Monday, December 31, 2012

A New Year and New Beginnings

Happy New Year and New Beginnings!

As I write this, there is only about an hour and a half left in year 2012. The year has gone by quickly.  A lot has gone on, so maybe that is part of the reason time flew by.

This time last year, I was preparing to move from El Dorado Hills (EDH), California to Everett, Washington. I knew it was time to move, but I was sad about having to do so. EDH had become my home and many friends were like family. But it was time to go.

Nearly a year later, life has settled down in Everett. I have been adjusting to having an apartment-mate, my brother Jack. I have gotten to know my way around town. I have been attending a church. I have been meeting people. I have new doctors. I get to see my family. I have re-connected with some of my cousins.  I have made progress on the book I am writing. I have had the opportunity to re-connect with friends from my past. I am at home.

A new year brings opportunity for new beginnings. Most people make resolutions and many people work hard to accomplish those resolutions. I do have some goals and things I am seeking to accomplish in 2013, but I won't call them resolutions, because I most likely won't keep them then. :-)

To complete my book; to ride in a couple of organized bicycling rides -- including the STP (Seattle to Portland) Bicycle Classic; and to buy a house are on my list for 2013. The book is a biggie for me. I am looking forward to completing this work. As well, there are a couple of other ideas to write about that I am pondering. Yes, I am pursuing being a writer, an author. That is a new beginning for me.

When I began my recovery from my TBI and other injuries that I sustained when hit by a car on June 18, 2008 there were many new beginnings for me, new normals too. I am incredibly grateful for how things have progressed, even though my life was turned upside down. With some of the outcomes I have experienced, I think having my life turned upside down was not all bad. Good things can come out of bad/hard situations.

As 2013 will hold many of it's own New Beginnings, I am grateful for a faithful, unchanging God whom I follow. I can trust Him with a New Year and the New Beginnings that I will be experiencing. As I have experienced some incredible opportunities in 2012, it gives me hope as I continue to press on and move forward.

Happy New Year! Happy New Beginnings!

Friday, September 28, 2012


Flying into Sacramento's airport on Thursday afternoon, I looked out my window and began to ponder my visit. It felt wonderful to be returning to see my friends. I was in need of a friend-fix, so this was going to be a week filled with that fix being met.

I also recognized that this was not my home any longer and I was at peace with that feeling. Everett was now my home and I was going to visit friends.

I am grateful for that peace. I did not want to move to Everett. I did not want to leave El Dorado Hills, but it was time to go.

The transition to Everett has taken awhile and there are transitions yet to be made, but it is my home now. I am grateful to emotionally be at this place, because I do not want to hold onto the past. I do not want to have my past hold me back from where I am suppose to be going.

Does that mean it is easy? Does it mean the future is mapped out for me on my GPS? Does it mean that I do not miss my friends any longer?

The answer to those questions and some other questions I have is no, but that does not mean yes was not the answer for me to leave EDH. They just mean that the reality in life is it is hard, there are tough choices to be made, and yet there is hope moving into the future.

I have learned a lot from my past. There have been plenty of times that I have had to move from locations where I have settled, had wonderful friendships, and enjoyed being where I was -- I felt at home. Then I needed to move. My time was up in those locations.

The outcomes were magnificent. New cities to be explored; new churches to attend; new people to meet and new friendships to be made. Needs were met. I settled in and was at peace.

Change is difficult, yet it can hold wonderful new adventures, opportunities, and chances to see and learn more.

As our borders are expanded, we ourselves are expanded. We grow, are transformed, learn and experience so much.

Evenmore so, we have an opportunity to experience the faithfulness of God. In each location I have lived, God has been faithful. I have had the opportunity to see God at work in my life and in the experiences He has allowed me to live.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Yesterday I was excited about my day: I was going to watch the Seattle Mariners major league baseball team play the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field in Seattle. Not only that, but friends from Portland, OR were driving to Seattle. I would get to watch one of my favorite past-times with some of my favorite people! Excellent.

My heart that morning, though, seemed to be full of more then happiness and excitement. My heart was full of joy. Joy is different then happiness. Happiness is dependent on things to make one happy. Joy is not dependent on those things to bring one joy.

My joy was based on my relationship with God. What I had been experiencing in my relationship with God was filling my heart with joy and peace. My heart was joyful with the love He has for me; my heart was full of joy with the peace that God has given me; my heart was full of joy -- period.

I recognized that my heart was not full of joy because of a baseball game or time with friends. It was joy.

As I drove to Safeco Field and found my way to the parking garage, I was encouraged by the progress that has been made in my life: to be able to drive a car; to be able to find a location that I had not driven to before; to be able to have a parking garage spot near to where I was to meet my friends were all very good things.

I did have a brief challenge. I am thankful for the creativity and wisdom God gave me to handle the challenge that I faced. Was I frustrated? Yes, but I kept moving to do the things I needed to do. I needed to ask for help and was given some. I eventually found what I was looking for without any other major setbacks. The challenge was taken care of.

Then off I went to meet my friends. It was a time of hugs, laughter, and finding our way to our seats.

We had a wonderful time together and the Mariners even won! After the game, we gave one another hugs and said our good-byes. We were on our way: my friends to Portland and I was on my way to Everett.

There were no challenges on my drive home. My heart was filled with happiness and gratitude, but it was still filled with joy. The Scriptures remind me: "the joy of the Lord is my strength." (Nehemiah 8:10)

Monday, August 20, 2012


I recently finished reading the first chapter of a sneak peek of Margaret Feinberg's new book Wonder Struck Awaken to the nearness of God.

After reading the chapter, where I was challenged to consider praying for wonder, I did just that. I saw God's wonder today in how He cares for me. I saw His wonder in the friendships He has blessed me with; I saw His wonder in His provision for needs that I did not ask to have met; and I saw His wonder in showing up.

As I have lived in a new community now for six months, I do not have the friendships here yet that I had in El Dorado Hills, Folsom, Elk Grove, and Sacramento. I do have hope that the friendships I am now developing will hold much in and of themselves. They will be different then in California, but different is okay. I am hopeful today of God's providing to meet my needs.

I am struck by His wonder!

"A prayer for wonder asks the Lord to expand my capacity to see and savor the divine gifts all around." (Margaret Feinberg)

The reading also left me hungry to read more of Margaret's book, but it won't be out until around Christmas. I'd encourage you to buy a copy when the book is released.

In the meantime, I will be seeking to be alert and aware of the wonder of God in my midst. May He give me eyes to see Him.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Family Matter

Family matters...there are situations that we need to care about regarding our families. They tend to be matters of importance for us to deal with. Family matters sometimes are not fun, but they are necessary.

There is also the truth that families matter. Family is important to us and they are a part of our heart. We care about how one another are doing. We want to keep in touch and updated as much as possible.

Life change happens. As time goes on our lives go in a variety of directions; family begin to pass away due to age or other issues. In the midst of the changes and the transitions, family still matter to us.

Since the early 1990's I have lived out of the area where I grew up. This is why I have not been able to see my extended family for awhile. My life, like everyone else's, has gone on. I have lived in a variety of states and cities. Besides my brother and sister, my path has not crossed too often with other family. Lately the opportunities have been presenting themselves to reconnect with family. I am trying to take advantage of the opportunities that have come my way.

Last weekend I got to spend time with my cousins. They were a family we visited as often as possible, though the distance was a little far to go see them too often. My aunt and uncle have passed away, but it has been very good to reconnect with the cousins.

As we sat outside on the property after dinner, there was a fire burning and we eventually made smores.  (It had been a long time since I'd had one of those.) The best though was sitting around the campfire sharing stories, laughing, and enjoying the company of one another. It was just me and five of my cousins (and their partners) from this particular family (cousin number six is in California.)

As I stayed at my cousin Sandy's home she shared with me incredible stories of her mom, my aunt. There was much I did not know and I feel like I know my aunt better as a result of my time with Sandy. I also got to know Sandy better.

Growing up I loved spending time with this family, but it is great getting to know them as adults. They are wonderful people. Spending time with them wants me to reconnect with other family members.

In a couple of weeks I will be able to see some cousins from the other side of my family. Again, much time has passed since I have seen them. I can't wait to catch up.

Remember family matter. We walk through some tough times in our families, but we are related to one another. Lets work through the tough stuff and put effort into family. Though I think I have always believed that family matters, I think I have a new appreciation for my family these days.

Blessings to you and your family.

Friday, July 13, 2012


God has brought me through an incredibly horrendous event which began just over four years ago. God  performed miracles following the crash that nearly took my life and He continues to work miracles today through the recovery.

God enables me to connect with other brain injury survivors in an incredible way. It is hard to understand what a brain injury survivor has to walk through. It is actually different for each survivor, though there are similarities and empathy that come out of our individual journeys.

Today I am able to minister to a unique group of people. There is no way I could minister in this capacity if I had not been going through this myself. There are MANY people around us -- around you -- who have sustained brain injuries. Voices needs to speak for us.

LORD, send me!

Friday, July 6, 2012


This morning I took my cat, Spike, to the vet. He hasn't been quite himself, so I thought it would be good to get him checked out by the kitty doctor.

On this vet visit, Spike was feistier then he has been before at the vet's. They ended up keeping Spike until this afternoon, so they can get him calmed down (w/some drugs) and get some blood work done.

One of the things the kitty doctor told me, was that Spike is probably dealing w/ a lot of stress: the move, the new roommates (including a kitty), a kidney issue he is having, living in a new place without being able to go outside, and now even a new doctor.

STRESS: I thought I was the only one adjusting to a new move, new roommates, new adjustments, new doctors, and adapting to new things. Nope, it's not just me, but apparently Spike too.

Stress is a crazy thing and sometimes we might not realize that is what we're dealing with: whether it is ourselves; if married, a spouse; if you have kids, their stress; friends, roommates, and whoever else.

There are a couple things that I will be able to do with Spike and hopefully, time too, will help him out. This has caused me to take a look at things in my own life and see how I am handling the stress of the transition. What do I need to do for myself differently? How might I be able to handle some of the adjustments and new adaptations differently?

I will talk to my brother too, so that he will know what has been happening with Spike, as well as some of the things I might be doing due to my reactions to stress.

Hopefully the Spikester won't be too much of a handful for the vet and her staff, but then again, they do know that Spike has been under a bit of stress. They'll know how to handle him.