I have decided I’m going to ask my neighbor friend if she’d like to keep my house plants. I can’t take them and I couldn’t just throw them away because that is far from who I am.



I stand before the water and put my hand into it and my hand just glides right through that surface. And I watch that surface move. It moves. Just fascinating. And I think back to the time I tried learning to dive. Once. I tried once. We’d go to Coeur D Alene lake as family and I really wanted to jump off the docks fearlessly like everybody else and dive like everybody did. It looked simple enough. So I did. But what happened was not a dive but a flop and I hit that water with the flat of my stomach. That same moving water that you can cut right through felt like solid concrete pavement! So. Much. Pain. I never tried again. I never learned to dive. I never learned to swim. Dog paddle, sure. Float. I managed to understand what treading water was, finally, and that was brilliant for me. With a floating mattress and tubes and flippers I can manage.

Years later, at Priest Lake with my sister (all those amazing lakes in the PNW), I was “swimming” but close enough that if I stood I’d be able to somehow still feel the bottom of the lake. When I did stop and “stood” I realized there was no bottom. I couldn’t feel it. The floor of the lake changes and goes deeper and I was not where I thought I was. Here’s the thing, I wasn’t in deep water. I could have easily dunked down and pushed myself off and headed to the beach but panic was instantaneous and that panic was what almost drowned me. I froze, I couldn’t move. Felt stiff like a rock. I literally felt like I was fighting trying to get to the dock. Drowning in “shallow water.” And the worst thing is I refused to yell out for help. I didn’t want anyone to see me struggling, “drowning.” I hung on that dock for awhile, out of breath, resting, and finally looked back at the beach. A dog ran by. A few people here and there. Not one would have seen. And the realization hit me. Oh how proud I could be. So much pride to not ask for help, to not call out…oh how foolish pride can be. I’ve told my drowning story to people. In fact it’s actually quite boring, but I’ve never really said the part that it wasn’t so much about drowning as it was about the pride. Anyone can sink. I can sink. There is no mighty high Irina.

We just went to the ocean. And an ocean is no lake. The waves are huge, they’re strong, they pull and tug. They sweep the sand right out from underneath you, where it feels like you’re being propelled back. I’m literally terrified of it. But water is also soothing. Healing. Why we sing, when peace like a river… it flows and flows and flows…peace flows, unending.


I was heading from Spokane to Seattle to see Peter and stopped at a gas station just for a bottle of water. I asked the cashier the simple words, “How are you?” Those words we throw around so casually.  And to my astonishment, after her initial response she started tearing up, breaking down, and gushing with everything that was happening in her life, crying about the sadness that was happening to her and around her. All the hurt. And to my astonishment again, I then asked her If I could pray for her, took her hand and prayed. Will I ever see her again? Never. I don’t even know her name.

I’m doing hair for a bride and her mom. The mom sits down for just a short little time and within those few minutes, in a chair in the bathroom of their house,  she pours out her story of how her sister had lost her husband, and only until she herself lost her own husband did she understand the pain of her sister’s loss. She teared up, I teared up. It wasn’t about her hair at all. It was a moment of her heart opening up and letting me have a glimpse into it.

The story of my life.

And what do I do with all that, all of the stories? I carry them with me. They’re now part of me. In some ways they change me. It’s a simple encounter with any one soul. Anywhere. But it can be meaningful and life altering.


Driven by, motivated, inspired and moved by God’s own love. All those words we read in the Bible, not just mere words we skim and leaf through. But guiding, living words. I tell Peter, I get too emotionally invested. Feel too deep. Far too devoted to any one cause. Great love, great compassion but also striving to be sensible, prudent, and practical. Always.


I’ve also decided. To take a break from all social media, blogging, etc…It’s been a long time coming. It’s been “too long tied” to the never-ending scrolling, posting. Not being present when I should. And the most loving thing I can think of doing, is cutting strings and setting boundaries, for myself, and being present. I have no business to promote, I have no proficiency in Bible knowledge to share about, I definitely won’t be blogging about any current fashion or beauty trends, there are plenty of inspiring homeschool parents out there and I’m just a novice, and there’s nothing else to promote or boast about. I don’t want to scroll through anymore mob mentality as I call it. And perhaps I’ll learn to use the actual phone and actually call people I love more often especially in a time when communication has completely been reduced to emoticons.  And if it looks too counter culture, radical, against the grain, well, I always feel a bit like the black sheep of the pasture.

Life is good. Blessed. God is good. Limitless.



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