A desire, A pledge, A dream come true


The setting could not be more perfect… The sun on my face, Pacific Ocean in front of me, the smell of a distant camp fire and my husband an two boys are searching for sea creatures in tide pools screaming with delight that they found yet another crab. The sound of joy never gets old. As I sit here, 15 years sober, I am reminded that I never wanted a life like this. Honestly, the only reason I didn’t is because I never believed it would come true. Dream safely is what I always thought, don’t get your hopes up because you could be let down, dream small, dream manageable, dream attainable and if it doesn’t come true, no one will notice the failure because they were not big enough to matter.

The moment came when the whispering started. It was 6 and a half years ago in the middle of the night a baby was born and so was a dream. A dream that felt so out of range that I couldn’t even talk about it. But I sat there in the quiet looking at this tiny human and a dream of walking the trails with my family, getting lost in the back country for days at a time…surviving with only what we can carry on our backs…witnessing the beauty of Gods creation…a dream was born in the dark of night. As with most dreams they need confirmation. Mine came in Glacier National Park, the son was only about two years old or so when I sat on the side of the trail, while feeding the boy a family walked by. Backpacks for all of them and smiles, cheerfully remembering when they used to be us and it was confirmed, I wanted to be them.

As with most dreams I had preparation to do. The husband and I had to convert all our back country gear to ultra light weight gear. The husband and I had some immanence lessons in patience and tolerance to learn through many…and I mean MANY opportunities of correcting our poor behavior. Which is a whole other blog post. And I would probably argue that the most important preparation would be to listen to still quiet whispers from the dream creator Him self.


Listening to the whisper of God is challenging for me because often the voice of the critic is louder. It takes practice and I am not even close to perfect at it, however I must of done something correct because I’m sitting here 3 miles away from civilization with nothing but the stuff the husband and I carried on our backs. I sit here and think about the intimate process with God and I have walked through to get here. Waves of pain and set back rise away like the tide of the Pacific and suddenly I become a little more free along the way. I have a little bit more willingness to go further. I become a little more vulnerable. And suddenly my dream gets a little bigger. And now it has a title. To backpack with my family in the woods for days. To raise men on the rugged trails. To live a life out loud that demonstrates the power and healing of God. And the dream gets fanned and fed. And the rush of accomplishment floods in.

As a Christ centered wife and mother the image of my self used to look very small and insignificant. Today my call looks bigger. It looks riskier. A bit more daring and scandalous. Going out and having an adventure to live. One with real risk like being mauled by a bear (a scenario I play through all the time) or getting lost in the woods. When we are out in the back country we rely on each other to survive. To give shelter and food. To give first aid if something is broken. I have a part deep inside my heart that craves connection and there is no deeper connection then knowing if we don’t work together we don’t eat or stay warm at night or stay safe from giant MOM eating bears.

My call today is saying to my boys


“You have an adventure to live and by my example of living mine you will know how to live yours. By my choice to silence the critics you will learn how to silence yours. I will show you how to push through fear. I will show you what not giving up looks like. I will live out a life that listens to a call and the dreams given by God. I will show you what pushing through set back looks like. I will show up after I fail over and over because you can’t know how to succeed unless you fail, you can’t have one with out the other. We as a family, a true connected family, knit together by the Creator, we will show others how to do the same. We will pass people on the trail, in the woods and in life, and inspire them to believe that the impossible is possible. That if we can do it, so can they. By our living as a godly family will teach you that surrendering to the call of God, that following the lead of God will take us through the valleys and over the mountains. We are playing the background and the dream of God flows through our family like a river through the forest”

In each of us is a spirit that connects us to the Higher power. In our hearts, I believe that we have a place deep inside that God speaks.  A place that is filled with the pleasure of God and the dreams He gives us. When I am on the trail with my family, I feel the pleasure of God. This is what I believe God wants for me. I feel the ever connection of a true sense of Joy, of Happiness and of Freedom. Trusting the process. Knowing that every painful experience is for my ultimate good.

I’m answering my call and adventure awaits…

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Dreams do come true.

Some days I can not believe my life is mine. My family and I just got back from a trip to Southern California that was paired with my oldest sons 5 year birthday. There was a lot about that trip that was pretty surreal.

The last time my husband and I were down there we were celebrating our honeymoon. Fast forward 10 years and here we are sitting in the stands waiting for Shamu show to start and I look at my kids and my husband and I start crying because I can not believe I’m sitting here after everything he and I have been through.

The last 10 years has been full of shoot to the stars joy and also the darkest part of my soul sadness.

There has been life and death.

Financial hardship and broken hearts.

Dreams have come true and goals achieved.

When I got sober and I sat in my first meeting I had no idea what my future held. All I knew is I wanted the pain to stop. I wanted the ache in my soul to ease up a bit and if I would have settled for that I would have sold my self short. So much more was awaiting me. I had to do the work to get there though. I had to love hard, push through, trust the process and stay still long enough to have a feeling or two.

When I was out there drinking and partying I was always chasing this feeling, that “someday” feeling. Well it happened for me. That “someday” feeling was sitting in the moment, watching the excitement wash over my boys faces. I had no idea that this, this pause in the human go where the divine slips in, that feeling that cant be given in words but only experienced to know fully what I mean. I had no idea that that buzz is what I chased in booze, guys, other peoples approval, romantic novels anything that I could throw in to that deep hole inside. I had no idea that it was being in that next indicated step.

There is a part in a book that talks about surrender. It talks about that only until we fully surrender that we would be able to build a foundation that a happy and purposeful life can be built on.

I know i have a happy life today despite that real that happens. I’m not trying to give an image here that this trip was all happy and fun because lets face it I was in 100 degree weather, at a theme park with 2 kids and a husband who hates crowds. We fought, we cried, we connected, we yelled, had tantrums and we lost a kid twice. The spiritual part of it all is no matter how hard it got I didn’t want anybody’s life but my own. I mean sure i compared my self to others but at the end of the day I didn’t want to sleep next to any one else.

I didn’t want to have breakfast or switch with anyone else.

It was hard and I didn’t want anybody else hard.

I wanted mine.


Loss of a child, a faith renewed

In 2011 my husband and I lost a baby at 32 weeks and 3 days gestation. Her name was Danica. She had a chromosome disorder called Triploidy. My heart breaks when I think of her but not like it used to. Time heals many wounds. She was born at the end of August and I wrote this a couple weeks later.

Some days when things are hard I forget that this kind of strength still runs with in me, I believe that God reminds me along the way that peace can exist amongst chaos. I’m grateful that with a lot of grief work this pain is not as big. My heart still skips a beat when I am asked how many kids I have or someone mentions about if we are going to try for a girl. I love my two boys to pieces and I miss my daughter, through the gift of a ton of personal work both a true and I do not feel guilty about it.

Familiar seas on uncharted waters

September 13, 2011 at 3:41pm

I sat down at my journal the other day and usually God speaks to me through impressions I get or thoughts that come and what occurred to me is that I have never been here before. I am in uncharted waters. I have no insights, no impressions no word pictures. There is just this deep ache in side my heart and soul that I cannot describe in words.

Today I hurt, the last line I wrote in my journal. I hurt. I hurt for my daughter that won’t get to play with her brother in the back yard. I hurt for Abe who wont get to teach Danica how a lady is to be treated. I hurt for me who wont get to have special tea times with my little girl. I hurt. I believe Danica is in heaven somewhere basking in the sun light of God. That she is safe from harm and is standing guard for us in a way that only an angel can.

I have had countless conversations with people who have given me as a parent the thing that I wish most for my kids. I wish for my kids to make a mark on this world, to pack as much in to the stream of life as they can. Teach others, learn them selves and find joy in there days on this earth. Danica was here in the womb for 32 weeks and 3 days. What she has caused to flow from humanity is beyond my ability to comprehend. I don’t know the far reaching’s of what she has done and what she has done through us but Gods on the job because amazing things have come to pass for Abe and I and countless others.

It is humbling for me to hear people say things to me like “you are so strong, I’m not sure I could have done what you have done it must have taken such courage to do what you did.” The part that is hard for me to take in is that this is just the way we do things in our house. Together. I wouldn’t have done in any other way. In AA the first tradition is about unity. With out that there is nothing. Unity in the good times and in the hard times. It is a blessing from God that that has been in our home. That’s what we strive for, not perfect at but that is what we strive for and in this journey so far we have nailed it. 🙂 Thanks to the prayers of the people that have walked with us on this journey and our desire to be together.

Today it is God who gives me strength. I’m not strong enough to make it through this. I reached a breaking point in the hospital and realized that true strength is moving when you can and saying enough when you cant. Strength isn’t “manning up” its not holding it together or doing it all, strength is what’s driving the boat to make those things happen. Strength in the doing and the giving up. As the paradox states, you have to surrender to win. So today I say I’m good because I hurt. I’m happy because I’m crying when I need to. I’m peaceful because I’m a mess and can’t think straight some times.


This is taken the day my husband and I went to spread her ashes. Its taken from Spray park, Mt Rainer National park. An eagle was flying over and a bear was just up the meadow.

Thank God that I may not know where I’m going but at least I know for sure where I have been and in that I can trust that path that I can not see for someday I will look back and see not just my foot prints but another as well.

Sunset at the pass where her ashes were to be laid. My husband was backpack with his brother one ridge over. This photo was taken on the day they think her heart stopped in the womb.

Sunset at the pass where her ashes were to be laid. My husband was backpacking with his brother one ridge over. This photo was taken on the day the Doctors estimate her heart stopped in the womb.