Sunday, October 3, 2010

We Moved (to a new blog)

Choosing to preserve this blog as it is, I have created a new blog about the new chapter in our lives. You can find Running the Race at Looking forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Sunny Day!

We have all longed for a sunny day this spring, and today is it! Jonathan and Josiah cleared the garden patch and put in our one tomato plant. James working diligently right beside. Boy, that kid can swing a mean pickaxe. David was able to get the lawn mowed before heading off to a Civil Air Patrol encampment this weekend. My mom is visiting, so she and Sarah have gone shopping. Chicken is on the bar-b-que and potato salad is chilling in the fridge. This is the perfect time to sit down and update the blog.

Three years ago today, Bryan received his official diagnosis of stage IV recurrent colon cancer. Many things have changed since then, and many things have remained the same. I enjoy to see the laughter and smiles on my children's faces as they play together. I continually thank God for their smooth adjustment to life without Dad. Their activities and school form the structure for our days; beginning and ending with scripture reading, memory work and prayer. Our consistency in this area has greatly improved, which is a blessing to our family in so many aspects.

Last post, I mentioned a possible new house. I made several offers on one "perfect for us" property, but God didn't open that door. I know the right one will come in His perfect time and thus we wait. James continues to pray daily for the new house. He has added a few other requests; a new van, our trip and the church camp out.

His prayer for the new van was answered by "Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think." (Eph. 3:20) I searched for months looking for one that would meet our needs within our price range. Finally, I settled on a van in Portland and planned to travel on a Monday morning, by train, to purchase it. The day before, some friends said they wanted to bless me with their 2005 Chevy Express van since they were purchasing a new one. I was speechless. It has been an incredible gift. Not only did they give us their van, but it was personalized for our family. As you can see by the following before and after photos, we have greatly upgraded.


Amid thunder and lightning, rain and hail, Sarah was able to upload the pictures today. I wrote the original post on Saturday. There is still hope we will have another sunny day!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I awoke early Saturday morning, after a good night's sleep, thanked God for it and rolled over to look at my sleeping husband, only to be surprised by the reality, I am a widow. It's so strange when things like this happen to me. It reminds me of when I was a child, and waking up at Grandma's not sure where I was at first, but eventually becoming aware enough to get excited for the surprises the day had in store. Regretfully, being reminded of widowhood is not quite as exciting as Grandma's house, but there are definitely surprises in store for each day.

It seems I have been a bit more tearful lately. I even told the kids I was tired of crying all the time. As a family, we are reading Elisabeth Elliott's Through Gates of Splendor. Trying to read the next to last chapter, I had to keep stopping in order to remove the lump in my throat which kept growing as I attempted to suppress the tears. I finally passed the book off to Sarah, my tears were contagious, Jonathan finished the chapter for us. Another day, something, I don't even remember what, set me off; James crawled into my lap, wiped my tears, and hugged me. The little girls asked what was wrong, before I had a chance to answer he said, "Missing Daddy!" This 3 year old child of ours really surprises me!

This evening he was sitting in the middle of the living room playing with the toy John Deere tractors while chattering about getting a tractor for the new house. Then, he stopped, bowed his head and said, "Pray for the new house," and proceeded to thank God for a new house. In the past few days, he has asked me to pray for a new house. He thinks if we get a new house, then he can have a real "John tractor" or at least a Gator TS. Where do they get these ideas?

Sarah had a fever this evening. Hopefully, she'll be better by Saturday as she is a delegate to the Pierce County Republican Convention. This will be her second time representing the 27th Legislative District and she hopes it will be the last. Don't be surprised, it is not the last as a delegate but, hopefully, the last in the liberal 27th district. Sarah, too, is praying for a new house, one in a more conservative district. Jonathan is praying for a house which is near his school to shorten the commute time and one with fruit trees and a larger garden spot; David wants more space for his dog to run; Josiah would like to raise chickens; the girls would like to have some more space for girl stuff; Daniel needs a bigger kitchen to bake his cakes; and I just want to stay put, crowded in this space with all my chicks under my wings, content with "John tractors" on the living room floor, my eyes tearing up with the memories of raising Bryan's children on Tacoma's Eastside. Maybe I should follow Martin Luther's suggestion when asked what he would do if he knew the world would end tomorrow, "Plant an apple tree!"

God knows our need before we ask! May we rest in His provision and be like the Apostle Paul, "Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am."

Surprisingly trusting Him,


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Almost April

Thank you, Joy, for encouraging me to make a blog post. It has been on my mind since the first of March when Trish reminded me it had been a month since I made an update.

Needless to say, we have been busy! School, art, campaigning, Civil Air Patrol, Highland dance, music, dog obedience school, groceries and laundry fill my days. We have celebrated two birthdays so far this year: James, 3 and Sarah, 21! James' was a fun family time as we spent a few days at Long Beach with my parents. It was probably the coldest time ever at the beach for us and we all determined James' birthday should have been in August instead of March. We really did have a great time, though. We can't decide which was our highlight of the trip--the "congested area" sign as we approached Long Beach on a deserted highway or the visit to the Columbia Heritage Museum. A Pollock vacation is not complete without a trip through history!

More Pollock history was made when Sarah spent her 21st birthday in the beer garden at a Celtic Faire in Puyallup. Now before you start passing judgement on my firstborn, let me explain. Esther has a friend who Irish dances and we thought she would be dancing on a stage in Pioneer Park. When we arrived, we only found a dog show (Irish Wolfhounds and the like). We were unable to locate the dancers stage so we decided to wander through town to see what other Celtic things the merchants were displaying. As we approached the beer garden tent, I, jokingly, said to Sarah, "Go on in and I'll wait out here with the kids." Much to our surprise, this is where we found the dancers. We all went in and had the opportunity to see a very good demonstration of Irish dancing which we thought we had missed. The rain on the way back to the car didn't even dampen our spirits. That evening, our family went out for gluten-free hamburgers and fries! The owner of Friesenburgers was surprised we would choose his restaurant as a place of 21 st celebration, but joined in the fun by serving Sarah's burger with a candle. A special day, indeed. I only wish Bryan could have been with us to give his traditional birthday prayer.

Sarah is involved in campaigning this year to bring about change in Washington State and Washington, DC! Her passion for politics is very contagious. Her friends often roll their eyes at how every conversation she is able to turn into a political discussion. Pray for her as she decides whether or not to pursue a degree or just take some classes for more political enrichment.

Jonathan begins Pierce College Monday, March 29 as he starts the process of whittling away the prerequisites for entering into a nursing program. Besides his classes, he also has the opportunity to play with the community orchestra. It will be wonderful to hear our house filled with his violin again. Pray for diligence as he steps into the arena of college education.

David continues to pipe and played this week at the Harp and Shamrock, an Irish store in the Proctor District here in Tacoma. He has played for them for St. Patty's Day for 3 or 4 years now. They have also requested for him to come play in May for a cancer benefit among the merchants in that community. One of these days, I would like to see him pipe for his dancing siblings. His music, his dog and his school fill the hours of his days. The most exciting thing for him recently, though, was the opportunity to fly to Mt. St. Helens and back, at the controls. It was the third time in his life in a plane and he operated the machine! He and Josiah are currently enrolled in ground school. Hopefully, a pilot license or two will be the result! My prayer is one of them may possibly become Missionary Aviation Fellowship pilots--or some type of involvement with missionary pilots.

The others continue to move forward in their education. I still haven't obtained the new normal which I thought I would by now. It may never come, but we continue to persevere with God's grace and mercy day to day. I still haven't finished all the thank you notes. I hope I haven't offended anyone, but I'm continuing to push through them and find myself still blessed by each card of condolence. Yours is coming if you haven't received it yet! On that note, I need to blog a bit more often, too. Those who I see day to day know what's happening in our life, but many of you, some who only know me through the blog, would like to be kept abreast on how to pray for us as we carry on.

By God's grace, we have been relatively healthy through the winter and now it is spring! Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous! Today returned to a typical Pacific Northwest spring day--sun, hail, downpour, sun, rain--the weather was unable to make up it's mind! As a native Northwesterner, I love it!

Loving each of you for your support for our family. Thank you for your encouragement. May God use us to glorify Him in our circumstance!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy February

I awoke this morning thinking about my mother-in-law Lucie's property tax, of all things. I couldn't remember if they were paid in November; I couldn't even remember if we had received a bill for them. I jumped out of bed and began to research my notes and found the statements, the pay stubs were missing, but my usual paid notations were not there. I went to the online banking account and found a check in the correct amount. Took a look at the check, it was dated November 6 and Bryan had signed it. Obviously, one of the last checks I had him sign for her. This also explains why I had no recollection of the transaction taking place. A lot has happened in my mind since November 6.

Last night, I was talking with some friends about my own memory issues. For years, I have had difficulty remembering things. Bryan always told me it was a season and it would all come back to me. I am glad he had confidence in that; I'm not so sure. The children and I have been trying to memorize the book of James. They pick it up so fast and I keep struggling with it. It becomes quite comical at times. We review all together and then each one says it alone. I can review with the group fine, and silently with each one I am fine, but when it is my turn, I can barely get passed the first sentence. We all laugh and it is good humor, at the same time, my inability to recall something we have worked on over and over again bothers me.

We are slowly returning to a normal schedule. The children are back to the grind with school and their various activities. It is an election year which has Sarah committed to a campaign and following the happenings in Olympia and around the country. Jonathan and David plan on beginning their college educations spring quarter. David and Josiah are working their way up the ranks of Civil Air Patrol; their first promotion is tonight. Esther, Daniel, Hannah and Grace have added Highland Dance back into their schedule. James, well, he keeps us all busy! I'm just the mom trying to keep everything moving forward.

Recently, I was struggling with the thought of being both mom and dad to my children. There is no way I can fill Bryan's shoes. He was so much more to my children than I can even dream of being. While sharing this concern to a friend, they told me I don't have to be anything but their mother. God has called me to be the mother and that is my responsibility. That revelation removed a burden and I can trust in God's Word when He says He is a father to the fatherless.

My crazy start to the day has things a bit out of order. I need to spend sometime in the Word before my family descends upon me looking for breakfast. Thank you for your continual prayers. God is so merciful, kind and loving. I am so thankful I am part of the family of God.

In His Grace,

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Two Month Anniversary of the Memorial Service

Things are still going well. Life is beginning to develop some structure and have a sense of progress out of the holidays. I had set a goal to finish all my thank yous by today, but, alas, I have not. I was recently reading a book on etiquette (trying to find out the correct way of signing my name as a widow) when I learned there is no deadline for condolence thank you notes, just do it. Thus, I will continue on. Thank you for your patience!

We had prayer meeting at our house last night. It truly was a blessing to open our home for ministry once again. The best part about having over 40 people in our small home is getting the house cleaned and the basement organized. I went downstairs with the kids to try and put some order to our junk. Just what was in all these boxes? The first one I opened had a collection of memorabilia from our wedding. Not a good way to begin the day. I initially fell apart; we were saving these things for our 25th wedding anniversary party. The day will be recognized, but a celebration together will not take place. David comforted me and said, "Mom, it wasn't part of God's plan." I am so thankful for the faith of my children.

On Sunday, a friend asked if I was lonely. I hadn't really thought about it. Caring for nine children doesn't allow much time to think about being lonely, let alone feeling it. I can't imagine how lonely I would be if only I had two children--Sarah and Jonathan--all grown up and moved on to their adult lives. I would be very, very lonely. It wasn't part of God's plan. I am so thankful for all nine of my children.

Thank you,
Mrs. Bryan Pollock

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Memorial Service DVD

The memorial service DVD is here. To order, click on the 'Buy Now' button on the right-hand side. There is a nominal fee of $4.00 to cover shipping and handling.