Chase Fireflies


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Husband of Mine

Husband of mine does not like to be embarrassed. 

Balloons are not really his thing.  Nor loud birthday songs in restaurants.  Nor anything that may draw attention to himself, such as…. well, this. 

The man is flushed already, no doubt.  Oh well.

I first fell in love with a quiet guy with a huge heart for God and a sensitivity mixed with strength.  He made me laugh.  He made me think.  I am still in love with that same guy. 
Some things have changed.  Some have not. 

He’s not as quiet anymore.  He speaks up for people who need a voice. 

He’s lost the swagger that comes from driving fast cars and a motorcycle. The Van and Bonnie the Beast don’t really compare.  He is the King of All Things Yard Sale.  And we live like a royal family because of it. 

He was never really a small people person.  But once he became a Dad, he became the greatest.  Our kids adore him.  I love the way they look up to him.  I love the way he gets on their level.

He still walks humbly with a good God.  Gives generously.  Practices patience.  Speaks gently.  Holds out hope.  Makes me laugh. Challenges me.  Believes in people.

I am crazy about this guy.  Still can’t believe he’s mine.
Happy Birthday, Paul.
Love, Me.


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Thoughts on Parenting

Hey guys.  If you are a parent, this article is worth the time.  Know you don’t have much.  It has encouraged and challenged me this week.  And given me freedom.  Hope it does the same for you.

Please don’t let the ridiculously corny cover page deter you from reading either.  It’s awful and discredits a good article, in my opinion.


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Training, Thomas, and One Good Fall

When one is training for a 5K, one should probably not begin that training by careening down half a flight of stairs.  No, that wouldn’t be good. 

And when one is potty training a small child, one should probably not begin that training by allowing said child to do everything himself.  No, that wouldn’t be good either.

You see, Little Man had to go potty.  And that he did.  But targeting the potty is really not his strength.   Really, not at all.  So new Thomas undergarments were needed (as well as much scrubbing of the floor.) 

I run upstairs to grab the goods while Little Man runs around the house yelping, “Me go potty.  Me go potty.”  Mind you, there is nothing on his bottom half.

The sight of her brother in such a state somewhat traumatizes Big Sister until there are loud disagreeable protests.  Which expedites me in my personal mission to get Thomas.

I am flying down the stairs.  And then actually flying down the stairs.  The last one I made contact with was in the middle somewhere.   But I made solid contact with the bottom one.  Yeah.

As a fall goes, it was a 10. 

When Paul came rushing home, Little Man told him, “Mommy flied and cried.”  Yep.  I cried.  Then Little Man cried.  And Big Sister bit back tears, opting for questions instead. 

Meanwhile, Little Man still does not have pants on. 

The good news is that our diaper costs have officially ended.
The bad news is that chiropractor costs have officially begun. 

Oh well, I guess you take the good with the bad.  And the exuberance of our Happy Little Man in Thomas undergarments, might just tip the scales in the good direction.  Maybe.


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Disturbed to Love

Thirty-some teenagers came out for small groups tonight, but we didn’t have small groups. 

Instead, there were disturbing images and numbing statistics on Haiti.  It was uncomfortable, raw, heart-shattering into millions of pieces.  I couldn’t stop wiping away tears from my seat in the back, almost embarrassed at such visible emotion. 

Paul prayed that we would be disturbed.  Disturbed to do something.  Pray.  Give.  Mobilize. 

LOVE.

30-some students and leaders in one cramped room in one night raised $1200.  What? 

$1200.  Kids these days…

The devastation cannot be fathomed.  And no amount of dollars can heal that kind of hurt.  But there will be food and clean water and the compassion of strangers from a little white country church.  And that’s as good of a place to start as any. 

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in..”

The students have set the bar.  Our turn.  If you would like to give, we have seen the outstanding work of Compassion International first-hand.  Click here to donate. 

May all of us continue to be DISTURBED.  May all of us continue to LOVE. 
Gotta start somewhere.

UPDATE AS OF 1/17:  Students have upped their own pledges, giving more money than they had initially committed.  The total is now up to $1, 450.  Can you believe it? 

This is crazy sacrifice.  None of the students or leaders have access to much.  So so so proud of their huge hearts, compassion & sensitivity.  The church today was challenged to match their giving.  And match they did:)  Incredible. 


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Into the Rubble

Love this quote:

I make no claim to know what God is doing in Haiti, but I do know that God’s intent is to reconcile all things to Himself and so, in prayer, in giving, and in mobilizing humans to help the suffering of Haiti, we commit ourselves to enter now into the work of binding up the brokenhearted and healing the wounded.

May we crawl, with God, into this rubble and be the presence of God, bring the presence of God, and lead Haiti into the healing presence of God.  – Scot McKnight

And the work being done here:  Hands and Feet Project.

This is an email written from the lead singer of Audio A, who was in Haiti working with his organization, when disaster struck:

Our internet is working finally. So I’m sending this to a few of you….

Everyone here is ok, but we are all very scared. The buildings held up great, but there are several houses right around us that have collapsed. Also, Hotel Cyvadier had major damage, while the brand new three story “peace of mind” hotel was demolished.

Francine, one of our teenage nannies was in afternoon school and escaped while the building was collapsing around her because she was sitting by the door…however many of her classmates died yesterday. Many houses and and buildings have collapsed in Jacmel including the hospital.

I know most of the news there is coming from PAP, but there is substantial loss of life here on the south coast. We need prayer for wisdom and strength. Its very chaotic here. We were able to buy diesel this morning and hopefully get more propane for cooking tomorrow. Last night was crazy…slept on the dirt in the center of the village…away from the buildings. Tonight we may venture back indoors, but that is yet to be decided. We go in and out to get necessities.

The Haitian people are numb and sad to say very used to death, but this has created what seems to be a hypnotic state. I’ve never been in a situation were you feel SO helpless, fearful, and small. The tremors are coming again as i type this. Whoa!!!

-Mark (Stuart)

I’m taking a moment now to pray for:

lives to be saved
provision
healing
presence of God

protection of children and infants

the church to mobilize and love people because of Jesus
other relief organizations to work together to meet needs
Christ followers to do their part – whatever that may mean.

If you’re a praying person, please consider doing the same as you read this.  Thanks.

Much Love,
Kristin


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Snow Day: Indoor & Outdoor Activities for Preschoolers

After a long weekend of work, we declared today to be Snow Day. 
We built an igloo
 with a white sheet and our table. 
 
Constructed an Indoor Snowman
with toilet paper and a willing participant. 
Read our favorite wintry books
The Jacket I Wear in the Snow
The Mitten
The Snowman
And a really snazzy pop-out book my brother got the kids
 
Munched on Snowman Treats
with marshmallows, pretzel arms, and raisins.
 
Had a Snowball Fight
with all of our rolled up socks.
 
Ice Skated to Sara Groves
with wax paper ice skates on our feet.
 
We also went outside, 
for sled riding, real snowman construction, snow angels, footprint tracking, and general mayhem.
 
But the Indoor Snow Day proved to be much better, especially for The Little Man. 
 
The only thing he liked about being outdoors was his sweet snow pants. 
Very fond of said pants, they never came off.  “I take nap in pants.  Me look cute in them.” 
That’s our boy. 


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Castle 2010: Favorite Things

We had an INCREDIBLE weekend at the Castle.  Because Paul’s GIFT is administration, because we had great SERVANT LEADERS, because the speaker GOT God’s heart, because the worship leaders were HUMBLE, because our students are LIKE NO OTHER.
All of which is very true.
 
But mostly, the Castle jammed because people pleaded with God. 
And He heard.  If you prayed, THANK YOU!
 
There were plenty of FAVORITES TO LOVE… But TOPS was the VISIBLE LOVE. 
Our kids were PLAYED WITH.
Students were VALUED.
Counselors LISTENED.
Other counselors EXERCISED RESTRAINT and chose NOT TO destroy small junior high boys.
 
There were windshields wiped.  Plates cleared.  Trash dumped.  A cross constructed. 
Pictures taken.  So much serving.  Negative complaining. 
The body of Christ working together and it was BEAUTIFUL!
 
Yay GOD.  Yay GOD. 


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All is Not Lost (So Dance)

I haven’t gotten a chance to upload pictures from the Castle yet.  Till I do, here’s something from the archives (December 12th of last year.) 

This is for my small group from Saturday night.  I think this is what I was getting at.  (Maybe this will erase any other mental images that may come to mind?  Oh what I will say when I’ve had little to no sleep!  GEEZ!!!!!)

He brought me out into a spacious place;
He rescued me because He delighted in me.
– a song of David (Ps. 18:19)

He carried me out of my confinement
the prison of my fears

my aching alone.

He set me free TO BE FULLY ALIVE

to pursue dreams I never thought possible
to dance with my children
to live for discomfort

and sing that song so loud

to enjoy a thing called marriage
to laugh and weap, not in secret
to touch brokenness and find healing in its scars.

He gave me the gift of simple wonder.  Hope.  Joy. 

All is not lost.

He rescued me
Because He delighted in me.

He smiles over me. Even if I’m quite the piece of work.
He smiles.
There’s a song of rescue to be sung.

May you know today that He delights in you.
His eyes light up at the very thought of you.

Let Him carry you
And
Every concern that stresses you and every fear that prevents you
From living in that spacious place.

All is not lost.
Much Love,
Kristin