This Where the Nonsense Turns to Makesense

..A large family working to perfect our sweet skills: Loving others, making an impact, parenting on purpose, living simply, and embracing sarcasm.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Missing Church

We have missed church the last two weeks, and we are planning to miss again this week. I don't like it. I am not used to it. I really don't skip church. Not even when I was vomiting repeatedly during my Samuel pregnancy. I just sat nearer the bathrooms.
Don't get me wrong. A) going to church doesn't make you or me any holier or Christiany-er 2) I really enjoy my time with my family, and D) I have enjoyed the missing you/mocking your heatheness phone calls.
After my second week of missing, I was bummed. After telling my kids we were going camping this weekend, so we won't be at church this Sunday, they were bummed as well, which made me more bummed.
That's a lot of bums. We went to Reflect Church when we were in Sacramento, which was nice, but not our home. I heart Hillside. I don't trust people who feel otherwise. They are shady.

I have been hanging out with these people.

While I have been busy skipping church and spending time with the fam, I have managed to accomplish the following:

Sorted through all of the clothes in my household to become an emptier vessel.
Threw down a deep cleaning on my laundry room.
Had new friends over for dinner.
Traveled to Santa Cruz, and then traveled to Sacramento.
Camped out at Davis Lake.
Finished and sent out our very first Hands of Hope Missions newsletter! (praise God!)
Finished my bachelor's degree at the University. (another praise to God)
Registered for my master's program at Grand Canyon University!
Snuggled with my husband over countless movies.
Cried a little at the things God wants from me. Growing hurts.
Gave disappointed shoulders to NBC when Michael Scott confirmed his office exit.
Found a friend to put chords to my song.
Recognized I am less amazing than I want to be, but Jesus loves me anyway.
Realized God isn't surprised by how lame I am.
Purchased and planted a fantastic tree in my back yard (by me I mean The Man).
Prayed and heard more reassurance from God during this 30 day bible study than possibly ever before in my whole life.
Contemplated a new tattoo.
Wondered if Moses will be in the Truckee Meadows area.

I was thinking something like this....

Friday, July 16, 2010


If you need me before Monday, I will be here.

Just keep shouting. I am sure you will find me eventually. If not, it wasn't meant to be.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Prepare to be Amazed!

So, maybe this guy doesn't exactly amaze you, but wait for it...just wait for it! The kids and I have been praying about creative ways to raise money for the Redeemer House. As I was weeding through the things we no longer need and things we could easily live without in order to be an emptier vessel, I began to notice the insane amount of uniforms we have here. SHEESH! Three kids worth of three years worth of uniforms from the same school could possibly add up to some moolah. I posted them on Craig's List for $2 each and said a little prayer. $140 dollars later we have about eight or so boys size ten slim pants left. UNbelievable, or believable if you think God can do good stuff when we step out to do good stuff. Which he did cause we did, jayehs. Now, whatever you do, don't look into that guy's eyes. HE is scary.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

um. what?

Widow lives with corpses of husband, twin
By MICHAEL RUBINKAM Associated Press Writer The Associated Press
Monday, July 5, 2010 7:52 PM EDT

WYALUSING, Pa. (AP) — The 91-year-old widow lived by herself in a tumbledown house on a desolate country road. But she wasn't alone, not really, not as long as she could visit her husband and twin sister.

No matter they were already dead. Jean Stevens simply had their embalmed corpses dug up and stored them at her house — in the case of her late husband, for more than a decade — tending to the remains as best she could until police were finally tipped off last month.

Much to her dismay.

"Death is very hard for me to take," Stevens told an interviewer.

As state police finish their investigation into a singularly macabre case — no charges have been filed — Stevens wishes she could be reunited with James Stevens, her husband of nearly 60 years, who died in 1999, and June Stevens, the twin who died last October.

But their bodies are with the Bradford County coroner now, at least temporarily off limits to the woman who loved them best. District Attorney Daniel Barrett said Tuesday that Stevens plans to build a crypt on the property.

"If she does that, the bodies will be released for that purpose," he said. "Otherwise they will be re-interred."

From time to time, stories of exhumed bodies are reported, but rarely do those involved offer an explanation. Jean Stevens, seeming more grandmother than ghoul, holds little back as she describes what happened outside this small town in northern Pennsylvania's Endless Mountains.

She knows what people must think of her. But she had her reasons, and they are complicated, a bit sad, and in their own peculiar way, sweet.

Dressed smartly in a light blue shirt and khaki skirt, silver hoops in her ears, her white hair swept back and her brown eyes clear and sharp, she offers a visitor a slice of pie, then casts a knowing look when it's declined. "You're afraid I'll poison you," she says.

On a highboy in the corner of the dining room rests a handsome, black-and-white portrait of Jean, then a stunner in her early 20s, and James, clad in his Army uniform. It was taken after their 1942 marriage but before his service in World War II, in which he fought in the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, James worked at a General Electric Corp. plant in Liverpool, N.Y., then as an auto mechanic. He succumbed to Parkinson's disease on May 21, 1999.

Next to that photo there is a smaller color snapshot of Jean and June, taken when they were in their late 80s.

In many ways, Jean shared a closer bond with her twin than her husband.

Though June lived more than 200 miles away in West Hartford, Conn., they talked by phone several times a week, and June wrote often. The twins — who, as it happened, married brothers — were honored guests at the 70th reunion of the Camptown High School Class of 1937.

Then, last year, June was diagnosed with cancer. She was in a lot of pain when Jean came to visit. The sisters shared a bed, and Jean rubbed her back. "I'm real glad you're here," June said.

On Oct. 3, June died. She was buried in her sister's backyard — but not for long.

"I think when you put them in the (ground), that's goodbye, goodbye," Stevens said. "In this way I could touch her and look at her and talk to her."

She kept her sister, who was dressed in her "best housecoat," on an old couch in a spare room off the bedroom. Jean sprayed her with expensive perfume that was June's favorite.

"I'd go in, and I'd talk, and I'd forget," Stevens said. "I put glasses on her. When I put the glasses on, it made all the difference in the world. I would fix her up. I'd fix her face up all the time."

She offered a similar rationale for keeping her husband on a couch in the detached garage. James, who had been laid to rest in a nearby cemetery, wore a dark suit, white shirt and blue knitted tie.

"I could see him, I could look at him, I could touch him. Now, some people have a terrible feeling, they say, 'Why do you want to look at a dead person? Oh my gracious,'" she said.

"Well, I felt differently about death."

Part of her worries that after death, there's ... nothing. "Is that the grand finale?" But then she gets up at night and gazes at the stars in the sky and the deer in the fields, and she thinks, "There must be somebody who created this. It didn't come up like mushrooms."

So she is ambivalent about God and the afterlife. "I don't always go to church, but I want to believe," Stevens said.

Dr. Helen Lavretsky, a psychiatry professor at UCLA who researches how the elderly view death and dying, said people who aren't particularly spiritual or religious often have a difficult time with death because they fear that death is truly the end.

For them, "death doesn't exist," she said. "They deny death."

Stevens, she said, "came up with a very extreme expression of it. She got her bodies back, and she felt fulfilled by having them at home. She's beating death by bringing them back."

There was another reason that Stevens wanted them above ground.

She is severely claustrophobic, and so was her sister; she was horrified that the bodies of her loved ones would spend eternity in a casket in the ground. "That's suffocation to me, even though you aren't breathing," she said.

So she said she had them dug up, both within days of burial.

She managed to escape detection for a long time. The neighbors who mowed her lawn and took her grocery shopping either didn't know or didn't tell. Otherwise forthcoming, Stevens is vague when asked about who exhumed the bodies and who knew of her odd living arrangement. She blames a relative of her late husband's for calling the authorities about the corpses.

"I think that is dirty, rotten," she said.

State police haven't said who retrieved the bodies but will soon present their findings to Barrett, the district attorney. A decision on charges is expected as early as Friday.

Authorities are looking into several possible violations, including misdemeanor abuse of a corpse, Barrett said.

Stevens has talked extensively with both the police and Bradford County Coroner Tom Carman, who calls it a "very, very bizarre case."

But the coroner has nothing but kind things to say about the woman at the center of it.

"I got quite an education, to say the least. She's 100 percent cooperative — and a pleasure to talk to," Carman said. "But as far as her psyche, I'll leave that to the experts."

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Sometimes God Uses Movies

I realize I begin many of my sentences with the words so or sometimes. Go with it. So, sometimes :) God will give you a desire years and years and years ago and you just think it is a thought you had that sounds kind of cool. Then you keep having the idea and maybe you take a few steps toward that direction, but never really commit or feel a burning desire to rush after it. Other times all these ideas and what not will suddenly become relentless. Do you think they were the same level of intensity, but we were too busy to notice them? I cannot say, but for years (my whole life really) I have wanted to play guitar. Actually, I feel my feelings could best be described in a monologue from the made-for-the-big-screen movie Forrest Gump. I will reinact it for you now where I will be playing the role of Jenny.

Who wanted to be Joan

Here goes:

I want to be famous. I want to be a singer like Joan Baez. I just want to be on the empty stage with my guitar, my voice-just me. And I want to reach people on a personal level. I want to be able to say things, just one-to-one.

The end.
The difference between this monologue and the lived out monologue of my life as we know it is I don't want to be famous. That ship sailed a long time ago. Of course I would love to be more like Joan Baez, because she has lived an amazing life. Mostly though, I want to play guitar. I like to be alone, singing, just my voice, and if God puts me in front of people, fine. I won't like it, but fine. I just really want to play guitar. So I said all of this during my prayer today. Know what he said? "um. you may need to pick your guitar up and play. at least try. I can't drive a parked car." Or something to that effect. Funny. Who knew God made mock so much? Going to play my guitar now.

Also, this quote is the best.
Lieutenant Daniel Taylor: Have you found Jesus yet, Gump?
Forrest Gump: I didn't know I was supposed to be looking for him, sir.
And for those of you who don't know, you ARE supposed to be looking for Jesus. I bet he is closer than you think.