Archives for August 2011

When God Asks the Question: Where Are You?

There are things I know.
There are things I forget.
There are things I need to remember.
And so, so often those things I need to remember
are the very things I oh-so-conveniently forget.
This is one of them:
God sees me.
No matter where I am,
no matter what I am doing,
no matter how I am feeling,
God sees me.

But God is not forcefully invasive,
God does not pound me over the head,
God does not shake me to break me.
No.
God, the omipotent, omnipresent One,
God who is beyond my understanding,
beyond my ability to conceptualize,
beyond me –
this One comes to the garden in the evening,
gently looking under leaves and branches,
and calls out in a soft and loving voice,
“Where are you?” 

“Where are you?”

From the earliest pages of our scriptures,
God seeks us out.
Yet God pays us the immense privilege of respecting
our boundaries,
our choices,
our very selves,
because…God waits for us to answer.
It’s as simple – and as complicated – as that.
Simple because…God desires a relationship,
a real, honest, open relationship with us.
Complicated because…we’re not at all sure we’re
ready for that.
So we hide.
We stitch ourselves a handy-dandy little coat of fig leaves
and we hide ourselves away.
Ashamed, embarrassed, angry, lonely, fearful –
whatever emotional stew we are cooking in at any given moment – 
we convince ourselves that God couldn’t possibly
want us in the middle of that mess.
So we withdraw.
We learn to numb ourselves.
We shut the doors of our hearts and we stand aloof.
And all the time,
God whispers,
“Where are you?
Where are you?” 

And all the time, 
the only answer God wants is:
“Here I am, Lord. Here I am.”
Here I am.
In the middle of my mood,
in the middle of my sin,
in the middle of my fear.
HERE I AM, LORD.

So today, today, Lord – here I am.
Tired, worried, uncertain, longing for you.
Working my way through hurt feelings, wounded pride, 
ugly jealousies and insecurities, doubts
that creep in and around and threaten to undo me.
Wondering if you’re there, wondering if you hear me,
wondering if you see me, wondering if I am enough.
Here I am.
“Everyone needs compassion, 
love that’s never failing. 
Let mercy fall on me.
Everyone needs forgiveness, 
the kindness of a Savior. 
The hope of nations.”
I sing it from the bottom of my heart this morning,
deeply thankful that you invite me to be with you,
no matter what shape I’m in,
no matter how messed up I am,
no matter what.

With heartfelt thanks to Pastor Don Johnson, Bob Gross and the worship team, our small group friends who call me to honesty and openness. 
Yesterday’s worship service was wonderfully rich, 
and I look forward to every single sermon in this new series: 
“When God Asks the Questions.”
 
Joining today with Michelle DeRusha at Graceful for her weekly invitation to, “Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday,” and with Jen at FindingHeaven and the solideogloria sisterhood and also with that trio of talented ladies who invite us to share Scripture and a Snapshot each week:





Five Minute Friday: Older

Ah, yes Friday funday. And the lovely Lisa-Jo at TheGypsyMama is another year older today (actually, it’s still Thursday…so I’m guessing the 25th is her big day) and the theme she picked for this week’s 5 minutes of unedited writing is an oh-so-true one, isn’t it?  We are ALL getting older. Head on over there and check out what other folks are saying on this topic:

GO:

For just about as long as I can remember, this season of the year has felt like the beginning of things: the start of school, when I was a student and the start of the church year when I was a pastor. But in that fascinating way life has a way of doing, it is also paradoxically a time for reflecting on the topic for today. When things begin again, I remember that everyone is older, another year older to be exact.

I see it most clearly in the little ones who are part of my life.  The ‘baby’ is 18 months old today! Our five-year-olds are starting kindergarten – and I can hardly believe it to be true. Gracie was so proud in her new plaid uniform on Wednesday. Griffin has a couple of weeks to go, but he, too, is excited and proud. Proud to join his older brothers at their fine school, proud to be old enough and big enough and ready enough.


That’s the joy of getting older when you’re younger than…shall we say thirty? It feels exciting, grand, grown-up. Somehow that changes somewhere in our 30’s. Getting older feels heavier somehow, the weight of responsibility and the realities of an aging body began to show up in larger-than-life ways. And with each decade, that becomes more pronounced.  Don’t get me wrong – I think there are glorious things to be said about every decade we are blessed enough to live through. But…there is this truth to be borne: our bodies get older, even if we’re fortunate enough to keep a young and resilient mind.
As Madeleine L’Engle once said: “I am every age I have ever been.” And I love that we can access those ages as we walk through our days. And I love that I personally get to remember through watching my kids and their kids move through the years. What a privilege and what a joy.


STOP
Pictures added after ‘the bell.’ Gracie and Lilly at our picnic lunch on vacation last week; Griffin at the ice cream parlor we stopped at driving home; Gracie in her new school uniform. Where does the time go??


 

Trying Out Sonnets – with Photos Added, Too

The creative minds over at T.S. Poetry have linked up with similar thinkers at The High Calling this month, encouraging us to try our hand at reflecting on our history through poetry and photo. The photos are beyond me for this assignment – not enough time to be as reflective as I’d like – and I’m in the midst of a technical slap-down, learning to edit in Picasa without Picnik and do batches of watermarked pictures. Not up to speed yet, but I have hope! 

(12 hours later – I am posting pictures I unsuccessfully attempted to add to the High Calling group…because a search did not turn up such a group! So here they are, with my comments – after the sonnet. Transferring the comments did not yield great formatting, so I apologize for the broken sentences here and there.)

First off, here is a very strange (and my first ever) attempt at writing my story, my back-story actually, in sonnet form:
 

From There to Here

Over the sea, across the hills, they came with babies in hand.
And not only those, but ‘children’ unseen, baggage from heaven and hell.
Depressive binges, silence and outrage, fears too immense to command,
all of it clinging, like barnacled boat hulls, as small Craftsman houses they filled.
Each side of the tree that tracks my beginnings tells tales remarkably true;
strong women working, troubled men shirking; collars of both white and blue.

They all found their way to that downtown brick building, Trinity Methodist Church.
Music and laughter brought happ’ly e’er after as my parents started anew.
The baggage came with them, minus some heft, as together they started to lurch

toward life and its beauty, life and its sorrow, life with its hard lessons, too.
Creating a family, immersed in the 50’s, with women subservient at home,
though better than childhood, proved binding and blinding, creating a box all its own.
 

Over 40 years later, I chose to jump sideways, leaving box and the 50’s behind.
Perhaps you can see now, why most of my tree-mates think surely I’ve lost my mind.
And here are the photos and comments: 
Who made up your DNA?
My father was born in the deep south but grew up in Los Angeles. This blue book was written in by his mother from 1917 until about 1927. I don’t remember ever seeing this book when I was growing up. My mother surprised me by giving it to me a few months ago and I have loved seeing my daddy as a baby and young boy. Such stark, sepia-tinted photos throughout, such strange insights into my grandmother’s psyche and background. The nurse who helped deliver my dad is noted in this book as ‘colored.’ What a shock that was to read!
The shoes are mine, again given to me fairly recently. They are well-worn, as I had a severely extended arch on one foot, requiring a ‘lift’ in one shoe and constant wearing. I wore
corrective shoes for about eight years – and I HATED THEM.
Where do I come from? 

A father who lived and loved music (no photos, sadly) and a mother who knew how to welcome others. These luncheon trays littered my early life – church friends, neighborhood
friends, dad’s work colleagues – everyone was welcomed into our small home in North Hollywood, and a few years later, a larger one in Glendale. Each home was lovingly decorated ‘on the cheap’ – that’s what happens on a single income teacher’s paycheck.


What object is precious to your past? 

I chose two of them, both representing my mother’s grace, beauty and hospitality. The aqua figurine sat in the middle of a low bowl, used to float camellias from a wide array of bushes
in our yard. The tea cup is the first of my mother’s collection, given to her as a wedding gift, and reminiscent on so many levels of our family history. My mom’s dad came from England, her mom from Canada, and English or Canadian china teacups are a huge page in my story. I now have pieces of both my grandmother’s and my mother’s collections. I don’t use them as often as I once did, although when I dig out those luncheon trays (previous photo), I often choose to use china cups instead of the glass ones. I love the all-over calico pattern of this cup and it is now so delicate that I only use it decoratively and not for tea.  


What memory resonates most deeply?

This is a piece of the slate roof on the Presbyterian church in which I was confirmed and married. The old gothic structure was torn down following the massive Northridge earthquake in 1971 and the slates were sold to help raise funds for a new building. This was the church of my adolescence and beyond (ages 12-30), the place where my leadership gifts were called out and named, where my faith became anchored in sound thinking, good questions and NO easy answers.


What moment in history marks your childhood? 

This plate is the one thing I asked my mother to leave me when she dies. She decided to give it to me before that happens and it currently hangs in my entry hall. This church is where I
met Jesus, where I walked forward every month to receive communion between the ages of 7 and 12, where my father played magnificent solos and accompanied the choirs and the
congregation many Sundays. This brownstone building was known to me, deep in my marrow – all the hiding places, the strange rooms, the colored glass windows – each corner precious and safe and inviting. It closed the year after we moved away and began attending Glendale Pres – one of the saddest days of my young life. The heritage I carry from that place is literal – my parents met and married there, I was baptized there. Sad to think it is now a used car lot in downtown LA.


These Sunset Years…

My parents on their wedding day – August 24, 1941
They were 20 and 24, starry-eyed,
moving into unknown territory.
Neither of them came from great marriages,
though mom’s home was warm and loving
between my grandfather’s alcoholic binges.
Dad’s family? 
Driven, controlling mother,
distant, emotionally volatile father,
parents who tolerated each other 
just enough to form three children.
They had a lot to learn, this bright-hearted pair,
a lot to learn –
about each other, about life,
about creating something new out of the 
beat-up bricks of the past.
And they learned it together,
creating a circle of love, laughter and music,
punctuated at points by whispers of their own hard journeys.
But oh, how they loved each other.
Six years ago, dad died.
A hard death in some ways,
a long dying.
He was 87, she was 84.
This year, mom turned 90.
And still, she misses him so. 
Sometimes it is painful to see, to hear.
Yesterday, she received some hard news,
some deeply sad news,
another reminder that only a feeble few
remain from the old gang.
Martha was a tiny thing,
gracious and loving.
She carried sadness in her bones, however.
Her oldest son walked out of their lives 
over 40 years ago, never to be heard from again.
She carried that pain deep within,
sometimes following it right into
the blackness of depression.
When her Benjy died, the light went out of her life,
just like it did for my mom when her Ben died.
Martha’s short husband was my tall father’s best man,
and he went to Jesus first, a few years before my dad.

Each of these valiant women lost most of their eyesight 
in the years following their husband’s deaths.
They commiserated together by phone,
one in southern California,
one in eastern Pennsylvania.
And they held each other up in those phone calls.
Yes, they did. They held each other up.
They loved the Lord, but they wondered –
why must it be so hard?
Why must there be so much loss in this life
How long will be be here without them? 
“I just feel so, so sad,” she sobbed into the phone last night.
“I can see her still, standing in the garden,
singing for our wedding.
I can hear her sweet soprano in my ear. 
Did you know that we sang in a quartet at Trinity? 
Oh, I cannot even find the words to tell you how
terrible this feels.”
And then a brief confession:
“And, to tell you the truth, I am more than a little bit jealous.”
“Jealous, Mom?” I asked.
“Yes, jealous. You know I’d much rather be with your dad
than here, honey.”
“I know, Mom. I know.”
What else can be said at such a time?
There are no words
on the eve of what would have been anniversary #70,
there are no words.
Hanging onto hope, that’s what we’re doing.
Hanging onto hope of the resurrection.
Hanging onto hope of reunion.
Hanging onto hope in Jesus,
that’s what we’re doing.
And we’re missing those we loved and lost.
We’re doing that, too.

Not sure this fits the memes entirely, but I am joining with Michelle at Graceful for her “Hear it on Sunday, Use It on Monday” invitation and with Jen at FindingHeaven’s soli deo gloria sisterhood:
 

Vacation Posting – Three: Out for a Stroll

Joining today with a new meme (to me, at least).  And thanks to Michelle DeRusha for finding it first. It’s sponsored by Richella over at ImpartingGrace and offers an opportunity to be reflective about gifts of grace in the dailyness of life:

Imparting Grace

It was a quiet day, after a week or so of busy day trips, 
hikes, steam train rides, aquarium visits 
and various assorted other adventures.
A good week of relaxing,
enjoying the beauties of creation and
the quirkiness of human invention.
Our kids and their kids had taken off for some seaside exploration 
and a trip to the boardwalk.
We opted to stay home, work a jigsaw puzzle, 
edit some photographs and 
finish off a few leftovers from the fridge.
After 45 years together, 
we’ve come to deeply appreciate being together 
in the same space with little to no conversation. 
I can’t quite put my finger on why we relish these times, 
I just know that we do. 
 The house we’ve rented hangs out over the edge of a ridge,
with a view down to the Pacific Ocean.
It’s big enough for all of us to spread out a bit,
but not so big as to feel cavernous.
The owners are lovely people and have thought of lots of details
to make our stay enjoyable.
After dinner, I stuck my small camera in my jacket pocket,
and took off to explore the neighborhood a bit, 
just as the sun was leaving the sky.
 Up the driveway I went, pausing 
to admire these daisies gracing the pavement, 
and stopping at the red sign to check for traffic.
There was none.
 The evening air was still, cool and soothing.
 The silhouetted palm trees to the left of the road
brought reminders of our southern CA home 
with their grace and elegance.
By now, I was aware of how deep the silence was.
No one was out and about,
the birds were nearly done singing for the day,
and the shadows were lengthening with each step.
 The golden grasses by the roadside spoke to the season –
this is summer, after all. Even with the ever-present
morning and evening fog, the ground is dry, 
awaiting the rains of autumn.
The startling beauty of ‘naked lady’ amaryllis
jumped into the silence with a
lovely reminder of color, 
vibrancy in the midst of quietness.
 The houses on this side of the canyon were newer, 
larger, more ostentatious. 
And much further apart.
So the silence deepened 
as I walked,
as I watched,
as I listened.
The landscaping was upscale, 
with beautifully displayed, 
drought-resistant grasses, 
lavender, and deep red shrubs.
Up and down the gentle hills I walked,
coming to the end of the road in a broad cul-de-sac.
And it was there that I saw them.
Standing quietly in an open field,
eyeing me with caution but without movement.
“Oh,” I whispered. 
“You are so beautiful.
I won’t hurt you.
I know I’m large and noisy,
but I won’t hurt you, I promise.
Just stay there a minute longer
and let me enjoy your grace.”
And so they stood there,
quietly watching me watching them:
a picture of attentive watchfulness,
quiet beauty and gentle presence.
This quartet became – for a few moments –
a window into heaven.
A reminder that God is both quietly
and vibrantly beautiful,
strong and gentle,
watchful and patient.
All of that in one 40 minute stroll.
An absolutely perfect ending to a truly lovely day.

Five Minute Friday: New

Lisa-Jo invited suggestions on her facebook page this week and two people suggested this prompt – ‘new.’  I’m finding it sort of tough, actually.  But maybe…just maybe…that’s because it’s midnight and I should be heading to bed. Instead, I’m going to set that timer and write for five minutes, without worrying whether it’s ‘right’ or not. Let’s see what comes out…

GO:

One of the best parts of being a grandparent is seeing life through new eyes. With each adventure, whether it’s something I’ve done a hundred times before or not, I get the rare privilege of seeing it again for the first time.

The wonder of blowing bubbles.

The fun of blowing kisses.

The softness of a kitten’s fur.

The first taste of ice cream.

The feel of grass on my bare feet.

The accomplishment of riding a 2-wheeler without training wheels.

The exhiliration of roller-skating downhill.

The wibble-wobble of that first loose tooth.

The thrill of a scary amusement park ride.

The mysterious beauty of life under the ocean, whether seen through a snorkeling mask or on a first-time visit to a really good aquarium.

It’s all brand new again – the joy of discovery, the wonders of creation, the way our bodies can take us amazing places!

STOP.

Gracie, age 5, at the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Monday of this week.

Vacation Posting – Two: Sunday Afternoon in the Forest

Trying to capture just a few moments of a delightful playdate earlier this week – on Sunday, to be exact. We are on vacation in northern CA, living in a rented home, a LARGE home, with enough room for 15 of the 16 of us to spread out, cook together, swim together, take day trips together (and separately, too) and generally unwind from a wonderful but demanding summer of family highlights (the big birthday party in June and, of course, the lovely wedding, which I described in words and pictures here, here, and here.) So…on Monday, we drove over to a nearby state park and took a short (2 mile) hike together. A few reflections on that experience posted tonight with Laura at The Wellspring and LL at SeedlingsinStone: 
On In Around button

The coastline before us swoops in a large semi-circle, forming a 45 mile stretch of the Pacific into the placid and peaceful Monterey Bay. As the sun sets each summer day, the fog rolls in like a blanket unfurled, covering water, sand, hills, towns. And this bay is dotted with towns. Charming small ones, known for warehouses full of brilliant tuberous begonias, for the tantalizing aroma of clam chowder and crabcakes, and for the eclectic mix of folks who choose to live here. 

The fog lingers deep into the morning on many days, tempting late sleepers to stay tucked in tight, creating a deep desire for the warmth of beverages served in ceramic mugs and large quantities of cooked breakfast foods. 

For people used to a demanding schedule, this mellow life is more than welcome, it is life-giving. Just a few days before one batch of grandkids begins school and about three weeks before the rest of them step into the fall, we are glad and grateful to have this time, this place, this space to breathe.
A lovely by-product of the dense fog is the even denser layer of green growth which sprouts everywhere you look. Coast redwoods, several varieties of oak, sycamore, pine and the wonderfully evocative Monterey cypress cover the hillsides all along this northernmost edge of the bay. The central stretch offers sandy soil for artichokes, and thousands of their feathery leaves blow in the breezes caused by the traffic on Highway One. Down near Monterey, on the southern edge of the bay, the cypress are everywhere, but the redwoods disappear until you hit Big Sur, about 25 miles south of Carmel.
So, staying in the lap of redwood country up here on the northern edge, we opted to take a hike on Sunday in lieu of going to church. Good choice. The sun burned through by noon and we packed some fruit and snacks and headed out to see what we could see of God’s creation.

 A soft, spongy ground cover is created by the accretion of thousands of pieces of redwood greenery, turning a rusty reddish brown as it settles into the earth. This makes for very easy walking along trails. Even the five-year-olds enjoyed the cool shade of the giant trees, the sound of a nearby stream and the chance to move their bodies in the middle of a beautiful forest. 

Lilly loved it all, especially the snacks. And despite the interesting array of facial expressions displayed in the photo above, the rest of the crew relished this time away from the usual, too. 

The sky was blue, the sun was shining, the stream was sparkling, the trees were sheltering – it was a very good day. After spending every Sunday of the last 50+ years in a church setting for worship, this was a lovely way to enjoy Sabbath rest. We are grateful for all of it – the beauty of creation, the circling company of family, the gift of re-creating ourselves on a family vacation.

 

Vacation Posting – One: The Smallest of Steps

She stands at the screen door, calling –
“Nana. Nana. Nana.”
Over and over again, I hear it.
So I lift my voice back to her:
“Lilly, Lilly, Lilly.”
And yet again, she cries,
repeating her name for me,
calling out into the deepening dark of evening.
As I walk my evening rounds,
she searches for me.
The layout of this house we’ve rented
doesn’t allow a straight line of vision to the 
front drive where I am walking.
But surely, she can hear my voice.
As she calls, I hear the words she cannot yet say:
Is everyone in her world accounted for?
Are all those she is coming to love somewhere
in her line of sight?
Can she sleep tonight, knowing that
all is well and ordered in her world?
Her mother comes close,
whispering that Nana is just outside,
taking her walk,
see her down there?
All is well, little one. All is well.

I wonder when I hear her – is that what my cries
sound like to the God who draws nigh?
Sometimes I, too, continue to cry out God’s name,
wondering if all is well,
if I am safe,
if those I love are safe.
Yahweh. Jesus. Spirit.
Do I think the act of calling causes my Triune God 
to pay attention to me?
Am I trapped in the semi-magical thinking of
an eighteen-month-old?
Or am I able to rest,
secure in the knowledge of God’s presence,
when I cannot clearly 
see any evidence,
even if it is right in front of me?
Ah, yes…but –
sometimes just calling out a beloved name is comfort.
Sometimes it is enough.
Sometimes it has to be.

Originally posted earlier in the week with Michelle at Graceful, Jen at Finding Heaven with her soli deo gloria sisterhood, but tweaking it a tiny bit and then adding it on Thursday to Bonnie at the Faith Barista and Emily at Canvas Child because it fits somehow, and because I really like this one and I’d like to spread it around a little:


FaithBarista_FreshJamBadgeG

Five Minute Friday: Beauty

This challenge each Friday is just about my favorite bloggy thing to do – take FIVE MINUTES without editing, without over-thinking, without pre-planning and see whatever the heck comes out of your fingertips. Thanks to Lisa-Jo for her steady invitation and welcome at TheGypsyMama. Check it out – lots and lots of people respond each week – there’s room for you, too!

This week, she has written a powerful series of posts on how difficult it is for us to see ourselves as beautiful. Nothing in our culture, nothing in ourselves encourages such positive self-reflection. Rather, we are reminded, sometimes dozens of times each day, that we fall far short of the ‘standard,’ that we are less-than, that we are too big or too small or too young or too old or too …. So our task this morning is to write for five minutes on how we are indeed bearers of BEAUTY.

Here goes:

BEAUTY – GO:


“Beauty is as beauty does…” so the old saying goes. And I’ve spent most of my life trying to make that true for me. I have done, done, done – a lot of the time because it is the only way in which I feel that others will perceive me as worth their time and interest. So, as much as I appreciate Lisa-Jo’s invitation to list the ways in which I see beauty in myself because of loving acts that I do – I also resist that approach. Because I know myself so well – so, so well. And listing off the things that I do to love others plays right into my insecurities, right into the besetting sin of my life: trying to earn love and respect.


So today, I will tell you that I am older than I believe myself to be, smarter than many people wish I were, and deeply grateful – after 66 years! – to be me. To live in this too-dry skin, to own these too-many pounds, to appreciate each and every wrinkle, age spot, dimple and freckle. I am grateful for this body which I’ve hated for so long, grateful that it easily carried and bore three delightful human beings, grateful that it brought me and my husband pleasure for so many years, grateful that it is able to move with relative ease. I am blessed by this temple, and coming to be at peace with who I am. And that, my dear friends, is my prayer for each and every woman (and man) who might happen upon these words. God gave you a gift – no matter its limits, no matter those things you wish you could change about it. YOU (and I) are gifts to this world. God’s gifts. Sink into that truth, won’t you?


STOP (one minute extra – sorry! It’s the soapbox mentality, I swear it is!)

   

Scripture and a Snapshot – “Only Say the Word…” – Reflections on Communion

Statue of Saint Francis of Assisi, Mission Renewal Center
Santa Barbara CA 


Every day for two weeks, I said these words.
And every day, the tears came.
Why?
The words are simple, clear, plain.
Their cry is elemental, a cri de coeur, 
yet in them are two of the foundational 
truths of my life as a follower of Jesus.
The first is this:
I am indeed not worthy to receive the gift
offered me with this small thin wafer,
this tiny sip of watered wine.
Such simple things which somehow become
a miracle of sorts, a small wonder received
in and through my eating,
my drinking.
And I am not worthy as I stand before the priest, 
hands cupped, heart open.
This is the truth of the matter: 
I am a sinner, saved by grace.
One whom Jesus loves,
simply because I am.
There is nothing I can do to make myself worthy,
there is nothing required except a bowed head,
an acquiescent spirit,
a repentant heart,
a quiet, ‘amen.’
Oh, how good it is to remember this!
How good it is to be reminded 
every
single
day
that I need only to receive my Lord,
not impress, convince, defend, or otherwise earn the blessing.

And the second truth is like unto the first:
by the word of God, I am healed.
I am declared worthy.
I am seen, I am heard, I am forgiven, I am loved…
by the Word of our God.
“Only say the word…”
And the Word spoke –
spoke the universe into being,
spoke humanity into flesh and blood,
 spoke salvation and hope and healing
for every single one of us born on this blue planet.
And the Word speaks to me
in this bread, this cup.
The Word speaks –
a word of welcome,
of invitation,
of recognition,
of Love.
And…
I am healed.
Glory be to God.

I keep thinking ‘normal’ will return any day now. 

     I barely got unpacked from two weeks at the Mission Renewal Center when we started packing again for a long-planned family vacation – we arrived at our ‘home’ (read MANSION) for the next 10 days about six hours ago – 13 of us here now, 2 more coming tomorrow evening. For the first time in many years of gatherings such as these, our eldest grandson will not be with us, as he begins at Chapman University next week and is doing some last minute visiting with good friends and then moving into his wonderful new apartment in old-town Orange CA. We’ll miss him, but this is how it should be when you are 20 years old, right?
     Eventually, I will tell you about our time together here on the northern CA coast. But this crazy week, I am still sifting through all that happened at the mission and wanting to capture bits of it here and there. I keep coming back to the worship we shared, so that’s what you’ve got a little piece of tonight. I am too late for 2 of my favorite links (Graceful and Finding Heaven) and a tad early (or late) for the one in the title. But LL keeps her link live most every day and Emily and Ann are open today, so… here goes, with thanks for their kind hospitality:

 

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