Saturday, December 17, 2005
it seems as though everyone (well, in a church office anyway...) has an opinion on it, so i thought i'd post mine... feel free to post yours in the comments section.
with christmas falling on a sunday, several mega-churches have decided to cancel services, sparking national debate. (this is one of the numerous news articles on the subject.) these churches are being accused of going too far in trying to fit into "today's culture." my church is having services, and i will be there... both on christmas eve AND on christmas day... but i will certainly not criticize those who don't.
growing up, my family had several christmas-oriented traditions. some for christmas eve, some for christmas day. and though we always were flexible (like post-poning christmas eve events until my brother could make it up from fort benning on christmas morning), and things have changed over the years (3 spouses and 4 grandkids require such), these things will always remain a part of my perception of christmas. but this year... well, this year nothing is the same. why? because we all must be at church on christmas morning. now, don't get me wrong. i as well will be at church. if i had a family, i'm sure we would go to church. but my question to you is... why is it such a big deal? please don't even try to tell me that it's to "put Christ first." to me, that is nothing more than a christian cliche. i don't know, maybe it's just because of my perception as a pastor's kid... but to me, putting myself in the shoes of a parent- let alone a pastor's wife- getting the kids up and ready to go to church on Christmas morning doesn't demonstrate putting CHRIST first... it demonstrates putting CHURCH first. because gosh darnit, if the church doors are open, we'll be there. and even better, we'll probably be the ones there early to unlock them and stay late to lock them back up. i'm not saying we shouldn't go to church, i'm not saying there's anything wrong with having services, please don't misunderstand me. but what i am saying is that what happens in the home is a million times more important in the life of a child than being forced to go to church 18 times a week. the role my parents played in my faith was not because they exposed me to church, but because i saw them live it in their lives. if these churches want to cancel services to be with their family, let them.
npr also had an interesting brief report on it. i'll admit, they have some idiots speaking on both sides of the issue. (i think my personal favorite was the suggestion to have a "pajama service"- everyone wear pjs and bring their gifts TO CHURCH so everyone can open them at church together. are you kidding me??)
i think that throughout this whole debate, the best way i can sum it up is to agree with one of the pastors interviewed in the npr report. he serves at a church in colorado springs that IS having services... but he is obviously fed up with the fact that the whole thing has become such a big deal. regarding churches' decision to cancel- and the debate that ensued- his attitude is one i absolutely agree with: "the sky is not falling, the kingdom of God will move forward, and life will go on."
in the words of dr. stowell.... "amen, and amen."
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Monday, December 12, 2005
Sunday, December 11, 2005
his eyes got all watery as soon as he heard i was jon's wife. he went on to tell me how much he means to all the guys... "he's done more for us than you could ever know" he said. he spoke of how jon is with them before missions, and how he was there through the fatalities. he told me about an article in the brigade newspaper that was a bit anti-chaplain, and how after that some of them made sure to talk to jon to tell him how much they like him! ... it made me feel so good to stand there, the wife of someone who is thought of so highly and means so much to these soldiers. he didn't have to say those things. he could have said, "yeah, i know him" and it would have sufficed. but through his red and watery eyes he looked right into mine and told me of all these things that jonathan has done.
i'm still kinda recovering from the absurdity of this encounter... the number of coincidences that aligned our meeting (one of which was that the airline left his bag in chicago...so he had to stop at the store on his way home from the airport to buy clothes!) is amazing! wow... i think i'll be humming that hated yet familiar disney tune for days...
Friday, December 09, 2005
Thursday, December 08, 2005
on a completely unrelated note, what is it with stressful movies? ugh. i like happy movies where there are no bad guys and no stressful situations. apparently i should stick with disney... i watched the war of the worlds a few nights ago. i thought it was good...and it's not like i got scared or freaked out...but it was SO stressful! my heart was racing the entire time. and my other recent view...millions. if you have never seen it, it's definitely worth a trip to the video store on a bored night. it's rated pg (though has some scenes that i definitely would rate at a pg-13), and is about two little boys who find millions of pounds only days before england changes to the euro. really, it's not the plot that's intriguing...it's the way it is filmed. it is fantastic. the aerial shots, the scene transitions...all very interesting. so as i was watching it, i thought to myself, "you know, this is really great. a cute movie about two little boys who are having the time of their lives spending money." then, i hear it. the sound i hate. dramatic music. it's normally either a lower bass note held out, or a minor chord. either way, i hate it. though i have to admit, i do appreciate being fore-warned. and i heed its call...last night, i immediately closed my eyes and turned the other way...a position i would hold for much of the movie, come to find out. what is it with me? ah, there are the reasons i don't like to think about...having been robbed (for starters) at gunpoint in a parking lot, having a husband at war...these probably factor in. come to think of it, before these things happened i could handle movies much better. ah, but maybe i'm just getting wimpier in my old age. in many ways, i'd like to think the latter.
so am i destined for a life of elf and finding nemo? i sure hope not. ah, alas, maybe it will be more tolerable when i can watch these movies in my husband's arms...and if that doesn't even help, well, then we'll all know i'm just a wimp. hey, there's worse things to be, right?
Sunday, November 27, 2005
i had an enjoyable thanksgiving with my family, for whom i am extremely thankful. i do have to say, though, that i'm realizing that the things i'm enjoying the most are the things that are new, the variations to the tradition. namely, the kids. i have two nieces (Iris, 6; Lila, 3) and two nephews (Jacob, 2; Caleb, 1). Each of them has a unique personality and adds individual flavor to the family. it is great watching them grow up as they develop and discover their personalities even more.
last night i had a lovely evening with two dear friends. sara, beth, and i have been friends since middle school. we ate a dinner of chicken with broccoli and rice, then had a wonderful time of catching up as old friends do. this seems to be going along with the theme of the month. a couple weeks ago, i went to wisconsin to visit another friend, this one from college. we have seen each other once or twice a year since then, the most recent being my wedding in april. this friend, ashley, will be leaving in less than 4 months for east asia. (you can read about her journey into missions here.) we have shared countless hours together, crying and laughing (sometimes simultaneously), talking about everything from the mundane to deep matters of the heart- and now we won't see each other for several years, at the very least. these three women have been with me through the thick and the thin, sparing me from going through life's joys and challenges alone.
for these and so many others...
...thanks be to God.
Friday, November 18, 2005
last night i went to an adoption meeting thing with amy. it was fabulous. it made me want to adopt internationally! they had 3 families share their stories. the coolest was this family that has 11 kids in 14 years- the oldest, the youngest, and one toward the middle are the only biological. they have 6 different cultures represented in their family. 2 of the oldest boys- who are now 30 years old- were there and shared their side of it. that was really neat, to see it from the perspective of an adult who was adopted. the theme of the evening was how to integrate the child's birth culture into his/her life and the whole family. they had some really great practical suggestions. they offered tips on not only incorporating food, clothing, or simple phrases into daily life, but also to volunteer to teach your child's class about his/her birth country, or to have an "adoption day" every year commemorating the day the child was brought into the family. then, we ate food from the three countries their adoption agency works with- china, guatemala, and russia. i quite enjoyed it.
so, my two recommendations for the day: 1) watch "elf." 2) adopt internationally. (hey, one out of two ain't bad...)
oh, a few more quotes for the road... "i like smiling. smiling's my favorite." "i'm just happy to meet another human who shares my affinity for elf culture." "have you seen these toilets? they're ginormous!"
i wrote this about 2 weeks ago, but never posted it...enjoy…
well, i finally figured it out. this week i discovered why stores put out christmas decorations so early. to make more money? nope. to satiate consumer’s need to have? wrong again. it’s for military families who have to start thinking about christmas ridiculously early in order to get it overseas in time. yep, i have thoroughly convinced myself that the world is good and they do this all for me….
seriously though. tuesday night i ventured to meijer to buy some decorations to send to jon. an entire corner of the store dedicated to such an event! then, it started. yes, what every military wife dreads. the tears. they are like this secret enemy lurking in the depths of your being, waiting to attack at the least opportune time possible. one time it was the camera section at best buy. this time, meijer. as i pushed my shopping cart down the aisle, choosing various lights, ornaments, and decorations, tears streamed down my face. then, of course, i started laughing at the fact that i was having a near breakdown in meijer. what a sight i must have been!
see, not only did the realization hit that i will be spending christmas alone, but also the memories of jonathan…we met at christmastime. ah well. it must have just been a low ES day. (i have a system rating my level of emotional stability- it helps people in my life know how hard or lightly to tread!) so thus begins the season of merriment…i have decided to get into an extraordinarily jolly christmas spirit to try to combat me wanting to kick people in the shins when they talk about holiday plans and such…but who knows…maybe sometime that secret enemy will rear its head too…
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Friday, November 11, 2005
there are a couple things going on that bring this even more to the front of my mind. one of them, of course, is having a husband in iraq. that culture, the issues of that country, have affected my life. and josh and amy (jon's brother and sister-in-law) are in the process of adopting a little girl from china right now ("paper pregnant," if you will). When they go to pick her up in about a year, she will probably be between 8 and 15 months old. that means that at any time, any day- possibly even as i type this- emma mei lennox fisher is being born, though no one knows her as that quite yet. our family will never be the same. emma will bring a fantastic diversity to the fisher family, serving as a constant reminder that life is bigger than us.
the butterfly effect, in short, is a theory that one butterfly flapping its wings on the other side of the world carries global effects. isn't that amazing to think about? that there could be things happening right now thousands and thousands of miles away that will change your life? i can only imagine...
Saturday, November 05, 2005
last night i went to josh & amy's for my annual cappuccino pie. i'm realizing more and more how tradition-oriented and nostalgic i am. my mom has made this pie for my birthday for probably the last 5 or 6 years- i don't think it'd feel like my birthday without it. i wasn't expecting one this year, but when i got to my sister's for the family party, my mom handed me the pie to take home with me. yay!
the only thing that could have made my day any better would have been to spend it with my husband. it's days like that that i miss him the most. our birthdays, our first christmas, our first anniversary- will all be spent apart. it helps to have other family around me, but it's not the same. on the up side, november 15 will mark official "6 down, 6 to go day"- soon and very soon...
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
i was rather relieved to hear jon's voice at the other end. i told him i had gotten his email. come to find out, his accident was a soccer accident. he went to head the ball, and headed someone else's head instead... it was very serious nonetheless. he broke his left cheekbone in two places. you know where your cheekbone curves out? his is a dent.
after 2 surgeries, much pain, and finally some apple juice, he is on the road to recovery.
it's weird, having a husband in the hospital in iraq, and not being able to be there. we have gotten to email and call several times, which has been great. the doctor said that if the hit had been much higher, it would have hit his temple...which would have made it a lot more serious. as bad as it is, i'm thanking God that it wasn't ten times worse.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
this week i got the blessed experience of getting a package from jon, and one that contained pictures and video at that! a few weeks ago he recorded a dvd of a chapel service, and never having actually heard him preach, this was something i greatly appreciated. it stirs up much emotion. i can't quite put my finger on exactly what these emotions are... if you have ever been away from a loved one for an extended amount of time, then see video of him, you know what i mean. more than phone, more than letters... it's like, it's the combination of senses that evokes these feelings. i never realized how important each sensor is until i was lacking. you see, when most married couples interact, it involves varied combinations of the senses. not only sight and sound, but smell...touch...taste...
unfortunately, even with our advanced technology, these latter three things are yet unattainable to me. so today, as you see...hear...smell...touch...taste...your spouse, think of these. bask in them. enjoy them, each of them. don't take even one for granted. i long for the day when i can do the same...
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Sunday, October 23, 2005
fall has always been a nostalgic time for me...it's interesting, in school it was nostalgic, yet it in that, it also marked the beginning of a new year. i suppose it's a time that i have always reflected on the past with anticipation for the future. and that is where my life is right now. with a husband deployed in iraq, i have no idea where i will be this time next fall. i am excited about possibilities, yet a bit sad for those possibilities taking me far far away from this michigan i know so well...
you know what's interesting about coffee? when you brew it, you're planning for the future. coffee is not an instantaneous commodity. it immediately brings an atmosphere of comforting anticipation... you brew it when you have a long night ahead, to enjoy an evening with friends, to begin the new day.
so this is my blog, my brew...