Monday, November 28, 2011

Sacred Rhythms

I started reading a book today that I will be reviewing with a friend, called 'Sacred Rhythms' by Ruth Haley Barton. To quote the first paragraph,

"One of the things that still surprises me this far along in life is how and when and with what power my longing stirs. Certain times are fairly predictable - times when I am tired from travel and missing home and family, seasons when I have been overly busy and long to be with God for God's own sake, certain moments in the holiday season when I hunger for a deeper experience of the meaning of things. To some extent I have grown accustomed to these longings and know what to do with them. But there are other times when longing ambushes me with a ferocity that seems all out of proportion to what is going on at the moment; it catches me up short with the awareness that something here warrants my attention. Although the experience of longing and desire is often bittersweet, it reminds me that I am alive in ways that I want to be alive."

I could not have summed it up better myself. At times, I become very frustrated at the status quo or the way other people decide to operate. I recall getting all worked up a few months ago because I didn't want to celebrate the pagan holiday of Christmas with all its commercial, wishwashy schemes. I love taking the time to be with family, sharing in a meal together, playing games, and just relaxing. More than this, I love helping other people who have nothing. I would much rather spend my $400 in gifts on someone who doesn't receive much throughout the rest of the year or feed someone whose belly is in knots. I would love for our little family some year (meaning myself, Cameron, and our future children) to forgo the 'pleasures' of 'Christmas' to serve others. That has been my dream for awhile. Cameron doesn't disagree with me, but when I brought the idea up to his mother, she started crying and telling me I was abandoning family. Sort of besides the point (we'll do whatever we're called to do), but it does make it more difficult.

I believe in this section of her book, Ruth is more highlighting the longing of her heart to spend time with the Lord, but I read it differently at first. And, through service, I am following the example of my Lord and I ALWAYS feel closer to Him when I humble myself and give sacrificially.

Friday, September 30, 2011

What I do all day long

Change is in the air. Lately, the mornings have been cool with a little breeziness. It has been just what I needed. It reminds me that this segment of my life will NOT go on forever. It has been very lonely around here - I fill in where I can. And I have probably grown much closer to my mother-in-law and my family than I would have if I were living on my own. But, it's still not fun. God created me to be my husband's helpmate. It's hard to feel like I'm "helping" much when I never see him.

I vow to make the most of this season of our lives, though. It has been a very good time of drawing close to my Savior! And I have been involved in a food bank ministry of sorts. Our church is searching for a new place to meet while the school we lease gets renovated - this means that I can't dive in fully, yet. But, once we know what we're doing, perhaps this passion of mine will take off. Wednesday was the last day I could glean from the Kirkland Farmer's Market, bringing fresh fruits and veggies to the church office on Thursday morning. That has benefitted many people and it's a huge blessing to see God work in that way - produce that could have easily been thrown away. God speaks through satisfied bellies.

On a totally different note, I picked up an old Bible that I brought to PCC (Pensacola Christian College) with me in '06. Inside, I had scribbled a few quotes from one of the men who would speak on Sundays (a required church - no, I could not go into the community to choose a church).

1) "MySpace - You should hang a sign saying, 'Dirt for Sale', because that's what it is."
2) "Television is a sewage pipe from hell right in your own living room."
3) We choose to hang out with lousy friends and listen to garbage music - it's a choice."

In case you hadn't noticed, I don't really agree with anything he said. I'm not such a huge TV fan, but not because I believe it's a sewage pipe STRAIGHT FROM HELL. It just doesn't have much shininess to me. I'd rather be exercising, cooking, or in community. Just in case you were wondering what in the HECK I do all day long, as one of my patients asked me when I told them I don't watch TV. Shocking, I know.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Listening to Coffee with the Coaches on 820AM KGNW - My darling friend, Suzette Parker is a gem and such a smart lady! I love her!

Missing my husband, who's across the state from me. Can't wait to see him next weekend!

I'm thinking about relationships - the give and take. On the radio show this morning, an email that was read said "People who are 'fixers' are just natural encouragers, and they actually have the obligation to help those less fortunate." Suzette and Laurie responded with giggles, as though they had heard this many times before. It brought to mind a situation that went on for years (and has just recently been somewhat resolved, I think), in which someone who offered their advice to us would not relent, continually making this topic a big deal, even after the action had already been taken. The unwillingness of the other party to apologize for their part in the struggle, despite our laying down our pride and apologizing many times (from what I can tell, a very genuine apology on Cameron's part, and certainly genuine on mine) has caused very deep hurt. Much greater hurt than if the struggle would have ended as soon as the action had been taken. I have also found with my friends and loved ones that continuing to disprove of their actions after the fact has no good effects.

Let me clarify: I may not agree with the decisions my friends/family have made, but regardless, I must continue to love them and serve them. I may not want to serve in a way that encourages them to continue making poor decisions (defined as those that adversely affect their life, such as being in an abusive relationship or choosing alcohol/drugs to fill a void), so in that light, my 'service' is more limited. However, I am still called to show Christ's love, which He demonstrated to the least of these.

Galatians 5:13-14 , "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" That last statement, the 2nd greatest commandment, is the most frequently quoted Old Testament text (Leviticus 19:18) in the New Testament. That says volumes. Furthermore, I am 'fulfilling' the Mosaic Law by loving my neighbor. May I remember this in the following week.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Well, surprise (to me, too)! We just arrived back home from the most exciting trip of my life! My sweet husband took me on the trip we've been dreaming of for years. It was such a blessing, as I had already taken time off work, but we initially didn't see how we could afford the $10,000 we estimated it would cost. So, we had planned on a 2-week 'stay-cation' (which can be good, too) to spend some well-needed time together to refresh our marriage. Cameron's extended absence has been quite taxing emotionally for both of us. However, at the last minute, we found the cruise tickets we had been eyeing for about 25% of the initial cost. So, we booked, bought plane tickets, started packing, and went on a lovely adventure. The last evening shift I worked, I practically fell down the stairs on my way home - I was SO excited!

Here are a few snapshots of our trip:

The Colosseum at night
Trevi Fountain
Courtyard at Musei Vaticani
Saint Peter's Basilica
Papal Guard
Sistine Chapel
Our dinner table on the cruise: Me, Cameron, Cindy, Chris, Sabrina, and Geoff
Saint John's church and burial site
Grand Theater at Ephesus
Reading Ephesians in Ephesus
The house of the virgin Mary
Inside the courtyard of Sultan's Palace, Istanbul
Rhodes (where I first swam in the Mediterranean)
Istanbul - Topkapki (the Sultan's Palace)
Inside Topkapi
The Blue Mosque
Inside Hagia Sophia

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Can I tell you about our community? In most cases, we live at least 30-40 minutes drive from any of these people, but we are as close as ever in spirit. Twice a week, Cameron and I get the pleasure of sharing their company. Corporately, on Sundays, we meet at Rose Hill Junior High School in Kirkland for service at 10AM. It is early, for me (a night owl by career, not choice), but so delightful!

On Wednesdays, we meet as a small group at our friend, Liz's house in Woodinville. There are usually 10-15 of us. We chat for awhile, talking about our lives and our needs. We lift each other up in prayer. Then we talk about whichever book we have been reading throughout the week (right now, Francis Chan's 'Crazy Love'). We always end with good food and lots more talking. This group of people is incredible! I am constantly amazed at the fervor they have for life, serving others, and honoring our great God! I leave every Wednesday night with a new fire in my heart (Cameron can attest to this - while he's been at school, he hasn't had much of a support group in Cheney and I sometimes exhaust him with my energy over the phone).

Our pastor, Dave, just told us that approximately 40% of the student population at the school where we meet will be on reduced or free lunches this upcoming schoolyear. Because of that, we are trying to collect money for some grocery gift cards for these families. This spurred a thought in my mind - why can't we directly provide the food and meet some of these people? I always prefer to see where my money is going. So, I hopped online and found an organic farm in Puyallup, Mother Earth Farm (, which supplies food banks and hungry families with fresh produce. It also provides educational opportunities for schoolchildren in the planting season. I am hoping to serve there soon, harvesting some of the late summer crop. Maybe this will even turn into an opportunity to bring food back for the people in my local community. If anyone is interested in serving with me, please comment or contact me. Serving together is such a great way to get to know one another!


Of all the things to post about, here I go on the ONE thing I do not want to share with anyone.

I hate change.

That's not the news - that's just the disclaimer.

We are not ready to buy a house.

That may not strike you as awful, terrible news. But, for me, it broke my heart. We have been planning this for awhile, going to the bank to talk with the loan officer, meeting mortgage brokers and asking questions. Finally, we agreed to meet with the real estate agent our loan officer recommended. Over waters at Starbucks (not drinking coffee makes us pretty boring), Cameron got a chance to "read" him. We gleaned so much information from him, scheduled a tour of the Woodinville/Monroe area, and went out on our journey a few days later. We toured 4 properties, one of which I fell in love with. I'm pretty sure it was close to Cameron's dream place, as well.

Let me describe it for you: simple rambler painted robin's egg blue (ah, heaven) with covered porch (finished porch with recessed lighting, I might add). There was a separate 2-car garage converted into a shop, a well room with storage, a chicken coop/storage shed, AND a separate studio/office with built-in cabinets (no bathroom, though). The house was simple, beautiful, and fairly light (a huge necessity for us). But, the kicker was the property. Gorgeous, rolling hills - 3 acres of them. Perfect, open farm property. And a pasture for the goats we will someday have.

I tell you, I dream of the day when I can cuddle in the grass with my kids and my animals all snuggled around me. I can't wait to pick up warm eggs from the chicken coop and watch my goats eat the weeds around my lush garden (of course it will have to be fenced in).

Once again, though, I made an idol of something not to be worshiped. Someday, a house will be right for us. When it is, we will feel peace about it. Cameron did not feel that. And, let me tell you, it was H-A-R-D for me to follow him this time.

I love being married. It is a huge blessing. And it is rarely this difficult, but I made a decision to make Cameron my leader. He is my spiritual authority. I have to learn to trust him in making decisions. And you know what? Choosing to honor his request for me to stop looking for and blabbering about houses has been a huge relief. I had no idea how obsessed I had been. It was like a noose around my neck. Allowing him to lead is freeing. And, when that someday comes, it will be great, because we will have chosen it together.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Crazy lady

I need some BALANCE!

I'm sure we all feel this way at some point. A few weeks ago, I asked myself what I had accomplished in the past few months. Honestly, I could not think of much. A few things came to mind that I wanted to try: 1) Starting my own business, sewing reusable sandwich bags (need a brand name!!!); 2) Getting a 2nd job somewhere I enjoyed and could get a discount (Pacific Fabrics); or 3) Volunteering my time to an organization I wanted to invest in.

After talking these over with Cameron, he suggested either the bags or volunteering. I've been working on a few bags, steadily, but building a business seems to take time, and I'm not quite ready to start my Etsy store, yet. There is a lovely lady, Pat Masters, who essentially runs our church office in Kirkland. She was more than happy to put me to work when I asked her if I could help. So, my days are starting to fill up with visits to the office to print bulletins, nametags, and work on the website calendar. It's nearly mindless work, which is a nice change from the place that shall remain nameless. I like the idea of showing up in cute clothes to type on a computer and take a few phone calls, then leaving with my head still attached to my body and my hair in order.

Needless to say, I add things to my own plate. I'm happy volunteering; that is the last thing I'm complaining about. It truly makes me happy. It's just one example of how I can turn from having nothing to do in the morning, to having every single day on my calendar filled in completely. I literally have about an hour to myself every day, and that means rushing around to get my workout/shower bag ready, nutritious lunch and dinner packed, and scrubs/Danskos/badge thrown in the back of the Subaru. I'm living out of that vehicle - I love our car, but it's getting a bit annoying.

Makes me dream of sometime next year, when I envision things changing quite a bit. Every day is "just one more day - you can do it!"

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Days

I got my fill of beautiful summer. And it's only July. Oh, yes!

We decided to pack it up and go backpacking last week. A lovely nurse at work agreed to work one of my days, so I could spend an extra with my hubby. We drove South to Vancouver, but it was raining. Very hard. Not wishing to slug our equipment up a hill on our backs 5 miles and camp in a puddle, we kept driving. And driving. And... we drove to Napa Valley. We had 2 lovely days
  • exploring the little towns along Highway 29,
  • eating fresh herb bread, soppressata, pecorino cheese, and delicious caesar salad at a vineyard,
  • Cameron bought me a beautiful little black summer dress,
  • we had a fancy Italian dinner complete with a bottle of red wine (mmmm),
  • I crossed off 'mud bath' from my bucket list (yep - clay, peat moss, and hot mineral water - watch out for those 'hot spots'!),
  • Cameron mud-bathed with me,
  • we had a very pleasant night's sleep in Calistoga, CA,
  • and we woke up to the hot SUN and lounged by the pool reading our Bibles.
I did NOT want to leave! On the other hand, I had a very handsome man ushering me to a good-looking vehicle, offering to drive me 15 hours over the mountains and through the Redwoods back home-sweet-home. And we enjoyed our leftovers from lunch (yes, I do love picnics, especially with bread and cheese).

All completely spontaneous. I LOVE my husband!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Date night

I have the BEST husband in the world! Date night tonight started with business: we had to deal with his retirement fund from working at the hospital - transferring to a Roth IRA. Yeah, I learn new things every day. I told him I was glad we like doing the same things together (like finances and going to Safeway to get gas - not really - he knew I was joking).

Then we used our Groupon to John Howie steak - we split Prime Rib, a twice-baked potato, and a bleu cheese/iceberg wedge salad. It was MORE than enough for the both of us and the horseradish on the prime rib was SOOOOOO good. My new obsession. This is good, because we got a voucher for $15 on a meal this summer. Guess where we'll be when Cameron gets home from school?

We bought a desktop iMac today, also. This was a major breakthrough. I didn't even have to fight him on it - he just up and decided one day that it wasn't worth fighting over MAC vs PC and he could live with a dual operating system on a MAC. So, we bought one. It ships in 2 days!!! No more laptops for us soon!

Our lovely date night ended at Pacific Fabrics. This is why I have the best husband in the world! It was his idea to take me here. This is pretty much my heaven on earth. I asked Cameron when I died to please spread my ashes at Pacific Fabrics. Morbid, maybe, but I guess I'll just be happy while I'm still here to wedge myself between the Japanese quilt we both love and my favorite eggplant print (which I'd really love to go back and purchase).

The older ladies in the store get a kick out of our conversations. It goes something like Me: "OOOOHHHH - look at this one. Imagine what it would look like on..."; Cameron, sarcastically, "Oh, yes... that's very nice. Uh, I don't think so." He knows I love it, though, or else he wouldn't have taken me there. I left with a few essentials - some velcro for my reusable sandwich bags and new needles for my sewing machine (I'm learning how NOT to break them).

Monday, May 9, 2011


The last few weeks, I have been truly enjoying my 'atypical' (for me) weekends. Since Cameron and I have been married, every other weekend has been spent at the hospital, usually in the evening, which ruins any weekend plans we may have. At one very low point in my spiritual life, I was working Saturday and Sunday 12-hour days shifts (7a-7p). I am not implying that working this shift causes spiritual deadness, but for me, it was a time in life where I did not feel God's presence or life in my heart.

So, lately, my weekends have been spent serving and loving on my husband, who goes without me the 'other 5 days'. Lots of cookies, fresh-baked bread, and cuddling. And more kissing than we probably did in our whole first 3 years of marriage (before he left for school). Every moment I'm with him, I want to kiss those beautiful lips! Being together is like life again. Right now, I don't feel dead, but I feel like I am missing a big part of 'me'. It's an odd sensation to sort of float through your week. Of course, I see his mom and my family and have meaningful relationships and good conversation, but my other half is missing. And he's not even there when I crawl in bed at night. That is the weirdest.

During nursing school, I didn't see a lot of Cameron, either (except for summers and school breaks), because we were both working. But, I did have him at home with me when we both went to bed. I could talk to him and work through things that were bothering me. I am so thankful for that. And I know this experience will make me even more grateful for the little things in life. Even when we're living in Cheney with no friends or family or anything familiar, I will have my helper.

So, to Cameron, I love you and had a wonderful, relaxing, very real weekend with you! I am praying for you in your classes and the friendships you are developing in Cheney. You are a light and an inspiration for me. Thank you for serving me and loving me in a Christlike way. I am excited for how we are growing together!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Psalm and a crazy lady

I suppose I should not be shocked that, while reading through the Psalms, I find almost every verse has application to my life. For example, Psalm 6:

"LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger, nor chasten me in Your wrath. Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am pining away; Heal me, O LORD, for my bones are dismayed. And my soul is greatly dismayed; But You, O LORD - how long? Return, O LORD, rescue my soul; save me because of Your lovingkindness. For there is no mention of You in death; In Sheol who will give You thanks? I am weary with my sighing; every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with tears. My eye has wasted away with grief; it has become old because of all my adversaries. Depart from me, all you who do iniquity. For the LORD has heard the voice of my weeping. The LORD has heard my supplication, the LORD receives my prayer. All my enemies will be ashamed and greatly dismayed; they shall turn back, they will suddenly be ashamed."

I don't know about enemies; I suppose that some might see this as a spiritual attack. But Cameron and I, with God's leading, chose this. We chose to be separated for a time, to further his education and the life that we hope for, when he can work to support us and I can take care of our children. The reason I am still in Sammamish and he is in Cheney, is that I have a good career; my job now is to support him so he can study hard. However, I am realizing that the longing of my heart is to be near my husband. I knew this all along; I knew I would feel this way. I just didn't know how badly it would hurt. And I need to let myself cry out to the LORD!

Most days, I brush off the loneliness. I look out at the rain and gloomy sky, go to work, eat, go to the gym, come home and lie in bed alone. It seems a depressing lot. Lately, the LORD has been drawing me to Himself, though. He has whispered in my heart, "I am your comfort!" He has been calling me to call upon Him - to let Him know how I am feeling. To deeply cry out to Him. The first time I did this, I was scared. I do fear the wrath of God - not in the respect that I think He will smite me, but that He will be angry with what I am asking for. I have always been very careful with my requests to God. I started journaling my prayer to Him at night and it has been incredibly freeing! It is like I unwrapped a gift that has been waiting for me my whole life. I seem to be able to write my thoughts much clearer than I could ever express them just rambling on in my head (or speaking aloud). It keeps me in focus and directs my thoughts clearly. I find myself journaling in church now, or when I'm bored with nothing to do. Incredible - a new way of communicating with my redeeming Father!

I'm also reading another book, 'Perfect Hormone Balance for Pregnancy'. I find myself dealing with this conundrum in life many times. I get carried away so easily; you could say I am easily swayed. Cameron, especially, notices this and is very helpful at keeping me grounded, so it's difficult to 'ground myself' when he's away. Over the past week, I was telling him of what I've been reading and thinking about.

It went something like this, "I don't want to eat any red meat or fish or any dairy products or produce that is not organic while I'm pregnant. Did you know that our mouths are filled with bacteria that are potentially dangerous and toxic to a fetus? I need to brush my teeth twice a day when I'm pregnant - You should, too. The book says that you can pass on that bacteria to me by kissing me, then I could pass it on to our baby." Cameron is all the while thinking, "Whoah, crazy lady. Slow down. We're not there, yet." He told me to stop worrying and take things one step at a time. IE - pick one thing to focus on bettering in yourself and don't take it to the extreme! Thank you, hubby, for once again grounding me. I can't change the world in a day! All I want is to do my best to be healthy!

I am thanking the LORD for my strong body, today; for the blessing of having a gym that I can take my frustrations out in; for strong legs to take me all the places the LORD wants me to go; for a strong heart and strong lungs to help me push harder.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Some tips on being a patient

I am awestruck at the selfishness of some people. I am beginning to believe that the 'Hotel Bellevue' stereotype of one of the places (ahem) I spend a lot of time is true. And I'm desperately hoping for something more satisfying... someday. It is so discouraging to me to go 'serve' everyday, knowing that no matter how much I give or how compassionate or empathetic I am, maybe once in a blue moon my patient will thank me or feel close to me at the end of our day. I understand some people are not as verbal about their feelings as I am, especially to complete strangers, but I am beginning to see the incredible value in looking someone in the eyes and THANKING them. With a genuine smile.

I have been trying this at the grocery store and other various places I receive service. People are not very good about receiving thanks, either, I'm noticing. Maybe it's the busy pace of most service industries like grocery stores, but I think we have become a culture that is uncomfortable with "too close" encounters. We like to keep people at a safe distance, where we can control our little environment, ignore whoever we deem necessary, and get all the things done in the day that we had planned. You know, sometimes being flexible and dropping an agenda or ten can show another human being the value of their presence.

Back to the story about 'Hotel Bellevue'. The person I had the pleasure of serving this afternoon was very distraught when I got there. I spent 20 minutes with her at the beginning of my busy shift, just listening, not making any excuses for people who had clearly, in her mind, screwed up. I reassured her that I was here for her and that if she needed anything (even just to talk), all she had to do was call me.

I thought we had gotten started on a great foot. Throughout the course of the night, we became busy with our other 5 patients, as well. By the end of the night, she was accusing me of "fighting" with her, arguing that my way was the best way, and telling her that I controlled what time she received her medications (well, that part is sort of true, which is why you want to be nice to your nurse - one note, I try my very best to be "on time"; I never promise that I will be anywhere at a certain time, but I do request my patients to call me and make friendly reminders). Funny, because I distinctly remember sharing with her at the start that I was there to make her comfortable and that my job was NOT to tell her what to do. My patients all have free will - they can at any point, get up and leave the hospital (it is not a prison, after all), refuse medication, or refuse treatment.

I don't know that patients realize that we (I) have feelings, too. Sometimes, I am just expected to relax and 'not take it personally' (as the wife of a verbally abusive, yet fully cognizant man told me the previous evening). It hurts when someone turns on you and breaks the trust you believed you had with them. It hurts when they tell people things that are not true about you or make up stories as to WHY you did what you did. How in the world could she get inside my mind, heart, or motivation?

It is getting increasingly difficult to put on the happy face. So, by the end of the night, I admit, I was looking her dead in the face with the most blank stare you could imagine. She just didn't deserve the smile or the 'nice nurse' anymore. Not after hours of mutilation and verbal abuse. When she asked me to reposition her limb for the 3rd time in an hour, but she "didn't want to take up too much of my precious time", I stood holding the limb, repositioning the pillows, doing exactly as she asked. No mercy. No smile. That is NOT how I want things done in my practice. So, please, folks, if you go in for surgery (elective, emergent, urgent, however it's done), please be NICE to your nurse! Be considerate. Ask politely. Don't demand. Do ask personal questions, but not to later use against her. Smile. And don't wait until your pain is a '10' every time. And if you get tired of the long lists of 'dos' and 'don'ts', DO NOT come to join me at the place I serve (ahem). Thank you and good night.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Due to the recommendation from two trusted friends on opposite sides of the country, I have begun reading David Platt's 'Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream'. At the gym yesterday, I couldn't put it down. I ended up reading for an hour and a half (which is long considering my attention span with books), sweating away on the elliptical. The cover of the book has a pic of a house turned upside down. Needless to say, I am excited when I pick up any book like this. I am so frequently turned off by the American way of doing things. Cameron, as well, makes comments about just moving to a foreign country where a simple way of life and true relationship-based living are learned.

Consider for a moment a rural, agricultural village with no running water, where livelihood is based on crop. No one person can make it without the help of their neighbor. It's not like here, where we leave our homes ALONE in the morning, work all day (ignoring people as much as possible), come home to park our car in the garage (shutting the door behind us), and plug away at catching up on 'the news' all evening like a couch potato. Now, that doesn't look like my life at all, but I'm making a choice every day NOT to choose that. And I know certain other individuals who differ terribly. It makes me sad for their lives. Especially for those calling themselves believers in the living God and followers of Jesus Christ. This is NOT what we were called to: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20)

At least I believe that means not leading a standstill American 'dream'. An excerpt from 'Radical':

"As I stood on that mountain, God gripped my heart and flooded my mind with two resounding words, 'Wake up.' Wake up and realize that there are infinitely more important things in your life than football and 401(k). Wake up and realize there are real battles to be fought, so different from the superficial, meaningless 'battles' you focus on. Wake up to the countless multitudes who are currently destined for a Christless eternity. The price of our nondiscipleship is high for those without Christ. It is high also for the poor of this world. Consider the cost when Christians ignore Jesus' commands to sell their possessions and give to the poor and instead choose to spend their resources on better comforts, nicer cars, and more stuff. Consider the cost when these Christians gather in churches and choose to spend millions of dollars on nice buildings to drive up to, cushioned chairs to sit in, and endless programs to enjoy for themselves. Consider the cost for the starving multitudes who sit outside the gate of contemporary Christian affluence."

I see myself being guilty of many of these things. I pray I will never sit here and say that I have arrived and point my finger at others to judge. No, I am guilty. But I want God to change my heart, to shape me into His image, to see others as they were created (not what they have created themselves to be). I want to be a world-changer, to stand up against 'the norms' of the church, to be bold when I see something that must change. Someday, I want to teach our children to boldly defy compliance. I want our children to grow in Christ, to laugh and love with all their hearts, to give everything for the sake of Christ. It must start with me.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I'm loving this nursery. Beautiful textures and neutral colors. I'm thinking of a few splashes of color, depending on the gender. Also, the idea of some vintage bicycles (found some miniature wall hangings on Craigslist) and maybe an old rotary phone sounds magnificent. It's fun to dream!


Friday, April 1, 2011


With great joy, I announce that we have decided NOT to go to Italy this year. After much prayer and pondering and sharing our hearts with one another, we made the decision to put our family first. We really do feel God calling us to start having children, and although we do still want to travel parts of Italy and Greece, we are going to wait a few years. Some good friends have mentioned wanting to travel there, too, and if we wait, there's a chance we could go as two families (or couples, whatever God has for us at that point).

It really excites me. Cameron is going to make the best father - I am so thrilled to see him grow in new ways. We still have some tough financial decisions to make, so if you would, please pray for us in the next few months. We are trusting God to make it all work out in HIS way. Honestly, His way is the best way and it's the only way for me!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Getting Excited!

I've been planning, lately. I can't act on anything, yet, but I've been pricing things like baby joggers and cloth diapers. On Skype tonight, I asked Cameron if he minded my going to a consignment sale at the Puyallup fairgrounds this weekend. He shocked me; he said he didn't want me to go BECAUSE he wanted to be a part of that process. And he was so EXCITED about it.

Honestly - I know this is God's timing. We have both waited what feels like forever to start our family. I've been dreaming of being a mother since I was about 11 years old. Cameron and I started our relationship by talking about what we wanted for the future. Before I knew he was the one, I told him I wanted a big family and a farm where I could grow my own vegetables and herbs. His eyes lit up - he told me, "That's what I want, too!" It looks like our little dream is about to get very REAL!

I can't wait to move over with him and be a daily part of his life again. Talking on the phone and Skype-ing is so difficult. I constantly forget things, so as we're about to hang up for the 10th time, I butt in with something else.

Funny, I just opened a Dove chocolate with the inscription, "Be your own valentine." No thanks; that doesn't sound very fun.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spiderwoman and letdowns

I just heard a 'ker-plop' on the desk next to me. When I looked over, a larger-than-life spider was crawling my way. I just realized I wanted Cameron to save me from it, but even if he were here, it would still be my job. Yes, I'm the spider-killer. I really don't mind them, just this one. He now lies lifeless in my wastebin. K, I'm closing the vent now.

I had a very frustrating encounter with another free ad on Craigslist today. This gentleman (or jerk, not sure which) was giving away some furniture, as he had to move today. I replied to a listing on a free solid Mahogany entertainment center. He replied back courteously, and I enlisted the help of our friend, Logan, to heave it down 3 flights of stairs in Capitol Hill. Except this gentleman never gave me his address in the various emails we sent back and forth. So, there I was, waiting with Logan to get his address so we could actually head SOMEWHERE. I told him I had to be at work at a certain time and he totally disrespected that. I haven't heard from him all day. Big PROPS to Logan, though, for being so willing to help at the drop of a hat! It is wonderful to have friends that I can rely on - that's something silly, but it meant a lot to me.

So, no free Mahogany entertainment center. But a very good day at work. I've got myself some fun girl dates scheduled this week. Tomorrow, Jill and I will make lattes at Dad's work to fundraise for her upcoming trip ( The organization she's going with is called PhotogenX ( I'm very excited to help in this small way - I wish we were doing more fundraising, but it's tough coming up with good ideas that will be worth our time and effort (and bring in more profit than our expenditure). Any ideas?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

79 degrees at home

Please PLEASE PLEASE replace your appliances on-time. The washer in Debbie's house got stuck on 'fill' for 2 hours last week, flooding the downstairs and the crawlspace. The insurance adjustor is here right now, surveying the damage. The service company came last night to set commercial-grade fans and dehumidifiers downstairs (it's now a balmy 79 degrees down there). Luckily, I like sleeping with white noise!

It looks like they'll have to replace the hardwoods which cover about 50-70% of the downstairs square footage. That means hotel stay for us! I have no idea when they'll kick us out or for how long we'll be out, but they pay for "an equivalent lifestyle to your home life." I told Debbie that meant I needed a full kitchen - that's all I'm worried about!

It's really hard to fall back asleep knowing there's a strange man downstairs, however, so I'll think I'm up for the day. Missing my hubby today. The thing I miss the most, so far, is having him to come home to after a hard night at work. He doesn't even know how much of a calm he creates for me. The best part is that I don't have to complain for hours; I can just look at him and he knows. He also tells me when I just need to shut it. :)

Here's to another rainy work day!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Today was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Not because "Oh, it just happened to be a good day." 100% because God strategically placed loving, supportive family and friends (some of whom ARE family) in our lives.

Today, I had a thought - one that has occurred to me before. "Plenty of women have given up their husbands for noble causes - even more noble than what I am giving my husband up for. For ages, women have sent their men to war, hoping against all hope that they will come back alive. Women have cried in agony without communication from their men, longing to know HOW they are doing, WHAT they are doing, WHO they are with."

Well, I am not plenty of women. I have feelings. I have never given up my husband before and just because some have does not make it any easier or less painful for me. Today was difficult. Certain things about it were harder than I expected. Kissing Cameron and telling him, "I'll see you in 2 weeks" was not as hard. I'm looking forward to getting dressed up for him and agonizing over the 4 hours it takes me to get to him. I'm looking forward to the planning I have to do for his birthday gift (Yes, it's in July, but I've been planning since February and he's not gonna have a clue).

Cameron, I can't wait to look into your eyes again. We're coming up on 5 years of relationship and I have not grown tired of getting lost in your gaze. You are my love, and I am meant to be by your side. Thank you for trusting me with your heart - I know you've been hurt before. I will love you forever.

LORD, thank you for dying for my sins. Thank you for the freedom you have given me in your name, Christ. I long to live my life for you in all boldness, wherever that takes me. Thank you for our church family at ECF - we are blessed in abundance. You have opened our hearts to your deep love and grace - especially for my husband's growth, I am grateful. Thank you that I can call my good friends anytime to open up and ask for prayer - thank you that they know me. In your peace I rest.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lessons on living with a Mother-In-Law

For those of you who think this will be a public rant on how terrible my Mother-In-Law is and how awful it is to live with her, look elsewhere, please. I am well aware that this is public territory and I would not speak of her in a bad way. In fact, Debbie, if you are reading this, it will probably be a recap of a menagerie of our conversations. I love you!

July of last year began a great adventure. Cameron and I had begun seriously considering investing in real estate (IE buying our first home) last spring. After having some discussions with real estate agents and our bank, we quickly realized how unprepared we were, especially in the way of a down payment. So, long story short, we made an agreement with Debbie to move in for a maximum of 2 years, all while trying to save around 70% of our income.

Logistics aside, we have saved quite a bit (probably less than we would have liked) and my attitude has turned quite sour lately. It takes a near-genius to help me realize when I'm in a bad mood, but I found my stubborn match in Cameron. One snowy night, we took a walk through the streets around midnight and I shared with him for the hundredth time all the things that bothered me about living with Debbie (these always tend to include undone dishes, unwashed counters, clutter, and dog hair). He politely suggested we have a discussion with her that night.

It went about like this: Me - complaining about dishes, small talk when I don't feel like talking, talking about the same things all the time, talking about politics, etc. Debbie - wondering aloud why I cared so much what we talked about as long as we were still talking and on good terms. Me - trying to explain myself in a way everyone could understand (I'm not eloquent with words). Debbie - still hurt and trying to understand. Me - suddenly realizing I needed to be quiet about those stupid, little things and CARE about my Mother-In-Law as a person.

I needed to get over my selfishness and wake up every day WANTING to be friendly and kind. Part of our agreement was that if I was not doing well living here, Cameron would move us back into an apartment until we moved to go to school. We talked about that option and I decided that I wanted to try to make it work. When we moved in here, I saw such an incredible opportunity that I know I'll never have again once we move. I needed to get back to that place, those desires.

One of the things that stood out from that conversation - Debbie pointed out that while the kids were growing up, she wanted a clean kitchen, too, but she had to decide what was more important: clean kitchen or happy family. This helped me realize something I treasure: TO ME a clean kitchen helps me be a better wife/mother (someday)/cook/provider because I am cooking on a surface that will not poison or harm my family. I'm reading a book right now called 'Organic Housekeeping' by Ellen Sandbeck.

Did you know that you can sanitize your counters/breadboards/sinks/stoves/ovens with VINEGAR and HYDROGEN PEROXIDE? It's true - just scrub the nasties off with a clean, wet washcloth and some dish liquid, then spray a thin layer or vinegar quickly followed by hydrogen peroxide. Let it air dry and your countertops will be naturally disinfected. It doesn't even cost a fraction of what 409 costs and you are saving your precious family the toxins of commercial cleaners. This works on fruits and veggies, too - just make sure you use lots of hydrogen peroxide, which helps wash the nasty vinegar away.

All in all, I've realized that I can give up a lot of things that I used to consider important in order to further my relationships. Some things, though, like dishes will just never stop bothering me!

Friday, February 25, 2011


The other day, I was digging through the closet. I opened Cameron's side to put some sweaters away and was struck by the fact that we are now sharing EVERYTHING in our lives. Down to my wooden hangers (now OUR wooden hangers). I don't have these moments very often anymore - 3 years should be enough time to "get used" to someone. It was a nice reminder, though, how blessed my life is because of him. I love you, Cameron!

Our Italy trip may just be coming together. Cameron met a woman named Nancy at the hospital who has taken him under her wing. She is a 30-year practicing travel agent and as a big thank you for his taking care of her husband, she wants to help us book our tickets and plan our trip. I am so grateful for her help - she is a sweetie pie. Now, to get the time off work!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Dirt, sweat, and sweets

I got my hands dirty today by clearing two raised garden beds in my parents' yard in preparation for SPRINGTIME! This proved to be very therapeutic for me - getting to dig in the dirt and pick up big, juicy worms (I LOVE them!). Some things will never get old. I can't wait to start planning the garden for this year.

Jill and I have been doing some of Jillian Michael's workout DVDs. That lady is good for me. Somehow, I've never been able to get into any other workout series, but she is inspiring. Cameron even bought me a very expensive set of DVDs called Insanity a couple of months ago. I did them diligently every morning for 2 1/2 months, until I hurt my back. I owed my injury to the fact that I was NOT having a good time. I think one should enjoy whatever cruelty they are imposing upon their body. And Jillian Michaels makes it pretty fun.

Making oatmeal cookies for an experiment. I'm trying to recreate Ben & Jerry's Oatmeal Cookie Cinnamon Ice Cream. I WILL be posting pics - YUM!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bucket List

Visit Italy.
Learn to cook in an Italian home.
Visit Greece.
Deliver a baby naturally at home.
Serve on a medical mission in India.
Soak in a mud bath.
Travel to all 48 continental US States by car.
Build our own home.
Have a farm (chickens, goats, vegetable plot, herb garden).
Be a mentor to a young lady.

Monday, February 7, 2011


My sweet husband surprised me Saturday night after work by coming home a day early! I drove up to the house and saw the bedroom lights on (I only leave them on when I'm feeling particularly lonely and want to come home to a pre-lit house), completely missing the fact his car was in front of the house. :)

Last night, we snuggled up on the couch and watched CARS on the tube (he watched, I laughed at the funny parts, and started a new book on Italy, 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Visit ). I kept stumbling across these romantic passages about sipping espresso in a cafe, walking along cobblestone streets, and romantic sunsets over the Adriatic, oohing and aahing and looking up from Cameron's lap to get a good chuckle out of him (he rolls his eyes, but, secretly, really wants to experience these things with me). I love my husband. He is my greatest source of joy here on Earth.

Right now, he's a sicky boy. With a fever, he has to stay home from work tonight. It's so hard for me to see him without any energy, coughing up thick secretions. But, I do love kissing him on the forehead and playing nurse at home. PS - Pho does wonders for the soul, especially the sick one!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bountiful Basket

My reward for getting up at 6:30 on a Saturday (all for $15, might I add):

If you are interested, check out Bountiful Baskets ( - my hyperlink won't work). I found them a few months ago, but didn't try it until today. I'm not sure I'm quite ready to be this much of a morning gal, but I might try it once a month or so.

Happy Produce Day to me!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Things I've been doing without Cameron:

Eating chocolate.

Trying on my 1st wedding dress with the help of Jill (I didn't actually the wear the dress I wanted to for our wedding, so I'm going to do a 'redo' shoot with Jill when the weather turns for the better). I wanted to sit down and have tea and read a book in my wedding dress, but Jill had to go and I needed her in order to 'get out'. :)

Antique shopping (yes, I made some purchases... yes, I told Cameron).

Reading about Italy. This is my kind of reading.

Being sad because he's not here.

Being happy because it's not everyday my husband is having a good time without me and I'm having a good time without him. It's good not to be completely dependent on each other.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Party Time!

I am husband - less for a few days, much to my original dismay. However, the circumstances are such that I could not take the weekend off work to go to Eastern with him for a visit. So, the only choice: PARTY! I am SO excited to strip my chair this week. Yesterday, we worked on some structural abnormalities. The two front legs had lost some "parts" (2 had fallen off, 1 was missing), so I had Cameron make a prototype from one of the fallen off pieces. It is amazing to me that someone could be so talented. Literally, in about 40 minutes, he whittled this curvy structure using a menagerie of power tools. After some wood glue and clamping, my chair is wood-complete!

A few days ago, Jill and I made a delicious Tiramisu! Here's some pics...

Sunday, January 30, 2011


It's a lazy Sunday - missed church 'cause we were so tired. Yesterday morning, we went with Jill to the Issaquah REI Scratch & Dent Sale. My hubby bought me the most beautiful winter jacket. I had to put on a debate session as to why he should allow me to have THIS one. We've been looking at jackets for both of us for at least a year (since before LAST snow season started) and I finally found THE ONE. Except his take was "Color: yes. Style: yes. Pattern: no." I never knew I would marry a man who cared so much about every article of clothing I owned. Nevertheless, we left REI with the jacket. A $99 steal!

Cameron also picked up some zip-away pants for traveling. Which brings me to a very exciting point: we have decided to go to Europe this summer! We have been talking and it and DREAMING away pretty much since we were married. Cameron brought up the other day, "You'd really like to go this year, wouldn't you?"

I continue to feel that if we don't just go now, we'll start our family and we'll wake up and be 60 years old. We won't be able to travel as fast or live quite as vicariously as we could now. We both really want to buy property and build our home, start having children, and settle down. So, this will be one of our last celebrations of life without kiddos. And we're gonna make it a good one!

We've looked at travel between Dublin, Stockholm, London, Paris, Barcelona, Florence, and Athens. I borrowed a load of books from the library - they're currently stacked as high as our desk right now. After researching and discussing it some more, we both keep coming back to Greece and Italy as the main places we want to see. We would rather spend a few weeks traveling through the Italian countryside, gnoshing on yummy food and meeting locals, and the Greek Islands and mainland, experiencing the ferry system and getting tanned on the beach.

It is cheaper, we find, to fly to Paris or London, so perhaps we'll fly in and travel by train part of the way. It would be interesting to see some of the mainland by train. We would be open to any travel suggestions or recommendations on places to stay. I'm not keen on the idea of sleeping in the park (Cameron's choice) or sleeping with complete strangers in my room (though some hostels have private bedrooms with shared bathrooms, which I don't care anything about). We'd like to travel for approximately $100 per person per day.

I'm dreaming of this right now:

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I stumbled upon a book at the library last year: 460 Iris Folded Cards to Make . After messing around with a few cards, I started searching the internet for more unique designs. The latest is the cupid, but my favorite is the little birdie (I've only made one). Here's a few pics for browsing! I am selling them for $5 each and will have my Etsy store up and running soon! Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Today was a very good day. I have accomplished so much, and that's a good feeling. The warmth of the sunshine outside is a fantastic reminder of the hope of Spring! I eagerly await the chirping of birdies, buds of crocus rearing their beautiful green heads, and warm winds fluttering through the trees. Today was a glimpse of that promise.

Near my birthday, Jill and I drove out Union Hill Road on a dark, rainy evening to pick up some FREE old cabinet doors and window frames from a post on Craigslist. When we finally found the narrow driveway, after turning the car around 4 times, I hopped out and purveyed the goods. Behind the stuff we had come for was a gorgeous King Louis IV-style chair, tattered and torn from years of use and sopping wet from time spent outdoors. It was mine. Absolutely, I can refinish this.

I dragged the chair over to our vehicle and enlisted Jill's help, as I had recently hurt my back. We took that chair home and I beamed as I showed it off to my parents, and later, to Cameron. There is so much beauty in something so old. Not the old, stinky straw or the hundreds of bugs I would later find as I ripped the chair apart, but the idea of something that has been through so much. I think of the families who have shared memories in this chair and the fun that ladies of the house must have had rearranging their living rooms to find the perfect spot for such a lovely antiquity.

And so, it is with great joy today that I announce I have safely removed every upholstery nail and staple from my chair. And all the stinky straw is gone, as well as the bug-infested batting and the hole-y fabric. All that stands of my chair is the elegant wooden frame. Oh, have I got some work ahead of me!

I spent the afternoon chillin' with my sis, making more Valentine's cupid cards. Pics soon... camera battery is charging.