Why blog?

It's therapeutic... specially for dorks like me who communicate better when they have the chance to process their thoughts, select their words, and write precisely what they want to say. As much as I'm a "talker", I stumble, stutter, and don't always say things right. English as a second language might have something to do with that (unfortunately, I don't think I could blog in Spanish... I lost my grammar in that language). I like to pour out my thoughts and leave it out there in the cosmos (or the world wide web) for other people to mull over...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Million Strong

They'll remember we were here...

Tell me who'd have thought that we would be so controversial
And stand against the normal
Are we too outspoken, loud, and messing up the comfortable?
Well we've been messed up also

But how can we be silent
When a fire burns inside us
'Cause we're a million strong and getting stronger still
They'll remember we were here
With a million voices breaking silence till
They'll remember we were here

We were made to start the riot, take on the impossible
And we will stay the giants
We are done with fake religion fighting now to find the movement
Won't stop till we find it

But how can we be silent
When a fire burns inside us
'Cause we're a million strong and getting stronger still
They'll remember we were here
With a million voices breaking silence till
They'll remember we were here
We're a million strong and getting stronger still
They'll remember we were here
With a million voices breaking silence till
They'll remember we were here

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Acts 2:42-47 (The Message)

41-42That day about three thousand took him at his word, were baptized and were signed up. They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers.

43-45Everyone around was in awe—all those wonders and signs done through the apostles! And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person's need was met.

46-47They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God. People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved.

I love this passage. I read it, and I yearn for it. I want to live like that every day. I feel called to that. I read this passage, and it centers me - helps me to see how God wants ME to be in the big picture of His church.

I am 15 minutes or so away from working out, then I'll begin studying for my Veterinary Technician course. I already have an old "study guide" for the certifications department of the State. And tomorrow, I begin my job at Petco! I'll be doing the boring first-time-employee stuff anyhow. Then finishing the day at the law firm, because I told them I'd help for another two weeks part time. They've been good employers! But I'm really, REALLY excited about Petco! YAHOO!

God has been answering a LOT of prayers lately, the more I actually pray. I have to be thankful! And I'm still praying about a couple of things, but we will see! We will see... I am trusting. God will open the doors He wants me to go through and He will close the doors He does not want me walking through. We may be able to buy our own place here. Big maybe, but God has opened doors and led us to professionals who are not profiting off us and say there is a way. If not, we are happy where we rent and if God opens up for a less expensive place to rent, we'll be happy there too!

Paul has to go re-do his fingerprints for UPS but at least they are still hiring him if they want him to do that again and he'll be in training soon. And I'm sure we'll here from UAA soon, once they get his transcripts from the Air Force.

God already provided for my Vet Tech Cert free!

I was praying for a specific asylum case and I got news that the government didn't oppose to giving the guy a second chance to present his case. Which is really good news, because if the government doesn't oppose, then it's more likely that they will allow him to re-do his whole case! And for someone applying for asylum, that is HUGE! So I'm thankful for that.

On my other things I read today, I also read:

Nehemiah 4:11-23 (The Message)

11-12 And all this time our enemies were saying, "They won't know what hit them. Before they know it we'll be at their throats, killing them right and left. That will put a stop to the work!" The Jews who were their neighbors kept reporting, "They have us surrounded; they're going to attack!" If we heard it once, we heard it ten times.

13-14 So I stationed armed guards at the most vulnerable places of the wall and assigned people by families with their swords, lances, and bows. After looking things over I stood up and spoke to the nobles, officials, and everyone else: "Don't be afraid of them. Put your minds on the Master, great and awesome, and then fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes."

15-18 Our enemies learned that we knew all about their plan and that God had frustrated it. And we went back to the wall and went to work. From then on half of my young men worked while the other half stood guard with lances, shields, bows, and mail armor. Military officers served as backup for everyone in Judah who was at work rebuilding the wall. The common laborers held a tool in one hand and a spear in the other. Each of the builders had a sword strapped to his side as he worked. I kept the trumpeter at my side to sound the alert.

19-20 Then I spoke to the nobles and officials and everyone else: "There's a lot of work going on and we are spread out all along the wall, separated from each other. When you hear the trumpet call, join us there; our God will fight for us."

21 And so we kept working, from first light until the stars came out, half of us holding lances.

22 I also instructed the people, "Each person and his helper is to stay inside Jerusalem—guards by night and workmen by day."

23 We all slept in our clothes—I, my brothers, my workmen, and the guards backing me up. And each one kept his spear in his hand, even when getting water.

And going back to Nehemiah, and reading how they faced the struggle of rebuilding, encouraged me. They were mocked, and threatened, NOT to rebuild. But they just said, "I'll do it or I'll go down fighting!" I want that attitude. About my service at church, my career/dream goals, my family, my fitness plans. "I'll get it done or I'll go down fighting!" And then trust God with the results. I will labor with one hand and hold a weapon on the other hand. I'm not stopping. I'm not backing down.

I love how Nehemiah said, "If we heard it once, we heard it ten times!" I've felt that voice of discouragement too. How many times I was told I was too optimistic?! I had set my hopes too high. Paul and I can't even begin how many times we heard, "No." or "It won't happen." Or how many times we were kicked out, yelled at, insulted, or out-casted. We've had people tell us, "You are not coming back here again." Sadly these were ol' church folks. Too bad - they don't realize what they are missing!

Lord, we are going to keep serving You, or we will go down fighting. We are going to keep rebuilding, or we will go down fighting. Rebuilding our ministries, our credit, our home... or go down fighting. Rebuilding the youth that fell astray, as much as we can, long distance... with bricks of sound advice and mortar of love, even from 6000 miles away. We will rebuild or go down fighting.

At the end of the day, I know first I have to let God rebuild my heart. Kinda like the Casting Crowns song, "Voice of Truth". I have to choose to listen to His voice and believe - above all the nasty and painful things recorded in my head. And I need to choose to forgive - EVERY day, because that ugly root of bitterness sneaks up on me oh so quickly.

I know that the Enemy had planned those things against us in hopes that we will hide in some corner of anonymity, unheard of ever again. But Paul and I were raised in the faith to be "History Makers" (I don't think you could sing that song for a thousand youth services and not have it embossed in your brain!).

Rest assured of this: MY fighting won't be with manipulation, whining, or scheming (like some I know), and I won't be back-stabbing, or bad-mouthing either. Don't be expecting me to find ways to make the opposition miserable at every opportunity I can. And I will not make them feel as un-welcomed as they have treated me.

Because I know my victory lies in living like I was dying, dancing like no one is looking, smiling like nothing is wrong, and loving like I've never been hurt before. Serving at my church as if I've never been kicked out of one before. Being generous as if I've never been broke before. Giving second chances as if it was always the first. Opening my heart as if I was not afraid.

I will rebuild! Or go down fighting!

Monday, June 14, 2010

A bit of relief!

I was frustrated at hitting so many "dead ends", and looking at all the things I need to do but haven't gotten around to yet... And I just wondered if there was any sense to the madness!

And then I did my devotionals and read a bit and I felt a little bit more at ease. I definitely felt more re-affirmed through reading my devotionals, because it was about my identity in Christ. Then all the stuff I'm going through now doesn't matter because it doesn't change who we are. Sometimes we need that kind of foundation to lean on - a love that is secure, that doesn't change with what we do or don't do.

Let's pass that along!

Then I read the first three chapters of Nehemiah, and I was reminding that the rebuilding process is not easy. Nehemiah prayed and cried and held his breath when talking to the king. Then he surveyed the work that needed to be done, and saw that it was indeed a bit of a mess. But I know that in the end they did rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, amid a lot of opposition.

So in all we are trying to rebuild here, God is with us. And it's ok if it doesn't happen as quickly as I thought or would like, I can keep laboring. There's a LOT of rebuilding; jobs, home, credit, family, church. It's overwhelming!

I'm struggling a bit with the concept of rebuilding at the church, because I always have the nagging voice of "what if?" Is it really worth my time and my effort? I'm not referring to laboring for the Lord, because I know that is rewarding more than paychecks... I've seen it... My question is, if at my particular church, it is worth it... ?

I wonder a LOT if it's going to stay like a social club or a close-knit family and not much more than that. And I wonder because doing anything feels like such an uphill and lonely climb! But that's the dilema of many small churches. I've tossed this around back and forth a lot.

I know that my brothers and sisters in Christ there appreciate and love me. There's no doubt about that. And they are a praying church for sure.

But Jesus said to pray for laborers to be sent into the harvest, because the harvest is ready but the laborers are few. That's my dilema. Lord, we need workers! We need people that would join our congregation with the full intention of putting and sacrificing a lot of "sweat equity"! The sweat equity is just something we do not fully have. I know that there are those who put in a lot more sweat than is required of them or they should be physically capable of doing. But this accounts for a few and not the majority.

I'm not trying to badmouth the church, it's an earnest prayer request. And I know many friends in small churches who are struggling the same way. Truthfully, it IS a lot easier to go to a medium sized church and jump right in to help than it is to build a small church.

I just don't want my efforts to be in vain. And I love everyone there, and I believe we'd all be good friends and family in Christ regardless. I guess I don't really know what I'm praying for. I feel like a mouse in a milk bucket - am I drowning? or churning butter? I can't tell right now.

And yet I pray and I read and I feel this peace that reminds me that God knows. Right now I'm hearing Anakin pray, "bless Mommy, and Daddy, and Aunt Vi... and Leo (the cat)..." I know that a three year old is praying for us. I know that He cares and He is trustworthy. I know that years down the road I will look back and understand what He was accomplishing in us. It's in this relationship with God that I've survived thus far!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

It's quiet... TOO quiet...

The kids are asleep! Without much fussing! THANK YOU JESUS!

So now its quiet but I'm waiting for Paul to come home... and I'm bored! We watched One Tree Hill (Vanessa got me addicted to this show! Seriously! It helps that the guy who plays "Lucas Scott" is pretty darn cute too LOL but I never watched these TV shows before.)

I am patiently waiting for the new season of House MD to go on the air.

So I finished one work week, in full. Accomplished a couple of things, though now I'm exhausted! Work was heavy. And then I came home and did a pretty heavy work out on top. The p90x is ridiculously intense. But after an hour of working out I feel great! Sore, but great. Why? Because I feel strong. I feel prouder of myself for eating healthy all day, skipping on the coke and chocolate, and working out to a sweat. The only thing I'm disappointed about is that I don't have any time to jog anymore.

I really like jogging because it clears my thoughts and gives me some alone time. So does Blogging. Hey! Jogging and Blogging rhyme! I can start a rap! (I just did a "Tim" here. *ahem*).

But in the end I can't really complain. It's amazing that I even DO anything with as little energy as I have! And so much mental stress. I feel like my brain is juggling 20 different things at the same time. It's hard to focus on one thing.

I am leaving my current job as a paralegal to go to work for Petco as a dog groomer while I do school full-time to be a Vet Tech. So I'm preparing for both jobs, and I will have to do both jobs through the end of the month. *eeeek!*

So today I look at my first set of books and study materials and my first thought is, "There is no way!" The house is too messy. My brain is too messy. We have too much going on for me to even pretend that I can retain some of this information - as interesting as it is to me!

I'm still trying to move. But after 3 applications of some sorts everyone has just put us on hold. No word. No yes. No no. I mean, tell us something! That we have to wait, or that we won't be accepted, or ... something! But we leave messages and we call and no one - NO ONE - has called us back. Which I wish they did because then I can "drop those balls" so to speak, mentally! If they would actually return our call then I wouldn't have to force myself to remember to stay on top of them.

So today I got bored and planned a birthday party for Anakin. LOL. Yeah pay some cash and plan a birthday party because you are bored during your lunch time, right? Maybe not. But it worked out ok. We'll see. I found this place that is like a chuckee cheese and a starbucks combined. There's an indoor jungle gym for kids, and lattes of all sorts for adults. I reserved the place privately too so I don't have to worry about someone else taking my kids, or have to deal with someone else's kids.... Anakin loves Chuck E Cheese - I HATE IT! I hate the crowdedness, the rudeness of the other kids, the parents that pick fights there (really mature!). I think I found an appropriate compromise.

Now I only pray people come. Like, at least the 10 kids I was thinking about that were the max that would show up! Because if it just ends up being Vi, Paul, the kids, and me... well... that would be ONE CRAZY EXPENSIVE get together! I would've taken the money and gone to Girdwood! LOL

I've never been to Girdwood... not past the gas station where we got gas on the way to Seward.

Mundane things, I know. I wish today I had some deep spiritual truth to impart. But the truth is... today I'm just mundane! I'm functioning on auto-pilot, stretching my faith by exercising when all I think about all day is SLEEP. The peak of my motivation is getting to bed. Pathetic, I know!

On a different note, I am going to a First Time Home Buyers workshop tomorrow. It's all day, and you are eligible for certain credits/grants if you attend (it depends). It's with the Alaska Finance and Housing Corporation. I'm looking forward to it. I'm sure Paul is too.

I had the chance to audition today for a play and I got cold feet. I felt unprepared. I couldn't even find the time to memorize an audition piece, everything was so half-butted, and I didn't have enough notice to get a babysitter. It felt like a train wreck.

Then again, most of my life I feel like I'm on wheels, spiraling out of control into an evident crash in the near future. I want the dust to settle. I want to feel like I'm in control of my own two feet.

Monday, June 7, 2010


I did it! The most uncomfortable part I had to face was done. I gave my notice of resignation to my bosses and talked to them face to face. Nothing personal, strictly a career move. They seemed disappointed but not angry. And I do appreciate them. I also pray they find someone that really REALLY wants to work in Law and Immigration. It was difficult, but God gave me the strength to stick by my guns so to speak.

So now I'm ready to start transitioning into my veterinary technician schoolwork and my dog grooming job. And yes I'll be very happy. It's not beneath me to wash a dog. Dogs are more forgiving than people. And they don't have a bad day and take out their frustration on you!

My other adventure was the working out. I am starting the P90X (eek!). I realized I'm a bit fitter than I've been before. Still not fit enough. It's rough because I know this work out is going to kick my butt and I'm going to feel so defeated at how little I could do and how wimpy I am! At the same time, I know that I'm not going to have the energy and strength I want if I don't start somewhere! And I still believe I can lose 25 more pounds.

I thoroughly enjoyed coming home and sitting with my kids, as they told me all about their day. We had a long conversation about what they ate for lunch and what went on in the TV shows they watched. Then Anakin told me he wanted a "smaller big guitar" (not a toy one) because he really wanted to play it. But as we were talking about it, he remembered he had a drum set, and made up his mind that Daddy can play the guitar because he wants to learn to play the drums. We will see! I gotta get ready for his birthday. What are we doing? No clue. Maybe a party. Maybe a family day out. I have NO idea.

I am reading through the book of Joshua now. It's taking me forever, but at least what little I read I absorb. That phrase of "getting into your prayer closet" or "going to the secret place" is kinda' a joke in my life! If I'm home at any given time I'll hear Brielle (RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR) or Caleb (AAAAAAAAAAAAAGGHHH) or Anakin (MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY!!) and my bible reading time involves seeing the kids jumping off furniture and whacking each other with toys... and Caleb puking on the carpet. And to truly hear my own thoughts when I pray I HAVE to go for a jog! But I need to go for a jog with Paul just to talk to him too.

Which brings me to an odd turning point: I love to run! I love to go for jogs, I put on my sneakers and I'm ansy to head out the door. Not to lose weight. Not to check off "exercise" from my list. Only because it gets quiet enough around me for me to hear my own thoughts! I cannot get three words in my MIND without stuttering!! IN MY HEAD! When I jog all the tension leaves my body and I feel like I can catch my breath. Like I can finish my thoughts to where they are finally cohesive! And in doing so I can actually pray and ask God for what I want and think about what God may want.

Yes its ridiculous, but my biggest struggle in prayer is that my attention span is that of a gerbils and I can't get past "dear heavenly Father" without jumping through 20 different unfinished thoughts and end up staring out the window. If you were to stick a mic up my ear and plug it to a speaker that would broadcast my thoughts, it would sound something like this:

"Dear Jesus - Anakin did you pee on - Brielle don't eat - Caleb is crying again? Anywhoo - Yikes! I forgot the car insu - we've never registered the ca - what's up with my car tag? DFY 777 are they tryin' to say something? I'm going to change it to - what Scripture? - Man I remember waking up at 6:33 am every morning I was stressed when I was memorizing the book of Matthew - I haven't memorized Scripture - Anakin hasn't memorized - what am I gonna do for Children's - I haven't seen XXXX or XXXX - Did Paul call - I hope someone remembered to switch the loads - if we move, I need a washer - need a new vacuum - I want a food scale - church needs a projector - maybe w/ our tax refu - can't wait till we get our PF - ♪ Cuz' you've had a bad day, you've taken one down ♫ Oh God I'm sorry I'm trying but - Hi Leo! I'm glad you're home today..."

Behold, why I HAVE to blog. I need to blog. Writing forces me to finish my thoughts and my sentences and organize them to where they make sense. When I'm really tense I write out my prayers - pages and pages of journals - because at least I feel like I PRAYED. It's also why I do so many blogs on Bible Studies. If I didn't, I wouldn't remember what I learned at church or read or even if I did. It is that hectic.

Friday, June 4, 2010

A little bit TOO much adventure!

So when I thought I was topped off with excitement and adventure, I find out the Lord is not done with me yet.

Surviving a plane crash when you are in your car on the road is bizarre. I mean, you never drive looking up at things coming down on you! I wasn't even sure what hit me (or near missed me) until I drove away and listened to the radio. And I keep thinking, "God! It missed me! It didn't have to - it was a disaster - but You were in control! In the chaos!" I read in the news how the surviving family members were thankful to the 25 or so civilians who immediately started tearing apart the plane to rescue them. They have a long recovery to go through, which includes healing for the loss of their son Myles. Myles was 4 years old, and his little body flew to the front of the plane and ended under the dashboard. He wasn't rescued because they didn't see him among the seats of the plane before the engine tank blew up. And still, in the midst of chaos and crazy and disaster... An airplane crashing into a city right on time for rush hour traffic... by a gas station... Nobody else died. No one except those in the plane were even injured.

And the people in the plane survived due to the heroics of the passerbys. How many people could've said, "Oh, I'm getting away from that!" or "Wow! That's bad! But I have an appointment to get to!" 25 people didn't. 25 people dropped what they were doing, and rushed to help - before the police or the fire department made it. I read in the newspaper that they tore apart the remains of the cesna with their hands, and ripped out the scalding seats of the plane with the victims still sitting in them! And I'm sure more people would've stopped to help if they could. And the passengers on this plane have all sent their deepest gratitude for the heroes of the city of Anchorage.

And as thankful as I am, my life didn't stop to have pity on me. The landlord didn't say, "Aw! You almost got hit by a plane? Poor you! I won't charge you rent until next month!" You know? And I'm still dealing with the struggle at work of being constantly reminded that I suck (by one person) and at the same time, while doing the same things, being told by another person that my work is good enough... All the while wishing I was doing something else... Bills to pay, not really sure HOW, but knowing that they gotta get done. Paul is getting his application in to UAA for music, his dream, but we have no idea how to pay for it yet. Still, there has to be a reason why Paul's job w/ the FAA ended. But he hasn't gotten a start date for his job at UPS, which isn't going to bring in boatloads of cash.

I want to work with animals. I've been wanting to for a while, frustrated that I have to move to Fairbanks or Colorado to get a degree in vet tech because UAA doesn't have a degree program. In the mean time, the FAA is withholding about $1300 for his annual/sick leave that he was supposed to get paid for oh... 3 weeks ago? And his thrift saving plan sent a letter saying they are just now aware that he is eligible to withdraw his funds, but they haven't made a deposit yet.


Now today I get a call from the Grooming Manager at Petco and she wants to interview me. Which is terrifying because I would LOVE a job there but I'm afraid I won't be able to afford it! If I have to start out part time, minimum wage, there is no possible way I can take that now! At the same time, it's not like I feel a whole lot of job security where I'm at. What do I do?

On a great news, I had signed up with a Distance Learning College (accredited) for their Animal Care Specialist Degree, and I had made payment plans (small) and made a small deposit for the first set of lessons. And then I got a call that I was awarded the Tyra Banks Project Working Mom Scholarship, and the whole - WHOLE - degree is free. All paid. All of it... They are even giving me back my deposit! YAY! I just gotta do my schoolwork between 9-11pm when the kids are asleep.

I also got a call from another apartment manager asking for Paul and me to complete the paperwork to be put on a waiting list for a cheaper apartment, with one more bedroom, but there's a waiting list. Can we wait? I don't know.


I wish all the pieces just fell in place already and I knew that everything was going to be ok. But there's so many balls up in the air I'm afraid I won't catch them all. I'm horrible at juggling anyways.

Well, here's to the adventure called life!

Did I mention that Paul and I are running a 5 miler on Saturday the 19th? And that on top of everything else, I am trying to lose weight... and get athletic... and jog. And there are a ton of spiritual goals I didn't even mention. And the kids? I haven't even started.