Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Joshua Tree

Rob and I had planned to go to Joshua Tree on our day off for President's Day. I was pretty excited to be out in nature, be active, and be in a beautiful place. Then Rob added another wrinkle to the plan and suggested that we get there in time to see the sunrise. That's usually a little too crazy for me since I place way too much value on my sleep, but this time I was feeling spontaneous and we decided to do it. Proof that waking up that early is not normal: The whole time we were talking about going to see the sunrise, we kept saying sunset on accident. See, sunrise just isn't in our vocabulary.

We got there at about 5:45 in just enough time to climb up a pile of boulders and set up our tripod for the sunrise. It was worth it. It wasn't the most amazing sight since it wasn't a sunrise with many colors or any clouds. But, it was just neat to be awake and be aware of what was going on.

One thing that Rob and I wanted to do with our day in Joshua Tree was to enjoy God and spend the day looking for him. We had our camera with us which always makes me look at things differently. If I didn't have my camera with me, I would never notice the red, dried flowers against the yellow grass. It was beautiful.

On our one two hour hike, we saw a tree that was gray and red swirled together like taffy. On that tree were hidden some very little flowers. It's things like that that make me smile at God. He didn't have to make those little hidden flowers. He didn't have to make the tree look like taffy or the grass and red flowers look so cool next to each other. But, he did it. He did it because he's creative and fun. Maybe he wanted us to notice the little things that he put extra time into. He didn't miss a single thing. He made it all spectacular.

I love the desert. It's a wonderland of hidden beauties.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

He's beautiful

This is my nephew, Dominic. He's my sister's baby and the first one on my side of the family. He's not only the first baby on my side but also the first boy. My dad finally has an ally. I just think Dominic is the funnest little bundle of chub in the world. I could stare at him and hold him forever and not get bored. It's funny because I really wasn't crazy about babies until my sister had Dominic. I think he's the closest thing to having my own. That's probably why I'm so captivated by him.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Just what I needed

On Thursday I got together with Rob's mom to help her do some writing for a conference she's helping to host. We had to write a script for a little promotional video. Our hope was to draw people to the conference because of the God part of it, not because of our cleverness or because we showed really great shots of CA. But, we were both stumped as how to focus it on God, make it clever, and keep it from being cheesy.

It was great. I prayed on the way over there that God would give us an idea. We prayed before we started brainstorming. And, it came! We didn't have to rack our brains at all, God just laid it out for us on a silver platter with chocolate cookies on the side. We made the promotional video a love letter from God asking these women out on a special date, father to daughter.

Later in the day I was trying to have some God time, and I just couldn't focus at all. My mind was going a million miles a minute. All I could think of was the many things I had to do and how excited I was to cut my fingernails. It was ridiculous. I tried and tried to concentrate on God, to let the Word amaze me and lead me to praise...but I got nothing. However, I did feel God telling me to go back and read the love letter that I wrote on his behalf. I needed to read it for myself and accept God's invitation for a special time away. Here it is just in case you need a love letter from our Father. It's probably addressed to you.

Dear Beloved,
Somehow I want to show you how deeply I care for you. I know that you’ve read my love letters many times before and you’ve tried to understand. I know it’s hard to grasp something so abstract. But, oh how I long to overwhelm you with the knowledge and experience of my love. I know that if you really knew the depth of my love for you, you would feel like a princess, rich in the royalty of her position. And, that’s the thing, you need not just feel like a princess; you are a princess. You are my cherished possession, the one I simply cannot take my eyes off of…my daughter.

I’ve been thinking of how to lavish you with affection, and I’ve thought of the perfect thing. Come away with me! I know you’re busy. I know you’re unsure. But, you have no idea to what measure I will go to give you the true picture of what my love means. Come away with me! I have a date planned for the two of us. And yes, I planned it all before I even had an answer from you. But, somehow I knew that you wouldn’t be able to pass up such a special event centered around me pampering you with affection.

Honestly, it’s been a while since we’ve had a special date. I think it’s about time for another one. It seems like in between dates, you get distracted with the things of life. Your job, family, friends, church, anything and everything fills up your schedule. Those things are so good. I’m glad you’re enjoying them. After all, I did give them to you as presents throughout the years. But, I just want to remind you of the gift with the most value. Here I am waiting for you. I’m so much better than those gifts. My love alone far surpasses those things. Besides, we both know that even the best stuff can leave you feeling frustrated, spent, and dry with nothing left to give. I understand. Come away with me! I will allure you away from life’s distractions, and we will be able to focus on just the two of us.