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Thursday, January 31, 2008

10 Years Ago...I Said Yes!

10 Years Ago...that's how old people start sentences.
January 31, 1998 was a good day.
A day I had dreamed of.
Rusty and I were doing a youth group retreat. Rusty was in charge of the whole deal, and my roommates and I were helping.
On the last night, as we were entrenched in junior high kids, we had a prayer service. There was a cross in the middle of the room with candles all around it.
He did a walk to the cross kind of led prayer service. It was awesome!
Afterward, he asked me to stick around so we could pray together. I did.
My roommates were ushering a thousand junior high kids out the door.
That's when I suspected.
We did pray together. And Rusty read this from Ephesians 5.

25 And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God's word. 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.

Rusty washed my feet after he read this. He did some other nice things, like played a sweet song, gave me a ring, two dozen white roses, and said "will you marry me?"
But this passage from Ephesians 5 was an appropriate start to our life together.
How grateful am I that I married a man who has taken this passage seriously? It was not just something to read when he proposed. He has set out to, learning as we've gone, wash me clean with the Word and present me holy.
Tonight we will teach in Countdown about God's Purpose for marriage. How appropriate?
Our purpose as married people is to mirror Christ and his love for his bride, the Church. We are to be a living representation of Jesus' love for us!!!
I hope that in 10 years our marriage has pointed others to the King, our Bridegroom, the One who loves us without limits.
I hope we can continue to do that for at least 50 years more!
I don't know why he asked ME, but I am so glad to look back on this day, that changed my life forever! Thanks for asking Rusty. I love you!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Half Marathon Training

I'm training for a half marathon...I think.
I have always found that God speaks to me while I'm running, and I think I'm already learning a lot about myself through this.
This picture above is from the Boston marathon. That is NOT what I'm training for, obviously. I'm talking about doing the HALF marathon: Armadillo Dash here in College Station, despite the name.
Armadillo? What a heinous animal! It's roadkill really, one of the ugliest creatures indigenous to Texas. I detest this imagine in my mind. I might re-name this thing in my head just so I can go through with this.
We just decided to do this last weekend, and we only have 5 weeks total (4 more weekends) to train. First question: Are we crazy???
I did my long run yesterday. I ran 8 miles!!! 8 FREAKING MILES!!!
This is something Jenn Seay, circa 1990's, would not have believe about Jenn Bacak of the future if you had told me. No way. My motto was to only run if someone was chasing you with a deadly weapon. I didn't start jogging until after giving birth to Jax, and it was really only to keep up with my husband. Now my husband is running this thing with me to keep up with me!!! Seriously, who am I?
Here are some of the things I thought about during that 1 and 1/2 hour run. (Nope, I'm not going for speed. Just trying to survive so that I don't drop dead on Wellborn Rd. where the vultures find me and pick me to death.)

1. Let me tell you, the only race I've ever done was a 5K. I've never even done a 10K. What makes me think I can go from running 3 miles to 13 miles in 5 weeks? Who do I think I am? An American Gladiator Mom? Around mile 5 or 6 yesterday, I decided I should just do a 10K. I mean, should I really skip that crucial step? But the Armadillo Dash doesn't offer a 10K and that means I'd have to travel somewhere to do it. Yuk. But it was very clear to me at mile 6. However, isn't that like making a decision to get your husband a vasectomy when you're delivering a baby, or when you're post-partum and delusional from lack of sleep? I don't know.

2. I ran around A&M campus twice, and I have to tell you, I was a little disappointed. I've always heard that everyone is so friendly on campus, with the Howdys and all. But I don't think I got a single Howdy!!! NO! I was even dishing them out on my first lap, before I neared death, being the good foreigner, non-Aggie I am, living in Aggieland. But I nearly got run off the sidewalk by a punk kid on a bicycle, who seemed to find it amusing, and did not receive Howdys. Very disappointing. I have always been fond of you Aggies, so what's up? Can y'all call a cult meeting and re-visit your friendliness policies please? I did get a honk from a car full of guys, but I don't think that counts. I laughed to myself thinking if I could only tell them that they just jeered at a 32 year old Mom of four! How stupid would they feel? But thanks anyway, guys.

3. As I was running and listening to my ipod, Shane & Shane and some Robbie Seay, a song spoke to me about dying to self and bringing glory only to God. What was my motive in doing this? To boast in me? How can I when He alone created me and gives me the ability to do ALL things! No talent, ability, or crazy in the head endeavor can be achieved because of ME. Even in a silly race, shouldn't I be glorifying Him alone? Yes! I admit, I am going into this for the feeling of personal achievement, but I am reminded that it should only teach me how to cling to Him and be thankful for all good things that come from Him.

4. Doing something like this is a battle of the mind. I am constantly trying to figure out if I can do this. I honestly don't know. I thought for a while I might die yesterday. And then sometimes I think "Yes!" But let me tell you, I felt kind of sick yesterday after running, and my knees were killing me. So it's hard for me to admit, I don't know if I can pull this off. BUT I REALLY WANT TO!!!!! It's a dream of mine. I want to accomplish something that I formerly thought only superhumans could. I'm scared to fail...scared my knees will explode...scared I will finish dead last and I'll get a pity clap from the people who stayed around to clean up after the race.
If you have run a race like this, I'll take any advice I can get.
I'll keep you updated on our progress.
The race is Feb. 24th.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Smell my clothes

Seriously, our clothes smell so good.
I lie in bed at night and try to sniff my sheets.
I keep telling my kids to smell their clothes.
Little kids don't really know how to smell things on command.
They just blow air out of their nose, instead of in. So I don't know that they really appreciate it. It smells so good!!!
I think I need Febreze everywhere.
Especially in my van, where a new Bacak family rule has been firmly established.
No milk cups.
I blame their father.
It's so foul. I want my van to go take a bath in Febreze and then come back to me.
I picture it like in the movie "Cars", shaking off like a dog. Wouldn't that be great?
We don't buy expensive detergent with as much laundry as we do, but this little kick of Febreze sure makes us smell good.
Smell us.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Great Debaters and MLK day

Really, there are just not many movies worth my $7.
This one is!
I am always compelled to see a true story. Especially an inspiring true story.
Anyone can write a fictional, inspirational tale.
But when history, or rather the Author of all history Himself writes it, I'm there.
This is a true story that takes place in 1935 in Marshall, TX.
It gives you a very real picture of what it was like to be black in the South in 1935. The fear...the oppression...the hopelessness.
The desperation for change to take place, and equality to prevail.
You feel it, as they weave a beautiful tapestry with words in this movie.
But that change didn't come for a long time. It was some 30 years later before schools became integrated. Before black people were even offered a fair education in this country. That was not very long ago! When our nation, especially in the South, was set on fire by racial hatred and division.
I don't think our generation can even grasp what that was like.
We need to. White and black culture today is greatly impacted by our past.
Racism still lives today, in a somewhat more sophisticated manner, but there are embers of it still burning all around us. Every now and then I catch a whiff of it, and it stinks, and makes me a little sick.
Praise God, change has come, and all people have the same rights under our government. But it was slow. Generations of people who ached for that change never saw it in their lifetime.
Do we even appreciate it?
I don't think so.
Most people were out of school today for MLK day, or off work. But did you give a second thought to why? Did you teach your kids about it today?
We have been talking about it for a while, and the kids, Erin, and I went to the Freedom March in Bryan. It was so cool! It made me wonder what it might have been like to be apart of that famous march on Washington where Dr. King gave his "I have a dream" speech.
I am thankful that I don't have to fear for my children like the people in this movie did. We don't see or hear very often of violent racial acts today. But no matter what our behavior, our hearts must be right before the Lord. That's what He sees and cares about. Is there anything in our hearts, hiding, lurking, that shouldn't be conerning other races? I find that if often rises to the surface when talking about interracial relationships or trans-racial adoption. Would you feel 100% at peace if your child wants to marry a black person someday? Can you think of any reason in the world that you would exclude the option of adopting a black baby if you were going to adopt?
If there is hesitation on those questions, would you examine why?
Rusty and I obviously did much soul searching and asked God to clean the yuck out of us before we started the adoption process with Justus. He did. You know what, sin is passed down generation to generation, and many of us have inherited racism because we haven't let the Holy Spirit come in and do the work. Convicting us of sin, calling it sin, repenting with much sorrow and grief, and letting Him make us new.
I will post pics soon from our MLK Freedom March.
Happy MLK day, and run, super fast, to the movies before this movie is gone and see it! It's FANTASTIC!!!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Lynsey Kramer Rocks!

Lynsey Kramer is a seriously talented woman.
She's a good friend from church, and you can't help but like this girl! She's so fun! But I have a new appreciation for her talent.
She made my family look good! And you should try taking pictures of my kids! I think she put it nicely on her photography blog, saying something like "the Bacak kids are a big ball of adrenaline" or "energetic" or something, but really...they're crazy! My kids are all over the place! Those of you who have shy, calm, sedate children...I wish I understood that. But I don't! I have four very different, and super energetic kids, who love to be kids! One is always running around on fours like an animal, one is looking for mischief 24/7 and finding ways to teach his brother to help him, and the other is just an intense wrestle/sword fight/ jump on you kind of boy! But they are so fun, and I couldn't imagine anything else in this house. I think Lynsey did an amazing job capturing our family, despite the very difficult nature of a Bacak photo shoot, and I am in awe of her.
Thanks Lyns! Y'all check out my link to her farm blog and then go to her photography blog to see more.
Enjoy the slideshow. It takes a long time to put up!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Finding God's Will

Kids are funny.
They want to play with other kids, but when they're little, they don't quite know how yet. If you watch 2-3 year-olds play together, they do what we call parallel play. They play alongside one another, and if they're boys, they may not talk that much to each other. They might make some noises, or sword fight every now and then, but the best they can do is just play "near" each other, and try not to totally melt down over sharing toys.
But when they get older, they want to really play together, doing shared activities.
We have a group of kids on our street that all play in the same driveway. They usually play some sort of game together. Emma and Jax join in easily, but Justus is not sure how sometimes.
One problem is, he wants to go play there, but he wants them to all stop what they're doing, and play what he wants to play. For instance, they're all riding scooters in the driveway, and he desperately wants to go with them, but he wants them to all stop and go to the backyard and jump on the trampoline. Or sometimes kids will all be playing a real game with rules, and a little kid will say "NO! Let's play my game!" and make up some game that totally doesn't make sense or have rules at all.
As I was trying to reason with Justus, telling him if he wanted to play with them, he had to join in with what they were already playing, I thought...
We are just like this!
It's very much like what we learned in Experiencing God. Instead of asking "what's your will for my life?" all the time, we need to change our question. "What is your will, God?" We need to learn to recognize where God is working, and join in. It's like asking God to give me a ministry, while college students flood my town and home, and still asking..."But God, where's my ministry?"
It's not that God is never going to start a new thing in us, but most of the time, we are just too self-absorbed to notice that God is already working, and all we have to do is join in. We want to start our own game, with our own rules, and then we want God to put his name on it.
Our study of Romans 12 at our church, which is one of my all-time favorte chapters, has spurred this thinking in me. It starts off by saying...

12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Only AFTER we have offered our whole selves up to God, giving Him everything we've got, holding nothing back, can we even begin to look for God's will.
That's step 1. (Kind of a big one.) This means that we drop all of our pre-supposed ideas of what we want for ourselves, and just ask "What do you want of me, God?"
we stop conforming to the pattern of this world and our culture. Easier said than done! I am constantly finding another corner of my life where my thinking has been molded by this world and not God's Word. The renewing of our mind takes filling up with scripture, asking God to change us, resisting thinking and acting in ways that may seem natural or normal because of the world we live in. Sin comes way too naturally for me! This world and our culture will lead me astray every time. This is what James says about our friendship with the world...

James 4:4-6
4 You adulterers! Don't you realize that friendship with this world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again, that if your aim is to enjoy this world, you can't be a friend of God. 5 What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the Holy Spirit, whom God has placed within us, jealously longs for us to be faithful?

So only after we have offered our bodies as living sacrifices, and then stopped following the patterns of this world and renewed our minds can we even begin to test and approve what God's will is.
Oh, and His will...it's good, pleasing, and perfect!
Our plan, that we keep asking God to stamp His approval on, it's flawed, empty, and foolish.

So where is God working around you?
How has He gifted you? (See Romans 12)
How can you be apart of what He is doing?
I have to ask myself daily, am I completely on the altar before the Lord today?
And Lord please, please, please show me how I am still following the world and it's ways rather than you!!!
I want God's good, pleasing and perfect will!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Starbucks' skinny latte

One of my new favorite things...
The skinny latte.
I'm always afraid to try new things at Starbucks, because if you're paying $5 for coffee, you better like it!
But I do like this...It's sugar-free, non-fat, and I got the caramel mocha. (You can get sugar-free mocha powder.) All of that comes to 90 calories for a tall.
I think a regular mocha would be like 600 calories.
That's pretty cool.
It's not quite as good as what I would regularly get, but almost!
(Rusty didn't like it, but he would never like something that had skinny in the title.)
It's even better when I get to sit in Starbucks with my husband and drink it on a date. Nothing better.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Treston's Godparents

Treston has two couples that are his godparents.
Nope, we couldnt' decide. They are best friends, and equally amazing, so who couldn't use FOUR prayer warriors instead of two?
So for Christmas, those Mosier people made him this t-shirt! How cute is this?
It says "The Mosiers are my favorite".
The Vanns, his other godparents, came to visit and saw this shirt. They challenged it to be un-true of course.
I love the t-shirt idea! I can think of about 100 hundred things I'd like to put on a t-shirt to wear.
Like: Yes, these are all MY children. (Seeing the four of them together confuses people.)
Hey! Let's have a t-shirt making party, like when we used to make paint splatter shirts when I was in Jr. High! Yay!

Monday, January 07, 2008

My American Gladiators

We watched the New American Gladiators.
Rusty has been so excited. This is a testosterone overflow, oozing out of your TV, even from the women.
Rusty liked this new-do, except he felt like everyone should have had a mullet. You know, like the good ol' days.
The disturbing part was that after the show, my sweet little girl started playing Gladiator with her brothers and Daddy, and then announces that she wants a Gladiator birthday party. Yes, my only little girl, petite as she may be, wants to take on other little girls on the monkey bars. (Her words!)
Do we have parents sign waivers for this party?
Does this child have any of my DNA?
I have to admit, these women are scary, but quite impressive.
The one named Crush looks like a Spice girl on steroids.
The Gladiator wrestling after the show brought back WWF flashbacks from my house as a kid. I know way more about wrestling circa 1980's than you may realize.
Don't worry, I think I can rent a monkey or something to get her off this theme idea.
That, or Rusty may be installing a moving platform over the neighborhood pool for our kids to wrestle each other on. That might be against neighborhood regulations though.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

My American Idol Bro

This commercial is way better than the first one I showed! This is pretty exciting for our family!
Check it out!

Friday, January 04, 2008

How did I live without it?

I have mentioned before that Rusty is an amazing gift giver.
He changes my life with gifts.
He has done it again.
First, he gave me a Chi. I don't have to live off of college girls who live with us anymore for straight, smooth hair. I have this amazing, illegal in Canada, could burn my face off, miracle of my own! Go Rusty!
But also...
We're not supposed to love the things of this world, so you can pray for me, because I LOVE this thing!
I think it could suck up one of my children if I wanted it to.
It has truly made life easier.
When one of my children decides to eat their gingerbread house in their bed...no problem. Have no fear! The Dust Buster is here!
When Treston eats anything, anywhere...it's okay!
When Treston and Justus break into the pantry and spill fritos all over the floor and then dance on them...I don't have to break down.
I mean seriously, how did I live without this thing before?
I've even dust busted my children's bodies, and that works too!
I've decided this should be on people's baby registeries. If you have children, your home would be greatly benefitted by this!
I gave it to Justus the other day (he LOVES to clean) and he used it all around the house until it went dead. Awesome!
Love this thing!