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May 18, 2016

Spring Break 2016




















Jan 3, 2016

Confession

Here's what I have been struggling with lately.

Regret.

We should have...and then we could have.... and after that we most likely would have.....

When we bought our first house...a 1928 fixer upper on the outskirts of Hancock Park...more like on the edge of Korea Town....we paid $305 K for it.   We poured our heart and souls into that mission style two story at Olympic & Lucerne.  Painted the entire  outside and the entire inside without professional help.  Hung wall paper.  Planted ground cover and cacti.  Put up a fence with trailing morning glories.   It was our little oasis in the city.

Well...long story short...the LA riots and the 1994 earthquake happened.  Our home went down in value.  Way down.

Our marriage was in trouble around this time.  Relationships were idols and were being stripped away. Careers were idols and were being stripped away. 

We decided to leave L.A. and move to Scottsdale, Arizona.

I am grateful for our time in AZ.  I am grateful that we had the privilege of raising our children in such a beautiful environment.  Having the Sonoran Desert as a backyard playground is not something to take for granted.  Their childhood memories will be touched by enchantment, I am quite sure.

The thing I cherish most about the Lord's sovereignty in having us live in AZ...is the fact that we met people who we never would have had we not lived there.  We lived life amongst cherished loved ones. 

This is what I am struggling with however...

Some of the people we were in community with gave us advice over the years which I now realize came from a fear based place.

It all seemed to make sense at the time.  And maybe it even did...partially.  In the flesh especially.   

There is no denying that some of the huge life decisions made by us had their roots sown in fear.

As soon as that became clear....it was easy for me to break out of that mindset and make adjustments.

Hence our move back to L.A.

It is a move which was based in obedience.  Our living here is an act of obedience. 

As the new year is ushered in...I am owning my struggle.  Was the time in AZ supposed to happen?  Was it correct?  The church we were so deeply involved in is not a place we would ever attend today.  Relationships which we thought were the forever sort  have dissipated like vapor.  The house in the desert...the one we loved a lot for so long has been sold and strangers are living in it.

Our one time little oasis at Olympic & Lucerne has gone up in value.  Way up.  It is now worth 1.2 million.  We couldn't buy it if we wanted to.

Instead, we are living in a 1,100 square ft. rental. (It's quaint & adorable.  I am not complaining.)

Is this how it was supposed to go or is the Lord turning our fear based choices into something good because we love Him?

I don't know.

I haven't a clue.

The enemy is able to have a field day with this if I allow him to.

Instead...I confess this sin  of  regret to you.

Regret in this case has it's angry teeth  gnawing via a serving of  distrust. The sin of Distrust.  I am struggling to trust the ONE who is trustworthy.

And that brings me to pride.  The sin of pride I am struggling with the temptation to think I know better.   Better than the ONE who knows all.  

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.  James 5:16


Here is my unsolicited advice to you.

Seek out people who will push you into hard places.  Seek out people who will not give one ounce of consideration to tickling your ears.  Seek out people who are living fearlessly for the Lord.  Consider the choices before you and DO NOT allow fear to interfere with HIS instructions to you.

Excited for all the Lord does in 2016. 







Nov 18, 2015

12 Questions About the Syrian Refugee Crisis...the list may grow as I process

 I would love responses. 

1.  What is the role of our government in general and in this crisis?

2. What do you think about the President of our government...the one who has a history of opposing things of a Biblical nature...to pull out the "widows and orphans" slam in regards to unvetted Syrian refugees?

3.  Regarding ^ that btw....Is anyone out there under the assumption that radicalized men are not radicalizing women and children?

4.   What is the role of the Church in this crisis?  Local?  Global?

5.  Is the role of the gvt. and the role of the church different?

6.  Specifically to secular folks/ the "non-religious" ones...what have you done to help a Syrian refugee lately?

7.  Specifically to ....CHRISTIANS...what have YOU done to help a Syrian refugee lately?
 
8.  Specifically to secular folks/the "non-religious" ones....please explain to me how you desperately and passionately wanting to help the Syrian refugees lines up with your belief system?  The survival of the fittest one.  I'm lost.

9.   Specifically to the Christians...until you get off your high horses and take in or habitually visit a Syrian refugee...giving him/her the clothes off your back and feeding him/her from your table et. etc. etc. ...or supporting financially (until it hurts,) physically, emotionally, spiritually etc. etc. etc.  those who are...your self serving and self deceiving platitudes about continuing to bring them unvetted into our towns and cities...are falling on deaf ears.

10.  To everyone...Is there more than one way to help?

11.  Given Current Events...what is the wisest way to help?

12. What will YOU do?

Samaritan's Purse





Nov 10, 2015

Galilee / Class of 2015

Guess who graduated?

GALILEE POLINA GREGG did!

That's right.  High School is in her rear view mirror. 

The road wasn't always easy and the challenges were many, but this girl faced her fears...dealt with the sin issues that popped up ...which ACADEMIA had a way of exposing.... and earned her diploma like a CHAMP!

We are very proud of her. 




Dear Galilee,

You are a gift from the Lord.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made...knit together by a Master Artist in your birth mother's womb.  You are unique.  You are one-of-a-kind.  The Lord knows the number of hairs on your head.  He sustains your very life...giving you breath.  Each day is a new opportunity to love HIM and love others.  It is a privilege to call ourselves your parents.  You have changed our lives for the better.  You are loved.

Forever Yours,
Mom & Dad


















I Peter 5:10 

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.


Sep 19, 2015

Public Apology to Eugene Scott

I met a dear sister for a bite to eat yesterday.  During our time together, she tells me she feels as if I didn't do a good job of loving a fellow believer during a social media back and forth.  He and I have had ongoing differences over the past few years...aired publicly and privately over fb walls and in boxes.  Try as we may, we don't see eye to eye more often than not.  After a recent go around...I asked him if he identified as a Christian.  I had known him to do so in the past and I was trying to figure out if there had been some sort of shift. This hurt him...I hear from my sister...our mutual friend.

After being deleted & blocked over on fb, I was feeling sassy and posted about the incident, not naming names...but we share one or two intelligent friends and truthfully it would not have bothered me if they had put 2 and 2 together. I have no idea if my sassy post was seen by him, because we were no longer "friends" by this time.

So here it is...


The truth is....Eugene Scott and I have trouble. He's created in God's image...abnormally handsome, intelligent, articulate, passionate, charming, fun to be around in person (ADDITION since original posting/ ...and dapper.) I'm not really sure what the core issue is...but I do know how it has been manifesting. On my end...I want to communicate one of two things on his posts.  Either a Biblical worldview or a more Conservative leaning one.  I have failed to do that in a manner in which he has felt loved and that has wounded him.  Eugene Scott, CNN political reporter, I am sorry.  Please forgive me for my failure to love you well. You drive me crazy with your opposing views on matters and methods/style of communicating them and I am certain you feel similar things in regards to me.

That does not mean I don't want you in my vicinity.

Iron sharpens iron.

I am thankful for this one holding me accountable, pushing me deeper, and kicking my sassy butt with her wisdom and discernment.


* Eugene was sent a private message prior to this public apology. 

"The great crisis comes spiritually when a man has to emerge a bit farther on than the creed he has accepted." - Oswald Chambers

Aug 11, 2015

Little Desire That Could / Revisit

Okay so those of you who know me for any length of time...know that I am like a big pile of poop. Flies swarm around me.

Specifically... flies of the  SPIRITUAL WARFARE sort.

They find me.

I do not seek them out.

There was a long heartbreaking battle with an elder board over false teaching seeping into our old church...a battle initiated by the revelation of unbiblical instruction being sought & taught and unbiblical methods being employed by some in leadership.

There was a time when false teaching seeped into our home-fellowship and swayed our dear friends away from Biblically sound doctrine and practice.

The time when this false teaching landed smack in the middle of our home-schooling circle of relationships.

Recent times when the same issue is making it's presence known in a faith community I am involved with here in L.A. (not church.)

Very recent times where I am being asked to endorse through my writing...projects I simply cannot endorse and so I pass on "opportunities" in the professional world.

There is more.  You get the point.  It seems I am often being asked to deal with SPIRITUAL WARFARE stuff.  

The enemy is crafty.  He is patient.  He waits.  Patiently.

A while back...I wrote....

this post

I have said it before and I will say it again...I am not going to pursue acting.  There is no way in heCk I am going to run around town getting all stressed out about my muffin top or crows feet while sizing up the competition in a roomful of desperate pre-menopausal hopefuls.

Not an idol. Not happening.

If the Lord wants me to act...He will bring opportunities.

If something falls in to my lap...of course...I will consider.

Not very realistic, I know...but my God is big and He does all sorts of miraculous things all the time.

And...we are doing our own stuff.  Stuff I am glad to be in. 

So....cut to the chase....a friend asks me to be in a project.  I say, "Yes."  It was fun shooting it.  In and out.  Simple.  No biggie.

Out of the blue...months later...I get an e-mail from his friend, a director, telling me that she'd like me to play a role in a series she is doing.  I am surprised.  What?????? Really??????   I tell her I will read the script and get back to her.

I take a look at her website.  She's talented.  She's done some good work.  The script is good.

It deals with supernatural things.  People who see things...have visions...etc.

My character would be a sympathetic psychic who communes with dead people and teaches others how to do so.

I call up the director and tell her how humbled I am that she offered me the role.  How good the writing is.  And that I wish her all the best...but that.... as is...I would not be comfortable participating in the project.

I then go on to tell her that I came out of a past where things of this nature and whatnot were a part of my life...how I have experiences with horoscopes, ouija boards, and psychics.  How I had a change of life and became a Christian and feel as if there is only one way I would be able to play a role in this particular project.  It would be if I played a Christian in the setting she created.  In that world.  I went on to explain that there is a spiritual gift called Discernment... which I have been given.... and that many times I am able to quickly discern between good & evil...if something is of the Lord or not of the Lord.  I encouraged her to think about incorporating a character who speaks Biblical truth into the world of her story.

I have many friends who practice the sorts of things I used to practice.  I do not stop being near those loved ones because of the things they believe and do ...I love them.   However, I no longer partake in occult activities.  

Because she is a generous & open -minded creative type and a good storyteller...the writer/director was completely open to talking further about my thoughts and the possibility of digging deeper with this idea in the future.

So for now, it is a "pass."

We shall see what the Lord does from here on out with my involvement in this project...if anything at all .

Because of the intricacies of my journey with the Lord...the SPIRITUAL WARFARE issue is an area I know I am specifically called to speak into.

The red flags He alerts me to are very personal and I know them to be highly intentional...and I am called to obedience.

As an actress...I am not necessarily opposed to playing a sloppy drunk...a floosie...a raging swearing bit*h...and I will even  consider tasteful nudity (think woman approaching 50 skinny dipping with her family at a lake/Little Miss Sunshine vibe.) 

Just puttin' it out there, fellow filmmakers ;) 


If we are the Lord's...He puts the desires of our hearts in there.  He gives them to us.  He's got our dreams. He knows all about them.  Obey Him.  And see what He does with the dreams.  Whatever He chooses for us is for our good and His glory. 




Jun 3, 2015

Our Silver Anniversary

We met in Hollywood.  25 years ago today we were married in New York City.  We've lived through rocky times and have seen seasons of smooth sailing.  We've met Jesus.  We've wrestled with HIM.  We've learned from HIM.  We've made some good choices and we've made some poor choices.  We are parenting five children together and lost five children together.  We've seen career success...career change...and career struggle.  We've traveled.  We've stayed put.  We've home-educated together.  We've had much and we've had little.  We've liked each other and not so much.   We've misunderstood one another and perfectly understood one another...sometimes in the span of an hour.   We've fought and we've made up.  We've laughed a lot and cried a lot. We've lost and gained family.  We've lost and gained friends.  We've seen attacks come and go.   We've battled the enemy of our souls.  We've switched states four times.   We've encouraged and found encouragement in one another.   We've walked in fear.  We've walked in truth.  We've walked in freedom.  Side by side.   Together.

Not always as ONE.

That's a hard one to navigate.  Only with the Lord is it truly possible.

Thanking the Lord today for preserving and protecting our marriage in this fallen world.  To HIM be all the glory.  


May 9, 2015

Mother's Day

Let me tell you about our kids.

Our first is in Heaven.  How we celebrated this precious life and wept openly over our earthly loss.

Braverijah Sage, our second child and first born son,  is a gentle soul.  He is strong.  He is steady.  Like a rock.  He is wise.  He has understanding. He has taught me how to trust more.   

Our third child is in Heaven.  Such joy.  And such terrible sorrow.

Mcabe Justus, our fourth child and youngest son, lives life boldly.  What you see is what you get.  He is emotional and tender-hearted.  He feels deeply. He is a truth-teller.  And so loving.  And so forgiving. He has taught me how to live a better life.

Our fifth child is in Heaven.  Utter excitement and then heavy heavy grief.

Galilee Polina, our oldest daughter, has challenged me and the Lord has used our relationship to grow me in ways that I never saw coming and never thought possible.  She is raw.  She is curious.  She is a fighter.  She is determined.  She is learning how to rest.  She has taught me much about love and being loved and she has grown my patience.  

Jemima Bakytgul, our middle daughter,  is motivated.  She is disciplined.  She is joy filled. She is discerning and wisdom pours from her lips. She has taught me how to walk in truth and leave the past in the past. 

Our eighth child is in Heaven.  The kids gathered around me to hear the heartbeat.  And the
ever-so-sad technician had to call the doctor into the room because there was none.  Pain.  Enormous & stabbing pain.

Zion Evangeline is our ninth child and our youngest girl. She is the most intuitive person I know.  She is loyal.  She is sold out.  Nothing but absolute truth will you get.  She has taught me how to be present...and how to be more ME. 

Our tenth child is in Heaven.  Hope and dreams.... and then tears which turn into sobs.

These are my children.  I am their mother.



Happy Mother's Day to all my dear friends who have been blessed with the gift of motherhood.


Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord.      Psalm 127:3

To our daughters' birthmothers...thank you for their lives.

To my friends who grieve on this Mother's Day...I grieve alongside you.  





Apr 30, 2015

Isaiah 43:19

This trip was gonna be different.  In a few ways. 

In bittersweet ways.


 We drove in just in time for Neal's 40th B-Day Bash.


 

The Lord.

When He provides and encourages and blesses through relationships...it's really incredible.

He is incredible.


It's amazing how much we take for granted.  So much beauty in our own backyards.

Beauty all around us.



 


This sweet friendship.  Ever so precious.



And these girls.



Listing the house was more difficult than we imagined.





After a good old cry...Zion and I stuffed our faces with  10,000 calorie Chick-fil-a lunches.


These darling "farewells."





You've been good to us, Arizona.  We love you. 


See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.  

Isaiah 43:19