Sunday, July 29, 2007


“its all very well to read about sorrows and imagine yourself living through them heroically, but it’s not so nice when you really come to have them, is it?” –anne of green gables

today i have had a small sorrow of my own. when we were in a californian church this morning, scoundrels broke the passenger side window of our rental van. i walked up to the van to get in and the first thing to catch my attention was all the glass on the ground. only a moment later i glanced up, only able to utter that “something was wrong with the van.” something certainly was wrong! the entire window was shattered and we discovered that although the thieves could have stolen computers, cameras and other valuables sitting within the vehicle, all they took was my purse. i’ve been given credit for not crying but calmly talking to the police officer, making calls to cancel credit cards and thinking through all that was lost. although it is nice to think that i am able to handle such trials without losing my head, I don’t really think that it was me. the holy spirit is the one who was giving me peace and allowing me to comfort my brothers, when i felt just as confused and violated as they did.

driving through california without one of the front window has been an interesting time. i’ve been able to experience many things about this state that i would have missed out on otherwise.
the wind in my hair
the odor of cows as we passed farms
the smell of onions from the fields we drove by
enjoying the ocean breeze as we drove into huntington beach
a special appreciation for God’s protection

today has also given new meaning to john 10:10, “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” for all satan’s deceit and trickery, there is nothing like the assurance that jesus has the ability to offer life and protection. as i watched the police report get filled out, i had the strange revelation that i was a victim as my name was written in that blank. it is a helpless and scary feeling to know i do not have the ability to protect myself from common thieves. this verse kept coming to my mind for the rest of the day whenever i thought about what happened. the loss of my personal belongings is nothing compared to the enemy of my soul who seeks to steal and kill and destroy. i’m afraid i have far to often flippantly read over this verse without comprehending the meaning behind these words.

while i could never say that i am glad that i achieved the title of victim today, i am thankful for all that God has shown me through it all. he has once again revealed his faithful nature, his promise for my life as well as the desires of the enemy.

as much as i would like to forget parts of today, i am hopeful that this memory stays close to me as i seek to trust him in all things.

Friday, July 27, 2007


as seen with some of my previous posts, i have a fascination with words.
i was interested in this list of words that i found.
according to this table, everyone who graduates from high school,
should supposedly know these terms.

here's a few words to describe how i'm feeling about going to california:
-full of excitement

Thursday, July 26, 2007


i feel quite accomplished at this moment.
although my action may not even begin to compare to that of others, i am a bit proud of my composure which enabled me to do what even my brothers were reluctant to attempt.
i removed the dead rat out of the downstairs toliet.
apparently it had drowned there, meeting a watery fate.

i now wish i had photographed this oddity, but after searching on-line, all i could come up with was a picture of a live squirrel in the toliet.

but perhaps using one's imagination is more than enough in this case...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

a natural slave

slavery feels more natural than freedom.

when i read this today, i had a slight shock. no wonder we are so easily tricked into sin. we lie to ourselves and are deceived into thinking that feelings should dictate our actions. i've heard again and again that we are born with a sinful nature, but it helped to have the consequences of this nature described in such a way.

"it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." -galatians 5:1

why would paul tell us to stand firm against slavery if it wasn't going to be a temptation to fall back into? we are born into a state of slavery, so it is understandable that it would feel natural to return to the state of our very beginning.

i think i needed this reminder-the struggle, the seriousness of the battle we are in.

lord, help me to see the slavery that has slipped ever so naturally back into my life.
help me to stand firm.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

happy thoughts indeed

today was a blessing-seeing friends, enjoying fellowship and thinking of shared memories. it was bittersweet though as i realized the precious gift of these days at home, as they are coming to an end. because of our trip to california, this was my last sunday of the summer at my dear home church. but God blessed me in so many ways on this rainy i will compose a list of some of these treasures:

1) listening to pastor gary preach
2) singing "how can i keep from singing?"-God continues to use this song in my life
3) leading worship with mommy
4) singing a duet with mommy
5) hugging
6) driving to olive garden to meet amanda while listening to the prince of egypt soundtrack
7) hugging
8) looking at scrapbooks and laughing
9) polaroid cameras
10) going to the red apple with lucia
11) watching anne of green gables together
12) driving lucia home and talking
13) looking at staff pictures before bed

"kindred spirits are
not so rare
as i once
thought, diana."
-anne of green gables

Saturday, July 21, 2007

grumpy me

i woke up this morning in a foul disposition. after acting out of sorts, i became annoyed with myself for acting in such a way which only seemed to add to my current mood. a few hours passed before i was finally able to pinpoint the source of my frustration. during this process, i must say that my family was quite gracious to me.

i realized that i don't feel ready to go back to school. despite the few weeks that separate me from returning to campus, i feel a bit unprepared and nervous to return. i have my doubts about the upcoming year and especially enduring the physical strain of walkabout again. even though i did it last year, i still feel unsure of myself. and besides that, i love being home and don't want to leave this comfortable place that has once again become "normal."

i feel like susan, needing very much to hear aslan say,
"you have been listening to your fears, child...come let me breathe on you."
-prince caspian

Friday, July 20, 2007

raindrops are falling on my head

rain-it would seem almost an oddity in any other state during these summer months. it has been a bit strange to re-visit sweatshirts and jeans this past week, but some part of me has truly enjoyed our recent weather.
i like the sound ot rain on the rooftop.
i like watching the rain fall and feeling cozy inside.
i like watching pride and prejudice while sitting on the couch with the rain at my back.
i like rain.

yet, i would not object to sunshine once more.

i just checked the weather. the rain is only to last until tuesday-according to the ever-correct wisdom of the weather man.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

an audience

i recently read an opinion describing the difference between blogs and journals. while the article did not disregard blogs, it did offer the idea that journaling was still the better option. when blogging, one has the notion of performing for an audience, writing with the intention of others reading; whereas journaling is different and thought to be more free, without limitations of others' opinions of the writing's content. approval is not being sought, instead only the satisfaction of expressing oneself.

of course, because of my pleasure obtained from blogging i felt quite defensive after reading this. i wanted to protest and prove that i did not behave this way, and perhaps even write a very personal post in order to show just that.

but then i realized that the article did have some truth. i do write differently when i know there is the chance another will happen upon my work. my opinions and thoughts may not change, but my candor and even subject matter is different when i have an audience compared to when i do not have one.

for one, i do not describe my many weaknesses when i know i have an audience for fear i may be too convincing.

therefore, in order to satisfy both the writer and the weaker side of me, i have decided to have two places in which to express myself. and perhaps to the dismay of the article's author, they are both blogs. however, one will be rather secretive as only i will ever read or write there.
so there it is-an on-line journal as it were, has been created today. and no one except me will ever see it, which is probably for the best.

i am certain that some thoughts are best kept to myself.

Monday, July 16, 2007

dakota land

today i painted my grandma's laundry room, transforming it from a bright yellow to "dakota land." although it took me most of the day to tape/paint the joint rooms, i enjoyed the time to think, listen and even spend a little time with grandma.

a few happy moments of the day-

i ate lunch with grandma today. she was so appreciative, as always, for my help. i brought a few bars to hold me over until i got home, but i could tell she really wanted to make me lunch. i was so glad i agreed to our meal. she set out placemats and two table settings for both of us. we ate costco pizza and i realized how lonely she must be in such a big house all alone. i got more details about the gopher tails. she told me that although her brother would choke them to death (and never once was bitten!), the easiest way and also her favorite was to obtain gopher tails by waiting until it rained and the gophers were drowned in their holes. then it was rather simple to walk around to all the gopher holes with the dead gophers lying there and break off their tails. i also learned that she saved most of the money she got for school, but did spend a portion of it for ice cream while they were in town. i was reminded of our shared love of reading and thought to ask about her favorites growing up. she said that if she was in the middle of a book and didn't want to be disturbed (espcially by her mother) she would go into the dark hall closet to read. she most enjoyed 'little women,' 'tom sawyer' and 'aladdin.'

i listened to prince caspian and was given lessons that i so easily forget. lucy is reunited with aslan but only after the others are asleep. she saw him earlier in the day and knew that he wanted all of them to follow him, yet she was unable to convince her siblings and trumpkin the dwarf that it was the right path, since none of the others were able to see aslan. aslan gives lucy instructions that are quite unlike what he gave her on her last visit in narnia. she is a bit surprised and makes the comment that she expected him to "come bounding in and frighten away all my enemies-just like last time!" i think i often expect jesus to do things "just like last time." i like the comfortable and familiar. how often i forget that he is "not a tame lion." he reminded me today not to limit him with my own expectations and previous experiences, but to simply follow where he leads. but even with the idea of the unknown, i found this to be exceptionally comforting since i will be the follower. i will be quite unable to go anywhere without the view of the lion's tail in front of me.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

joys of summer

this is the chapter in my life called "embracing the joys of summer"-

spending time with family-independence day was so fun!

i like summer flowers. it gives me a thrill to walk out the backdoor into a field of pink and green and gather a handful of these beautiful things.

friends-one of my favorite things about summer. visiting with missionary friends was a special evening complete with delicious food including "toasted marshmallows."

the beach! when i was last at the dentist, my birthplace was mentioned in our conversation. the dental assistant asked me if i thought of myself as a california girl or a washington girl. my answer was "both!" i feel like the joy i experience being in salt water can only be attributed to my californian roots though. and what better way to enjoy it than with my best friend! the day was beautiful-almost 100 degrees. peter and paul agreed that it was the perfect way to spend a hot hot day-swimming, paddling, talking, kayaking, napping, laughing-on the sunny shore of hood canal.

staying up late tonight...

i am so excited to have john come home today from veritas! i've missed him this week. i kept thinking of things i wanted to tell him and stories to share with him. i even found myself missing the guy who keeps me up later than i would choose. it felt so strange to go to bed when i said i was going to bed this week, and not ending up staying up an hour or two later!

yesterday we went to a baseball game (yes, without john-but he doesn't care about baseball much.) sitting next to mommy made me realize how much i treasure my family. it is so special to have many of the same experiences, to have viewed the same movies and read the same books. to share the same sense of humor and laugh together about the same silliness-to think and speak of the same things at the same time-it all makes my heart so happy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


i take such pleasure in a good story. i enjoy learning lessons from them and being able to care for the characters. tonight i did just that.

mommy and i had been anticipating the release of miss potter for some time now. tonight we were finally able to watch this story unfold. the bittersweet tale of this dear author followed her life, told so sweetly, complete with both her joys and her sorrows. while i was at first disappointed for the lack of a perfect fairy tale ending, i appreciated the respect taken for the life of the author and the lessons to be learned from her own experience.

it made me appreciate the precious gift i have been given with the relationships i have with both of my parents. my mommy is one of my dearest friends, and i am truly my daddy's girl. i watched a woman whose own dear parents misunderstood her, expecting her to change her very nature and ignore her gifting in order to fit society's mold. as much as they loved her, they still wanted their own way for her. how blessed i am to have my parents love me for who i am, not who they would have me be.
"my mother and i have come to an understanding; we have agreed not to understand each other." -miss potter

i also took such joy in watching two people who truly loved each other conduct their relationship with great purity and respect. their chastity was so refreshing as they expressed their feelings with words and written letters to each other rather than momentary passion. as pastor gary reminded us during his sermon on biblical femininity, a season of loneliness is far better than a lifetime of regret. i was encouraged by the counter-cultural example shown by beatrix and norman. i hope to wait for just such a man of my own.

i enjoyed the friendships shown, the artistic gifting of beatrix and especially her imagination. while the film did not change her story (even though at certain parts i wished it had in order to spare her and myself as the viewer, pain) i did enjoy "miss potter." it was charming and even almost quaint in how it veered from the normal venue coming from hollywood.
a truly special story.

"stories don't always end where their authors intended. but there is joy in following them, wherever they take us. " -miss potter


it seems hard to believe that i only have one month before i go back to school.
august 10 is not so far away.

one month to get in shape for walkabout.
one month to finish all my goals.
one month to see my friends and say good-bye.
one month to soak up all the time i can with my family.

one month is not very long.
as much as i enjoy school, i also enjoy being home.
i feel a little sad already.

Friday, July 6, 2007


today i discovered something that i think i have always known, but am always pleasantly surprised each time it happens. what a wonder the bond of christ is to believers! i was introduced to a girl about my age today, from across an ocean. i found that i instantly liked her. i liked the way she spoke about God, easily and freely. i liked the way she spoke about herself, with quiet confidence mixed with the ability to laugh at herself. i liked the way she challenged me and made me want to seek after God more.

one thing (among many!) she challenged me about today, quite unintentionally i'm sure, was the interchangeable way our culture uses the words "love" and "like." she said that one of the hardest things for her about being back in the states is the way she quite easily follows the trends to "love" things. she explained this with the example of her "love of ice cream" using the same word that she would describe her relationship with a person or even God. she told me that she only wanted to love God and people, and merely "like" everything else. the rest of the day i noticed as she would catch herself begin to say she "loved" something, only to replace it with "like."

i think she's right. swearing isn't the only way we casually misuse language. it seems to me that by not reserving a word such as "love" for only the things deserving of it, the value of those deserving things is decreased. i was challenged today to use my words to reflect the God-desires within me. my language should reflect my value on people and God.

today i found a friend. i wasn't looking for one, and i certainly wasn't expecting it from a romanian girl i barely knew. but i think God gave me one today in a girl who shares a love for the same savior.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


since poppop's death (or life!) in february, our family has had a different feel, which always seems to come with the absence of a family member. while some of these changes have been very sad, others have been rather interesting-even enjoyable at times.
yesterday we invited my grandma to the movies with us before our independence day dinner. i wondered if she would be able to stay awake for the whole film, but she only seemed to nod off during the credits. she laughed at all the right parts and was so appreciative of the invitation to go to the movies, as i highly doubt she would ever venture there on her own. the movie we saw was ratatouille. i was hopeful that this pixar release would not disappoint, which i am pleased to say, it did not. the story was clever and the characters, especially the rats, were quite likeable-some became likeable quite unexpectedly! even potentially questionable material-such as an illegitimate child-was handled tastefully and went over the heads of most children in the audience. i enjoyed the humor and even left the theater inspired to be a chef. what can i say? i've always loved cartoons.
another thing i've noticed in poppop's absence is grandma's readiness to share stories from her growing-up experience. a few nights ago we learned about the exciting opportunity for children in her town-obtaining gopher tails. the common way to catch these creatures was to grab them by the neck as they came out of their holes and choke them to death...then take of their tails and exchange them for a penny, or three or even ten, in town. it was a bit surprising to hear my grandma calmly describe this occurence. when asked if she ever killed the gophers, it was her turn to be surprised that we would suggest such a thing.
"of course not! i would never touch a live gopher. i just pulled their tails out."

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

independence day

i dislike the fourth of july. i don't like fireworks-noisy, dangerous things. i can't help but picture fingers disappearing and eyes missing after an experience with these explosives. i suppose it is the future nurse in me. and i think fireworks rarely serve as a reminder of the freedoms found in our country. they seem to have become a mere excuse to play with fire...

all this to say, i love independence day!

a few thoughts from other men who i assume by their sentiments, also loved independence day-

this, then, is the state of the union: free and restless, growing and full of hope. so it was in the beginning. so it shall always be, while God is willing, and we are strong enough to keep the faith. ~lyndon b. johnson

how little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy! ~thomas jefferson

i like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives.
i like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.
~abraham lincoln

oh, it's home again and home again, america for me!
i want a ship that's westward bound to plough the rolling sea
to the blessed land of Room Enough beyond the ocean bars,
where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars.
~henry van dyke

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

one more story

i was reminded of this story as an example of "right" intentions and "wrong" actions.

just a few more ponderings...

if God only cared about motives, then why on earth would he strike uzzah dead? all he wanted was to keep the ark of the covenant from falling into the mud...
but he didn't obey.

i can only conclude that God wants our full obedience. this means everything-our motives and our actions. one can not be complete without the other.

uzzah displeased God, just as the pharisees displeased jesus.
i am convicted that right actions must be matched with the right intentions.
now to live it...

action or intention?

is it the action or the intent that real matters? i know God looks at our hearts and the motive behind our actions, but is that all that matters? i was offered the opinion that the intention of our hearts is what God cares about more than the action.

this seems to be true, but i think there may be more to it.

"but the lord said to samuel, “don’t judge by his appearance or height, for i have rejected him. the lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. people judge by outward appearance, but the lord looks at the heart.” -1 samuel 16:7

"woe to you, teachers of the law and pharisees, you hypocrites! you are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. in the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness." -matthew 23:26-28

no mistaking it-God cares about more than outward things, as seen when choosing a king for israel. jesus cares about the motives behind our actions. he obvious was not pleased with the way the pharisees "followed" God's law, without any consideration to the condition of their heart. their concern for their own pious appearance and social standing was not honoring to the God they claimed to serve.

but is that enough? is all that is required of us to have the right heart before God? i think our actions flow from our the state of our heart. it is easy to recognize when "right" actions come from those with the "right" intentions. obviously, "wrong" actions will be equally easy to be seen from those with "wrong" motivation. the bible is full of examples of evil men and women who sought their own ends, without any regard to the mind of God. it is also possible to do the "right" thing, with "wrong" motivation as the pharisees did.

i think it is also possible to do the "wrong" thing for the "right" reasons. does God only care about our motivation? i don't think so. while it may be equally (or more so?) important as the action itself, the action can not be discredited. why would God specifically command us to not misuse his name, if he didn't care about the action of treating his name reverently? if he only cared about our hearts, i don't think he would give us specific commands throughout his word.

how wonderful our God is! he knows our weakness-our tendency to fall away from him-our fickle natures. i feel like he offers us a safe-guard in his commands-in his offer to be obedient. while God sees our hearts-knows our motives-examines our intentions, i think the importance of the act of obeying should not be so easily disregarded. it is for our own benefit to follow his commands in response to the work he is doing in our hearts. i think it is dear to the heart of our God for us to act in obedience to him. right actions with the right intent.

how easy to write-how hard to live out.
praise him for the resources he provides to suceed!

"work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. for God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." -philippians 2:12-13

Sunday, July 1, 2007

thoughts about swearing, cursing and other vulgarities

language-within it is found the power to defame, encourage, destroy or renew.
a few flippant phrases.
a few "choice" words.
a few interjections.

i recently read an article which confirmed my commitment to keeping my mouth free of "oh my g--" or even the "milder" version of "gosh." instead of merely being crass or crude, i am dishonoring the one i have given my life to. while many, even christians say this so casually, i believe there is a real reason why i cringe when i hear my God or savior's name being abused.

i hope this doesn't sound overly harsh or self-righteous or to give the idea that i think anyone who has ever said these things is a horrid wretch. hmmm...ignorant wretch, perhaps, but not horrid.

but i don't want to be mistaken-i do think this is far more serious than it is often treated. God is worthy of our respect and adoration, yet he puts up with our miserable sniveling and casual abuse of his holy name. sometimes i wonder that he doesn't strike us all with lightning and be done with us pathetic creatures! and then i praise him for his mercy on me, so undeserving of all he has done, most of which i can't even begin to comprehend.

so, back to words-just a few things to ponder, from the source...

"no using the name of God, your God, in curses or silly banter; God won't put up with the irreverent use of his name."
-exodus 20:9, the message

"let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."
-colossians 4:6, new international version

"watch the way you talk. let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. say only what helps, each word a gift."
-ephesians 4:29, the message