Thursday, December 31, 2015

purposefully forgetful

Sometimes I feel like I don't pay enough attention to what year it is.
I'm so forgetful.
There are years that my brain "flags" of course...1976, 78, 99, '01, '03, '07. 
I count back and forth from these years when I fill out "important information" documents. 
Today is the last day of 2015.
I wrote 2014 on a check just the other day. 
I know I turn forty on January 8th, 2016, and I know that I'm supposed to remember that because apparently "40" is a "big deal".
I even made myself a little countdown on Instagram to remind my brain that "40" is a "big deal". 
But I feel the same as I did when I was "20". 
Honestly, I feel better than I did when I was "20". 
So I don't really understand the "big deal" yet. 
I bought wrinkle cream though...I felt like I was supposed to. 
I didn't even know that I had wrinkles until I leaned real close to the mirror and decided that I must have wrinkles and that I guessed they should be combatted in some way. 
I guess I have gray hair too...joyfully poking their way through my 40 year old scalp. 
Also not a "big deal" to me but appartenly these signs of age should be taken care of. 
I got a new hair cut the other day, a long bob...I guess it's a "lob". 
I got highlights for the first time in my life. 
I don't really see a difference. 
It's still dishwater blonde but the hairdresser called it "oyster".
She seems to think that sounds prettier.
She has obviously never seen ground up oyster shell.
I have.
I feed it everyday to the chickens.
It's dull and it's gray.
Not pretty.
Maybe I feel like I'm supposed to do these things because I should stay looking as young as possible for as long as possible. 
Maybe we all just worry too much about how other people judge our appearance.
Maybe I'm judging others looks too much too. 
Heck, I've been young for forty years now and I'm kinda ready to grow up. 
Even grow older. 
I look forward to growing older with Aaron. 
We talk about that a lot. 
Being that little bent couple, walking slow, holding hands. 
If that is old than old looks beautiful to me. 
I guess when you turn "40" you should have "accomplishments". 
You should be able to brag about all of those anniversaries, and babies, and marathons, and world travels, and careers, etc. etc. (These things justify your age, right?)
And if you haven't accomplished all or any of the above you better go climb Mt. Everest for your birthday because God forbid you have nothing to show for your "40" years on planet earth! 
So now we are faced with, not only, the pressure of looking barley 30 at 40 but we should have a boat load of admirable experiences to go with it.
For Pete's sake!
Let's cut ourselves some slack here! 
Forget it! 
This past year was it. 
Tomorrow will be 2016. 
My goal is the same every New Year...

Philippians 4:12-14
"Not that  have already attained, or am already perfected, but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

And I'm reminded that we are to be purposefully forgetful about the past.
And purposefully looking forward to nothing else but Jesus. 

Well...that and Disneyland. 
I'm looking forward to turning forty next week at Disneyland, (thank you husband!), with my loves all around me, and my new youthful haircut, and my less wrinkled face! 
(Such the hypocrite!) 

The only mouse I'll ever love 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

friendship on the school bus of life

Zibby had to say goodbye to a "best friend" last week.
Being the kind of girl she is, (highly observant and extremely internal with her emotions), this has effected her very much.
The first time she had to say goodbye to a "best friend" was when she was four years old and we were moving back to Oregon after almost two years in Franklin, Massachusetts.
Emily lived right next door to us and was almost exactly Zibby's age.
Both girls were full of spunk and mischief. Rarely did a day go by when those two did not find themselves in just enough trouble to make life interesting.
Emily and Zibby spent hours together and loved one another so very much.
It was hard on us all to leave our neighbors but it was especially hard for Zibby.
Four years later she still says that Emily is her "First Best Friend".
Zibby isn't the type that makes friends easily either.
She is a bit shy at first and skeptical my nature.
I would say that making friends is hard for her...but once she does, they truly mean the world to her. She becomes fiercely devoted.
So, when her most precious friend, Avery, moved away to Tennessee last week, she took it very much to heart.
Avery and Zibby met at kindergarten round up.
They were almost five years old.
Avery has a ready smile and the most bubbly personality on earth.
The opposite of Zibby.
The two became fast friends when Avery wrapped up Zibby in a giant bear hug on the first day of kindergarten.
Zibby melted and
they clicked.
School was fun because Avery was there.
Avery was like sunshine to Zibby.
They had their own games and imaginings out on the "big toy" on the playground.
At dinnertime around the table we have a little tradition of asking the kids, "what was the worst part of today?" and "what was the best part of today?"
Avery was always Zibby's "best part".
They had their own jokes.
They helped each other.
Last week I found Zibby on the couch crying into a pillow.
I had a feeling I knew why.
It's hard for her to express her feelings but she tried her best to tell me how she felt...
"Why do all my friends leave?"
I could only hold her and stroke her hair and quietly pray that her heart would remain soft and open.
Because Zibby is so much like me.
I've left so many friends behind in my life that it has effected the kind of friend I am today...
reserved and careful.
I don't want that for Zibby.
I want her to keep trying and to keep putting her heart our there for friendship and to be a faithful and true friend.
I want her to keep in touch with old friends better than I have and I hope that she would be like Avery and see every new smile as an opportunity for a new friendship.

Emily and Zibby in preschool on a field trip to go pick apples.
(Remember sitting next to your best friend on the bus when it was a field trip day?)
Avery and Zibby in second grade on a field trip to the pumpkin patch. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Perfect God

Let me start by saying that this is not about's about events that have effected me and my family but have had an even greater and deeper effect on many of the lives related to some of these tragedies. I also understand that some precious families that we know and love are going through even darker valleys than any we have traversed.
My soul goes out to them.
With that being said I feel the need to share a little bit of how these trials have shaped my own heart and the hearts of the other four Kookies that live under the roof of this Old House. 

About five years ago I helped a frantic mom drag her unconscious son out of a lake. He died. That effected me. I don't talk much about it but I will always pray for that family whose heartache I cannot fathom. 
Since that time I have kissed my Grandma, who was much like another mother to me, goodbye.  
We have lost a baby. 
We witnessed a car accident in which a family of three were killed....Aaron tried to resuscitate the dad and the baby. The mom had clearly passed away.
The other two literally died in Aaron's hands.
Just a few weeks later Aaron and I kissed his precious Dad goodbye. 
Aaron physically carried his Dad to the hearse waiting outside their house. 
And a couple months ago I kissed the Grandpa who helped raise me goodbye. 
In the middle of all this we had a falling out with family members.
We recently left our church and in doing so left a wake of awkwardness and misunderstanding with both family and friends.
We feel broken. 
At times forsaken. 
These years have been very hard. 
I'm just sharing this because I'm a different person than I was. 
I'm more quiet. 
I'm humbled.
Aaron is too. 
We have all changed. 
These kinds of things make or break us...maybe both. 
I'm not sharing this because I want pity or because I need anyone to really understand. 
I don't expect that. 
I'm just writing down what has happened because one day our kids will read this and my hope and prayer is that they remember these years for what they were...sometimes barren but with a beauty all their own. 
We did not shield them from any of this. 
We did not pretend.
We were careful about details but they walked through every bit of it with us. 
We have been honest with them and they have seen us question God and not talk to God for a while but through it all I pray that they have witnessed true, real, gritty, faith being worked out of our lives, hand in hand. 
I hope that they grow up ready for the uphills and the endurance to go with it. 
I pray that they know a God who is ever present to help in their time of need. 
I pray that they stand up for Truth. 
I pray that they jump into the mangled mess of death with the grace to say goodbye to life...
and their faith still intact. 
Because the Bible says that our children are like arrows. 
Arrows are weapons. 
Childhood is like target practice. 
Practice is hard therefore childhood will not alway be easy. 
Practice perfects...but childhood is not perfect.
We are not doing any favors for our kids by giving them the impression that they deserve a perfect childhood. 
We should be careful not to put that kind of pressure on ourselves as parents either. 
We can however, and we must, point them to a Perfect God.
Because one day they will be sent out on their own and our deepest desire is that, when the time comes to pull back the bow and let them go, their one and only aim is for the glory of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
imperfectly perfect 

"Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them..." 
Psalm 127:4-5

christmas carols

Ben : "I've always wondered about those words 'tender and mild' in reference to the baby Jesus."

Mommy: "Really? In what way?"

Ben: "Well, to me those words are more descriptive of a nice juicy steak. Ever since I was a little kid I've thought to myself, 'Why would anyone describe God's Son like a steak?' That's why 'Silent Night' has never really been my favorite Christmas Carol. It's a little disturbing."

Never a dull moment with this guy around. 

Monday, December 7, 2015


Christmas isn't the same without "sourcrowt" you know.