Saturday, March 28, 2009

1:56 pm.

what a miracle life is. how precious life is. spectacular even. GOD has given us this precious gift of life in order to honor him and love him. at 1:56pm on march 26th my pops saw Jesus. he walked with HIS SAVIOR. it is so surreal. so sad. so amazing. i can picture him right now. belting out his favorite songs honoring the Lord in HEAVEN. (he didn't have a great earthly voice, but i know the Lord fixed that when he got to heaven. he would have to... it is supposed to be beautiful music). my dad passed away peacefully. which is what we wanted. he was sleeping & woke up in the arms of his Lord.

the drive down was hard. i talked with my sister a lot. i cried with todd a lot. but the question of seeing him loomed in the distance. do i walk into his house to see the shell that is left of my dad? i did walk in & reacted much different than i thought i would. i knelt by my dads body, face on the floor. i cried. i screamed. i told him i loved him. & then i prayed. i thank God for such a man. who lead me towards Jesus. who was my counsel. a man who highlighted my favorite verse in his bible. who calls me on mothers day. a man who prayed for me every day. a papa to my kids & my niece & nephew... and my sisters kids who we don't even know. a friend to so many. a love to so many!

thank you ALL for you prayers for my family. all of you have expressed so much love to us in the last few months. we are doing 'ok' given the circumstances. we are surviving.

i did my devotions out of my dads bible this morning. i wasn't sure what i wanted to read, but to know that where ever i read... he had read those words. here is where i landed... because in the margin in my dads handwriting were these words... 'my strength for the last days on earth.' 2 corinthians 5 (the whole chapter, but here is the first few.): 'For we know that if the earthy tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens... Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord~ for we walk by faith, not by sight~ we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.' this was my dad... is my dad. he is at home with the Lord & we are left to fight the sadness. and embrace the joy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


for years the only person that i could find that had my birthday was the drivers ed instructor who taught my class when i was getting my license. i really wanted to find someone else who did have my birthday... someone other than the guy who made me watch 'red asphalt', had a huge beer belly, & i am pretty sure hit on all the young guys in the class. i went in search. not everyday, but i still did. when it was my birthday month i would look in people magazine to see if any celebrities had my birthday. nope. i would hope some of my friends would have babies on my birthday. nope. i almost gave up when my brother started dating beth. we were getting to know each other and... she has my birthday. how amazing. now the only bad thing is that i am older than her, but i can get over it. because someone normal has my birthday. i knew my brother had to marry her... i mean aside from her loving my brother. beth is mom to matthew and becky... the best nephew & niece (my only nephew & niece), wife to my favorite brother (my only brother) & currently holds the title of the best person to share a birthday date. silly right? well she truly is an amazing person. i love her because she loves my brother. is an excellent mom. counsels me through some hard stuff. laughs with me. cries with me. loves the Lord. i can call her when i see a kid on a leash & we can joke about it. she is such a special person in my life. she is the best sister in law in the world!


Sunday, March 22, 2009

for what its worth.

it has been amazing to walk alongside of my dad through this rough time. it has been wonderful to hear the heart of those who are coming and reading scripture to him & what they are choosing to share with him. it is fun to hear him talk with my brother about work stuff (he will never let that go). to watch my little sister (who is beyond precious to me & makes me laugh, cry, & oh so proud) fall asleep at my dads feet. to see ash & jt standing outside of the hospital window trying to get my dad's attention to say hello. to watch todd sit in a hospital room & not really do anything but chat with my dad. this morning in church we sang 'blessed be your name'. it spurred on the thought i have been mulling over all day long. my pops is still blessing the name of the LORD. it really is amazing that i get to watch this part of my dads life. of course, i wish i didn't have to watch it, however, i am thankful that it is a process for me. a hard process, but nonetheless a process that only refines my heart & my reality into exactly what God wants of me. i am blessed. what a blessing i have in my wonderful family.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

simply put.

walk with me through my last few days and see what the LORD has taught me through my kids. i will set the stage for you just a little bit. it is tuesday afternoon when i received one of the harder phone calls of my life. it was my dad & he started the conversation with, 'well, there are been so new developments. i am going to be stopping my treatment & going on hospice. i need you to come down and been here when i tell your sister. when can you come?' with that came a flood of emotions. there was a sick feeling in my stomach so bad that i thought i was going to throw up. the harsh reality that i was losing my dad. and of course the ever present rush of tears. i sat on the floor of my bedroom crying after just having talked with my mom & trying to figure out what i needed to pack for the next few days down in l.a. here is where the lessons rushed into my life.

1. 'it is okay to just let someone cry it out.' ashlynn kept jeremy away while i cried, taking the responsibility of him for a short time.

2. 'just ask in a calm fashion what is going on.' ashlynn sat down next to me and asked the simple question.

3. 'it is okay to hurt & mourn for those that you love.' when jeremy overheard the news about my dad, he started crying, saying that he didn't want his papa to die.

4. 'but it is JESUS.' through the tears of jeremy and myself, ashlynn's child-like faith came flooding out of her mouth... but j, when papa dies, he gets to be with JESUS. isn't that amazing!

5. 'innocence produces the most pure prayers.' i asked the kids to be praying for papa, aunt breezi, uncle tony. they stopped right where they were and prayed that everything would work out the way it was supposed to. they prayed that my dad would be healed. that aunt breezi wouldn't be too sad.

6. 'cuddling helps.' when we were within about 30 minutes from valencia, j was really sad again about what was going on. i climbed into the back seat of the car and just cuddled with both of the kids. it was healing.

it made me think of the verse that calls us to have a child-like faith. to be so pure with our ideals when it comes to scripture, to JESUS, and even to death. how did i loose that faith? how come i am having a hard time seeing that my dad going to be with JESUS as a sad thing? how come it is difficult to see past my fears? answer... i am selfish. because i am not getting it my way. i am not seeing it through the eyes of JESUS. because i want to have my dad forever... but my dad wants JESUS. i asked him if he was ready to die. his simple answer was , 'yes'. wow. i am not sure i could say that right now and be completely honest!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


on thursday morning, i sat by my dad's hospital bed and prayed with him & the chaplain of the hospital (who also happens to be a dear friend of my dads). something she said has stuck with me far longer than i thought it would have. it also is something that i know & have known for as long as i have known Christ. margarie's pray included these simple, yet profound words, 'in CHRIST we have victory.'

i began to think why we needed victory (not simply the generic reasons that my kids can give me. not sunday school answers), but truly why do we need victory. victory insinuates that a stuggle is going on... check. that the battle it painful & therefore it might need a little bit of effort... check. that it is a hard time having made fight that much more indearing... check. why is there a fight? why is there a battle? why is there pain during suffering? my answer just came to me. satan has no heart. he is an opportunist by nature. he is willing to take advantage of those who are at their lowest or have a broken heart. he allows no room for us to grieve and hurt, but rather kicks us while we are down. satan isn't in this world to fight fair. he is here to fight hard and fight dirty.

that is why we have victory. that is why we need to seek victory in CHRIST alone. for this reason we fight our hardest to have victory in CHRIST alone.

Friday, March 6, 2009


ash likes to take pictures of herself. almost all of these pictures are when she is in trouble, sitting on my bed, my camera close by her. others are taken at graduations while i was sitting next to her (no idea she was taking them of herself). the bottom middle was at disneyland while she was using a table to help assist her in her efforts to catch her silly face. these are the ones from the last year! she is a silly girl.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


a student of ours... lets call him eli. eli comes to our house once a week, lets our kids jump on him, plays guitar hero with todd (or the wii), and generally stays to watch 24 with us. he also saw me cry after talking with my dad one night. he has been such a blessing to us over the last year, making our transition easier into a ministry that is a little daunting. 'eli' is very musical & enjoys sharing music with us as well. he made me a cd of wonderful encouraging songs. i am listening to it right now actually. he titled the cd 'silent screams. quiet prayers.' so perfect. silently i scream out 'why!', and quitely i pray 'show me!' also included were some verses. here is one:

'why are you downcast, o my soul?
why so disturbed within me?
put your hope in GOD, for i will yet praise HIM, my SAVIOR & my GOD.'
psalm 42.11

thanks eli for being a part of our family.