09.06.15-Milo, My First

Milo, My First

Sweet eyes of indigo,
 my darling son
He is of East and West pure ardent love.
For nine months, his face a deep mystery,
A babe intimately cradled inside.
And now my heart is at the mercy of
Everything I can’t control.
Hands-down,
His tenderness is sweeter than honey.
His little hands and his little feet,
Chubs upon rolls,
His health is finer than figs.
His laughter fills the hallways with gladness.
My heart leaps at the sound of his soft coos.
When he hears my voice within hustling crowds,
His smile declares that my response is life.
Merciful, Mighty, Illustrious, Honored—
A treasure box of riches is his name.
A little man of sweet silk in springtime
He is a June bug lovers honeymoon gift.

I can remember the morning of Milo’s birthdate as clearly as I can see him now.  It was the day after his due date.  Wes and I went in for a regular check up and the worse came in the words of, “We’d like to induce you.  We have reason to believe your son is growth restricted.”  Thankfully neither was the case.  Wes and I asked for a moment to ourselves, where we specifically asked the Lord for a natural progression of labor and for Milo’s health.  Six hours later, with no induction, Milo weighed in healthy as a newborn could be.  All praise to our Lord!  

Milo has been filling our days with his contagious smiles and laughter – giving us a fresh perspective on life.   With an inquisitiveness like his father and a streak of crazy like his mama (according to Wes) :}  he is a strong, life-loving, little boy; full of mercy and infectious snuggles.  And today is his half birthday.

Happy 6 months to our son, Milo Roark Scheler. 

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09.02.15-Back From Blog-cation!

Where has the time gone?!  I’ve been married for one year and 3months.  Between our wedding and now, Wes and I have circumnavigated the US, moved to the Midwest, moved back to Oregon, started building a house, had a baby, finished three out of the four quarters left in my degree and moved back to the Midwest where I write from today.

I have loads of content to unleash!  The ‘where to begin?’ is a bit overwhelming, but I’m willing to sort through the adventures had and the adventures that are on-going.  To start, it would seem sensible to begin where I left off before blog-cation, and that would put me at my wedding in Nicaragua.

Wes and I were humbled to be featured on Green Wedding Shoes, all thanks to two guys who captured our day, Eric Hires and Parker Young.  We invested in the simplest form of time travel; and every time we journey back, we are reminded that our wedding was the craftsmanship of communal hands.  Supported by two generous families and a rootstock of friends – with Jesus at our center – it was an honor to have publicly vowed my love to Wes in front of such kinship, even though my heart for Wes was his long before he had me trembling with the words, “I give you my life” at the altar beneath the tree of our dreams.  We met in Nicaragua the summer of 2010.  For four years we scarcely saw each other and talked only a handful of times.  Regardless of the distance between us, our relationship was rooted in Christ, as He had us walk out a journey of faith and surrender that revealed His mercy and His might to all.  One day I’ll unravel the details, but for now, there is no understatement when I say that our wedding was the fruition of a vision birthed from fervent prayer.

We had a fun celebration with family back in Oregon two weeks after our Nicaraguan ceremony and 3 and a half weeks before leaving our tiny cabin in the woods for 30 days of life on the road –  aka our honeymoon extención and cross-country move to the Midwest.

The night before what we thought was going to be our biggest adventure yet as a married couple, I went to Walmart.  Walmart, where the place turns otherworldly between the hours of midnight and 4am.  I found myself in an aisle that I didn’t think I would be in for possibly years to come.  As I stared at an overwhelming assortment of brands and advertisement, a kind lady leaned over and said, “This is the one you want.  It’s cheaper, but is just as accurate.”  I replaced the box that was originally in my hand and reached for the one she pointed to.  As I glanced back at her, she looked into my eyes like a sergeant to a cadet and said, “Good luck.”

Wes waited for me in the living room with his head between his hands and his mind somewhere beyond his stare at the floor.  I peeked at him from down the hall and avoided the following question as I quickly ran up the stairs and threw myself on our bed and under the covers.  Wes came up behind me with a very inquisitive tone, “So?….”  I peeped from beneath the covers and found him anxiously waiting my response with a smile.  ”You’re pregnant?” he asked.  I squeezed the sheets in close to my mouth and nodded yes as the corners of my mouth lifted.  ”We’re pregnant,” he repeated.  After a few minutes of being in total shock over two lines on a pee stick, Wes said, “Ok.  Let’s just go to sleep and talk about it in the morning.”  I laugh about his comment now and the fact that we were even able to sleep that night.  Only married for 22 days and pregnant already!

We didn’t say much about it the next morning as we packed up our Toyota, said good bye to our Oregon family and hit the road with the first stop just hours away, the Olympic Peninsula of Washington.  It was on our way that we decided we were going to keep the news of our growing family a secret till our first big holiday, Thanksgiving.  We had the whole thing set up perfectly.  We were moving to the Midwest where we had no blood relations, so hiding the physical changes was easy because there was nobody around that would actually notice.  For six months we relished in answering the infamous questions asked to all newlyweds, “how’s marriage? How’s newlywed life?”  We knew that throwing in our baby news would only cast a shadow over our newlywed season and it would quickly be forgotten.  Looking back, it was such a fun season where we were able to pray, dream, discuss our future family exclusively between each other, which was something very special.

After five weeks of traveling through Victoria B.C., the Canadian Rockies, Banff, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park and the Dakotas down through Iowa (I’ll be unpacking memories and stories from these trips over the next coming months) we made it to Illinois and received our first ultrasound of our baby at nine weeks.  I laid on my back while the technician placed warm goo on my belly and Wes sat in a chair across from me.  As soon as the heart beat filled the room with it’s stampeding sound, Wes jumped to standing and came over to the monitor were we saw our little peanut for the first time in black and white.  At the time we didn’t know it was a boy, but we always compared the sound of his heart beat to that of a stampeding stallion -strong and charging life.

When our 4 month stay in Illinois was complete, we made our way back to Oregon through way of Texas and California where we baby mooned for a few weeks.  During our travels we finally announced that we were pregnant with a baby boy, who we named Milo Roark Scheler on March 6, 2015.  We celebrated his 3 months on our one year anniversary and he is now pushing six months in a few days.   To say that he has rocked our world is minimizing his amazing presence in our lives.  He is a heavenly gift.  Seriously, heavenly.

Although it has been a very full and exciting year and 3 months, it hasn’t all been bliss.  We have mourned the passing of life from elderly relatives to unborn children and friends grieving the great loss of their firstborn child.  Somethings have been extremely difficult for me to digest emotionally and mentally, as I have wished for a step by step guide that shows me “the how to” mourn with those who are mourning and when to give encouragement to the devastated to not lose hope.  As a new mother, the joy I have in parenting and caring for my own child has come with the massive awareness of the loss experienced by many mothers that I can only imagine.  Our world is so broken.  It grieves me deeply.

I’ve come to learn that as the bible says that there is a time for everything under heaven (ECC. 3), even a time for mourning, to grieve is to welcome in healing. When we grieve, we give room for Jesus to do supernatural things in our hearts.  It is in this process of our brokenness and vulnerability that our hope is restored and in a way fortified.  It’s a journey no doubt; but a journey that we don’t have to take alone.  The bible says that God is near the brokenhearted (Ps. 34:18).  And we can call on Jesus, who calls himself Immanuel – the reality of grace meaning, God with us (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23)..

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04.23.14-P r o m i s e

All of creation attributes to the faithfulness of the Creator. My mother and I flew into Oregon last Thursday and witnessed this double rainbow.  I wonder to how many this rainbow is just another feature of nature.  To me is it a colorful reminder of God’s goodness and His promise.

What greater thing to count on than the One who swears by His own name!

I watch a gentle wind brush through the tall grass as I sit solemnly outdoors pondering events that have occurred over the last couple of months. It has been a dream world since the day I said yes to the man that holds my heart, but as the day of  ”I do” approaches, all the intricacies about our ceremony, vows, music, design & theme is starting to take its shape from the mold of our imagination.  It is a thrilling time in life!  Not only is it spring in the air, it is spring in my soul.  There is a new blossom of joyful anticipation with each day that draws nearer.

I stretch my thoughts thinking more deeply about my upcoming vows and the joy I have to proclaim my earnest love  in front of family and friends.  The image that forms in my mind hits closer to home as I remember my very first declaration of love when I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was a young girl.  It’s not hard to grasp that I love because He first loved me, but as I prepare for this new beginning – living out this love in marriage – I can’t help but think about how God has made this all possible by making a covenant through the blood-shed and resurrection of His son. 

This thought on covenant recently led me to read Genesis 15, when God made a covenant with Abraham.  Interestingly the covenant starts off like this,

“The word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
Do not be afraid Abram,
I am your shield;
Your very great reward.” (v.
1)

The Lord proceeded His promise (covenant) to Abram and within the following chapters He gives Abram a new name.  But from the onset the Lord proclaims that He is the very thing that He is solemnly swearing to Abram, the promise:  The Lord, “your shield; your very great reward.”  His name is a promise.  He himself is a promise.   It comes to me as no surprise that the Lord is all I need; however, I have to often remind myself, even still, about this promise I have in Him as His child and beloved.  Life so easily get’s cumbered with loads and loads of cares, often masking what I already have in Christ.  There is no better place to be than standing on His promises.  II Corinthians 1:20 says, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ.  And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”

Amen!

 

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12.21.13-A Compilation //

Tis the season of memory compilations ensuing gratefulness and merriment.  Here is my little hodge podge of captured moments that represent the beauty within this year. From January till now, I have seen countless sunrises (all in which can not compare with each other); breathed the west coast, salty air; hiked enchanting forests; roamed winter, spring, summer and fall.  I’ve visited small towns, big cities, mountains, valleys, and oceans. I got engaged!  Reunited with childhood friends. Witnessed new unions and beautiful – seasoned marriages.  I’m reminded through these compilations that none of these moments would mean anything without the fellowship – the craftsmanship of intentional friendship – community that are behind these pixels.  Life is blessed when it is lived shared.  As my fiancé likes to remind me, I am not an Island.   My place is far beyond the beautiful solitude I cherish so much –  it’s in the chaos of crowds and small gatherings as I, “walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever.” Micah 4:5


 *Photos taken by Wes Scheler @trailstothesea & Me @majao.

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11.19.13-Tether Me to You

Swoon by change, it was a brisk- sunny fall day in Illinois.  The streets were decorated by the vibrant fallen leaves, red, orange, yellow.  Driving next to my best friend, with a thankful heart unto the Lord, he said, ”No day is just a day.” And certainly that day had been planned for many days, weeks and months to be everything but ordinary.

 

 

We talked about going on a picnic later in the evening, but I was so excited that by noon, I was already in the kitchen processing the menu.  I had ideas running through my head – a warm bistro soup for the soul, a decadent thin crust vegetable feta pizza, fresh hummus, a thermos of hot chocolate, and for final gratification, chocolate covered strawberries.  I was so absorbed with the cooking that I hardly noticed the day dimming into the night and that Wesley hadn’t been around for hours.  I assumed that he was doing his J.O.B. as he so often likes to spell it out for me.
My thoughts didn’t linger long till, Wesley, came in to the house, asking if I was ready for the adventure.  An adventure that included: an unknown destination, and the first and only rule: blindfolded, no peeking.  I did not suspect that something else was going on; we often go on spontaneous adventures that include elements of surprise, which made this occasion entirely not rare. Wesley was blindfolding me as payback, he said, for the time I blindfolded him for his surprise birthday bash.
Guided only by Wes’ voice, I crawled into a space I thought was tight and enclosed.  I was told to fall backwards, which I found myself lying at a decline, oddly still.  Then a push and gurgles and swallowing up of water were the noises I heard – much like a submarine immersing deep.  I spent the next several minutes listening to “She Lit a Fire” by Lord Heron – which was quite the antidote for my shaken nerves and racing imagination.   Then it was time! Time for the unveiling (drumroll please) …

 


A beautifully handcrafted tent boat by Wesley (the Grizzly) himself.  It was so enchanting, I freaked out a bit… well, a lot a bit.

*When I’m with Wesley, I often feel like my face is going to fall off from smiling too much 8D

We spent an hour talking about the creative soul put into this piece over a candle lit picnic.  We reminisced on the three years we’ve known each other, and remembered the goodness of God that was represented in the boat.   It was so endearing it brought us to a rich, gut driven laughter, one that really can’t be explained – (because we don’t even know why) – but it carried on for minutes.  To calm ourselves down, we began to pray thankfully for the joy and friendship we share.  After a prayer of thanks, Wesley read to me a letter.  A letter that means the world to me.  It rendered me speechless till silence was all that was heard.  It was then that he leaned in toward me, and pulled out a box from behind him and asked, ”Would you sail with me?”  

That moment was too big for words…

Like a billow with the support of the mightiest winds, Joy, came in sets of tears I could not control.  My body, soul and spirit shook.   It was a dream in full reality.  I merrily said, YES! (after a series of me asking, Wesley, “what is that?! What is that?! … crying, shaking…. YES! – I was referring to the box).

    

– It was extraordinary to go back the next day and see the lake and serene beauty that surrounded the place where we set sail.

I want to say a many thanks, first to the Lord from whom all blessings flow.  My first trip to Illinois was a beautiful experience.  I was hosted by an amazing family, who took me in for the weekend and helped Wesley keep the occasion a surprise.  And I left Illinois an engaged woman, to a steadfast and prosperous man, son of the Most High, and brother to all born again believers. 

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09.22.13-A Time Traveler’s Log

Over the last couple of weeks, I have spent my solitary time harvesting life-changing nuggets from the seasons of my  short life.  I’ve learned a sum of many things about self and humanity.  Things profound and chiseling.  Things mysterious and conquering. I’ve also found the reflection empowering and the harvest beautiful.  Although, the ebb and flow of the seasonal tides have been at times drafty and cold, the deeper awakening to the nature of seedtime and harvest has vastly enlightened my calling as a believer of Jesus Christ.  To know Him more…

Profoundly so, my reflection harvest: 

*There is no progression, love or hope in fear.  Nothing good can grow from a fearful thought, a fretful heart,  the anxious soil.
* Willingness is a state of the heart not a pair of words.  To say, “i am willing” is to be united in word and in deed: Submitting the emotional state to fruit bearing actions.
*True Simplicity is impossible to attain without  courage.  
*Time is coming not going; therefore, it’s better to live expectantly than wishfully. With hands to the plow, never looking back with thoughts of  ”what if?”
*Always leave the door for reconciliation open.  Fight for your relationships and community – and never shut the door for healing.
*Learning to identify and communicate your emotions is a powerful life tool.  Emotions should never drive us, but we should steer our emotions in the right direction, encompassing honesty and truth communicated in love.
*Adventures are healing. Much of our lives are so focused on arriving that we miss out entirely on the process and enjoying the journey.  We are better travelers when we can rest in the truth that, “He makes all things  beautiful in it’s time.” (ecc.3:11)
*The elderly are inspiring. They are our history of years spent.
*Insecurities are tantrums of selfishness. (ponder this)
*Trust is built and respect is earned.
*I’m just a beggar asking another beggar for bread – we are all in need of a Savior
*Serving others will perfect your character – and will reward you in ways one personally couldn’t imagine
*The Lord already knows what you have need of, when you need it and how you need it. Therefore, unbelief is evil and will cause a many evil.
*Roommates are the perfect mirrors for evaluating self.  Relationships take a dual effort of intentionality.
*It’s not about perfection, but about the process & progress
*Being a part of something bigger than yourself is the greatest adventure you’ll ever embark upon, the greatest high worth having and the greatest investment you’ll ever make.
*In the world of gardening, in order for a seed to produce a harvest it must die to be resurrected.  Tis a monumental principle for seasons of life were letting go and a loosen grip is the key to exponential growth.
* True hope fuels a steadfast expectancy

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09.06.13-August 30th

Amazed by the faithful secrecy of plans unbeknownst to me. Overwhelmed. Involuntary buckling at the knees.  Shocked with a burst of emotions: abounding joy with innocence to the occasion.  A magical moment in time.  I was Surprised...

  ”He came, surprisingly.  He came and swept me away. Like a large sea wave, his love billows me.” – m.k.o

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08.22.13-River Picnic

 I can remember the way the water felt that day when I dipped in my finger tips. It was still slightly too chilly. Wes & I floated down river, honed in by the wilderness on either side. It was as if we were gliding into a story book. The day was bright and not a cloud in the sky.  I wouldn’t really have known any different, but people have told me on various occasions that that is rare for Oregon in early June.   We banked our river transports on a little island that divided the river into two channels. We set up camp and let out a deep sigh… Smiles.  The sound of water moving along with the rest of wilderness chimes.  Every time I remember that day or look through the photos captured, I never fail to think that the greatest of things that I take for granted is stillness.  Slowing myself down enough to enjoy the little things in light of the bigger things.  Things like the stroke of my paddle pushing me along, or the funny hiccups along the journey to our destination, or the “hey, did you see that bird?”  We slowed it all down, and picnicked.  If there is any activity I love more than picnicking, I can’t think of one at this moment.  Picnics slow it all down for me to inhale all the pleasures of  fellowship and savory treats.  The beauty of color in food and fresh air is: Relaxing.  Breathable.  Enjoyable.
& the Lord has made it all.  Dining at it’s finest! What Joy!

        *photo credit: Wesley D. Scheler @trailstothesea.

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08.15.13-Clarity

In the thick of the forest
Abstract shadows
Rise like fog
casts by moonlight.
Beware of the dark
uncanny journey
Hold fast
till there be new light;
For
Clarity is found
Past the blurry edges of the night
When thanksgiving sounds.

Hindsight is 20/20, the saying goes.  So often along the way, when life continually happens, it’s hard to remember where we came from, how far we’ve come and all that we have overcome.  As difficult as it can be, I find that in any circumstance, giving thanks can roll back those gray skies and calm any raging sea within. It’s magic. It’s a mystery; and it fights past the thickness and let’s us see the bigger picture of glory.  What are you thankful for?

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07.01.13-Daily Bread

nauseous from the emptiness
the ache of void, the teasing cramps;
for the satiating pleasure to be filled to the brim -
to feel fullness in the way one wishes they hadn’t indulged.
salivating to taste, eating with both eyes and mouth.
wishing for a way to satisfy the groans and grumbles
that are screaming in my ears- reminders that my daily bread
is truth eternal, grace unfolding….

this is the state of my appetite.

reminding me that yesterday’s manna will not suffice
for what today wills, stimulating my hunger & need for
food heavenly.

“no branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.”

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