Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Tribute . . .

No more Aloha! My parents are on their way back home today from their dream vacation in Hawaii. From the sounds of it, they had an unbelievable trip. I am so eager to see their pictures and hear their stories (I plan to live vicariously through them!). You see, it would be exciting enough if they had just planned this dream vacation themselves, saved up, and went for a week to the beautiful Aloha state. But, their story is more amazing than that . . . this trip was given to them as a gift of appreciation from their church family! What a family, huh?! My dad has served as the preacher in Garden City, KS for 20 years now. And, as a way to show their love and appreciation for him and my mom, they planned this once-in-a-lifetime vacation for them. They started a year ago, planning and raising money. They had secret meetings so my parents would have no clue what was going on. They asked my sister and me to help find out where they'd love to vacation. They planned a huge party, complete with an appropriate "luau theme." One of the reasons we went to Kansas for vacation this year was to attend the party for my parents. I am so thankful we were able to see them honored and to watch them cry with joy as they received such a generous, jaw-dropping, amazing, loving gift. It was touching. The church in Garden City is a rare church. I am thankful for them and to them for loving my parents so deeply. What a beautiful partnership. What a beautiful expression of appreciation. Thank you, Garden City Church! Welcome home, Dad and Mom!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ready, Aim, Shoot!

Paper plates are no longer safe with me around. Even bowling pins are a bit afraid. It's true. You see . . . I've been to the shooting range! For one afternoon, I was the star actress in "Wild Wild West, Aubrey Get Your Gun". It all happened when we were in Kansas visiting my parents. My dad took me (and my brother-in-law) to the gun range for an afternoon of target practice. What an experience! A hands shaking, palms sweating, heart racing, experience. My first time holding a gun, shooting a gun, basically anything with a gun. Now that I think about it, my dad and brother-in-law were awfully brave! It was really fun. Scary. But, fun! I was a pretty decent shot for a first-timer. I even told Jarrod and my mom, when I came home that day, that I felt like Angelina Jolie in an action flick. (So my imagination is grand . . . let a girl dream, will ya?!) Who knew that "gun slinging" would end up being one of my favorite things I got to do on our vacation. Thanks, Dad! I had a great time! You are a great teacher!! Let's face it, you had a great student!!

Of course, my 'wild west experience' got me thinking. Sometimes, we need to try new and scary things for God. The kind of things that make our world's race and our comfort zones shake. We have to fill ourselves with bullets of bravery, imagination, passion, and willingness and take aim at the opportunities before us. Otherwise, we may never hit the target of what we're meant to do, or be, for God. So, what do you think? Ready. . . aim. . . . . . . . . .

Friday, July 4, 2008

Growing, Growing, Growing

I know it's been a long time! I haven't dropped off the planet . . . I've just been in Kansas!! We went on vacation for a couple of weeks. Family reunion first. Then to my parents' house. It was such a fun trip. I'm sad it's over! Never seems like time with family is long enough. These last few weeks have been packed with so much stuff. Lots of activities. Lots of fun. Lots of changes in Oliver. Who knows, I might just be able to blog for a week straight!! (Don't hold your breath though!)
Today, Oliver is 6 months old! So hard to believe. He can now sit on his own. He just got his first tooth. (And, I hate to break it to him, but it looks like another one is about to make a grand entrance in the near future!) He reaches out to be picked up. He gives kisses. Wet, slobbery, nothing-could-be-better, kisses. He laughs a lot. And, boy does he jabber!! He is getting so big.
It makes me wonder if God watches our growth with the same sense of pride? "Oh look, she's getting some patience." "Watch how she is walking in MY footsteps today." "Did you see her hold her tongue in that situation? What a mature girl she's becoming." I don't know if He reacts like we do as we watch our little ones grow and mature, but I imagine it that way, and it makes me want to continue to grow in my walk with Him. It makes me want to live in a way that makes Him proud to show off my progress as a child of His!