Monday, December 5, 2011

Still Basking....



I am so grateful that the Lord sees our hearts and knows some of the deep cries we hold there.

Of course, all of us, have very deep and serious cries, that we bring before the Lord, that we long for Him to answer. We go before Him in tears for those things so heavy on our hearts.

But we also have "fun" desires, that He sees. Things that are on our hearts that we want to experience or see in our lifetime.

Whatever it is, the Lord hears.

Yesterday, the Lord fulfilled a deep desire I have had in my heart since 2008, when I saw Sarah Palin on TV for the first time. I loved her from that very first moment.

Yes, she is from Alaska. Yes, she likes to wear pink. Yes, I found out I am related to her and yes she was the second female, vice president candidate, for the United States of America.

I have followed her (and yes, done a little stalking on their Wasilla property) and I have prayed for her and her family.

Working for Horizon/Alaska Airlines really does have its perks. I was able to meet both Sarah and Todd yesterday before they boarded their flight. I had a glorious 10-15 minutes with them, uninterrupted, all by myself. We laughed a lot and talked about Alaska and how we were connected in a few ways. I hugged them many times, of course! Had pictures taken with them and had them sign some boarding passes I reprinted, so I can keep them :}

They laughed when I told them about me stalking their Wasilla property a few summers ago, and that is when I met Bristol in their driveway.

They are both just real down to earth people, like you and I. They have hearts and feelings just like us. They were so gracious and kind and everything I ever imagined!

Today, I am still basking in a dream fulfilled for me. Those of you who know me well know how much this meant to me.

p.s. now time to get some of those black glasses she is wearing :}

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Books, Books....Oh, How I Love Thy Pages...

My most favorite aisle at Costco is the book aisle. No matter what is on my shopping list, I always have to stop and browse the books. My cart just automatically goes there!

I love to read. I attained that love during my childhood years. Growing up on the homestead, we didn't have electricity for many years. So, that meant we had no TV. Nor did we have a telephone for that matter.

I would lay on my bed (my bunk) for hours and read away. I read every Nancy Drew book at least 3 times. I remember reading "Christy" and had to reread it over and over. I couldn't put "Gone With The Wind" down, it was so captivating.

A good book is one that you don't want to end. Sometimes when I am in the middle of a book, I will comment to my hubby, that I am sad, because I am almost finished with the book and I want it to go on forever and not stop :}

Right now I am reading, "Killing Lincoln" by Bill O'Reilly. I love history and what an amazing leader Lincoln was. So much we can learn from him.

There are so many other books I would love to read. I pick them up at Costco, then put them back down and always say, "I need to finish the books I have, before I buy another".

Books about History (thank you Mr. Schroer) are my favorite. But almost any book can capture my attention. Well, with the exception of anything that has to do with cooking :{

I am thankful that my granddaughter, Taylor, has my same love for reading. Books are an incredible gift, and the ability to read, is a gift, too!

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Man Child Was Born.....


32 years ago today, November 11th, 1979, the Lord blessed us with a son. He came out the "roof", as he was an emergency C-Section. He weighed 10 pounds, 12 ounces and was 23" long. The same day he was born, a lady also had a set of twin boys. The 2 twins together didn't weigh as much as Mike did. They were in the hospital nursery side by side. Jim was standing outside the nursery glass window, admiring his son, when he heard someone beside him say, "look how BIG that baby is"!

The day I brought him home from the hospital, I fed him cereal. Of course, it was all watered down in his formula, but he was hungry, and has not stopped eating since.

There is a special bond between a mother and a son. I so love my boy.....Here are some things that come to my heart as I think of him.

my only boy

tenderhearted

kind

giving

strong work ethics

tall

basketball

calling Ulmers

sensitive

a wonderful brother

fishing

saying goodbye at Safeway in Soldotna

crabbing

loving his niece and nephews

integrity

loving his family

I can't imagine loving him any more than I do now. He is a delight to my heart. Many millions have seen him on TV, but to me, he is my boy and always will be. His tender heart has captured mine from the beginning. I am so incredibly proud of him and all that he has accomplished. He married a wonderful girl, whom we love.

I know that the Lord has a special calling upon his life. I remember very vividly a Sunday evening long ago when the Lord was speaking to his very tender heart.

I am so thankful for my boy. I am a very blessed mother.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

In A Single Moment, Our Lives Were Changed Forever....


November 27th, 1992. We were at the church setting up for my sister's wedding that was to take place the next day. Enjoying the day, and the phone call came that forever would change each of our lives.

My 54 year old mother, who was on her way to the church to prepare for her daughter's wedding, had just been killed in an automobile accident in the small town of Clam Gulch, Alaska. Her little blue Honda 4 door, got caught in the slush of the road and she went over to the other lane and another car hit her and she was killed instantly. My two little nieces were in the car and hurt, but survived.

It seems like yesterday, at times, and then it seems like another world ago. So much has happened since that day. So much my mom has missed out on that I know she would of loved to have been a part. So much each of us have missed out on, knowing she would of invested so much into our lives in these last years.

I wept. I still weep. No one can ever take the place of your mom in your life. We can have others step in and be like a mom to us, but no one, takes her place.

One word that comes to mind that describes the life of my mom is GRACE. She knew the grace of God abundantly in her life. She left us such a legacy......

Tomorrow is her birthday. Oh, my heart and eyes are weeping. Mom, you left a family that loves you dearly. You were taken at such a young age. We don't understand or have all the answers BUT one thing we do know is that we will trust God with the reasons why.

12:13pm Alaska Standard Time on Nov 27th, 1992.... my mom entered into the presence of the Lord that she loved.... I know she will be waiting for each of us, with open arms and a warm embrace. I have a lot of living left to do, and things I want to still accomplish in my life...but when I get to the end, I look forward to her embrace and her mommy hug again.... I love you mom...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What a gift to our family....



28 years ago the Lord blessed us with a precious baby girl, 9 pounds, 12 ounces and a head full of black hair. We named her after my mom, who was there for her birth. Laura Marjorie. She is the only grandchild that carries my mother's name and that is a special gift to my heart.

She was a planned C-section and I wanted her to be born on the 10th, which is my mom's birthday, but the doctor had a golf game scheduled and said he would do the birth on the 8th. We didn't know we were having a girl. Back then, we had to wait till the birth to see what the Lord had blessed us with. I knew if we had a girl that we would give her my mom's name. :}

Here are some things that come to my heart when I think about my girl...

she was my only child born with hair

my baby

long hair and braids with ribbons

sucking her finger with part of her monkey sock in her mouth too

crumpling like a piece of paper

basketball

Winkie

YWAM

moving from Alaska

Azusa

College Graduation and Master's Graduation

Counselor

a soft heart

loves to laugh

her family means everything to her

idolizes her brother and her sister

great Auntie to Taylor, Tanner and Tristan

beautiful smile

gorgeous

beautiful heart

kind

steadfastness

thoughtful

cherishes her friends

loyal

I love her to the moon and back and back again! She has blessed our lives and given us so much joy! So incredibly proud of her and her pursuit of the dreams that are in her heart.

I really do have the best kids in the whole wide world! I wouldn't trade them for any others I know.... and I know a lot of great kids :}

This mom's heart is thankful for the Lord's faithfulness in her life.

I love you Laura!

Your mom forever...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dreams, Sarah, and a Memory.....




One of the items on my "bucket list" is to meet Sarah Palin.... I didn't go to bed thinking about it last night, but I dreamed about it. I found myself at some kind of meeting and Sarah was there. Of course, in my dream only, (haha) I ran up to her and hugged her and asked if I could have my picture taken with her. So after about 10 pictures that I had a friend take, I proceeded for the next hour or so to just talk with her. I was asking her all kinds of questions and then telling her how much I admired her and the things she stands for.

When it was time to go, I said goodbye and she said "let's keep in touch" my heart was full. I had met her! A dreamed fulfilled and she was just as wonderful as I imagined. But, as I was walking out of the room, I saw her plop down on a chair, next to one of her crew that travels with her, and say something like "that girl talked my ear off and plumb wore me out!"..... Needless to say, in my dream, I slunk out of the meeting, feeling very humbled and embarrassed.....

When I woke up this morning, I was musing the events of my dream. I still want to meet Sarah, but I hope I tone it down when I do, so there will be no slumping down in the chair on her part. I do admire her for what she stands for and the convictions she lives by. I think if we would of been in high school together, we would of been very good friends. Maybe BFF's.

So, onto the "memory"... In processing the dream this morning, a painful memory came back to me from about 20 years ago. Isn't that interesting..... I never think about it, but this dream spurred the incident in my mind and in my heart.

I was sitting around with about 25 to 30 ladies and we were drawing "secret sister" names in our ladies group. A secret sister, is someone that you pray for and encourage throughout the year and send little gifts to, and like the name says, it is done in "secret".

As we were drawing names out of the basket, I just happened to glance across the room. I remember this one lady, that when she drew the paper, with the name on it, she rolled her eyes and gave a disgusting grimace. After the meeting was over, I went up to her and said " I could tell you weren't too thrilled about the name you drew." I can't even remember the answer she gave, and I didn't pick up on any clues.....until........

I realized some months later, that she had drawn my name.

Many years have passed and the little sting of pain remained in my heart this morning at the freshness of that memory.

I realize that not everyone will like you, and whatever the reasons were, the one who chose my name, was not "thrilled". I have to let that go, and this morning I gave it to the Lord to cover. I am thankful that when the Lord sees my name, I am accepted and loved! It is a good teaching lesson for me. I am me, in process. The Lord is working in my life, and I want to be more like Him. Sometimes in our processes, we aren't very pretty in the inside and it is portrayed in many ways on the outside. My desire is to leave a fragrance of the Lord on the people I touch.

So, I am ready for a fresh new day. Maybe I will meet Sarah.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Instant Maturity.....

"We often want to be called of God, then ushered painlessly into a position of service and honor, miraculously possessing the character our callings require. God doesn't work that way. Our appointments are not about glamor. They're about glory. God's glory". Beth Moore.."David, Seeking a Heart Like His"

In this "instant" world, we are not accustom to having to wait...We get perturbed if we are in the drive thru for more than a few minutes. We are living in an age, where entitlement and expectations are high. Why should we wait? I want it now and now is when I need it!

While we may get what we want in this world, in an instant, that is not the way our Heavenly Father has planned for our lives to receive from Him.

Yes, we receive forgiveness the instant we ask for it. We receive salvation, the moment we ask.... but when it comes to forming us into His image and molding us and working in us, to fulfill the calling He has placed upon our lives, that is not instant. It is a process. In all honesty, sometimes the process sucks....:}

Wouldn't it be wonderful to wake up fully mature and His character built within us? I am sure David, was wondering what in the world was going on in his life as Saul kept on pursuing him. He was suppose to be the next king and he found himself hiding in caves, always being pursued by the enemy.

Most of us will never find ourselves physically hiding out in a dark and wet and gloomy cave, but emotionally we will probably find ourselves there at times. Feeling as if we are all alone, and wondering what in the world is happening in our lives? I thought the Lord had called me, we say?

Little did David know that the Lord was molding him and preparing him for the calling He had placed upon his life. Just as the Lord is molding and preparing us to be fruitful and to bring Him glory and not ourselves.

It is not "instantly" but it is His faithfulness that works in us, as we remain obedient to hear His voice and walk in that.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Oldies Were Once Young....

Last night I am driving home from work and I found an "oldies" radio station. Who would of ever thought that the songs I listened to in high school would become oldies. How can that be? Listening to those songs brought me back to so many memories, such as...

riding the bus and listening to them on 8 tracks (Mr. Knodel, you were the best bus driver ever!

thinking of all my classmates and how close we were (38 in our class)

Mr. Schroer, my favorite teacher

driving around in Doug's new VW getting ads for the yearbook

driving around in Eunice's VW (forgetting to put oil in it!)

laying awake at night and listening to the KFQD radio

buying some of those songs on cassette tape at Homer Rexall Drug Store

sitting at the Parfait Shop with Nan

wondering if he "liked" me? and crying if he didn't....

remembering the innocence of childhood and youth

FATCATS

Looking forward to our 40th class reunion in Sept 2012 in Homer, Alaska~

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Flickering Light Bulb.....

Ah.... I love my new job with Alaska/Horizon Airlines....Let me list a few reasons why.

1. No more tears riding the employee bus home from a work shift.

2. The people I work with are so supportive and encouraging to help me learn.

3. I LOVE the passengers and meeting them and trying to help them.

4. Of course the free flight perk!

5. Wearing uniforms is fun. Plus you don't have to worry about what to wear.

6. I do like giving announcements over the PA system.

7. Gaining new friendships with fellow employees.

Seven is my favorite number, so I will stop there for now. The flickering light bulb in my brain is starting to have some pauses and moments of burning brightly as I catch on to the details of the job. It is not always flickering, which is good, sometimes it shines brightly, which means, I have caught on and done a procedure correctly. YEAH....

It has been 3 months now, since I put on the uniform and I am so glad I have stuck it out to get this far and not given up. Looking forward to gaining more confidence and learning the procedures, especially before the holidays arrive. We will be swamped then, and I want to be able to do my part in helping the passengers with all their needs.

It has been the most intense job I have ever had. We are on a time frame to get those planes out on time. So it is a challenge, and I like challenges!

I don't regret for a moment coming to this new job. It was always a desire for me to work for Alaska Airlines. It was a dream for me, that has been fulfilled and I am grateful to the Lord for giving me this opportunity.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Two Busy "B's" for Me This Week......

Bible Study- Tuesday, I get to go to Ladies Bible Study. I haven't been able to attend for 6 years, but now with my new job, I have Tuesdays off. I am so excited to be a part and spend time with these ladies in my life! Ready to dig into the Word and have the Lord speak to me. My heart is yearning for His voice.

Beth Moore- Will be studying David's life in Beth's new study called "David, Seeking A Heart Like His". I got my workbook and I am ready to go, and so excited to do this study. I facilitated this study 13 years ago in Homer, with a group of ladies that are so dear to my heart and remain so, and now I get to attend this study again with an updated version, and with ladies that have also become dear to my heart.

Blessed

Monday, September 12, 2011

Because I Have Always Done It.....

The other day, I am washing my hair at the kitchen sink. I always take a bath towel and fold it and lay it on the front of the sink, before I lean over the sink and begin. So, I found myself doing it again the other day and then asked myself, "why do I do that"? I have done it for as long as I can remember from my youth growing up on the homestead. My mom did it, my 4 sisters did it.

WALA... I had a light bulb moment....

On the homestead, we did not have running water. Well, except for the pairs of legs running to the creek and back with the buckets we carried up and down the hill. Our kitchen sink was metal and just inlaid in a wooden counter. It wasn't fancy, but did the job. There was no pretty tile or baseboards to surround it, and so when we would bend over, our shirt would get dirty from the counter edges.

I smiled as those memories flooded my heart again. I don't need to fold the towel and put it at the sink counter anymore to protect my clothes....but I will continue to do so, because now it is a precious memory of the homestead years and reminds me of my mom and how simple life was "way back when".

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Burning Bushes In Our Lives....

"When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush, and said, "Moses! Moses!" Exodus 3:4

It was an ordinary day, just like all the others, for the last 40 years, as Moses went out to tend the sheep on the hillsides that day. Except.... this was the day that the Lord took the ordinary and made it extraordinary!

Ordinary days...... we all have them. Going about, being faithful, to what has been put before us, and then.... in a moment, we encounter our own "burning bush" and our lives are never the same.

We encounter them, because we take the time to turn aside and look. God does His part, but He waits for us to do ours. He waits to see if we are willing to "turn aside" before He will reveal Himself and call our names.

Notice that Moses wasn't at a crusade, a retreat, a men's group, or even sitting in church. He was out doing the same thing he did every day, the ordinary, when the Lord showed up.

I am not saying that any of the above are not good. If you know me well, I love going to our annual Women's Retreat and look forward to it so much! The Lord does great work in one's lives at those events....but we don't have to "go" to those events to hear from Him. He shows up, exactly where we are at. Whether it be a hillside, driving in the car, at work, grocery shopping.... whatever we find ourselves doing.

I love "burning bushes". Mine may not be as "nation changing" as Moses was, but never the less, they are just as ordained and important. I long to continue to be faithful to where the Lord has placed me, doing the ordinary...and when I encounter a "burning bush", may my heart always turn aside and hear His voice and be obedient each time.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Moses.....

Moses, has always been my favorite Bible character. I am reading the book by Charles Swindoll, "Moses, A Man of Selfless Dedication" and I love the insight that Swindoll brings into Moses life and the season and time he lived.

I think what I first loved about Moses, besides being a little baby boy, and put in the reeds of the Nile, to escape death and having my mother heart ache as I think about such a moment, is the fact that he put up with over a million grumbling people at one time.

Think about it. We are all leaders to someone. Life consists of all sorts of people and personalities. We know what it feels like to have someone grumble when we are trying to lead and ask them to do something, and we have grumbled ourselves. But, can you imagine being a leader over a million people and listening to all them grumble? Yikes, Calgon take me away!!!

The book also goes into a lot of details about the "wilderness". My favorite line is "His schooling includes time in the wilderness. That's where He gets our attention". All of us have found ourselves at some time or another in the "wilderness". A lonely, abandoned, desolate place where we feel all alone and think that the Lord of heaven has forgotten us.

"The Wilderness" will be another post, at another time. For now, as I continue to delve into the book, and have the Lord speak to my heart during this season of my life, I hope to share some of the insights the Lord shows me.

P.S. I still have always thought it wasn't fair that Moses didn't get to enter the promised land, because of one of his actions.... but then, I am reminded again that we as leaders have a great responsibility to obedience.....



Monday, August 29, 2011

A Tender Heart....


From the moment I heard that my first grandchild was on the way, I began praying for a child that would be tender.
My precious Taylor, who is now 9, has the most tender heart I have seen in a child. She is honest, and kind, and thoughtful and sensitive and loves her parents and her grandparents. She loves Jesus too!
She is learning about growing up and all the blastings of the world's standards. She is learning what is appropriate to talk about with her friends and what is only appropriate to talk about with her parents. Life's lessons for her are stepping up and her tender conscience and heart are at work. I wish I could protect her from the harshness of the world, but I know I cannot. Oh Lord, protect this precious girl and keep her always in the center of Your hands. May her heart always remain tender to the promptings of Your Spirit. The plans You have for her are precious and good. I again trust her to you...... Taylor Jean Garrels, you are an absolute joy to my heart and will always be grandma's princess. I love you to the moon and back again and again. I will never stop praying for you!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Crumbling Pedestal....

Have you ever admired someone, only to have them deeply disappoint you? I think we have all been there. Many years ago the Lord did such a deep work in my heart about putting those ones I admire up on a "pedestal"...for they will surely fall off and then we can find ourselves disillusioned, disappointed and sometimes angry.

The Lord is the only one who will not disappoint or fail us. We as people, no matter how hard we try, will find ourselves at times, either saying, or doing the wrong things and hurting one another. The grace of the Lord is there to cover us, for which I am humbly thankful for.

We are all on this same journey of life, and yet, each one's path is different. Yes, there are ones we can admire and look up to and are examples to us. But they are people just like us.

It goes both ways.... I never want to be on anyone's pedestal, for I know I will fall off pretty quickly or have already fallen off. I am just me, walking this journey of life, longing to be obedient to my Jesus and all He asks of me.

So, let's tip those pedestals over!



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree....

Oops...it is not Christmas, wrong holiday...I should be singing "Happy Birthday" :} I am up savoring my last few moments of being 56 years old...YIKES, that sounds incredibly old. I can remember the day my mom turned 30 and I thought she was getting old. I was only 15 then, and a sophomore in high school.

Birthdays give you a time to stop and reflex upon one's life, dreams, visions, perspectives and priorities. But also this year, it has stopped me in my tracks to consider the "legacy" I will be leaving behind for those that follow. What am I leaving to my children and grandchildren and great grandchildren, besides the book I am taking forever to write about my childhood on the homestead in Alaska, and the grace of God that so incredibly worked in my heart and in the lives of my family.

The frailty of life has become so real to me these last few months, as death and birth have been a part of my surroundings. Life really is fleeting. It goes by so fast and have we made a difference? Have our lives counted for more than it being all about "us"?

I want to make a difference in the lives of the ones I love. A difference that would cause them to want to be more like Jesus and pursue Him with their whole hearts. Not a "Sunday School" religion. I want to leave a legacy of faithfulness and obedience. Not one of perfection, but one of realness and honesty. One who wasn't afraid to admit failure, repent, and get up and go on again, understanding the Lord's forgiveness.

Oh, I wish I could see down the family line for the next 50 years and see if the legacy I have left them, drew them to Jesus. But, I can't see that far...I can only see 2 generations down and my whole heart yearns for them to see Jesus and His incredible grace through my life.

I could conquer the world (whatever that means), be a billionaire (I promise Lord I would give lots away, if I won the lottery), lasso the moon (Jimmy Stewart), have lots of "things" and "possessions".... but the most important thing to me, is my family. Nothing else compares to them walking with the Lord. Nothing!

Justin, Jessica, Taylor, Tanner, Tristan, Mike, Laci, Laura, and all the future "grandkids" and future son-in-law, ... You are all my heart. The legacy I desire and will always yearn to pursue will be for you.... because you are a part of me.

My heart cries out to you Lord, to continue your good work in my heart to make me more like You, so I can leave the legacy my heart desires to those that come behind me.










Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A "Now" Word....

There are times in our lives, where we go before the Lord and ask Him for a response to our requests. Sometimes, the responses come right away, and sometimes it is in His plan and heart for us that the answer is to come at a later time. Today, I am asking the Lord for a "now" response.

There is a deep issue in my heart that I need the Lord to resolve. That I need Him to clearly show me now, and not 2 months from now. I know it sounds presumptuous, but I also know that the Lord is in the "now" business as well as the "later" business. So, as we have said over and over in our lives, "it doesn't hurt to ask".

I know His heart is good and He is faithful. I know I am His daughter and that He understands and sees each chamber of my heart and what each contains. I know He is trustworthy.

May I find His grace to whatever His responses are to my heart's cry.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Funeral to Family Reunion

My precious dad was diagnosed with Mesothelioma in November. It is a cancer of the lung that there is no cure for, medically. I flew up to Alaska in February to spend time with him and had a wonderful visit.

Last Monday, I received a call from several siblings saying that dad had taken a turn for the worst, and I better get up there if I wanted to see him again, alive. Alaska Airlines, flew Jim and I FREE all the way to Homer, Alaska and back with confirmed seating. What a wonderful perk of being one of their employees. We flew into Homer, to save much time on the road traveling, so we could get there in time to say goodbye.

All 8 of the siblings flew in, as far away as Louisiana, and we have not been together in 19 years. Uncle Ken was there to pick us up at the Homer Airport and drove us right out to see dad. Dad had come home from Providence Hospital in Anchorage because he wanted to die at home.

As I saw my dad, laying there, fighting for his life with every breath, it was almost more than this daughter heart could contain. He seemed so weak and so vulnerable. As I sat there watching him, I was asking myself the question, " Which is worse, the way my mom's sudden death in the car accident was, or sitting here watching someone you love suffer till death?" I came to the conclusion that NEITHER is better. They are both horrible.

Each of us took turns sitting with dad, so he wouldn't be alone. A couple times I had the midnight to 3am shift. Well, I fell asleep during one of them and Auntie Vicki had to fill in for me. It was a good time to sit in silence and pray and just be.... having my heart flooded with memories from childhood, and the legacy that my dad is leaving to all of us. The legacy of loving Jesus and serving Him with our whole hearts.

On Saturday, my dad suddenly took a turn for the better. We couldn't believe it. I was doing my shift and about 3am in the morning my dad opens the door, is dressed and I said, "Dad, are you okay?, what are you doing?" He spoke legibly and just as clear as could be and said, " I am not tired and want to come out here and be with all of you!" We sat in amazement..... He sat out with a few of us for about 15 minutes and then said, he was tired and went back to bed, and has continued to improve each day since then. On Sunday, he wanted to go out for a HAMBURGER.... He also went to get some tests done and all the liquid around his heart is GONE.... He is breathing good, he is talking, he is just like he was when I came up in February. It really is a miracle, there are no other words for it. The cardiologist gave him 2 days....

We are witnessing a miracle and calling him Hezekiah. (Read 2 Kings 20:1-6) I don't know how many days my dad has left. But 15 years sounds really good.

All 8 of kids, plus many grandkids that came, were able to say goodbye and hug their dad and grampa. He was also able to hold each of our hands and with tears share the goodness and miracle of God in his life. We have now each started to journey to our homes, knowing that the time together was right, and good, and ordained, and precious.

Being all together after so many years was a gift. We took many pictures, laughed our heads off, cried our tears, said our prayers, ate tons of food brought in by loving people and just made more memories to cherish and hold on to.

I can say this. God is faithful and God is good. And I also will add, even if the Lord would of taken my dad home at this time, I would still say, my God is faithful and my God is good. And we would of wept a lot, but we would not of wept as one who has no hope.

I love my family. It is such a gift to belong to such a family. So to Dad & Gail, Debby, Marie, Bobby, Kenneth, Valerie, Vicki and Mark, thank you for caring, for all the memories and laughter and tears. It is a wonderful gift to know we have each other. I know mom would be so blessed by her family.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

12 Years Ago......July 16th, 1999

Oh Lord, you have been so faithful to the deep cries of my heart. It was 12 years ago today, that you took us from our beautiful home in the most absolutely gorgeous place in all the world, Homer,Alaska, to bring us to a place in Oregon where we could find grace and healing for our hearts.

We left with so much pain and heartache over circumstances and the Lord knew that for us to be free and whole again, and to find the healing we needed, and that He longed for us to receive, that we had to leave where we were. Our hearts were desperate for His touch.

Even as I write this blog, so many emotions flood my soul. Tears come easily to my eyes. I left my family, people I loved dearly, and my heart in Alaska, but knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord opened the door, prepared the way, and ordained Canby New Life Foursquare in His plans for us. He knew, this would be the place that we would find what our hearts so desperately needed.

If I could only use one word to describe the last 12 years, I would use GRACE. Over and over the Lord has done His work of grace in my heart and continues to do so. It has been a season of healing through tears, valleys, mountaintops, joy, sorrow, repentance, worship, in His Word, and putting myself in places where the Spirit of God is, so I can receive from Him. He also placed significant people in my life to help me along this journey.

I can honestly say that He has healed my heart and made me whole and I have found the Lord Jesus in ways that I have only ever dreamed about.

His work is not over in my life. This has just been one season. My heart continues to press on, to knowing Him deeper and loving Him more. I am thankful I serve a God that sees. He sees the past, He sees the now, and He sees the future. He knows what we need. Oh Lord, keep my heart soft and tender and my ears sensitive to your voice always. And may I always say YES to you, no matter how painful that choice may be. Knowing that You always have our best interest in your heart.

We said yes to you 12 years ago, even though we left so much of our hearts in Alaska, but what we have gained in our souls has been worth every tear!

Thank you Lord for your faithfulness and the extent you went to, to do the deep work in our hearts You knew we longed for. I will always serve you, Lord, always.

p.s. Lord, I would love it, if it is in your heart, to send us back to Alaska someday soon....I am trusting you with this portion of my heart...

Friday, July 15, 2011

The 7am Grand Opening

I love crowds and grand openings..... but going to the new Fred Meyer grand opening in Wilsonville this morning was quite an experience.

If you were one of the first 200 people to go through the door then you were given a free gift card ranging from 5 dollars to 500. I got there about 6:45am and I must of been the 2000th person there. I heard the first shoppers were ones that spent the night on the sidewalk....What is ironic is that if I was 20 years younger, that probably would of been me. :}

Observing people is quite the pass time. Especially when they are "anxious" to receive a bargain. It seems to bring out the worst character flaws in one's soul...

I was waiting patiently to check out at the self check and saw that a spot had opened up. I pushed my cart over and was looking at the screen to begin checking out and all of a sudden this customer comes up to me, gets right in my face, and says, "excuse me" (with an attitude). I guess she was still using it and had gone for help. So, I nicely apologized and walked back to line.

Isn't it interesting the responses of people these days? It just takes a moment for an act of kindness instead of rudeness.

May we all take a step back and think before we speak. May our words and body expressions and actions bring life to the ones we are interacting with.

My reward for going:
1. I saw some dear friends and was able to chat a few moments
2. I got the layout of the new store, which was very nice
3. I got a free Fred Meyer shopping bag (HA)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

There's No Crying (In Baseball) In Learning A New Job...

Well.... today I actually had a moment of wondering if I could learn everything that was being shown to me at my new job. I knew if I let it get to me, that my eyes might of started leaking profusely. So, I took a deep breath, went outside, got some fresh air, and continued to ask the Lord to help me do the best job I could and to learn it!

There is so much to know and I recognize that I am working with fellow employees who have been there for over 10 and 20 years. A passenger can come up to the counter and have a request and they can plunk the keys on the keyboard and wala.... there's the answer, or there's the new boarding pass. Me: I am still trying to figure out if I should hit F1 or F3....

The people I work with are great. My trainer is the best. My brain is trying to work as fast as it can and all I can do is continue to do the best I can. I know the Lord opened up this job for me, and I love what the job consists of. Looking out over the counter at 30 to 100 or more passengers to help and I love it!

I am trying to keep it all in perspective, recognizing that in time, I will get it. Until that time, I will press on and persevere and try to keep the faucet on my tear ducts closed.....

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Another Time.... Another Place.....

4th of July memories from my childhood...

July 4th, 1959... Three sisters, Debby, Marie and myself, went to stay with our second elderly cousin, Allen Lester and his wife Eleanor. He brought us into an old five & dime store. I can still picture it today. Real old hardwood on the floors, glass counter tops, penny candy in big wooden buckets. Cousin Allen wanted to buy each of us three girls little flags to wave, but I didn't want a flag, I wanted the little pink diary that was under the glass shelf. I didn't get the diary, but it just goes to show you that I liked pink way back when I was a little girl and would also come to love to write. It also shows that I have a mind of my own on what I want.:}

It was this same holiday, that we had the big picnic with the Fitts side of our family at a park. I remember watching Aunt Edith, a lady who never married and was very old. I think she was pushing her mid 80's. To a 5 year old girl, that is OLD. I was watching her make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and all I could look at were her old wrinkled hands. It is still very vivid in my mind today. I just couldn't eat the sandwiches that she touch with her old hands, and I wouldn't eat them. So, I was sent to the car, as a naughty little girl, with no food. But sisterhood is sweet. My sister Debby snuck me a red apple.

July 4th, 1967.... Christian Community Church had their 4th of July picnic out at our homestead at the Anchor River. It was a beautiful day. I remember Harris Gordon falling over a tree and cracking a rib.

July 4th, 1968. The whole Halpin clan again attended the 4th of July picnic with the Christian Community Church family. We were somewhere up East Hill, where the first CCC building first was. Back then, there were the Edens, Gordons, Farnens, George Dahlgren, Arnos, and Halpins that consisted of the congregation. A small but close family.

When we were raising our children in Homer. Every 4th we would go out to the Homer Spit and see who could find the most states on the license plates. Homer is such a tourist town. I remember the year we came up with 48 different states and Hawaii was one of them.

Many 4th of July's have come and gone. It is funny what you remember. That is what makes up our lives. The memories and circumstances of the past.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

First Week Down.....His Grace Abounds

I never realized how wonderful it is to sleep in passed 2:30am.... but today, I did and it was glorious. I am looking forward to enjoying my 3 days off, to rest and relax and sleep in, and spend time with my hubby, and family that is coming for the 4th.

My first week of work went fast. The Portland Airport is big and spread out and I do a lot of walking every day. I am looking forward to having skinny legs soon, hope it works its way up to a skinny butt too! :}

I got to board many flights and one to even Vancouver, BC. It is an absolute blast, greeting each passenger and checking their boarding passes and making sure they are on the right flight and ready to board. I LOVE THAT! I never in my wild imagination realized how much work goes into getting passengers boarded and on their way to their destinations. LOTS of work!

Lots to memorize and remember.... "Now what keys do I hit to get that answer?" HA.....But each day, I am gaining a little more knowledge and what I love about the job is that everyday can be different. We are boarding different flights, and different passengers with different needs and so it is never dull or boring....

Everyone I have met is so friendly and tons of people have been working for Horizon for years. It is a great compliment to the company. They do treat their employees well and we do have laughter and fun together.

They say it will be a good 4 months until I really catch on and a good year to feel comfortable. So, my goal is to not be too hard on myself (the perfectionist I am) and to give myself time to feel confident. I love learning something new, and I want to learn it well with excellence. That is my goal.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Just Some Things.....

1. I was sitting in church this morning and really missing my dear friend, Valerie Byrd, who went home to be with Jesus over a year ago. I miss her sense of humor and her heart for the Lord, but most of all her friendship.

2. Reading the obituaries in the Sunday paper and realizing that one day mine will be there. Life is short...makes me even more committed to reaching out and touching people's lives TODAY...for we do not know about tomorrow. Don't wait until tomorrow to take care of a broken relationship or to let those know how much you love them.

3. Grandchildren have ears in the back of their heads. Grandparents have eyes in the back of theirs.

4. If you think you have nothing to pray for, watch the daily news.

5. How many umbrellas does one person need... I just had to buy another purse one that says Horizon/Alaska Air. Of course it was 1/2 off.

6. LISTEN, and after someone is done pouring their heart out to you, listen some more. We have been given 2 ears and only 1 mouth.

7. Subway really is the best fast food restaurant when you want healthy eats.

8. If you need a good chuckle, look up the "Pickles" cartoon each day.

9. Digital cameras are one of the best inventions of the last 10 years.

10.Weight Watcher's chocolate fudge ice cream bars are such a treat.

11.I highly respect people who have integrity. Who keep their word, and have the character to stand for truth, when others around them are not.

12.If it is pink, I will give it a 2nd glance.

13.I could live in flip flops forever.

14.What was the Lord thinking when he made mice?

15.I love to blog.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day #6 There Is No Place Like Home

What a week. What a day. My brain hasn't worked this hard in a long time and it felt so good. We had a class photo taken and looking forward to receiving a copy. We got out at 4pm and then we all headed to the airport together to catch our individual flights back to our homes.

I had a "first" today. I got x-rayed and patted down at the airport. I know I looked tired and probably scary....but yikes. I asked them why and the lady told me it was because I had on a long chain with a locket on the end. It is a necklace I always wear when I go somewhere, as it carries photos of me and my hubby. I want to always keep him close to my heart... AW....The TSA lady told me that next time, I should just take the necklace off and put it in my purse. Lesson learned.

The flight from SEA to PDX is so short. You just get up in the air and then you are almost descending into Portland. Well, not that fast, but it seems that way.

My honey was there, waiting for me. It is so nice to be home. I got my schedule for the next two and half weeks. I am off this weekend ....yeah, so I can rest and relax and then on Monday, I will begin to put to practice what I learned this last week. I am looking forward to it so much.

It just has been an incredible experience and I have loved every moment of it. I am looking forward though, to not studying airport codes or the computer system at least for this weekend.:} There really is no place like home........

p.s. my final test score: 100%

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day #5 The Light Bulb Is Flickering....

I had some aha moments today. Oh, I understand now. :} So much to learn, so much to remember and tomorrow is the BIG final test. All of us here at the hotel gathered downstairs tonight and had a study pow wow. It was fun. Quizzing each other on all the codes and all the 50 pages we have used in our class so far...Team work is a wonderful pleasure and gift. Each of us giving our best, to make the whole complete. I am in love with this new family that the Lord has placed me into.

There are so many people that the Lord brings across our paths in our lifetime. Our mission is to love them. And I pray that the Lord would continue to pour out His grace upon my heart so that He can pour out His love to all those who's path I cross.

I am ready to be back home with my honey and get into a "normal" routine. But I have a feeling that my schedule will not be "normal" as I am on the bottom of the food chain :} But that is okay. I am excited to get to work at the gate at PDX and put to practice all I have learned and to the love the people He puts in my path.

Going to bed with my study notes again...but the light bulb is flickering....

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day #4 Friendships and Shuttles

Shuttles are a wonderful thing. Especially when they are free. We get shuttled to the hotel from the airport and back. We get shuttled from the hotel to the training center each morning and then at day's end. And tonight a few of us took the adventure of taking a shuttle to the big mall.

We walked around, then found ourselves at the Olive Garden for a nice sit down dinner and had to connect with everyone giving each other our face book addresses, showing off pictures of our families on our cell phones... and just bonding as new friends. There is something about going through something together, that bonds you.

Our days are full, with a few breaks and 45 minutes for lunch. So it is mostly in class learning. Today, I printed off my first boarding pass and ticket and luggage stip. YAHOO... now, when tomorrow comes, will I even remember how to get into the system? Ha...so many codes, so much to learn and I love every moment of it.

It is challenging and keeps the brain alive and working. They are teaching us without using a mouse...YIKES, everything has to be done from the keyboard. Lots of shift, control and alt keys.

Time to call it a night. My pillow is very inviting.....

p.s. I bought two pink headbands at the mall :}

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day #3 Enjoying The Small/Simple Things

As I sit here in my hotel room, looking out the window, I can see the planes taking off from SEATAC. I love praying for each flight I see.

It has been a long day of training with excellent instructors. We were at the headquarters for Alaska Airlines today. All 30 of us, each at our own computers to begin learning the computer system that we will know by heart and become so natural to us, within a few months. It will come after much repetitive practice :} I am looking forward to learning the program, and learning it with excellence.

I got to visit the Alaska/Horizon employee store. It was an absolute blast. Everything that had the name Horizon on it, was 50% off, in celebration because this is the 30th year anniversary of Horizon. Oh the small, simple things of life, I so enjoy.

I have met so many wonderful people in my class. We are all from different stations but have the same connection of Alaska/Horizon family. There are 2 gals from the Fairbanks, Alaska station. So, right away, I had to connect with them. :}

The 2 instructors make the class so enjoyable. We are laughing and learning and asking a million questions. The company is committed to helping you succeed and gives you the tools toward that end. I still can't believe this is me, here, in this position. It is a wonderful gift from the Lord to me, and to my family. I just want to keep pinching myself, to make sure I am not dreaming and it is really real. The Lord really does hear the cries of one's heart.

Flying high with excitement.....

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day #2 Thank you Mr. Schroer

Well...the big infamous test was today. The one I had been studying for the last 2 and 1/2 weeks. All 106 airport codes that Alaska and Horizon Airlines flies. I had to get at least an 85% or they would send me packing today, no second chance. I got 100%.

It was a wonderful feeling to have studied and accomplished this feat. YEAH..... thank you Lord and thank you Mr. Schroer for having us learn how to memorize in 7th grade, all the states and capitals of the United States, all the countries and continents and oceans of the world too! Those skills I learned, way back then, I still continue to use today!

I spent all morning in orientation and all afternoon in a customer service seminar. It was great. Much laughter and camaraderie amongst the group already. There was 24 of us, from all over the northwest. I am going to post a little blurb, from a video we all watched, from YouTube about customer service. "Give Em The Pickle" It was great!

It will be on my face book page, as I don't know how to add a link to this blog on my Mac.

Tomorrow will begin a 4 day training of learning the computer software system that Horizon/Alaska use. We also get an opportunity to go to the big Alaska Airlines store! That will be a blast for me.

I am exhausted. Didn't fall asleep till 2:30 this morning.(I am just like a kid at Christmas). My alarm went off at 6. I have been on the go since. Now, I am in my jammies and headed to bed.

I am so thrilled and excited about this opportunity and all the open doors it will bring my way. What a tremendous company to be a part of. Thank you to all my family and friends for being so supportive and encouraging to me in this new path the Lord has led me to. It is good!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day #1 A New Adventure

Well, it was an absolute blast checking in at PDX. The gals at the counter were all excited to learn that I was going to be "the new gal" soon and wanted to know when I was going to start! It was nice to check in, have them take my bag, and not have to pay a penny...I am loving the perks already.

My flight to SEA was fast and good. No turbulance, which I am grateful for. Had a pleasant conversation with the gentlemen seated beside me.

Flew up with another young gentleman, who will be working with Horizon too, and going to the same training as I. We finally found our hotel provided by Horizon for all us trainees, and I got a room with NO roommate:} So that is nice. Even though it would of been fun to share a room with someone and get to know someone new (I was hoping for someone from Alaska)...having my own room is absolutely GLORIOUS.

Had dinner at Dennys with the other new trainee from PDX. We had a nice conversation. He is engaged to be married in November. He loves Jesus too, so it was wonderful to connect with him.

I am going to study my airport codes one more time tonight before I lay my head on the pillow. I miss my hubby already, but it is a blessing to me that he is so supportive and excited for me in this new opportunity that the Lord has definitely opened for me.

I feel incredibly humbled and grateful tonight. I am so excited about the week ahead, learning new things and applying them, and meeting so many new people that will be a part now of my new family of Horizon/Alaska Airlines.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Perspective on a Thursday evening......

Does it really matter if.....

1. you have to stand in the grocery line longer than you want to?
2. the restaurant got your order wrong?
3. your child peed their pants?
4. you have to pay almost 4 dollars for gas?
5. you are stuck behind a "Sunday" driver?
6. your newspaper got all wet on the driveway?
7. your dog pooped on your carpet?
8. you have to wait an hour over your appointment time for the doctor?
9. someone waved to you with their middle finger?
10. stamps are now 44 cents?
11. you are in the drive thru for over 5 minutes?
12. you stained your favorite pair of pants?
13. the pastor didn't meet your expectations? ( I could write a whole blog on that!)
14. someone was incredibly rude to you?
15. you were disappointed in the actions of a friend?
16. your washing machine broke and to the laundry mat you must go?
17. one of your manicured nails just broke?

It just takes a split second in time, for life to be put in perspective. One phone call, with news that makes your heart skip a beat.....and you realize all the other "inconveniences" in life, are really just that, inconveniences, and you would take them all in place of the "news" you just received.

Perspective, my dear friends, ..... may we gain it now......

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Does Anyone Keep Their Word, Anymore?

Oh, Lord, who may abide in Thy tent? Who may dwell on Thy Holy hill? He who walks with integrity and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend. In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, But who honors those who fear the Lord; He swears to his own hurt, and does not does not change; Psalm 15:1-4

Have we ever find ourselves committing to something, or promising something, and then we don't keep our word? The Lord has so impressed upon my heart to be a "woman of my word". I purposely pursue keeping my word, if I say I am going to do something, then I will do it. There are times, when life happens and things change or come up unexpectedly, and I am not able to do whatever I had committed to do, and let the person know and apologize for that. I am not talking about those instances.

I am talking about a continuing character flaw of promises and good intentions, but never keeping your word. Good intentions don't count. We all have good intentions. The simple answer is this: DON'T promise, if you have no intention of following through. Our words are so powerful. They minister life or death...

This is so heavy on my heart tonight, as someone's good intentions have effected my life again. And I wonder how my "good intentions" have affected others also. My prayer Oh God, is that I would always keep my word, even if it hurts me. Even if it is inconvenient, costly, demanding, boring, takes a lot of time, etc....

I am so thankful for the Lord's grace who continues to pour it out lavishly upon my heart. My He use me to minister life and not death to the ones that cross my path.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Long Goodbye.....

Today, was my last day at Clackamas Community College. I have worked there for 5 years and 3 months. So many memories made. So many precious friends and students have forever found a place in a chamber of my heart.

A new chapter begins for me. I will become a full time employee of Horizon Airlines on the 20th of June. It has been a desire of my heart for years to work for Alaska Airlines and Horizon is under the umbrella of Alaska Airlines.

I am grateful and thankful for the new beginnings ahead for me. I have no doubt that the Lord has gone before me and opened this door. It is a gift from Him to me and I rejoice!

I have been saying goodbye all week and tomorrow will be the last, as I attend the Class of 2011 Pinning Ceremony. It will be so bittersweet for me. Saying goodbye to my dear, dear staff, who have become my dear, dear, friends. Also, students who I call my own, are about to graduate and go out and touch the world! I am so proud of each one of them. They have worked so hard to get to this place. If I ever find myself in a place that I need a nurse, I hope I will find a CCC Nursing student at my side, for they really are the BEST!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Beep Of The Cell Phone....

My cell phone beeped today, as I was sitting at my desk at work, alerting me that I had a text message. Looking at my phone, I saw that the text message was from my first born daughter, Jessica. I knew that the message that was on the phone, would change the course of all our lives to some degree. I flipped open the phone, read the message and burst into tears, sobbing. The message read: "Final decision made: Staying Here!"

Jessica and her husband, Justin, have been on a whirlwind course these last few weeks of talking, and praying and seeking counsel, and more talking and praying, to come to a decision about a job offer that had been put before them. The job would take them many miles from here, and not Alaska.

They had Jim's and my full support whatever way they choose. We just wanted them to do what they felt the Lord was asking of them. Last night, I tossed and turned, knowing that today, they had to give the final answer. Every parent wants the best for their child and my heart was so torn, realizing that they might move far away and how could my mother and grandmother heart survive?

My daughter is my friend, and I love spending time with her. The Lord has given us a very special relationship. We have shared so much together.

As I lay my head on my pillow tonight, I am grateful to the Lord that I don't have to say goodbye to my grandkids, my daughter and son-in-law, for now. They are here in Washington to stay, until the Lord opens up the right doors and they know the doors are from Him. It will be the right timing....
Until then, I will hug, laugh, enjoy, invest into their lives, every moment I can with all the "more" days that the Lord gives me.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Setting the Record Straight...and Estate Sales....

Today I found myself standing in line, with a number card 40 in my hand, waiting to get into an Estate Sale....All of sudden it was 10am and all us standing in line, scurried into the 3 story home, and handed the guy at the front door our number card.
I have always had a "certain feeling" about estate sales, and today was only a confirmation.

As I was roaming around the house, from room to room, bumping into people, looking through someone else's life, all sorted out in different piles throughout the many rooms, I had an overwhelming, increasing sense of sadness.

An estate sale, most of the time, is because someone has passed, and this is what is left of their "life" they have left behind, for everyone to plow through. The saddest encounters for me, are when I find old photographs of the family.

I am setting the record straight for my children right now.... After your dad and I are gone, please take whatever you want, and give to my siblings and our friends what you think they might like.

There will be no estate sale from us. I won't have people, pawing through our lives, looking at half filled boxes of bandaids, shampoo bottles, bags of poise pads, toothpaste, towels, sheets, musty smelling clothes, dishes, costume jewelry, books I enjoyed, etc... Please children, do take all the pictures! They are our lives together, filled with many memories. Everything you don't give away or want, please take to the Goodwill.

Most of all, what your father and I want to leave with you, is a legacy to follow Jesus. All the other "stuff" that will be left is just "stuff".

Friday, May 13, 2011

10 Qualities Of A Good Leader

All of us have leaders in our lives and each of us have led, to some degree or another. Each leader leaves a lasting impact upon us, whether they have been positive or negative. Listed below are 10 qualities that I have determined over the course of my experiences, whether I am the leader or I am under a leader, that each must have to make a positive impact upon their followers.

1. Have integrity...
2. Be a person of your word...
3. Not only listen but hear...
4. Genuinely care...
5. Lead by example...
6. Communicate effectively...
7. Personal character...
8. Be a servant...
9. Teachability...
10.Committed to growth...

I am sure there are many more qualities that can be listed to make this complete. These are basic. I want to be a good leader. I want the Lord to develop these deep qualities in me. I've experienced enough pain in poor leaders, and I have had the real joy of good leaders. Not perfect, but hearts who include most of the 10 qualities I have listed. I am so thankful for His grace that continues to mold and make me into the woman of God that I long to be, and wanting to lead by example. Leadership really is a gift. It opens the door to touch someone's life. How we touch them, is up to us....

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Eve of Mother's Day...


I have been cleaning out my closet, and today, I came across a red shirt that was my mother's. For the first time, I pulled it out from the back end of the closet and put it on. I wrapped it around me, and could picture in my mind how it looked on my mom when she wore it. I believe it was one of her favorites, as I saw her wear it many times.

Naturally the first thing I did though, was smell it. To see if I could still smell her scent. But it has been so many years, that her scent no longer lingers and all that remains is the smell of my clothes closet on it.

Mother's Day is tomorrow. Even though this will be the 19th Mother's Day that she has been gone, I still miss her. I miss her just as much and even more each year. She never saw her youngest children grow up, my children grow up, my siblings children grow up, never got to meet her grandchildren, missed out on so much laughing with her kids, sharing in their accomplishments and weeping with their sorrows.

I miss you mom.... and now that I have discovered the red shirt, that I forgot was back in the closet, I will put it on from time to time and pretend that you are holding me close. Thank you for being my mother. You were such a good mother in so many ways. Your children do rise up and call you blessed.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"Heaven Is For Real"

There has been so much hype about this book, that I went out and bought it and finished it today during my lunch hour. I wasn't impressed. Whether the story told in this book has any truth to it at all, doesn't change a thing about what that truth really is. What I do know:

1. The Word teaches that heaven is for real
2. There will be no more tears/crying/pain/death
3. God will be there

Many of the other "pictures" that the book brings out are questionable in my mind. It is a good story, but I won't make a "religion" out of it. Sometimes we get swept up in the latest wave of things that sound really "spiritual".
May the Lord give us discernment.
Just sayin......

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Standing At The Grave....

The day was overcast. The Alaskan December weather was briskly cold but not snowing. I found myself staring at the vast, dark, dirt hole at my feet. Right beside the hole, laid my mother's casket. Soon, my dad and brothers would lift it with the ropes and gently let it down into the dark cavern that laid there.
I stared. It seemed so cold and dark and lonely. I didn't want to put my mom down there. I wanted her to be alive where it was light and warm, where we could laugh again and let her know how much we loved her.
My dad and brothers began to lift the ropes and lower her slowly down till the casket hit the dark shaded dirt at the bottom. We were all there. The family that loved her. We each threw flowers on the top of the casket and could hear the thug on the wooden box as each one landed. We were all quiet. Our hearts were weeping.
I stood there, and the account of the Resurrection of Jesus, became so real and dear to me. If Jesus hadn't come, died and risen again for mankind, then looking into the dark sullen grave would of been all I had. There would of been no hope. BUT He conquered the grave! Hallelujah Christ Arose!!! When I get to heaven, after I see Jesus, I will run into the arms of my mommy and oh, hold her so close. Because of Him, I have that hope!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The 7th Grade Giggles

Sitting in a training workshop today, that was related to my job, I found myself giggling. I was sitting next to my dear friend, Christine. It had been a long, tiring week and our brains were already overloaded. As we sat there listening to the instruction and then trying to put it to practical use on the computer, we were having a hard time comprehending the material and everything seemed funny and it was funny. We couldn't even look at each other for we would burst out laughing. It brought me back to 7th grade, Mr. Schroer's history class. He was so strict and you didn't dare get the giggles in his class. If you did, you didn't look anyone else in the eye, and bust a gut, or you would of gotten in deep trouble. By the way, he became and still is my favorite teacher of all time! And it is because of him that I love studying history today. But, back to the giggles...I believe we all need to have a dose of 7th grade giggles again, no matter how old we are. Life is hard and there is nothing like a case of the giggles with a friend to lighten your soul and your heart.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The twist of the doorknob.....

Today, as I stood waiting in the radiology department for my results, I knew that once I heard the twist of the doorknob, that my life could change forever from that moment on. I found myself at the radiology department getting my annual mammogram. Last year and the "season" the Lord had me go through, with getting a call back, another mammogram, an ultrasound, a biopsy, and then surgery..... and then the final results was a non cancerous papiloma. It is hard to describe the emotions that one goes through as they walk through such an "ordeal". So, many thoughts and questions went through my mind and heart. Waiting for each results I think was the hardest on me. How do I tell my children? I was picturing my own funeral. What about all the things in my heart that the Lord has put there, that I want to see accomplished. You just want to know and then you can begin to deal with whatever the answer is.
So, as I went in today, one year later, I had some trepidation and to be really honest, I think that this moment was weighing heavily in the back of my mind and on my heart for the last year,wondering what the results would be this time.
Once the test was done today, the wonderful lady who did the test, left me in the room, as she went to talk to the radiologist. I sat in the room alone, for about 10 minutes...waiting...and praying. Then the twist of the doorknob sounded....and this was the moment I was dreading. The radiologist walked in, said, everything looks perfectly fine. No problems. We will see you in a year. I got up, and HUGGED him. He smiled and said, "thank you". Then I hugged the lady who did the test.
I kept on telling the Lord, while I was waiting that "I am trying to trust you Lord, with my life". But I really would like some good news this time. And I told him that even if the results were not what I wanted to hear, that He was still good and still faithful.
Tonight I will lay my head on my pillow with a grateful heart and will continue to ponder and learn from the emotional journey this last year and how that waiting for the twist of the doorknob, could become so life changing.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Another season ago...

Tonight, my heart wanders back to when I was in high school. I knew a boy named Tom Crane, who I believe was a year older than I in school. Today is his birthday. I would love to wish him a happy birthday.I don't know where he is now...but I remember that he never liked celebrating his birthday because it was also the date that his brother died in Vietnam, April 4th. So wherever you are Tom, I have you in my heart tonight, praying for you and that you are doing well and that the memories of your brother are being held closely tonight. Love your old friend, Terry

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Where are my red ruby slippers?



Don't you wish it would be that easy? Clicking together a pair of red ruby slippers, and then being transported to where your heart longs to be.

Dorothy skipped along the yellow brick road with her 3 friends, hoping that the great Wizard would be able to give her the desire of her heart, to go back home to Auntie Em. She never realized that she had everything she needed right then to go home.

These are a few observations from this famous story.

1. Each of Dorothy's friends had needs also. We all desperately need His touch.
2. We need each other, to come along side, exhort and encourage and to walk the yellow brick road together.
3. We need to appreciate the ones in our lives (like Auntie Em). There will come a day, when we will no longer have them, or vice versa.
4. Somewhere over the rainbow, I hope there is a nice pot of gold.
5. I still don't like flying monkeys.
6. I'd rather be Glenda than the wicked witch.
7. We already have everything we need through Him.
8. Sometimes, I still would like a pair of those ruby slippers, as I impatiently wait for His timing and plans for me.
9. Dear Jesus, I wear a size 10.

Friday, March 18, 2011

You need a "wash car", Grandma

I was picking up my 3 precious cherubs to spend the night with us tonight. My 4 year old grandson, sitting in the back seat, pipes up and says "you need a wash car, grandma". My heart immediately melted and brought me back almost 30 years.

His mommy use to talk like that too. I remember when Jessica was about his age, and the grandparents came to visit. We were living in Minnesota, they were living in California. Jessica says to them when they arrived at the house, "do you want me to bring in your case suit'? and later on she said to them, "do you need the paper news"?

Special memories from their childhood, and now some of them are replaying in the next generation. I absolutely love it!

p.s. I think I will drive them through the wash car tomorrow for fun!

Friday, March 11, 2011

What have we come to value?


I just got done looking through this magazine. I ask myself, "Why do I read it? What draws me to be so interested in the lives of the rich and famous?" Here are just some of the things from this issue.

Charlie's life is in disarray

Christiana has bad-news boyfriend

Scarlett and Ryan's breakup three months ago appeared to be drama free

Many celebrities have their own personal app

Justin's hair

Kody & his sister's wives'

What is fashionable

Legal Matters

Divorcing

Wed

Baby on Board

Beauty Watch

Tour of someone's rich Irish castle

These are just some of the articles in this magazine. I got done and my first response is "WHO CARES?"...Who in the world gives a rip? Why do I waste my time and money to buy the magazine. Even though this particular magazine was not mine, I have paid $$ to buy this before. It is so irrelevant to real life.

People, living the life of the rich and famous, flaunting their wealth and destroying one relationship after another. Are these the roll models I want for my grandchildren? Absolutely not.

Thinking of our world tonight. People going hungry, not having clothes/shoes for their families, not having homes, not having water etc....thinking of Japan and the devastation that country is experiencing tonight.. oh, the contrast. And what about our military? Giving their lives for us, and in constant danger, so that America might stand free. These are our heroes. They have given themselves to something worth while, to make a difference.

I hope to not waste much more of my precious time, reading magazines that have no positive, growing influence in my heart. That have nothing to do with real life.

What have we come to value?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Diamonds are sisters' best friends......or at least make a good memory...



If you could look close enough you can see each of us 3 sisters have a diamond on the right side of our noses. Grandma Gail was the fun culprit. She had a stash of fake studded nose diamonds and she helped us 3 girls put them on. We laughed so hard together. We left them on all day until they fell off. But, oh the curious looks and questions that came with them. My daughter Laura, couldn't believe I would do such a thing as she knows her dad, my hubby, wouldn't think it was the greatest decision I had accomplished in my life. I played along with her and didn't tell her right away that it was just a stick on nose stud. Needless to say, it was harmless and brought so much laughter and making a memory together that it was worth every bit of it.

Reminds me of life. We sometimes put things on, to pretend we are something we aren't. Oh, the masks we sometimes wear. One thing I appreciate so much, at one of the things the Lord has done in my life, is that, we can come to Him just as we are. We don't need to pretend, or behave a certain way. We don't need to put on someone else's shoes or clothes, to be accepted. We don't need to be or look like anyone else. He accepts us just as we are! We don't have to perform to earn his love. It is the same with our relationships and friendships with each other. Being real is one of the most important gifts we can give to each other. With all our flaws and failures, being honest and saying, "this is who I am". That is freedom. That is liberating.

p.s. In all honesty, I really would like a real studded diamond in my nose. I think they are very feminine. Unfortunately my husband doesn't share the same opinion!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Alaska/Oregon Day #10

I did fine saying goodbye until I got to the airport and it was just Kenneth and I. My eyes started to tear... Airports are joyous and sad all at the same time. Then, I was doing okay until I read my daughter Laura's facebook post about her mom leaving and I am sitting in the Chili's restaurant at the Anchorage airport by myself and the tears started to stream. I gained my composure again and wheeled my pink carry on with the white pokadots to my gate. The day was so clear and beautiful. A perfect weather day to fly out of Alaska. In the back of my mind I was wishing that Redoubt would blow and no flights for a week :} but, it wasn't to be. When the plane was going down the runway to take off, I started to cry again, realizing that once the wheels touch off the ground, I would be leaving Alaska. I know, I have a very sentimental heart. But I love Alaska so much and my family there and the beauty and the vastness and the non busyness of life. And yet at the same time, I was missing my honey and family here and just wish we could all live in the same town, different streets :} I am incredibly grateful to a faithful God for all He has given me and allowed me to do and have. I am blessed. I will remain faithful to Him who has called us here for now and love the people who He has given to us here. My heart longs to be obedient and faithful to His calling upon our lives. Thank you to each one who made my trip, a trip of my dreams. It was perfect in every way. Oh to see my dad, and hug him and laugh with him, and share memories. Looking forward to more of that in the near future. We laughed as a family and played "words with friends" with each other until the wee hours of the night and made more memories. I am home now and my hubby had the house spotless. He had also written a poem for me (a nice one) and had it on the counter. He even ironed the pillowcases! He does treasure me and I love every moment of it. It was fun to pull out of my suitcase all the little trinkets and treasures I brought back with me for him and my grandkids of course! So, this is the end of this portion of my blog for this trip. I will continue writing in my blog at least weekly with random thoughts and ponderings that the Lord is stirring within me. Thank you for sharing this precious journey with me. I am and will always be an Alaskan by heart.

Alaska Day #9

My heart is full. I spent the morning at Church On The Rock, worshiping with so many ones that I love. Hugged so many. Love so many. Heard a good word on the "Two Sons". Then headed back out to the homestead, packed my suitcases, and hugged my family. Kenneth and Theresa drove me to Anchorage today, as they had some business they need to take care of tomorrow in town. We are all staying at Bob & Deb's tonight.
Many memories to cherish that I hold in my heart from this past week. Many to process. As I hugged my dad, I assured him I would be back in the late summer to see him again, so my heart was not sad saying goodbye. Holding Laura tightly before I left. Again, trusting the Lord with her. She is a precious girl.
My trip was everything I could of desired. I am humbled and blessed that the Lord would allow me to come and go before me. He has always been faithful, is faithful and will remain faithful to the deep cries of my heart.
I heard a song on the radio today by Barbara Streisand, "people who need people, are the luckiest people in the world".... my paraphrase: "people who need people, are the blessed people in the world". We need each other. We need each other to love, to encourage, to hug, to pray with, to weep with, to rejoice with, to exhort, to spur on to godliness. Friendships are a gift. They are to be treasured and taken care of. I haven't always been a good friend, but my heart yearns to be the friend that the Lord asks of me in the lives of the ones I love.
Tomorrow I get to see my hubby. I am incredibly grateful for the man of God he is. In fact, tonight, my heart is grateful for so much. For the time spent with my dad, my family, my daughter, my friends..... I love life. In my heart, I am truly an Alaskan. Maybe someday the Lord will send us back here. That is on my "bucket list".

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Alaska Day #8

Today is my last full day in Homer, as I will be headed to Anchorage tomorrow after church. As of every other day that I have been here, I have made the most of my moments. Spending as much time with family and then seeing friends in between those moments.
Spent a few hours with my daddy today. I again am so thankful for the heritage that has been passed to me through him and my mommy. I am confident that it was the Lord who took us from Massachusetts in 1964 and brought us here. It was His plan, and in His heart for us. I am humbled that He would go to such lengths to reveal His heart to us and that He continues to go to such lengths to reveal His heart to us.
Had lunch with Laura, Kenneth and Theresa in town today. It is so fun to be together. Saw a neighbor and friend, Dwight, at Subway while we were there and had him sit with us. It was so fun to reconnect. He was our neighbor on the river bottom and we share so many memories together as families.
Pam, Brenda, Cassy, Laura and I took a tour at the Winery out East End. It definitely was a memory made and captured on camera. Laughter is a wonderful gift.
Spent the evening relaxing with the family and watching the DVD series of Love Comes Softly.
I am so grateful for God's incredible grace in our lives and for the freedom and liberty that He has for us to walk in. I am humbled for His heart for us, for me.

Alaska Day #7

It was wonderful to sleep in this morning. The roads were a little icy today so I had to be careful. I did step out of the truck once today though and my feet slipped right out from under me and I landed on my behind and elbow, but I am fine. It would of made a funny home videos clip. Sanding trucks are one of my favorite friends this time of year in Alaska. Makes the roads and parking lots so much safer.
Saw some precious friends today. From the hospital to Subway and Captain's Coffee and at a friend's home....eating subway sandwiches,drinking diet coke, drinking coffee and sharing hearts. Sharing memories, making new memories and laughing. Friendships are such a gift. I treasure them and do not take them for granted.
Spent the late afternoon and evening with my brother and his wife, Ken and Theresa, relaxing and watching a movie. My Laura came from Kenai and is spending the last few days here with me before I head back to Oregon on Sunday afternoon. I love having my baby girl here. Laura just asked me if I would rub her back, so time to shut my computer down for the evening. My heart is full and grateful for all He has given to me.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Alaska Day #6

My alarm went off this morning and I fell back to sleep. I did make it in time though for my dad's class. :} Having an automatic starter is a wonderful blessing. I could start the truck from the warmth of the house, while I got ready to go. So great again to hear my dad teach. What an incredible wealth of knowledge he has. I loved getting his handouts and will enjoy studying them in the future. What a gift.
Again spent time with dear friends today. My dear Kelly who lost her husband a few weeks ago. What can one say? except, I love you, I pray for you, I weep with you, I stand with you, I hold you and I lift you before the Lord. She is precious and I know the Lord will walk with her each step of the way through this season of her life. Life is hard and sometimes it really sucks. So thankful we have the Lord Jesus to turn to.
This evening I spent with my Bud. We have been friends since 1977. We had our babies together. We share so many memories from so many different seasons of our life. I love laughing and sharing and also shedding a tear or two, with those I love.
Today is my brother's 50th birthday. It was fun as I made him a birthday cake. I am so thankful for him and what the Lord has given to me.
I have had a few moments of tears(by myself) as I have thought of my dad and how I want him to live for another 15 years or more. I still can't wrap my heart around his disease. I love him.

Alaska Day #5

I feel like a real Alaskan woman driving around in my dad's 4 wheel truck. It is a blast. TL's are fun. Got up early this morning and headed up to ABI to attend my dad's class. What a blessing it was to hear my dad's heart and wisdom as he shared from the book of Jonah. He had such great insight that I had never heard before. Isn't it interesting how you can read a portion of scripture over and over again and then the Lord reveals a new truth to my heart from the same word. I love it when the Lord does that.
Spent some time with precious friends today. One from childhood and one from about 14 years. I love relationships, I love my friends, I love the people the Lord has put in my path. I absolutely like "Sweet Berries". What a fun restaurant and all the goodies to look at and purchase of course.
I love good conversations, lots of laughter, a few tears, prayers and hugs.... we are all gifts to each other.
Tonight, my dad and the rest of the family that remains in Homer went out to Land's End for Local Night. It was fun to be together and laugh and talk and share a good meal.
Seems like I am always having my camera in my hand. So much to capture, so much to cherish, so much to hold onto in my heart.....
I feel like a very rich woman in the wealth the Lord has given me in family and friends.
My heart remains in Alaska.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Alaska Day #4

This really is the most beautiful place in the world. Of course, in my small world of travels, but still....I never tire of its beauty. I just have to hold the camera in my hand at all times and snap a way. Spent some time with dear friends today and looking forward to spending time with some more as the week goes on. I love the gifts of friendships the Lord has given me.

Spent some time at the high school this evening watching my niece, Kyra cheer her last home game before Regionals. It is just so special to be here and be able to participate in the special events in their lives.

I am reminded again, that there is nothing more important in life than relationships, ministering grace to one another, exhorting and encouraging each other. We need each other! I am so grateful for the ones who have invested into my life, deposited grace and exhortion and made me hunger for more of Him.

Tomorrow morning I head to Alaska Bible Institute to hear my dad teach. I graduated from this Bible School in 1976. It will be a precious time for me.

I am tired, so will close for now. I lay my head on my pillow tonight, grateful for a faithful God. Terry the Alaskan Girl

Monday, February 21, 2011

Alaska Day #3

Another beautiful day in the hamlet by the sea. Full of laughter and memories. Some went snowmachining for the day. I passed as I didn't want to freeze my toes off, but they had a great time. Laura and Laci got a little bruised up and will be sore tomorrow, but they are fine. Laura fell into a hole, and her head went forward and broke the windshield and she hurt her knee. Laci kept on tipping over and she has some good bruises on her knee too....But they came back smiling :} I spent a few hours with my dad today with my two sisters and brother in law before they left to go back to Anchorage and Kodiak. We took lots of pictures and laughed our hearts out. This evening was spent with dad and Gail coming up to the house and we shared stories from our childhood AGAIN. There is nothing like being in a room, full of family, who know you, who you have shared your life with, and you are laughing your head's off. There is so much we have walked through together.
I am thankful that the Lord chose to take us from Massachusetts and bring us to this great land of Alaska. He knew it would be here that we would find Him. That He would reveal His heart to us and we would bow our hearts to Him and serve Him. I am thankful for the parents He choose for me and for the legacy they have given to me and my family. I am savoring each moment here.... I believe my heart is shaped like the state of Alaska.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Alaska Day #2

Had a wonderful morning at Church on the Rock. Saw so many precious friends that I cherish in my heart. Blessed to sit between my daughter and my dad. Got a little teary eyed listening to my dad sing.... OH, how I love my family. I went to hug my dear Bud Pam and I said, Oh, I love your PINK jacket. She said, " you can have it, if it fits you",,,, well, WALA... I put it on and I love it.... I felt a little guilty taking her beautiful jacket but not guilty enough to give it back...:} What a precious gift she gave me, but most of all her heart towards me. After church, we went out to the end of the Spit and watched Mike captain the Time Bandit into Kachemak Bay. They were close enough to land so we could take some good pictures. Then he came back to dock and gave us a tour of the boat. It is much smaller than what I imagined or how it looks on TV. It was such a treat to see where Mike spends many months out of the year. I walked out of the boat with two Time Bandit mugs :} We are loving being together as a family. One thing we love to do is laugh and also tell stories from our childhood. Stories we have told over and over again, with a little embellishment, and we laugh so hard we cry. I absolutely love my family and my heart is here in Alaska....

Alaska Day #1

It is 2:45am(Saturday night-Sunday morning) Alaska time and I am just finding time to post, so this will be very short.... Drive to Homer was absolutely beautiful and being with my family....there are no words..... We had a birthday party for my brother Kenneth who turns 50 this week and also for his daughter, Kyra, my niece who turns 18 this week. It was so wonderful to see my dad and hug him......tomorrow we are all headed to Church on the Rock and spending another day together. It is absolutely beautiful here, clean crisp white snow. Just looked at the thermometer and it is 7 degrees outside. The Lord is good. I am incredibly grateful to be here. To make the memories and share the laughter. I am going to bed now. :} My heart is in Alaska.....

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hills & Valleys.....

"I use to think that life was hills and valleys-you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it is kinda like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times, you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for" Pastor Rick Warren

Tonight, as my heart is weeping with those that weep, so far away, as they say goodbye to someone dear and precious, it also is rejoicing with a dear friend who is close, who was given a special gift today.

The Lord asks us to weep with those that weep and to rejoice with those who rejoice. For those that weep, I want to hold you close and let you cry and I will cry with you, asking the Lord to comfort your hearts as only He can do. My heart is raw and hurting for you.... And for my friend who is rejoicing, I am rejoicing with you today, I celebrate an answer to a deep cry of your heart!

When I personally weep, when I personally rejoice..... I am thankful for the people the Lord has in my life to share both sides of the tracks with me.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I weep, not as one who has no hope, but I still weep......

I know you are there, but sometimes, my heart still weeps when everything around me is falling apart and doesn't make sense. When the pain is so deep and we are hurting so badly that we can't even breathe. Lord, I know you are there.... I trust that you are there.... even when I can't see you. "When I don't understand, when I can't see Your plan, I will trust Your heart" through my tears, for myself and for the ones I love dearly who are hurting and weeping tonight.

Holding onto your hand tightly, Terry

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Picking up the Blogging Pen Again.....

I love to write and I love having my blog. I haven't written on it for quite awhile and my heart is stirred to be more faithful and to write more frequently. There is so much in my heart that I long to share and this is a great outlet. So I am excited to start blogging again. Maybe I will even post a few things from my book I am writing, about my childhood, growing up on the homestead in Homer, Alaska. Looking forward to posting soon and sharing life with you.

From my heart, Terry