Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Quick Change Artist

Yep... sometimes you gotta just go with what gets given to you... like baby stuff!  This week, some of Suzi's English students unloaded a boatload (well, maybe a dinghy) worth of gear, clothes and furniture on us.  Of course, that called for a quick run back to the mall on the last day to return that Moses basket I waxed poetic about last week... but, hey, sometimes function trumps art... and on our budget, that's nearly every time!  We're grateful for their generosity.  Speaking of the Art Dept, Suz did a little surfing and taught herself to make origami cranes for a mobile over the McBaby's bed... never cease to be amazed by my girl!
In about two weeks, we're going to have a baby.  We don't hide the fact there's some apprehension, a few unanswered questions, but a whole lot of anticipation.  Tomorrow we go to see Dr. Azar to check out the hospital and run some tests on the Incubator.  The clock's running out over here and we're about as ready as we're gonna get.  I'm curious how our schedule will move around this new-found bundle of fun.  I know you "make it work" and have to "re-prioritize," but just what form that takes will prove interesting.  The specter of constant sleep deprivation looms a bit large in my mind.  Of course, it's 1AM and I'm sitting here, bleary-eyed, ironically commenting on loss of sleep... perhaps a nap is in order!

Monday, March 22, 2010

23 Days

So, how about some commentary on OUR baby?
Enough with this whole "Heidi, did this, did that, went here, went there!"  You'd think she was Jaime's first born or the first grandchild for Vernon & Glynnda or something.  WELL... if they think that Heidi's the ONLY baby in town... they've got 23 days left.
And then we'll have ours.  And there'll be TWO grandchildren.  Heidi's time in the spotlight is QUICKLY coming to an end!
Muwhaaahhaaa!! (insert Dr. Claw voice here)
(Suzi has just come in and asked, "What are you writing about?  You look like a suspicious Muppet."  I think I must have been unconsciously doing the "Muwhaaahhaaa."  It's hard to attempt cynical prose when you look like a Suspicious Muppet.)
Of course, all that blather above is simply that... blather.  Mainly we haven't said much about our impending parenthood because we've been living in the "pre-baby" reality that allows you blissful ignorance of the storm quickly approaching.  There'll be plenty of that soon enough.
And to all those who say the 9 months just flies by and you can't believe how fast the baby got there, please enjoy that parallel universe you're in.  It has absolutely nothing to do with our gestation period.  At our current rate, we're giving birth to an elephant.
("I don't know what's wrong, Babar, I've just been a little emotional for the PAST TWO YEARS!")
Yes, according to good Dr. Azar, McBaby is coming along nicely.  He's shown us pictures of femurs and measured skull growth.  We've heard the rat-tat-tat of the heart and watched its trance-inducing rhythmic pulsations.  But, I'm telling you, after Heidi needed a crowbar to come out, I'm more and more convinced this last month is gonna last FOREVER!
McBaby, come on, already!  Let's get this family thing on the road so I can show you how to properly set an EQ for JBLs.  There's this huge remote-controlled Hummer that's totally got your name on it... every time I wander through toy sections I try to figure out how to cram stuff in a suitcase for you.  I absolutely know you're gonna love your mom's scissor craft ability 'cause your dad can't cut a straight line with a ruler.  Did you know I've got a 6-foot kite with hand controls?  You can steer the thing!  And wait till you see the little parrot hanging off your Moses basket... It's got two fruit-lookin' things to munch on, safely just out of reach so we can be good parents. 
Are you going to be insatiably curious about what's behind that wall over there?  Or are you going to wait like your mom until I come report they've hidden snacks back there and I snagged cookies for all of us?  How am I going to wake you up in the morning for your first day of school?  Will you want french fries for breakfast, too, or will you be fiendin' for an apple and oatmeal like Mom?  McBaby, you've got so much to learn about... like how to print in blue when the black ink runs out or that those tears of gratitude are perfectly acceptable when you feel the tangible love of God in prayer.
Did I mention that a few days ago I had a dream about you for the first time?  Didn't see you up close, but I was just walking about with you cradled in my arm. When I woke up I thought,

"Dude, this is for real... I must be pretty excited about it."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

These are the Days...

There are days, any pastor will tell you, that you want to hang up your blue suede shoes, unhook the Thompson Chain and simply walk away.  There are others when you're reminded of the reason, as my pastor always said, "We're in the People Business."

Last week, we finally got the chance to dedicate Natali Reid with Jeremy & Shandrika.  I've seen a few baby dedications in my time, but this one required direct participation!  I did my research, pulled together some resources, asked some protocol questions and hit the pulpit with the prayer I'd get it right by dismissal.

I'm not going into a run-down of my sermon notes or the awesome move of God that happened at the end of service, but I had a catch in my throat as I called those parents up front.  These guys left Sri Lanka to make a life for themselves and in the process have two darling creations.  While Jeremy never smiles in any picture I've taken with him, he has a soft heart and a fighter's spirit.  We love their family dearly... good people... and they're just four of the many reasons we get up every morning.  There IS a Cause... and I'm happy to be in the midst of it.

Friday, March 12, 2010


I mentioned this on FB a few weeks ago, but wanted to post this amazing panoramic shot from the Sea of Galilee. All the other shots are here.

So, we went to Jerusalem for a few days.

Now, that, in it's self, is a very, very cool thing.  Some folks get to road trip to Boise.  We get to road trip to the most hotly contested city on earth.  Bar none. (Which, BTW, was a pretty good candy bar when I was in Jr. High.  The Bar None... not Contested Cities.)  The only difference 'tween the two is that Boise doesn't come with the pleasure of that King Hussein/ Allenby border crossing and several hours of boredom interspersed with individualized interviews with the pleasant staff there.

While in town we got some quality time in the Old City and pulled in a few nice moments on Ben Yahuda street.  There's a crepe place down there that's a must on any given day.

While it took the Lord a bit longer to make the journey in sandal leather, we jetted north up the highway overlooking the Jordan River valley one morning with some family friends.  Let's be frank: The Sea of Galilee is not a Sea.  It's a good-sized lake.  But when you round the bend and see Capernaum and realize the Biblical significance of where you are... well, it's just pretty cool.

I'm sure there's probably a tour leaving soon from a church parking lot near you, and at the risk of sounding patronizing, get on the bus.  Jerusalem is the most amazing city in the world.  Not because of its nightlife or fashion or food.  It's the walls built by Suleiman circa 1538 or the Zion Gate pock marks from 1948.  It's the jolting transfer of culture in a passageway between the Arabic Souq and the Jewish Quarter.  It's the Via Dolorosa and its sundry pilgrims.

For time immortal, Jerusalem has been a shrine city.  Today, for a large part of the world's believers of three differing stripes, it still is.