Monday, August 30, 2010

Wistful

It's that time of year... Back to School.

Conflicting emotions abound for mothers. Some are rejoicing that they will have time to themselves without being the Great Entertainer.

Some will be shedding tears as their too soon grown to Kindergarten age child goes off to school for the first time.

Some are panicking over the realization that they have taken on the daunting task of home schooling their child(ren).

And some, like me, are wistful for the little hands that are now able to hold mine rather than the other way around. For the times when walking to the mailbox together was a big adventure. When seeing a butterfly caused a moment of silent wonder that would be followed by a conversation of foundation laying faith.

Now our conversations include doctrine and theology or statistics for Giants baseball. Bigger ideas and passions. Man sized concerns. This is how it should be.

I would not trade who they are now for the little boys they were then. But I do miss them.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Eat, Drive, Laugh ~ A Real Life Experience part 1

Just returned from a 5 day road trip from Chicago back to the Central Coast of California. My sweet friend had driven her one and only son to Moody Bible Institute to begin his collegiate career and I had the privilege of flying in and joining her on her journey back. Truly my post title says it all!
I arrived at her hotel at 11:45 p.m. after a day of 6:45 a.m. train trip to LA and a short car trip (truck actually!) from the train station to the airport (thanks to my son who is in his senior year at Biola) and a flight to O'Hare. One would think I would opt for sleep but NO! We decided to take a walk on the streets of Chicago at almost midnight! What did we do you might ask? We walked to Portillo's, a famous Chicago eatery and had a Chocolate Cake shake. Not just the flavor of a chocolate cake mind you; blended slice of chocolate cake! Oh my we were off to a good (or bad) start for our trip home!
When we had planned our road trip we decided to look up some of Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives locations between Chicago and SLO Town. We decided to make three of them destinations for our road trip experience. Portillo's wasn't on the list so our shake was just an added extravagance! Our first destination for dining was in Kenosha WI. A historic train car converted to a diner two blocks from the shore of Lake Michigan, Frank's Diner serves some crazy breakfast and lunch dishes. We shared a signature "Garbage Plate" made that day with chorizo. We only ordered the half size because not wanting to miss out on a gastronomic experience we also ordered "Banana Bread French Toast". A.Ma.Zing! This is the view back toward Kenosha from the breakwater on Lake Michigan.


Driving across country is a long arduous trip; we have a big, beautiful country to traverse! In order to get home by a certain time we knew we would have to have long days of driving with minimal breaks so we tried to plan our final day's destination around some type of noteworthy stop. Our first day began with the fun destination however. We ended our day's travels near the western border of Minnesota! Three states in one day. Almost as much driving as San Diego to Eureka CA.

Some of you might be more adept at the self-portrait shots that my sons' generation can do so well but here for your enjoyment is one of our attempts at the same: hence the Laugh part of my post title!


What we were really trying to capture was our arrival at this world famous destination!

We had so much fun looking at the state and territory flags, eating (yes again!) and staying for the lighting ceremony which I highly recommend.

It was a surprise when the ranger leading the evening's events asked all current and former service men and women to come forward to participate in the retiring of the colors. There were over 100 veterans and current military in the audience on a Sunday evening in late August. It was a privilege to clap for all of them as they made their way forward to the stage area. It was a memorable evening recognizing and remembering that the freedoms we have in this country were hard fought and definitely not free.


The next morning the weather had changed; the temperature was much cooler and the cloud cover made a beautiful sunrise:

Doesn't God do amazing work for us? Have you ever stopped to think about how He creates beauty for us to enjoy on a regular basis? Really awe inspiring vistas, colors, sounds, wildlife... truly amazing!

What recent experience caused you to stop and marvel at the goodness of God?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

reservations

Ever make plans to do something and as the time approaches have "reservations"?

It's funny that word~reservations. It can mean several different things as a noun but as a plural noun mean only one thing~hesitation.

Imagine yourself at summer camp. Your friends want to spend free time going on the High Adventure course. (Hume Lake anyone?) You may not be a big fan but you want to hang out with your friends so you go along. When you get there and see what it really looks like you have "reservations".

Or your child is taking swimming lessons and doesn't want to go off the diving board. They may not really be afraid; it may be a childlike expression of "reservations".

You may not realize this but having that hesitation is actually a good thing; a gift that God has given us. Solomon expressed it in this way: "The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty." (Prov. 21:5)

This is not to say that all spontaneity is foolishness. But the real issue is what do we do when we have "reservations" about a decision, a plan, a commitment?

Personally, like most of life, I think there is a process to walk through. At the risk of over simplifying the mystery of a personal walk with the Living God, I think there are some steps laid out for us in God's Word. Again Solomon: "Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed." (Prov. 15:22)

Step 1: Pray "If any of you lacks wisdom let him ask God..."(James 1: 5)
Step 2: Ask for the wisdom of others in decision making
Step 3: Pray "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding;in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." (Prov 3:5-6)
Step 4: Make your decision based on what you have learned from the first three steps
Step 5: When you have a sense of reservation again, remember: "Do not be afraid of sudden fear nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught." (Prov. 3:25-26)

A sense of restraint is a gift to slow us down, to consider our way, to examine our heart before God through the power and influence of the Holy Spirit, and then step out in faith that our life and times are in God's very capable hands.

SO after all those steps perhaps you can Do the ropes course!

Monday, August 9, 2010

I used to do that...

I have been reflecting lately on how often I say, "I used to do that..."

It may be because I am in the second half of life so I have a long list of activities that I have participated in or it may be that I have given up things that really ought to be a part of my life still.

See that beautiful guitar? That is my college graduation present from my parents, "in case teaching doesn't pan out". I used to play that daily. Now I dust it weekly.

Some things that I used to do belong in the past as Paul encourages us in 1 Corinthians 13:11 " when I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became (an adult) I did away with childish things."

But playing the guitar doesn't have to be one of those things. Life gets full: relationships, parenting, career pursuits, etc. Sometimes we set aside an activity that is really a sacrifice to give up at the time. Mine was guitar playing. Lately I have been looking at this with such a melancholy glance that I am considering making time for it again.

What is something you used to do that you want to make time for again?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Getting Ready

It's August and for me it's travel month! I wish I had a cute suitcase like this one in the photo!~

I am not going away for the whole month but I do have the privilege of three road trips, two flights and lots of visiting with significant people in my life!

Before my big trips I get to play taxi for my husband and younger son for their big trip to Kennedy Space Center for Astronaut Training Camp! Doesn't that sound like fun? After their week in Florida I fly to Utah to catch up with our eldest son who has been interning with a group of Evangelical churches for the summer. I have the distinct privilege of a 13 hour road trip with him! So looking forward to seeing the beauty of that part of God's creation and of hearing all that God has taught him this summer. Sweet!

Then a week later I fly to Chicago to meet up with a dear friend who will be leaving her precious son at Moody Bible Institute to begin his college education. She and I will then road trip it back to SLO Town, again taking in some of the incredible locations that our great, glorious and creative God has blessed us with for our enjoyment!

So in my getting ready I have pondered again the words of the psalmist: "O Lord how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; the earth is full of your possessions."
Ps. 104:24

In fact the entirety of Psalm 104 can help all of us "get ready" to go outdoors!

I'm excited! Can you tell? What does August bring to your life?
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