Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Micah turns six!

Happy sixth birthday to my sweet boy!

With my mom in Cambodia this Christmas and my brother in town for New York, I gathered my side of the family together for an additional celebration of giving thanks.  I so thank God the day He created Micah.

Micah:  Mommy, what is an Octopus under water?
Soryda:  Um, no clue.  What?
Micah:  An underwater arachnid.
Soryda:  .....[that's a big word...] 

Micah:  What sea creature does not float?
Soryda:  Um, still no clue.  What?
Micah:  Duh mommy.  A great white shark!

Tristan's Shark Attack face.  So scary!
Wow.  Micah knows everything about the ocean's midnight zone, submersibles, and sea creatures.  You can't get away with "that's a fish".  You will get corrected:  It's a fang-tooth fish.  Or a Viper.  Deep sea angler... I'm not intimidated though, I'm thrilled he has such an interest and he's a wonderful learner.  When persuaded to do a birthday out like at an indoor water park or even a movie, of course---he said no.  When asked what kind of birthday?  He immediately replied:  Under the Sea.   Here are some highlights!

Beware of the Shark!  To help decorate, I enlisted the help of Kelan our neighbor!

We decorated the dining room with seaweed streamers and leftover paperplate fish.

And we had  octopops, shark blood, shark teeth, fishcakes, "orange" roughy, fish & chips and fish bait!  So fun and super easy!  Super thank you goes to Melanie for helping out before the party! To Julie for paint, Kelan, and the printables, and to Renu for the Fish Bingo!

All the neighborhood kids came to celebrate!

Micah's birthday was on a Monday afterschool with neighborhood friends and 2 elite kindergarten friends, so in case anyone is slightly offended they didn't get an invite----it was just the afterschool crowd! :-)

Micah, your life could not bring us any greater joy.  We are so privileged to call you son and we will do our best to raise you to be the man God created you to be.  We love you!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thankful............I'm Me.

This year, I went down the list of things I'm thankful for...I took a deep sigh....and was truly grateful for something new this year.  I'm thankful that I'm me.  It's such a counter-intuitive thing to feel because the world tells you that you haven't arrived or you're not the person you've wanted to become, that you need more----more stuff, experiences, intelligence.  Things that make up your self-worth.  None of those things are inherently bad, it's when you feel less than who God made you to be----always pining after something when God is perfectly delighted in who you are now.

Deep at the heart of being thankful is being content in your circumstances, and in your identity.  This means accepting yourself as you are, and not making excuses for any limitations that you have.  It's loving yourself in your own skin, and actually liking the things about you---even though you know those things don't necessarily measure up to others.

This world is a hard place because as humans we are hard-wired to be relational and with that comes this need to be accepted, and to be loved, to be safe, to be connected, and to be significant and valued.    The problem with that is we need others to make us feel that way about ourselves. 

And what we desire from others we don't get because those others are usually doing the same dance---fearing rejection and never truly able to give you those things.   This deep fear also keeps us avoiding people, that at an unconscious level, somehow won't give us what we need---unconditional acceptance.  And it's usually people who are different from us.  Right, it's easy to stay in our comfortable huddles, but risk going out there and getting hurt----not so easy.

This is where the beauty of the gospel kicks in.  It's obvious that God doesn't want us walking around in fear and having an identity crisis.  Or wanting anything more to define us because He knows if we continue down that path, we'll never stop wanting.  This was not the way He designed it.   The bible says He knew us before we were knit together in our mother's womb, that we were perfectly and wonderfully made and that the maturing and sanctifying process is not about how we'll be accepted by everyone else, but that we will become more and more like Him.

In many ways, this is so freeing---to know that we don't need others to give us that significance when we were made to have our identity satisfied and fulfilled in Him.  And in His economy, less is more.   "When I am weak, then I am strong---the less I have the more I depend on Him."    It's a unique tension---to feel weak, but yet feel so strong in the Lord that you actually like being weak in yourself.  When's the last time anyone thought weakness was a good thing?

It's important to know, too, that Jesus had a core group of people he loved, and loved him.  He had a big group of twelve, but He spent more time and had deeper connections with three.  When He wasn't spending quality time with those He loved, He was out there unafraid.  Jesus was with all the wrong people: the outcasts, the sick, the poor, the needy, the socially unacceptable, the super-educated snobs.  The truth is that He was never challenged about who He was.  His identity was always tied to who His father was.

When I have my identity in my Father, I know that I am deeply loved, deeply valued, deeply accepted.  I am irreplaceable.   I need the few around me to love me and affirm me, but I need to be challenged to love others who are different from me.   This Perfect Love casts out all fear.  This is how He would have wanted it. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

WonderFall October 2012

Between Caelan's birthday (October 1) to Micah's Birthday (November 24), we have a season of just enjoying the cold crisp fall weather and making wonder-fall memories.

My friend Jewel, a professional photographer, gave me a huge discount as she spent some time taking pictures of the kids, and us a family.  You should be getting one of our family pictures in the mail for our Christmas card photo.  With so much to do for the holidays, I'm so glad that's done and over with!

Can't kick off the fall without leaping in a leaf pile!


Or a neighborhood Halloween parade. 

Micah's school had a "monster mash" which sounds much scarier than it was.  Just an opportunity for the PTA to make money for the school by doing games, offering food and have the kids come in costume.  Here is new BBF in the neighborhood, Tristan, fellow kindergartener.  Yes, another Tristan two doors down.

My little guys are the CUTEST warriors.  They are taking back the empire.

Even little Yoda has the force with him.

The kids don't get all the fun.  One of the most beautiful fall Saturdays in October,  several friends got the idea to do wine and ziplines?   Seven ziplines and a skybridge walk.  My legs were trembling!

We picnic'd under a gazebo on a mountain overlooking the Potomac river.  It was breath-taking and super relaxing.  Starting to think about November with our service project, Thanksgiving and Micah's birthday!