Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sledding!

at Brian and Deena's in Nashville, we went sledding every day we were there...

here's Mckenna and me sledding down their backyard hill...

video

and i took this video while sledding down with McKenna, racing Avery & Caleb... so fun!

Ian's been framed!



on our trip, we've eaten at cracker barrel twice... yum!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Another loss suffered

Not of the human kind and not mine personally but my dear friend K lost her goats tonight in a dog attack. Feeling totally ill-equipped to help her with the loss of these precious animals, all I could do was cry and equate it somewhat to my own loss.

The hard part will be telling the girls because they have had close interaction with these goats recently -- we all have.

This is especially difficult today as I have been grieving Brian so intensely today -- music brings back memories and images; our things recall days together... I went through some of our things today in preparation for our upcoming trip to TN and GA.

What a day. Again, God is bringing me to my knees in utter dependence to him.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

take me to your leader...

today i headed to downtown LA to hit a bee meeting... yup, you heard right. a bee meeting. so, what would you think if i became a backyard beekeeping battle maiden? [that sounded so alliterative, i had to write it LOL].

i don't know if it's obsession, but i have come to LOVE bees. we are studying bees and now are considering this new endeavor... whoa! have a gone crazy? no... just have a bee in my bonnet.

so the dude in the picture is kirkobeeo... a regular guy that loves bees and wants to see urbanites such as myself help revolutionize the bee kingdom -- keep those bees alive!

i'll post more on this as i know more about what i am doing or not doing...yo.



my "sweet" boy eating a cookie...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Utter dependence...

That's where I am. Every situation around me is forcing me to my knees. I am in desperate need of my heavenly husband Jesus to lead me in the right way. Please pray for me...

Psalm 91

1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.

9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”

Friday, January 22, 2010

irony

we had dinner with a new friend and her family tonight. kind of ironic that her name means "bee". there is strange yet divine comfort in these associations with people who are somehow related to bees. another irony: her husband used to be a beekeeper. HA HA HA! i love it!

God has a way of showing me safe people to be and share with. and i did share. and it was difficult. but i sensed love in the hearing of the story thanks to a victorious and loving God with mercies that are new every morning as they are revealed.

thank you, dear friends, who look on and feel love in your hearts for us.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

God is challenging me

Today at church the message was about love referencing Ephesians 3. Afterward, I ran in to someone from 'the ol days' in the 2's & 3's room (her son is the same age as Ian) and she shared hard things with me. Boy, was I challenged. Our struggles have been similar though I have gone before. Really intense.

So how is this God's challenge? Basically this: will I be willing to be truly authentic about myself, my marriage and my journey in a face-to-face confrontation with someone who only knew Brian at his best?

This was the topic @ church today and here I am smack dab in the middle of that challenge for real.

Last week I spent some time with J&B and really shared from the depths of my heart about my feelings regarding Brian, his death and the pending results of the autopsy. It was really healing for me. After sharing these awkward thoughts and feelings that have been swirling in my head and heart, I felt so much lighter and my mind so clear.

Eleven years ago, I went to a conference where Larry Crabb spoke debuting his book Connecting. His theories about the role of the church (if the church was doing it's job, therapists, counselors and psychologists would not be necessary) came true that night for me. (I highly recommend this book - an excellent read). I wonder if I will be able to provide that safe space for this friend?

So, yes, God is challenging me....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

before the new year...

...God lead me to a passage in Psalms. initially i had decided to read Psalm 23 because back in June, it came to mind after Brian and i had spent time with some friends in No. CA and we were heading back to LA -- over the Grapevine to be exact ["the valley of the shadow of death..."]

wanting to revisit this and read it in full, i did. but instead of reading Psalm 23, my eyes were drawn to some verses on the opposing page up in the corner. it was this:

Psalm 21:6,7,13
Your victory brings him great honor,
and you have clothed him with splendor and majesty.
You have endowed him with eternal blessings
and given him the joy of your presence.
Rise up, O Lord, in all your power.
With music and singing we celebrate your mighty acts.


what an amazing picture of Brian's new life in heaven. God's victory has brought honor to Brian and he is clothed with splendor and majesty -- eternal blessings and the joy of God's presence... Brian spent Christmas -- Jesus' birthday -- with the King himself! and in church on Sunday we sang "mighty to save" -- a celebration of the fact that Jesus conquered the grave and has offered eternal life and salvation to us all.

speaking of heaven, my uncle, who lost my aunt to a hemorrhagic stroke right after Brian's death this past september, publishes a blog as well and on it, he posted this beautiful poem:

A few days ago my pastor sent me an anonymous poem from the Seattle Times, which resonated with me because of the timing—this is Nancy’s first Christmas in Heaven:

CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN

I’ve had my first Christmas in Heaven, a glorious, wonderful day.
I stood with the saints of the ages, who found Christ, the truth and the way.
I sang with the heavenly choir, just think—I joined in to sing!
And oh, what celestial music we brought to our Savior and King.

We sang the glad songs of redemption—how Jesus to Bethlehem came;
How they called his name Jesus, so all might be saved through His name.
Again we sang with the angels, the same message they sang that blest morn
When Shepherds first heard the glad story—that Jesus, the Savior, was born.

Oh, I wish you’d have been there, no Christmas on earth could compare.
With all the rapture and glory that I’d witnessed in Heaven so fair.
You know how I always loved Christmas, always such a wonderful day.
With loved ones around me, the children and grandkids “singing all the way.”

But now, I can see why I loved it, and just what a joy it’d be for you,
When you and other loved ones are with me, to share the glories I see too.
And all on earth, follow me—look not for a babe, for our Savior appears
For that greatest Christmas Day awaiting—ending all our fears and tears.
—Author Unknown


my unc has published some other great passages and thoughts, but those will have to be shared later.

Lord God, you are powerful and victorious! i praise you! thank you for the picture of my loved ones praising you and knowing your eternal peace.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Please pray...

I talked with Brian's brother David tonight and found out that Brian's dad Mike is in the hospital. He is being observed for heart irregularities and "gray-outs".

Avery is very concerned as she really wants Papa to know Jesus so that when it's Papa's turn to go to heaven, he will go there and he will be with her daddy forever. And then one day we will all be together in heaven with Jesus.

Please be praying for health and a real relationship with Jesus for Mike.

Monday, January 11, 2010

i will see Brian again someday...

one conversation with a friend was about a comment someone had made about Brian's memorial service. JV said that it was the first time she had ever been to a memorial or funeral service where everyone was sure that they would see the person again. being catholic, parishioners believe that only God knows for sure.

i do not know what i would do if i didn't have the belief that i would see brian again -- or anyone i know who believed/s Jesus is the way, truth and life -- when it's my turn to be with Jesus forever.

but actually, this story was encouraging to me because the testimony of our belief in eternal life was shared that day like never before.

JV, may you come to believe that you will see those you love in heaven someday -- with great confidence.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

AOTP

we went to the aquarium today -- we were gifted a membership for Christmas... [thanks so much!]

it was so fun because Ian had not been there before -- well, at least not when he would remember. it was kind of like disneyland, seeing it through his eyes, full of wonder, for the first time. and this is how far away he liked to be form everything that moved... behind glass, far away.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

additions

i have added several entries from past dates. many of you reading have sent me emails saying you have missed me online :) thank you. i have missed writing but the holidays were busy and i was working on my special project for the kids -- quilts! i'll write more about this later :)

please feel free to leave a comment. it won't post til i read it and publish it first. comments make me feel like 'somebody's out there'! LOL

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

End of an era... a long one

McKenna and I painted over the wallpaper at my folks' house today... this wallpaper adorned the walls of the room i had as a kid. 36 years later, it's covered up by a lovely Aegean Sea blue.... now, when sunlight hits it, it's like we're under water.