This is My Crowd

This is My Crowd
Picture by: Photography by Vicky Campos

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Friday, July 29, 2011


Love it!  There is nothing like waiting for something wonderful to happen!  The count down to my VACATION has officially begun!  I'm so excited!  No, we're not headed off to Hawaii or Disneyland or Canada, but we have planned a fun filled family road trip.  First Stop, San Jose!  We plan to spend a couple of days with my hubby's Mom, Sister and Brother.  We haven't been up there in a while, so this visit is definitely due!  We're hoping to get a day at the beach crammed in!  My kids love ocean waves as do I.  Lakes, rivers, pools and hot tubs are fun, but there is nothing like standing on the edge of the blue-gray expanse we call the Pacific Ocean.  I would love to take a trip back east so I could see a sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean... preferably in an area where the sand is white and the ocean is that clear, tropical blue you see in postcards.  But THAT is not THIS trip and THIS trip will be great even though, and possibly because, it does not involve air-o-planes!  Stuff the van, fill the tank and drive, man, drive!

Ok... So, the Second Stop is Clements!!! [crickets]  Yeah, I know, you've never heard of it.  I imagine that as you read the name, that knowing smile slowly faded into a look of confusion as you searched your brain for a point of reference, then, nothing.  It's ok.  It's a secret California hot spot.  Only for the highest of the high profile celebrity types.  Or not.  It's a little town of less than 300 people.  Cows and Vineyards, respectively, outnumber the people.  It is WONDERFUL.  You can actually see stars and lots of them!  On Liberty Road somewhere between Hwy 99 and Hwy 88 there is a 15 acre parcel of land where a good percentage of my favorite people abide.  On one end, my grandparents, the other, my parents.  I am truly blessed to be able to basically go to one place and see so many people I love and cherish.  My Sister and her Husband will make the trek from Lodi to visit and my Brother and his Wife should be there as well.  I'm expecting long days in the pool and s'mores well into the night!  Maybe make the drive down to the Mokelumne River.  It'll be like being at a private resort.  Needless to say I am ex-ci-ted!! 

Pictures and stories will be forthcoming upon our return, as I am not currently able to blog remotely!

I'm also excited about all of the fun events coming up at Celebration Church over the next couple of months!  2SM United Service on the 19th (Jr. High & High School), Cards & Karaoke on the 25th (Ladies) and Word Works will be starting back up in September!  Plus, so many other wonderful things that are happening!  Just last weekend we had a few people over for a Swim BBQ gathering of sorts.  Not everyone was a part of our Celebration family, but many were.  It was so much fun!  My feet were incredibly sore at the end of the day, but it was well worth it!  I had one of those moments where I stopped just to enjoy the moment.  I was in the kitchen chatting with my girl Evie, she was washing dishes and my dining room was crammed with people.  My living room had kids relaxing after a long afternoon of sunshine and swimming.  My house was filled with fellowship and full stomachs and I loved it!  People were laughing and chatting.  Just enjoying one another.  There was no drama, no dissension, no arguing.  Just pervasive joy.  What an absolutely memorable afternoon!

If I can encourage you to do 2 things today, here they are:  1) Open your home to others!  Be hospitable!  Feed them and just provide an occasion and space for people to meet and spend time together.  If you don't have the resources to feed a bunch of people, do it pot luck style, like us! and 2) Serve others in some capacity.  If you have a church, become a volunteer!  If you don't have a church, FIND ONE!  If you don't want a church, find an organization that you can help with.  It is one of the best way to build relationships with other people and it will help you focus outward instead of inward.  I promise you won't regret it! 

p.s.  I'm still excited about our vacation next week!  :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Life, Man... It's Life!

In my life, as I am sure with yours as well, I have found that I can have an amazingly good day followed by a day that is just a disaster.  Lately and more specifically, however, I have had a string of great days followed by a string of bad.  But God is good and He is nothing if not faithful!  These are words that I've used to encourage myself and others a number of times this week.  While I sit on the beach with old friends enjoying the wonder that is God's handiwork and watching my children play in the surf, God is good and He is faithful.  While I worry for my loved ones and lose those I love, God is good and He is faithful.  When I can't figure out how to make the ends meet, He is good and He is faithful.  When I receive unexpected money, He is good and He is faithful.  When I'm stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire, guess what!  He is STILL good and He is STILL faithful!  Sometimes, when you can't keep it together and the world feels as though it's falling apart, just remember that you don't have to hold it all together, you aren't big enough, but He is!