Monday, October 31, 2011

Our Kids

A conversation between me and Trent, during intermission of Hunter's school play Saturday night:

Trent: What if we took our kids to somewhere like Haiti someday?
Anna: Uh, for real?  That's pretty intense for kids and one of us would spend the enter time babysitting and not doing any mission work...
Trent: Oh it would only be our highschoolers for sure.
Anna: Babe, that is like forever away. We don't even have babies yet.
Trent: Nooooo, I was talking about our youth kids at church!
Anna: Oooooh, I was talking about our biological kids that don't exist yet!

Oh ma goodness.  The conversation and confusion actually went on longer than that before we figured out what we were each talking about but that gives you the gist of it.

It's true.  We have like 17 kids already, all tweens or teens and we love them all.  

As for biological kids...not yet.  

We'll focus on raising "our" tweenagers and teenagers for a while longer before we embark on the baby adventure.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sneaky Crafts

I haven't blogged about any crafts lately, but I assure you I have been working on plenty.  The reason I haven't blogged about them is because they are all Christmas presents for family members!  I've been chugging away on these presents since June-ish and really trying to crack down now so I can finish them in time. Stay tuned for a post-Christmas post about them...provided I get them all done!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Love Is Patient, Love is Kind...Are You?

I mentioned in a recent post that I am reading Crazy Love, by Francis Chan.

I am not finished with the book but I have one word for this book so far: whoa.   Talk about challenging and eye opening.  For example, take this blurb from the chapter I just finished, which was called "Serving Leftovers to a Holy God":

The word love is so overused and worn out.  What does God mean by love?  He tells us,
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast; it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV
But even those words have grown tired and overly familiar, haven't they?   I was challenged to do a little exercise with these verses, on that was profoundly convicting.  Take the phrase "Love is patient" and substitute your name for the word love. Do it for every phrase in the passage.  
By the end, don't you feel like a liar?  If I am meant to represent what love is, then I often fail to love people well.
So I tried it.  Aaaaand....yikes.

Anna is patient, Anna is kind.  Anna does not envy, she does not boast; she is not proud.  Anna does not dishonor others, she is not self-seeking, she is not easily angered, she keeps no record of wrongs.  Anna does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  She always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

After I read through it again and put my name into the passage instead of "love" I thought something like "ah maaaan, FAIL."  Not kidding.  Were you expecting something eloquent like "goodness gracious, I have not succeeded at embodying the essence of love."  Nope.  Honestly, this is rough!    God calls us to be love, show His love, love our neighbor, etc, etc.  Love is, isn't, does and doesn't do all the things listed above from 1 Corinthians.  Am I those things?  Do I do those good things or avoid those bad things?  Do I embody God's love?

...kind of...?

Oof, I know I've got something to think about now...   Gee thanks, Francis.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fields (er...Courts) of Faith

Last week for youth group, we loaded up the church van... 

...and took the youth to Fields of Faith at a nearby highschool.

It was actually more like Courts of Faith because the electricity was blown on the football field or something, so we all went into the gym.  What is it?  Just a bunch of youth and adults from lots of different churches or youth groups, gathering together to worship, hear a message and pray. Somebody said there were 200+ people there.  It. Was. Awesome.

One of the bands from Antioch Church was there to lead worship songs and they did a super job.  I loved singing along and worshiping with those around me to some great songs.

A youth got up and gave a short message, then we sang some more, then a couple coaches from the highschool each gave a message as well.  Then they opened it up for just a time of prayer, alone, with each other, with some youth leaders ready to love on people at the back.  As they were explaining this time, I was thinking "oh dear, I bet all these youth will find this awkward and will just end up chatting or goofing around."  Not so at all.  Some went to the back to chat with or pray with the youth leaders there.  Some paired off to pray.  A group of girls scooted off to a corner and another group of youth sat down in a circle on the floor but the circle kept getting wider and wider as more people joined.  A few of our youth joined hands and I jumped in along with some others.  It was a really special time of heartfelt prayer to our Lord.  I got choked up, not gonna lie.  Afterwards, Carlie said "Don't cry Anna" but I told her they were very, very good tears.

One little group that really made an impression on me was this quad of young men, heads in, arms around each other, intently praying for quite a while.

I think one of our youth guys was in this huddle but otherwise I have no idea who these guys were.   It just made quite an impression on me because it's not often that you see youth, especially guys, this engulfed in sincere prayer.  Prayer can be an emotional thing, can produce tears, as I mentioned above, and can end up with hugs all around.  Stuff like that.  Mushy stuff.  Those aren't bad things at all, and it's plenty common to see girls being mushy or emotional, but I think young men these days have a tendency to try to maintain a manly reputation at all costs.  But this huddle didn't care what people thought. They didn't care if people were watching.  I would have liked to hear what was said in their huddle.   I'm sure it was great.

Anyway, I don't have much point to this post other than to share a cool experience we had with "our" kids.  I think they enjoyed it and we have put Fields of Faith on our radar to attend in the future if it happens again!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Flashback - My Parents

Allow me to introduce you to my parents, Tony and Jean.  My dad is an attorney and my mom is a teacher/guidance counselor/admissions person/wonderwoman at Heritage School in Fbg. 

They look like pretty great people right?  Correct.  We, their children, also like to tell them that they are "well preserved," meaning they're lookin' fine for having nudged two children out of the nest already, supporting two more in college currently and still raising one little 15 year old chick at home.

But what did my 'rents look like before all that?  Before they even met each other?