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Posts Tagged ‘#cannonbeach’

The sign, above, will be the only good thing about driving North, this morning.

As hubby and I pack up our bags, and begin the treck out of the tsunami zone my heart will ache.

For about eight years we have been coming to Cannon Beach, Oregon. Most of those trips have been made with at least the younger two of our three kids. We stay at a conference center (www.cbcc.net) where you get fed in every way … as you walk the beach, as they provide two amazing meals each day, as you breathe the salty ocean air, as you have time to reconnect with your loved ones, as you listen to amazing speakers, as you share worship with other Christ-followers, as they provide entertainment and socializing opportunities.

The only negative of the experience is that, while being fed so well, and in so many ways, is that the time here is spent in a Tsunami zone.

According to Geo-scientists, the west coast, roughly from California to Alaska, is overdue for a Megathrust earthquake, which will trigger a Tsunami unlike any other this Earth has yet experienced. This scientific teaching comes to my memory as soon as I see the first sign that declares:

“you are entering a tsunami zone”

As I viewed one of those signs, as we were entering what I like to refer to as eutopia, I found myself thinking,

“why would any person, who knows about the possibility of impending doom, enter into a tsunami zone?”

Then I thought of other risks of impending doom that we drive into, throughout our life:

  • Marriage
  • Raising children
  • Moving to a new town
  • Changing careers
  • Starting a new business

Each one of the choices above can be doors that lead us to tragic ends, yet we humans keep driving into various tsunami zones in our life. Areas that could be the end of us, destroy us.

But, like the possible threat of a Megathrust earthquake and resulting tsunami, the risks associated with major life choices are not guaranteed, but possible. Like the benefit of being fed, and nurtured, and made better by being in a beautiful coastal town, the most major, of major life choices, can also satiate, nurture and make us better.

If we never enter into the tsunami zone, we will never Know the joys of the risk.

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My favorite place to go is Cannon Beach, Oregon.

IMG_1555.JPGIt is, for me, the happiest place on Earth … and there isn’t an animated mouse in sight (except, maybe, at Bruce’s Candy Shop). I cannot walk on that beach without a smile breaking out across my face, and tensions rolling off hubby’s shoulders.

It is where I have studied God’s Word the deepest. heard the most profound, yet human Bible scholars. prayed the most sincerely. joined in collective worship, in song, with a room full of people who participate together.

When we turn off the highway, and into the town, where we live but a week of the summer, our kids wave and call out to friends on the streets, even before our wheels have stopped. We have met friends with whom a year apart is as if days, for myself, my hubby, my kids. Friendships that have stretched across the continent, into our homes, and through social media on a daily basis.

It is the place that I have laughed the heartiest.IMG_1554.JPG

I never have to make meals, or make the bed. We are greater at mealtime by friendly smiles, and gentle leading to meet someone new. We have memories of candlelit dinners, and I have eaten pounds of bacon (without having to cook it myself, and smell like smoked Wilbur).

It is where we have watched our children play with freedom and abandon. stretched curfews into late in the night. giggled with my girl in the shops. shared s’mores with my son. snapped dozens of pic of my girl chasing the gulls from their beach breakfast feast,

I have loved and been loved.

Despite the many clicks of scenery photographed, I have come to understood that no device can duplicate what my wondering eyes did appear.

I have started my day with starfish, anemones, crabs, barnacles and other ocean life. I have ended my days over hot coffee, s’mores on the beach, with crowds, with my kids, with my guy, with my God.

I have sat alone on the sand bar sIMG_1558.JPGinging praises, thanks, laments. The salt of my tears of joy and sorrow have mixed with that of the ocean.

I have walked miles of sandy beach … in the warmth of the sun, the damp of the rain, the wind, the cold. I have had weeks where I trekked the beach to Haystack twice a day, and a year when I could not physically walk more than half way there … once during our week there. I have shared that trek with darling ladies, dear couples, our kids, my guy, on my own.

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I have …

fully, deeply, cleanly,

breathed.

And I am so thankful that my guy and I got to share a few days in that most happy place on Earth.

I returned home, yesterday, with sand in my shoes, color on my cheeks, a smile on my face, thanks in my heart, and a desire to go back to that rock in the sand and surf.

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IMG_1197.PNG As I sat in the school library, my attention was grabbed by a group of grade eight middle school students, working together on a group project.

It was one young man, in particular, who caught my gaze.

He was awkward … in every way possible.

His glasses kept slipping down his nose.

His round face, and body indicated that his upward growth had not yet stretched him vertically.

His clothes looked like ones a mom would buy (I’ve been that mom) without asking his opinion (though, to be fair to mom, maybe he didn’t really care what he was wearing).

He slouched in his chair, feet dangling inches from the carpeted floor.

Although his appearance was awkward (and I’ll bet his voice cracked, as well) it was the conversation with the girls in his group that captivated my attention.

The girls, oozing that early maturation that adolescent girls benefit from, were obviously speaking a language that he had yet to learn. They were talking quickly with their lips, as well as with their demonstrative hands. They giggled, they planned, they organized the role of the awkward boy in their project. The other boy in the group had an athletic build, and he smiled and laughed with the girls, causing the girls to hang on his every word. He was not awkward but amazing!

The young man looked like a fish out of water, totally and completely out of his element, his comfort zone, getting deep into uncharted waters.

And the girls giggled.

I have talked with this awkward young man. He is bright, makes wise choices, has compassion on others, is a great student … academically and behaviorally, he has a twinkle in his eye that makes one feel safe, heard, valued.

Here is what those giggling girls need to know:

that plain caterpillar will emerge from his adolescent cocoon a beautiful, graceful butterfly.

Now he might still not fully understand the language of females, and he may never have the buff body of an athlete, but the wise choices he makes, the use and development of the brain in his head, and his compassionate heart will grow him into a man of honor and success.

Right now, those girls are oblivious to this … right now he is oblivious to this.

Watching this young man in his group reminded me of 2 Corinthians 4:18

“So we fix out eyes
not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen

since what is seen is temporary
but what is unseen is eternal.”

So often, in the midst of the difficult, the ugly, the painful or the … awkward, we simply cannot ever imagine life being different or better. Our focus is completely on the mire of today. But God can see our future … all of it.

He knows where we are heading, and He plans to go there with us.

Just like me watching the scene in the library, believing that this young mans future looks so much brighter than his present, God looks at us in our awkward life situations and He knows what is to come for our lives, for our eternity.

Today is just a step in our life, lets keep our gaze on the unseen, who sees all.

 

 

 

 

 

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The other day at work, a friend asked about my plans this summer. I paused, because, at this moment I have no plans.

My kids, they have plans.

One is spending her summer working at a camp for families dealing with cancer.

One is spending about half the summer on work crew at a camp, doing everything from scrubbing toilets to working on a camp radio station.

One is working part of the time and volunteering at a camp as a helper to kids attending who might have special needs.

Hubby and I felt that with the kids away throughout the summer … well … it means we get to experience vacationing at home … no taxiing kids, no groups over, no video games blaring … you get the point.

Also this week a student asked me,

“If you could vacation anywhere, where would you go?”

There was not a pause in my thoughts, as I replied,

“Cannon Beach, Oregon.”

Our family, or parts of it, have spent a week at Cannon Beach, Oregon, for the past five or six summers. Each time we enjoyed a week at Cannon Beach Christian Conference Center. The families who we have met there have become dear friends, who we get to re-unite with the same week each summer. Our kids communicate with their friends from there, as well. The conference center has thought of every detail offering two amazing meals each day, youth group like activities every morning and evening for kids up to college, world renowned speakers, and a 2-5 minute commute to the beach … just a 20-30 minute walk to Haystack Rock.

Although we have yet to make plans, the presence of the morning sun, the warming temperatures and the end of the school year keep whispering into my ears,

you want to go to Cannon Beach,

and the whisper doesn’t have to be that loud!

So, how about you?

What are your plans this summer?

If you could vacation anywhere … ?

 

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