Living Community

3406 3406_ () 3406 3406 Tonight, our small group gathered in one of our big open yards for a picnic and a kickball game. My boys look forward to this annual event and it never fails to entertain.

The more I think about the kinds of things I want to write — to share details of my life and to answer all your questions — I realize how I’m so much more comfortable sharing the “how” and the “why” of community living. When I get down to the “what” of it all — the basic cut-and-dried information, I start to feel stifled. Because that aspect of it — the number of meetings, the organizational structure, the nitty gritty of it all, it’s very important. But it’s not ultimately what this life is all about.

To me, it’s about the relationships. It’s about living and loving and being encouraged and built up and yes, stretched and challenged. It’s about a life that is more than just me and my wants and desires.

Tonight, we walked up the street to the picnic. Paul was meeting us there in his truck so I was towing Isabel in the wagon, loaded up with our food and blanket and her, that sweet little two-year-old trying to climb out. Henry was on his scooter, a few boys were on bikes. Moments before we were set to leave, Henry (accidentally) broke a window in the garage door. There was glass everywhere. We cleaned that up, which put us about ten minutes behind schedule. As we ambled up the street (a three-minute walk) I was feeling frustrated and spent. I really blew my cool with the window incident. Then I started to have some more negative feelings and by the time I got to the dinner I was in a “bad place.” I really wanted to go home. I was in no kind of social mood.

“How ironic,” I thought to myself most fouly, “that I’m trying to write about community living and here is a prime example of how it is way too difficult.”

But here’s what happened: instead of retreating home to stew and boil, there I was. Surrounded by other people. And little by little, after a few minutes standing there having to push through my emotions, I got over it. I got out of “myself” and within a few short moments I was able to just totally change the channel mentally.

So that’s the heart of this life for me — it’s being drawn closer to Jesus by being surrounded by people on fire for Him. When you’re immersed in that kind of river, you can’t help but get swept along.

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3397 3397_ () 3397 3397 Proof that boys can stand still (for a moment)

Proof that little boys grow up

Proof that sometimes you get a girl, even after all those boys

Proof that it just keeps getting better, don’t be afraid that your “now” is the best it will ever be

Proof that you can love your spouse more with each passing year, especially as you watch your children grow and blossom

Proof that there is room in your heart for each and every one of them, it’s a mystery but it’s true

also: proof that Charlie didn’t have time to fashion his bow-tie after serving the altar; proof that my church has one of the prettiest rosary garden’s in all the land; and proof that we own an ever-loving ton of blue blazers! 3397″


At Play in the Fields

Winding down another soccer season (within the next few weeks).

Here is our survival mat:

Soccer is pretty awesome. I love being outside, the kids love getting to play in the grass and trees and there’s always great fellowship with my friends. I know basketball is the lifeblood of our family and all, but (between you and me) taking the sports aspect out of it, give me a large field of grass any day. It’s way more enjoyable, especially when dealing with small chillruns.

Wilderness Toastmasters

On our family hike today, we stopped at this little gathering spot along the trail. In an effort to extend the peaceful relaxation in the great outdoors, I had each of the boys take a few minutes to either tell a story or recite something they had in their memory bank. It was delightful.

There was a dramatic poetry recitation featuring the Charge of the Light Brigade; a thriller fictional piece; some lines of a play our oldest is in this weekend; the scripture one boy learned for school last month; and a puppet show by Henry, with a hand from Ethan.