Butterfly Sparks Designs

Friday, December 19, 2008

...angels we have heard on high...

sara's kindergarten readiness class performed a christmas play for the parents last night.  here are a few pictures.  as you can see from this first one, we had a fabulous view of our daughter.

after a few songs they realized that poor sara was hidden, and moved little lainey down a row. the lucky audience gets to see sara scratching and miserable for the next 20 minutes...

she wasn't actually miserable the ENTIRE time, just a portion.  she did a great job of singing and bouncing around up there, and we grinned and laughed the entire time.
here is the final parting shot that anna katherine actually captured.

have you ever seen a larger halo? wow.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

...the truth comes out...

disclaimer: if you visit santa and can't wait for him to bring you gifts each year, read no further.. warning!! read no further!

anna katherine now knows that santa is not real. GASP.
well, let me clarify: she knows that saint nicholas was real and who he was, but she also knows he's dead and in heaven. and that the santa's in the mall are just pretending to be him to honor who he was.  she also knows it's fun to pretend about santa, but christmas is really about jesus being born.
she's an inquisitive one, and always asking detailed questions about things.  so i kind of expected this conversation to occur this year at some point, but i was hoping it wouldn't. 
steve and i had been wrestling about whether or not to be honest about the whole santa thing if anna katherine pressed it.  i think our main issue with the fantasy of santa is that once you find out he's not coming down your chimney, and it was really just your parents putting out gifts,  christmas is never really the same again.  as much as you want it to be, it just isn't!  steve remembers saying to his mom at age 15, "mom, i know christmas is all about the birth of jesus, but i just have to confess that ever since i found out about santa not being real christmas has been disappointing." 
and i felt the same way! as much as i wanted to celebrate and be grateful for the birth of jesus (and i was), i couldn't help secretly feeling deflated and depressed each christmas.  this is the primary reason we had decided we wouldn't lie if she asked. we figure if she can have an honest picture of christmas from a young age, then it would always be a happy time where the true meaning of christmas could be celebrated.  of course, it's still fun to pretend there is a santa and open some gifts on christmas morning, but the true meaning of christmas is never confused with the cultural meaning of christmas. 

now are many of you shocked and disappointed? i remember years ago a guy i worked with had small kids and they knew from day 1 that there was no santa. and to be honest, i thought at the time that was absolutely terrible! i couldn't believe they didn't do the santa thing, and thought they must have been religious freaks.  but now, in hindsight, i get it. now that i have kids, i get it.  yes, i want my kids to be excited for christmas and yes, i think there is something incredibly "magic" about santa, but i couldn't look at anna katherine in the eyes and just lie. and i didn't want an entire season revolving around what she would GET instead of focusing on the most important gift we've ever received. 

so we'll pretend about santa together. but she knows we are just pretending. and trust me- they'll be times we'll wish she didn't know- there already have been, but overall we are glad we were truthful. and hopefully this means there will never be a day that christmas turns disappointing and depressing because her entire belief system about christmas was wrong and untrue. now if i can just keep her from ratting it out to other kids....
she still looks happy, no?

Friday, December 12, 2008

...twit twit twit...

so who out there twitters? i joined tonight and i need H E L P! 

if you are a "twitterer", then leave me a comment and tell me this:
why do you like it?
do you think it's difficult at all? (so far it seems a bit complicated to track people down, respond to others twitters, etc.)
how do i find someone i know is on twitter if i don't have his/her email address?

pass on twittering advice internets!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

... we have a name!...

ok, so we are doing a church plant in the dallas/acworth area of georgia.  and we've been thinking/dreaming/losing sleep about a church name for over a year. and because we now have one i thought it would be nice to let you know.. especially because i've begged you for ideas for quite some time!

here is the background and vision of the church first: (DONT read ahead!)

we are gonna be about real community. about AUTHENTIC relationships with one another- ones that go deep and don't just scratch the surface.  about living lives with one another. about helping meet each others needs.  about breaking away from what culture says (you're too busy to invest in that person- too busy to change your schedule or adjust your plans).  "church" won't be a place we go on sunday morning, but WHO WE ARE.  we will live counter culturally and will model that as best we can. 

the model of the early church is shown in a verse in scripture, Acts 2:42.  the new living translation's version of that verse is this:  
All the believers devoted themselves to the apostle's teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord's Supper), and to prayer.
i love this! teaching, fellowship, meals, and prayer. a beautiful picture of life together in pursuit of understanding and learning more about the one who is love.  a verse we want to model and embrace.

so here is the name: Vintage 242.  
we are taking 242 from Acts 2:42, and chose vintage in reference to the early church. taking the old, classic, and quality from years gone by and marrying it with the new. vintage 242.

i was a bit surprised with the reactions i've gotten from the name. it seems that most long-going church attenders aren't crazy about it (especially older people),  but people who don't have a tie to a denomination and people who aren't churched really embrace and love it.  this is obviously a generalization, because i've had some older church folks love it, but i can almost guess the response someone will have based on their life experiences and their age.  
and this is the deal-- i don't really care so much if church people like the name. because they aren't our target market. we aren't about shuffling believers around from church to church, but we want to reach the unchurched. people who don't have a family of faith yet in life.  people who are looking for a place to grow and be embraced right where they are in their walk of life. and i believe that these folks are less hesitant to try out a place with a name like vintage 242 than they are a place called "first whatever (baptist, pres, methodist, etc.) of cedarcrest".

now we're working on  a logo and website. good stuff! we still need a location to meet in, so if you are a person that prays, will you pray for us to find the perfect location for us? 
thanks :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

... i heart good pics...

we had a very cool christmas card and blog banner created by vanessa at
butterflysparks. if you haven't ordered your cards yet, click on over to her site.
i'm not revealing our christmas card until christmas day, but check out our new header! 

props to tyler reagin for his photography skills.  he's amazing, so if you need some photos done and you live in metro atlanta, call him!
here are just a few from the shoot...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

... people are SICK...

does it ever end? i know i keep posting stuff like this, but i just can't get past it. story after story. and this story is minor (if that can even be said) compared to the other stuff i see each day. what the heck is wrong with people? 
another question to ponder: what is our responsibility? i really would love to hear your thoughts on this!

Monday, December 1, 2008

... can anyone say "sybil"? ...

this can't be good...

... i need africa...

hi internets!  be sure to check out the mocha club website to check out their new campaign.

when i think of africa, the follwoing images immediately come to mind:  starvation. AIDS.  child soldiers. genocide. sex slaves. orphans. from there, my thoughts naturally turn to how i can help, how i can make a difference.  "i am needed here, " i think.  "they have so little, and i have so mch."  it's true, there are great tragedies playing out in africa everyday.  there is often a level of suffering here that is unimaginable until you have seen it, and even then it is difficult to believe.  but what is even harder is reconciling the challenges that many africans face with the joy i see in the people.  it's a joy that comes from somewhere i cannot fathom, not within the framework that has been my life to this day.  (read more)