Saturday, December 3, 2011


here it is after 1am here on the west coast and i can't sleep. this happened to me last night too but i was no where near a computer and blogging on a smart phone can be difficult... substitutions for words you meant to say can come out crazy. [smart phones are often times not too smart] and this late at night, it's easier to proofread on a computer.

yesterday and today i went to storage unit #1 -- my dear friends' garage that they let me keep stuff in. primarily i went to see my friends because life has caused us both to get caught up in extreme busyness and our lives run in different circles. we had lunch, we conversed and shared about our lives and all the happenings. i had decided prior to going there that it is my goal to move out a majority of my things to storage unit #2 where my furniture and appliances are being stored.

the bottom line: i have too much stuff.

in these two storage units are held the entirety of my worldly goods frozen in time from 2 years ago September. a dear friend of mine organized 10 or so persons i knew to come over and pack my house up and move it into storage after Brian died. it happened so fast. everyone showed up at 9am and by 9pm, the house was empty and cleaned, ready to hand back over to the landlords [who were more than difficult to deal with]. without the help of those friends, it would have been a horribly daunting task for me to deal with alone.

so now yesterday and today i have gone back to this garage that holds the boxes and boxes of my life before. i have opened a few and it is as if time has stood still. in an effort to get it all done, these helpful friends just 'put it in a box'. papers. coffee pot with grounds and filter still in the brew basket. toddler's snack container with crackers still in the bottom. kids' clothes two sizes small than they wear right now.

time = frozen = tidal wave of sadness and the overwhelming dread of what lies before me: deconstruction -- the task of tearing down what was with no hope of gaining it back or having my own space in which to rebuild. grieving again more than just the loss of him, but the loss of us, our life, what was and what will never be again. sigh...

the stacks of boxes are taken down one at a time, the tape torn off and the contents picked through. part of me thinks = who would ever want any of this? the other part thinks = man, i wish i could have this time back.

2 years.

814 days to be exact.

19,536 hours.

1,172,160 minutes.

given time and it's value, i understand why people walk away and don't look back. looking back is painful. it's sad. it causes tears and heartache and the reopening of wounds once hoped to be forgotten.

and the amazing part of this journey is that Brian could care less. he is free from cares, fears and worldly goods. he is completely free and made new with the Father. he has been set free... for eternity.

so with this deconstruction, i am hoping to find a bit of that freedom for myself. to not be afraid of what lies ahead, but to unpack, remember and carry on. and begin building a life on earth that remembers [& helps my children remember] and has a hope for our future in heaven together.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

a hardened heart

it has been two years and one month [today] since brian died. his dad is here visiting us and has been for the past 2 months. for years prior to brian's death, he and i prayed and prayed for his father to come to know Christ as his Savior. now that brian is gone, i fear his father's heart is harder than ever. i am so saddened by this because i know that God intends his best for each of us and it is so difficult to watch someone choose otherwise. have you ever experienced this? unfortunately, he believes if he does choose Christ, he will die very soon after.

i have decided to pray more and keep my mouth silent. we have had few conversations this trip about brian's death and the circumstances. we will never know all until we stand at heaven's gates. and i will not be able to change the mind of a man who has been hurt so many times by others and is so set in his ways. God's gonna have to do the work.... plain and simple.

will you pray with me for the salvation of this man and that he would turn his heart toward Christ? the power of prayer is strong as is the power of Christ.

may God soften the heart of this man... Amen!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


i had dinner tonight with friends and e was talking about a story of the world co-op. sounds so cool. i asked her if she would ask her friends if i could join. the meeting time is perfect and will work out with my work schedule at the farm.... yay! let's see now if her co-op friends say it's okay.

i like this idea because they kids do projects together. i like the idea of projects but not actually doing them because my current living situation does not afford me the space in which to do projects. so this excites me. and as a bonus -- it's God-centered! woohoo!

i am excited about many opportunities like this for this year. let's see how God leads!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Help

i took myself to the movies last night and saw this film. incredible.

i laughed.

i cried.

i was inspired.

yes, inspired.

the essential theme of the movie was along these lines:

express yourself to find who you are & be free!

this is where i am. what is my mode of expression? my passion to develop and share so that i may find who i really am with God's help and break free? i feel like i have been in chaos... chains... unable to let go and express all that i am.

but i am working on it though! i am signing up this fall to take a photography class. i am going to learn all i need to know about my camera and photoshop and pursue it. i am praying for God to help me break free from what hinders my creativity with my children and in art and embrace passion and life.

oh, i have a fire inside -- swelling and ready to break through and be unleashed! my heart beats for Christ to come in and free me as a bird out of a cage.

a friend of mine posted this on FB in response to what i wrote to her this evening:

I really believe we just simply become who we are as we set our eyes outside of ourselves onto the HOLY OTHER...God Himself and then He releases that God given DNA which is unique to each of us!! So beautiful...yet so under assault in this cosmic battle we are in!! Like I told you when you were here I have had to contend for so many areas of my heart life... particularly... my hidden art of living in the daily ordinary places!! Meals, mothering, creating atmosphere and kingdom culture in our home!! Not easy but so worth the fight...because He is the one fighting for the feminine heart!!

there is a contention for the feminine heart and we must make every effort to protect it while allowing who God created us to be to come alive and shine bright, glorify Him and His name.

i will be posting some photos soon.

creativity -- come forth!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


driving down the freeway today, i came to a stop -- traffic. i look out the window down to the microscopic emergency lane on the ramp and i see a soft iridescent bulge of an aerodynamic body. this beauty of a specimen lay with eyes closed and as if its body was purposefully laid there. in that moment, it was the complete embodiment of peace.

this pigeon made me smile when i saw it. it made me think of Brian. the peace that envelops him now. this makes me smile. i miss him like crazy but to know that he is at peace so far outweighs the ache in my heart for him.

seeing this today affirms me. today i woke up and got the overwhelming feeling that i was becoming myself.



i am not sure exactly what that means, but i am excited to see how this sensation unfolds over the coming days and weeks.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

God is good all the time

today was a really good day, especially with Av. this morning she slept until after 9a, a very unusual occurrence. she was really helpful to the adults and her friends all day. she was patient with getting her nails painted -- she let her sister and friend go first! she asked a lot of questions regarding spiritual matters during our devotional time. all of things were really quite amazing to me.

actually, not really because we've been spending time in the Word, especially reading Psalm 91. Av has struggled with anxiety during the night since Brian died. she experiences a lot of fear -- something happening to me, her siblings, her grammy or herself. her daddy & grampy died in the night, so will something else like this happen in the night? Well, the Lord led me to Psalm 91 and i used the word picture of the mother hens at the farm, how they take their broods under their wings and protect them from harm. so it is with us... we are given shelter under the wings of the Almighty and he will protect us from harm. she had such peaceful slumber... praise God! and so far tonight, the same thing has happened... no anxiety!

the two of us also stayed up after the other two had gone to sleep and we talked -- just us. we don't get to do that very often. it was fun and really good for both of us. she is such a tenderhearted little girl. i love her so much. she said that she was a little embarrassed to say it, but that she was the only kid today that didn't have a time out -- the power of the Holy Spirit right there! we also talked about the possibility of me getting married again and she has thought about it quite a bit i guess. she's worried that he won't be nice [right now, he does not even exist!]. but i told her that i have her best interests at heart and i know that God will guide me when the time is right. i also told her that if and when the time comes, she will know in her heart that it is right. freedom in communication -- thank you, Lord!

i am praising God for these precious moments between us. Thank you, God, for being good to us all the time!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fun in Fresno

this week i decided to take the kids to see some dear friends of ours up in Fresno. on our 3 week road trip last summer, this was our first stop. we love these friends. it's faith's birthday and she hoped that we would be able to celebrate with her... so here we are! roller skating last night, swimming and a fun pizza place tonight. good food + great friends = good times + memorable moments!

one memorable moment is below: Ian had a blue raspberry slurpee from the all-you-can-drink beverage bar. this made his tongue and his teeth match his blue eyes... WOW!

so far we have been encouraged by this brother and sister in the Lord. have you ever had a friend who brought forth the healing of the Holy Spirit and encouraged the restoration of strength and renewal of hope? such are these friends. i am looking forward to the next few days. we will likely head home on Saturday.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Da Vinci Museum field trip

yesterday we went to the Da Vinci Museum with a group of homeschool friends. what an amazing experience. Da Vinci's drawings physically replicated there along with some works of art. i had always heard that Leo was a renaissance man but i had no idea to what extent. he was literally the father of modern invention!

This photo shows the kids using pulleys. did you know that Da Vinci invented this amazing little piece of simple machinery?

the kids had a great time and they were truly fascinated [as was i] by all the works that were replicated there.

on this homeschooling journey i am learning as my kids are learning.... so amazing! i love it!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

where is there a man like...?

Da Vinci?

today we went to the Da Vinci exhibit in Hollywood. totally amazing. i had no idea the breadth of his expertise in so many things. not only a painter, sculptor and all-around artist, he was the father of invention... creator of the precursors to almost all machines made today. incredible!

they just don't make men like him anymore... or do they?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

summer is here!

yay! summer is here! this week kicks off what seems to be the beginning of a very busy summer, for my kids anyway.

the girls started drama camp through the Azusa Renaissance Theater hosted by Azusa Pacific University. about 75 kids are attending this thing and there will be a production at the end of the two weeks... "Pinocchio"! The girls auditioned today for a special part [av wants to be pinocchio or figaro and mck wants to be pinocchio or the blue fairy]. i can't wait to find out if they made the cut. if not, they will be thrilled with whatever they get, i am sure. they just love to perform!

as for ian, he's just hanging out with me and loving it. no one to compete with for attention. today we went to the farm and had a great time there, though it was really hot - up to over 90*F!

all three kids started swim lessons and are just loving being in the pool. and the best part is that they are taking lessons with their best buds... all three!

we've got other stuff planned but i'll just have to post about those as we do them.

happy summer, everyone!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Lord is my shepherd...

God took care of me and the farm today. Met a person of peace among the madness of the distraction of the evil one. I was quiet and he whispered in my ear, "i will take care of it."

Monday, June 13, 2011

change ahead?

today was a really sad day. starting sitting in church, i couldn't help crying. all day. little things.

i am wondering if i need a fresh start with a new church family. i am praying about this. will you keep me in prayer too?


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day Train trip to Oceanside

We headed to Oceanside for the day from Fullerton. While waiting for the train, the kids and I remembered the train trip we took with Brian to Santa Barbara. We hear the song on the radio...Phil Collins "against all odds"; then Avery starts to sing "burnin' ring of fire" by Johnny Cash -- I didn't even know she knew that song! Within 5 minutes, a bee lands on Ian... No kidding!
So I guess we are on a blessed trip ;)

So we made it to Oceanside safely. Here's us on the very long pier :)

And this is what we saw... so beautiful!

And the kids wanted to take a picture with this little friend... i thought for sure he would snatch up a cell phone what with all those people getting so close to him to take a picture. Glad it wasn't me!

And we made some new friends on this trip and hung out with them most of the day. We had lunch at Ruby's on the pier and played at the beach for awhile, too. Hopefully we'll get to hang out with them again soon!

After playing at the beach, we met up with some local San Diegans.. our friends who adopted Charlie, remember him?! They came out and went to the CA Surf Museum and had ice cream with us at the local DQ.

What a fun day! And the ride home wasn't stressful at all.
Thanks, God, for the blessings!

By the way, it's the 25th anniversary of the movie "Top Gun," one of my faves as a kid. We got to see the "Top Gun" house... so cool!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

my 2nd mother's day

just heard the song "i can't live (if living is without you)" by air supply. classic 70's song but never listened to the lyrics before. tears were rolling.

it's my 2nd mother's day without him. i'm functioning. emotions are raw.

i had a decent day but trying to do what i want to do on a day that's for me is virtually impossible when my kids are present. of course they aren't behaving, running around like crazy natives and saying every 5 minutes, "i want to go home."

it's days like today that make me so angry he died. why? because there's no one to share the burden of raising 3 great kids that stress me out sometimes. when my patience is wearing thin, there's no one to step in and say, "give your mom a break." and because my mom and i live in the same house and it's her day, too.... well, it's just -- hard.

i give these feelings over to Jesus right now. restore my heart to love and patience. help me to carry on to the best i can be for those three little hearts entrusted to me. Amen.

to any mom who's reading this, Happy Mother's Day. whether dad is involved or not, you are an amazing mom able to do more than you think because God made you who you are and gave you your children and your circumstances for a reason. i pray God's blessings over you and your family.

Happy Mother's Day.

Monday, May 2, 2011


i tucked my feelings away without realizing it and they peeked out today while listening to a CD in the car. i don't like it when they sneek up on me like that. i like to be prepared. the girls didn't notice, but i could hardly see the road as my eyes welled up with tears.

last week, we went camping at el capitan. a beautiful beachside campground on the bluffs. i was sitting down on the sand, watching the kids play, especially ian. he's an artist like his daddy, you know. i looked out to the water and began to think of brian. i heard his laugh. sounds crazy, i know. but i audibly heard his laugh. signature. beautiful. that one snuck up on me too.

will i ever stop missing him?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

the sunshine behind the clouds

i was talking with a friend tonight. she shared with me that she lost a daughter in infancy. that moment changed her life forever. she said it was the worst thing that ever happened to her, but yet the best thing that ever happened to her. that event helped her define her life -- either she needed to lay down and die or she needed to step up and live. obviously, she chose to step up and live... live her best life. take no moment for granted. live the life she had always wanted.

how similar a life i am living. the further away i get from 09/09/09, the stronger i feel i am becoming, especially in the realization that this is my life now. the kids and me. i hope that someday i can say that Brian's death was the worst thing that happened to me and the best thing that happened to me. as for the best, i have no idea what that could possibly be. i just know i want to serve Jesus with every ounce of my being and pray that one day i can hopefully see how that event may have been the best thing. i pray that God will show me the sunshine behind the clouds...

friends of blessing

so ian and i went to get the girls from our friends today. we spent the evening at disneyland with them, hanging out, riding rides and just enjoying being together. what a fabulous time with a fantastic family. i love those nicholsons!

last night i was recounting with my mom how i met them and realize that God really had his hand upon us to meet. their presence in my life [and Brian's] has been a complete blessing.

thank you, Jesus, for watching over me and allowing me to see and know divine appointments.

what a day. i'm pooped. heading off to bed now.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

word of the day

SPONTANEITY (a very good thing!)

mck had a dental appt on the westside and our dear friends were down from fresno. they headed out with us to marina del rey and we spent the day with our friends having lunch, riding scooters, talking, playing, and having a most wonderful time.

while at burton chace park [a place that is filled with memories for our family with Brian, also the harbor there his burial place], ian found such pleasure in running up and down the hill. oh, how i love that little boy! he kept asking, "mommy, can i do it again?" over and over, up and down. and wouldn't you know, a bee was 'playing' right in front of me, hiding in the grass as he was running. Brian is with us. he is watching. i wish he were physically here and that ian would know him, but i guess ian will know his daddy through me and the rest of the family, the stories we tell.

so how was i spontaneous? i let my girls go with our fresno friends to sleep over in their hotel room and then off to disneyland tomorrow. what a blessing my friend and this sleepover has been. i needed the break and didn't even know it. God is so good... he knows exactly what i need and when!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

ian's new nickname...?

the other day i got an seemingly urgent call from Brian's dad as he had already called me twice that morning. i was in the middle of doing a tour so could not answer. when i finally did talk to him, i expected there to be some sort of grave emergency. persistence in telephoning usually is the sign of an emergency.

well, there was no emergency, just the fact that he wanted to tell me that ian's first and middle names were now the new names of 2 hurricanes in the 6 year cycle of hurricane naming.

in 2016 one will here ian replacing igor and tobias replacing tomas. read about it here:,-Tomas-retired

i found this to be so funny and ironic!

this is really quite a kick. my dad woud be tickled and brian would be proud...

maybe ian's new nickname should be "hurricane"....?

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Psalm 55:17

Evening and morning and at noon
I utter my complaint and moan,
and he hears my voice.

God hears me!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

18 months...

you would be coming home about now.
to me.
to us.
my thoughts are jumbled and confused.
been inside my head all day.
i miss you.
i have dreamt about you more in the last week that i have in months.
been surrounded by friends of ours this week.
feels good to remember you with others that knew you.
God is with us, and i know you are watching over us too.
i love the comfort but i miss your arms.
and your smile.

reveal yourself to me daily.
i am looking and watching for you.
today i noticed that the mountains smile.
give me comfort and peace as i trust in you.

tell Brian i miss him.
hug him for me.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

charlie & the ceiling fan

ever get the feeling that things are not always what they seem? well, God taught me a huge lesson in this just last week.

We were at the farm with some friends like any usual day. But this day would end quite differently. The kids were off in a corner of the farm playing, the gardeners doing their weekly clean-up of the property. My girls, during their play, noticed the gardeners moving something quite heavy by their standards out of the way with a stick. The walked over after the gardeners had moved on and noticed it was a puppy.
They promptly picked it up and brought it over to the picnic tables where I was sitting. He was so scared and tired, he was shaking. He was so cute, I just couldn't leave him there nor could I bring myself to call the pound to pick him up. He was tugging at my heartstrings for sure.

So I took him. A comedic error was McKenna putting him down next to the car to open the door. He immediately scurried under the car, completely afraid. So, with daughters' and friends' help I slowly backed the car out of our space to grab him. Thankfully he wasn't too scared of the car moving, so he didn't move. Phew!

Our first stop with him was the vet. On our way there, we decided to call him Charlie. The vet told us that he was 4 months old and a mix of shepherd, rottweiler and beagle. $50 later, we walked out of the vet's office and took him home.

Over the course of the weekend, I realized I couldn't keep Charlie, even though it had really been my heart's desire. Since we live with my mom, she became the deciding factor, which was a firm “no”. So I spent the weekend and first part of the week finding Charlie a home.

Ads on Craigslist produced strange people calling me and offering to pick up Charlie right away. This made me extremely wary about handing him over to just anyone, even though I was desperate to find him a home. That Sunday I got wise to the ways of Charlie and created a series of questions in hopes to find the BEST new owner for a puppy to which we had grown quite attached.

A cute new picture of Charlie posted on my Facebook page proved to be the ticket. Within hours of posting, Charlie had caught the eye of two interested parties. After interviews of each, both seemed to be amazingly good homes.

I was torn.

leaning more toward the family but not sure it was completely the right decision because of the fact that the husband hasn't had a job in 2 years, i needed a sign. and guess what? God have me one.

the kids and i went to a couple thrift stores that night looking for a dog crate for charlie. in the process, i came across this box that housed a ceiling fan, the very one i had been wanting for the girls' room. woohoo! score! so i asked a guy who worked at that particular store to open it up for me so i could see if all the pieces were there. he did and i took out the pieces. it was a completely different fan! what?!? at that very moment, i heard a still small voice say: things aren't always what they seem.

well, that was the confirmation i needed. 2 days later we headed out to the family's home to deliver charlie, though i was still a little unsure about it because every man charlie had met in the short time we had him he had bitten. how would he react to the the man of this family?

well, my fears were quelled almost immediately. the dad leaned down to pet charlie and after a slight hesitation, charlie went right up to him and allowed dad to pet him. woohoo!

a little later, i called to charlie and he came over and sat on the mom's feet. another total answer to prayer! no hesitation here about letting charlie be adopted in to this new family.

these friends invited us to stay for dinner and then for their small group, which we did and what an incredible evening it was. i did the math and it has been 7 years since i have been involved in a small group. i almost cried right there in their living room. the night -- in fact, the entire day -- was a complete blessing. [i think it's about time to think about being a part of a small group, don't you?]

God is taking care of everything and everyone -- especially me!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 2: God is like...

You're in good hands with Him.

yes, I am. i am reading this new book, Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. i have always struggled with my weight which is directly related to my love of food and, more often than not, life circumstances. oh, how i love food. and my life circumstances over the past few years haven't been that great. in fact, right now i would love to dig in to the pan of chocolate chip cookie bars that are sitting on the stove and have a handful of yummy chocolatey trail mix to go with it.

but i refrain. why?

because the above mentioned book is changing the way i think about food and its relationship to the God i love and serve. why don't i crave God like i crave those cookies? and why don't i crave God's comfort [instead of that of food] when circumstances are crappy? well, now i am stopping to think. thinking about God, praying to him and asking him for help because i know i won't be able to do it on my own. food - and our relationship to it - is important to God. in fact, two important stories from the Bible [and very likely more, if i think about it] regard food... do you know which ones?

1/ the fall -- eve ate the forbidden fruit [i often eat forbidden foods all the time]
2/ jacob and esau -- esau gave up his birthright because he was hungry! [what important things am i giving up because i consume recklessly?]

yes, i am in good hands with God because he will [and is!] help me with my cravings and the refocusing of my desires of such things. i am desiring to keep balance in all areas and live with integrity in all areas, too!

if you are reading this blog post and are interested in reading Made to Crave along with me and sharing in discussion and accountability, post a message. i

Monday, February 14, 2011

So glad...

They who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.
Psalm 34:10 (nasb)

I needed to hear this today like I needed to be with the people I was with this afternoon.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 1: God is like...

I got an email with a bunch of these ad-like descriptions on God. I thought I'd blog each day about one and relate it to me. So, the first day i am choosing:

...BOUNTY, He is the quicker picker upper! Can handle the tough jobs, and He won't fall apart on you.

Oh, how true! I know that God is the only one I can truly count on. I can tell him ANYTHING and he will not fall apart on me. He can handle it. He created me so He is able to handle any feeling, any thought, my anger, my desires, my frustration, my joy... anything. And yes, sometimes those feelings are TOUGH!

Ephesians 3:20
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New Year's Eve's Spontaneity

New Year's Eve was one of the most spontaneous days ever. What started out as a lazy day at home turned out to be anything but.

Friends from up north were in town and wanted to hang out. First suggestion was the park. Second suggestion was the beach. We took 'em up on it.

Drove out to Huntington Beach; had Wahoo's for lunch; hung out on the beach til sunset; headed to Starbuck's for some hot cocoa; then Chick-fil-a for dinner; Ian to bed when we got home; the girls stayed up for the bewitching hour and then we all went to bed.

Here are some pictures from that amazing day:

Ian flying a kite!

The kids playing with the gargantuan seaweed they found...

good friends!

love this family!

What a day! And the kids and I agree. What a great way to spend the last day of the year -- with good friends and Daddy.


Amazing sunset

Was nice to have this view tonight.
I miss the beach.
I miss Brian.

Christmas Eve's irony

This Christmas has been so hectic, though I planned it not to be.

To take the pressure off, i suggested an alternative to our traditional Swedish meatball feast [which I was going to make].

Dinner at in-n-out. I was perusing the drive-thru menu and began giving my order to the guy at my window. I look up at him and catch a glance at his nametag. I couldn't believe it. His name was Brian.

Tears started to flow. How embarrassing?! I actually wanted to ask him if he was for real. Maybe it was an angel...

Oh, no. My mistake. She was at the window. Her name was Gabriella.


With love

my time of reflection this weekend began with this. my time of active reflection lasted for over an hour. memories, good and bad. tears. one story at a time.


will catch up on other blog posts later. :)

guitar memories

i was with brian when he bought his first guitar 18 years ago. guitar center. he needed a left handed guitar. he found one. i think he paid $400 for it on sale. not very many left handed guitars out there. i still have it now.

had to take av to get her pink guitar tuned so she could practice without being discouraged that it sounded terrible. she's actually getting quite good. she is making her daddy so proud right now i am sure.

we went to a local guitar shop. beauties hanging from the ceiling. i never saw any lefties but lots of beautiful works of art [and really expensive guitar cases].

i asked the guy if left-handed guitars could be restrung for a right handed person.
yeah. why?
it was my husband's guitar.
why doesn't he play anymore?
he's deceased.

that was awkward.

walking away from that scenario, i could have said it so differently to make everyone a bit more comfortable with it all.

next time.
i don't have to mention him.

but i want to.
i miss him so much.
he had such talent.
such creativity.



Do you see the face in this picture? Two wide eyes and a smile... well, i must tell you that right now, i am sitting in my friend's home, completely ALONE, well rested and at peace. It has been a long time since being alone with nothing to do but BE. I cannot even express to you how my heart feels about this. It's good!

Let's put it this way:
I woke up this morning to the singing of a bird. One of God's many alarm clocks to awaken one to every day He has made. Within a half hour or so, I could hear the singing of about 6 different birds and even a cricket. All singing praises to their Creator and letting the world know. I actually joined in to this chorus by singing this famous song:

i love it! This weekend is exactly what I have needed.
Time alone by myself and my Jesus.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


mck and av both started music lessons.

mck is taking violin. her violin is rented.

av is taking guitar. her guitar is pink. her daddy bought it for her ;)

brian played the guitar.

i can play chopsticks on the piano.

mck has yet to have her first lesson, so we'll see.

av was practicing and with lots of practice [30 minutes/day], she's going to be really good at it.

i am happy to have our home filled with music & the joy and lightness it can bring to oneself.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011


ian said to me today, "mommy, you're so strong."


a statement like that coming from my baby about me. i was surprised. one usually hears that being said about dad. the physical side of strength anyway.

i have heard this from others, though. about my being 'one of the strongest women i know,' and statements to that effect. i don't know... i just am who i am and i do what i do.

that reminds me of ian's version of 'twinkle twinkle little star':

"twinkle, twinkle, little star, how i wonder what i do...."


Saturday, January 22, 2011

brennan manning

i have been drawn to this man and his story. he gives a true testimony of how we should respond to our God... we need to let him love us and consider ourselves worthy of his love because we are his children...

Friday, January 21, 2011

my new prayer

today, i spontaneously loaded us into the car and we headed out to the farm to volunteer. we made it just in time to catch farmer randy as he was preparing for Bible time. afterward, we were set to task to plant peas. let me tell you, planting those peas was anything but peas-ful! ian was being stubborn, av was whining and mck was being mom and a bit lazy. oh, how i had high hopes for this day! peace...serenity...clear-mindedness -- none of it.

i was completely down-spirited when we left and for most of the day. so, when i finally identified why i was sad, do you know what i did? i told them! "i am really sad right now. do you know why?" collective "ummm, no." "because you fought 75% of the time we were there. you turned a time that could have been peaceful into something completely unenjoyable."

so, tonight the girls and i watched "inherit the land." basically a bunch of homeschooling families across the US living out the agrarian lifestyle -- farming! -- in many different ways. from 3,000 acres down to a simple backyard.

after watching these families, i have discovered a new prayer for my children:

that they be a team, working together for the glory of God!

how simple yet so profound!

i must confess that another reason i was saddened is because i would really like to be nearer the farm and have our own place. oh, i am so grateful to have a roof over our heads and minimal financial responsibility as far as housing goes, but there is something to be said about one's own space. and it is also difficult when i look at others carrying out their dreams and mine fell short with the one I love. but, i see that i must stop feeling sorry and press on.

press on.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

rearrange & simplify

today was a crazy hectic day... spent almost the entire of it rearranging the girls bedroom. i decided to sell the girls bunkbed, which Brian and i had bought together and i had dismantled and they had been sleeping in as singles, and buy new minimal frames from Ikea. those were some bulky beds, let me tell you and now the girls are streamlining. what a difference. the old bed frames were big and bulky, not offering a sense of space [physical or mental] when looked upon, so now there is simplicity.

i am sensing a theme because it was so sad for me to part ways with these beds -- so silly, but that's how i felt. every time a piece of our life together walks out the door in some form or fashion, whether it be given to friends, sold or trashed, it's sad. like the memories of that life are slipping away. i know that people say that memories aren't the items themselves -- heck, i say that all the time -- but it's still difficult.

i think about several family friends like the joneses whom i wrote about in the previous post, or the arrands who are so completely streamlined. no 'weighty' items to hold them down or away from what's important. the most important things they are often able to carry with them.

boy, i have a lot to think about and it's becoming overwhelming right now.

i think i need to sleep on it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


have you ever had a friend or group of friends that you didn't see often, but when you did see them, it was like you had never been apart? i have a few friends like this.

this week we spent some time with some old friends of Brian and mine who are exactly like this... time had not stood still -- children were added to the mix in both families and Brian has since passed away -- but it was safe and familiar to be with them.

a brief history: i'm not sure how Brian met Andrew, but i remember B talking about A after a ministry conference in Austin, TX; he and his family came to visit us when we were doing ministry and living in pomona; when we travelled to europe when i was 5 months pregnant with our first child, we stayed with them in Huntley, Scotland, in George MacDonald's childhood home; four years later, Andrew made a one night stop in LA and he stayed at our home in Venice. now, six years later, we hang out here at TribeLA and in Pasadena at the US Center for World Missions.

so i connected with the Jones family briefly at TribeLA... let me tell you, it was like walking through a time warp into Icthus 13 years ago... check it out:

then at USCWM -- dinner Tuesday night and a day out with the girls Wednesday. here are some photos from our time together:

hanging out in Pasadena, i saw this photo opp of beauty and had to take it...

we had the honor of accompanying the Joneses to take a tour of Whitestone Media where they are producing "Theo"!

my 3 with the Joneses and the Datema kids before the Joneses departure to the airport.

The Joneses as they say goodbye to the US and hello to NZ!

as a side note, i will be able to blog more often as i have been gifted with a laptop and boy, does it make getting on the computer so much easier!

only because HE is able--

Saturday, January 8, 2011


i am currently reading this book called the right to write by julie cameron. in the book she gives writing initiations to the reader to help them oversome their hesitancy to write. last night, i read the initiation and it was to pretend that you are sitting against a large old tree. on the opposite side of the tree is a Storyteller. i was to tell the storyteller 5 stories i would like to hear.

i was thinking about this and was having a hard time thinking about the stories i would like to hear. and then it hit me. Brian is the storyteller in my mind. he always told such amazing stories. a sampling: from his childhood -- when his brother decided to 'fly' off of the ladder in the backyard while he and his younger brother held the ladder. or from his crazy days -- when he defied his mother and she flippantly threw her wooden spoon at him and it hit him square in the forehead. from his dating a former girlfriend that wasn't too smart -- telling her about God's amazing ways of creating cows with longer legs on one side so they could stand on the hillside and not tip over. from his early ministry days -- the mentally disturbed guy in a Bible study he was leading at the time showing up in his mom's bathrobe and slippers.

after this point in his life, some of these stories become mine too. moments together or funny crazy circumstances. times when God brought us to our knees and others where we felt we could do it on our own and failing miserably. times with acquaintances or friends [like sitting in our friends' trailer in the middle of the night showing off our 'toe talent!']. even times toward the end of Brian's life when things became a struggle.

But now, he is the one telling the stories through me. my turn.

my uncle shared a quote from a friend of his: "when someone dies, it's like a library burning down. those one of a kind stories and works that were once housed there are now lost forever."

it's scary to say, but if anything happened to me even the secondhand telling of those stories would be lost for my children.

i think i am becoming more and more convinced that i need to write these things down. it's hard. no one could tell a story like Brian did. he just had a way... and that's part of what drew people to him.

if you are reading this and have a story or memory about Brian [and/or me!] that you would like to share, please do it. my kids and i would be grateful.

he was one of a kind.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Lost and found... Kind of

in trying to put away christmas decor, mom decided to clean up the attic a bit. 2 boxes from when I lived here before marrying Brian were unearthed & I opened them up. well, first thing I saw was a copy of brian's and my registry from our wedding. The next thing I found were photos from way back... like when we first met. but then I found these sweet photos from our nephew Michael's 1st birthday party. somehow, brian had a balloon attached to his pants and he walked around the party that way for most of the afternoon. I had totally forgotten about that til finding those photos. But one photo in particular caught my attention. it was him alone and his smile -- God, his smile! -- was completely charming and disarming. I look at that photo and I just can't believe the way life has ended up to be in it's present state.


I have walked around today in a state of disbelief... again. it's been almost 16 months and I still can't believe it. is this how it will continue to be? is it just a quiet acceptance and that's it? oh how I want to scream and cry and rage! a friend bluntly stated over the holiday that it just isn't right that he's not here. How I agree! and don't I see that every day? every time ian wants to play or av needs some artistic help on a project she's working on? Or mck wants to be tickled and roughhouse? or when I just need to talk to my best friend about my insecurities in parenting or life or what God is asking me to do or whatever?

Unfair? Yes.

God's plan? Yes.

how quickly the Evil One can slip in and fill my mind with doubt and anger! Every thought captive prevents this. I will give my disbelief and anger to The One who can bring me comfort and help me to function daily without my true life partner. My kids too.

These things I pray.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

a thought on widowhood

I was in church today looking around at the women around me thinking about being a widow. there are lots of different types of widows. Some lose their husbands to death, some to divorce and others to a hobby, job or disbelief. I was overwhelmed by our similarities.

I am not discounting death -- by no means am i. i just see a lot of women and men around me experiencing loneliness and struggle of their own sort.

Dear God, please comfort those that are experiencing a widowhood of a different sort. you know what they need. Amen.