Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Another New Normal

Trusting in this, in Him, tonight. I feel disheveled. Wanting to regain my balance. My mind feels...flighty.

Realized more was stolen (in the break-in) ...but most of all, my peace. Giving myself grace to accept feeling off-kilter for awhile-accepting this vulnerability & lack of comfort that follows-as 'perfectly normal'. Surrendering *to* instead of striving *against*. There are too many what-ifs that I can not control, to waste any more energy pondering...or fearing.
Tomorrow will be better.


Day two of a very restless night of tossing & turning...break-in related? Maybe. I hoped the hike yesterday would have been more mentally & emotionally healing. I *feel* ok but...wake up exhausted.

Idk how one is supposed to feel, knowing an anonymous stranger was in your bedroom, rifling through your dresser drawers, touching your most intimate articles of clothing.
I plan to get rid of & replace every piece...but haven't been able to even go near the dresser yet. Maybe I will feel better once I do? Maybe it will restore balance to the force? ;-) Call me a wimp or over dramatic...but I think anyone who's been through something like this understands the feeling of vulnerability & violation.

Looking fwd to getting out of here for my regular Tues walk this afternoon.

Monday, January 19, 2015

More Hiking Monday

 We've been to this trail before, a few years ago and I didn't like it that much. It was too dry & brown. So I wasn't too thrilled about going today but I definitely wanted to get away in nature and hang out with family from out of town.

I was very pleasantly surprised at how lovely and green it was. We hiked to the top of the first hill and the view was spectacular. We took time to sit and have some snacks. I realized I could see the cemetery and the area my mom is buried, in the distance beyond the canyon. At one point I laid on the ground to just breathe it all in. I needed to be centered and try to still my unsettled heart.

It was definitely not an easy hike. Uphill all the way to the first hill. I can't wait to go back for one of our next Friday Hike Days! Plus it was fairly local, Sycamore Canyon in Whittier.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

We Were Robbed

Spent the last hour 'putting the pieces together' & realizing my home was broken into today. It looks like only the laptops were stolen, along with a backpack to carry them in.

PTL it wasn't worse...it could have been much worse. Its just inconvenient.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Worst Daughter in the World!

Lately, when I feel especially frustrated or who-knows-what-exactly, I hear my mother's voice yelling those words at me. They rise up from somewhere deep and they threaten to escape from my own mouth. I catch them and reign them in before any damage is done and I curse the next generation with the same haunting future wounds.

It doesn't hurt. I don't think it even hurt originally, though that may have been my early days of robot-hood anyway. I suppose my mind tells me it's hurtful. It sounds horrible. Anyone who knows my mom, would find it hard to believe that she would speak such words to me, much less regularly for a season. She was a loving mom mostly and all wounds had been forgiven and left behind by the time she died.

When the memory of her voice rises from within my own heart, I wonder, if she was feeling this same disappointment? Frustration? Or maybe it was rage for everything she had ever dreamt that never materialized in her own life? Feelings I think I am becoming familiar with. I was often reminded of how much she 'gave up' for me, though no specifics were ever mentioned. I didn't care to know anyway since I had no say in the matter. Her choices were her burdens to carry.

I certainly wasn't the worst daughter in the world. Not even close.

Was she full of regret, or suspecting she was, over the youth she traded for the life we were living, together? Did she feel trapped by her past? The past can feel overwhelming at times.  The choices you realize you would not have made, if you had known it would lead you here. Or the choices you WOULD have made. I play out the scenarios and everything is impossible.

When I was still that little girl, I played out the scenarios too. The one where I have a rich daddy somewhere looking for me. The one where I am loved, adored and cherished with all the Barbies I could ever want. The life where I run away and instead of getting in trouble for it, there are tears of joy that I have returned.

I wasn't trying to run away from a life I thought I had...I only wanted to run to a life I thought I could have instead. With out even knowing what type of instead it would be.

When I was 18 years old, I thought I did. Sometimes, this life I ran to, feels very much like the one I ran away from. I didn't see that coming.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hello 2015 and January

Idk which to say first; Hello 2015, Hello January or Hello Thursday.
I've got nothing...I mean, usually there's something; a verse, theme, goal, expectation or at least One Word.

Maybe that's the point. I.don't.know. Maybe that's where the freedom is--->in not knowing?

I guess we're all going to find out, in the end.

It will be something. We can be sure of that. Maybe nothing close to what we think, expect, imagine or resolve to make it.

I mean, there was a January 20+ years ago, that I was carrying a baby due in March. No one expected him to suddenly arrive in January but he did. Way too early-yet, right.on.time.

Who knows what January may bring?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Rainy Day Walk

Every Tuesday my daughter has guitar lessons and I use the 30 minutes to get in an extra walk...while also praying {multi-task!}.

Today it was raining but not that hard. I certainly did not want to just sit around for 30 minutes...My sciatica began to hurt a few months ago and has been acting up ever since. There is no explanation for it but it pretty much hurts no matter what I do; sit, stand, walk, sleep...etc.

I finally had to admit that certain exercises seem to aggravate it more, and cut back on my 'morning crunch' routine. I started using the time to walk and pray (which I used to do but had gotten away from)...this way I am still exercising but in a gentler manner.

I bundled up, grabbed an umbrella and was on my merry way. It was actually a gorgeous day. Sure it was raining...but everything was lovely. Bright flowers and colorful leaves of autumn, in brilliant hues of yellow, red and orange paved the side walks.

Who needs rose petals when you've got these amazing leaves? He leads me along the path of righteousness...

The lover of my soul was before me, with glorious displays of His love, just for me. It was breath taking. Everywhere I turned, looked and pay attention, I saw His love, in the details.

I always enjoy my walks but this was one of the best  I'd had in awhile. Spending time with God isn't just in sitting down, reading the Word...it's getting out there to SEE His Word in action. To commune WITH Him. Meditate on the wondrous beauty and majesty around us, right in front of us.

Be blessed!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Our self-timed groupie...the best we could do.
We didn't get to go camping this summer, like we usually do, so I took the opportunity to get away for the Thanksgiving holiday.

We've camped for Thanksgiving when oldest was younger but the other three never had.

Personally, I was using it as a bit of escape too. I didn't want to have to face the idea of another holiday, *all together* when we aren't *together* the way we should be. It's too hard on everyone. At the last minute I made a reservation at O'Neill Regional Park.

In my family, I don't know if I have a reputation or what but I am usually assigned to bring the 'bread rolls'. It's lame because I love to bake desserts but I get stuck with that. It's convenient though, for sure.

Well, it was interesting to plan a Thanksgiving camping menu. The weather was unpredictable. Were we going to need more hot foods or cold foods? I cooked more for this camping Thanksgiving than I have any other Thanksgiving...and I loved it!

Our Thanksgiving table.
Our meal was fabulous and it actually wasn't that hard to do. I cooked the main side dishes the night before we left so they only needed to be reheated. We ran into an issue when our one burner camping stove ran out of butane after our first breakfast.

We had to cook over the fire in a make-shift way. It took a long time but remarkably, every thing stayed warm on the table.

Our Thanksgiving breakfast (that took 2 hours to cook) menu:

Pumpkin Pancakes, bacon, Hawaiian rolls and orange slices.

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu:
Turkey melt sandwiches
wild rice with cranberries
apple-sage stuffing
potato medley (sweet, yellow, and red)
corn, baked beans, pumpkin & dutch apple pie, pumpkin pie mini tarts,  tri-color tortilla chips and a toast with Sparkling Cider. Oh and Red Vines. lol

Our camp site is down there...view from our hike.
I didn't make or cook everything from scratch. It was a mix of scratch made, store bought and canned foods. (Come on! It's camping!!!) Everything was absolutely delicious! We couldn't even finish it all, much less our sandwiches...they were piled high with 3-4 different flavored turkey meats from the deli and various sliced cheeses.

The weather was quite warm during the day light hours. We seemed to have the only campsite with out shade! haha. As soon as the sun went down though...bbbrrrr...it cooled down quickly. We didn't realize how much wood we would have to burn through.

The camp ground itself was wonderful really. A great 'beginner' site. Family friendly. Very bike and hike friendly. It was like a little treasure hidden away in the middle of suburbia. We found a grocery store and pharmacy only 10 minutes away (perfect for last  minute needs you didn't realize you had or when you forget essentials like...soap, shampoo or more firewood!). The park had great (ie: real & clean) restrooms that included free, warm showers. There was a play ground and nature center on site as well. The nature center states it is only open on the weekends and weekdays via reservation. We showed up on Saturday before we left, at the designated *open* time and were disappointed when it remained closed.

Emotionally, we all felt a bit 'off'--which I think is to be expected under the circumstances. We handled it like we usually do---> talking it out, taking a walk and with humor.  It didn't help that we forgot CHAIRS! Of all things. haha. We improvised and used the bench seat from the van but with out shade...we found ourselves often sitting IN the van...that wasn't fun but it made our trip memorable for sure. In the end, everyone agreed that we enjoyed the place and would like to return again...even next Thanksgiving. Maybe we will make this a new annual tradition. It helped that is was also ONLY about an hour's drive away, if that.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloweenie!

We did this last year and it was a big hit. I want my children to not be self centered, to learn to serve others willingly.

I've also, always thought of Halloween as such a wonderful opportunity to bless so many people at one time...how many other times do you have random strangers coming to YOUR door, willingly?

With those thoughts in mind, we turned up the music, brought the 'party' outside and set up a canopy and tables to serve and love our community and neighborhood.

Last year it was chili, this year it was weenies! aka hotdogs. We had nearly 100 hotdogs and we gave  away about
 all of them, minus a few we ate ourselves, to complete strangers. We had to shut it down by 8:30, which I felt was pretty early.

Then we walked around our neighborhood 'trick-R-treating' but most homes were not giving out candy at all, which was strange. Plus, it started pouring rain. That was fun for a little while. I am so proud of my kids. Not one complaint. Even Kurtis really enjoyed climbing up in the front tree 'hiding' and 'scaring' people. Which meant most people did not see him until he made some funny voice that a 5yo would consider creepy and then they saw him. It was hilarious.

The rain was quite nice actually. A great way to usher in a new month. I have great expectations for this month of 'thanksgiving'.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Red Sky at Night

'Red sky at night, sailors delight.'

My phone doesn't do this fiery sky justice...which may just be the point. Some beauty is not meant to be contained or captured. Stepping out of work to encounter this brilliant view, was the best thing that happened to me today.

I know that God is good all the time...sometimes He just makes it more obvious.