Monthly Archives: December 2013


I wrote this story five years ago, but am reposting it today in honor of my friend.  This story changed the trajectory of my life and will always be a catalyst for why I give my life to love others.  When you look into the eyes of a stranger, you never know what story you are seeing.  Treat people with all the grace and mercy you can muster.  Be blessed!


I was born a twin…OK, I wasn’t, but it seemed like it.  Just nine days after I was born, my next door neighbor gave birth to a little girl.  Robin and I became friends just like our mothers were.  We spent everyday together growing up.  All of my childhood memories include her.  We laughed, fought, and forgave quickly, just like sisters, for the first eight years of our lives.

It was Robin who convinced me to play doctor and put super glue eyedrops in her eyes.  Oops.  It was Robin who hit me over the head with a toy that left a dent in my forehead.  It was Robin who made me “marry” Jake from down the street.  It was always Robin in every story…

But when we were eight her parents divorced and her dad kept the house.  Robin moved around the block with her mom.  It was devastating for all of us, but thankfully we were able to walk back and forth to continue our friendship.

However, 29 years ago on December 28, is a day that changed our friendship and our lives forever.  Robin’s mother, suffering from depression, committed suicide.  My memories of that day are horrific.  In the midst of the chaos going on around us, we were left pretty much unattended.  Nobody really worried about us because we were together.  I remember my house being packed with people and it being very cold as the door was opened and shut many times over. The cold Montana air poured in with the people.  Next door there was commotion going on and ambulances being called.  I vividly remember going into my bathroom with Robin and watching out the window towards her old house.  I remember watching her mother’s body, under a white sheet, being wheeled out.

As an eight year old, all of this was etched into my brain in this very surreal way.  I am not sure what is reality and what is made up.  What I know is that my best friend lost the future that she had intended on having that day.  Nothing would ever be the same again.

The reason that I am taking the time to tell this story is because it shaped me in a way that nothing else has.  I may have went through a tragedy of immense proportions, but Robin’s experience was inconceivable.  And nearly a quarter of a century later, I can tell you that what I take from that day is a deep respect for the little girl who lost her mother.  Although she went through the worst thing imaginable, she is a survivor.  Today she is married, happy, healthy, and has beautiful kids.  She recently left this comment on my blog…

You don’t realize how grateful I am to have your encouraging words each week. As for many this time of year is a difficult time.  For us it is remembering love ones that have been lost, finances, health, and life in general. It is so important to let yourself take time to remember each and everyday that God has a HEART and He will guide us. Struggles are a stepping stone in our lives, but it also makes us strong spiritually and faithfully. It is not a time of year to questions ones faith, but to live for it.

Robin, every year on this day, I remember you, and am encouraged once again.  You made your own choices regardless of the foundation that you were given.  You had every opportunity to let that day destroy you, but you didn’t.  You are a shining example of what perseverance and determination can do in a person.  Thank you for not questioning your faith, but living for it.  I counsel people all of the time that are not sure they will make it through their situation.  Your story gives me the confidence to know that God will always help those who call out to Him.  I am thankful for our 37 year friendship and want you to know that I am very proud of the woman that you became.  You are an inspiration to me and I love you very much.

And I’m really sorry about the super glue.

No services FB

We’ve got a lot of details/schedule items that you need to be aware of, so take note and enjoy your weekend!

No Services this Sunday, December 29

Once a year we cancel our regular services to provide a break for our staff and volunteers!  We encourage you to make a special morning with your family and we’ll see you in the New Year!

End of Year Giving

If you would like your giving to count towards your 2013 taxes, you can give up to December 31.  Here are two ways to give:

1.  Online at

2.  Snail mail postmarked by Dec. 31 to 10311 NE Hwy 99, Vancouver, WA 98686

THANK YOU for your faithful giving to North Creek Church!  It has allowed us to see many lives changed through the love of Jesus this year.  We have watched marriages heal, bought dozens of first Bibles, told hundreds of kids and students they are valued by God, baptized many, fed many, and loved many because of your giving.  Every gift makes a difference!

Hazel Dell Campus is MOVING!

We bought a building at 811 NE 88th Circle, Vancouver, WA 98665. Please note these January schedule changes:

January 5 – ONE 10:00 am service followed by a potluck (please bring a dish to share) and moving.  Families with toddlers may want to bow out of the moving part due to the fact that there will be few safe places for little ones to be. If you attend our Battle Ground services, we would love for you to join us following your service.

January 12 – Regular Hazel Dell services at our new location at 9:30 or 11:00 am.



January 2 – Final service in the former building as usual

January 9 – First service in the new building

So many exciting changes as we round the corner into the New Year!  We look forward to all that God has in store for North Creek Church and for your lives.  Here we GROW!

Merry Christmas!  We had a great last Sunday of the year celebrating the JOY of Christ’s birth.  We hope that joy finds you no matter how your life is going during this holiday season.

Thank you for all of the donations of toys, coats, and food this season.  Even up to Sunday morning we were delivering holiday cheer to families that need help this year.  We appreciate your generosity as we want to be the kind of church that cares about everything from kids at Christmas to water in Africa!

Our Deaf Church was PACKED on Sunday with 120 people.  We love our Deaf Church and the impact they are having on our community.  Anybody is welcome, but if you have someone who is deaf in your circle, let them know that there is an amazing church that they can be a part of!

Remember that there is NO CHURCH next Sunday, December 29.  We take the last Sunday of the year off to give our staff and volunteers a break.  We encourage you to plan something special with your family and enjoy the morning together.

We WORKED all week getting the new building ready for our big move on January 5.  It’s looking great and will be an incredible upgrade for Hazel Dell.  I am officially exhausted and slept 12 hours last night.  My body let me know that it was time to stop, so we’ll rest up over Christmas and get back at it later!  Everything looks so sharp and clean.

As we end the year, we want to remind you that if you would still like to give in 2013 you have two ways of getting your donations in for this tax year:

  1. Give online at
  2. Mail your gift to 10311 NE Hwy 99, Vancouver, WA 98686.

Thank you for all of your financial gifts this year!  We have had a monumental year of getting Battle Ground hitting on all cylinders and buying the first property for Hazel Dell.  We couldn’t do it without each of you.

On that note, thank you for being an incredible church.  We are so blessed that you allow us to lead and dream outside the box in our attempt to impact Clark County.  We watch God do such amazing things at and through North Creek and it is because of the unity that we have within our walls.  We love you and wish you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

The days seem to be a blur as we are renovating a church during the Christmas season…now that was a great idea!  Thank you to SO many of you who have stopped by to help over the last couple of weeks.

We are there (811 NE 88th Circle, 98665) again this week from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.  Also, we will have some work on Friday night from 5:30-9:00 pm.  Men – we’ve got a thousand jobs at this juncture that take manly skills.  If you have a couple of hours, we can hammer out most of the little jobs with enough people.  It is our hope to be done with the majority of the inside by Sunday.  Then we will take the Christmas week off of work and finish up any details before our big move on January 5.

Hey Battle Ground!  We have some exciting news coming your way as well…we didn’t forget you!  This is that annoying moment when you think I’m about to tell you, but I’m not. 🙂  It’s Christmas, so pretend this is a gift under the tree and wait it out!

Sunday was full of fun as we kicked off our Christmas series!  It’s about Joy and no matter what 2013 looked like, there is JOY available for you.  In our darkest moments and our deepest despair, we can find peace in the Savior that was born on Christmas day.

A big shout out to Terrance and Kari who covered me as I was gone on Sunday.  My youngest had her first gymnastics meet.  I was a mess!  So proud of my little girl who works so hard to achieve her goals.  She did great and we look forward to her future!

The new year is a great time to jump in to volunteering!  If you aren’t already volunteering in one of our environments one Sunday a month, you can sign up to volunteer at  We are particularly looking for Tiny Town assistants this month as our highlighted feature!  Our 2-5 year olds are one of my favorite groups.  There is nothing better than establishing how fun church can be in our young hearts!  Jump in today!

We handed out a new Bible to someone on Sunday.  So many people in our community have never owned a Bible and we are so happy to hand them out for free.  Thank you to all of you who give to make that ministry happen week in and week out.

It’s not too late to bring toys and coats this season to help needy families.  By the way, if your family is needy, will you please email me at  We want to make sure that kids inside and outside of our church have a merry Christmas.  We also have some food available if you need it.  I know it’s hard to ask for help, but nothing makes us more happy than to take care of those of you who call North Creek your home.

Simply Christmas is TONIGHT at Hazel Dell from 7:00-8:00 and again at Battle Ground on Wednesday.  It’s going to be fun for kids and adult with some amazing music.  Join us!  And it’s also a great opportunity to drop off those toys and coats!

See you soon!


Join us for an incredible evening of music as we celebrate this Christmas season!  We will be remembering that Jesus was born in humble means and yet was destined to be the Savior of the world.  It is a story that never grows old and is worth our praise!  Everyone is welcome, so invite a friend to enjoy an amazing evening!

Tuesday, December 17 – Hazel Dell Campus – 10311 NE Hwy 99, Vancouver, WA 98686

Wednesday, December 18 – Battle Ground Campus – 500 SW Eaton Blvd, Battle Ground, WA 98604

7:00-8:30 pm

Childcare provided up to Kindergarten