Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Papa...I miss you.

Charles "Papa" Dobrunick  April 4, 1916 - June 26, 2011

With joy you will draw water
from the wells of salvation.

Isaiah 12:3

Today's Wednesday in the Word is dedicated to my Papa...Charles Dobrunick. Papa passed away peacefully in his sleep early Sunday morning. He left this earth just the way he'd wanted to...quietly, gently and without any bother or fanfare.

Papa wasn't one for a big fuss.

There is so much I want to tell you about Papa. And I really thought now was the time I was going to do that. But for some reason...the words aren't coming. I thought once I sat down to write about him the words would just flow. But...they're not. They are still in my heart...for me only...for now.

The main thing...the most important thing...and the reason Wednesday in the Word is dedicated to Papa is because I just have to tell you how GOOD God is in all of this.

Last week God gave me Isaiah 12...verse 2 was specifically for me at that moment, but my goodness, verse 3 really stood out to me. It was so poetic...the words created such a beautiful image in my mind...with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

I read it...over and over again.

I heard it in my mind...over and over again throughout the week.

It would pop into my head out of the blue while I drove, while I was at the grocery store, while I washed was constant. But I didn't really think too much of it...

* * * * *

It was early on Sunday morning, still dark my sleep I barely heard my cell phone ring. I sat straight up, "Honey...did you hear that?"

He did hear it.

I ran and grabbed my was 5:08..."Mom" read on the display screen. I immediately called her back, "Mom...did you mean to call me?"

"No. I was trying to call Aunt Lisa." And then through tears she told me...Papa had passed away. Just like that...he sailed away.

I hung up the phone and immediately I looked to disbelief. Not disbelief that Papa was gone. That really couldn't be a drastic surprise. He was 95. He'd led a really good, long life. And after all these years his body was getting tired. So I think deep inside we were all preparing ourselves for this moment.

No...his passing wasn't unbelievable. The disbelief was between me and God and Papa...and God giving me a chance to lead Papa to Jesus. It was about God sending me to Papa to let him know that Jesus loves him...and that there is life....heaven...perfection...waiting for him on the other side. I was ready. I was preparing. I had already told God...You just let me know...You just say the word and I am there.

But "the word" never came.

I stood in my kitchen in shock...and disbelief. I was...gosh, what was I? I can't even describe the feelings I was having in that split-second of a moment.


But God, before I could really even consider spinning out of control...God in His infinite wisdom, His omniscience, His omnipotence...He knew my thoughts...He knew my emotions...He knew my confusion...and just as soon as the thoughts came flooding in I heard God whisper..."I've got him."

Over and over...with each wave of doubt...

"I've got him."
"I've got him."
"I've got him."

One little whisper...and I knew.
I knew that I knew that I knew...Papa was with God.

But then more doubt sets in...and you begin to argue with yourself...and with God...because things didn't take place like you thought they would...or like you planned them out.

But God...

But God had a plan, too. And His plans are perfect. His plans are good. His plans are righteous. His plans always succeed.

I sat on my couch and prayed...and I asked God, please, give me scripture...for Papa, for me, for reassurance that he truly is with you...

Another whisper..."Isaiah 12.."

I quickly opened my bible and turned to Isaiah 12...and there it was...practically leaping off of the page...those words that had been echoing in my mind and in my heart all week.

...with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

In that moment, any doubt...any fear...any confusion...disappeared. And I knew, without a doubt, that Papa was with God...and at that very moment he was drawing from the wells of salvation with joy. And that when it is my time to sail away...Papa will be there, waiting for me...probably inventing something or drawing something or cracking a joke. I'm looking forward to it...

I'll see you when I get there, Papa. Until then...I love you and I miss you...always.

Thank you God for your faithfulness...for your love and care...
for your wells of salvation...
for taking Papa home to be with you...
for allowing him to swim in the river and sleep in the tall grass.
You are a good God. And I love You.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday morning...


Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Friday, June 24, 2011

complaining...or how to make people run the other way when they see you coming.

"I promise...if you let me out for just a few minutes, I will NOT
sneak into the garden, plop on your deck or stare you down
through the back door until you give me a treat. I promise!!"
Sweetie...looking demure...doing her best to "will" me into
letting her roam the yard. Not a chance sister!
 So the other day I was told by two a friend, the other my favorite cashier at the local discount "stop complaining". Just like that...those words were tossed in my direction. And they were tossed at me (but felt heavy as a medicine ball in the gut) right after I'd commented about the excruciating, horrible, suffocating, draining, incessant, obnoxious, heat.

Now I can understand someone telling me not to complain about my new shoes hurting my feet. At least I have new shoes, right?

Or maybe asking me not to complain about the steak being a bit undercooked. (What can I say, I'm a medium-well girl. Blame Noni.) Um...hello? At least I have food, right? And a steak, no less!

Or perhaps someone doesn't want to hear me complain about my humble abode...I'm not living under a bridge, now am I?

But to blurt out the words "stop complaining" when I'm merely making a very factual statement about the weather? Really? Everyone complains about the weather. There are summer people...and winter people...and the fair weather friends who prefer spring or autumn. And when it's not to their liking they complain.

People complain about too much rain...too much snow...too much wind. Why can't I complain about too much heat?

I was boggled. And I will admit...taken aback a bit. And maybe, possibly even a teensy bit offended and self-righteous.

Each time the statement was tossed my way I'm absolutely positive one of my eyebrows raised...and my chin tucked in a bit. I'm pretty sure my eyes bulged and then narrowed into questioning slits. And my lips pinched up, too...just a little.

I'm also quite sure my head cocked to one side and my chest puffed up a bit.

I even got defensive. And pointed out the pointers own complaints. (Of which, I was wrong about, apparently.)

But I stood at the checkout counter baffled by the scolding of my favorite cashier, doing my best to conjure up a reasonable argument as to why it's totally fine and acceptable and within my constitutional rights for me to complain about the heat...about the weather in general, about the traffic, my dirty floors, the person in front of me, the news, the shirt I was wearing, my chippy toenail polish, the price of gas, the service at Starbucks, the audacity of my neighbor to park in MY spot, the fact that neither of my boys can ever "remember" to make their beds, the government, the church, the beggars on every corner, chronic pain, the whatever I want to complain about thankyouverymuch...

...I was convicted.
And a bit embarrassed.

As I loaded my bags and bags of groceries (that I had plenty of money to pay for) and headed home (in my luxury, gas-guzzling SUV with the a/c blasting) I got to thinking...

I don't know about you, but sometimes God uses people to get something across to me. And as I was driving home it began to set in to my thick, stubborn, prideful, opinionated, complaining skull that this is exactly what was happening.

God had something to say to me: "Stop complaining."

It took me a good 24 hours to really process what had happened.
It took me a good 24 hours to really get that it was God pointing out a personality trait that is not helpful to me or anyone within earshot of my incessant whining and complaining.
It took me a good 24 hours to realize that...God is right. I really do need to stop complaining.

So...because God said so, and if nothing else I do my best to be obedient to Him, I'm going to work on not complaining. I don't know that I'll stop complaining totally and completely. (Isn't that humanly impossible? No? Dangit...I guess it IS just me.) But I am going to work on it. Diligently. Pray for me, would ya?

This is gonna be a interesting, challenging and I'm sure, at times, a very humorous process.

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.

Philippians 2:14-16

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday in the Word

Isaiah 12

Songs of Praise

1 In that day you will say:

“I will praise you, LORD.
Although you were angry with me,
your anger has turned away
and you have comforted me.
2 Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The LORD, the LORD himself,
is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.”
3 With joy you will draw water
from the wells of salvation.

4 In that day you will say:

“Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done,
and proclaim that his name is exalted.
5 Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things;
let this be known to all the world.
6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”

Yes, Lord...I will trust...and not be afraid. Amen.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday...and off we go!

Is it Monday...already?
Wow...this morning started fast and furious.

Ian got up before 6am, got showered and dressed and ready to head out at 7am to help at vacation bible school with his friend, Jesse.

Seth got up around the same dressed, gulped down a peanut butter sandwich and headed off to run at the lagoon with the cross country team.

Chris was up too...sipping coffee and gearing up for a busy week at work. He gave me instructions on keeping the stucco patch moist...he took some time yesterday morning, on Father's Day, to get yet another thing checked off the home improvement list!

Seth got home at about 8:30...hopped in the shower...then ran right back out for his first driving lesson.


We spent the weekend watching Seth play two days worth of double headers. Luckily the weather wasn't too bad...we found some nice spots in the shade and enjoyed all baseball, all day.

Saturday night we had an early Father's Day celebration....dessert and gifts at my brothers house. The kids swam...the adults talked and laughed...we ate cake and cookies and coffee cake...then headed home happy and amped up on sugar!

After lots of running here and there all weekend and not spending a lot of time at home...the house is a MESS. Ice chests and snack bags and dirty uniforms galore. I've got my work cut out for me today...that's for sure. I have to get it done today as the boys and I are headed to Six Flags with some friends tomorrow for some roller coaster fun! I think it's going to be hot...a spin on the log ride might be in order. (We shall see...)

I've got to far I've been moving kinda slow. I got everyone up and out, watered the lawn, the garden and took the trash cans to the curb for pick up. I got my shower...made my bed...and started a load of laundry. But I gotta tell ya...the energy level is low, low, low. It doesn't help that it's supposed to be hot all week...thank goodness for central air conditioning.

How was your weekend?

Friday, June 17, 2011

whatever is lovely.

One of the best lattes I've ever enjoyed...mmmm.

My thoughts are a bit jumbled...I'm finding it a challenge to put words to paper the past couple of days. My mind is wandering...thinking of all the things I have to do...fighting myself day at a time, one day at a time... takes some adjustment.

I had a weird dream last night...lots of stairs...they were narrow, as were the walkways...which were more like bridges...rope bridges with wooden planks to balance on. They led to small rooms...dark and hard to see where I was. Wherever we were required security clearance to enter. A base? A spaceship? I don't know. I was alone there. But then suddenly Chris joined me. And just like that we were at the house of an was a on the floor, trash everywhere, laundry strewn all over the place...doors, doors, doors...more dim rooms.

Hmm...might have to bust out the dream book on this one.

In the meantime...I am reminded of this scripture...
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable
—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy
—think about such things.

Philippians 4:8

I need to focus on whatever is true...and right...and lovely...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday in the Word

1 You are always righteous, LORD,
when I bring a case before you.
Jeremiah 12:1

I'm still wandering aimlessly...trusting I am headed in the right direction.

It's so strange to not be involved in anything church related. It's also turning out to be a much-needed break for me...from all things religious.

Don't get me can be a good thing. It can be nice to be around like-minded be able to have conversations about God and miracles and prayer without being looked at like you just sprouted a second head. God calls us to fellowship with other believers...and that usually happens more readily in a church setting. 

But He also called us to love each other. And sometimes, I am learning, the two don't necessarily go together. I'm not willing to accept that.

So I am wandering...I'm in the desert so to speak. Think Israelites, right? Dangit...I wish I couldn't relate to them so well. On one hand I'm grateful for the bible...for God's Word that shares the stories of those that walked this walk of faith before us. I read the words and I know I'm not alone...that I'm normal. But on the other hand, dangit...why can't I be abnormal in this instance? (No comments from the peanut gallery about being abnormal, thankyouverymuch ;)

I guess what I need to figure out at this point in my journey with God I okay with wandering in the desert because I know that I am learning valuable lessons along the way? Or am I okay with wandering in the desert because it's become my new normal...and I'm getting complacent?

If you know the story of the Israelites they wandered the desert for 40 years...grumbling, complaining, fighting, whining...all the while, we know now, the trip should have taken something like 11 days. Eleven days. They wandered for forty years.

I don't want to be able to relate to the Israelites in this case. I don't want what was meant to be an 11 day journey to turn into a 40 year journey. I really don't. But I have to be honest...I'm just not sure what's going on with me. I don't know where I'm at spiritually.

Am I headed in the right direction? Or am I going in circles? I don't know... I really don't...

What I do matter what...and no matter how far I may that God is good. And He loves me. And has me in the palm of His hand...always. And when the time is His timing...when He says I am ready...He will lead me out of this desert and into the promised land...


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

seeing green.

We have sod! We've had sod for about two weeks, actually. I told you about my lovely day with my mom, right? Well, while I was out galavanting around with my mom, acting all artsy-fartsy and pretending I had hundreds of dollars to spend on a (albeit beautiful) piece of husband and sons were home slaving away installing our lovely new sod.

After a long day of looking at oil paintings in the rain and sipping delicious lattes, Mom and I drove home in the rain. As soon as we pulled up to the house we hopped out of the car and ran straight through the house ("oh...yeah...hi guys. kiss kiss. now move...we gotta see the yard!") straight to the backyard. We stood on the deck and it was at that moment that I heard the angels singing. The sky opened up and rays of light beamed down onto, green grass.  (I'm not kidding. There was a break in the rain and the clouds really did part a bit. ;)

Was this really my backyard. Was I dreaming? Nope. It was real. And it looked fabulous.

And it still does. It's thriving.

Here's a better photo. And if you click here it'll take you to flickr where I've written a few notes as to what the heck is going on back there!

Monday, June 13, 2011

A day with my mom...

A couple of weekends ago I went to Sonoma with my mom. We went to an art festival...ate some lunch...went to some shops...and then it began to rain!

We decided to duck into a little coffee shop. A very crowded little coffee shop. We ordered a latte, an earl grey and a slice of torte each...apricot for me, berry for mom. Somehow we lucked out and got a cozy little table by the window.

We talked and ate and took photos and watched the rain come down. It was a really good day...

Friday, June 10, 2011


Summer is here. Pretty much, anyway. The boys are out of school. The days are warming...finally, some will say. Not me. I'm dreaming of living somewhere else...somewhere cooler, somewhere higher up, somewhere...else.

The sun is shining. The birds are singing. People are wearing shorts and tank tops. But...the air is still. Already feeling a bit stifling. Not now...but I know what's coming. And I'm not ready. I never am.

I can feel that sense of dread...maybe feelings similar to those with SAD feel as winter approaches? I don't know...because in my world, when winter comes, I begin to wake up. I am refreshed. I feel alive. Like with anything else, just add water (in the form of rain) and I perk up instantly.

The heat makes me wilt...I feel distant, and not myself.

I try to look at "the bright side"...fresh, warm tomatoes...all the Vitamin D you could ask for...sleep ins...barbecues...fried zucchini cakes...and it helps some...

...but it's not enough. It's a real stretch, actually. My attempt at not being negative during summer. Is it working?

Yeah. I didn't think so.

But again...the reminder in my

Don't worry about

And then I am reminded of the words of Matthew...33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Easier said than done.'s worth a try.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday in the Word

“The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
Habakkuk 3:19

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

and all of a sudden...just like that...

...another school year has slipped by. And my boys are another year older. And both about a foot taller! Seth looks over my head and Ian is now looking me eye to eye.

Today is the last day of school. And as's bittersweet. Bitter...because I miss my little boys. I miss Lego's and forts and color books and Arthur and running through the sprinklers. I miss bath time and washing their hair and wrapping them up in big fluffy towels. I miss feety pajamas and bunk beds and bedtime stories. I miss my little boys.

But then there's the sweet...watching them turn into young men. Watching them learn about the world...and learn to make choices and decisions. Talking about driving permits (I know!!) and parties and friends. Watching them take off in cars with those friends...or head downtown on a scooter with a buddy....and tossing out a quick prayer, knowing God's got them in the palm of His hand.

Parenting is hard. No doubt about it. But it's also so incredibly good, and sweet...such a be entrusted with the lives of two men...which is what I try to see them as. Because that is what I want to raise them to be. Men. Not boys. I don't always hit the target...sometimes I can't help but see "my baby". 

We all do mom does it ( you mom!)...her mom did's a mom thing. We can't help it. It's like as soon as we find out we're pregnant...things change. And suddenly we begin to think like a mom. It's no longer all about me. It's about someone else. We become protective...and begin to see the world for the crazy, dangerous place that it is.

These sweet little lives grow right next to our hearts...and become our hearts. When they are born...and leave our bodies...they take a piece of our hearts with them. It's in they were in us. And just like that...we are connected...always. (No matter how far they may go....)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday morning...

Be thankful that God's answers are wiser than your answers. ~William Culbertson

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Day of Rest...?

the girls...pining away for the days they could roam the yard, free as a...bird

It is pouring down rain today! (And you know I love it.) On the one hand, it's a good excuse to lay low, take some quiet time and relax. On the other's putting a damper on our backyard progress. Although, since Chris and the boys installed our sod last weekend, maybe that endeavor can count as TWO work Saturdays!

Although...the day isn't a total bust as far as home improvements go. So far we've:
  • watched 3 landscape shows on HGTV
  • looked through 4 or 5 library books to get some inspiration for a trellis and a walkway
  • drew out some plans for both
  • designed a small bathroom cabinet to store things like towels and tp so we can finally get rid of the "chrome" rack we bought way too long ago that is now slightly rusty...and not so slightly UGLY.
I have to work at the bookstore tonight...the closing shift. So it seems my day is almost being spent just waiting to go to work. But...I'm going to make the best of it and get some more stuff done...laundry, beds, emptying the dishwasher and maybe a trip to the library. Or Old Navy. Or both. We'll see if I actually get motivated to get out of the house on this rainy day before I actually have to.

For now I'm going to enjoy the rain and be thankful for the free water it's providing for the garden and our new beautiful sod. (I'll share more pics later this week!)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wednesday in the Word

Consider the ravens:
They do not sow or reap,
they have no storeroom or barn;
yet God feeds them.
And how much more valuable
you are than birds!
Who of you by worrying
can add a
single hour to his life?

Luke 12:24-25