Archive for the ‘According to 2018’ Category

Three In One

Saturday, June 9th, 2018

I want to talk tonight about how we can have many people inside of us. Not like a multiple personality disorder, but more like character traits that are brought out depending on the situation in which we walk into. Everyone has roles to fill in life. For my children, that could easily be divided into home, work and school.

Three is an important number in the Bible, indeed, used to describe the deity that must holistically be believed in in order to enter eternal peace, comfort and rest.

I do want to keep things simple. It never ends up that way with me though, does it. I have a hard time choosing an avenue that I want to go down, when I get there I find that it is too much commitment and fall to another train of thought until I backspace in complete fluster and frustration with myself. So, what better place to start than with a simple picture that has an involved and heavy emotion behind it’s simplicity.

This is me.

I’m 8 or 9 years old. My life is wonderful. I have two loving parents, I’m proud of my mom and dad and respect them both tremendously, I have younger siblings and lots of pets. Our house, built by my dad, is one of a kind crafted with skill made just for us. My parents chose property that is quite park like in it’s aura–trees, ferns and wild flowers growing everywhere. There are birds, butterflies and salamanders. We’d run around barefoot all day and have to be called in for supper at dusk. Our meals were home made and often had dessert (a cobbler or pie) following the casserole and side of home grown vegetables. My parents made sure that we always had Bible and prayer time at the end of each day, no matter how busy they had been. Does this sound like a dream childhood? Yes, for many, this would be a dream.

For me however, there was something huge missing, that even the most caring person could not hand me help for. My head just wasn’t right. I couldn’t grab onto information for keeps that I wanted. Thus, I was always in trouble, hardly living a day without a tremendous spanking, many tears and a bruised bottom. These words are not delayed abuse allegations. After a spanking, depending on whom it came from, I would be asked if I, “deserved another swat” Of course I wanted to say no, but what a moment of bewilderment. What I wanted was space to be angry, space to be mad, even a safe place in which I could take a breath to mourn over the physical sting. That was not a freedom I had. A wriggle to the side equalled rebellion in the perception of whomever’s knee I vulnerably lay across and the paddle often landed itself resoundingly against the thin cloth that provided modesty. I was told that I did not, “receive spankings well” and again, somehow, the next day it would happen again. What was my problem?!

Every morning was a new chance. When I’d come down the stairs, my beautiful mother would be there, humming a tune from the Psalms with a wonderful smile on her face upon the occasion of seeing me. Her eyes were always tired, no doubt from spending the night awake with whichever child was an infant at the time–we had a new baby in the family every 18 months or so.

Years later when I was diagnosed with a seizure disorder the doctor told us that in childhood, prior to medications I was most likely experiencing hundreds of small epileptic episodes a night…which in retrospect would explain why I so often woke with a sore neck and numb feeling in my head.
At the time this photo was taken I could not read. I could copy down writing. I knew I could, because I wrote thank you notes to my grandma after she’d send us money for our birthdays and gifts for Christmas. I did this by dictating to my mom what I wanted to say, then copying it out. My mom always wrote, “Love, Laura” at the end of the letters of appreciation. As an 8 year old I actually thought that L-O-V-E before Laura was part of my name. There was so much that I didn’t understand. Not because I was stupid, but because I did not take to learning. I had stories in my head that I wanted to bring out, imaginary adventures that I would take, and just the daily special moments that made me love my life.

For me, the only heart break was the disobedience to my parents that some how time and time happened. I still can’t explain it. I do remember my last though. It was special, I think because my dad prayed and cried, and that I really wondered why the hell a 14 year old was being spanked. That day we found our peace. I really believe that.

At my wedding when we stood side by side for pictures, I glanced over at his face and saw satisfaction. Now as I look at the photos I do interpret his expression as love. Love Laura even. He’d miss me if I were gone. He took this photo, and gave me the childhood I had. He never lost his cool or swore. Every movement he made was intentional and with control. Each choice he made was bigger than any of us, it was faith that he was doing what pleased God.

I’m doing it again, aren’t I?! Ebbing away from my initial purpose.

Have you ever had it said to you, “This is a side of you haven’t seen before”

As a young girl I had a habit of stowing away ideas and things I wanted to say, knowing disapproval and punishment were at least a 50/50 chance against applause and approval. What I did do was try to hold memories, promising myself that one day I could write and that I would put all my happiness on paper so that other people could know of my good times.

The year before I started college I started Depakote. That EEG that found me to be an individual who would be on medication for life changed everything. I now had a new mind to piece together. I checked out a book from the library with calligraphy styles, picked a font that I liked and wrote my alphabet over and over until I achieved the look that I saw in the book. Sitting back, I was pleased with what I saw and knew I now could do more and more having captured the ability to write which I had started in my mind so long ago.

Medication brought side effects. Exhaustion, hormonal flip flops, etc. But despite those things I felt a new ease and peace. I could put everything together, on my own terms. My mind felt clear, this was my time.

This is a side of you I haven’t seen before

This is not a comment of approval. It’s something said when they’ve liked the peace of your personality they’ve liked then see another angle or part of your life. For example, how you relate to your original family opposed to how you behave with the family you’ve created together.

Or if you’ve only talked about a set of topics and something else comes up.

I think that this can be uncomfortable, but everyone experiences it. What’s important is the level of compatibility between these elements of a person. Is it something that makes them an unreliable unstable person? Or is it just something you never noticed that, upon a closer look, only makes them that much more beautiful and worthy of spending time with.

The proper conclusion, as I feel it is time to reach for one, is to state a significant fear that I carry with me. And here that is.

My relationships have been built on written words, not physical appearance. Be the mood just right to host self doubt, I imagine a scenario in which, what was my rise would equally be my demise. Could it be that the writing that made me be attractive and worthy of being sought out, also be my falling. Yes, it could.

The nice thing here, is that that is my choice. I am in charge of my own destiny, I choose those angles and parts of who I am, while God has orcastrated it, I am responsible. For each word and reason. If I choose happiness and fulfillment, if I choose to be the optimist. This is how my life will be colored. For tonight, I choose happy. I choose to be who I need to be for my loved ones, and for myself.

Just Over that Hill

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

I have lived in this safe spot for a really long time. When I’m not here, I miss it. Not this house specifically, but this valley, nearly my whole life.
Here is the view off my back porch, one step outside the door, pretty much my view year around. I think of my nature as a home body especially has I’m preparing to leave for our annual trip to North Dakota. This time of year fills me with just a bit of anxiety leaving my familiar little basin where I’m hedged in by mountain ranges, that for me feel safe and comforting. The two hour drive we’re about to set out on brings us to my husband’s childhood landscape which is a wide open landscape for some reason called the Bad Lands. One of the states we’ll stop in is Montana, appropriately known as The Big Sky state. It’s quite beautiful, seeing the sky in a way that we never do here–the land and sky really appear to meet, no trees or mountain ranges obscuring the meeting of land and heaven.

I’d like to have a bit more property to ourselves, but neighborhood living is good for the kids, socially at this point in time. We’ll see how things go in the future, if they do need a bit more space, we’ll find a way to make that happen.
Every year, I enjoy listening to Darren talk about how he’d like to move back to North Dakota and become a farmer again. Just for the twinkle of adventure in his eyes. But then reality sinks in and he says without even my prompting, “We really do have it pretty good where we live. I do like my job, could hardly beat that job.” And home we are.

Sometimes in life, home isn’t where you came from, it’s where you came together.

The true truth behind everything, and above where I’m most comfortable by nature, is that anywhere where Darren is is home for me. If we mutually decided to move to another climate I’d be OK as long as we were together. Apart I just wouldn’t be complete.

Photo A Day Plan

Monday, June 4th, 2018

I keep emailing myself a photo with the subject line of whatever I’d like the blog post to be about. Because, reality is that I cannot sit down and write a post in the moment I’m thinking of. Even more reality, sometimes I never reach my desk top computer at all in the space of that 24 hrs that I was thinking of the body of the entry that I intended to go between the photo and subject line. SO!! I believe what I’ll do in order to keep consistent posts rolling in is to put directly in here the photo and subject line, with the intent to fill in the rest under my edit option, that way the glass is more half full than half empty. Perhaps that euphemism doesn’t work for you, but it does for me and I really think that’ll be the plan from here.
Remember the Wordless Wednesday thing that was popular like a decade or so ago? No? Well, consider this a spin off.

I will add the category “Photo A Day 2018”
There are tons of excuses for why I might not have an hour to write down words and edit. Honestly, I hate my excuses, and seriously…there are what, two readers out there?! Maybe. And, you may just scroll for pictures anyway!

Again, if you’re here, THANK YOU!!! I’m leaving like the 20th or so, and will actually pop in some prescheduled photos to appear, in order to keep up with my personal challenge to write daily. For my time away I’ll be able to use the old North Dakota Tales category that I formed many years back. Hurray.

May: When everything got rolling

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

May 2005. The day my dress arrived.

Matthew 6:32 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.

As I age some memories get fuzzy. My timeline becomes bemuddled, marking time based on around the relative time frame of important events in my life such as the births of my kids, the year I graduated, and of course when I got married. I think to a degree everyone does this, but knowing my tendency to drop memories or accidentally falsify them is what drives me to come here regularly, which brings me to today’s post. I want to remember May 2005.

So quickly Darren and I have aged together, just as we planned. Perhaps it was him reaching 50 that really struck me with the sentiments of “Wow!! Look at us now!!” He’s always saying, “God brought us together.” I don’t know why I don’t think this is the most romantic thing ever, I should, but I feel that it strips us of all conscious choice or attraction, much like when someone runs a marathon or beats cancer and gives no credit to the intense training or experience of the physicians. Yes, a million times yes, God orchestrated our union. He also knows the day of our death, and even goes so far as to say that the wicked are created for the day of judgement (Proverbs 16:4). He knows the choices you will make, reader, and the choices I will make, but still we have to answer for those decisions one day at the judgement seat (John 12:38).

Sorry but not sorry that I’m so full of scripture proofs, I do know that people don’t talk this way in reality…but then again, you’ve chosen to step into my mind and these are the thoughts in my head today.

May 2018


It was the last week of April that I said yes to the man that I plan on seeing every day of my life. I struggled a little bit over if I was in love with being loved or if my heart was really ready to lock the rest of my earthly life to this man for the best reasons of heart and mind equally. It’s a moment of confusion that I even now can’t write out in a way that flows nicely.

After I said yes, church leadership told me that if I broke off the agreement I’d be as bad as someone who is divorced, and that was worthy of being thrown out of the church which was everything to me. While that’s not based on scripture whatsoever and we did get excommunicated anyway, it was a misconstrusion of biblical principles that at the time worked to our benefit. We are still the same people, just with less superstition. Frankly, I’m glad we have the shared experiences that we did in that church.

May 2005 I ordered and received my wedding dress. I lined up a photographer, ordered my flowers and cake, we bought the rings and recruited my sisters to stand as bridesmaids, ordered invitations, booked the small chapel and invited the handful of guests we could imagine and set the date. By September we were married. The weather was perfect, everyone was smiling and the simplicity of the entire day was so us. May was all a blur and I’m so happy to have recorded the details here. Simply scroll way down in my archives if you’d like to look through that. It’s cataloged away, ready for me to revisit anytime I like. The entire thing was so simple that I can pull it up in my mind, despite my patchy memory and have a pretty good sketch.

2005

Another day ever fixed in my mind was the day that I met Darren. I cringe a little in embarrassment over what a hot mess I was, another story for another day. Headline: we had to be introduced. Subtitle: I walked right past him. Body of the writing: I knew him by his voice. My hair was really curly then and required at least 30 minutes of attention in the morning to look decent, time that I hadn’t had that morning. Maybe it was important that Darren saw me looking my messiest and still liked me. I remember he was wearing a leather jacket and had white sneakers and the biggest smile.

wedding day!

These years later we’re still the same people we were that day. We’ve grown together and developed connections beyond religion. We were in the right place at the right time. That first night in a yahoo chat room, and the conference room in an apartment complex where our church used to meet.

My heart is at peace when I get even a fragment of the smile he had for me then. I feel eternally blessed that I’m still here with the daily opportunity to say or do something to bring out happiness in him.

We don’t live each day as our last. We live for the day, and know that God will take care of the rest. We try to teach our kids the same thing–take responsibility, accept consequences and learn from your successes and faults to be a better person for tomorrow and for the people you’ll meet. Love others, but first love the Lord and respect yourself. These are the messages to live by, that I hope will stay with us for generations to come.

Carly Annalise Taryn: 10 Years Old

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

My daughter is 120 months old today.

I truly can hardly express what a delight she is and how blessed I feel to be her mother.

A close attempt is to show Then and Now photos, mainly pulling of course from old blog posts!

Diederick and Carly. Rarely in photos present day, because in part because they’re not in school together. Koen and Diederick play together more so than Carly and Diederick, perhaps due to varied interests. While that’s true, the two of them have gone through similar experiences as they’re growing up, for example, Carly homeschooled last year and Deeder’s doing it this year. Although both of them appear to have become better students through being at home, neither will remain in the situation of home based learning because the element of social isolation is very real and just not beneficiary to either one of them. Siblings and friends are good but not enterchangable, so while we are in a good school district we plan to have the kids pursue education with their peers.

Carly can most often be found either reading in her room, playing on her phone or outdoors with the neighbor girl exploring in the woods. In fair weather, she’s to be found outdoors coloring with sidewalk chalk or cruising the neighborhood on scooters with friends.
Carly also adores her little hamster Oreo. He joined our family last summer and under Carly’s attentive eye is doing quite well.

The little girl sleeping so peacefully in this swing just hasn’t stopped telling me exactly what she thinks about everything, even before she could speak actually–pushing away what she didn’t want and grabbing for items that captured her fancy even before offered. She gives me more than honest answers to what she thinks of my outfits and haircuts. Everyone needs a child like her–outspoken, opinionated and enthusiastic. She’s asked if she may do some guest posts here on Oraeley.com to which I’ve agreed, so that may be an upcoming event. Of course if she does get in some writing, younger brother Koen will want to follow in her footsteps as he is determined to try and exceed whatever she puts her hand to.

Happy birthday, Carly Annalise Taryn. Mommy and Daddy love you! We’ll always be here when you need us, to talk at any time or to pray with you if that’s what you’d like to do. Continue relying on God and following in His example. Make good choices in your friendships and come to us any time for guidance. We’ll do our best to help you along your path as you grow and learn more about what you want to do. Be happy and healthy, always smile and let your spirit shine. Love you forever and always, sweet girl!

2016. Our family!