Answering the Hard Questions

“Is it okay to have an abortion if you were raped?”

“Should we allow immigrants if they are fleeing persecution in their country?”

“Should you attend the wedding of a gay couple if invited?”

“Should we as Christians engage in war?”

“Should we carry guns as a means of self-defense?”

“What worldview and narrative am I living from – hyper-nationalism, individualism, consumerism?”

As part of our ongoing development, and to continue receiving Minister’s Housing Allowance, Cru requires staff to take seminary level courses every few years. Ed has completed his, but because I was taking care of many kids while he took classes, I haven’t completed mine yet. This week, I took a class that is required called “Christian Worldview and Ethics.”

Because the course is only one week, we have lots of reading that is required beforehand and lots of assignments throughout. To say this class was interesting and challenging and intense would be an understatement. Our professor, who is a seminary professor, lectured and challenged us to think about heavy ethical questions and how we would, backing it up with Biblical evidence, handle it from a Christian worldview. We tackled immigration, race, war, guns, capital punishment, homosexuality, abortion, euthanasia, and so much more.

One of the questions he raised was “It is ethical and Biblical to jaywalk when the light has a sign that is lit up saying “Do Not Walk”?” Considering it is something we do SO MUCH in NYC and don’t even give it second thought, it was an eye-opening example to realize ways we just conform to our culture and don’t even recognize that we are doing it. Hear me out, I still jay-walked throughout the week, but it was very interesting to stop and ponder it. It was also interesting considering I was raised in a Southern culture that is very pro-death penality, pro-gun rights, anti-abortion and was very eye-opening to see how many things I believe/believed just because the “culture” said something, but not because I had really thought about it.

The last day of class, we talked about gun rights and one of the ladies, who lives in NYC, was describing how she carries pepper spray because she has been harassed and followed before. Admittedly, I often walk down the streets looking at my phone or thinking about something else and paying no attention to what is going on around me. That day, however, walking home, I saw a car that went past me, pulled over, waited until I passed a block or two, then pulled past me again, and did the same thing again. It happened 3 times on my walk from the train to our house and after the second time, I texted Ed, who was home, and told him I thought I was being followed. I can’t think of any reason that guy would have to have pulled ahead and then over until I passed, and then pulled ahead and over, and to do this three times on this stretch of street. And it was in the bright of day. Thankfully, Ed met me at the corner, the person drove away before we could get a license plate, but it was scary nonetheless. When things like that happen, it gives you a totally different perspective.

This book below, which we read the entire book for the class, was REALLY good and gave varying perspectives on a variety of topics. I would highly recommend you read this – but beware, its a longer one! I would love to hear your thoughts on these issues too!

Little Man is 5

So many things these days make me feel old – talking with college students who weren’t alive for 9/11, hearing a song on the radio and realizing it is considered an “oldie” but yet you jammed to it as a teenager, explaining to your kids what a pay phone is – but nothing makes me feel older than my kids getting older. Blake turned 5 this week and I literally can’t believe how fast he is growing up!

On his actual birthday, we took cupcakes to school and read a book with his class and played fun games like limbo and the chicken dance. Then, we celebrated with a spaghetti dinner (his choice), more cupcakes, and opening presents. It was a tiring day, as evidenced by the picture of him passed out in our bed wearing his new Batman robe from my parents.

Because it is a milestone birthday this year (can we just mention that we have kept him alive for 5 whole years?!?), he got to have a party with friends. He chose to do it as Laser Bounce, where they have a ball pit area, a bounce house area, and an arcade. He, of course, chose to have a Star Wars party (the bad side of course!) complete with a Darth Vader cake that actually made the Darth Vader sounds. It was awesome!

This kiddo is such a blessing to our famiily!! He is so easy-going and wins hearts everywhere he goes. I love watching him tackle the world as he learns quickly, soaks up everything around him, and works so intently on whatever he is doing. He loves all things Star Wars and Ninja Warriors and can entertain himself for days just doing light saber battles with imaginary characters. He and Brynn have such a sweet relationship and he looks out for her and cares for her so well. Though I would love for him to be a momma’s boy, he is most definitely his daddy’s best friend (I guess that is what happens when you are surrounded by all girls in the family!). As I think of how far he has come past all his health issues and how he is truly my miracle baby, I am so excited to see what God continues to do in his life!

Where did I go?

Wow! In the many, many years that I have been blogging, I took my biggest hiatus ever last month. I usually try to post once a week or every 10 days, but this time, it was a full month. Why?

Besides the normal Christmas chaos that adds to things this time of year, I felt unusually overwhelmed. Taking on the team leader role and the extra meetings that required, taking on the role of registration and student housing coordinator at our annual Winter Conference for 900+ students and staff, organizing a Christmas party for our church’s neighborhood small groups, planning a Christmas party for our small group, being one of the class moms for 3 of my kids, reading and preparing for a seminary class I am taking this month, and just normal Christmas happenings. I am high capacity, but oh man. I don’t normally struggle with saying no or having boundaries, but I did realize in the midst of it all that I got some things put on me that I never actually said yes to. Such a great lesson to learn. And, I had really been processing with the Lord about learning how to step out in faith and do things that I didn’t know if I would excel at and in the meantime, learning to drop some balls knowing I couldn’t juggle everything. Well, He met me there. I didn’t clean my house for almost two weeks – if you know me, you would know this is for sure a dropped ball.

Needless to say, blogging was another ball I dropped. The desire was there but the time wasn’t. So, now that some things are off my plate and others have calmed down, I am going to pick back up where I left off, kind of. In lieu of making this a super long post covering the last month, I am just going to share a chunk of pics to describe our last month.

New Life (church) small group’s neighborhood party – so much fun!

Class and Church performances

Exploring the city with my good friend Ellen who came to visit us for a few days

Good friends here in NYC are hard to find. Love these ladies and all the joy they bring to me life!

Getting caught in the madness that is Rockefeller Center during Christmas with family.

Enjoying The Frozen Experience at Saks Fifth Avenue AND getting to meet Elsa and Anna at the end

Enjoying the city sights and windows during Christmas time – so beautiful and one of my favorite parts of Christmas in NYC!

This tree is probably my favorite ever!

Enjoying Christmas with family

And lastly, traveling to Baltimore for our annual Cru Winter Conference with 900+ students and staff. This is a picture of a few of our 14 students who traveled there from Queens – up from 5 last year – praise God!

Here’s to 2020 and jumping back on the bandwagon – fitness, discipline, eating right, posting regularly, ALL THE THINGS!!