Thursday, February 28, 2013

Coming Full Circle

Chester's new job.......  And we get to join him.

A few years in about 38 yrs ago, (oh my is that really true???),   I was a young (as in VERY young) college student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  My just graduated-from-college-husband was a Seasonal Park Ranger at Morro Bay State Park (12 miles from San Luis Obispo).  We had our lives all figured out, and we had this plan that Keith would get hired full time with the Parks & we just knew we would live in the California State Parks forever. But, life took a different path. At the time we were disappointed.  But now, looking back --- ohmy, what an incredible adventure it has been, from the the the oceans....white with foam.   (with still more to come!)

And now, here we are, back in the land where we began.  

Well, as Derek and Abby have been settling into their home in wine-country-Paso-Robles-with-the-velvet-green-springtime-hills ---  Keith, Chester, and I have been  living in our beloved Maxine, park- hopping around the central coast, praying, pondering, dreaming, about where to live and what is next for us.  Lots of questions, not so many answers.

And....If you have been reading our JourneyTails, you are fully aware of the fact that I like to know details, and waiting 'n wondering is not so much my strong suit. And sometimes I can get a weee bit stressed and crazy  that I do not have all the answers and pieces to the puzzle neatly in place for the next few chapters AT LEAST.   
Long story shorter, as we've been hopping around between here and there, we noticed these Camphost people in each campground....and we thought.  Hmm.  That looks like fun for a season of time. We could do that during this season of in-between.  Campground Hosting~~we would have a beautiful place to park & call home for several months or more  in one of the Parks in the San Luis Obispo area~~ plus get to meet and greet people from all over the world (Chester's expertise) and volunteer 20 hours a week doing park-work, in exchange for a place to park Maxine & call home.

Great idea.  We thought.

But, after talking with parks-people, we heard that the pile of applications was a mile high and wide and deep & it wasn't too often that these sought-after positions became available.     (wah-wah)

Well, you cannot let the WAH-WAH deter you.  So, we applied at 3 different Parks.  One State Park, and two County Parks. All 3 beautiful.  And all 3 had springtime openings (imagine that).  In fact one of the parks that we really liked.... while camped there, we thought,  hmmm, well wouldn't THIS be the perfect spot ;-).  But, no openings.  However, when we were leaving, there was a sign on the ranger kiosk window..."CAMPHOST WANTED".   (imagine that)

As I said, we picked 3 different Parks.....we interviewed.....and we were hired at more than one ;-)    We liked all the spots... We got to choose.  And we picked this one.    The one we found last and liked best.  The one that had no openings...then it did.  It is called El Chorro. Translated, means ~~ something like a gushing stream.  I like that.  

El Chorro is just off of Hwy 1, sitting 1/2 way between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay. Lots of  year round sunshine. And green green grass this time of year. A creek.  Trails to hike. Central to the beaches, places, 'n people we love.  (Chester is beyond hopeful that there are squirrels to chase)

It's workin' out.........  It is.  IT IS.  (Keith was so right)

You can stop reading here if you want.  BUT, I'm gonna keep writing.  There are a few things I don't want to forget, so I need to write them down. For me.  Things I want to remember about my journey when I've been overwhelmed with questions/doubt in the midst of "not yet" , when my faith has been fuzzy.  

Ya know, I remember when we were traveling cross country, and we were in Arizona, I was sort of in a melt-down cRaZy moment saying to Keith,  "WHAT in the world are we doing?  WHERE will we live?  HOW will it all work out in California?"   aughhhhhhhhhhhh

Keith would listen (averypatientman) ....remind me to enjoy Arizona (or wherever we were) .... and.... assure me that WHEN we got to California (not before), we would know the answers to the questions.  God would certainly take care of all the details & his kids.  More than we could imagine.   Really I would ask???  REALLY, he would say.

And there was the time a few weeks ago.  After Derek and Abby got moved into their home,  and I was longing with a capial L for a home of our own (other than Maxine....shhhh do not tell her I said that), or at least a SPOT to call home for more than two weeks at a time.  I was having a meltdown moment at Morro Bay.  I was. I emailed a friend of mine who understood our journey well --- A number of years ago she and her family sold their Southern California home, loaded into a motorhome with kids and dogs, to travel cross country, explore the land, and reconnect as a family.  A year later, with a boatload of memories, they landed in a new state to call home. She understood my ups and downs.  She wrote me back, with a huge heart of encouragement, reminding me I would live,  one day have a stuff.......and one day, one day,  .... I would miss the simplicity of this season of life.   I knew she was right. I did.  And I knew she understood. And my heart opened to new possibilities and new contentment in the "not yet"....   (This friend of mine---talk about the circle of life --- we met right here in San Luis Obispo...she and I were college roommates.  Though we now live thousands of miles apart, God continues to weave our roommate-hearts together, as only He can do. Thanks, Jo...)

And then.......there was another day.  We were still in the "not yet".  I was walking on the beach.  It was a foggy day.  I could not see more than a few yards ahead of me. To see further...I needed to take a few more steps.  And then a few more. With each step, I could see one step further. I totally whined to God....  This is how I feel right now., I can only see "this far".... and don't You know I really like to see the whole enchilada???   I think He said "I know....the WHOLE enchilada ,plus a taco or two..." and smiled.

And then I read this a bit later in Jesus Calling, "I will show you the next step forward and the one after that, and the one after that.  Relax and enjoy the journey in My Presence, trusting Me to open up the way before you as you go."  

Look at all those reminders.....look at all the ways HE speaks.  And this isn't even the whole enchilada....just a few bites.  Look how He tells me the same thing in different ways.  Just so I will hear, HEAR.    Like a good Daddy.

You know, in the not yet.... In the waiting. "It" feels HUGE.  Looking back. It doesn't seem as HUGE. But in the moment, HUGE!   And looking back, I can see so clearly how God is so very kind and personal with me.  To speak to me through my husband, or a friend, or His creation, or His Word, or a book, or my children & grandkiddos, or my dog, or a movie....   He is so persistent and patient and keep whispering to His girl along the journey.  And I'm way glad He does not throw His hands in the air and say "for heaven's sake WHEN are you gonna get this????????"    Rather, He throws His arms around me and says,"I'll remind you again.....and again.....and then one more again, it's okay."

If only, in the 'not yets' I could remember what I am learning. (partly why I wrote this down --- how quickly I forget)

His Presence and His personal touches are so, dazzling. So tender. And make me wanna dance and cry all at the same time. It's like a gushing stream, more than I can take in............  HEY, A GUSHING STREAM.  hello ;-)



Friday, February 1, 2013

Chester Pawnderings

February 1st, 2013
Avila Beach, California
Perched on a hill,  on top of my favorite picnic table, overlooking the bay,
 and my favorite doggie beach.
Woke up to sunshine coming in my window, birds singing, seals barking,
 the sound of the sea.
Sometimes it's good just to close your eyes and
feel the morning sunshine on your furry head. 
Take time to be still. 
Dream of chasing pelicans and seagulls and rolling in the warm sand.

And then spend some time watching the seals and dolphins and boats in the bay,
and the crazy pelicans dive bomb for breakfast.
And Thank God Above.
And then share it with your best friend.