|many of you ask... this is what the adapter looks like if you're getting ready to travel|
|he REALLY enjoyed the hard boiled egg we brought him today!! He also love the orange...but SB mom's....did I read something about limiting citrus for our kiddo's kidney's?? fill me in please....|
|this beautiful (sp?) whisteria is about a 1/4 mile from the orphanage...WOW|
A guest entry from Dan-
I’m a Jerk....
At one of my last shows before heading off to Eastern Europe, a friend came up to me after the event and said, “you’ve got a great job. You get to brag about your kids for two hours at each performance!”. He’s right. And because this is true, people often approach me and say something like, “ you and your wife are amazing!”, or a similar sentiment.
I want to clear this fallacy up right now. My wife is amazing. I am not. I’m a jerk. It’s true. While Elizabeth really is an amazing woman, wife and mother, I simply receive the benefits of her being a class act. I think sometimes people listen to my story and think I am some sort of super Dad. Well, the truth will set you free right? So, here it is - enjoy your freedom.
I’m 41 years old and pretty set in my ways. I like things the way I like them. If I put something somewhere, I don’t want it to be moved. If my CD player is on a certain volume, that is where I want it to stay. I like my dvd’s in cases (the case that matches the corresponding disc would be nice too) and don’t like when I find them separated. I crave peace in my home and hate, absolutely hate interruptions. How do these desires play out in a home with two (about to be three) children with special needs you ask? They don‘t. As a result, I’m prone to irritability. I’m moody. I get grumpy when I’m tired. A far cry from Ward Clever.
Elizabeth laughs at me because I don’t like change much and yet we are an ever changing family. Super dad I certainly am not. Sure, I have my strong points, but again, more often than I would like to admit, instead of Pa Ingalls, my kids got stuck with an exasperated father who lacks the stamina to keep up and the patience to enjoy trying
I’m that guy. You know, the jerk. When I’m in the express lane at the grocery store, I count the amount of groceries in the cart of the person in front of me. One item over the 20 or less statute, and sighing heavily, rolling eyes or thinking bad thoughts are all in my arsenal of responses. Getting crappy service anywhere, rude managers or line budgers are all in the crosshairs for my crankiness too as far as I’m concerned. I’m the best driver on the road and most others drive like idiots. In short, most of the time I live my life under the assumption that everyone should think like me and act accordingly. Seldom seems to happen though.
So, what is a Christian man like myself supposed to do? The very title of “Christian” means “Christ - like“, or “little Christ“. Not only do I fall way short in the father and husband role, I pretty much blow it in the most important pursuit one can commit to. Being transformed into the likeness of my friend and savior.
My jerkiness extends far back. I can remember years ago when Elizabeth and I were dating. I used to sit on my couch and channel surf and when I came across a Sally Struthers commercial I would keep on changing channels. Something very stupid and selfish would enter my mind too. I would say to myself, “that’s their problem, they should deal with their own, we should deal with ours.” The hypocrisy of it all was that I was not doing anything to help any of “our own” either. Plus, as I soon realized, I was completely ignorant of the plight of children around the world. In the U.S., we have the richest poor in the world and a system in place for mass amounts of children not to fall into the cracks.
Around this time, Elizabeth went to work in orphanages for a few months in China. When she returned, she shared her stories, and God cracked my heart wide open.
It is here that I hang my hat. I may not become the world’s greatest dad or the most patient husband. I may still be a jerk in several areas of my life, but I can sense that the work God has done on this one part of me is reflective of his power to change other parts too. I feel a bit like the woman in the new testament who grabbed hold of just a piece of Jesus’ clothing and became healed. While it would be nice to embrace all of Jesus along with every bit of what he can do to change me, for now, I’ll settle for this one piece that has given me the ability and strength to follow the James 1:27 command to “look after widows and orphans in their distress.”
Also, while away in a far off distant land, in an uncomfortable setting, with a language barrier and completely different culture - (in other words, a total interruption to the comforts I have set up for myself back home), and despite being who I am (a jerk), I still get to identify in part with God. For it is He who stepped down from a comfy throne in paradise and crossed time and space in order to adopt us as his children. I am thankful that he didn’t look at us and say, “that’s their problem, they should deal with it.” Instead, he looked at us - helpless, lost, alone and abandoned - and he loved us enough to make the trip.
So, to recap - My wife is amazing. I’m a jerk. But, thank God, He is not done working on me yet. And for now, I’ll settle for identifying with Christ by adopting another life into our family. I just hope little Shea is not expecting Mr. Brady as his new Dad!