Thursday, December 31, 2009

What isn't there to love?

I'll play along too. I actually had a really hard time wanting to post anything after my last post. I feel like I have since just been resting in this state of in between. God has been so good and so very clearly speaking to my heart. This list of things I love that follows, well it just seems like I good way to end the year. Sharing a bit more of the things I am passionate about. I am declaring 2010 to be a year of "so much more." My God truly does have so much more for my life.

In no particular order here are 10 things i love:

1. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. This is my family, my Savior, my counselor, teacher – Everything. My heart isn’t even capable of loving them enough. Without Him I would not have a life, and such a blessed one at that. (this one is truly #1)

2. Diet coke, which I am sure comes as no surprise if you’ve known me for more than a day or two. Cherry Kool-aid is a close second.

3. Singing, music, my guitar. Again… not a surprise. Music runs through my blood and shapes and colors the expression of my emotions.

4. Children, even though I don’t have any of my own. I love being with them and the connection that comes very easily for me. I love being able to aid in shaping the young lives around me.

5. Deep conversations. I don’t do “small talk” well. I don’t want to waste time or breath. Lets jump into the heart of the matter and share ourselves as we really are. These true conversations bless my heart, they push me and allow God to knit hearts together in the places that otherwise could not be.

6. Writing. Any kind of good writing. Poetry. Literature. Blogs. Amazing song lyrics. Journaling. I love that God has given me the gift of words. I learn so much. I feel so deeply. It affects me physiologically – it seats itself in my heart and mind and is carried there.

7. My friends. I love them fiercely and with everything I have to offer. Friendship is something I value like treasure and I don’t just call anyone I know a friend. If you are one (if you are reading this you most likely are) then I hope/pray that you have been blessed by allowing me to be a part of your life.

8. Water. Beside the fact that I can’t live without it, I love being in it. Pool, lake, ocean. Human… dolphin… I can be both, right? :D Oh, the ocean stirs my soul and brings me such a sense of peace. I have many wonderful oceanside memories (right lau?)

9. Dolphins. Especially singing with my Elele. I have loved dolphins since I was about 4 years old. I was blessed to at least be able to live out my dream for a short time and have an experience like most only dream of.

10. Lemon flavored or scented stuff. Handiwipes. I could sniff them for hours. Lemon cake with lemon frosting is my favorite dessert. Unfortunately, in my efforts to eat healthy I don’t have it very often. But for my birthday this year I did get homemade lemon cookies…mmmm

There you have it. 10 glimpses into my heart.

I know I am supposed to pass this award on to a bunch of other bloggers. I don't know enough people so if you haven't been given this award yet - I'm passing it onto you.

Happy New Year. Asking God for so much more for all of us.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In Betweens

Sometimes I find myself wandering in the woods and I have no idea what prompted me to come other than a need to be out and to be alone. Well not alone entirely. God is always with me. I hear his voice in the rustling branches or the scurry of a chipmunk in the underbrush. Today, it’s a slow pace without awareness of steps or time. The silence is loud and echoes in between my foot stamped snow crunches. I watch my breath. Smokey fog of exhale quickly dissipates until replaced again. I wonder if I stare deep enough could I perhaps see a drop crystallize into a snowflake mid-air before my eyes. Disjointed thoughts pass in and through my mind. A thought settles for a moment and soon I realize I am no longer thinking about anything. There is emptiness of thought and fullness of just being. This is a time of cherishing the betweens. I can no longer feel my fingertips. My nose is numb and dripping. Logic tells me I should seek the warmth of home and yet my heart urges, aches even to walk on. To not relinquish this time too quickly. The cold acts as a preservative for this blanket of peace. It’s a waiting time… an advent. This quietness of soul is like a long forgotten melody, once cherished and now remembered. I look up at snow-heavy clouds, their edges silvered by the hidden sun and I smile. It comes up from the soles of my feet and bursts forth without reason. I am known. I am blessed. My souls hearth is warmed by joy. I spin around like a little girl showing off her “twirl-y” new dress and a small giggle escapes to be quickly swallowed up by the stillness. I have followed the whisper in the wind here. It leads and I blindly follow as if my feet alone know in what direction they are heading. The unimportants have long since been left carelessly strewn along the trodden path. The weighted remainder has settled. My present is simply a place between here and there. I reach out as my palm collects the falling snow. I marvel that I am just as it is, dust and water in unique formation. Brief, beautiful and individual. Now, even I am still. I wait. I breathe. I listen. Humanness intervenes. Heavy legs and frozen ears call me back from the edges of eternity. The wind pushes me homeward. There is a desire to stay in this place, to wander till I touch the horizon. But I know the value of here is only in the betweens.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


You have ravished my heart,
My sister, my spouse;
You have ravished my heart
With one look of your eyes,
With one link of your necklace.
Song of Solomon 4:9 (NKJ)

“Ravished”: to seize and take away by violence; to overcome with emotion (as joy or delight)

the Hebrew word is labab: to take heart, make heart beat faster

I have ravished the heart of God.

You have ravished the heart of God.

He is filled with holy, violent love toward us.
He is captured and captivated by us.
One look to Him makes His heart beat faster.

Just think about it….

I mean really think about it.

We sing songs to God about our love for him –our joy - the sacrifice He made – his birth – his death. Have you ever listened to the song he sings over you? The words of love he has just for you. What name does he call you by?

My weak love matters to God.

Our lives more often reflect that we are insecure and unconfident of God’s love. How different would it look if we knew… KNEW how much God loves us?

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.
Psalm 139:17-18 (NKJ)

I decided to do a little math (I know… I know…) The bible uses sand and stars quite a bit – so lets pretend His thoughts towards us are like the stars. Even with all our technology – we really don’t know how many stars there are. The are over a trillion stars estimated to be in the Milky Way alone. And roughly 200 billion known galaxies. If you lived to 90 years old that would mean that God thinks of YOU somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 trillion times per second!!!

The Hebrew word for sand comes from the root word “khole”.

Khole: twist or whirl; to dance, to writhe in pain or fear; bear, bring forth, calve, dance, drive away, fall grievously, hope, look, make, be in pain, rest, shake, shapen, sorrow, stay, tarry, trevail, tremble, trust, wait carefully, be wounded

Maybe… just maybe, God feels all these things for each one of us. Twirling us around on his finger one day, sharing our sorrows the next. Giving us hope or maybe just sitting by holding us in His arms.

I am utterly ravished by that thought.
I willing trust my heart to one who loves me like that.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Maybe this is for you

Ever since the letter post I have felt nudged to post this note. I have no idea why, but today when I was doing dishes and it popped into my head again I knew I needed to post it.

To my dearest little treasure

How unfortunate that you will never truly know or understand how much you have enriched countless moments for me here, and beautified countless days, offerred me countless smiles that melted my heart into tiny little drops of joy, made the whole world go away with countless embraces of such warmth and love that it nearly hurt to let go. and so I can't imagine anything more painful than feeling that I destroy you so often and so thoroughly, given how strongly I feel about you, given how much I love you and care about every single emotion that passes through your little heart. It kills me to think that, in my efforts to help and heal and love and give, I so often hurt and obliterate and crush and take from my endlessly selfless flower.

volim te
oci kao polu mjesec

(translation: I love you half moon eyes forever)

to be continued??? maybe???

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I've Been Hit

It's finally found me! Christmas spirit.

Saturday was a bright warm sunny day. By warm, I mean all of 30 degrees, but compared to the last few days we've had it felt like a heat wave. After getting things staightened up around the apartment, I put together a list of to-do's and hit the road.

Then it hit me. First stop. Outside the shopping center the Salvation Army band was playing. Cute firefighters were bell ringing. Great way to start things off. The stores weren't ridiculous. I found the gifts I was looking for and I didn't wait in a single line. Merry Christmas to me.

In the car, I was listening to Christmas music (duh) but not just any music. Growing up, my dad had a reel to reel player. It was the christmas music I grew up with. Most of it isn't stuff you hear anymore. One of my favorites is Little Toy Trains. My dad would always sing it to my sister and I. He would change the words to say, "little girl don't you think it's time you were in bed." This music is the soundtrack to my favorite Christmas memories. A couple years ago, I finally got my dad to give me the reel the music was on and I had it converted to CD. The quality is horrible, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It sounds just like I remember it. And you can tell that we didn't listen to the songs at the end as much as the beginning because the quality gets better 2/3 through.

And I got almost all my shopping done. But I ran out of steam. I just have a few things left to get. Two people I haven't gotten inspired for yet. It will come.... cause I got Christmas spirit!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Special Delivery

Letters... remember those?

No. Not your abc's...

The kind that came on paper in an envelope through the mail. The kind you got excited about, that made you smile just seeing it there among the ads and bills and various other junk.

I love letters. I miss letters. I love reading and writing them. They don't even have to be letters to me and I enjoy them. I have a book series called Griffin and Sabine, which I absolutely love. I don't even understand it really - I just love that it's letters written back and forth between two people. Letters contain just that extra piece of the person that email just can't convey. You can hold it and feel it, see the handwriting... the slower deliberate strokes of thought or the hurried unfinishedness of excitement. It holds time, creates a moment. A letter speaks of love - extra time taken to sit and think and feel - to remind you that you are worth that effort. Yes - a letter is extra special.

I took the time to write a letter the other day. It's been a while, but there was a time I wrote someone every couple weeks. It felt like rediscovering an old friend. Pen to paper... thoughts pouring out...wanting to finish and get it in the mail. Then the wait till it is delivered. Oh joy! The need for this letter ensued from a friend having very limited computer access. Not knowing when she would be able to read email, I was just having conversation with her in my head. So instead I decided to write down those conversations so she could have the benefit of experiencing it as well.

We've become so hurried, so robotic these days... so much so that many of us have forgotten how to communicate with each other the substance of our hearts. It's a 'hey how are you' - and we're out the door before we even get to the end of the sentence. The answer expected is always 'Fine and how are you?' If it's not - we don't know how to respond. We've got some place to be, too many things to do. Many of us are even too busy to say hi at the beginning of the forwards we send round and round. We are missing something...

... called human connection

Maybe you don't have time to meet for coffee (or a diet coke). Can you find a few minutes to write a letter to let someone know you are thinking of him or her? Maybe write a letter of encouragement for your children that they can look back on in years to come. Or to a friend you haven't been able to connect with in a while. Take some time and write a letter to a soldier who is far from home and fighting so you can sleep peacefully at night or a prisoner who might feel like God has abandoned him. You can always send one to me! I am challenging each of us to hand write a letter sometime in the next 30 days. Will you accept the challenge?

Yes - a letter is extra special

Even God knew letters were important. He wrote one for all of us - from His heart! Will you write one?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Taking Risks

Many times what God asks us to do does not make much sense in our human nature. He is always asking us to go further than our comfortabilities – it’s how we grow. Of course it can be scary.

It might be that at first you were comfortable, or just slightly unnerved and then something happens… God has asked you to go even further. Do you shrink back in fear? If we choose fear over the chance – we are telling God he can’t be trusted. And stripped down, it’s disobedience. I want my life to be characterized by trust in the only One who is absolutely trustworthy. I want to push the fear aside and go for it, because I don’t want to miss the blessings. The blessing might not even come from that particular opportunity, it could come from something or somewhere else entirely. But it will come.

This week has been unexpectedly hard. At times I wanted to lie down and quit. It seemed like God had let me down and people could not be trusted. I wanted to take the gates to my heart that I had opened, slam them shut and put as many locks as I could find on it. Of course that is not what God wanted. Not only did he very clearly tell me to not close that gate even one inch – he asked me to open them wider. Not only that, but to step out from behind them… even in my very flawed and leprous state.

I was not liking that conversation. I did quite a bit of whining with my thoughts…

“but God!!!”

The choice was mine. He doesn’t stop us from making wrong choices. I could shut out the blessing or make more room to receive it, even though it might be hard.

Of course, immediately God provided a way to walk it out. Hanging out in Bloom chat, someone needed to be heard. I stepped out and listened. I loved. I let God’s love and words pour forth. I told her to find whatever sliver of hope she could and then hang on to it. In reality, God was holding up a mirror asking me to look at myself… what would I say to me? Did I believe my own words? In the end she told me that the things she had heard about me were true. I joking said "don't believe everything you hear." Her response. "I didn't until I experienced it." It’s never about the words… it’s always about the fruit. Is the fruit of my life revealing my lack of faith and trust or does it glorify the greatness of God?

How comfortable are we? Are our words backed up by our actions or are we flighty with them? What kind of fruit are we producing?

This Jesus walk… it isn’t easy. It goes against the grain, against the current. It doesn’t fall in line with our selfish desires or natural senses. What choice will you make? Does it depend on what he asks of you?

He might ask you to leave home and go to an unknown land like Abraham… or drive to Ohio to share your story...or speak out truth like the prophets… or walk on water. Maybe it’s to reach out to a stranger… or love someone who won’t love you back. It may even be to give your life. Do you trust Him?

Friday, December 4, 2009

getting in the Christmas spirit

We have snow! Thankfully, I didn't have to work this morning, but I heard someone else scraping ice off their windows. I'm sure I'll have many oppotunities to share that joy in the morning over the next few weeks.... unless Santa wants to put a remote start in my car :)

It's afternoon and there is still a dusting of the white stuff on the ground, which means winter has officially set in.

I spent the morning putting up the christmas tree and decorations. Sometimes I'm not even sure why I bother... no one sees it but me. No presents go under the tree. But for an hour or two in the evening the lights look so pretty and bring a sense of peace. It's a reminder that this is a special time of year.

As I mentioned last year, I finally got my nativity from my grandparents. Since I didn't get it until after Christmas, this is the first time I've gotten to put it out. Three years ago, I finally just went ahead and bought my own set which I love. It's very simple and each piece has a scripture on it. My new set is beautiful and so different. I want to share it with you all. The pieces have cloth clothes. Joseph's staff is real wood. Baby Jesus is separate from the manger. The barn itself is so detailed. There is a water jug in the window. Bales of hay and a ladder.

Now, as the advent season requests... I wait.
Wait for the joy of the season to come. Wait for opportunities to love, especially in places I never expected or in places my human nature does not want to. I wait for God's promises to be fulfilled. And I wait for the return of the Savior who once came as a baby to save us and lead us home.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Come out from behind the curtain

Recently, it’s been amazing to watch others stepping out in boldness in so many ways, whether it’s facing a hurt from the past, coming out of anonymity to show the world who she is, or meeting new people. I began to think - it’s my turn. I can do something like that.

This blog is like a billboard. Not that its content isn’t true, but that I can plaster whatever I want others to see on it and keep the rest hidden. (I know some of you know me well enough to read between the lines) Yesterday, I was ready to take the leap of faith, type through the fear and step out from behind the curtain… that was yesterday.

Today, it’s 2 steps back. Looking for more curtains to shield me. Some sort of smoke and mirrors trick to satisfy but not raise suspicion. And simply admitting that is as vulnerable as I can allow myself to be right now. Maybe… that alone is a big enough step in the right direction.

And there’s always tomorrow…

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas and Addiction

I am an addict.

They say the first step is admitting it. Oh... I have no problem admitting it. I haven't hit bottom yet so I'm not looking for recovery.

As a child, every year for Christmas two gifts under the tree were always ornaments -one for my sister and one for me. My mom would find something that fit our personalities, our current hobbies or something significant that occured during the year. I never understood why we had to wait till Christmas morning to get them, it seems like it would have made more sense to open them early and be able to put them on the tree instead of waiting an entire year. But I didn't get to make the rules...

One of my favorites has unfortunately gotten lost somewhere along the way, but I got it the Christmas after I was baptized. It was a large clear ball and hanging from the center was a dove. I believe there was a scripture on it as well.

The ornament tradition was always one of my favorites. And as a bonus, when I finally got my own Christmas tree I had quite a collection already. (Then I went to my dad's and took half of his - I figured he could afford to buy more) Even though there isn't a wrapped ornament under the tree for me anymore.. I have continued the tradition on my own. Each year (ironically, it's usally during the after Christmas sales) I seek out a new ornament. Something that fits who I am, a hobby or an event from the year. This year I found my ornament early.

An ornament to symbolize my addiction.

Was it more money than I would like to spend (even half off)? Yes.

Could it be more perfect for me? Nope.

You're right, probably not great to celebrate one's issues, but until my kidneys go into failure and my teeth are permanently stained brown, I'll probably hold onto this one.

Meet the newest addition to my collection...

Saturday, November 21, 2009


And the river keeps rolling...
and the scenery is the same...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Missing Pieces

This weekend I have the privilege of spending time with 4 wonderful kids. Even with one not feeling so well a couple days, missing shoes, and a puppy chewing on everything in sight, it was throughly enjoyable. Here is a photo journal of my weekend.


Eddy the puppy

Colin (nature boy)

Evan (my sickie)

She can introduce herself

and Nathan

Friday Night Fun


Monkey-ing around

Feeding the birds
All the chickadees loved Colin. They always chose him, even when he didn't have seed in his hand

Evan was the last one. As you can see he wasn't too sure about it

Nathan wasn't sure what to make of it when the bird came. It kind of scared him, but then he said it tickled.


I have a dream box...

It's contents contain more memories than's much easier to tangibly define the past than the future. The empty spaces of this box speak loudly of my dreams. Too fragile, too likely to be disappointed to so concretely admit them by putting them in this box.

Dreams, may not see them in this box but when I look - my heart fills in the empty spaces.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Leaves and Ladybugs

How does one even begin to describe an experience that was handwritten on the heart by God?

One doesn’t… God does.

I will try and do my best to translate.

A house of love – a porch of healing – two chairs – two hearts – a quiltunity of meals and one Almighty, Awesome, Loving God.
A leaf and a ladybug.

Saturday took me to a new place to meet new faces. Most of you already know that JD and I met. God met us both. In the midst of some deep conversation a leaf landed on me. JD commented that it took some effort for that leaf to blow up under the covered porch to find my lap. I thought nothing of it really. I took the leaf and stuck it between the holes in the wicker chair. Then it looked like God’s hand waving. I felt him near. His hand was truly wrapped around me in that chair. Then a ladybug came and landed right on the leaf. Conversation continued for hours. The sun shone. The day stretched itself out just for us. Even though the time came for me to physically leave – in other ways I never left.

Sunday afternoon, despite wanting to nap, I decided to go for a walk. The day was too gorgeous to miss. I packed a bottle of water, my camera, bible, notebook and pen. Even though I had already spent the morning writing pages and pages somehow I knew I’d need it. I walked. I worshipped. I couldn’t help singing out loud. I sat on a bench overlooking the lake and let God love me. I pulled out my bible and read some psalms. Out loud. Not so loud as to be preaching to others going by – but loud enough to express my heart glorifying God. I was so full I almost couldn’t handle it. I wanted to yell, dance, run… something, anything.

After a few minutes I got up to walk some more. In the song I was listening to, the singer says, “You’d better brace yourself because he’s about to blow in this place.” And on cue the wind picked up a little and began to blow the leaves. If it was possible, I smiled bigger. Gently leaves were blowing down from the trees. Most were floating out over the water but a couple came down on the path. I saw one lazily floating it’s way down so I ran up and snatched it right in midair. I felt accomplished that I had caught a falling leaf. (If you haven’t ever tried it before it’s a lot harder than it looks) Some runners came up behind me and said, “Nice catch.”

I start to walk home. Leaf in hand. It’s just an ordinary brown oak leaf with some small holes in it. A couple of times I almost just let go it. Why did I need to keep it? Turns out it was because I hadn’t gotten the lesson yet.

I thought about how the leaf came down off the tree. It was dead. It was designed to fall off so something new and living could replace it in the spring. I had snatched it up before it reached its destination on the ground. I had been carrying a dead leaf. Not just in my hand that day, but in my life holding onto things God meant to have me shed. God had been nudging me so gently and showing me how to let it go – send it back on it’s way on the wind to the ground. Saturday was a gifted breeze to release it on.

I let the leaf in my hand go when the breeze picked up. No longer weighed down by death. I closed my notebook and there on the edge was a ladybug.

Coincidence?? I think not!!!
I laughed out loud.
Seriously, God…seriously!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Floating on the Ocean of God's Love

Deep breath in....


In awe...

Heart overflowing and spilled out...

Can't find words...

Can only say Here am I...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Out of the Box

Last night as I went to bed I kept thinking about a jack-in-the-box. It’s a strange thing to be thinking about right before bed, I know…

But, there I was lying in bed thinking about how Jack is trapped in that box – forced to listen to the same song over and over again – only 2 directions to go: up or down. It’s Jack’s daily routine and not much changes, unless the top gets stuck and now there is nowhere to go. It’s just quiet and dark. It doesn’t sound like much fun to me. More like the ultimate rut. And then we laugh when he pops his head up…we push him back down and do it all over again. Why? Maybe we laugh because otherwise we’d cry and recognize our lives are too close to the same thing. We relate too much to Jack.

Me – I know my life does. I’m too vanilla as someone told me recently.

I have my box – home, work, same stores, the same people day in and day out.
I have my song – the way I like things to be done, the order, the rhythm of my life
And I have my movements – I go up in mood when things are good. I hide when things get hard.

Oh, I may change the color of my box on occasion or maybe move my box to slightly different location – but rare used to be the occasion when I actually got out of the box.

It’s changing…I’m learning to trust that voice inside that prompts me to do crazy things even if I think it might make me look silly.

This week there was a whisper…. Just mention it. “No”, I said. “It’s not my place and it seems a little presumptuous.”

He said, “I’m giving you an opportunity if you want to get out of that hole for a while, but it will take some courage.”

I take a deep breath and offer myself without box in tow. There are moments of silence and I think what have I done. Do I look childish? Needy? What if the answer is no? Will I be hurt or relieved? What if the answer is yes? Oh… what if yes is worse?

He says, “The answers don’t matter, only that you were willing.”

Outside the box is new. The ground feels a bit unsteady at times.

The answer was yes. I’m so excited for my God-blessed afternoon this coming weekend. If I had chosen the box instead – probably would not have smiled nearly as much this week. And even worse, I would be preventing someone else from receiving the blessing, too.

I know you must be thinking she’s done gone off the deep end for good. Guess what? I have! I’ve jumped up out and off the edge and am going to try living life in freefall. It’s adventure and excitement. It’s about becoming more like rainbow sherbet.

Sorry Jack. This Jill is moving out.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

He Is With You

I am in love with this song!

Please take a few moments and listen. Let the words and their power sink in.

We all have doubts and moments and seasons where we feel blinded by the dark. When we feel so alone. He is with us... Emmanuel!


There’s a time to live
And a time to die
There’s a time to laugh
And a time to cry
There’s a time for war
And a time for peace
There’s a hand to hold
In the worst of these

He is with you when your faith is dead
And you can’t even get out of bed
Or your husband doesn’t kiss you anymore
He is with you when your baby’s gone
And your house is still,
And your heart’s a stone
Cryin’ God, what’d You do that for
He is with you

There’s a time for yes
And a time for no
There’s a time to be angry
And a time to let it go
There is a time to run
And a time to face it
There is love to see you
Through all of this

He is with you in the conference room
When the world is coming down on you
And your wife and kids don’t know you anymore
He is with you in the ICU
When the doctors don’t know what to do
And it scares you to the core
He is with you

We may weep for a time
But joy will come in the morning
The morning light

He is with you when your kids are grown
When there’s too much space
And you feel alone
And you’re worried if you
got it right or wrong
Yes He is with you
when you’ve given up on ever finding your true love
Someone who feels like home
He is with you

When nothing else is left
And you take your final breath
He is with you

Monday, October 26, 2009


Friday night -inside and warm

Saturday morning on the boat

I survived...

13.1 miles later I am still breathing to tell about it. Ok - there was really no doubt that I would finish, it's just would I be happy with how I finished. And I was. The weather could have been a bit more cooperative. Friday when we got there the weather was so nasty, the ferries weren't even running - 12 foot waves out on the lake! I had every one I knew praying for better weather. By Saturday morning it wasn't raining so hard but it was drizzly and very cold... 40 degrees... Brrrr...

This is how far we wanted to run

While we are still happy and excited

Waiting for the start

And we're off

While we were waiting to start my sister realized her mp3 player was dead. It was not a happy moment when she realized she would have to run the whole thing without tunes. At the halfway point when I saw my dad and Judy, I gave my mp3 player to them for my sister so she could run the last half with music and I would run the second half without. Except the goober didn't take it - so we both suffered in silence... alas.... for the last 6 miles.

Then I ran and ran. Along the lakeshore, up through trails, over wet leaves, through mud and horse crap, up hills and down hills, (even had 30 seconds of sun where I looked upand smiled knowing people were praying for that sun!) until that glorious moment of crossing the finish line.

It looks like I'm walking across the finish - but I swear I ran

So happy to be done

Then I wanted to lie down and die - except that it was too wet and cold to. Then I got the chills - even with a clean dry shirt on I proceeded to shiver for the next 2 hours while we waited for the boat to take us back to the mainland. As we waited to load onto the boat, it started to rain on us. Then for the rest of the day, guess what? The sun was out. Sunday was equally prefect. Couldn't we have sped up the weather 24 hrs for the race?

The Winners (in our own minds)

Inquiring minds want to know if I am going to do it again next year??? I told my sister she needed to pick a race where hypothermia isn't a concern and a boat ride isn't required :-)

Overall - it was a good weekend. I got to be with my sister and accomplish something I've worked hard towards. My family and friends were there in person and in spirit to support me.

On the way back through town we saw these shirts in the store window and knew we needed to get them. Of course dad had to initially ante up the funds cause neither of us brought money. Yes, I realize the shirt is pink. For this one occasion I put aside my pink prejudices.

the family agrees - the answer is interchangable

There are more photos - of the island itself and some artsy (the more interesting ones)- over on the photo blog. So please stop over there and take a look.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Happy Thought Thursday

Probably no one cares too much about the things that make me happy and smile, but they make me happy and smile. Sometimes you just need those simple thoughts as a pick me up. So here's round two of my happy thoughts.

· little boys in suits

· taking funny photographs

· listening to or playing guitar

· "Tia" blue

· nicknames (my sister and I have been known to call each Fremont and Clyde, although we have no idea how it got started)

· printed socks

· foreign accents (especially when having Dr. Seuss read aloud)

· flipflops

· having your hair played with

· being sung to sleep

· compliments

· pajamas at breakfast

· the "snuggle right in" feeling

· making snow angels

· sprinkles (or jimmies if you prefer)

· snow lined trees

· church bells

· flying a kite

· wild roses over a cottage door

· a sharp pencil

· feeling devastatingly feminine (on the extreme odd occasion this happens)

· old childhood books

· chipmunks

· singing around a piano

· a dream box

· sand dollars

· peeling elmers glue off your hand

· the moonlight on snow

· playing in the rain

· hot chocolate & marshmallows

· blazing fireplaces

· hot, gooey chocolate chip cookies

· pop-up books

· a 3 yr olds imagination

· Popsicles (cherry is my favorite)

· reading outside on a blanket in the autumn sun

· moccasins

· Strawberry Shortcake dolls (I can smell them right now)

· Smurfs

· The Muppets

· Life is Beautiful

· sign language

· Ann of Green Gables

· a small act of grace

· sleeping on the beach

· Mr. Wizard

· La Campanella

· stone fireplaces

· sharing a banana split

· the smell of baby powder

· people who understand there's a lot to you

· azure skies

· snow-capped mountains

· butterflies

· finger painting

· reading to a child

· penny loafers w/ pennies

· Rice Krispie Treats

· apple cider & donuts at the orchard

· Christmas carols

· sea spray

· eclipses

· meteor showers

· My Fair Lady

· waltzing

· ice cream & french fries

· believing in miracles

· Life saver sparks in the dark

· Dairy Queen

· baby's breath

· Dopey

· Rodger's & Hammerstein's Cinderella

· fireflies

· Oreo cookies

· squooshing ice-cream sandwiches

· Little Women

· sand castles

· watching it snow

· smell of freshly cut grass

· ivied walls

· large groups singing accapella

· Greenwich Village

· freckles

With a list like that, how could I not be happy right now!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Broken Glass - Part II

God does not delight in the brokeness, but He does use it for His glory.

I have prayed much this week about walking on broken glass. Admitting there are places where I fall short and need some training and growth. There are fears about getting hurt. Times it feels uncomfortable. Jesus is the ultimate example and he walked right up and onto a cross. With that measuring stick... boy have I got a long way to go.

Even today while this post was rattling around in my brain. I was telling someone close to me about part one and she flat out asked me 'if I believed that we are supposed to carry one another's burden, why don't I do that for her?' And it left me wondering if I have picked and chosen my own times and places to walk on broken glass? Or perhaps does God know us so well He gives us certain times and places to put ourselves out there and take the risk while keeping us from others when He knows we might not make it across?

Again, God does not delight in our brokeness. He desires to make us whole and holy people who have perfect communion with Him. As we walk in the paths He has given us, whether it be across a desert span, through the waters or on top of broken glass - He is ever refining His image in us.

With each step, the glass shifts. The uncomfortable pressure shapes the shards. Our tears, emotions and heart felt prayers leave a stain.

We don't understand. We're too close to see.

But God - the magnificient creator He is - sees what it is to become. His work of art... for His glory. Once we've made it across, we look back and marvel.....

Broken glass into beautiful reflection of Him.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Broken Glass - Part I

Have you ever walked on broken glass?

Not pretty round translucent pebbles. Not the ocean softened edged sea glass. We’re talking - slam the wine glass, vase, *insert your glass of choice* here in multiple quantities. Or worse yet a mirror that reflects you back to you. The thing is - you have to step carefully. If the pressure falls on the dull edge, it’s a bearable pain, an ache. But step on the sharp edge... it hurts. The danger in that is there is always the risk of getting cut, the risk of bleeding, and the risk of feeling overwhelmed by the task at hand. What’s that? You don’t think you want to try it…

Don’t we all walk on broken glass? It’s the path of humanity in relationship. It’s the path of love. Sacrificial, gut-wrenching, carry one another’s burdens love.

Sometimes these relationships are ours by circumstances – an autistic child, a mother with cancer, an absent or abusive father, a demanding boss and the list goes on and on. Sometimes though, the opportunity to traverse the shards is placed in front of us and we have a choice. Yes, it is an opportunity – an opportunity to be strength for the weak, to encourage, to be Jesus to someone, to grow, and most importantly an opportunity to love. It’s your choice. Walk across or turn around and walk away…

I have found that glass walking can do one of two things. It can make one’s feet more sensitive and understanding. Those who see the broken paths we are all walking. But some become cold and calloused. They lose the ability to feel the sharpness of the pain beneath them, sometimes not even a slight discomfort. They are insensitive to the people around them. Perhaps they will walk away and won’t even know they’ve left.

I pray today that my feet would be sensitive to the pain, my heart would be open to love and I would have the courage to keep walking. Sometimes the trek across the glass is short and quick, other times the end does not appear in sight.

How far are you willing to walk on broken glass?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Happy Making Things

It's not deep in these waters today. My brain is apparently on vacation from putting together coherent thoughts. So today I thought I'd share some of the things that bring joy to my life. It might just the thought of something that makes me smile, or when I see, smell, hear or taste it.

· a toddlers vocabulary

· picking out a card & sending it to someone who would never expect it

· napping

· lemon cookies

· braking for rainbows

· taking a walk when the world is too much

· running down a beach

· dolphins smiling

· getting mail (the real kind)

· paying attention to how different music affects you

· daffodils, daisies, sunflowers and dandelions

· true friendship

· lanes that lead to the sea

· cartwheels

· swimming

· laughing at yourself

· slurpees

· 7-eleven runs at all hours of the night

· sand between your toes

· gorgeous rocks

· whipped cream and strawberries

· the smell of the sea

· pockets crammed with shells and sea glass

· good hair days

· singing at the top of your lungs to your favorite song

· a hug from a little kid

· sea otters

· sesame street

· purring sound

· the warm feeling of waking up on a cold morning and discovering you have another 20 minutes to sleep

· catching snow on your tongue

· kool-aid

· stretching out in warm sand

· sunsets

· buying yourself a toy

· Dr. Pepper

· blowing bubbles

· the smell of Play-Doh

· kittens & puppies- when they’re brand new

· Dr. Seuss!

· animal crackers

· baby elephants

· inside jokes

· sunshine rays through the clouds

· starry skies

· smell of campfires

· wildflowers in a field

Just to name a few. More to come in the future.
What are some of your happy making thoughts?

Thursday, October 1, 2009


October. Time for change. Leaves change. Climates change (I woke up to frost this morning). For some of us, our clothing changes. We stow away the sunscreen scented shorts and t-shirts to make room for heavier, warmer wear. A season for hibernation and death.

Lately, I’ve been in a personal season of change.

While I love pulling out clothes from last year and rediscovering them (Oh I forgot I had that), pulling out those storage boxes of the past is a much different experience. It’s not one I would choose.

But God is doing some housekeeping work. He’s in my closet uncovering things I’d forgotten about. Things I didn’t want to remember. I can only stand there and watch. It hurts at time. I feel shame and embarrassment. He doesn’t seem to be bothered. I ask Him “Why? Why are you doing this? Why does it hurt so much?” He keeps on cleaning, but says ,“I’m cleaning out the old to make room for the new. You want new don’t you?”

Sometimes it’s hard to let go of our old stuff, even if we don’t wear it anymore and it doesn’t fit. We like knowing it’s there – neatly folded in the bottom of that box in the back covered in dust. Or maybe even hanging there right in front of our face everyday. It’s there… just in case.

I want it. The cleaning. But not the pain. Not the sense of loosing my grip and staring into a gaping emptiness with only trust and hope that it will be filled with something.

It’s fall and things must change.