Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's up to us to be the change

Today I am thankful for...

1. Balance. More than anything, I am declaring this in faith.

2. Choosing every second, that I will listen to God's vioce in my heart and not to the voice of fear. Fear will always bring the past into the present and project it into the future. Fear will cripple you from the inside, out. That's why I have to make this choice every second of every day.

3. When you know something with utter certainty, then it is worth the wait, and wait with no anxiety.

4. That I am loved by God, my wonderful husband, my family and my friends. This is all I need.

There are so many things to be thankful for, some things we take for granted, like the air in our lungs, or the food we eat, but all of these things are a blessing from God that we do not deserve. He gives because He loves us and He wants us to be comfortable, but He does not want us to be greedy. Share everything you have, even if all you have is the love in your heart. Someone needs a little piece of you, every day. Live like Jesus lived, you never know who's watching you.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Flags and flowers

"Anytime someone puts on the uniform and bears arms in service to this country, they are a hero."

Matthew's memorial service was today. It was pretty amazing actually. Along with the procession of firetrucks and police vehicles I'm pretty sure at least half of the town of Williams, Arizona was present along with marines and others. The service was moved from a church to a middle school auditorium because of the amount of people in attendance. It looked like there were about 400 people.

My husband had never been to a funeral before but I have been to my share, so I have to admit, it was difficult trying to help him make sense of all of his emotions, emotions that I didn't share. This ceremony was closure for me. As Thomas and I talked, I assured him that Matthew would want us to be a part of this. There is a reason we journeyed as far as we did to be here. There's no doubt in my mind.

Of course we recognize the impact that Matthew has had on our lives, but I don't think Thomas realizes the impact he had on Matthew. I know for him it was an honor and privilege to have led Matthew in his walk with the Lord, a young man who already had such a passion to serve God and to do His will. Those angels in Heaven better watch out, because when Matthew gets his wings, there will be no stopping him!

So thankful we could be here this weekend. I am, even more than I already was, inspired by this young man, Matthew Broehm.

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Among the stars

You are where you are today for a reason. There is a reason for everything. If you are not where you want to be in life there is a reason for it. We live in a world of actions and reactions. If you do one thing, you will reap something else. You are not where you are by accident.

Even in moments of chance, either good or bad luck, you are in control. You might not be able to control the events, but you can control how you feel afterwards.

It's not what life hands you that's important, but what you do with the opportunities life presents. There are opportunities all around us if you look hard enough. Follow your gifts, be grateful and play the rules of life.

Nothing in life is unattainable. Even if you are trying to do something that no one has ever done before. "Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Purple cards

My husband and I have never had a hard time making friends. We usually just choose to spend our time together. It suits us, we're home-bodies. When one of us needs to go to the store, the other one grumbles and reluctantly rolls out of bed because we like to be together. We have a few close friends but there are not many "adult couples" that we hang out with.

...Then there was last night. First, we tried to find somewhere that would serve us food and drinks after midnight, and that was an epic fail. On the Border lied to us. And there was a really long story about miso soup. But after all of that we found ourselves having a great time with two other couples from work. We played a hilarious game called "quelf," which I highly recommend getting if you like games like cranium, but this is better. My husband refused to participate whenever he drew a purple card (charades), which was just about every turn, but had a helmet on his head for about 2 hours.


I feel good about this new found friendship. And I'm excited to see where it leads us.

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Standing together, facing the world

Had an AMAZING day today at the Bellen/Harwood wedding. Congratulations to Janson and Travis. Your family is truly wonderful, thank you for letting me be a part of your special day. Today was my first "official" wedding photo shoot. I was working with Picture Pastries Photographer Natalie Fierro and her friend Steve. Before I say anything else, I just want to put out there, that 5am is an ungodly hour, no one should ever be awake then, and I never want to do it again. All that aside, I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my life as I laughed today. Janson and her family and friends are very open, and this makes for total epic hilariousness. This day was also a day full of heavy emotions, and I feel honored to have been in attendance.

Janson, if you read this, I am inspired by your love for life, for the Lord and by your priceless poses!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Life in a brown paper bag

Today, I went on an adventure, to buy a live mouse, to feed to Gregory. Gregory is one of our girls' pet python. Don't be scared, he's actually pretty precious. But today as I purchased and carried from the pet store a tiny little mouse, in a brown paper bag who was shaking profusely, I was wanting Gregory to have a hungry tummy. This poor little thing didn't stand a chance, I just imagined him thinking "oh no, they're putting me in the bag, everyone else who's gone into one of those bags has never come back..." and then, darkness. The furious pitter patter of his paws inside the bag as he tried to escape broke my heart. I thought about opening the bag and trying to comfort it, but then I thought I might get attached, so I stopped myself. I just let him try to claw and bite it's way out of the bag for the remainder of the ride home.

When I got home, I tried to put a brave face on, because I knew that Gregory had to eat and that snakes eat mice, it's just what they do. I can't change the inevitable. One of our other girls, who has a heart of gold, snatched the brown paper bag from my hand and tried to save the little mouse's life. I attempted to get the bag back by telling her that I didn't have 20 minutes to go back out and get another mouse if she chose to let this one go, which I didn't. But I would be lying if I said I didn't secretly want her to open the door and let it escape. Eventually she handed the mouse over with sniffles and a sad face. Poor little mouse. Rest in peace.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I Hope You Dance

This song is the cry of my heart right now. There is a plan for your life. You have to choose whether or not you want to live it.

I Hope You Dance
Lee Ann Womack

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty-handed

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances but they're worth taking
Loving might be a mistake but it's worth making

Don't let some hell-bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always)
I hope you dance
(Rolling us along)
I hope you dance
(Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder)
I hope you dance
(Where have those years gone)

I hope you dance


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Life is beautiful

It's someone you care about melting your heart with kind words.

It's the tears of someone who needs your shoulder to cry on.

It's asking for forgiveness and they tell you they don't know what you're talking about.

It's someone laughing because they truly want to be happy, even though they don't feel it.

It's the questions of an innocent soul.

It's someone who is lost, confused and hurting, searching for someone that can make them happy.

It's someone caring about another person that has done nothing but hurt them.

It's the carefree, artistic, independent spirit.

I see them in me.

Life is beautiful.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Friendship needs no words...

Friends are people travelling in the same direction, they have similar aspirations and goals, and they encourage each other in reaching those goals. Friends are not people who tear you down, they are not people who are jealous. They are people who can help you develop your talents and gifts with thoughtful advice and direction. Genuine friendship means caring and concern and a desire to see the other person's dreams and desires come to fruition. It is not only giving help, but accepting it as well. A true friend is someone you can trust. Someone you can be accountable with and someone who will not take your personal issues outside of your friendship unless absolutely necessary. Trust is the most important factor in any friendship and once broken, it's hard to get back to where you started. Friendship involves giving time, because time equals sacrifice. Friendship is listening even when you want so badly to interject. Just listen.

Aristotle considered friendship a necessity to live. He claimed that no individual would choose to live without friends even if the individual had all of the other good things in life. He also describes friendship as a virtue. He felt that it is something that every human must have in order to reach a peaceful state of mind. It has all of the qualities of good as long as both parties in the friendship are considered good.

I feel so blessed to have, in addition to my husband, and close family, a handful of very good friends. I couldn't always say that. Acquaintances were in abundance, and I thought back then, that these relationships would last forever. Oh, the naivety of childhood. Over the years, these people have come and gone. It's the real ones that are hard to pick out. The real ones love you not in spite of your imperfections, but because of them.

Thank you for loving me. I only hope I've given you in return what you've given to me.

Friday, November 5, 2010


I feel a little like when a child is following their parent, but they're doing it at a distance. They get distracted by the things beyond the sidewalk. Their parent's shadow is in front of them, so they decide to jump on it, aware that it won't do anything, but hoping that something spectacular will happen. Seeing a pretty white fluffy flower in the grass, they pick it and carry it with them, thinking that this flower will last forever (even though the last one didn't). They look into the sky and begin to imagine animals out of the clouds. They get so lost in imagination that they forget to pay attention and BOOM! They run into the back of mom or dad's legs. And to top it all off, they look down to see that their beautiful flower has all blown away into the wind.

I've had my head in the clouds. And now, reality has hit me. I wasn't prepared for it. It hurt, a lot. It knocked me backwards for a moment. It's my own fault for not paying attention. Now though, I feel a greater obligation to make sure the people in my life know that I love them. They will probably get sick of me, but that's ok. I realize now how delicate life is and how short it can be. We only get one chance to walk this thing out, and in an instant, it could be gone.

Relationships are hard work, but they are what matter. We as human beings have a deep-rooted need, a desire for intimacy. The longing to be cared for and to care for others is what allows us to live more fulfilling lives. It becomes so much more meaningful to share our common experiences and and interests when we have others that we care about to share them with. If we have experiences but there is no fellowship, it almost seems pointless.

I'm ready for this season to be over and for the next one to begin. There has been a lot of joy, in addition, a great deal of pain. I'm not expecting that the next season will not include both happiness and sorrow because there is room for growth in each of those areas. But I am hoping that I will find some peace. Peace of mind, peace of heart, piece of soul.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dear Matthew

Hello friend, we miss you very much. We know you've been over in Afghanistan, fighting for our country, for our freedom, and I just wanted to say thank you. Not only for what you do but because of who you are. You're an amazing young man of God. You are a wonderful husband to your beautiful bride, Liana. You have your whole life ahead of you. I was envisioning your life together and all of the wonderful things you could do. What an amazing team for the Lord you will be. I hope you are teaching those other marines what you know about the love of Jesus. They need it, just like you needed it. You are so unselfish, leaving your new bride and life behind to serve people who you do not know. But that doesn't matter to you Matthew, because you serve the Lord. I'm so thankful to know you, you have been a shining light in my life.

We love you,
The Bixlers

Save a seat for me in heaven.
Rest In Peace Matthew Broehm.

By Skillet

I'm just a step away
I'm just a breath away
Losing my faith today
Falling off the edge today

I am just a man
Not superhuman
I'm not superhuman
Someone save me from the hate

It's just another war
Just another family torn
Falling from my faith today
Just a step from the edge
Just another day in the world we live

I need a hero to save me now
I need a hero, save me now
I need a hero to save my life
A hero will save me just in time

I've gotta fight today
To live another day
Speaking my mind today
My voice will be heard today

I've gotta make a stand
But I am just a man
I'm not superhuman
My voice will be heard today

It's just another war
Just another family torn
My voice will be heard today
It's just another kill
The countdown begins to destroy ourselves

I need a hero to save me now
I need a hero, save me now
I need a hero to save my life
A hero will save me just in time

I need a hero to save my life
I need a hero, just in time
Save me just in time
Save me just in time

Who's gonna fight for what's right?
Who's gonna help us survive?
We're in the fight of our lives
And we're not ready to die

Who's gonna fight for the weak?
Who's gonna make 'em believe?
I've got a hero, I've got a hero
Living in me

I'm gonna fight for what's right
Today I'm speaking my mind
And if it kills me tonight
I will be ready to die

A hero's not afraid to give his life
A hero's gonna save me just in time

I need a hero to save me now
I need a hero, save me now
I need a hero to save my life
A hero will save me just in time

Who's gonna fight for what's right?
Who's gonna help us survive?
Who's gonna fight for the weak?
Who's gonna make 'em believe?
I've got a hero

I need a hero
A hero's gonna save me just in time

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Why me?

Why me?
I'm thankful that it's me.
But why me?
We are so different.
We have nothing in common.
But nothing happens by accident.
This was predetermined.
I know that you're hurting.
I know that you're lost.
I know that you're scared, but of what?
I'm here for you.
How can I help you?
I want to help you.
My heart is breaking for you.
Getting over a painful experience is like crossing monkey bars.
You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.
You're feeling vulnerable.
I'm glad that I make you feel safe.
I know you have a big heart.
Why do you hide behind a wall?
It's time to tear down those crumbling bricks.
But you have to do it.
I can help you.
But you have to want it.
You are a beautiful person.
Share your beauty with the world.

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Sheep with sharp teeth

I was listening to a song today by Lacrae called High. He laid a line that said "the world full of them sheep with sharp teeth." But we are the sheep right? Because Jesus is the shepherd...

I get so frustrated when "Christians" parade around saying horrible things about people they know nothing about. I understand that they have probably been taught en route to their adult life that this type of behavior is okay, but it doesn't make it right. The great commission in Matthew 28:19-20 says:

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

So when these so called Christians are criticizing and labeling and protesting, not only shutting out huge demographics of people who need the love of Jesus, but degrading and arguing with other believers, I will have my arms outstretched and will be listening and I will be loving.

Be gentle sheep with me.

Love the unlovable...

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Love is a gift, not an obligation.

I love that trust is being built where there was none before. This might be a really funny analogy but I feel trusted when I'm driving kids around, and they can fall asleep. It makes me feel like they know I will keep them safe, so they can rest their heads. "To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved." -George MacDonald. Trust is something that is very important to me because I haven't always been a trusting person myself. I've felt abandoned, lied to, stepped on, and pushed around. Learning how to re-trust someone is not an easy task, let alone trusting a stranger. I've had multiple conversations with our girls starting with "I don't expect you to trust me..." and I don't, honestly. These girls have been through enough, the last thing they want to do is put themselves in a position to be hurt again. I know I'm not perfect, and I let them know that I will make mistakes, and I will probably make a wrong decision and have to apologize for it... But all I have in my heart is compassion and care and a genuine love. I do worry about their futures, I worry that if they don't know that they have someone to fall back on, someone that will wrap them up in love even when they screw up royally, that they will turn to something or someone else to accept them. That's one of my greatest fears, but all I can do is continue to pray, stay consistent, and tell them that we care, even when it seems to them like we don't.

Hallo- weenie :/

It was a pretty un-eventful halloween... I had fun, not sure that the girls did entirely. The ones that came back from pass weren't very happy to be back at SPA, they wanted to be with their families, which I understand. The ones that were already here were upset because there wasn't anything fun going on for halloween (shame on you SPA). We tried to make it more exciting and rented a scary movie on On-Demand, Nightmare on Elm Street. Not my first choice, but it wasn't horrible. There were 7 of us squished into our tiny living room. It was good family time. I wish we could've made the holiday more fun for them, but I'm new at this, trying to make eight very different teenagers all happy at the same time, thing...

Tomorrow, it's back to the normal routine.

Now we just have about 3lbs of candy left that needs to be out of my house.

Oh, and I'm one game away from winning the football pool at work. GO COLTS! I don't really like football, but I do like 105 dollars! My hubby is jealous that I beat him. HAHA

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Remember me and smile, for it's better to forget than to remember me and cry.

So, Shannon and Liz made the announcement tonight. They're moving back to Puyallup. Our amazing, wonderful pastors of 4 years, close enough friends to be family. You've taught Thomas and I so much, you've been there since the beginning of our relationship. You let us lean on you during our first year of marriage (which wasn't easy), you invested time and love into helping us grow. Your children have been such an inspiration, so moldable before the Lord, so willing to adapt because there is an amazing amount of trust between you and them. I pray that Thomas and I will be as incredible at parenting as you are. I am so thankful for you Kapp family. Even though this next season is going to be tough without you here, I won't ever regret uprooting to move to California. This is where we're supposed to be (for now anyways). And if it weren't for you, church-planting here, we wouldn't have had the opportunity, or an excuse to move. I feel so blessed to have had the time with you that we did, and I hope that our friendship never grows cold. From Puyallup Foursquare to your living room, to Hope Chapel, to Oceanside High School, to Living Hope. We will always be Mission.

I'm not going to say goodbye, rather, we'll see you soon.

Friday, October 29, 2010

in picture perfect world...

I am a visual artist.

I do not create art because I can, I create art because God gave me a gift. There are times when I get critical, or I second guess some final product, but I know that the only reason I can do anything is because of Him. I may not be famous, but I'm okay with just making sure I practice the things I can do well. I want my art to stir up emotions, and memories.

Although occasionally I do, I try not to pose people, rather I like to watch, as they're living and capture precious moments for them to remember. Children are my absolute favorite to photograph. They don't care about how they look, or if their smile is crooked. They don't need to see the photo after it's taken (like most adults). They haven't reached that stage of self-indulgence yet. They are so carefree, and this makes for a fantastic photo. I am no professional, I don't even know how to use every part of my camera. I don't know anything about lighting. I don't know any key terms or phrases photographers use.... But I LOVE taking pictures. And as long as myself and others are satisfied with the final product, I will continue.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The light at the end of the tunnel

Life is like a train journey.

The day you are born you unknowingly get on board the train, and if you are lucky, you are in first class. Hopefully your parents look after your every need. Things are good for a while. In fact, things are so good, you don't even know you are on a journey.

Then, as time goes by, you begin to realize that the journey only lasts for a short while. The idea begins to consume you, but as with most things, this passes. As the train moves on, you may find you've been moved to second, or third class seats, but the train still rumbles onward, and your view changes. Occasionally the train is stopped or derailed by loss, hardship, illness or adversity and at these times you have a deeper understanding that the journey will eventually end for you when you enter the tunnel just on the horizon. However the tunnel is only a dot. You are aware of it, but for now the view is un-obscured and the sky is blue.

The train rolls on and the other passengers occupy your attention for a while until one day you look up and there is more track behind you than in front of you and the tunnel is far closer that you realized. You feel it is a dark, scary, inevitability and it blocks out your view of the country side around you.

As you enter the tunnel, you should remember that all tunnels lead somewhere. Finally the journey ends and the train grinds to a halt but in the distance is light, tiny and faint, but a light.

Don't be afraid of the dark; be excited at the prospect of a new journey, at the possibility of travel, the enormity of the journey and the light at the end of the tunnel.

Half of my heart's got a grip on the situation

When you pour your heart out, hoping that it will go somewhere and you look and it's all just running out on the floor, it's saddening. When you wish and pray for someone with all of your soul, you try to do everything you can for this person in order to help them be successful. Try to teach them, encourage them, lift them up. Try to push them to do better, even when they don't like it. And then, when that person hears one thing from you that they don't like or understand, your feelings don't matter, wait... they've never mattered. All those wonderful conversations we've had, all the times I've done for you exactly what you've asked, when I've given you my own belongings because you needed them, it was all just pretend? You were just using me?

I know I'm supposed to let it go, move on, not let your words affect me.

But I'm a person too.

I have feelings too.

I cry too.

I would consider myself a fairly strong person. I try not to let people's opinions of me, or even just things they may say to get me aggitated, frustrate me. But there's only so much one person can take. I can pretend too, that our relationship is fine, but on the inside, you've really hurt me.

Letter to my parents

You are the lights of my life. All four of you.

Dad: strong and proud, realistic, but still a dreamer.
Kelly: creative, passionate, encouraging and oh so loving.
Mom: fun, friendly, always the life of the party, and your compassion for people blows me away.
Buddy: so carefree, gentle, and you genuinely care for others.

When I was young, I thought having divorced parents was some sort of death sentence. Kids in school were always so depressed and this made me sad. I got lucky, I got two amazing new additions to my family. My life wouldn't be the same without you.

I wanted to see the world, to spread my wings and fly, to experience new things and you encouraged me, all of you. It might have taken you a little while to warm up to the idea of me dropping out of college to spend nine months of my life, serving at a church, with no income. But you had faith in me, and I succeeded. You might not have agreed when I decided to move two states away to southern California to be a part of a church plant (with a man, 26 and I barely 20). But I told you this was the man I loved, and you believed me, and now we're married, happily for two years. In addition to that, I have the greatest job anyone could ask for, because you let me fly.

There were rocky spots in our relationships, but the Lord knew what He was doing when He made you, and He knew what He was doing when He made me. He had a special plan for us. I'm so thankful for each and every one of you, for everything you've taught me and are still going to teach me. I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for who you are.

Thank you for inspiring me, and thank you for teaching me how to love.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Proverbs 31 Woman

A Wife of a Noble Character

"Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant's ship, bringing her food from afar. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day's work for her servant girls. She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night. Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. She extends a helping hand to the poor and open her arms to the needy. She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes. She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns. Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders. She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants. She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: 'There are many virtuous and capable women in the world but you surpass them all!' Charm is deceptive and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise." Proverbs 31:10-31

This woman sounds like she's got her stuff together! Making clothes and bedding... not exactly my cup of tea. It's her heart that captures me. A heart to make everyone in her house more comfortable than herself. She sacrifices her time and energy to make sure the ones she loves are safe and warm. She gives what she has, and what she can make. She knows that she and her family are protected by the Lord, and she lives her life each and every day to it's fullest potential. Her actions and words are known and she is blessed and praised because she is living out who the Lord created her to be.

Trust and Patience. Two areas in which I need to grow.

Trust: I need to be reliable, set boundaries, be trusting, be fair, and trust myself.
Patience: I need to slow down, live in each moment, and think before I speak.

Just me

I am:

*A wife
*A daughter
A sister
A friend
A believer
A dreamer
A houseparent
A giver
A photographer
A reader
A writer
*An artist
An aunt (almost)