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


"as Linford has said, we give standing ovations to the wrong people in this world. At the end of every shift change at every hospital, nursing home, and care facility there should be a line of folks standing at the door applauding those nurses, aids, social workers, and caregivers that give so much of themselves day in, day out."

-Karen Berquist



well, i'm not sure how to feel...dedicated wife or overzealous helper? we've been getting to bed way, way too late for awhile now (i won't even tell you what time, it's quite ungodly), and last night was no exception. c has to get up and go earlier than usual on wednesdays to be to work in time for mandatory ministry wide chapel. i generally lay there for awhile after the lights are finally out, listening to him breathe and letting my mind wander before i doze off. as i was somewhere between the stray thoughts and proper sleep last night, something suddenly caught in my throat and a loud, forceful cough made its way out into the silence in a split second. in the following split second, i supressed it as hard as i could, in an effort not to wake up my husband who was already going to have a sleep debt come morning. (i know you can't really do this, but i didn't have time to think about it.) in that second, holding desperately to that cough in the back of my throat, a pain sliced through my left side that resulted in me jumping out of bed and running into the living room where i could make some noise. to every action, as newton has said, there is, of course, an equal and opposite reaction. good night, it hurt! this morning when i woke up and began turning over to get out of bed, there it was again - a shooting pain in my left side. what on earth did i do to myself? google revealed what sounded like a cracked rib to some degree. i don't know, i guess it's ibuprofin and laying around more that i'd like to city for me.

i love my husband, i do, but next time...


the sky has been slate grey all afternoon, with intermittent showers rapping on the western facing windows. it's in the upper 80's outside, but in here with the air conditioning cranked up, i'm almost getting the sensation that it's really fall. who knows, i may even drag my big blue rubbermaid tub full of autumn decorations out of the garage (no basements here) and have at it this weekend.
thanksgiving is right around the corner, and on its heels christmas, and the thought of spending them in florida again with the shining sun and gaping hole where friends and family should be is a suffocating feeling i'm currently holding at arms length. Lord, i pray, even if i weren't here, where is home on this earth for me? there are places to visit where there are traces of an old life here, a memory there, but no house, no stretch of road or land, no group of people even that constitutes a proper home to return to. i know this is in a lot of ways just an extreme version of what we all face - this realization as we've gone along for years that that our home that once offered safety, security, belonging, rest, and familiarity is gone, or at best, has changed irreversibly with the sale of a house, the aging of generations before us, some births, deaths, changed relationships. i remember sitting at a different dining room table than the one i'd grown up around a few years ago, before my dad sold the house i spent my first seventeen years in; looking at the eleven people interacting and thinking "once upon a time (and for many years) only three of us were here." life goes on, and with it goes the old. i am so thankful that i don't despair over this, that in the grace and mercy of God i am looking forward to the new, when once again I will sit around a table, one that is totally unfamiliar to me, and know that as our Saviour passes around the bread and wine, i have come home to a home where i am known. where i belong, where i am safe and sound, where there are no more tears, or pain, or troubled times. what can i say in the place i am in now, too hot for this time of year and dealing with our family feeling lonely? i take heart, i am grateful for hope.


I am writing this by the lowlight of the moon, pale yet voluminous, bathing my hands blue grey white
Scribbling on a stray index card fished from my ruby red purse while at a stoplight
Many times I have said to You on the road under that low full gazing ball planet
"How am I supposed to be a responsible driver at the hands of this glowing beauty I cannot avert my eyes from?"

I have stood at the edge of a smooth river, a tall green forest, a jagged cliff overlooking a bright cobalt ocean foaming on sheer rock faces
Shivering in my little soul at the tiny presence I had there, my humanness stark against the muted ethereal beauty of what you formed with your hands
On glazed white mountaintops, in cool sour caves under the dank earth, staring out mesmorized over waving flaxen prarie grass
Knowing in my softened heart the wonder of this communion I am blessed to have with the Artist at whose purpose these all came to be

I lay sleepless in the early morning hours, my lips silently moving in prayers for needy, lacking ones; for the parts of me I see in these
I try not to live in the wrong kind of fear, but I do fear - and in my trembling minisculeness I want your sweet comfort, Your strong arms, Your truthful words, Your anchor of peace
Like a river down in my soul. I am a deer seeking water, a child keenly aching for her mother, a moth nearing a bare porch bulb
Yours is the heart I lean into, away from the howling bitter winds of desolation; yours is the hand mine searches for in the dark

To you in your light of lights that is life in your
unseen glory in your
untouchable flame of holiness by the
unquestioning willingness of your only Son
I am irrevocably
inexorably, fixedly


some of you who come here will remember my baby. all that black hair, that red face the first week or two..she looked native american! you might remember her dimpled baby cheek, her early and often heard laughter, her squealing babbly adoration of her older brothers. maybe you recall holding her while she was wearing one of her pink onsies (what a nice change for me to shop the baby girl department!). were you around when she learned to crawl? talk? toddle?
i took her to MOPS, i dropped her off three mornings a week at preschool, i got to homeschool her for her kindergarden year. last year she spent in a little charter school classroom, running to the van at carloop to tell me about her day. this year we are back to homeschooling, and i am so glad to have her around again. she is our light, our joy, our sugar, spice, and tomboy kid who does her level best to keep up with those brothers.
she is our lucy, and she turned 7 yesterday.

(of course, no matter how many birthdays she keeps on having, she will always, always be my baby.)


this is kind of fun...

had friends come down from kansas for a much anticipated visit last week..with ten kiddos and six adults we didn't plan anything, just hung out at the ocean and pool in cocoa beach - it truly felt like a vacation as afterwards i only had to recover from piled up laundry and that empty feeling you get when good friends go far away.
now we're tucking our heads down and walking into the winds of beginning another homeschooling year, an ear nose & throat specialist visit for Chad, orthotics for me, Awana for Lucy, van maintainance, et cetera. busi-ness. we're thankful and feel so blessed to have had a precious interlude.


it's the rainy season here, which means it's hot and sunny in the morning, and hot with a rumbling, flashing thunderstorm in the afternoon/evening most days. last night the rain started hammering in the early evening, and then cleared up just before dusk, giving us a fantastic double rainbow right over our house. i love to see rainbows..they are a quite tangible reality of a promise straight from God. we're going through some stresses we can't change right now, and having to constantly choose to either wallow in the weight of them or trust that underneath are the everlasting arms. needing all the encouragement we can get, it was a beautiful sight to behold.


7-7-07...many are considering this to be a special day, according to news reports. gamblers, brides & grooms, yoga masters, & christians have all planned events to surround this unusual date, hoping for a stroke of luck, an extra meaningful experience, a spark of some sort.
for us, this is genuinely a special day: our oldest turns twelve today. twelve! in some parts of the world, that is considered the day one leaves childhood behind and embraces full manhood. we aren't going there quite yet, but this is the first birthday one of my children has had that i didn't blow up a mass of balloons for, and that c put cash in their card. grown up indeed.

happy birthday kansas.


so i went to the local piddly library tonight to see what was what in the 'will this be a good resource for homeschooling' department. not suprisingly, i was disappointed. i think i've said before, i went from one grand library for the whole county, newly renovated and well stocked, to many, many little libraries spread out all over the county i now live in, none seeming to have what i want on any given day. still, there are nice suprises. since what i went for didn't exsist, i started browsing and ended up coming home with copies of...

-operating instructions by anne lamott, crass and out left, but quite possibly the funniest book i've ever read. also, she was my current age when she wrote it.

-confessions of an amateur believer by patty kirk..i don't know a thing about this one, found it in the new books

-two mitford novels, what can i say, i've found myself reading through these again.

-and 584 pages worth of beatrix potter : a life in nature, which i'll probably skim through and mostly look at all the pretty pictures of woodland creatures in people's clothing and old farms in the english countryside

-also, for the kids, a book containing the lyrics to all the school house rock songs, which they gleefully ran to their room with as soon as i got home to start up the cd and fully understand every word!

...not bad, for a subpar library system in general down here.


the fam, recently -

at the moment, lucy is playing pbskids on the (other) computer wearing headphones, as she was discouraged from bringing her casio keyboard to the party kansas and c are throwing on drums and bass, respectively. jesse is trying to beat his rubiks record, and i just got done fiddling with my five pound weights, browsing through an old friend's photos online, and emptying my camera as it has been sorely neglected this month...105 pictures downloading! peace and no tv in our house...ahhh. my only other ambitions today are to paint with lucy later when c takes the boys to the beach, and make eggs, potatoes, and sausage for supper. yum.

our only friends we really do things with since we moved here are seriously thinking about moving to california to help other friends of theirs with the small church they started. we sat through saturday night service with them last night, then went to jason's deli for a late supper and on to our house to make coffee (at 9:30!) and talk for a few hours. i can't remember when our kids have stayed up so late, but of course they didn't sleep in, as always.

no plans as of yet for the fourth, except to remember that on that day last year we pulled out of topeka, uhaul carrying all of our earthly belongings in tow. what a long, strange year it's been...


i've been itching to go swim laps at the local pool for some weeks now. today a friend called and said "do you want to meet us to swim?" and i said "of course!" not thinking..i love to swim, and so do my kids. it's summer, it's hot, of course! why not?

before i hung up the phone i managed to remember that one of my feet still sported a super unstylie surgical shoe..i can get my scars wet now, but i can't exactly let them all hang out in the sun and chlorine yet. i told my friend i could come, but i couldn't swim. "that's ok" she said.

my kids had a ball with her kids. we sat around by the pool, keeping an eye on them from diving board to super slide, talking shop. the lap lanes lay still at the far end, my foot lay still in its sock and velcro-ed cocoon.

recovery and waiting can be hard.


being a glass half empty (or even more so, say three quarters empty and what are we supposd to do when it all runs out???) kind of gal, i have to work at counting my blessings. here's a try...

*air conditioning (we're in florida in nearly july, you know)
*c's job
*being done with crutches for a good long while, Lord willing
*those moments to rest in
*singing in church communally, feeling like i'm in a giant choir
*though few and far between, good friends who love us
*that jan karon gave up a lucrative career in advertising in order to write novels
*hershey's pure dark chocolate with cranberries, blueberries & almonds (this list is in no particular order)
*not seeing a hurricane for myself, yet
*high speed internet..i still vaguely remember dial up
*comfy pajamas
*hope, as in, let's hope i can become a more thankful person with practice. after all, with God ALL things are possible, yes?


too bright
too soon
after the rain
too hot
most days
blurring the grain
i'm awkward here
it doesn't fit me
no hills no shade no
black maple trees
it's sandy it's scrubby
it hurts my eyes
my aesthetic sense
these blazing skies
the rhythm is off
the seasons are wrong
my sweaters lie limp
they do not belong
in this suess like complaint
i'm just blowing off steam
i know it's right for this time in my life

...but a girl can still dream.

Over The Rhine Hallelujah

quite a worthwhile five minutes...


well i have not posted in quite awhile, here are some of my lame (and not so lame) excuses...
-dealing with that radical life change (relocation)
-getting a myspace page like all the other lovely swimmers and other friends
-going through two surgeries, 6 weeks apart, with long recoveries
-always thinking i ought to be writing, but rarely putting "pen to paper" to do so
-general apathy and feeling rather depressed half the time

okay, so these are all good reasons TO write something, anything..journal, whatever. ah, well.

life is still strange in this still new in a lot of ways place. having no support structure of sympathetic souls going into these surgeries/long recoveries sure has intensified the lonliness here. going to the grocery store with C and the kids tonight put things into perspective somewhat..I needed a change of scenery so badly - these four walls have a dulling effect.
in other news, we may have bought a house that hasn't been built yet. we signed a lot of papers and put down some $, but our realtor/lender/seller are still in talks over this thing..? so we'll see. i don't have my heart set on owning in this land of skinny brown palm trees, flat sandy terrain, alligators and lizards. i do, however, trust God to let us know what to do and when, open and close doors, and generally lead us around, not letting us dig ourselves too deep a hole before rescuing us.

our kids are now on summer break, and while their school experience was a mostly positive one, we have decided to return to homeschooling next year. so i am researching madly and already feeling overwhelmed at the thought of it, but something in me feels the decision is for the best, hell or highwater, for these three (and possibly me?) for the upcoming year.

otherwise, we sponsored a little boy through compassion int'l last month, became firm believers in the truth of how aspartame is absolutely harmful to your health (do a little research), enjoyed the sprawling beach and churning ocean from time to time, fought less as a married couple since the big move, watched our oldest kiddo graduate from sixth grade, eaten some really good seafood, and watched several space shuttle launches (the last one from right out our front door!).

nice to be back to my blog, where i can freely post pics of yours truly at the beach on a cloudy day, no makeup and bad hair...ahh.