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.