Don’t force Sunday school on the three year old…

Look.  Let’s get real.  The title should actually read:  don’t subject your screaming 3-year-old on the Sunday school teacher.

I’m right, right?  Can I get a holy Amen in here (Whoa, now…that was a little too loud. Smile wink smile).

But, in all honesty, my three year old fled and panicked today and did not want to be left in the huge Sunday school room alone.  So I did what I needed, I scooped her up, plopped her on my lap, and sat through church with her while I got to give her a million unappreciated kisses (as she loudly proclaimed in the service to Stop Kissing Her), cuddle her in my arms, hold and dance with her in worship, and take communion with her on my hip.  

And she was happy.  And I was happy.  And the Sunday school teachers were most likely ecstatic.  

Best of all????

These lovely selfies she took during the sermon time (insert scary laughter from evil selfie).

Praise Jesus???

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We are the 2…

But we did not go crazy!

Just had a date…without kids.  I ate mushroom soup.  He had zurek.  I had super gooey hot chocolate with whipped cream.  And we split a cheese pizza.

date_wow!

And now he is still working at 1:30am.  So I am posting this photo to prove that at least we had an evening together 🙂

In other news…

He and Ada had a tremendous time in Arizona, Nevada, California, and Colorado.

We appreciated everyone that Rich got to meet and share with in regards to our work!  (Find us on Facebook for the time being~Bread of Life~while we work on getting our website up and edited)

Ada got to share about being a multi-culture kid—super excited about that.  I think she ended up speaking to nearly 170 mostly kids but some adults too.  She said she had so much fun.  Funny fact:  She did the majority of her presentations in Polish.  I asked her why.  She said she was less nervous to do it that way 😉  And I guess the biggest hit of all was “Kupa Zupa” (What little kids would call Poop Soup) served once a week at school.  Haha!  If I was a kid, I would find that great fun to learn about, too!

The littles and I barely survived—snow.  Freezing cold.  Many wooden fire nights.  Coal.  More coal.  Have I mentioned coal?  And then 8 days of sickness.  And then 1 glorious last week before Rich and Ada returned where the sun started to peek through and the babies weren’t puking.

So, truly, before they re-arrived back in Poland, I was able to straighten the house, make food, and somehow regain a bit of sanity.

But we’re all still super tired.  Poor Ada has been going to sleep at 4am, 2am, and tonight midnight.  Well, I guess midnight is progress, eh?

And Rich has now officially gone to bed while I am busy typing this—makes sense since he has a 7am meeting.

Perhaps I should follow?

In the meantime, Rich and Ada have only been home for 4 full days but it already feels like a blessed eternity.

SOOOO happy to have my husband and my first beautiful miracle back in my home.

And not just because I want him to stoke and clean the coal—and light and clean the fire.

I promise 😉

xo for now (I’ll post Minion Mom’s devotion tomorrow—OOPS.  I think that I better get back online to keep up)

b

P.S.  Sunday we got to take a few photos at church—So, this is just a day plus a few hours after Adelyne arrived back home.  You should note that she chose to wear her dress from the wedding she was in last year in Botswana—and so, of course, Josephine had to wear her beautiful dress form Ivory Coast.  Maxwell, to be honest, I am happy that he just let me put him in clothes and that he didn’t choose to go naked to church or in his baseball pajamas.  It’s a rare day when Maxwell is actually dressed.

Overall—What fun!

atleastmaxsmiled

You could see my naked bum at the palace!

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Okay. So it wasn’t my naked bum, but it very well could have been.

You see. I am married to a pastor. And he has been the pastor of an international church for round about 12+ years. And with great strength comes great responsibility. No, wait. That’s Spiderman.

With an international church comes great weddings! Oh, yeah. That sounds more like our slogan.

And a great wedding it was…At the palace in Wasowo, Poland.

You read that correctly. A palace. Pretty spanking awesome, eh?!

Funny thing is, the couple that married, yep. You mine as well call me the matchmaker from Fiddler on the Roof. No. I really didn’t have anything to do with them falling in love, but the guy came from America to work with our foundation here in Poland. And we had him and his teammates stay with us for a week, where they got to go to our church, henceforth meeting his future bride. So, in a very far-fetched round about way, Cody and Zofia, you are most welcome for your love!

Okay, okay.  Again, I had nothing to do with their fairytale romance.  I just love receiving accolades I really didn’t earn.

But back to them falling in love and having their wedding in a palace.  And my bum on display—canvas, mind you—at that palace.

So, we were gifted a room at the palace for the evening, and we were so excited about that.  Excited and very grateful.  It had been a long journey back to Poland.  And then a long first two weeks in Poland.  The travels to the palace promised to be the ice cream on top of our sundae of travels!

Sure enough.  We arrive to a sprawling estate.  Rolling hills, beautiful lake, gorgeous palace, play area for kids, and a wedding spectacular.

We were given our room key.  And we entered.  That’s when I saw it!  The oil painting displayed right next to our bed.

A woman.  About my age.  Naked as the day she was born.  Lying on her stomach on a sofa.  Lounging with her bum for the entire world to see.

To be fair, at the time of the painting, perhaps she thought only her husband would see.  After all, I am sure oil paintings back then were not the “social media sharing” of the century.  Or were they?  Did she know that one day her bum would go viral?  Probably not.

Anyhow, I took one look at that photo.  And then another.  And then I became a student of that picture.  I looked at the woman.  And her body.  And her cool confidence.  No, I am not saying lie around naked and allow others to put you on canvases.

I am simply saying this…She was about my age.  And her body was about my shape.  If not just a wee-bit shapelier.

She had curves.  And she had life (also known as more curves than necessary).

Her bum was not toned and fit.  It was squishy and real.

And I liked it.

I liked that the oil canvas in my room next to our bed was not a photoshopped picture like those you see on display in magazines.

I liked that the original oil painting in our room was an unedited version of a beautiful woman displayed in all of her splendor.

Her real bum was beautiful.  And it gave me just enough pep to take a good look at where my body is today and say, “Brooke, your bum in all of it’s aging glory, its birthed children stretch marks, and it’s inability to lose weight like you did when you were twenty…Your bum is beautiful too!”

Don’t worry, though, Mom.  I won’t hang my bum on an oil painting on a wall in a palace.

Although, now that I think about it, one day, a hundred or so years from now, some woman may think that my bum, in all of its “birth-day” splendor, as inspiring-ly beautiful too.

Richard, go get your brushes and paint!

Are you a church CEO?

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I saw it first on Facebook…Because, you know, it’s the place to go to get the news.

Someone wrote, “Tomorrow you’ll see a lot of CEOs at church.  Christmas and Easter Only”

Someone is funny.

Someone is right.

But the more I thought about it, I thought—if you are only a CEO, why go at all?

What?  You say…(imagine it being said like the Geiko commercial)

Wouldn’t you think twice a year is better than not at all?

Well, of course I think twice a year is better than not at all.  But let’s take a look at the two times that you go:

Christmas.

Easter.

What are those two days?

Why, major holidays.  You say.

And you’re right.  Two major holidays—both religiously and commercially.  And I do.  I do.  I do love them both! (Both religiously and commercially)

But, again, I ask you—Why do you go on those two days?

For which you’ll probably answer, TRADITION! (All Fiddler on the Roof style)

Or To see family…which is a great reason to go.

So, I don’t want you to think that I am bashing your trip to the kaplica (chapel)—but I am questioning why you choose to be a CEO.

Let me explain it this way…

Christmas.  It’s a foundational holiday to the Christian faith.  We believe with all that we are that, during this season, Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, Mary.  Mary was engaged to Joseph.  But Joseph is only the earthly father of Jesus.  The father of Jesus is God.  It’s a miracle.  There is no other way for us to explain it.  And we believe—by faith—that it is so.

And this is the day that you choose to go to church.

Then there is Easter.  It’s THE most important holiday—holy day—to be celebrated in the Christian faith.  Without the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, we would not have an opportunity to know him.  Personally.  To walk with him.  Daily.  Before Christ’s death and resurrection, there had to be a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.  Christ, the man that was born of the virgin, Mary, became obedient unto death…becoming the final sacrifice.  The ultimate sacrifice for all of mankind (womankind, too, in case you are gender sensitive—smile and wink).  Giving us the opportunity for new life.  In Him.

These are big deals.

And these are big days.

But these days speak of BIG FAITH.  BIG BELIEF.  BIG.  BIG.  BIG.

After all, on the days you choose to go, you are saying, I am here on a day that I believe a miracle took place—a virgin gave birth to the Son of God.

And…

I am here on a day that I believe that same Son of God rose from the dead.  He had been dead for 2 previous days.  This is the 3rd day.  There was a tomb (cave, resting place) that he was placed in.  There were Roman guards by the tomb.  And yet, somehow, he was not in this tomb on the 3rd day.  Not only that—but this same man that died and was placed in a guarded tomb, later appeared to many hundreds of people.  Hundreds.  Before ascending to heaven.  Hundreds.

I believe it is not Happy Zombie Day (like you will see without a doubt on Facebook on Easter day).  But it is instead, He has risen indeed.  Hallelujah!  He, the ultimate sacrifice, became death for me.  But death had NO hold on him.

No.Hold.On.Him.

Yep.  I am at church on a day that believes this.  Celebrates this.  Proclaims this.  And chooses to live by faith THIS!

It’s all pretty incredible.  And requires great faith.  Which brings me back to you, CEO, why do you choose to go on these days that are so big?

Why not just go two times a year on other days that may be a lot gentler—like say Valentine’s Day?  Or perhaps the 4th of July?

Or do you go on these days because you need that reminder—be it twice a year—that we all need to live like this?

As people with great faith.