Thursday, September 30, 2010

Embrace 3 Generations

Well, it's that special day when I must get myself in a photo. Today was a day when I just felt that no one would want to see our droopy, snotty faces, so hands it is! Grammie came to visit and caught the tail end of the girls' colds. Now she is sick and baby boy got it too. Luckily I have Mommy Immunity and am healthy enough to take care of everyone else!!!
3 generations of hands on Grammie's sick bed :(

(Sadly there are no diamonds on these hands - Grammie must be really sick!!!)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Believe In

The lovely dinner we attended last weekend was a celebration for the Reverend Dr. David Worth and his 40 years of ordained ministry. There was a large celebration at Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church, where he currently pastors, that morning. But the dinner was more intimate for close family and friends. My husband was his Associate Pastor at Malibu Presbyterian Church sometime ago and we’ve remained friends, but still felt rather honored to be included in this special group of people. Everyone in the room shared their relationship to Dave and his wife Nancy and the testimony of their ministry echoed throughout the room. When it came time for me to share, I got emotional (no surprise!!) as I recalled the significant impact this man has had in my life. Several years ago the college ministry at MPC was growing rapidly and the college pastor at the time (my current husband!) approached Dave asking that they hire someone else to help him in this large ministry. There was no money in the budget for this and the timing wasn’t great, but because Dave believed in the college pastor and in university ministries, he alone raised the salary for this new person to be hired. That person was me! Because Dave had radical faith in God’s provision and because of his commitment to his staff and college students, my life in full time ministry began and my passion for college students grew. I will never be the same because of that opportunity. Beyond that, I tearfully shared that the thing I am most thankful for is that Dave and Nancy have always encouraged my husband and believed in him (even throughout these past 10 years out of church ministry) and I have greatly benefitted from that. Encouragement from another and the words, “I believe in you,” are so powerful. Do you have anyone in your life that believes in you? Who believes in your passion and your vision? Do you have a friend that you believe in and have you told them? Your spouse? Your children? A co-worker? “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” I Thessalonians 5:11

Monday, September 27, 2010

You Too?

Last night my husband and I were invited to a lovely dinner (more details to come in a future post!) and on our way I confessed in the car that I’m not happy with the direction I’m headed as a Mom. Our children are increasingly disrespectful and mean and I feel that I’m 85% to blame as I feel joyless in parenting and angry most of the time at the terrible things they say and do! We had a lovely time at the dinner and I was lucky to sit next to some friends with their 2 week old baby who I stole for most of the night! That alone restored my hope in little ones! Swapping stories with old friends and their honest account of parenting children ages 2 weeks – 8 years old, was also refreshing and comforting. “You too?,” was all I kept saying to myself. I have to admit, I was certain some of these friends would have their perfectly behaved children with them and they would sit quietly and politely all night. I was wrong on many fronts! Their children were not there and there was reason! It’s easy to think we’re alone on this crazy merry-go-round ride called Mommyhood. It’s even easier to get with a group of moms and simply share all the amazing stories of how bright, kind, beautiful and talented our children are! But honesty is powerful. We haven’t seen some of these friends for several years, yet it didn’t stop them from opening up about the hardships of parenting and the ugliness we discover in ourselves as these little ones push us to our limits. It was one of the most refreshing nights of conversation I’ve had in a very long time. My kids aren’t perfect. You too? I never knew I could become so angry. You too? I long to be in authentic community where we not only share our joys, but also our trials. You too?

Thursday, September 23, 2010


It's Thursday again and I'm ready for my second embrace! Last week only my little ladies made it in the photo, so today the challenge was to get little dude in too. We had a private moment and then a miracle moment when all 3 kids smiled at once!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Be 4

Each day I require my daughters to have “quiet time.” I strategically coordinate their quiet time with my son’s nap so I get a moment of peace! Inevitably the girls aren’t so quiet and I move them into my room so they don’t wake the baby. I checked on them after some time to find them having a blast in my closet, looking like little runway models in tall boots with my purse slung over their shoulder! It was so precious, I had to snap some pics. But it made me think, what’s wrong with being 4? Why do you want to wear high heels and pretend to be grown up? Enjoy the wonder, simplicity and comfy shoes of a 4 year old! What about me? Am I totally living in this moment? Or am I flash forwarding too far ahead? There are simple treasures to be found in every stage of life. If we are focused too much on what treasures are down the road, we’ll miss out on what God has for us today. Just a simple reminder to be 4, or whatever age and stage you are in! Don’t miss it, it won’t come again.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Last week I took my children to Pepperdine to see their amazing memorial to those who lost their lives on September 11th. There is a flag for each person who died and the display of color blowing in the wind is both powerful and beautiful. My children thought it was amazing and fun until they asked me why the flags were there. I hesitated for a moment, not really knowing how much to tell a four year old about evil in our world (not only for their lack of ability to comprehend it, but also the potential of them staying awake at night, fearing evil people!). Then, in my lack of creativity, I just told them the truth. They began to ask so many questions about how and why someone would do this and I answered as truthfully as I could. It was very freeing to tell them the truth. If I would have made up a watered down story, it would have affirmed the terrorists power and evil, because I was afraid to tell my children what they did. But in telling my children the truth, I felt like evil was not to be feared, but explained in its proper light – which is subordinate to the power of God. Yes, there is evil in this world. But, the truth is Jesus Christ has over come this world. Terrorists will never have the final word. Jesus holds the final word as the Way, Truth, Life, and ultimate judge.

"If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32

Friday, September 17, 2010


When I was a freshman at Pepperdine, we had dorm meetings to talk about “B.H.R.” – Basic Human Respect. As young women living away from home for the first time, there were some things we needed to learn about living in community and respecting those around us. Those BHR talks were only the beginning of learning what it means to respect people and live in a way that values others greater than my self. I thought of this the other day as I went to pull into a parking space just as a man was leaving his cart in my spot. Perhaps startled by the sound of my engine, he turned around and looked at me. To my surprise, he didn’t give the “oops, I’m sorry” look, but instead turned back around to leave his cart in front of my car and got into his car! In an instant I began sweating, heart racing, profanity flooding my mind – but with my children in the car I simply yelled, “Come on Buddy, BHR!” I’m not sure if anything makes me more crazy than when people don’t return their carts. It is one of the most selfish and lazy acts. And also one of the most tiny and simple acts! Yes, I am someone who always returns my cart; however, I know there are other things I selfishly do that disrespect those around me. As a follower of Jesus I am called to consider others as more important than myself. If we filter all that we do through that truth, I’m sure there would be a lot more BHR in our world!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I can't believe I'm going to do this, but I'm totally inspired and feel like I need to challenge myself in this way. Ever since I was pregnant with the twins and got a new camera to capture moments of their life, I've been obsessed with taking photos! Now, 4 1/2 years later, I complain that there are no photos of me with my children because I'm always taking the pictures! A friend of mine is embracing this challenge of "Embracing the Camera" and after reading the blog from Emily, I'm in! I must say that this challenge is really hard for me because I haven't taken a picture that I feel good about since my wedding photos! Probably because photos of me now only show how tired I really am, how much I've aged, and a few lines that reveal the truth of a scowl that has owned my brow far too often for the past 3 years!

But I'm going to do it - I will embrace the camera every Thursday, taking a photo that has me in it, and blog about it!Mommy Girl and her Little Ladies

Self Timer on the Guest Room Bed!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


My little one was sick this week and I took her to the doctor Monday just to make sure she wasn’t getting something worse. She was terrified when I made the appointment, “I don’t want to get a shot,” she said. I promised that there would be no shots, but this didn’t comfort her. I even told her that if they wanted to give her a shot I would tell them no and we’d run out of there! She still wasn’t confident. On the drive to the doctor’s office I kept reassuring her, “I’m your Mommy, you can trust me, there will be no shots.” Experience would tell her that when you go to see the doctor, you get shots (her past 2 visits warranted this). But shouldn’t her experience with me also tell her to trust what Mommy says? How often does God say, “trust me”? It doesn’t make sense financially to move. It isn’t time to quit your job and look for a new one in this economy. Have another baby – are you crazy? Volunteer, I don’t have time for that. Yet God says, “trust me on this one, I will provide.” Have we stepped out in faith enough and trusted the voice of God, so that experience would tell us to trust Him?

Saturday, September 11, 2010


6 years ago today I became Mrs. Roger Newquist. I remember every detail like it was yesterday. I also remember the first time I saw him. I walked into Malibu Presbyterian Church on a Sunday morning in February, 1995. There was a man in a navy blue suit standing in the pulpit and I said to myself, “I’m going to marry that man one day,” and I did - 9 years later! He captured my heart that very moment. I didn’t even know his name, but something stirred within me and I just knew. Our romantic journey was a long one with many bumps along the way, but it is our story, and I love it. He is the only man I’ve ever loved. He is the most attractive man I’ve ever known. He is a man of integrity and a man of his word. He calls me higher everyday. He always makes me feel special and appreciated. He makes me laugh. And after 15 years, when I see him, something still stirs within me and I know – this is the man I was meant to love for the rest of my life. Thank you for pursuing me and capturing my heart. I love you Babe. Happy Anniversary!

Friday, September 10, 2010


This afternoon I was honored to be part of an intimate luncheon to celebrate the 90th Birthday of my sweet neighbor Dora. My Grandmother would have been 90 this November, so Dora is dear to my heart – a California Grandmother to me! As we sat and listened to fun stories, I asked Dora to pass along some wisdom to us all. Before she could answer, her daughter offered a story that would illustrate wisdom she had gleaned from her mother. Niquie shared that when she was young, her mother would ask her the time in the afternoon. Niquie would reply that it was after 5pm and quickly Dora would go into the bathroom to brush her hair and reapply lipstick. When asked what she was doing, Dora answered, “Your father is on his way home from work.” She wanted to look her best when her man walked through the door! I just loved this story and loved seeing the sparkle in Dora’s eyes as she listened, fondly remembering those days awaiting the arrival of her love. “That’s what you did in those days,” she said. Yes, a little old fashioned, but a powerful statement of priorities, passion, and commitment. On this eve of my 6th Wedding Anniversary, I think I’m going to take a moment to go brush my hair and reapply my lipstick. There is a man coming home that I want to know how much he means to me and how much I’ve been looking forward to his arrival!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


“Mommy, can God heal my boo boo?” This is a question I’ve heard a lot lately. And then, when the band aid comes off, “Look Mommy, God healed my boo boo!” They ask about God’s healing all the time. “If I go to school and get sick, can God heal me?” I know my girls have heard a lot about God’s healing in Sunday School, through the stories of Jesus healing the blind man, the man that couldn’t walk and so on. I love that they’ve heard about God’s healing, and now they want to know if He can heal them too. How wonderful that little minds take words out of the Bible, and immediately translate them into their own personal story. They want to receive the same gifts from God, the same miracles, the same healing. Am I that eager to receive what God has to offer? Do I believe that his powerful miracles are for me too? Do I ask for God to heal me in every little hurt that comes my way, as well as the big ones? He is Jehova Rapha, the God who heals.

Monday, September 6, 2010


Isn’t it funny how something that looks like a mistake sometimes turns out to be a wonderful blessing? Today we experienced a blessed mistake! We started out on a little family adventure; my husband wanted to take us to the Huntington Gardens. I’ve been there and love it. As he passed the exit we were supposed to take, he insisted that he knew where it was and kept driving. When we arrived at our destination, he discovered that he’d made a mistake! He took us to the place he had intended to, but he was calling it the wrong name all along, and it wasn’t the Huntington Gardens! At first I was rather disappointed, but we stayed and it turned out to be an amazing place, filled with gardens of the world, lakes, fountains, peacocks… you name it! It was a wonderful mistake! Sometimes things in life don’t go as planned. We make mistakes. Others make mistakes that effect us. But our God is a God of redemption and He loves to turn a mistake around and make it a blessing. Sometimes the blessing doesn’t come right away, and sometimes it comes with some consequences, but our mistakes are God’s opportunity to teach us and bless us.
*One of the unexpected blessings from today’s mistake was a family photo where everyone is smiling at the camera!

Friday, September 3, 2010


After a visit to the Butterfly Exhibit at the Natural History Museum, I’m reminded of God’s interaction with us. We were not separated from the butterflies by glass; they were swirling all around us! And as if that wasn’t enough, they even chose to land on us and visit for a moment! It’s easy to view God as a distant figure that sits in heaven and observes us from behind glass. We cry out to Him in a moment of desperation, but He doesn’t respond. Perhaps He’s too far away to hear us! But this isn’t our God at all. He is so present with us and interacts at every moment. From the refreshment of waking up in the morning after uninterrupted sleep, to the majesty of a glamorous sunset – He is present. He loves to interact with us in everyday life, and if we start paying attention, it’s amazing just how much the Creator of the universe longs to land in our lives and visit for a moment. He longs to interact with you.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fresh Start

Who says January 1st is the only day for a fresh start? Today is the first day of school for my little loves and everything is new for them, so why not for me too? New teachers, new school clothes, new schedule… it’s time for a fresh start. I have a new sense of vision and passion, more energy, and an overall feeling of optimism and expectation. I love the Fall and I’m thankful for a fresh start! I am reminded that God’s mercies are new every morning. We don’t just get one chance to be forgiven, then if we mess up after that we’re abandoned. But, God gives us fresh starts everyday, and He is faithful to renew our strength, vision and passion to accomplish His purposes in this world. Tonight I’m sitting down to set some goals for this school year. I want to be intentional with my time and relationships. What areas of your life need to be refreshed? Today is a new day. God’s mercies are new. Let Him put a new song in your mouth and take advantage this fresh start.

P.S. One goal I’ve already set is to blog every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Since my life is “not my own,” I’m sure there will be days with a sick child, or sick Moma that means blogging is not on the radar! This was my original goal in blogging and throughout the Summer, I’ve drifted in and out. But with this fresh start, I’m back at it!


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