I've lived in sunny San Diego now for 1 year, 8 months and 20ish days...and it wasn't until just a few weeks ago, when my dear friend Meg came to visit, that I finally rode the old roller coaster down at mission beach. This is hard to believe due to my love of the beach, roller coasters and screaming/laughing hysterically on said roller coasters! Perhaps I waited because the roller coaster looked old and rickety or because I thought it would cost too much money or because I didn't have anyone to ride with me...all lame excuses that kept me from experiencing the thrill of the Giant Dipper. Let me tell you, this roller coaster caught me extremely off guard. I mean I was expecting a nice laid back ride. I even planned on having my hands in the air the entire time...yeah right. By the end I was gripping onto my phone and lap bar for dear life, screaming my brains out! (If you live in Seattle and are reading this...it is definitely worth the $8 ticket price and we will be riding it when you come and visit!)
My favorite part has to be the pics you see below. At the top of the roller coaster there is a magnificent view of the beach and of course I risked my life to try and capture the moment...unfortunately, I was rushed and the sun was preventing me from seeing the phone clearly, so I ended up with pics of meg and I, rather than the scenery below! Too funny...I guess I'll just have to ride it again :)
|love meg's expression...sheer joy!|
I love surprises. I love when you have an idea in your head of what you think something will be like...or how it will go...or maybe no thought about it at all and then "bam!" suddenly you're taken by surprise, knocked off your feet, blindsided. Of course, it's always nice when its a "good" surprise...something that brings you more joy than you though possible in that moment in time.
Life has been filled with good surprises recently...blessings that I know are gifts from God.
"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him." Matt 7:10
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17
When we pray, we are aligning ourselves with God's purposes, we are asking for his provision...for our basic needs to be met. We pray for the desires of our heart to align with God's plan...for him to use us in his unfolding redemptive story...to make us fit for service in his kingdom. God knows exactly what we need to accomplish his purposes and he will not withhold good gifts from his children who seek him and his will. What a comfort and peace to know that the God of the universe knows me intimately and that he is shaping the desires of my heart to conform with his and that he is continuously blessing me beyond my imagination with a job I love, Christian community, encouraging friendships, a warm and inviting house and nearby beach...along with the continual transformation of my own character as he molds and shapes me in his image to bring him glory.
With gratitude I offer my life back to him as an act of worship; an attempt to bring him glory, proclaiming his good name and works...pointing others to him. I am to live generously...giving good gifts to those around me: my students, roommates, friends, family, and church body.
"Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality." Romans 12:9-13
Lord, help me to seek you and your purposes first; to ask for great things to be done in your name. Continue to surprise me with your love, joy and hope that comes from knowing and following your will. May my faith increase because of your generosity and faithfulness and may I continue to share your love to bless those you place in my life.