A Bad Case of “This Ain’t What I Thought it was Gonna Be!”

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:19-20

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Sometimes my optimism really annoys me.  I tend to go into things expecting them to be 100% wonderful…or at the very least, function like they should.  And then, when they aren’t and don’t, I stand bewildered, then frustrated, my sense of justice and rightness raring up indignantly.  The cynics point and laugh and say, “You’re kind of an idiot, you know.  What were you thinking?”

Well, I was thinking the best of everyone and everything.  It’s my default, and it means I get disappointed a lot…

Take my job, for example.  I had wanted to work at my current place of employment since I first moved to Alaska in 2014.  I believe in their mission and thought it would be a great chance to impact young people’s lives.  The opportunity came in May 2018, but even getting the job was an odyssey.  I applied and never heard anything, but the position stayed open.  So I called and was told I didn’t qualify, which made no sense.  I had clearly heard the Lord tell me that was where he wanted me, but it seemed to dead-end.  And then one day in August, a friend told me the company was holding a job fair, so I showed up with a couple of copies of my resume.  I was the only person who attended that day, and they could see that I had applied but couldn’t find my resume anywhere on the recruiting site.  They couldn’t imagine why I was told I didn’t qualify.  They interviewed me the next week and offered me the job.

Yay!  Or so I thought, until I understood the maelstrom I had walked into and was now ostensibly in charge of:

  1.  My department’s office moved from Anchorage to the Valley in June.
  2. The entire team quit.
  3. They left behind over 300 files that hadn’t been touched, some since February.
  4. All of my subordinates’ positions were filled before I was hired.
  5. They never got much training.
  6. I never got much training.
  7. Because we were scrambling to deal with the files, I had no time to build team relationships.  I was on cleanup duty for a mess I didn’t make, and there was an expectation that we’d all produce as fast as possible.  The human element didn’t seem to matter to the higher-ups, and we didn’t gel as a team from the start.
  8. My immediate manager didn’t hand over the reins on far too many things I was responsible for, even though I asked and asked and asked.
  9. When the contract changed at the beginning of this year, he was let go, and the director started to understand just how much I didn’t know.  (“Whoa, maybe she’s NOT just a crappy manager.  Maybe she’s just untrained!”)
  10. Half of my team quit right when the contract changed.
  11. We’ve been EXTREMELY short-staffed but expected to produce at the level of a fully-staffed team…and no one is applying for the open positions across our center.  Word on the street is that we don’t have such a great reputation as a place to work.
  12. Numbers and stats seem to be more important than people.
  13. The general air across the whole center is soooooo negative, tense, and stressed.  You can feel it in the air.

I have never worked in an environment like this before.  I have never cried so much or been so exhausted by a job.  And on top of that, I have had the hardest time figuring out why I’m even there because when I asked the Lord to help me hit the expected numbers, he said, “No.”

“Wait, what?” said I.  “So you’re setting me up for failure?  This is extremely uncool, and I don’t understand.”

“Daughter.  Chill.  I am not setting you up for failure.  I will protect you, and you know that.  What I AM doing is giving them a chance to realize how unrealistic their expectations are and to change them.  In the meantime, speak life every opportunity you get.”

Okay, then.  First, I had to make a Herculean effort to climb out of the sludge of negativity that just consumes that place, and I realized the only way to do so was to crawl up in the Lord’s lap and let Him wrap His wings around me and not move an inch.  I had to choose to see things from His perspective, rather than focus on the chaos around me. Most days now, I do pretty well.  What still gets to me is seeing/feeling the frustration others carry, but that’s where His directive comes into play.  I have been looking for every possible way to speak life over people.  For many, it’s as simple and basic as a smile and finding something positive to say to them (although the Lord asks me to pray for them in my own time).  For a few quietly like-minded believers on site, I get to ask openly how I can pray.  For two, maybe three, I can go a lot deeper.  There’s one who’s on a journey to discover the Lord, and I feel incredibly honored to be even a small part of that.

So, in hindsight, I guess I really should have realized that it wasn’t going to be what I thought.  The Lord sends me into places on assignments – he’s always done this – for his purposes.  I suppose I assumed, since the job description looked like someone wrote it based on a list of my experiences and qualifications, that I was going to make an impact through the job itself.  But y’all, I am not a “numbers trump people” kind of person.  I’m actually a pretty terrible manager, if you go by their definition of management.  I could not care less about being number one in the nation, or meeting quotas, or writing monthly reports, or or or…

I’ve got some future dreams burning in me, and I’m thinking they’re going to come to life pretty soon.  But I’m to stay in this job until the Lord says the assignment is finished.  And if I’m the only one in the entire company who believes that people are more important than stats, so be it.  I think about the stars, how from our perspective, they’re tiny little pinpoints of light in a vast blackness, but in reality, they’re quite large.  And to me, those little positive words are like the stars.  A small word of hope or kindness or truth can be a HUGE thing in the darkness of someone’s life, and I might never know because from where I’m standing, all I did was say, “Hey, you’ve got great hair,” or, “You are doing an awesome job, and I appreciate you.”

So there I go again, being all optimistic.  Sorry, cynics.  In the end, I know who’s got me, and I want to see things the way He does, always.  I choose life.

 

Restoration, Part I

The season has shifted, and now it’s time for me to tell you about all the good things the Lord has done and is doing.

In July of 2017, I had been in the San Diego area for about a year, and, as horribly as everything was going at that point (see https://pellucere.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/pellucere-and-th…d-very-bad-years/), I had reconciled myself to the idea that this was now home.  But one night, I pulled up Google Maps and began looking at all the places I loved in Alaska, and I started to weep.  I went into a vision, where the Lord showed me myself hunched over a grave in the Mat-Su Valley in AK.  In the grave was Alaska itself. He said my dream had been murdered and I needed to mourn, specifically that I needed to “sit shiva.”

For those of you who don’t know, sitting shiva is the Jewish practice that symbolizes the mourner being “brought low” following the loss of a loved one.  It has a specific time frame and many guidelines, so I immediately asked the Lord how I was supposed to implement all that.  He smiled and said it was less about the ritual and more about deliberately putting myself in the frame of mind to actively mourn.  So I took off for a friend’s place in Phoenix, locked myself in her guesthouse for 4 days, and let the Lord take me through it.  I cried some but mostly rested and wrote and enjoyed the Arizona monsoon season. (Is there anything more soothing than a violent thunderstorm? Not in my book!) On probably day 3, the Lord took me back into the vision, back to the grave, and I saw him absorb it into himself, which I understood, and then absorb me into himself, which I did not.  I went back to California feeling like I had set down a heavy weight.

Fast-forward to 2018.  As I’ve mentioned in a previous post (https://pellucere.wordpress.com/2018/05/12/my-cup-filleth-up/), the Lord gave me “restoration” as one of my words for the year.  Apparently a LOT of people got this word because all of a sudden, I started hearing it everywhere.  Right after the new year, the Lord took me back to that same valley where the grave used to be. But as he stood there, he became a portal. He shimmered like a transporter beam, and then I could see his outline but his center became clear, and it was the same valley I was standing in but inside him. I understood that I had mourned what was dead, that I was still in him, and that this was an invitation to restoration. He called Alaska “Lazarus” and invited me to walk through the portal.  And I did.

Now, as far as how that was going to play out in the “real” world, well, I had no clue.  I figured I’d find a job before M and I drove up.  I thought we’d stay in a hotel for a couple of weeks until I got a paycheck or two, at which time we’d find a house and get our stuff out of our storage unit.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with M until school started, but I figured I’d cross that bridge when I came to it.  And God laughed indulgently…

In my mind, I always saw us in a cozy little house until J was released to Alaska.  I saw J walking up a gravel driveway with no baggage, ready to come home at that time, but in the interim, M and I needed to be able to spread out, set up our art stuff and our drums, and just rest.  I looked on Craigslist and Zillow, just to keep tabs on the market, and one day in May, I found the cutest little leaf-green 3/2 ranch.  It really jumped out at me, but at that point, I still wasn’t sure when we were leaving San Diego, and nothing stays on the market long in Alaska, so I didn’t give it much thought.  Eventually, it disappeared off Zillow.  And then in mid-June, it reappeared, ready to rent beginning in July.  J and I talked, and we got this crazy idea to apply for it, even though I wasn’t working and he had rent to pay in Colorado.  We had the lease within 2 days, rented sight-unseen.  Now M and I have been here a month, and it is absolutely perfect for us.  Quiet, peaceful, facing the Talkeetna Mountains, it’s a restful haven, except when Little Drummer Boy is banging on his kit. 😀  And it has a gravel driveway.

The restoration continues.  M and his best friend have picked up their relationship right where they left off 2 years ago.  We had talked about getting another cat, preferably a Maine Coon, one day…and then we went to the animal shelter, and this tiny kitten launched himself at my shoulder and would not let go.  So we now have Bean, and guess what? He’s a Maine Coon.  We have the ultimate Alaska neighbors, who have already shown M how to fillet salmon and taught him to ride a 4-wheeler.  And I’m feeling better healthwise than I have in years.  I know there’s so much more just ahead, and I am so excited about this new season.  Be encouraged, y’all.  The Lord does not forget his promises, and even when it doesn’t look ANYTHING like what you think it should (and let’s face it; that’s pretty much always), he is faithful to restore the years the locusts ate.  If you’re still waiting to see those promises fulfilled, hang in there. Call for restoration; stand on it.  It’s coming!

To be continued…

A Long Post About a Poser Wandering in the Desert (and Maybe Learning a Few Things)

There are times I think I’m the biggest poser on the planet.  This past Saturday was one of them, at least at first.  I had this compulsion to get out to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and go on a hike through Palm Canyon to the palm oasis there.  I didn’t even want to do it as much as I felt like I had to do it, and that right there should have clued me in to the fact that the whole darn escapade was going to be a series of life lessons…

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Indianhead Mountain. Palm Canyon is to its left.

The actual hike is 3 miles round-trip, but when you tack on the walk from the park Visitors’ Center to the trailhead, it’s closer to 6.  But the weather was in the unseasonably-cool low 80s, and I’ve walked that kind of distance many times.  I figured I could get away with about half of the strongly-recommended gallon of water per person since it wasn’t too hot, so I tossed a few water bottles, my camera, and my journal in a backpack, and off I went.

The walk to the trailhead is paved all the way to the campground at the entrance of the canyon, and it’s marked with signs detailing what kind of flora and fauna you might encounter on your way.  Easy peasy.  And then suddenly, you get to a sign saying “Palm Canyon Trail” with a little arrow, and you launch yourself into a vast expanse of sand dotted with creosote bushes and ocotillo.

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I bet this jackrabbit knew where HE was going!

But what that sign doesn’t say is that you’re merely on your way to the trail, not on it yet.  You have to cross a campground parking lot and pass a toilet with no doors and apparently look lost enough that a passing park ranger rolls down his truck window and asks if you’re okay, and when you say you’re trying to find the trailhead, he looks at you dubiously and points, and says, “You mean where those 3 palm trees are?” and you just know he thinks your poser self is gonna die on that trail.

Just past those 3 palms I found another sign warning me that the trail is HOT and DRY, and PEOPLE HAVE DIED OF EXPOSURE HERE, and begging me to PLEASE TURN BACK WHEN YOU HAVE CONSUMED HALF OF YOUR WATER.  It might as well have said, “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here,” because there really wasn’t a marked trail.  All I saw in front of me were downed tree trunks (which I later found out were remnants of palms destroyed in a huge flash flood in 2004) and boulders strewn haphazardly across the sand.  But the canyon walls formed a V shape ahead of me, so I figured it would be hard to get lost.  And I assumed the trail would be pretty clear…hahahaha.  First life lesson time!

1. Sometimes you have to learn to see in a different way.  And usually, you’re in the middle of a completely unfamiliar, potentially panic-inducing situation before you figure that out.

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Most of the trail looked like this.

Based on past hikes, I assumed the trail would be clearly signed/mapped/marked.  It was not.  I had the hardest time even getting into the canyon, until slowly, slowly, it began to register that some of the rocks weren’t so randomly placed (TRAIL EDGES! HALLELUJAH!).  And some of the palm trunks seemed to form barriers (YO! DON’T GO THIS WAY!).  And, lo and behold, there were even a few, teeny-tiny, rust-colored arrow signs tacked here and there!  It felt like learning a new language by immersion, but I started being able to see the trail more clearly…unless I looked too hard.  Then I came to a standstill.  Life lesson number 2!

2.  In a life lived by faith, if you get too bogged down in the details, you lose momentum and bearing.  Keep your eyes on the prize.

I found it fascinating that if I didn’t think too much, my brain seemed to identify the trail with no problems, and I didn’t feel panicky from not knowing where to place my foot.  I heard the Lord whisper very clearly, “Just like following me.  Faith transcends your understanding and keeps you moving in the right direction, even when you have no idea where you’re going.”  However, life lesson number 3!

3.  Don’t get complacent.  That will get you off track, too. 

A few times, I found my mind wandering and then realized I’d lost the trail.  I had to stop, get my bearings, and backtrack.  I also had to revisit life lesson number 1.

Finally, I began to see desert willows, a sure sign of water, and soon there was an actual trickle of liquid in the creekbed.  I could see palm trees ahead of me, but I couldn’t figure out how to get across a very slippery boulder.  As I shot photos and thought, a couple caught up with me and asked if I had been to the palm trees.  I had to say no, that I couldn’t get across the rocks, and I turned to go.  A minute later, I heard the woman call for me.  Her boyfriend had been able to climb it, and they wanted to show me.  Life lesson number 4!

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The seemingly-insurmountable boulder

4.  Sometimes you’ll cross paths, however briefly, with people who can figure out things you can’t.  There’s wisdom in being teachable. 

He found a way around a side I hadn’t seen, and he offered to give me a hand if I needed it.  His girlfriend took my camera so I wouldn’t accidentally drop it, and we all continued to the palm grove together.

Eventually, the couple took off in search of a seasonal waterfall, and I sat in the cool shade and wrote in my journal.  Then I began to head back toward the trailhead, and that’s when I learned life lesson number 5!

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Palm Canyon Oasis

5.  Don’t think just because you’ve been somewhere or done something once, you’re an expert.  Stay humble, and remember past life lessons as you move forward.

I suppose it was silly of me to think getting back would be trouble-free because I did lose my bearings a few times.  Nothing ever looks the same coming and going; plus, I was getting tired and hungry, and I had to pee (guess I took enough water after all?).  But I did get back, and I had such a lot to think about.  I suppose I had felt like a poser because people are always telling me how adventurous/competent/in control I am, and I felt woefully inept on this hike, even a little nervous.  But as I trekked back to my car, the Lord whispered the clearest life lesson I heard all day:

6.  Courage is not the absence of fear.  It’s approaching full-on freak-out mode and going ahead into the unknown anyway.  It’s preparing as much as you can and then trusting Me with the rest.  Good job, daughter.  Go get a taco.  And drink some more water.  You need more than you think you do.

🙂

 

 

 

 

My Cup Filleth Up

The Lord really does do what he says he’s going to do.

There’s a story in the Bible (see Mark 9:14-29) about a man who brings his demon-possessed son to Jesus and basically says, “If you could do anything to fix this, that would be great.”  Jesus looks at him somewhat incredulously (implied by the use of the most emphatic form of “if” in the Greek) and says, “What do you mean, ‘if’? IF you are able to believe, all things are possible to the believer.”  The dad hears this, and according to one translation, says, “I do believe…now help my weakened faith.”   And let me tell you, often I relate to this guy more than any other character in the Bible.  Because I DO believe the Lord, just…weakly at times.  I want to be this powerhouse believer, never wavering, never feeling nervous, never questioning, but I’m more likely to be the one saying, “Yeah, God, I know you’re perfectly capable of doing ______, but are you actually gonna?”

Sigh.

Such was the case when I went to Denver over my birthday weekend.  I had a lot of expectations of the Lord because he had been shouting “REDEMPTION! REDEMPTION! REDEMPTION!” over the 6th of May since the start of the year.  I just didn’t have a lot of optimism that J was in line with all of it because there have been sooooo many times where I was hopeful, and my hope dropped like a bird shot out of the sky in the face of whatever mess J was dealing with at the time.  But I resolved to trust God regardless of how shaky I felt, and I went – this trip was the Lord’s idea to begin with, so once I said yes, I committed to it with everything I could.

And it was a fantastic weekend.

It was a little awkward at first; plus, flying sucks these days, so who’s really ever super-happy after stepping off an airplane?  But I had a great, blessedly quiet hotel room – we both agreed that a neutral space would be better than me staying with J – and after getting a good night’s sleep, I felt a little more optimistic.  We spent the whole of Friday driving through the Rocky Mountains, stopping whenever we wanted to, eating good food, and having good conversation.  We really enjoyed each others’ company, and by Saturday night, I felt a physical and psychic shift. (Have you ever had that happen?  Where you feel like your reality has literally been picked up and moved over a couple of inches and it takes you a second to recalibrate yourself?)  We sat in the hot tub at my hotel, and J poured out his heart to me.  Sadly, I couldn’t hear most of it because of the VERY loud children in the pool, but I could feel the truth and the sincerity of what he was saying.  I didn’t tell him that until after we had gotten out, though. 😀

The bottom line is: things are not what they were.  The old truly has passed away, and all things are made new.  We’re still in the process, but we are watching God’s promises unfold before us.  How gracious is he that our little, tiny, weakened faith is enough for him to work with?  I am so very optimistic for our future now!

The rest of the story in Mark finds the disciples asking Jesus why they couldn’t cast the demon out of the boy, and he told them that kind couldn’t come out except by prayer.  I say that to say this: if you need to see God move in a situation, PRAY.  And give him your little, tiny, weakened faith, and let him take it from there.  Don’t try to demand the hows or wheres or whens.  Let him do it.  If he says he will, he will.

Also, M and I are planning to move back to our beloved Alaska this summer, with J to follow when the Lord releases him to (at which time my cup shall overflow).  How this came about is for another post, but I will say that it is well in line with the words the Lord gave me for 2018: restoration, equilibrium, and tabula rasa.  I’ve applied for pretty much what seems my dream job, so hopefully I’ll have even more good news to share soon.

He’s so good, y’all.  He really is.

Unlucky #13, Huh? Hold That Thought.

Today is my 13th wedding anniversary.  It’s supposed to be a fun-filled, celebratory time, and it’s not.  Instead, this anniversary has served to bring to the forefront – yet again – something that reeeeeeeally needs to be different going forward.

I’m a little bruised, a little sad, a little angry.  I’ve stayed in bed reading all day, though in retrospect, my book choice, Chris Perez’ To Selena, With Love, probably hasn’t done my mood any favors.  I’m going to eat my soon-to-be-delivered panang curry, and then I’m probably going back to bed, where I will watch really dumb YouTube videos and ignore everything else except my son, who is wonderful and growing into a very responsible young man.  And eventually, I will sleep, and then, said in my best Scarlett O’Hara voice, tomorrow is another day.

And I won’t stop believing that the Lord is, even now, working behind the scenes on my behalf.  I will stand on this truth until the day I die, knowing that it never won’t be the case.  Even this present darkness (see Ephesians 6:12) will eventually disappear in the light.  One of these days, things are gonna get good, and I’m here for that.  Things are going to be different, and I’m definitely here for that.  In the meantime, I remember that the Lord gave me “restoration” as one of my words for this year, and I know that even today is not beyond His reach.  Post title notwithstanding, I don’t actually believe in luck or lack thereof:

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives.
                            – Because He Lives, by Bill and Gloria Gaither

Freedom From the Danger of “That’s Just How it Is”

This post will be a little different from what I usually write, and some of you may take umbrage at it, but it’s something that’s been on my mind for a while now. Please read with an open mind and heart.

We live in a confusing, chaotic world.  Every day, we’re bombarded with relentless input telling us who we should be, what we should like, how we should dress, etc.  We’re told what’s “normal.”  We’re told what’s “exceptional.”  Some of us grow up being told we are nothing, and we internalize it.  Others of us grow up being told we can be whatever we want to be, and when our 4’11” self tries to be the next Michael Jordan, we realize we might have some unrealistic expectations.  Our parents, our friends, our cultures – each has a different idea of what we should be.  And all this noise leaves a lot of us feeling like abject failures.  Like we won’t ever succeed or fit in.  Like we’d better just accept that that’s just how it is and move on, doing the best we can to get through each day.  That acceptance stops our destinies in their tracks.

I watch so many people I care about living this “reality.”  They either try to become whatever they’re told they should be, or they rebel and end up somewhere equally disastrous.  Either way, they’re living a lie because they don’t know the truth of who they are.  And I just have to say something about it.  Because back in 2009, I got heartily sick and tired of all the noise, and I decided I was going to cut through it and get to the truth.  And I did, and I grew so much over the following years, and I’m still growing.  That’s how it works when you taste the truth – you’ll never, ever be able to get enough of it and will go after it for the rest of your life.

It came down to a single question.  I turned the Lord’s own query from Matthew 16:15 back on him.  “But you, who do YOU say I am?”  And, y’all, I am telling you that this is THE way to find your true identity.  He Who knew you before He formed you in your mother’s womb (see Jeremiah 1:5) WILL tell you.  It won’t be an overnight process, and you’ll have to be willing to set down every single preconceived notion you have about God, about yourself, about EVERYTHING.  But He will lead you gently; He will bring people to speak into your life; He will heal all the broken places, and then you will understand that “that’s just how it is” is not a phrase He ever, ever utters.

It’s an incredibly brave choice to ask this question, especially if you’ve had a rocky or nonexistent relationship with God.  I don’t want to preach at you or try to convince you of anything because honestly, no one can do that except for Him.  I just want you to know the option is there for you, and it is an absolutely fruitful one if you are willing to go into it wholeheartedly.  If this post has piqued your curiosity in any way, I am more than happy to talk with you, pray with you, steer you toward resources that I’m aware of.

Today is a great day to never again have to believe that “that’s just how it is.”

 

Blooming in the Desert: An Uneloquent Post of Appreciation

The Lord’s kindness takes so many forms.

My 2018, so far, has been full of kindness.  My situation has not yet changed for the better, but it’s as if the Lord is determined to shower me, in the midst of all the chaos and unknowns, with sweet little reminders of his affection.

  • Random strangers shouted, “Bless you!” from across the street, two different times, two different places, as I sneezed.
  • A good friend has committed to checking on me once a week, until I no longer want or need her to.
  • Facebook friends and family were astonishingly generous with their praise when I (uncomfortably) posted a photo of me all dressed up for a night out to see Hamilton with my kiddo.

Small gestures, these, but I have felt them like water on a thirsty ground.  They are reminders that I have value.

Speaking of thirsty ground, one of my favorite places in the world has been offering up its kindnesses, too: the Anza-Borrego Desert.  I discovered it in the spring of 2017, during the superbloom that resulted from unusually heavy winter rains, and it was instant love.

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Superbloom in Anza-Borrego Desert

Its 600,000 wild acres of mountains, sand, canyons, and badlands seem to whisper to my soul.  I find I can breathe freely in its wide-open spaces.  (And the night skies, oh my goodness.  The tiny little village in the middle of the desert, Borrego Springs, is an International Dark Sky Community [more info here], so there are no streetlights for 50 miles in any direction.  You’ll never find a more perfect view of the Milky Way.)  So I get out there as often as I can, sometimes to stay the night, sometimes just to take my little Renegade off-roading, but always to hear the Lord and regain a bit of equilibrium.  I dream of building an artists’ retreat there someday – there’s a robust art scene in Borrego Springs – where people can come and be inspired by the harsh beauty of the land.  And, of course, I will use it, too.

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The Milky Way from Galleta Meadows in Anza-Borrego

I was wandering around the Borrego Art Institute last summer, and I began speaking with one of the ladies who worked there.  I found myself telling her about my artists’ retreat dream, and the next thing I knew, she was showing me vacant lots all around the area.  We had an instant connection, something that rarely, if ever, happens to me, and I came away from that day feeling the Lord’s hand over me like a warm shelter.  I looked for her on subsequent visits, but I always seemed to miss her – until this last weekend.  I had a tough week and drove out to the desert on Saturday, journal, Bible, and snacks in hand.  I spent some time writing, but as the sun began going down and the winds picked up, it got chilly, so I decided to go check out the latest exhibit at the Art Institute.  And there she was at her desk.  Her cheery “How ARE you?” led to me unloading about my life, which led to her and her coworker praying over me right then and there, which then led to an invitation to her home that evening.  And when I walked in her door, it was as if I had known her and her husband my entire life (in fact, her husband had said something similar when she showed him the photo of us she had insisted on).  Soon I was covered with cats and little, yappy dogs, and a fantastic conversation ensued.  By the end of the evening, this older couple had wrapped me in a cocoon of love and total acceptance, had opened their home to me anytime I should want it, and prayed over me again.  I think that night’s sleep was the best I’ve had since coming to California.  The next morning, I got texts detailing what a blessing I was to them.

Y’all.  I barely know what to do with all this kindness, but something deep in me is so hungry for it.  I, too, am thirsty ground, and here come the gentle, soaking rains.  It feels like I have things to learn yet, but they are not harsh lessons.  I can hardly believe that I might get to learn what it feels like not to be cracked and dry.

“And yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave [me] rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying [my heart] with food and gladness.” — Acts 14:17, New Pellucere Version 🙂

I am so thankful for his kindness.