Jack and Sarah went up a hill
To pick a bucket of berries
Sarah fell over
Brother Jack helped her up
Together they filled their buckets
And blueberries came trickling over
Their Mom and their Dad
Were so very glad
They ate their berries in winter
Where the white fern grew.
One of my favorite things to gather in the spring are fiddleheads. Those are the unfurled ferns of the forest. It is important to blanch the fiddleheads before consumption because a natural toxin is removed through this process. The taste is reminiscent of asparagus and the nutrient value is very good. Bears will overindulge sometimes on this raw green and in turn die. When the fiddlehead unfurls it becomes a fern free to dance and sway in the wind with no worries of being plucked because the fern itself is inedible. I love to sauté the fiddleheads after being blanched. I use butter and garlic salt. I started pickling some and I found my new favorite way to store them for winter. This past fall Duke and I found this white fern. I was in astonishment. It’s season was over and winter was around the corner so I plucked it and kept it until it faded into brown. This was the only white fern I have ever seen. I was amazed and always will be thankful to God for all of His creations.
The statistics aren’t favorable when we look at sheer numbers. 9 out of 10 people in this world do not know Jesus. All the more opportunity to continue that what others before us were so passionate about and that is being an example of love, extending that love to everyone and allowing those people to choose for themselves to make Jesus a part of their heart. It is all out of love and not fear where He truly shines. I met a young man from down south from the Georgia straight area of America back when I was a host for my ex husbands company. I would put together BBQs and we would invite his friends over. We were out back on the small deck grilling and Jesus became a part of the conversation. One of the young men was an atheist, the gentleman from down south was a Christian and I was an Eskimo with a different view of God and Jesus. I simply told them that the way I see it is so very simple. God sent Jesus to be a gift (sacrifice) to all man kind and we are forgiven of past, present and future sins. Our main goal is to be love. When Jesus is welcomed into the heart of a man, it’s Jesus who gets a perspective of this world through your heart because He became a part of it. The southern drawl on this lad was super cool to me. He looked at me and smiled and exclaimed “not once have I ever had a conversation about Jesus that didn’t end in a fist fight until now.” I was taken back not understanding what he meant. Apparently religion, which is not the same as being saved, is preached down south. To the point where people are fighting to be correct about Jesus who is nothing but love. It didn’t make sense to me. The rest of the BBQ went great. Bellies were made full right along with the heart and who can be happier than to feel a good love in both the body and the soul. I love to meet new people because when I hear stories from others it only broadens my horizons so that we can make way for a new Verizon. The world is being consumed by darkness but it is going to stop. When the light that we have in our hearts shines in unison it is brighter than the morning star. Only because it is the morning star emplified. Hope is not lost, it never will be. Love and be beloved.
I grew up in an isolated village in “bush” Alaska called Unalakleet. To lead a healthy life in High School I participated in Volleyball, Cross-country running and Basketball. Every day, except on Sundays, the school opens the gym for recreation. I loved being active. A lot of girls on the basketball team were mean to me but that did not stop me from trying my hardest. The ones who thought they were better than everyone did not try to make others better instead they made fun of girls like me. I gave up basketball in middle school because of misconduct so I wasn’t as talented as the girls who spent a lot of time in the gym. My determination to be the best I can be led me to “good sportsmanship” awards at the state basketball tournaments. When the older girls that were mean to me graduated I blossomed in basketball. Not so much my offensive skills but my defense skills were unmatched. I was a fierce defender and always encouraged girls who others were not nice to, to keep at it. My coach was also my teacher, youth pastor and later in life my College Professor. He made up a play called “Red.” This play was made specifically for me. It was only used as a last resort if we were loosing by a few points in the end of a game. My four team mates positioned themselves in each area of the corner of the key and guarded that area. My job was to be on the ball, no matter who had the ball, I followed the ball and did what I was best at, defense. Our coach always told us offense wins games and defense wins championships. We didn’t win a State Championship but every year we made it to the state level. It was a bigger court and we had to work very hard as a team. I always kept in my heart that there is no I in team. Perception of the game instills ethics in life subconsciously, as a coach you are tasked 1. Don’t take the love out of the game it is not about winning it is about having fun and competing in a healthy manner 2. don’t ever tell a team they are better than the next because when a game is started it’s the same playing field 3. Build a team up in unison and they will respect and love each other, not one player is better than the other but there are people with natural born talent, use it.
We learn a lot from the people we grow up with or at least I take the best of each person I know and apply that to my life. I like to see the very best in people and when you stop looking for faults in people, your mind heals and your heart grows. Be nice to children and always encourage them. Life is not a sport it is a gift and we all should treat it as such. Bless and be blessed.
Last month, after I went to Soldotna to see my sister, I was praying on my way home for God to open doors. I wasn’t specific I meant doors of opportunity. Anyway, I was tasked to go pray at the Alaska Native Medical Center. I walked through the halls of the hospital on a Sunday and there was a mini church service in a meeting room by the Quyana Care wing, lovely singing. I paused for a moment to listen and my heart was happy. I brought with me my Bible, my sewing tin and a stuffed ducky from my sister that was meant for Duke, but she also gave him a lion and he would be happy with that. Duke was at the cabin with his dad. I knew I had to go up to the second floor “meditation” room I called it the prayer room. I walked up and tried to open the door. My heart sank, it was locked. I was infuriated because who would lock his special place? Where mother’s pleaded to God for their children, father’s prayed for their mother’s and where I begged God to save my brother Axel the first time he tried to commit suicide. His brain stem was decaying after he hung himself in Unalakleet. My cousin Ginger brought us the news, when she did I asked her “Doesn’t God make miracles happen?” And she looked me in the eyes and told me yes and I believed her. I went to this same prayer room that was now locked and pleaded to God for my brothers life. He pulled through miraculously. He commited suicide three months later. My world shattered and Jesus is still piecing it together. So you see, even to me, this prayer room meant a lot to me. So I walked up to the desk on the second floor, I asked the lady nicely to have security come and open the door to the meditation room. Then, THEN I asked her in a stern voice of authority “who locked this room and why?” She didn’t have the answers to my questions, but she said she would ask her supervisor. I went back to the common area where there was a display case with hand made grass baskets. I love to look at all the intricate handiwork at the Native Hospital. I am in awe every time and the two that I was drawn to were made by women from Hooper Bay. I have been there before and will return one day. The security guard came and I heard him talking with the lady at the desk. He opened the door and I politely thanked him. I told him that this door shouldn’t be locked, because most people won’t bother to ask for it to be opened. I went in and read my Bible and sang songs on my heart. Then I prayed to God at the alter and Thanked Him and loved Him. I let go of the hurt and the pain from my brothers death. And I sang for Him to create in me a clean heart and I pray that every day. Doors were opened.
I took my grocery bag of my sewing tin and the stuffed ducky and held my Bible close to my chest and proceeded to the main lobby of the hospital on the first floor. This lobby is circle with seating in the area in the shape of a circle where our people can drum and dance our native way. I had to go sit and listen. There was a elder couple sitting on one bench and that is where I sat. I started sewing my sealskin mitten ornament. Wow how I enjoyed each song and dance. There were two boys to the left of me, one playing on the floor by himself and a younger son with his dad who was drumming sitting on one of the inner benches. The women dancing made me smile, they were beautiful and dancing their heart out. My foot tapped along with the drum and I’m sure my head was bobbing while I was sewing. This group was from Kotlik area and they made my heart overflow with joy. I have relatives all over Alaska and no matter how distant, I will love them just the same. A man tapped me on my shoulder and asked what I was working on. He asked where I was from and I told him Unalakleet. He knew one of my Aunts who passed away from cancer. He had lost his wife six years prior. I listened to his story of hurt and he said “sometimes around the holidays it’s hard because we miss those who are gone, sometimes it’s hard to let go” and I told him “no, it is easy. You just have to remember that they are in a better place and they no longer live in pain and suffering.” He smiled at me and I smiled back. He wanted to say goodbye to my aunt but her daughter didn’t allow it. He loved her and just wanted to say goodbye. I told him to stay strong.
After we were done talking I had to go sit by the boy playing by himself on the floor. I asked him what he was doing. He had an awesome set of magnetic toys in the shape of squares and triangles. I was so fascinated and he wanted to show me something cool. He laid out a pattern and slowly and ever so gently the magnets linked together to form a sphere. I was in awe and thought it was an awesome toy. I loved magnets as a kid, but we didn’t have anything this cool. The younger boy by his dad was watching us. He didn’t have a toy and I asked him what his name was. Quinton. I was heading back to the cabin soon I told them both. The older boy looked sad I was going but I told him not to be sad and that it would soon be Christmas and he smiled. I explained that I had a son waiting for me at home. I gathered my sewing tin and Bible and gave the yellow stuffed Ducky to Quinton and wished them both an early Merry Christmas. My heart was overfilled with joy. Simple acts of kindness, making our future leaders smile.
Be a magnet by following your heart. It is made beautiful fully when you accept Jesus into your heart. Without Him in your heart there is pain and suffering, or if you have Him in your heart and are running in shame turn around and embrace Him. There is no need to run in shame, He washes the shame away. Your story has a purpose. You can change the world. Jesus wants YOU! Love and be beloved.
In the dead of winter while most are not looking, not paying attention, new life is forming and patiently waiting for spring to arrive. The buds of new leaves form without recognition and secretly await the new season, only to give life for a season and then lay waste to the ground. It is on the ground then that the leaves continue in lifeless work giving nutrients to the earth for the next season. Each tree is the tree of life with each branch rising to it’s own accord but a live branch always reaches for the heavens using the rays of the sun to endure. The roots of a forest entangle with each other, one uprooted tree will cause many to uproot in time, weakening the root of those around it. Each leaf has a purpose for its season to give the tree the ills of the air to be purified and in exchange given the breath of life. Even in death the tree served its purpose in the form of paper, cabinetry or a source of heat. It takes lifetimes for trees to form to become effective purifiers of the air. There is the seed bearing leaf that was a gift to man to be used as textile, fuel and a means to pull toxins from the ground. The best designs are found in nature and cannot be replicated by man. Why run to a lab only to recreate that what is already perfectly created? Causing pollutants and in turn killing the earth a slow intended death. As long as the earth endures we will endure in God’s good graces. It is up to each individual to do their part by being informed consumers. Your vote is what you choose to eat. Pesticides are the cause of most ailments today we do not have the time to prove this we need to act now. Vote with your hard earned income on what is good. Organic is good. Everything we need as a human race is provided for free, it is the lack of giving where corruption and greed for those who already have enough only wanting more. More more more and soon there will be nothing to take. Our Earth is dying, man is at fault, but there is hope in the actions of every day people who feed the bellies of the ultra rich gobbers. Gobbling away instead of working for restoration they are seeking to destroy all life but their own. We the people we are the change we are the sway of the changing times. It is time.