Monday, March 30, 2009
Okay, I've put my sewing down so that I can play Show & Tell with all my beachy lessons.
Monday, Monday. We're on our way, with clear, sunny skies! Hopes are soaring for a vacation of full of fun!
The entire trip Mike was in meetings, from the wee hours of the morning to the late night hours. This left me alone with Jesus and my old journals... I had big plans to read through a whole stack of them. Little did I know that I would barely scale a few pages in only one! But God knew; and His plan was definitely different than my own!
Through those few pages the Lord revealed that deeeeeeep in my heart raged a blazing fury. Well, drats. I had poured cold water over it enough to keep it controlled, and I thought I was doing so good, but those journal pages were like a match being thrown on an overturned gasoline tanker - KABOOM! God cares about that deep-down stuff - AND HE WANTS IT UP AND OUT!
So, Wednesday evening I packed up me and my bad attitude and headed out to Morro Bay Beach. No cell phone. No friends. No computer. Just God's creation, me, and Jesus. Up and down that gorgeous trail of ocean I walked for hours; griping, venting, praising, praying, thanking, singing, sighing, reciting truth, taking pictures.
There comes a time when we have to meet our heart's wretchedness face-to-face. It's no easy aquaintance. In sunny times don't we like to think our faith will stand against life's dashing waves? And yet, when it's revealed to us that we are no stronger than a sandcastle built by the water's edge, well... it's discouraging. I imagine this is what Peter felt after hearing the distant rooster calling his bluff. Of course I confessed to the Lord this utter weakness of mine, this wanting to "fly away" as King David sighed, but guess what? It was no surprise to Him. To the One who sees every secret of the heart, He knew. It made me tear up when the Lord's response to my confession was a whispered "I love you." It was a shocker. And then, I had to laugh with joy, because "while I was yet a sinner, Jesus died for me." I really wasn't any worse that day on the beach then that day sitting in Calvary Chapel, Bakerfield, when I raised my hand during an altar call. It's so easy to let grace's wonders get sidetracked with worksy attitudes. Anyhoo, I had read that morning in Proverbs 24:10 that "If you faint in adversity, your strength is small." LOL - Yes! it is! But, Luke 22:32 says, "...but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail." Yay!
If you think that God is not real and paying attention with lots of loving thoughts, then let me show you some pictures. I snapped these photos without touching anything on the sand. I felt God was reminding me on my treks up and down that cold beach that He loved me...
This is a long blog, isn't it? There's just so much to tell!!! I'm beginning to understand what John meant when he said, "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written." I'm barely telling anything about my trip and lessons, and look... lo-oong!
Anyhoo, when I left that beach I had thought of Joseph's life. So much happened that was not in his boyhood dreams. Yet he trusted, and ended up saving a nation. Jesus trusted when He walked on earth, and ended up saving souls. About some of the things in my life that were not in my girlhood dreams, I wrote in my journal that night, "Lord, why is this best for me? Maybe, duh, it's not about me. All of Joseph's whole life was so that God could have HIS WAY and save His people." Maybe somwhere down the end of my life's road my experiences will also save someone from something. I thought of 2 Corinthians 4:12. "So death works in us, but life in you." Like sand crabs. There are tons of their lifeless white carcasses all over the beach. Why? Their deaths provide food for the birds. And I caught this happening in a photo (though it's hard to see it).
I remembered that many have gone before me in this life. We are not alone! And Jesus walks with us!
Elisabeth Elliot says, "In acceptance lies peace." Always, I viewed that with accepting my lot in life. But on the beach I thought of it as in accepting the truths of God. In acceptance that there will be trials and tribulations, that ours is a God who is near and not far off, that sometimes we have to wait, that He sends rain on the good and evil, that changes take time, that in all things God's will is that we give thanks...."Yield now and be at peace with Him; thereby good will come to you. Please receive instruction from His mouth, and establish His words in your heart" (Job 22:21-22). It always comes back to surrender and trust and obedience, doesn't it? Oh, and God's grace, and help, and strength, and love and mercy... :)
So, you think I should be finished yakking, and maybe I should be, but I'm not. Oh, no! "Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning" (Psalm 30:5). Oh, yeah, babay! After the day-long struggle on Wednesday, joy came and stayed! Thursday was our last day, and I had 12 whole hours left to celebrate at the beach...
I checked us out of the hotel and drove to sunny Avila Beach (did you notice that both beaches' weather matched my attitudes? Coincidence? lololol).
First thing I did was swing in the sunshine. I love to swing! Did you know that? Then, having a front row ocean view, I sat in my car and did hours of hand-stitching and journal reading.
This is me very content. The windows were down, allowing the warm whisp-of-a-breeze to blow through.... yum! (I took this pic of myself and forgot to smile, as I was concentrating on not dropping the camera.)
After this, I went to Avila's Red Barn for some fresh produce. I ended up buying jacks, too. Remember those???
This guy was in their petting zoo. While all other goats were busy about, he was content in the sunshine. Me, too!
All in all, the trip was fantastic. On Wednesday I had the chance to go to Disneyland with my sis' fam. They were taking five-year-old Brandon, whom I love, for the first time. Since he's my only 'grandson' they wanted me to be there. Disneyland is my fav place. I felt like the Lord wanted me to stay where He put me. He said to me, "There will be blessings if you stay." Now, keep in mind that WEDNESDAY was my bad attitude day full of lessons. I told the Lord, "I exchanged Disneyland for this???" However, like I said, He had a plan. The blessing was in revealing what was in my heart so that He could deliver me and set me free. Also, that I could have a fresh breath of His love in a personal way, despite all my failures. Oh, and just so much more. Sometimes blessings come in strange packaging....and sometimes we have to wait to see them. But they are all worth it! Being with Jesus is the happiest place on earth.
And then I picked up Mike and we sailed off into the sunset (Bakersfield). THE END!