Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Thoughts on Matthew

I'm reading through the Gospels as an intentional way to prepare my heart and mind for Easter. One book per night, noting what stands out to me. Here are my thoughts on Matthew.

1:6 Immanuel - God with us. How must Mary have felt as she watched "God with us" die? How do you go on living having lost not only your child, but (seemingly) left to live the rest of your life void of the tangible presence of God?

2:16-18 How does a community ever thrive again after experiencing something as horrific and devastating as infanticide? "weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they are no more". Oh the agony. How bleak life must have been for all of Bethlehem. And if Jesus had made it back, he would have grown up in a community without any other little boys in his age range. Better to have become a Nazarene (vs. 23), but Bethlehem, oh heart aches for you.

4:16 I need to dig out a map to see if "the light has dawned for those living in the shadow of death" at all refers to the occupants of Bethlehem.

8:17 I know this is a fulfillment of prophecy, but I'm wondering if this is at all literal. Did His life experience here on earth actually become physically and emotionally heavier as he healed the sick. We talk about Him taking on the sins of the world in His death on the cross. What if He was internally picking them up and carrying not just our sins but the infirmities and diseases of everyone He healed and had significant moments with? How much did encountering someone with true faith and belief encourage Him?

10:8 Freely you have received, freely give. This should be the tag line of every church's "connections/service" department.

10:1-42 Quite the pep talk. I wouldn't have even known where to start processing it had I been the recipient (much less the SPOUSE of a recipient). It would be interesting to know who the "little ones" were Christ referred to in vs. 42.

11:12 Phenomenal verse I've never noticed IN MY LIFE before now. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. That is some good preaching right there. Worthy of a deeper study at some point.

11:30 How could He possibly have described His burden as "light" knowing what was to come? Comparatively speaking it was light?

13:58 Christ doesn't do many miracles in a faith vacuum.

14:13 Christ seems broken by the beheading of His cousin. A moment of psychological humanity on display.

16:5-12 I have no recollection of ever hearing/focusing on Christ's comments about the "yeast" either. Interesting.

16:21 Jesus begins to predict His death.

20:17 Christ lays out in DETAIL what He will have to experience. He knows He'll be raised to life. Knowing the end of the story must aid in some way (personally) when He supplies these details.

23 Christ seems to be overflowing with frustration.

26:36 My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow...

27:51 One of my "favorite" parts of the crucifixion narrative.

28:16-20 The Great Commission seems completely out of place as an ending to this book. Perhaps experiencing the death (and resurrection) of Christ somehow impaired Matthew from being able to tell His story. After painstakingly recording parable upon parable, great amounts of conversation seem to be missing between Christ's resurrection and The Great Commission.

Personal Point of Recognition: My identity as a mother, and my extremely high stress load at the moment has a major impact on what I'm picking out in Matthew.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Last Wednesday night, Jeff had to go to band practice which meant I was responsible for putting all four kids to bed (shudder). I was brushing Griffin's teeth when I came across this.

Anyone see something strange growing in there? Yeah, me too. So as not to embarrass him or draw attention to THE EXTRA ROW OF TOOTH in his mouth, I immediately sat him down and took nine rapid fire pictures of the oddity. And then I made a mental note to ask Jeff how long Griffin has had the spare and why it hasn't come up in conversation before now.

I was driving the kids to school the next morning when I realized I had forgotten to ask Jeff about it. So I called him on the cell and tried not to use words like weird, freaky, or Ripley's candidate to describe it. Ever notice when you are trying to have a conversation about one of your children, that this will be the one moment of the day they will stop whatever they are doing and really listen to you? Suffice it to say, despite my effort to be discreet, Griffin quickly figured out that I was talking about him, and started telling Carter about his twin tooth in the back of the car. Apparently, he has known about it all along and has conversations with the other Kindergarteners at school about it on a daily basis. Evidently, one of his friends, whom we'll call, K_ _ t_n, to protect his privacy, told Griffin that his brother, N_th_n, who is in 2nd grade, had a twin tooth too!

As you can imagine, I felt much better after overhearing the news that there was another child in the world with a twin tooth, and resolved to hunt down said child's m_m at pick-up on Friday to inquire about it. Well, K_ _ t_n's m_m knew right away what I was talking about when I mentioned the words, twin tooth, but in reality N_th_n had never had one. Their Better- Dentist-Than-Ours had noticed when looking at N_th_n's x-rays, that N_th_n had the potential to have a twin tooth, and had pulled some teeth to avoid the dreaded twin tooth scenario. Meanwhile, back at Chez Freshour, our twin tooth is reaching for the stars!

In other oral news, please observe the normal. Considering her predecessors, we have little faith it will last.

I hope you can appreciate what it took for me to get this shot.

It was basically a lot of this.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My First Sale, Vol. 1

This is a story about a Cameraman named Andy, and the awesome morning he had at our house.

Back in September, I came across an article in the Charlotte Observer announcing HGTV's show My First Sale would be taping in our area, and they were looking for "fun, high-energy people" to be on the show. Well. I am nothing if not high-energy. Also, our house had been on the market for 10 months at that point, and interest (if one can possibly refer to 11 showings in 10 months as interest) was waning. Obviously, I had nothing to lose except my privacy. And since I clearly do not value my privacy by virture of the fact that I occasionally blog, that seemed worth it to me. So I applied online and promptly forgot about it. Thus, when our phone rang a few weeks ago, I was stunned to discover that a) it was not a political call, and b) our application had made its way into the hands of a casting agent named Sami.

Sami listened very politely as I bored her with our current home sale story, which basically amounts to this: Depressed economy, blah, blah, blah, growing out of our house, blah, blah, blah, cannot compete with all of the foreclosures, blah, blah, blah, currently commuting 2.5 hours a day, blah, blah, blah, etc.. I knew our story was mundane and I didn't expect to hear from her again. By this time, our house had been on the market for almost a year, and Jeff and I were slowly realizing if we were ever going to dump the albatross that we needed to embrace a more agressive, forward-thinking sales approach. That's right. We needed to bring in someone with a decent Klout score.

Meet Lisa. She's our new realtor. Klout score = 58. My First Sale thought she would make for some great TV...or at least have the potential to drive some traffic to our house.
Lisa had prepped more than I had, which is why she was able to answer her set of questions in an intelligent and articulate manner.

So was Jeff. Although he was slightly more dramatic. If Wells Fargo doesn't work out, maybe he can get a job as a weatherman. This is his "cloudy day" face.
I, on the other hand, cried. Literally. The question I was responding to was simple: When I hand over the keys of My First Sale, I'll... But suddenly I was overcome with the realization that our current home still feels like sacred ground to me. We have experienced life changing events in this house, and my worst fear is not that we'll never receive an offer, but that we'll get one from some college guys that want to turn my Graceland into a frat house and trash the place. So my answer was weep. And then I did. Which is really quite pathetic considering all Sami asked us to do was, "Have fun with it! Smile a lot! Be happy!"

You would think my blubbering would have been the worst thing that could have happened, but no. When Andy filmed me and Jeff together, a rogue fly started flying around us and actually at one point landed on Jeff's nose. We flailed like idiots. Then Peyton crept in behind us and started playing with a really loud singing baby toy. After that, our dignity was pretty much circling the drain. Suffice it to say, if we eventually make an appearance on a bloopers reel somewhere, I think we can all be assured that the honor is well deserved.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bath Night

It's a universal truth that soap and sunblock are interchangable in the summer.

Does anything make you look goofier than a pair of googles?

Here, we are taking a break from Griffin.

Casper going into the pool.

Our golden child.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010