Sunday, July 24, 2016

We are alive. :)

Sorry I've been so silent.

I've received plenty of messages of concern and want you all to know...we are indeed alive.

Two weeks ago, our mountain caught on fire and that provided some real excitement for some special boys :) While we didn't have huge concern that our home was at risk, this was a massive wildfire and we were evacuated and were told our home was "indefensible" by the firemen. So...yes. It was a real concern.

We were back in the house that night and continued to watch the fire burn out our window (a very safe distance from us at that point).  We heard that some boys caused the fire and were fined a HUGE fine.  Yikes!!

So we went from this:



To this:



But our house survived.  And yes...with the tremendous amount of hard things we've been going through...losing our house on top of it would have been a pretty big deal.  Thankful.

Someone just blessed our socks off, out of the blue, offering us a condo on the beach in Florida for a MONTH totally free!! So, the Walker crew will be driving to Florida in September (yes well over 40 hours each way) and taking the entire month of September (including driving time) to go on this amazing adventure!  So thankful for the freedom our life gives us, both of us working from home that allows us to pick up and leave for a month.
We are counting down the days and cannot wait.  Nazara cannot believe she can actually meet Minnie Mouse and Izrael is so excited to see a princess castle!  Days of beach time and really...? Healing.  There are no words for this gift.  We are so very grateful.  As many of you know, the ocean is healing for me.

We've never needed it more.

Thank you for praying for us. And please...continue.  God has shown up in ways that has left our mouths open.  This has been a very, very dark journey but someone made us promise we would look for the gifts along the way.  And oh...the gifts.

So many gifts.

Including this amazing Florida adventure.

And friends that have rallied around us.  And each of you. Who have prayed for us when you didn't even know why.  From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!

Someday, I'll share our story.

I will.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Christ Alone.

I have loved this song. I have always said to Dean ... this song just hits me right...there.

But loving a song and then being right there...right in the thick of the storm...and hearing the song...woah.

That's a whole new level.

This morning is the first time I have listened to it ... here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GC1bEpSf5ek

Thank you for praying for us. Thank you.

Through the storm...You are Lord.  Lord of all.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How...? Where...?

It's a very real question.  Where does your help come from? When you are in over your head...cannot breathe...simply cannot do THIS.  Then what...? What next?

I think I've been there until now.  Now I realize I haven't been in that position...until now.  Now I know.  I know what it's like to be in physical pain from emotional heartbreak.  Now I know what it is to cry out to Heaven begging to hear a reply.  To be so tired of fighting ... yes, fighting, to find strength for the next breath.

I know.

More than I ever wished to know.

And then this morning I read this.



It's like air being forced into my lungs.  This is where my help comes from.  This.

Someday you will have many questions how we survived. And this is the answer. Right here.

Thank you for praying for us friends.




Sunday, May 29, 2016

Time to fly.

This has been on my heart for months now.  Time to fly.

In fact, I bought a custom made bracelet with one of my favorite quotes on it...ending with "but what if I fall? Oh but my darling...what if you fly?"



I've learned in my life that each lesson I'm learning...someone else is often learning. Though the circumstance may be very very different...we are all learning from each other.

We made a sudden, impromptu decision to go to the Oregon coast for a few days.  For those that have followed our journey, you know this is a very emotional place for me. I can't quite put my finger on it...but there's something special there.

The roar, majesty, vigor of the ocean in THAT spot trumps all others for me.  It's just...loud. And powerful.  And when you have hard things in your life...it's louder than all of those things.  All of them. And somehow in it's power...it brings peace.

We were walking along the beach on day one and Izrael Promise said "mommy...? Can I go play with the birds?" not giving it a second thought, I said "yes go ahead!" fully assuming she was going to run to where they were and they would all fly away. And ... that that would be her intent.

What I saw however...left me spell bound.

She didn't chase them away.  She ran to them...and began to "fly".


















To say this was emotional for me...was an understatement.



As we were leaving the beach, a lady approached Izrael and I with a pink kite. She said someone gave it to them and they wanted to give it to us.  What a perfect way to end that day.  Yes. The gift of a kite was something much deeper than it appeared.





It's time to fly.

For me. 

Izrael Promise.

And you.


Monday, May 23, 2016

This.

This says it all perfectly.

Every word.


"Tell Your Heart To Beat Again"

You're shattered
Like you've never been before
The life you knew
In a thousand pieces on the floor
And words fall short in times like these
When this world drives you to your knees
You think you're never gonna get back
To the you that used to be

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday's a closing door
You don't live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been
And tell your heart to beat again

Beginning
Just let that word wash over you
It's alright now
Love's healing hands have pulled you through
So get back up, take step one
Leave the darkness, feel the sun
Cause your story's far from over
And your journey's just begun

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday's a closing door
You don't live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been
And tell your heart to beat again

Let every heartbreak
And every scar
Be a picture that reminds you
Who has carried you this far
'Cause love sees farther than you ever could
In this moment heaven's working
Everything for your good

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday's a closing door
You don't live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been
And tell your heart to beat again
Your heart to beat again
Beat again

Oh, so tell your heart to beat again

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The gifts.

Last week, someone that I don't even know, spoke wisdom into my life.

She said "Janice...promise me something. Promise me you will look for the gifts along this journey.  There are so many gifts...and if you don't look for them, you will miss them."

That random thought from a near-stranger shifted my focus every single day that followed.

Every single hard, gut-wrenching day.

Gifts.

You see what you look for. There is no question.

We have been looking for gifts and we have found them. Every single day. In often...the most unlikely of places.

It's been so wonderful for us to even tell the people who were the gift to our hearts that day.

I don't know what you are going through. And I know...you don't know what we are going through.  But someday when you find out...you will wonder how we breathed our way through it. I promise.  Hard up until now... has been merely 'not great' in comparison.

I am here to tell you...as a living survivor...that there are gifts along the way.  Gifts that if you don't look for them ... you will miss them.  This has made us intentional. Focused on what matters.  Searching for joy.  Searching for gifts.

And finding them.

Beautiful...heart felt gifts. That, yes, I can truly say....we would have never ever experienced if it weren't for this dark path we are on.

I have woken in the middle of the night with one line from one of my favorite songs in my head.  So loud I have wished I could shut it off. Yet...grateful that I couldn't. Because it needed to be that loud.

From Diamonds by Hawk Nelson....that one line "it's here in the ashes....I'm finding treasure..."

I can say with every fiber of my being...it's true.

It's so true.

Here in the broken ruins of this mess .... there is treasure. And it's so beautiful.

I am choosing to share now...in a vague way...yes, I know.  It is vague but someday you will see the rest of the story.  I'm sharing it while I'm in it...because I'm not the only one.  You are in the hard too. I know...because I have received so many emails and private messages thanking me for encouraging you in your hard. That's the magic.  In the depths of despair...we can still offer hope to others.

Please...promise me something.  Just one thing.

Look for the gifts. Because there are so many gifts along this journey you are on. And if you don't look for them...you will miss them.  There is treasure in these broken ruins.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The hard.

As many of you know, one of the mantras in our family is "I can do hard things."

We all have our hard.  Your situation is your situation and when you are in the thick of it...it's as hard as you can handle and you find yourself deep breathing through it.

Have you ever noticed that it's all about perspective?  That moment when the 'real hard' hits and you suddenly realize up until this point, all the 'hard' was a cake walk in comparison...?

Ever been there?

That's where we are right now.

Hard? We haven't seen hard before now.  Well, yes...we have. But now that we are in this hard...no...we haven't.

Some wisdom from the hardest of hard...

~everything you are sure you could never survive...? You can.  When surviving is really your only choice.  You can.

~your heart will keep beating even when you are convinced it cannot possibly.

~when you are at your weakest...and have no strength left to rely on...you can tangibly feel the presence of God Himself.

~you can cry all night long and get up and be productive the next day.

~you are a fighter.  You are.  Like you've never known someone to be.

~in the hardest of hard...you will see you are never alone. Millions have walked this path before you. Tragically.  And suddenly you become like family. You have a bond that forever connects you to those who survived a similar hard.

~when people rally to pray for you, something magical happens.  You suddenly seem stronger. More capable to carry on.  Almost like Someone steps in and holds you.

~if you listen closely, you will hear messages of hope. From the most unlikely sources.  Sometimes giving you just enough to keep you breathing.

~you will be ok.

~He really does work ALL things for good to them that love Him. All things. Even the horribly ugly, painful, impossibly hard things.  All things.

~trust that still small voice. Just do.

Don't worry about us. Please don't.  We are ok. Pray for us...absolutely. But don't worry.  God is always good and He has never ever abandoned us.