Sunday, July 25, 2010


Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2

Children are such natural imitators, born strangers in a world of sights and sounds and feelings and relationships. Their parents their only guide to help them interpret and give meaning to their small worlds.

Watching my own little imitators has got me thinking about such things.
The other night Aron was putting together a new dresser. Judah, at only 10 1/2 months old, carefully watched Aron assemble each part and screw it into place.
Within moments he picked up a small allen wrench and began placing it up to each screw-hole doing just what his daddy was doing.
Its an intimidating thought, knowing they're watching so closely.
But then you see them mirroring what is being shown them...
things like joy & laughter,
serving one another & working as a team,
affection & compassion.
Other times you see them modeling your goofier traits, (or in this case, your skibbys)
And in those moments, Aron & I turn to each other, eyes filled with a mixture of amusement and horror. Aron usually says something like, "We are making our kids so weird."

I'm pretty sure he's right. But hey, we get weird.
Apparently our kids do too.
Other times you see the kids trying to do just what you do. Both Belle & Judah try to play any musical instrument they can get their hands on...especially if daddy is playing. And Belle loves to write songs.

Or taking care of one another as you take care of them.
And then you realize, maybe they are getting it?!

I think it is this way with our Father. We are dearly loved children, born into a spirit world about which we are oh so naive and ignorant. We don't know how to behave, nor do we have a clue how to interpret all that goes on around us. But we watch closely our Father, doing what he does. Knowing that somehow if we value what he values, mirror the love he shows us, give generously as he pours his blessing upon us, love God above all else, bless those who curse us, humble ourselves to be great, die to live...
Maybe, just maybe, we are beginning to learn what the Kingdom of God is all about.

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.

Don't allow love to turn into lust, setting off a downhill slide into sexual promiscuity, filthy practices, or bullying greed. Though some tongues just love the taste of gossip, those who follow Jesus have better uses for language than that. Don't talk dirty or silly. That kind of talk doesn't fit our style. Thanksgiving is our dialect. Ephesians 5: 1-4 (The Message)

A fellow imitator,


Thursday, July 22, 2010


I love to eavesdrop on my kids' play. It brings comic relief to the monotony of housework.
Just now I see Belle sit down at her computer to send an 'e-mail'.
She talks aloud as she pretend types,

"Dear Grandmother,
Please come into my life right now. Because you are so loved.

Too funny!

And another thing...whenever we play house these days, I am wondering why Aron gets to be her little boy, who she calls "Sonny", but I am the Grandma?! Oh, and Judah is the little sister. Crazy this play-world of hers.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

on seeking

"He is Your best servant who looks not so much to hear from You that which he wills, as that which he hears from you."
- St. Augustine

Monday, July 19, 2010


I posted last week about inspiration. But, lately, several things I have experienced have been downright disturbing. The Bible itself is pretty disturbing -- in a good way. Sometimes I think God wants to inspire us toward his Kingdom and his Purpose, but other times I think he has to disturb us toward those ends.

Kind of like the way a pearl is made. It all starts with a piece of sand getting inside the clam and agitating the clam's soft inner tissues. The agitation caused by the sand is painful and irritating - like getting sand in your eye. It's disturbing.

So, the clam secretes a special substance that coats the piece of sand and causes it to become smooth. Several layers of coating later, the disturbing piece of sand is a smooth, beautiful pearl.

God doesn't want us to be naive toward the things in this world that disturb him. He wants them to disturb us, too. And he's given us a special substance to smooth things out in our lives: love. As we begin to put love into practice, we can see his Kingdom come and the "rough places made smooth".

God has let a lot of sand get in my shell lately. Here's a few excerpts of what's been disturbing me (in a good way):

"Laughing With" by Regina Spektor (there's no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole)

"Heaven" by Brett Dennen (lyrically rejects religion and yet is surprisingly Biblical)
"Blowin' In the Wind" by Bob Dylan (a lot of tough questions with no easy answers)
"42" by Coldplay (How then shall we live?)

"A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a boy soldier."

This book is a true story and was written by a boy from Sierra Leon whose family was killed when he was 13 and then he was forced into the army to fight the rebels who killed his family. He documents the war in which he participated in full detail, including atrocities he himself committed against other people. It is gut-wrenching and will wake up anyone to the horrors of our present world. As I read I was humbled as I thought how, if I had grown up as this boy had and experienced the trauma and pressure he had, I would be capable of the same atrocities that he was.

"The Suicide Tourist" on Frontline (PBS)
This documentary followed an American man who was suffering from Lou Gerig's disease as he goes to Amsterdam (where assisted suicide is legal) in order to end his own life with the help of a physician. This film took me into the depravity of the human soul without Christ, and by the end I was broken for the people in our world who have to face such circumstances without Jesus.

Book #2:
"Holy Discontent" by Bill Hybels
This whole book is about what this post is about and gives a plausible plan of action for how to be agents of change in this world and help eradicate the things that disturb God's heart.

The Bible:
There's A LOT of disturbing stuff in the Bible, but here are my top three that disturb me on a regular basis:
1. Luke 16:19-31 (the parable of the rich man and Lazarus)
People in Hell who didn't believe God begging to come back to earth to warn those of us in the land of the living and not being allowed. That's disturbing. God, help those who are ignorant of REALITY like the rich man in this parable (including me, at times!).
2. Matthew 25:31-46 (the sheep and the goats) Jesus clearly says here that there will people at the Final Judgment who thought they knew him and were living the right way but were not. This keeps me on my toes and causes me to judge not only my actions, but even my motivations behind my actions. God, give me a pure heart that is after your own!
3. Ezekiel 3:16-21 (our calling to preach repentance) God basically tells Ezekiel that if he does not warn wicked people of the consequences of their sin, then God will hold Ezekiel RESPONSIBLE for the outcome! As an ordained minister of Jesus Christ, this one makes me EXTREMELY uncomfortable and reminds me that sometimes "love" means an extremely hard conversation (or sermon). God, give us courageous boldness!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

lovely, lovely day.

A sweet deal on Craigslist beckoned us 30 miles north to Port Huron.
We decided we'd make a day of it & explore Lake Huron.
What started out as an adventure turned into a simply wonderful day.
Aron shot a video south of port huron near the detroit river last week.
He went on & on about how crystal blue the water was.
I was absolutely shocked to view Lake Huron's aqua beauty for myself!

Aron & Judah striking a pose. What up?

This weekend was the 'Blue Water Festival'. How appropriate, how fun!
Behind us is the bridge to Canada, eh.

I'm splitting this post into two so your bum doesn't go numb looking at all the photos.
more to come,

Lake Huron - Part 2

Lake Huron - who would've thought?
Without a doubt the prettiest 'lake beach' I've been to (as of yet).
The water was such a gorgeous aqua color; it reminded me of our honeymoon in the Mayan Riveria.

Is that the Caribbean? Why no, thats Lake Huron!
(i still find it hard to believe)

The kids loved playing in the waves.

The current was so strong, though. Belle was a little too brave for her daddy's comfort zone.

We waded out to waist-deep water and could still see our feet and the rocky bottom of the lake floor. I've never seen such clean, crisp lake water. How? Someone tell me where the seaweed & mucky water are?

Baby girl is a water bug!

The kids loved having Aron's undivided attention.
He lights up their universe.

Belle & Judah loved burying Aron in the sand.

The water was much colder than the smaller lakes we're used to.

Judah LOVED trying to figure out how to use all the sand toys. Such an explorer!

And check out these goldy locks.
Baby girls, beware!
His heart belongs to his mama!

What a perfect day our little family had.
It is amazing the way God is drawing our hearts together, knitting us into the fabric of each other, growing in us an identity. We belong to Him, and to each other.
It is beautiful the love that abounds and the peace that reigns where the Kingdom of God governs.
May Your Kingdom come in our lives,

Friday, July 16, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

aron says

the format on my previous post looks all "screwy" from his work computer.

Sorry if looks that way to you too.
It looks great from my little 15 inch Macbook window.
And I'm not sure how to fix it.
Guess you'll have to play a little game of what captions goes with what picture.

much love,

more on inspiration

I have been a little inspired myself as of late.

I've been reading a little blog - the nester, whose author happens to currently be a renter and fellow 'dave ramsien' as we are. The mantra of her blog is that "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful", and she explains that in 13 years of marriage she has lived in 13 homes. And far too many of those years were spent wishing her circumstances were different rather than making the most of the place she was in.

I have felt that same frustration when it comes to our little nest. I am limited by so much: I can't put holes in the walls, I can't hang curtains, can't do anything about the color of the wood or the light fixtures, and oh...the fireplace (yikes!). So I resolved to ignore the very 'sore thumbs' until the future when we were ready to buy a place of our own. While great for the budget, this has left me creatively depressed, longing, and very frustrated.

As of late, this blog has inspired me to at least begin to try to add touches to our humble abode that creates a space that brings delight, rest, & inspiration to our family. So I believe every once in a while I will update you on little projects I am undertaking for a creative outlet & to add beauty to our nest.

Isabelle's room is my favorite place to be in the house. Perhaps its because its the room that feels the most 'normal' to me. Infact, due to a pre-existing curtain hanging (and thus creating holes in the wall) I was able to hang a rod of my own & some delightful little panels that add so much charm to her space.

But my most favorite thing about her corner of our nest is the handmade & sentimental!

*Handmade amish bed circa late 1800's.
(craigslist score!)

'Summer Sorbet'
Handmade fabric banner
from vintage pillowcases.

This little plant holds a special sentiment.
It tells of many a lazy summer day spent at Uncle Ray's swimming & fishing in the pond after a hike in the woods.
We actually dug this little guy up out the woods there last summer.

And below it, the crystal we picked out for Isabelle from our Mammouth Cave trip.

Grandma Kirk's
handmade dolls.

I guess it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.