Sunday, January 18, 2009

Update on our girls....


Our little Avery started gymnastics this past summer. She took a preschool gymnastics class just to see if this would be something of interest to her. Fast forward 6 months, she has passed through 3 classes and is now a 5 year old SALTO! This girl can do cartwheels, flips, the splits and a bunch of other things that I don't know the name for...basically, we have a gymnast in the family! As a side note, I tried doing a cartwheel and almost threw my back out. Needless to say, I don't only not know the names of the 'stunts' she has mastered, I also can not show her how to perform anything.

Olivia's after school interests still include drawing and writing stories. She wants to be a children's author and illustrator when she grows up. She is well on her way to fulfilling her dream with a portfolio filled with her creations.

I don't usually like to brag about my girls' accomplishments but this is a brag for the Lord:
On her first quarter report card, Olivia's teacher wrote words to describes Olivia and her character. As a side note, Olivia and Avery attend a Christian grade school where the goal is not to be the smartest kid but rather develop a deep faith in the Lord and learn to lead by Christian example. I know that most of this is learned in the home but to know that it is also being embraced and practiced in school, brings much comfort to me. This is what Olivia's teacher shared about who she is as a person:
Olivia is a blessing to have in 3rd Grade. She leads by Christian example. Her faith is obviously important to her. It's fantastic to see a little girl so on fire for the Lord. She is social, but knows the difference between work time and play time. She participates in all areas of learning. Olivia is self-motivated, working to do her best to improve and learn. She is an intelligent young lady. She picks up on new concepts quickly. I have seen great improvement in her math times sheets.
This brought tears to my eyes. It's amazing to see all the ways God works through a child during their walk of faith. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to parent my three daughters. I have had the joys of watching their faith grow one step at a time. And for this, I can say, this is a brag for the Lord.

Lauren is our daughter who has to be in EVERYTHING!! Even though she keeps us hopping the most of all three of our kids, Steve and I set limits to her activities to balance out our family and church life. It can be challenging to maintain a balance life at times, especially while we try to embrace all of our kids' interests and encourage them in the areas they are gifted.

We always want to be involved in the lives of our children to show our care and support, EVEN when it requires us to volunteer our time at a ski meet outside for 3 straight hours in 30 below windchill weather. Nonetheless, we very much enjoyed watching our daughter take off at the starting line and cross the finish line. This particular race, she came in 8th place! GO LAUREN!!

Here are the friends she has bonded with on her cross country ski team:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


(I wrote the following for our Women's Ministry newsletter and thought I would post it here as well)

There are numerous shows tagged as Reality Shows. They seem to attract millions of viewers all over the world. In most Reality Shows, life situations are played out and filmed as entertainment for TV viewers. Most shows present a challenge and reward the strongest player.

“Survivor,” a popular reality show, challenges a few brave men and women to put their life survival skills to use on a deserted island with limited resources. The person who plays the most clever game of survival, walks away with $1 million at the end of the series. The losers, other than brief notoriety, will return to their comfortable lifestyle, most likely.

In reality, there are millions who will not ever watch one second of these reality shows but they will live their whole life just trying to survive. Survival to them is reality.

In November we hosted an event to honor our missionary women. One missionary serving in South Africa shared the story about a woman standing on a street corner in pouring rain with her children by her side trying to sell one mushroom. Selling this mushroom appeared to be her only hope for the day but as dusk was setting in, her hope would diminish.

In December, we held a tour of homes to benefit a local woman’s shelter. At this event, we heard from a survivor of domestic violence. Her courageous story of survival was humbling and eye opening.

If you miss an episode of your favorite reality show, it will still be there next week. However, there is reality you can’t ignore. We don't want to miss the opportunity to make a difference in the life of God's hurting people. “Once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows we know and holds us responsible to act.” (Proverbs 24:12)

In February, Women's Ministry will give you the opportunity to help end the reality of Human Trafficking, a real life tragedy. Our National project, “Break the Chains” is an effort to save one child at a time from this horrific lifestyle and to give them hope of surviving in this world; to give them hope for a better future.

In real life, there are no actors or performers and unfortunately sometimes very few survivors. The struggle for survival is not a game but a reality. Pray about your role in serving the Lord to help provide a better reality for those less fortunate.