Tuesday, December 18, 2012

newtown


Tonight I rocked my baby to sleep and simultaneously read the names of the victims of yesterday's horrible, 
horrible crime.

Charlotte Bacon, 6

The names were unfamiliar.  But I read each one slowly, tears streaming.
Daniel Barden, 7

At some point, six or seven years ago, these names were carefully and joyfully selected as parents welcomed these little ones.  Like all parents, I'm sure they worked hard to find the perfect name.

Olivia Engel, 6

When you're picking out a baby name, you think about how it will sound on their first day of school, on a blind date, on a wedding invitation.

Josephine Gay, 7
You never imagine having to see your child's name listed as a murder victim.  And you should never have to.

Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 6

After each name, a number.  A number that is just another reminder of how cruel this was.  

Dylan Hockley, 6

6's and 7's.  Single digits.  "Mere babies," I keep saying to myself.  

Madeleine F. Hsu, 6

Each of these children was once a babe being rocked to sleep by their parents, just as I sit with my son.

Catherine V. Hubbard, 6

I kiss his rosy little cheeks.  I whisper love to him.  I watch him sleep peacefully, safe in my arms.  

Chase Kowalski, 7

But my heart aches oh so much for those other mamas.  For their unspeakable grief.

Jesse Lewis, 6

For the young lives cut short.  For younger ones who don't understand and ask for their older siblings.  For the town who mourns together.  For children who are terrified to go back to school.

James Mattioli, 6

I have cursed and I have cried.  "It's not fair," I weep.  "Why should my baby still be here when someone else loses theirs?"

Grace McDonnell, 7

Every moment I shower my sweet boy with love because I know that those mamas and papas wish they could do the same to their babies.  

Emilie Parker, 6

But I feel so, so guilty.  Because my baby is still here.  Because their hearts are wrenched with pain tonight as I sit here with a safe, living and breathing child.   

Jack Pinto, 6

Prayers are ached out from my grieving heart.  The words to my prayers getting caught in my throat before they reach my lips because there simply are no words that suffice.

Noah Pozner, 6

Stinging tears run down my face as I again look at those names.

Caroline Previdi, 6

"What would their mamas want?" I wonder  "If their daddies were here, what would they say?"

Jessica Rekos, 6

I can only guess.  But I'd guess they'd want them to be remembered.

Avielle Richman, 6

I would guess that they would want people to know and speak and remember their name.  They would want them to be remembered for their LIFE and not for their death.

Benjamin Wheeler, 6

Read the names.  Remember the lives.

Allison N. Wyatt, 6



Remember also the brave women who died, trying to protect these little ones.

Rachel Davino
Dawn Hochsprung
Anne Marie Murphy
Lauren Russeau
Mary Sherlach
Victoria Soto

Monday, December 3, 2012

new journal. new pens.





more on journaling here

("a journal is not a diary, where you record the weather and the engagements of the day.  a journal is a notebook in which one can, hopefully, be ontological." madeleine l'engle, a circle of quiet)


Sunday, December 2, 2012

advent prayer


This week while searching for an Advent prayer, I stumbled across this one.  The words are lovely and encompass so much of God's character and the things for which we wait.  We used part of it this morning in Church with the Advent reading, prayer and candle lighting.

A Prayer For the First Sunday of Advent
Christine Sine (source: http://godspace.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/a-prayer-for-the-first-sunday-of-advent-2011/)

The coming of our Lord is near,
And we wait in joyful expectation,
Draw close, Lord Jesus Christ,
Shed your light on all that is filled with darkness.
The coming of our Lord is near,
And we wait with hope filled hearts,
Draw close, God’s beloved son,
Teach us the wonder of your all embracing love.
The coming of our Lord is near,
And we wait for God’s redeeming presence,
Draw close, Saviour of all creation, 
Our hearts ache for justice, our minds long for holiness, our spirits seek for unity.
The coming of our Lord is near,
And we wait for the fulfillment of God’s promises,
Draw close, reconciler and transformer of all things,
Renew our world, restore your peace, display your righteousness.
The coming of our Lord is near,
And we wait for God’ light to shine over all the earth,
Draw close, pain bearer, life giver, love sharer, 
Shine through us, in us, around us, shine for the world to see.
The coming of our Lord is near,
And we wait attentive to the signs of his coming,
Draw close, Lord Jesus Christ,
God beyond imagining, fully God yet truly human, draw close 
Amen

Thursday, November 22, 2012

thanks giving


(September 2012)

A staff member at our university used to quote one of his professors and tell us that when Christ returns, the only things He will take with Him are God's Word and God's people - so we should invest our lives into those things.  In that spirit, as I have been ruminating on this holiday, I am reminded of the things for which I am most grateful.

In addition to my many spiritual blessings (which really are the most important), the main things I am thanking Jesus for are these two.  I am humbled and awed by the blessings that they've been in my life thus far.  I am undeserving of such grace.

(also thankful for my parents and siblings today and missing all of you very much! go rock that turkey trot!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

currently reading: Fearless Daughters of the Bible






J. Lee Grady has long been a champion of women within the Church and his newest book Fearless Daughters of the Bible: What You Can Learn from 22 Women Who Challenged Tradition, Fought Injustice and Dared to Lead further explores women leaders by looking at the examples found in Scripture.  Included in this text are both "famous" biblical women (e.g. Mary, the mother of Jesus) as well as lesser known women such as Jehosheba, daughter of King Joram.  Along with the biblical examples, Grady shares stories of historical and modern-day women who are following God fearlessly.

The 22 women profiled in this book are:
 Sarah, the Mother of Our Faith (The Courage to Be a Pioneer)
 The Five Daughters of Zelophehad (The Courage to Challenge Tradition)
 Ruth, the Moabite (The Courage to Forsake the Past)
 Achsah, Daughter of Caleb (The Courage to Claim God's Blessing)
 Hannah, Mother of Samuel (The Courage to Believe God)
 Esther, Queen of Persia (The Courage to Challenge Injustice)
 Miriam, Sister of Moses (The Courage to Lead in a Man's World)
 Deborah, Judge of Israel (The Courage to Fight)
 Jehosheba, Daughter of King Joram (The Courage to Protect)
 Mary, Mother of Jesus (The Courage to Surrender)
 Mary of Bethany (The Courage to Worship)
 The Samaritan Woman (The Courage to Forgive)
 Mary Magdalene, Witness of Christ's Resurrection (The Courage to Go First)
 Priscilla, Spiritual Daughter of the Apostle Paul (The Courage to Mentor Others)
 The Four Daughters of Philip the Evangelist (The Courage to Speak for God)

There is an introduction chapter as well as an appendix.  Each chapter concludes with discussion questions and a "Message From Your Heavenly Father".  To be perfectly honest, I find other people writing messages from God a bit cheesy.

The book is clearly for lay people; it is not a theological textbook and it is not meant to be.  There is very little exegesis, which may draw some readers and deter others.  Because of the lack of exegesis, I would not recommend this book to someone who was just beginning to study women's roles in the Church.  This book gives a good overview of the exegesis, but it could not hold up to a theological debate on this issue.  The lack of exegesis is also seen in Grady's biographies of the women - there is a fair amount of speculation through the book.  One instance of this is seen on page 72 while discussing Achsah.  Grady writes: "...Deep inside, she had the same desire to inherit the Land of Promise and establish God's righteous rule in the midst of Canaan.  Meanwhile, Caleb adored his little girl and wanted only the best for her."  Other examples are seen on page 100 where Queen Esther is described as "a shy girl" and one who "mobilized prayer".  A final example of the speculation is on page 167 discusses Mary of Bethany after her brother's death.  Grady wrote, "Mary was overwhelmed with grief and disappointment.  Her faith was as cold as Lazarus's corpse."  In each of these cases, Grady's assumptions could have been true.  However, there is no biblical proof of any of those states so they are speculation.  This is when I wished there was more careful exegesis and wished that Grady was more careful to identify when he was making guesses based on human nature and when his words were clearly based on the text.

Grady draws in stories of historical and modern-day women in addition to the biblical examples.  This shows how women around the world are being used by God.  I appreciated that he mentioned women in a wide range of professions including a pastor, a stay-at-home-mother, a missionary, a rancher, a Holocaust surviver, a church planter and a philanthropist.  Grady repeatedly challenges traditional assumptions of women's roles and speaks to women in all different circumstances.  This book was encouraging to me as I often see women marginalized within the American church.  I am grateful that Grady is a champion of women and hope that more people (both men and women) will strive to see both genders working together instead of limiting women to a narrow range of activities and ministries.

Overall, I would recommend this book to others who would like to see examples of women leading in the bible and in churches.  While it is not strictly exegetical, I can appreciate that Grady makes a case that is easy to follow and comprehensive.  Were someone looking for more exegetical books on this subject, I would recommend Slaves, Women and Homosexuals by William Webb, Good News for Women by Rebecca Groothuis and Women in Ministry by Dan Doriani (Complementarian perspective).


Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book from the publisher (Chosen Books) in exchange for an honest review

Friday, November 9, 2012

these are a few of my favorite {baby} things




While I was pregnant, I kept seeing Pinterest links to lists of "must have" items for baby.  It was always interesting to see what one mom consider an absolute essential and another mom said she never used.  Clearly all moms are different and all babies are different so there can't be one definitive list.  : )  However I still decided to share some of our favorite things that we use all the time and that have made the first three months easier.  




We waited a couple months to begin cloth diapering to allow ourselves time to adjust to having a baby. Now we use them fulltime unless we are traveling or have company here.  Before Hadden came I did tons and tons of research into all the diaper brands and kinds and we ended up picking BumGenius Freetime All in One Diapers.  They work great for us!  It was definitely an investment to buy these diapers (and we are grateful that a few people gave them to us as baby gifts), but we'll be able to use them with other children and in the long run, we will be saving money and helping the environment.  It took us a little while to get the hang of it and to get on a washing schedule, but it works great for us now.  Plus how cute is Hadden in that diaper?!



It took me until this week to buy this, but I should have invested in these SwaddleMe wraps a long time ago.  They are wonderful!!  Hadden sleeps swaddled up and we tried so many different blankets, but he could kick his way out of all of them and then wake up crying.  And I was always a terrible swaddler - Caleb had to do it each night because mine would come undone in about five seconds.  These wraps are super easy to use.  Now he is snuggled up happily and he is sleeping for longer periods, which means we are too (a-mazing!).  They come in three different sizes so you can get one that fits your baby snugly.



Evidently some people suggest waiting a few weeks before giving a baby a pacifier to ensure that they learn to latch correctly.  Some people feel very strongly about this, which is understandable if your baby had problems eating and the pacifier was making it worse.  However, Hadden (from the moment he was born) wanted something in his mouth.  We actually started using these in the hospital (at the suggestion of a nurse) and have used them ever since.  They keep us all happy. : )  We tried switching him to the "normal" pacifiers and he doesn't like them, so, for now, we're sticking with the Philips Soothie Pacifiers.  If you took in the other pictures on this post, you'll see that it makes an appearance in a lot of them as well.  That's because we ALWAYS have one with us!


Ahh.  I love our sling.  It was probably the thing that I was most excited about getting from our baby registry (thanks grandma mays!).  And it has proven to be just as wonderful as I thought it would be.  Again, I did lots of research into the safety, durability and wearability of different slings and decided that the Sakura Bloom would be the best fit for us.  It's lovely.  And comfortable.  We get lots of compliments when we use it and people often ask where they can buy one.  Hadden loves to be in it and I love to wear it.  Sometimes Caleb uses it too.  : )  I cannot recommend this highly enough.  


The cute little newborn hats are sometime hard to get on and off quickly and I'm pretty picky about having his head covered.  So we were looking for a winter hat that would be easy to put on in a hurry and was still cute and we found the perfect on a The Children's Place (I can't find this hat on the website, but there are other cute ones like the giraffe one!).  You can tell from the picture that he's still growing into it, but it should fit him all winter and it definitely keeps him warm.


We debated a long, long time on getting a baby bath.  I did a ton of research into different kinds.  Some people thought it was a waste of money because you only use them for a few months.  Plus then you have to store this bulky thing somewhere.  Other people swear by them.  We didn't own one for the first month or so, but I did NOT like bathing him without one.  He was too little and slippery for me and it made me nervous.  And he cried the whole time, which didn't help.  We ended up just going to Target to look at different kinds and buying the Munchkin Bath Cradle.  It was less than $10 which why we picked it.  I'm going to be honest.  It's not perfect. It's a sponge, so after bath time is done it has to dry somewhere.  But it has been SO great!  Now Hadden loves to take baths!  It doesn't take up very much room either.  He's three months old and we'll probably still be using it for another month or so.  We have already gotten our moneys worth (many times over) and we'd recommend this to anyone who was looking for a cheap solution for baby baths.



And there you have it!  Six things that we recommend to make life with a newborn a little easier.  : )


**Want more reviews?  See a follow up post here



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

happy election day!


"I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them,
1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy;
2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against;
And, 3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those who voted on the other side."

John Wesley
October 6th, 1774


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

life currently





October seems to always be a high pain month, probably because it's when the weather turns cold.  It was three years ago this month that I first got sick.  At that point I knew that something was wrong with my body, but I didn't know it would be forever.  Every day for the last three years I have been in pain (to one degree or another).  Of course, by now it has become "normal".  Whereas I struggled every day in the beginning, I manage fine most of the time and it's only the really bad days that knock me off my feet.

Unfortunately these last few weeks has been full of hard days.  It's been high stress all around lately and the fact that we haven't slept through the night in two and a half months doesn't necessarily help.  Life just feels hard.  

These days enveloped in pain remind me that this earth isn't my final home; that this wasn't God's original plan for the world.  Why am I so quick to forget this?  God intended for us to live in a Genesis 2 world, free from sin and pain.  Instead we feel the weight that the Genesis 3 curse has left.  While we train our eyes to look for beauty and find joy in every day, we can't help but recognize that the world is still broken.

I am left searching and unsatisfied by this world.  But I have hope in a life yet to come where 'my faith will be my eyes' and I will be whole and healed.




Friday, October 19, 2012

love is a risk


"Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and positively broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless - it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation." 

 C.S. Lewis
 The Four Loves




I feel like the further along in life I get, the more I resonate with this quote.  Love is risky, but love it worth it.



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

currently reading: When To Speak Up and When To Shut Up



Dr. Michael D. Sedler's book When To Speak Up and When To Shut Up is best summarized by a quote found on page 137.  He writes, "Silence.  Speaking up.  Both change destinies.  When we use these tools inappropriately, we can do great harm.  And when we use them as God intended, we can change our world for the better."

This book contains ten chapters.  Sedler shares many personal stories throughout, which help to engage the reader.  Clearly shown is the important of both silence and speech as well as the danger in using either at the wrong time.  Sedler strongly encourages the reader to examine their motives carefully and warns readers to be careful not to justify ungodly motives.  

Throughout the book, Sedler provides clear steps to apply his teaching, which results in many numbered lists or bullet points (perhaps too many).  Overall, Sedler has many wise insights into relationships and he shows the value in knowing when to speak and when to keep silence, a trait which is difficult to master.  He draws from real life situations as well sometimes sharing personal interactions with his children and other times relaying stories from his professional life.  Each chapter ends with "One Final Thought" (a summary paragraph) and usually has a couple discussion/application questions as well.  While this is an important topic, by the end of the book some points seemed redundant and it was easy to start to skim the pages when the material seemed familiar. 

Sedler peppers his writing with biblical examples in order to demonstrate how the principles he is writing about are seen in Scripture.  While this is generally a good idea, there were times when the biblical examples seemed forced.  One such example is found on page 76 where Sedler shares the exchange between Mordecai and Haman (from Esther 5).  Sedler's conclusion is that Haman was hanged on the gallows built for Mordecai because God was honoring Mordecai's faithfulness for not bowing down to Haman.  However, the Bible never says that Mordecai refused to bow out of reverence for God  - more than likely it was simply to spite Haman due to their ancestral strife.  Backing up teaching with Scriptural examples is a noble desire, however there were times throughout this book where Sedler seemed to strain the biblical text in order to make it fit with his point.

**Disclaimer:  I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher (Chosen Books) in exchange for an honest review.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

mornings with baby





"every little baby is the sweetest and the best."
anne of the island




Mornings are my favorite time with Hadden.  Most days it's just the two of us.  After his morning feeding and a diaper change we head back to my bed.  I open the curtains to let in the morning sun and put my knees up so Hadden can lay facing me.  For the next twenty or so minutes, I sing and talk to him.  We play "this little piggy", although he hasn't quite found the humor in it yet.  He practices holding his head up and "standing".  Sometimes we Facetime Auntie McKenna or Grandy so that they can see how baby is growing up ever so quickly.  Or take pictures to send to Uncle Patrick (because he is pretty much obsessed with his nephew:).  Hadden is so happy in the mornings and it's absolutely darling to see him smile and coo.  Even though it's just been eight weeks since he was born, we already can see him growing up so we try to cherish every sweet moment we have with him.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

air force life: base housing at offutt afb

Edited to Add: I wrote a post in May 2013 (one year after we moved to Offutt) to give an update on what we thought of the housing after living here for a while.  Check it out!

Edit #2: I've gone through and updated a few of these pictures after almost two years of living here to give you a better picture of the size of some of the rooms.  Updated pictures have our name in the corner.  :)  ALSO, if you are PCSing here, leave a comment or shoot me an email!  I'd love to connect and answer any questions you have about Offutt!





Tour Our Home/Tour Base Housing ;)

I kept waiting for it to be perfectly decorated.
And perfectly clean.
Then I decided that those days might be far off.
So instead I am posting the pictures that show our home for what this is: not always impeccably tidy and a long way from being fully decorated.  But here are pictures nonetheless.  Base housing is different at every base, but here's an overview of our life at Offutt AFB.


This is a stock photo of the outside of our style of home (via Rising View website).  Our neighborhood is made up of duplexes.  Some of the houses are older (perhaps built in the 60s?), but have been renovated.  There are also a lot of newer homes - built in the last six or so years.  We qualified for one of the newer, three bedroom houses.  Most of the houses have nice backyards (usually about 50 feet from the back of the house) and you can rent a fence if you'd like your yard enclosed for children or pets.

We are responsible for yard work, but the housing office takes care of any maintenance issues we have and so far they have been very helpful when we've needed something done.  We're not allowed to paint - this was probably the saddest thing for me to find out when we arrived here.  Instead we are slowly working on filling our walls with pictures and art, but (as you can tell from the photos) we still have a long way to go.  I'm a little too indecisive about where to hang things, but we're working on it. 

The Kitchen


This is the view when you walk in from the garage.  Those windows overlook the backyard.  To the right you can see part of our family room.



This is opposite the picture above.  That's the door to the garage.


The skinny door to the left of our fridge is the pantry.  


This is the view of the kitchen from the family room.  The laundry room is on the other side of that wall.


Pantry

The Family Room





View of the family room from the kitchen.  The family room is technically supposed to be two room (family room and living room), but it's sort of an awkward space with the furniture we have so we just use it as a family room.


This view is from the living room into the kitchen.  We have a little coloring table for Hadden and store his high chair next to the back door.




This is the view standing in the hallway.  The door leads to our back yard.  The space behind the couch could fit a small table and a couple of chairs.

Downstairs Bathroom


This room is in the hallway off the living room and across from a huge under-the-stairs closet.



Dining Room





This room is technically supposed to be a living room, but we're using it as a dining room.  The two windows on the right look onto our front yard.  From where I am standing to take the picture, the front door is on my right and a coat closet is on the left.  The wall on the left a half wall to our stairs (see next picture).  In the back is the collection of wall hangings that have yet to hang on the walls.  We really need to buy a big dining room table for this room!


The door is to a big closet under the stairs.  Across the hallway from that closet is the downstairs bathroom.  


The landing upstairs.  From left to right: Master bedroom, Hadden's nursery, linen closet, guest bathroom.  The guest room is further to the right.  There is also a huge closet upstairs and a desk space (see picture below)


Desk on landing upstairs (directly below is the front door)


View from the desk


Hah.  Our "guest bedroom" is an empty room with an air mattress waiting to be filled for our next guest who is arriving in a couple days.  Window overlooks back yard.


Guest bathroom


Nursery.  Window overlooks back yard



Master bedroom.  The window overlooks the front yard.  This room has a small walk in closet and a linen closet (there is a third closet off the bathroom as well)


View from master bath



View from the corner closet (the door you see is the bathroom)



Master bath


The closet back there is so big!!  It wraps around on either side.  Now I just need to buy more clothes to fill it!  ;)



Overview

Overall we like our house!  If we were to build/buy a home we would definitely do a few things differently.  I dream of painting the wall, redoing the cabinets and changing out all the light fixtures/door hardware.  I would love to someday live in an older home with history and with a story.  But that's not where we're at in life.  This house is more than sufficient and we are grateful for it.  And we are slowly turning it from a house into a home.  :)



Monday, September 24, 2012

one year

dear mr. mays,

one year ago today was a pretty great day.  :)
















Although there have been many moments along the way that I wouldn't have chosen, I can honestly say that I love you more today than I did last year.  I'm so happy to be your wife and I can't wait to continue this adventure with you!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

real moments of new motherhood

I awake with a pounding head, blurry vision and an upset stomach.  It's the third time this week.  Normally I would stay in bed, pull the covers over my head and try my best to sleep through the pain until the migraine relented and I was able to get back to life.

But today that's not an option.  Seven weeks ago I became responsible for another which means I can't just pull the covers over my head.  Instead I crawl out of bed and soothe the crying babe.

How can I care for this tiny human when I'm the one who needs to be taken care of?  He's crying for his mother, but right now I'm crying for mine.

I am hit with a wave of nausea.  I know it would be a tiny bit better if I could just lay down, but I can't.  Please, Lord, not today.  I just need to be well enough to care for my baby.  Looking across the room, I eye the bucket sitting there.  Can I just make it until the end of this feeding?  ...nope.  I hear the baby howling from the crib where I hastily laid him as I sit hunch over the bucket.

Everyone talks about how hard it is to have a newborn, but not many talk about doing it with a chronic illness; when you are in a battle with your body to simply get out of bed in the morning.  So far I've been managing through my daily pain, but a migraine is like a giant wave that knocks you to the ground no matter how firmly you have your feet planted.

An arsenal of baby supplies are spread over my comforter.  My plan is to only leave the bed to change diapers.  Carrying a baby around with a migraine is simply not a good idea.  To my left is a Boppy, a blanket, a soother and a burp cloth.  To my right is his pack n play.  I can do this.  I have to do this.

But the questions linger in my mind.  How will I ever be a mother when I'm this sick?  How do you explain to a baby that mama just can't get out of bed that morning and that she just really, really needs you to stop screaming in her ear?

I hear the hum of the garage door and whisper in my little man's little ear, "Papa is home.  It's gonna be okay."  On his lunch break, my dear husband has brought me food and drink.  We both know from experience that if the migraine gets too bad we'll end up spending the evening in the emergency room and we'll try everything we can think of to stop it.

The shades are drawn.  An ice pack is on my head.  The medicine has been taken.  I'm sipping liquids as much as my upset stomach will allow.  A fan is blowing on my head.  The lunch break is over and he must return to base.  Together we pray that I will receive the strength to continue. 

Baby finally falls asleep on my chest.  I lay him in his bed hoping to close my eyes against the sun which feels like lasar beams penetrating my skull.  Thirty seconds later he is awake and screaming.  I take him in my arms again speaking softly to calm him for his sake as well as for mine.  Sweet baby, mama is doing her very best today.  I'm trying so hard to give you everything you need.  Please, please just sleep for me today.  Please just stop crying.  I'll make it up to you another day. 

As I breathe in air to sustain my body, I breathe in grace to sustain my soul.  I tell myself the truths that I am prone to forget.

This is not the day to compete for the New-Mother-of-the-Year award.  Today is not a measure of how much I love my baby.  I will not let this day be indicative of the next twenty years nor let it scare me into fearing this heavenly appointment.

Today is not easy.  Today is not enjoyable.  But I know that God has given me enough grace to make it through today.  The migraine, the crying babe, the pain.  All of it is covered by the grace I've been given.  Tomorrow holds the promise of "new mercies".  Which is good.  I've exhausted all that I've been given for today.

And although my son slumbers through my words, I whisper in his ear:  "We're gonna get through, Haddy.  We've got grace.  And life is all about grace."


T'was grace that brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Currently Reading: inSignificant



In his new book inSignificant: Why You Matter in the Surprising Way God Is Changing the World, Chris Travis challenges the common stereotypes of significance and paints a broader picture of how what it means to lead significant lives.  The platform for his book is Travis' experience teaching at 'the most dangerous middle school in all of New York City'.

With raw honesty, Travis uses his words to draw readers into the classroom where he taught.  He vividly describes the rebellion of the students and his feelings of defeat and insignificance.  Stripped away was his passion for teaching as well as his good intentions.  Travis ended the first year in utter defeat, but goes back for a second year when he is convinced that it is what God is asking him to do.  In the end, he emerges with a changed view of significance which he shares with readers.

Throughout the book, Travis mixes his own story with theology and biblical exegesis.  The book was engaging and thought-provoking as Travis relates it back to the reader and their own search for significance.  He writes plainly that "following Jesus often means losing" and shows a picture of significance that is truly counter-cultural.  inSignifcant is easy to read and conversational which makes it a good book for people of different ages.

On a personal note, inSignificant came at the perfect time as I read it just weeks after having my first baby.  There are moments when changing diapers feels like the most insignificant task in the world, yet I was challenged to see what God is teaching me through this and to be obedient to and dependent on God.  I will highly recommend this book to friends and family as I think it is relevant for all.  This is the best book I have read in awhile - I hope that others be challenged by it as well.

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher (Bethany House) in exchange for an honest review.
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