Thursday, April 28, 2011


I've been thinking a lot about C.S. Lewis lately. I really don't know why, except that I was reminded of this story the other day as I was walking down the streets of uptown Charlotte.

Walter Hooper remembers walking down St. Giles with Lewis when he stopped to give money to a beggar. "Aren’t you afraid he’ll spend it on drink?” asked Hooper. “Well, if I kept it I would.” said Lewis. He told the younger man that his rule regarding beggars was “When in doubt, give.”

I remembered this story because a man approached me as I was walking to my car after work one day last week and asked me if I had a minute. I said sure and he continued. This man was dressed in a white button-up shirt and tie, with nice slacks. He told me that he had been released from prison 6 days earlier and was trying to do some kind of work program. He showed me his completed paperwork and certificates of completion, but told me he had to get across town and couldn't find a way there. He'd been to the library, but they didn't have any more bus passes for the day. He'd walked to the police station but they don't give out bus passes. He asked me if I could spare some money for a bus pass. I asked him how much he thought he'd need and he said he needed to make three trips and each one would cost $2.25. I actually had cash on me (which is extremely rare these days), so I pulled out a 10 and asked him if that would be enough. He was so thankful and said, "That's more than enough! I might even stop and get a soda." He continued to ask me if I knew the Lord and I said I did. He said he could tell because of my generosity.

The crazy thing is that the moment I walked away I thought to myself, "I hope he's really going to use that money for good." But what does it matter? The story of C.S. Lewis immediately flooded my mind and I was reminded that God is good. It doesn't matter if that man was an awesome con artist or if he truly was a man in need. He asked me for something that I could easily give him, so I did. I think Jesus would have given it to him, too. And since Jesus is my ultimate role model, I feel good about it.

Conversely, a few weeks ago, David, Xander and I were walking in uptown Charlotte and a man approached David and told him that he hadn't eaten in a day and a half and wanted to know if David would spare some change. David didn't have any cash on him, told him that, and we continued walking. It hit me that Xander had a couple bags of unopened animal crackers in his diaper bag, so I turned around and headed back for the man. I pulled the animal crackers out of my bag, walked up to him and offered them to him. You know what he said? "I don't eat animal crackers." Wow! If I hadn't eaten in a day and a half, I think I would eat anything that was offered to me - even livermush or brussel sprouts! Oh well. I tried, right?

"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindess in your face, kindess in your eyes, kindness in your smile."
Mother Teresa

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jesus makes me happy!

Easter Sunday was a wonderful day. David, Xander and I went to church where Xander attended the 2-year old class. He's only actually done that one other time which was a bit traumatic for him. When he turned 2 we were hesitant to change him because he had really started looking forward to church and his one-year old class, classmates and teachers. We're a little behind in moving him considering he was two in February, but we knew the time was coming. David and I know how Xander is and that transitions aren't easy for him.

Anyway, in his classroom, they of course talked about Jesus's resurrection, it being Easter Sunday and all. Each child got a placemat that had "Jesus" written on it. They were instructed to put smiley face stickers on the placemats and each time say, "Jesus makes me happy!" We brought Xander's placemat home and he started pointing to the stickers saying, "Jesus make happy!" It was adorable! I found some old smiley face stickers that I had and he put them all on the placemat, each time saying, "Jesus makes me happy!" He got a lot better with the wording as he went along. Now the placemat is on the fridge and he periodically goes up to it and says "Jesus makes me happy!" or he'll take it down and carry it around saying the same thing. It warms my heart to know that he's learning amazing biblical truths!

Big Boy Bed

Xander spent his first night in his new big boy bed! He did amazingly well! We put him in his bed awake, turned out the light, said goodnight, and didn't hear a peep from him for the rest of the night. In fact, he must have slept well because David and I had to go in and wake him up at 7:30am so he could say goodbye to Daddy before he had to go to work. He's usually awake by 7. Here's a pic I took of him this morning. Forgive the purple sheets. I haven't gotten any for him yet - I'm still trying to decide what color scheme I want for his new room.

Okay, so I realized I have my finger in this next one, but I have to share it because this is actually nap time this afternoon! I'm so proud of my little man!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Get ready for Summer Reading!!


 Summer is a great time to read whatever you want! No teachers assigning books that you don't like, no Accelerated Reading tests mandating the books that you read, and no more preparing for End of Grade testing! Now is your time! Be sure to check your local library for details.

Below is a video specifically for the Summer Reading program at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Check it out!

Remember to read all kinds of stories! There are many choices out there - fiction, nonfiction, picture books, easy readers, board books, magazines, comic books, playaways and books on CD. They all count! And you might be surprised to find a story that you truly love.

Even little kids can participate. At Charlotte Mecklenburg Library we have a Wee Read program for children ages 0-4. This program allows parents, siblings, babysitters, grandparents, or anybody to read to their child. Each time you read to your child, mark it on the reading record and they will get a prize at 10 and 20 times.

Reading is fun at any age! If you need some ideas of books for a specific age just let me know!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The most radical story ever told.

Check out this sermon from last week. Join us on Sunday for the second part of this amazing message.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
John 13:34

Park = FUN!

Driving the "car"

His favorite thing to do - drive.

That sun is bright!

Trying something new?

Wow! This tube is awesome!

Swinging is always fun!

Sometimes the looks on his face crack me up!

*Disclaimer - I know he needs a haircut. I'm working on it. I promise!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Axis of Awesome

I saw this video with David the other night and we had a good laugh. I hope you enjoy it, too. :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Books I've read: Jan - April, 2011

Here are the books I've read so far this year:

Product Details
1. City On Our Knees by Tobymac
Very inspirational. It's made up of many different stories - stories of how people have changed this world through the power of Jesus Christ. I really enjoyed meditating on this book and was encouraged at the change people can make in this world. Together we can and should be a city on our knees. The album by Tobymac is great, too. :)

2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
My favorite book so far this year - I wrote about it when I finished the book.  That's how much it impacted me.

Product Details
3. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Another great by Khaled Hosseini - this story was about two women who bonded together over misfortunes and hardships. A heart-wrenching, yet eye-opening story of life during war in the Middle East.

4. Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers
5. Her Daughter's Dream by Francine Rivers
As most of you know, Francine Rivers wrote my all-time favorite book Redeeming Love. Because of that I read everything that she puts out. This two-book series was very good. No Redeeming Love, :) but good, nonetheless. It really made me think about mother-daughter relationships and helped me to reflect and meditate on the relationship I have with my mom and the relationship she had with my Granny. Good stuff.

Product Details
6. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Not exactly sure why I read this book except that I had put it on hold from the library and wasn't reading anything else when it came in, so I decided to read it.  This was by far my least favorite book this year.  It wasn't a waste, but it was quite strange and obtuse.  Interesting idea, though.

7. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Interesting. More so because it's a true story. I had been told by countless people to read it. There's a movie with Julia Roberts, so I thought, "Why not?" Not my favorite book, but I I like the way Elizabeth Gilbert writes and I enjoyed a lot of the "mini-stories" that were told. I'm going to try her next book, Committed, pretty soon. I may need a break from Liz for awhile, though. :)

And the countless children's books that I've read - mainly for work, but also because Xander loves to read!  He's mainly into reading the same things over and over though, so I don't get too many new ones read with him. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Weekend Visit

David, Xander and I had a wonderful visit with my aunts Karen and Cheryl this past weekend. We left for Roanoke, VA, just after I got off of work on Friday - around 2pm. It was a great weekend full of laughter and good times. As you know, I'm awful about taking pictures, but David got a few, so here they are.

Xander had a great time! I loved seeing him interact with my aunts and enjoyed the reactions he got from them. He went to his first Japanese steak house where he was fairly enamored with the chef and his antics. He got to play on some really big hills. And he loved aunt Cheryl's screen saver - he got so much enjoyment out of the number 7. Hilarious! It was really a fun time. Xander's been talking about "Karen's house" and "She-ra" all week!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Life has once again snuck up on me and left me catching my breath with the whirlwind of changes that have come upon us in the past two weeks.

First of all, David has been offered a permanent, full-time job! He'll be working with a firm in Charlotte where he previously did contract work. He loves this firm and the people who work there, so he's extremely excited about this opportunity. Not only is it a good place and he loves the work, but he now has benefits including insurance, paid time off, retirement, etc.  It's been a couple of years since we haven't had to pay for his benefits, so we're excited about this immensely. He's turned in his resignation at the current firm and will start his permanent position in two weeks. Praise the Lord!

Last week I attended the Drive conference held in Alpharetta, GA, at North Point Community Church. What a great experience! This is a time for leaders of all different churches to come together and get ideas, inspiration and leadership on how to lead their own churches. I was excited to be a part of this event and thankful that my own church leaders invited me along. I gained a fresh perspective on how to help lead the church and a lot of confirmation that we already do some really great things at Ridge Church.

Tomorrow David, Xander and I will be traveling to Roanoke, VA, to see my awesome aunts Cheryl and Karen. I'm still working on getting Xander to say Karen the Great. Because she is. I so enjoy the times when I get to see Karen and Cheryl, so I am really looking forward to a fun weekend. Time away, time with family and time for fun.

There are a few other changes going on, too, but those will have to wait for another post.