About Me

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Santa Cruz, CA
living, and loving people. in the midst of my humanity.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hope & Spiritual retreats

"Hope lies in braving the chaos & waiting calmly, with trust in the ONE who loves us. The idea is to still ourselves, to draw ourselves back to the deeper life that flows beneath the deeper life that flows beneath the surface of our days. " 
- Sue Monk Kidd

Today is an un-official Come Away (Spiritual retreat). It is a day I was suppose to be on last month but it slipped my mind as I had much to do at the office. Slipped my mind. sadness of the busyness of ministry. The whole theme this month is HOPE. I have spent all morning in the beautiful redwoods of Mount Hermon where I live. and now as my distraction grows I will wander down to the shores of a random Santa Cruz Beach to finish the thoughts on hope, as well as re-cap this spiritual journey that this Come Away 2007 - 2008 "Arms Wide Open"has brought me through. I realize that today I have broken the rules by even typing this blog but as I reveled in the beauty of it and how I so often do not write about what God is teaching me through them, I felt compelled to say something here.

May today and this week you find time away from the busyness to listen to what God is saying to you. What is God inviting you into? I know he has been messing with me this morning...in a good way.  And the song Acres of Hope by Shane and Shane keeps returning to my heart and mind this morning. 

I leave you with this:

Christ before me, Prepare the way
Christ behind me, restrain my inclination to go alone.
Christ about, shade me from the flames of the enemy.
Christ beneath me, become the bottom when the door drops away.
Christ to the Left & to the Right, SUPPORT my ARMS so that I might fly. 

Monday, May 12, 2008

Two Pictures of Waiting

On May 3rd I was given a bouquet of Stargazer Lilies which had not yet bloomed, by a boy that has indeed become close to my heart. Stargazer lilies I thought to myself, I LOVE these. How could he have known? The fragrance, the vibrant color, the unique curve of each bloom yet the similar star shape of each. I could go on.

Clearly I was excited, and impatient by the end of day 2. My flowers where still only pods and to my eye they had started to loose their luster. 

On the morning of day 3 I stood in my kitchen listening to my morning coffee brew and I stared at them: Why would they not bloom? Had they not been bought for my pleasure and enjoyment? Wasn't there purpose to bring the sweet fragrance into my home? sigh. I would wait yet another day.

That night the flower buyer asked me, "How are your flowers?" to which I began my lament on how excited I was, and how sad I was that my Joy for what was to come in my flowers had not been met. How all I wanted was just one to bloom and then, then I would be happy. No. Actually I wanted all of them to bloom and then I would be happy...but this waiting was starting to wear on me. To which he smiled and looked at my impatient (acting) 5 year old sad face and said, "Melinda, think of it this way: If its taking five days to bloom, then you have five more days to enjoy them, than if they where blooming on the first day that I gave them to you, and you will be able to enjoy them for even longer" 

I paused... shook my head. How correct was he, when all I could do was sit in front of them and say OPEN, OPEN, OPEN like that stupid Mervyn's Commercial! As if being sad, staring at them, would make my waiting shorter. 

The next few days I enjoyed the pod's, I enjoyed the essence of the wait. I began to anticipate the beauty that would be coming with out even being able to see any progress. 

On March 11th, EIGHT 8 DAYS LATER, such a long time to wait, my first pod BLOOMED! Over the next few days I watched each one open in their own time making the vase look prettier and prettier and if I am honest my allergies getting stronger and stronger.  (Yeah I moved them to my room the second they started blooming...yeah I am suffering ha ha, worth it)

As this process moved forward I was struck by the by the fact that this is SO our lives. I claim that I am waiting on the Lord, and the reality is that I am sad, impatient and I don't believe that the end result will be as beautiful. I subconsciously believe that as I wait on God with each passing day the answer will loose its value. If one is truly honest they will find that while waiting on the Lord as trying as it is, that he indeed will fulfill our every needs, often larger than we can imagine, in ways we never thought.

Why do we sit staring wishing and hoping that the "pods" of our life will open today? Why do we question the God of the universe as if he has not and will not answer us? Why in the days I wait do I think I do not hear his voice?

Truth is I hear his voice in the waiting. I choose to anticipate the beauty that is ahead of me, even thought it is hard to wait.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tonight is Jell-O Olympics

The room has been prepared.
(the picture to your right is the almost finished)

The Pudding & "Yuck" have been bought.

The students are excited.

The students have been smiling and saying things that make me slightly afraid for my life. 

I am packing my extra clothing and extra shirts for anyone that's inappropriate. : )

A new experience indeed.

Ohh what a night.  

Its going to be a late one.

Friday, May 2, 2008

I just love Perfect days!

Days off need to be truly embraced. Its a part of life that the last 4 or 5 years has not really been a part of my life. Again realizing this is what began my heart for enjoying my friday 1st's to places and things I have never done before. To embrace the day that is before me. That makes me believe in the perfect day. The gym, the Harbor Cafe, the Beach with my dear friend Trinity. Talking about life, fear, and our hearts. I just love days like this. 

Live Life

walking boldly as though nothing can
hold you