Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Our vacation....

Here we are back again from the most wonderful vacation ever... and yes, we had a wonderful time, so blessed.... We walked on Florida beaches, boarded a wonderful city on the water known as the Emerald Princess, we laughed, we danced, we loved, we enjoyed our family, we talked of those who are no longer with us, we shared pictures of those that are, we rested, we stayed up late, we ate and ate and ate.... What a time we had...

I swam with a shark, tried to catch a sea turtle, I fed an iguana and a monkey, I allowed myself to be hypnotized on stage, acted a fool for many, we danced on deck, I reconnected again with the man I pledged to love until the end of time, watched many sunsets, a few sunrises, rafted down a river in the rain forest, loved it when the tropical rain came down, watched the deck attendents clean up some poor souls mess, while we plugged our noses and laughed with sick humor, swam to a hidden waterfall, soaked in hot springs that smelled of sulfur, watched my bro in law win the Karaoke contest as we ran around the bar holding signs that read "whos your daddy".

Every day on my long planned, expensive, much anticipated vacation I would count the number of days I had left, and when we were down to the last few they were filled with not only fun but a sense of the sadness coming knowing it was soon to be over. I truly wonder how much joy I missed by being so concerned with how soon it would end. It saddened me as I boarded the plane that instead of being so grateful to my Lord for this incredible trip, a trip that many will never have the chance to do for many reasons, I was instead, preoccupied with it being too quickly over. I forgot to be thankful for the opportunity to experience such a blessed time. I had to ask forgiveness for my unthankful heart...instead of worrying about it being over I should have each day woke up full of thankfulness in my heart that I was there, with a man who adores me, and a family who loves me.... I didnt and I am again, humbled by my humanity...


How to start this blog, I have started it time and time again. I feel it so necessary to write but unsure of the words, or where to begin. So honesty is where Ill start. For many valid reasons I have missed church for about a month and a half... Always something, mostly my work schedule which I allowed, our vacation and other less worthy reasons. Not only have I missed church but missed our life group meetings as well. So in fact I had not attended anything with believers for a very long time. I stand in awe at the folks that can have a strong spiritual life without church, I for one cannot.

So back from vacation, we went to church last Sunday, I felt a desperation, not afraid to go, just desperate to go, I longed for that touch that only Christ can give. We walked into the sanctuary, I felt the touch of the King, the daddy, my Lord and Savior, so personally, so powerfully, so sweet, honest and loving. No condemnation for being away so long, no anger, maybe a hint of sadness for the emptiness He knew I was feeling, the shell that is me depleted of all that is Him. Without Him I am nothing but a hard mound of flesh, full of all things bad, however when He fills this person I am, goodness runs freely. I am truly nothing, all things good in me are indeed from Him.

The touch that day, throughout that service, the tears ran down my face as I felt the acceptance once again, as I reconnected with my life blood, the one who comforts me, the one who assures me that all is well with my soul. The only way to describe my human condition that day is arid, arid means dry, dry as a bone, severe lack of available water, cold dry human flesh surrounds me but when Christ dwells in me all is made new, I am filled with the sweet life giving water found only in Him. I am alive in Him, dead when I stand alone. I praise Him who again resurrected me from the dead.... Thank you my Jesus for saving me from myself again and again...

Yours for always,

Your little girl loves you....

Monday, December 1, 2008

My trip to Claires

Today I was in Claires looking at jewelry for our cruise next month, when I became aware of the family standing over by the ear piercing chair. A mom, a dad, one son and two young daughters gathered around. The youngest daughter Id say she was about two, sat down and had her ears pierced without much commotion, next it was the older daughter who was about four years old. She sat there and tried to talk herself out of the mess she found herself in. The first ear was pierced she was crying, the lady doing the deed had to move quickly cause this little one was about done with this process, the second ear was pierced to the sound of crying as tears rolled down her face. Once the piercing was done the young child refused the sucker and announced to everyone nearby that she was never getting her ears pierced again.

I, thankful that I was on the other side of the store so no-one could see my tear filled eyes, witnessed the whole event, heard the encouragement of her parents and the piercing lady, heard her protests that would eventually be tears of pain, heard her declaration never to be pierced again, me knowing this declaration would all to soon be forgotten as she reaches her teen years however at this moment she meant it.

What dawned on me as I stood there was we as women are socialized to beautify ourselves starting at a very young age. Did this 4 year old really care about having her ears pierced? And is this the beginning of a very long process, always searching for what makes her as a women more attractive to others, doesnt matter what the cost, or even if it causes pain, if it makes her prettier than she's in? Im not sure how I feel about this young ones adventure, did I feel sad when I saw her tears, I really did, it made this grown woman cry.

My trip to Claires quickly showcased how early we start prepping our young to be pretty girls, is this bad, I dont know, in someways it may be? Is it bad that most our models and women stars are a size 0 and less, knowing that there are many of us that can never be this size but lots of our young women are trying whether it be starvation, laxatives and vomiting, they are desperately attempting to fit into those jeans, regardless of the consequences. I know that I am affected still today, I realized at a very young age that I wanted to please those around me, be one of the pretty ones, I reflect that just maybe my tears today were as much for me as they were for the little girl in the chair.

Friday, November 28, 2008

When I remember Eva

When I remember Eva, I remember long pigtails flipped on top of my head, I remember walking thru Fred Meyers ashamed of my goofy hair but excited to eat at Roses once again. I remember bunches of vitamins by my breakfast plate and bleach bottles full of scalding hot water at the bottom of my bed at night to keep my feet warm. I remember the can by the end of the bed so if I had to get up in the night to pee I would not fall down the extremely steep stairs... I remember her Salvation Army hat, her bell and the Salvation Army camp song... I remember being called Shanni, I remember the feel of my face nestled in her well endowed breasts while she stroked my head and promised all would be OK.

I remember the anger on her face when anyone hurt those that were hers... I remember her driving the wrong way on a one way street at a time in her life when driving was quickly becoming a thing of the past.. I remember her sitting in her chair watching the Ed Sullivan show and the love she had for her husband of many years. I remember bananas, I remember the bowl full of candy when we would come to visit.. I remember that all was safe in her arms, in the bed her and I shared when I stayed over. I remember feeling safe and loved.

I remember her day to die, still so vividly, even though it was many years ago, me by her side just as she was by my side when I was born into this world.... I remember her last breath. I remember my overwhelming pain as I said goodbye to the only stability I had known, my beloved grandmother. I love you my grandma... I miss you, some days more than others.. I cannot say why, I just do... You blessed my life, you prayed me into the kingdom, I pray I make you proud, and lastly I cannot wait to stand by your side again...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Today I was driving in what is known in Oregon in November as a beautiful day. The day was clear, but cold. The trees in splendor known as fall colors. I began to think about how quickly my days go by, how I am always so focused on moving on to the next event, the next task, thinking about what needs to be done. I realized that I hadnt even stopped to enjoy this gorgeous day, I didnt stop and smell the crispness of the air, I hadnt even allowed the sun to shine on my face. So focused on the needs, the wants I forgot to feel what it is like to live.

When was the last time I lingered to watch my dogs play, my daughter smile, the trees change in this season of Autumn. How long has it been since I lingered in the moment, how long since I paused in my husbands arms to smell him, hear his heartbeat, feel his breath on my face. How long since I paused in my Saviors presence, felt the sweet silent voice that whispers to my soul, its OK, all is well. I havent lingered anywhere in such a long time. What stands in my way? The need for accomplishment, maybe the need for acknowledgement, the need to constantly move thru life at the pace society dictates.

It seems so much focus is on finding happy, getting the things that represent happy, I forget to stop and linger in the moment that is happy. This moment, this day, this time of my life I find is happy. So Shannon linger, enjoy it, forget about tomorrow, the tasks that lay ahead, smell the day, watch the dogs play, linger in your loves presence and know that your God and Savior loves you in this moment. All that is required from me is to simply linger, live and enjoy happy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nurture Me

With loving hands he dug the dirt, he fertilized then planted me deep within the ground. I gained my bearings, I began to reach for the sky. I embraced the fertile soil, I reached for the warmth of the sunshine and drank of the moisture that so freely existed in the beginning. Then the sun went cold, the earth dried up, the flower that once thrived so fully in the richness of all that was, began to wilt. Her petals slowly browned, and fell one by one to the ground. One day she just stopped reaching for the sky knowing that it would only bring disappointment and grief. The beauty that was this flower then simply died.

This flower so expectant and excited for what the future would bring, simply withered and blew away. Then he became aware of the smell of death and was grieved at what had become of the flower and his role in her demise, He decided that he must provide water, he must bring some warmth to this once beautiful flower; simply to find that all the water and warmth in the world will never bring this lovely creation back to life. She is simply gone and now he must face the fact and the consequences that love without nurture slowly and surely becomes death, and loss. Life without risk, is truly no life at all.

So nurture those you love, care for them, hold them and never let them feel your coldness, do not push them away for reasons of pride, anger, fear or bitterness. Embrace life and those that make life worth living and the beauty in your life will grow exponentially.

The lights are out...

My family and I were sitting last night enjoying a wind and rain storm, something us Oregonians are pretty use to. The lights were flickering, the cable shut off for a short moment, it was then that my daughter who is now 21 and a mother herself made the funniest of comments that started me thinking. She told me that her favorite times and memories was when she was a kid and the lights would go out due to a storm. She described the candles, the flashlights, the games and how we all huddled together and had special family time.
It caused me to remember those moments with a mixture of feelings, some happy some sad. I too enjoyed the giggling, the candles, the goofing off but mostly I remember the quiet. It was just us, a family, no TV, no phones, no radio, really no noise at all, just the sounds that families make when they are interacting. I attribute the sadness to how few the times were that our lights were out. How much did we miss as a family because PGE was pretty reliable even in the worst of weather. If I could go back, hindsight being 20/20 I would occasionally super stealth, switch the breaker, light up the candles and huddle as a family, laughing and giggling in the dark with no distractions to separate us. What seemed to be annoyance's truly turned out to be some of our best family time. God bless those simple annoyances, allow me to always see the blessings behind the events that cause the lights to go out.
God bless....