Monday, December 2, 2013

Elf on the shelf Jesus Style?!?

So the new thing circulating Facebook is to "Jesusify" your elf on the shelf. 


I try I really do. I don't want to be the Christmas Curmudgeon. I am posting this rant on my blog so that those who choose, can avoid my particular type of crazy. 

I just would prefer that people openly and without shame embrace all their fabricated holiday fun.

By fabricated I mean not real but presented as real to small children as holiday "fun". 
Own it if that's what you choose, why feel that you have to slap the name of the Most High God on it?

Just wondering how you reconcile the "Do not lie" commands in the bible such as Colossians 3:9 :"Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices" with holiday lying to small trusting children about mythical creatures.

For me the unvarnished truth has so much wonder and delight that my children and I need nothing more. 
We have traditions of fun, surprise gifts, charitable work, discussing the historical figure of St. Nicholas, telling the Birth story and countdown or advent calendars. 

But at no time do I lead them to believe something that is fiction is nonfiction. 
I make it clear the difference between fun made up stories and what actually happened or is happening. Fiction can be fun, imagination can be joyful, but not mistaken for real. Why are so many young adults depressed and dissatisfied with life?
Maybe because it can never compare to the lies they hoped were real. 
"Wish or want for something hard enough and you will always get it" - yea, not in this universe. 

Why mix them? Why is it necessary? Has the world lead us to believe that we cannot have as much fun if we do not? Is fun the goal? 

If you ask my kids they say Christmas is their favorite time of the year without any deception. 

You can pose little dolls every night and tell the kids to find what character trait of Christ you trying to act out without ever implying that the doll is alive or magic is involved.

He rules your heart Christian, or He should. Not culture, not fantasy, not peer pressure, not your very very best intentions.

If you are faithful in the small things, He will give you authority in the large things. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Want a snake?

So I haven't blogged in a while. Truthfully around this time every year I debate about just quitting it all together. I don't really have a gimmick. 
I occasionally have a photo to share but it's not a photo blog.
I have a funny story or two but I'm no comedian. 
I've been through a few things but no marathon of overcoming to tell of. 
But just when I am ready to throw in the towel God shows me a truth or expresses a point to me and I just cannot help myself, I want to type it up. 

It happened this week.
I was just sitting still for a moment and thinking about things. A scripture came to mind.

Matthew 7:9-11

New King James Version (NKJV)
Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

I know on the surface the ideas seems simple, almost simple minded. Well, sure doesn't a father give his kid a piece of bread and not a stone? A fish and not a snake.
Please, it's a concept about as deep as a teaspoon, right?
We can trust God, He gives us good stuff not bad, even more than the humans in our lives. 

But as I sat and thought the words kept going deeper in my mind. They became pointed, pricking my heart. 
If I ask God for something and He does not give it to me, based on this verse you have just dodged a snake.

Now, I confess my first reaction to getting denied something I surely thought was good is not "Whew, thank goodness my Dad wasn't healed" or "Wow, I am so glad I got mixed up and showed up an hour late to that interview". Both of which actually happened to me. 
I am thinking "How, how can this be a good answer to a sincere prayer?".

But I am able after a time to think, perhaps what would have eventually come from my prayer would have turned out to be a snake or a stone, no matter how unlikely that may seem.

For the record I think that God says no to prayers that are based on full faith, unhindered belief and from a heart totally in line with Him. No answers do not mean you have failed in some way to do it right. 
Sure you can be totally out of God's will and shoot off a crazy "wish" style prayer that is doomed from the start but that is not always the case. Jesus asked for the cup to pass and it did not. Period the end. 

Can you go there? Can you believe a God intense enough to stretch out into time and space and weave lives in multitudes of complexities? It's a wild walk. It asks you to see yourself in a new light. One that is not as flattering as we might want to be seen in. 

But I have a deep peace with not being the end of the line in thinking and logic. I know me, the deep down me and despite all the wonderful things God has created in me, I find a great peace in submitting to Him. In not feeling the unbearable burden of having to figure it all out but trusting He has. 

I truly wish and desire that you could walk this way with me. Side by side. 

Friday, September 20, 2013


I have been a bit busy. I got a part-time job (20 hours) at my son's middle school as a math Tutor.

I have spent the past two weeks wading through the procedure, software and the paperwork associated with the job but today I had a break through.

Today I think I really taught someone something.
I had two children who really seemed to have a break through in math.
Double digit multiplication and decimal place values.
It was more exciting than I expected.
I felt a rush all day.
I never really understood why people wanted to be teachers until today.

Also another small victory- my printer was networked to our computers.
No lie, this is a big deal, and it made me ridiculously happy.

Diverging now....
Why does a store bought Starbucks Frappe taste so much better than the one I have in my fridge?
I know it's not possible but I suspect my taste buds can detect expense and register it as deliciousness.
I know my eyes can detect expense and register it as good style.
Why else would I instantly gravitate to them most expensive things in a store before I force myself to the sale rack?

Happy Weekend.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The manifesto of a wife and mother

Along with getting married, having children is one of the most eye opening things I have ever done.
What has it opened my eyes to?
I thought I really knew "me" many moons ago.
I though I was a pretty calm rational gal.
I thought I had a realistic view of the world.


I have had to come to terms with things I cannot do but seriously though I could.
I can influence people- my little people and my hubby among many others.
I cannot change a person - not one single one.

I can love people but I cannot do it alone. I need the well of Christ flowing out of me because without Him my well is actually a dust pit. A dusty pit full of my own vast needs only Christ can meet.

I cannot learn things for my kids.
This is one of the hardest ones.
I want to learn optimism for them, I want to learn hard work and self-value that comes from Christ for them.
I cannot.
I cannot download, upgrade, memory add or USB any of this to my kids.

I can influence what they experience but they have to get character and meaning for themselves.
I did not realize how hard a time I would have with, what seems to be a pretty obvious truth.

I will not lie my pre-kid fantasy was that little clones of myself and my husband would emerge into this world full of all the good character traits it took us 20 or more years to learn.
Yes, I think deep down I was that delusional.

What I have learned is that I have a secret weapon, PRAYER.
Prayer for myself that I will let God and not my insecurities guide my parenting.
Prayer that God will work in their little hearts just like He did in mine to guide them to Him.
I will not be lazy in my part of the parenting or being a wife but I will lay my heart bare before God so that He can continue to point out what I need to realize about myself and others in light of Him.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The five hardest letters in the English Language

One of my multiple weird hang ups is my inability to not answer the phone when I am in the shower or tub.
It has taken me years to over come this foolishness.

I would bring the phone and sit it on the side of the tub.

I would fling open the shower door, slopping water everywhere while risking life and limb in a sliding dash for the phone.

Now usually these vital calls were from dear "Rachel at card member services" whom, if destiny complies, I will have a cage match with some day.

This year I learned to say the five hardest letters in the English language: It's OK.

It's ok if I take a deep breath and enjoy my bath as the phone rings.
It's ok if I don't even bring the phone in the bathroom.
I will in fact have time to check the caller ID when I am finished.

Why does it feel like I have spent half of my life giving myself permission to live?

It's ok if people don't understand why I do what I do.
As long as I understand- It's ok.

We are social beings we are meant to relate to other people and to do that we have to care or take note of what they are expressing. I get it.

Some of us are so invested in this that we eventually have to join "I cannot say 'it's ok' anonymous".

You know all of us gathered in our little community center drinking inferior coffee saying "My Name is Kellie and this is my fourth week of saying 'It's okay'.  Yesterday I had thoughts of hustling and bustling over something that was in reality 'ok'."

God has helped me with this by sending people along side me who were determined to have an "It's okay" intervention with me. Confronting me that desperately needing to meet some crazy standard whether internal or external is like seeking a high that is never gonna come.

I mean at least drug addicts get high. Refusing to accept what is yours to handle and what is not, never pans out. There is no pay off.

As I approach 40 I get the message loud and clear- life is too short.

I was talking to a teenager last week who said she was afraid to grow old.

I am afraid of what my life would look like if I never had.
I am pretty sure the teenaged me would have made the worst immortal in the history of ever.  ;)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Have we lost the meaning of it all?

I was wondering how to explain salvation to someone the other day.
I have memorized the verses in Romans that explain salvation but I started wondering how Jesus, Peter, and Paul explained it.
I have yet to find one time where they asked "Do you want to accept Jesus?".
That surprised me.
Every time they just presented the truth of God, Jesus and our sin then let the person decide for themselves. Apparently their presentation was so Holy Spirit filled people started asking them how to be saved from sin.

I have started to realized that once your culture becomes comfortable with words like "Accept Jesus into your heart", they start to lose all meaning.
Here's what occurred to me:

You need to know what you are choosing.
You are agreeing to give up what you currently have (all that you currently have)- the option to make wrong choices all the time, drive your life into the ground with your limited wisdom and to end up eternally separated from a God who loves you and would do literally anything to offer you more.
You are agreeing to give Him all that you are. EVERYTHING.
Nothing is off the table, He gets to have the final say in everything. Now, if you realize how much He loves you (as demonstrated in His choice to die a physical death for you and be separated from all His glory for you) then giving Him this is not a risky move.

The above are the parts are where you realize if you believe in him or not.
If you trust him or not. Whether you think sin is real and you have it in your life or you don't.  

It's an all or nothing deal. All of you just as you are or none of you.

If you can jump off the high dive on this the tell someone.

Tell your family, tell another person who believes this, tell someone who can encourage you and help you in what you have just decided.

Confessing that Jesus is Lord, your lord is a huge deal. If you know what Lord actually means. Don't let Church culture lull you into a false sense of a relationship with God.

False salvation is worse than none at all. It's like having cancer but believing you are cured.
I firmly believe it only takes 5 to 12 truly saved people to turn a town or area into a hot bed of the Gospel. So if that seems to be the case in the bible, why are our churches so quiet and our towns hot beds of the lost?

If you say you are a Christian and you have never talked with your family, children, grandchildren, coworkers or friends about the above things then you don't really have much in common with Jesus, Peter, Paul or any other leader of the New Testament.

My prayer is that God would change me from the inside out so that my mouth would speak of Him constantly. I also ask that He forgives me to neglecting Him and every soul around me.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Job of Job

The book of Job is a hum-dinger. It would probably the book many atheist point out for their reason not to believe in God while at the same time most Christians may come to see it as one of the most comforting books in the Bible.

I have to admit that when I started reading this book a few months ago at a pretty stressful time in my life I did not have high hopes. In fact the mere circumstance that Job was just the next book in my order of reading depressed me.
I have found that even though I read the Bible straight through over and over, I always find myself reading just what I need for that moment in my life. So naturally I assumed I would be entering a Job style period in my life. I was indeed correct.

Now for those of you who may not be familiar with the book of Job. Job is a great guy. Loved by all, a leader in his community, great father and husband, prosperous and a steady man of faith. Unknown to him Satan taunts God that Job's faith is based on his blessings alone. Basically Satan says "Sure anyone would serve you for all that you have given Job". God, knowing Job, says "Not my Job, my relationship with him is much deeper". So in the course of things God gives Satan permission to take everything from Job.

Now on the surface this ignites a firestorm of indignation from just about any human being. Yet, are the things in life what makes us love and trust God? Are the things in life our god and must never in any way be meddled with? Are they our source of all meaning and faith? Are my children "the deal" I have with God?  My house? My health?

Job is horribly grieved when all is taken from him. All except his wife, who tells him very lovingly to curse God and die.
But his faith in God is never shaken. He is deeply disturbed but remains one who seeks after God. His friends accuse him of sin, rationalizing that all suffering comes directly from sin of the victim. (God later rebukes them for this)
Finally a young whipper snapper who has respectfully let all his elders speak addresses Job.
I can so so so relate to Elihu. He says he is disappointed in his elders that they don't really have much advice or wisdom to offer. He says he is literally about to pop because of the need to state his view of things. (so me)
Be here is where he out paces me, he states all the amazing truths about God. Job chapter 34-37. He asks Job what right have we to question God if we cannot even understand the most basic things that he accomplishes- human life, nature, the universe?

Who among us wants to be told we don't have the right to question something? Especially something that hurts us or is painful to others?
Again firestorm of indignation.
But once the firestorm blows itself out what is more comforting, knowing that an all powerful God who fully loves you has a bigger plan and purpose than your brain can understand or the aching scratching hollow of knowing you are it kiddo, your intelligence is the peak of it all in the universe and feeding your vast hunger is all there is to it?

I chose many years ago which it was for me.
Never regretted it since, not once.
Tomorrow I start to read the part where God himself speaks to Job. Why, if He does not owe Job an explanation does God speak with Job?
Because He is Job's true friend in a sense of the word that we humans will also never understand.
(by the way Job's blessings are doubled or tripled at the end of the journey but here's the kicker- THAT'S NOT THE POINT)

Lord please forgive me for the Audacity of my impatience.
I am so feeble minded that I forgot who I wait upon.
I would be a fool to forget I wait upon the one who formed the Earth and all that exists on it, the universe and all that exists in it and so much more beyond that.
It is good for me to be reminded of who you are.
By reminding me today you have also helped me remember your great love for me.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Matrimony and other endanger species

Please take a minute to watch this video:

Chis August- Restore

Today my cousin was married.
Tomorrow I will celebrate my 17th wedding Anniversary.

I can say candlelight, roses, whispered words of love, romantic getaways, and all other gestures of love have a definite limit to their power.
I love them the way I love dark chocolate, in limited doses.

What I have found that I want unlimited doses of is a little more Christ in my spouse and I.

When I know I have really messed up, to see undeserved forgiveness in his eyes.
When I want to throw in the towel to hear him say "I will never give up on our love or our life together"

To repent together of stupid choices and feel that God is giving us a fresh start.

To encourage him to take a risk for his faith and see how much joy he gets from it.
To teach our children together about God.

To know he hears me when I am struggling because God gave him the ability to.

Sure I can whip out the fairy tale story- a happy marriage, children, financial security but the only the magical about it is how God can take two totally, completely average people and dwell in them.

It really breaks my heart that Iron man and Pepper never discussed marriage. Crazy, I know but to me marriage is the only way to really say "I love you".

You don't need to test out "I love you", it's a choice. You don't say "let me try to choose and see if I can". You just choose.
If you or someone you are with feels the need to try things out before marriage, what's really being said is "let me see if you can meet my needs".

Trust me, in the long haul this kind of thinking is the hole that sinks the ship. A human being cannot meet your needs, and neither should you ask them too.

Only God can do that.

Can a human being be a life long companion?
I'm banking on it.
Can a human being show you unconditional love?
We've been working at it for 17 years.

Will you suffer for your choice, yes, yes you will.
But if never suffering is your goal, go find a cryogenic freezer and get frozen in it.
Life involves some pain but I want mine to be toward a goal that is worth having.

As the old knight Templar in Indian Jones and the Holy Grail said "Choose wisely".

For me choosing to say "I love you" to someone who gave their heart fully to Christ made all the difference in the world.

The tree where almost 21 years ago, my sweetie gave me my first kiss. Thank you honey, for living up to your promises.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Rose without Thorns

A rose without thorns.

(Hijacked your picture Shellie because it was so perfect)
Sometimes a few well thought out words can do the trick and other times you can never do justice to something with words.
Words just start to feel like prison bars that are keeping you from getting at the "real deal".

That's what it feels like trying to write a tribute for my grandma.

She was absolutely a rose without thorns.
To name the feelings I feel when I remember her is simply not possible. There aren't words for that sort of thing. I cannot even make up words for that sort of thing.

My cousins did a wonderful job of using words to get us all to the place of feeling those unnameable feelings.

Those feelings that a select group of human beings on earth are blessed enough to share.

You might think I am exaggerating, or just doing what every loving grandchild does when trying to describe the loss of a grandmother but you, my friend, would be wrong.

I am an observer of people. I trained in two universities to be an observer of people.
Birdie Richardson was as unique as they come.

She had bright eyes. At 93 she had bright eyes.
I dare you to live to 93, give birth to 14 babies, see three of them die, raise 11 on a tiny income, lose your husband of 50 years and live on more than 20 years after that and have the bright eyes of a young child.
99% of the population just does not have what it takes.

They weren't just bright, they had a twinkle.
She loved a good story with a hearty laugh at the end.
We all honed our skills at telling that kind of story to Grandma.
Her laugh was a reward that created three generations of skilled and dedicated story tellers and humorist.

She was the spoiling grandma. Some of my cousins may have had another spoiling grandma, but I only had one.
I will never forget the awe my sister and I felt when, staying the night one night with her, we asked for bacon at 8:00 pm and she got out the cast iron skillet and fried up bacon.
I mean she just smiled, got out the skillet and made it. Not one word about how stupid it was to ask for bacon at 8:00 at night or about how she would have to wash a skillet, not one word. She actually seemed happy to do it for us.

To our little child's hearts we just knew something special was happening.

Some people have a hard time making 5 or 6 people feel special. She made 33 grandchildren feel like they each were the most special grandchild ever born. Remembering each birthday, clipping each newspaper article, displaying every card and picture. Making yellow cake with drippy homemade fudge icing.

She loved with abandon. She would abandon pride, rest, free time, possessions, everything for those she loved. The group of people who could count on this kind of love was enormous. Not just 99 living descendants but every relative and friend she ever had. Strangers of foreign shores whom a missionary had stirred her heart for.

Complaints. There were none. Seriously, you may think I am kidding or exaggerating- you would be stone cold wrong.
I would stop on the dusty dirt road as she walked home from a visit and offer a ride only to be refused every time. "No, No I am fine, just walking home. You go on"
Can get something for you?
"I have all I need".

She lived in an old wooden house, wore the same clothes for decades, ate the simplest of foods (off the charts delicious but simple) and never sought a luxury, ever. Don't think for a second she was of simple intellect. She was Valedictorian of her High School at a time when many women never made it to 8th grade. She had a razor sharp mind and memory. She had 11 well educated children who would have bankrupted themselves to fill her life with all this world could have to offer her. She had the opportunity to be and have what the world tells us we all should want, yet did not seek it out.  

She turned everyday life, what some would call living in poverty into an art form.

I mean it was like watching DaVinci paint.

You know you were in the presence of a master.

She could make something out of nothing.
Porch sitting became all the counsel and encouragement your soul needed for the day, week or month.
Potato digging day- the fair, carnival and awards day all wrapped into one. Friends and family all around, laughing, comparing potatoes, hauling bushels.

One day she came by our house and I had been drawing with my sister who was much younger and we drew a village of people shaped like hearts. She saw it on the fridge and said "Oh, I love that picture. It's like what our Richardson hill is here. The land of Love."
You see.
Then all of a sudden that silly little picture had meaning and I felt proud to be who I was.
You see.
Something out of nothing.

I know God makes everyone. But oh, with her, with her He was speaking out loud.
She loved God fiercely.
It was what made her journey possible. She would have told you that.
It was her understanding of His unconditional love that made her flow of it so endless.

I have little diamonds, gold nuggets if you will, that I hold tight- days of going to church with her. Sitting with her in the car on the way to church, praising God and how He made the Earth.
Singing the old Hymns with her.
Watching her pray.

(Breath in, Breath out, you can do this Kellie)

No words, No words. If you knew her and can picture these memories, you know. The intensity of those pictures in my mind are overwhelming.

If I am 1/5 of the woman she was, well then, Mission accomplished.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Tales of an e-reader curmudgeon

Resistance is futile.
My new Kindle Fire should have just whispered these words to me as I took it out of the box.

I did resist.
I am an avid reader. Usually a book a week. At least.
I have so many good memories of holding a book, especially a hard cover in my hand and curling up on a sofa or in a bed for a good long read.
Those tactile memories stored away in my fingers as they turn the pages and my eyes as they scanned the page. (Okay so the eyes now require glasses but so be it)
Even the smell of a new hard cover- come on you know what I mean, don't deny it.

Last cyber Monday I was lured in by the siren song of low prices to get a Kindle Fire.
Man, O, Man.
Free books, hundreds of them, from websites, the library, loans from friends. Jack pot.
Hundreds of books delivered through invisible waves directly to the Kindle.
Be still my 20th century heart.

Better yet I can place said Kindle in my purse, where it rests, slim, neat in it's hot pink cover (yes I am so girly as to have a hot pink e-reader cover) ready at a moments notice with said hundreds of books.

Yes, I do have to charge it, but it charges more quickly than my phone and keeps a charge for two full days of reading. Don't judge I am a substitute teacher at a middle school, what else am I supposed to do while they work worksheets?

Okay, Okay I do still have shelves of "hardcovers for when the electronic apocalypse occurs".
But I have to say I have been fully assimilated into the e-book collective much more easily than I expected to be.
(only the true Star Trek nerds will get all my crazy Borg references)

Join us, resistance is futile.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Taking No for an answer

Prevailing wisdom says you shouldn't take no for an answer.
Prevailing wisdom is dumb.

I wanted something to work out this weekend. It wasn't a bad something. It was, in my mind, a great something that would benefit many people, but mainly I felt it would benefit me.

Because it was a big something that effected many people, I sat still and silent that night and asked God was this His will. Silent and still I clearly heard in my heart the word, "No".

Just that. Not any explanation or vision of why.
I am one of those firm believers that He doesn't owe me any thing else but who among us doesn't long to know the "whole" story.

I was irritable. Despite knowing it was certainly for the best, I wanted what I wanted.
Confirmation came later that yes, indeed I had heard correctly and what I wanted would not apparently be happening.

I can honestly say two days later, I am at peace with it.
I am glad I took the time to sit quietly and listen.
What I heard made it easier to deal with what ultimately happened.

Take the time to sit, quiet, still, alone and ask.
Take the time quiet, still, alone to listen.

You will be thankful you did.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Figuring it out

I spend a decent amount of time thinking about things.
A blessing and a curse.
I think about things I heard, things I read, things I said and things I wish I had not said.

Today I was thinking about the old adage "Be happy with what you have because you could be worse off, like (fill in the blank with a person in a bad situation- the person fighting cancer, the person in deep poverty, etc...).

I knew someone who really had a problem with that saying. They questioned why their pain had to compare or why pain was ranked. Good questions.

Which made me think and think and think about how we often say or think things like the this adage.

Then it struck me, the only way the old saying works for me is if instead of trying to put myself in the shoes of a person with a greater struggle, I put them into my shoes.

When I came back from a poverty stricken part of Mexico, I felt weird about how much stuff I had.
Then I tried to imagine how a poverty stricken mother who's children walked dirt floors, who had limited clean water and little medical care would feel if she were given my home and life.

I imagined how the color and texture of every item in my home might become a feast for her eyes. The feel of the cold floor, the fabric of the sofa, the taste of the food, the clothes, accessories, TV, etc... would be a million little thrills. Tiny moments of wonder over the fact that these were hers.

Suddenly I found myself seeing my home in that way. I felt like princess in a fairytale. I felt the wonder and awe of my plain little home reborn.

I thought today about what a mother with terminal cancer might feel to be placed down in my life. To find herself in a strong healthy body, with two beautiful children, a loving husband and no specter over her time with them.
I can imagine her touching their faces often, playing long slow games, smiling and laughing at all the ways they were special. Giving up molding the ideal relationships and all the pressure of that with her family simply because she is secure that she can be present.

I find myself feeling and thinking these things and I begin to relax.

It's about relishing your life.
That's what the old adage was trying to tell me, but I did not figure it out until today. It's not about rating pain or suffering, it's about how different perspectives can reveal what is hiding in plain sight.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mount Everest- really the actual mountain

I am a vicarious liver.
No not a major organ, but one who lives through the adventures of others.

Sure I like a little adventure every now and then but money, time and a desire not to be hurt limit what I will do.
Everest is not on my "to do" list.
I am an out of shape, occasional asthmatic, with a capillary condition that limits the flow of blood in my fingers and toes.

The odds are ever not in my favor for mountain climbing.

But, thanks to the advances in viewing technology, NetFlix, I can watch season after season of a cast of characters attempt to summit the great mountain.

Meet Everest- Beyond the Limit

I was hooked at the first show.

My addiction: the Sherpas.
These guys are nothing short of super human.
Now don't get me wrong for a sea level living non- Tibetan, non-Nepalese to summit Everest it's amazing. They beat the odds. They literally walk over dead bodies to get there.

The people who are born and raised a the foot of Everest have natural abilities the rest of us do not have.
Their bodies process oxygen many times better, they have more red blood cells, compact strong bodies and more mountain instinct. They carry loads much heavier than any other climbers.

I mean above 27,000 feet it's called the Dead zone and no human has ever survived there more than 5 days. Most have to be on oxygen tanks the entire time, even the Sherpas. The peak of Everest is around 28,000 feet or the cruising height of a commercial jet.

The Sherpa who amazes me the most is Phurba Tashi.
This guy is at the limit of what human beings can do.

He has summitted Everest 19 times. 19 times. One other Sherpa has made it 21 times, but I think he may be older than Phurba. Once he single handedly carried an injured climber (the guy was a 120lb double amputee who summitted Everest) across a long section of rocky terrain on his back. This happened after he had sumitted Everest on the way down.

The man who runs the expeditions, Russell Bice, featured on the show clearly loves the Sherpas and cares for them. Through their work with him they have financial opportunities they would never have otherwise.
But every time they call him "Big Boss" I have to cringe a bit.

I respect Bice because he appears to run the safest and most carefully planned operation on Everest. During Summit season it can become something of a free for all with hundreds of people (many of whom should not be there) trekking up the peak.

The Story that most caught my attention was that of Phurba and David Tait.
Davit Tait is a child abuse survivor from England who had already summitted Everest but came back to set a world record. He wanted to summit from the north then go down the south, then after a few days rest return for a double summit. It had never been done.

He and Phurba quickly summit from the north but then more slowly make it down the south because no one had come up from the south yet that year and they had to lay their own safety lines.

Once at the southern base camp David stops the attempt. When asked why he replies because the record would not truly be his, Phurba would basically have to step aside and let David summit the second time because Phurba was leading the way all the time.
David said it was just to obvious Phurba was superior to him in every area of mountain climbing.

How easy would it have been for David to let Phurba guide him up and take the world record and all the fame? I was blown away by David's honestly and respect for Phurba.

I cannot help but see the Life lesson there. Who of us knows our own pride enough to see when we are standing on the shoulders of others?
It's not wrong to need help to accomplish a goal, but it is wrong to be blind to that fact.

Who are the unsung Phurba's in our lives? Those who have greatness in them but humbly serve others without bitterness or envy. Those who love and respect people who from time to time take them for granted.

I want to be open to see people like Phurba around me and to see myself in a more accurate light.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

5 ways to Spring into Spring

With Hay fever and daylight savings making getting out of bed a struggle, Spring may not be delighting your heart right about now.

I have 5 tips that help me Spring into Spring:

1. Forget Spring cleaning, do Spring cooking. Make a Strawberry parfait. This can be done as a whole cake or in dessert cups.
Layer crushed vanilla cake, crushed sugared strawberries, vanilla pudding, cool whip and crushed pecans if you choose. Refrigerate for one hour, if you can stand to wait :). This is based off of my Grandmother's world famous Strawberry punch bowl cake.

2. Dye Easter eggs. This is a win, win for me because I love deviled eggs, egg salad and plain boiled eggs. Nothing brings out your young heart like planning and creating Easter egg designs.

3. Buy or grow spring flowers. Outside a window or in a vase they remind you that life can be so beautiful. It's okay to buy an inexpensive pot of spring flowers knowing they will not live into the summer. Wild flowers are no less beautiful because they do not last and neither are cultivated flowers. When they die just compost the plant and use the dirt for a summer plant. Must do rule- No harsh judgements on your lack of greenish tint to your thumb, it kills the joy.

4. Take a child to the park. No kids, invite a friend with kids. Sit in a swing, climb, jump, laugh. Chase down an ice cream truck. Get dirty and be messy. I suspect those two ingredients are why kids laugh and smile more than adults.

5. Dress up and go to church. Bear with me now. You may hate dressing up but if you don't give yourself a reason to go the extra mile (haircut, nails tamed, ironed clothes, etc...) in the daytime hours, when will you ever do it? Why church? Why not? When you were a kid you might have hated a certain food that as an adult you can really appreciate. Giving something a second or first chance when you are in a different space in your life is a smart thing to do. Keep a fresh perspective, like Spring.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Good point Chris

I heard Chris Tomlin talking on K-love (christian radio station) today and he was discussing the story of Elijah and his servant. It's the source for his new song "Whom shall I fear".
The story takes place in 2 Kings 6:8-22
Take a minute to read it.

It is a very clear picture of how times often look grim at every angle.
An army is gathered around you, destruction is imminent. Fear grips your heart like a vise.

Maybe for you it's relationship issues, financial troubles, parenting woes, or just a general dismay at how sad and evil our culture has become.
Bad, Bad, Bad at every angle. No silver lining. No upside.

But Elisha was filled, I mean FILLED, with the Holy Spirit and he got it.
He got it.
So when his servant came to him and said "Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” , the army has us surrounded.

Elisha says “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

Elisha asked God to open his eyes.
The servant instantly sees.
Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

If you call yourself by the name "believer" do you believe?

Do you understand that only 1/3 of the angels were cast down as Demons and ... 
2/3 still faithfully serve the Lord on our behalf.

How much do you think 2/3 of all the angels in heaven are?
I am guessing many.

Faithful believer the armies of the Lord are around his people working to honor their faith. Yes, it's not likely that we will avoid earthly death but as long as God has a mission for you here on the Earth, He will provide for your protection.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


 My thinking is broken, perspective is ridiculous and determined to sink me.

Love in Action

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not think you are superior.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[

I mean read that and tell me that your thoughts don't focus on how unrealistic this is?
Tell me you are willing to let go of your right to get payback for wrongs done to you.

To never ever let a snide, or loaded comment leave your lips because it's not your right.

To speak blessing on people who curse you.
My thoughts do not take this course of their own free will.
My perspective sees only the need for me to protect myself.
I know that what Christ wants from me I cannot ever do.
I know that He knows this.
I know that He has given me His very own power to be a new creature.
Not a better version of myself but something not myself at all.

Admit you cannot. Sin is alive and well in you.
Admit Jesus did it for you, died for you and rose a victor over sin. Only admit it if you really can believe He did.
Ask God to wash you clean, make you new and send His Holy Spirit to complete this work in you.
Are you too attached to “you”?
I am, that’s why I struggle. You see, I kinda like me. I have only known the "me" perspective. 
Can you dare to believe there is more?
I get pretty pumped thinking about the possibilities of living a radical, don’t trust your heart/emotions/popular advice kind of life.
I get a thrill at thinking the Holy Spirit could replace me and guide me to Christ-like living.
Because I have read the New Testament and what Christ and those who became “new creatures” did was AMAZING.
Raise the dead, heal, reach, teach, overcome, and surrender. All with the joy nothing can erase. They did not get there relying on their ownselves for all they needed to know. They suffered constantly.

Where their understanding ended they let the Father begin.
Is it worth it?
Could you say no to you and yes to Jesus?
These are THE questions. 
Even if you just want to, He can take you the rest of the way.