times!)
Belle battled a cold for a week that turned into a double ear infection with a side of fever.

Judah caught the cold, which mutated into the croup.

Then Aron, after speaking and leading worship twice Sunday morning, started feeling really sick by about 12:30, and is now down for the count.

I am holding far. I've netty potted it up twice and am popping the herbs; we shall see if I can stay strong for the fam. Aron has another crazy busy week, so I really have no choice but to stay well.

Here's a few shots I caught of our Judah-Man. I've never seen a kid so happy. Even with the croup, he just smiled and tried to coo (though it sounded pathetic & broke my heart).
love my sickies

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Tonight I am overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by your love. Overwhelmed at the wonder of new life. Overwhelmed by the beauty of friendship, the unity of family, the treasure of each day lived.

How can I say 'thank you' for allowing me to experience everyday moments that may seem small but are truly extraordinary gifts?
Or once in a life-time moments so beautiful I am moved to tears?
How can I thank you for loving me enough to tell me no, even though I can't possibly understand your ways?
How can I thank you for walking with me through my pain, not abandoning me when I am selfish or utterly ungrateful?

Nothing I can say can show my gratitude - express my love.
But tonight I will again give you my heart. I place all of who I am in your hands.
That is all I have of value, and it is yours.

Humbled by your ways,

Just hear those sleigh bells ring-a-lin

Tonight was Isabelle's very first dance recital. 
It was really just a little Christmas show to show what they are learning,
but her first none the less.
We all anxiously awaited our little dancers.
Judah got to hang out with his good friend, Berlyn.
Don't worry, Mr. Darcy. They're just old pals!
Marissa and Brookie took the award for the most expressive tappers.
But they all were absolutely adorable.
This was Belle's first time ever performing in front of an audience.
She had no idea what to expect.
The 'deer in the headlights' moment of shell-shocked horror.
I asked her what she was thinking about.

"I was thinking about you, mommy.
I wanted you."

She didn't tap a whole lot (or at all)
but she sure jingled her little bells.
And the poor baby was recovering from a cold...
so she spent a lot of time with her fingers around the nose.

But at least she found comfort in her
Miss Julia.
At ease in daddy's arms.
What a darling evening.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

bedtime moments

conversations with God
as she gazed up at her room & the product of her hard work...
"(Gasp) Santa is going to 
Isabelle Kirk, age 3

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

just give me 1 minute...

to be a bursting at the seams proud mama.

Isabelle - who turned 3 in September - is READING!!!!!

With no coaching from me (and no pictures), she just now sounded out & read the words


And then, my little giggly boy. He is so fun!
He was cracking up at his 'jitter-bug' toy. Of course, as soon as I turned on the camera, he became immediately mesmerized by the red skip ahead to 1 minute in & you'll see him cracking up at this toy. (Dear Santa, I guess I could use some video editing software!!)

jitter bug from Aron Kirk on Vimeo.

now at least I'm not going to pop with pride.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

christmas questions...

We want to make the magic of Christmas come alive to our babies. The true magic. A few days ago as we were sitting in Belle's room making Christmas crafts singing along to the classics, Aron expressed frustration (to put it gently...I think he used the word "hatred") at the way Christmas is "hijacked" by Santa and gifts.

Now before we get any boos or hisses, we love to give gifts. We aren't anti-Santa. I think the way he worded it was, "Santa is a fun idea, but its really been bugging me how Christmas has become all about the stuff, and Santa gets all the glory. And then, 'oh yeah, kids, and don't forget its Jesus' birthday today." And we give Jesus an obligatory mention almost as an afterthought. 

"Hun," he continued, "What if we could teach our kids that all of this excitement, all of the lights, all of this (he motioned toward the decorations filling our girl's room) are because of Jesus. Because He is the best thing to ever grace planet earth, and this is why we celebrate. All of this...for Him."

Something deep in my spirit resonated with this. Sure, we tell are children Christmas is about Jesus, but I can't help but wonder, are they getting the message? What do you find your children speaking most about in regard to Christmas? Is it an unending want list? There is nothing wrong in anticipating the joy of opening gifts; that is part of the magic. But only an itty bitty, miniscule part. 

So I have no answers. But I'd love to hear your ideas. How do we paradigm shift our focus for our families? Because to be honest, we have so very much materialistically. Our children are becoming spoiled by the excess. And with excess, it is easy to become obsessed with our own pleasure and numb to the bigger picture.

I am not purposing we ditch Santa. He is a fun idea. But how do we put Jesus in his rightful place this season and Santa in his?

looking foward to your insight,

Saturday, December 5, 2009

snapshots of our saturday

Pancake Saturday
Dancin' to the Carols 
Adding Judah's name to his stocking
Shopping for gifts
Finishing touches to the stocking
and a goodnight's rest to the end the day.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

having a bad day?

maybe this will bring a smile to your face. 

Untitled from Aron Kirk on Vimeo.

I wanted to upload this video for my last post, but was having technical difficulties. Better late than never, I suppose.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

my little love bug

Have I mentioned how much I love this boy? 
He is belly laughing now, and it is just the most precious thing. 
What a perfect Christmas gift for our family...our little Judah-Man-Ju.
Babies and Big Sisters are my favorite.
Thank you, Father

Monday, November 30, 2009

decking our halls

They used to call his dad "the mad mower" the look in his eye, it would appear aron has inherited that trait.
oh Christmas tree
Oh Christmas tree
how lovely
are thy branches

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hope Is Rising

For all of you who belong to MCC, here is the song Aron played today. We hope it continues to bring you peace and healing.

For everyone else, Aron wrote this song and played it today, and it speaks of the faithfulness of our God...even amidst our greatest failures. We have hope, not in our perfection, but in a God who loves his children relentlessly. A God takes what we have shattered and restores it to its intended glory.

Hope is Rising from Aron Kirk on Vimeo.

(verse 1)

You are there when I walk on the water.
You are there when I'm sinking in sin.
You are there when my heart hits the bottom,
And you lift me up again.

So quiet me with your love, with your love
In everything you are there and that's enough.

Jesus, you are the Bright and Morning Star
And Hope is rising in my heart.
In my darkest night I will lift my eyes,
And hope for dawn's first light to shine.

You are God in my joy on the mountain.
You are God in my valley full of pain.
You are God when I feel I'm forgotten.
And you sing to me again.

So quiet me with your love, with your love.
In everything you are God, in you I trust.


Hope is Rising.
I lift my eyes, and
On the horizon,
I see it coming.
Here it comes!

And the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.
As we lift a song of praise in faith to the King of Kings!
Your love's greater than we can know.
Your grace even restores us now.
As we hope for the light of your love.
Shine on us!

(verse 1)


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

weekend recap

The weekend has been quite busy, but a good busy for sure. Aron has been planning/preparing for a passion night worship experience for weeks, and it finally came to fruition tonight (that's why you haven't heard much from him lately). After leading 2 services this morning and then leading and speaking for tonight's session...he is simply spent. He won't like me bragging on him, but I am so proud of the way he opens his heart and allows God to speak through his life. 

The next two days show no signs of slowing down, but we are sooooo looking forward to getting away for a few days over the Thanksgiving holiday & catching up on some much needed quality time.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rejoicing in the Harvest

I love the unique way autumn makes my heart come alive. Inviting smells, warm colors, soft light. The promise of the seed in spring now fully present in the fruit of the harvest.
What a treasure to stop our busy lives to consider the blessings of yet another year of life. Today I am thanking God for the breath that fills my lungs. He is truly my sustainer. 

We are attempting to teach Isabelle the high importance of the Thanksgiving holiday in our life - a time to truly thank God for his great love & his provision. 

We made a blessing turkey traced from her footprints and handprints, and each night at dinner we help her to think of something for which she is grateful, write it on her handprint, and paste in on the turkey as his "thankful feathers". Its small and silly, but we want to instill in her gratitude as an attitude for the rest of her life.

I am also thankful for this wildly idealistic man...with his heart to God and His head constantly wrapped around an idea or chiseling a melody...he truly amazes me. He has written a song this week that just blows my mind. I hope he gets to record it; it is quite possibly his best one yet.

rejoicing in the harvest