Family Photo 2015

Family Photo 2015

Friday, April 23, 2010

The reality of People Watching

Oh go ahead and confess! You know you do it too!
How many times have we sat in an airport, a park or even a stop light and did a little bit of people watching? I would not go as far as saying it is a spiritual gift but there are some people who are good and the art of people watching...and then there are those who are good at being watched. And you know who you are!
Recently, I was out at a mall doing some shopping with the family. I decided to take Keller to the indoor playground while Ashley went to check out some other stores. For those of you with children, you know how these indoor playgrounds are arranged. Usually the benches enclose the equipment and all the parents sit around and are able to talk to each other and watch the kiddos have a great time.
There I sat, minding my business and making plenty of observations of the different people coming in and out of the playground. The sound of our baby crying pulled me out of the fog of watching people. While I was tending to the baby, I noticed this couple looking at me. Naturally, I smiled and went on about my business. Then after about 5 minutes, I noticed that the same couple was still staring at me. This went on for another few minutes and to be honest, it felt really uncomfortable.
Then it hit me, the reality of people watching is that, someone is out there people watching me! I hope that just made sense! I could not believe that I was naive enough to think that I was immune to those that enjoy watching others. So this got me thinking...what are they looking at? Do I have something on my shirt? In my teeth? But then I found myself asking this question: Do the people watchers see God in me? In how I interact with my wife, children, friends, strangers around me, do they see the evidence of grace in my life? So the true reality of people watching becomes an opportunity for us to indirectly share Christ with those around us. Seeds are being planted in the very actions we do! So the next time you are out at the mall or movie theatre or even driving down the road, ask yourself...Can they see God in me?


Statements from Keller part III "Gone with the Wind"

Many of you know our son personally and so this story will not be surprising to you in the least. For those that don't know him, I encourage you to read the previous blog posts about him and you will understand why have such a great time with him...and he's only 4 years old.

Our story takes place during holy week. I was busy getting the last details finished on the Good Friday Service and I decided to take Keller with me to help me decorate. Of course his version of helping consisted of playing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" on the piano, a couple of drum solos, and some sprint races down the center aisle of the Sanctuary. However, he did help me place some of the candles and was quick to correct me if something did not look like it was in the right place (gets that from his mother).

At last our work was done and I needed to place some of the boxes in the choir room...which is directly behind the main platform.

ME: "Keller, we are almost done. I am going to put these boxes away and we can go home."

KELLER: "Okay Dad! I am right here." Here being in the front pew.

So I quickly go backstage, put the boxes away, lock the doors and turn out the lights. I walk back into the sanctuary and notice that Keller is not in the same spot. In fact he is not even in the sanctuary. So I call out his name a couple of times and there was no response. I went back and checked the choir room...still no answer. This was the moment where I could feel my stomach starting to turn into a big knot.

I quickly went toward the foyer and front door. As I am getting closer I notice that the front door was propped open with no child in sight! So of course I went all ghetto in the parking lot calling out for him as loud as I could....and still there was no answer. So I sprint toward the house (an advantage of living next door to the church). I bust through the front door to find Keller in the front room with Ashley and the baby. Oh the plethora of emotions I had at that time: Joy, relief, frustration, anger, fear, humility, etc.

So of course I had to scold him for walking home in the parking lot, next to a road, alone! His face was so sad, because he had never seen me so scared. And I think it scared him as well. So as I am talking to him and correcting him, I realize that Ashley has not said much. I look over to see she is smiling and trying not to laugh. So, of course, I had to ask her what was the deal. She was trying not to laugh because of the story Keller told her before I arrived. The conversation went something like this:

KNOCK, KNOCK, on the door!

ASHLEY: Oh! Hey Keller! Where is Daddy?

KELLER: He is at the church! (Realizing what he has just said) But Mommy, I don't know what happened!

ASHLEY: What do you mean?

KELLER: Well I was there and then the wind picked me up and took me over the parking lot and to the door at the house! I don't know what happened!

Of course as he is sharing this story he is using his arms to represent the wind actually taking him home. As scary as it was in the moment, I love sharing this story because it reminds me to appreciate the innocence of my children and to appreciate how dramatic and creative his mind can be. I cannot wait to see what adventures he and his imaginary friends are going to find. By the way, He has named his friends Keller 2 and Keller 3. Only our child is vain enough to name imaginary people after himself!


Saturday, April 3, 2010

First Fridays...262.8 and blaming what I ate!

So yes, I do realize that this post is titled First Fridays(will now call FF), and no your eyes are not playing tricks on you. I was being a procrastinator about writing this entry because I knew how sad the results were! Since my last FF post, I have lost a total of 2lbs and some change... a reality that I am not pleased with. So what went wrong, you might be asking? I am sure that I could feel this blog space with plenty of justifications, reasons, & excuses as to why I did not lose more weight. And some them are merited...actually no, none of them are merited, thus the problem at hand. However there is something deeper happening and I guess I need to ask myself if I really want to go there. If I really want the Spirit to expose some things and some patterns in my life that are a if I can hide something from God! HAHAHA! In the midst of this first month on the journey, I confess that I have felt disconnected with our accountability group. Not just because we started on the heels of the arrival of our daughter, but there has just been this weight (figuratively speaking) holding me down. Therefore it became easy for me to say "well I can't help what I eat right now because people are being kind and cooking dinner for our family." I know you can agree that the last statement sounds as lame as it looks! But here is the good news...

I realized last week that I was once again looking at this all from the wrong perspective. Our groups deals with physical, spiritual, emotional and mental perspectives of living. I was again looking at this only from the physical level. Physical in the sense of what and how I was eating and the lack of physical activity that was and is happening in my life. I feel as if the Lord is dealing with me in some areas (spiritual) and the truth is I cannot conqueror the other components without Him and His guidance. Especially if one of the cornerstone verses of this study is "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me." [Philippians 4:13] The one thing I have to remind myself is that may at this time, God does not what me to focus on the weight, but focus on His voice.

During our Good Friday service, there was a thought that came through my mind. God's mercies and grace intersect at the cross. The cross where His Son died and paid the ultimate order that grace may be extended to me. There was this overwhelming sense of shame that came over me because here is God once again reaching out to me, and allowing me to be embraced by his love and to lean on him...and there I was, stuffing some other cookie, biscuit, or donut in my mouth. I realize that His mercies are new...but enough is enough. My desire to be set apart for Him and my desire to eat poorly have intersected and has made a HOT MESS! But again, the good news is that He can make beauty from my mess!

So with my glass half full...of water, I am brushing off the crumbs and powdered sugar stumbling blocks of these past 30 days and pressing on with new passion and spirit that is coming from Him. Thanks to those readers, friends, and family who were keeping me accountable. It was embarrassing and refreshing at the same time to have you checking in and supporting me and my friends! By the way, through all this, I have found a challenge to participate in my first triathlon in the fall! So training will begin soon and those training sessions could be a blog series all on its own! HA HA