2.09.2016

How Going on Vacation Might be Better than Going on a Mission.


The other day someone asked if we have any big plans for this summer, and El Chupacabra and I looked at each other and smiled because we do have big plans for this summer. We have really big plans...

WE'RE TAKING OUR FAMILY TO AFRICA! WHAT?! I KNOW!!! 
I CAN'T BELIEVE IT EITHER!!! SQUEEEEE!!!!!!!!

When we shared our big news, we probably should have expected her response, but it still caught us off guard when she said, “That's amazing! Who will you be working with?”

We glanced at each other, “...Working?”

“Yeah. Like, what organization are you partnering with? What are you going to do there?”

And then it got awkward, because we were all, “Ooooooh. Oh. Yeah. No, it's not like that. We're not going on a mission, we're going on vacation... You know, just for fun. Entertainment. Relaxation. Adventure. That sort of thing.”

She blinked and looked confused.


I guess that's understandable. I can see how it might be counterintuitive to imagine a Missions Pastor and a writer who has the word “missionary” in the title of her blog taking their kids to Africa and not going on a mission. But that's exactly what we're doing. We're going to fly all the way across the world, and then we are not going to dig a well, we're not going to hold any orphans, and we're not going to treat anyone's parasites (unless, of course, they're our own). We will not be seen in matching T-shirts or praying in a circle at the airport, and you won't catch us “loving on” complete strangers with sweaty hugs, zealous high fives, or bullhorn street-corner evangelism.

2.01.2016

You Can Never Have Too Much Sofa


We bought our little house in California one million years ago, in 1997. And it's a good thing, too, because that was the last year our oldest child was our only child, and it was also the last year we could ever have afforded to buy a little house in California.

It's a typical, boring, no frills, suburban tract home, but nearly 20 years later, we still love it. The property is just over zero acres, the living space is compact, and the laundry is in the garage, but my kids still like to argue over who will live here when Mom and Dad are dead and gone. I mean, obviously, if we're dead, they should probably sell the house and split the equity three ways (Turns out, it was really smart to buy a house in California in 1997. You're welcome, kids!), but they say they want to “keep it in the family”. Ha! Either way, this house has become part of the legacy we will leave for our sons.

The only real challenge we have in this house is size. Not the house's size, the house's size is fine – we have no desire for a bigger house - it's more the size of the kids that's a problem. My boys keep doing this thing where they turn into men? And then they take up a lot more space with their bodies. It's so annoying. They've become very long people. They are so very lengthy, and they have these expansive limbs that stick our very, very far from their actual bodies. This house has high ceilings, so vertically we do alright, but try sharing a standard three cushion sofa with several people over 6 feet tall. Trust me, it's no bueno. So the primary problem with filling a small house with tall people is that there's no room for big furniture.

You can never have too much sofa. That's a thing I decided.

I don't care what designers and decorators and, y'know, all the rest of the professionals have to say about it. People need a place to lounge. We need space to spread out, get comfortable, and stay awhile. We need to be able to fall asleep on the couch while we're watching Hannibal until 2am, together, but not touching. Lounging is important. Laying around in your pajamas with your kids on a Saturday morning – no matter how long they are – is kinda crucial to the health and well being of your family.

Recently, I noticed that whenever we decided to watch a movie or something, one kid or another would disappear. It took me awhile to figure out that it's because there was no room at the inn. If the sofa was already full of other people's arms and legs and stuff, the last man standing would rather do something else. There just wasn't enough space for my whole clan to lounge at the same time, and that was unacceptable, so a couple weeks ago I filled our itty bitty house with a big fat sectional, yes, including a chaise. Now it looks like my living room is pregnant with Don Draper's sunken sofa, and I don't even care. Do. Not. Care.