Tag Archive | god

Staff Retreat

20191111_170638

We are setting back into our routine after mandatory power outages. It was a challenge for our family to go without electricity for up to 48 hours multiple times. We have an electric wall heater, water heater and stove/oven. So, it was cumbersome to function. I know I appreciate utilities much more these days.

20191111_161834

Thankfully I joined my coworkers for a staff retreat at majestic Lake Tahoe. It was a good time for fun, fellowship and food. It was just the thing I needed to rest my soul for a few days.

20191111_163120

We were reminded of the importance of community which is countercultural in America as individualism is encouraged. Pasor Renee reiterated that Gid designed us to do life together.

20191111_200654

Have you attended a retreat? If so, I would love to hear about it.

Blessings, Rebecca

Suprises

20191013_103904

Do you believe the Lord like to pleasantly surprise his children? I do.  Case in point some friends of ours invited us to a Newsboys concert in Monterey, California.  You may know Newsboys from their movie cover songs God’s Not Dead or Guilty. Sadly, we had to decline, because it just wasn’t in our budget.

20191012_182349

Surprise #1 – Shortly thereafter we receive a call back from them offering to take us. Wow!

20191012_193631

Surprise #2 – We arrived at the theater which was gorgeous and I noticed the sign stated Newsboys United and I thought to myself, What’s United?

Suprise #3 – Two of the original band members, Peter Furler and Phil Joel, who left 11 years ago join them on stage. Cool!

20191012_205209

Suprise #4 – One of the lead singer, Michael Tate’s, old band member from DC Talk, Kevin Max, also joined on stage and sang a throwback song Jesus Freak. I used to listen to DC Talk back in the 90s. I never put two and two together. Very cool!

Surprise #5 – As we were exiting the theatre, we bumped into two our dear friends Ken and Shaunna.  It’s such a small world.

You may say to yourself, Coincidence.  Well, I believe God works through people to bless people and He provides divine appointments, not chance.

How have you seen the Lord surprise you?

Blessings, Rebecca

 

LOA

rebecca

I am approaching the last week of my Leave of Absence (LOA) and it has been a journey of regaining my strength after surgery on May 3.

On May 27, I requested you all to keep me in your prayers for a clean PET/CT scan. Have you ever taken a PET/CT scan? It is an intense body scan where they inject you with a radioactive isotope, strap your arms in place and lay you in a white tube (machine) that is approximately 2-3 inches from your nose. It scans yours body for radical cancer cells and takes about 20-30 minutes. I am usually a pretty calm, cool and collected person, however, I could feel my heart race and my breathing change during the test. I just kept praying and asking the Lord to help me through it. At one point, I wanted to rip the binding straps off and demand the technician to get me out of there. Yet, I took a deep breath and continued to pray. The next thing I know, the nurse told me I was all done. Thank God!

I have wonderful news to share. My PET/CT was all clear. All power, glory and praise be to God! Thank you for standing with us in prayer as this news spared me from 7.5 weeks of radiation and/or chemotherapy.

After 3.5 weeks of confined laying down, I am finally up and walking around outside for about a quarter of a mile. It feels so good to be out in the fresh air soaking up the sun.  Also, while meandering, I’ve been bumping into neighbors/co-worker and catching up. I even stop to smell the roses.

rebecca2

Randy returned to work after three weeks of helping me and I am able to drive again. I am back to picking the kids from school again. Although their last day was last Thursday, it is great to have the mobility restored.

Again, I want to say thank you to everyone who has prayed, supported, helped, made meals, donated sick days, called, sent cards, etc.  It means the world to us.

Have you ever had to rely on other people for support or ask for help? If so, I’d love to hear how it went.

Blessings,  Rebecca

rebecca3

PS This past Sunday, June 9, Randy and I celebrated 18 years of marriage. Whoda thunk we’d be on this journey nearly twenty years down the road, eh?

 

 

 

 

Recouperating

couple

On this Memorial Day weekend, we would like to thank and acknowledge the courageous men and women in the US armed forces for their sacrifice to keep America free.

It’s been three weeks since my surgery. Although it has been a intense journey, I am on the mend.

I met with my surgeon last week and she informed me they removed a walnut size cancerous tumor. She said, “I am healing perfectly.” For that I give praise to God for answered prayer.

We also met with a radiologist to see if I would be a candidate for radiation. Randy joined me during the consultation and we were surprised a the numerous risks and adverse side effects. Would you stand with us in prayer that my PET/CT scan this Wednesday comes back negative?

For the first two weeks, doctor’s orders were to not sit, but be in a laying position. You’d think that lying down would be easy, but it’s not; especially for an active person. I am now able to lean/sit comfortably. In fact, while I was being examined by the radiologist, she said to me afterwards, “You can sit up now” and I sat half way leaning on my elbow. She said it again, “Ok, sit up now.” I informed her I could not sit in a full upright position yet and we both laughed. It’s funny the things you take for granted, eh?

This medical time off has definitely given me some much needed time to rest, read and reflect.

 

A few days ago, I was getting cabin fever. So, Randy took me to get a mocha and sit on a park bench overlooking the ocean. As we looked to our right, we could see the Santa Cruz Beach & Boardwalk and the wharf. The sun and sea breeze felt refreshing. Believe it or not, our little trip drained my energy and I came home to nap.

cart

My big adventure was going grocery shopping with Randy. The store manager lent me an electric cart so I could get around the store. Beep beep!

On Saturday, I took my first walk in several weeks. It was brief and slow on the go, but felt great.

Our friends invited us to house/pet sit while they vacation in Europe. When they heard about my procedure, they were concerned we couldn’t fulfill our obligation. However, I informed them, “I am either going to sit on my couch or yours.” We chuckled about it and off they went.

I would like to thank our awesome community of family, friends and co-workers who have supported us during this difficult time. We appreciate your prayers, meals, gifts and assistance. Thank you so much!

Have you undergone a surgical procedure and how did your recovery go? I’d love to hear about it.

Blessings, Rebecca

PS My son Austin has taken up a new interest in designing shoes and started an Instagram page. Check it out! @kruseekicks

Taking a (Spring) Break

20190401_191343

Does your life ever get too busy? Our does at times.

For instance, last Thursday I dropped the kids off at school and went to work. A couple hours later, I picked Alicia up from school to take her to her doctor’s appointment.

After I returned her to school, I went back to work for a couple more hours. Then, I picked up Austin from school to take him to the DMV.

Later that day, I made a spaghetti dinner for us and checked on homework assignments.

Although both kids are involved in after school activites such as sports, academics and work, Thursday was not a typical day or else I would probably run myself ragged.

This week is Spring Break and we’ve decided to do a staycation. Here’s three ways we are catching up on our rest.

20190401_191705

1. Sleep

Sunday, we all four slept in and made it a PJ day.

20190401_191901

2. Watch TV

Saturday, we watched a good wholesome family movie on Pureflix.

We also watched reruns of Wipeout a show where contestants compete on a wacky course to win prize money. We enjoyed some harty laughter.

My husband enjoys educational programming; especially archeological findings.

20190401_192042

3 Read/Write

Throughout the weekend we found time to read our Bibles, books, newspaper, etc.

Also, I enjoy writing my blog.  My daughter enjoys writing fiction short stories or in her diary. We also keep journals.

I especially like our thankful journal where we capture all the good things God has done in our lives for the year and read it together as a family at Thanksgiving.

20190328_164514

Obviously this is not an exhaustive list of ways to rest, but it helps us decompress from life’s demands.

What are some ways, you find rest?

Blessings, Rebecca

What Does The Bible Say About Family?

20180715_153822

Marriage and family are a key to a society’s structure. After asking myself last week “What does the Bible say about marriage,” I asked myself “What does the Bible say about family?” As I combed through the concordance, there are many references to family. I have selected a few to share with you.

20190223_211521

1. Honor

Moses gave the Israelites 10 Commandments from God. One of them is found in Exodus 20:12

Honor your father and mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

This particular verse is interesting, because it doesn’t say to love your parents. It says to honor or respect them. Not everyone grows up in a healthy family. So, some people may not love their father or mother, however, they are admonished to esteem their folks.

20190223_211255

2. Compassion

Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. – Psalm 103:13

I believe this verse could be misconstrued that we must be afraid of God, however, when I think of the fear of the Lord, I think of it as having reverence for a holy God.

20190223_214119

3. Teach

We can teach a great deal to our future generations about the lessons we’ve learned.

Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and grandsons.  – Deuteronomy 4:9

These verses are just a few I discovered on family relationships.  I encourage you to search for ones that apply to your unique family dynamics.

What principles is your family built on? I would love to hear about them.

Blessings, Rebecca

Good Gifts

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father above with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. 

-James 1:17

During this Christmas season God has been blessing our family. We’ve been puposeful on keeping watch for His hand at work. It’s fun to be surprised and see Him work through His creation.

Cabin

As I mentioned last week, my coworkers blessed our family with a beautiful mountain cabin for Christmas.  Well, the Guest Services Manager surprised us with four additional days. So, we get to enjoy it for a full week. Awesome! 

20181221_180630

We have been blessed with our Facilities team making sure we are stocked with firewood. Also, we woke up to beautiful poinsettias placed on our porch. Wow!

20181223_112953

Tree

I also mentioned we were given a wonderful fresh cut tree by a coworker.  Another friend lent us some lights and a different frient lent us decorations for it and the cabin.

20181220_215046

Presents

Day after day, we have been given Christmas presents from gift cards, basketball trading cards, clothes, money, cocoa mugs, candy, flowers and even bookmarks for which we had none. We are humbled by our community’s generosity.

Jesus

All of these things are nice. However, the best gift God gave us is His son Jesus.

20181223_152548

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

-Luke 2:1-7

May you have a very Merry Christmas!

Blessings, Rebecca

Bonus

A friend invited us to see a train exhibit they were hosting at a their church. It was a colorful winter wonderland.

20181223_160307.jpg

 

Summer Plans

 

20180203_172733

As school is winding down, are you making summer plans?

I sat down recently to think about what we can schedule for the kids; especially on a tight budget. We live in the majestic Santa Cruz mountains and often walk along the beach and hike in the redwoods.

Yet, I prayed to the Lord asking for Him to bless our family with some fun summer activities. He answered my prayer in many ways…

When the kids and I returned home from school recently, the radio DJ announced the 7th caller would win a four pack of tickets to see Monster Jam at Levi Stadium where the San Francisco 49ers play football. It was electric!

20180428_193609.jpg

We plan to attend Family Camp at Mount Hermon where I work and at Mission Springs where my husband works as a part of our employee benefits. Also, our kids will attend Frontier Ranch Santa Barbara (FRSB) and Campers In Leadership Training (CILT) with an employee discount.

My sister-in-law invited us to join her annual work picnic at Great America. We can’t wait to ride the roller coasters, eat delicious BBQ and hit the water slides. All compliments of her company.

California's_Great_America_2

My husband and son are gardeners. To our surprise, residents have offered  them side jobs. The extra income will help with fun money and saving up for a car for Austin.

Our neighbor approached us and offered to give us his recyclable bottles and cans. He then dropped off five full lawn and leaf bags.

About a week ago, I entered a local contest on Facebook and we won family tickets for Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk and Roaring Camp Railroad. We are looking forward to our next adventure.

roaring-camp-train636064589907223950

These blessings remind me that:

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows. 

– James 1:17

Blessings,  Rebecca

Spring Break 2018

spring-break-clip-art-14-400x285.png

“Where are we going for Spring Break Mom,” my daughter asked.

“Well, honey your dad and I have to work this week, but we can ask our bosses for a day off.” Thankfully, they granted our requests.

So, all four of us tossed around ideas for a day trip within 150 miles from where we live. In the end, we chose the Oakland Zoo.

20180405_120934_resized.jpg

It was our first time. My husband packed a wheelchair in the trunk of our car, because our son is healing from a fractured foot and the east foothills would prove to be too much.

We had fun exploring all the animals and learning about their habitats.

20180405_095716_resized.jpg

The zoo recently added a gondola that took us up to the new café and lookout. The view of the city was stunning. We could see the port of Oakland as well as the skyline of San Francisco.

20180405_101741_resized.jpg

We were blessed with minimal traffic to and from, no lines at the park and perfect weather. The next day, we had a big spring storm dumping four inches of rain in Santa Cruz mountains.

My son asked me what my favorite animal was and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it as I enjoyed them all. I am amazed at the variety of species God has created for us to enjoy.

20180405_123006_resized.jpg

Are you on Spring Break and, if so, what did you do?

Blessings, Rebecca

Benched

20180303_195030.jpg

Have you ever broken a bone? Well, my husband and I have not. Thank the Lord! Upon our son’s return from youth winter camp, he complained of a sore right foot. When I looked at it, it was red and swollen.

We took Austin to the doctor and the x-ray showed it is fractured. Ugh! This on the heal of making the high school JV volleyball team (shown above). The podiatrist issued him a boot and crutches (see below) to be worn for 4-6 weeks. All this happened on the first game of the season. I am proud of him that he chose to still support his teammates by watching on the sideline.

20180303_194127.jpgAs a mom, it is extremely difficult to watch your child be “benched” for a period of time. The comfort I have is knowing Austin is in God’s hands and our family/friends are praying for him. Also, I lean on God’s word such as Isaiah 53:5.

But He was pierced for our transgressions,

He was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace was on Him,

and by His wounds we are healed.

Have you had to watch your child(ren) suffer and/or go through a healing process? Feel free to share with us.

Blessings, Rebecca