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Cave to Cliff

One woman's journey from darkness to light

5 Ways I Get Unstuck

I sit down at my desk to write, but nothing comes to me. I think of a video I recently watched about a Buzzfeed author who had a deadline, but couldn’t think of anything to write. She ended up writing about Malta and became an interenet sensation over there. Well, that’s great and good, but it’s been done. What could I possible write that will, in some small way, impact those who read it?

I put on some music, stare out my window at my garden, pick up my recorder in an attempt to make a happy sound, then stare out my window some more.

I remember reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lammot. She said her father, also a writer, told her that writers write every single day. There are no exceptions. I want to do that, but I haven’t been. I told Lennox that I wanted to post a blog 3 times a week, but that I wanted to write every day.

Where do I fit that in? Where do I prioritize my time? There are so many things calling for my attention that I often just feel overwhelmed and then do something useless. Then later I feel guilty about it. What a ridiculous cycle!

So, I came up with a few things that help get me back on track.

  1. Make a brain dump. I have categories for household, personal, and work. I list everything that comes to my brain that I need or want to get done. Then I will highlight the things that absolutely must get done today. Once that has been established it’s easier to plan out the other things. I like to write it out by hand, it’s more therapeutic for me. However, doing it on the computer makes it easier to edit and organize later on.
  2. Light and Fragrance – I’ll like to open up all the curtains to let the natural light come in. The light makes things look more alive. It also makes it look more dusty, but we don’t focus on that. I’ll open a couple of windows for fresh air even when it’s cold. I don’t do that for long, but I do like a good air cleansing.

    I have a few essential oil diffusers that I use, as well. I first fill the one by my front door. What is it that I want my family and guests to smell when they first walk in? Now that it’s fall I’ll likely put a mix of orange, clove, and cinnamon. That sounds warm and inviting. In the bathroom it’s likely going to be lemon and an oil called ‘purification’. I change it up in the bedroom often, but I like to use lavender and cypress at bedtime. Yesterday I diffused peppermint and lemon in the office for a nice little pick me up.

  3. Music! What kind of music really gets you dancing? I find some upbeat music like “Eye of the Tiger” or “Better When I’m Dancing”. Whatever it is that gets you in a good mood and ready to work, go for it! Although, if I’m going to write or do desk work I listen to piano music by David Nevue.
  4.  Set my timer and get to it. If it’s a lot of cleaning that needs to get done in different areas of the house then I’ll set the timer for 15 minutes and focus on 2 areas. Usually it’s the kitchen and my bedroom. So, for the first 15 minutes I’ll clean up the kitchen. Then for the second 15 I’ll work in my room. If the kitchen wasn’t finished in the first 15 minutes I’ll go back to that. Usually it doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to clean up an area. When one area is done I’ll move onto another area. After 3 – 15 minutes sets I’ll take a 15 minute break before starting again. I learned this technique from Flylady way back in 1999 or 2000 when she was just a simple email list. I use this method when I really just need to get a handle on the messiness of the house. Flylady is a great place to start if you’re looking at building a realistic household routine.

    If I have a lot of computer or desk work then I set the timer for 25 minutes at a time taking a 5 minute break between every 25 minute set. I’ll work at a specific task until it’s done or as my schedule allows. Depending on what I’m doing I can listen to music or a book  or even have a show playing in the background. I’m doing less of the latter since I am wanting to multitask even less to ensure that whatever it is that I am doing, I’m doing well.

  5. Celebrate! Look at all I’ve accomplished and call it good. Even if I had interruptions or didn’t get as much done as I had hoped, I’m still closer to my goal than I was before I started. I feel better about the state of my home and about myself. It’s amazing how down we feel when we’re wasting our days away, but as soon as we become productive we feel better about ourselves.

    Before I even start I’ll have an idea of what my reward will be. Usually it’s a show I want to watch on the computer. So, I tell myself, “Okay, if you can be diligent for X amount of time then you can watch [whatever it is].” I know it’s silly, but it works!

    Tell me, what do you do when you feel yourself feeling overwhelmed and in a funk?

 

 

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September, In Which We Begin Again

Autumn is in full swing with the first good rain visiting us in the last day or so. The temps at night have dipped low enough that we no longer keep the fan in our window as we sleep. Our air conditioner has run on high for much of the summer, but it’s been absolutely quiet for days.

I love it. This is my absolute favorite time of year.

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Ireland is now in the 8th grade, her final year at school up on the hill. Volleyball is in full swing and we are having so much fun cheering her and her team on. Watching her play volleyball and basketball have become one of my favorite things to do!

Sage is in now a Sophomore. He’s loving his drama class and comes home every day telling us all about it. He has been chosen for the part he wanted and has plans on how to execute it well. I can’t wait to see the play!

Lennox and I are both encouraged in the growth of the kids over the summer. It started a little rough and we’ve had some challenging moments. Yet, we have all grown in relationship with one another. Both of the kids are more open in talking about some struggles and we all really enjoy being together. We love how each one of the kids will come home and chat with us for a long time about their day.

Last spring Lennox and I attended a training that specialized in how to connect with our teens and help them heal. It was specifically for parents of kids from hard places i.e. adoption, foster care, trauma, etc. The main thing we took away from it was to have one-on-one time with each child every week for about an hour. No screen time or money spending and the it’s totally child directed. It was hard at first and not very enjoyable for any of us, but we kept it up. No matter what, the kids couldn’t lose this time with us. Even if they had been raging and angry, when our time came around for one-on-one time we did it. We had already been doing weekly Family Nights, so with that we just made sure we kept it up consistently. If we were all separated for a couple of days for any reason we made sure to have a Family Night right away. It helps ground us all by connecting as a family again.

As any foster/adoptive family knows, navigating trauma triggers can be tricky and can come at you from out of nowhere. It can be something a friend or family member said, a a birthday (which it often is), maybe it’s food, or any number of things that we have yet to discover. We just had our first fall birthday of the household, 3 more to go before Christmas is here. All of these can be hard. Valuing relationship over everything, including poor choices and behavior has helped make these challenges more smooth.

One of our great successes involves laundry. One of my kids hates mixing their laundry with any one else’s, even if it’s a only a sock. They’ll take everything out of the washer to start their own laundry. In the past, if I’d ask them to just leave a few of the towels in there to get washed with their laundry it would set them off. The other day they came to me saying, “Mama, does the laundry in the washer need to be washed and do you have anything to wash? I just have a few things I want washed.” What? This is a HUGE thing to us.

As we are flying through the month of September we are feeling so encouraged in how things are going. We are looking forward to little Christopher’s 2nd birthday party this month. October brings a birthday and pumpkin patching. November brings 2 birthdays, Thanksgiving, and a baby shower for a new grandson. Then Christmas comes along with said grandson being born around then.

What are you most looking forward to this fall?

 

 

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Today is the first time in 38 years a total eclipse has been visible in our part of the world. There are countless memes, millions of travelers, and lots of money exchanging hands to capitalize on this event.

Yet for me, I’m remembering a different kind of eclipse. 33 years ago on this day I woke up knowing it was the day my mom would die. My 9 year old self just knew. My dad asked me that morning if I was coming with him to the hospital to see her. I replied, “No, I don’t want to see her die. She told me not to.” His eyes were sad as he turned to leave. He simply said, “Okay, if that’s what you want.” I did want to see her, but she told me not to so I didn’t go.

I spend the day 4 houses down from my own house. We were sitting down to eat dinner. I remember looking around the table and feeling like everything was quickly fading away. I started crying and screaming, “She’s dead!”. I have a vague memory of my friend’s dad carrying up the stairs to her room. I must have fallen asleep. Next thing I know, my dad is at the front door. I take one look at him and run home. I burst through the door to see my sister and her husband (at the time) in our living room. I think he told me mom had died, but I can’t remember the words.

Anguish overtook me. The world literally went black for me.

Nothing was the same after that.

I had already spent my early years feeling out of place as the brown adopted kid that wasn’t wanted. The days and weeks after that only confirmed the lie I believed about not belonging. It followed me around for decades and even now will rear it’s ugly head. Only now I can recognize it as a lie and dispel it before it has any power over me.

I spend the next 6-7 years crying myself to sleep every night. In fact, I think I’ve spent more than half my life crying myself to sleep. I spent decades entertaining suicidal thoughts and basking in depression. A quiet rage filled me. Sometimes it wasn’t so quiet.

I missed having mom at my highschool graduation. When she was in the hospital she told me to promise her that I’d graduate from highschool and not do drugs. I was committed to that. I was the first girl in our family to graduate from highschool. I don’t know if she did and I can’t imagine her mama did either since it wasn’t so common for a woman to do so back then.

I missed having her as a grandma to my firstborn.

I missed holidays. They pretty much quit after she died.

I missed watching Portland wrestling with her. My dad would watch it with me, but it wasn’t the same.

I remember her and a friend, Lois, singing Goodnight Irene. We were sitting at the kitchen table. I was in my dad’s chair as the two old ladies sang Good Night Irene. For some reason, it’s this moment that stands out to me. Her laughter came easily that evening and her green eyes shone brightly. I was sent to bed soon after that. I loved falling asleep listening to them laugh together.

I recently went to Buck Hollow Cemetery where my parents are buried. As I entered the graveyard I could clearly remember that first moment at the funeral. A group of people gathered, lots of flowers, and people looking at me with sad eyes. I’m seated in the front row. I look at the flowers and think, “Mom would like those flowers.” Then I remember why we’re there. I can’t remember crying. I don’t think I cried much in front of people. I’m more of a lone cryer.

Who was going to take care of me?
Who would love me?
How am I supposed to live without her?

I really did feel like life stopped for me.

I was surviving until I died and I hoped that happened sooner than later.

Those feelings have changed now. I don’t want to die. More than ever, I want to live fully in this life I’ve given.

I still wonder what it would have been like having a mom in my teen years. Yet, I’m also incredibly grateful for my life, even life without her. My dad was the best dad ever. I miss him more than I can even describe.

I will watch this eclipse with my family and friends. I will fully enjoy every moment with them.

What are your plans on this eclipse day?

 

 

 

 

 

I Am Racist

I share this adventurous life with a man of color.

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I have noticed that in the past few years the racial divide seems to grow wider. But then I have questions:

Is the racial divide growing or am I simply becoming more aware?
Is the media bringing more awareness or creating a frenzy?
Is the hate becoming more socially acceptable due to our stance of “freedom of speech”? 

Why is it okay to spew hate and death wishes on people with darker skin, but it’s not okay to say Black Lives Matter? The BLM movement is NOT saying that cop lives or white lives matter less. Yet, the white supremacists clearly state that colored people or Jews need to be wiped off the face of this planet.

I am biracial. I have never ever thought of myself as such. I’ve always known that I am half Filipino and half white. Just look at those pictures, I am clearly mixed. I know I don’t look so much like it now and when I think of Lennox and I together I think of him as black and me as white.

I’ve grown to understand that racism isn’t only throwing rocks through windows and burning crosses on front lawns. It comes in a variety of ways. Are we impressed or surprised when a brown person speaks perfect English? Am I being offensive when I say “brown person”?

I don’t even know what to say in this blog post. I don’t know how much to share and I don’t want to expose how my husband feels. That’s his story.

Lennox and I had a raw, but good conversation about racism yesterday. I cried. I left a message for my friend who first introduced me to white privilege. I don’t even know if it made sense to him or if he thought I was still missing the mark. (Which I think I probably am.)

I see our current culture being compared to what it was before Hitler rose in power and I wonder if that same thing is happening now or has been happening for a long time. I bet many of the Jewish people that were persecuted were shocked to find out their best Gentile friend had not protected them. In fact, that same friend may have exposed them. When I talked with Lennox yesterday about how vocal I should be about this issue I suddenly blurted out, “I don’t feel safe. What if things do escalate and we become a target?”

I am watching the Facebook feed. I’m searching out who I think may be safe friends.

Yet, I do believe that being silent on this subject is the worst thing to do.

Will I let my Facebook become a place for debate? Not likely. Yet I don’t want to remain silent.

Do people love my husband because he’s an articulate black man? Is he a novelty because he’s not like the black people on tv?

Now, why did I state in the title that I’m racist? I would have never said that 10 years ago. But in 2015 something happened.

I was at a conference in Portland for the weekend. I had decided to go for a walk/jog. I was near Pioneer Square so I pretty much knew I wouldn’t get lost. I set out on my merry way. Everything is clean for several blocks. Then I notice the smell of urine. I look around and see a few black people on the block, less than 10. Some were high, some were sleeping, and there was a drug deal going on. They all looked at me as I passed. My senses were heightened. I was scared. I was too scared to look back.

I get past that block and keep going. As I turn to go back to the hotel I come to another block smelling of urine. There are 20 or more homeless looking white men milling about. One of them comes up to me as I’m waiting for the light to change. He’s standing an inch from me as he asks me if I’d go out with him. He was quite insistent. The light changes and I go on my way taking one last glance back to make sure he wasn’t following me.

Then it hit me. I was NOT in the least bit afraid of that man or any other man on that block. I was aware, but not frightened. I was clearly outnumbered, anything could have happened to me.

That is racism. I was more afraid of a handful of black people than I was of a group of white men.

I say in the title that I am racist. It’s not true, but I do believe we can all do things that are racist. People can do an unkind act while not being an unkind person. That one act does not identify who we are as a person.

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We Were Set Up

Lennox and I were lying in bed one evening as I took a journey back through my blog glancing at every post in the month of June dating back to 2009.

I laughed aloud as I read quotes from “my one friend” aka Lennox. Haha!  I remember him asking me, “Who are the men in your life that fight for you?” I didn’t know what he meant so he said, “How do I fight for you? I give voice to your needs before God. Intercession, lost art of the warrior. You will also know that a man fights for you when he speaks Gods word over you. In order to recognize that, you’ll need to know God’s word to you.”  Wow, eh?! One of the things I admired most about him then and love about him now is how he is faithful to encourage me to turn my eyes to God and His Word.

Lennox fought for me then in his role as my friend. Now he fights for me as his wife and I fight for him.  He’s my champion and I’m his. We’re each other’s biggest fans!

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One day at church we sang Amazed by Lincoln Brewster. As we were singing a picture came to me in the form of storyboards like for a movie. This is what I wrote about it back then:

The background is white, the drawings are rendered in charcoal. The people are in stick figures. First scene: Tight shot. The setting is a battle field. There I am in a fetal position in the center of the battle. There is a sword and a shield lying next to me. My eyes are tightly shut. My friend is standing next to me brandishing a sword in his right hand. In his left is a shield that is over me. Next scene. A bit wider angle. There is a battle raging. I open my eyes and see the destruction. I am scared. I will not move. My friend is still standing over me speaking to me, but he is listening to someone he calls the Captain. He’s passing the Captain’s words on to me since I can’t seem to hear the Captain clearly. Next scene: Wider angle. The Captain is dancing around us and He is singing. I incline my ear. I still can’t quite hear him. My eyes are on the battle. My friend is still talking to me and telling me to look to the Captain. I am not in such a tight ball, but I am still lying on the field. Next scene: My hands are slowly reaching out to my sword and shield. I am beginning to hear the Captain for myself. So I listen more intently. Next scene: I am on my knees, still clutching my weapon. I am watching the Captain and listening. My friend is still speaking the Captain’s words. I can hear both. Next scene: I am up, back to back with my friend. Fighting the battle. My eyes on my Captain, Jesus, my ears inclined to His song. My friend still speaks the Captains words to me and I to him.

As I read through other blog posts from the past 8 years I can clearly see that the Lord was setting us up for one another. We both had so much growing to do. Shoot, Lennox was still in Hollywood until December 2009, I had no idea he’d ever move up here.

Isn't it strange how "my one friend" becomes my husband after nearly a decade of friendship? Okay, well, I guess it's NOT that strange, but it was unexpected.

This picture is from August 2010 or “The Day Lennox Chased Me Into a Field” as I like to call it. I remember looking up and seeing him walk around to the back of my house and head toward me. Once he got to me he said, “I’d rather be watching Stargate, but here I am with you. I don’t know why I’m here, I don’t do this.”

Well, apparently he does for me. Every time I’d get scared and he felt me pulling away from him he’d come and talk to me about it. Every time he’d say, “I’m not doing this again, I’m not coming after you. Can’t you trust me after all this time?” The last time he said it was in November of 2014. We were in his car when he said, “I’m not coming after you this time.” Then after about a 5 second pause he said, “Yes, yes I am. I don’t know why I keep doing this. I don’t do this for anyone else.”

Five months later he tells me I’m the one for him. Today, July 14, 2017 marks 14 months of marriage. He counts the days in his head, I use an app. It’s been 426 days!

So, here we are in our wedded bliss. We still venture out into fields, only this time we go together.

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Freedom and Waking Up

While most are gearing up to celebrate our freedoms or perceived freedoms on the 241st birthday of the United States of America my mind drifts back to a morning 9 years ago.

My life had been turned upside down and my heart was wounded. I didn’t know how I would make it through this time in my life. I didn’t want to wake up. I dreaded mornings. On some level I knew we would make it through, but it felt like I was swimming through liquid lead. 

July 4, 2008 I walked out of my bedroom to find this on my dining room table. This gift of beauty, so thoughtful and much needed. It was like water to my parched soul. 

What do you do when you feel like you can't ever get out of bed again? Life has you beaten, or so you think.

I had kept my kids up really late the night before so they would sleep in. I was tired and wanted to sleep in and have peace in the morning. My friend, Sarah Nichols, had walked into my house that morning and left this gift on the table.

I had heard the door open, but thought that maybe it was Christopher letting the cat in or out. I didn’t think much of it at all. I didn’t know someone had walked into my house, only a few feet from my bedroom door and left a gift that changed my life.

I had previously told Sarah that I was having such a hard time getting out of bed. She wrote 30 or so reasons of why I should most definitely get out of bed. I remember calling all four kids into my room to hear these reasons. I wept as I read them:

  • Dusty
  • Sage
  • Ireland
  • Christopher
  • There’s something new to learn every day
  • His mercies are new every morning
  • “…for He Himself is the giver of life and breath and all else.” 
  • because if you do it today, you can do it tomorrow
  • You don’t want to miss out on life.
  • Sunrises!
  • All things work together for good to those who love God
  • You are fearfully and wonderfully made
  • Because fact is, Jesus loves Dar!
  • Music (esp. 80’s rock)
  • You’re beautiful
  • Because of His grace!
  • The love of Christ compels us
  • Because even dandelions and thistles are resplendent with God’s glory. 
  • Hot chocolate!
  • Facebook [it was fairly new back then]
  • Freshly picked blackberries

There are several more. 

You know what that did for me? It really did give me some reason to get out of bed even when it’s SO hard.

I am grateful for that gift. It stays in a drawer right next to my bed. I think of it when I am sad or feeling overwhelmed. That simple gift has catapulted me into the life I have now. 

Sarah has left this world to be with Jesus. Though she is so missed, it’s the perfect place for her. She has impacted hundreds of people by the way she walked in love.

I want to be like that, too.

 

New Starts

Today is the beginning of the first full week of no school for the kids. In my mind it marks a new start. It’s a clean slate. The summer days are calling out to be lived to the fullest. I think of planning my summer and it already feels full. I have thoughts of lots of beach time or a few lovely waterfall hikes. Maybe we’ll go back to the Oregon Coast Aquarium and explore more of Newport. There are also growing things to be watered, weeded, thinned, and planted or replanted. We have a fire pit out back that beckons me to sit around on our cool summer nights.

Today Ireland had friends over for a hot dog roast and water balloon fight. She burned her school papers and laughed a lot. I like the laughing and playing. We had hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon, chips, and salad. It felt like summer. I like being the home the kids like to hang out at. It can be tiring, but the memories are so worth it.

Close up of poppies, orange and yellow.
Beautiful sunlit poppies on my table. I love them!

This morning I walked around my house and looked at all the growing things. Later on I did a little weeding and thinning. Weeding is taking out the things I didn’t plant and don’t want there. I thinned the carrots; there were about 10 seedlings growing in a little clump. I tried choosing all the smaller ones and leave the larger one. I’m hoping I’ve thinned enough so the remaining carrots can flourish.

Gardening makes me think about my life and how the Lord works with us. I think sometimes He does the weeding and thinning, other times we do it ourselves.

Weeding: As we grow we start seeing the things in our lives that are holding us back. For me, I find that I must limit or eliminate time I spend with negative people. I simply don’t have time for it. I don’t spend much time with them and I don’t follow them on Facebook.

Also it’s time to eliminate sugar, that dreadfully addictive substance that is slowly killing us while we encourage it!

Thinning: Maybe we simply say yes to too many things. There’s a lot of great things we could be doing with our time.  Yet, I’d venture to guess that we can’t do it all.   Lysa Terkeurst wrote a book called The Best Yes.  It’s on my reading list for this year. It’s an important thing to understand.

New starts. Growing. Starting over.
A blossoming potato plant growing in my compost.

So, as I come to the end of my day and beginning of my work week I wonder how this week will be better than last.

I recently did a live video on Facebook talking about starting over. It’s humbling to put it all out there. I have all these doubts and questions go through my head. I won’t let them take up space or energy. I’ll abolish them and move on. Starting over means starting brand new, not starting up where I left off.

With that, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ll be starting a new blog. This one has served us all well over the past 8 years.My first blog didn’t say much, but it was my hearts cry. That was a new beginning for me. A journey in finding who I am and whose I am. I didn’t know I was I loved or even worthy of it. Wow! I’m temporarily speechless…

I’m excited to start a new blog. I have much to learn about creating the new site, but it’s going to be great! I did almost cry today because I didn’t know what to do, but thank goodness for Pinterest! I’m slowly learning all about self hosting, themes, and plug ins. Also, there’s about a ZILLION fonts to choose from!

I’ll blog here until I get that one all ready.

I’m so grateful for each of you who continue to read my incredibly sporadic writings. Many of you have been faithful readers from when I started on Blogger, then Homeschool Blogger, then here at WordPress. Thank you!

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March, in which new life springs

Today I told 2 of my friends in Bible study that I was going to post a blog tonight. I’ve been feeling the urge to write for months now. I filled a page in my planner all about blog subjects. In November I wanted to blog about how much I loved Thanksgiving. Then in December I wanted to write about how good things were and how grateful I am. I had the idea of doing an overview post on the last day of the year.

In January I kept thinking of how I would start all fresh and new. But I didn’t. By February I had no such thoughts. Why bother?

The truth is that I love to write. My heart opens. I listen to piano music and the words flow. My defenses slowly fall away. Therein lies my reason for not writing. I simply didn’t want to share myself.

I’ve cried a lot in these last few months. The heartache of the miscarriage in September is sometimes too much to bear. (You can read about that here, if you’re so inclined.)

I remember one Friday in particular. I sat at table with 3 of my pregnant friends. Seemed to me that on this particular day we talked more about babies and pregnancy than any other. Two of my friends at that table were among the first to know of my miscarriage. I told them to not avoid talking about pregnancy related things. This is our life. I want to experience and take joy in all of it. This day it stung. Later in the day I cried as I prepped a chicken for baking. I texted friends and told them I hurt. They wrote that they also think of my baby. It helps me to know that.

The due date for this baby I no longer carry is drawing closer. I feel the weight of it in my heart while my friends feel the weight of their babies in their bodies. I will be at 2 births this month. I’m so honored to have that privilege. I love everything about babies and labour, but it will sting a little. Maybe a lot. In either case, I am grateful for close friends that carry this with me. We don’t even need to talk about it, but I know it’s okay if I do and it’s okay if I don’t.

I didn’t mean for this post to also be about loss and sadness. There’s SO much more that’s been happening, too.

In January I was offered a position at Lutheran Community Services in McMinnville as the assistant of the Safe Families For Children program. I’m sure I’ll write more on how that all came about at a later time. Like every God story, it’s an incredible one. I’ve been there 6 weeks now and I love it. It’s stretching me and causing me to grow in many ways. When I feel like I am not enough for this job I remember how God so clearly set this in my lap.

Ireland has become quite the athlete and that keeps us busy. She did school volleyball and basketball. Next Monday she starts track. All this while doing club volleyball, as well. She’s played 2 tournaments in Vancouver and have a couple more to go before club volleyball is over. I can’t tell you how much fun it has been! I told some of her friends today that I had no idea that I’d be “that” mom. You know the one, right? The one that yells from the sidelines. Yep, that’s me. One of her friends came into my office, hugged me, and turned to the other girls saying, “She’s my biggest fan.” Yep, she’s right. I yell all kinds of encouragement to them. They tease me, but I can see that they love it.

Ireland is so focused on the court. I had a couple of videos from her last game for Lennox to see since he was out of town last week. It was so fun to watch her zipping around the basketball court. She’s so fast. I had no idea she was so fast. Now, let’s see what she can do in track.

It’s late now. Time for me to wind down and go to bed.

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Thank you for coming back here to spend a few minutes with me. I appreciate it.

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Remembering My Dad

I woke early this morning feeling bright and hopeful. It’s a new month, it’s a new day, and I get to spend some of this day with my good friend, Debi.

Then I remembered that 16 years ago today my dad quietly passed away in his bedroom as I sat on the couch reading my Bible and journaling.

I count it a joy that he spent his last year and a half in our home with us. He felt like he was a burden to me, but I never felt burdened. This is what we do for those we love when they have poured out their lives for us. He and I were related only by adoption. He married the woman whose daughter would birth me and not be able to care for me.

He taught me so much.

He taught me to not borrow money. He also taught me that when I lend money to do so without expecting it back. The only time I borrowed money was to pay our phone bill that was roughly $35. We paid him back less than a week later. I couldn’t go without  a phone since my dad I talked on it daily.

baby-me-and-dad
Notice a couple of things here. Look at how stiff my dad is holding me. He held all babies like that. He was afraid to break a baby. I always laughed. Also, see how I’m looking at him.  I love that man.

He was a giver. He was also a forgiver.

I once asked him about how he could take how my mom used to talk to him. She died when I was 9 so I don’t have many memories of her, but I do remember her calling my dad names. His reply was, “Oh honey, she had never been loved by a man before. I don’t think she knew what to do with it.”

As a teen I remember being so full of self hatred and shame. I was awful to him, too. He never held it against me. He never withheld affection or his presence from me.

I’m not like him. At all. I think of how ungrateful and hateful my children can be. I think of how I react to that. It’s not at all like my dad.

I am so incredibly grateful that I was gifted with such a man for my father. Not everyone gets one.

For a little more awesomeness about my dad be sure to check out my Father’s Day 2012 post. It made me laugh.

 

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