Almost three months after I moved to Southern California, I innocently asked a co-worker, who was a SoCal native, where would be the best spot to visit the ocean. “I have a couple days free, and I’ve been wanting to see the ocean. Where should I go?”
“You mean, you’ve never seen the ocean? Like, you don’t mean just not here in L.A., but no ocean anywhere?”
“I’m from Illinois. We don’t have the ocean there.”
“You’ve never seen the ocean? Never?”
Whatever, I thought to myself. It’s not like I’ve never seen anything that is memorable. I mean, look, she’s never seen unending acres of corn!
That was on Tuesday. Continue reading
A week ago today, I did something I should do more often—turned notifications off on my phone, drove to an area with no cell reception, hiked to the bottom of a canyon, and sat for two and a half hours with a good book.
For the first fifteen to thirty minutes of reading, I surprised myself at how often I reached to check my phone, even though my notifications were turned off and I didn’t even have cell service. Definitely not a habit I’m proud of.
About thirty minutes in, I was reaching for my phone for a different reason—to take pictures to share online.
Finally, as the connection-detox ran its course, I let my phone sit unnoticed on the rock beside me as I simply sat and absorbed my surroundings. I didn’t post any pictures that day, but I did leave wonderfully renewed and less stressed than I had let myself be for quite some time.
The next day, while sitting at my desk at work, it occurred to me that stress steals from us some of God’s most valuable gifts—gifts I had hardly noticed were absent forty-eight hours prior, but realized now what a treasure they are. I jotted four down. Continue reading
If it was an obsessive compulsive disorder, it was one that all of my sisters have shared. Strangely, I’ve never heard of other little girls with the same issue, so maybe it was more of a genetic issue.
Or maybe since I’ve never before talked about it publicly, I should suspect others are also hiding behind their silence.
Well, I’m ready to bring it out into the open:
I’ve broken more headbands than I can count.
There, I said it. Continue reading
Note: This blog is part of a Thanksgiving series of blogs highlighting attributes of God for which I am thankful.
This past summer, I had the best experience ever at Subway…and it had nothing to do with Subway.
I was with my family for a few days, and I had the opportunity to have a heart-to-heart talk with my dad. I came to the table with an agenda—literally. I had three questions I had been waiting to talk with him about until we had one-on-one time to ourselves.
Two of the questions were trite. But one was big to me. In fact, it wasn’t even a question at all, it was an issue.
I always cherish time spent with my dad, but this time, I needed it. I shared with him something that had been weighing my spirit, and I listened as he gave me his take on it. We talked for a long time. Subway employees began cleaning the counters and checking the doors to be sure they were locked (subtle signs that they wanted us to leave). We relocated to the car and continued talking. We even turned the heater on once we had sat in the car long enough to get chilled. Continue reading
I’m reopening a blog post draft that I began almost six months ago, which wouldn’t be so bad if the first post hadn’t been about transmission trouble.
I’m no mechanic, but I know more about a failing transmission now than before I began this post—either time. And I know that the loss of a transmission signals one of two events—days of misery or an unfolding adventure.
Thankfully, both times I got to experience the adventure.
My brother Daniel, my friend Jill, and I were 627 miles into our 2,000 mile drive home for vacation when our transmission gave out. That left us stranded on the shoulder of the interstate at 5:30 p.m. on a Friday night. Not good. Continue reading
…is sometimes, believe it or not, rest.
Yes, it’s that simple. Rest works wonders.
Sometimes when we are edgy and depleted, when we feel that we have no more to give, all we need is rest. Perhaps we need the rest of sleep. Perhaps we need the rest of a mental diversion.
I’m beginning to see that to not rest is a form of pride. Fatigue—mental or physical—makes us edgy and overwhelmed. It reveals a mindset that thinks the world depends on us, that if we step out of the current, everything will stop.
Proper rest, however, is a form of humility. It is a way of acknowledging our finite limits and our need of God’s cycles of renewal.
How do I know? Let’s just say I recently took a day of needed rest. And it proved both points!