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Wednesday, April 7, 2010


My third child, Mary Katherine, turned 10 yesterday. It made me feel so very ancient. I still see myself as the young mom with small children, but somehow time has slipped through my fingers and my toddlers are now adolescents.

Katie was my third child in three years. She was an unexpected event in my life. I was considering the possibility of adding another child to our family, but planned to wait at least 2 or 3 years until the other kids were potty trained. However, God's plan was not my plan, and He blessed me with an absolutely beautifully amazing daughter.

I was shocked to realize that I was pregnant, with Grace just a year old and James not even 2. Then the morning sickness set in, and it was unbelievably horrific. As I alternated laying in the bathroom floor hugging the toilet with laying on the edge of my bed vomiting into a bowl for 16 weeks, I was very unsure about God's timing on this third baby. I couldn't care for myself, much less two small children. But the morning (all day and all night) sickness ended, and I began to enjoy the baby moving and accept that we were gaining another child into our family.

Katie arrived after a brief induction on April 6, 2000. She was 9lbs, 5 oz. with a head full of fuzzy black hair. She was stunningly beautiful. We had a few rough weeks at the beginning. She could not create a strong enough suction to breastfeed, or to even suck from a bottle. I fed her with a syringe for a couple of weeks until she could take a bottle, and gave her a bottle until she could finally breastfeed. I spent my days hooked up to an electric pump, putting the milk into syringes, slowly feeding her, then hooking up again to get the milk for the next feeding. She was jaundiced, and had to be held on a blanket filled with special lights 24 hours a day for the first couple of weeks.

Anybody surprised that postpartum depression hit me hard? 3 tiny children, 700 square feet of living space, no sleep, and no relief from the stress.

But like most things, the challenging part passed quickly. Katie learned to eat more easily, and we resumed our life. I spent my days reading, singing, and playing with my kids. We went for long walks at the park, taking a sack of old bread to feed the ducks. We explored kid friendly museums, and visited every playground around. We played pooh sticks on a little bridge on the seminary campus, and found ways to have adventures every day - even with no money.

Katie was blessed with a unique personality. She is a container of pure joy. She is positive and happy nearly all the time. She delights in life and in other people. She loves to be able to create beautiful art to share with others. Katie is gifted with a sense of color and design. It is like God filled her up to the brim with beauty, and it spills over into everything she does. We call her tinkerbell, because as a tiny little girl she said, "thank you," all the time. Only in her wee little voice, it sounded like, "tink um." So her Daddy began to call her Tinkerbell and it stuck.

Katie has been an absolute miraculous delight in my life. She innately senses when things are wrong, and seeks to comfort. She looks for ways to make dull situations fun, and delights in living life to the fullest. I did not understand God's plan at the time, but I cannot imagine a more amazing little girl. I am so glad that God placed her into our lives. Happy Birthday, Tinkerbell.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday Morning Update 4/5/10

Easter weekend is one of the busiest, and most beautiful weekends in the ministry. We had the opportunity to share a gigantic Easter egg hunt with our community. I absolutely love getting out and meeting new families. It is also very special to me to recognize many of the faces in the crowd and to be able to call them friends. It is cool that in less than 2 years, a crowd of strangers is becoming a community of friends.

Saturday evening we visited with friends and watched "The Passion." That God would choose that for Himself so that He could have a relationship with me is incredible. How many relationships do we have that we would even sacrifice at all to maintain? Usually if we get "done wrong" or our feeling get hurt or we don't feel loved, we just ditch that friend and move on. I'm so glad that God didn't just ditch the human race, but He did what it took to restore us.

Sunday morning was a little rough before services. Most of our ministry leaders had experienced some type of major set back before arrival - whether electronics crashing, or difficult conversations with family or friends, health issues, or stuff with kids. That is fairly par for the course on Easter Sunday morning for people in the ministry, but our newer leaders were a little caught off guard. I don't usually think about warning them about the spiritual warfare side of leadership in the ministry.

However, the services themselves went really well. I thought the worship set came together very well. I loved "There will be a day" by Jeremy Camp and "True Love" by Phil Wickham. I was nervous about doing two new songs on Easter, but thought they turned out great. I love to see our people engage in worship. I love to see them falling in love with Jesus.

I worked in children's this week, so I missed the sermon. I am confident that Shawn did a superb job of sharing the good news that Jesus is alive and how that impacts our lives. Children's went well. I had as many kids in my 2nd-3rd grade small group as I used to have in the entire children's ministry just a few months ago. I enjoy getting to interact with the kids. Their enthusiasm is refreshing and energizing.

Our family enjoyed eating lunch with a couple of other families from our church. I appreciate being included in other people's holidays since we are far away from our own family. It is always special to me when people reach out to our family and invite us into their homes. I love getting to know people on a deeper level than what is possible in just a few minutes on Sunday morning.

I love church planting. I love reaching families that have never been to church, or who have been out of church for a long time. I love the people that I do ministry with, that share my passion and zeal for other people. I love that we focus hard on reaching out into the community, and less on making ourselves comfortable.

I am excited about the future of The Crossroads. It's the adventure of a lifetime.