Shattered plates

IMG_6526As a young girl, I remember hearing about children starving around the world. I could not imagine how? Were there no berries to pick? No fish to catch? My little mind did not understand, I would sit at the table to finish my food because we were blessed to be fed. I had to finish my plate, to the point if I was too full, I would finish in tears. My heart could not take it. The land provides food and why were children dying from starvation? It’s a heartache we all face today. When a race, which is mankind, no longer cares to teach children how to gather their own food and how to survive, one of the foundations that helped our species thrive is lost. I pass down what my mother taught me to my children. That is what directly is available as a food source and good for us and utilizing that in our diet. We are capable to create change. How the desire to do so is not there is unfounded. It is so very simple, hold on to your cultural identity, learn the ways of your people, who for milenia thrived without the inherent need to buy meaningless possessions, when what we posses ┬áin our heart is made beautiful through Jesus Christ, my Lord and personal Savior. So when you pray today pray for learning for the starving children, they hunger in more ways than we can imagine. Imagine them smiling and that smile gives them hope. Hope is not lost in this world. We battle every single day and your vote is where you spend your money and what you spend it on. Big corporations who starve these children’s bellies? Or the small local farmer continuing that what was passed down? Simple choices, every day acts of impact that most cease to care about. Why then? Did your mother love you so? A Mother’s love will change the world. It starts with an Army of One. The One is Jesus when you accept him in your heart. That is the battle won for today. You are loved. Be beloved.

Fish Camp

IMG_2977Our home away from home was 13 bends or 11 miles up the Unalakleet River. Our parents built a one room cabin and fish rack, this is where we spent our childhood summers. My dad built swings for us kids and homemade basketball hoops. Our fun activities were swimming in the cold swift river, dad would build us a diving board with his chainsaw, we played grass fights where you grabbed as much grass as possible and tried to put it on someone else’s head while dodging getting a hair full of grass on the defense, we made up a game called hole in one or ball in hole, the same concept as mini golf but we used a Hills Bros. coffee can and a stick, hide and seek, fort building, fire starting, berry picking, fishing and fish cutting, book reading and drawing, story telling of legends of old or dreams from the night before. Endless creativity and our world was what we made it. We lived below the poverty line according to American standards but I wouldn’t trade all the riches in the world in exchange for the life we were given filled with love and knowledge passed down from our people.

Battle for the Kershaw blade

IMG_6473The things that make a mother smile. I was driving back home from Soldotna and stopped at Turn Around lake to take in Gods beauty and enjoy a glorious picture painted differently each day, a true blessing in itself. I was content to bask in His splendor.

The kid in me is the kid in you. The ice was covered with snow with circles of clear ice here and there. I knew I could glide across the ice if it was thick enough. I had to Investimagate (investigate). The first try was just a trial run. I was pretending to play an old Eskimo game gliding across the ice free of snow. I did this three times and headed back to the Passport.

I came close to the bank and found a cool pocket knife. I was kinda bummed it wasn’t a Gerber, little did I know it was a better brand, out of my league. Then I smelled it. Green. I had to go make sure the people smoking didn’t loose this knife. I walked up to them and asked, they said no. There was a couple with a dad in the back in one vehicle, the single mans son was in the other vehicle alone playing on his iPad.

I asked the three grown ups if they wanted to play a game with me I just made up. The heavy set driver said the ice wouldn’t hold him, I said it was thick enough. He still said no. I asked the dad in the back. He said he was terrified of ice, I told him I would hold his hand if that made him feel better, he said no and that his son might want to try and that he was a skateboarder. My kinda people.

The pocket knife they said was a good find. Really, I have never heard of it before and I had to explain its a brand simply out of my budget. The battle for the Kershaw blade.

I asked the young son, who had beautiful long dreads and the smile of an angel I would get to see soon. He said yes. I explained that it’s easy to walk on the ice with white specks of snow, but the clear circle was slippery. I showed him my game I just made up, like so many I’ve made up before, and he tried it.

The first was practice but we raced. Then I said, let’s play for something I just found, it’s very precious according to your dad. In my heart I wanted him to win. He was excited and I can see it all over his face and I took so much delight in his smile and excitement. The first go I won. I wasn’t going to hold back and I wasn’t going to let him win on purpose. But I said let’s just do best out of three. The hope in his eyes and on his face were intoxicating. We went again. He fell, trying oh so hard to win. That one didn’t count let’s try again. The next two I tried my best to beat Ezekiel gliding across Turnaround lake playing what I called an old Eskimo game, had to make sure and tell him I was an Eskimo. He wasn’t from Alaska. He played my game and won a Kershaw pocket knife. He held it in his hand with a smile on his face that reminded me what my heart beats for. Spreading hope, something I’ve never had growing up, but I found my hope in Jesus and not once let go.

The joy of giving a smile, simple acts of kindness, living for what your heart beats for. Amen.

Long Forgotten

I wrote this in memory of those I grew up with and still think about.

IMG_1025I lay in this box, not a smile on my face, nor a tear in my eye. My heart no longer beats, but I have taken you with me to a special place. The memories you have, I pray brings a smile to your face. Though I am gone and in the years to come I will fade, as a dream long forgotten, remember me as I was. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes, but when surrounded by laughter my imperfections had reason. The wind will still blow and the sun still shine. When life is in overdrive and you feel a crash is near, hold the ones closest and embrace what is next with no fear. Fear brings a pain, it may be silent or loud, no soul can fix. If you know who I am and your heart skips a beat, memories may flash, the river start to stream or the light seem dim, all I ask is this, when the sun is aglow and no clouds in sight, take my hand in the wind and walk with your feet in bare and dream of a better tomorrow. For the past is the past as heartache is heartache, but a new day is in sight for new memories to be made.

Beloved you are!

IMG_0002The first time I felt true panic was up the Unalakleet River by my Uncle Doug’s camp site, one of my mom’s favorite salmonberry patches. My baby brother Chad was two and all bundled up in warm gear for the boat ride. The boat we used was an aluminum 16 footer my dad built in his brother’s shop, Gert and Gals was our boats name. The siding was raised enough to where you would think we were safe looking over the edge at the water. We were watching gugeelees or what you call minnows. As fast as Chad fell over the swiftness of my mom could not be matched by the swiftness of the current that was sweeping him away. She was our hero. We call it guqamuk when someone falls into the water. The instant it happened my heart missed a couple beats in sheer fright of loosing him but that was quickly relieved by our mom. Her love for her children will endure as long as the earth endures.

My Mother’s Shield. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of me shielding my mother’s face with my body. All the while she was taking blows to her body, begging me to call the cops. 911. I knew their number. I was three or four and I ran for the telephone mounted to the wall that seperated the living room to the kitchen. Before I could reach it my dad threw it on the floor in front of me. When the phone shattered my little heart shattered right along with it. I was a daddy’s girl who loved both my mom and dad the same. I hated alcohol. I Prayed to a God I did not know and begged for delivernace which was a word I didn’t even know. That same year my dad got sick. He was told by the doctors that if he drank again he would die. His liver could no longer handle alcohol. That was a miracle. My mom continued down her path of alcoholism and still is an alcoholic today. That is ok because I will love her still.

I’m not the first or the last to come from a broken home. I’d later on in life hear the harsh realities my mom faced and endured. She’s a most beautiful soul masked by alcoholism and depression. Something I’ve struggled with as you will come to find.

There is one thing that I have noticed, the more each generation strives for a better life than they had growing up, the more we see generational healing and spiritual redirection.

A part of who I am stems from being a daddy’s girl growing up. My love for my dad will never fade and no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. I do not give up on my family and I never have. I threw fits so bad I had to hear about them as an adult. I suppose I was two or so and tired of walking. I threw myself on the ground whaling like the baby I was kicking my feet, hands and head on the dirt road. My dad tried to just keep walking but he didn’t get very far. He had to lay down on the dirt and position himself just so. I didn’t want to use not a single ounce of effort to pat-pat (backpack). He didn’t think anyone was looking, no one appeared to be around because he did the complete three sixty look around. Little did he know that a group of ladies were on coffee break at the district office and whitnessed the whole ordeal.

Growing up, if one of my siblings or I wanted something, I was designated to go ask dad. Later, if that failed, we sent our baby brother Chad to go ask mom. We all grew up in the same boat, literally and metaphorically, I mean this is Alaska. All were dedicated at the insistance of my mom, to the Unalakleet Covenant Church, Evangelical of course. We all accepted Jesus into our hearts. Pivitol times in our lives, no struggle aside, we were all each other had at times. OH, by all means don’t get me wrong. It’s a rough and tumble love, especially growing up. The best competition, biggest arguments, I had to win at all costs. My tongue was sharp before my heart was filled with love. It could cut grown men down to their knees.

For anyone, it will take a lifetime to learn to tame your tongue, it is then we can no longer speak. To shed light onto darkness it must be exposed. Something I’ve been praying for since October, for God to shed light on the darkness. Sweeping issues that are close to Our Father’s Heart under the rug will no longer happen. Jesus said Himself, “Harm not one Child.” The things my Savior put on my heart were only revealed to me after I was baptized.

That is to protect our children, in order to do that we need to protect our land and continue to pass down our traditional knowledge of the land. How to survive when big brother is no longer there. The way the world views love today is far from what Love is. Love is Jesus and God, and you will never know this love unless you accept Him into your heart.

Unalakleet is a small village, and I say village because it is only accessible by plane or boat, and I like to throw dog-team in there as well. As long as I can remember we always had a flush toilet and running water in town. Our family spent the school year in town and as soon as school was done for the year we were all ready to go to our cabin 11 miles up the Unalakleet River. Our childhood playground. Where we made up our own games hard enough to showcase our competitive nature. Obstacle courses were constrewed of sticks linned up that you had to jump over, crawl under and run as fast as you can. We were all fast but Axel and I would usually win. We did our best to win that day, but did not give up hope if we didn’t win because we could race again tomorrow. We would all have a chance at doing better. Sometimes your worst competition is yourself. It’s what holds most people back from interacting with strangers, sharing a simple smile, the every day simple acts of kindess that show love.

Don’t give up your smile, don’t give up your story. Let your story shine and give all the Glory to God! His strength is not fully revealed in this world because we all are not saved. The warfare that is going on in this day and age is like that of no other. One smile can make a difference, one smile can change the world. A mother’s love will change the world. Bless and be blessed. Love and be loved for you are beloved. We are all highly favored people it simply starts with accepting your new destiny that awaits you by accepting Jesus as your Lord and personal Savior.

 

From the fisherman to the fisher of men.

IMG_0064.JPGI worked on a fishing vessel called the Alaska Ocean since 2011. I spent 16 hour work days every single day while at sea. My wrists paid the price working on the inspection line. This fishing trawler is the largest fishing trawler in the United States. I met people of mainly minority blood, like myself. We all worked hard but a lot of people didn’t like working with me because I tried so very hard to do my very best. Then one day a guy I worked with asked me why I try so hard, as an inspector our job is to make sure there is no bones or imperfections on the fish fillet, I told him somewhere out there a child is going to eat our product. If that child gets a bone in their meal there is risk of choking, if I let even one bone pass me I did not do my job because there would be the risk of someone getting hurt. He was dumbfounded and could not believe the words coming out of my mouth made so much sense everyone did their very best. When you put our children in the forefront of everything we do we create a better world for them.

I recieved more training and attained my Able Bodied Seaman Certification and moved to a smaller vessel called the Pacific Glacier. I was the first woman combi on this vessel. That means I was a deckhand during net shoots and haul backs and also worked in the inspection line. Combi is a very dangerous job and physically exhausting work. The guys said I wouldn’t last two days, I lasted two seasons not knowing I was pregnant. I was the first female pregnant deckhand and factory worker on the sea. I did not listen to my body when all the signs pointed to me being pregnant I was in denial. I just started earning sea time and now I would have to put my career on hold. I went from depending only on myself to having to depend on Ash. I was receiving 500 dollars a week alone on unemployment to a 50 dollar a week allowance from Ash for gas and groceries. This was a hit to my independence and I did not like it. I absolutely dislike depending on anyone but I learned my very own faults make me flounder and sometimes God sends an angel to help us on our way to His way. Amen