Thursday, September 25, 2008

The First Day of Fall

Each year when the first day of fall rolls around, my dad's excitement is contagious. He is of course ecstatic about the falling temperatures, and I am thankful for that as well. I also thought of a few more things to be thankful for on this Thursday (although this list is far from exhaustive). I am thankful for the decrease in gas prices as I increase my driving. I am thankful that my last orientation meeting at UCLA is scheduled for this morning, which means that I will Lord-willing be starting work soon. I am thankful to be starting another quarter of nursing school. I am thankful for God's faithfulness in my life, and that He continues to care for me and convict me of sins despite the ridiculous number of reminders needed. I am thankful for shrinking flip flops. Although that last one may sound a little weird, it's very much true. On the first day of fall I walked out to my car, and discovered that the Old Navy flip flops I had left in there had literally shrunk in the heat (...apparently the weather didn't get the memo about it being the first day of fall). Don't believe me? Here is photo evidence with another pair of my flip flops for comparison.

Anyway, I am thankful for shrinking flip flops because this discovery corresponded to a lesson I recently learned through Elisabeth Elliot's book "Discipline: The Glad Surrender." The last chapter I read was about the discipline of possessions, and she talked about the necessity for Christians to keep from becoming too attached to the things of this world. So when I discovered the shriveled little flip flop in my car, I laughed and was able to say, "Oh well. Guess I didn't really need those." By the grace of God, another lesson learned...for now anyway.:o)

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Remarkable Weekend

If you had asked me Thursday what my plans for the weekend were, I would have told you I didn't have any. If you asked me today what I did this weekend, I would be hard pressed to remember it all!:o) Becky and Justin invited me to go to Biblestudy with them on Friday evening, and then I spent the night at their apartment. We slept in a little bit on Saturday, and then went to breakfast and ran some errands. The rest of the day was spent doing stuff around their house and doing some shopping, and then we went to Master's to pick up Micah and Katie for dinner. We had a lot of fun making pizzas and chatting, and I ended up spending another night at Becky and Justin's after we took Kate and Micah back to school. On Sunday Kate and I went to church together. The sermon was from Luke 23, and Pastor MacArthur talked about the reactions of the people surrounding Jesus on that day. I was struck by just how much was going on around Him, and yet how focused He remained on why He was there. I had a lot of fun with the kids in the nursery during second service, and then Kate and I drove to the Getty Museum to spend some time there for a school project she had. Afterward we went to Diddy Riese, and then spent a few hours studying for a history test she has this week and just enjoying being sisters. I've included a couple of pictures from our adventures below. Overall it was a wonderfully encouraging weekend, and I look forward to my first day of a new clinical tomorrow!

The view from the Getty.

Katie taking time to smell the roses.

Hanging out in the gardens.

Kate and I.

A candid shot.;o)

Katie nearly fell into the creek taking this one, so I felt it just had to be included.:o)

A shot of the waterfall and gardens. Kate and I enjoyed the garden area most of all, and agreed that God is by far the greatest artist of them all.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What I Did During My Summer Vacation

I vaguely remember a time in my life when I was annoyed by the obligatory essay entitled "What I Did During My Summer Vacation." Of course now that the first day of class means I am already behind on reading, have a pop quiz, and am seriously contemplating the sanity of signing up for the class, I sort of miss that easing back into school. Despite the fact that my summer vacation was only 2 weeks long, I managed pack a whole lot into it. The first week I flew up to visit my family, and had such an incredible time with all of them. I had seen them during a couple of weekend visits before that, but it was so nice to just be back home and really enjoying quality time and talks with each of them. The next weekend they brought me back to my aunt and uncle's house, and then they spent the weekend here. My former roommate also came for the weekend, and then convinced me to take a spontaneous trip with her to see people in San Luis Obispo. I'm so glad she did, because I had such a wonderful time seeing old friends and making new ones. We did A LOT, and even managed to complete the last couple of things on my list of "Things to do Before Leaving SLO." Then I came home on the train last Friday, spent all day Saturday at Universal Studios with my aunt and uncle, spent Monday reorganizing my room, went to computer training at UCLA on Tuesday, and hung out with a friend in Laguna Hills yesterday. Yes, all in all, I'd say I was able to do a lot in a little over two weeks! Tonight I start classes, and I'm hoping my last orientation at UCLA will be next week so that I can start working soon! God used this vacation to remind me how blessed I am with wonderful friends and family, and how thankful I am that He is in control of my life and I am not (of course I needed a reminding as I too often find myself forgetting...). He continually demonstrates His sovereignty in my life, and always perfectly orchestrates everything according to His will and for His glory in a way that is so much better than anything I could have imagined. So, bottom line, I am back to school, back at my aunt and uncle's house, back to blogging, back to homework, and (hopefully soon) back to work.

Cassie and I in Hollywood.

Montaña de Oro.

Cass and I.

More Montaña de Oro.

Cass had a little too much fun with the seaweed.:o)

The sun coming through the clouds over the ocean was gorgeous!

The rock cleverly named "The Rock" in Morro Bay.

The waves crashing into the rocks were so beautiful!

Katie, Cassie, and I in Morro Bay.

We successfully climbed Bishop's Peak, and spent some time in prayer at the top. It was amazing!