Thursday, August 28, 2008

Job 1:21

Today was one of those days.

Not that is was exceptionally awful. It just wasn't wonderfully good. It was one of those days when I woke up with a thundercloud above my head, and I felt as if everyone and everything in the world was working against me. And to match, the weather was gray and gloomy.

Ever have days like that?

Somehow, though, as afternoon peaked, I felt myself lifting up a bit. A smile formed, my mocha coffee when down smoothly, and my mind had nicer thoughts.

All I can say is, even in the worst of days, we still have so much. Sometimes I take myself to the depths of Job, and I realize that if I lost everything that I had, I would still have more than a lot of people. Because I have accepted salvation, an indescribable gift given to me by the Father. At our worst, and at our lowest, if we have our heart pointed towards Jesus, then who could really ask for more?

Love you all.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Biker's High

I went on a bike ride tonight with my music. It was wonderful.

It was about 7:20 p.m., the air was cool, and the sun was beginning to set before me. I rode into the sunset with many different melodies and smells entering in and out. The ever-nostalgic "pumpkin" smell of Morton drifted to me at one point, and a hundred childhood memories and feelings swept me away. I will always love that smell. On the bike trail, I smelled anything from musty to fresh to evening to garlic... and it was all an excellent backdrop to my wandering thoughts.

I like the idea of pedaling into a cool night with nothing but my music and my mind... allowing me to be "free" and "timeless" for those 60 minutes that I am gone. In that time frame, nothing else really matters except God's creation around me, and all of the imaginations that are evoked from it.

I went further tonight than usual, and was trying to decide where to turn around when the brush on my left broke down and the landscape opened up into a big field. Before me was the beginning of a breath-taking sky... reds, yellows, oranges, blues, and purples all splashed into the open, making the clouds dance. There was a bench cleverly placed right in front of this scene, and I could not help but hop off my bike and sit down for a second or two... I really enjoy seeing God's artwork in the sky.

On my way home, the sky was behind me, and every so often I would glance back (while trying not to fall off my bike). The picture only got prettier and more vivid in color and beauty.

Today in church, our elder ministered to us and told us how he visited his mother in the nursing home yesterday. He was talking to her and said,

"Mom, Dad has been gone for almost 30 years now."

"Has it been that long?" she asked.

"Yes. You know, he's missed out on a lot in those 30 years."

On this earth, 30 years is a long time, and a lot can go on. Ted said after he thought about that statement, he had to correct himself once he remembered where his dad resided.

"Actually, Dad hasn't missed out on anything. He's been in Heaven for the past 30 years. Given the choice, he wouldn't want to come back. We are the ones who have missed out."

What a perspective. Sometimes being in this life makes us so wrapped up in it that we think those who are gone must be missing it. Yet we have the amazing hope of Heaven before us, and who would trade that for anything? I was talking with a couple of friends this weekend and heard about seeing colors unseen in Heaven someday. Colors that far surpass the sunset that I saw tonight. When I see such extravagant scenes, I cannot help but think that it is just a small glimpse of Heaven.

Love you all!


Thursday, August 21, 2008


This post is dedicated to Bailey.

Let me just preface this: I don't even like dogs. However, drastic times call for drastic measures. And while IN GENERAL, I do not like dogs, it does not mean that I do not make a special exception to this rule if and when a furry friend should win over my heart. In this case, it occurred.

As many of you know, my very good friend and business partner is Kristi Zobrist. I have spent many hours over at her house, and during these visits, there was another living breathing organism who demanded my utmost attention. This happened to be an animal- a dog- named Bailey.

Upon first introduction of Bailey, I had my typical "dog" attitude. Over time, however, I got used to Bailey. Then, I started to started to say "hi" to the dog whenever I saw her. This salutation introduced a friendship, and before long, I was chasing her around the kitchen and patting her on the head.

Bailey showed me how to have an appreciation for who dogs are to pet owners, which is a constant support, a loyal protector, and a family friend. I firmly believe that a dog would do anything to stand by a person's side, and I think that is cool.

I have some great memories with Bailey. She was always there to welcome me at the door... and if she wasn't, I knew she was passed out on the kitchen floor. Upon my arrival, it would never take long for her to come over and nose her way into my business. Normally this bugs me, but with Bailey, it really didn't. Bailey also made me realize that I love the BIG dogs. The little ones are too easy to trip over and are slightly annoying. When I think of a dog, I think of a DOG... an animal that can stand his own, beat up offenders, and take ME for a walk. Bailey qualified.

Before my avid cat-loving friends mistake me for a dog person (because we all know that I'm destined to some day be the "old cat lady"), I'm going to close with the reason for such a post:

Sadly, Bailey's life came to a close earlier this week. It's never easy saying good-bye to a pet, especially one that has been present in such a big chunk of your life. However, if there is a "Doggie Heaven," Bailey is there... and I know it's slightly cheesy and cliche to say so, but Bailey really did touch the lives of many.

May her "family" be comforted in this time of loss... she was a great dog!

Love you all!


photography credit to Kristi

Friday, August 15, 2008

Oh, Say, can you See

Just got done watching the girl's gymnastics on the Olympics. Go USA! I'm so proud.

My mind keeps going back to Summer Olympics 1996 when we had the Magnificent 7. That team sticks out in my brain every time I watch gymnastics. They were so great. And now, Shawn & Nastia have done it for us.

I remember back when I was about 9 years old, and I thought I was for sure going to the Olympics. As far as I knew, it was just a matter of time. Looks like my imagination was on overtime, because I knew nothing about gymnastics. Yet for a couple of summers, my neighborhood chum and best friend at the time, Sonja, and I never failed to have our own version of a gymnastics dreamland. We taped the driveway to make a "beam," and made up little routines. Blaring energetic music, we would dance around and pretend to be executing tumbling passes. My dad walked around with a blue forehead from walking into the bar that we used to hang between the doorway in the basement, because our "bar routines" were a must, and we would always forget to take it down.

How times have changed. Now, I'm lucky to do a cartwheel that looks pretty.

Another thought I had tonight: Who even came up with gymnastics? It's a world of technicalities combined with some element of grace and dance. Who decided that the human body could carry out tricks on uneven bars set quite a distance apart, or that we could successfully do full body turns and flips in the air and land on a narrow beam that's several feet tall? Not sure. I guess we could gaze incredulously at all Olympic sports if we wanted to. It just really hit me tonight, though, how very difficult and precise this sport really is.

May those who are some sort of a gymnast live on and be safe, and pull off many graceful moves... it takes all kinds, and let me just say that it's even more apparent now than it was when I was 9 that I am not one who was blessed with such physical talent and coordination.

Love you all!


Friday, August 08, 2008

Keep it Timeless

I started this blog back in 05. Hard to believe it's been so long. Blogging is great, but sometimes I am overcome with old-fashioned nostalgic longings and I wish we could all rewind about 100 years in technology. These days, technological advances connects us all instantly in ways like never before, but somehow, it seems like we are getting more and more impersonal.

When I was in Jr. High, my best friend and cousin was Kelly. We had active imaginations. Among our favorite activities was what we called "Creative Time," in which we spent hours upon hours creating imaginary towns, people, sketches, drawings, lives, and productions. She lived just across town, but every week, we sent each other letters in the mail. It was usually a few pieces of notebooks paper with doodles, comics, and stories all folded up and stuff into a Veggie Tales envelope. The excitement of receiving a letter in the mail was big. These days, I receive nothing more than wedding invitations and junk mail, and that is all seemingly going online as well.

Recently, I decided to start writing in a journal again. It's so weird, but I love it. Something about capturing handwriting, sketches, ideas, and late-night spontaneity in one precious keepsake to sit on the shelf for generations to come... it's a tangible treasure. We can turn online journals into something you can hold in your hand if we print out the entries and stick them in plastic sleeves all bound together nicely in a 3-ring binder, but again... where is the uniqueness? The personal connection?

You may wonder why I would enter into such a anti-technological tangent, as the line of work I love and feel I was created to do is centered around that very powerful "T" word. Don't get me wrong. I could write you an essay on all of the perks and wonders of modern technology, but today I just wanted to look back into a past generation and appreciate the little things that we don't take a second look at anymore. Letters in the mail, hand-written journals, a house visit, a walk along the river, a delivery of daisies, and a Sunday afternoon stroll.

Is there a way to capture such timelessness with technology? Absolutely, and that's why I love my line of work. A visual snapshot in time speaks the same language yesterday and tomorrow... here, and in another country. It's my personal goal to continue to keep the balance between the super wonders that technology gives us while sustaining the timeless traditions and actions that bonds us all in ways the online chat rooms and blogging will never be able to do.

Love you all! Keep checking back, the goal is to update once a week.