To Read on the Journey

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

25 Years

"I think the most important thing that happens within Christian spirituality is when a person falls in love with Jesus...
 I know our culture will sometimes understand a love for Jesus as weakness. There is this lie floating around that says I am suppose to be able to do life alone, without help, without stopping to worship something bigger than myself. But I actually believe there is something bigger than me, and I need for there to be something bigger than me. I need someone to put awe inside me; I need to come second to someone who has everything figured out." 
Blue Like Jazz 
by Donald Miller

For 25 years I've done life with Jesus.

For 25 years today. 

Nothing is worth more than this day. 

On June 19th, 1988, I was saved from abandonment, lies, defeat, curse, unworthiness... death.  I came to Life.
In late spring of 1988 when I was 14 a friend invited me to Hume Lake Christian Camp, but because my mother worked as a waitress, camp wasn't financially possible (We got the free cheese. Those of you who got the free cheese know what I'm talking about). However, one week before camp the same friend called to say a girl had cancelled, her spot for camp was paid in full, and the church (River Oak Grace) wanted me to go in her place.

I honestly can't say I wanted to go to a Christian camp.  If there was a God I had a question for Him, "Why did you give me this life, I've done nothing to deserve it?"
From birth my dad had rejected me, and over the years has made it clear to me that I am not his daughter (He was a drug user for 27 years. In 1998 he was arrested, and a year later committed to a state hospital. He is Bipolar-Pschitzoaffective).

 At the age of 2 1/2 a routine weekend visit to my paternal-grandparents turned into a 3 year stay when my teenage mother decided she couldn't care for my younger sister and I.  When I was 6 she returned for us. In the 13 years I lived with my mother she was married, divorced, engaged, separated, married, divorced, engaged, separated, married, divorced, married.  I've had 7 "dads."

The message repeatedly displayed to me by my parents and "step-parents" was that I was not wanted.  Their rejection, abandonment, selfishness and neglect conveyed that I was unworthy of love. 

So... I went to camp because I wanted a week break from it all   
Hume Lake was beautiful. I was enlivened by the activities, games, being part of a team, 3 meals a day, singing, and mostly by the people pouring their Life into me. 

Away from the defeat, I was breathing and living for the first time in my then 14 years of life.
That week the speaker, Steve Russo, seemed to be speaking to only me as he shared that "God is a Father who will never leave you or forsake you," and  "nothing can separate us from the love of God." (Duet 31:6 & Romans 8:38-39).  I wanted a father Who would stay and never leave. I wanted someone whose love I could not lose. 

So on June 19th,1988 I took my first steps toward my Father God.

And nothing is worth more to me than this day. This day changed the entire course of my life. 

Praise the God Who Saves! 

It has been quiet a journey these 25 years ("Journey" is my favorite word, it's meaning is "to travel from one place to another.") Not easy, but good.

And Oh, how I love the LORD my God!
And again I have one question for Him,
"Why did You give me this Life, I've done nothing to deserve it?!!"

"Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.
  I will praise you as long as I live, 
and in your name I will lift up my hands." 
Psalm 63:3-4


Live in Peace,

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sentimentally Ill (Part 2)

(Read Part 1- here)

The symptoms of my  "sentimental illness" have spiked this week.  I'm experiencing emotional waves of sappiness causing me to hug my children excessively, and pathetically plead with them to never EVER leave me. I've also been sneaking into their rooms after they're fast asleep to nibble on them (15, 13, 11, and they're still yummy), and to take a mental snapshot of each of my babies to tuck into the photo album of my heart.  

Unfortunately, I ran out of my "meds" (my closet stash of emergency chocolate) a few weeks ago (3 Musketeers are my drug of choice- Milk chocolate on the outside, creamy nugget on the inside, and 45% less fat= Sweet sanity goodness).

The trigger that caused my sentimental illness to peak this time was Emilie's 8th grade promotion last week. Her promotion means that our 9 years together home schooling are over.  She is officially a freshman, and will go to high school mid August.

It's no secret that I have had a love/hate relationship with home schooling (read this in the "about me" on the right).  I've loved it because I get to be with my kids 100% of the time. I've also hated it for the same reason.  Emilie is a peace maker and a diligent worker so I've pretty much loved home schooling her.

She is also a gracious, fun, and bright friend.

Years ago I began praying that God would give me a close friend.  It seemed that He was slow in answering, until early last year when He revealed to me just how generous He had been to give me that dear friend in my own Emilie {love}.

She's not just my bestie though, she's also Josie's. To say that Josie adores Emilie is an understatement.  A few weeks ago after Emilie had been in classes for the day and was due home, Josie had her nose pressed against the front window waiting. Impatient she asked, "when is Emilie going to be here?!"  "Soon," I replied. Then she declared loudly, "I just love Emilie!"  (Note to self: Get Jos her own stash of emergency chocolate).

So you can see why it's going to be a serious bummer not having Emilie around 24/7,
and also why I'm a bit jealous of high school; I envy every friend she'll make (seriously people, you're get'n a top notch pal).
But I know it's best to...

For her 8th grade promotion ceremony I was asked to share my hopes for Emilie's future.
It seemed fitting that my hopes would come from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott- a book Emilie and I laughed and cried to as we read it together a few home schooling years ago.

“My child, the troubles and temptations of your life are beginning, and may be many; but you can overcome and outlive them all if you learn to feel the strength and tenderness of your Heavenly Father as you do that of your earthly one. The more you love and trust Him, the nearer you will feel to Him, and the less you will depend on human power and wisdom. His love and care never tire or change, can never be taken from you, but may become the source of lifelong peace, happiness, and strength. Believe this heartily, and go to God with all your little cares, and hopes, and sins, and sorrows, as freely and confidingly as you come to your mother.” 
Though I selfishly want to keep Em all to myself, I know that the more independence she has from me the more dependent she will become on her Father God...
and this sentimentally ill Mama wants that for my sweet girl more than anything.

Live in Peace,

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Maycation 2013

This year's Maycation was short and sweet.  Short because it was only a week (boo), and sweet  because we said "good riddance" to the South Beach Diet, and "come to Mama" to the Bass Lake Beach Diet.

Maycation Highlights:
Spending time with our dear friends, the Cannedy's and Gage's. The Bass Lake house is lively with 18 of us in occupancy (There are 12 fantastic kids between us)!
 S'mores, worship and twangy tunes 'round the campfire.

8 kayaks filled with our bunch racing through Bass Lake's Willow Cove.
Seriously 12 of the MOST AWESOME kids I know, who made memories together  skiing, kayaking,  playing rounds of Air Soft, Werewolf, Alien, Sardines, One Big Happy Family, Mau, Just Dance, and Guitar Hero. I want to steal everyone of the kiddos and make them mine!

The Favorite junk-cereal breakfast bar. A combo of Lucky Charms, Fruity Pebbles, and Captain Crunch with Crunch Berries is a breakfast cereal yum fest (it's also part of a well balanced Bass Lake Beach Diet)! 
 After our guests left (which was not a highlight), our family took it's annual end of the school year outing to Miller's Landing for dinner and ice cream. This Mama's heart was so full sharing this memory making time with my family. As my three (who after this week will be a sophomore, freshman, and 6th grader) devoured burgers and fries, snapshots from years past at Miller's flipped through my mind. Time flies. Sometimes I wish I could make it stop.
 Being invited to a BBQ by new Bass Lake friends.

Eating Kristen's cookies (Kristen is a blog friend from Idaho, who trekked 3x to Cali with her family for Maycation). Kristen's makes the BEST chocolate chip cookies EVER (Select the following links to drool as I munch on them in Portland). 
Coming home sweet home. We are REALLY grateful to the in-laws, who share their lake house with us at the end of our homeschool year when we're SICK of being home. Maycation at the lake helps us change gears and roll into summer, and time away from home helps the heart grow fonder for it.

 Here's a snippet of our gang sing'n 'round the campfire. 

I'd give you a nibble of a S'more, but the Bass Lake Beach Diet required I finish them off.

Live in Peace,