Category Archives: my story

Wondering in the quiet

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This quiet Christmas morning I will sit still. No dinner preparations this year. Presents already unwrapped, wrapping paper and bows still linger under the tree. The tree is the only light in the early dawn, there is the magic of stillness dancing in the air.

Today I will sit in the quiet of the moment, reflecting on what we are celebrating. God, in all his unimaginable glory packaged in the flesh of a helpless baby.

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Do you ever wonder how that felt? Do you ever wonder if he was frustrated with the limitations? I wonder if he always knew he was God, when he was lying in the manger, did he know? Could he see the life that was ahead of him? Or was he blest with blindness of the future that we as humans are blest with? Did he know that just a short time ago he soared with angels, and now he was dependent on two imperfect human beings for even the most minor of needs?

Did he know in that moment of celebration that in 33 short years he would know a time of despair that had never been felt before? Did he know right then that he would be resurrected to save the souls of mankind? Did he know that even with his very best given it would be rejected by some?

I wonder these things as I sit here this morning.

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From our home you yours I pray for you the peace and wonder of this amazing miracle we celebrate today.

Gratitude Production 101

gratitude production 101

Here are all the links to all 7 blogs in case you missed one. Trust me you do not want to miss one. All on the same subject, all so different yet so similar.

Before November gives way to December and all that seems to go with this time of year, make sure to read these. After this week of reading these I feel better prepared to enter this busy season. I will be more intentional with my thanksgiving, more satisfied with what I have, more compassionate to those who don’t have, more focused on the real reason for the season. I will be more thankful.

Take a few minutes, ready them one right after the other, like chapters in a book. it won’t take long. Choose just one or two of the suggestions to try see if it doesn’t change the way you look at celebrating the birth of our Jesus.

Day One by Traci Castaneda : Thanksgiving Blog Venture Day 1

Day Two by Terry Porter : Thanksgiving and Gratitude

Day Three by Bev Landgren : 365 Days of Grateful

Day Four by Joe Castaneda : Be Thankful. Be Thankful. Be Thankful.

Day Five by Tom Tanner : Rooted, Built, Established and Abounding in Thanksgiving

Day Six by Danny Ray : 3 Ways to Make this Thanksgiving the Best One Ever

Day Seven by Becca Forrest : Intentional Thanksgiving

I am working on a special project for this weekend. Stay tuned!

Have a blessed tomorrow.

365 days of grateful

gratitude production 101

Today is my day (day 3) in this project, I am honored and excited to be part of this Gratitude Project 101. I hope as the week progresses you will stop in and check out the 6 amazing bloggers I have been teamed with.

 

365 days of grateful

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This is the time of year we stop to reflect on what we are thankful for, we post out thankfulness for the 31 days of November. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great practice, but last year my heart was softly challenged, why only once a year?  Why do I  take only 31 days out of 365 to actively practice gratitude? These thoughts continued to nag at me for several weeks. Why would I not express my thankfulness every day, all year long? I have a blessed, beautiful life.

Instead of making resolutions for the New Year I chose this one word to focus on and put into practice for 365 days– Grateful. (See this project for more details.)

For days I prayed, planned and wondered, how would that look? How exactly would I place this word in my life in practical, tangible ways. I decided on at least 3 things I would practice every day.

Continue reading 365 days of grateful

Soap

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Her face has been floating in and out of my consciousness all week. I noticed her as I left the parking lot last week. She was sitting behind a cardboard sign, five or six white garbage bags all around her. She had on several layers of clothing, her face was dirty, and wore the wrinkles of a hard life. I started to drive by but decided to pull over. I got out of the car and dug out one of my beach blankets from the back. She had gotten to the car by that time. I grabbed a couple bags of hotel toiletries, I told her that I did not have money to give her but I had this blanket and these toiletries. Her eyes lit up, her whole face broke out in a toothless grin and she exclaimed “Soap!” She thanked me like I had handed her keys to a warm house and walked back to her spot on the sidewalk.

I am humbled. Soap, she was thrilled to get soap.

While I have been focusing on gratitude all year, I realized in that moment I still had a lot to learn.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.   Colossians 3:17

 

 

 

My Word

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About this time last year I began searching for “my word” for the next year. After praying and thinking the word grateful chose me. It has been an amazing journey this year with this word in the forefront of my mind.

At work I put a very large paper on the door to my office, I placed sharpies next to the door. At the top of the page it said “Today I am thankful for . . . .” Every day I have written something, the surprising and wonderful thing that happened next was; others joined in. The pages filled up with not just my gratefulness, but the thankfulness of others. I can hardly express how this blessed my heart, the way it adjusted my day before it even started. I now have 7 or 8 of these 2×3 foot sheets of paper of gratitude. I am indeed blessed.

I have so much to be thankful for, a loving husband that cares for me, a marriage that is a joy and blessing, an amazing family who is serving God each in their own ways. Amazing beautiful children both natural and step, the knowledge that one day I will feel the huge bear hug that I miss so much.

As I begin this month I am beginning to search for next year’s word. A word for me that also has the ability to impact others around me. Have you tried this? Choosing a word to focus on for the year? This will be my third year, check out this site http://oneword365.com/, there are many ideas here, and the story behind it. One word instead of resolutions.

I am most grateful for the love of my Jesus, who allows all these amazing gifts in my life.

Skippidy doo da

wedding day 1

My birthday month has come to a close I have been thinking about the amazing gifts my husband has given to me, not just this last month but from the beginning of us.

I am loved with no expectations, and I have been from the very beginning. When we started dating I really did love my single life, I told him so. I told him that I did not want a serious relationship, I did not ever plan to marry again. He loved me anyway, gently and consistently. No pushing, no expectations, just there accepting me.

Freedom to be exactly me, my husband has loved me for who I am and has never tried to change me. That is such a gift. The next two gifts come in the same wrapping. Knowledge that I am enough. Finally coming to myself. I am 56 years old, I am finally comfortable in my own skin, and I have finally realized that I am who God created me to be. This man has shown me more about how God loves me that any other.

Because of the three gifts above I feel safe. Safe to try new things, to be exactly me, to feel what I feel, to say what I need to say. This is an incredible gift, I have rarely felt this in my life. I have always felt I needed to measure myself, whether real or imagined I did not feel safe enough to really be me.

I can totally invest myself (and $) into a thing that I want to try. Over these last 5 years I have tried so many new things, knitting, soap making, building with pallets, photography and running just to name a few. I have not heard once that I am investing too much. That I am spending too much time or money, nor have I heard one word when I have decided that this particular thing is not for me. He is my cheerleader through all of it.

I have learned to truly relax and to let things go, I don’t have to always be in motion. I don’t have to complete a project the same day I start it. I have learned patience and to pace myself. Gently he taught me these things. It is amazingly freeing and calming. He has taught me the value of total quiet, the peace and comfort of being able to sit next to a person in total silence in peace and not feel like the quiet needs to be filled.

Waking to snuggles every morning and falling to sleep with snuggles every night. This everyday occurrence helps me to let go of the day and readies me to start a new one. I cannot even begin to tell you what a wonderful gift this is.

Really the point of this post is to publicly thank my husband for being the amazing man he is. To thank him for all the amazing gifts he gives me not just for my birthday, but each and every day. They are far more valuable than any material thing.

Skippidy doo da thank you
Lord for makin’ him for me
And thank you for letting life turn out the way
That I always thought it could be

There once was a time, that I could not imagine
How it would feel to say I’m the happiest girl in the whole U.S.A.

Tim, I never thought it possible to grow more in love with time, I did not know that this existed, when you said five years ago that we would be amazing I had no idea. Life with you is amazing. Thank you for all you do for me, especially this time of year. Thank you for loving me as I am. Just when I think I could not possibly love you more, a new day dawns. I love you more than I can say.

Stretcher Friends

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When they couldn’t find a way to get him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down on his stretcher through the tiles into the middle of the room, right in front of Jesus. Luke 5:19

From the time the fireworks tents start appearing through August is what I call the season of Jason. (You can read the whole story here.) This season the story of the man being lifted up on his stretcher and brought to Jesus by his friends has been running through my head.

Many times through these three years when I have been at my lowest I have heard from you that you are praying. Your prayers have carried me time and time again to Jesus. You did for me what I often could not do for myself. When the grief was crippling you picked up my stretcher and carried me. You spoke the words to Jesus when I had no words.

I write this today to say thank you to all of you, I have felt your prayers, I have felt you lifting me to the presence of Jesus. I have felt his healing grace over and over. Thank you for being there still, three years later. Thank you for allowing me to grieve, for not telling me it was time to get up and walk on my own, for giving me the luxury of being carried. Thank you for walking beside me when I can walk, and then carrying me again when I need to be carried. I don’t have enough words to thank you properly, but I want you to know, that I know you are there, I know you are lifting me up to Jesus. Thank you.

I thank my God every time I remember you. Phil. 1:3

the day before The Day

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Today is the day before The Day three years ago. My first born, my boy, woke up dancing on streets of gold. I find myself with such mixed emotions, I miss Jason. Plain and simple I miss him. I have a peace that I will see him again, that we left nothing unsaid, that the last time I saw him I hugged him, told him I loved him. I am so happy for him, living with his new body, free from earthly cares, in the presence of our amazing God.

There is a family today, that is holding a memorial service for a son that had been disowned. Not a word had been spoken to him in several years. There were chances to offer forgiveness during an illness, no fences were mended and now it is too late. I can not imagine surviving this kind of regret and grief. I pray for them today and the days ahead, for the momma’s heart that must be shattered.

Today in the midst of the grief of not being able to physically hug my son, I am so grateful that I have no regrets, that Jason left this world knowing he was completely loved for who he was.

So through the tears this morning, I can smile as I remember the wonder of being his mom for the years I was allowed.

Kobe

I had a day

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I had a day last week that I have been pondering, still unsure of where it came from and what to think of it. Maybe if I write it down I can process it a little better.

This day I wanted to take a break, it was more than that, but I am even having a hard time explaining how I felt. I wanted to not be a mom whose son was dead, I wanted to not be a manager, I did not want to knit, I did not want to not knit. I did not want to take a run, I did not want to not take a run. I did not want to sit out in Jason’s garden, I did not want the reason for it. I did not want to cry, I did not want to feel, I did not want to be sad, I did not want to be happy. I did not want to do anything, I did not want to be idle.

Does any of that make sense? I have heard the expression “stop the world and get off” but have never felt it like I felt it that day. I was at a loss with what to do with myself, I was restless and lifeless all at the same time.

So, I put on my favorite Christian praise station, put on my headphones and made myself take a run. I really did not want to, and I really did not want to not want to.(Hope that makes any kind of sense.)

This is what I sorted out on my run, the fireworks tents started going up this week, these mark the beginning of Jason’s end. I also realized that my favorite season will forever hold some sadness, I am a summer gal, but it holds some darkness now. (I don’t really like that.)

By the end of the run, I felt like I had run to the arms of my heavenly father and he held me close. I cried, we had a long talk. Then I sat in the arms of my husband and he held me close.The world was okay again.

I am a blessed woman, my amazing daughter is just that, amazing. My two step children remind me every day of the love between siblings, and they make me smile. I cannot say enough about my wonderful husband, he makes sure I live the most carefree life possible. He makes sure I feel loved and cherished. And last but certainly not least, my heavenly father who is never more than a breath away.

Yes, the world is okay again, I have regained my balance. I am truly blessed beyond measure.

Is. 43:1-2, 4
Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to Me!
That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you.
MSG

Happy Father’s Day

Dad, Steve, Dave, & Bev - sea wall at San Diego

First to my Dad – I remember trips we took, places we saw, your humor and your aversion to camping. But we did it one summer, 6 weeks in that camper van, all of us sleeping in it every night all the way to Indiana and back. We survived. I remember driving down the highway in a station wagon and you eating as many cherries as you could, holding the pits in your mouth until you could hold no more, then in machine gun fashion spewing them out out the car window as you drove. I remember driving back from grandma’s in Richland and the huge blizzard in the gorge. we got in that fender bender, by the time you got back in the car one side of your face was coated with about 1/4 inch of ice. The first thing you said when your face thawed was “never again”.  And never again did we travel the gorge at that time of year. And then your love for my kids, how you cared for them and helped me so often as a single parent. Thank you for the love and example you were to all of us.

Paul & Jody in Rogue River 05

One thing I just remembered today as I was looking at some pictures, you loved photography. I remember you telling me how to compose a picture to give it depth. I wonder what your photography would have looked like had you been able to afford a nice camera? Love you and miss you, I am so glad you were there to welcome Jason to his heavenly home.

Jason 022steve & mendi

 

 

 

 

 

 

To my brothers, what great uncles you have been to my children, I don’t know if I can ever express to you my gratitude for the care and love you showered on my kids as they navigated life with out a dad. Dave, even without children of your own you have loved and cared for so many kids, you have been a great example of unconditional love. Steve, your example to my kids of  a daddy and godly father is something that I will be forever grateful for.

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Tom, papa, I can not tell you what it meant to me when you and Sammye “adopted” my kids. Your love of them is something I can never thank you enough for. What a godly example you have been to them.

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Last but not least, my husband, one thing that attracted me to you was the love you had for your kids, they are your heart. I had seen too many single dads fade from their kids every day lives. I was so impressed with your love and care of your kids, I knew I could trust you with my heart. Then you loved mine too, you are a wonderful “Dod”.