Monday, April 30, 2012

Making Adoption Affordable Act of 2012

Call your Congressman and ask him/her to please cosponsor the "Making Adoption Affordable Act of 2012.

Adoption is a beautiful thing.  Please help children find homes by supporting this bill.

Below is a quoted summary of the bill.


SUMMARY - Making Adoption Affordable Act Rep. Braley

The Making Adoption Affordable Act expands and maintains the tax credits for families who choose to adopt children. These credits help defray the high administrative costs sometimes associated with adoptions and ensure that families who choose to open their homes to children and are otherwise able to raise a child as their own are not turned away because of the high cost of the process. Preserving and expanding these tax credits has been a bipartisan policy of both the Bush and Obama administrations.

The Making Adoption Affordable Act:


  • Permanently expands the Adoption Tax Credit

    • Provides up to $13,360 for covered adoption expenses, adjusted for inflation
    • Without extension, credit will fall to $6,000 for special-needs adoptions only

  • Maintains the higher income tax exclusion of employer provided adoption assistance

    • Preserves the policy of excluding up to $13,360 in employer provided adoption assistance from tax considerations.
    • Annually adjusts the threshold for inflation
    • Income Tax exclusion of adoption benefits have been expanded and supported by the Bush and Obama administrations.

  • Makes permanent the higher-income phase-out of the credit, adjusted for inflation

    • Families with income in excess of $185,210 receive a reduced credit
    • Credit reduced by the ratio of income in excess of $185,210 to $40,000
    • Income phase out thresholds set by the 2001 Bush tax cuts, and extended by the Obama tax cuts
    • Without extension, the credit will begin phasing out for families with incomes over $75,000, and will not provide any benefit to families making over $115,000.

  • Permanently makes the credit refundable

    • Allows families to receive a tax refund on the credit in excess of their tax liability
    • Without extension, credit can reduce a family’s tax liability to nothing but any excess credit cannot be taken as a tax refund.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Links I Loved

I have an email folder filled with great links I'd planned to blog about.  I never did.  Oh well.  Here they are.  Maybe you can blog about them!
As Porky Pig would say, "Blee-bl-bl-bl-blee, THAT'S ALL, FOLKS!"

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Flashbacks: Only a Man

First posted December 28, 2009.  The testimony of Johnny Lang, which will bring you to your knees at its beauty.

______________________________________


If you want to hear Johnny Lang's testimony, listen to him sing it.  I can't get enough of this song. 

I first saw him on the Tonight Show at least a decade ago... this child prodigy who could sing the blues and play guitar as if he were possessed. He went platinum by age 15. He is incredible.

I accidentally ended up at his concert in 2008.  We went to watch the singer-songwriter who was opening for him.  Lang, appropriately, stole the show.

Nothing could have prepared me for his raw talent. Music boils inside of his blood, convulsing his body, shuddering out of him in perfection.  We were witnessing genius.
We were also witnessing a Christian.  He never said Jesus' name.  Sang no praise song.  Rarely spoke a word.  Still, I had no doubt he belonged to God.  Maybe it was the humility with which he performed, or the talent that so mimicked our Creator.

Finally, at closing curtain as the crowd shouted for encore, Lang performed a wordless guitar solo of "How Great Thou Art." It was worshipful.

I came home perplexed. What was his story? What I found was an article, and this song-- his testimony.

Here are excerpts from his testimony.  (Haylie is now his wife.) To read the whole article, click here.

I got involved in “adult” activities at a very  young age. [...] By the time I was 17, I was an alcoholic and smoking two packs a day.  I also started doing drugs. [...]  In my position, anything I wanted was just handed to me. [...]

I saw things that really burned me and turned me off to Christianity – especially hypocrisy.  However, what turned me off the most about Christianity was that I’d never seen the power of God move.  It was just a lot of going through the motions but not experiencing His power or His presence.  [...]
When I was 16 I met the most wonderful girl in Los Angeles while on tour and became great friends with her and her family.  [...]  I’m just so thankful that they loved me because I was such a mess.  They loved me through all that and God gave them a heart to stick with me. [...]
In fact, her father, Cliff, was like a second dad to me.  [...]
Cliff had become very sick – he had Hepatitis C and cancer all over his body.  [...] One night while I was there, I decided to go out with a friend of mine to get high.  We went to his apartment, but before we had a chance to do anything, the phone rang.  It was Haylie’s mom ... Cliff had just died.  I remember feeling relieved, because he had been suffering so much, struggling for every breath.  Honestly, I was more worried about interacting with Haylie and her family than I was about Cliff actually passing away.  I didn’t have very much backbone, and I wasn’t prepared to deal with the whole situation.


But I had to go back to the house.  While I was walking out in the hallway of my friend’s apartment building, I was suddenly hit in the stomach by the most incredible force. It spread from there and filled my whole body.  I had this soundness of mind and this extraordinary peace that I just couldn’t explain.  It was an incredible feeling.
[...]When I got back to the house, everybody was just beside themselves.  I was not the kind of person who could deal with those kinds of emotions.  But whatever had happened to me in that apartment hallway gave me a special wisdom to handle it.  [...]
When the morgue was coming to remove Cliff’s body, I thought it would be best if Haylie didn’t see that.  So I took her to the back yard.  [...]  All of a sudden, I got hit in the stomach again with that tremendous force.  It was almost like I had to throw up – I couldn’t keep it down any longer. Bursting out of my mouth came the word “Jesus!” right in the middle of our conversation.  The power of God hit me so hard that I started shaking in my chair.  It was like somebody grabbed my shoulders and shook me forcefully back and forth.  It didn’t hurt, but it was violent.  

Yet at the same time I felt total peace.  He didn’t say “Hey, this is Jesus” or anything, but I knew it was Him.  I heard Him say to me, “You don’t have to have this if you don’t want it.”  I was completely and utterly amazed, and I definitely wanted it.  I wanted it more than anything I’d ever wanted in my whole life.  I kept shaking and shaking until I fell to the ground.  I gave my life to Christ right there at that moment.
[...] What’s so miraculous about this whole experience is that I had not been pursuing God.  I despised Him.  I was living with total hostility toward God and He still loved and delivered me.     [...]


Read full article here.  Don't forget to check out the incredible song!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Love Where You Are (Thanks, Montgomery)


via
A city never feels more like home than the days you prepare to leave it. Suddenly, you're awake to the scenery, the comforts, the friendships. A romance blossoms with the place you once took for granted.

Nostalgia doesn’t blind me. Plenty of indictments stand against Montgomery.

     We're not as big as Birmingham nor as quaint as nearby small towns. 
     Summer heat hangs sticky and snow lovers moan each warm winter. 
     Our public school system flounders and my single friends complain there's no one to date.

But the sky here is wide and blue. I pass cow pastures on my two mile drive to the grocery or to Ann Taylor. Spanish moss hangs from trees in the distance out my back window. The picturesque, winding paths of Shakespeare Park almost convince me to lace my running shoes and join them.  Almost. :)

Shakespeare Park, via

Some say Montgomery is cliquish. I wouldn't know; we enjoy friendships open and inviting.

Some say Montgomery is racist.  Our transracial family has felt accepted. Yes, our town’s name is inscribed throughout Civil Rights history. Yes, there are massive, massive improvements yet to be made. But my daughter's life has been celebrated and prayed for here.

Some say Montgomery’s people are pompous, dressing children in fashions more costly than adult clothes. I can't tell you. My girls dress the part each Sunday, draped in lace and smocked pastel, but I didn't buy a thing. Our closets are stuffed with the generous hand-me-downs of those others (wrongly) call snobs.

Some say Montgomery is boring. We haven’t had time to find out. Our schedule is packed with parties, showers, church events. If it weren’t, we may have had more time to attend concerts, plays, zoo events, and minor league baseball games on the river.


via

Life lessons are often learned through endings. Hindsight is 20-20, they say. At the end of our time in Montgomery, I learn a sweet lesson to take to our home-to-be in Mobile:  
Waste no time on discontent.
Embrace where you live. 
Love it for whatever it is.
Love the people, however they are.
See the potential. 
Find the good.

I don't suggest Christians forget we're are foreignors on earth and never truly "home" until we reach heaven.  I suggest we imitate the love with which God gave Himself to this imperfect planet... imitate the affection with which Jesus lamented over Jerusalem.

There’s no other place exactly like the peice of globe your feet are now touching. Appreciate and cultivate the habitat that, for the moment, is uniquely yours.

If home is where the heart is, then give your heart to wherever you are, and quickly.
Otherwise, you’re simply wandering.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Waiting Wednesdays

For those of you who are waiting.  May we learn to accept God's kingdom (at it's perfect time) with the heart of a child.


"Children have neither past nor future; they enjoy the present, which very few of us do."   - Jean de la Bruyere

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Annoyed, but Not Crushed :)



We’re in full moving mode.

The stack of packed boxes in our garage is beginning to teeter.
Brad has two more Sundays working at our current church.
I have 12 more days as an accountant.
Our girls will finish their preschool year, soccer season, and dance recital just in time to hit the road.



And we still don’t know where in Mobile we’re going to live.

Nor if anyone will rent our house.

We have a roommate who isn’t sure where she’ll live when we’re gone.

Our friend “Jay” in the Montgomery foster care system will tell us goodbye, clueless that we’re extremely hopeful about his near future. He does have good news in the works, but it’s not set in stone, so we’re not at liberty to tell him.

Blah.

I’d like to pluck each question mark out of the air to neatly tuck and tie in packages before we say goodbye.

But in the scheme of life, these “problems” are trivial. Last summer, we worried whether my dad could live well again, if at all. The summer before that, my sister crushed her ankle. I remember the ache of my daughter living half a world away. Life brings pain.  Wondering where we’ll rent next doesn’t rank.

My point in posting today is twofold:
  1. I’m griping. Indulgently. Without shame. About, relatively speaking, nothing.
  2. If I can trust God for the big stuff, then I can also trust Him with the annoyances.
You hear that, Me? If you turn to God in the raging storm, you can surely turn to him when one… drop… of rain… drops incessantly… on your nose… again… and again… in the same… exact spot.

When doubt nags,
and cereal bowls spill,
and toddlers poop in their panties once again WHILE LAUGHING NONETHELESS..


"Who, me?"

When life bugs you, keep perspective.
It is God who is good, not the absence of frustration.
It is God who is big, not your problems.
 
Breathe.  And, when possible, laugh.

To quote our soon-to-be pastor, "I am annoyed, but not persectued... and definately not crushed."

Buttons

Growing up, my sister loved buttons. She thought every one deserved the attention of a good push. She once x-rayed a room full of distracted, chatting adults at a doctor's office. Or so the story goes as I remember hearing it. Her button love is legendary.

Genetics are fun. See this picture? REBECCA Caroline is so much like her aunt, Rebecca!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Flashbacks: Which Is More Holy?

At first I didn't want to repost this entry from December 4, 2009.  It's different from what I post now.  My picture choices promote the White Savior Complex I didn't even know existed in 2009, although in my defense, I was naively falling in love with global missions, not consciously promoting White Man as the answer to the world's problems.  

Also, my focus then was totally on the monetarily poor, the physically sick.  Now I remember that some of the richest people in the world are equally impoverished and diseased spiritually.  Yes, Jesus helped the poor, but he also blessed rich little Zaccheus and ate with Pharisees.

Still, I like this post.  The call to action.  To challenge status quo.  To hear Jesus' words and actually ACT.  It may be a hokey post, but in many ways, I pray to get back there.  

And hey, pictures are worth a thousand words.
_______________

When Jesus said to feed the hungry, what did He mean?



When He said, "Let the little children come to Me," did He only mean a certain nationality or economic class?


And we He said that "family" is no longer defined by OUR common blood, but by the blood of Christ, did He mean it?

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."  - Galatians 3:28

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Free to Fail


My single friend shrugs and says he doesn’t need a wife. And he’s right. No one has to have a spouse. The apostle Paul revered singleness above marriage.

But his tone is telling, sharp, like a shard of shrapnel jutting from his obvious wound. His proclamation against marriage is less about preference and more about protection. He wraps walls around his heart like an ACE bandage.

Another friend asks if I want to become a writer. I look away and laugh. I already write. In my journals, on my blog. I always write.

Her eyes roll, unsatisfied. “You know what I mean. Do you want to become a writer? As a job?”

In a flash, my hopes rise, then crash. I imagine smiling as I dot the last beautiful period of a manuscript to send to publishers, only to have my desk swallowed by rejection letters.

I imagine acquaintances gathered around a glowing computer screen, reading one of my junk blog posts as they sneer, “She thinks she should be a writer?”

I shake my head and tell my friend that no, I doubt I’ll ever pursue writing formally.

My single friend and I, we lack courage. Cynicism masquerades as strength. We build buttresses made of negative promises. “I’ll never marry. I’ll never write. I’ll never try.” Arrows can’t pierce nonexistant dreams. 



We think we're ensuring a safe life, when instead we're ensuring a banal one.  Here is the irony:   The road to mediocrity is just as treacherous as the roads to either success or failure.   Foes like cancer, unemployment, or the loss of loved ones fly hissing at whomever they choose. We cannot put up our hand to them and say, “Excuse me, Disaster, but I picked the safe path. Please visit someone on that rocky street.”

We do not choose our life's level of ease.

For Christians, our inability to mitigate risk is actually a safety net.  By admitting we are not God, we leave room to trust the One who is.  As the weight of broken dreams buckles our knees weak, we find ourselves kneeling at the feet of our Mighty Savior. We're free to chase God-given desires with reckless abandon, because when we fall, it is into the Arms of Grace.

God does more than protect us from risk.  He allows us to fall prey to it.  He allows our hopes to shatter, our bodies to fail, His Son to die.  And when murder, sickness, and heartache have done their worst, God uses His mighty thumb to press them into submission until the very thing that threatened to destroy us instead leads us to the greatest gift in existance... the intimate enjoyment of our Father.
The trash of this world is the compost that fertilizes God's purposes.

God doesn't simply make beauty.  He creates light
     in the darkness,
grows trees
     from decay,
draws life
     out of bloody wombs,
and transforms us into His image
    through our every hardship.


We are free to fail. He shapes us by it. Uses it to draw us to Him.

And we are free to succeed. Success is nothing more than His strength in our weakness.

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."   - 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Waiting Wednesdays

For those of you who wait...

"Be patient till your wings are grown. I fear very much that you are too vehement and headlong in your wishes and attempts to fly. You see the beauty of spiritual light and good resolutions; you fancy that you have almost attained, and your ardor is redoubled; you rush forward, but in vain, for your master has chained you to your perch, or else it is that your wings are not grown; and this constant excitement exhausts your strength. You must indeed strive to fly, but gently, without growing eager or restless. You resign yourself, but it is always with a BUT; you want this and that, and you struggle to get it. A simple wish is no hindrance to resignation; but a palpitating heart, a flapping of wings, an agitated will, and endless, quick, restless movements are unquestionably caused by deficient resignation. Do you know what you must do? You must be willing not to fly, since your wings are not yet grown. Do not be so eager with your vain desires, do not even be eager in avoiding eagerness; go on quietly in your path - it is a good path."  - Francis de Sales

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Today I'm featured over at The Uncontainable Truth! Check out the rest of my good friend Christen's blog while your there!


Monday, April 16, 2012

First Mother

a glimpse 70 years into the future :)

When Caroline laughs deeply, I sometimes hear faint echoes of my grandmother’s laugh. Someday, we will pull out old VHS tapes and introduce Caroline to the sweet woman whose melodic joy lives on through her great-granddaughter.

And then there is Amelia.

Amelia, whose nose crinkles when she smiles silly. Whose sing-song voice can reach operatic octaves. Whose eyelashes reach her eyebrows, and whose pinky toenails grow folded so she points to them and laughs. Sometime, somewhere where on this spinning globe lived others with crumpled noses and toenails, with stunning voices and eyelashes. People who passed bits of their own flesh and traits to a womb, to the pair of cells that would rapidly divide and grow and become Amelia.

Somewhere in Africa, there is a first mother whose existence cocooned and nurtured the beginnings of this baby I call mine.

I am occasionally jealous of Amelia’s first mother. Her right to claim Amelia is etched deeply into the strands of her DNA. What I would give for even the stray cells left on my toothbrush to testify that Amelia is mine.

Instead, I have papers made by man and notarized in court.
I have a mother’s heart beating love.
I have fifteen months of memories,
   the hope of a future,
   and the sound of my girl calling, “Mama!”

I can tell you that Amelia hates eggs and loves books. I can predict her exact mood based on the hour of the day. I can make her laugh and tell you she’ll count to thirteen, skipping six every time.

But never, never can I explain from whom she inherited hair that grows quickly and strong. I can’t explain who before her was as affectionate and cuddly as she is. Why she is so delicate, so feminine, so tall.



Every now and then, I buy into the subtle lie that my claim to her is forged. I grieve for the history I cannot explain to my child. Will she cry the day she understands adoption’s beauty is watered with tears and grown from ashes? Will she ache for a woman named Grace who birthed her, then carefully left her in a place known for its Christian love?

My jealousy for Amelia’s first mother is waning. Love replaces rivalry. Gratitude brings me to tears. How can a perfect stranger knit together a part of your soul? She tore materials from her own body and built up our family – surely leaving a gaping hole in her own heart. Can she imagine all she has given her daughter?  Given us?

The deeper I dive into the adoption world, the more I fear drowning. I feel the brokenness that created our joy. The pain that led to our blessing. No, I no longer envy Amelia’s first mother. My cells don’t hold my baby's DNA, but my mismatched hand holds hers.  My eyes cry gratitude.  Grace's eyes, perhaps, simply cry.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Flashback: Cows

On April 22, 2010, my grief waiting for Amelia caused me to post the most bizarre and politically incorrect thing ever.  Sheesh.  I should be embarrassed. :)  Although I have to admit, those cows still make me smile for the exact same reason!  And I still giggle at this post.

Adoption is doing weird things to me. Transracial adoption is apparently making me plain nuts. Let me explain

As we leave our neighborhood every day, we pass a field of cows. Caroline loves to yell, "thanks for the milk, cows!" Sometimes she yells, "Look, baby cows!"

A couple of days ago, I saw a couple of those baby cows she loves so much. They were running. It was two of them, and they looked like a couple of children trying to catch up with their mom. One was black, and the other was white. And I got sentimental. And I cried.

Do I think that my two children are going to look like this together? (haha, I don't think so!) Like I said, I am going nuts.




Thursday, April 12, 2012

Flowers from the Dumpster

(I accidentally partially posted this earlier in the week.  Here's the whole thing. Oops!)


(our current church)
It is the afternoon of Easter. While my family naps off the morning festivities, I hunt for boxes.  We are moving across the state soon.

I find the holy grail for movers... the “cardboard only” trash bin behind a nearby grocery.  Within moments I am shoving empty Lays Potato Chip and Sister Schubert’s Roll cases tightly into the trunk and back seat. I look down. I am still wearing my Easter dress.

Classy. Dumpster diving in a brand new sundress.

Easter is like that, though. At first glance, it’s all pastel and smiles and finely pressed linen, chocolates and toys. We’ve turned it into a day to hide our junk. Shine your shoes and sing “Shine Jesus Shine.”  You’d think on the holiday that celebrates Christ’s death, we’d remember true beauty is battered and bloody. Even the resurrected Christ bore scars.
(will be our church)
Today, I’m hiding a lot of junk. My youngest daughter came unglued at church this morning.

Normally, Amelia thrives at our church.  After all, the congregation adopted Amelia almost as much as we did.  But this holiday brought hundreds of unfamiliar faces.  Amelia clung tightly to my legs, fearing she’d float away in the sea of brand new worshippers. She laid on her back, shrieking in the Sunday school doorway as I left her, convulsing like a fish out of water. My stomach twisted sick.

“If new crowds undo her, will a move across the state crush her?”  I think this as I drive, cardboard moving boxes scratching each other loudly. My raw nerves rub together even louder.



At home, I unload the empty boxes from the car. I exchange my Easter dress for sweats and a gray t-shirt. Pastel perfection is over. My emotions are stripped sore, no longer hidden by congenial smiles. I begin the hard work of packing all we own.

I open the pantry and fill a box with glass sugar jars, salt and pepper shakers, vitamins. Out of the cabinet falls a tiny packet of seeds. I tear a corner off the paper and pour them in my hand.
 

Seeds.
Bury a seed in the earth, and it will rise in newness of life.
Kernels of hope. Promises to be fulfilled in blooms.

I lean against a cardboard box and think about moving, Amelia, pain, and change.  I could use some seeds of hope.

Change is hard. Even the change that bought our salvation came tear-stained, beaten, bruised, and bloody. The Son of God died! It was ugly.

The sky went black.

The veil tore.

Ghoulish bodies rose from their graves.

Jesus’ disciples fell to their knees, weeping despair and wondering if they’d given their lives to a cause as fragile and temporal as human life…

…as fragile and temporal as a flower’s petal.

When the One they lived for died, did they dare still cling to tiny seeds of hope?

Did they weep as Jesus' body, like a seed, was buried in the dark places of the Earth?

I turn the paper seed packet over in my hand to see an image of tiny blue flowers. I remember…

Easter morning, my girls and I had woven freshly cut front-yard roses into a tall floral cross standing in  the church lobby. The seven foot tall kaleidoscope crucifix wore stunning bright sunflowers, hydrangeas, spider lilies, and daises. Far more pleasing visually than the rough, blood-stained beams of Good Friday.

Flowers growing out of an instrument meant to bring capital punishment to God Himself.

Life blooming in color and brilliance, thanks to the Savior the grave could not hold.

The stench of Jesus’ death swallowed by the fragrance of fresh life.

And it all started with a seed of hope…

Planted in a dark, uncertain tomb…

Raised to bloom in newness of life.


Change is hard. Our family may feel beaten and bloody by the time we finish this move towards new life. We may feel as if we’re being buried in the dark depths of the earth. And perhaps, that is exactly what is happening to our family. Like the resurrected Christ, we may rise from the dust and cardboard boxes with some deep new scars.

After all, scars bring life.

We die with Christ that He may become life in us. We are seeds, entering darkness and uncertainty, trusting He will cause us to bloom out of decaying crucifix wood. We are the aroma of Christ; a fragrant bouquet, growth constrained to the exquisite cruciform shape of His death.

The question is, do we trust Him enough to enter the uncertainty? To be planted in the ground of whatever He has for us?

I seal a moving box closed and take a deep breath, noticing the scent of Easter lilies from across the kitchen.  I too, will enter the  the tomb of unknowns.  I agree to be planted in the black fertile soil of struggle, which God will use to create new life.

Father, I believe. Help my unbelief.




Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Artist YOU (& the cardboard arcade)

Oh boy oh boy do I have a treat for you today. I deliver to you ten minutes of absolute bliss in the form of a video about a boy and his cardboard arcade. I know, I was skeptical about the use of a full ten minutes when Brad sat me down to watch this one.

Then Brad pressed play.

And I began to smile.

And then laugh.

I may have even clapped. (I know I did internally!)

And I loved this mini-film about creativity, and the joy that comes from others supporting and getting your art.

This little boy is an artist. And I am starting to think maybe I am, too. Being an artist does not mean you hold awards, or have some genius, or are more special than the next person. You don’t even need an audience.  (Although, let's be honest.  We all want to connect.  Be heard.)

Being an artist simply means you create.

Those who create, whether they know God or not, are pointing to the Creator in whose image they are made.

Artists imitate their Maker.


I think of the “village” Brad's mom drove us to months ago. A woman constructed dozens of scaled-down houses out of trashed glass bottles. Paintings and weary furnishings hung throughout the property. She'd used garbage to fill acres with careful displays.  She had no degree.  No training.  But she had found a passion and began to create like mad.  It was bizarre.  It was mesmerizing.

It was art.


So get out there.
Make what you love.
Mess up.
Fumble.
Spill paint and break sewing needles.
Write a blog no one reads.
Just create.

When you finish, create some more.

And encourage others who, like you, make
See their work.  Applaud it.
Because, as you'll see in the video, we all smile when we're understood.

Without further adieu, I give you…

Caine’s Arcade.


P.S. – There are three heroes in this film.  Caine, who makes.  Caine’s dad, who never stifles.  The filmmaker, who sees the beauty.  We should strive to be all three.

Beckham has NOTHING on this!

Watch out, world...
Caroline is taking soccer by force.


Doesn't my baby look tough?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Waiting Wednesdays - Tuesday Edition :)

I am bumping Wednesday's post up to today. I still need a bit more time to work on something special for tomorrow!

For those of you who are waiting...

"To wait open-endedly is an enormously radical attitude toward life. So is to trust that something will happen to us that is far beyond our imaginings. So, too, is giving up control over our future and letting God define our life, trusting that God moulds us according to God's love and not according to our fear. The spiritual life is a life in which we wait, actively present to the moment, trusting that new things will happen to us, new things that are far beyond our own imagination, fantasy, or prediction. That, indeed, is a very radical stance toward life in a world preoccupied with control."  - Henri J. M. Nouwen, Nouwen Centre