A letter

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Dreams and scarecrows.

In Bloomfield, New York Summer, Uncategorized, Year 3 on August 15, 2017 at 5:39 pm

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Three years, friend. Three years ago, today. Three years ago today that we sat at the Taco Box in the East Village and began our hunt for housing. Three crazy, wonderful years. Three years of the highest highs, and the most brutal lows. Three years of dreaming. Three years of blood, sweat and tears. Three years of living the dream. And, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I will never forget the feeling I had that day. Elated and sick. I think I felt sick to my stomach for the entire week. I kept saying to myself, “We are here, our stuff is here, our kids are here, we’ve moved here.” I remember that feeling of “no return.” Not that I wanted to, but sort of. At the same time, there was nowhere else I wanted to be, and nowhere else I wanted to live. There was one thing we were sure of that day, and that one thing was NYC. Since that day, there is another thing we are sure ofscarecrows.

Scarecrows exist because there is treasure in the field. They exist because there is something of value there. Something they don’t want you to get. Something they don’t want you to find. Something they want to keep secret. They want you to leave and go elsewhere. They want you to move on. And, as we both know, NYC has been full of scarecrows for us.

It’s been full of ugly, mean, taunting scarecrows. Ones that have tried to convince us the field is empty. Ones that have tried to to tell us it’s a barren land. Ones that have tried to tell us we’d starve if we built a home here. Ones that have told us we’d only find fool’s gold here.

But, we are learning. We’re learning they tell lies. We’re learning where the biggest scarecrows are, is actually where we are supposed to be. We are learning that they are spineless, weak facades. We are learning they are lifeless, legless, breathless props. We are realizing the sight of them should actually cheer us onencourage us to walk bolder. They should remind us that gold is yet to be found—that bounty lies there. They should give us courage to stay. They should spur us on to dig deeper, to invite friends along, and to be tenacious. They should make us laugh, because we’ve called their bluff. They should make us dance because we’ve missed their trap. They should make us sing, because they can’t. They should encourage us to add pages to the dream, rooms to the house, buildings to the neighborhood. They should press us to write the dream. To speak it. To make it biggerso big that others must come with you. They should tell us to reach farther. Scarecrows should scare us into the very land they are staked in—where the treasure is hidden, waiting for us.

I think I’ll dream a little more. You should too.

Bep

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The Gift-Giver. And then there’s me.

In New Winter, Uncategorized on December 4, 2015 at 7:29 pm



As you know, I am the world’s worst gift-giver. Or maybe I should say I’m the worst gift-giver when I have to get a gift for a specific someone, by a certain date and time. I actually love spontaneous giving, but that’s not the point. The very thought of Christmas and finding perfect gifts under such rigid constraints of deadlines and wish-lists is enough stress for me for the entire year. David and I have celebrated 13 Christmases together and I think I have only successfully surprised and delighted him one year with my valiant gift-giving efforts. Thankfully, he still loves me and buys me amazingly perfect gifts every year.

This year is no different, and mixed in with the general pressure of Christmas gifts is the pressure of trying to be that mom. We’ve talked about this before, the kind of mom I greatly admire that I am clearly not. I had a brilliant idea on November 30th that I wanted to do something for my kids for Adventlike so many moms I know. Thankfully I still had one day to figure it out. So I loaded up the kids to quickly hit up Marshall’s and Home Goods in search of the perfect Advent calendar. I thought it would be fun to have little things to open, or activities to do each day until Christmas. I quickly realized after purchasing several “little” items that there were in fact 25 days until Christmas and it would cost me a fortune to supply gifts each day until Christmas. I also remembered that I am not a baker and the thought of baking multiple times from now til Christmas with my not-so-tidy children was probably not a brilliant idea. Five hours later I had a pile of returns and a very frustrated soul.

I’ve realized I feel this same way about bringing gifts to Jesus. I often feel frustrated and inadequate. I start off with great intentions and end up a mess with nothing to give. I had to pause and remember the greatest part of this whole Christmas season–actually, this whole lifeis the person of Jesus. It’s the gift-giver Himself. It’s the Man who pours grace into my cup daily knowing I can’t fill it myself. It’s the Wonderful Counselor who is exactly that, a counselor because we so desperately need it. It’s the Everlasting Father who doesn’t have bad parenting days. It’s the Prince of Peace that our chaotic and frantic lives need so desperately. Andit’s free.  It’s freely given with love, over and over again. It’s a forgiveness waterfall. It’s unspeakable joy. It’s hope and mercy in the mornings. It’s the perfect gift, the one I so need and so don’t deserve.  It is the gift I can unashamedly open again and again. It’s the huge sigh of relief I can breathe because…Jesus.

So now, it’s a few days into advent, and we haven’t really done much. But what I have done and what we are going to continue to do is open the gift of our Saviordaily. I’m going to drink in the full dose of who He is, freely given to me.

Merry Christmas!

Bep

Winter energies and no facilities.

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2015 at 10:08 pm

We’ve somehow managed to retain an enormous amount of winter energy and decided, whatever the weather, to rid ourselves of some of it by heading to the park.  So confident of my scheme, I even ventured against traffic to Starbucks–one without a drive through, and you know what that means–to have coffee in hand for this daring adventure.

Ten minutes post arrival I see Sol running towards me with a look of terror.  He had to poop.  Our beloved Harrick Park, one so secret the boys are convinced we are the only humans who know of it, also happens to be the only park in the history of the world not to have a bathroom.  As you know, our family freely relieves themselves on many a random patch of grass or tree without hesitation.  Poop is a different story.  Needless to say, our winter energy remains.

This inconvenience has made me realize that I feel this way about the winter season of my soul.   I realize it sounds a bit odd and kind of grotesque, but it’s also revelatory.  Our winter in the natural has been long.  It’s been hard work, and messy and taxing, and down right exhausting, and on some days I wonder if spring will ever come.  Winter has been the same for my soul and sometimes I just want to rid myself of the toxins of the season, but find there is no outlet.  And, just like the park, in spite of the efforts towards change, the outcome isn’t what I hoped for.

Waiting can be sickening.  It’s not even that I doubt His showing up, it’s the handling of my heart in the meantime that is the delicate challenge.  I’ve found myself wondering what Abraham and Joseph felt like waiting? I’m sure there were moments they felt a lot like us.  We know their “morning” came, and know ours will come.  He always shows up. Though I don’t know exactly the time and seasons, He does. His grace holds me.  Spring has ALWAYS come, always. Until then, in the not knowing when, I’m heading to the park again.

Love you,

Bep
P.S. My praying plant (literally) died over winter, and guess what just popped up?  Yep!  I’ll take it as a sign.
P.P.S.  We drove to Duck Donuts today for the first time!!!! Hallelujah!

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Celery Caesar Salad.

In Uncategorized on January 14, 2015 at 2:24 pm

You know my love of food keeps me from committing to “dieting” all to often.  However, it is that time of the year when almost everyone is on a diet of some sort starting their year off fresh, right?  Well, this is my accidental “diet” food I discovered this week, courtesy Bon Appetit.  I think you’ll love it too.  It is almost made entirely of celery parts, which means it’s essentially calorie-less!  This also means you can load it with fresh shaved parmesan cheese and a plentiful amount of croutons, and dressing, all of which you know, are favorites.  I made it for Saturday night dinner with Empanadas and fell in love.  David, not so much. He felt it was very much a “ladies” food.  I think he’s crazy, although I am a lady.  I have had it every day for lunch this entire week, and once for dinner.  My dicing and bagging of the root and stalk have stayed fresh until today!  My very kind of lunch prep, none.  I added a fried egg yesterday and it was delectable!

Love you!  Happy Wednesday!

Bep

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/celery-caesar-salad

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More than a 1000….

In Uncategorized, Year 2 on January 16, 2013 at 9:43 pm

As I begin writing on this blank page, I briefly think of all the things I must tell you that filled our lives since I last wrote.  Instead my heart presses me to write what is going on in the here and now.  This here and now moment.  Bonte’, Al and I started reading 1000 Gifts on January 1st.  I know, it sounds so poetic to begin the new year with such a task.      But, poetic or not, the deep, hidden places of my heart have been exposed and I have spent several nights with a tear streaked face, reading until the wee hours of the morning.  I’m already sad that this book might end, but only because I don’t want its content to leave me. I want it to be part of me.  I‘ve been terrible at seizing the moment this last year.  Thus the reason for the tears flowing freely.  She states many times in many ways, that life is not an emergency.  It has been for me.  I have been a gold medalist in finishing the meaningless tasks of dishes or laundry.  I’ve mastered putting the last out-of-sort item in place at the end of the day so the house is in its perfect state.  I have also missed a hug or two from my dear sweet Sol, and not told Leon a story he is dying to hear telling them, “mommy is working right now”.  But what is all this working for if not for them?  Do they care if the house is perfect?  Do they care if the dishes are clean?  She states so perfectly and yet with such precision that it cuts me to the core. “Haste makes life waste”.  I don’t want to live my life in waste anymore.  I don’t want to wish away the moments that are the very reason I am living for. Then her words pierce me even more when I read the following: “To read His message in moments, I’ll need to read His passion on the page; wear the lens of the Word to read His writing in the world.  Only the Word is the answer to rightly reading the world, because the Word has nail -scarred hands that cup our face close, wipe away the tears running down, has eyes to look deep into our brimming ache, and whisper, “I know. I know.”  The passion on the page is a Person, and the lens I wear of the Word is not abstract idea but the eyes of the God-Man who came and knows pain.  How does the Word read the world?” In this journey I find myself in, I am taking a moment to pause, many times, and be thankful for what I have.  I am praying not to miss moments right in front of me seemingly blocked by messes and stresses that don’t matter at all.  I am going to fully live this year of 2013.  I am going to fully live.

Love you dearly,

Bep

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Twas the week before finals…

In Uncategorized on December 5, 2012 at 10:08 am

Twas the week before finals and all through the house,

every creature was stirring, go ask the mouse.

Crumbs had been left under each person’s chair,

and surprisingly not one person seemed to care.

Stockings were hung here and there, don’t you stare!

And husbands were complaining there were none clean to wear.

Laundry was piled as high as can be,

so high that a peering neighbor could see.

Not a child was nestled or even in bed.

But asking for water or bumping his head.

The mother so frazzled she can’t even think,

all she can do is stand there and blink.

If passing by you hear such a clatter,

Don’t worry, it’s normal, nothing’s the matter.

“Now Leon, now Solie, or whatever your name,

Pick up your toys before I’m insane.”

Thick enough walls couldn’t hide all the yelling,

But who was in trouble? No one is telling.

Many a tissue boxes are empty.

She even stocked up so she would have plenty.

Dishes are piled high in the sink,

and garbages left are starting to stink.

At 8 she plops on the couch with a sigh,

and she may not move until midnight draws nigh.

He walks through the door for kiss and a bite,

and leaves crying children as he takes flight.

Books and papers are strewn all about.

Hoping he’ll have it all figured out.

The park has kept many mothers more sane.

It changes things up so the day’s not mundane.

Then we head home to eat one time more,

Peanut butter and Jelly, just as before.

You might think we’re crazy, but don’t worry don’t fret.

Next week we’ll be normal, I’ll even place bets.

Things will be tidy and children so clean.

And everyone will be kind instead of quite mean.

So during finals, when you don’t know what to do.

Do nothing it’s simple, you will get through.

When in doubt, just sit down and laugh.

us

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Dentures and dieting…

In Uncategorized on February 21, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Well, I am proud to announce I am down two pounds. Down from what you might ask?  Just a general weight amount.  My down-ness is sort of a celebration, but sort of not.  I may or may not have had a few up days, making my down days a success in the sense of not  being more “up”.  Overall, some success as slow as it may seem.  As you can tell, I love dieting as much as I did before, not that much.  But I am doing it, even if I have to mentally think about it all day.  At breakfast I am already thinking-self coaching myself inside my head-about how I will not have 2 plates of leftovers for lunch, but instead, a salad.  And at dinner, I am thinking about how I will have sparkling water after instead of a snack.  It really takes that much preparation on my part to make sure I do good.  Another assist is my dear friend. (who will remain nameless) When I go for that handful of chocolate chips, I think of her face and how I will have to text her my weight in the morning and instead clench my fist full of “empty” and chew a piece of gum instead.  We are cracking ourselves up!  Things I have/we have discovered this first week of “dieting”:  You weigh way less naked, than with clothes on.  Always pee in the morning before weighing, and if you are concerned, floss, shave and shower first too.  Every little bit adds up 🙂 Celery really is satisfying and takes a while to eat.  You get used to eating less and feel way better than you thought you would.  Results are not always obvious, but you must persevere!!! My thought today, when thinking of going to Bible study tonight, and also thinking of the table of goodies was this; “If I had dentures, I could simply leave my teeth at home prior to going, and wouldn’t be able to eat.”  Pathetic I know, but such is the internal workings of my mind while on this weight loss journey.

This week has been a roller coaster.  An internship David applied for this summer, that we felt confident he would get, announced via e-mail that he was not selected.  It was deflating to say the least.  Mostly because, it was so unexpected.  You know when you have that sense of surety from the Lord, you almost don’t even have a second thought?  Well, that was how we were in regards to this.  We got the news on Friday night, right when our Sabbath started.  Needless to say our weekend had a bit of a damper on it.  Now, after a few days, we have perspective and know God has something else for us.  Of course he does. I read in Proverbs the other day, “Man’s steps are ordered by the Lord, how then can a man understand his way?”.  That perfectly describes us this week.  We don’t understand, but know He does.  We’ll rest in that.

On a happiest not of all…Bonte’ and Lee are coming this weekend. We couldn’t be more excited!  And then spring break is upon us and Esam is coming.  I’m ready for some fun and relaxation!!! I can almost assure you that I will be “up” before I am “down” sometime over break.  But that is what life is about, and heck, David has a week off.  That calls for some celebrations!!!!

Hope your week is going well,

Bep


My wreath has a new home as a faux chandelier!

 

 

I’ll have water with my water…

In Uncategorized on February 9, 2012 at 9:50 am

I am about as good at dieting as I am at gardening.  Good at being terrible at it.  I hate dieting!  I also hate that after 2 babies none of my clothes fit like I want them too, and I like the clothes I have. I decide I am going to eat healthy, not eat after dinner, eat smaller portions and that I will swear off sweets, and also, that I will start tomorrow.  I then decide that today, I should eat everything in sight since I won’t be eating like this again for a while.  It’s seems the moment I decide that I should focus on being healthy and trying to shave off these post baby pounds that seem to hang on like a stuck booger on a toddler’s face, that I then have this ravenous desire to drink a carton of half and half.  If only I could have the mentality that each choice in every situation leads to a healthier me I would be in much better shape, both mentally, and physically.  Who else is supposed to finish Leon’s pop tart? Exactly, I am the only option.  The people that smile and say, “I’ll have a water, with my half a salad” are a mystery to me. You may as well just drink water by itself.  I am the category that want’s a whole-milk mocha to start, then I will have the dish swimming in butter, with a basket of rustic breads and European butter, and I will also have the half a salad, but why don’t you make it a whole salad.  I will also have a bit of your dessert after.  I just love food, and not just regular food, but good food.  If I didn’t have a husband, I would just stock my fridge with things I hate and I am sure I would drop the pounds in no time.  Unfortunately, I have trained my husband in the love of fine foods as well.  I had a revelation the other day though.  All of us will get old, saggy, more plump and tubby in areas, wrinkly and more beautiful with time.  So, while we try to maintain our image of beauty, we should hold it lightly and remember as well, that it is temporary, and fleeting.  Also I would take my 2 children 1000 times over my old self.  They have made me a better, slightly altered me.  I am thankful for that.  They are also giving me the chance to work on my self discipline and giving me the chance to go at loosing weight the good ol’ fashioned way of hard work and self control.  What’s not to love about that.  If at first I don’t succeed, I will realize that I do in fact love delicious things more than fitting my pants well.  That friend is the bottom line. I challenged a friend to a weight loss competition.  Who ever looses it first get’s a prize.  So dear,  I write you on day one, it’s going well so far, but it is only 11:49 am.  And with that, I will go drink a glass of water 🙂  Miss you friend. 

 

Bep

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Somewhere in-between…with Emmanuel…

In Uncategorized on December 4, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Well, we are in the midst of the great land of finals currently.  Eaoihkgh! On one hand, I can’t  believe this semester is over. On the other hand, it’s a tad on the crazy side for the next two weeks.  I am building up a huge breath for my sigh of relief after David’s last final.  Then, off to NY for Christmas!!! Can’t wait.  I pray there will be snow, O, I pray! It’s hard for me to believe that we have lived here 4 months only.  It feels like an eternity. Each day I wake up hoping that I will feel more at home here, and a bit less “missing” of my old life.  I think it will take time.  I do love my new life, my new friends more each day.  I have met some amazing people and am so thankful God put us here.  Like the old saying goes though, ‘make new friends, keep the old, one is silver the other gold’.  While I love the new, my heart aches for the old at times.  I had a good cry for the first time the other night in a while while talking to David.  Felt so good to process and soon enough, tears were falling.  I think the thing I miss most is the feeling of being known.  It takes time to get to know everything about people.  I had the best thing happen the other day though, which fell under the “being known” category.  A dear friend randomly sent me a beautiful pair of shoes in the mail.  We share the same size and taste in shoe, and out-of-the-blue came this package for me.  It couldn’t have come on a better day.  I think that experience made me realize how much I miss that feeling of someone knowing you well.  In due time I will have that feeling again here, in due time.

I have been in a Bible study on the Song of Solomon that is ROCKING my world.  Who knew what was laced in that book. It’s changing me.  Provoked by the study, this last week I’ve been thinking about wanting to be where God is, now.  I was thinking back to our move to Wally 6 something years ago.  I didn’t really want to go then, but knew we must.  Wally ended up being my most favorite of times in life thus far.  Knowing God brought us here, it is apparent He is now here with us.  He is not still in Wally, but here.  I’m so wanting to be on God’s page.  I don’t want to be slow in the process of turning a page.  I want to get in the chapter of life we are in now and not waste loving this here season too late.  I’ve been chewing on that thought of God being here with us.  Emmanuel, it’s what his name means right?  More than generally speaking though, He is HERE with me, in Virginia Beach.  This is the chapter he is in.  As you know, I am not one to hold back.  If you saw me, you might think, “what does she mean by getting on the same page?”.  I am fully living here now, surrounding myself with friends, and memories, and laughter.  I am almost loving it here, but for sure loving who is here.  It’s not the outward part of page hopping I am talking about.  It’s the inward page turn, that I feel I have no control over.  I just keep telling God, I want to be with you.  He will help me I am sure.  Until then, I will carry on, enjoying the now, with a bit of homesickness underneath the layers.  I guess it’s good to miss.  When you’ve given your heart and soul to life and it takes you elsewhere, how could you not miss?

Hope you are having a Merriest of Christmas Seasons!!!

All my love,

Bep

 

A twice named place you can’t replace…

In Uncategorized on October 15, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Some places you love while you are there, and later, think fondly of them, but have come to see a more realistic view of them.  Other places, you love while you are there, and later, truly realize just how incredible it really was, also a more realistic view.  I never didn’t love Walla Walla, but now, I love it in ways that I never imagined.  Walla Walla is a place to be missed, and for those still living there, a place to be savored.  Few places on earth (and I have been to a few) are as special as good ol’ Wally.  Good Lord, I miss it!!!  I miss it so much I want to live there again.  Heck, I would move back tomorrow.  Of course I love the people, (as if clarification was necessary) but the actual place has things to offer that are a hard find elsewhere.  Not that you want to hear all this, but let’s start with the food, and you know how I love food.  Where else can you eat a steak like the one at Whitehouse Crawford?  Where can you buy meats and cheeses (and I do mean where?) of the quality and variety that Salumiere Cesario has to offer?  (Trust me, places like that are few and far between, and, I am aware of the fact you can buy a stick of Salami at the grocery stores) Where do you find bar tenders reviving the classic cocktails long forgotten, or have over a hundred wineries at arms reach? Where do you find quaint and cute boutiques, cafe’s with menu’s to be drooled over and a place with more gorgeous parks than is fair? (mind you, some cities don’t even have one that would compare) Let me tell you, even the thrift stores in Wally are superb! I miss it, how I miss it.  I can’t wait to bite into a a sandwich at Olive, get a panini at Gray’s, eat a 5 course meal at Whitehouse Crawford, (or more)  visit Teal at Public House 124 for the first time, eat the fries from Brasserie Four, get a cup of coffee from my favorite baristas at Plaza Way Starbucks, and drive 20 minutes into the beautiful land of Oregon, visiting with dearest Elsa at Edwards Farm while buying my fresh produce for the week.  I will also buy a chocolate chip cookie at The Patisserie, and eat Earl Gray Gelatto. (sigh, if only you could ship it).  I will visit all my favorite wineries, take many walks in the park, scour Goodwill for a daily steal, and spend a few nights in Waitsburg at a new bed and breakfast.  (I am sure it will be open by the time I return) There in Waitsburg, I will eat that sinfully good Ceaser salad at Whoopemup Hollow Cafe, and spend hours upon hours at our favorite, Jimgermanbar. (Not sure if a place like this exists anywhere but here). I would then have lunch at Pho Sho, and linger over tapas at Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen.  These are just a few of the things I will do when returning to Wally. It really is ‘a place so nice, they named it twice’, and irreplaceable to me.

Sighing…

Bep

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