Traveling Farther Along The Way

Bizarre, wild, unbelievable;
I’m back in Grand Rapids.

I had my interview with The Heart of the City this morning,
I felt comfortable and confident.
Truly, honestly, undoubtedly;
God is working.

The same computer system that this pharmacy uses, is the same one that I currently use at my job.
{(and it’s not that common)}
I have many qualities that would fit this pharmacy and their ministry.
I feel great with this pharmacist, he seems like a really neat guy with goals that are exceptional.
But, also, the lining up of living arrangements seems to be improving or at least changing in an unexpected direction.

The coolest thing about this is that whatever I have learned from Panama, Alaska, summer trips, high school, home, trips, and various experiences, will play into this job. 
Amazing how our “Berry Blend” of exposures and situations in the life past helps others and ourselves in the future.


A hiker was on a trail, carrying two packs-one which was empty, the other full of an extra pair of boots and clothes, a towel, water bottle, and sleeper roll.
In exhaustion, she stopped at a clearing to rest, after a tense and horrendous trial.

While she was sleeping, a young man, with a jaw-wrenching cut on his arm bitterly sat down on the opposite side of the clearing.
When the woman awoke, she felt exhilarated.
Seeing the man she walked over with her packs.
He ignored the coming footsteps and clenched his mouth tightly in pain.
“Hello, my name is Pim,” she introduced.
Avoiding her, he complained about the hike and how leaving his comfort zone was the worst thing he could’ve done.
Pim chimed in, “I know its hard, I just went through thorns and trenches, crevices and wall-climbing, roots and snakes. I can’t stop now though, I’ve already started and can’t go back, I have to make it to the bridge, then I can cross and go over to Paradise.”
“But its the hike gets harder and harder as you continue on the path”
She nodded and simultaneously gasped as she noticed his arm, “You’re hurt!!!”
Grabbing her pack she pulled out a first aid kit and began to clean the wound.
“Why are you helping me? Go away.”
“I’m here to be your sister, I’m all you have right now.”
In bitterness and ignorance of her he ranted, “I don’t understand why they don’t have guides on these trails, so that if you get hurt, you can be taken care of properly. I don’t have anybody, what if I die because of this? I can’t go through that again, and if the Way gets harder and harder, what chance do I have?”
attaching the last piece of tape, Pim asked, “Does that feel better?”
“Yes, it hurt like a drop of Hell to get cleaned though.”
She took the towel from her bag and set it down with the water bottle. She unlaced his shoes and took off his worn, hole-filled socks.
“Stop it! I don’t need you! I can do this myself.”
“Let me help you,” she said sweetly, while pouring some water on the towel and wiping the dust from his bloody blistered feet.
He tried to shrug away, but he hurt so badly and the water was so refreshing.
He kept muttering and grumbling about how hard the Way to the clearing was as Pim continued to put on her extra pair of socks and boots on his feet.
She wrapped her head scarf around his neck to use as a sling for his hurt arm.
“Why do you have all this stuff?”
“For you.”
“Well, you obviously don’t know me and are most definitely not my sister.”
“You can’t un-label me something that I already have labeled myself. No matter what you call it, the point is I’m your sister and I can do nothing but be that. Whether I am a good one or not, that can differ.”
He thought and hugged his stomach.
“OH! You must be starved…” she pulled out her only protein bar for the day and unwrapped it for him.
“I don’t want your food,” he retorted bitterly.
“Leave your pride in the dust down the Way you’ve already traveled. You are pale and need nutrition. If you can make it down that way, there’s a church that will tend to your needs. But, first you must eat to regain your strength.”
He grabbed the bar and wolfed it down.
Shoving the extra pair of clothes and sleeping pack in with the water bottle, she attached the other hiking pack onto his back as he stood up.
“I still don’t understand, why did you do this for me? Why do you have this stuff with you? Who are you?”
Pim smiled and put her hand on his unhurt shoulder, “I am your sister, climbing the same mountain you are, just on a different path. I have extras because my Guide provided me with them, telling me to share them with you. Even though hiking the Way is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, I feel fulfilled when I make it over a mountain like that one, even if I know another is coming. I can take all that I’ve learned from Mount Lugang and apply it to Mount Pagpapayo. Its the continuous cycle of learning and improving. Most importantly, walking the Way goes hand in hand with listening and having connection; knowing the Guide.”


Burning Affliction

….Hold me, Lord….

“When I’m losing,
When I’m broken
When I’m sinking like a stone
And it feels like I’m alone
I will worship You

When I’m so scared,
Life is unfair
When I’m tired and lose my way,
When I’m feeling so ashamed
I will worship You

You are the anchor to my soul,
Draw me to You and don’t let go
Only Your love can make me whole
Jesus, I worship You

When I’m dancing,
When I’m hopeful
When I’m feeling mercy’s hand
And I’m living life again
I will worship You

When chains are broken,
When healing is coming
When Your forgiveness floods my heart,
This is my brand new start
I will worship You

You are the anchor to my soul,
Draw me to You and don’t let go
Only Your love can make me whole
Jesus, I worship You

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, our God reigns

I hate feeling down-in-the-dumps.
Everybody knows when I am, cause it’s so opposite of normality.

No matter what, I can’t hide my true self,
even when I feel its best for those around me,
I’m too translucent.
These are Translucent Times;
I’m hurting
and it’s making me want to
from everything,
just leave it all,
and go.

in spite of it all,
I will worship Him.

Tradition Transition

While in Panama my grandparents sold their farm and moved from my beloved Fosston to Moorhead. Adjusting to the thought of this loss was hard on many.
Tons of thoughts came to my head  of how life would change and how it was unfair how I was unable to say goodbye to my Fosston farm Christmas’.
Arriving at my grandparent’s new house, I was hardened inside but was, as ever, overjoyed to hug my dad’s parents. Entering this house that looked just like the other twenty or os down the road with the same yellow exterior was rough. I hugged my grandpa hello and with that came streams of memories:
I smelled the familiar scent of his pipe smoke and was reminded of the days of observing every movement he would make in his cushioned chair in their old farm-house. The way he would fall asleep to a war movie with the surround sound on during the loudest battle scene. The times when I would hear deep theological discussions between him, my dad, and uncle. Grandpa would always shake his head, lean forward, remove his pipe from his mouth and say, ‘well,’ and continue with a most intriguing story supporting his point. If one of them made a great point he would let out a ‘hmm’ and chew his tongue on the left side of his mouth (a sign he was thinking hard-an attribute I inherited).
Another thing I have memorized my grandpa doing is when he listens to his classical music collection (a love of mine) he sits in his chair, picking at the top of his head, zoned out in deep thought.
Along with these and many other odd habits and wonderful characteristics make up some of the reasons and memories that I love about my grandpa.
When I opened my eyes to let go of my grandpa’s greeting hug, I saw the stained glass window from the farm, it had been framed and placed in a window that separated two rooms. After stepping out of the hug I only felt the unusual feeling of crying, which never went away throughout my stay-but for many reasons.
Exploring their house I discovered it to be spacious, which meant room to place their belongings that once warmed the farm. The patriotic framed picture, the shelves full of books, the piano, all familiar table-cloth, Christmas garland, and all the hundreds of little things that I had laid eyes on many times throughout my life. “These treasures don’t belong here,” I thought, “my grandparents shouldn’t be here.”
Continuing on with the next couple hours before my cousin, uncle, and aunt arrived, I assisted my grandma with preparations for the evening meal. I set the table with the entirely familiar plates, silverware, and glasses. As my grandpa’s soothing voice sent a prayer up heavenward, while sitting with family around the table, I hoped in silliness that I would open my eyes to the farm…instead the prayer ended and I ‘amened’ into reality; a strange new land.
While eating I enjoyed conversation with laughter and updates on life, I suddenly realized, when my heart was re-softened, that it had absolutely nothing to do with the building, it had to do with my heart.
I could make a good time or a bad time, my happiness was my choice. Where was my joy?
For the last two hours I was wallowing in my depression, blinded by it,unable to see how much love our family can bring to any place.
After supper we gathered around my grandma, while she played the piano. Our nine person choir sang the many traditional Christmas cards with joy and love. I laughed and smiled, glad that God opened my eyes.
In the beginning of the third verse of “Rockin’ ’round the Christmas Tree’ I took ahold of my grandpa’s hand and started dancing with him. Thankfully my mom captured it on video so I can treasure it forever.
Christmas came the following day and I was hoping to awake to the signature scent of grandma’s pancakes (something that never had changed)…but instead I took a shower first thing and popped a piece of her homemade french bread into the toaster, without the slightest hint of a pancake. “Life changes” my mom had given me a book to read, ironically before leaving for Minnesota, that stated this.
Who Moved My Cheese is the title of the book.
Adjusting to one of the most obvious facts of life, that it comes with change, is my 2010 lesson.
Life is busy, hard, and filled with change, and within each day our attitudes affects the way we react to these circumstances. I believe, by personal experience that we, as humans, will always go through spirals: roller coasters of spiritual and emotional ups and downs. Tip is: make sure you AND those around you don’t go too far down.
Sometimes, I feel hypocritical because I write on a topic and go through a situation where it takes me a bit to eat my own words.
I do not blame you if you feel as though my blog needs no more visits, but know this: I will ALWAYS welcome your opinion and advice.
Making new memories in this house is my obligation this visit. I am soaking in the advice and opinions here as well.
I realized how much, through stories, this move affected my grandparents. It was one of the hardest things they have ever done and had apparently gone through much heartache. They have such a positive attitude about it and are focused on the future, leaving behind the hardships and bad memories.
We will create new traditions, memoirs, and reflections.
Already, during Christmas lunch have the Wester’s hearts warmed a house.
My grandparents have already made this change, this milestone, this transition, a memory and learning experience.
This house is now a home.