Yesterday morning I went grocery shopping, and when I got home I was met with a smell of Lysol and a bright Anna. The smell of Lysol came from the cleaning Luke had the kids do in their rooms while I was gone- walls, doors, windows, the works! It needs done more often than it gets, so I am always pleased when it is! That sounded like Yoda. Anna’s big news for me was that she prayed to become a Christian. Apparently she and Aliyah had had a good conversation after she blurted out something about not having to worry about being a Christian yet because she wasn’t going to die anytime soon. Well, Aliyah told her, none of us know how long we have to live, so waiting to do such an important thing is not a good idea, etc, and proceeded to explain it all to her. I appreciate her for taking advantage of the opportunity to talk to Anna; when I didn’t take Aliyah shopping with me I thought she might sit around and mope all morning, but she totally made that seem like a far out assumption, didn’t she? Caleb made a decision for Christ in a similar manner, only it was with the Children’s Church teacher. Later I was asked if it was okay if this news was put in our church’s newsletter, and I think my reaction might have come across as surprising- no, I did not want to publicize this because I felt like it was too early. When Luke or I would talk to him about praying to receive Christ, he was vague in the details. This is fine. This is what I expect. So, this is not something I think needs broadcast. Now that Anna has made a decision like that (and, actually, Micah came to me later that day to tell me she was “Christian” now, too, possibly from Anna evangelism:), I say, great. But I know from experience that they have a long road ahead. This should be one of many awakenings, and glad as I am they are having them, I wouldn’t ever want them to think they have ‘arrived’ just by saying a prayer. My comfortable Christian upbringing is partially to blame for me missing the point when it came to holiness, to being sold out for God, early in my life, and I don’t want any of my children to be confused on this point. Luke puts it so well when he talks to the kids about baptism. While anyone can ‘say a prayer’, baptism takes it a step further and puts you out there, identifying with the body of Christ, but also puts you out there to be pushed around by the enemy, now that you have made such a move. So far, only Aliyah has been baptized, which I think reveals much more than who has prayed a prayer. Luke and I have even discussed getting baptized again, as we are both convinced that when we did it, as children, we didn’t do it for the right reason. On to less serious stuff. I have been reading a blog again, actually the first blog I ever read. In 2006 I was googling “large family carseats” because #6, Abbie, was on the way and we weren’t sure what vehicle to get next that could fit all the people and carseats. Kim Brenneman’s blog, Large Family Logistics, came up, possibly the first hit, and I have been following her in some way ever since. One of her recent posts was about her favorite cookbooks, and the last line of it talked about how she had her older daughters work their way through an entire cookbook, learning how to make each dish. Light Bulb! “Sarah,” I said, “this will not be any problem for you, but I think I want to challenge you and Aliyah each to pick a cookbook and make every dish from it.” Amazingly, Aliyah has been the first one to make something- muffins for breakfast tomorrow. I was the one to take them out of the oven (“Oh, did the timer go off?” she comes in to ask ten minutes afterward) and I was the one to rinse the mixing bowl and measuring cups and spatula. But as the water ran over these dishes, I could see off in the distance many meals, maybe as many as two a day, dropping from my plate (pun intended) into the hands of others just as capable, and a tear escaped from my bright, hopeful eye. Thank you, Kim. The future absolutely sparkles.