Of Little Belts and Life

We had a wonderful day of adventure in the Little Belt mountains this summer with these wonderful friends. Four wheelers and dirt bikes made it even more fun :) the kids all did wonderful and I’m hoping we can go again next year ;) 

The view was breathtaking and we followed such gorgeous mountain trails. Sun scented pines. Fields of Wildflowers (although they were past their prime). Narrow ledges along steep mountain faces. And Rocky terrain that was barren and wind whipped and wild. 

(Yep, we went all the way to the top. Talk about a rough ride….but so worth it!) 

 Our scenery changed so drastically it reminded me of the drastic opposites in personalities. Now please understand these pictures have no reflection on the people in them. In other words….we don’t have drastic personality clashes with them. (Lol.) The colorful personalities brought out parts of this blog post so I just had to share them. 
Did you know that with an app on your phone you can translate your spoken words into Chinease, Spanish, Latin, or Russian? And that’s just the beginning. 
Guess what the most common phrases are that are translated  every day?

“How are you?”

“Thank you!”

And my favorite….”I love you. ” 

((This little guy concked out on the bumpiest part of the trail on the way down the mountain. Now I know he can truly sleep anywhere :))

I saw a commercial for this google app recently that grabbed my attention….it started with languages being interpreted. People smiling. New friends being made. And it ended with these words….
Be together. Not the same.


It struck me solid. 

Life is full of this. I don’t know of any single other person that is exactly the same as any other single person. 

Yet, we all have the same basic needs of survival in life. We all bleed red. We all breathe oxygen. We are all on Earth together. 

We are all created by the same God. 

We have all sinned. We are all broken. 

We are all offered free salvation through Jesus’ death. 

As SAME as we are in so many basic fundamental aspects of life, we somehow seem to forget our origin. We all started little. Helpless. We all grow into big people of those tiny origins.

Somewhere along the way in life the glamour and simplicity seems to fade and we forget that simple childish view of life. We don’t understand each other. We jump to conclusions. We speak different dialects. We prioritize in different ways. We have different tastes and preferences. We have different opinions and fight different battles and wear different scars. 

And somehow, the different is all we can see. 


I am understanding more and more how OK it is to be different from those I love. That’s agreeing to disagree on some things in life is healthy. That my own desire to desperately control makes me want other people to think like me. I am slowly learning to accept and embrace the differences and understand the dialects. 

When we don’t understand the language, then we need to bring it to the Interpreter of heart and mind and ask Him for understanding and translation. 

So often I am too busy to stop and bring my thoughts to God. I wonder how many heart aches and misunderstandings and fears would be relieved if I would simply utilize this wonderful tool of prayer that is free for all of us.

 This praying thing that can be as natural as breathing. Available any time. In any place. For anyone.

We are beautiful together. Not the same. But beautiful. We can lift our faces to the Son. Bask in His peace. Worship our Creator. And pass the Interpretor love on to those we meet every day. Let Him teach us genuine love that makes others feel value, accepted, and LOVED. 

Just like the gorgeous Wildflowers that blend into the loveliest bouquet.

  They remind me again….of our Wildflower Girl…

   And how different is truly SO BEAUTIFUL!


Our Ninth House

Seven years ago when we got married I would never have dreamed that we would be moving for the ninth time but what an adventurous time we’ve had! . Most of our moves were totally unplanned but totally necessary. Moving is never easy and packing your life into boxes is always eye opening. 
Just when I think I have purged and downsized….we move again and I still think there’s too much :) I suppose hauling heavy boxes does that to you.

This time we are actually buying our very own very first house!!! Its one of those milestones we have dreamed about and planned for and saved money toward. I can still scarcely believe this is happening and until we feel the metal of keys in our hands I am holding my breath :)

And even then I will have to pinch myself to believe we are in this stage of life…
What will we do without that renters groove of desperately scrubbing carpet stains and stressing out over holes in the walls and turning down pets and staring at plain boring paint colors….or hideous ones :)

We are planning to have closing on Monday so I’m hoping I’m not jumping the gun here. The bungalow is a nice size family home that was foreclosed on. It has some nice original hard wood floors and a newly remodeled kitchen with an open dining and family room and also a large living room, two bathrooms, and three small bedrooms. There’s a lot of cosmetic work that we’d like to do but ugly is liveable for now:)


We did a bit of work on it already as you can see:) eventually i will post before and afters. It took me most of a day to scrape off the old wall paper on this wall. And we have more to do;)

Steve tackled a water damaged ceiling

We put in super long hours and were totally shot by Friday so after attending a friends wedding in Gold Creek we headed for some rest and relaxation. Virginia City is an old mining town that has been wonderfully preserved. Its a great family friendly place with a fun short train ride through dredges and country to nearby Nevada City.






We drove up to Boot Hill where a crucial part of Virginia City history went down….four highway men were hanged for robbing and killing miners. They had no mercy and would kill anyone in their way…even women and children. After their deaths, the miners were much more safe and likely to actually be able to keep their hard earned gold.


They were buried with un marked graves but in later years the gravestones were added to preserve history. I wondered who their mother’s were. I wonder if they wept. Or if they even knew.
We got back to our campsight to having our tent literally blowing away. The 40 mph wind would have sent it tumbling if some kind souls hadn’t tied it down. The inside was a disaster. There was a nasty storm blowing in so we loaded up and headed for a motel for the night. We didn’t want to be tossed across the open fields like tumbleweed At midnight.


The next morning broke refreshing and rain whispered. Kobe and I did some fun water color painting at the open window before we headed for home and a new week of work.

Side note…
We bought our house! This post is a week old;) but I’m kinda behind in so many things I thought I’d post it anyway and eventually I will catch up with my own tail i hope;)
Blessings to your day!


12 Midnight

The moon is shining tonight. 
In a clear sky.
With not even a whiff of wildfire smoke in the air.
For days, stench and smog hung over Montana as wildfires raged out of control. I went to bed last evening with the strong wind blowing rancid smoke in the cracks round the windows. 
I woke this morning to blue sky. Clear air. Rain drenched grass. Overturned lawn furniture. And Singing birds.
And I thank God. 
And I think of the firefighters who lost their lives this week. I hope they were prepared to meet their Maker. I hope they died painlessly. I hope they just sort of drifted off those wild mountains and into glorious Heaven. 
I think of their families. And how it is probably always midnight in their hearts right now and they will never forget the wildfires of 2015. 
I think of others who have faced the 12 o’clock midnight of their lives recently. And how every day for the next 100 or 100,000,000 may consist of the minutes that creep toward dawn. 
How sometimes it feels like you will grope forever in this smog of life. That just when you catch a glimpse of dawn in the horizon, the rains come again. And you bow your heart and weep. 
How you get tired of the life you are living. How you wish you could change it all and it would be high noon and you would know what carefree feels like again. And you could laugh from your depths again. 
I have found a truth. It never ever changes. It is there through smoke screens and bright sunshine. Through silence and tears. It is the strength that weaves itself into the very fibers of life. I painted it in childish script to remember. it’s simple and genuine.

And because of that love….I PROMISE. No matter what midnight you are facing right now. No matter of you see the clock striking midnight in your very near future…if it I’d half past 12 . Or somewhere between darkest and dawn….

The DAWN will come! 
Keep hanging on. The LIGHT will become brighter and brighter and the day spring will dawn in your heart. And you will open your eyes in the most glorious new born sunshine you have ever awaken to.
His relentless love will always always pursue and lead you!
He will create beauty in you!




Kierra’s Birthday 

It’s already August. That magical month between the glorious July of summer and the autumn tones of chilly September.

We packed our July so full I didn’t have time to catorgize all the memories but they are stored safe and sound in my heart. 

July 10. The day, 5 years ago that our Wildflower Girl looked into our eyes for the very first time and we were never the same. We celebrated her fifth birthday in our hearts and her second birthday in Heaven by traveling back to her birth town, Missoula, MT. It’s one of our favorite places in MT, full of vibrance and life and beauty. 

We took our camping gear, and pitched our tent in between the July drizzles. The town was full of folks from all over America for the Missoula Marathon and Half Marathon. (We got to watch our good friends finish strong…more on that later;) Most of the motels were full as well as the campground. They had no actual camp sites left but they let us set up in their ‘overflow space’, so we still made out just fine! Hot showers, bathrooms, and a laundry made it very comfy and the all night rain was actually nearly as delightful music as a lullaby.

We bought a bouquet of balloons for our Princess and hiked up to the “M” on the hill that overlooks Missoula. It’s made out of huge slabs of poured concrete , painted white. It’s quite a climb with  11 switchbacks and a gain of  620 ft in elevation from the starting point to the top of the trail. It still amazes me that folks RUN up and down as part of their workout program! That’s serious stuff :) 

Kobe loved the climb and did better then I expected. Of course the adventure of releasing balloons at the top made it all more exciting! Every one on the trail assumed it was his birthday, so there were birthday wishes the whole way up :) 

We stopped and rested occasionally and Kobe rode his Daddy’s strong shoulders for awhile.

Yep! It’s steep! The hill behind Kobe is typical….so there’s no wonder they carved in switchbacks :)

We got to the top and although the skies were grey and drizzly, it was still a gorgeous view.


The journey uphill is always worth it!!

We sang Happy Birthday to Kierra and Kobe launched the balloons. 

They floated lazily out across the town and eventually caught an upward eddy. We could still see them an hour later when we got down to the trailhead. Just a speck way way up in the heavens. 


Kobe and I made some special things to send to Kierra’s grave. He painted rocks and made a birthday card.

“Momma, are there mailboxes in Heaven?” He asked as he poured over his little card. Oh how I wish, my son! How I wish!

Steve had the great suggestion of a bouquet of silk flowers for our Princess. I had fun arranging them . I can’t imagine the glorious colors and intricate blossoms she is running through today! 

Our little Wildflower Girl. We send you love!!

I have been listening to some amazing talks on suffering recently. One of the things that stood out to me…. Suffering WILL come to every person on earth. It’s not IF it comes….but WHEN it comes. It may look totally different in my life then it does in your life. Suffering has many faces. But one thing it has in common….it hurts like mad. It’s inevitable but it is totally NOT too much for God to handle. 

No situation is too hard and broken for His grace. No fear is too great for His assurance. No past too marred for His new beginning. Even the faintest spark of an ember will be fanned into a profound blaze by His  gentle love and nourishing. 

I am praying to God for His eyes and His heart. Eyes that look beyond the ‘outward appearance’. That look beyond the physical things like names and clothes and cars and houses and incomes….or lack of them. I beg God to give me eyes that see His seed of potential and greatness that He created in every person born. That soul that will never die. That child hiding in the deepest recesses of the buffest. 

That His grace that has ransomed me would flow through me…giving me a fresh vision, a fresh perspective and the love of God spilling out of my life to others. 

Because this life….it’s about IN HIM and THROUGH HIM and TO HIM that we exist. 

Not about my hurt or my fears. When I have the courage to face them head on and name them for what they are, their power takes a beating! When I claim HIS power that Is FAR beyond anything we can imagine….

I have HOPE. 

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, Because He has given us His Holy Spirit to fill our heart with His love. Romans 5:5



It seems when I boldly declare my stand for Christ and His promises, that crafty Satan comes weaseling depressing thoughts and degrading hopeless words into my mind.

This weekend we spent some time with Steve’s folks camping and also some time just with the three of us.


We had a great time but I fought hard to keep fear and doubt at bay and sometimes it felt like I would dunk right under into negativity and that it was just too much effort to pop back up. 

With those feelings came multiple emotions. We received the shocking news of a 21 year old Amish cousin who was hit head on with a car while biking. It was a fatal accident and my heart breaks for his family. I will never forget waking up the first morning after Kierra died and feeling that suffocating grief paralyse us.

Emotions can do that too. Eventually the original struggle has morphed into so many little tendrils that snake entwined together and before you know it you are nearly crying because you haven’t gotten your hammock  hung yet and its already Late July. And you hate yourself for being sad over such a trivial thing.

So tonight after unpacking the essentials from our excursion I took my journal and sat outside at our little retro table and had myself a serving of tears. A main course of writing and frank conversing with God and dessert of slapping nasty mosquitoes.

I read some wonderful reasssuring verses and hung onto Truth as hard as I could.

Then about an hour later the most amazing thing happened. A gorgeous rainbow stretched in the pink hued sun set sky.

And there was no rain even.

Just smoke from far off forest fires. Orange and pink and dark clouds.
And this pastel rainbow.
I smiled.
And felt the glow of Gods love radiate in me. It was true! He loved me.
And maybe- just maybe. Kierra had a rainbow request He filled for her ;)

You can borrow my rainbow today if you are struggling to feel His love.

Its not a great phone picture. But its a promise.

And promises are kept .
Always. By God.
He will never drown us with a flood He cannot save us




Who AM I?

It’s when the moon sets all smoky orange and surrounded with darkness.

It’s when the yellow butterfly that has been swooping by my window all month flutters through the sprinkling water.

It’s when the wind blows just so.

When the wire fan whirls over Kobe. And he insists on having it turned on. 

(Just like his sister used to. I can still hear her whining in her bed until we turned her fan on at night for her. ;)

It’s when the rain comes and the fragrance of  green permeates the air.

Its when my Steve turns toward me and smiles on purpose.

It’s when my little Kobe spontaneously says ” You’re cute. Would you be my best friend?” 

 (From his car seat in the back of the dark car at 10:00 PM.)

I catch snatches of Kierra and hang onto the love.

It’s when the miles of clouds have such glittering bursts of gold streaked all around them and through them that I can barely breathe. 

When there is sunset all around you in a big circle of sky and clouds and space and every direction has a different splash of color.

It’s when the light and love of His beauty shines through my fear and I can scarcely see for the GLORY He has in store for me. For the blessings He pours out on me. For the gifts He gives me. For the grace that enfolds me. Empowers me.

 Every. Single. Moment. Every. Single.Day. 

I catch a tiny glimpse of my Jesus and His wonderful love.

He created each of us. In His image. No matter what you think you are or are not. 

Child of God,  You are HIS! 

Redeemed. Newly Created. Free.

I am  believing that. I am not who I used to be. I can let go of the past and the mistakes and the fear and the harsh judgment I held myself to. I can leave the keeping of my soul in My Savior’s hand who loves me totally. 

I am new.

I have struggled most of my life with feeling like a failure. With never being good enough. With being ‘a joke’ . Perhaps, being a typical middle child, I never thought I was taken seriously or listened to. I embraced the concept that I could never have a good idea. Or measure up to expectations. That I was a loose cannon ball and everyone was using their arsenal of technics to keep me from misfiring. And so I grew up with a very undecided mind of who I was. I had no idea what I wanted to do in life. “Wishy washy. Wild child.” From saving babies in foreign countries to being a veterinary, I swung into any new thought with abandon. I had almost no self esteem. Desperate for acceptance, I agreed with nearly everyone and could scarcely form even the smallest decisions on my own. Which made me feel more unstable then ever. 

Over the past years….the question still haunts me. Who Am I?

In the moments of “Aw. Yes!” When I see character traits of my Kierra…of my Kobe …my Steve…and my Heavenly Father. ….

And it is So Genuine THEM ,

 I realize again that I am me. I am unique. Genuine. Created by God with a specific purpose and DNA  that is truly me.  

(And my friend, YOU are YOU. Unique. Loved  :) 

Perhaps it will be a life long struggle. Who I am today is not who I may be in 10 years for now. 

But although  our past will always be part of us here on earth, it does not need to define us. 

I chose to believe the strongest, simplest, truth. 


A daughter of  the King. 

Loved by Jesus. 

I choose to embrace the freedom and grace of a new identity. To truly believe the things in the past cannot mess with my mind and make me a life long failure. 

It’s so much easier to say then to actually embrace and  believe. I need to choose over and over to rein my thoughts in and come back to TRUTH. And sometimes I get all caught up in those ‘failure, self achieving ‘ web of lies all over again.

But today, my friend, live like a Child dearly loved by the King.

Let yourself feel His love.

His delight.

Exactly where you are…

In the messy 

Or the barren

The spartan 

Or the full.

The Searching.

Or the finding.

You are held and loved.


A Hand To Hold

Two years ago

On the way home

From a long hospital stay

Sometimes he still begs

For someone 

To sit beside him

In the back seat.
Sometimes I reach back

Far and uncomfy

While I drive

And touch his foot

Or hold his hand
And he squeezes tight

And he is silent