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.