Oh, to be young again…

I took an entire day off yesterday. Off from being a mom. Off from responsibilities. Off from school. Like, totally off.

I was strolling through an Italian villa nestled into the cliff side of Palos Verdes. The grounds were exquisite and the waves crashing on the rocks below were stunning; beauty at its finest. Usually it’s creation that sticks with me, but not this time. As I let my mind roll over memories that were made yesterday, it is a different picture that stayed with me.

Before heading out for a hike,  John and I decided to run back to the car to grab some blankets and water. As we were waiting for valet to bring the car around, we could hear children laughing and squealing from a distance away. Sure enough, a golf cart designed to bring drivers to the front of the lobby pulled into view. The entire back two rows were stuffed with children. I mean, like four or five all squeezed in there, with the last row facing backwards. They were grinning from ear to ear, gripping each other intensely as they can to a stop. There was one little guys waving to onlookers, as if he was riding on a float in a parade.

I took the scene in, letting my eyes linger on their little faces and my ears take in their shrieks of delight.

When did we lose our love of riding on golf carts, I asked, not taking my eyes of the cart, I remember thinking how fun it was to ride in one of those. 

“I haven’t. I still love riding in golf carts,” John added. I glanced at him, planting a kiss on his cheek.

Getting ready to move, the cart lunged forward;the children gripped the rails, gripped each other and waved wildly as they pulled out of sight.  I took a death breath, I need to remind myself how I used to love the simple things. 

As we walked through the villa, making our way down to the start of the trails, we passed a steep hill of sprawling green grass. Staying on the path around this hill, I was looking out to where I could see the ocean in the backdrop. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Walking hand in hand with John, I was enjoying the moment until I found myself being yanked off the path and down the hill! What the heck…

Before I knew it, John was leading the way, running down the hill with me in tow. Trying to get my feet underneath me, I finally caught up and began laughing as we picked up speed. We laughed and laughed as we slowed near the bottom.

And as I sit here thinking about this moment, it got me thinking, dear sisters, isn’t that what we need in our crazy stressed-filled lives? Don’t we need moments, little glimpses, of what it was like as a child? Carefree. Simple. Fun.

I want to do this more. Hanging off the end of a golf cart. Running down hills. Getting down on the floor and playing monopoly. Sleeping in a tent inside. Doing an arabesque down the hallway of a fancy hotel. (okay, so we might have done that too) Kissing a nose just because. Eating popcorn in bed. Running through sprinklers with our clothes on. Spraying whipping cream in our mouth.

Oh, dear sisters, let us not forget how to be young. How to enjoy life…. life as it was meant to be.

Full of joy. Full of laughter.

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50 posts

50 Posts… I never thought I would write fifty. Heck, I never thought I would write more than ten. I guess I had a lot to say… I still have a lot.

I will be honest. I never realized how healing it would be to open myself up to well, like everyone. Continue reading

My so-called crazy life

I can’t even begin to describe this week. You know, sometimes we have weeks that are calm and smooth and everything goes as planned aaaand sometimes we don’t . They are crazy and chaotic, and then there are these rare ones that don’t’ even fit in chaotic. Like, you past chaotic a few days ago cuz they are just plain nuts.

Do you know what I’m talking about; we can’t catch our breath. We can’t add one more thing. Life can’t possibly move any faster! Continue reading

God is good. All the time… I’m not so sure about this.

I watched God is Not Dead with my gang yesterday and this was a phrase that was woven throughout the movie.

God is good. All the time… All the time. God is good.

There have been so many times over the last few years that I began to wonder…

I don’t know, Lord. You don’t look like a good God to me. 

I don’t see, by any stretch of the imagination, how following you right now looks good. I don’t get you. I was so willing to sing your praises and point  back to you as the one who saved me, as the one who answered my prayers, and yet it seems that I am worse off- way worse off. I have heard of your goodness. I have seen it for others, but to be honest, God, right now it’s been way too long with too little goodness, 

and I’m starting… to doubt… that is really what you are like.

This is hard to understand unless you have been through a long- like, it’s never going to happen kind of long-season of not feeling his hand upon you. Oh you can point to what you are thankful for and see prayers of others answered, but sometimes you can get to a point where you begin to ask, What now? What now, God? I know how I should be feeling. I know how I should be acting- acting that even when I can’t see it, you are good. That even when I struggle and feel beyond my breaking point I should be point to you, but I’m tired and I am loosing hope of you ever arriving on the scene with that kind of goodness. 

And I had to get to a point of wrestling this through. Through divorce, hospital visits, being single, taking care of kids, Bob… oh Bob. You see what I discovered was that I equated God’s goodness with ease. My kids following the Lord. Financially stable. Married and cared for. Healthy. If I had all of those things, then my God was good.

And when most of those were stripped away and I was left without; without these pillars holding me up, I was left speechless.

I had absolutely… nothing… to say.

I was faced with his words, gently, but direct; How would you describe Me now, Alisa? What would you say, dear one? 

Silence. I don’t know, Lord. I am too disappointed to speak. I am too let down to say anymore. I have nothing to say to you.

Oddly enough, he seemed okay with that, actually closer because I was finally being honest about where I was at.

I while I was able to move through this season (more to share on that), I reflected on this somber time with the Lord  last night, and I became keenly aware of a detail I hadn’t seen before.

You see, dear sisters, I may have been unable to sing his praises in that moment. I may have been too hurt for words. I may have stumbled in my actions, but I did not turn my back on him. I faced him.

I stayed. I stayed near Him. I stayed with Him.

And when I had my moments, you know, those moments that we begin to beat ourselves up. I should have behaved more “christian-like” at times. No big smile. No great example.But this time was different. I I fought back, speaking up for myself;  No, you stayed. You were hurt, but you did not turn your back on Him. 

Dear sisters, sometimes in our times of hurt, feeling so let down, we have nothing to say or we walk way from Him. We tell ourselves he cannot be trusted and that He, surely, cannot be a good and loving God and I am reminded of what I have read about Him and the one sheep. The one He goes in search of. The one that He is so crazy about that He keeps pursuing. The one that He won’t let go of- no matter what has happened- no matter what has taken place. Even when the little one wishes she were left alone, He won’t do that to her. He won’t, because He loves that little one and love never leaves. Love never abandons. No. Not his love. Not his love for this little one. 

Dear sisters, come. Come. Just sit with him.  Be near him. Let your tears fall. Let them. It is time to come. 

 

Weddings- What if the Lord were to attend.

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I drove up to Oakhurst this past weekend to celebrate my friend Annie. She was getting married. Annie and I have been friends since college. She’s one of those friends where you pick up when you left off. I love that.

I don’t know what it is about weddings, but I love them, like totally gushy girl love them.  I love everything about them. I love the beautiful flowers and the color and the music. I love the dancing… Oh how I  love the dancing.  I’ve learned to wear black to weddings not because I am mourning the loss of a friend, but because I sweat so much. It’s just gross, like dripping off my chin gross.

I’m a wedding cake snob. I love insanely savory wedding cake. Moist and light, it melts in your mouth and the frosting doesn’t’ leave a film in your mouth. (I know, I have given this way too much thought).

I love people’s creativity. I remember my cousin, Monica, had a table set aside for everyone to splurge on her favorite food- donuts. Jackpot. I love candy tables where guests can grab a little baggy and scoop to their hearts content. Feeling like I am in the make believe world of  Willy Wonka,  I jam my little sachet with every morsel possible,  the pieces of sweets  literally falling out the top. It’s embarrassing, really. 

I am mesmerized by twinkle lights and candles and find myself transported into fantasy world where everybody is happy and everything is beautiful. Pure bliss. Pure splendor…

and I love these moments because I get a glimpse of what heaven will be like- intense joy- intense beauty. I am reminded how often God uses weddings-wedding feast- and the bride and groom to explain how He feels towards us and towards the church.

And so I found myself this weekend, sitting for a moment, taking it all in and wondering what it would be like to meet him, my Lord,  face-to-face in this kind of setting. Talking across the table, sharing a bottle of wine, dancing with him, me in a beautiful wedding down, Him beaming from ear to ear, his eyes set aflame.

I know it sounds strange. Even as I write I am aware of that, but if the stories in the Bible are real and his friends got to experience life with him, then I want the same… and I want to dance with him.

I picture us  slowly moving across the floor as Louis Armstrong croons softly in the background. He holds me tight.

It’s not sexual- just safe. Intense love. Intense Him. Intense joy. I can rest now… I am in his arms.

If we are to spend all of eternity with him, dear sisters, then I want to start now. 

This was me today… and this is what my mom did.

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Yep. This is exactly what I felt like today. Done.

Yesterday was bursting at the seams. My day didn’t end until well past ten o’clock, only to have to wake up to another jam-packed day. Now, I am not feeling sorry for myself  because I’m the one packing it, but with school, seeing clients and three kids I sometimes just want to scream. Scream that I seriously need like three of me. Scream that I am the luckiest girl that I get to be exactly where I am. Or maybe just scream because it feels so stinkin good to just scream for no reason. (you really have to try this)

Continue reading

The celebration continues!

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I was running late to school. My professor knows that I’m always a few minutes late because I have to make my rounds with my gang… quick kisses and prayers and out they go. I try to make sure I don’t start driving away until their bodies have completely left the vehicle. It’s been close a few time. “Maaaahm. I’m not even out.” I squish up my face and offer a half grin, “Sorry love.” Oh they give me so much grace. Continue reading