Thursday, February 11, 2016


last night, after our ash wednesday service had ended, Quinton couldn't wait to get home.  he was squirming with excitement, and he kept telling me that as soon as we got home, i had to wash my forehead, to clean off my ashes.  he must have asked three different times if i would wash my forehead as soon as got home.  finally i asked him why he was so concerned about it.  he told me that he wanted to "stamp" me.  i wasn't sure what that was, but with Quin i have learned to just roll with it.

so we didn't even have our coats off when he was coming at me with a wipe.  he disappeared for a moment while i cleaned off the ash from a repentant beginning to lent, and he returned with a little hollow plastic block.  checking to make sure my forehead was sufficiently clean, he proceeded to dip his fingers into the block, into what i assume were imaginary ashes.  he reached up towards my face, and i bent down so he could reach, and he pretended to "stamp" my forehead, just like he had seen me do earlier that night.  as he touched my forehead, and with great seriousness, he said, "make sure Jesus doesn't have to die on the cross for you."

insert the sigh of a parent who is overflowing with love for their child, and wishing they would never grow up here.

his desire to imitate me was adorable, but his extreme urgency about it was most impressive.  his theology might not be perfect, but his thinking was that we are supposed to live in a way that makes Jesus happy.

i wish it were that easy.  unfortunately, the burnt and broken ash stamped on my head tells a different story.  not only that Jesus had to die for me, but that my sin put him there.  but here's the good news: Jesus did die for me.  Jesus did die for love.  and that is the real stamp i bear.  and, like Quinton says, i want to live in such a way that Jesus' death wasn't in vain.  i want to live like the Love-that-lays-down-its-life really matters.

thanks, Quin.  and as i touch my lips to your forehead tonight, i'll be saying these words: make sure you never forget how much you are loved.  and i'll try and do the same.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

10 years of ashes

"ash wednesday 2016"
mixed media assemblage (found objects, acrylic paint, glue on stretched canvas)
february, 2016
gregory a milinovich 

it's hard to believe that i've been doing this for 10 years now, but this is my tenth ash wednesday collage, an annual ritual of pausing before lent to consider my own brokenness, and how i can creatively express it. this year i did a kind of photo-negative thing where i reversed my colors in order to emphasize both the darkness of my own brokenness, and the latent hope in the oily ashes. 

here is last year's collage, and then below that you can see thumbnails of the previous eight. 

have a meaningful ash wednesday, and a blessed lent.  

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

our january

just thought i'd share some shots from our january 2016, which included jackson's eleventh birthday, as well as some serious playing in the snow.  every moment is a new adventure, and there is no camera that can capture them all, nor any other way to lock each one away in memory.  still, we try to be present to as many of them as possible, and cherish them fully.  here are some highlights...

Monday, January 25, 2016

happy eleventh birthday!

how in the world did this happen?
our first born son has turned eleven!?!

i don't know how you measure out eleven years in any kind of way that makes sense to me, but i know that it has been given to us in laughter and tears, in blessings too great to count and too profound to fully grasp, and in deep, life-giving joy.  this little boy is all-too-quickly growing up, and while i lament the stages and phases that are gone, i sit on the edge of my seat with anticipation about the days ahead for jackson and for us together.  but on this day, between the past and the future, we celebrate this human being, our precious son.  happy birthday, my dear boy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

we dey! steelers win in wild card game, extend bengals drought

while it was handed to them in the most distasteful and disgraceful of ways, the bottom line is still that the steelers won, got to move on in the playoffs, and extend the bengals playoff drought, which started in 1991, when i was in 8th grade, listening to milli vanilli and watching ALF.  if the next eight months of licking their wounds feels terrible for the bengals and their fans, then maybe they should think about who they are employing.  so, in the end, the steelers won the dramatic, back-and-forth game, and will live to play denver this weekend.

i had a million more things to say about this game, but it is just too much to even write.  so, without any further ado, here are my designs from the game:

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

a milinovich family christmas, 2015

ho ho ho!  we were able to once again dance and sing and wonder our way through an awesome advent this year, making memories and embracing all the craziness of christmas.  we once again got to ride a holiday train, perform in a christmas play, have a silly string battle, cut down our own tree, make a gingerbread house, go caroling, decorate cookies, make snowflakes, build a christmas lego set, and much more.  oh, and this year we had a new family member (john coffey) to join in the celebration.  here is our newest video, and below you can see all the others if you'd like to see how we've changed (and stayed the same, too) in 8 years.  merry christmas!