Thursday, April 3, 2014

"Our God"

This morning, Jack woke up and proceeded to start playing at the kitchen table with his Matchbox cars, all the while singing the chorus to Chris Tomlin's song, Our God:

 "Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other. Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power, Our God! Our God!"  

 Then he stopped and asked me, "Daddy, what does it mean?"   Me: "What does what mean?"  Jack: "That song."  Me: "You mean, 'Our God is Greater'?"  Jack: "Yes."    I stopped for a minute, wanting to formulate an answer that would hit home to a four-year-old's mind.  After all, he took the time to pause from what he was doing, ask a question, and now was actually waiting for a response.  Usually, he'll ask a question without even pausing before asking the next question. I finally came back with: "Well, we sing that song about God because we are happy that Jesus is stronger than everything, and we are thankful that Jesus came to be our God and be the greatest." I might not have hit a Gospel home run with that response, but the interaction got me thinking.  Of all the songs that Jack loves and sings regularly, I can't think of a single time that he asked about what it meant.  Katy Perry's Firework never got the question, nor did the song Let It Go from the Frozen soundtrack. (Yes, Jack knows all the words to both of those songs) 

I'm not going to attempt figuring out why Jack had that question for me, but in retrospect I'm very thankful that he did.  Of all things that I could want in this world, this question represents the one thing I actually want the most; my children having a personal relationship with their Savior, Jesus Christ.  I love my wife, and I look forward to her salvation, but I don't question whether she's saved or not; she is.  My kids, however, have not yet made a sincere, conscious decision to follow Jesus.  This is what I pray for most earnestly.  If I or they get sick or injured, I'm concerned, sure, but being ill doesn't have eternal consequences.  If I lose my job and my house, my eternal well-being hasn't been impacted.  (I'd even like to think that my reliance on God in that situation would only draw me closer to Him)  But if my kids' lives end before they've decided to follow Christ, or my life ends before I've seen them take that step- this is where I have to rely on the goodness and grace of God... so I pray.  I can't decide for them, they have to... so I pray.

So maybe my interaction with Jack on an ordinary Wednesday is a way that God is telling me that He hears my prayers, and He's got it under control.  He wants to be with Jack and Avery in eternity as much as I do.  Maybe that quiet question will keep coming to Jack's mind until he finally accepts Jesus as his Savior.  I really look forward to that day, but in the meantime, I will keep on praying.   

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nobody likes a quitter

It has now been over a year since we last blogged, and not one person raised a stink regarding our conspicuous lack of writing. I take that to mean any of a number of options: 1. No one is reading our blog. 2. No one reading the blog noticed that the most recent entry was the same as the last time they read it. or possibly 3. Those people who ARE reading the blog actually like the blog better when no updates are being made.

All these possibilities bring me to one conclusion: This thing is really for us, not you (whoever you are). Our blog is a means to capture the day to day stuff that we want to remember and treasure, not to mention the fact that if Blogspot isn't going to delete our sedentary account, I might be uncomfortable being labelled as a quitter. So here's an anti-quitter entry.

Let's catch all you (using the 'you' very loosely, as we've already established that 'you' probably don't even exist) up on the past year and a few months of Harms' life.

-That little sonar image of the amoebae in Amy's uterus did finally arrive in February, was a boy, and we named him Jack. He is about as different from Avery as we could imagine: content in everything, smiles at everyone, couldn't care less if he's supposed to walk or not; as long as we feed him. At 8 months, he's passed the 20 lbs. mark and seems to have no intention of slowing down the weight gain. He's a wonderful addition to the family.

-After 11 months of unemployed life, I (Marty) finally landed a job at the local power plant. As a trainee, I can proudly say that I might be of some value to the company sometime in 2012.

-Amy's practice has been thriving to the point of her having to limit the number of new patients she can accept. I guess that's a good problem to have.

-We've found a church to call our home in Manitowoc: Faith Evangelical Free Church. It hasn't been a completely smooth transition getting there, but we can definitely say that God has us on a path of drawing us closer to Him. Praise the Lord!

OK, that's enough for the time being. I'll make sure to visit again sometime in 2011 or 2012.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Changes are good ...

So now that we've been in Wisconsin for over a month, it seems about time we began blogging again! (It's obviously been a while, since our last blog post was Dec. ... here starts my new committment to keep you all updated more often!)

Life in the Harms family has been, as always, full of change. We made our big move back to the midwest in late June, saying lots of tearful goodbyes to our dearest friends in Norfolk, VA. We had been there 2 years, which seemed like much longer, and made friends that really are now family. Here's a picture of our last "girls' night out" before Marty, Avery, and I headed west. We went out to Press 626-a wonderful, quaint little wine house and restaurant with outstanding food ... such an awesome night!

(From left to right: Hannah, me, Sarah, Emma, Meredith, Maria, Stacy, & Allyson ... I miss you, Ladies!!!)

We were so fortunate to have my parents take Avery off our hands for the move, so she spent some quality time with Nonnie and Grandpa (Amy's parents) while Marty and I drove from VA to WI. She had a blast! Now we're all here in Manitowoc, WI and slowly, but surely settling in to our new house, new community, new everything. This is our new (to us ... only 4 years old, though ... awesome!) house complete with garage and spacious backyard and walk-out basement.

My parents put in an amazing amount of work between when we closed on the house in late May and when we arrived in late June ... they painted nearly every room, cleaned like mad, and even had the carpets shampooed ... it was literally move-in ready when we got here! They have been awesome and clearly so happy to have us so close to home (only 30 minutes away!).

We've been enjoying our summer, spending weekends traveling a bit. We've been to Madison and to northern WI for a family reunion just in the last few weeks. We've seen many friends and family members, who are now just a drive away!

Avery at the new Splash Park in Middleton, WI. She had a blast, even though it was only 65-ish degrees that day!

We bought this very gently used Burley and so far, Av digs it. Now we're working on learning to dig the helmet ... getting better every time, though!

Smelling the flowers at Grandpa Doc's house (Marty's dad). Actually, these are his neighbors flowers, but our nature girl doesn't seem to care who's flowers she smells ... or picks ... or eats.

Marty's sister Suzie, with our 4 m/o nephew Joseph (his other sister Denise's baby). Avery is warming up to him quite quickly and learning how to be gentle with a baby ... this is key because in a matter of months, he may be bigger than her!

So we've been busy with life: my new job (I'm working as a primary pediatrician for Aurora, a large health care group in eastern WI ... loving it!) and Marty's job hunt/finishing his master's degree/much-awaited yard work/more job hunting, and both of us getting to know the joy (and challenges!) of raising a toddler (Av is now 20 months old). Of course, neither Marty nor I would be content without at least one more big change in life ... so we've decided to add to our family! We're expecting our next baby in February. Thankfully, I've been feeling great and we're extremely excited to meet our next little one. As with Avery, we're going to wait until his/her birthday to find out 'boy' or 'girl' ... so keep your eyes peeled for another Harms Baby Pool!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Birthday Bug

It seems like only yesterday we were anticipating the arrival of our little bug ... and now, we've just celebrated her first birthday! This year has absolutely flown by, but it's been wonderful to reflect back on all the "firsts" that we've had. Avery is growing and changing before our very eyes and we feel as though we're quickly transitioning from parenting a baby to parenting a toddler ... a little premature, perhaps, but the first time she spiked her cup during a meal and proceeded to throw all her food on the floor, piece by mushy piece, reality set in. We have now been ushered into the phase of pushing limits and experimenting with independence. Thankfully, we are also enjoying her new-found sense of humor, her amazing attempts at walking, and her ever-increasing cuteness. Just check out these pictures and you'll see what we mean ...

The birthday hat, hand-knitted with love by our good friend Alexis.

This smile is my absolute favorite!

The cake is ladybug, in honor of our "Bug."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Walking? Walking.

We've been struggling to officially say that Avery is walking. She had been piecing together 2-3 step combos before lunging gleefully into Amy's or my arms, but we were never fully convinced that she was 'walking'. We (as a family) decided November 5th, that Avery had in fact taken enough steps to be labeled as a 'walker'.

It went a little like this: Ave stands in the protected waters of dad's hands, looking out hopefully toward mom. A foot wiggles, still grounded, but gaining momentum until it finally lifts off. The knee rise, pointed somewhat forward, but mostly outward. Her hands release from dad's outstreched fingers. She is free. Her hands rise above (or at least next to) her head, palms outward, hoping to look exactly like a monkey when the next step occurs. She does it. The raised foot lands, the other rises, sending her body on a controlled lunge to the left. Then back to the right. Mom is getting bigger on the horizon, arms outstretched, cheering at the advent of this momentus occasion. The legs are pumping now, the body bouncing back and forth, held upright in this chaotic equilibrium by some unseen bumpers. Six steps down, one to go; time to lunge: she stretches her body into an all-out dive. "Mom will catch me, mom will catch me, I believe!!!" Mom does catch her. The epic journey is done, the goal has been reached, high accomplishment attained... She has walked. She can now rest in her satisfaction, she can enjoy the radiance of this moment, she... suddenly sees dad. Ave stands in the protected waters of mom's hands.....

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Autumn days

So far, autumn is treating us well. Our little pumpkin is growing and changing every day ... her latest tricks are waving bye-bye, pushing her "walking machine" around the house lap after lap, and saying "mama" and "dada" with much more clarity and intention. Our excitement for her 1st Halloween has been steadily growing and she even tolerated her costume for a few brief hours during our pre-Halloween party this week! (Marty was dressed as Dilbert and I was a scuba diver ... pretty creative for last-minute costumes!)

We've also been enjoying some lovely weekend mornings at home ...

... and out and about in the chilly fall weather.


Monday, October 13, 2008

A medium

Blog \blawg\ n: a medium to deliver video and pictures to friends and relatives. Often cluttered with words. v: to post an entry using the blog medium.