Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Tenacity or being Tenacious has become one of my new favorite words recently.
A while back, actually maybe it was like 3 years ago or more, a good friend of mine told me and the Giant that one of the reasons we were still together is because we are both too stubborn or tenacious to give up on each other. It really is so very true.
I have a strong will. I am not one who likes conflict but if I feel strongly about something there really isn't anyone who can make me change my mind.
A year ago I started talking with our banks about our mortgage in Sparks. I told the bank people that my husband and I needed help. I told them that we couldn't make the fatty mortgage payment that we had due to job changes. I told them that not only could we not make that payment but that it wasn't really financially a smart move for us to stay in that home for what we bought it for. They told us that they couldn't help us because we hadn't missed a payment in that said year. I told them that is because we missed payments elsewhere so that we could pay that ONE big payment and hopefully save our house. I told them we cashed out our retirement, used all our savings, every bit of our tax returns, to stay in that house that year. They told me they couldn't help until we were delinquent on our payments. Delinquent is NOT a word that I like. I was tenacious with our house payments for a year that was one of the most stressful I have ever experienced. I was tenacious about doing everything I possibly could do, talking to everyone I could, writing letters to everyone I could, taking side jobs to pay for groceries, turning hobbies into jobs to pay for bills, and going without health insurance still to date. (Something that before used to scare the CRAP out of me but now not so much, a topic for another day) To say that we were "Robbing from Peter to pay Paul" would be and understatement. So to hear on the other end of the phone that all my hard work in trying to save this house for our family was in vain was very discouraging. It was also relieving at the same time to hear that I should stop paying this payment that had sucked the life out of me and my family for far too long. So last May we stopped paying our fatty mortgage payment in exchange for an amount that the guy on the phone told me to pay. We started to pay the payment he told us over the phone(never got it in writing, ALWAYS get in writing) and in that time the bank said they would review our loan and get back to us. They got back to us, in the form of a foreclosure notice posted on our house 2 months later. When I called the banks to say, "What up?" they said they had no record of this payment arrangement but that they could make another one to the tune of just a few hundred less than our original fatty mortgage payment, to which I replied "CLICK"!!
Before all of this went down I told my Giant that if we did lose this, our 3rd house that we had owned over the years, that I didn't want to be reminded of it everyday. I didn't want to be in the same town where more of this might happen to others that we know and loved. I told him I wanted to move to the Pacific Northwest area, something we had talked about doing for a lot of years but never had the guts to do. We had nothing left to lose. It is a terribly frightening place to be in life, having nothing left to lose because it turns out... there is always more that could be lost.
So here we are in PNW and we love the area but what we have lost is more than I can put in words.
Funny thing is, because of the God I serve I know that what was lost will be found, what has been robbed will be returned, what has been broken will be fixed, what has been sick will be healed, what has been taken away will be, WILL BE restored to us. Of this I AM SURE.
Maybe it won't come in the form that it was before. Maybe it will be a more simplistic lifestyle with less worry and stress. Maybe it will be in the form of finding more truth. Of living out our truth.
Finding who I really am and who I want to be is what I really hope to come from all of this. My thoughts, wants, and desires are being purified in this process. I have never been more thankful for my husband and my own God given tenacious spirits.
"Tenacity is more than endurance, it is endurance combined with the
absolute certainty that what we are looking for is going to
transpire. Tenacity is more than hanging on, which may be but the
weakness of being too afraid to fall off. Tenacity is the supreme
effort of a man refusing to believe that his hero is going to be
conquered." Oswald Chambers
I REFUSE to believe that MY HERO has been conquered!!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
The Sun is Shining.
The Birds are chirping.
The kids are playing outside in the Creek.
My hubby played hookie to Love on me.
I just discovered the Genius feature on my itunes and am listening to the songs unfold (what a great feature can't believe I am just now discovering it).
Had an amazing time with some very good friends, the Days and their precious twin girls, last night over a Julia Child's Beef Burgeon dinner, and stayed up talking to the wee hours of the night.
Enjoying the writings of one Shane Claiborne in a book called Irresistible Revolution.
Looking forward to going tonight to see Urban Hymnal with buddy John.
I am sitting here doing what The Giant would deem Blagin, instead of Bloggin it's a combo of bragging + blogging.
A girl should be allowed a little blagin rights every once in a while don't ya think?
Dave Matthew's A Long December just came on and it made me think, it's been a long winter... a very long winter. I am ready for some spring, can I get an AMEN!! Maybe this year will be better than the last.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I have met a new friend named Anita. She is one of the mom's that stands around and waits with her child until the bus comes. We have been making small talk for weeks now. She had seemed really shy so I was careful not to overwhelm her with my somewhat overly friendly personality( thank you Trista for that).
Anyway, yesterday we talked a bit more about her life here. In the previous weeks we talked about all the usual small talk things. I knew that she had recently moved to WA also, but from AZ. We had talked about the warmer weather in the States we came from, and the lack of moisture that we left behind, stuff like that. We had talked about how busy boys can be and the joy they bring. We talked about school and about the fact that it is hard to go back to school when you are older. She is enrolled in some classes right now as well. What we didn't talk about is why she moved back to WA.
Well, yesterday she told me that she moved here because her husband recently passed away in October and all of her family is here.
I was shocked and instantly so emotional about it, but I held it together because the kids were still there. She said she didn't want to tell me because she didn't want ME to be uncomfortable. She has a son in kindergarten who Isaiah plays with and Chloe is his big-helper at their school. After the kids got on the bus, I tried to hold it together in front of her, but I am sure she saw my eyes well up with tears. We both had stuff to do that day so we walked our separate ways after that, and when I got home I really started to cry. I can't imagine that kind of pain and sorrow. I called Mo to tell him about it, and also just to tell him that I love him.
It reminded me that you never really know what might be going on in others lives and not to jump quickly to conclusions.
That night when Mo got home I hugged him a bit longer and started to cry again.
No matter what happens in life in the moments that bring struggles and hardships we have each other.
We have each other. We can call each other through out our day. We can stare at the other person as long as we want. We can say I love you. We can fold their laundry and not linger longer for their smell because we can smell them later in the flesh. We can hear their voice. We can hold hands. We can kiss. We can LOVE unselfishly and enjoy life together. The good and the bad we can experience it together.
This is a gift and my friend Anita reminded me of this yesterday. Not that I had forgotten this, but it was an even greater reminder to not take a single moment for granted.
So don't forget, let it be a reminder for you as well to "say what you need to say" to the ones you LOVE. LOVE it's all you NEED.
Monday, February 15, 2010
* I woke up this morning to a very quiet house. It was after 9 am and no one was awake STILL. My kids sleep in now. It is an amazing thing but if I let them stay up later like I did last night because they didn't have school today, they actually sleep in. There was a time when no matter when they went to bed they were up no later than 7am. I remember those days and Moses and I used to get into fights about whose turn it was to get up with the babies. My kids are not babies anymore, and the proof is in the pudding, they sleep in. Sure sign of a big kid house is when everyone sleeps in. Anyways, it was nice and I enjoyed the fruits of my labor in letting them stay up close to midnight last night.
* There was a thick cloud of fog outside my window this morning. I really LOVE fog. I really LOVE waking up inside this cozy warm cabin, looking outside at what feels like one of the most beautiful campgrounds I have ever been to, and remembering... "Oh yeah, I live here now."
* We went to Oregon for our Mid-Winter break. It was so nice to see our friends that are like family, the Gores. To be around the people that you love and people that love you is a gift. One that I will never take for granted again.
* I still love Oregon. I love the people, the vibe, the fact that you don't have to pump your own gas. I am happy that I am only 2 hours away from one of my most favorite cities in the world Portland. Seattle is growing on me though and although it is distinctly different than Portland, there are some similarities. Mainly, the water :)
* Valentines Day my honey gave me the gift that keeps giving. He bought us a membership to the Chateau Ste. Michelle Vineyard. I think inspired by our friends the Gores who have a membership to Sweet Cheeks which provides that at least once a month they have an automatic date to go pick up their wine. The Chateau got voted the best Wine of the year by a Wine magazine(can't remember the name of the magazine) this year and it is not only one of the prettiest spots on the planet, but also some very good vino. Bonus is that it's only 20 minutes from our house. I can't wait to share this place and some of their product with all my loved ones.
This bar of LOVE soap was Mo's gift along with a case of his favorite brew, chocolates, and card of course. This bar of soap smells so good and it just made me chuckle so it was necessary that I bought it. Plus the owner of the shop where I got it in Seattle was just too cool and waited to blow dry her hair until she got to work. This made me smile. We had a whole conversation about how now that I live here in the PNW I have to blow dry my hair or it never air drys. I prefer to air dry my hair but it doesn't really work up here. Bummer! Still getting used to my new environment in more ways than one!!
* Presidents Day today and the kids are now playing guitar hero. All 4 play even though we only have 3 instruments. Em on the microphone, Sol guitar, Chloe Bass, and Isaiah finds some sticks around the house to bang in place of the drum set which one day we might get but right now have no room for, nor the talent for it to really be utilized.
* I am outside on the porch sipping my coffee, bloggin, and thinking WHAT A BEAUTIFUL LIFE!!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
It is good for me to remember (and maybe for you too) when times are tough that the Creator is bigger, so much bigger than the trials, economy, health situations, wars, earthquakes, and all that is in this world before me right now. In reading My Utmost for His Highest (still my favorite book to remind me everyday of important things) good ol Oswald had this to say;
“Nature to a saint is sacramental. If we are children of God, we have
a tremendous treasure in Nature. In every wind that blows, in every
night and day of the year, in every sign of the sky, in every
blossoming and in every withering of the earth, there is a real
coming of God to us if we will simply use our starved imagination to
realize it.” Oswald Chambers
It is important for me to step outside and get rejuvenated by creation and the Creator. Sometimes my imagination does get starved. It is hungry for something more.
“Lift up your eyes on high and see! Who has created these? He who calls them by name; through the greatness of His might and because He is strong in power, not one is missing or lacks anything.”
I am beyond grateful that greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world. I am thankful that someone knows my name. Knows my strengths and weaknesses. Knows my needs. He knows my needs and in that I rest secured.
I don't know where you are at in life but if you are in need of a boost don't forget to look around next time you step outside. Although it is winter right now and all the colors of summer are a thing of the past maybe if you look close enough there might be the signs of life like a bud on a tree, or a little sprouting of the lilies that are to come. Take a moment and remember times are tough, but God is bigger. Remember that although nature might lie dormant right now this too shall pass.
There will be life again. And remember like the rising of the sun that you count on everyday, you can count on the FACT that the Creator loves to give life to what once was dead. Speak to the dry bones in your life. Speak to the death that surrounds you and then sit back and watch as He who is faithful turns death to life. Winter to Spring. Sorrow into laughter.
This was me speaking to my dry bones.
Sunday, February 07, 2010
I am afraid I may have lost the 2.5 readers that I once had due to lengthy preachy blogs so for the sake of hanging on to the few faithful readers I have I will try to keep this blog down to fun short bullet points;
There is nothing better in the chip department as Tostitos Hint of Lime white corn chips. Mixed with salsa that has cream cheese and avocado and one begins to feel life is worth living again.
Speaking of life and it truly being worth living ,The Giant and I have started taking St. John's Wort. It's a vitamin used for anxiety and depression. I am hopeful it will help.
Me and my kids have gone twice to a church called Bethany United Church of Christ in Seattle. Aside from this church we only tried one other mega church in Everett that was good but just not the right fit. Anyway, back to Bethany UCC, I really like this community of people(no Hillside because nothing will ever come close to you, still I am interested in getting to know this group better) and believe that they are on a track I want to get on.
Emma is not quite on board yet because we sing out of hymnals and she says, "It smells like old people" but I reminded her today that I want to keep going for the things they value are similar to my own. It's different from anything my kids have ever experienced as far as church goes, but to me feels vaguely familiar to my old Catholic days but in all the good ways.
My car has been out of commission for the past 3 weeks. Flat tire, brake lights, another Flat tire and then something engine related that not even the Giant wanted to tackle. We brought it to a local mechanics shop and for under 500.00 I am on the road again. It feels really nice, really nice. I am grateful for my car the Ford whose name is Beastie Boy.
I have discovered quite a bit about myself in this move. One of the things that I have discovered is that I have taken the feeling of comfort one has in being known by others for granted. It is hard and gets old very quickly to always be the new person. It is also quite humbling and has taught me again the value of hospitality.
I don't really watch football AT ALL. Most everyone who knows me knows my true sport of choice is baseball. I am watching today though because well there is nothing else going on, and I am rooting for the Saints. I remember visiting New Orleans a few years back with Moses and it was 2 years after Katrina, still the devastation was so great and it was an eye-opening experience to see what this city has been through so that is why I vote GO SAINTS!! For no other reason and for a completely non-football related reason but there it is. GO SAINTS!!
Pic of the view we have up our hill, pretty amazing.
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
"There are four questions of value in life... What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only LOVE" Don Juan DeMarco
It is a funny way I suppose to begin to describe what love is by quoting such a silly movie but it begins this blog by asking questions. Rather than try to tackle the daunting task of describing LOVE I would instead like to ask some questions about it. I like questions. Questions are good. I wish I asked more questions and thought of better questions at appropriate times. (I wish I had better answers also because I always seem to have a better come back answer long after the conversation is over but that is a topic for another time and also one that Seinfield tackled quite well)
So, I ask What is sacred to you?
Of what is your spirit made?
What is worth living for?
What is worth dying for?
Would you say Don Juan’s answer is true? I would.
I can’t really put into words all that is LOVE. It just is what it is. SO many feelings, actions, emotions all wrapped up into one word.
The bible attempts to say what LOVE does ; Love is patient, Love is kind, etc. but that is only what it does. Its says who LOVE is- God is love. So we have from the book of all books what it does and who it is. Do we really need more than that? I don’t really, but for the sake of this ongoing conversation let’s ask some more questions about LOVE.
If we were to break it down with the four all time questions;
Then I suppose we have half the answer from the bible. I suppose the When and the Where is up to us. When do we practice love or feel it lived out in our lives. When do we experience it’s wonderfulness? The bible also says in 1 John 4:12 that when we love each other we have seen the face of God. I really believe that is true. There is nothing quite like seeing love in action. When I do see love in action it is like a “little piece of heaven on earth” (as Tommy Griner said on my wedding day) being acted out right in front of you.
And then I guess that only leaves where does it happen? Where does it happen most? It’s not what love feels like or what it is to find love in the strangest places that I am asking here but where does it happen for you? That question is different for everyone but for me the where is really wherever I am I see love because I choose to see love more than anything else on earth. I choose to see LOVE.
"Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live"
"Love is not blind it simply enables one to see things others fail to see"
" You don't love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear"
"We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love." Mother Teresa
"Eventually you will come to understand that love heals everything, and love is all there is." Gary Zukav
Choosing to see Love.
LOVE IS A CHOICE.
Monday, February 01, 2010
<3 This time of year (February) provides one of my favorite candies. You might think I am talking about chocolates, but you would be sadly mistaken. Nope, I am talking about conversation hearts. Not only do I love the way these candies taste but I really love the words, WORDS mean so much, ya know.
Words can go a long way for me.
In keeping with the theme of words and the month of February I have declared this to be love month. I know there is a certain day that some would say was made up by Hallmark to make money and I don't disagree with those people(my husband) who think this way. But, I would like to say that just because this month might just be another attempt to dip into your wallet doesn't mean I have to celebrate it that way.
For me this month is going to be all about LOVE. Love is something that should be celebrated. It is a beautiful thing to find love in another person or life-long mate but I am talking about more than just that. More than the dreamy romantic love I want to celebrate LOVE in all ways. Love for people being the most important.
I want to everyday this month think about and really express with words how much I love the people in my life and so as my own challenge and just for fun I am writing one person a day this month and telling them that I love them.
I am inspired by the John Mayer song, Say What you Need to Say , but also taken much more of my inspiration from a book that says quite a bit on the subject of love.
So here's to LOVE I say. Celebrate LOVE it's worth every penny, energy, thought, time you spend on it.