Sunday, March 27, 2011

Things Jesus Would Have Explicitly Spelled Out If He’d Realized How Dense We Are

We had a visit from some dear friends from West Virginia last week. They are an incredibly kind family of six who welcomed us with open arms when we moved to West Virginia. The mom hosted a baby shower for Petunia and she never fails to remember our forever family day. Her youngest child was Petunia’s first friend, and we joke that they’ll marry someday.  (Well, they joke, and I plan.)
She and her husband met because they both went to mass every day. In their small town, they were the only two young single folks there daily and gradually she noticed that he was sitting closer and closer to her day by day. Isn’t that a sweet story?
These are the kind of folks who have one car—by choice. They used to have two, but they knew someone who really needed one and they decided they could get by with one, so they gave one of their cars away. They’re also the kind of folks who always have a full house on Easter, and who routinely take in other families to help them through a tough spot.
They’re also folks who make it to church every week without fail. I don’t think the two practices necessarily have to go hand in hand, but I suspect these two behaviors support each other. As their eight-year-old son explained to me when they visited, “Jesus said if you can’t go to church on Sunday, go on Saturday,” which is why I’m rooting for a Saturday service to be added to my church.
I’m afraid that book is missing from my Bible, but I love that this family is so absolutely committed to their faith. Church is an important part of our lives, but I’ll admit there are times we just don’t make it.
I’m pretty sure that missing book of the Bible must be the one called “Things Jesus Would Have Explicitly Spelled Out If He’d Realized How Dense We Are.”  And I’m pretty sure a lot of the content would be very relevant to me.
Since I don’t have that book I remain thankful that we have been blessed with so many living examples of God’s love.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Where Jesus Jams at SXSW

I’ve been reading about SXSW, the music, film and technology festival which wrapped in Austin last week. (For the uninitiated, SXSW is the acronym for South by Southwest, or as the cool kids are apparently calling it now, South by.)  We lived in Austin while Amp was in law school and loved it. There was a popular bumper sticker when we were there called “Keep Austin Weird”—a slogan which has since been applied to Asheville and which fits nicely. I love the food, the music, and the culture in both these places, but I especially love that both places are open to people who are outside the norm.
We also fell in love with our church there, Central Presbyterian.

It was the first church that was really a great fit for us. We felt welcomed and valued—and thankful that our church strove to make everyone feel the same way.  We are fortunate that our current church, Grace Covenant Presbyterian, does a great job of this as well. Any time I think about Austin, I feel nostalgic about our time at Central, but especially when I read this article on CNN, Where Would Jesus Jam?
Where would Jesus Jam? On the corner of 8th and Brazos for one, and I can think of several spots in Asheville too. Where would Jesus jam in your neck of the woods?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Tisket A Tasket

Petunia is a wanna-be songwriter. She comes by the desire naturally, since I’m
constantly making up silly songs.  Another time I’ll share one of her original
masterpieces, but for now I just want to share a song she came home from
preschool singing, and insisted that I email to my parents. I’m pretty sure a little

creative misunderstanding helped inspire this one.

When you see the itallycs, think “big finish,” jazz hands and all.

"A tisket a tasket,
A green yellow basket,
If you wanna gonna ask it.
There's a new girl in town,
And her name's BIG BASKET!"

Move over Ella. There's a new girl in town.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

If You Can Google It, It Must Be So

My house can now be seen on the satellite images on google maps. We’re a relatively new neighborhood so this hasn’t always been the case. I’m not sure why this makes me so happy. There is something satisfying about seeing our little neighborhood and our little house with Petunia’s playset out back, and our tin-roofed front porch where we like to watch the world go by.

We live in a neighborhood that is somewhat unique these days—we actually know all our neighbors. It’s pretty cool that when Petunia puts on an especially fetching princess ensemble, she wants to run across the street or next door to show it off.

I’ve always thought of myself as more of a back porch girl, who likes to be outside but wants to enjoy it in solitude, but the truth is I’m a front porch girl.

I love knowing what’s going on in the neighborhood—seeing Tory check the mail, Julie walk to work, Wes and Amy work on their latest landscaping project, or Liz and Justin take Finn for a walk in Petunia’s hand-me-down stroller, and having a chance to check in with folks and see how they’re doing.

We’ve formed a real community in our brief time together—forged by shoveling snow, building snow men, playing charades, and breaking bread together.

A few days ago we met at a neighbor’s house and planned a community garden that we’ll be starting soon.  Amp and I have only ever tread lightly when it comes to gardening, so our skills are very limited. Thankfully there are others to lead us who have much more knowledge in this area.  I can’t wait till Petunia can break out her little rake and hoe and work side by side with our neighbors. It will be a very tangible example of yet another way that we get to reap the rewards of investing in our little community.