To Read on the Journey

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sing Your Praise to the Lord

I Sing. I love to sing. Singing gives me the ability to express what is in the depths of me. Singing is so much more than words to music, as every word that is expressed breaths passion, hope, love, joy, deliverance, truth, life!

I do not speak well, I fluster over my words, become insecure, quirky and fidgity. When I communicate i have a difficult time putting my words together, but a song puts into words what my heart wants to say.

I would enjoy life more if it were a musical.

Josie's life is a musical (she reminds me of a little girl I use to know). She sings while she makes her bed, puts on her clothes, eats her b-fast, is on the potty (there are great acoustics in there :-), while she plays with her dollies, does her chores, does her school work, in the car, in the store, down the slide, while she bathes (again great acoustics)... She sings.
She is a happy girl.

My best days are the days when life is a musical. When I wake up with a song in my heart.
"This is the day that the Lord has made" welcomes us to our school day.
"The hills are alive with the sound of music" is sung loudly as i take out the trash (the neighbors don't mind).
Fighting for friends comes with a tune, and
"Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord."
"Open the eyes of my heart"
leads us in our family bible time.
When dishes are done singing
"My Jesus, My Savior, Lord there Is none like you."
And the day ends with
"I Love you Lord" being sung over my children.

I once heard someone sing "Praise is who I am, Praise is what I do"

When my life is musical, it is a life of praise.
That is the life I want to live.

The Feast of Tents!

6 yrs ago, at a Sunday a.m. service, while sitting in the amphitheater on our church property, God and i had a conversation... " This property is really beautiful...we do not get together enough as a community of believers... we should get together and have a church retreat... financially not everyone would be able to's so pretty here...we do have really beautiful grounds, we are a fortunate church... wait!
We Could Do It Here!...have a camp out here...
Feast of Tents!"

This weekend we participated in our 5th Feast of Tents!
Despite the rain, many camped out and shared sweet community!

This years theme was Kingdom Come. It is our desire to be part of God's Kingdom, for His kingdom to come in each of us, in our homes, and in our church.

Feast Activities-

All Church Service


Family Games

Water Rockets

More Game


Evening Worship

Campfire & Smores

"Hoany, shoany, moany, doany, dashy, dooey, qiyum, reeeqiyum, oompa, oompa"


Closing Service & Memorial Marker

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


My sister-in-law Lindsey at imperfect tagged me.
Because i LOVE her i will play along!

What i was doing 10 years ago:

i was living in Bass Lake, with hubby of 1 1/2yrs and Noah, our new baby...i can tell you what i was doing- NURSING! What i was not doing was sleeping, fitting into my clothing, eating warm meals, but i was being made Real.

5 things on my to do list today:
1. Back to reality after the Feast of Tents; laundry and cleaning to catch up on.
2. Blog about the Feast of Tents (might wait till tomorrow)
3. Teaching/train a child (or 3) in the way he should go
4. Hold Tight
5. Snuggle with Michael

Snacks i enjoy:
1. Popcorn with Lawry's season salt
2. Chips and the green sauce from El Cid
3. Peanuts and raisins
4. Edamame with soy sauce
5. Dave's chocolate chip cookies?

Things i would do if i were a millionaire:
1. Give $ back to Jesus
2. Pay off our mortgage and move up ( literally in elevation- not class, i'm not that kinda "Keeping up with the Joneses")
3. Kids future needs (college, homes, fuel)
4. Retirement
5. Take my family to Flores, Azores

Places i have lived:
Modesto Ca.
Oakdale Ca.
Bass Lake Ca.
And here California- though it seems like it's not in California :-)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Look Who's 50

Happy Birthday Mom!
50 years ago Belinda Linn Greene was born, 1lb 8 oz small, her life is a miracle.

My sister and i surprised her last weekend with a 50th birthday fiesta.

Favorite moments with my mom- Mickey's Grove, Columbia and Knights Ferry, Bluegrass Festival at Kerr Park, Cruising, cold top ramen, holy jeans, stealing your clothes, having the prettiest mom, sponge painting our rooms, puppets out the sun-roof, outlet shopping in San Francisco, "Have mercy on me," Mork, Valentine's Day 90 (when the isuzu hit the falcon), teaching Toni to drive together ("do you push up or down on the gas pedal"), biscuits and gravy, the plaid sweater,purple Christmas, rescuing me from bad hair cuts i'd given myself, milkshakes and taking care of me when i was prego, washing/drying/folding/putting away a dozen loads of laundry, packing my kitchen and unpacking my kitchen when we moved to Bass Lake, buying diapers, taking care of the kids and i when i had the flu, piano lessons, being off at your house, encouraging me as a mommy.

Belinda means "beauty of soul" and "precious one."
"But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it." Ephesians 4:7
May God's grace upon grace tell you that you are His beauty, His precious one. He loves you with a love that is higher, wider, longer, and deeper than you can grasp or imagine. May you live in the fullness of His love. My prayer for you in Jesus.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Say the Name Jesus

In our family we say, "Jesus."

This began more than 6 years ago, at a time when I struggled with believing lies.  Sadly, I was overwhelmed with fear of Satan. I was giving him too much power and ability in my mind.
Growing up the phrase "the devil's in this house," was cried daily (usually in reference to my drug using, schizophrenic father).  The awareness that something dark was at work around me was at the forefront of my little girl mind.  This awareness would haunt me into adulthood.

For many years I believed that Satan was the equal opposite of God. 

He is not. 
That is the lie Satan would have us to believe. 

The Truth is Satan is powerless.  
I began a journey to replace the lies with Truth. 

In God's mercy He allowed ALL the lies to surface.  It was a difficult time, but hind sight is 20/20 and i see that God was being gracious to me.  Our Shepherd walked with me through "the valley of the shadow of death, His rod and staff comforted me" as He taught me to take every. single. thought. captive.  

Lies were replaced with TRUTH, and  I learned to "love the Lord my God with all my mind." 

I thought about the impact hearing the words, "the devil's in this house" had on me.  I wondered what the opposite would have been like. What IMPACT would saying and hearing the name "Jesus" have on me, and on my family. 

Scripture says
"that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Phil. 2:10-11

There is power in His name. 

I needed (need) that power.

So we began to say "Jesus." 

As we put the kids to bed, we kiss them and whisper "Jesus." 

When Michael leaves for work early in the a.m., he prays over me, then whispers "Jesus." 

When one of us drives away, the kids yell their good byes, and "Jeeessuuusss!!" 

When we drop them off for school or at a friends, we hug them, and whisper "Jesus." 

On all sorts of occasions, for no reason, but for every reason, we say "Jesus."
It is my prayer that the
One who is at work will be at the forefront of our minds, and that He will work mightily in our lives.


Say the Name
by Margaret Becker

A more sweeter sounding word
These lips have never said
A gentle name so beautiful
My heart cannot forget
Just a whisper is enough
To set my soul at ease
Just thinking of this Name
Brings my heart to peace
Say the Name
Say the Name that soothes the soul
The Name of gentle healing
And peace immutable
I'll say the Name that has heard my cry
Has seen my tears and wiped them dry
From now until the end of time
I'll say the Name
May I never grow so strong
That my heart cannot be moved
May I never grow so weak
That I fear to speak the truth
I will say this holy Name
No matter who agrees
For no other name on earth
Means so much to me
(repeat chorus)
With all the honor I can find
With all my heart, my soul, my mind
I will say the Name
Without defense, without shame
I will always speak the Name
Of Jesus
(repeat chorus)
From now until the end of time
Say the Name

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I was 16 the first time I heard Steven Curtis Chapman sing.
Over the years S.C.C.'s God/Life inspired songs have stirred my heart, expanded my faith, and helped me to hold fast to my Father.

And now, I pray for the Chapman family with the
loss of their youngest daughter. I pray that God would magnify His mercy on them, comfort, speak truth, and pour His love deep, wide, long, and high into each one of them.

a few SCC God moments -

It was the summer of 92, I was the intern for my church youth group. I recall climbing into the "Frog" (green church van), off to downtown L.A. (just after the riots), San Diego, and Mexico for a missions trip... The Great Adventure lead the way... "Let's follow our leader into the glorious unknown, this is life like no other..this is the great adventure."

Fall of 92, Still Called Today... "There's a girl whose waited day after day, to hear her daddy say 'I love you,' now the days have turned to years, she's holding back the tears, he's holding out on his fears, and while it's still called today, won't somebody make it right, before the day slips into night, and the moments waste away..."
After listening to these lyrics, I decided to write my dad a letter. God filled my heart with love for him, even after years of emotional and verbal abuse, and I needed to tell him that. I included the lyrics to the song in the letter, prayed over it, placed a 20 cent stamp on it, and mailed it. 2 weeks later we had a conversation (at that time we averaged 2 horrible conversations a year, and I was always reminded that I wasn't his daughter). My dad received the letter, and for the first time, he told me he loved me.

In July of 1999 Michael and I stood by Emilie, 7 weeks premature. The nurses told us they were concerned because her heart-rate/breathing was too fast. We returned to our room and prayed. The song Be Still was stirring in my heart that week, and I prayed these lyrics "come lay your head upon His chest, listen to the rhythm of his unfailing heart of love." I prayed that Emilie would lay her head on God's chest, hear His heart beat, His rhythm. After we prayed we returned to the nicu, and the nurse said, "Emilie's heart rate and breathing is at normal." We responded. "We know."

September 2000, after 14 weeks of pregnancy, I miscarried. As I held our tiny baby boy in my hand. I cried, prayed, and then I sang, "as I look back on this road I've traveled, I see so many times He's carried me through, and if there's one thing that I've learned in my life, my Redeemer is faithful and true... My Redeemer is faithful and true, and everything He's said He will do, and every morning His mercies are new, My Redeemer is faithful and true, Jesus is faithful and true."

Summer of 07, listening to the Great Adventure again, but this time with the V.B.S. c.d. as my 3 kiddos sang in their loud, cheery voices "saddle up your horses..." While I smiled because the adventure continues.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008



Yes! YES! i watch American Idol. it is 6 minuets till show time. If David Cook doesn't win...well, i might cry.

Good Pounds

Last week the kids and I took a field trip to the home of Dave and Lee Pounds.
Dave and Lee are our church family. They have the gift of hospitality, and spent the day sharing their lives with us. We enjoyed their beautiful home, flower gardens, vegetable gardens, bee hives with fruit trees, riding tractor and trailer to see the horses they care for, and their property.
Did you know that it takes 3 yrs for asparagus to grow, but once it starts growing it grows quickly.
Did you know that the leaves of citris trees smell like the fruit they bear.
Did you know that Josie does not like riding in trailers attached to tractors, she will scream until you let her off!

Not only do Dave and Lee have the gift of hospitality (and very green thumbs), but Dave is the BEST chocolate chip cookie maker ever! And we got a lesson, complete with recipe, lots of cookies, and dough to freeze (we wouldn't want to run out).

Otis Spunkmeyer, Mrs. Fields, the Keebler Elves, and even the Girls Scouts should beware!
We are BLESSED to have such wonderful people in our lives!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


To become new men means losing what we now call 'ourselves.' Out of ourselves, into Christ, we must go. His will is to become ours and we are to think His thoughts, to 'have the mind of Christ.' And if Christ is one, and if He is thus to be 'in' us all, shall we not be exactly the same? It certainly sounds like it; but in fact it is not so.
It is difficult here to get a good illustration; because, of course, no other two things relate to each other just as the Creator is related to one of His creatures...
Imagine a lot of people who have always lived in the dark. You come and try to describe to them what light is like. You might tell them that if they come into the light that same light would fall on them all and they would all reflect it and thus become what we call visible. Is it not quiet possible that they would imagine that since we are receiving the same light, and all reacting to it in the same way (i.e. reflecting it), they would all look alike? Where as you and I know that the light will in fact bring out, or show up, how different they are...
The more we get what we now call 'ourselves' out of the way and let Him take over, the more truly ourselves we become.
There is so much of Him that millions and millions of 'little Christ's', all different, will still be too few to express Him fully. He made them all. He invented- as an author invents characters in a novel- all the different men that you and I were intended to be. In that sense our real selves are all waiting for us in Him.
from Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

It is my struggle to be comfortable in the skin God has given me (see bottom of page, "Jones Skin and God Skin). I know that I am "fearfully and wonderfully made" by God's own hands. I know that He has fashioned and purposed me for a reason. But, I look at other's and they seem so comfortable in their skin. I watch and envy the affection, relationships, attention, acceptance, praise they are getting. My tainted inner monologue tells me to conform. I do so by reshaping and molding myself into an image that will gain approval. Eventually though, I must peel away the layers of everyone else, until I am nothing. I like myself best when I am nothing. Then it is Jesus I am wearing. I am lighter, free-er, more alive, and really me.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Not safe at all

4:45 p.m. Michael finds a rattlesnake in the yard, and kills it.
6:25 p.m. Michael runs over a gopher snake in the yard.
We may have to move.

Mother's Day and Spiders


i remember my first Mother's Day. it was 10 years ago, i walked into church a proud brand new mother caring Noah, who was just one week old. i delighted in him as church family took a peek at our sweet bundle. i sang each praise song and hymn with more passion and determination for now i was mommy and "The Lord God Almighty made me keeper of this child's life" (words from Sacred). The most important thing i recall from that first Mother's Day is this.. my face hurt from smiling. These little people do that, fill our hearts with so much joy, it hurts!

Today, i hug them, look at them and praise God for His faithfulness in the yesterdays, as i wonder about their tomorrows. And, i thank them for making me Mommy, as i let them know i have the best job ever!

AND NOW! i was almost killed today!!!
we were on our way to church, when my hubby lowered his visor in the car, and then shrunk back in his seat as he drove and pointed speechless at this spider
(this is the actual size of the spider)
i started to unbuckle my seat belt and open the car door to jump out (yes, apparently i think i am one of the Duke's of Hazard). i am laughing even as i type this, that i even thought to do that, but look, i just wanted OUT! Thankfully Michael pulled over. And yes, i was out of the car before it came to a complete stop. Like any good mother i comforted the kids from OUTSIDE the vehicle as they were screaming in the backseat. Soon, Michael rescued us all, i was back in the car, screaming had turned to laughter, and we were on our way.

Btw- you should know i am not afraid of spiders in general. i can kill a household spider with ease and dispose of it. But this was HUGE, and crawling my way, and it was furry, and...

i am afraid of snakes and mice ( i was almost killed by a mouse in my garage a few weeks ago. it was right by my arm!! and there was a snake in my garage last week! i'm really not safe).

Monday, May 5, 2008

Surviving Ten

Here I am 10 years into this parenting gig- part of me wanting it all back, part of me just glad to have survived.

Before we were married Michael and I went to premarital counseling. On one visit the counselor asked us to write a 5 and 10yr goal for our marriage. We wrote the American dream; work, save, buy house, baby on the way at the end of 5 years, work, save, another baby, more savings by 10yrs. We also wrote of our spiritual ambitions for ourselves as a couple, our desire for growth, and our hope to do ministry together.
Our lives have never looked anything like our 5 or 10yr plan.

"Many are the plans of a man's heart,
but it is God who determines his steps."

Noah joined Michael and I 19 months after we married. I wasn't one of those new moms that enjoyed every minute. Becoming a mother changed everything before I was ready for change. I was 24, admiring the independence of my single friends. I was not ready to wear maternity clothes, to gain 63lbs, for stretch marks, to drive a station wagon, to give myself up (literally) for another person. When Emilie came along 14 months later (and 7 weeks early) I wasn't ready. When I was pregnant less than a year later I wasn't ready, and when our baby was born into heaven instead of our arms. I was moving into accepting God's plan because I had seen how He had been faithful regardless of my readiness.  When we celebrated our 5th anniversary and our 4th pregnancy (with Josie), I had finally given in, and I began giving up the idea that life would look as I wanted it to.

I recall one afternoon in those first years, Michael had come home from work, and I was still in my p.j's, toys were everywhere, the kids were running in happy circles around daddy, dinner was nowhere near being started, there were endless piles of laundry, doctor's bills sitting on the counter, credit card bills lingering over us like a dark cloud, and a check book that had been in the red for too long.  I wearily looked at Michael and said, "would you have run the other way if you had known it would be like this?" Michael tenderly responded, "No.  Never."

I'd like the opportunity to go back to premarital counseling to rewrite our 5 and 10 yr goals.  I would write just 3 words- REMAIN IN CHRIST!
Jesus is the only Constant, the only Hope, the only Future, the only Salvation, the only One who can determine our steps. My husband and I purpose to do nothing else, but REMAIN IN HIM, together.

Friday, May 2, 2008


"She never stopped to think whether he was a friendly lion or not. She rushed to him. She felt her heart would burst if she lost a moment. And the next thing she new was that she was kissing him and putting her arms as far around his neck as she could and burying her face in the beautiful rich silkiness of his mane. "Aslan, Aslan. Dear Aslan," sobbed Lucy. "At last." The great beast rolled over on his side so that Lucy fell, half sitting and half lying between his front paws. He bent forward and just touched her nose with his tongue. His warm breath came all around her. She gazed up into the large wise face. "Welcome child," he said. "Aslan," said Lucy, "you're bigger." "That is because you are older, little one,"answered he. "Not because you are?" "I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger."
from Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

My bear is ten!
It goes too fast Noah. I love you more everyday! I didn't know my heart could hold this much love. My prayer for you is that you would be so in love with God, that you would rush to him, kiss him, find yourself, and your very breath in him. I pray
that as you grow Noah you will find that God gets bigger.