Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Looking Through a Window....On Our Sundays

I was thinking the other day how very comical our Sundays might look to an outsider who is not accustomed to all of the chaos and confusion that goes on within that 24 hour time span...whereas, for us who have lived with it all of our lives, it has become what we expect as each Sunday rolls around. And so, I thought it unfair not to let you have a glimpse into the absolute comedy of our Sundays...so here it is.

I think that our Sundays can be safely summed up in the one definition of "one moment of chaos after the other"...

The morning starts...I slide out of bed, feeling extremely groggy...and it doesn't help that those around me who've been awake longer are walking around with big smiles on their faces, and talking to me. (I really think that this kind of conduct should be outlawed first thing in the morning :-)

For some members of our family, getting up in the morning is, well, a bit of a problem...and it takes a couple visits to their room before they reluctantly fall out of bed. For example, there are some, of whom I will not name, who wait till the last 15 minutes before we're supposed to leave, before jumping out of bed and getting ready JUST in time to be shoved out of the door...(but I suppose it's the one day of  the week that he can actually sleep in, having college and all...oops, I think I just told

After all are up, the next scene is a rather chaotic one, as four groggy girls crowd into one bathroom trying to apply make-up and curl hair in their half awake state. I have since then decided to move all of my "getting-ready" supplies to my own room, where I can ready myself for church  in peace and wake up at a rather slow pace...instead of getting shoved to one corner of the mirror.
From my room, I can usually hear dad listening to one of his favorite Christian songs as he gets ready, setting the mood for the day.

Twenty minutes later, a good half of the family are ready to head down stairs, and find the nearest item to them that resembles food and eat it for breakfast.  A jumble of commotion takes place, of flying arms and legs, and somehow, each one of these members manages to get their bagels into the toaster and out again onto their plates...but don't ask me how on earth it happens.
 I prepare the breakfast for the four members of our family who are still upstairs getting ready...and somewhere in the midst of all of this commotion, I manage to "enjoy" a hasty cup of coffee.

Next, it's everyone running back upstairs again to make those final touches on themselves before leaving...locating toothbrushes, fighting for hair combs, and trying to find an empty section of the mirror to work at.

About 20 minutes before we have to go, we hear a voice calling from the downstairs for everyone to start getting ready to leave. The tone of this voice is just informative at first...and those getting ready are unaffected....and still a bit groggy. Five minutes later, it holds a bit more of an edge to it....like, "Now, let's get downstairs EVERYBODY"...still, the members are unaffected, as they stare into the mirror with those "first thing in the morning" blank faces. The next five minutes is not even over before, again, the voice is heard, this time, a bit more urgent...and unceasing. Everyone starts picking up the pace... but by picking up the pace, I mean they take those first steps in the finishing up process...

It is not till last minute that people feel that nip of urgency that somehow gets them to the door...or perhaps it's that voice, getting even louder and more persistent. A rush of people head for the door locating eleven different coats, and eleven pairs of shoes. And usually there's at least one person who has forgotten something from the upstairs and has to make a special trip up there to retrieve that item.

If we'd wanted to get to church even relatively on time, we probably should have planned on starting at least twenty minutes in advance, and have planned on it taking another twenty minutes just to get everybody out again. It has become a sorta joke in our family, that we bet on whether we will arrive on the second or third hymn of the evening service, and whether they will be singing the third or the fourth verse. But that is how it goes in large families. We used to call ahead when we were running late... but we figure they kinda' expect it now...and were told by some friends that on arriving at church and seeing our car in the parking lot, they said, "Oh no, we MUST be late." :)

The thing of it all is that all of this commotion and chaos leaves behind many bathrooms and bedrooms that are in a state of hurricane confusion...curlers still plugged in, hair brushes all over the counter, left over clips that were not placed in the hair just sitting their, lidless toothpaste tubes, multiple mascara brushes, and clothes strewn all over the floor.

Finally, we're at church, and there is a period of rest when the van sits silently out in the parking lot, knowing it's not long before it will be filled with another rush of confusion. The church looks calm from the outside (and that's not because we're all in there sleeping through the service ;)...then comes the call, "Everyone by the last name of Spafford, get out in the car...come on troops" (that has been our title for as long as I can remember :)

Of course, the call doesn't do any good, as half of the family stays inside talking...and it can take up to a half an hour before everyone finally makes it out to the car. Then we're driving home again.

No sooner does dad stop the car then everyone tumbles out again, and somehow manages to remain uninjured in the process. Within minutes, 22 shoes adorn the doorway, and a rush of hungry people crowd the kitchen for a small snack to tide them over while they prepare the Sunday lunch...that being Thai curry. In the process, everyone combines all of the news of that day, each adding their two cents worth...and I do not mean the latest gossip either :)

The in between time from the end of the meal from when we're supposed to leave again is usually filled with recovery naps from the "early" morning rush. Someone usually asks, "Can someone make sure we're woken up in time to get ready."...but that's a bit of a problem when we're ALL asleep. And there's usually someone who gets forgotten about, till they are woken up last minute.

Then, a five minute space is reserved for the getting ready process, of brushing out matted down hair, and fixing wrinkled dresses, and we're all ready to go again...15 minutes late. We reach the car, and Daddy announces, "Kids, I wanna change this. We gotta start leaving on time."...and it never happens :)

So ends another Sunday in the Spafford household, as we arrive home. The kids, who have already eaten their dinner in the car, are ushered upstairs and into their beds, and a meal is hastily put together for the rest of us. This usually consists of any brownies or bars that are remaining from the previous days. Then the tired "troops" all take their place on the couches, and discuss whatever it is that's on their minds...for the next two hours :)

And that concludes my summary of the Spafford household Sunday rush, and all that goes on in between...Each Sunday truly is a blessing and another reminder of how much God has given to us...the gift of being all together, worshiping freely at church, sitting around with the family for each evening meal, and those times when we stay up late laughing and joking...I know someday I'm gonna miss it all, so I'm enjoying all of the time and memories right now that God is blessing me with.

*Note: it took a lot for me to get up the energy to take these pictures for this post, it being first thing in the morning, and I being extremely groggy :)

I'm attaching a song that always reminds me of my family...and the value of each moment together :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Spafford's Latest and Greatest Project...

As you can imagine, in a large family such as ours, it can be rather crippling to be without our most frequently used household appliance...the oven.  That one item in the house that would be going 24/7 if given the chance...that object that provides for our weekly batch of brownies :)

It was becoming obvious to daddy, as the days wore on, that the kitchen was due for a brand spankin' new oven...when his daily desserts became threatened :) But not just any oven...but one that could bake his brownies in double the quantity...a double oven.

It's need for a change was first noticed when we would go to open the oven door and you'd almost pull the whole thing to the floor in the process...and I'm not kidding. (the handle stuck, making the oven come out of the wall when you yanked on it :)

Then one day, the problem magically went away...and it wouldn't close. You'd turn the oven on, wait 30 minutes for it to reach the right temp, then stick the food in. Slowly, the door would slide forward, and you'd notice the light was blinking, "Open door". You'd slowly close it again, quickly walk away, and look over your shoulder...and without fail, it would open just enough to cool off the temp (about the only thing it did consistently)...and a chair in front of the oven door was just a temporary solution.

So, fully convinced of the need, daddy removed our oven....and two weeks later, the double oven arrived  So Saturday morning, the kitchen became a momentary disaster zone (or is that always the case?), and the double oven was put in.

And first thing, out came a batch of fresh baked brownies... 
and the Spaffords are once again in business. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Call To Anguish

I know, I know, all of this time with absolutely no post and all you get is a video. But hold on, there will be a post coming soon...I hope :) And believe me, this is well worth it in the mean time. I recently ran across this video on YouTube by accident...and have since then taken every opportunity to find someone in my family who has not heard it and then show it to them. It's interesting to see how God sometimes just drops things like this into our laps to help us at that specific moment of our lives to grow in those areas that need working. I've also listened to his full sermon, "A Call to Anguish", which is spectacular, but this is a beautiful condensed version that captures the gist of the message. As you can imagine, soon after seeing this, I requested some of David Wilkerson's books for Christmas...and got his book, "The Cross and The Switchblade"...an amazing story of how God convicted a small town country preacher to uproot his family from their home in Pennsylvania to the wild streets of New York where he would reach the street gangs.It's so awesome to read about how these young boys, seemingly hardened beyond redemption, immediately turn to Christ at the promise of a peace and love greater than their drugs and prostitution could ever offer.
The story shows how the cross truly is mightier than the switchblade...enjoy the clip and tell me watcha think ;)