Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Time to Prepare...and to Reflect

Over the past few days, Carla and I have been dabbling with decorating the beautiful home that God has blessed us with.  We are humbled every day at how He continues to shower us with His grace, love, and abundance.  And we want to always be people who are thankful, and people who share.

Three things have smacked me in the face this week that remind me of that truth.  First, a volunteer of ours at The Pittsburgh Project had a new grandson born yesterday, but with very serious health problems.  Seeing pictures of this little guy struggling for life makes me realize how much the world needs the healing touch, the hope, and the peace only the Lord can bring.

Then I saw an article this week comparing the excesses of Christmas in much of the Western world to the poverty in much of Africa.  Having lived there for a few years of my life, the stark differences between the two worlds I have inhabited reminds me of how much I need to be someone who shares. 

Then this morning, I was walking past our Middle School bulletin board and the kids have been encouraged to write on the board what they want for Christmas.  There were a few things like iPads and clothes and such, but a few of the responses really kicked me at the core of my soul.  One student wrote "My Dad" and another wrote "I want my brother back..."  I realized how privileged I have been to be nurtured in a family that has not been ravaged by the realities of inner city poverty and crime.  And I realize, again, that out of my abundance I am called to give.

So I guess what I am saying is: All I want for Christmas is to have the heart to give and the obedience to do it...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom

Well, I am reconsidering my decision to end my blog ad infinitum.  And that is partly because of one of my most longtime, faithful readers.  Her name?  Well, I call her mom, mother, jude abood, and a few other names that I can't mention on this family-friendly blog.  Those names are only uttered during not-so-family-friendly games of Pounce, a favorite full-contact card game we play.

Today is mom's birthday so I thought I would honor her with a few, albeit rare, kind words.

Thank you, mom, for being a great teacher.  You taught me to "mingle, mingle, mingle."  You taught me how to bake bread and to sew.  You taught me how to do laundry and how to do dishes the correct way (too bad Felicia and Brenda were not quite so cooperative around the kitchen!).  You taught me how to conduct myself in public, and how to have the integrity to conduct myself when nobody else is watching.  You taught me how to stick with 7 years of piano lessons even when there was no evident fruit.  (Buy hey, I can pound out "Don't Bring Me Down" with the best of them, and my love of music continues to this day.)

Thank you for encouraging me.  You encouraged me to use my gifts and to recognize when I didn't have gifts to use.  Thank you for supporting me through failed attempts at things like Little League and other short-lived (thank God) athletic attempts.  Thanks for dragging me to numerous activities...band and piano lessons and youth group and cub scouts and drama practice and forensics and crap like that.

Thank you for appreciating me.  Thanks for the black raspberry pies that often await my announced visits (although it does seem like Felicia gets more food when she visits).  Thank you for putting up with my sisters and teaching me how to do the same.  Thank you for loving and caring for dad.  Thanks for softening enough to let us have dogs (and even enjoying a ride to Keiper's with Harley in the back seat!).  Thanks for making holidays special and for often making everydays seem like holidays.

Thank you for being you.  I am thankful to God to have been born into our family.  I hope you enjoy this, your special day.  Happy birthday mom, and many happy returns.

FART POOP PEE BURP (I couldn't post a blog about you without using some bathroom humor words!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The end

I will no longer be blogging.  If you want to read a past blog, read it now because I'm deleting it next week.    Thanks for being a faithful follower.