Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The God Box

I was walking home from Maggie's tonight, enjoying my I-survived-the-week-without-John treat when I saw the most beautiful sunset. (You do know that if you walk instead of drive you can order something a little more special than what you would normally order. For example, if you normally get a small Italian ice, now you can get a large. If you normally just enjoy your ice plain, after walking there you can get ice cream mixed in with your Italian ice. That's what I did. Of course.) And then I got to enjoy the fireflies that seem to be out in larger-than-usual numbers this year. (Bina, my google-savvy friend, I'll let you figure that one out for me.) As I walked and their path split in front of me I felt like I was in the trailer for a sci-fi thriller about an invasion of fireflies from outer space. I saw the neighbors sitting on their porch and asked if they were enjoying the firefly show. Mr. Neighbor said, "Yeah, and there are more this year than I've ever seen." (See, I was right.) We pondered whether or not it was like the cicadas that only show up every so many years. (I know, I should have paid more attention in science class but if you had known my middle school science teacher you would know why it was all just plain boring to me.) Come to think of it, there are no cicadas this year. Instead we have fireflies. I think I prefer the fireflies. At least I don't find these little hard shells all over the place. Those cicada remains are intriguing and fun to show the kids but I also think they're just a little spooky.

Anyway, the beauty of the evening reminded me of Francis Chan's book Crazy Love (one of my favorites, by the way) and his challenge to remember the awe factor when thinking about God (see www.crazylovebook.com for his video, "The Awe Factor"). How often do I notice a beautiful sunset but even more importantly, how often do I remember to think of it in terms of the awe factor of God? I've been seeing fireflies for years, even unintentionally killed a good number while capturing them in jars, without often enough thinking about how awesome it is that God thought to create them - for us.

When our family used this book for family devotions a year ago, we decided to start a "God Box" to challenge us to look at the world around us and its awe-someness. We put it by a door with a pad of paper and a pencil. We were each to write a note every time we saw something that reminded us of how awesome God is. Before opening presents this past Christmas season, we pulled down the box and read the notes inside. The practice sort of dwindled after that but Eden will occasionally say something like, "Look, Mommy, that mountain is so beautiful. We should write that in our God Box," or "Look at all the birds flying out of that field. That's neat. We should put that in the God Box." She's so right. And I'm feeling guilty for letting this practice die. I believe it's time to revive it. And sunsets and fireflies are the first two items of the new year to go in the box. And on a cold winter evening in December it will be nice to read through the box and reflect on fireflies, Maggie's runs on warm summer nights, and sunsets.

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