Wednesday, December 29, 2010

If I Was an Undercover Missionary...

I would get people hurt. Not on purpose, but out of plain stupidity, the results would be disastrous.

I had an experience not too long ago that illustrates this point precisely. We were eating with some missionary friends and some of their local friends, who were unaware of the missionaries' full vocation. I was so nervous about not saying the word, "missionary," that I ended up saying one of the acrostics for a particular meeting where I met these friends. It was certainly not an obvious reference to anything Christian or missions-related, but my friend didn't acknowledge my statement. (It would have required some tricky explanation, had the local friends heard it.) So I said it again. Her face glowed with nervous annoyance, so I decided that the story was worth passing over.

On the way home, I made a preposterous comment about how happy I was that I didn't say the M-word. It wasn't until I was in bed that night that I realized my mistake. Oops! is an understatement. (It should be noted that my friends were nothing but kind. They have a great deal of patience with foolish non-missionaries like myself.)

Thank you, missionaries, for walking the tight rope of guarded vulnerability that bridges the gap between healthy transparency and cautious wisdom. I thank God for the privilege to give to you, pray for you, and love you from my American couch. There's still a large chunk of me that wishes that I could be counted among you, but it is obvious that God knows what He's doing.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Weekend

Well, Christmas is just about over. The girls have one gift left, which is going to require some serious attention from Daddy. My grandfather has a saying that Christmas isn't over until you open your last present, so the girls have a little more Christmas coming.

They have thoroughly enjoyed the gift-opening experience. Obviously, we want them to understand that Christmas is about more than stuff, but it is msot definitely about a gift, the free gift of salvation available to everyone who places faith in Christ.

We went for a Christmas Day sleigh ride this year. Edwin's mom and step-dad were with us this year, and it is a very Northern New York experience to go on a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snowy woods. It was a great day for it, and we thoroughly enjoyed the tour of a snowy wonderland.

DeLaynie sang in church for the first time this Sunday! Mom and Dad were much more excited about it than she was, but once the song began, she warmed up to it. The crossed arms may lead you to believe that she was unhappy, but she actually seemed pretty enthusiastic about it.

Yesterday was our seven year anniversary! I like being married. I definitely plan to keep going. Seven years is nice and all, but 70 sounds a lot better. Tonight is our date night to celebrate, and I'm really looking forward to a few hours alone with my man.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Kids With Questions?

If your kids are starting to ask questions about things like Santa Clause and Christmas celebrations, this is a great little source of information! Phil Vischer (creator of VeggieTales) has begun writing other, and I believe more accurate, curriculum and videos. These short videos provide explanations for some of the more historically based questions children ask. I learned several little tid-bits myself.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Photos

My mom had some photos taken of the girls while we were in Alabama. I thought that I'd share three of my faves. Consider it a Christmas present from me to you. :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hebrews Have the Best Christmas

I was listening to a new Christmas album from Beckah Shae while in Alabama. I had this inkling that she is of Jewish heritage because she uses quite a bit of Hebrew in her music, but I wasn't sure. (Edwin disagreed. He didn't think she looked "Jewish enough". Very politically correct, I know.) Anyway, her mom is a Messianic Jewish woman, so I was right. He was wrong.

In thinking about all of that, this idea occurred to me: How awesome would it be to be Jewish, realize Christ is, in fact, the Messiah, and then celebrate Christmas without any preconceived traditions. It's just about Jesus, not cookies, not Santa, nothing but the promised Messiah! I got a little jealous at the thought. Can you imagine growing up with the belief that a Savior is coming, growing constantly in the anticipation of His arrival, and then realizing that He is here? How cool would that be?

I've always been annoyed by the way that we have removed the Judaism from Christ. (Just try to find a Jewish looking nativity set. You would think that Jews for Jesus would have a set, but I can't find it.) He was Jewish, and that matters. It makes the entire Old Testament make sense. Without a Jewish Christ, there is very little meaning in the majority of Scripture. We have robbed ourselves of the significance of a Savior by forgetting the crescendo leading to Him.

I'm pretty sure that it's impossible to un-do the last two thousand years and return to a more complete understanding of Jesus and the Old Testament. But I can choose to think on the idea of a truly Messianic Christmas, and I believe that I shall.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Worth It!

We're in Alabama, having a great time! Thus, I have no desire to stay on the computer, blogging. I hope that you understand as I attend to real, live, breathing family members instead of staring at a computer screen.

I'll be back soon, friends!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

All Things Fun...

require so much work that you begin to doubt if they're worth it. For instance, I went to Women of Faith in October with some wonderful ladies in our church. The house was in a wonderful working order at the time that I left. It certainly wasn't perfectly clean, but everything seemed to flow. Edwin did a great job keeping things straight and fairly clean, but I never explained all of the systems that were set into place. (Edwin wouldn't have had the time to use them if I had.) Our home and all of her systems haven't yet rebounded from the three days that I was gone.

We're about to head down to see my family for a few days. I can hardly wait to be in my parents' home, at their dinner table, and in my home church. On the other hand, I have to pack and prepare the house for our departure. I do not, in this case, doubt if my time with my parents and little brother will be worth it, but it is an awful lot of work.

So I should probably get to it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Decorating the Tree

 DeLaynie thoughtfully selecting the location of her ornament.

Ella not-so-thoughtfully licking an ornament. Please don't ask why. There is no answer to that question.

DeLaynie thoughtfully selecting a location for her ornament.

Ella looking awfully guilty after getting caught un-doing all of DeLaynie's thoughtful ornament hanging.

All DeLaynie wanted for Christmas was a Christmas tree. Her every wish has now come true!

That was easy.