The Winged Ones

I wonder if there are birds in Heaven. I wonder if they are more exotic then any winged one ever spotted in the history of the world. I bet they are.

Tonight we grabbed our bonocs and bird book and a little snack and headed out to do some bird watching. Freeze Out Lake is just a few miles from our house. And yes, it’s named Freeze Out since it quite often freezes solid in the winter.  Shallow acres of water that lie in wide open spaces of  ranch land. Cat tails and marshy areas make it a perfect bird habitat. We’ve been crazy busy the last while with spring clean ups and spring activities and dawn to dark schedules. Bird watching is a super relaxing way to spend a perfect Sunday evening.

I married a very handsome guy who has been bird watching since childhood. He amazes me. I see a flash of fowl and He identifies it before I can even comprehend if it was a hawk or a starling 🙂  and I mean names like Lesser Scoop and Marbeled Godwit and American Avocet. Yeah….I’m lost already and I just got back from a night of watching these amazing creatures.

 Kobe’s friend gave him a little pair of bonoculars and He carries them all around like a little explorer. I should have lived in Montana long enough to know to remember Kobe’s boots when we head out for wild life watching:) I still haven’t discovered the master trick of toughening up a sweet sensitive little boy….so until then we’ll do our best to take it slow and let life teach him that he won’t die from a tiny scraped knee 🙂

      Nature is so full of Gods amazing artsy creations! Stephen identified over thirty birds and Kobe and I saw some beautiful creatures we didn’t even know existed.

I think we need to go again real soon…..all those lovely bird songs are enough to soothe any soul! You really need to hear a Western Meadow Lark, see wild Pelicans scoop into the water, watch Blackneck Stilts, like mini Flamingos, stalking their prey and sit quietly in enthrall wander of the Cinnamon Teal’s amazing rich colors all blended into a gorgeous deep coat of feathers. I wish we had given Kobe a middle name of Teal 🙂

When we got home we found a tiny sparrow, lying too quietly in our flower bed under the big living room window. Kobe had to keep going outside in the dusk to check on the ‘poor bird’ .  I thought of all those happy flitting winged creatures over Freezeout Lake tonight and this tiny one lying so cold and broken and it didn’t seem fair. Then I remembered Jesus’ words while He walked on earth among death and coldness and heartache.

“Not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs of your head are numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God then a whole flock of sparrows!” Matthew 10

I love how He said those simple words….”So don’t be afraid.” We don’t need to fear this life or our certain death. Or the glorious return of our Saviour. We don’t need to fear about what will happen in the near or far future. What will happen to mankind when perverse nature rules and violence and sin take the upper hand. What will happen if sickness is not healed and bills do not cease and hearts are still broken. He sees every little and big thing in our life.

We are so valuable to His heart. So very very valuable.

He holds OUR hearts in His scarred hands

our names etched into His palms

“My Saviour holds my treasure

And He will walk with me!”


He Went All Out


God went all out this year already.

We chased the most gorgeous sunset the other night. It literally filled the air with pink and soft and beauty. I felt like I was dreaming.


lone, wind-screwed tree turned into a work of art.


stretching miles of  blending sky


it even graced the

 plain fortress of dried autumn, stacked high for winter’s cold


The heavenly Creator unleashed His palette of pink. Carmine,salmon and magenta.

He’s the Lover that creates so much  beauty for us, that we are silent in the majesty. Wrapped in the rosy hues of His peace. Entranced by the  vastness and glory of it all.

I think its His promise that no matter how bleak and cold the remaining days of winter drag, He has an amazing springtime coming.


And until then, each sunrise speaks of His new mercies. His unfailing love.


Even in the middle of man made structures and walls and glass panes and  electric lines and our own complicated messes that stand between us and nature…His glory won’t be stopped.


Life can’t beat us. Circumstances can’t control us. Our God won’t stop at ANYTHING to display His power. Nothing. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is too difficult for Him. His love always shines through!


I just love when God shows off!


BELIEVE and a Giveaway!

It’s cold. It’s winter.


And in just a few days, it will be another thing.

our seventh wedding anniversary.

I think this is the perfect time for a little give away to my lovely friends on this blog! So here it is…

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A Christmas Light Canvas.

Read a bit farther to understand why I chose the word BELIEVE and to see how to enter the drawing to win.

I hope that this winter finds a glow in your heart. The privilege to BELIEVE. even when it’s hard.

A bit over 8 years ago, my Big Guy and I met for the very first time.

I from the East.

He from the West.

Just in case you didn’t know, I LOVE a happy, fuzzy romantic love story. One of our first ‘run ins’ was at the bottom of a Rocky Mountain foothill under a gorgeously lovely moon that was edging the frigid clear night with it’s impossibly soft warmth…..

a perfect set up for some heart sparks to fly.

Instead, I was bleeding red all over the front of Steve’s grey jacket and was convinced that every breath would be my last. That’s what happens when the most lovely innocent toboggan ride with girlfriends ends abruptly.That’s what happens when barbed wire meets face.

Cruel cold steel wired across flesh. And scars were created. It was ugly. And scary. And not at all what I planned.

I don’t believe in omens but do I believe in God’s omnipotent plan for our lives. Sometimes, in my wandering moments, I wonder if God was trying to tell us something way back then. That He makes beauty out of bloodshed. He keeps us breathing when we have no strength left to keep going.That life doesn’t always make rational sense.

Exactly a year after that accident, my heart had come a long way. I was learning trust and love and commitment and laying down silly notions and ideas. (yeah. i’m still working on that stuff:)

One thing was bigger then ever…those lovely heart sparks were flaming higher and hotter then ever! We were getting married!

December 7, 2006

The day I thought I would die.

December 7, 2007

The day I promised my life to the best Big Guy in the world.

happy happy wedding day!!!

(i laugh to think of all the near disasters that surrounded even that day)

The ironic thing was, the year before, I had gone west to teach a tiny school and carve out time with my Heavenly Father and try to figure out some hard questions of life. I wasn’t interested in guys.

But girls will be girls.

And when that true Love steals into your heart no matter how much you try to deny it….well, lets just say I was honored and thrilled!

It’s been seven years. There’s been bloodshed in our hearts. But there’s also been warm hugs that take in all the pain. So much love that pain morphs into beauty.

So many wonderful moments and happiness.

But we still live in a fallen world. As long as we are here, we face it.

Sometimes its hard to BELIEVE.

When I want my way and I don’t want to play fair and I am sure we are heading for disaster. When I let ridiculously small unimportant everyday things turn into a monstrous block wall. When I bang my head against it and wonder why it doesn’t budge. When I misunderstand.

It’s hard to believe.

When life hands me things I never asked for and warps my confidence that God is good. All the time.

It’s hard to believe.

When I don’t know what will happen next in life and it feels like your stuck in the waiting room. And you don’t want to be there.

It’s HARD to believe.

When others hurt and you can’t take away their pain.

It’s hard to BELIEVE!

I never would have believed my life if you had laid it out orderly for me while I was packing my bags for Montana 8 years ago.

It has been so wonderfully GOOD and GRAND!

But it’s also been brutally hard.

(Don’t we all have our own hard battle to face!?)

It is my life. And I embrace it.

Because I believe!

And that’s all because of God, my loving Father, who has PROMISED


to keep me and never leave me.

My husband. My amazing wonderful Big Guy that has taught me to trust and love and given me a safe place for my heart to come home.

My angel cchildren in heaven

the Wee One we never met,

Kierra Raine.

who’s name is music to my ear

longing in my heart,

hope in my future.

Kobe Xander

who amazes me

challenges me

calls me Mom.

and I love like crazy.

I believe

because God has put so much love and peace and hope in the midst of the blood and tears.


So here’s my wish for you this Christmas.

The chance to experience God.

And believe.

It’s something we must each do for ourselves.

Let me assure you. He will meet you and love you and forgive you.

He delights in you.

Just believe.

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So here’s the deal.

This is a white canvas done in Silver script and snowflakes with 50 lights. It measures 16×20 in. and has easy access to the Christmas light’s plug.

Leave your name in the comments below to enter this giveaway. The winner will be announced on Monday, December 8. 

I will contact the winner for their shipping address and you should receive it in no time at all 🙂


When I don’t Understand God

“Where does understanding dwell? It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing.” Book of Job

That’s how I’ve been feeling the last while. Like God is silent. Life is cruel. Present is suffocating. And Future uncertain. I wanted to beat something up. Take a wrecking ball to a building. As if that would make me feel better. After the clatter and crash and settling dust, what would be left? Everything would still be exactly the same. Except for a pile of ruin.

But ruin feels good sometimes. Sitting among the ashes of your dreams and longings has a drawing power. It’s just so familiar. It’s all your mind wants to turn to. It feels like home even though it wreaks of utter desolation. Sometimes, the effort it takes to get up just isn’t worth it.

Acceptance seems like betrayal. Forgiveness seems like denial. Smiles seem frivolous. And joy seems like a giant lie.
So I sit a bit longer among the ruins, sifting them through my fingers.

God’s been working on this girl’s heart. I am hopeless and helpless without Him. The moments of my life that surround this sadness in my heart will always stay with me. The pain and total NOT understanding. The NOT FAIR and the WHAT IF. It has all been woven into the essence of who I am. God knew that when He created me.

Listen to what else Job has to say about understanding, this ancient man who lost everything except His life and his wife.

“God understands the way to it
And He alone knows where it dwells.
for He views the ends of the earth
And sees everything under the heavens.

(So He’s looking at the big picture. At the details.)

When He established the force of the wind
(Maybe our trials and pain?)
And measured out the waters
When He made a decree for rain,
And a path for the thunderstorm…

He looked at wisdom
And appraised it
He confirmed it.
And tested it.

(Guess what? Unlike my mind likes to think, God isn’t up there whipping up a storm, unleashing pain and horror over His children, without a thought of where the pieces will fall. He is appraising. Confirming. Testing. He knows what He’s doing. He created us. And He honestly has the BEST for us turning in His ‘Great Brain’. He delights in us. He will never leave us broken alone. Ruined for good. Because He is stronger then our circumstances. Look at what the last verse says.)

The fear (reverence, respect) of The Lord is
And to shun evil is

Just like Alex Marini shared on Sunday…
To have fullness of joy is actually not complicated.
“Obey God
Abide. In. Him.”

Our God is so big. Look at another quote from Job…

“And these are but the outer fringe
Of His works.
How faint the whisper we hear of Him!
Who then can understand
the thunder of His power?”

Today, I’m choosing to trust God. He knows what He’s doing. I’m just convinced. I feel like I’m along for the ride…. I think that’s just OK:)

Right now…the ride consists of reading Kobe’s favorite book…I can handle that!




Sunshine and Shadow


It all began with this old tree outside my living room window. Amazing how God can use a twisted ugly old tree and humble pigeons to radiate His morning sunlight and reach a hurting heart.

It’s times like this that I wish I were a really good photographer and understand the concept of catching light and shadow, because that is what this is all about.

I was  cold as I watched the sun’s softness spread over the frozen countryside. I sat, huddled on our tiny loveseat, gazing at the little bit of open space surrounding the back of our house. It was the one space where I wasn’t distracted with buildings and houses and silos and stone quarry elevators. The old tree with Kobe’s borrowed baby swing and Kierra’s stretched hammock hanging in it. The remains of a bird feast were scattered black over the ground at it’s knobby trunk.

I felt so very empty inside. Like someone had carved a huge chunk out of my heart and closed the door and left the light off. I didn’t know how or what to feel. I didn’t know if that feeling of ‘nothing’ was even normal.

Then  I noticed the pigeons. Since pigeons are in the Dove family, I think it would be much more gracious to call them Doves. Regardless of the proper term, I will do just that 🙂

A plain, grey Dove was perched high in the ancient budding arms of that old tree.


Her breast gleamed pink in the soft warming rays of the morning light.


Her feathers were unruffled. Her bright eyes alert. She was basking in the glow of love, soaking up the warmth.

She was beautiful.

Quite different from her neighbor below her.


Hidden in the chilly shadows of a slighter tree, shivering and buffeted by the bite of frost, sat another Dove.


Her feathers were ruffled. Her legs shook with the strength it took to hold on. She sat among the buds of springtime also, but she sat in the shadows. No gentle bathing sunshine for this one!

I could nearly hear her thoughts running though her frozen brain.

I am cold.

But it doesn’t matter.

I have to be tough. I can take it.

I’ll let the higher branches for the other birds.

They deserve the warmth.

I wouldn’t want to spoil their morning view with poor little grey, shivering, ugly me.

I don’t belong up there. 

I don’t want to stick out

because i am afraid

and I am not good enough to sit up high

and enjoy the beautiful view

and warmth.

Yes, it’s best if i just sit down here and tough it out.

That poor Dove! She was so blinded by her own greyness.


She had no concept of how BIG the tree was. How VAST the warm sun reached. How many empty branches were just WAITING to support her.



As I sat and watched her shiver, I realized how much I was like her. So many people in life have faced so many harder things then we have. There is heartache and tears and sorrows that run deep grooves into places I have never been.

But this life is not about depths of pain. It’s about trusting God and choosing LIGHT in whatever type or level of pain you are experiencing right now. Give God your pain. Because it will kill your spirit with the weight of it. You were not made to bear it alone.

He found them in a desert land,and in the howling waste of a wilderness. He encircled him, He cared for him,and guarded him as the pupil of His eye. Deut. 32:10

The whole tree top is waiting for us, my friend. We have every right and privilege to go up there and bask in our Savior’s love. We do not deserve it, but oh, how

we NEED a Son of Light and warmth,

we NEED a Protector

we NEED a Savior

we NEED a Gentle Healer!

He is our Creator. Our Father. Our Jesus. Our God.

Our Friend.

The best thing we can do for ourselves and everyone around us is to achingly creak up there on freezing wings and perch on the warmest branch we can find, and let Him love us. Because when He loves us, it’s only then that we can really truly face life. Our hearts can begin to unthaw. Our numbness begin to tingle. Our blood begin to flow again.

Perhaps some cold huddled mass below us will have the courage to come perch with us, wrecks that we are, and bask in His light too.


The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in Him.


Because Life is NEVER Bigger Then God.

We took a little trip down to the hospital to pick up the artwork that we did on the last day with Kierra.

It was nostalgic to say the least. I felt like I was walking in a dream until Kobe broke the silence with his enthusiastic, “See Kierra!” when we pulled into the driveway.

Little children look at life with such simple acceptance and faith. We told him Kierra wouldn’t be here. That she is in heaven. That was OK with him. He didn’t fight or try to reason. He just calmly moved on.

Now we as adults can’t do that as easily. Our questions are so much bigger and broader and deeper. They affect everything in our lives and run through our minds in waves of volume. We are these battle weary, hurting souls that spin a cynical twist to pain. We throw heart tantrums and play ‘not fair’ and ‘get you back’. We aim our frustration and fear and hurt and insecurity at a supposively loving God who we were taught to honor and respect.

It would hurt me very much if Kobe would never ask me “Why?” (or rather, “huh?'”:) If he would never mention Kierra.

If instead, he would go around, raking me over the coals behind my back, questioning every thing I told him that is true.Even that I love him. If he would blame me for all the pain and loneliness in his little life right now. If he would put big black marks on his chart against me and show everyone that I am a scam of a mommy who doesn’t care about him. If he would embrace that chart until the lies become his life.

It would hurt worse then him pounding on my chest, crying out his frustration from a hurting, weary, lonely, confused heart.

Perhaps that’s one reason Jesus said we should become as little children. It’s Ok to ask why. To be alone and sad and hurt and to not understand. To cry out to our Heavenly Father and let Him comfort us. It is not His fault that life hurts right now. Just as Kobe fully believes that we love him and what we tell him is true, so our Father wants us to trust Him.

Kobe could have spent the whole day and all of his energy on a search all over that hospital for Kierra. Instead, he let us pull him in the little red wagon.

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We can do the same. Running ourselves ragged trying to find the meaning to life and questions and that real evidence that we think we HAVE to have. Or we can simply trust God to take us to the answers in His own time and His own way. We can rest in peace that He knows what He is doing. That life is NEVER bigger then Him. We can relax and try to find joy in the little things in life.

Feb Feb. 2013 011

We had to wait for hours until they located the artwork for us to bring home. It was locked away in an office on a weekend or something weird like that. But it was worth the wait. Now we have our fingerprints all over the canvas. It is still waiting on a frame. But, good things take time, right?