22 May 2009

Carpenters at Work.

I am married to a man (I guess, you knew that considering I am a lady (ha!)) . Not to just any sort of man, though, a marvelous do-it-yourself building kind of man. A man who decides to build a shed by whipping out his tools; harvesting some lumber; and starting.  I love how go-get-em he is. I love this driven personality in my man.   Tyler is so perfect for me, he sees that our sink is leaking so he goes to the store, buys replacement parts, and fixes it.  He doesn't panic or call a professional he simply does it. I love that about him, and I love that he is teaching our boys to do that as well. The boys love helping Ty fix things in the house, and they love building. Elijah, Josiah, and Andrew were outside helping build this shed in every way. Eli moved the studs for me after they were cut, and all of the boys practiced their hammering ability on the floor and walls. I am anxious to have this wonderful shed built, but at the same time I love having it here for us all to work on together. 

Elijah is almost as good with a hammer as I am. He rarely misses and those long 16 penny nails have nothing compared to his hammer and strength.

Tyler and Eli raised these two walls without any help, actually they raised all four walls with brute strength alone.

This is what I see out of my window now: It represents a weekend of work, and some more to follow. 

Even the birds seem to enjoy the new structure, although someone should tell him he probably won't find any bugs in this wood.

17 May 2009

Thoughts and Change... part II

"Be the change you want to see in the world." Gandhi

This is an original piece of artwork by the one and only Elijah Benjamin Smith. He is a composing photographer.

Where did we leave off? Oh yeah, Gandhi. Now I will not pretend to know a lot or even a little about Gandhi.  In fact, I looked him up on wikipedia and found out that I was spelling his name wrong. Now that I have that little mishap fixed I want to share with you the problem that I have with this very popular quote.  First, Let's recap...

In the midst of pondering the Way, and how the loving God would help us all change into being more like his Son.  I realized that Gandhi's quote is not the solution to the problem or even the means to go about solving it.  If we were merely the change that we wanted to see in our churches, then yes, some people would notice and some things might change. So, you may ask, what is wrong with that? Nothing, except if you tried to take this concept and put it into a group of people who were not so like-minded as the family in the pew next to you.  

What happens when an advocate for abortion is standing up and "being the change they want to see in the world", and the lady who has been haunted by hers stands up against this practice to protect other children and potential mothers? Or what may I ask is the result of two people who cannot seem to agree? Arguing? Most certainly. War? Sometimes. Famine? It happens.  So lets take this a bit further... What significant difference would I alone make by being so selfish as to only stand up for the changes that I want to see happen?  Do you now see the problem with Gandhi's quote? You may call it too centered on self, small, incapable of making true change, but no other description fits it better than: Not being grounded in the Truth.  This quote and way of thinking did not come from God, and that, my friend, is the problem.

Instead I would like to present to you a modified version. Instead of being the change that we want to see, let's have a more lasting impression and vote for real change by being the change that God wants to see.  You see if I studied my bible, loved my Jesus, and did everything in my life that I think God would have me do. Great things would happen, and they would last longer than my mere term of office. After all, if you advocate for something that God doesn't want to happen;  you have to answer to God for why you chose to be so self centered and only try to change the things in this world that you wanted to see change. 

Next time we are confronted with a problem whether inside or outside the church lets think about what God would want us to do.  If we love Him; then we will find ourselves praying "Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." 

11 May 2009

Thoughts & Change... part I

I am happy to announce that my brain is working! I know some of you doubt, but really I do think everyday; some days more than others.  I will not deceive you; when Caleb is teething or sick I am not happy; my days are long, my nights are short and my brain is on emergency standby.  If you tried to have intelligent conversation with me about anything besides children, sleeping, and cooking then you would basically receive the blue screen of death!! (is it blue or green?)  Anyway, I can tell when I have a child under the age of one in my home because these moments come and go for that first year. Thankfully, I noticed tonight that I am back to my annoyingly thoughtful self. Let me show you what I mean: 

Tonight my wonderful husband Tyler granted me ten minutes to take a shower without having to concern myself with the boys. We worked outside today and along with using the chainsaw: I got pelted with a huge chunk of ground and had a red ant bite me because he suddenly found himself in my house instead of his.  Needless to say, I needed a shower for my body and my piece of mind ( If my little friend had a brother I didn't want him on me).  

While in the shower I started thinking about all that I had read about people's complaints about churches. Not specific churches mind you, but the church as a whole. I have heard so many individuals tell me one of two things: 1. The church body doesn't focus on worship enough and 2. The doctrine in the church is skewed to being too legalistic or too liberal. Now, I don't want to get into these two debates as they are both viable. What I want to show you is my thought progression from this to something a bit more... thoughtful.  Disclosures aside I suddenly realized that we are not here to change the church, but to rather be changed by God, and as the apostle John said, if we loved God, then everything else would come out of that relationship. Our doctrine would be based on the word out of our desire to read God's word and please Him, and our worship would be sincere regardless of the style because we truly love God. 

Insight into my mind:

"We should be the change... What? Oh yeah, Gandhi: 'be the change you want to see in the world'.  No, there is something wrong with that statement, on the cover it may seem sincere and practical, but it isn't grounded in the Truth." 

What do I mean by this?  Stay Tuned...

02 May 2009

Spring Cleaning

I love yard work. If you ever want to give me a gift just offer to relieve me of my motherly duties long enough for me to get in some good hard yard work. With this great weather that we have been having; working in the yard has become an everyday event at the Smith house.  I don't know if you saw, but last autumn after our tree cutting experience in the back we had quite a mess to clean up. We still have a mess out back, but near the house most of the slash from harvesting wood has been removed or has been put into a pile to be burned. Needless to say, the yard is still quite sad looking, but to someone who has been looking at it everyday for the past 6 months with dread, it has never looked so good.

One of the things that we did these past couple of weeks was construct a permanent bridge over the wet section of land.  With this bridge in place we can drive the tractor to the back section of the land even during a very wet spring. Thanks to the logging that we had done last fall we had a lot of scrap timber to use to construct a nice little bridge.  I felt so strong lifting and moving large pieces of pine wood, and as you can see, Tyler is never more in his element than when he is wearing his chaps, work boots, and toting a high powered orange chainsaw. 

Don't get too disappointed that you missed all of this fun, there is still lots to be done around here. So come on over and we will gladly put you to work moving brush, holding babies, or hey maybe we will even let you drive the "tractor".