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!


Long Days…

Summer is here! The island is green, the sun sets but sits below the horizon for awhile so that it stays light forever, the days alternate between sunny and cloudy, flip flop weather and rain boot weather. This is the time of year we’ll miss most! Beautiful wildflowers, vibrant undergrowth, surprise animal sightings and bird songs everywhere, special times.

Having the daylight for most of 24 hours makes for some definite time confusion. You have to pay extra attention to the clock, because the sun will deceive you by several hours. It makes evening bonfires and hikes easier and more fun.

Summer is also transfer season, when Coast Guard friends move on. So each year we lose some friends from our circles and add new friends. This year much of our circle is dispersing, coasties and townies, over just about a calendar year.

I hate goodbyes. Passionately. But I thank God for friends special enough to make the goodbyes hard. For people we love enough to miss. They make me long for Home, an eternity of days spent in the Sonshine. But in the meantime we are enjoying the long days and time with friends while we have them!

Throwback – The Son’s Visage

Written in 2009.

He’s surrounded by His creatures
Who forever sing His praise
To holy to be seen by man
The great Ancient of Days.

Surrounded by a light so bright
No mortal can approach
Yet somehow we His glory bear
Despite our past reproach.

For Lord Sabaoth is sov’reign
And will get the praise, His due
As the Just and Justifier
Who will make His world anew.

At the ending of the age
When the final trumpet sounds
And the glory of His majesty
Will everything surround.

For the elements will melt away
Before His wrath undone.
Then grace and love will shine
In the visage of the Son.

Copyright Jonelle Liddell 2009

Making the most of the time

Moving sounds like a waste of precious time, especially since we are hopefully moving back to the lower 48 early next year. But it has already proved to be worth it. We moved out of the trailer we rented when Janessa moved in with us and into an apartment in a 4-plex. It is bright, the neighbors are nice (our last neighbors were too), we have a dishwasher, and my allergies are already better. Worth it!

We are in a precious time, looking at friends leaving (again), looking at leaving ourselves. Looking at last experiences before we move. Last Crab Fest. Last Kodiak summer. Last chance to do things on the mainland before we move. Time feels short and we are trying to make the most of it.

It is bittersweet. We are excited, restless, anxious to be close to family and friends in our other homes again. Eager for game nights with siblings, walks with parents, visits with dear elders, zoos with nieces. And we are sad to be leaving great coworkers, special workplaces, a wonderful community and favorite, beautiful mountains and beaches. We’ll miss the wildlife, the abundant eagles, the intimate community, our small groups, long summer days, Alaska fashion.

This is home, as much as anywhere on earth can be, and this is precious. So we try to number our days and we keep living, holding the tensions of conflicting longings and thanking God for the blessing of this time. For over six years here in Kodiak.

(If you wanted to visit us before we leave, get your plane tickets soon!)

If, Then

Colossians 3:1-2

You claim with Christ to be raised,
So seek the things above.
This evidence should follow
If you serve the Lord of love.

Seek the things at Christ’s seat,
There at God’s right hand.
Let your mind full dwell there
With them, the blood bought band.

Copyright Jonelle Liddell 2018

Words Matter

You know those themes that come up repeatedly in your life? The mantras that could be mottos if there weren’t so many of them? I have several themes that recur. “They were looking for a city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God and they knew that they were aliens and strangers on the earth.” “Context.” “Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.” And others. But this is one of the recent themes that keeps coming up. Words matter. And their meanings matter.

In the movie “The Giver,” adult characters frequently use the phrase “precision of language.” It is one our favorite things about the movie, because so often we want to say the same thing. Words have meanings, but our culture uses them carelessly and allows for confusion where clarity is possible. We get annoyed at people who nitpick about word usage, even when such nitpicking is needed to clarify the point. We live like characters from Alice’s Wonderland, where words can mean whatever you want them too.

It makes sense that in a world which holds absolutes in low esteem, especially those stark white absolutes of truth, holiness, righteousness, right, in that world definitions don’t matter. Nor does orthodoxy. Not in that world. But to the Church? That mystical organism that will be presented to Christ as a spotless bride? Truth should matter a lot to her. As should words.

Here is a video that we go back to semi-regularly when the mushiness of language surrounding us gets us down:

And here is a poem I wrote yesterday on the same subject.


The words you speak are powerful,
Proceeding from your heart.
They influence your thinking
Like a horse behind a cart
– As such they merit caution
Lest they pierce with error’s dart.

Of careless words a counting,
So He promised on that day.
I want to be found worthy
So I think, and seek, and pray
That His will be filled in me now
And in everything I say.

Copywrite Jonelle Liddell 2018

Crab Fest!

It’s Crab Fest! That’s the major Kodiak event, bigger than the fair. Jennifer was here for the beginning of it, which was fun! We enjoyed her visit greatly and already miss her a lot. We did some shopping, ate some great food from the booths, got soaked. Twice. See, this is spring/early summer and that means lots of rain. Which is good, it’s the reason we are called the Emerald Isle. Swollen rivers and ditches now, mud everywhere, means green is coming soon.

It looks like it will be a good summer for salmonberries, there are lots of bushes and they have lots of blossoms already. The last two years there have been hardly any berries, so this should be a great last summer. At least in that way. Assuming we do actually move next winter/spring. Which is still the plan.

Crab Fest isn’t very big or impressive by most standards. There is a small carnival, two aisles or booths with food, information and items for sale. But most of the community goes through at some point, often several times. It’s kind of like a family reunion, only for the whole city. And while Kodiak isn’t perfect, it is very much like a family. We will miss it.

Also, here’s a picture of Jen and Crystal. Jen was here when we got Crystal and Pepper. She walked up to a cat perch, Crystal climbed off of it onto her shoulder, and we adopted her. This visit she claimed Jennifer again in the first five minutes of Jen being here. This is not normal for here, usually this cat hides in the bedroom when we have company of any kind for the first while. She likes quiet and consistency. But old or not, she remembered Jen!