"Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage." Psalm 84:5


staying up too late...i really have been better about this lately. chad and kansas went to see a friend of ours play at world cup tonight(where i will be working tomorrow night as some band i've never heard of plays), so chad's inspired, of course, and playing guitar on the futon next to me at the moment.

we leave in a week for michigan...i have so much to do, i'm almost paralyzed; deer in the headlights sort of thing. moving five people to another state for two weeks is such an undertaking. but it's for love and festivity, friends and some real snow, so it's all worth it i guess. at least i don't have to contend with major jet lag like my sis and her family, arriving from the netherlands tonight. i like to go home, i like to be where things are familiar even from my earliest memories. and then i like to come back to my current home where things are familiar now.


they probably don't make band aids for the soul because where exactly would you stick one? drugs are unwise, drink only numbs for awhile, media intake actually can make it a lot worse as far as perspective goes...prayer is the right thing but then you still have the waiting...sometimes life just hurts. (this written while jesse is making sensational hot wheel car accidents all down the stairs behind me and lucy is chanting "mom, more apple juice please" next to my leg. i wish i had time to deal with the hurts life is throwing my way right now, but then again, it's probably better this way. it would probably end up looking like an extravagant pity party for one if i had any free time, and wallowing is so unproductive. *SIGH.*)


i'm getting a head start on one of my usually unfulfilled new years resolutions - partly because a brand spanking new ymca has recently been constructed twenty minutes from my house, and partly to head off the rush of newbies come january second. they set you up in the computer system that keeps track of how much energy you're exerting and such, they're open all sorts of odd hours, they have a NURSERY, and when the weather outside is frightful, i can sit in the big white tiled hot tub...lovely. i can't take it all too seriously, though...today i gave swimming laps my best shot, and when it was over i went to log it into Fitlinxx, where i was informed that i had just burned eighty calories. great! after which i went out to my car, threw my bag on the passenger seat, and took a granola bar our of the glove box...and looked at the label. 230 calories. i decided right then and there to never (not this decade anyway) become an obsessive calorie counter, scale frequenter, or workout queen. if it's not fun, to me, there's just no point.


i put up a mass of christmas lights this year. lights in the kitchen, lights in the kids room, seven or eight long strands of lights wound around the christmas tree alone...and no ornaments yet. it shines like a new yellow moon at night, twinkles like a prickly green sky replete with glitter stars during the day. i put the old creche up, the one i stared at for what now seems hours when i was small...the rough italian made figures still giving me a warm feeling as i placed the sheep behind the shepherds, the wise men in a line approaching, the babe who turned out to be God under the wonderous gazes of his unworthy earthly parents. the simple wooden stable, the angels balancing atop, the wrinkled brown donkey that reminds us of what an uncomfortable ride a very pregnant mary endured to get to that unwelcome inn. the art deco stained glass angel was set on the top shelf of the bookcase to watch over us for this season, hands welded together in prayer for our well being...or something. a basket of cinnamon and pinecones, a red bowl of silver bells, the christmas books and music brought out into the open to be enjoyed another year. the things i bought on clearance after the holidays last year and packed right away opened like new gifts. i love the familial warmth, traditional securities, browns and reds and forest greens of Christmas...i love the sermons that weave into our imaginations what it was really like for the players in the great cosmic drama that night so long ago...and how close that same saviour from then can be to us here and now. enjoy this time, relax in it. give what you can, whenever you can; remembering that the giving God did has opened our eyes at least enough to see need, to want to cover the cold out there with a soothing warm glow. run into the arms of light and love this season, let your little light shine, and watch the flicker of flame in your own life spread like wildfire so that your joy becomes complete and your cup runs over.

merry advent, happy first week of Christmas to you.


mmm...long holiday weekend. i plan to do a lot of cooking, puzzle working, and general lounging. i love this time of year.


so saturday night i was working at world cup...it was a nice mellow evening - abby and i had a slow start to the night, so we sat playing rummy with some of her friends for a good hour. i remember thinking "they are so happy and innocent...fifteen years old. life hasn't bitten them on the heels quite yet, it's refreshing to be around them..."

after awhile two college guys came in and told us that their neighbors were complaining about their guitar playing - would we mind if they played in the shop? "you're not going to plug them in, right?" i asked with a grin...they grinned back, and said no...and commenced to sit across from each other and play soft soothing familiar tunes almost until closing time...

at ten minutes to eleven, i went off to clean the bathrooms - part of closing chores (a small price to pay for the great people i get to spend time with at this job). i took maybe seven minutes to swipe everything with some bleach handy wipe thingys, and refill what needed refilling. when i stepped out and looked around, i noticed that everyone was standing very still, and looking quite shell shocked. i went behind the counter and asked the closest person what had happened, and was informed that we had just been robbed at gunpoint, specifically, that abby had been robbed at gunpoint. she was in the backroom sobbing with her two friends (who had been standing there when it happened), and the police were there within minutes. strange, surreal. i hugged the fifteen year olds (now not quite as innocent and unbitten as they had been earlier in the day), talked in low tones with patrons, started and abandoned other closing duties, felt odd. we all ended up going home leaving the place a mess, a little shaky and a lot thankful. it could've been so much worse...some money was lost, but noone was hurt.

life goes along smoothly for awhile, but then we are jolted by events out of our control, and it wakes us up in ways we hadn't known we were sleeping.


jesse is five today...amazing how fast he's grown. amazing that it's been five years - half a decade - since i looked into his newborn face with awe and wonder...he's a full fledged preschooler now. and tomorrow - well, i'm just going to enjoy today, the flying future scares me a little.


what a couple of weeks...i feel like we've been running with very few pit stops to call home and check the messages. two waterdeep shows in one week, working at world cup, friends over - sometimes overnight, getting a jump on christmas shopping (i was in the checkout at toys r us and marveled at the stark difference between this midweek evening with the store being virtually empty, and what this same stretch of retail would look like a mere one month from now), church, home group, kids being sick, and the death of one of chad's grandpas on sunday morning. i leave that for last because that's really the only thing on the list i'd want to tell you about right now...

chad enjoyed and respected his grandpa as much as he could, in his own way - i'll say that first. but this being the rough and rowdy part of that side of the family, it's been hard to know how to handle the sympathy that's been poured out on us. his grandpa didn't want a service, didn't want any ceremony other than to have his ashes scattered over the farm up north. the last few times we'd seen him he was in a hospital bed in chad's uncle's girlfriend's house, deteriorating since the major stroke he suffered a couple of years ago. he loved to see our kids, especially lucy ("she's an ANGEL, just an angel..."), but was still managing to let us know who he was remembering to dislike from years long past and why.

we got a call early sunday morning that if chad wanted to see him one last time, he better get moving - ther doctors were speaking in terms of hours left to live, and by the time chad was ready to walk aout the door, he had passed away. chad went on up anyway, taking kansas with him, and i went on to church with the little ones.

family is hard, and wonderful; secure and scary sometimes. relationships between sinners are always tricky in spots, and Jesus' example can be hard to live up to. the one thing we can say for sure despite falling out's and friendships forged is that our family is OURS, and the one we marry into becomes our very own as well. so we go through the processes of life together in one way or another with (or at least thinking of) each other, living, learning, coping, remembering, heaving heavy sighs.


been...reading anne lamott novels, working a bit more at the coffeeshop, watching kansas get on the bus at eight twenty every morning, saving for our christmas trip to chicago and michigan, missing certain friends but forgetting to touch base with maddening consistency, praying, birthday shopping for jesse, relaxing with tea and thoughts, and loving all the cloudiness and rain around here. ahhh, fall...


i go back and forth with this blogging thing...either there's so much going on i don't know where to start to tell you all about it, or else i can't think of a thing to share. hmmm...i can say that i've recently seen the light break through an almost year long depression...that i finally saw it for what it was and sought help, and God is good and faithful and doesn't want us living in a deep dark fuzzy edged cloud, i believe...so here i am. wanting to be a help to others instead of seeking only some sort of balm for my wounds. aware of need beside my own, and trusting God to take care of mine with an abandon i've not known before. it feels light. coming up for air is easier, and the edge of the precipice is not near as daunting, or near as close to me, for that matter. and the amazing thing to me is that although the daily drag has changed very little, the change in me is allowing me to be removed enough from it to not fall prey to emotional decline the way i had for so long. i can even laugh at what used to frustrate me, in many cases. the love of our God is incredible to me...incredible and overwhelming and white and sweet, like a marshmallow avalanche. to live in the light, to not be overcome by all of my stumbling...i'm feeling very free these days.


it's not a bad place to live...though chad did squash a giant cricket with his swiftly removed shoe after i got him up here with those don't-wake-the-kids quiet, furtive screams about an hour ago...


So Kansas began his career at Auburn Elementary School yesterday. What a long, strange week it's been...


so a week from tomorrow the calendar will read 'september 11' - a date no american will ever let pass without at least a shiver going down the spine, right? i know i will always have mixed feelings on this day - i will remember where i was when i heard the news...standing in the family room, chad called from a job interview and told me to turn on the t.v...i threw in a videotape and gaped with the rest of the nation in unbelief with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. i called parents, i tried to explain to the kids, i kept taping. i cried at the sight of victims' friends and family members wandering the streets of new york city with their fliers and thier shocked bewilderment. i wished we would turn to God as in the days of the old testament - repenting as one for our sin and pride and tower of babble we have become, tearing our clothes and piling ashes on our heads...i winced at the ecumenicalism. i prayed feebly, my heart bled for all those families ripped apart, i did so with reserve i felt ashamed of, knowing that godless suffering is far worse than suffering with hope, and hating my judgemental side. "he was such a good man!" - but was his goodness apart from God his downfall? i have to remember what sheldon said about a trace of God existing in everything He created...i cheered at the selflessness poured out from every corner of America, i wished God would be credited instead of the strength of the human spirit. the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak...

as a christian experiencing this tragedy, this insanity and this nightmare more than one person referred to as hollywood-esque, not real; i honestly didn't know what to think. that we are one step closer to armegeddon? yes...that this was a senseless act of stupidity born out of a false belief? yes...that God had to have a thought and a feeling on the whole thing, but I had no clue what that was? definitely...being a part of this human race, i could not seperate myself from the raw emotions and reality of how in the world we as a nation were going to deal with the situation. i am a family member, i am an American...but even before those things, as my sister reminded me, i am a Christian. and that was a confusing place to be standing when the dust finally settled and the reams of articles had been written, the libraries of tapes had been recorded, npr had had its say, and the books began to be published. I am an American, but first I am a Christian...and those can conflict - God, I wish it weren't so, but these are the days we are living in...

"you will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. such things must happen, but the end is still to come. nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom...all these are the beginnings of birth pains." Matthew 24:6-8

- i do not know if what happened here last year fits into this referrral to wars and nations, but i want to focus on being not alarmed...not shaken to the core at the events that have and that will continue to cause us to wince and to wonder...i want to acknowledge my humanness while remembering my place in God's family. it's a hard balance for me...i hope to grow in this area so that my perception will be more true.

i know i will again be confused as to how to react to the new stories, reports, rememberances on the anniversary of what happened that tuesday morning last september...i want to have grace, feeling, prayer, hope in my God. we'll see...


summer's speeding by
the sun has remained high
hot and rarely
covering herself with clouds
to ease the farmers furrowed brow

my days are speeding too
seems only yesterday that you
were younger, more naive and
handing me a million reasons an hour
to believe

now my road is not clear which
way is free from entangling fear
but i do know this -
that simplicity leads to serenity
though simplicity is no bedfellow of ease

resolution will come, i know with
harvest, perhaps - or even snow
weeping is only for a night, i am reminded -
and joy will come in the morning, be it tomorrow or the day
of reckoning
my joy will come
with peace and in green pastures my
joy will come.


my stupid computer wouldn't let me online for a couple of days. my computer is networked with chads, and the connection was fine, he was able to access the internet, but whatever we tried to fix the problem didn't work. so just now i decided to try again to log on, after going through the process unsuccessfully a jillion times, and it decided to work. stinking machines - i swear they just get bored or in moods or something...


so after reviewing all of our options in light of the ever increacing poop out factor of my little van (the discount we get via my father's long employment with ford motor company and the great summer sales included) we have purchased a new car, fresh off the lot of a dealership. a liquid grey focus wagon with medium graphite trim, to be exact. this is a new adventure for us...i'm going to have to keep reminding myself that i don't have to return this car to the rental place. we pick it up tomorrow - and then we'll probably go for a good long drive...







well, i've always liked that old randy stonehill song, but i never really thought about relating to it so well. hmmm...


spent the weekend in westport, KC for the new earth festival...terri kalavig told me it would most probably be the last one ever. she and sheldon are "ready to be put out to pasture", she said. i wonder what will become of that place. if it does close and no more memories are to be made within and without its walls, i think i will recall as my fondest ones the don and lori acoustic shows upstairs, especially when it rained...seeds kicking off everyone's festival the other year, matthew perryman jones venturing out of nashville and blessing us with his realness and songs...sheldon and dons' sermonettes, all of waterdeep's jams and old favorites; waiting for bill malonee to get on stage already when in fact he was pounding on the wrong side of a door upstairs that wouldn't open, yelling to be rescued...the bottomless mugs of coffee, the seventies carpet, the community, the history. its place in time will be definitively remembered, that's for sure.


well, it's not so hot this week...nice. i've seen some friends lately that i don't usually get to see, that's nice, too. going through a trial (who isn't), but accepting God's grace through it...mostly. we're dog sitting chad's mom's pug...she's really ugly and misses her fam, but we're doing our best :). hard to believe summer's so far gone. hmmm...not much else to report. hope you're all having a lovely weekend.


hi all...i'm back from five days in phoenix, where the sun bakes everything to a crisp all day long, and the nights aren't much better. i was in a wedding, my best friend from fourth grade through college's(i know, terrible grammar, but i don't care right now) wedding, to be exact, and i saw a lot of people i hadn't seen in years. it was a good time. then chad flew back to kansas, and i spent a couple of days in the chaos that is his mom's house - between the twelve or so daycare kids, our kids, her kids, and the dogs i was ready to come home to some relative quiet. lucy and i flew home yesterday (we saw a rainbow during the flight - very cool) without the boys..**violins***..they are going to be traipsing about the southwest with chad's family all this week, hitting the grand canyon and colorado before coming home. i'm going to miss kansas' seventh birthday - a first, but i'm glad they get to do this. it'll make great ' what i did on my summer vacation ' material...jesse wasn't quite sure about being left at his nana's house, but i assured him we'd call every night. on the way home from the airport we went and ate dinner in lawrence and bummed around mass street for awhile...lucy really enjoyed herself, as she loves to be outside and hadn't gotten to do that much while we were gone.
now we're getting ready for the annual cul-de-sac fourth of july extravaganza, with more food and fireworks than we can stand. can it be that time of year again already? amazing how fast time goes anymore...well, a happy and safe fourth to everyone, and hopefully i'll post here a bit more often. wow, i just realized how much this sounds like a form letter to family or something...well, i guess in a way it is.
so long for now...


me, while listening to sink or swim - "jesse, remember last year about this time we went to memphis, to that festival, and saw our friends and worked with waterdeep?"

jesse - "YES! and i went in the bathroom that was a rectangle!"


currently reading 'a sacred romance' after having it casually mentioned to me about a thousand times lately by most people in my life - unrelated, of course. God is good, He draws us even when we are clueless, bumbling waifs.


it's so nice when i can actually get out of the house first (or at least second or third) thing in the morning and go for a good long walk. it clears my head, it gets me out of my self. today knasas went with me and we pet a horse, picked some flowers, and found some good garage sales. by the time we arrived back home, chad had gotten up and had some bible time and breakfast...could me getting out actually be motivating for him as well? we struggle with being late night people and living with early riser kids. maybe we'll get it together one of these years...

planning to see waterdeep tonight...i look forward to it. who knows how much longer they'll be playing like this. chad has been taking drum lessons from brandon...what a teacher.

kids naptime is half over -i better go relax before the next wave hits...


so i've decided on a curriculum for next year. it involves collecting about fifty children's classics - or at least great stories - from a list that coincides with the unit study. i'm finding that a good chunk of the titles are out of print, and very hard to find. so i've been on a treasure hunt, trailing through ebay, alibras, homeschool book sales, and anywhere else i can think of. it's quite exciting to find them one by one, and i'm looking forward to this new approach at homeschooling - spending lots of time on the couch reading to my kids. you'd think, bookworm that i am, that this would be a regular thing in our home, but sadly, as of late, it's been hard to make the time. i'm too free-spirited to be much good at scheduling, but i'm going to try in the fall.


oh, yes...my little blog. i've been neglectful, though it has not been to sit around and play solitare or anything...life has just been very full as of late. i've been tremendously enjoying a copy of anne lamott's 'traveling mercies' that linds sent me...helping my fam finish up spring things like preschool, awana, college...spending time with good friends, attempting to clear out some stuff in our house that is no longer needed (and maybe wasn't in the first place), watching the nightly lightning show all week. it's good to be in full blown spring.


lights bright lights
bright red lights
brake lights
blinking on and off for miles
it seems
in front of me
stop and go
add to my woe
i hate
being late.


an email exchange from yesterday...

Hi - I wanted to know if it is possible to order back
issues of Consumer Reports. I am interested in the Feb. 2002 issue.

Thanks, Lisa
Are you in the media, a subscriber or just interested in
the article? My department deals only with the media but we do have a
customer relations department.

Jennifer Shecter

Oh, I'm just interested in the article. Can you connect me to the right
Thanks again,

You know what, just give me your address and I can send you the one issue.
I hate bureaucracy and hate to inflict it on anyone.

Jen Shecter
i love it.


"the drinking part of my stomach is THIRSTY!...but the eating part is full." - kansas. our weekend in a nutshell - a scrapbooking workshop, taking the whole fam out in the pouring rain to get a good deal on a composter and go out to breakfast, hanging out at the animal shelter looking at all the kittens too little to take home, napping, cooking, church, spending sunday with dan and rosa at our place, then on a house searching tour all over northeast kansas ranging from the scary (an 1800's farmhouse miles from nowhere with bad plumbing) to the familiar (going up to holton to show them chad's mom's beautiful old victorian monstrosity that will be available in the next few months)...and we actually went to bed early last night. good times...


so i'm having a taste of what it would be like to have kansas in school..sort of. our homeschool support group (sounds like a ten step program, but it's really much more :) offers sat testing every year for grades k-12, and kansas is taking the first grade one this week. it's a three day thing, six hours a day, and he's doing really well as far as sitting for long periods of time, filling in bubbles with a sharpened #2 pencil - whether this is a worthwhile way to spend time for us remains to be seen. he's also had a ball running around with other kids his age who are homeschooled also, and i'm so looking forward to being more involved in this group next year. jesse won't be in preschool, and chad's not taking classes in the fall - probably - so hopefully that means a bit more relaxed family time.


"there are few experiences as depressing as that anxious barren state known as writers block, where you sit staring at your blank page like a cadaver, feeling your mind congeal, feeling your talent run down your leg and into your sock. or you look at the notes you've scribbled recently on yellow legal pads or index cards, and they look like something richard speck jotted down the other night. and at the same time, as it turns out, you happen to know that your closest writing friend is on a roll, has been turning out stories and screenplays and children's books and even most of a novel like he or she is some crazy pot-holder factory, pot holders pouring out the windows because there is simply not enough room inside for such glorious productivity."
- anne lamott.


...spending the weekend in kansas city for two waterdeep shows. it's nice to spend time at the new earth with friends, a tradition that may soon be no more as we know it (or at least a much more sporadic occurrance).


rem was on sesame street again today. shiny happy monsters...heh. mike mills and stipe always can at least look like they're enjoying themselves, but peter gives the feeling that he thinks this is too silly for him.


I’m sitting on my porch step among the pots of annuals I planted yesterday and today – the sunny marigolds, the floppy old straw hat pansies, the stout and gorgeous zinnias in all their deep flaming orange glory. It is a grand evening as far as the weather goes – it is neither warm nor cool, it is that perfect mystery temperature inbetween, with a soft stroke of breeze to boot. I smell smoke – some farmer out leaning on a rake, burning his fields out in the prairies that surround our rural neighborhood.

Birds are calling to each other tree to tree – one chatters, one chirps back. All are singing in their own way, and this pure music is easy for me to feel a part of. My dark blue jeans spill over onto my light blue flip flops, the cement is hard to sit on but I don’t mind. The beginnings of sunset are light charcoal grey and soft peach, pale yellow and faint washed out blue. I can hear Lucy murmuring and singing to herself in her crib upstairs.

The grass is beginning to grow long, the chocolate mint is emerging fragrant in the perennial patch.

I wonder if it will rain tonight.
I wonder if the farmer will finish with his fields.


planted flowers and did some yard work today...it was really nice. standing back to look at something you just made a little more beautiful has a theraputic effect, i think.
my kids are big fans of Franklin the turtle. i noticed the other day that bruce cockburn sings the little theme song before every episode...heh.


random biographic thoughts for the day - i think all cookbooks ought to be spiral bound...i don't think one can take too many pictures of their kids...i like my sugar in the raw dissolved in my espresso before adding the cold milk and ice to my latte...i'm an overly sensitive idealist with a healthy dose of women's intuition...i really want to make it to the ocean or the redwoods very soon...i hope my a/c in my little van can be fixed before july.


sometimes life feels like a salt sea breeze, bitter and sweet, sandy and clean. once in a while the record slows to a stop, there's quiet inside, and my mind is free to wander and explore. not too often, but still it happens, that i feel the smile of God on me, as if i had already learned to make my life a gift and let it be poured out for others.


so now i think that chad should find a job in colorado...i miss the air there. i've been known to miss the air in chicago though, and am awfully flighty in my onward and upward desires for drastic change sometimes...this week started out with a raging thunderstorm, but has ended on a brilliant, calm, beautiful sunset overlooking a rolling field - i say this figuratively, of course. chad and i have been missing each other on every turn lately, letting our lack of communication skills shine, and generally making life miserable for each other. i realize that as for my part, this is in large part due to the events and memories i never dealt with from my growing up years, and i'm at a point where i'm just ready to do just that. ready to let go, to move on, to grow up, to let it be. and chad is taking steps to deal with his own closet demons - and for this i am glad. here's to poking our heads out of the sand...

"in acceptance lieth peace" - amy carmichael


"The idea of doing yet one more tour and spending three months in a studio... There's not a window in any studio I've ever been in." - Bill Berry, 1998


this day is for tears...many tears for many people. from the deep darkness of my own heart to places far beyond, the recurring theme today has been sad news after bad news...hurtful situations, searching souls, lost little children sitting in the dirt of the world and it's painful circumstances; some trying bravely to maintain an outward sense of confidence and the illusion of everything being just fine; some openly weeping and wailing, others sitting so still and quiet you wouldn't even notice them but for the splash of tear after tear hitting the blank page before them...
i linger at the drastic and hardest hit, but there are more out on the fringes, those ones may just be a little sad and lonely, or just confused about something...they are worth mentioning too, because they are - though not as acutely - suffering; and need God's grace all the same to pull though this veiled life on earth. i feel a bit lost myself, and confused about some things that are forefront in my daily life right now. i feel distant from my God, who I am told longs to comfort me and fill me with His perfect peace that PASSES UNDERSTANDING - but i am wandering in the maze of thinking i have to understand and make sense of it all...oh, when will i learn? when will i just rest, let go, believe that all He has to offer is also for me? I feel very exposed of soul writing all of this down, but the general sense of damp cellar cloudiness that is in the air today - over phone lines and through email inboxes, at work and under my own pillow - was just to much to keep in.


oh, i guess i should post something about lucy, too...she ate three bowls of honey nut cheerios for breakfast today..hard to believe she will be TWO this summer - where does the time go?


today i was sorting clothes for laundry and a harmonica fell out of the pocket of jesse's jeans...


"look how neatly i wrote 'messy'!" - kansas at dinner tonight


so chad and our friend david played at the coffeeshop where i work last night...they sounded good together, and had a good time despite the lack of too much of a crowd. march madness was blamed, as as was spring break, global warming, and the cold wind outside. there are two more dates to hear them play together set up, should be good...

(i used 'good' three times in that short post...sorry for the uninventive use of language, but i'm just too tired for revision at the moment)


whenever i watch tv (which isn't too often) i am struck at the volume of perscription drug commercials on these days. it's a shame that capitolism extends its free market deep into the health care industry the way it does, and common sense is thrown out the window in favor of making a buck. it's sad for us that there's no money to be made telling people to drink lots of water, eat lots of fresh fruit and veggies, get your fill of fiber, and go easy on the fat and processed fare...oh, and get off your rear and exercise. seen a commercial for actual good advice lately? (this seems to be part of a series of late where i gripe about the lack of fulfilled idealism in our life and times...maybe i ought to rename this blog "hmmm...she commentated")


it's 2:17 in the afternoon on this wednesday, this first day of spring...and my whole family is sleeping :). the kids are all deep into their afternoon naps, and chad is sacked out on the couch. i am thinking, "should i film him?" - but instead i think i'll share something with you that i read in the local paper yesterday...i quote - "A mistake in timing on the part of Cox Communications Inc. FORCED many area television viewers to SUFFER interruptions of their favorite Sunday night programs." (emphasis mine). really, God help us if we've grown so fat and complacent, so ignorant of what children in third world countries and the body of Christ in places like sudan go through on a daily basis, that we can refer to missing out on a little boob tube action in terms of suffering. craziness. shake your head slowly from side to side with me. unreal.

ok, ahem...had to rant (wouldn't you?) happy spring, you faithful and few visitors to my little world on the web...go outside and appreciate something today.


I don't feel good…I have a cold, and a hypochondriac with any sort of real illness is no fun to be around, I'm guessing. Blech. Since you would probably rather be spared the details of my headache and runny nose at the moment, I'll instead share some thoughts on observation from the other night…

So I'm sitting here in this coffeeshop, the one I work at a couple of nights a week just to keep my foot in the door of interaction with people taller than me, and also for a purely selfish reason - I like to be a barista. It keeps some small part of me college aged. Anyway, I've been coming to work early lately just to read, or write, or look leisurely at the pictures I just picked up - that sort of thing. To decompress from the day, to unwind, to catch my breath before the next wave hits. To have that precious thirty or so minutes when I am not being asked to give time, attention, or energy on someone else's behalf. Me time. It isn't much, but when you don't have any for an extended period, you'll take what you can get.

Right now the sun is shining in the front windows, overpowering the lamps and overhead fluorescent bulbs with its warmth and brightness. It is a welcome intruder, a blazing reminder that the sun cannot be contained any more than the God who created it - we could slam shutters and roll down blinds against it but that would only be foolishly sticking our heads in the sand. Because, of course, the ethereal rays would still be freely flooding over everything else in the general vicinity, right? It would be like those people we know who insist on making terrible life choices and then live with the ugly consequences when they really don't have to - if only they would choose not to ignore the patient and strong hand of love hidden in the shadows…it would be like a scientist insisting he believes in evolution when all the evidence right down to his own bones is screaming this simply cannot be…it would be like Jonah running from God and Nineveh…it would resonate in each of our sordid souls because we can all be this way, yes?

So the sun is casting interesting shadows everywhere, and I am content to gaze at them over my house coffee…renewal feels good, even in small steps.


so, today i have a counseling appointment, then possible lunch with just chad (rare occurance), and then this afternoon rosa and i are planning to go paint pottery. it's a bit cloudy and not too cold, just my kind of day. been writing a lot lately, just looking around and describing what i observe, and some childhood memories...it's good to fill pages again. maybe i'll share some soon...


feeling like a cold, dense fog is lifting...watching the grass turn a little greener every day...the birds are singing loud and strong this week, as though they are announcing something - perhaps that the trees are budding? that spring is on the way? is there a malady or distress that can't be helped at least a little bit by the opening of a window to let a warm breeze in after it's been frigid for so long? it absolutely feels like narnia this year, the ice and darkness, the grey landscape is being replaced by running streams and blooming flowers, life is bursting from deadness and despair, and who am i to cast a shadow on that? i welcome the change now, i need it. it feels so good, and is an offering of hope for my weary soul.


hmmm...three restless nights in a row. tossing, turning, listning to the wind howl, listning to jesse talk in his sleep. three nights having half dreams...which always seem worse than whole ones...three nights knowing i'd wake up tired, three nights trying to pray and not quite making it past the ceiling. three nights counting wrongs, three nights cursing my sinful nature that has contributed to the sorry state we're in.
three nights in a row, i don't know if i'm up for four.


wonderful, simple, much needed article here , i encourage you to read it, and more from the "health topics" menu to the right of it.


something in me strains to catch a glimpse of the first signs of spring - then winces as the sunlight pours down. i am this way in so many areas...indecisive at best, discontent at worst, i guess. before i was married, i would give ear and follow every whimsical desire i heard myself 'need' - a day off of work, a night out with friends, a week or three in a car going anywhere but here...i was always labeled a 'free spirit'...i've learned since that noone's spirit is really free. in my acceptance of servanthood, even friendship - or the road to it anyway- with God, i've had to reject the idea of freedom of spirit, soul, and self - this heartily embraced idea is nothing more than the flashy wrapping and glittering bow on an empty box...so deceived was i that at times i still find it hard to remember that where i live, what i have, my plans for today can only be altered so much by me...that in the grand scheme of things, they are held in God's hand, and if i'm wanting to draw closer to Him, part of that entails following his lead instead of running ahead only to stumble and fall. the themes that speak loudly from His perfect Word need to be more imbedded in me - "give, love, trust, find joy in the lord, and learn to encourage yourself in Him, do not worry or complain...the list goes on. what peace He longs for us to live in, what resistance i build up to that notion when i fill my mind with doubt and distraction.


today i realized that our firstborn son is one third of the way to college...6, 12, 18. makes the years just shrink before my brain cells...


so...chad turns thirty somewhere between tomorrow and the next day...leap year is a funny thing. Kansas gave me a very strange look when i tried to explain it to him today.


i bought a copy of the call's the walls came down at hastings tonight on the way home from dan and rosa's. rosa and i had a meeting at the coffee shop and then went to her place, drank coffee and were highly entertained by her cats who were overtaken by the evening crazies - chasing each other's tails and such. i'd have cats but chad's allergic. i'm not allergic to percocet, the drug i'm taking because of this awful pain in the neck, but it does make me a bit lightheaded. oy.


spring is almost just around the corner, and i can't wait. it seems just what i need...just what many i know need - a fresh, fragrant breeze to lift us spiritual down-and-outers, a brightness in sky and blade of grass; a sparkle in river and rearview mirror...i hope we have some time when the warm air flows our way to take a good, long, cleansing drive to nowhere, to simply feel the tires roll under us and the wind against our outstreched palms. i'm aching to shake off the stuffiness of winter and the tight blinders of my mind and embrace once again the freedom i have to soak in what's good, to turn a blind eye to what's destructive, and to work some more on becoming whole. i know, the road to health and well being has more to do with what's inside me that what's without...it's just so inspirational to watch the first robin of the year hop around my front yard.


i am not from here, i
belong not with overalled men and rusty
tractors, with chewed tobacco, with
field after field, with

i am from there, that
skyscrapered city, that
sidewalked suburb, that
redwood forest, that
long road trip through the heart and to the outskirts
of america

but i find myself settled,
static, a home
owner here

i feel out of place in this
antirace, this
praried flinthilled place, this
supermarket parking lot full of old trucks
place, this
wide open space

but i am here
not knowing for how long i am

and i can lament and give way to
memories of life more involved, more
fluid, farther away from
hicks and haystacks, from
crafty knicknacks

or i can rest, let
my soul find a bit of peace in these
rolling hills, these
endless clouds, these
rivers feeding trees at their banks

i can choose to
give thanks, i can
learn to live in
the moment without




yesterday was the first day of our homeschool group bowling league (the term 'league' used lightly...these are kids ranging in age from 3 to 9 :)...anyway, we get all figured out as to teams and lanes and they start bowling...when we notice that kansas' turn comes right after montana's...heh. they had fun, and somehow jesse knocked the socks off of the competition, winning both games by a landslide. later i worked at the coffeeshop, and our friend david was playing. it was a fun, busy, familiar night which i am too tired from but happy to have been a part of. ok, off to counseling...i'm a private person, but if some good comes out of the mess i tend to make of my life, who am i not to share with some potential have-to-learn-things-the-hard-way person like myself?

a bright and promising saturday to you all...


ugh. nothing worse than a stale blog. well, to be honest, i haven't felt like writing here much lately. maybe it's the post holiday letdown, the recent winter storm that has us all in its icy grip, or the impending marriage counseling appointment. let's just say that it's been a downer of a month in more ways than one. the good news is - i haven't completely given up. on God. on Chad. on me. so pray for us if you think about it, and i hope to post more happy and thoughtful things sometime in the near future.


i think i'll go to bed after this
i know i'll sleep and sleep
at last i'll be off in the ghostly grey dreamland
i feel like i'll be gone a week
i've stayed and stayed and stayed awake
much longer than sanity's keep
but time, after all, when it's squandered and spent
repays with a fee that's quite steep


i wonder what God thinks when he hears all of us discussing art and the Christian and CCM and marketing and selling out and what we should and shouldn't feed into our sensory experiences and the importance of how we feel and crossing over and the issues surrounding 'secular vs. sacred' and application of the argument that carpenters that happen to be Christians don't exclusively build churches to what's happening in the music scene today and making a buck ethically and personal taste and individuality...i just wonder what he thinks of it all. sometimes i think we forget that we in modern america are but a fragment of the body of Christ which spans tounges and tribes and years, but yet the character of God is timeless and his Word is unchanging. i debate and ponder, but always with a bit of reserve because i don't have comment on the issue at hand from the one whose opinion matters most.


"This was the year that I started defining myself less and less by my past, and more and more by my present and future. " sound relatable encouragement for me from noah (who, by the way, takes some pretty amazing pictures)


testing, 1,2
ok, i'm trying out a new comment system...again. hopefully, this one will stick around awhile, but i'm not holding my breath or anything.


it's funny that i look tall to my kids...knowing that they will all probably grow up to be taller than me.


my stomach hurts...too much on my mind. i think i'm going to cut my coffeeshop job down from two nights a week to only one...chaos was fine for the pre- and actual holidays, but i'm in that organize or bust stage, and some things just have to go. the piles of stuff around here have got to be gone through. we need to become involved in our homeschool support group. i need to carve out time every day for excercise of the spirit and body - gravity of the earth and its frailties are taking thier toll on me. i'm thankful for chad, who desires to accompany me in these endeavors, along with a few of his own. as much as i loathe scheduling and discipline, we need a bit of it right now. resolutions, here we come...


well, hmmm...she said; i am finding; is quite picky about her general appearance, but has enough quirky nonchalance to change her mind somewhat often. most comfortable lately in deep candle lit ambience; when that particular outfit turned up missing in her closet she was bold enough to try something else that she thought might be a fun interlude while she worked on locating her fuzzy slippered garment of choice. tiring quickly of the blocky dullness and starting to feel outright silly wearing it, she went shopping. currently she's gone back to basics, determined to tuck and stitch until it fits her right...slapping on a patch here and an embroidered something there; dyeing and cutting and adding and subtracting to her glorious ideal - but then again she may drop it all and head out again in search of something completely different to suit her altered mood. you never know.