August 28, 2010


The highlight of my day was sprawled out on the couch with Tootsie, watching Will&Grace while feasting on blue corn chips and m&m’s. This also represents the low point of my day.

Though standing at the checkout at Target while another customer argued with the defensive employee over a receipt was a close second. It gave me time to muse/fume over yet another reminder that national chain department stores operate by “seasons”, despite the fact that our large nation has varying seasons per region. Southern Californians will still want summer items in August (sarcastic gasp), while I bet a girl in North Dakota will be desperate for and unable to find a hat and mittens in March.

Another low point led me to Target. That would be the moment right after I thought, “gee, i’m glad we have hot water today. this warm shower is nice.” The notion was punctuated by the shower head falling off the pipe and spraying said hot water in all directions.

But enough listing all the reasons i’m cranky today (yes, the list starts with “p”, ends with “s”, and has some “m” in the middle). Let’s think about good things… good things… good things, yeah.

I still need to upload pictures from this year’s chalk contest. Sophia and I didn’t put much preparation into it, and it showed. The drawing turned out ok, but it wasn’t our best work. So we weren’t surprised to lose to much better artists. There was no shortage of fun, though!

Latest dive news: this week’s snorkeling seemed like a bust at first, with nothing but murky water and an obscene amount of kelp. The rock climbing to the site was great fun, and i finally had a chance to explore tide pools. I made friends with a hermit crab who crawled through my hands. But the milestone unexpectedly occurred when we drove down the road. In the not-so-distance, bursts of water shot toward the sky from none other than the backs of blue whales. For the most part, we only saw their backs, but occasionally a nose would rise or a flipper would emerge from the sea. As the sun sank toward the horizon and the air turned chilly, we watched them dance.

August 16, 2010


Ah, it feels good to be on the other side of a big event. After being consumed with details for kids’ ministry fun day, I felt more than ready for the day.

Everything went smoothly. The parents at this church are incredibly supportive and proactive- no “drop your kids off for free baby-sitting” here! We have a large number of three- and four-year-olds, so an equally large amount of supervision is most helpful. From 9am to 3pm, kids created puppets and beaded glow-in-the-dark crosses, ran around pelting each other with bean bags and water balloons, fought goliath with mentos and diet coke, crossed a blue tarp “red sea”, and transformed into superheroes for Jesus with their own homemade armor of God. Best of all, they left with smiles and happy parents.

Now I am caught up on sleep and ready to tackle the huge pile of supplies in my office I neglected to put away yesterday. But it will wait until tomorrow, because today is my “Saturday”. I shall clean the house a little, then hang out with friends.

My reading lately has included the daily dose of “One Month to Live”, random devotionals, and novels I’ve collected but hadn’t time to read. A few of these have been started and discarded after a couple chapters. I used to be strict about finishing any book I began. Now, I feel like time is too precious a commodity to waste on mediocre story or slow, pointless plot. Randomly, a couple of these (including yesterday’s Sunday School curriculum) have mentioned Jesus’ healing, followed by the phrase, “your faith has made you well.”

Years of studying the Word and seeing it live have brought me to the conclusion that God heals in accordance to His plan. This may mean a quick, miraculous recovery. Sometimes, the healing is final and a very sick or injured person is restored to eternal pain-free life in heaven. Other times, the healing comes slowly in order to teach a life lesson, reach someone in the course of the journey of suffering, or a variety of reasons only the Lord knows until we understand what He’s trying to say. While our faith and devotion can be a catalyst for God’s hand, the Almighty Creator and Great Physician does not depend on us for power. So when people say, “Just have enough faith and you’ll be healed”, I cringe. I have seen the strongest believers lose the ultimate battle with terminal illness, while folks who barely acknowledge His existence became well. God is not a frivolous Santa Claus, arbitrarily sprinkling various amounts of blessing on the lucky few. There are so many factors in His intricate tapestry of a master plan.

So what do we make of “your faith has made you well”? These words were often spoken by Jesus, who certainly He knew what He was talking about. If it was simply faith that healed, why would these folks need an encounter with Jesus at all? Couldn’t they just believe and *poof * be healed? Or perhaps it goes beyond the physical. Maybe Jesus made them physically healthy, while their faith made them spiritually well? After all, Jesus, the Son of God, understood beyond the people’s limited knowledge of that time period. He knew that the person is body, mind, and soul. And this was a guy who was concerned about the hearts of the people- beyond the chambers, ventricles, veins, and arteries. Could it be that trusting the Messiah and surrendering to His mercy (often publicly, in the midst of less-than-compassionate crowds!) helped make them completely “well”?

As always, I welcome your thoughts on this subject. I’m still working out my understanding of God-details, and am in no way an authority on such matters. It’s a life-long study that we’ve got to work together to accomplish!

August 11, 2010


After a day of solid work on the kids’ fun day event, I need a break. Especially since the rest of the evening will be spent working on lesson planning and the like.

But I do love my job and am glad to spend my days on projects that matter! :)

If you’re interested in the progress of “One Month to Live”, I have little to report. The past few days have been the typical “connect with people you love, reconcile with those you’ve wronged or who’ve wronged you, etc. etc.”. While this is sound advice and good living, it’s not a new concept.

My friend, Becca, brought up the concept that if you truly had one month left in life, you’d likely not waste it on responsible things, like cleaning, or choose to throw nutrition to the wind and indulge in favorite foods. The book mentions that this is not the point and reminds us that we need to be healthy and responsible. But I think Becca makes an excellent point. The reason we have room in life to focus on all the amazing things is that if we actually had only thirty days, we could throw out the necessary crap that sucks away our time. And facing reality while still attempting “One Month to Live” dries up all urgency that motivates us to change our lifestyle. So far my conclusion is that, while the actions and actively reordering our priorities is excellent, using the “if you only had 30 days to live!!” approach is misguided. But it’s only the 11th… maybe I will change my mind after reading 19 more days…..

On a completely different note, I am compelled to post a couple of things that inspire me artistically. These videos speak for themselves… and I hope I can be as creative in the next year when I begin my production projects for school…

And while we’re on the subject of inspiration….. A recent facebook/twitter post included video of great white sharks shot by a semi-local surfer (the giant boobs were in the background, so we know it was almost to San Diego). A comment from my third-grade teacher (oh, the wonder of facebook) reminded me of a book that really hooked my love of the ocean and desire to swim with sharks.


And that title is “Shark Lady” (not Shark Lad, fyi). It was hard to find the old cover, but I remember it very clearly. I should, considering I have read that book at least 17 times, if not more. It’s a little incredible that a children’s biography published in the late ‘70’s could give such enthusiasm to a girl who had never seen the ocean.

And yes, I totally stopped writing and bought a copy of the book for 75 cents on It deserves a place of honor on my bookshelf- not far from the snorkeling equipment that helps me swim with the fish for real.

August 06, 2010

worth $20?

Another Friday… another farmers’ market day. I spent a whole $20, and what do I have to show for it?

A bunch of carrots, a load of grapes, a head of broccoli, two ears of corn, four ginormous peaches, a bouquet of flowers for the dining room table, and a delicious lunch of Peruvian chicken & shrimp rice (which will also be enough for dinner, ‘cause it’s huge). AND I know everything is fresh, organic, and supporting local farmers.

As a bonus, I stopped at CVS to use an extra-care-bucks coupon and get cash for the market. I spent a whoppin’ $1.17 for a bottle of shimmery green nail polish and a bar of Burt’s Bees citrus and ginger root soap.

Perhaps I’m riding the wave of the early stages of mania, or maybe I’m just in a good mood on the first day of my two-week “summer break” from school. But I am inspired to work on art projects as I put together a mini-vbs fun day for church/work and sew burlap sacks for Masquer’s production of “Joseph”. This morning, something in me decided to create fish out of construction paper and crayons. The side of our refrigerator is now a tally of the creatures we encounter on our snorkeling ventures…. our neighbors under the sea.

Like this guy:


He’s a juvenile garibaldi. Apparently, they lose those spots when they grow up to be the familiar brilliant orange dudes we know and love. But those blue patches actually GLOW…. so beautiful and amazing.

Our church is reading a book called “One Month to Live” by Kerry and Chris Shook. The basic premise is how you would change your life if you found out you only had 30 days left, and why/how to make those changes now. It’s the usual “living life to the fullest” deal, completely with a practical game plan. The book is not bad so far (only on day 6), but I feel like it’s the way I already live. This entire year has been about making each day count and not wasting life on matters of falsely-perceived importance. I don’t know how long my current situation will last, but I feel like I’m on the right course. Though everything seems too good to be true, I trust that it will continue to be an incredible adventure as long as I stick with God’s direction.

Do you feel like that? Or are you restless for something more? Or do you think it’s a bunch of hippy rainbows-&-sunshine idealistic nonsense? I want your thoughts. Seriously… email or use the comments, but please tell me what you think.