Wednesday, May 26, 2010

.#14 - bike ride.

i mentioned a few months ago that i'd have to change up my bike ride from the originally planned OC bike ride (angels stadium to the beach) to a santa barbara ride because of timing issues/inability to bring my bike down. so i modified this little guy and actually ended up doing him spontaneously.

it was a random monday and I work from home on mondays. i spent the morning working, ran some errands, grabbed some lunch with my friend ryan and was chatting with him at lunch about working out that afternoon (running, gym, biking, something). i told him how i'd been wanting to go to biking for a while and just hadn't done it. so he said, "why not today? let's do it."

so me, ryan

and rachel

met up at ryan's to do a bike ride. we ended up deciding to ride from the guys' house in "noleta" (between santa barbara & goleta) to isla vista where the UCSB campus is and then to More Mesa (these quasi-hidden bluffs with an incredible view)
and then back to the house.

round trip it was about a 13 mile bike ride that was both challenging and fun. i loved learning about secret bluffs and finding out where bike paths will take me. the plan is for this to be a normal summer occurrence and will update you if we go even further next time :)

and lolita (my perfect yellow bike - that glows in the dark) she held up great, she was an absolute champ, cup holder and all :) needless to say, i ended up working late that monday night, but the bike ride was 100% worth it! about half way there!!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

.#13a - date (with dad).

last weekend my dad flew out to california. usually when my dad flies out to california it's because there's some family event (a wedding, funeral, graduation, party, etc.) or because he wants to cover all his bases and spend time with all the people he loves out here. not this time.

this time it was about spending time just with me.

i honestly cannot remember a time in my life where my dad and i have spent more than a day just the two of us. i mean, it's not that we don't like each other or don't want to, it's simply that we just don't make it a priority.

here's how we spent our weekend:

day 1: james taylor concert at the hollywood bowl with our dad/daughter friends, david & sydney

(and a few other fans)

there were this many people in the bowl that night and you know what? it didn't matter. not one bit. we had one of the best evenings we've ever had. we sang along with tunes he knew growing up & had passed on to me, we had pulled pork sandwiches and wine, we laughed at things happening around us without having to explain to each other what was so funny, we just enjoyed each other's presence. truly.

day 2: we drove to a little place that's becoming more and more dear to me - santa barbara and spent a day in santa rita hills doing some wine tasting, again something we both enjoy and have taken a bit of an interest in. it was fun to taste wines and then talk about our thoughts on them and my sweet, sweet dad purposely didn't take all of it home with him to texas :)

that night, we had an amazing seafood dinner with an ocean view and chatted about ministry, about the dairy business, about the upcoming weddings of my brothers and all the summer plans. and sunday morning, he came over for a breakfast burrito and i put him on a plane back to texas. our bellies, hearts and wine cellars content.

something i'm realizing is that when i was younger, i didn't think my dad and i had much in common because i wasn't much for hunting or fishing or working with cows, but the last 10 years or so i've come to discover that at the core of who we are, my dad and i are very much alike. our first love is Jesus and seeing the work of His kingdom done on earth, our second love is those he's put in our lives and our third love is good wine :)

so dad, here's to you: thanks for going out of your way to come into my world and spend the weekend with me. thanks for spoiling me rotten and for loving me well. i'm blessed beyond words to have you for a dad. check your calendar because once these wedding celebrations are done we're due for another mini-vacay, maybe a fishing trip to Alaska this time?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

.#12 - solitude.

the word solitude is scary to some people. i've never been one who's feared being alone or even minded being alone. in fact, as a kid i spent ALOT of time in my room reading books, writing or thinking... in solitude. and it never bothered me. but as i've gotten older and busier and more social, things have gotten in the way and in my oh-so-backwards brain, things have become more important than solitude. so in my quest to be someone who lives a better story this year, i decided that a better story meant not skipping out on what God thinks is important and on what Jesus valued most - time alone and away with the Father.

here's my honest take going into it - i wasn't scared of it, but i wasn't really all that looking forward to it. it's not my favorite thing on the list and not my least favorite, but closer to the least favorite side for sure, which is strange to me because every time i leave a period of solitude, i walk away wanting more, but yet i dread it. is it because i feel like i'm missing out on things while i'm gone? or is it because i hate the idea of being stuck in my own head for that long? or is it because i know that when you give God that concentrated time, there's no way you could come back the same?

my guess is it's all of the above, but more than anything - i'm grateful for His faithfulness in allowing me to come back changed - every time. it's beautiful.

so i left for pismo beach for a few days last week and am grateful beyond words to my aunt and uncle who graciously lent me a free (amazing) place to stay. i got there and thought, "yup, me and God will be just fine here." :) and we were. i know from where you sit, your questions for me might be - well, did you come back changed? what did God teach you? was it worth it?

did i come back changed? i had spoken with God before i left and told him that whether he changed nothing or he changed everything, 2 days with him was all i wanted. but yes, because he's that faithful, he did show up and i am not the same as i was when i got there.

what did God teach me? he taught me about himself. he gently reminded me of how very much he loves me and how often i forget that. he restored hope for things that i'd lost hope for both in my own life and in the lives of those i love. he renewed my passion and vision for ministry with students and gave me excitement for what's to come down the road with that. he continues to change me into someone who is more like him, someone who loves deeper, is more humble, but yet confident and comfortable in my own skin; someone who is able to see past people's actions into their need. he released me of the responsibility i carry to fix things for others and reminded me that he's in the business of restoring and redeeming people, so i don't have to :) he took me from a place where i was overwhelmed to a place where i found peace.

this was way more for me than just 4 hour walks on the beach and good coffee and some solid reading and praying. this was restoration. this was filling me up so that i can pour out. this was taking my burdens so that i can better love others on the flip side. this was preparation... preparation for what's to come, energy and ministry restored so that i can handle what's next and let's just say "what's next" didn't waste any of its time getting here. :)

was it worth it? always. time away with the Father is always worth it.