Monday, February 14, 2011

A Little Bit of Love

Amazing camera + perfect sunset light + cooperative subjects + a whole lot of cuteness = Valentine's Day photos to distribute to family and friends. Happy Valentine's Day from {us} to you!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


"I hate the way the kids at school talk to each other," mused Snapper as we drove to swim practice yesterday. "They use horrible, terrible words." She responded to my gentle prodding and revealed that "you're stupid" and "shut up" are choice insults on the playground. Over the next 20 minutes, I asked key questions that directed her heart toward God. I think I was successful in imparting some truth to her. I want to share with you what we concluded.

When you look in a mirror, you will see a reflection of yourself. If you make an ugly face and look in a mirror, you will see an ugly face reflected back at you. This is not a true representation of who you are, however. As a follower of Christ, I have a great responsibility. Because Christ lives in me, when other people look at me, I want them to see a reflection of Him. Other people will form conclusions about who God is based on what they see in me. When ugly words and attitudes come out of me, I am spoiling the reflection. And I am misrepresenting Christ.

Snapper deduced that because God is love, and because God is holy, words that hurt another person are not consistent with God's character. Saying "shut up" or "you're stupid" go against who God is, and should never be spoken. They spoil the reflection of God that others see in Snapper.

This spoke volumes to my 8-year-old daughter, who determined to be very careful with what she says to her friends. But it also spoke to me. As a parent, I have an even graver responsibility. My children are forming conclusions about who God is based on what they observe in me. When they look at me, what kind of reflection do they see? Lots to think on.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

In Eager Anticipation...

My friend Lori posted about the things she is anticipating. Her post brought some extra flutters to my heart because I have always loved the word "anticipation."

an·tic·i·pa·tion (as defined by
the act of anticipating or the state of being anticipated.
realization in advance; foretaste.
expectation or hope.
previous notion; slight previous impression.
intuition, foreknowledge, or prescience.
Law a premature withdrawal or assignment of money from trust estate.
Music a tone introduced in advance of its harmony so that it sounds against the preceding chord.

From the time I was a very little girl, I have savored having things to anticipate. My mom very wisely capitalized on this, and brought me in on many of her plans. Whether it was planning a party, routing out a family vacation, or counting down days to a family member's birthday, I reveled in the deliciousness of looking forward to what was coming. The arrival of the desired event was made sweeter by the building anticipation.

This has not changed in my adulthood. While I savor each day and enjoy living in the moment, I like to keep some measure of anticipation in my life to spice things up. This often means creating an event to anticipate. Here are the things I am currently anticipating.

This week:
On Saturday night, Matt and I are having a free date night, just the two of us. This date--our first by ourselves since we moved to Orlando in August--is made all the sweeter by friends who are babysitting for free, by an Outback Steakhouse gift card, and by movie tickets Matt was given when he donated blood.

This month: 
FamilyLife is hosting the Love Like You Mean It Cruise during Valentines Week. It leaves out of Port Canaveral, which is a mere 25 minutes from our house. We have bunches of friends flying in from all over the country to go on the cruise. While we're not going ourselves (boo!), we are opening our home to friends who need a place to stay before and after the cruise. This means getting to see my Arkansas BFF, Karon, eat Thai food with my friend Nikki, and hug my Washington friend Laura. YAY!!!

This spring: 
During spring break, we are going on a trip to North Carolina to visit my friend Bev and to raise support. We'll get in a few family vacation days, too. We're talking about taking the train up there, and anticipating the delight of my kids is half the fun of the trip! Blog buddies Kristin and Tara, this is a heads-up! I want to visit you, too!

This summer:
Every other year we go to Campus Crusade's staff conference in Colorado. This is a staff conference summer! July will be filled up with road trip and conference, which means a week in Little Rock visiting friends and supporters! I don't even need to say how excited I am about this!

This fall:
My daddy and step-mom are coming to visit!!! I Can. Not. Wait. to see them!

There are a host of other fun things coming up, too. Smaller things, such as the thunderstorms that are forecast for tomorrow, Snapper's regional championship swim meet, going on a field trip with Pepper in 2 weeks, the gun safety course Matt got me for Christmas, the shuttle launch in February, working at a Weekend to Remember getaway, and the promise of the ocean warming up again! I am also looking forward to seeing what spring flowers bloom in Orlando!

Long Term: 
I look forward to someday owning my own home again. I am not loving the whole renting thing. Believe it or not, I am actually looking forward to the teen years with my kids. I know there will be challenges, but it will be fun, too. But the greatest anticipation of my life is the day when the human blinders will be removed from my eyes and I will meet Jesus face-to-face. Oh, the glory of eternity with my Savior! 

Does anticipation hold similar delight for you? If so, what are you anticipating?