We love having company! This summer we’ve had a few friends and family come through and have greatly enjoyed the time catching up, exploring, taking pictures. Here are a few pictures from the last few weeks. Or a lot. Brace yourselves!

We found theses bees sleeping while we were out on a walk. And we like bees!

Rex and Penny spent a few days of their grand Alaskan adventure with us, what a treat!

We went on a wheeled flight over the eastern end of the island. It was a perfectly calm evening, no turbulence at all!

Kodiak is beautiful! (This may be repeated in this post). And we appreciated Titus taking us up! (See picture below)

After a few days with Bernekings, we met Fred’s parents in Anchorage for a few days on the mainland. This is the Anchorage Rail Depot.

We rode the Alaska Railroad! To the Spencer Glacier whistle stop. It was a great day!

Outside Anchorage along the Turnagain Arm.

One of many glaciers we saw that day. This is a hanging glacier, named for the way it hangs from the top of the mountain.

The train took a side trip to Whittier on its way to the whistle stop, through the tunnel (which we now know is cool in a car and a train).

Spencer Glacier! And ice floes that have broken off of it.

Seward Sea Life Center is well worth the visit. And Seward is a pretty cute little town!

Surrounded by gorgeous mountains.

Quick stop in Homer, then back to Kodiak for the rest of their visit. Animals seen (not in the Sea Life Center) included: trumpeter swans, moose, bald eagles, belugas (!!!), sand hill cranes.

This time the mail run worked, so we got a float plane ride! On a beautiful day!

Can you see the bears?

More bears

Salmon spawning

And the some random shots that I enjoyed. Some days it rains. Some days the sun shines on everything the rain has touched and makes it glorious! Did I mention that Kodiak is beautiful?


Glorious Hope

“As it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or death.” Philippians 1:20

Shame’s shadows loom closer
threatening disaster.
It appears inescapable,
the only surety left
in my fading vision.

Traction lost for a moment,
onlookers know that I am
falling in darkness.

But the moment passes
purchase obtained
hope proved
as expected
no question

For now

as always
is glorified
will be glorified

in me

in life
in death

broken vessels
become beautiful
in His hands
Who dwells in light I can’t approach
eliminating all trace
of shadow
of shame

Glory in the midst of me.
Glory holding my hand,
keeping me from falling,
presenting me to Himself,

Copyright Jonelle Liddell 2018

Isaiah 55

Incline your ear and come to Me,
listen, that you may live.
My covenant I’ll make with you,
a contract here will give,
everlasting in duration,
in nature, redemptive.

To David faithful mercies shown,
such mercy shown to you.
My name proclaimed as holy then,
here glorified anew.
I, the Holy One of Israel;
you, the apple in My view.

Seek Me while I may be found.
Call now, while I am near.
From wickedness now turn aside,
from sin let your path veer.
Let your heart now return to Me,
repent and wipe your tear.

I promise you compassion and
My pardon abounds more,
for My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor
are My ways such as yours.
As heav’n than earth is higher, so
My ways above yours soars.

My word won’t come back empty, it
will work what I decreed.
For you will then go out with joy,
led forth with peace you’ll be,
when the hills shout forth before you
and clapping join the trees.

Copyright Jonelle Liddell 2018


(this is the view from my floor at the hospital)

Life gets tricky when you’re grown up and have to do things like work for a regular employer. And more when you are living with someone else who you actually want to see sometimes. Fred work for a clinic, as a computer tech. I work for the hospital as a nurse. He works days, I work nights. We have spent our marriage wrestling with conflicting schedules and finding ways to maximize time together.

Sometimes it works well and we have a stretch of wonderfully compatible shifts, where we are off on the same days and can catch up on sleep, hiking, housework. Those stretches we both go to church and potluck, we are both at small group, it’s great! Then come the stretches of opposite shifts, where Fred got to church without me and I go to work right before small group. We get behind on housework. We spend less time outside. We don’t sleep as well.

Someday we will be on the same schedule and maybe then we’ll catch on sleep. We’ll be more consistently active. It’ll be great. In the meantime, this works. We look ahead to a near end and make the most of our weekends (wherever they fall in the week) and sleep where we can. We enjoy the good things in our jobs and appreciate the time and experience we have had here. These have been good jobs for us, we’ve learned a lot, we’ve met wonderful people. They have been good gifts and we are grateful for them.

Family (an experiment in free verse)

joined by birth
by marriage
vows and blood formed
ties that last.

joined by choice
by adoption
friends in name
family in heart.

joined by sacrifice
spilt blood creating
members of one family
shared salvation
united in faith.

taking many forms
each matters in eternity’s light
is not to be taken lightly
is not easily set aside.

Family by love.
Family by blood.
Family of my heart.

Copyright Jonelle Liddell, 2018

Book Dives

Come dive into a book with me,
we’ll fall into the past.
First watching coronations, then
a wedding day breakfast.

We’ll swim past wars and battles
fought by warriors, true or false.
Perhaps we’ll join a farmer
or a merchant in guildhalls.

We may encounter whalers,
steamships, galleys, coracles,
may ride an ocean greyhound
or dive deep in U-boat hulls.

Would you watch a race with me-
two horses, matching strides?
Or join me hunting great wolves,
high above the Welsh cliffsides?

Our travels could pause anywhere,
with Aztecs or Urdu,
new friends who share their stories
and their lives may change you, too.

Copyright Jonelle Liddell, 2018

Life as a Musical…

Have you ever watched a musical and wondered what it would be like to have your life accompanied by music? It would be like being married to Fred. Fred likes to narrate our life with nonsense songs that he makes up on the spot. Sometimes he is more careful about the tune than others. Sometimes he pays more attention to rhymes, sometimes he doesn’t bother. Sometimes we alternate parts.

Some of these songs get sung fairly often, so sometimes I start them. Which works for some, but can get a little strange. Like Fred’s favorite song: “This is my wife! She is so pretty! She makes me happy, and I love her lots!” He sings that one a lot so I do too. Is that weird? Maybe, but when your life is a musical, you sing!

It’s one of my favorite things about being married, seeing the ways our habits and idiosyncrasies blend and shift over time. Some things become both of ours, some things we accommodate in the other. Some things we enable. And some things we encourage and work to keep. I pray that God always gives me the grace to work for our marriage and that He continues to give us a joy in each other that overflows in silly songs!