Tuesday, December 30, 2014


This is the most amazing song.  It really speaks a lot to what I've been feeling, especially after losing my beloved pet so suddenly, so tragically.  I know one could say that Stanley was 'just a dog', but he was anything BUT just a dog to me.  He was my calm.  There's a magnate I have at my desk at work, it says:

Peace.  It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work.  It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

Stanley was that for me.  He brought me peace.  I know that Brynleigh, my new pup, will get there eventually, but I'm still angry at how Stanley was taken from me.  There was no peacefully falling asleep in my arms, he screamed and cried "mama!" before collapsing.... And I really just can't find peace after that.... And I think that's why I've had such an incredible disconnect from feeling God's presence.  I've allowed the anger to close things off.  And that's grief.  That's mourning.  I know that I will eventually get over it. 

Last night on my way home from work I heard the song "Held" by Natalie Grant... It is an absolutely beautiful song, and the chorus just made me weep. 

Enjoy. Keep tissues handy. (please let me know if the link doesn't work)

I miss Stanley every single moment of every single day, with every cell of my being.  Sometimes I hug my little Brynleigh as she snuggles up on my chest and it just makes me cry because she's not him.  And I know she's not, I didn't get another dog to be Stanley, or replace Stanley, it's just that I think my heart will always ache for Stanley.  I ask St. Francis to pray for me, for healing, every night.... and on most days I make it through crying less than the day before, silent tears, in private (mostly)....

This is how it feels to be held when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive....

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sometimes Life Hurts

I'm sorry I've been so absent.  Stanley's death really hit me hard, and even though I have been blessed with the most adorable puppy ever, Brynleigh just isn't Stanley.  She's not supposed to be, and my head knows that, but my heart still longs for the peace that my Stanner-Manners brought to my life. 

I'll get there again, I know I will.  I'm in the process of putting a blog together, not just another apology for not writing as regularly as I used to. 

Until then, pray for one another, love much, laugh often, and give thanks every day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Persion Prayer

All that we ough to have thought, and have not thought,
All that we ought to have said, and have not said,
All that we ought to have done, and have not done;

All that we ought not to have thought, and yet have though,
All that we ought not to have spoken, and yet have spoken,
All that we ought not to have done, and yet have done;

For thoughts, words, and works, pray we, O God, for forgiveness.

~A Persian Prayer

Indeed, this very much applies to my day today.  While I've been biting my tongue, my thoughts have not been kind, and God knows my intentions even though I don't say them out loud. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Words from Mother Teresa

Make us worthy, Lord, to serve our fellow men throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger.  Give them through our hands this day their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give peace and joy.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------More wise words from that Little Book of Prayers.  Of course, you really cannot go wrong with Mother Teresa either.  If ever there was someone who's presense I long to be in, it would be her.  And Ella Fitzgerald.  But Mother Teresa first. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Lead Me

Preciouis Lord, take my hand.
Lead me on. Let me stand.
I am tired. I am weak. I am worn.
Through the storm,
Through the night,
Lead me on to the light.
Take my hand, precious Lord,
And lead me home.

~African-American Spiritual

Lord only knows how I need to be led sometimes.... this is a prayer from my little book, and I love it - I have it flagged - it makes me want to sing, to arrange it, write the parts, and have the choir singing it at church on Sundays!  I know it says it's a spiritual, it might already have the parts all figured out... I just let it be my heart song, right now, because the melody I want to use is just barely out of reach- I can almost hear it, but not quite....

Does that make any sense?  Sometimes God doesn't have to make sense.  He knows my intentions, knows the joy and jubilation this little prayer brings me, and He delights in it.  And making Him happy makes me happy. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

I Have a Little Book....

... a Little Book of Prayers, edited by David Schiller.  While I am in a void, a place of spiritual silence, I am going to try to post a few times a week, maybe more, from this book.


O God, O Lord of the mountains and valleys, I have offered you a bit of your food, your drink. And now I continue on, beneath your feet and your hands, I, a traveler.

Now I will selep beneath your feet, beneath your hands, O Lord of the mountains and valleys, O Lord of the trees, O Lord of the creeping vines.  Again tomorrow there will be day, again tomorrow there will be light.  I know not where I will be.

Who is my mother?  Who is my father?  Only you, O God.  You watch me, guard me, on every path, through every darkness, and before each obstacle that you might hide or take away, O God, my Lord.  O Lord of the mountains and valleys.

~Kekchi Maya

Friday, July 18, 2014

Created in Love

Today is Nelson Mandela's birthday, and Google has a wonderful tribute for it.  A coworker and I were discussing quite a few things about Faith, traditions, Christianity, and the like, and when I read the quotes that Google had selected, it gave me goose bumps.

"No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background or religion.  People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for Love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."

When I read this out loud, my coworker said "Because we are created in God's Love." 

That was really powerful me- such a simple statement, but so profound!  God loved us so much that He made us.  Each and every one of us.  Just the way we were meant to be. 

Now, there are environmental factors that change how we are, who we are, but God's love is there, and it's our choices that can bring us closer to Him, or push us farther away. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"I Say a Little Prayer for.... ME."

Yes, that's right.  I'm saying prayers for myself.  That doesn't happen often, tell you what!  And they're not direct "Please do this" prayers, they are more "Please help me understand my path" prayers. 

I've always joked about the fact that my path hasn't lined up with God's, not much at all.... I never dreamed I'd be a college educated world traveled-career woman!  I always thought I'd be married right out of high school, and be a part time worker/mother of multiple children by the time I was 30.  Now, I'm single, 34, and living with my parents because landlords don't rent to pitbull owners, and I don't save as well as I should - but I'm working on it! 

Now I'm presented with health problems that are slowly but surely eliminating the possibility for me to have children.  I am totally okay adopting, actually look forward to being able to love and cherish an unwanted child(ren) the way they deserve to be loved!  HOWEVER, many adoption agencies openly state that they rarely place infants and children with single parents.  Nevermind the fact that I am gainfully employed with the Federal Government and have a strong support network of family and friends, nevermind the fact that I have a strong faith community behind me and will raise the child as one of God's children, I am not married and therefore I am seen as an unfit mother.

An unfit mother.  Words I never thought I would ever have used to describe me.  Even if it was a blanket statement made by multiple agencies as a broad generalization, the words are out there. 

I found an agency that alleges to encourage all lifestyles, including single parenthood and same-sex couples... going to start really digging in to their practices and contacting them for research.... we shall see.

Until then, I will be the best darned auntie there is, hands down.  And please pray for me. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Donation for a Good Cause

Many of you know that Stanley is the love of my life, my puppy-dog. (Okay, so he's not a puppy, but he sure acts like one!) 

Been praying and praying, and it seems that more and more tumors and trials and tribulations keep popping up.  He now has to go to WSU for almost a whole month for radiation treatments, and it will be around $4000. 

Please, if you could spare a few extra dollars to help cover the costs?  Here's the GoFundMe link...

Save Stanley's Leg

Thank you.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I'm Gonna Sing When the Spirit Says "SING!"

For those of you who have been following for a while now, you are familiar with how hard it was to be asked not to sing at mass anymore at St Stephens.  Fear not!  That has been resolved, for the most part!!!

I went back to the music ministries at St Stephens and asked if I was needed anywhere else.... the first couple I spoke with left me feeling very hopeful, I could hear harmonies and melodies spinning together, but they had another vision for their direction, and never called me back.  It was at that point that I resigned myself to just being a participating member of the congregation, just sit in the sanctuary as one of many in the Body of Christ, and wait for the Spirit to move me.  I knew, when the timing was right, He would use my gifts again. 

A few days after coming to this realization, my parents said they wanted to head out to St Barbara's, a smaller parish in Black Diamond.  Of course I said yes, it was the first time they wanted to go to church other than a holiday in years!  The music was very familiar, between songs that I'd sang in choirs or at churches over the years, and I sang along with every one.  At the end of mass one of the women in the choir practically ran over to me, grabbed me by both arms and said "I was watching you all of mass, you knew every word to every song we sang.  COME SING WITH US!" so excited, eyes lit up & dancing... how could I have said no?! 

So, I was a regular member of the congregation for one service.... now I'm singing every Sunday morning with the church choir, and will start in the cantoring rotation on June 8th.

I have always believed that God will open a window when a door is closed for us, and this has got to be the most literal, direct "window" I've ever had opened for me, AMEN!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Fellowship Through Music

Here it is!  The master list, in no particular order, without the artists names (at this point- can't get excel to play nice)  It was really neat to see people come together - on facebook! - and to read everyone's stories as to why one song or the other was so special to them.  I'm sure there are inifinately more, but this is a good starting place, don't you think?

Old Rugged Cross
Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord
Here I am to Worship
We Fall Down
Blessed Be Your Name
The River Lullaby
Voice of Truth
I Can Only Imagine
Shout to the Lord
Be Thou My Vision
Something Beautiful
I Love You Lord
Prayer of St Francis
This Little Light of Mine
I Love You This Much
I Believe
Dig a Little Deeper In God's Love
Here in Your Presence
Desert Song
Love Song for a Saviour
Take My Life
Create in Me a Clean Heart
You Found Me
In Christ Alone
Mighty is the Power of the Cross
You Do All Things Well
Strong-Strong Wind
Revelation Song
At Your Feet
With Everything
Jesus Paid it All
Jesus Take the Wheel
Set Me as a Seal
Put Your Hand in the Hand
How He Love Him
Rise Up
Deep Calls/To Deep?
Your Love is Extravagant
Hello Lord
The Word
In My Arms
All Around Me
You Said 
Beautiful Saviour
On Fire
I Need You to Love Me
Porcelain Heart
Never Alone
For My Love
Priase You With Dance
Refine Me & Undo Me
Only a Man
Dare You to Move
Sweetly Broken
In Your Presence
Open Skies
Dance with Me
Does Anybody Hear Her
Someone Up There Loves Me
Make Me a Channel of Your Peace
Who Am I
El Shaddai 
I have Decided
Awesome God
There is None Like You
Here I am to Worship (duplicate)
I Will Call Upon the Lord
He Has Made Me Glad
Better is One Day
I Will Celebrate
How Great Thou Art
Because I have been Given Much
There is Sunshine in My Soul Today
In the Garden
We Won't Be Quiet
Stand By Me
Breath of Heaven
Mary Did You Know
In the Light
Set a Fire
Breat Every Chain
God of Wonders
I'm Not Who I Was
More Like Falling
What Faith Can Do
Word of God Speak
Love Take Me Over
East to West
How Many Kings
By Your Side
What Do I Know of Holy
Amazing Grace
Help Me Find It
Rise Up
Lord, I Need You
Bring the Rain
Only Grace
There is a Way
I Can Only Imagine
Need You Now
Like Jesus Does
Walk by Faith
Take My Hand
He Won't Let You Go
You Move Me
Oh Draw Me Lord
In My Life
Wonderful, Merciful Saviour
Were You There
Yesu Azali Awa
Amazing Grace
Come, Now is the Time to Worship
I Will Rise
Exalted (Yahweh)
My Beloved
You Are My King
The Heart of Worship
Lord You Have My Heart
How Deep the Father's Love for Us
Draw Me Close

Thursday, May 1, 2014

It's Been a While...

... and there's been a lot going on.  I'm very much in a "Be Still" period of my faith, where I'm waiting, listening, and watching for signs from the Holy Spirit.  I have found a few very direct answers, and those answers have resulted in very many happy tears being shed. 

We've all heard the phrase "Thank God for Unanswered Prayers" but let us not forget to thank Him for the ones He answers!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Surrounded by God

One of my most favorite bookstores is in Tacoma, by the Tacoma Dome, and it just says "Books" on the side of the old building.  You walk in to a labyrinth of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, with little routing cards pinned to pieces of wood between shelves, and arrows, genres, and directions instructing you when to turn where to find the room with the right colored door.... it looks like it could be the baby brother-of-bookstores to Portland's Powell's! 

My most favorite room is the one with the green door, I think it's the green door... maybe it's the red door?  I don't know.... It's where all the cook books and religious books are.  Such an appropriate pairing, don't you think?  Jesus asks us to come together and break bread in His name - DONE!  *grin*

I don't know if the pictures I took will do the book store justice... I tried to use the panoramic function on my iPhone....

As I was spending time with God all around me, Faith all around me, I was drawn to one bible in particular - an old French bible from 1890.  Oh, how I wish I could read French!  I would have purchased it, in a heartbeat!  There's just something about deep, old Faith that moves me every time - feeling that connection of belief, the Holy Spirit, the timelessness awe that IS God - there are no words!  Holding the book took my breath away.  (I might just have to pick it up tonight after work)  I've written before, about over 100 years of bibles on a shelf at the Family Farm.... You must experience it for yourself. 

There was another bible as well, it belonged to a man named Wayne Bailey 1947-1989, and someone documented "found with Wayne's things"... This bible also stirred something in my soul.... I have a soft spot & say a little prayer every time I meet a man who is not afraid to live his Faith.  Even if Wayne never went to church, he kept a bible with his things, in a place that it was found after he passed.  I'm not sure who he was, but his name will live on, and his bible will help bring God's word to someone else, long after he passed.

On a completely non-faith-related note, I think the prime discovery of that day was a Latin translation, illustrated version of Winnie the Pooh! *giggle*grin*  Always a child at heart, don't ya know!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


It's that time of year again, folks!  What have you decided to change in your life?  Last year I did Grateful Photos and those were really a lot of fun, helping me to quite literally count my blessings.  Quite a few of my friends are giving up Facebook for the Lenton season, and I really thought about that, prayed about it, but one word kept coming up over all the others: GRACE. 

No, I'm not giving up Grace.  I am asking for Grace, every single morning before I even get out of bed, every day.  We really should be doing this anyway, but I'll be the first to admit that I get preoccupied with the day ahead of me and just trust that God will give me what Graces I need when I need them.... but to put intent, thought, and effort into it, it has a deeper meaning.

On this first day of Lent, I asked for the Grace to forgive people who have hurt me.  Again, something that should be a given, but I let it be out-of-sight-out-of-mind and just keep moving with the bandaid rather than helping the wounded parts of me to heal.  That proverbial bandaid defeats the purpose of forgiveness.  I used to think that forgiving meant forgetting, but that's not the case, most definitely not in this situation.  And the person who has hurt me so deeply is in a circle of friends whom I'm not willing to give up, so I must find the Grace to forgive.  I will be tentative and cautious when speaking (if speaking) with her again, but I need to heal my hurt, I need to ask God to heal my hurt. 

Mother Mary, you bestow Graces upon us, as you are filled with God's Grace.  Please help me, grant me God's Grace to forgive those who have hurt me so grievously.  Jesus, fill my heart with Your Love and help me to share that Love with others, as You have asked me to.  Amen.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Matthew 22:37-39

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself."  ~Matthew 22:37-39

This is the Verse of the Day today, and it is quite appropriate for what's weighing heavy on my heart:  Bullying. 

Last night I found a publicly posted situation between two of the kids from the youth group, and it broke my heart.  I'm not going into any further detail than that, but man.... it's a prime example of the hypocracy in Christianity that is such a turn-off to so many others!  How does someone who's raised in a loving, Christian household with kind and gentle parents resort to public humiliation and slander for entertainment?  How does gossip really, truly make you feel better about anything you do? 

Choosing to call yourself Christian and then choosing actions motivated by anything LESS than Christ's love is a travesty to Christianity.  It's a false, absurd, distorted representation of what Matthew writes, of what Jesus teaches us. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  You NEVER know when your actions or inactions may affect someone's life, for the better or worse.  You may be the last person they speak with before they decide to end their life.  You may be the person they speak with that helps them change their mind about ending their life.  You may be the person they speak with who turns them off once and for all from what they think is a joke-of-a-Christian.  You may be the person they speak with who helps them see that Christianity is no joke. 

"Love your neighbor as yourself."  That doesn't mean look in the mirror and tell yourself that you're a bitch or a slut (and I'm quoting that).  It means looking at those around you and saying the same thing you'd say if you were looking in a mirror..."You look good today." "That outfit compliments your figure." "Your hair looks really nice.".... You get the idea! 

None of us are perfect, but we can definitely make a more concious effort each and every day.  That's a direct order from J.C. right there.  Forget wondering how someone sleeps at night after tearing someone down.... they've got to work to make things right between themselves and God. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Logan Foundation

Shortly before Christmas 2013 my friend lost her son to a very tragic suicide.  He lived with his father and stepmother in another state, and it's been.... an experience beyond words for her.

In Logan's memory, she has managed to establish two non-profit organizations over the last 6 weeks!  One of them is to build a loving, safe, supportive network to help stop teen suicide.  The other is to raise funds for a park in Logan's name. 

Please visit The Logan Foundation website for more information and for donation and volunteer opportunities!
The starting cost for a park to be built/dedicated is around $50,000.  *wince*  It sounds like a lot, well, because it is!  Any little bit helps. 
Suicide is no joke.  It's not taboo.  It's real.  It's a discussion that needs to be had.  It's a subject that can't be brushed to the side or hidden in the closet.  TALK ABOUT IT.  I promise you, if someone is truly suicidal, you bringing it up - out of genuine concern - is not going to make them follow through.  Discussing it with someone who battles depression will not push them over the edge or plant the idea to end their own life. 

Don't be a mannequin in someones life.  Take an active role.  Open that line of communication, and leave it open! 

It might save someones life.

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Year Ago, this Month....

... I thought life was good.  I was actively involved in my church's youth ministries and music ministries.  I was helping to plan the senior high retreat and confirmation mass, and was asked to be confirmation sponsor for a fantastic young man who was the perfect confirmande, and I had a (lying, cheating, abusive, ex)boyfriend who I thought loved me.  We all know where I am now, nothing left from everything that was so right just 12 months ago.  (except a few friends who help to define "unconditional love" and my family.  These people make me cry just thinking about how much they love me, and how they helped me to stay strong while I heal my brokenness)

This month, particularly the end of December and beginning of January, has been particularly trying. 

I've been finding comfort in the company of a few choice people, and some great God-songs.  Take My Hand, by The Kry, and Draw Me Close, from the Ultimate Worship Collection.  Literally, listening to these two songs on repeat one for the last few weeks, and it's amazing - no matter how angry, upset, hurt, frustrated, I am, when these songs come on, everything just melts away. 

I'm just on my break right now, I can't access any of the media sharing websites to hyperlink these songs right now, but do yourself a favor & look 'em up.  Download them.  They will make you feel so much better - even if you don't think you're feeling poorly, you'd be amazed at how much these words help and heal! 

Friday, January 3, 2014

There's a Book of Titus?!

"For the grace of God has appeard that offers salvation to all people.  It teaches us to say 'NO' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live in self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age." ~Titus 2:11-12

This was the verse of the day today, and I had to do a double check - I had no clue that the bible had a Book of Titus!  *palm-forehead*  Guess I'd better brush up on The Good Book!!! 

Either way, these are wonderful words to live by.  While part of me says "I wish I'd have stuck closer to these words this time last year!" there's the other part of me that says "You thought you were, and you thought he (who shall not be named) was The One." (foolish!)  At the time, I made a decision based on what I thought was true.  The ultimate price wasn't worth it.  Now I'm left with a 20/20 hindsight, and a lot of humble "I'm sorry's" to say, and a lot more healing left to do, for all parties involved. 

Part of that healing process for me is getting back to church on a regular basis.  It's really hard to go back to my church, a place where I still feel most at home, and not be a part of, well, anything. 

New Year's Eve I found myself at church, just wanting some one-on-one time with my buddy J.C.  I was hoping, praying that the church would be open for something and I'd be able to sneak into the sanctuary and just.... just be.  Well, I walked in to Fr. Ed asking me if I was there for mass.  HA!  Guess my prayers were answered!  The church was opened, and I'd get to spend a whole lot of time with J.C!  It wasn't alone time, but that's okay.  It was more good healing time for me.  And I saw some familiar faces who welcomed me with open arms, and I can't tell you how much that meant.  Beyond words. 

When I went to light a candle, for the many people who lost loved ones this holiday season, I realized I was doing the right things, taking the right steps, and in the right place.... someone had playfully arranged the candles, and I could see, quite evidently, that God was smiling at me.