Friday, April 26, 2013

Call Me Skywalker

I remember telling a friend many years ago that I sometimes feel like Luke Skywalker before he became a jedi knight.  Yeah, my friend laughed... a lot.  And I'm pretty sure you are now, too.  But if you actually read past this line and try to understand my struggle as a wanna-be-light-saber-wielding-jedi-knight, we can still be friends.

If you are still reading, you are likely a Star Wars fan.  But just in case you have know idea what a jedi is or if it's been a few decades since your last jedi training session, I will refresh your memory.  Actually the Wookieepedia will give you a brief summary to help set the stage:
"....the Jedi became revered as guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy. As mystical wielders of the Force and of their signature lightsabers, their powers inspired all citizens in the galaxy. The calm, considered demeanor of the Jedi made them ideal brokers of peace in times of conflict or dispute. Yet, for all their power and diversity, the Jedi were few. Often beset by foes in times of doubt and confusion, undercurrents of evil often challenged their order and the establishment they served, the most notable being the Sith. These dark warriors were the antithesis of the Jedi, their sworn enemies, and the battle between them brought the galaxy to war more than once."
Like every great story, it is good versus evil.  But it's the struggle of the jedi to continually choose the light side of the Force and resist the dark side that has always been so compelling and relatable to me.  Luke Skywalker struggled with a desire to have wisdom and patience in the light side of the Force but there was a powerful, constant pull toward the dark side he had to fight against.  He had amazing mentors like Obi Wan Kenobi and the wise jedi master, Yoda.  But even still, the dark side was still always pursuing and tormenting Luke.

Have you ever felt pulled in opposite directions before?  If you're human, I'm sure you have.  If you are C-3PO, perhaps you have not.  I'm assuming most readers of this blog are at least mostly human.  I digress.  But this torn feeling that I always struggle with is obviously no new thing to our human race.

Paul mentions his personal struggle in Romans.  He talks about how he longs to do good, what God desires us to do, but how even though the longing is there, he winds up doing the very thing he doesn't want to do.  
"For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want."  -Romans 7:18-19
So how do we fight against this epic struggle? We start by taking up our light sabers!

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.  Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."  -Ephesians 6:10-17
To be a real jedi master, I knew one day I might find out how...

Monday, April 8, 2013

Easter Fun

Yeah I know I'm a week late, but I still wanted to post pics of my cutie patooties from Easter.  So let the photo bomb begin...

I had to lead with Nana.  If we are Facebook friends, you may have seen her holding and pointing a rifle next to her walker while wearing a camo vest and Christmas tree hat, or perhaps you saw her in action in the great walker race of 2012 against Arella.  Nana is 95, queen of the nursing home and quite the character.  My mom and I think she should have a reality tv series called "Rest Home Wars."  She broke out the sparkly bunny ears to earn points with Zoe and Arella.  It worked briefly.

After church and a nap we went to Mimi & Pops house to hang out with family.  Zoe was cleaning dishes in her play kitchen while Arella played dj for us with the sit-n-spin music.  

After the warm up play time they were ready for their very first egg hunt!  Arella wasn't walking at this time last year, so it was pretty cool they got to experience a "first" together.  They watched through the window as we hid the eggs outside.  Arella was eager to hunt the eggs, Zoe was very content to show me her pretty basket.

When we opened the door, it was like a gun went off in a race as they both darted outside in a blur of pink sandals and baskets.

Arella was so excited to get to the eggs but kept stopping, trying to open each one as she picked it up.

This gave Zoe a chance to catch up, and she caught on quick without any help!

I love how "hiding" at this age requires placement out in the open, guidance from the adults on the sidelines, and occasionally some refereeing and explaining that eggs in their sister's basket are off limits.

She kept counting, "One, two, one, two..." until all eggs were counted.  She got two.

See?  Two.

Zoe can only count to one so I guess Arella won the hunt.

I filled their little eggs with stickers and they used them to decorate crosses I cut out of construction paper.  Then they colored the crosses and turned them into little masterpieces.  All the while we got to talk about Jesus and the cross.  Arella loves to point out the crosses in our house now!

A little musical entertainment followed.

 And of course giving knuckles to Great Uncle Jim and a little putting action caps off an awesome Easter!