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.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Do You Trust Me?

One of the areas I have struggled with in my recovery is that of trust. My ability to trust others has been shaken a tad. I've been learning some important things though:

The Most Important: I CAN TRUST GOD! He is faithful and He cannot deny Himself. God has provided many opportunities for me to trust Him. He proves faithful time and time again. I am grateful for the grace God has given me to be able to trust Him.

Secondly, I have found my ability to trust other people has been challenged. I find that I do not trust other car drivers very well. Even when riding in the car with friends, I have found my trust in them can be light sometimes. They have not done anything wrong either, it is just my inability to trust.

Thirdly, and an important one, I find that I do not trust myself very much. My confidence has been shaken, so to go out and do some things requires doing it scared at times. That is not all bad, but I do hope the confidence will increase.

I noticed this yesterday when I was riding my bicycle. I've been on my bike only a few times since making my move, and these have been the first times riding my bicycle alone since I was injured.

I am riding by myself and I am riding in the bike lane on the roads near my apartment. When I was out, I came to a stop light, crossed the intersection, and then stopped to be able to make it across the next portion of the street.

The problem was that I would not move my bike. I was at a crosswalk and the light was in my favor, but I couldn't make myself go. There was no traffic. I should have just gone, but I couldn't go. Finally, as the coast was clear, I finally was determined enough to make myself pedal my bike.

I made it across the street and down the remainder of that particular road. As I was riding, and pondering my hesitation, I realized that it went back to the lack of confidence that I had in myself. There was a second street crossing that again challenged me, but I made it across fine. I then rode home and was glad to be there.

The confidence will grow as I am on my bike more often. I want to be on my bike, so I need to work through those fears and insecurities.

I am also looking for bike riding to be fun once again. At this point in time it feels like I have to do more thinking on the bike then I've done in the past. Riding alone is fine, but I miss my friends who I rode with. My friend Sandy was a great communicator to me as we would ride together. When we came to portions in a ride that needed to make a turn, and the view wasn't great, Sandy rode ahead to the turning point and communicated to me if things were clear or not. She was also a voice to help if there were other points in which something needed to be communicated. Sandy was a great riding partner.

Trust is an interesting thing. I am grateful that I can place all my trust in God. He loves me, He cares for me, He provides for me, and so much more.

I love my friends and I am grateful for all they are. They have been incredibly generous, caring, and loving. They are worthy of my trust too.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Why Did You Move?

Why Did You Move? That is a question I have been asked often since arriving in Everett. It was a question that I was asked before I left El Dorado Hills. My answer was: family and finances.

 To move back to Washington state was an opportunity to be closer to my family. Having survived what I survived, was a good reason to look at being nearer to family. So close in fact, that my brother and I are sharing an apartment. As well, our sister lives about 45 minutes away. It is nice being near my family. I have not lived in this area since 1992. I love my family and they are special people.

 The other reason was finances. To move here would lower my cost of living a bit. As well, having a roommate would enable both Jack and me to help each other with our finances. A good thing.

I have come to believe that there has been another reason for my move: Faith. Yes, it has required steps of faith to make this move. To trust God for His provision, care, healing, and so much more. But I think it has more to do with strengthening my faith. There are areas I have needed to trust God with on a daily basis. Fortunately, God is always faithful. I have needed to trust God for many of these same things in my past. God has had me make a variety of moves and to trust Him for a variety of things. The God who was faithful in my past, will continue to be faithful to me today and into the future. Though I do not know what my future may look like, I can trust God that He does. He desires my best, He loves me, He is in control, and so much more.

 Why did I move, you ask? Faith; family; and finances.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

THE BIRTHDAY RIDE Today has been a wonderful birthday day for me. For my birthday, I decided that I wanted to ride my bike again. I have not ridden my bike since leaving California. As well, I have not ridden by myself since I was injured. That is over 4 years ago. To ride with someone isn't an option right now, as I don't know anyone to ride with. I selected a short route near my apartment. It basically resembled a large square, like going around the block, but bigger. It was about 3-1/2 miles and there are hills on two sides of the route. I chose the route that would enable me to ride down the steepest portion, the ride up the hill I chose was more of a good incline. It took me about 25 minutes to go my route. I'm not fast on my bike, but I am on my bike! I was excited (I left earlier then I planned), I was a tad nervous, and I was a little chilly too. The ride began in the cool weather, but I warmed up quickly on the ride. One fear was to not be able to ride the entire route, as I'm not in great shape right now. That wasn't a problem, though I had a game plan: to get off my bike and rest, if I did. I did need to stop by my apartment when I returned, as I needed to wait for some cars before crossing the street. No problems there, and then I made it back home. It felt good to be on my ride. There was one area on the route where I needed to be extra careful, due to large trucks/semi's parked on the side of the road. There is enough room for the trucks to be there, but they did take up my bike lane. I needed to make my way into the car lane to avoid the trucks. The bike and I made it by them just fine! I am very pleased with my accomplishment today, in fact, I might just go out on my bike again tomorrow!

Monday, February 6, 2012


New beginnings are interesting, aren't they? They can hold much expectancy, adventure, opportunities, and more. They can also hold much unknown, depending upon the new beginning we have entered into. A week ago I entered into a new beginning that holds plenty of expectancy, adventures, opportunities, and more.

Though new beginnings hold plenty of new stuff, it is not bad because it is new. It is likely to hold things that are different, because they are different it doesn't mean it is bad or wrong -- just different. That can take some getting used to, adapting and adjusting, as well.

On Saturday, January 28 I began a new beginning of living in a new state, a new community, and a new apartment. Each of those new things hold their own level of adjustment and adaptation. I have begun the adapting process and though I have had a hiccup or two, the adapting and adjusting is progressing.

Living in a new state, like Washington, is very different then living in California. The obvious initial difference is the weather. It is cooler and damper here. Now, being born and raised in Washington state, I was fully aware of that difference, but it will take a little time to re-adapt to this change. I do have to say that since arriving the weather has been mostly sunny, partly cloudy, but a tad cooler...enough about the weather.

Everett is a new community to me. It is large: over 100,000 people live in Everett. The layout is different; my apartment is located in a nice area, but there is still much to explore and discover. It is different then El Dorado Hills.

My apartment is nice, but I am sharing it with my brother Jack and his cat, Shade. That too is taking adapting and adjusting. The four of us are doing well and working through the things we come across to work through.

I am in the process of finding a church to attend. This will take some time, but can be a good process to work through. I learned some of the things I am looking for in a church while still in EDH, so I am applying those things here. The church I visited yesterday was nice.

Locating things such as gas stations, grocery stores, and such are on my to do list. I did find a bike shop yesterday that I stopped into. It was a nice store and I was able to get a bike trail map.

God has been faithful to provide for my various needs in the various communities I have lived. God has been and will continue to be faithful to meet my needs here -- because that is who God is -- HE IS ALWAYS FAITHFUL.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Things are underway to make the big move to Washington. Departure date is Friday, January 27. An apartment has been secured in Everett. My brother will be moving in on the 27th and I will join him on the 28th after arriving in town. Our sister found this place for us, so it will be great to get there and get all moved in.

There are plenty of steps here to take in preparation for the big step of the move. I have been stepping down from my volunteering. Last week I finished serving in the Acute Rehab Unit at Mercy General. That was an incredible opportunity for me. I will miss them. I have finished serving with P.A.R.T.Y. (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-related Trauma in Youth). That too was a tremendous opportunity I am grateful to have had. I have a couple of more opportunities to share my story at MADD's Victim Impact Panel.

The other steps have to do with packing, which is underway. I don't have a ton of stuff, but plenty to keep me busy. Dear friends will be helping me too.

Speaking of dear friends, that will be the hardest part of leaving, I will miss the wonderful people who have been a wonderful part of my life. I have had an incredible opportunity to experience the love, grace, generosity, forgiveness, care, and much more from so many people. I WILL MISS YOU! But please know, that the Seattle area is a great place to visit. Since I have not lived in that area in a number of years, there is plenty for me to discover, so I would love to play tour guide.

Change is hard, but it's not too bad. It takes adapting and adjusting, but good things come in the midst of change. As well, it is good to have faith in the One who never changes!