The Sheep and the Goats

One of my favorite Christian songs is Keith Green’s The Sheep and the Goats. The version on the Gold CD is better than the YouTube rendition, but YouTube has video, which is kind of cool. In my aspiration to be just like Keith Green, I’m working on the beard. Next will be the hair; once I have that, the only difference between us (apart from the fact that he’s dead) will be his piano and teaching skills, which I’m sure I can pick up while I am growing out my hair.

The AWANA players in action

Joshua (playing Jesus) tries to explain things to a Goat (Nate)

As is often the case, I hired the AWANA players (at double their usual rate) to dramatize the song, which they did with their usual flair.

The Sheep were a little slow to clue-in

My T&T kids (Truth & Training, 3rd-5th grades) have a little trouble with abstract thought, but this lesson from Matthew 25 is clear enough for anyone: Jesus closely identifies with the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the stranger, and the prisoner — and He expects us to minister to them as though we were ministering to Him. It is a little sobering, to think that I might be ignoring Jesus when I ignore a needy person, intent on my own agenda.

The problem with teaching AWANA kids is that you sometimes end up convicted by your own message.


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Sunshine or Rain

The sun has been shining down upon us for days and days now. My younger children are sure it’s summer (“Can we wear shorts and flip flops?”) and my older boys are smug that, even in the winter months, they never packed away their shorts.

The sun is shining - let's play outside!

But despite the lovely weather, the outings at the beach and trips to the park, I’ve seen the forecast. And I’m very familiar with winters in Washington state…

Oh dear, that looks wet...

Today, as I met with a friend and spent some time in prayer, I lifted up a sincere request that I would be content with both the sunshine and the rain. I know my heart; I long for the warmth of sunny days the blessings, the ease of life and not the work.

David and Sarah are ready to leap off the porch

I want to live a life that shines with the love of Jesus – whether the view from my window is clear with blue skies or grey with a blanket of clouds.

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:18


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My favorite sister, Posie

A Pocket Full of Posie

After Christmas, we had the delightful opportunity of celebrating my parents’ 50th anniversary. My brother and sister and their families came out to Washington, and we all spent the week after Christmas getting ready for the big day. Now, six weeks later, I miss having them around.

My favorite sister, Posie

My parents were married twice and never divorced, and so they have two anniversary dates, the 12th of December and the 13th of January (or possibly the other way around). Because of college schedules, etc., we put the 50th anniversary celebration on the 29th of December, which is nearly the midpoint between the two dates.

There was a good crowd; I estimate that between eighty and ninety people were in attendance. But the best part was having my brother and sister and their families around for a good, long visit.

My sister's family and a few extras

Since my sister lives in Georgia, we don’t see her very often. I don’t know her children as well as I would like — it was great to have a chance to be with them and watch them in action.

To host such a big party, there were a lot of details, and lots of work to do. It was very fun to share that work around, between six grown-ups and eleven kids (with Grandma and Grandpa pitching in as necessary). We played games, watched movies, told stories, cooked, ate, and prepared for the party. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Christmas vacation.

In retrospect, we should probably have paced ourselves, using up only one of the 50th anniversaries, instead of recklessly spending them both. I wonder what excuse we can use next year, to get everyone to assemble again?


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"Help!  I'm being loved to death!"

Sarah and the Cat (not the fat one)

It is still very strange to think that we have two cats. We call them ‘the fat one’ and ‘the other one’, and we hope they can’t understand us.

Of course, as Rachel pointed out, if they can understand us, they have some explaining to do: why they don’t obey us, come when we call, etc.

"Help! I'm being loved to death!"

The ‘fat one’ label is courtesy of the vet, who called our cats ‘fat and happy’. Rachel took it to heart, and has tried to avoid over-feeding them since, but the little black kitten still seems a little, well, portly.

Anyway, the other kitten (aka Miri) is mellow and enjoys being petted and held, considerably more than the ‘fat one’ does. We love ‘em both, though.


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Shoes off and pants rolled up - time to walk along the beach

Parents Are a Work in Progress

We are spoiled, here in Washington, to live surrounded by such beauty - an abundance of local lakes and rivers as well as the Puget Sound only a few miles away.

I’ve been convicted quite a bit lately about my parenting; how to be a better mother, how to love my children unconditionally yet still raise them with godly values, how to praise more than I criticize, how to keep my eye on the essentials and not get lost in the mire of life’s busyness and daily chores.

Mostly I just come up empty and floundering.

Daniel - my beloved middle child - is growing faster than I can keep up.

I fear that I am a work in progress, as a wife, mother, disciple of Jesus. Normally this would bring me comfort, and yet these years are racing by; I am running out of time, or so it feels, to be transformed and molded and shaped into a wise and godly parent. As Joshua nears graduation this spring there is a constant whispered hint of his departure for college in the fall.

Is it possible that this role of mother I have inhabited for so long is actually a fleeting one? No, wait, I’m not done, I’ve barely started the training portion of the job.

In my reading I stumbled across this verse in Hebrews:

May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21

Ah, I see. God will equip me with everything I need to do His will. He will move in and through me to bring Him glory. He does not leave me in the place of struggling and dismay as a mother. He has blessed me with these precious children and called me to this work. As I seek Him and strive to be transformed in His likeness, He will give me the strength and wisdom to parent.

Perfectly? No.
Humbly? Hopefully.
Graciously? Sometimes.
Flawed? Always.

I long, most of all, to be teachable in my role as mother. I want to hear from the Lord and obey as He leads and guides me.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesian 2:10

I'm pretty sure being a good mom means knowing when to fix hot cocoa!

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