James is 7

James turned 7 yesterday (10/26/14). Today we picked up his passport. He is really hoping during his 7th year of life he travels to the USA! We are thankful for James and pray he continues to grow in wisdom and grace, seeking first God in all his ways.

Taller than his Mom

Ben has been growing majorly in height, stature, wisdom....I am thankful for the fine qualities I see in my young man. He is now at least 1/2 inch taller than me and still growing!!!! Thanking God for the blessing of sons!

First Baby Tooth Lost

James' first baby tooth fell out yesterday.

As you can see, he has two big teeth coming right in behind the baby teeth on the bottom.

He was so happy to loose his first tooth!

Prayer and Reflection Retreat

Mikayla and I had the pleasure of spending this past Saturday with a wonderful group of women. This group of women represent 10 nationalities - Chili, Korea, Philippines, German, United States of America, New Zealand, Japan, Northern Ireland, India, and Indonesia.

One thing I will really miss when we return to the states next year is having such diversity in friendships!

The Prayer and Reflection day was centered on the theme of "Finding A Rhythm of Rest" and the verse be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10.

Resting - taking a Sabbath - is a spiritual precept.

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is
your strength..." Isaiah 30:15.

A "sabbath time" is not dependent upon our readiness to stop, but requires surrender. We stop because it's time to stop; not when we complete our call, check our emails, etc...
A 'Sabbath' can be a day, an afternoon, an hour...whatever
preserves rest and refreshment... (from Eveyln C. Davis 2004)
So, turn off the cell phone, close down the computer, disconnect from the internet and spend time alone in solitude and silence with God. It is very restorative.

A great book to read further on finding the rhythm of rest is "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality" by Pete Scazzero.

Creative Writing Exploratory

I have had the privilege and fun of teaching a creative writing exploratory to six middle school students this first quarter of the school year.
I've been encouraging the students to recognize that creativity is a God-given talent we should all be developing. God, our Father, is a creative God. He doesn't want us hiding our talents under a bushel! Developing a creative life style entails noticing nature, shapes, colours, people. Each person we meet is created in the image of God by God Himself. Amazing thought.

The students have been doing creative writing exercises and are now working on putting together a book of short stories inspired from the various creative writing exercises they've been working on.

Living a creative life is not just about being "an artist." It's about going after your dreams, whatever they are, living authentically, living emotionally healthy spirituality, facing fears and self-doubt and stepping forward in spite of them.
Living creatively and authentically means allowing yourself to be imperfect, allowing yourself to play, to be a beginner. I've really been encouraging my students to spend 10 - 20 minutes a day writing. Rather than saying "someday I'll write a book", if you start writing 10 - 20 minutes a day then you are working on your goal instead of just wishfully thinking about something.