Happy New Year's Eve!

HAPPY NEW YEAR'S EVE! i, for one, am excited about this holiday. usually i'm not that excited, but tonight- my household is having the best kind of night.

we are having chili, chips and salsa, (and i don't know yet what boog is bringing for drinks and dessert!) while watching, "sleeping with the enemey". (don't ask me why!) we are all wearing comfy sweats and sweatshirts as it is snowing heavily, and we are in for the night!

it's hard to be home, and leave my family- but it's good to be back!

Great Advice

Take you time.

Beautiful Evening!

i just spent a beautiful evening with two beautiful friends. it was such a special time to bond, open our hearts, talk, and just enjoy our moment together at Cafe Latte. i could have sat there all night and talked the time away. i feel touched, and grateful for this gift of friendship.

My Glass

something has been troubling me, and where better to express it then on my own personal blog? there is this person in my life (to protect the identity of this said individual, i am making this person a male with the name of jay) who has been pointing out an aspect of my character a lot lately. at first, it was funny. jay pointed out that my "glass is half empty". i immediately responded "whatever!" (me? defensive?!)

well, i thought about that a lot...so later on, i said to jay, "you know what. you're right. my glass is half empty, and i think that's why it hurts so much to hear you say that." jay laughed out loud, thinking i was really funny for saying that. i guess it was funny that day.

as time has gone on, jay keeps saying this about me. "you really ARE half empty" he keeps saying. well for crying out loud. i'm sorry that i have to be safe. i'm sorry that i have to be protective of me, my emotions, my feelings, my thoughts, my heart, and my life! i can't just waltz around expecting everything in life to be perfect and happy at all times. i have to protect myself. does that make me half empty? does that make me negative "all the time"? i guess in guarding my heart, if it makes me appear half empty, there's nothing i can do. i suppose i could just not express how i really feel- but then i wouldn't be me. it's probably impossible anyway.

plus, just because i don't trust, doesn't mean i'm half empty. it means i don't have any reason to trust. and just because i don't take short cuts, it does not make me half empty! i don't want to be half empty! but, i don't see anyway around it if i want to be safe. if i don't put my guard up, who will? it was once said about me, "you are a skeptic, until you are a believer- but once you believe, you BELIEVE!" well, there ya go!

Little Is Biggest

sometimes it's the littlest gifts in life that mean the most. sometimes it's the littlest moments in life that mean the most as well. either gifts or moments usually come quite unexpectedly, and bring more joy then i realize at the time.

a friend gave me four quarters today because she knew i was doing laundry, and had run out of quarters. now i can do another load, and i'm so happy to be able to get my whites done! it was a gift seemingly small, but in my heart-it was so much more then 4 quarters. a simple gesture goes such a long way.

i went to visit my little friend who turned 4 today. her sister let me into the house, and when my little newly turned 4-year-old-friend came down the stairs, i was struck with the happiness that she radiated. she was wearing a pink ribbon that said something about her turning 4 today. she was so proud of that little pink ribbon. i was also struck by the fact that she was wearing an adorable little sweater-dress with tights. her dad had taken her out for krispy kremes that morning, and she wore a dress. it was such a sweet scene. it reminded me of my dad, and how he took me out for breakfast when i was little, and still does to this day. part of me has to hold back tears for how much i miss my dad, and tears for how much my dad loves me.

i wonder, is that the kind of love my Heavenly Father has for me?


i'm sad. that's all there is to it. i always have this underlying sadness in my deepest heart of hearts, but usually it's kept locked away. i occupy my mind with work, friends, church, groups, projects, tv, movies, reading, talking on the phone, eating, running, music...anything except dwelling on sadness. it's not healthy to mope around and wish for things that are out of my control. because that's exactly it: things are out of my control.

i was talking to my manager today about all kinds of things. he brought up the option for me to become an assistant mananger. every few months the subject resurfaces. i always go back to my old stand by: "starbucks is a means to an end (money!) and it's not what i want to do for my life, i have a higher purpose..." yet in the mean time, i have no idea when this "higher purpose" is finally going to play out. quite possibly never. so should i pursue something "bigger" in my current career- just in case my dreams never come to fruition?

thinking about this just makes me sad. sad that i'm not living the "higher purpose" that i so long for. sad that so many people around me ARE living that "higher purpose", and i am crazy longing for their lives. i feel like i'm dangling from a rope from the unknown scary sky, with no hopes of it being cut down so i can fall where i've always wanted to fall.

my fear is that i will forever be dangling from this hopeless rope, and that i will not be cut lose until the day i depart this earthly existance. but then again- once that day comes i will be living with my Savior, so it won't matter any more.

the saddest truth of all: it matters right now.


“Borne Supremacy”, “The Supremes”, a supreme pizza, a supreme burrito, a supreme being/superhero. Jason Borne is the best at what it is he does- he’s unstoppable. The Supremes are a hugely successful chic band. Supreme foods are loaded with everything imaginable- the best at what they are. A supreme super hero is untouchable. But, our God being supreme?
God’s supremacy is too important, too great to describe. He is greater then any president, any king, any CEO, any leader, any ruler. He is above all, before all, superior to all…and still feels indescribable.
Talk about supreme. Talk about having major authority over everything- visible and invisible. I decided I wanted a cup of hot tea this morning. I filled up my new, shiny teapot with hot water, set it on the back burner, and turned the burner on high. After a minute or so, I changed my mind and started balancing my checkbook first. I turned off the burner, and sat inches away from my stove at the kitchen table. A few seconds later, I hear this loud shattering blast noise, feel an odd sensation wash over me, and in pure reaction duck my head and cry out a scared scream. I was shocked, confused, and quite scared.
I quickly turned around to see what on earth had happened. Surrounding me was shards of glass. Big pieces, little pieces, splintered pieces. The glass was everywhere I looked. Glass was shattered all across my kitchen floor, into my living room, all in the carpet, on one of my couches, all over the stove, counter, kitchen table, and even on the heating vents. I stood there, stunned for several minutes, surveying the damage. Still scared from the blast, and having nowhere to step- I didn’t move.
It finally began to unfold in my mind what had happened. There were two glass dishes sitting on the front burner- one being a 9 X 13 dish. Turns out, I had accidentally turned on the front burner, instead of the back burner when making my tea. In doing this, the glass dish sitting on the front burner got hot, and literally exploded. It was a terrifying realization. I could have been very seriously injured.
I began the cleaning up by slowly sweeping up the glass. At one point I noticed the chair I had been sitting in. The seat of my chair had a ring of glass around it. A ring of glass around where I had been sitting, yet not one piece of glass touched me. Not one. My hand, face, ear, and arm had not even a scratch. Had I been facing the stove, glass would have exploded in my face, no doubt in my eyes. I could very well have gone blind. A terrifying thought that haunts me. I was stunned.
God is supreme. He has control over the universe. That was more then evident today. God protected me from all sorts of harm. I am relieved, and thankful, and in awe of his might. Of his authority- My God has the power to dominate our entire universe- even the glass obeys His command. In everything, my God has the supremacy!

Exibit A

On The Road Again...

i just can't wait to get on the road again! something about friends...music with my friends. blah. blah. blah. you get the picture.

i took steps today people! i limped one feeble foot in front of the other. suddenly mean jokes from high school are haunting me again. "gimp" "gimpy"...that's what i became. but, i will rise above the potential remarks. i have no shame in moving about like a grandma. i actually feel quite sad for the elderly and disabled. this week, i am connecting with how they must feel. it's a sad realization.

today: one small step for me- one big step for....uhh...how does that go? mankind? i'm just praising the Lord for my small step.

Little Christs

where would i be right now if i didn't have so many little Christ's in my life? i am more then blessed- that is how i feel this fine evening. although my foot is hurting me terribly- even after 2 more vacadin, i can't walk, and i slightly feel like i'm gonna throw up- my heart is overflowing with warmth, love, and gratitude.

one of my dearest friends left work early yesterday, drove me to surgery, and literally heald my hand as i moaned and groaned through the tortures of novicane being injected agonizinlgy in my foot. and let me tell you- i wasn't just squeezing her hand- i was gripping it for all i am worth. pretty sure her fingers were purple in the end. she was amazing at talking to me, watching the surgery, but keeping a pure poker face on the whole time. she never made me feel like she was watching something that would totally freak me out!

not only did this rock solid supporting friend endure this with me- but she also shares an apartment with me and has had to live with me! she doesn't even bat an eye to get a bowl for me, fetch me some advil...and then MORE because why the heck isn't it working? or just sitting and listening to how much pain i am in. this friend and roommate is my dear little swznikki- or nicole, for those of you who don't know. swzy is a little Christ.

following my surgery, swzy had to coach, so i was left to the tv and the couch. not a bad place to be. i was instructed to keep my foot elevated and therefore was not able to make myself dinner last night. i was super hungry and at a loss as to what to do. although feeling bad, i decided to call another little Christ in my life- dan. dan jumped at the chance to bring me subway, and he and chuck so kindly delivered it to my door. not only that, but dan came back this morning to bring me my drugs! he stayed and talked with me while i changed my bandages (which turned out to be a little dramatic because there were a lot more incisions and stitches then i had anticipated!). it was so comforting to have a friend to talk with.

throughout the day, i had many other little Christs appear: voicemails, emails, facebook messages, blog notes, my manager working for me tomorrow, and offers to "call if i need anything!" not to mention that swzy drove out of her way to pick up crutches and panera for me!

mmmmm....blessed. i am beyond blessed. through this pain, through this pukey feeling, through the helpless feeling: Christ's body is showing up all over the place....i am surrounded by little Christs and i couldn't be more at peace.

thank you. thank you...

Kill the Pain

i love pain killers. i'll tell the whole story once i'm not so loopy.

i love your prayers. thank you.

It Hurtzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!

it hurtzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Totally Freaked!!

tomorrow is my foot "surgery". (monday, november 27: 2:30-3:30 pm) for those of you who are not aware, i have had 2 moles (like tiny, hardly knew they existed size freckles) removed off the bottom of my foot, and one with a piece tested. they found suspicious cells in two of them. i have to go back in tomorrow to have two areas cut more deeply into to remove all the suspects. i do not have cancer...but the cells are something that could turn into that, so they want them gone. this means deeper holes, and stitches. (in two areas) i already had something like this done and it's horribly painful! needless to say i'm terrified to go in again...knowing what lies ahead.

plus, i have been training for a half marathon, so this really holds up my training. (i'll have the stitches for 10 days, and the pain for who knows how long...)

please pray for me- i'm scared!!! thanks!!!

Really...It Happened!

so here i sit. i don't know what happened to me last night, but i'm feeling much better. on with the story!

as i reflect the evening, what sticks out the most is the moment swzy and i began to decorate our tree. home alone I was playing in the backgroud, which boog was glued to. i just felt the christmas cheer looming in our home. what joy! there's just something about hanging decorations on a tree. it's just a nastalgic, warming christmas tradition that i love.

we have quite an array of beautiful lights strung on our tree. we have golden gopher lights (not my first choice of christmas decor, guess who's they are!), purple lights, (thanks jess!), and dollar store lights to complete the picture. to top it off, we have an enormous bright star that also lights up.

after the tree was adorned, we sat down with warm, homemade apple pie, and continued watching home alone. (boog ate a toffee almond bar because she doesn't like "fruit" pie.) we had all the christmas lights on, and they were glowing warmly in the background. our sparkling pine tart was burning, so we could have the real smell of a pine tree. swzy decided we needed another candle lit, to which i responded, "isn't one candle enough?!" she lit it any way. what does goose know? it was placed under my favorite, tiny, sparkly gold lit tree that my mother gave me. i moved the candle out, because i didn't want the flames to burn my special tree.

we all settled in to continue out movie. out of nowhere, boog says, "something is really burning!" all of the sudden, i bolted of the couch screaming, "my tree!!" and burst over to my precious fake pine, and blew out the candle. it was too late. one of it's poor sweet branches was charred black and the burnt smell of plastic permeated the air. oh the sadnnes. my tree.

swzy looked at the burnt branch, shrugged, looked at me and said, "it gives it character..." and continued watching the movie as if nothing had happened. well i'll be. to which i repsonded, "it didn't NEED character!"

thus the story of the burnt christmas tree. good thing she made me dinner.

My Little Tree on Fire

this week owns two of the best nights that i have had in a long time. tonight being one of them.

i have had a wicked tiring week at work. don't mess with the MOA on black friday...just my advice from a professional standpoint. i am still exhausted from the hoards of people crowding our store. pretty sure we hit a fire hazzard, come to think of it. i literally didn't think i could survive another second on the floor at one point during a day, and was about to break down when all of the sudden i hear, "abby! go on your break." as i walked into the back room, i almost burst into tears- i was so tired, hungry, and overwhelmed with the thousands of customers barking their high-maintenance orders at me. i cried out to God for strength...and He came through. God lifted my spirits and gave me the strenght to plow through the rest of the day...and week, for that matter. so, i'm tired. spent. and ready for my day off tomorrow.

i love sat. nights. sat. nights and sundays are my weekend. i never work sundays, so i always have that peace. the peace of knowing i am honoring God with a day of a rest- a day He has given to me. sundays are a gift.

i always have a sense of freedom on sat. nights because i know i get to "sleep in" until 9 am or so. (an extra 4 hours!) tonight was one of those sat. nights. tonight was swzy and i's "home alone/decorating/eat a ham and homemade apple pie" night. we also invited boog to come. who knew she is such a scrooge? yup. she is. boogsie hates decorating for christmas. and she didn't. not one ornament did she hang! BUT, swzy and i had a blast deckin' our tree with lights...all sorts of crazy lights...and ornaments.

we also had a huge ham, scallopped potatos, glazed carrots, and homemade apple pie. dinner compliments of my totally domestic roommate! dessert...thank you very much...from me! the dinner was to die for. so delicious. it was such an amazing feeling to sit down to a home cooked, good old fashioned ham meal! thanks girl.

ok...i have more to write, but my stomach is KILLING me...so that's all for now. stay tuned.


i should be in bed. i should, at least, be getting ready for bed. normally this would be my routine, but tonight, i am hungry. i did not eat dinner because i was hanging out with a friend. (thanks for the talk, kevin. quite thought- provoking and fun all at the same time!) then, i stopped by to say hello to some more friends, and now i am finally home- but i'm starving! i had this piece of chicken "thawing" in the fridge for two days, so i HAD to cook it tonight or else it would be salmanilla tomorrow. i have a fear of getting food poisoning. i think it's because one of my best friend's had it once and it's wicked awful. so here i sit, "late at night" (mind you, it's 9:26 pm...that's late for me!) eating a piece of chicken. and it's good, i must say. a little olive oil, salt and pepper...and you have an amazing, nutritious dinner! (shout out to you tara for that advice!) so, a couple of minutes ago- i choked on a piece of this fine meal. for real. one minute i'm chewing the stinkin' chicken, the next minute, it's lodged in my throat. it's a scary feeling. i'm home alone (swzy...thanks for the help!) and i was choking all by myself. actually, it's kindof embarrassing because i hacked it up and it sounded disgusting. thankfully, i'm breathing again. God's design of the body is amazing. he created me with a gagging reflex so that i could gag up my chicken stuck in my throat...so that i would not choke! bet ya didn't think this blog was heading in this direction now did ya?! next time you choke, be in awe of our Creator...i know i am.
watch out for that turkey. i hear it can be brutal!

Happy Thanksgiving!

What are YOU thankful for?


does anyone know why my blog no longer accepts comments? email me if you can help. this is super annoying.

Helping Those in Need!

at my Starbucks, we are collecting coats (used- in good condition, or new) to give to people in need. we all know how terribly freezing it gets in this city, but imagine not having a coat to wear!

if you would like to help someone who needs a coat- just let me know. i would love to collect coats from people outside of work, and be able to give extra! most people own more then one coat...maybe you could give a coat that's not old, but even one that you still wear. or, go out and buy a new coat for someone. pray about it, think about it...i just want to be an outlet for anyone who would like to help!

once we collect "enough" coats, some of us from work are going to go and hand them out. i can't wait!

i will probably announce this on sunday morning, and sunday night at the peterson's (ok, jamie?!)- you could even bring a coat during one of those times. i will be collecting for the next few weeks, though.


New Tunes

i love music. i play music constantly. while i'm getting ready, in the car, when i'm running, while i'm practicing drums, at work (i change the music all day long so i can listen to what i like!), etc. i thought i'd share with you two new finds, and a new album...all of which i LOVE.

1. AG Silver- Wake Up and Smell Reality
i first heard about this band because i met the drummer. he's actually holly's cousin, but not my cousin. although, i think i can say he's my friend. the sound is unique and they rock!

2. Brandon Heath- Don't Get Comfortable
he opened for bebo norman. i LOVED him live, and his cd is amazing as well. he's definately a writer, and the lyrics are powerful.

3. Jeremy Camp- Beyond Measure
what can i say? we all know this guy is a powerhouse. his passion explodes from every song. awesome.

Wake Up and Smell Reality

“Wake up and smell reality, it’s not all you thought that it should be.” I have been listening to this band, AG Silver, a lot in the past few weeks, and this song sings loud and true to me right now. Reality is death. How ironic is that? The irony being, something that is real in our world is death. Death is real. Death is reality. This seems like an oxymoron to me. How can death be real, when something real is something alive? I am trying desperately to grasp the reality of death, and the truth that reality is certainly not what I thought it should be.
I spent the last couple days tasting grief. The grief in IA is so thick; I ate it at every turn. It’s so horrifically painful to watch the reality of grief. On Saturday night, I went to a party at Jeff’s house. His family was having a huge bonfire, and they wanted my family to come. I was touched that they would want me to be there. As soon as I arrived, there sat my aunt, uncle, and cousin who just lost their daughter and sister. They sat intermingled with Jeff’s parents, and friends. The entire circle around the fire was a group of people aching from the inside out. Not to mention a little black lab puppy running around…Holly’s very own “baby” who no longer had her “mommy”.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, I went over into the garage, to find Jeff playing ping-pong with his best friend. Seeing Jeff’s wedding band on his finger made me want to vomit. Holly placed that brand new wedding band on his finger but only 6 short months ago. I could feel Holly’s absence as strongly as if her absence was a tangible object. I wanted to cry all the time. How are these family members surviving each day?
How do they go to the bowling alley week after week, with Holly’s name still up on the score sheet, and her name still proudly displayed on the board with a high score? How do they go to church week after week without her? How do they sit through the service, when weeks ago Holly’s casket adorned the front of the room? How do they lay in their beds at night with the sadness, agony, and her loss dwelling so painfully in their hearts, minds, and souls? How do they go out to lunch without her, everyone knowing full well that Holly is missing, but if feels like she will walk in at any second? How does my aunt get out of bed every morning with her best friend, and only daughter gone, knowing that all the other mothers at work will receive phone calls from their daughters, but she won’t any more? How does Jeff go on living, when his life and all his love were wrapped up in his precious wife, who no longer remains on earth? How does Eric go to school and concentrate when his only sister has been tragically killed? How does Uncle Tim work day after day carrying the burden of his only daughter being gone, along with his hurting family?
It’s true. Reality is, we do not mourn like those who have no hope. We have full hope and assurance that Holly is with our God. We rest in that peace and I know some people do not have that. Holly did. Holly knew God, and now she dwells with him. But, the rest of us? We mourn, we weep, we wail, we cry for our loss. We ache for our Holly.
Today I said good-bye to my mother and grandmother. Both of who are experiencing enormous amounts of pain. I drove away from a sobbing mother, and into the cemetery where my precious cousin’s body lay. Her grave was decorated so nicely with fall flowers- orange, red, yellow, and green. I stood there staring at them, knowing it was my aunt who placed them there so delicately. I sank to my knees and cried. Cried for her loss. Cried for Jeff’s loss. Cried for Uncle Tim and Eric’s loss. Cried for Holly’s remaining grandparents. Cried for her remaining family and friends. My tears dropped into the dirt of my cousin’s grave today. My tears along with so many others. That is the reality that I smelled today.


today has been a day of disappointments. little things that i have gotten my little balloon of hope filled up with, then POP. someone or something sticks that nasty needle right into the center and the air of hope fizzles right out of me. i feel like one of those nasty, slimy, withered, discolored, gross pieces of a balloon that has gotten popped and zings around the room until it splats on the dirty floor below. and then it picks up all the dirt and lint that has been sitting around which finally has a slimy piece of balloon to latch onto. that's me tonight. a slimy, deflated, chunk of balloon.

Suspicious Cells!

suspicious cells my foot! literally.

several weeks ago i had 5 moles removed- three from the bottom of my foot. don't for a second think that this was just a "minor, no big deal" procedure. HECK NO. it was the worst surgery i have ever had. (and i have had A LOT, including ACL reconstruction which is horribly painful) my doctor stuck the tender, delicate muscles of my ARCH along with the ball of my foot FOUR times with novicane. i was shivering, shaking, sweating, and fighting the tears like crazy. i squeezed that nurses hand so hard i'm sure she has bruises. then when it was all said and done...i ended up limping around for a week because of the pain. but, i left that day feeling relieved that it was over and i'd never have to go through that again. never did i think i'd really have to go in because i had cancer or anything else.

this leads me to today. i was called back into the skin doctor's office to discuss my situation. the good news is...i don't have cancer! praise the Lord. BUT, and there's always a but in situations like this. (let me just interject here. when i told my father this story he replied by saying, "i thought we were talking about your foot, not your butt. " he thought he was halarious. :) BUT, i do have "suspicious cells" that the pathologist is concerned about. my doctor says i have to get these invisible cells removed by slicing two more holes in my foot and cutting out the possible areas where the creepy cells are inhabiting my foot. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! i have to go through this all over again, only this time it will be worse because i have to get stitches. picturing going through that agony and horror again just about makes me vomit from fear. they say it's one of the worst places to have to get novicane because there's no fat. sheesh. for ONCE in my life i wish a part of my body WAS fat.

my dad did tell me some comforting things after the butt comment. certain things about his heart surgery were supposed to be dreadfully painful and he's positive God protected him from some of that pain. our God is a God who can work WONDERS even when it comes to the horror of going under the knife.

i have yet to schedule my appointment. i told my doctor i need to gear up for this.


ok people. enough is enough. what is WITH all the tyra bashing? i learned some very crucial things from her this week. important life tips, in fact.


#10: wiggle your mascara- it creates the illusion of eyeliner
#9: zig-zag your part/wear your hair curly when you have bad roots
#8: use a pea or lima bean size of face cleanser
#7: clean your cuticles with olive oil- do not cut them, this allows bacteria
#6: do not use shower puffs- they store bacteria
#5: rogain for men can be used to bring back over-plucked brows
#4: pony tails should be worn high or low- never in the middle
#3: if wearing a fake pony tail- cut it into layers so it appears like real hair
#2: if you're gonna wear bling- only wear one item of bling

and #1 is:


see? now where would i be if i hadn't learned these things?!

The Goose Flies Again!

i'm alive! oh, it feels good to be alive! for those of you who have been wondering...i did, actually, drop off the face of the planet for like a week and a half. i went to misery land. the land of viruses that turned into infections that stripped me of my voice, stuffed my head and nose, scratched my throat raw, and made me hack like i've never hacked before. a very sweet and kind friend of mine (you'll never guess who!) so gently started calling me "Goose" during this extremely hazardous time. so, i'm back with a vengence proclaiming THE GOOSE FLIES AGAIN! i will not be kept down. thanks to my healing God and the magical little drugs that i am on. ah.....i love them.

Look out world...i am ready to live again. bahhhhhhhhhh haha!

so here's my very first, very own TOP TEN LIST OF DAYTIME TV. (and a little night entertainment thrown in there as well)

#10: The News (with Denis Dota and Jeanette Trumpitor, thank you very much)
#9: The View
#8: Regis and Kelly
#7: Tyra (2 times a day!)
#6: Rachel Rae
#5: Little House on the Prairie
#4: The Bachelor
#3: Dr. Phil
#2: The King of Queens (my new FAV! i am following in your footsteps, mark and tara!)
#1: Oprah!

i'm telling you...i could stay home and watch TV for the rest of my life and be the happiest lark in the park. i don't know how anyone can get bored staying home. I LOVE IT!!!!

thanks to all my helpers: for the soup, movies, calls, emails, and LOVE. i needed it.

Inner Thug

in honor of my roommate...paula anyone?!



New Life

i just spent a major chunk of my evening doing something that probably makes me more fully alive then anything else in the world. i got to hold baby macie who is just over 48 hours old. i not only got to hold her, but i heald her agaist my chest and got to smell her sweet baby scent and feel her sweet baby skin on my face. her skin is so soft it feels like touching air. she's beautiful. there is something about a baby that can reach to the deepest part of my heart.

Hidden Dreams

yeah, you have them. hidden dreams. dreams you've never mentioned. dreams you've maybe never even admitted to yourself. we all do it. why do we do it? why do we hide our dreams? hide our longings? well for one, we chalk up the "obvious" to logic. in doing so (and this brings me to my second reason) we limit God. our faith is weak. yeah, we have faith...but it's quite possibly smaller then a mustard seed. "i know you're huge, God...i know you CREATED this entire universe in just 6 days...i know you CREATE new human beings every minute of every day...i know you can perform miracles...oh wait a minute. that was back in the book of acts...you're not that same God..." oh, i'm sorry. i forgot God changed since then. hhmmm...
don't ask me where the sarcasm came from. when i started this entry, it wasn't my intent. (just blame boog or swznikki for this) mostly, i am talking to ME. tonight i am having a revelation. i have been alone for the past several hours. since this is not a regular occurrence, it's quite a dangerous opportunity. you see, today i experienced my very first alone time with a real drum kit. i have been taking lessons for several months now, but i am always being taught, and practicing with someone. or, i practice on my practice pad at home. (doesn't quite have the same effect) but, today...today i got to hide down in my friend's basement with my very own borrowed real drums. with my very own sticks. (i actually own those) and let me tell you, for 45 minutes i went to town. alone. just me and my drums. now don't get me wrong, i am not good. i am sure it's quite an obnoxious noise to other people. but not to me. and not to God. you know why? because i am in LOVE. i am absolutely captivated by this instrument. i was sweating, laughing, dancing around, counting out loud and banging away on those things like my life depended on it. i was working hard. my arms are even sore. and my right leg. it's absolutely hilarious to me. i can't even believe i am playing the drums! the drums have been my somewhat hidden dream since i was 10. i remember the exact moment when i tried out for playing instruments and i got a PERFECT SCORE on drums. i have never forgotten that. and now, here i am 14 years later (yeah, i'm old, i know) playing the exact instrument that i know God put a desire in my heart for, even at the age of 10. my mom mentioned to me that she doesn't ever remember me mentioning the drums. hidden dream. it's always been in my heart...i have mentioned it to one person in my life, i think, before this year. i don't remember...but if my mom didn't know, it was pretty hidden. Buried even. well, God has once again brought life to some thing in me that was dead. hidden dreams. they're there. you have them. are you afraid? i am.


I wouldn’t even believe this story unless it happened to me…and well, it DID happen to me, so I believe it. Weird. Ok, anyway! This morning I got up at 4:45 am to go and ready the pastry case, clean, etc. our store because the CEO of Starbucks, yes, that’s what I said, STARBUCKS was coming. Not just our area or state, but the entire multi-billion dollar company C E O. His name is Jim Donalson.
They chose our store, out of all the Starbucks in Minneapolis (and for those of you non-locals, there are billions of ‘em) for Jim to do a video in. Now, I’m thinking it’ll be really cool to watch the video taken, see the camera’s, etc, etc. No, no, no. Get THIS.
Jim walks into our store, walks right up behind our counter, puts out his hand and says, “Hi, I’m Jim!” He meets all of us little baristas behind the counter, asks how long we’ve been with the company, and so I responded with my, “almost three years”. Then, he proceeds to congratulate me on becoming a Coffee Master. Needless to say, I was BEAMING. I couldn’t stop beaming. It was thee coolest thing! He just loved people, and it showed. He was so genuine and kind…and I thought…this is the company I am working for- a company that values and loves people.
Now, I continue to do what we do behind the counter, and all of the sudden Jim yells across the store, “Hey Abby!” Ok… (My head shoots up, looking over the Verisimo…err…the espresso machines for all your illiterates) and I say, “Yeah?” and he says, (yes, that’s right, the CEO of Starbucks) “Do you want to be in the video?” uumm…ok…not a second of hesitation here…me: “YES!” and he says, “Well come on!” and motions me over, so I hustle my booty right over there, and the next thing I know, I am learning lines and performing for a major motion picture! Oops…I mean, I did learn lines, and I did perform, but it was for a Starbucks video.
I got to start out by saying, (Oh, and keep in mind I got to wear one of those special mics that clips to your back and everything!) “Hey Partners! I’m Abby from Minneapolis!” Ok, how cool is that line?! We did a couple takes of different ideas…and the last one, Jim wanted me to “ad lib”. YIKES. He asked me questions on camera, and I answered and just spewed out stuff, and it worked! Obviously, it was God…guiding my thoughts, words, etc.
I do have to admit, I was kind of embarrassed, because I just FEEL my friends at work making fun of me. They never said a word, but I know it. The guys are now laughing at me, and calling me, “Hollywood”. (Yes, Chris, that’s right, I’m talking to YOU!) It is a bit hilarious, actually. The video comes out in November, and I get my own copy!
Swznikki, we’re having a party! What a blast! Who would have thought? It was such an honor, and an amazing experience. Chris (yeah, shout out to you again!) and I were chatting at a table, and Jim comes over and just starts asking about our lives, passions, goals, etc. He said that was what he loved most about his job…sitting and talking with US. That’s what I get to do every day…talk to my “partners” (umm…yeah, that would be other people that work at Starbucks…don’t mock) and customers. I get to love God and love people every day…while making the best coffee known to man on this planet!
I’ll be signing autographs at my official signing next month. A picture with me can be requested as well! :) I’m still beaming…
p.s. mother and father...Jim knew Haddon Heights, and Scranton!! He has a house in Jersey, and used to be the CEO for PATHMARK! ha!

Happy Birthday!

today is Holly's birthday. what can i say? i called her parents and husband today...and on both answering machines/voice mails, i heard holly's voice. i just wanted to keep calling and keep hearing her happy-go-lucky, loving voice. it was a gift for me to be able to hear her. i'm sure she's never had a more magical, supernatural, loving birthday. she's with our Father. she gets to sit at His feet and be clothed with his love and affection for her. as certain as i am that there's no better place for her to be today, i am also certain the rest of us wish we could be sitting there right next to her. her husband had gotten her real diamond earrings for today. holly had picked them out, but jeff was saving them for today. today never came...maybe your today or my today may never come, either. God certainly has numbered our days. i'm thankful for that. i really am. happy birthday to my dear, sweet, missed, beloved cousin- holly jane.

Bright Pink Rose

A bright pink rose sits in a small glass vase in the center of my oven. It’s a beautiful rose. Just like Holly. As is the rose- Holly was full of life, loved by so many people, gorgeous to look at, but just as gorgeous on the inside. Dear, sweet Holly never knew a stranger. She reached out to any person, and she loved every one she met. Holly loved God, and she loved people.
The rose that sits on my oven is from Holly’s grave. The funeral service man handed it to me right off of her casket. Her casket was gold and sparkly…representing Holly perfectly. She was bubbly, cheery, happy, and loved to laugh. We laughed together for countless hours. We had countless sleepovers together…being silly and talking about all kinds of things.
Not only was Holly my cousin, she was my friend. I have known her for my entire life. There is not a time in my life when I didn’t know Holly. She had the Cricket Doll that I longed for as a child. We braided Pretty Pretty Crimp and Curl Cabbage Patch Doll’s hair together. We went bowling and had silly pictures taken. We did our thumb dance together, we sang karaoke.
I’m sitting here at my desk, and her email address is written on a note pad. I was just about to email her before I left for vacation two weeks ago. I hadn’t emailed her yet. Hadn’t asked her about married life. Hadn’t even said hi! I never would have thought…and here it sits. Alone. Pointless.
There is a bright pink daisy in a petite glass vase on my kitchen table. I picked it off of Holly’s grave myself. HOLLY’S GRAVE. Why does Holly, my 21-year-old cousin have a grave?
I miss Holly, and my heart aches in her absence. I miss her. This is something that happens to other families. Not mine…but, yet it has. It has happened, and it hurts so much. Hurts to remember the way she looked lying there. I know she’s with Jesus, I know that. But there’s something about seeing a lifeless body of a person that you loved so dearly that just rips your heart to pieces. I can’t shake that imagine, and it grieves my heart.
I don’t question God. Her own parents say, “It was not an accident.” I mourn though. I mourn her loss, and I know my Jesus weeps with me. Jesus weeps with Aunt Char, and Uncle Tim, and Eric, and Jesus weeps with Jeff, and He weeps with Grandma Fern, Grandma Mildred, and Grandpa Gene. I hope Holly’s is sitting with Grandpa M. I already know she’s sitting with our Father. But I hope that Grandpa and Holly are having a reunion and I hope they’re looking down knowing how much they’re loved, and missed. This is something that you never get over.
Until we meet again…

He Weeps

Jesus weeps with you.
He weeps for you.
He weeps so you will know;
Mourning is not disbelieving.
He understands the tears.
~Max Lucado

Truck of Sorrow

your prayers are our lifeline right now. God is using you, hearing your prayers, and we are so thankful for you.

holly's funeral is tues. at 10 am. there is a visitation on mon. from 3-7. my flight doesn't arrive until later that night, so i am upset that i will be missing that part.

is this really happening? how can she really be gone? my sweet cousin, my FRIEND? my family will never be the same. my heart is a mixture of greif, dread, and fear. part of me is terrified to arrive tomorrow and face the reality of it all. to see my aunt and uncle...their son, and her husband. what will i say? how do i act?

we will cling to our God together as a family.

my mother is having her heart checked, tested, looked at, etc. because she is having problems. she has been having heart problems but did not tell us until yesterday morning. therefore, she can not go to the funeral...but will go to IA later this month. it's terrifying to me to have this happening to her. i want to weep and wail and make it all GO AWAY.

plus, my grammy is having a serious surgery this week...so dad is staying with her.

it's just too much...overload. i want to take my over loaded truck of sorrow and dump it.


Holly is with Jesus. pray.


pray...please pray. i can hardly write this email as i sit here at the beach in nj with my mom, dad, john mark, and aunt keren....hearing sobs mixed with people running to the bathroom, mixed with silence that makes you shake...please pray.

we just got word that my cousin, holly, was in a tragic car accident and has been on life support...my relatives are on their way to the hospital, as they are going to have to take her off the support tonight. i have no details.

holly just got married in may to jeff. please pray for jeff. and for holly's parents...tim and char mendenhall, and her only brother, eric. they all live in iowa.

i don't even know what to say...i just beg you for your prayers...please. we're waiting for the next call.....


Life Is Good At The Beach

life is good at the beach. to be at the beach is to be home. in other words, home is where the beach is. some day, some how, i will live on or near the beach. there is some thing about the ocean that just reaches deep down and touches my soul. i connect with the ocean...
the deepness of the sea: it has parts that are so deep no one has ever explored there
waves: high or low, the waves reflect the heart of the ocean- whether in turmoil, or at peace
complexity: the ocean is full of all kinds of creatures- beautiful, colorful, and amazing; but also scary beasts
consistancy: the ocean is always there, it never goes away- year after year it remains the same
i love the ocean. i love the beach. i belong here...

No More Internet

it's gone. my connection to the outside world has been yanked from my fingertips. literally. i no longer have internet access in my home, and i feel completely cut off from society. i hate going to other places to check my email, or write emails. i feel rushed, and unable to relax. and i really hate trying to write a blog at a coffee shop or something. blogs have to be spontaneous...something that hits me any time, day or night. it is with sadness that i inform you my blogging existance will most likely not be very frequent. i was on such a roll, too. oh the sadness. what's a girl to do when she comes home to her apartment...normally to check her email, her blog, and write to her friends? now she'll come home and....sit on the couch. maybe sit on the couch and eat cookies...so long, farewell. good-bye every one. life as i knew it now ceases to exist.

New Journey

well, as many of you know, i have been taking a different direction in life. this week, three of my friends and i have decided that this is the road we would like to head down. we are excited about this new journey and all the ways we will learn and grow. if any of you would like to join us, please contact me. we would love to have you apart of our group. our motto is: "Jesus will never break your heart." we will spend lots of time eating foods on a stick, having our faces sculpted out of butter, learning to spin basketballs on our fingers, overcoming phobias of spiders and mice, teaching our creepy pet cats to jump off 33 floor balconies, making our own food every night for supper...even french toast, going to camp and taking numerous naps a day, embracing our femininity- even the color pink, watching "step up" at least twice a day, and never ever will we talk about boys.
shout out to my pink habit homies!

Head On Collision

my little brother was involved in a serious car accident this past week. it was a head on collision. both his truck, along with the oncoming vehicle, were totaled. God spared my brother's life! johnny walked away with a broken bone in his hand, tons of scrapes, cuts, etc. (the air bag went off), and his worst injury was to his knee. he had previously had ACL surgery this summer, and that knee was reinjured in the accident. his knee is so swollen and bruised that the doctor has to see him again in 2 weeks before they can know what's wrong. his knee is grotesquely huge and colored. he is in a lot of pain. mom sent a picture, but of course, it won't work on my blog. anyway...please pray for john mark! he is really discouraged, and obviously needs major healing! praise God he's alive... i am praying... i love you johnny!


yes, that's right everyone. today, as of 10:30 am, i am officially certified as a COFFEE MASTER! i would like to thank my family, friends, and all those who made this possible. i coudn't have done it without you. HAHA!! seriously, though! i'm totally stoked!! God is so good to me. so good.

MN State Fair

what's with the state fair anyways?

Coffee Theology

tomorrow at this time, i very well might be a coffee master. yes, that's correct, i said coffee master. tomorrow morning i am being re-tested on the final two components that prove whether or not i know my coffee stuff. you think i'm kidding? oh no, no, no. in fact, my friend, i have been working on my coffee master's for months now. it involves everything from the dirt in which the coffee bean is grown, to the farmer's who tend to the coffee farms, to the roasting "curve" starbucks is infamous for, to the packaging of our beans, to the brewing equipment in our store, to the quality of our beverages...and on and on and on it goes. my district manager will be testing me orally on my knowledge of our company, and it's product: coffee.

it quite fankly reminds me of college when i had my theology orals. that was a wretched experience, one that i hope i never have to suffer through ever again. but, much like my theo orals, i am expected to know, retain, and explain every aspect of coffee and it's whole realm of existence. crazy all there is to know about one silly little bean that has our world wracking in billions of dollars every year. literally. starbucks sells about 110 million bags of coffee each year. that equals around 400 billion cups of coffee. crazy!

so, let's hope i come home sporting my new exclusive black apron tomorrow. a dream come true...my very own black apron. no more silly green apron for this girl. no siree! seriously, though...i have worked very hard to get to this point, if i become a master, well...let's just wait and see what happends tomorrow morning....


Tonight, all is well in the world. My world. It’s almost mid August, and I have had sudden fears lately that summer is quickly coming to an end. I have begun to stop and smell the roses, if you will. Things like enjoying the warmth and rush of heat when I first step out side in the morning; or going for my morning jog and talking my life over with God; or walking at a beautiful lake with a dear friend and lazily bantering about life and what could be; or sitting here in my apartment all alone listening to one of my favorite sounds in all the world…summer chirping bugs. It only happens in the summer with the windows wide open, the still heat wrapping my body in its embrace, and the bugs singing their soothing melodies that speak directly to my soul.
A soul that reflects my Savior’s peace. A peace that only comes from a God who knows me intimately, deeply- a God who knows my heart and all its hidden chambers and passages. A God who is whispering quietly to my soul, my very being, that all is well in my world.
A God who is gently leading me where I never thought it possible to go. He is opening the door to a new chapter in my life, and each day I am more certain that He has something bigger then I could imagine for my life. My God is leading me to write. He has given me a passion to express, to put life into words, to create art out of letters. (Why else would I be typing this letter on a Saturday night? Ha!) I have nothing to write about that doesn’t include Him. It would be like trying to hang out with my engaged friend and expecting her not to talk about her future husband (in only 26 more days!).
God is leading me to write some how and in some way. Whether that is through more schooling, or working for a publishing company, I am not sure. I just know that I have to take that step of faith and go for it. I want to write, and be used by God in this way, however that may look.
In order for this to become a reality, and not just a dream, I have to work hard at it and pursue it. It has become clear to me that it’s time for my days with Consumed Ministries (as an official staff member) to end. It has been a difficult decision, as I have loved being apart of this ministry. God has brought us through so much, and he has chosen to allow me to be apart of something that has forever changed my life.
I am humbled by your prayers, support, gifts, love, and belief of God in me. You have partnered with me in an incredible way, and I am eternally grateful. It is unfathomable that you would support me and cheer me on no matter the cost. Thank you. Thank you for walking with me on this journey, and always believing in me.
Though my staff days with Consumed are ending, nothing could shake the bond that I have with this family. I will continue to reside in Minneapolis, participate in Consumed functions, and will maintain involvement with our established community. This just means that I am going to have to work at Starbucks full time now (to support myself financially) and will be freed up to really pursue writing education, or a career- wherever God leads!
I am indebted to you for your constant love, care, concern and support of me and what God has for my life. I can’t thank you enough. Please know from the depth of my heart how truly grateful I am for all your support. It means more to me then you’ll ever know. I pray that God richly blesses you for your involvement in my life. I would ask that you continue to be involved by praying for me as I blindly follow God down a new road less traveled for me. It’s exciting for me to walk hand-in-hand with my Father as he navigates me to the most astounding places that I never knew existed!
Feel free to ask me any questions, give me any feedback or comments, etc. I love you, and I want you to continue on this journey called life together with me!
I hope all is well in your world. Not because the circumstances are perfect, or because things are going your way. But, maybe because there are summer bugs chirping outside your window, or summer air hugging you every morning when you walk outside… or maybe because you have stopped to listen to God’s gentle words whispering to your soul…


thanks to thee mr. james miller (never call him "jame") i now have titles, and have learned how to add pictures. thank you james!


Two years ago today, life as I knew it was forever altered. My heart was ripped from my body and shattered into millions of pieces. Two years ago today, my heart was turned into tiny grains of black sand and the painful, turbulent winds of life blew those grains all over the world. Two years ago today, I thought it would be impossible to put all those grains of sand that were my heart back into one solid mass. Have you ever tried to clean up a pile of sand? It’s impossible. The grains are too tiny, too miniscule to be able to restore them. Two years ago today, I didn’t think I would ever be a person again. Two years ago today, I never would have known that my Father God could turn the sickness and agony of my broken life into something beautiful and good. Two years ago today, I never would have pictured myself living in Minneapolis on my own, all by myself, and happy.
Today I am here to tell you that I am whole. I am a person again. I live, and breathe, and revel in my God. I exist to love Him, and love others. It’s my calling in life, and I love where that role takes me.
It brings me to a secular job with a huge variety of people to love and pour myself into. It brings me to a job where I can listen to people’s hurts, and show them a life restored and renewed by a powerful God. MY powerful God.
This role brings me to be able to spend a week at a Bible camp with six teenaged girls. I was able to love them, share with them, and pray for them. I was privileged to be used by God on that trip.
The role also provides me with a chance to work with a woman to help her write her story. I am able to use my passion to write to help someone else express how God has worked in her life in the most painful of circumstances.
I am also able to look forward to meeting with a group of college girls from a secular campus every week. I get to invest in their lives, share God with them, and live life together with Him. What more could I ask for?
I am astounded that it’s two years later today. I am in awe to know God in a deeper, intimate, more loving way then I ever imagined possible. I can go to bed tonight, yes, aching over what happened- grieving, always grieving- but with a thankful and restored heart.
Impossible? No, not with my God. He can turn tiny, miniscule black grains of sand into some thing solid, pure, and beautiful. He gives beauty for ashes.


can someone please tell me how to post a stinkin' picture on this blog? i have tried to follow "blogger's" directions and they just don't work! AND how do i make titles?

Fired Up

i really should be going to bed. i have to get up at 5. i know, the story of my life. it's really not that bad, i just hate mornings. i can't help it.
anyway, i am all fired up about something. a friend of mine just made the comment that God doesn't really want her to be happy (if you're reading this...you already know my respsonse, it's just that i believe so passionately about this i have to get it out!). i know that i have believed that for so many years. my parents always told me i had a "pessimistic attitude", or a "fatalistic attitude" about God, but i continued on with that mindset anyway. they always taught me that God was good, loving, caring, etc. i just clung to my own conclusions. the wrong ones. i believed that whatever the hardest, most painful situation for me to chose was what God had planned. if i chose to "endure for Jesus" then God would be happy. NO NO NO!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! how awful, how horrible, how absolutely horrendous!
God loves me INTIMATELY. he knows my every tiny hair, every inch of my physical body, every deepest, darkest thought, every single emotion...God UNDERSTANDS me. he understands me when i don't even understand myself. and HE LOVES ME THE SAME. i bring him joy. i bring him pleasure.
that's why he created me a certain way. he created me with a passion to love women. he created me with a passion to write. he created me with the ability to communicate through writing. he created me to love the drums, and to have an ear for rythm. he created me to love drumming. he created me to lead others. he created me to be able to manage a shift well at work. he created me to love the coffee scene, and to make a great latte! the things i love to do, God created me to do, and HE LOVES WATCHING ME DO THOSE THINGS. it brings him joy. such joy to see me fully alive.
oh to have you understand this! oh to have you know God's deep, intimate, personal love for you in this way. what makes you come alive? what makes you tick? go and do that, it brings our Father more pleasure then you can even begin to imagine. won't you please...please get this. please know that our God is good. God is out for your happiness, not out to make you miserable.
it brings me to tears to think that for so long, i was afraid of God. i thought God was out to get me...when really, he is full of compassion. full of gentleness. full of LOVE. i now know the truth, and i will spend my life exposing the truth to anyone who will listen. i'm starting with YOU.

In Love

i am absolutely head over heals in love! yeah, that's right, I'M IN LOVE! God has given me a passion for the drums ever since 4th grade. i remember the exact situation when it hit me. and now, 14 years later, i am learning how to play the drums! finally! at last, my love has come along. :) so maybe my lonely days aren't over but i, none the less, i am in LOVE! i love the drums. i love learning how to play the drums. i love playing the drums. i just got back from my drum lesson for the week, and i am on fire. you know the song by DCB that says, "...you've set me on fire and i am burnin' alive with his breath in my lungs i am coming undone...you are my JOY...lalalalaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..." well, that's how i feel!! HE has set me on fire, and i am burnin' alive. HE has created me with this passion, and it's a way that we intimately bond and connect. me and my Father. it puts this fire in my heart and makes me want to dance for joy for my new found "hobbie". but instead of dancing, i beat my practice pad with my new sticks. my very own first pair of sticks. someday, you mark my words, i will have my own drum kit. i may even play in a band. but, not matter what, i will ALWAYS worship my God who created me in His own image!

Rick Moore

"Just what is God trying to teach you?" ~Rick Moore

Joyful Soul

"The world is extremely interesting to a joyful soul." -Alexandra Stoddard
...and i have a joyful soul! I would not have been able to say that last week at this time, or any time for the past two years. I had been stuck in the prison of my own pain, anger, confusion, and bitterness. God rescued me, though. It was like my favorite show, at one point, "Prison Break". I was locked away behind closed doors of bitterness...and God said, "Enough! I want you to enjoy the world, the sun, My joy that I give". It's a different world to me now. My soul is free...and I will never be the same again!

Hospital Talk

dad, mom, and i were talking in the hospital one day last week. we're baffled by all that God has done in our family, and all that He has brought us through. the past two years have been so painful. our hearts have had to deal with a lot of hurt. whether it be an emotional heart or a physical heart, our hearts have been wounded deeply. but, we have been showered with the rains of God's love. never have i known such love then the love of our Father being poured out on us in the midst of such horrible and wretched circumstances. as my parents and i talked, i made the wish that my heart could be healed by heart surgery. they readily agreed. God is the ultimate surgeon, i know. i know that healing takes time. for dad, it will be a life time of medication, check ups, restrictions and such...for me? well, what of my life? what of my heart? how long will it be before my heart is healed? i am thankful for the power of healing, and protection God's hand has ordained in my dad, and in me. i am really thankful. more thankful then i can express. but, i am still left to wonder, what of my life?

I Made It

we're home. we made it. my dad's first words to me, after surgery (after they took the tube out of his throat) were, "i made it." and he did. praise the Lord. and i want to say that i would still be praising the Lord, even if dad hadn't made it. thankfully, i don't have to choose. dad keeps saying, "why me? why did God choose to spare me?" he's amazed that God chose to protect him, and watch over him, when other patients around him were not doing so well. my family is more then thankful. we're filled with relief. so much so, that when we got back last night (after a stressful drive, i might add!) dad, mom, and i just cried together. it's been such a difficult road. and yet we still have a long way to go. my parents especially. dad got sent home with a PICC in his arm. (an IV) he will be on anti-biotics for around 6 weeks. we have a home nurse coming. mom could learn to do some things, but it's very scary. the end of the PICC goes right above his heart. i don't think we want to be messing with that. it costs $10 a day for the nurse to come (co-pay), but we can not put a price on dad's heart! we are so thankful that dad is home. you should see his arms and hands. all bruised and colored from all the iv's, blood work, and shots in the hospital. he's certainly relieved to be back here. we even watched idol together last night! (the three of us) we thank God for bringing us home safely and for protecting dad in such a powerful way. dad is weepy. mom is weepy. i try not to be weepy! thank YOU for praying!! thank you from the bottom of my heart for praying for my dad, and for us! we would not have made it through without the power of YOUR prayers.


thanks for all your comments and most importantly for your PRAYERS. it is around 5 pm east coast time. they just came in and said that my dad's heart is "all back together"...they are waiting to see if it clots well and that it doesn't bleed uncontrolably. we still have a couple hours. keep praying. this takes so much time. i praise God for Dr. Bavaria. i want to give him a huge hug. keep praying!! keep praying. thank you so much. thank you, Father for your peace. mom and i just cried together a little. expressing our thoughts and feelings. this is so hard. there's a possibility that dad could have a stroke...so please pray AGAINST that in the coming hours and days. God's presence is here. HIS peace is with us.
i am back in the computer room. johnny and i are next to each other again. i am tired. i think this is what extreme exhaustion feels like. it's hard to describe. i went to bed around midnight last night...it was one of those nights where i don't feel like i slept at all. i got up at 4:30 this morning. my eyes feel like glue. i went to lunch at the "spice of life" cafeteria . ok, don't know where the "spice" comes from in the name. oh well, it's the hospital. i got a starlight latte from the hospital cafe...yet again i am constantly reminding myself, starbucks is the only place to get a latte! ha! when we got back to the surgical family lounge, the back room, where our group has moved in and taken over (actually, we've been asked twice to quiet down) i received the newest update...it's halftime for dad. they were just about done with his first valve, and were moving on to the second. the first half of surgery went well. (thank you FATHER!) and he still has at least 3 hours to go. (it's about 4 pm east coast time) mom looked like she had been crying while i was gone, but she seems so strong. she's very positive. tim and barb left. jen and m left. we still have a group here with us. it's starting to drag by. we're all a little like zombies. God's presence is here. we feel His peace. please keep praying!! and thank you so much for all the prayers on dad's behalf already. i just can't thank you enough.
it is now around noon. we all just trooped back from starbucks. i will be frequenting there a lot. it smells like "home" to me in there. it has a comorting aroma to me. right before we left, my real good friends, jen and m showed up! then, while we were at starbucks, tim and barb woodard came. we all have a big back room to ourselves. dad is undergoing surgery right now. it's really weird to think about. he's laying upstairs in a cold, sterile room, chest up, exopsed, on an operating table...heart stopped, the surgeon at work on him. shivers. shivers. that's where i stop. we're still at peace. God's presence is upon us.
i have imagined myself being a writer from the beach- sitting next to the ocean, the breeze gently blowing wisps of hair around my face, the beach sprawled for miles beside me, the sun blazing miraculously above me, the story flowing from my pen...never have i imagined myself writing from THE SURGICAL FAMILY LOUNGE. there are three rooms full of chairs, a couple flat screen tv's, a coffee area for family's of surgical patients only, and a computer room, where i am currently residing. johnny is on the computer next to me. we just said our hard- oh so hard- good byes to my dad. we got here (university of penn hospital) a little before 6:30 this morning. my mom, aunt cynthy, john mark, mel and peg walker, and pastor have all been waiting with dad, still in his normal clothes for 2 1/2 hours. we finally got called up, and went to a "new" waiting room. there, we stood and waited for only a moment before the guy in his scrubs came to get my dad. (i think it's a good sign that he was pretty hot!) we stood in a circle, pastor prayed, and i cried. i watched my tears drop to the ground and splat on the floor. my arms were around my aunt, and my mom, while my hand laid on top of my dad's. it was torture for him to get here so early and have to wait over 2 1/2 hours before being called. the surgery probably won't be for another hour or so. (it's about 10 am, east coast time) after pastor prayed, i watched as my mom and dad embraced. looking at them was too much to bear. i turned away, but the sound of my mother's sobs still reign in my ears. when it was my turn, i hugged my dad so tight. i could hardly say the words, "i love you..." and gave him a kiss good-bye. it's hard. it's surreal. but, God...oh God you ARE here. YOU are real. no matter the pain, no matter the fear, in fact...i don't think any of us feel fear. God's presence is here, and there is a peace. i'll write more later, we're about to go get something to eat. please know...above ALL else...THANK YOU FOR PRAYING...I AM SO THANKFUL FOR YOU ALL...keep praying for my dad...his surgery will be at LEAST 6 hours. more to come...
i'm home. it's emotional, but i'm where i belong. we leave for philly tomorrow afternoon. we will go to my aunt's tomorrow night, have dinner, sleep over...and then be at the hospital by 6:30 am. it's a fearful thought. mom says it's a sin to worry or be afraid, and i would agree. fear is not of God. he says he does not give us a spirit of fear but of something else. ha. i can't remember what that something else is, but i know it's not of fear! ha! that's all that matters. it's hard not to fear when i know painful things are ahead. mom says we hope in Jesus because no matter what happends, God is my hope. and no matter what happends, God is taking care of my dad, her, luke, johnny, and me...no matter what. even if things turn out in a way we don't think we can handle...Jesus is our hope. Jesus will take care of us. He will. He will. He will. help my hope to be in YOU, Father. our hope. all of us. together.
You guys are awesome! Thank you to so many of you who have been praying for me so faithfully! I am comforted, and so encouraged by that. I am always in awe when some one tells me that they are specifically praying for me.
The past several weeks have actually been a little rough. There are a lot of things changing in the lives of the people around me. As a result, it has left me feeling abandoned and alone at times. I experience a great deal of pain when I get the feeling of abandonment, as it brings up past wounds. But, to tell you the truth, I am amazed at how God gets me through each day. It is a reminder that he is going to continue to carry me, especially during the next few weeks.
I leave on Friday for home because God amazingly provided a ticket for me to fly back! I am so thankful. On Sunday, my family leaves to go to Philly for my dad’s surgery, which is going to be on Monday morning, April 24th. I keep imagining myself sitting in the hospital, waiting for at least six hours while they operate, anxiously wondering how it’s going. Creepy. This is certainly an unexpectedly hard time for us as a family, especially for dad. It’s so hard to believe. Please continue to pray for my dad- for protection during surgery, and for good recovery and healing.
On a really cool note, the Psalm 139 Bible study went really well. It was super wonderful having so many of you praying for us. Thank you! There was definitely a core group of girls that came every week, plus random stragglers here and there. For me, a highlight was when we had a group of unsaved girls mixed with saved girls, all studying God’s word together! So cool! Also, God brought a girl to the group who “happened” to hear about it, and she showed up all by herself, even though she was really scared to come. We, as a group, were taken on an intense journey together, and we really bonded. God taught us all different things, but we certainly all learned more about how high, deep, wide, and long his love for us really is! It was an awesome experience!
Consumed, as a whole, is doing well. While I am gone, we will be hosting a Shawn McDonald concert for free, to benefit Invisible Children, and it’s going to take place on a community college campus!
In case you haven’t heard, Jamie’s book, “Fully Alive” came out recently. That has been really exciting! You can order one on our new website at: www.consumedministries.com I am currently working on book as well, so you can pray for wisdom as I write it!
I will be gone for about three weeks, but I will try to write so that people can receive updates about my dad. Again, seriously, thank you for praying!
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” said Jesus to me, and to you! This verse was sent to me on a card that I received today and it just flooded my spirit with warmth. May it warm your heart as it did mine.
hangin' with my girls is good. so good. it certainly brings out my inner thug. bah haha!! seriously though, being with my girls is like being ME. no holding back. no regrets. no worries. no wondering what they think about me or what i said. they think i'm funny. they think i'm kind and sweet. they love me for ME. and the same with me. i think they're halarious! they make me laugh. i love their stories. i love hearing about their lives. we open up our hearts with each other. we laugh. we share. we cry. we joke, but we love. God has created us to be relational. think about it. we are born to TWO parents. it doesn't always stay that way, but it takes two people to create one person. then, that makes at least a family of three, not to mention brothers, sisters, grandparetns, aunts, uncles. the Bible is huge on families. Jesus was huge on relationships. i love relationships!! they're good for the heart, the soul, the mind, emotions...they're so GOOD. my girls are a gift from my Father. they're unlike any other form of relationships. women need each other. we understand each other. we connect in a way that no man could ever understand. don't get me wrong, men definately have their good purpose in our lives, but tonight, i wanna give a shout out to the WOMEN in my life who rock!
hangin' with my girls is good. so good. it certainly brings out my inner thug. bah haha!! seriously though, being with my girls is like being ME. no holding back. no regrets. no worries. no wondering what they think about me or what i said. they think i'm funny. they think i'm kind and sweet. they love me for ME. and the same with me. i think they're halarious! they make me laugh. i love their stories. i love hearing about their lives. we open up our hearts with each other. we laugh. we share. we cry. we joke, but we love. God has created us to be relational. think about it. we are born to TWO parents. it doesn't always stay that way, but it takes two people to create one person. then, that makes at least a family of three, not to mention brothers, sisters, grandparetns, aunts, uncles. the Bible is huge on families. Jesus was huge on relationships. i love relationships!! they're good for the heart, the soul, the mind, emotions...they're so GOOD. my girls are a gift from my Father. they're unlike any other form of relationships. women need each other. we understand each other. we connect in a way that no man could ever understand. don't get me wrong, men definately have their good purpose in our lives, but tonight, i wanna give a shout out to the WOMEN in my life who rock!
i will be flying home in about a week and a half. i leave here on friday, april 21. most of my time "home" will be spent in philly at the hospital. i actually get to be back for 18 days which is a huge blessing!! my dad's surgery is now scheduled for monday, april 24. i say this all the time to myself, and maybe even people, i don't know...but i just can't believe it. i just can't. my dad's desire is that God uses this to reach the doctors, nurses, and "indian chiefs" for HIM. i think that is becoming the desire of my heart as well. mom and i (and possibly the boys) will be spending lots of hours in the hospital, possibly around the same people for many days in a row. God can work! i am confident of that, and even more, i know He will. i don't doubt it.
well, a bit of relief came today when dad called me on my lunch break. he does not have an infection in his blood. (thank you Lord!) but, he does have an infection in his valves. the surgery will now be either the 17th or 18th of april. i will most likely fly in on Easter Sunday (16th) and stay until may 1. i found out today that if i miss 2 weeks of work, i should still be able to keep my benefits, or i can take a family medical leave for up to 4 months. that is a huge relief and i am so thankful God is providing for me in these ways. i absolutely knew he would take care of me, but it's so comforting to see it happen already. still not sure what will happen with my original plane ticket, but have no doubt God has it under control. it brings such warmth to my heart to know i will be in the presence of my parents in two weeks. knowing that my dad will be undergoing severe open heart surgery is not so pleasant, but at least we'll be journeying together, instead of me just floppin' around MN alone without them. The Lord is my shepherd.
my dad has to have open heart surgery. again. he was born with defective heart valves, and so about 7 years ago had one replaced with a pig valve. since then, it's been sort of a joke that dad has a pig part in him, but our recent news has taken on a whole new dimension of the pig valve. that pig apparently had a defective valve also. or, it has beome defective since it's been inplanted. either way, dad is having another surgery to fix two leaking valves. at first, we were informed that the surgery would take place some time near the end of may. through a lengthy chain of events, it now looks like the surgery could be this week, or possibly the 17th of april. tomorrow we get test results back where we will find out whether or not dad has an infection in his blood. for some reason, there is suspicion to believe there could be. this further compicates things. if he does have an infection, then he will have to go immediately back down to philly to have an iv of anti-biotics pumped through him. (we don't know how long that takes...hours? days?) after that, he might have surgery right away. or, he may have to wait a week. if he does not have the infection, then he will most likely have surgery the 17th. it's all up in the air right now. so, we wait. and wait. and wait. an hour feels like a lifetime. what's going to happen? what's going on in my dad's body? will he be ok? the burden of the surgery and unknowns are weighing on my dad....i can't imagine having to face what he's facing right now. it's tough on all of us, really.
as for me...i hate being away from him and my mom and my family. it's torture going through my day alone without them, not knowing what the next step will be. i have determined in my heart that i WILL be there for the surgery. i do not care what it takes. i will pay off a plane ticket for the rest of my life if i have to! i will quit my job, or lose my insurance if that's what it takes. (i have to keep up 20 hours per week to keep my benefits) it's not even a question if i am going home or not. i am. i just don't know when (YET) or how (YET). God will get me there. i know that with no doubt. i just hate waiting, not knowing, and all the lingering questions. i already have tickets booked for the end of april and would be flying back to MN on may 1. so, i might just go and stay until may 1 when i was already scheduled to fly back. (hence the reason i could lose my benefits if i am gone for that many weeks) so, what's a girl to do? without a doubt, she will be there for her dad. she will be there for her mom. all the other stuff, well, i just don't know.
what i do know is that the Lord is my shepherd. The Lord leads me beside quiet waters. The Lord restores my soul. My Father is guiding me in paths of righteosness for his name's sake. Even though my family is walking through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil. My Father is with me. His rod and staff comfort me...which means he is guiding and protecting me. Goodness will come, and i know that i will live with him for all eternity. and for that, dear God, i thank you.
today is the saboth day. the day of rest. God knew what he was doing when he intended a day of rest for us. when he designed a day of rest for us. he didn't say, "go to a church building, sit in a pew, pretend you want to be there, try to stay awake during the sermon, greet one another after the service that you've sat in on for a thousand times before, go home, eat lunch, and there! you kept the saboth holy." ok, i know that sounded quite fecicious, but i am tired. the job i have allows me to sit down maybe forty minutes out of the whole day, maybe. it's an exhausting job at times. my legs ache, my back is in pain, i get headaches, my throat gets dry and scratchy, i deal with the stress of working in a high volume store. not to mention the emotional exhaustion. pretending to be friendly and chipper all day long, like starbucks is the best place in the world to be! some days it's fine, but by the end of the week, i am spent. tired. exhausted. and that's just from my "day job." we're not even talking life. that's just what wears me out in terms of what i do to earn a measely penny.
my heart is tired. my soul is weary. my mind is wrestless. i want to SCREAM at the top of my lungs, WHY? my heart. oh my heart. i don't think it can take much more. not that i should complain, i know there is a lot of good in my life. a lot. and compared to other people's lives, i am seriously blessed. but, the things that are plauging my heart are death blows to me. is it even possible? is this reality? is this true? how can it be true? i don't want to believe it. i don't want to face it. i want to...i want to be with my dad. i want to be with my family. i want to be there. not here. no, there's nothing i can do for him, for them. i am useless. but at least i would be there. at least i wouldn't be here doing nothing. feeling helpless. feeling terrified without them. at least i would be able to laugh with them, talk with them, love them. this pain and so much more just engulfs me and i feel like the cloud of smog will never lift. too much pressure. too much respobsiblity. too many expectations. it's more then i can bare.
father, you can see that my hands are trembling. you can see that my legs are weak. you can see that my soul, it aches. but YOU will overcome. YOU make me strong in you. YOU make me wise in YOU. YOU WILL OVERCOME.
(some of this from charlie hall)
i guess pain is a part of life. in one passage of the Bible it says that suffering produces perseverance and stronger faith. while i belive that's true, i don't believe that God intended for us to have to suffer when he created us. some how when hard times come, God can turn them into good. i don't know how he does it, but he's sovereign, and i'll never understand that. he is good, i believe that. but, that doesn't mean we won't suffer. because people suffer. i suffer. i hurt. i ache. don't you? as i sat across from a friend last night, pouring out her wounded heart to me, my heart ached to see the tears in her eyes. my heart ached to hear about her wounds from the past, and her wounds being deepend right now. fear and sorrow gripped her. i felt helpless. i felt angry for her. we shared a bond. we have both suffered, and for that, we are connected to the soul. pain is unifying. pain is vulnerability. pain is being alone. pain sucks. but some how, some way, my Father can turn it into good. i know that to be true. it is true. but, if i had a choice, i would choose to never suffer again. only, i know it's not gonna happen that way. i feel like an 80 year old women sometimes. pain has aged me. but, it has also made me wiser. i am thankful that i am wiser. smarter. in a position to understand others who suffer. it gives me credit. but i am also guarded. protected. harder. my heart is wounded. my spirit broken. but i am strong. Christ in me. He is my strength. He is my healer, and friend, i know he will heal you, too.
Full of Joy

i received a delightful email this morning from one of my oh-so-loving brothers informing me that my blog is boring. (hhhmmm...based on the facts, can anyone guess which one?) to which i replied. "you ween." we have a very warm relationship. "you ween." means, "i love you! even though you ARE a ween." i was simply emailing people to inform them that my blog was up, not to entertain them with professional writings. so back off chump. don't mess with this. i love you ween!
i honestly don't know why i am still up. i am tired. my eyes are half closed, and my body aches. i have been rather nastalgic lately. i am a writer. i guess that makes me artsy. i have never thought of myself as artsy, but to me, my writing is an art. it's some thing my Father has given me a passion for. he designed me to feel things passionately. he created me to be dramatic and to be expressive. i am thankful that God formed me this way. perfect. beautiful. in his eyes i am. i love that. i love that i love to write. i love that he can use my writing to affect others. i am glad that when i write something ignites inside me. a fire that fills me with joy to my very core. he is smiling at me- his child, his creation, and he is glorified when i come alive doing the things he created me to do. it's a full circle moment. (says oprah!) i am fully alive when i write. hence the reason i am up so late rambling my heart to no one. but in the midst of my ramblings...He is smiling down on me. it's now almost 1 am and i have a very long day ahead of me. if anyone is out there...just know that i am falling more and more in love with my Father and Creator all the time. the more i get to know me, get to know my own heart, get to know the things that burn a fire in my soul, the more i get to know HIM and the giddier i get! i get to know HIM through getting to know ME because he has made me to be ME!