Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Turning 21

My son turned 21 today. Weird. Monumental. Because one card couldn’t contain enough meaning, I ended up buying three at Hallmark. I began praying months ago for the perfect gift to mark this auspicious crossing in his precious life. Once again, God was most gracious.

I subscribe to various travel sites and once in awhile a great deal pops up. A four-star hotel near Newport Beach for sixty-six bucks! Wow. Two plush rooms far enough away from my apron strings for him and his friends.

I called Chris’ wonderful friend Justin and the two of us became “partners in crime” to pull off this monumental surprise outing. I found out Chris’ favorite restaurant was only eight minutes away and purchased Cheesecake Factory gift certificates for all the party-goers.

Finally, the big day! With my mother hormones raging, I pounded out my work like a woman possessed and flew to Orange County. I decorated his room with balloons and a huge treat basket and refreshments escaping the scene before their arrival. I then took a sentimental ride past the condo in Huntington Beach where my husband and I first found out I was pregnant, past the hospital where he was born 21 years, three hours and 46 minutes before.

Driving west down PCH, I received an exuberant call from a very stunned and excited son and we laughed over the mango-orange juice I wouldn’t let him have in the morning because it was part of the surprise. With his hang-up, there I was feeling kind-of left out of all the fun. My heart felt so heavy I nearly missed how God lit up the evening sky with a spectacular sunset marbled with iridescent heavenly hues. The whole day made me reflect on our relationship with God. He surprises us through stunning images in nature around every corner. He goes to all that trouble, and do we always notice? Perhaps, perhaps not.

Scripture tells us: “We are made in God’s image.” (Genesis 1:26) So does he feel left out when we don’t call home through prayer to say thanks? I think so. I would have been so bummed if Chris hadn’t called. God told Moses: “I’m a jealous God.” (Exodus 20:5) If our affections go towards false idols… you know the Mercedes in the driveway, or the house we can’t live without…does his heart hurt? You bet’cha. Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:9 to call God “our Father.” He didn’t say “My Father who art in heaven.” I’m sure God feels about me the way I feel about Chris, longing for him to be surprised and delighted. I think he wants me to say: “Thanks for Chris and orange-mango juice, the breath-taking sunset, my life, those I love and all your provisions.” Let’s take many opportunities to keep our praise and thanks directed to the one who provides our sons and daughters, who delivered his Son for our salvation, along with sunsets and sweet times because the love of our Father God is what makes faith matter!


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