Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I Wrote Good-Bye Letters

I'm not superstitious,
at least I don't think I am.

My mother was,
though she wrapped it in Scripture,
her Faith,
and in her mind it wasn't superstition.
It was just part of being a believer.

She believed 
with her whole heart 
that the 
"power of life and death was in the tongue."
This was why she NEVER said she had cancer,
even as the surgeon told her it was cancer,
even as she asked me what hospice care was,
even as she lie on her deathbed.

If she said "I have cancer"
"my cancer"
then she was giving it power.

This was my mother's mindset.
I disagreed with her, 
 and we would argue.

One day,
 I told her we just needed to agree to disagree.
And we never spoke of it again.
 I loved her so much.
I miss her.

So I always save any voice messages Don leaves me, 
especially when he travels to East Africa.
I don't erase them until he is safely home.


And when I travel far away,
with or without Don
I write a good-bye letter to each of my children,
my son-in-law,
my grandchild
and my husband.

I write what's on my heart.
Words of encouragement,
sharing my love for them,
my hopes for their futures,
reminding them of their 
infinite value to me 
and to the world.


I do this, 
not out of FEAR.
I do this out of REALITY.
Anything can happen,
to any of us 
at any time.

I don't want to leave anything left unsaid.


I go to the worse case scenario in my mind.
I write my words.
Place the papers in an envelope,
seal it 
and place it on my nightstand
beside my bed.


Then I let it go.
And then I'm ready to fly away. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Nothing is Sacred Anymore

At least that's how it feels,
or is it because I age?

Has it always been this way?

I don't know.
Life seems cheap.
A 15 year old Mormon boy carries fire arms into a school
and blows a 14 year old away just
as the freshman walks into his high school locker room.

There's fighting in Ukraine,
Pure Atrocities.

The senseless taking of human life.

Where is the value of a human?
A person
created in God's image?

Has it been lost?
Has it disappeared?
Have humans always been of little value
to each other?

I listened to a science Friday on NPR today.
All about robots
and our future,
Artificial Intelligence.

Robots with sentience?

What's Scared?
In our world today
what can't be touched because it's holy?

Churches and Mosques can easily be bombed.
Rwandans hid in churches during the genocide
and were brutally slaughtered there.

I believe human beings,
each and everyone
are holy,

How do I show this?
What are my actions and thoughts portraying this belief?

Help me to see YOU in every person I come in contact with.

Help me to see the Sacred,
Help me to honor the Sacred,
Help me to love the Sacred.

God created us
therefore we are Sacred,
we are Holy.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


I hung all my clothes for Africa on the deck 
and sprayed them with permethrin.
This will keep the mosquitoes away,
I hope.

I washed my rain pants and gore tex jacket
 in the water proofing wash, 
hung them outside and sprayed them with more water proofing, 
then threw them in the dryer to finish the process.

I'm packing for hot equatorial sunshine 
and cold winter snowy mountain weather.
I'll be serving in city slums;
air thick with diesel, 
raw sewage 
and rotting garbage.

I'll be hiking through
open cypress plantations,
 up the snowy glacier,
and down through lush jungle. 

I checked over my packing list for both adventures.
I spoke with a team member who dropped out due to health issues, 
promising to use her Bible Studies with the young women 
if the opportunity presents itself.

I rolled up my clothes stuffing them in large Ziploc bags,
squeezing out all the air sealing them tight.
I organized all my pills:
sleeping pills,
Chinese Herbs/malaria meds,
lemon & eucalyptus spray,
my Go Girl,
Toothy Tabs,
Diva Cup
and adapter,
go pro 
and extra batteries,

I'm packing a large duffle bag 
full of books, 
flat soccer balls,
soccer cleats,
small gifts 
to leave with the Ugandan staff
and a few extra climbing clothing
for the porters in Tanzania.

I took off my diamond wedding ring,
leaving my mother's band on,
and put on my small silver hoop earrings.

I leave one week from today.
I'm getting excited.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I started packing...

I started packing for Africa
and I cried.

I wonder,
what am I doing?
What was I thinking?

I feel overwhelmed,
but this is normal for me.

I've been overwhelmed many times in my life.
Since I was a child,
I've known this feeling.

that's the key for me.
Being open to trips
that's what God wants of me.

And so I am open
to Him.

I trust, 
though I doubt.

Yes, I doubt,
over and over and over again.
I just do.

My friend posted this on Facebook:
“If you have any faith, give me, for heaven’s sake, a share of it! 
Your doubts you may keep to yourself, for I have a plenty of my own.”
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"I often think that strength of faith is what I should focus on - 
but maybe that's not accurate. 
I also have plenty of my own doubts on just about everything I claim to believe in - 
and I'll continue to wrestle with them."

Yes, this is me.

God and I are sort of distant right now.
I'm not even sure that's the right word.
long distance,
far flung,

I've been thinking about it for weeks now.
WHAT is our relationship?
It's not as it was in my younger years.

I trust,
but only because I have to.
There is nothing else to trust in.

I know anything can happen.
Sudden death by a mentally ill person with a gun.
Sudden death by terrorists.
A plane crashing into the ocean.
A horrible car accident.
A cancer diagnosis.
Anything can happen,
whether or not I trust or believe in God.

Anything can happen.
And no matter what happens,
He is with me.
He is in control.
And I am His.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"Jesus Lived in the Grey Areas"

"Jesus lived in the grey areas" 
someone said to me the other day.
We were discussing 
my son,
which wove in and around

It was one of those conversations that I wished could go on for hours.
The kind where you want to curl up on a comfortable couch,
 sipping a glass of wine
with time stretching out before you.

I've been ruminating over his words for days now.

That's the problem with Jesus,
I've decided.
He lived/lives in the grey areas.

The grey areas aren't safe.
They aren't predictable.

Like shadows, 
grey areas spill outside of the box.

And it's hard to see in the grey areas.
Not quite light, 
but not quite dark either,
it's in between, 
causing me to grope about,
squinting even
trying to move forward.

Jesus hung out with the people of the grey areas,
people on the fringe. 
Those that need "doctors",
(His words)
those in most need,
which truth be told
 is EVERY single one of us.

And through it all,
He loved,
and loved, 
and loved,
but with Truth. 

I used to live in the black and white.
It was safe,

The problem was there wasn't any grace.
Grace is Jesus's middle name, 
I think.

Legalism kills.
Grace nurtures.

I know God is not just Jesus.
I mean, 
as Christians we take the three in one approach,
the Father (God), 
the Son (Jesus)
and the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit)
all together,
wrapped up in one grand package
the THREE equaling the ONE.

 it's hard to wrap my brain around.

God the Father,
to me is the Old Testament One.
The One who struck people dead
for accidentally touching the Arch of the Covenant, 
for example.
Or the One who told the Israelites to commit genocide,
wiping out entire groups of people, 
even infants.

Then the Son, 
The Creator.
The Word,
who became flesh.
the one who KNOWS 
what it is to be human,
to suffer.
The one who gets us,
evil hearts,
good deeds,

And the Holy Spirit,
the nebulous,
the inner conscious,
the one who Jesus promised,
the still small voice.

I am to wrap all three together
creating a picture of the One
the Being,
the Universe,
the Truth,
the Creator,
the Essence of  the Something
that has to be. 

But it's Jesus
that stands,
for me.

It's Jesus
with his grace,
unconditional love,
that I connect with.

It's the grayness of Jesus I love. 

The problem with Jesus,
I've decided
is the beauty of the grayness.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Ode to My Jubilee

My Jubilee graduated from
Seattle Pacific University
Cum Laude
University Scholar
Ecology, BS
Zinza Edward Scholarship-
Shaw/Blakley Island Scholarship


Jubilee started off as a music therapy major.
She stuck with it for one year,
deciding it just wasn't for her.

Changing majors is not for wimps.

She spent the next year searching for direction.
The problem with Jubilee is she's interested in so many things!

But her one big love won out,
plants, animals
the earth,
and how it all works together.
She jumped into her ecology classes like she does everything,

Jubilee accomplished in two years what most people do in four!
And not only that, 
 she continued her University Scholar classes too.
"U Scholars is like a mini-masters degree" a friend told me.
And so she wrote a thesis about the research she did with deer on Blakley Island.

This weekend of celebrations:
of Ivy Cutting
 U Scholars open house,
and finally commencement 
was perfect.

We soaked in every second of joy,
wise words
meeting of professors,
hugs of friends,
music sung,
and love shared,
fully present and aware
of the beauty,
and reverence
of what she accomplished.

Jubilee is an amazing woman
with multitudes of gifts
and talents.
I don't know what the future holds for her.
But I do know,
I love her.

She is extraordinary.
I am so grateful God gave her to me
on April 10, 1992.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sorrow and Joy Walk Hand in Hand

These words are written in my blog description:
"Sorrow and Joy Walk Hand in Hand.
Heartache and Happiness Dance Side by Side."
(Feels funny quoting myself)

We've been experiencing school shootings lately,
two within three weeks.
One was close to home: 
Then a week later, 
 a shooting at a local high school.

It's tragic,
and yet it keeps happening 
like a broken record.

The sadness is hard to shake
even though 
I do not know any of the people involved.

There's a layer of weighty sorrow 
holding hands with inexplicable joy 
as we anticipate our third daughter's college graduation.

We will encounter a memorial of flowers
as we enter the SPU gym
for commencement.
We won't be able to escape
the death of an innocent 
as we also celebrate the hard work
of my music loving, 
earth saving, 
nature loving, 
minimalist girl.

And we will carry 
pieces of the heartache 
of the victim's families, 
as we soak in the utter happiness 
of awards, 
smiling faces,
and congratulations.

It'll be in the air,
surreal and yet

This is life.
We must learn to live well in its tension.

Sorrow and joy together.
Heartache and Happiness all at once. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Milestones with Ghosts

My son graduated from 8th grade today,
a milestone for sure.

This was a wonderful year for him.
The best he's had, I think.
He has solid friends,
earned his black belt in Tae Kwon Do,
enjoyed his Iron Chef class,
learned to play drums in School of Rock,
earned lots of A's,
and he wasn't bullied.
Sweet cheers erupted from his peers
when his name was called.
He is well liked.

I pinch myself.
I love when he hits a milestone, 
any milestone,
but it's never without sorrow.

Each marker he crosses
stirs up the faces of children gone.
It feels heavy and inescapable.
The sadness always pushes through.

Survivor's Guilt.

They should be celebrating milestones too.

They're ghost reminders 
of life's unfairness,
the lack of rhyme or reason,
the total absence of control.

They should be here just as Josh is here,
but they are not.

And I don't know why.
Gage Alexander Dole
July 13, 2001 to February 14, 2011

Monday, June 9, 2014

Angel's Rest and The Fault in our Stars

I didn't blog yesterday, June 8, 2014,
 breaking my challenge to myself.
But it's ok.

This will be a two for one blog post!

Angel's Rest:
I spent Sunday morning fast hiking  
up Angel's Rest
with Miko, our husky.
We soaked in the view from the top.
The trail was full of weekenders
some asking me where the trail led,
where the summit was, 
how much longer to the top? 

It thrills me to see people out there,
especially children.

Miko and I jogged down.
I feel fit and ready for Uganda and Mt. Kilimanjaro,

My biggest challenge will be mental.
Usual for me.

I celebrated a friend's 50th after my Angel's Rest jaunt.
"Welcome to my decade, Linda!"

Took my son to an incoming freshman church BBQ and then...

The Fault In Our Stars:

Though I was tired 
I went to see The Fault In Our Stars
with my Baby Girl.

We got home at midnight.
I haven't read the book.

I liked the movie, 
though I found fault.
(Pun intended)

It lacked depth.
Maybe I need to read the book.

I liked glimpsing inside the minds of teens who are dying,
teens who know their lives will be short.
I liked many of the quotes.

I liked Hazel Grace's no nonsense reality
and Augustus Water's 
sense of hope and desire to live life LARGE
trying to be remembered.
They each had something the other needed.
This was sweet.

The parent's anxious protectiveness
and attempt to stay positive was spot on.
Hazel Grace's need to know her mom and dad
were going to be ok when she was gone was truthful.
Nonetheless, the parent's characters felt flat to me.

It skimmed the surface of the complicated emotions
 of each character
as they dealt with the reality of their impending death 
or loss of something,
like a leg,
ability to breathe.

I did see the shallow,
trite commenting,
guitar playing,
"literally in the Heart of Jesus" Christian
 teen support group leader as genuine.
Sad, but True.

But it's what I would expect
from a "teenie bopper" movie.
Maybe I need to read the book.

 I understood what they were trying to explore,
but it could have been so much more.
Maybe that intensity of complicated emotions
can only be reached in reality.

(Spoiler Alert)
I knew Augustus would die before Hazel Grace
 the minute he named his cancer,
 Sarcomas are relentless.

 I loved hating the author,
Van Houten
 who lost hope in life,
  was an alcoholic asshole,
relegating Hazel and Gus's lives
to nothing more than evolutionary mutations.
I've met people like this.
I pity them.

I loved hearing the Anne Frank quotes
as Hazel Grace pushed her limits climbing
the stairs and ladders of the Anne Frank House.
I found the quotes to be fitting to what
Augustus and Hazel were dealing with as dying teens.
I balked at their first kiss and the people around them clapping
as they stood in what I feel is sacred space.
Only solemnity,
heavy heartbreaking awe
should fill that place.

But what Hollywood can never get right
is the reality of death's face.
Augustus did not look like he was dying,
even with makeup.
Neither did Hazel Grace.

real death is not pretty.
 I know what dying from cancer looks like.
They were too beautiful.
My mind never accepted they were dying.

For me,
My Sister's Keeper
was a more powerful attempt to tell the story of childhood cancer,
though it too missed the mark.

In both movies,
the actors who supposedly have cancer
didn't look like the many children and teens
I've seen walking the halls of pediatric cancer clinics.
Yes, Hollywood shaves their heads,
but they never shave their eyelashes and eyebrows.
They are not believable to me.

And I found it easy and distracting as I
searched for the extras
who actually had cancer.

For me
the movie didn't touch the depth of pain cancer causes
its victims and those who love them 
nor the profound grief that arises long after the person has either
died or survived.

Hollywood just can't help romanticizing death and even cancer.

I was the oldest person sitting in that theater,
sobs of the young women around me was
kind of funny,
and yet
I worried for these young romantic hearted girls.
As I drove away last night,
I wondered...

When death and/or cancer comes into their lives
for real
will they be shocked and angry it's not like the movies?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Art I Am

I challenged myself to write everyday for a month,
little did I know I started
something in myself.

Like a bud blooming ,
understanding my beauty
and value
finally finding who I am,
who I am becoming.

 I surge now and
adapt to what is,
examine myself,
my motives,
my inner sanctuary.

no expectations,
and acceptance once again.

Art filled my day today.

I allowed myself to feel again.
the pain of years past,
reading my first blogs
when my anguish was fresh
combining words with my son's xrays.

so focused on what I thought
I should be.

Coming too quickly
to sunshine and hope
forgetting reality.

The other day
I sensed that wall again
as I held my emotions in a box
speaking with an amazing person
Joseph Konty
God has brought into my boy's life.

Can't let anyone see me cry.

I pondered why
and the words from a precious friend
of transparency.

A wall
a barrier I built
iron like,
blocks my way.

I'm attempting to tear it down
with my art.

I hear.

Lies whispered in my ear
I must conquer them
as we are all made in the image of our

Thus we Create.

I have something to say.
I can create.
I can move others.
I am important.
I am.

Friday, June 6, 2014

SPU Shooting Day 2

We know the name of the dead and wounded now.  The face and name of the shooter is cycling through all the media.  The hero is being applauded over and over as he has sequestered himself at home with friends & family refusing to speak publicly.  He doesn't want to distract attention from the senseless death of Paul Lee. More of the story is being revealed piece by piece.  

But this writing I've posted below says it all.  Dr. Jack Levison is an SPU professor who sat and prayed and cried with my Jubilee and her fellow students as they gathered outside the packed church. His words speak to all tragedies...

After the Shooting At SPU: Desolation, Consolation... Hope

Posted: Updated: 
I expected the shock of an earthquake--not a shooting. In fact, they're retrofitting our oldest building, Alexander Hall, to prevent earthquake damage. How do we retrofit Otto Miller Hall lobby, where yesterday's shooting took place? Erase the memories? Sure, we can remove the blood-stained carpet, paint the blood-splattered walls, clean up the shell casings.
But the lobby, which I've walked through hundreds of times on my way to class, where I've casually picked up a free copy of the New York Times, where students gather to study and chat, will always be the place where "the shooting" happened. We'll always be that small Christian college in Seattle that had the shooting. The name will reverberate. Columbine. Virginia Tech. SPU.
Yet this community is so much more than a now infamous acronym.
Last night I sat with a group of students. The scheduled prayer service was packed, overflowing, so my wife Priscilla and I, both SPU faculty, were directed to a makeshift mass of students sitting in small groups in the evening light on The Loop, the central grassy area on campus, which sits less than a football field from Otto Miller Hall. Priscilla started us off in prayer with the words, "Gracious God." Then we mostly sat silent, bewildered.
None of them, not one, asked God to make things right. They sat in grief.
None of them, not one, found easy solutions. They sat in unknowing.
None of them, not one, filled the air with clichés or cheap prayers. They sat in silence.
We listened to other groups singing quietly their own songs. A few young women found the old hymn "Be Still My Soul" on their phone:
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
We must have sung six or seven verses, all slowly, all quietly, all prayerfully. But mostly we held hands, picked at the grass, wondered, grieved with each other, simply took time to breathe.
A few of us read a smattering of scripture.
The young man next to me read from Psalm 18: "Out of my distress I called on the Lord."
I read from Lamentations: "for God does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone."
A young woman read slowly, thoughtfully, from Ecclesiastes: 
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven ... 
a time to be born, and a time to die; 
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; 
a time to mourn, and a time to dance ... 
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak ..."
For everything there is a season.
I am dumbstruck, dope-slapped by the ambiguity of it all. The mixed-up jumble of existence we call life. Priscilla's spiritual director from our Chicago days, Jane Koonce, told her, "In consolation, remember desolation. In desolation, remember consolation." We do. We have. Both.
For everything there is a season. A time to weep and a time to laugh. A time to mourn and a time to dance. I understand the rhythm of this, the wisdom of it. Yet sometimes we have both, even when we're not sure which is which. Sometimes we weep and laugh at the same time. We mourn as we dance, dance as we mourn. Sometimes there is consolation during desolation, desolation during consolation.
Consolation in desolation, desolation in consolation. Being given the chance, at fifty-seven, to sit with twenty-two year old students on a golden evening in a grassy collegiate quad--praying with them for people we don't even know, holding the hands of students whose exams I've graded or others I've just met, and caring, really caring, how they're doing.
Is it callous to say I found consolation in desolation on that grassy quad with students I admire and cherish? These students were so reflective, comfortable in the silence, mature in their prayers for the shooter, the victims, our community. I didn't mean to or want to, but I felt hopeful. In four short years, just 120 weeks, these students, most of them seniors, had learned to live into ambiguity, had garnered a textured faith free of trivialities.
I tell my students I teach for when they're forty, when they're black and blue. I'm honest with them about ambiguity and doubt and worries that pierce the hollow night. I'm honest with them, too, about faith. I'm still believing, still hoping, still laughing as I weep, weeping as I laugh, dancing as I mourn, mourning as I dance.
Well, yesterday our campus turned forty. All of us. In the split seconds of text alerts and booming shots. In the sirens. In the cameras and news trucks. In the grassy quad. In the evening light. In prayer.
A canal runs near the SPU campus, just on the other side of Otto Miller Hall. I've walked with countless students along that canal, talking about boyfriends and grammar and grad school and summer plans. Not far down the canal, you can watch the salmon return home to spawn. They're scarred, every last one of them, with scales missing, totems of hooks and bites engraved on their bodies. And they're still swimming. These are the salmon that survive, the ones that make it, the hope of the future.
I'm not quite ready to talk hope. I believe in the resurrection of Jesus, yes. I believe in the life everlasting, as the creed puts it. But for now I grieve, as sad at dawn this morning as I was at dusk last night. Sad for the mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers, and friends grieving a lost son, urging a daughter back to life. But I confess, too, to a certain deep consolation--maybe it is hope after all--lying somewhere inside me next to that ball of grief, as I recollect the faces and faith of my students.
Follow Jack Levison on Twitter:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

School Shooting!

I came home today
after picking up my son from school
to hear that my third daughter, Jubilee
was in lock down on her school campus.

Seattle Pacific University School Shooting on June 5, 2014.

Jubilee was studying in the science building near the shooting with a friend.
The other kids that I know at SPU are all safe as well.

The shooter killed one young man and wounded 3 others.
The  shooter is in custody.

Not much else is known at this writing.

Jubilee's phone had been dead for days.
She's a free spirit my Ju Ju Bean.
Not conforming to society, 
an ecology major who doesn't want 
or NEED a smart phone.

She's a hippie, earthy girl with long red wavy hair.
She's thrifty wearing Salvation Army clothes,
dumpster diving, 
penny pinching, 
no make up,
type girl.

And I love her.
She loves creation with it's bugs and creatures, 
plants, animals and how it all connects.

She's my music, playing piano and guitar 
with her sweet voice.

And did I say I love her?

Life can change in a split second.
I know this.
I have LIVED this.
And yet here it is again.
this time close to home, 
but not HOME.

Thank God.

I wont' sleep tonight until I can skype Jubilee.
We just skyped.
Wow so surreal...

It just doesn't make sense.
A feeling of anger.
She had two huge finals tomorrow...cancelled.
Prayer meeting with a packed church
spilling out onto the lawn.
Media buzzing around and bugging them as they prayed.

Anger because they should be happy and celebratory.
After all they've worked hard for 4 years to graduate.
And's tainted.
By violence.
Innocent Death.

She still doesn't know who has died.
Sorrow for that young man's family.
Agonizing Pain Forever

Sara Williams was seriously injured...
A shot to the face, Jubilee heard.
Truth or rumor?

Lives changed forever in a split second.

I am so grateful for her safety.
Life can change in a split second.
I know...

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Challenging--Emotional Day!

My last post Fabulous Day! is the complete opposite from today.
The opposite sides of a coin.
Night and Day

It started around 2 am when a adrenaline rush woke me.
Some people call them hot flashes.
For me it's more like adrenaline hormones gushing through my body.
I awake
I vibrate, 
energy radiating,
surging outward from my skin.

It's awful.
Usually, I just acknowledge it's existence,
"Oh, it's you."
change position
stick my feet out from under the covers.
And go back to sleep. 

Not last night.
My brain woke up
and I began to think about all the yet to do 
and yet to decide details
of my Uganda/Kilimanjaro trip.

Plus my son popped in there too.
And I knew I was in trouble.

Josh is graduating from middle school.
That means he will officially be a freshman in high school!
I for one am stunned we are here!
10 years cancer FREE this August 2014!

So he'll be attending our district high school,
which is 2000 kids, bigger than any school
he's ever been to before.
And none of his middle school friends will be going to his high school.

Josh is not good at transition.
He's not looking forward to high school without known friends by his side.
He hates new situations.
New kids who stare.
Questions about his trach.

I am being proactive.
But it's challenging.

I went to his 504 Accommodation meeting today.
It's overwhelming,
like reliving it again.

It drains me.

I skipped yoga this morning, because I was so tired from lack of sleep.
There are more heavy issues going on with another child.
There's 8th grade graduation activites.
And another child is graduating college,
the same weekend as Father's Day and my son's 14th birthday.

I'm overwhelmed.
I have no patience left.
I try to talk to my husband about it all,
but we argue instead.

His words take me back to diagnosis day.
I feel burdened,
not supported.

Never his intention.

But here we are again.

And now I'm lying in bed
praying I sleep
trying to turn off my brain
hoping there's a power outage! 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Fabulous Day!

It's days like this
that make me rejoice
that bring glory and sunshine
and hope and joy to my life.

I drove my son and friends to school, 
then met my Summit Sister in Estacada
for a glorious day of climbing on Mt. Hood.
It was a bluebird day!
And the sweat down my face as we 
 snow shoed up to 8200 feet.
We found the perfect lunch spot
70 degrees and SPECTACULAR!

Laura and I eagerly discussed our upcoming adventure.

We slogged down the mountain,
glissading a bit,
drove home and then...

I showered, dressed and hopped into my mom's Solstice convertible
with my Baby Girl.
We ate sushi downtown on 23rd street.
It was yummy!
But best of all we shared our lives with each other.

Time together with those you love is precious. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Confessions of a Ponderer...

  1. think about (something) carefully, especially before making a decision or reaching a conclusion.
    "I pondered the question of what clothes to wear for the occasion"
    synonyms:think about, contemplateconsiderreview, reflect on, mull over, meditate on, muse on, deliberate about, cogitate on, dwell on, brood on, ruminate on, chew over, puzzle over, turn over in one's mind, overthink
    "she had time to ponder over the incident"
    That's me.  
    I ponder, 
     not so much about the mundane,
     silly stuff.

    Mostly I ponder life
    the whys
    the what did I do wrong?
    what could I have said?
    kind of questions.

    I also ponder the heavy stuff.
    the purpose of it all
    the how did I get here?
    meaning how did my life get to the place it is NOW?
    kind of questions.

    I pondered as a child.
    I ponder now 
    and I'm sure I will ponder in the future.

    Sometimes I've felt 
    pondering makes life more complicated.
    Some pondering questions have no answers.

    I know people who don't seem to ponder.
    Some are very close to me.
    They see everything very simply.

    I see everything as complicated.
    They see more black and white.
    I see shades of grey.

    In a conversation I had today, 
    someone said 
    Jesus lived in the grey areas of life.

    I resonated with that thought.
    I'm pondering it now. 

    Kayce Stevens Hughlett says"Pondering is about giving weight (or attention) to something for a period of time and then letting it go. It’s about freedom not confinement. That doesn't mean pondering is always easy."  

    Maybe that's where my trouble lies...
    letting it go. 

    Hughlett's blog  encouraged me.  
    According to her, 
    pondering is an art.  
    It's about being present,
    being open, 
    not expecting anything,
    just being.
    I may have looked at pondering wrongly.
    I may have agonized over something that is simply 
    and grey.

    I'll ponder Jesus in the grey.