Soul Mates & Snow Storms

I read a blog post today that was written by an old friend from high school. (Wait – did I just say that? “An old friend from high school?” am I old enough to make those statements??) In it she spoke of the HEART behind those who move to Southern California. She recalls the way that the sand and the ocean and the sky over both steal you away and ended with,

California, you’re my soul mate.

I read it and thought, woah, me too.

I love it, I love the food and the people, I love the perpetual sun sun sun, that’s like joy and peace resting on your skin. You close your eyes and it washes over your face – warmth and HOPE. I love all of the people who ARE Southern California to me and how they represent the essence of being received, being brought into a people and a place that are not your own and for no reason, made a part of it, brought in and given what you have not earned. I love the sand. Love the food, OH the food! The fresh fruits and avocados and Froyo and sushi and tacos just everywhere. 

The Ocean. Sand that sparkles like glitter and bare feet pressing in, leaving momentary impressions that warm you from the toes up. The sound of the unstoppable waves, the birds and the far off dolphins. There is nothing like that endless, eternal sound of the water slapping the sparkling shore, washing away the prints of the vagabonds walking in it’s currents, leaving blank canvases again and again and again.

What else can I say? California completes me. 

But then…….there is the glory of the Midwest blizzard. Here’s the thing, I adore the snow. The excitement of the impending storm and the brooding clouds hanging lower and lower until they burst forth with pure, unexplainable magic. Each droplet frozen into unique, exquisite, breathtaking flakes of the purest crystal white, taking the dark, dead landscape and covering it; transforming it. The sun rises and everything you see is new; crisp, clean, unadulterated and shining. It’s magic. Cold, frozen, sparkly magic. As a child I loved to throw myself into a giant mound of it and have to dig my way out, pausing when tired and FEELING the immense stillness, that quiet that comes with the snow, it’s like quiet down into your soul.

I love snow ice cream, making snow angels, building snowmen, staging snow ball wars, going sledding. I’m not afraid to drive in the snow and I don’t even really mind shoveling the snow. Ok, I don’t mind the IDEA of shoveling the snow, but that probably begins my problem because here’s the thing, I hate to be cold.

I’m small! There’s nothing I can do about that, and it’s like no matter how many pairs of long johns and smartwool socks I stack on, I’m just going to be cold from October to March. And the shoveling, I attack it with layered zeal, but like everything else in life, lose my steam long before the project is over. Again, I’m small! ………but have a big heart?

Yeah, that doesn’t really help. My idealism and raw excitement before each snowstorm doesn’t even compare to the deep, deep groan in my soul that comes mid-way through shoveling the driveway. And so I ask myself on a regular basis why the heck I have not moved to SoCal yet. The only answer I can really lay hold of is how much I love the 4 seasons, but with each passing year that answer is losing it’s grip. If I’m going to survive by filling up my heart with all too brief, summer San Diego visits….well, I may need to buy a snow blower.

 

“You make me new with every season’s change”

2.17 am. Again.

Nights like tonight find me wistfully remembering my days on the Nightwatch….oh wait… that’s every night. Yup, its been a year and a half on days, and I still look with fondness on those 2 1/2 years of my life wondering if I will ever find a season containing such focus, diligence, community & lack of sleep!

A quick recap of the last few months:

I turned 23!

My dear friend Shelley Paulson came to visit IHOP, doing quite a few photo shoots and a few training sessions. I was incredibly blessed to be the subject of one such lesso taught to the lovely Jessica, and will post pictures when they both get done editing. The three of us went to the Shiloh property at sunset and laughed and played in the sunlight and wildflowers and there I discovered something: I LOVE the click of a shutter! Really, I have always hated having my photo taken but absolutely delighted in the few hours of undivided attention from two excellent photographers out on the property that has been more home to me in the last few years than my own house.

At the beginning of August Katrina and I took a mini vacation to San Diego California. It was an incredible few days of food, rest and sun. And stirring. The last few months have been …trying, climaxing into the last few weeks of weighty intercession, weighty emotions and a lot of heaviness in my soul. There has been many many nights of late night tears and wrestling – desperately needing a touch from the Lord, an encouragement to keep me going and remind me deep inside of why I am here and what I am doing.

And nothing seems to do that like returning to the old things, the “ancient paths”, those places that have always been a part of my journey in the Lord. There are several things that come to mind when I say that but I will stick with California.  In the past 6 months I have had 2 very significant, and very heavy dreams related to this state that I so love. And being on the soil stirred my soul to remember, remember, remember and to pray. One morning we spent a few hours with the JHOP San Diego crew, praying with them at the UCSD campus. I have such love for that House, and we were honored to stand with them!

Well there is a short update – more to come!

San Diego

A few days before leaving KC for TheCall DC the Lord gave my sister and I the opportunity to move to San Diego CA for two months of prayer, fasting, and preparation for TheCall California on November 1st. The invitation was a surprise and we were given little time to prepare but both of us felt strongly that this was a direct response to purposeful prayer for California and accepted with trembling hearts. 

I believe with everything in me that the fight going on in California right now is really a fight for the hearts of the People; to either turn their hearts to the wisdom of God or to the wisdom of man, and as the Mayor of San Fransisco so eloquently stated, “As California goes, so goes the Nation” This is our slogan as we come into San Diego, crying out for the people of God to turn to the Lord and in turn for them to cry out on behalf of their state!

The plane arrived in San Diego last Saturday carrying 3 of our team and we hit the ground running; our fourth flies in this Saturday morning. The days begin early with an hour of prayer, and end late with all of us tired, but everything we are doing is as intercession to the Lord and throughout the day we ask for wisdom, insight and strategies from Heaven. 

Pray for our protection, our heath, and our hearts as we mobilize here on the ground. I will update often!