Friday, August 22, 2008

The Water: Stormy....and Still

My oldest son's birthday has come and gone and I'm sitting in the aftermath. I prayed for 2 weeks that there would be peace on his birthday, and he would some how know we loved him. But God chose not to block the strife. The strife that Satan created. (I know there are many opinions on "why bad things happen"---excuse any wrong theology here.)

It was a horrible weekend. Arguments, misunderstandings, and I watched my child suffer. There was nothing I could do but watch and listen to heartbreaking things.

Towards the end of the storm, I dropped my son off near public transportation as he wanted to go see a friend for the afternoon/evening in a fairly distant city. That night he didn't come home...nor did he come home for the next few nights. He rarely stays out overnight...but I sensed he was staying at this friends house--a family we don't know...but a family nevertheless. So I didn't worry. I just prayed for strength and wisdom to know how to proceed when he returned. He came back last night.

It seems that once I learn to trust God at a certain level, then he takes me to the next level. As soon as I'm able to trust him at that level....then he takes me to a deeper level.....And we keep going.....deeper and heavier...

The other day I said to God. "Lord! I am NOT ABRAHAM! I do not have his faith. I CANNOT sacrifice Isaac." But I fear that is where the Lord taking me. Up the hill. He wants me to sacrifice Isaac. --to give him completely over to the Lord whether he lives or dies.

I will trust him to provide a ram. (But I must trust the Lord even if he does not provide a ram.)

Okay...enough heavy stuff.

I have a blessing to share!

After I finished my summer school job, I still needed a job. The thought of working the entire summer didn't thrill me.

My friend contacted me and asked if I could work for the month of August as a caretaker/companion for her mother-in-law. (I'll call her Mrs. L.) The job is real blessing. Mrs. L. lives by herself but cannot drive and needs a little assistance and company. Mrs. L. has an organ sitting in her living room. She played for her church for 30 years. One day I talked her into playing a few pieces. We opened an old hymn book and she played while we both sang. What a unique job I have! We do spend time running to the market, doctor and pharmacy.

And a few days ago I brought her to my favorite place...the L.A. County Arboretum. The Arboretum is about 127 acres and Mrs. L. cannot walk far. I called ahead to see when the tram was running but found out it was down for repair. Oh dear! I prayed! Well the Lord answered this prayer! We ended up riding around in a golf cart with our own personal tour guide! We had a lot of fun. It was a cool morning...and the wind blew across our faces. Zoooooom! And our driver stopped whenever we wanted, so we could enjoy the sights!

I was reminded today, by Susan's post, that God leads us beside quiet pastures and still waters. He provides rest when we need it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Story of a Beach

I spent Saturday with Mom. We decided to drive to Laguna beach and walk along the bluffs.Beginning in 1903 artists began moving to Laguna. They came from all over the world. They loved the vivid colors and seaside flora. Many painted in Impressionistic style...displaying various forms of it.

It does look like a painting.
Painters still come to capture the beauty. Do you see mom strolling toward us? (white visor) She chatted and admired their work.

Oh, to peacefully paint away a summer morning!

A popular sport is to take your giant 10 foot surf board out beyond the breakers. Bring two long paddles. Stand on your board and paddle around. When you get tired, catch a wave in. These guys come in--sort of outrigger style--riding along the roll of the wave.
Next we stopped by the historic Crystal Cove Beach, and grabbed a shake at the "Shake Shack" which has been around for decades. Here is our Chocolate Mint Shake...for $4.00. We split it.

Crystal Cove was part of Rancho San Joaquin. After an interesting history...including Japanese farmers leasing the land in 1927 (only to be sent to an internment camp during WWII)---the Irvine company continued to lease the land. It was leased to filmmakers and vacationers. The beach served as a tropical movie background for Treasure Island (1918, 1934) and many other movies.

A Restored Beach Cottage ($169. per night). A very nice stair climb.

In the 1920's and 1930's the cove was a popular place to pitch a tent or rent a cottage. Eventually the State of California bought the land, and they are now in the process of restoring the old cottages (via donations) the way it originally looked in its hey day.

The beach is a bit crowded. What do you expect on a summer Saturday?

Cottage in process of restoration.

A glimpse of the dirt road leading to the beach. (No cars allowed in this area.)

Back at Laguna Beach, the shoreline is rocky, blue and beautiful.

Here we are getting our feet wet at Laguna.

We also went to see Mamma Mia!

Thanks for a great day Mamma Mia!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

In Memory of Heidi

Heidi is my doggy-niece. Her family, who loved her, said farewell to her recently. She is at final rest...after a very good life. A loyal companion, a brave dog-woman, and a wonderful friend.

Here is Heidi with her mother, and her beloved younger brother "Hans" at Convict Lake. She enjoyed visiting the Sierra Nevada Mountains. She loved to hike, and was always sweet and considerate——never pulling hard on her leash.

She leaves behind a little sister, Maggie (nicknamed "Otter of the River") and little brother Samuel. Heidi was a patient older her little brother and sister often get into mischief.

Always ready for adventure, here is Heidi in her doggie-goggles.

We love you Heidi!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The OOOPS Haircut

I told her to cut it so it would catch on my shoulders. And layer it lightly. Well, in the end, I had a few strands of hair on my shoulders...the rest is layered...and it's just not ME. And Mozart doesn't like it. When I came home, he said, "I'll have to get used to it."

Oh well. Life is not a haircut.

I just finished reading "The Hiding Place" about Corrie Ten Boom and her sister, Betsie, who were sent away to various work camps and concentration camps because they harbored Jews in their home during WWII in Holland.

They went through some extremely difficult circumstances. Hell on earth. Yet their little Bible went through with them. At night, after a long day of hard labor...tired, sick, tortured, and dying women would huddle around and listen to Betsie read..."Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?...Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."

Many women were touched by God's love and light in that prison, because of Betsie and Corrie's willingness to reflect the Lord, even in horrendously painful circumstances.

They had haircuts, too. They had to keep their hair short, because of the lice.

Lord, help me to focus my thoughts and my time on the things that are most important in life.