Monday, March 31, 2008


You know that saying, you don't know what you've got until it's gone? I hope that never applies to my relationship with Chris. For as long as I can remember, I've always thought that Chris McKean was pretty special. Even when I was 9 years old and was bossing him around (back then he always did what I said), teasing him for the way he said "pillow," and coaxing him to take me on the motorcycle, he was the guy who made me smile.

It's been a little over 3 years now. We've lived together in sometimes marital bliss and sometimes quite the opposite. But, Chris has never ceased to be the only one I've ever wanted to spend my life with; and really the only one I can imagine spending my life with happily.

Since we've found out that a new addition is on the way, though, the very best parts and traits of my husband have really come out. They are always there, but certain circumstances tend to bring them to the surface. I don't know how I managed to snag this handsome man who will cook 3 different dinners for me since my pregnant tummy is pretty picky right now. He insists on going to the grocery store for a bag of nectarines that I mention in passing sound really good to me. He encourages me to stop cleaning the house like a maniac and take a nap when he is getting up at 5 in the morning to go to work. He decides to focus his free time on getting our house fixed up so we can make his favorite room, the office, into a nursery. There aren't many men like him in the world. He truly is being the servant of all around here. And there aren't many traits more admirable, or dare I say, more sexy than that. I hope our baby resembles his (or her) daddy in the truly selfless way he loves.


We are the proud owners of a new bamboo floor! After months and months of trying to decide whether to install it ourselves or hire someone to do it, Chris bravely rented the equipment and did it himself. Ahh, it's nice to finally have one more project done. Only several thousand more to go!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Does God Experience Us?

I want to turn the tables for just a moment if you will allow. Since I am the only one that reads these...I grant my wish, and I will proceed.

What is the value of a creation not experienced? Is there any value in it at all? The question, "Does God experience His own creation?" really refers to the "why" of creation, but implications of the answer are far reaching.
So, does God experience His own creation?

God created the universe, saw it, and said it was good. He walked with Adam in the cool of the evening while in the Garden of Eden. He responded to our fallen condition and became human. He suffered for our sins by dying on a cross.

That cross reveals that God is not above or outside of suffering or being affected by and responsive to His creation. In fact, God's greatness is displayed precisely in His willingness to be affected, to be responsive, and to suffer for the sake of love.

There are so many directions to take this, but for now I want to ask another question.
Do we allow the sufferings of others to penetrate our minds and hearts in a manner worthy of such an example as Christ?

If the God who created the universe chose to experience our condition, why do we choose not to experience others?

Everyday I see homeless people and most times I choose to think thoughts like, if they had not made this or that decision, if they would only get a job, or they probably make more money than I do. This shields me from their reality. It makes it easier to place some blame for their condition on them or to see it as a choice they made. It removes my ability to feel what they feel and have compassion for them. No longer are they the casualties of a spiritual war, but they are suicide bombers. People I can't love like Christ loved me.

Lord, having eyes let me see!


Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Words and a Worthy Cause

I was getting my hair cut today (it's about time!) and while reading a magazine I noticed a blurb about this site called Apparently the man who started it was trying to get his young son to study for his SATs so he developed a website that would quiz his vocabulary skills. His website is now sponsored by huge corporations and for every correct vocabulary word you choose, these companies donate 20 grains of rice to starving folks. I love learning new words, so if you are a dork like me, play along for a worthy cause.
An aside: while clicking around on their website, I was connected to where they had this disturbing statistic (click here) regarding the amount of money the United States spends to help end world hunger. For such a large, wealthy country we aren't doing nearly as well as some of the smaller, less wealthy nations. That's embarrassing.
Funnily enough, I was just listening to Greg Boyd's sermon "Taking Back the House" this morning for the 2nd time where he points out how stupid it is that a country such as ours spends so much money to fund violence and war but spends so little on housing and feeding the poor. Regardless of any one's view on the war, as Christians we should find it disturbing that more is being spent to end people's lives (regardless of their faith or lack thereof) than is being spent to save them.
Sorry, I didn't intend to preach. Boyd gets me fired up sometimes.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

At Home Episode of Survivor

I returned on Sunday afternoon from 4 days in the Texas Panhandle. My parents were going to see their parents, and so I decided that I would tag along as well. Chris encouraged me to go and said I could leave the dogs. But, the thought of them pinned up for 10 hours in the office with all that furniture to gnaw on got the better of me, therefore we made the trip with the two dogs and Sidney, my parent's fat cat. It was Animal Kingdom in the mini-van.

Chris was on his own for 4 days, I imagined living it up like any good bachelor. As far as I can tell, it never bothers him when I leave, in fact, he usually wants me to go and enjoy myself. I, on the other hand, tend to be more selfish and never like it when he leaves me. My first evening away, he calls me and tells me that he's bought a whole fish to cook while I'm away as well as an octopus. This doesn't surprise me...I'm happy he's doing this while I'm eating horribly fatty foods in Texas.
But, things go awry quickly after that. Somehow his cell phone charger has disappeared. Because his charger is MIA, our only means of communication will be coming to an abrupt halt very soon when his battery finally gives up the ghost. The next night he uses Skype to call me (Skype is basically a telephone on-line). However, our microphone isn't working well on the computer and Chris's voice is continually beeped out. His frustration is rather evident, especially because he was planning on going rock climbing with some friends, but his telephone is dead so he can't retrieve their numbers.

The next day he calls after he's played flag football and mountain biked all day long. He wasn't in the greatest of humor and said he was ready for me to come home. After 3 years of marriage, I'd never heard him sound so miserable. However, there are a few things to understand about Chris before we conclude that a piece of him is missing when I am away. His mother warned me of two things: first that he has a tendency to overdo things (especially physical activities), and second, that I can try to stop him, but he didn't listen to her, and so I shouldn't expect my warnings to have any more merit. The only reason he's possibly had to slow down since we've been married is because we do alot of activities together, and I simply can't keep up with him though I try. Occasionally I have been known to assume a stern voice and tell him that no, he can't join the Everest Expedition next month in Tibet because we don't have $40,000 to spare right now.

It was revealed to me later, after a very unsatisfactory phone call with my tired husband, that after all those activities, he ate everything he could find in the house (including the octopus), turned on the t.v. and fell asleep on the couch without taking a shower. I suppose I can conclude from all of this that he truly does need me.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Eight Months and Counting

You know how I told Chris I was pregnant in order to test his reaction compared to the Belgian beer? Well, I guess I really was pregnant! Good thing we had a practice run because Chris did better the second time he was told.

We found out on Saturday morning, although Chris claims he knew a couple of days before because apparently I was complaining about feeling nauseated. I don't keep track of my ills from day to day, but he suspected and I didn't. So, imagine my wonderful surprise when I saw the plus sign on the pregnancy test. I took the evidence and handed it to Chris. He didn't say a word, just stared at it for a moment. And, then I think I detected (happy) tears in his eyes. We had to tell someone our good news, so we decided to just share it with our parents for now. This worked out fine until Sunday morning, when after church, Dawn, the pastor's wife walked up to me and said, "Jane, you look terrible. Are you pregnant?" I couldn't lie, so I fessed up. Amazingly enough, some friends, Matt and Ashley who just happened to be coming over for dinner that night, just found out that they are expecting a baby in about 8 months! So, the cat was out of the bag...we couldn't keep the news from the rest of our family if the whole church knew.

We're very excited about having a baby and nervous at the same time. Please be praying for us! As soon as I found out I began to be fearful about losing it which isn't very joyful to dwell on because we want this baby so badly. I know that God's hand is in this. When we were moving to ABQ, I told Chris that when we had kids, I would really like to have a network of friends that could support us and most especially some girlfriends who were having or had kids in order to share the experience and give advice. I'm excited about the whole experience, but most especially because I met Sarah Taylor at church who happens to be a doula and who has agreed to coach me through this process.