Tag Archives: kids

Resolved

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And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.  Rainer Maria Rilke.

Resolved by Lucy White, age 2, for the year 2012 –

1.  “Pink”

2.  “Princess of everything”

Resolved by Jack White, age 5, for the year 2012 –

1.  To play football

2.  To hold my breath underwater

3.  To save $10 in the bank

4.  To buy a costume or a toy with my own money

5.  To read through the Jesus Storybook Bible with Mommy

Resolved by Heidi White, age 32, for the year 2012 –

1.  Read through the Bible, chronologically, with Dreamy Scott

2.  To stay under (a specific number) pounds through healthy eating and exercising 3x/week

3.  To complete 2 one-week fasts for the purpose of spiritual and physical cleansing

4.  To read Getting Things Done by David Allen and implement its productivity system

5.  To update family/friend photos throughout our home

6.  To read one non-fiction book per month for the purpose of personal and professional growth

7.  To blog 2x/week (3 is better)

8.  To complete one professional development project (book proposal/manuscript/curriculum)

9.  To clean the house (bathrooms, vacuum/dust, kitchen) once a week

10.  To call (three specific out of state relationships) once per month

Scott has an extensive list of goals that I will not share.  As always, they reflect his high standards of excellence in personal and professional life.

Our story takes my breath away….

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Space

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A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. Ecc.2:24.

Yesterday my hilariously lovely friend Rebecca posted this on my Facebook wall – Girrrrl, you are QUIET!  Now, since I am NOT quiet as a character trait, I remain confident that Rebecca refers to my recent social networking silence.  I have thrown up a few well-deserved Facebook LIKES in the last week, but mostly we have dwelled in a special nook of home-space for the following reasons:

1.  Dreamy Scott was home for TWO WHOLE WEEKS.  Boom.  Family time.

2.  Christmas is an epic extravaganza in the White family – and I love every complicated, busy, overwhelming, expensive minute of it.  Immanuel-God-With-Us envelopes us with an opportunity to worship through togetherness and tradition, both light-hearted and deep.  I get lost in the work and the joy of it.

Making a candy cane shaped pizza on Christmas Eve

Pinata at Scott's company Christmas party

Presents? For ME?!?!

SOMEBODY was a sheep in the church musical. Baaaaaa.

Five Advent candles. Immanuel.

Wrapping baby Jesus in swaddling clothes (get it??)

Riding a pony on our Family Christmas Date

Christmas breakfast

Jesus' birthday cake

3.  After Christmas, Dreamy Scott and I hunkered down, cleaned up the mess, channeled our excess holiday adrenaline and went into what I can only describe as a pathological productivity vortex.  I mean, I think we both expected to relax for a minute, but GEEZ.  We painted our home office, cleaned out the basement and garage, redecorated the kids’ rooms, sorted through every possession we own, reorganized our storage and deep cleaned the house.  GTD.

4.  Steig Larsson.  I read all 1,431 pages of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy.  Yep, I can firmly confirm that the books are addicting, if (emphatically) not edifying.  Also, I read a biography of Catherine the Great.  Reading is, like, my favorite.  I do not often have time to read, so I drank in some hours on my Nook like a thirsty sponge – while the boys played Skylanders, which is a super sweet new Wii game that was part of our Christmas magic.

So, now that the last gasps of 2011 have died away, our little family emerges from a precious internal space to welcome the newborn year and its yet-untamed challenges refreshed, thankful, zestful – and a bit tired.

Game on, 2012.

Eucharisteo

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Giving thanks, this is an awakening — the breath of God upon the face, close and warm. Ann Voskamp.

Eucharisteo is Greek for Thanksgiving.

It evokes eucharist, bread-and-wine-communion, the absorbing and taking in of Christ.  We take communion to remember how He bled His new covenant of grace over our fatal wounds, our slow dying.  Do this in remembrance of Me. Luke 22:19.  Eucharisteo is a life of communion, a face turned upward to glory in forever-remembering.  Remembering has one pure result: eucharisteo, thanksgiving.  Read this, an invitation to be changed by a thanksgiving life.

Sometimes eucharisteo is a flame that burns purifying pain into a broken story.   It can be a sacrifice that feels too great to bear, a deep and holy offering from shaking hands.  I have walked that desperate journey (perhaps will walk it again).  I know, Lord, that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. May your unfailing love be my comfort. Psalm 119:75. 

Then, other times, eucharisteo is as easy as breath.  Sometimes God dazzles us with grace upon grace, a heaping of YES and AMEN.  Sometimes His bottomless mercies shower like rain.  Then eucharisteo is an anthem of joy that rises from a dancing heart.  The Lord your God is with You, a victorious warrior. He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. Zeph.3:17-18.

Then again, sometimes eucharisteo is sweet and still.  Sometimes thanksgiving is entwined within the sturdy fabric of daily rhythms, yearly traditions, simple fragments of a righteous life.  Often, eucharisteo is woven through roasted turkey, spiced cider, pumpkin pie.  The precious rituals of the fourth Thursday in November are not the true Thanksgiving, but they can be the tethers that anchor us to a deeper truth, a richer worship.

I wake early on Thanksgiving morning, linger over coffee and Matthew 1, the whisper of advent.  I grind wheat to make the first of the year’s batches of Christmas bread dough, a rich recipe that tastes like warm tradition.  I shape the dough into cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls and loaves – the recipe is bountiful, like the season.  Lucy and I don matching aprons.  She licks the honey spoon, eyes alight.  It is over 60 degrees in Colorado on Thanksgiving Day.  Dreamy Scott and Jack play football and soccer in the unexpected sun.  A quiet heart day, spent readying ourselves for a feast of thanks.

We eat late, as the sun sets, after a day of shining and play.  We pray over the five kernels of corn hidden under the napkins (hidden like so many jewel of grace that we do not see) in our salad bowls.  We remember the pilgrims who died by the scores in the terrible first winter with only five kernels of daily corn.  They still praised God, and He heard their cries, providing a way to future abundance.  True Thanksgiving is always a remembering worship of His Story.  We linger over conversation, pecan pie, mulled wine and football.  The Lord has blessed our family with a mighty blessing, and we remember the God who loves us with an everlasting Love.

Psalm

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Psalm 100

A Psalm for giving thankful praise 

Another family night.  Pumpkin pancakes and cheesey eggs.  Jack reads Psalm 100 to the family – slowly, confidently.  It is the first time I hear Jack read Scripture. His little boy-voice speaking the Words of God fills my soul to brimming.  Eucharisteo.

 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 
 Worship the Lord with gladness; 
   come before him with joyful songs. 


Know that the Lord is God. 
   It is he who made us, and we are his


   we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

 Enter His gates with thanksgiving 
   and His courts with praise; 


   give thanks to Him and praise His name. 
For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; 


   His faithfulness continues through all generations.

After Jack reads Psalm 100, we each choose a bag.  We all fill our bag with fragments of joy, tokens of thankfulness from our home.  We must offer a prayer of thanksgiving before dropping an item in the bag.  Little voices whisper, thank you, Jesus, for my blankie.  Jesus, thank you for Lulu’s book.  Bags of blessings, consecrated with the kisses of family prayers.

We unpack our bags together, sharing the fullness of iridescent grace.  We laugh together, re-discover that we have an avalanche of good gifts that envelope us, like pa-pas (pacifiers), toothpaste, Tim Tebow, spiderman, Juice Plus, Prisoner red blend, Mommy’s tacky Cubbies shirt, iPhones, Mac n Cheese and Pumpkin Spice K-cups.  We pray together. We thank God for our bursting bags, our overflowing hearts. It is there in the posture of united thanksgiving that the Holy Spirit forges sacred steel in this generation.

We are beneficiaries of an infinite luminous mercy – a family bathed in endless grace.

Know that the Lord is God. 
   It is he who made us, and we are his. 

Psalm 100:3.

My heart is full.  My life, my family is a Psalm of thanksgiving.  All is grace.

Insomnia

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We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor. 10:5.

Lucy climbs out of her crib.  She creeps into my room.  “Mommy, cuddle you.”  I pry open dry eyes, throw the covers back, swoop her up, stumble back to her room.  I rock her as she snuggles into my neck for a few breaths.  I lay her down, spread her blankie over her back, lurch back to bed.  I toss and turn for a long time.  My mind spins with our life.  Finally, I sink into sleep.

The dog, Diva, whines in her sleep.  My eyes snap open again.  The wheels in my weary mind start to grind – again.  I sigh, sit up, open my Nook, read a few Psalms, turn my body to shield the backlight from my sleeping husband.  After a few minutes, I lie down and wait for sleep to cover me again.

The wind whips a branch against the side of the house.  I jerk out of sleep, shoot straight up, eyes wide.  Just the wind.  I resettle my mind, rearrange my pillows, snuggle down under covers again.  My mind is too full; I push back my thoughts while I try to drift into sleep….

Then, the door cracks open – “Mommy, cuddle you.”

Over and over again.  Night after night.

I am so tired.

During the days, I wear thin.  I snap quickly, leave laundry unfolded, forget to return emails and phone calls. I want to live above my long tunnel of sleepless nights, but I am so human, so fragile.  Flesh thoughts. Victim thoughts. Melodramatic thoughts. It is hard to handle life tired.

We are slaves to our bodies.

I cry to God for sleep, just one night of long hours of uninterrupted sleep.  A quiet mind, a rested body.  Then –

What if this is an opportunity?

What?

An opportunity.  

For what?

To renew your mind.

Sleep will renew my mind.

Ah, so will a simple choice.  Do you trust me with these circumstances that spin in your mind in the dark hours I’ve set aside for your rest?

Huh.

I stop in my tracks.  Conviction cascades over me.  I see it.  I put aside my cares, my anxieties in a separate space during the day.  Then I pick them up again as I lay my head down.  I thread them through my night hours, endlessly spinning them on the strings of sleepless hours, the hours in which I can do nothing to redeem them.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7.

Lord, I have a busy life. I do not have time to dwell on hard things, nor do I want to. I want to be free.

Ah, that is part of this choice.  This is an opportunity to renew your mind. What will you choose?

How do I do that, Lord?  How do I redeem my sleepless nights?

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is; his good, pleasing and perfect will. Rom.12:1-2.

How could I miss this?  Is that not what keeps me up at night?  Trying to discern His will? Mulling over this muddy vortex that appears to complicate His good, pleasing and perfect will?  I mistakenly believe that my mind is what holds me back, but no, it is not my mind; it is my lack of discipline over my mind.  

Do you trust me with these circumstances that spin in your mind in the dark hours I’ve set aside for your rest?

Yes.

Will you let Me transform you by the renewing of your mind?

Yes.

I confess that I have not cast my cares upon the Lord.

I confess that I have dwelled on that which belongs solely to the Lord.

I lay down the circumstances that feel complicated to me, but are laid bare before You, Lord.  You have a way through. Indeed, You Are the Way through.

I tell you everything in my mind, Lord.  You already know, but I give it to You myself.  I pour it out to you in the daylight hours, knowing you will hold it through the night. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Ps.62:8.

I take my thoughts captive, making them slaves to my freedom – not the other way around.  

And I sleep.

Unless the Lord watches over the city, 
   the guards stand watch in vain. 
In vain you rise early 
   and stay up late, 
toiling for food to eat— 
   for he grants sleep to those he loves. Ps. 127:1-2.