Poison Dart Frogs are some of the tiniest and beautiful creatures on the planet; they are also incrediably deadly. So, why call this blog "Tiny Dart Frog"? It goes back to the old adage - good things come in small packages. We are all created exactly as God has intended - unique, strong, and beautiful.
This "Fire Safety Plan" has been taped to my cupboard for 5 1/2 years. My oldest son wrote it up for our family after school Fire Safety Week. The steps of the plan are:
1. Alarm goes off.
2. Roll out of bed (PS, if at night)
3. Crawl too door, check if its hot. If cold go out.
If hot, go out the window and call nine one one.
4. Help family. Meet at tall tree.
5. and YELL.
I think about this plan a lot. It's actually quite good (except we don't really have a tall tree). But it's a plan which has many floating pieces.
We think of plans very linearly. We do step 1, then 2, then 3....they follow in a course of action. That's the plan. But as I think about this very basic fire plan, I realize the focus is the goal. The goal of being safe. The emphasis is not on all the how's. So...the plan is whatever gets you to that goal.
For example, step 3 actually has two possibilities - both dependent on an outside variable. It's still a plan...it just is weaved together a bit more like a spiderweb.
The reason I think about plans a lot is because I often hear people say, "I know God has a plan," or "This must be God's plan...." Well, yes, God has a plan, but I think there are many, many forks in it...many variables which play upon one another.
God's plan is to bring about goodness, wholeness. God's plan is to usher in God's kingdom. That's the plan. Sometimes we are able to walk right through the door because things are going smoothly. And sometimes, we have to jump out a window, praying for dear life because everything is on fire.
Some of you may wonder, but what about God knowing the end result beforehand. What about God ordaining it all? I believe that too...just not linearly. God knows what the result will be because God's not going to rest until God's goal of the Kingdom is realized. And, I guess I think that time and space are a bit more fluid than we can conceptualize. Maybe God's beyond time? I don't know. That's another post.
Be Safe. Help your family. Love God. Pretty decent plan.
The other day we had a small snowstorm (today we had a huge one - but I'm not talking about this one). So, the other day we had about 6 inches of very light, fluffy snow...my kids were home from school (they've been home from school a lot lately). My kids were bribed to help shovel the drive with a bit of money...
After they completed my drive, my youngest son took off with his little kid-sized shovel and cleared my neighbor's whole drive! She paid him $5. Then, he went to another neighbor's house and cleared their whole drive. They paid him $5.
I silently laughed to myself - "Leave it to Cooper. He sure knows how to finagle a buck." But then their Dad told me the rest of the story.
"He's taking the money to school for the Haiti collection."
I sort-of choked on my words, "What?! Really?! Cooper?!"
"Yeah. They were talking at school about it and how they may be little but they can still help out."
'Wow,' I thought. And that's when it hit me.
All the stuff we teach our children - it does sink in there. And the really beautiful thing about this is I felt so supported by the school. They, in their own way, are enriching my kids' faith. And not only am I supported by the school, but they hear this in church too. And they hear it from me and their Dad. And they hear it from coaches, and friends, and family...
And - wow! I'm just so thankful I am not doing it all by myself. My kids and your kids...they are all growing up to be amazing because they are cared for by so many people.
Thanks, Cooper for showing me what a giving heart looks like.
My name is Christine Stephan, although I answer mostly to Mom or Pastor.
I am a Lutheran pastor for an amazing group of Jesus' disciples just outside Washington DC AND a mom to 3 of the best boys in the universe.
I blog here about family and faith and frustrations....That thing we call 'life'.
My boys are passionate about all things legos, anything involving a ball, video games, and chocolate.
I am an avid runner, a lover of interesting books and deep conversation, a very amateur writer, and also a lover of chocolate.
I also love theology (which is weird, I know), but I don't love theology more than Jesus.
This blog is hardly ever profound, but it is real. As a pastor and I mom, I find 'real' to be more helpful in my journey with Jesus than crossing all the t's and dotting all the i's.