Sunday Evening Confession

I confess that after being in school all week I was pretty ready for the weekend.  Saturday we went to watch Abigail’s little brother play tennis for the last time before we go to Northern Ireland.  After the game we lunched at Swagat (Indian food) I confess that I may have eaten too much. Good Indian buffets are a weakness of mine.

I confess that after eating too much at Swagat it was much easier to pack up most of the remaining food in our kitchen to give away.

I confess that I’m not sure what my emotions are about church today.  It was our last day in our Kansas City home church, and they prayed a sending over us.

I confess that I don’t feel exactly ready for another week of classes, but I am ready (emotionally and mentally) for our move.  I confess that we have two (almost) 50lb bags packed, and I am having trouble figuring out what else to take.

I confess that I am seriously looking forward to being in Northern Ireland next Sunday, and getting to meet some of the Millbrook family.

There’s my confession, until next time. What’s yours?

Take My Pillow

More lessons from a toddler.

As I was putting Hosea to bed a few nights ago he realized that I didn’t have a pillow while I was snuggling him in his bed. He looked over at me and said, “Daddy, where’s your pillow? You don’t have one, so you can have mine.”

It is our responsibility as Christians to take stock of a situation, assess our resources, and share. I think it is an understatement to say that everyone has something to offer.  Whether it’s the only pillow, or something far more complex.

When we assess a situation of inequality we have the opportunity to find other people who we can build healthy, sustainable relationships with.  Remembering through this process that both sides of the partnership have some kind of resource to offer.

May we go forward as people of generosity, people who freely offer our only pillow.  May we be a people of love.

“I want to hear more about God!!”

“I want to hear more about God!!”

These were the words that my toddler yelled at me with tears welling up in his eyes as I closed his bible.

Bed time routine is bath, brush teeth, jammies, snuggle with mommy and baby Moses, then I usually read him a few bible stories, pray, and snuggle him for a little while.  He never really throws fits at bed time and so this was a little unexpected.

I got the bible back out and read to him about Jesus being baptized, but all the while I found myself thinking: Isn’t this passionate reaction from my toddler what all Christians should be yelling?

Maybe this was one of the reasons that Jesus said in Matthew 19:14, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” (NLT).

We often hear about approaching God with child like wonder, and I think that is essential.  What we don’t hear a lot about is approaching the Kingdom of God like a toddler who wants to get his way.

What would the world look like if every Christian were to stand up and say “I want more God!”? Would that world begin to look a little more like the world that Dr. Martin Luther King was envisioning when he said, “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” May we be people of the cross, who go forward refusing to accept evil any longer.  May we be a people of grace and love who desire to live out the gospels. May we daily say “I want more God!”

Confessions

We had a pastor at a previous church that blogged every Monday with his morning confessional.  I don’t know that I will be weekly with my confessional, but I think it is a wonderful idea and I am going to borrow it from him.

I confess that my family is moving the Northern Ireland in less than two weeks.  I confess that we are not fully funded and even knowing that God has provided abundantly for us every step of the way I still find myself getting anxious about it.

I confess that we are entering in to two weeks of intensive modules at seminary and my mother and mother-in-law are watching the boys during this time.  I confess that I miss them during the day. I have been a stay-at-home dad for over a year now and I love it! I confess that even though I miss my boys during the day I love getting some adult interaction.  I think my adult people skills were beginning to get a little rusty.

I confess that we have begun moving, and still living in our house. The result of this is that we have a house that resembles a bachelor pad.  Our mattress is on the floor, we have only one bowl and plate each, and one spoon and fork each.  I confess that I wish we would always live this simply.  I find that it is so much easier to clean the house when we don’t have as much stuff.

I confess that I am nervous about a long flight with two small children, but I am at the same time very excited for them to experience some of the world. Hosea is so excited, he daily talks about flying on a jet plane to Ireland, and the other day he said to my dad “Grandad will you miss me?”.  I confess that it breaks my heart a little bit to take my boys away from their grandparents.  I also confess that I know we are following God’s will.

I confess that Millbrook (the church in Ireland we will be with) has already made us feel welcome.  Abigail has received several facebook messages, and the love and support is very encouraging.  I confess that we could do none of this without the redemptive power of Jesus, and the beautiful grace of God.

I confess that we are ready and excited. What’s your confession?

December 2014 Update

December speedily passed us by, but not without great celebration of this wonderful season! I dropped off a few meals to friends who delivered new babies, went to my last church Mom’s Group meeting, and finished up my Bible study on the book of Esther. John and I continued in preparations for our move to Northern Ireland and attended interviews to obtain our religious worker visas; we found out at the end of this month that they were approved! We also started packing our home into boxes for storage and for donation.

packing up!I went to a few more Mommy/Baby Yoga classes so I could spend some one-on-one time with Moses.

IMG_5771(1)I had coffee dates with a few different friends to hang out and say goodbye, we also went to several different Christmas parties! We went to my parents’ office party at McCrummen Immigration Law Group and Hosea loved listening to the bagpipers! He said, “Where’s my chanter?!” We had a good time visiting with people, eating food, and watching Hosea enjoy the bagpipes. Looks like he’s already getting a taste of Northern Ireland 🙂

IMG_5709(1)John worked his last day at the Farmer’s Market and I worked my last day as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor for WIC this month. I really enjoyed being able to help new moms achieve their breastfeeding goals! I hope someday I can continue with lactation support and pair it with my doula work.

For an early Christmas present, my dad got tickets for my mom and I to attend the So You Think You Can Dance tour at the Midland Theater. This is my very favorite TV show (the only one I really watch) and I’ve always wanted to attend the live show when it comes to KC! We had a great time.

IMG_5665(1)My Make & Take group had another meeting and this one was dedicated to learning about fermented veggies! We made sauerkraut and a sweet potato/zucchini combo. They are in the fridge now and we can’t wait to try them. This is the perfect season for making and eating fermented veggies when sickness is running rampant! Probiotic-rich foods are a great way to increase the amount of healthy bacteria in your gut, and therefore boost your immune system.

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Unfortunately we dealt with a bout of sickness at our house this month! Hosea was pretty sick for over a week and we felt so bad for him. I made a huge batch of elderberry syrup which is a great natural way to boost your immune system. You can take it once you start feeling sick or as a preventative. I made so much that I ended up selling several bottles to local friends! He had a fever for about 4 days and after small improvement from our natural remedies, we ended up taking him to the doctor. Turns out he had bronchitis and double ear infections and was sent home with antibiotics. Luckily the only fluid he would drink was kombucha, a fermented tea rich in probiotics. He had John running to the store at 7am to buy it for him! Once he started feeling better he had to detox from all the movies he’d been watching on our computer; we had to remind him that he had toys he could play with now!

We unfolded the futon for him...this is what he looked like all weekOn Christmas Eve we attended a great church service where we sang Christmas carols! I really enjoy having the boys in church with us. Christmas day we woke up and opened a few gifts, just the four of us. Hosea got a new plane toy, I got a pair of earrings, and John got an ipad case with family photos on it. We didn’t get a tree but decided to set up Hosea’s nativity scene that Kathy knitted for him. Then we went to John’s parents’ house and opened gifts there. We had a yummy taco dinner (standard Carr Christmas fare) and then cookies for dessert. One of Hosea’s favorite snacks is pecans, so I found this awesome pecan pie cookie recipe!

Hosea showing me his new plane, Skipper

Hosea showing Moses his new plane, Skipper

 

John's ipad case

paleo pecan pie cookies IMG_5749(1)On December 30th, my sister’s family finally made it to Kansas City and we all met at the Melting Plot on the Plaza! What a fun night of a fancy dinner without our (combined) 6 kids! We ate a lot, laughed even more, and just had a really good time in each others’ company. We are cherishing these last sweet moments with family before we leave the country.

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 IMG_5802(1)IMG_5801(1)On the morning of December 31st we celebrated Christmas with my whole family, eating breakfast, exchanging gifts, and opening stockings. Our stocking tradition is one of my favorites!! We always get new toiletries, toothbrushes, socks, and gift cards. This year I even got a little note saying I had three kabocha squash waiting for me in the fridge! This squash is my favorite food right now and my mom found some for me at the story seeing as how they’ve run out of them at the farmer’s market. Along with our gifts, we all gave away some of our old things that we thought someone else would enjoy. Millie got a walking/barking dog of Hosea’s, Katie’s three girls all got an assortment of my old jewelry that I don’t wear anymore, and Levi got an old comic book and superman of John’s. It was fun to see them enjoy those things!!

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This year we decided to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas leading up to Epiphany on January 6th. We are planning an Epiphany feast (to celebrate when the wise men arrived to greet baby Jesus), but more on that in January!

Our fundraising goal was to have 75% of our funds by December 31st. We surpassed that and had about 80% raised! God is faithful and paving the way for us to participate in this program. It is amazing! Here are some more photos from December:

Hosea watching the trains at Union Station

Brotherly love <3

Family "selfie" at Union Station

my smiley Moses

Some people have been asking what it’s like to have two kiddos now and I think this picture explains it well, my lap just got a little bigger 🙂IMG_5662(1)Merry Christmas season to you all!

Peace.