This post has been lingering in my line up for a while now and I have toyed with many different ideas of how it should go. And I am still not sure this is how I want it to go, but I need to let go of it and move on to other wonderful posts that need to be written. I have written countless entries about my interactions with strangers and about my loved ones. So I guess this would be a mix of the two.
I had the pleasure of accompanying a dear friend (who is becoming like family more and more every day) to the Getty museum. We both needed a change, an adventure, something to take us out of where we were both currently standing. I am glad I said yes to the adventure, because when I say adventure it was nothing short of just that. We walked the gardens, took photos, made up stories about strangers, and even befriended one. His name was Simon. The best way to describe it is soul recognition. I know it is a strange phrase, but there was something about this kid that stuck out to me and I couldn't shake. I know he felt it too because he walked right up to us and said, "I think we are supposed to meet." The next two hours were a bit of a blur as I caught a glimpse of this stranger that didn't feel so strange.
We ended the night with a 10 minute walk down a curvy road and for some reason I knew I would never forget that walk. I felt so alive. I was thinking, being creative, being challenged, and just excited about life. Simon felt it too. We took a ride on the lifts going up and down, up and down, finally to the discovery of Simon's car where, he opened his trunk to a full load of all sorts of different books, mostly about art, life, poetry, and even a bit of religion. My eyes caught a glimpse of a Jewish heritage book and I was intrigued. He made a remark about our faith that my friend and I totally disagreed with (about how Christian's don't get to truly live) and I knew I couldn't be silent. So I shared the most important thing I had with a stranger I barely knew but knew there was something more than meets the eye. Within a matter of moments that stranger became a wilted flower. He had vanished right before my very eyes and I don't think I saw anyone run (metaphorically) so fast in my life.
I know Simon is still out in the world, somewhere in Southern California, riding his bike, or in his car generously giving away his beautiful book collection. That night something in my heart ached and broke. Maybe because the one I truly loves has told me that my heart will break for the things that break His.
My heart breaks for you Simon. I have thought about you almost every day since our encounter. I do not judge you. I do not condemn you. I am just thinking about you and praying for you. Hoping that one day you will truly know what it means to live in the midst of intimacy and rejection.
Meet Max. He is a one year old miniature golden-doodle and now belongs to my family.
My Aunt and Uncle that live in Santa Cruz went in search for the perfect dog for the family a few years back and in their search happened to discover this breed. They did their research and found breeders they trusted and a few months later they had Pasti...the fun loving HUGE golden-doodle. My family loved being around Pasti and on several occasions has kept him a couple weekends on our 3 acre property; allowing him to soak up all the openness that his incredible home can not always provide on a daily basis.
Over the last few months our families just seemed to talk about dogs and my parents getting one...but I knew it would take a miracle. We spent this past Christmas up in Santa Cruz and when we went out to walk Pasti one afternoon this is where I got introduced to the miniature version of Pasti and fell in love (but never really voiced this opinion).
Well, last weekend Max's current living situation was one that he could no longer stay in. So with my Aunt's quick dealings in a matter of days my Mum and her best friend were driving up to Santa Cruz to pick up Max.
Max is loving (all 4 days) the Central Coast and now when I call my parents it sounds as though they have another child in the house, which only makes me laugh with joy for them! Change is a little tough for them, but I think Max is the perfect addition to our family and to their home.
So, a few months ago I got asked if I would take some engagement photos for a friend. I was in shock when I read the e-mail and a million thoughts raced through my head, one being, "my photos have always been for my pleasure and it has never mattered what other people thought, but this time it would matter." I told her I needed to think about it and would get back to her. After some thought and the idea of a "challenge" I accepted.
I went to church that Sunday morning and felt sick. Went to one of my favorite lunch spots, Chipotle, and couldn't eat a thing. I had butterflies and boy were they HUGE ones at that. I drove to Orange and explored this little section of Orange County that I had never known before. Then I waited. Sitting in Orange Circle I relaxed and watched families and musicians pass me by and then they arrived.
Laura and Todd by far made this experience so worth it! They had fun exploring with me and in the process I caught some fun moments. I learned a lot and really got a chance to see life and love more through a photographers eye which was wonderful! Thanks Laura for the believing in this girl's "hobby".
There is so much that could be placed here. SO many jokes I could relay into the world of blogging, but I don't think anyone else would think they are as funny as we do.
Thank you for being this unexpected friend that showed up at an airport and truly left me speechless just by that act. Thank you for listening to my dreams and my fears. Not many people are willing to invest as you have and even though it seems like light years separate the communication it means a lot to me to be able to have you around.
You are brave and so smart. Don't give up and don't lose hope. You have some of the most amazing goals and desires stored away that I know the LORD sees and wants to honor. You, my gray, friend have made so many sacrifices to stand up for what you believe and for those you believe in. I cherish each and every message, each and every question, and each and every random thought. So on that note...black and white photos or color photos? :)
Often in life I come to this place that holds toughness, aches, dryness, and voidness (yes it is my own word!). This place looks the same through and through, but if I take a closer look I see things have changed, I have changed, my perspective has changed since standing here once before (that once before seeming to be only a few months ago).
So of the dearest people in my life who are walking this, what seems to be out of control, journey with me get this concept. But one main point that we have come across in this desolate land is a choice. A choice that we allow to consume us to the very core and rob us of our belovedness. Sometimes we admit, that we roll over and allow it do this very thing. And then there are seasons within this season where we get up and fight with what little might we have left in us. We make the choice to choose joy. We fight for this choice that has been given to us. We allow it to consume us and impact this wasteland that we are traveling through. But as we continue to move forward it isn't so much of a waste but a learning ground...a playing field of sorts.
We have been chosen just as Joseph was chosen, just as Ruth was chosen, just as Job was chosen, just as Moses was chosen, just as Joshua was chosen. I am choosing to believe in the eternal joy that was bestowed on me 15 years ago in small, blink your eyes, and miss it town. I made a commitment. I made a commitment that did not promise happiness all the days of my life, but a Saviour who restores the joy of my soul in a way that none can.
I chose. I have chosen. I am continually choosing.