Welcome to my teeny-tiny cove of the stratosphere. My name is Nicole Pope, and honestly, dear friend, I wish I wasn’t writing you on the Internet. If I had my wish you would be here with me in my home, because I love it. Because I think that the best conversations are actually done in-person. But I would also gladly meet you anywhere else… your home, a park, running with strollers (at an unreasonably fast pace as we gasp for breath wondering how much weight our kids truly gained in the last growth spurt), the local child-friendly cafe, or maybe just the mall play area because it’s free and a great child-wiper-outer. And we would talk. Hopefully for hours. Getting half-sentences in, between our munchkins climbing all over us looking for our attention… or perhaps coaching them on the finer skills of sharing.
I am aware, however, that this may be a better venue to sit and share my heart with you. And for you to chat with me. So, in case you may wonder who I am and what my heart is for this blog (because I am slightly obsessed with reading the “About Me” sections and am SO disappointed when all you give me are a few vague sentences), here we go. This blog is not just from me, it is from both my husband and myself, but I (Nicole) will be doing the introductions here.
I am forewarning you that I am chronically long-winded, although I will desperately try to keep this simple. You may as well know before you commit.
Above all, we are committed followers of Jesus Christ, redeemed in ways I hardly understand. It is more than a label or good feeling for us. It is our life’s blood. As believers we are called to live a life undividedly committed to Christ, and our desire is to fully embrace this as our lifestyle. We want to know Him more intimately. We want you to know Him this way too. Too often we as people live our lives complacently, when we are meant to be victorious. Say it with me: Christ has intended us to live joy-filled, conquering, VICTORIOUS lives. What in the world are we doing, people?! As C.S. Lewis put it, “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about… when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” I say we go take a trip to the sea. I could really use a holiday.
I am wife to Chris. He is the one I love and married in the summer of ’07 (you can do the math). We both believe our marriage is the most important earthly relationship we have. Which, I’m sure, is why we try so hard and fail so often. But as we invest in the Lord and each other our years become so much sweeter. Chris works for a local non-profit foster-placement agency. To put a difficult position into short words, he has been contracted between them and the state to oversee the Eastern half of Washington in a program called Fostering Together, promoting the recruitment and retention of foster families. Whew! Also, primarily, he is a pastor. We have found ourselves at a new time of life, waiting to see where the Lord leads in a new ministry. We are excited for what may be in store! Chris loves the Lord passionately and loves people deeply. He is so dear as my husband and the most phenomenal daddy to our children. He is my safe place to land and the most amazing partner in life. In his spare time, Chris likes to rough house on the floor with our son, have family dates, spend time out with friends, read, write reviews on books, watch movies, lift weights, and take long walks on the beach. Seriously.
I am Mommy to Noah. He is THE most beautiful gift either Chris or I could ever imagine. He entered our lives about two years ago and has quickly taken over our life and love. This kid is busy. I mean, BUSY. He plays hard, loves harder, and quite possibly talks more than me. Noah loves music, water in any form, playing outside, Chevy (our dog), books, and using imagination.
I am also Mommy to Alina. She is still waiting to make an appearance, but we can’t wait to hold and meet her!
I am writing this blog. Not really because I think you need another site where you spend your precious time. But because I want us to encourage each other. Fruit Bearing Family is a place where as spouses, parents, and people we want to be transparent and honest. We are a place of creativity for the entire family. We desire to foster deep relationships.
We want to serve and love you. We want to ask the questions that most avoid and answer in ways that challenge you. And us. As an individual, I desire to grow beyond where I am and who I am. I think you probably feel the same way. As spouses and parents, we desire to create a haven of love, learning, and play in our home. As believers we have a much heavier to responsibility to effectively communicate the love and teachings of Christ. Not as a list of rules, but as a passionate, freeing lifestyle.
We want to share with you the wonderful resources we have found or that have been shared with us so that we can do this together. I will be the primary author of most posts, but Chris will also share his heart as a husband, dad, and pastor. We will also have guest authors, who know more than us. We want there to be encouraging, real, inspiring resources for moms AND dads. And young marrieds, singles, the struggling, the conquering, and everyone else. But mostly this is for the family. We want to think outside the box. We don’t want to play the same games with our kids each day, we want them to discover their world and their Creator in ways that absolutely amaze and astonish them. Because our God is amazing and astonishing. We want to discover with you how to be the Body of Christ and how to communicate that lifestyle to our little sponges. If we want our world, church, or families to live and love like Christ, we must model it personally. This is not easy. But as we spur one another on in love and good deeds we believe it can happen!
So here is our inspiration, found hidden in Deuteronomy 11:18-21. “[The Lord says:] Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.”
Also, Colossians 1:9-14. “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Pretty empowering words there. So our models are set; let’s go make fruit.
Much love on your travels!
Nicole, Chris, Noah, and Alina