January 8, 2013
I wish my word today for Project Life 365 would be COURAGE – because if it were, I would post this photo of my beautiful friend Karen. She is starting chemotherapy today. Having battled cancer once before, she is one my hero’s of COURAGE and FAITH.
Would you please say a prayer for her and her family today?
August 28, 2012
Shortly after Peter’s funeral, I asked God for one thing… my prayer was this, “Lord, PLEASE let me see his face just one more time.”
Then a day or 2 later, I had a dream. It was so real, so vivid.
Peter was standing behind a huge, old and weathered wooden door. He opened it just enough, so that just his face was showing.
I was several feet away when I turned around and saw him. I said to him, “Oh my gosh, I can see your face.”
I walked up to the door and reached out my hands to touch his face, but my hands moved right through him. I could only see his face, but I could not touch him.
I wanted to come through the door, but Peter said no, that I was not allowed inside, that I could not pass through that door.
Then I woke up.
I would be lying if I said it still doesn’t hurt. 3 years later, and it still hurts. I think it always will.
But that dream was a gift. It was one of the clearest pictures of something I deeply believe and hold on to everyday.
You see – I have never been able to say to anyone that my husband is “dead.”
Have an intervention and tell me I’m in denial, but the truth is, that I have never been able to describe him to anyone as “dead.” I know that his physical body no longer functions here – but I absolutely believe that my husband is not dead, but instead, that he is completely alive and well.
He is on the other side of the door.
The door that is so close that I can feel it. It’s the door to eternity. It’s in front of each of us… and it’s a door that we will all eventually walk through.
To me, as difficult as it is sometimes, what I know is that Peter really lives in Heaven, while we still live on earth. That he’s right there, just on the other side of that door….
A door that I was NOT allowed to walk through, and for good reason.
My job is to raise my kids as best as I can by the grace of God…and believe me, that is how it is happening. God somehow gives me grace in all of this.
Peter trusted me with them…. and I know this. That is why I am so passionate that they continue to grow and love and laugh and know that Life is still good. That God is good. That in tragedy there is ALWAYS a purpose. And that a life of faith does not always mean a life of ease. It can often mean a life of challenge and difficulty. But it also means a life that has been well spent. A life that can make a difference in the lives of others.
My heart is that I want my kids to know and love and trust the God that their Father lives with! That they have a genuine faith in Him. Not in a religion or a system or even the church I attend. But a faith that says, Ok God, I believe, and I’m in for the long haul!
This is my deepest prayer…
Most times when I think of Peter, I always know that he is just on the other side of THE DOOR…
Waiting. AND, in all honesty, enjoying eternity – believe me. I know this about Peter!
What I do find interesting is that my own faith was born when I heard this verse in the Bible:
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20
This is the moment I believed.
Guess you could say that Jesus knocked on MY door a long time ago – and I said yes.
The Door is there…. I’ve seen it, even if only in a dream…
So for August 28th, I want to just take a moment to Honor my husband and the father of my children on the 3 year anniversary that he passed from life to eternal life.
Peter, there is still not a day that I do not think about you. I hope to make you proud! You continue to live in our hearts and you are greatly loved and cherished. AND not ever forgotten.
April 20, 2012
Ever since I can remember,I’ve always wanted and hoped for a full life! I’m the type of person that has always tried to live life to the fullest.
Well, what’s funny is that I can certainly say that life has become quite “full” for me.
There are times I’ve laughed so hard that I could cry – and times I’ve cried so hard I could laugh…
I know what it’s like to SOAR and I know what it’s like to suffer.
I understand joy AND sorrow. I know peace and I know pain. I’ve danced with happiness and I’ve embraced the arms of sadness.
I live in the moment so much more than I ever, knowing that’s it’s all we truly have… and understanding that at any moment, as my dear friend Jordan Lawhead best puts it, “Lightning strikes, before the Thunder Roars.”
You could say that my cup does runneth over. Not in way I’d have ever imagined or expected, but it’s certainly FULL none the less.
I love what has been of course… but even more so, I still love what IS, me, my children and life, AND what WILL BE. I LOVE life – and yet, I know there’s more. I’m not SO in love, that I wouldn’t be able to say goodbye… and hello!
I’m not bitter or angry. Those emotions have always sort of been tapered by something a little bigger… something I am deeply deeply grateful for. It has been the anchor of how I’ve gotten through any of this. Those emotions have always been a little short circuited by trust.
I don’t know why… it’s certainly ok for me to feel those things, but trust has always trumped pain, or anger or bitterness. It just has for me… I can’t explain it.
Trust is what has kept me from feeling like a victim. It has kept me planted and steady.
Sometimes I’ve wondered, am I in denial? Maybe… I guess life will play out and I’ll know. But for now, the truth of my life is that I have known and walked with Jesus for over 25 years and I know Him enough to trust Him. I trust Him. In the good and the bad. In the peek and the valley. His hand is the one I squeeze when I need to get through. I just trust that there is a plan in all of this.
And how I respond… is what matters. How I live before my children, in response to the loss of their father matters. How I walk this out… my be my biggest test this life has for me.
You know – NO one was watching Job when things were good – but when things were bad, he had an audience. It really sort of became his moment… Both God and the devil himself were watching. How would he handle tragedy?
Maybe that’s the WHY we plague ourselves with asking. That haunting age-old question that every human being struggles with. WHY?
For Job there was NO logical reason that he lost his family – except that his life became a stage to witness one thing… How would he respond.
Somehow, God earned my trust early on and He’s never lost it. I’m grateful that it hasn’t wavered… that alone is His grace to me.
My deepest truth is that I know Him and I trust Him.
My life IS full – it feels great and in a moment it can hurt. It’s colorful and then sometimes very black and white. It’s crazy CRAZY hard – and then some days it’s like gliding on top of an ocean of glass with the sun and wind behind my sail.
Fullness of life…. is how I see it. My glass is never half full or half empty.
It’s just full!
Today I’d like to honor my late husband Peter Pakulis. 21 years ago, I said “I DO” What a beautiful day and beginning that was.
21 years later, I am here with 3 AMAZING children who mean the world to me. They have a legacy of their Father’s character tucked deeply in their hearts. They watched a courageous man walk out his final days with not one word of a complaint or “whoa is me” attitude. They watched a Man who loved God – go to be with his Maker.
They know they will see him again… someday.
Their lives are FULL too – and I can only trust, that it is part of their plan. That’s the hardest part for me. But I trust that it will make them into who they are supposed to be in this life…
it’s all I can do.
Today I have fullness of life… not as I’d have imagined it, but fullness never the less.
March 14, 2012
I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry! I probably have NO followers anymore. I guess I can’t blame you. I’ve been COMPLETELY MIA
Well, I have a new blog design in the works and I guess I’ve been waiting for it to be done.
SO PLEASE CHECK BACK –
Posts coming soon…..
December 28, 2011
This word rarely makes it into my vocabulary. But this past week, it has actually been a part of my daily routine! And believe me, I’ve needed it!
Ever since my husband Peter said the word, “Cancer” for the first time fours years ago, it feels like my life has been one non-stop stream of constant activity, commitments, demands, etc. Life has been in constant motion at a very high level. First 2 years of cancer, and then the last 2 years of becoming a widow, a single parent, running a full time business and raising teenagers that have very busy schedules and activities.
This Christmas season is the first in a very long time, where I have been able to just sort of do nothing. Rest, relax, take a trip to the mall, read and watch lots of TV. It feels vital for me to do this… I don’t think I can go into a brand New Year with all of the hopes and goals I have for the future, without some rest beforehand. Rest for my body, my mind, and my heart and soul. Necessary and vital rest that I do not often allow myself.
So I have taken a break. No blogged ( except for now ha ha) no photo shoots, no editing, not much house cleaning – yay! Not even much cooking… just rest. I’m sure all the time on the couch and Christmas goodies eaten has yielded me at least 5 lbs. To be honest, even that makes me happy. What’s a few pounds when January is around the corner right?
My family is doing well overall. My kids, seem strong and healthy. From what I can see, they continue to heal. Continue to laugh, hang out with their friends, and seem to believe that life is still good.
I always say, I’ve never done this before, so I think they are doing ok. I’ve never raised kids who lost their father to cancer. I’ve never been a single parent. But from what I can see, my kids are dealing with it extremely well. I am beyond proud of each of them. I rarely ever brag about my kids…. but I’m going to indulge, just for a moment.
Colin is extremely involved in music and band. His marching band took first in the state of Arizona for the 2nd year in a row.
Alissa is very involved in sports. She plays on a BOYS club soccer team. She made this years volleyball team at school, and just recently made the varsity soccer team as a 6th grader.
Julia took up a whole new activity, Dance, and has accomplished the splits and a from axle without hands. She can also play guitar better than her mom.
They are doing well… and I am beyond grateful.
I see our family like a dinner table with 4 legs…. we lost one of the legs, so we’re a bit crooked. A little lopsided, but the table is still standing. It still works. Not as well as if there were four, but well enough to continue to function and have purpose. A weird analogy, but one that helps my brain know we are ok.
We laugh, have their friends over a ton, we argue ( I do have teenagers) we cry, we live. As best we can. We have faith in God… still. Which is my greatest hope for my children. That they continue to live and love. To believe that life is good and that God is good too. That He can be trusted, even in loss and pain. That is not an easy lesson for adults, let alone children. And I can’t say that we are always there. But that is always my prayer for my kids.
So… this time of rest is good. Really good! I think it’s helping me to recharge. To continue to heal too….
So between now and the New Year, I honestly have no idea how much I’ll post, if anything. But please continue to check back with me. I’m excited about the New Year and will be ready to go
after a little more rest!
I hope you all had an amazing Christmas Season! Wishing you the best!!