Sunday, December 28, 2008

i should be packing.

i have been attempting the impossible these last two days. trying to pack up our entire house and yet make it look tidy and welcoming to guests who will be staying with us our last days in this beautiful home. i promise i am packing and not sitting on my computer blogging away. in a way, i need this to distract me from allowing myself to pull away from the emotional attachment i have to this place. as much as i have moved, you would think that i would know how to do this. however, this house broke my "non-commital" stride, and has been the longest relationship i have had with a home in over a decade.
we all have those things that are hard for us to pack away, even if it is for a few weeks. the sight of them makes us feel at home, or makes us think of someone, memories that we hold on to. if we put them in a box, we risk getting them smashed, broken, or maybe even forgotten. i realized that i have too many of those things in my little ol' room that might just have to stay in their special place til it is time to part from the shelter of these redwoods. the garland you wore on your head 20 years ago at your parent's wedding, the stuffed animal that you pretend you still don't sleep with in order that people don't make fun of you, the wine cork from that time you were with that boy who would later come to break your heart, your grandmother's bible that you gave her for her birthday is now back in your care, and then you get to the pictures....oh the pictures, i can't even go there ha.
so i guess, this is an ode to the place that once was a home for these love, i have a feeling this won't be the last. i mean really, two years is a long time in venessa years.

p.s. i am lame and don't own a picture of our casa, so thanks to dan's is our porch.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

let it snow.

it is funny how our priorities change as we grow older every christmas. i remember laying in bed anxiously awaiting the arrival of santa and actually thinking i could hear his reindeer land on our roof. the night seemed to drag on, and when the sun came up, i was pounding on my parent's door and already at it to see what was in store for me under the christmas tree. i remember marveling over the mystery that he could figure out when we were at my grandparents and how he would slide down that tiny chimney.
now my body grows tired and i sleep deep the night before christmas...there is only A parent, and she is the one pounding on my door trying to get me to open presents. there is no fireplace, no grandparent's house in the snow, and i tend to want to watch people open their gifts, rather than open my own.
at first, i get sad when i think of this change...when i think of all the changes that have brought on a different christmas. i thought of these changes on the drive home from denny's on christmas eve, and before i let myself let those thoughts lead to tears, i felt a sparkle. for the first time in over 10 years i spent christmas eve with my dad, it may have not been in the most classy of circumstances, and i may have been the initiator, but he still showed up at 10pm christmas eve and met me at denny's and i enjoyed every moment and awkward silence. earlier that night, i spent the evening with my aunt who is spending the third christmas without my uncle. though we have the confidence that he is in a better place, it gets hard to open your christmas presents by yourself in the morning, or wrap presents for a grandchild who resembles him in every way that he never got a chance to know. by the time i pulled up to my house and saw my mom's car in the driveway, i was glowing. every year she goes out of her way to make up for the years before, and makes a big feast and just spills her love on my brother and i. these changes have led to good things, my heart is overflowing with love for my mother, when i might have overlooked her before for an iphone, a fancy camera, or a cabbage patch doll under the tree. i soak in my times with my aunt, knowing that life is fragile, and in a blink of eye she could be gone. i treasure the minutes with my dad, whether we spend christmas eve in denny's or taco bell. i have come to learn that the presence of those i love is present enough in my life.
p.s. yup thats my grandpa, ernie rude.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

if you forget me

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine

(Pablo Neruda)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

it is finished.

"and when i am old, and my body has begun to fail me, my memories will be waiting for me. they will lift me and carry me over mountains and oceans. i will hold them and turn them and watch them catch the sunlight as they come alive once more in my imagination. i will be rich and i will be at peace."
-kent nerburn-

there is this picture i have that is so dear to my heart. it embodies my hope for my life and what i anticipate to come. it was and still is my most cherished afternoon, and i can still hear the giggles and the gasps as she jumped higher and higher every time. i have this picture framed in my room, it encourages me in those dark times. i have been wanting to do something with this image, paint it, sketch it...but seeing that i can't do any of those things i skipped over those plans. i just wanted it to have more meaning behind it, so i chose to make it out of ripped/broken scraps of paper. and piece together the image of ndamangululwa jumping off the chair. it was quite a messy project and took a decent amount of time to wash the glue and paper stuck to my hands and clothes. however, in the mess and in the broken pieces t made something beautiful and meaningful (at least to me). i am these ripped and broken pieces and yet i am becoming this work of art. i used some text from the book letters to my son by kent nerburn, he has this beautiful chapter on travel and the lessons we learn in giving ourself over to the unknown. i thought at first of using the pages from my journal and that was just a little to personal for me, so instead i tea stained the paper and made it match the pages of my journal and just collected whatever stood out to me the most and wrote it down. it is not as i intended, but for now, it hangs in our hallway and reminds me of that afternoon and the hope and freedom we have in christ.

Monday, October 27, 2008

part of the fabric.

"you will realize that the possibilities of this world are endless, and that beneath the differences of languages and culture we all share the dream of loving and being loved, of having a life with more joy than sorrow. i believe it is worth taking the risk. how else will you know the feeling of standing on something ancient, or hearing the silent roar of empty spaces? how else will you be able to look at the eyes of a man who has no education, never left his village, and does not speak your language, and know that the two of you have something in common? how else will you know that the whole world is precious and that every person and place has something unique to offer?"
-kent nerburn

Friday, October 10, 2008

for grace.

i have spent the last two nights laying awake reflecting on moments like these. i tried to bring them back by preparing my chakalaka mixture of soup and made the mistake of eating it alone. it needed something...maybe a handful of sand or mostly the companionship of three wonderful girls who are too far away. i am longing for someone to talk to, not in the form of an e-mail, letter, or phone-call. they are always on my thoughts, those quiet moments when you just zone off and people thing your spacing out...i am entering their world, longing to hear their hearts. i could spend endless hours sharing about them...and i hope to spend time with the very person who connected me to them in a week. it amazes me, the mysterious ways of our lord...i am so anxious, eager, overjoyed at this (hopeful) upcoming occasion. until then, i am going back to what is left of my moments with them....
so you have to tilt your head to watch....hahaha.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

su blackwell

i am a book nerd. so when my google reader introduced me to su blackwell, i wasn't the least surprised that i would fall in love with her work. i would give up a limb to own one of her pieces. just the other day, my dear friend meredith was discussing the art of making sculptures, and her current projects in the making. i became obsessed with the concept of making something so extraordinary out of practically anything. i look forward to seeing more of her works. here is her statement from her website (

Paper has been used for communication since its invention; either between humans or in an attempt to communicate with the spirit world. I employ this delicate, accessible medium and use irreversible, destructive processes to reflect on the precariousness of the world we inhabit and the fragility of our life, dreams and ambitions.

It is the delicacy, the slight feeling of claustrophobia, as if these characters, the landscape have been trapped inside the book all this time and are now suddenly released. A number of the compositions have an urgency about them, the choices made for the cut-out people from the illustrations seem to lean towards people on their way somewhere, about to discover something, or perhaps escaping from something. And the landscapes speak of a bleak mystery, a rising, an awareness of the air.

Friday, September 19, 2008

if this doesn't make you want to go to prague.

so after talking about the wonders of traveling and the desire to go to prague, my wonderful annie showed me this. not only do i love the song, but do you see that gorgeous dress with the ruffles? it is worth the cost of your ticket there. but aint it beautiful, and almost worth it a little. and it would go perfect with one of these new lovely creations from chelsea at her blog:

Sunday, September 14, 2008

and she keeps singing...

i have a current new love at the moment, its this wonderful little paperback called , "letters to my son." i do realize this particular book is addressed as advice to a young man, but it has these little gems that i can't get enough of. i really just wish that if i would've had a father growing up, these are things that i would have liked him to say to me...

"To be a real traveler you must be willing to give yourself over to you must believe totally in the lives of the people and the places where you find yourself, even if it causes you to lose faith in the life you left behind. you need to share with them, participate with them. sit at their tables, go to their streets. struggle with their language. tell them stories of your life and hear the stories of theirs. watch how they love each other, how they fight each other. see what they value and what they fear. feel the spaces they keep in their lives. become part of the fabric of their everyday lives and you will get a sense of what it means to live in their world. give yourself over to them-embrace them rather than judge them- and you will find that the beauty i their lives and their world will become part of yours. when you move on, you will have grown.
...Remember to be gentle with yourself and others. We are all children of chance, and none can say why some fields will blossom while others lay brown beneath the August sun. Care for those around you. Look past your differences. Their dreams are no less than yours, their choices in life no more easily made.
And give. Give in any way you can, of whatever you possess. To give is to love. To withhold is to wither. Care less for your harvest than for how it is shared, and your life will have meaning and your heart will have peace.”

i feel like such a selfish person these days. i am so demanding, and i always want more. and when i get what i want, i realize that i never wanted it in the first place. i feel like the lord is telling me over and over again, what are you doing for me? i feel so small and yet he used the ordinary to do extraordinary things. it was so easy being in a place where you had nothing but your heart to give. i had no desire for anything else but to love him and his children. today i want to protect my heart, i want to run away from anything that could potentially break me and hide. by doing that, i am not allowing the lord to fill me when i am broken...and those are the times i grow the most. i am in no way living the life he has called me to live, and yet i am going to try.

and this book. it will inspire you!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

back in california.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom i trust."
-Psalm 91:1-2

i got to sleep in my very own bed last night. an actual mattress and down comforter, and i could hear nothing but the world sleeping. i miss the sound of the crickets and the buzzing mosquitoes. i miss being cold and hearing the chickens fighting on the roof. but mostly, i miss hearing the words, "sleep well, butterfly," or the prayers of three dearly beloved children who love God so much. i miss that world, i miss the companionship. i already feel so lonely in a place where i am surrounded by people who love me so much. so much of my heart is there, it missed it's flight.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

full of hope

"Let us conquer the world with our love."
-Mother Teresa

it is hard to believe that we leave a week from today. sometimes i lay in bed, and it feels like i am not really here. what a blessing it has been to actually be walking on this soil, to feel the african sun on our skin, and to smell these peculiar smells. i can't thak you all enough for helping and nudging me along the way.
the baby haven was a bit more quite yesterday. the older children were at school, so that left us with festus, ahmedila, and baby grace. they were all napping when we got there, that was until festus saw us and refused to go back to sleep. he is still so weak and is always mumbling for water. he gets frightened so easily by loud noises and he has a hard time bringing the cup of water to his mouth. my heart aches for him, and his future. however, ahmedila was crazy today and would just burst out in happy shrieks. he was quite the handful, but i love seeing the joy in his little, chubby face.
after some chaos with our cameras, jessie and i decided it was best to maybe not bring them again today. the young girls got a little carried away with them and it distracted them from actually watching the children. these girls are so young and basically go to school and then live at the baby is not everyday that you see 10 to 13 year old girls carrying the responsibilities that they do everyday. they sleep there, and yet there is no bed in site. i feel bad for them and wish that i could give them more. we have one more day tomorrow and then we had back up north to see my girls.

Monday, August 4, 2008

a bit of a break.

we had a bit of relief when we arrived at the baby haven and the kids were less brutal. there were a couple of more children playing, some were neighbors that come visit, but one was dropped off by the police. they found him waundering the streets barefoot, and brought him to the baby haven in hopes that maybe his parents would call and they could bring him back home. this seems to happen a lot here, sometimes the parents know they are sick and their children can't be cared for, so they let them waunder off.

today we were able to learn a little more about the history of the baby haven, it is run by this fabulous woman named, Lulu. some of the kids were brought as babies and our little festus was brought with his brother, who died just this last year. when we arrived, we could immediately sense something was wrong with festus. he was very weak, had a hard time breathing, and couldn't even feed himself. jessie tried to egt him to finish his yogurt, but other kids came along and tried to eat it too. we just took turns in holding him and comforting one point some random drunk guy came in and asked jessie to take a picture and nearly sat on the little guy. we left heartbroken, and at the verge of tears. i think that kind of set the pace of the day, there were only a few attacks from the kids, some were sleeping, and some just wanted to be babied. it was much needed after a rough day before. i posted some pics, the one of festus and i is one of my new favorites, my wonderful jessie took it. she is so talented!

thank you again, for taking the time to check up on us and for your prayers and support. it gives us a new hope each day.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

the baby haven.

jessie and i paid a visit to the baby haven today. we were gretted at the gate by a chubby little girl named martha. she walked with a little confident strut and immediately put her arms up to be held. there were 7 beautiful children sitting outside in the shade with the biggest smiles, and right away they were kissing and hugging us.

there is a 5 year old who is so small, he can only walk if you hold his hands. his legs sort of just fold together when he lies down or sits, and he is just the most bashful angel. i find myself drawn to be close to him at all times. the other kids are more outgoing and demand to be carried on your back or to be held, and festus just sits there (since he can't really physically get around like the others) and stares at you lovingly. he is just happy to rest against your back or to recieve smile or kiss.

it was a bit difficult at times, due to their disease and the lack of attention they get from the outside world...the kids would punch us and kick us. it would actually hurt, and at one point, jessie and i had a pile of kids on us and one little boy named zolani, approached us with a shoe and a large plastic toy and attemted to throw it at our faces. it is so sad to see this and to feel the repercusions of their state of being. they will do anything to get your attention, and if that means by hurting you, they will do it. so we spent much time being beat up, getting bit, and comforting other children who were getting hurt too. you don't want to choose who to hold and who to baby, because you just want to love them all, so i find my heart torn between all of them.
this place of shelter is surely a comfort to them, and i am so grateful to the days we will spend in loving on the children....even if it requires us coming home with a black eye or a broken collar bone hahaha.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

last day up north.

i am back in windhoek for a couple of days. i picked up jesse from the airport and we enjoyed the namibiam culture in the city. it is so different from the north...and i miss being in ondangwa. we were able to pay a visit to the baby haven after some searching, and the blessing of a little child that led the way. we made it to the area and once we were there we had no clue where to go, so we stopped at a school to ask if they knew where it was. we recieved no input from the teachers and as we were leaving a little girl followed us to the taxi and described where it was....and we found the blue little house and were able to come in contact with the supervisors and we will return there today and help out.

the kids were small, but full of so much joy and curiousity. we almost left with one of them, he kept copying everything jesse would say. we will plan on staying here the rest of the week and volunteering there, and then return to the north and see the family up north again.

thank you for your prayers....our internet is slow at uploading sorry for the delay. miss you all dearly.

these pictures were taken my last day there, Ndamungululwa loved playing with my hair and wanted to make look "very nice, " as she would say in her accent. after a good hour this was her result. i love this little girl, and i want to bring her home with me hahaha.

Friday, August 1, 2008


"In the face of the oppressed I recognize my own face, and in the hands of the oppressor I recognize my own hands. Their flesh is my flesh, their blood is my blood, their pain is my pain, their smile is my smile. " -Henry Nouwen

i arrived in ondangwa on friday. it was a 9 hour bus ride, but this was not your ordinary bus. there are things you see on this bus that you don't see every day. i saw extraordinary things and throughout the ride there, we would make the most random stops. at times, i was scared to get off the bus for a bathroom break, because i was scared that when i got back the bus would be gone. however, i made it to ondangwa and was greeted by one of the most wonderful person i will ever meet, my namibian sister maggie. when we arrived to her place, her younger sister josephine and her niece Ndamangululwa Konghenda Yomwa (her name means God set me Free) were waitng outside for us. They are so beautiful and Ndamangululwa has so much joy and is always singing and dancing. There is no electricity here so the first night we just ate and cooked in the dark. i really couldn't see what we were eating but it involved us eating with our hands and it had the consistancy of play-dough.

this world is unlike any world i have ever been in, and i am learning so much from them. they have hardly anything and yet everything they have they offer to me. actyally, take back that statement, they have EVERYTHING i want, and i hope to learn everything. they are so rich in spirit and are so young and yet so alive in who they are. i am trying to live as they live, an not take shortcuts with the things that i have. i had a snack bag of wheat thins that i have been craving since my time here, but i would rather eat what they eat...and then leave the food for them when i leave. i feel so helpless at times, not knowing how to cook or wash my own clothes...i haven't bathed in a week because i don't know how to keep the neighborhood children from following me when i try to hide with my bowl of water and bathe. or maybe its just that i love being with them all, that i always want to be in their company.i came in hope, that i might encourge them, and yet i am the one who leaves with so much faith and love. it is scary at times being here and having people follow you or try to grab you becausee you look different and yet my fear is diminishing because the love i get from my namibian sisters. tomorrow my dear jesse arrives and i am so happy to be able to have a chance to share this love with another person. i am a bit homesick, and i miss my family and friends and yet i know that i have so much more to learn and love here. thank you so much for your prayers. i will update more tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

london baby.

as you can see, it is a breathtaking sight. my layover didn't give me enough time to get to the tube and go into i am bored out of my mind. i had a bit of trouble at the security and arrivals checkpoint. so half of my belongings are now in a big trash can. there have been quite a few of security alerts due to people just not wanting to be nice to the staff and people not wanting to have their bags searched. i have made an extra effort to smile at every airport staff and apologize (since i was standing in the middle of one of the arrests). london is exciting. 
i leave for south africa in a couple of hours. please be praying!

Monday, July 21, 2008

leaving fpr africa.

i am leaving in a couple of hours. please pray for me. i promise to update and post pictures while i am there. thank you all.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

"it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. it is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving." ~mother teresa

only 3 weeks til my departure. i am currently in the process of taking my typhoid vaccination. i am going about the oral way, because the doctor said it would be cheaper...and uhhh maybe the clinic ran out hahaha. due to some of the side effects of the malaria pills, i was strongly recommended to get another prescription to treat one of the side effects. that prescription alone was over $60.00 for just a week's work. on top of that, add in my other two prescriptions and it summed up at $165.00. i felt so annoyed that all the extra hours i had put into work had to go towards keeping myself healthy...rather than going towards helping others there. i should actually be thankful that we have medicine to treat us. it was an eye-opener and i am so grateful to the aid of the clinic. then this blessing happened: as the pharmacist was ringing me up, she asked what i was doing in of course i told her. she walked away for a minute and when she returned, she started pushing all of these buttons on the register and the next thing you know my total was $64.37. i kept asking if it was okay for her to do that and she kept insisting and i walked away from the pharmacy with goosebumps. i have received countless confirmations over these past few weeks, and my heart is just overflowing with thankfulness.

i have also been busy working on some creations and getting my list of things to get done before my departure. i am adding some more necklaces to my etsy at this a re a couple of pictures to give you a peek.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

i bought my ticket....

"we ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. but the ocean would be less because of that missing drop."
-Mother Teresa

just a little bit more to raise and i am set to go. i have so much more to update about, i am just waiting on some doors that are partly ajar. 

here is the new piece i created tonight. hope you enjoy!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hope is the thing with feathers

all inspiration for this hopeful piece came from this beautiful quote:
"hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul. and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all."
-emily dickinson
my day was surely rooted in this quote. i was overflowing with a hopeful joy of my upcoming journey to africa. i buy my ticket next hope is that i have the full amount i need, otherwise i will be using some of my rent and food money. haha. i feel hopeful that i will be provided for, and i feel as though all of my anxiety has been lifted. i feel so blessed by the people who have come along side of me and encouraged me and helped me. thank you.

this piece was just added to my etsy shop if you would like to take a look. all proceeds are going to help me get my ticket to africa.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hope for Peace in Africa

welcome to my very own blog! gosh, i kind of developed a wee bit of a case of stage-fright with what to for starters i am going to introduce these new tank tops. i have very much to say about these cute little things (well, i think they are cute!). i have this amazing oppurtunity to join my wonderful friend gracie in namibia and spend a month there and help her care for some beautiful orphans. my heart has been longing to go there and do something , so after a great deal of praying, i decided that i don't want to go on some vacation to italy or prague (although south americas sounded so wonderful to me!!). i would much rather spend my money and do something i love much more! so by faith, at this time next week, i am buying a ticket to windhoek, africa and meeting gracie and doing what i feel the lord has been calling me to do for a very long time. anyone want to join me?? the only minor detail to get me there is the lack of funds. rather than writing support letters, i am TRYING to be artistic and create things that i enjoy, in hopes that other people would enjoy them too. you can find all of these items at my etsy store:

if you would love to hear more about what i am doing there, please keep checking up on my blog for updates. i highly recommend that you check out gracie's page and BE INSPIRED at:

one more thing, i must give recognition to the ever-so-talented penelopea girls, whom i love dearly. thanks to ali, i have a wondeful banner here and at my little hopeful store. there link is:
sidenote: the models don't come with the shirts.