Levi’s First Day of Kindergarten

I have been praying about Levi starting kindergarten for a while. For many reasons, it feels as momentous as my oldest beginning his education adventures, even though Levi is my third.

Starting school with John V was full of realities. Many things would not be easy or would provide unexpected challenges. But he has a strong desire to please and achieve. Kailey is so much like me. I understand how she operates and what drives her. That simplifies teaching her dramatically.

Now comes Levi. He definitely has his own style of everything. Why chew food when you can just swallow it? Why stay on the ground when you can climb? Why merely talk when you can sing everything like you’re the star of a musical? Why do something at all until you’re sure there isn’t a better (read crazier) way to do it?

So my prayer has been that I could give him a vision, show him that learning is not about fighting his personality. It’s not about him figuring out how to conform to a lover of desk time and textbooks. While that might be simpler for me, it could have potentially devastating results for my boy, created by God for something unique. But just when I might become overwhelmed with the thought of how I will teach him in that way when our personalities are so different, I realize that the same God who created Levi created me, and made me his mommy, equipping me to nurture and teach him as he grew.

We’ve been planning something special for a while now. Actually this concept is a few years in the making for us and through both some fun and some disappointing circumstances, we have been brought to this place. Then I felt God saying to me, “See. Even through years of situations, I can prepare you a way. Just look where you will be when Levi starts Kindergarten.” And I had to laugh. Why I ever wonder about anything is beyond me. When we depart from our plans and embark on God’s adventures, the results are magnificent. Challenging, sometimes taking every ounce of anything we have, but beyond all we could dream up.

So I give you our Back to School 2013 pictures. You can follow our adventures as we learn about volcanoes, mountains, rainforests, whales, glaciers, Lewis & Clark, the Oregon Trail, and how to have incredible interpersonal relationships in a few square feet with seven people for hours and hours as we travel the Pacific Northwest for almost a month.

You can follow our adventures at http://www.critzfam.com.

On average, the odds of this family doing anything in a normal fashion are very, very low. Why should back to school be any different? Bring on the learning!

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Planes, Elections, and Bible Translations

John V and I are studying countries and cultures this year in school. We have made our way through North and South America so far. As we’ve done this, we have read the biographies of Cameron Townsend, the founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators, and Nate Saint, a missionary who flew for Mission Aviation Fellowship. It is beyond inspiring to read of their dedication to making sure all people of all tribes and tongues are able to read the Bible in their own language. As they fought through different struggles in the nations where they worked, they could always come back to this country to raise support, find new workers, and gain new knowledge. God used businessmen and women in this country to buy planes, pay for translations, and donate training facilities. I choked up every, single time it talked about a group of people holding the Bible in their language for the first time and saying, “God speaks our language!” I think more than ever before, I am grateful for what the people of our country have been able to share with others around the world because of the blessings and abundance others have sacrificed to give us. Whatever decision is made tomorrow, it is overwhelming to look at how few people throughout history have had the opportunity to choose their government peaceably and without force to bring about a change  in leadership. We are not a nation divided between the 99 and the 1%. As an entire nation, WE ARE that small percentage of those with even an opportunity of some kind to get what we need. May we never forget. And tomorrow night, when we find out who we will have at the helm for the next four years, may our fervent prayers begin that God will work mightily through him in any way He sees fit that somehow the Word of God could continue going forth from this country into others around the world until our real work is done and every knee bows before the REAL Man at the wheel. I think the prayer is not that God would be with us. He is whenever we turn to Him. And not that everyone else will line up with what He wills for this nation. Because they won’t and can’t without the saving grace of Jesus. But that each of us aligns ourselves with His calling upon us and then begins to look around us for another to whom we can toss a lifeline. For at the very core, that is how innocent babies are saved AND raised, how precious, hurting women are preserved in wholeness, how marriages and individuals are treasured and cherished, how nations and people are rescued. One at a time. Our votes matter. Our everyday living between elections matters even more.

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”

Psalm 20:7

Flying our replicas of Nate Saint’s plane he used to assist missionaries in the rain forest of the Amazon.