About Me

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Santa Cruz, CA
living, and loving people. in the midst of my humanity.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Snow trip 08

We took our High School students up this weekend for 4 days at Dodge Ridge. 

Overall a fantastic trip.
We made it back safe, with no hospital visits. But a deep level of Spiritual and Emotional Stuff that happened while there with many students. Funny how one weekend can be filled with what seems like equal tears, and laughter. 

God your up to something. Humm. I suppose we will keep walking along side if you and wait for your voice to guide our steps and our words. May they be yours.

A Heart Burdened.


I cannot help it, even though my spirit is calm in situations of heart ache, pain, and fear. Regardless my heart always is burdened for the hearts of my students, the hearts of my family, and the hearts of my friends. 

These last few months, I really feel like I have been blessed.  As hard as it is with an overwhelming compassion, and openness to seeing those around me that are hurting. I have been blessed with a compassion to hear and let God have what ever is going on both in ministry and in my own personal life.

Its just ironic to me that in the midst of this I have been overwhelmed by people I love and care for walking through tough things in life. I cannot even begin to list them for it would make my blog longer than it needs. My desire to please and comfort has pushed me to a new level in my journey of Ministry. 

I realise that I have continued to move to another threshold of life where I unashamed, and will fight battles to the wee hours of the night over my friends, family's, and students hearts, often at the cost of my sleep. But that doesn't sway me other than my coffee budget is high, and my day to day details. It all seems worth it. I just wish God would lay people on my heart during the day. cuz that works better with my time schedule. 

Normally with such a burdened heart I would be more weary (trust me I am), I would not have the correct words, I would be moved to tears way too often, and my outlook on life would be incredibly dim. 

Yet Christ compels us to lay things at his feet and that is something that i have been faithful to. That is something that allows me to move forward with each moment and new news that crosses my path. 

It is in ministry that we have to continue to lay it down. We must continue to be on our knees for those we serve. And we must continue to be filled by God's overwhelming compassion, if we are to walk forward. I am blessed that he has given me the will power to remember that and walk boldly forward to be a part of that. 

In the midst of it all, God and I have become much more honest with my heart and where I need to take risks, be bold, to share, and to follow my heart. The journey on days have been fun, and painful. Yet I see the benefits to my life and ministry that I cannot deny.  

My only prayer for myself is that I continue to lay it down, and to encourage others to do the same, as I am encouraged. 

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Last week...the Mall this week the Mountain.

Last week we where at the mall and had a Mall Hunt which was fantastic! 
This week Sardines and Caroline's last time before she is off to Singapore.
This weekend...Snow snow snow

ON the 7th day...

Sleep...I need it.

its funny that in times of sleep depravity, it seems that what is running though my head is stress, lists, people,  relationships, what needs to be finished, who I need to pray for, and thoughts all random. 

family, life, love, ministry, snow trip, Mexico, volunteers, friends, money, time, and adequacy to name a few are what keeps me up at night these last 6 nights. 

My hope is I don't follow my pattern and not sleep the night before the trip (*Historically the Night before a trip I cannot sleep, I am up aimlessly, packing, and sorting anything in my room...one thing missing is sleep). 

On the 7Th day...I would like to rest...praying its so. 

Praying the same for my partner in crime at HSCC, with kids he has been up as well. 

Me,  I'm just up...which sucks more...I have no reason for my sleepless nights.

And in about 20 minutes my Roommate wakes up to work at a coffee shop...at an hour no one going to sleep on time should have to awake at.

and at the moment I have no idea where my wallet is?? Hummm


Double Non Fat Irish Cream Latte

Yes that is my drink order...but its more than that. 

Today was a sad day. on two levels...

Level 1...
I walked into on of my favorite Coffee shops today and as the barista's common words, echoed with out thought I requested, "Double Non Fat Irish Cream Latte"...then she said the words I never wanted to hear nor expected. "I'm sorry mam, we are NO LONGER SERVING IRISH CREAM!" WHAT has the world come to??!!?!??! Would the drink that I love no longer exist. The drink that I have enjoyed for now almost 3 years. Change is bad!! I joking laughed and asked why...it was just the way things where.

(No worries the sister store will still carry my Irish cream...thus I will not suffer. And the Barrista had compassion on me today...She looked into a packed box to find a bottle not taken to the other store...So today, I got my latte just the way I like it.) 

Level 2...
So it got me thinking. Why is it that we, stumble across the things in life which we love to have around, we enjoy the company, or the luxury of such a common place. And the moment its about to disappear or it has disappeared...our Hearts sink. Our hearts are surprised by the sudden vacancy, and even scared before it leaves or fear its loss.

Like a child who's parents have taken away our favorite toy, for good reason...we look up in confusion, and sometimes tears, wondering why they would take away something so precious to us. It is that picture that brings me to the relationship with our Creator God. Our hearts that feel like we are waiting for something....but what...always seems uncertain until we can almost taste it. 

As a friend spoke to my heart this morning as we both have been wandering through ministry and life together, though living in separate towns, right now our hearts resonate. This is what she said to me among other things, "Isn't it funny how the Lord seems to always put us in those situations in almost everything. To have to completely relinquish ourselves to his control and his will and especially trust him with our hearts...like we are just holding them out there saying, "OK Lord...here you go...but please..don't let it get broken."

that heart...brings vulnerability
that heart...though the lost feeling, brings direction
that heart...finds peace
that heart...in the midst, finds such a DEEPER Trust..than one has ever know before.

That deeper trust makes me move forward, and find hope in life, in love, and in ministry.

may we press on. 
may we not take things for granted. 
may we take risks with our hearts...and trust that God has a bigger and better plan. 

Some days we get things the way we like it and others....we have to look elsewhere.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bob Russell of Mount Hermon

indeed a sad sad day.

Bob Russell Human Resourses of Mount Hermon Christian Camp, position has been eliminated. As I walked to drop something off I heard the news.

As I sat in his office, heard his heart. Heard his sadness. Heard his words

"The Hardest part, is going to be letting the summer staff go." 

My heart sank many times during our conversation. My heart also Laughed with Bob, and celebrated good memories with him. 

My prayer is that he doesn't find a job far away, and he promised me he was NOT going back to Canada. Wheew. My Prayer is that he knows how much of an impact he has had on the summer staff of mount hermon for over 12 years. My prayer is that he leaves with a happy heart, that is not jaded. My prayer is that he knows he is loved. My prayer is for smooth transition, and current staff to process well. 

To the man who said, my camp name should be "token" and yet in the next instance I see his heart and love for people.  God Speed. 

Monday, January 14, 2008

Waiting Inevitability

If you didn't know already I have been involved last year and this year in "Come Away's" Basically once a month from 9 - 3 pm I am involved in a guided spiritual retreat. 
I was looking back at my journal for the month of November...and Its just Funny how God has been keeping this topic so close to my heart, for the last really 3 months...and I suppose that indeed it will continue for a few months more! Here are my thoughts and quotes that touched my heart throughout the of solitude and reflection.
"To wait apon God is Not a fruitless wast of time or a sign of inefficient, ineffective prayer: it is our God - given work, our assigned task." Margaret Guenther 

"Waiting develops a willingness to be changed, a time for God to Act upon me as I wait for further direction & deeper Understanding."

This quote makes me wonder if I actually believe it. I know that it does create a willingness to change, as I have seen that in my walk, even though I am not always willing to be changed. To change brings on fear, fear makes me stubborn (and we know how stubborn I already am), frozen, and holding my breath. I find for me, at times I wait well and calm, and other times I am no longer calm and in no way do I look like a person that waits well. Fear often overcomes me.

"The invitation to wait, especially during Advent, is to allow God to fill the open receptacle of my heart with God's spirit."

My hesitation: How God do I know when you have filled me?
              Which Brings me this picture: Filling a coffee cup @ a convenience store. 
                                                     (I travel a lot...its my only connection with energy on long drives)
How do you know its full? I don't want to pull away thinking its full and Short myself my Vanilla Cap! But if I don't let go early enough my cup it overflows & burns my hand. Am I fearful that you Lord will burn my hand? Its as if I wait on you, I believe I'm going to get too much and I will not be able to handle it. If I cannot wait for you My God, and I only receive a half portion, and I believe that it will sustain me. 

To often we pull away and don't wait for God's certain goodness. I suppose this is my journey. And I am reminded on a daily basis. To wait upon the Lord. 

A dear old friend sent me this verse, "Trust in the Lord, be still and wait patiently for Him. Fret not yourself." Psalm 37

  And so I wait.

Still moving Forward, but waiting on His Plan, His Schedule, His Patience. 

Monday, January 7, 2008

Bryce's Birthday!

so I realize now its the 7th and his Birthday was the 6th...

But I called him and he and the family where watching a bootleg copy of a movie!

ahhh I love them! They are classic. 

Can I say this.

I have just returned from 2 weeks of Vacation and goodness for sure. 
But if I can say this, and I truly mean it.

I missed my JR Highers and my Leaders. 

My time to rest was and still breaths life into me...But these students...they give me life.

there sweet minds that are trying to wrap around who God is. 

they ask questions like: is God really everywhere? Is it OK that I don't know what to believe? why does he forgive us more than one time? and statements like: I learned this morning in Sunday school that its OK if I doubt, as long as I ask the questions to find out more. I think God would hang out with people that can make things happen and people that would change peoples lives. I think he would hang out with people I will not hang out with. 

that makes me full. I am at such an honored place to be able to take part. 


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Christmas holiday.

I was browsing through my photos and I forgot to talk about all the family we saw and how amazing it was. This was just a favorite moment caught on tape. 
This was happening while his parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and even baby brother was awake playing a few amazing rounds of Catch Phrase in the other room. He slept right through our yells. But started happily watching sponge Bob and ended so sweet laying next to the tree with Kermit clearly tired too...sweet Frankie Ethan

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The birthday's have begun

So Today was the start of Birthday madness. 
My dear friend Shannon and I have been able to celebrate only days apart for some time now. Who would have thought when we tipped over in a canoe in surrounded by 3 & 4 th Graders in the Summer of 99 that we would still be friends today. 
But there we where in a Burb, with our Driver Christi. I should have know it would be an adventure when we backed up and the tires already screeched. "sorry, the driveway is steep!" 
We all where packed in and off to go wine tasting around bonny doon, and then dinner. This turned into a day of things I have never done before...but fun, and with good people.  
If you have noted my blogs in the last two days the storms have been busy. So busy in fact that a tree was across our road. I say our road because it stood in the way of our Birthday plans. 

Through many screams, and second thoughts we decided that indeed we needed to go under the tree, because unlike the
 children's song we could not go around it or up it just, through it. Singing however was LAST on my mind as did I forget to mention there where down power lines too. Aye! We lifted our feet as if this would help, and waited and watched a local drive through it first...we thought sure! They did it...and we are sort of Locals...uhhh... One of the Ryan's from behind yelled DRIVE...and we did. 

Clearly we are safe cuz we I am writing happily. Then dinner at this fantastic place so fantastic I forgot the name...but its in davenport, You can't miss it! Food was amazing and they had live music. It was a guitarist that I honestly
 thought was a CD it was so beautiful. From catching lemons to us all trying eachothers food, and they even gave Shannon a little cake that was Divine which we shared.  

If you know anything about Davenport you know there is a great "Glass Beach" that is really close by. So for Shannon we thought Oooh Lets get at least one piece of glass so that we can say we got some for Shannon on her birthday! S
o we crossed the street, and well we found no glass, because honestly the path was so slippery from all the rain...and more than one time we where scared by the ryan's,and once I was scared by brenda but that's another story. ps What you cannot see behind Venessa and I is the depths of the cliffs behind us!! We where very very afraid!

So I hope that the 6th which is Bryce's Birthday, and the 8th which is mine will be fun as well just because!

Friday, January 4, 2008


The storms are much worse than i thought. I realized this when my friend from NY city called and asked if I was ok. huh? I was fine and cozy and warm in my well lit house! 

And then I remembered: 

Mount Hermon conference center drive was still full of light...
Scott's Valley was also filled with lights...
the DMV & B of A in Capitola had lights...

But apparently nobody else did. Not even our friends atop of the hill had lights.

ok so maybe i noticed it when the signs all said severe flood area earier this afternoon...no worries I was on the safe parts!

I also found out when I was driving to my friends at night the stores where closed in Felton and the street lights out, and I'll be honest it felt a little strange. 

And maybe there was only one way into my house. Graham hill closed, hwy 9 closed both ways, which leaves only one way out. 

well there is no rain right now, and I hope it stays that way so some friends of ours can travel back on their planes safely and with no delays tomorrow. Goodnight!

yikes its almost midnight and this is the latest I have stayed up since the night before new years!! That's what my cold/fever/plague/the sickness does to you...(did i mention that I have been sick since the 1st? what a lousy way to finish my vacation...ehh at least I can say I was well rested on my vacate!) NyQuil is calling my name... before my cough takes over the words I type goodnight.

12 minutes at the DMV

Flash floods they say, millions out of power, freeways closed, and land slides. They warned on the radio to not go outside. 

so I went outside. 

You see I have been sick with a fever for two and a half days now, and I only have two days of vacation left. What do most youth workers that finally get some R&R tend to do with important stuff that needs to be finished by the end of their vacation? We wait till the end of our vacation of course. On the large list of things I had to get done, there was one things that was more painful than any of the others. RENEW LICENCE! That means I had to go into the DMV office, somehow this time I could not get away with mailing in a signed piece of paper...nope of course not. so here I am days before I would be driving illegally, hearing the reports of power out everywhere. I realize I have to go. I must.

So I put on my favorite rain boots : ), my favorite rain jacket, and off I go. There is a funny thing about people when tragedy or danger is near. They tend to follow the speed laws, and common courtesy laws on the road. Thus made my drive that much happier!  In fact this simple life pleasure of people driving nice, made my whole day better! If it had not been for all the people staying home out of the storm I am not sure I would have enjoyed the drive, because only the nice people who just needed to get out where on the road which made a nice even flow. LOVELY. And then I pulled into the DMV Parking lot. ehh.

The purpose of this blog: Everyone dreads going to the why because of the lines, the people, the lines, and the hours you wait for what seems like nothing!! Today I felt like the world Champion. I walked in wet, in my rain boots, sniffing (from my cold),  prepared with my ipod stashed in my purse and a good book I had planned on reading on vacation (I've only read the prelude). I was ready to face DMV!!! 

I looked at my clock 2:32 pm. 

Before I knew it I had no time to wipe the rain from my hair or jacket, or even think about my book. The Clerk was saying "Smile Please, and Thank you have a good day". I paused and said, "Really that's its??" Did I really just talk to 4 DMV people, and crack a few jokes with another, ha something about Government money at good use with three leaks in the roof. But everyone was still smiling, so I smiled back. Was this a dream??? 

I looked down at my phone to see the time 2:44 pm
it only took 12 MINUTES the the DMV!! GLORIOUS!

I was like a kid who always hated the dentist and now found out I didn't need a cavity treatment anymore...Yes this was now a new found love for the dmv. Wait. Only on days when  they suggest you should not be out and about. When there is nobody there and leaks in the ceiling. As for my picture I cannot be certain as to what it looks like. I hope ok because I will never have a day like today.  ha ha That's my story for the day!

Live Life

walking boldly as though nothing can
hold you