Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Fun of 24 Years

My husband and I are away this week celebrating our 24th anniversary. We are having so much fun and totally loving the time of relaxing and reconnecting.

Each year we try to hit up some place new to explore. This year finds us in the upper wine country of California. A little bit more dry than we had anticipated and care for. But as long as we are together does it really matter?

We have spent time hiking, store front walking, movie time and lots of do nothing time. It has been really really really nice. Can you tell I am happy?

The other night we heard about a nice restaurant in the next town over that had a great selection of healthy food choices, a wonderful atmosphere AND live jazz entertainment. Wahoo! We were all over it. We sat out in the cool evening under the autumn trees and enjoyed our dinner while listening to a jazz band that ended up being from our home town. That was a fun coincidence. Even more fun was finding our that our table neighbors were also our resort neighbors and we had a lot in common.

Yesterday we went out to the dock to catch the sunset and found an interesting sight. We happened upon a young boy walking his two baby goats. It was quite a scene watching him attempt to control and command those babies when they had strong wills of independent thought. All THEY wanted to do was examine and make friends with us. Actually it was quite a good experience for me. I have to confess that for some unknown reason I have always been timid and sort of afraid of goats. But these little guys wanted to play and be petted just like my fuzzy dog boys back home.

Isn't he cute?!
This is really random but we watched a movie the other night that has been on my mind. You may (or may not) be surprised to know that I am a sci-fi movie fan. I like romance and comedy and enjoy all types of action. But given the choice, I think I will pick a sci-fi over all of them every time. Along with that preference, I take great delight in finding my own personal deeper meaning in whatever I watch. To me, everything is a learning experience.

Anyway, the movie we watched was a new one that is out now with Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith called After Earth. It is definitely sci-fi. My own quick tag for the movie is that father and son crash land their space ship on the (no longer inhabited) earth and the son is their only chance for survival. To be the hero, he must overcome multiple life and death struggles as he races against the clock to activate a distress beacon.

The thing about this movie is that the son is riddled with self doubt and performance issues. His dad seems to be the perfect tough guy and he wants nothing more than to measure up to the self inflicted approval of his father. Mental pressure at it's depth and I have certainly put those shoes on a time or two in my life.

I don't want to spoil the movie for you if you are planning to see it. So spoiler alert ahead  if you want to skim over or stop reading.

Something that I really keyed into with this movie was the concept of fear. There is an animal in the movie that hunts humans for the sole purpose of killing them. It cannot see or hear. It hunts by the smell of fear.
It caused me to think how the enemy of God thrives on our fear. He uses it to ruin and sabotage destroy us.

Another thing that I really keyed in to was a speech that the father gave to the son. This is totally my phrasing because it was a long speech.....He said, "We all have life struggles. We all have times when we are in danger. We all have horrible things around us. Those are the real things. Danger is a real thing. But fear is a choice. Fear is not real because it only exists in our minds."

Using that speech as a catalyst, every time the son would begin to spin out of emotional control, the father would say, "Take a knee soldier." This was a time to stop, close his eyes and take in the moment. Assess the situation around him and evaluate the truth.

That very much reminded me that as God's daughter and His soldier, when things around me swirl out of control and fear creeps in, I need to get to my knees and assess my truth. What is that truth? God is real. God is in control. The hunter has no power of me and cannot harm me because the fear is only a lie....a fabrication in my mind.

Goodness that just excites me so much!
So in the end of the movie when the hunter is breathing and dripping drool over the son and the son is in that pivotal moment of truth, does he let go of fear?
Well, I won't tell you the ending. You can see it for yourself. :-)
Yesterday's sunset.
God bless you this week in all you do. Know without a doubt that you are loved with a pure and amazing love by the most incredible creator of forever.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Radio....

The other day I was feeling the stress of being late. My precious college girl tends to always be a little off in her timing to get ready for class. I was buzzing down the road, not breaking any driving laws but not being relaxed either as I calculated her being approximately 7 minutes late to class. Then I heard the voice of a caller talking with my morning radio host in my car stereo.

"A favorite saying of mine that I use all the time is, 'Any lack of preparation on your part does not constitute an emergency on my behalf.'"

I had to laugh at how God chose to calm me down and focus my responsibilities.
Interestingly, my girl didn't totally understand what was so funny.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Changes in the Blender of my Mind

About a week ago I was getting ready for the day when a dream I had the night before flashed through my mind in real time. In my dream I was in my dinning room cleaning out my purse. I opened my coin purse and change poured out like it was overflowing. Then I opened my wallet and more change fell out. Every compartment of my purse that I looked in showed shiny coins waiting for me to grab. Then I picked up my water glass on the table and there was change under it as well as under my book and my plate.
I laughed in my dream and said, "Boy change is everywhere and it just keeps coming and coming."

That is all I remember of my dream but it has got me to thinking. What am I thinking about?
That is a good question indeed. Aside from knowing it was a dream from God and knowing it holds wisdom as well as humor......I feel a bit too tired right now to figure it all out.
But still, I am thinking.

Today at church, more things happened that grabbed me and made the wheels in my brain pause and move at the same time. (How does that even make sense?)
It wasn't even part of the sermon today when our pastor made reference to Mark 10 when Jesus heals Bartimaeus from his blindness. Bartimaeus had called out to Him when Jesus posed the question, "What do you want me to do for you?" Pastor posed the thought....If Jesus were standing next to you (like He really is) and asked you that question, what kind of answer would you have?

When I put myself in those shoes the first thoughts that ran through my mind startled me ......
That is too scary a question. I could never have an answer for that.
I wouldn't dare be so bold as to ask for favor like that.
I don't deserve to have favor like that.
What if I squandered my favor away and disappointed Him?

I had to squash away those thoughts because I know they don't belong to Him.
The truth is that no thought is too scary to take to God.
The truth is that I am His daughter and I have His utmost favor and delight.
The truth is that just like my children deserve all my imperfect fail-able love, the loving favor God gives me is even more than that.
The truth is that I make mistakes every day but God would never turn off His love for me......or anyone else for that matter.

So what would I ask? What could I ask? What will I ask....because I can?

I am not done sharing yet.
Everything today seemed to have God's fingerprint on it and aimed right for the middle of my forehead.
It was also said today,

"If you are seeking answers, you will never find them.
 Instead, cling to God and the answers will find you."

Interesting for a statement like that to stick out to me while I was still pondering what I would ask of Jesus. It was one of those moments that makes me sigh, gasp and hmmmm all at the same time. So I wanted to share it here with you.

THEN at the end of service, I was talking with a friend who was offering me some encouraging prayer for my emotionally tired self. She made reference in her prayer to the relationship that God and I have and that it is an open door going both ways. It was a kind and wonderful loving prayer. But that door reference made me realize that there are some things happening currently in my life that I purposefully have not taken to God. I know that they are things that He can handle, will handle and is currently handling them. But still I have not given them to Him due to my own fears of having to face the issues. I have been more like an image of sticking my fingers in my ears and shaking my head side to side as I chant, "this isn't happening" over and over in denial.

As soon as I realized what I have been doing, I then got flooded with the guilt of thinking that if I would have taken these issues to God sooner then they would not still be a mess. Well THAT is a deceptive lie. Here is what I know to be true....

Guilt comes from satan. 
Conviction comes from God.

So I had to sift through all of that. Lots of crying and aligning my thoughts. It has been a long and tiring day.
After spending the afternoon and evening with my family, enjoying dinner and helping my mom sort through some of Nana's belongings.....I am sitting here trying to simply absorb the day, own the day, embrace the day.

God I thank You for Your guidance and never ending love. Thank You for Your gentle and ever present touch. Thank You for Your bouquet of red roses just because You celebrate our love. Thank You that You love me and never look back in regret, denial or disappointment. Thank You that You are the author of hope and joy.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Nana's Memorial

I found myself startled yesterday. I was looking through my calendar in an attempt to organize my brain when my eyes landed on "September 5th - spend time with Nana". It caught me off guard and I was amazed at how things changed so quickly. Was it really less than a month ago? I remember that day. She was tired and not very talkative. But she could walk with help and much coaxing. She smiled with me as we stole minutes of short stories and loving smiles. We spent the evening with each other enjoying the company as she rested so that my parents could have a rare dinner out.

Nana's memorial was just a few days ago, September 26th, and time has gone by so quickly. It was a beautiful day of honoring her. Though we have had much rain in the days prior as well as the days following, that day was warm and sunny.

I had been the point person for all of the arrangements, so the two weeks between her passing on and the funeral found me with daily tasks to keep me calm and organized. The day of, when there was nothing left for me to do......that was hard.

We started the day at the cemetery. While we know that her spirit is in heaven, it was still a somber time. I am grateful our time there was short. After 30 minutes we headed to the church for our celebration of life service. I just have to say here how grateful I am to be part of a church body that is all about loving people and not about rules. Though my Nana and my parents have not attended our church, our pastor loved and accepted my whole family as his very own, because there is no other way to be. And though we do not have our own building, our neighboring church body gladly and graciously gave the use of their building as though nothing would please them more.

Our daughter Puddin', sang Nana's favorite version of Twinkle Twinkle by Iz as she played her ukelele.
Nana's youngest brother was able to fly in and he gave a beautiful eulogy that made everyone smile.
Pastor shared a wonderful message of life and eternal certainty. Then we sang In The Garden and Kanaka Wai Wai. I personally thought it was adorable that my large family sang with more zeal to the Hawaiian song than the old time hymn. Open sharing was a precious time as people reflected on their treasured memories.

Then we went outside for something special. We sang the first verse and the chorus of Ku-uipo and the first verse of You Are My Sunshine and then released blue balloons in the sky. I had never participated in a balloon releasing before. I found it to be a healing thing as I watched my balloon disappear into the clouds.

Meanwhile as we were doing all of this, my treasured friends put together a beautiful luncheon as a means of blessing my whole family. After a long and emotional day, it just always seems so perfect to embrace memories and each other over a plate of comfort food. And as a special surprise, I made a huge batch of malasadas as a means of sealing the day together. Malasadas (Portuguese doughnuts) is one of the many yummy things Nana made in the kitchen in her younger days to bless us all. Everyone was thrilled over them and it made me feel even more that Nana was right there with us, in our memories and in our hearts.

Thank You God for the treasure of Nana.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Honoring My Nana and the Goodness of God

Last Sunday morning, September 15th, 2013, Nana left us to be made whole and perfect in joy filled eternity with our Papa God.Her leaving was quick. It keeps playing through in my mind as my brain and heart try to meet on middle ground.

I did stay up at the house like I thought I would those last few days and my mom, cousin and me tag teamed in round the clock care. Actually, the first night I planned to stay, my mom sent me home. She said it wasn't time. And she was right. I confess I was hurt. It wasn't a rejected hurt. It was only that I was worried about her being alone. I remember the raw mix of emotions I had with Daddy. But God taught me that as much as I know He supplies for my need when the time comes.....He supplies for her need as well. I mean, I knew that. But I wasn't applying that.

(I feel the need to write about Nana's last moments here for my own memories. To me it is honoring and beautiful. But if it makes you uncomfortable in any way, please skip this next paragraph.)

Those last few days are precious to me. Family came and went in waves. We cooked, shared the time, talked stories and hugged on one another as we let time stop in ways we don't normally allow for. Then that morning all was quiet. It was just Mom and me on the floor and it was my turn to rest. Suddenly my mom announced "It is time. It is going to happen now." We got on each side and loved on Nana. As her eyes slowly opened and closed we talked to her about what she was seeing and what she would see. We talked to her about the beauty of God and the joys of heaven, of her parents, brothers, sisters and husband waiting in expectation for her. Mom cradled her mom gently in her arms and said, "Mama don't be scared. You are never alone. When you see Jesus you run to him. You run Mama and you will be just fine." Then Nana's eyes shifted a little as she looked beyond us and we saw.......I swear we saw Jesus in her eyes. That was it. She was gone.  What an honor to be able to witness that. To see that change and know that peace. To watch my mom smile as she held her mom in quiet peace afterwards and praised God for His perfect timing, Praised Him for rescuing her mama from sorrow and redeeming into joy. No pain, no arthritis, no bothersome ankle screws, no diabetes, no swirling memories of heart ache and times gone by. She is now in eternal bliss with Father God.  The gentleman that came from the funeral home was wonderful. He patiently waited in the background with no pressure while we all said one last goodbye. Then he gently placed Nana on her travel bed and covered her with a beautiful blue quilt (her favorite color). He brought her out to the living room where we could all circle around in prayer as we let her go. It was a precious time to share. If I could just sit in that time frame for a while longer it would be so peaceful. But instead I will etch it in my mind and move on because God appoints each moment of our lives for importance.

 These are precious pictures to me. They are from our Pippin's wedding in May.
Often Nana didn't like having her picture taken. But that day she was full of smiles.

The memorial is scheduled for this coming Thursday the 26th. All of the details are falling into place and I am grateful God had me work on much of it before hand. I am grateful for all of the help coming along side us. Friends are stepping in to help with tasks and offer encouragement as we take in pausing breaths. I am especially grateful for our funeral home. They have been so honoring and ready any time of day for my questions and emails. I cannot stress enough that for anyone living remotely close to us.....if you ever need arrangements made, use Cornerstone. Their kindness and compassion made my family cry in relief. They blessed us with their sympathy and grace as they guided us in the whole tearful process. Their family philosophy, professionalism combined with not a single ounce of salesmenship and their compassion is how we should all be treated.

Thank you for your prayers and thoughts.
I pray for your peace, for your encouragement today to be rooted in the grasp of God's grace in all you do.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

More Hospice.....

It is funny. I have been up for a couple of hours and don't feel anymore clear headed than when I first opened my eyes. I wanted to do an update post today but I am not sure my thoughts are clear in any way. I did do a quick post here last night.....not that it is any more concise but it may add perspectives that are absent at this very moment. :-)

Hospice has confirmed that Nana is in her last days here on earth before standing whole with Papa God in His amazing joy and peace filled glory eternity. My family has now all accepted this season and that is a huge blessing. Acceptance makes the raw emotion so much easier to bear.

As I sit with Nana, as I watch and help my mom.....I have had triggers back to taking care of Daddy. I remind myself it is natural and I add my new experiences to my old ones. In an odd and unexplained way it strengthens me.

Beginning tonight, I will probably start spending nights at the house so that my parents are not alone.
My house has many things left undone but they are all superficial and not important right now. They actually make me giggle. You should see my house tight now. We recently started painting the outside. My husband has been working so hard on it in this heat wave we are having. My job is to do all the trim work because I am the detail person. With my detail focus on my family.......the paint on my house is 5 different colors at this moment. There is the old yellow and white, the new green and brown and the unpainted new wood color. Every angle of my home is a surprise to the eye. That ought to make anyone smile. :-)

God bless you today in His rich mercy, grace and peace.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Thank You God for Hospice

God answered my prayers. Of course He always does listen and answer. It is how He is and He can't be any other way.

Nana is now enrolled in Hospice. It is a hard thing because we all know that means she isn't getting any better. But it is also a good thing because it is the much needed help and support that my parents have needed. Now there are multiple people a phone call away with knowledge and expertise that far surpass anything we can do as a family. Having hospice will enable us to love and embrace each other as family without worrying about what to do next.
Thank You God.....

Today I did something that I purposefully chose to do to bless my family. There are no provisions or arrangements at this point for funeral care. I made the calls to inquire and get that started. I called 5 different places and looked up information online. I didn't realize it would be so emotionally hard. Nana is still here and we have the honor and privilege of loving on her and hugging her all we want. So it shocked me that I would choke up on the phone and excuse myself while holding back tears. I also didn't think about the idea that sometimes a funeral home representative can become calloused and cold from the nature of their work.
I am so grateful that I was the one to make the calls. I think it would have been too hard for anyone else.

Thank You God for Your tender mercy, compassion and grace.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sleepy and tired....

I am sleepy tonight but I just wrote this (Keep Moving Forward) on my other site and thought it had personal application for both blogs.

God bless you in all you do!

Monday, August 19, 2013


Last night was the birthday dinner. It was a ton of fun to honor our daughter......our grown up married 22 year old daughter. It was cute to see her enjoying her day, squealing over her presents and loving on everyone. And then there was the food. We had a table full of wonton, manapua, stuffed panpan, rice and a huge salad.

Thank You God for our wonderful children and the loving eternal legacy that we see in them.

Last night was hard too. My Nana is advancing in her dementia and getting more frail. She is now 87 years old. Over the last few weeks the neuropathy from the diabetes is making it so she has imaginary bugs crawling on her and she can't feel her feet. That along with the fact that the dementia is affecting her equilibrium is causing her to fall several times a day even when being spotted and using a walker.

The other day she fell hard and was in a lot of pain. After x-rays showed no fractures we breathed a huge sigh of relief. Tests did show an infection for which she is getting treatment for now and is improving. But the trauma of the whole event has her not being herself right now and it is hard to watch.

The brain is so unique and complex in how it works. I am not a scholar. But my experiences help me to understand it all the only way I know how. After taking care of my daddy for so long, I learned that social skills and pretending are instinct in how people work. However when there is a great physical/emotional trauma that interrupts that pattern; the brain reverts to core life skills and the ability to socialize or do small tasks becomes a loss. Over time the brain will usually start diverting to multi tasking again. But eventually as the body gets more and more weak, those skills can become completely lost forever.

Last night, Nana could walk with the walker only if my mom was right next to her prompting each foot step. She could not hold a utensil to feed herself. She could not tract a complete intelligent sentence without falling asleep or making up words. And she didn't always know who I was. I put rolled up washcloths in her hands because she was clutching her hands closed tightly and digging her nails into her palms.

I see and know what is happening and it breaks my heart. I see my mom and she is handling it all so well. She is amazing! It is so hard to have roles change and have our parents become like a toddler. I see that she is tired too and I want to rescue her. But it is hers to do and I can't take that from her. I pray for my mom to have a mentor and confidant like I had in our hospice nurse Ellen. She was such a loving savior to me in helping me walk thru questions and knowledge that I didn't even know I had in me.

Honestly, transparently, painfully, in raw emotion without picking and choosing my words carefully........
I grapple with the truth that every single second is ordained by God. He forgets nothing and loves everything. I know and believe that with all my heart. And in that, I wish I knew what the purpose is in all this. I know that God's sees the completion and I can't see but a sliver. In that though, as much as I love my precious Nana, can this please not drag on. Can my mom still have years of health for herself. Can Nana please have the peace of heaven instead of what I see as the torture of an extreme now.

I trust in You God. I know You have all of this and I trust.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cake Craziness.....

I can't sit and visit right now. But I do have to laugh and share this picture. Tomorrow is Pippin's birthday dinner and I sort of went crazy with making her surprise cake. It is a Death By Chocolate taken to new artistic extremes. giggle giggle

God bless you in all you set your hands and feet to!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

My Husband is My Hero!

About 3 weeks ago I was visiting my folks when my dad made reference to the bee hive that appeared in their Magnolia tree. It was small and hidden in the leaves of one branch. If you weren't right on top of it you would have no idea it was there.

Then it grew.....

And it grew.................

And it grew..........................

It grew until it was the size of a personal watermelon.
We all got nervous by that time. My mom spied a close look through her binoculars and realized they weren't bees. They were black hornets! At the same time she was looking, my dad was looking as well, only he was closer. He got stung twice as they swarmed outside of the hive in a stance of angry protection. Those stings made him jump and fall back, roll down the hill and take a wedge out of his ear when he hit up against a garden round.
Can you see the black hornet hive?

How about now?
 My husband is so amazing! He decided that he would protect my parents and get rid of that horrid hive for them before anymore awful accidents reared up.

He donned his old military chemical warfare suit.

Then everyone helped.
 Everyone helped him tie up the ends and duct tape every seam imaginable.  Then he sprayed and layered the inside of 3 huge garbage bags with bug spray.

He made it all look so effortless as he walked straight up to the hive, bag it, tie it closed and then cut off the branch.

Thank You God for my amazing husband!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

It is 9:30pm

I am home and settled in now. Being in court for jury was an interesting experience. My name was called twice today but I was never part of the final pick. Now I will not be given the opportunity to serve again for two years.

While it was an experience, it was taxing to pack my stuff for the whole day. I mean I figured it all out but I certainly wouldn't want to do it on a regular basis. Getting off public transit and walking the 1.75 miles home in the afternoon in the heat I think is what really did me in. Praise God He gave me the foresight to pack an umbrella for a bit of shade.

For now I am going to unwind and hit my pillow.

May blessings abound for you in all you do!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Random waiting uppdates

I am sitting here today using my time as best as I know how and waiting all at the same time. It is my honor and privilege to be in a waiting room today with my name in the lottery for jury duty. The day is half over and I haven't been called yet. We shall see.

A judge came in this moring and gave an impressive speech about our importance and vital position as a juror. That even if we arent called, simply having our name in for draw assures that there will be opportunity for a well rounded jury. I believe every ounce of that. I truly do. But I also think it hilarious that the decor mural our chairs are all positioned to view in this waiting an elaborate circus paintjng. Am I off my rocker or is there humor in that?

So this is the first time I have ever tried topost from ny tablet.....

I have to say I have been playing around a lot on my other blog page. Don't know how to attach a link on this so here is the address:

My husband and are are getting healthy and having so much fun in the process. Beteen the 2 of us we have lost almost 30 pounds in the last two weeks. We feel great, are learning awesome things and since we are doing it together its like we are continually on a date. It is too much fun!

Thank You God for Your direction and for helping encourage us in changing our learned patterns and habits. Every day is a new victory to celebrate.

Friday, June 28, 2013


It is painful to be a blooming young adult. I so remember that time where I felt I could conquer and change Who am I going to be? What am I going to do? How do I believe? Also in that mix was a million other questions that knocked without a name. They were just hanging around and nudging with their presence. It is that place where logically you know this time period happens to everyone; and yet such a statement cannot possibly begin to justify a fraction of validity in what you feel.

I remember being in that place where I felt I could conquer the world and become anything long as I stayed ahead of the questions in my mind.

That is where our youngest is right now. It has been a long time now that she has been swimming in this ocean and the waves keep coming. She is fine, there is no danger of undertows. She just can't see the shore yet. I feel for her. Sometimes she is transparent with me while other times she can't even label it for herself much less put it to audible word.

I hug her when she lets me. I laugh with her and spend time with her every chance we get because it is connection.
I pray for her.

I have been purposing to spend time with my Papa; purposing to read and sit. Things are slowly expanding for me. The absence is less and I feel hope. During worship last Sunday I told God, "here I am. I don't even know what to say right now but I know I need You."

The next day I was at the office and had an interesting encounter. A gentleman came in the front door asking for directions to a certain address. He looked very normal, slacks and sweater, he was maybe 28-35 years old. He was polite and unassuming. I looked up his address on my laptop and then a co-worker explained the directions. During our talk he made mention that he was on his way to a job interview. So when he was walking out I smiled and said, "God bless you on your interview." As he pushed the front door open he looked back at me and said, "Thank you my beloved." and then was gone.

I remember thinking that is not an every day statement. I looked at my co-worker but she was already almost to her office door. I didn't even think to ask if she heard. I settled back to my tasks and forgot what was said.

Later as I was heading to my car, I stopped in the middle of the parking lot as I replayed the morning's events, "Thank you my beloved."  Then it hit me fully. A dawning excitement washed over me and I jumped into my car so I could talk to God .....without appearing crazy.

"Lord that is not a normal statement to make. You don't hear friends say that to one another much less complete strangers. Was that You? Was I unaware of entertaining an angel? Was that You giving me encouragement that I am never alone and You hear and know my every thought?"

Whatever it was, whomever it was; I felt lighter all the way home. I felt like a beloved.  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Is Anyone In There?......

I try to never write without having a positive purpose; a truth and point of inspiration in looking forward. But the truth right now is that I am numb.
All these things are going on and I feel like the emotion sensor of my heart has been taken out.

It is so cute to watch Pippin and Poet together. It blesses me that she calls and says, "Hey Mom are you and Dad free to go on a double date?" It thrills me that she sends me daily texts that say 'I love you Mommy'. But the blessing and the thrills are absent of heart tugging emotion.

Puddin' just finished her freshman year of college and is so pleased with herself. We are elated and so very proud of her. I smile and love my cherished youngest daughter to pieces. But my heart appears to be floating in a lost void of space.

A couple of days ago I took my mom to a lung specialist to address abnormalities that were found during her recent hospital stay. Tests showed that there are multiple nodules in both of her lungs. There appears to be nothing else showing up elsewhere in her body. The specialist gave his reasons and opinion and feels that the safest and smartest route to go is to wait three months and scan again for differences. My mom cried with relief and praised God for the doctor's confidence. I simply sat there.

I could have said something important, something valid. I could have breathed a sigh of relief and called everyone with the good news. Instead I felt more like I was checking errands off a task list.....cold hearted and empty. I would say I feel ashamed. But I don't even feel that.

It is all as if I am outside my body and going through the motions of the day. I can stand beside myself and scream into my ears......'How about now?! Can you feel it now?!' But my response is a flat line no response.

If I were listening to someone else with these worries on their plate; I would tell them the last few month have been trying and it is okay to be in shock. I would say that it is alright to not always have the answers and to not be so hard on themselves.
But not even those words feel right at this time.

I want to feel. I want to own each moment. I know what my head says I should be doing and offering up right now. I know what my heart should be partnering with. But all I can think right now is, 'When will my heart wake up?'.

Papa, all I can do is call your name........

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Wedding!

The Wedding Party
Bride & Groom First Look - so precious -
He cried with a flood of emotion.
Here and there I have thoughts that I tell myself I should put to writing and then things keep moving forward and I get side tracked. So, I now sit wanting to write insight-fully and document my time. But nothing seems to fit my self desired writing format. Instead, I find right now that the facts are the truth and they are the best........

Preparing for the wedding was a huge amazing honor. It was so fun to create everything for our daughter and tailor it to her desires. The official pictures will be back in a few weeks but these quick snaps are fun to see.

Every second of the wedding was a precious treasure and unique for their style. Instead of the typical Bridal Entrance; our daughter chose a guitar instrumental of Disney's "Some Day My Prince Will Come". The wedding kiss was indeed their first kiss as they said they would do all along.

The theme of the day was Foundations because God is the foundation of their individual lives as well as their new journey together. Instead of a guest book, people painted their names and encouragements on river stones to be kept in a vase for the bride and groom. Later as guests were leaving, they were given river stones with favorite scriptures of the happy couple.

Guests signed river stones
Watching everyone dance as I mingled about was so fun. My brother put together a blended array of worship along with the easy fun sounds of artists like Jack Johnson, Ray LaMontange, IZ, Nora Jones, Michael Buble, Nat King Cole, The Turtles, The Monkees, The Romantics and many more. I have a copy of all the music here at home and I am reliving many smiles as I listen to it all daily.

Our family and friends came together to offer so much help along the way as they united with our celebrating. I am very grateful for each person and each minute. From my brother and cousin who mastered the sound, my sister-in-law and cousin installing the decor and the many friends who spear headed clean up with an air of effortless precision....they and many more were all amazing. Then my dear friend who took point for me the whole day; oh my goodness I am so grateful. I have to laugh at myself for ever thinking I could be both "mother-of-the-bride" AND "master of the day".

Memento table with scripture river stones for guests to take home.
In everything along the way of preparation I could feel God's guiding hand in inspiration, direction and even that pesky detail of funding. All the way down to the final details and extras like being able to make jewelry and finding special heirloom handkerchiefs to give all of the family moms and grandmas.....His hand was everywhere.

The day of rehearsal found me with no other task but to enjoy and let my thoughts spin in my head. It struck me as an odd thought that I couldn't recall anyone ever being done with wedding prep tasks 3 days before the event. I thanked God for His guiding in getting it all done and didn't think much more about it. Our eldest daughter had driven in from Spokane early to help me with any last minute things. She and I had fun doing some window shopping for those little wedding details that no one would be any wiser had they not been there. Then we headed up to make jewelry and have lunch with my mom. It was a great afternoon to visit and channel energy into creativity as we shared stories of whatever happened to cross our minds. I am so grateful for that time. It all ended up being very surreal and something I kept tracking back to as the weekend progressed.

This is one of my favorite snaps.
I love their joy.
Later in the evening as I was pulling into the parking lot for rehearsal, I received a call from my dad concerning my mom. She was having chest pains that her nitro pills were being unsuccessful in abating. I have to admit my brain got pretty stuck at that point and .....well you can imagine. I distinctly remember thinking, "oh this is why You told me to enlist Wendy to take charge for the wedding and You kept encouraging me to let go and let her lead it all." As the rehearsal progressed, I prayed for my mom with this weird mixture of power and denial.

My Nana
God always shows me that He can handle more than I imagine and this was no exception. I wanted to be there for my mom. I have always been the one to break down the doctor jargon and be family liaison. But I knew it would break her heart to think I missed rehearsal because of her. So at rehearsal I stayed and kept reminding myself that God is a good task master and He is in charge.  I knew that I knew that I knew....I would see her later.

Remember that thought of ......who gets done with wedding prep tasks 3 days early? Now I see why. The day before the wedding was split multiple times between hospital tests, visiting out of town guests, talking with the doctor, lunch with family, hospital visit and explaining to family, dinner with guests. If I were to hear someone else relive that day; I would be in shock at it all. But I was fine for God did it all. Yes I was tired and emotional. Yes I sat on my bed and cried out to God at the huge volley of complete joy and complete despair sitting in my hands. But God helped me compartmentalize and hold each task at its appointed time.

4 generations

It reminded me greatly of being with Daddy and caring for him for that whole year. Times of intense trial bring on clarity. It is a conundrum of clarity that makes a person rely on God and peel away the extra things that do not matter. It becomes a very precious time that holds great value as heart pain is embraced.  

 The wedding day is a treasure to hold in my heart for so many reasons. Family near and far came to celebrate and honor Pippin & Poet - Rachell & Joshua. My mom was released from the hospital 3 hours before the ceremony and was able to attend! My Nana was able to attend. She is 87 years young and with her advancing dementia, I imagine the wedding my very well be the last event she is ever able to be part of.

 Now, it has been just over a week. The kids (will I ever stop calling them that?) are now back from Mexico and so cute together in their new married ways. I went to their apartment yesterday to watch them open presents and they were adorable.

My mom is doing well. There are a lot of doctors visits and tests ahead but it will all be handled in God's timing.

Gary and I also went away for a few days to recoup. It was good to be on the beach and focus on each other without other things pulling for our attention.

And one more thing to share.......
Our Puddin' girl is finishing up her first year of photography in college and is having so much fun. These days in a photography program one has to know everything from using old style film to manipulating layers of photos digitally. Below is one of her final projects. She had to use key things like vanishing point, blending modes and self portrait.

Oh my gosh we are so proud of her talent and creativity!

Papa God, I celebrate You. Thank You for always being here, being our guide, our wisdom, strength and sustaining force that is greater than anything else in the universe. Thank You for the celebration of unity. And thank You for your love.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Rain Is Coming

Ecclesiastes 3 says:

"To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted,
A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up,
A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
A time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away,
A time to rend and a time to sew, a time to keep silence and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace."

As I sit here this morning reading the above passage, I am struck and comforted at God's pairing of everything with its opposite. It reminds me that not only do things change but they become their 180 degree balance.

I could spend time right now going into a deep explanation of this current season but it seems irrelevant. We all carry the amount that God knows we can handle with His strength. Details don't matter. The truth is that I am grateful for seasons. The hard ones help me focus and the easy ones help me to be grateful.

Suffice it to say this is a harder season. But as promised, God is always here.
The other night as I was falling to sleep, I had a dream. It was an interesting image to say the least and it makes me laugh sometimes, but it has been in the foremost of my mind ever since.

In my dream, I was standing in a dry field and behind me was a chicken coop. The coop was on fire. Smoke was billowing out of every crevice while flames jumped in abandon and chickens were squawking up a storm. There were people running around crazy like the sky was falling. They were crying, screaming, pulling their hair and even running into the side of the chicken coop in their crazed state. The interesting thing is all those people were "me". They all looked like me, dressed like me, sounded like me and felt like me. (Dreams are funny that way.)

Then my dream view went back to the first me that was standing in the middle of the field surrounded by all of the craziness. Time slowed down, I could even hear the sound of time slowing and it tuned out the other sounds of panic and catastrophe behind me. I saw sweat beads rolling down my face in slow motion. Then I closed my eyes, shook my head from side to side and willed myself to say, "I will not run around crazy like that. I refuse. I can smell the rain coming. It's in the air. I can smell the rain and we are going to be okay. It is all going to be okay."

That is all I remember of the dream but it talks to me as I go through my days. I keep hearing this whisper and echo, "the rain is's coming.......the rain is coming". Sometimes, like right now, it catches in my chest and makes my steps stall because I hear it so soundly. It vibrates in my heart.

Yesterday when I opened the door to go outside, I actually smelled rain in the air.

Can you smell it? Do you know it's coming? It IS coming. That smell only happens when the heavens are swelling from the fullness of it all and the rain is about to spill over the edge. That is such a unique smell; as if the dirt is stirring and wanting to run away from the fact that the ground is about to change.

God I breathe it in and embrace it. Thank You for Your promise of rain, Your promise of change, Your promise of steadfastness, strength, hope and destiny that cannot be stolen away. 

*3/27/13 Post note; I was sharing this dream with a friend last night and having fun talking about all the different ways God speaks to us. Through her sharing with me my thoughts lit on a new twist to my thinking. I wonder if the smell of rain is the earth celebrating the expectation and anticipation of the refreshing life water.....