Toddlers are like

This morning Justus runs into my room closely followed by Thalia, both of them wearing only a diaper. “Mom! You have to help Thalia be Wonder Woman! She needs her super suit! Mom where’s my Captain America?! I need to be Captain America!” They spent the morning running around with Justus yelling, “Time to save the day!” and Thalia, his ever faithful assistant, trailing behind.
How did they save my day? They brought me handfuls of cereal while I was getting dressed, Justus gently coaching her.

This afternoon he adamantly refused to take a nap. For four hours he refused to take a nap. After it took an hour to get his sister down, he woke her with his tomfoolery. I thought we’d finally negotiated our way to sleep when he began sobbing uncontrollably, “I miss my Daddy! I really, really love you! Please hold me!”

Tonight he listened and obeyed, did what I asked, helped his sister, and went right to bed without a fight.

Forget life. This kid is like a box of chocolates. I never know what I’m going to get. It’s always an adventure . . .

Veteran’s Day

I think it’s weird to say, “Happy Veteran’s Day.” It’s not really a happy holiday. It’s a day to be grateful for the sacrifice of the men and women who’ve borne the burden of our freedom.

So in a very particular order (I’m totally ranking them) I would like to thank the most important veterans in my life for their sacrifice.

4. Col. Levin Pinkney Tull was my paternal grandfather. He joined the Army Air Core and saw it become the Air Force of today, serving in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Although he is no longer with us, his legacy of service lives on in our family. Thank you, Grandpa, for the immense sacrifices you made in service to your country.

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3. Pfc. Levin Prescott Tull is my baby brother. He joined the Army fresh out of high school and grew from a boy into a man while in Korea, his first assignment. Thank you, little brother, for your service.

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2. Capt. Candace Tull is my mother and one of the most amazing people I know. She did not join the Air Force until after all three of her children were born and she has always been an inspiration. Mom, thank you for your service, and for the wonderful example you set for me.

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  1. MSgt Keith Wilson is my amazing husband and father to our two beautiful children. He is currently serving overseas and has been for almost a year now. He has sacrificed so much for the sake of his family and his country and I am so proud to be his wife. Thank you.

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Starbucks is Not Persecuting You

So for starters, if you think Starbucks’ decision to have a red cup during the holiday season is some sort of religious persecution, you need to get a grip. While my personal preference would’ve been for a few snowflakes and something in navy, that is an aesthetic preference and has nothing to do with faith, Christianity, or persecution. When you compare this ridiculous non-issue to actual religious persecution, you not only sound absurd but you minimize the very real sacrifice of Christians who have suffered and died for their faith.

Secondly, Starbucks is not anti-Christmas. For goodness sakes. As proof I submit to you these pictures taken today at my local Starbucks, which is clearly a bastion of anti-holiday sentiment.

Christmas ornaments. Clearly the very thing to trick people into thinking you're NOT anti-Christmas
Christmas ornaments. Clearly the very thing to trick people into thinking you’re NOT anti-Christmas
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Cups that say Joy. You remember, that thing you’re supposed to be spreading?
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The bane of Christians everywhere – the advent calendar. Nothing says we hate Jesus more than a fun way to count down the days til our high holy day. Oh and of course the mislabeled “Christmas Blend” coffee. According to my barista, it’s actually supposed to say, “Anti-holiday Blend”.

Thirdly, Starbucks is a company, not a church. Their cups have always had a holiday theme but never been overtly Christian. Why now all of a sudden do you care?

Do you need a cause celebre? Pick an actual issue, one with real life consequences. You could be all het up about human trafficking, the lack of social justice, rampant homelessness, war refugees, world hunger, sexual slavery, racism, actual religious persecution.
But no. You’ve decided to focus on forcing people who may not even share your religious beliefs to wish you a, “Merry Christmas.” I repeat. Get a grip.

And shame on you. Shame on you for listening to pseudo evangelists who’ve forgotten the whole point of their ministry is to spread the Gospel, the good news of Christ’s salvation. Shame on you for following a politician who is clearly pandering to what he thinks is his political base.

American evangelicals have, for far too long, had the luxury of being the cultural majority (unlike much of the rest of the world). You now belong to a society that no longer thinks, feels, and believes the way you do. Congratulations. You can now begin to fulfill the Great Commission. This is not how you start.

And by the way, you do remember that Christ wasn’t actually born in December and that all those symbols you hold so dear were adopted from Pagan holidays in an effort to encourage people to turn to Christianity? Of course you do.

Knock off these ridiculous shenanigans and instead go back to the heart of Christmas, the real reason we’re celebrating. It isn’t about forcing others to celebrate with us. It is about the birth of a Savior, the hope of mankind, the gift of salvation.
“Glory to God in the highest and on Earth, peace, goodwill towards men.”  Luke 2:14
That is the man and the message worth being persecuted for, worth suffering and dying for. That is the church we are supposed to be. That is the Christmas we are celebrating.