We're pretty known in our neighborhood, at the kids' school, at Brian's office as "oh...that family." We're the crazies with all the kids.
I have to admit it- our family likes to have fun. We enjoy April Fool's Day. We dress up in themed costumes for Halloween (Toy Story was our favorite- we even got a costume on Brian- Woody). In the summer, we attract lots of attention of passersby as we show movies on our garage wall like a drive-in theater. We have lemonade stands. We like to play. Brian "smooshes" the kids on a nightly basis. For those of you who have no idea what a good "smoosh" is- it basically is sitting on the kids, sometimes tickling, sometimes not, until Mom saves them, a brother or sister saves them, or they cry, throw up, or pee their pants.
Birthday parties are a big deal at our house. So much of a big deal that several years ago I owned a children's birthday party business. I had several themed parties- Pirate Party, Cinderella Party, Alice in Wonderland Tea Party, Dinosaur Party, Army Party, and a Space Party. The inspiration for these parties came from my kids' parties.
So, our neighbors and parents of our kids' friends have become accustomed to our fun (sometimes strange) parties. When Andrew had a pirate party, we went to a moving company, bought the HUGE moving boxes and made pirate ships out of them to have a huge battle. When we had a circus party, it took weeks to clean up the basement afterwards! Last year, Andrew wanted to rent a limo for his birthday. So, we rented a limo and picked up all of the boys after school on the Friday before the last day of school. We had a BLAST! They felt so "important" driving around in a limo, listening to music and getting slushies at Sonic!
This year was no different. We found a dunking tank online! Can you believe a dunking tank????? I have never seen a REAL one- just one on TV. Remember the Brady Bunch? Anyway, we had so much fun. Even Mom got in....
The other thing that our neighbors, friends, parents of our kids' friends know about us is that we are Christians. Our Christmas letter each year praises and glorifies Christ. We go caroling in the neighborhood, singing songs about the birth of Jesus. I have an annual Christmas cookie exchange where I share my testimony. When we are "jamming" it is Christian music that is loud. At Easter, we "egg" the neighborhood- filling our neighbor's yards with eggs filled with treats. We visit the nursing home on a regular basis, bringing homemade crafts and singing Christian songs. We give out cards and gifts to teachers with messages of thank you and prayers. We are open about our faith, inviting neighbors to church, VBS, and bible studies.
So, how can these "fun" kooks be Christians???? Aren't Christians "bible thumping" brow furrowed, serious, often angry, boring people? Are Christians actually FUN???
I think Jesus was fun! Jesus was a storyteller. Wherever Jesus went, children FLOCKED to Him. (And kids are fun magnets- they are attracted to fun!) When you read Jesus' words, He often uses humor. And, where did Jesus perform His first miracle? At a party, of course!
Jesus came to give us LIFE and life to the full- abundant life. We should have a JOY that is uncommon! We should be like magnets, attracting others with our joy. People should wonder "what do they have?" We have the JOY of Jesus in our lives! We should be happy!
I blogged about "happy" being a "dirty" word in "Happy is NOT a Dirty Word!! Click here to read it!
"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." -Proverbs 17:22
Father God, may I always be filled with the joy of Jesus Christ. I have so much to be thankful for. I desire to have this attitude of gratitude and a countenance of joy. I want to have boundless joy that Paul talks about. I know the enemy wants to steal my joy. I know he laughs when I am crabby, gloomy, and joyLESS. I want my home to be filled with laughter and fun. I want my kids, when they are grown, to look back at our lives and remember them as fun and full of LIFE. Fill me with the Holy Spirit, Lord. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. Fill me with such life. Help me to "have something" that others want. Help others to see that my joy comes NOT from dunk tanks, circumstances, or parties, but my joy comes from living a life with YOU. In Jesus' precious name I pray. Amen.