I was born in Nome, Alaska and raised in Unalakleet, Alaska. Regardless of where I live I will always do my very best to live off the bounty of the earth. Literally, gifts recieved from God. Amen. A subsistence lifestyle passed down from our ancestors.
The 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.
I 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
Imagine, your whole life, and having the ability to remember any memory you have. Now, it goes further, imagine every dream you’ve ever had and they are stored away with the ability to remember them. Why is it that when people die their whole life flashes before them? Some die and some come back. I thought everyone had a good memory and that people dream dreams. I’m 34 and remember my whole life. I kept journals and pictures and videos of my life because one of my biggest fears is that I will forget, when I don’t forget anything. I talked with my older sister and she said that it is nothing special to have a good memory. That was a lie because my memories make me, me. Without them I wouldn’t be able to draw back on experiences to help guide me. I spent a lot of time trying to wash my memories away after my two older sons left Alaska. I tried to forget everything through alcohol and weed. I was a stoner to the max and my brain is healing from my actions. I have a severe problem of acting on sheer emotion and I pray I can heal and be the patient loving woman God knows I can be. I pray for my brain to heal and I believe that connections skewed or lost can be reconnected and repaired through love and by reading the Word, God’s word, but also, write your love letters to Him. There is beauty and healing when we give all the glory to God. One of my mentors growing up thanked Facebook for a memory once and it made me mad because Facebook doesn’t deserve thanks, only God does. I left Facebook for the year 2018, but I still needed an outlet to get hope and love out in the World Wide Web, hence WordPress. Share your story, write that poem on your heart, give that compliment to that stranger or simply give a smile freely without any expectation of anything in return and always always give All the Glory to God, for He deserves it and Him alone. Amen.
God was presented with quilts and each represented the life of the giver. The quilts were starting to look the same after awhile, each pattern repeated with straight lines and the quilts shared a similar structure. Then, He paused for a moment. To inspect this humble quilt pieced together in a mess of patterns. Looking carefully at the beauty of the quilt in all it’s madness. Not once did the little girl stop loving her Father in Heaven. The pain in the quilt, endless bottles of tears, but all beared truth to the love of her God. It was beautiful and He shed a tear. All her pains and worries were washed away. The quilt was not folded away for storage, but displayed for all to see.
Be careful what you sow, and you better be able to reap it. Love evolves love. This is in part a book of hurt, but with hurt and pain comes healing and forgiveness; and that is a beautiful thing.
It started with a dream my mom had. She was told in her dream to dedicate her five children to God. She had us dedicated to the Unalakleet Covenant Church and sent us to Sunday School each weekend. I didn’t mind because of all the crafts we could do. This was when the basement of the church had sliding panels to make different classes. I liked looking out the basement windows because it was so cool to me to be able to see the view of outside from so low. I enjoyed it.
My middle school years were like my rebellion years. Very mischief group of girls I rolled with, but the way I see it, is I got to be a part of something. In the summer there was always a way for us to go to the Unalakleet Covenant Bible Camp, our week away from camping to go camping. I loved the trails of camp, they were well worn and I could run fast through the woods.
I drank for the first time after my eighth grade year. I was the reason we got caught because I tried to do the dishes and the water overflowed and made a mess into the cupboards and onto the floor of the old house. Now, my mom knew how to punish us and it worked. My older sister and I spent that entire summer indoors. Our cousin from Utah came up that summer and we weren’t allowed to go play out because of our actions.
I strived to do my best in High School because I knew my grades in middle school wouldn’t affect my high school grade point average. I knew that if I wanted a higher education I had to work for my scholarships. My freshman year I whole-heartedly accepted Jesus into my heart. I got a taste of Him through Sunday school and Bible Camp and I knew I loved Him. I was willing to give up the ways of the world to me and that was my basketball card collection and CDs from Colombia House and BMG. I bagged up my belongings and took them to the dumpster.
The best part of being a young Christian is the excitement I found in having Jesus in my heart, that led to a lot of opportunities. I went to a youth convention that year in Anchorage with my aunt Jean and our youth group. I remember it like it was yesterday because all my memories are like that. We went to worship at Abbott Church and I was taken back at all the young people gathering together to worship. It was powerful. We were blessed to be in God’s house singing to Him in adoration. I love to adore my God by simply enjoying nature.
There was another trip we went on that year to Shaktoolik. It was a Spirit filled trip. I was baptized in the shallow Shaktoolik river by Pastor Dotomain. Him and his wife were blessings in more ways than we will ever know. After those called to be baptized were, we went to worship at the Assembly of God Church. It was the one and only time I spoke in tongues. Sounds I’ve never heard or knew I was capable of making flowed from my mouth without control. I was frightened, a good fear. In middle school I paid very close attention to the unforgivable sin, Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. I knew not to question God in His works and wonders.
My Freshman and Sophomore year I maintained my 4.0 GPA. I did a stint of confirmation but got too busy to finish. I enjoyed a lot of one time programs through the Covenant Church in the summer. Including the Upriver Uplook Canoe Trip and Christ’s Own REvolution (CORE) trip. I was totally in love with Jesus and on fire for God.
My idea of being perfect was my own undoing. Later I would realize that Jesus doesn’t ask us to be perfect. He simply asks us to do our best in loving Him and in turn loving others. My junior year of High School I received my first B. I begged my Physics teacher for extra work, anything that would help me get an A. I was denied that opportunity and I walked home crying. I felt as if I wouldn’t get my scholarships for a higher education. No one understood me. It was silly to let a B change my way of thinking in a way of I no longer cared. I kept at it getting all As besides the Bs I would receive in that class.
One summer in High School I was able to be a part of a Missionary Trip that took place in the rural villages of Alaska. Hooper Bay, Scammon Bay, Mountain Village, Shaktoolik and Unalakleet. I met a single mother in Mountain Village with the last name Bean. I met her through her children who I love and they brought me to their home. A trailer mobile home, that was still to me, better housing than what I grew up in. I liked looking at the knick knacks the mom had saved that her children made. There was a struggle I saw in her that felt familiar. I prayed with her and her children and left their home with a sense of love and it made my heart happy. I liked talking to people who other’s overlooked. A simple smile or compliment. A simple act that can change one’s outlook on life.
In Scammon Bay I was in awe of the hill of rocks that seemed so close to the village, I wanted to climb to the top and jump from rock to rock. We played basketball with the youth and shared our love for Jesus. I stayed at the Mute’s home in Anna’s room and ate Musk Ox for the first time and only time in my life. It was a rich dark meat that reminded me of meat we eat at home, only more powerful. More filling. I love Yupik’s just like I love all our indigenous nations. That love extends to all nations of the earth. That is what Jesus told us to do, accept and love all.
I’ve stumbled time and time again in my life. I like to say I’m the best example of what not to do. There was one constant in my life I’ve had since the ninth grade and that is the love I have for God. Who sent His son Jesus to die for us all. I call it the love blood of Jesus. The most powerful thing in existence. A mother’s love will change the world.
I was told I’m a good writer but I just like to get what is off my chest and my mind just to try to make sense of things. I wrote letters to God my whole life, writing a prayer, reading it twice, something to look back on and willingly receiving His grace time and time again. The things I did not understand took time to make known the Truth. Jesus is the truth, the way and the life.
I ran, I ran in shame not wanting to give my burdens to God. He had enough on His plate and I felt unworthy because that is what we all are.. Unworthy. But given life by the Grace of God that is Jesus.
In Shaktoolik I talked with a gentleman who witnessed the suicide of his best friend. A testimony all in itself of how the evil ones seeks to destroy our people. By stealing hope, by lies told by non believers, tricks of the ugly one who doesn’t deserve any recognition but was overcame by the blood of Jesus. We are all set free, we all have free will. Jesus is Hope and Love and it is the best life, no matter what walk of life you come from, choosing Him is the best thing I’ve done for myself. The only thing that will save you from the depths of despair. A choice that has everlasting effects. It is never too late to repent and accept Jesus when you are alive, but without this, when you die YOU will go to Hell. There is no question about that because He clearly states that. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Dear God, Thank you for sending your son Jesus to be the ultimate sacrifice, the perfect example of love, my everything. I am nothing without Him. I am capable of anything through Him. Three waves of love will wash over the earth giving three chances for you to accept the Truth. There is only salvation through Jesus, the perfect gift to mankind. Cultures around the world know Him without knowing His name. We now know that name and that is Jesus. Holy Spirit I invite you, use me I come before the Trinity Humbled and Willing. Amen!
People of all nations are given a chance to be God’s chosen people. The ways of the world leads nations to tumble and fall. Our heritage and values beat in the hearts of the indigenous people who will never give up our way of life. The men provide sustenance through hunting and the women raise her children in endless love and teaching of how to survive when food can not be caught. We turn to Jesus to heal that what was stolen. An identity in the handprint of God. Appreciating the land and the creatures who dwell upon it. Helping our elders and our children who cannot fend for themselves. A proud people who’s pride is not one of viscous cycles who seek to destroy the earth. We are the healers of the world because our ancestors taught us how to protect our land and values. Those are built on foundations of love. My soul awakens when the stick hits the drums and my heart pours out love when I see our young ones dance to the beats of our native tongue. I cannot grasp the beauty of our creator but I see what I see and I’m filled with wonderment. The heartbeat of my ancestors lives on through me. I could walk into the woods alone and flourish only because I was taught to do so by my mother. My respect for the land and our elders is never ending because it is every breath I take in humble gratitude for the struggles of those who went on before us. Without a shadow of a doubt our people know the one true God, who’s son is Jesus and the Trinity through the Holy Spirit. I am who I am because of my lineage and the scars of the past are ripped opened as to heal to cause the winds of change for our future generations. My people, our people, God’s people this is our destiny to stand in unison in love because that is who we are. Rise. Awake. The soul being inside of us is all consuming love when we accept Jesus into our hearts. A love that knows no bounds, accepts all creeds and nations and upholds our beliefs and respect for all.