My sister-in-law Tina invited us to go on a ride with her on her bus. We arrived at the bus yard at about 11 and headed for her bus. Here is a cute pic of Tina and Saraya walking hand in hand to our ride. Saraya loves her Aunt Tina!
This is the inside of Tina's bus. Saraya wanted to ride in her own seat. As you can see, the bus is huge!
This mountain is called white face, and Tina took us to the new houses that were built up near the mountain.
Next we stopped at a park for a quick bathroom break, and Saraya got to play on the playground in this park.
Here is Saraya sitting right behind Tina as we were driving around. This is about the time when Saraya began to get a little tired of riding around.
I don't have any pictures from the first 23 hours of driving because I was driving for most of it and just did not think to pull the camera out. The second day of our trip was not going to be so long, so Saraya and I took out time and even took a few pictures. They are in reverse order but it should be no big deal.
This first one was taken when we stopped for gas, but mainly because Saraya had to go to the bathroom. There was a small Dinosaur museum behind the station. Pretty life like if I do say so myself. I thought it might have been Ken Hovens place, but it wasn't.
We also stopped at a rest stop, again because Saraya had to go to the bathroom. Saraya wanted me to take a picture of this sign, so I did. I don't know why it downloaded 2 of these pictures, but it did and I don't know how to take it off.
Saraya wanted to get a rock to remember our trip by. She said my rock, which is the one near the bottom, was not as good as her rock. By the way, she has already lost hers.
This is Saraya posing at the rest stop. She liked the mountains a lot. This part of California is mainly desert.
Wednesday night a bunch of the guys from Crossroads church got together at the local school gym and played some basketball. I would just like to share a few things I learned that night with all of you. I learned that I can no longer play like I did when I was in my 20's, or even like I am in my 30's. I learned that I can still out muscle anyone in the paint, but I can't out jump them. I learned, or maybe just was reminded that when you are not as quick as you used to be that you can make up for it by playing dirtier. This was not a big surprise, but again, just another reminder of reality, just because you wear a Kobe jersey doesn't mean you will play like Kobe. I learned that when you shave your head you no longer have anything to help stop the sweat from running into your eyes. So I am on the lookout for a really cool headband, I am thinking black with a Nike swoosh. Finally I learned that 30 minutes on the elliptical machine only equals 4 minutes straight on the basketball court.
All that being said, it was a great time for the guys to get together and have some fun. I was also reminded how much guys connect when they are playing sports or doing some kind of activity together. Unlike women, we like to have something to connect around. It just makes the whole process so much easier for us. It seems like for women that talking can be the activities, where as we men seem to need to either beat on each other or light heartily make fun of each other before we feel like we have made a real connection. Because of that I just have to say thank you to Jay Lewis for making himself available for both activities through his basketball skills.
Me - Saraya you sure stayed with your mom at work for a long time today! Saraya - I know Me - You must have been having a lot of fun, what were you doing? Saraya - mostly just being bored. Me - well what did you do that was fun? Saraya - I talked to the man that fixed the toilet. He was nice.
Love & Theft was playing in Memphis on Mud Island the night of the 4th, and because Dana's cousin Stephen is in the band, we went to go and support him and the family and to have some fun. It was great getting to see that side of the family and spend part of the day with them because we don't get to see them that much and we always have a good time with them. If you live in the South I don't have to tell you that it was really humid and hot on that day. We took any opportunity we could to not walk and to be in air conditioning. Here we are riding one of the down town trolleys. Even though we did not have to walk, the trolley was not air conditioned and was crowded which made the heat even worse.
After we ate we went over to Mud Island and watched the guys in concert and the fire works that started right after they got done singing. Stephen is the one in the middle, and I think he was the best in his row! If you know me at all, you know that I hate country music, but a lot of L.N.T. songs are not very country, and I enjoyed listening to most of it. However, it was still very hot and muggy even though the Sun went down. After it was over we went and hung out with Stephen and the family for a while. A good time was had by all.
On the way over to Mud Island you can take the mono rail thing, which costs $4.00 per person or you can walk the bridge for free. We chose to walk over. By the time we were leaving they were shutting the Island down and were letting you ride back for free. So we rushed and got on only to stand in the crowded car and wait. The thing was getting full and what they called air conditioning was not working very well unless you were standing right in front of it. Everyone was getting a little impatient and was just wondering what the hold up was. I have to admit that I was wondering why we were still waiting, but I was truly thankful that we were getting a free ride back. After about 10 minutes of waiting, I guess a lady had had enough. She marched out of the doors and began yelling at the employees that were standing around talking to each other. She complained that there were a lot of kids in there just suffering in the heat and that they needed to get across to get them home and they needed to stop messing around and get us going! She was not nice or even diplomatic about it. I can honestly say that I was not thinking the same things she was thinking, but I have to admit that in other situations I have thought the same kind of things. It was really shocking to hear it out loud. I was embarrassed to be represented by her words and even more embarrassed that at other times my thoughts had been as harsh. There is just something about how it sounds out loud that lets you truly know how abusive, impatient, and sinful we can be sometimes.
One of the employees got on and started us on our way. I felt so bad about what the lady had said to him that I apologized for her and said thank you for giving us a ride back for free. I just wanted him to know that not everyone on there thought the same way. I wanted him to know that I realized that they did not have to give us a ride at all, and that waiting a little while was ok. Some times it seems we are so impatient. We have so much that we start to think that we deserve stuff when we really don't. Not a single person on the monorail paid anything for the ride and we should have been willing to wait a little while for the privilege. At times in my life I am so unthankful for what I have and so focused on what I don't have. It's good to have a reminder some times of how ugly sounding our thoughts truly can be.
Lord help me to be thankful and not feel entitled.
I just read a post that a friend of mine wrote to let everyone know how his wife is doing. His wife has cancer and has not been doing well for some time. At the end of the post he said he was hoping and praying for a good day for her today. Reading that made me remember what my prayers have been about today, and allowed me to put my wants and needs in perspective. It's amazing how our desires and needs are shaped by where you are in life. Some times I am so selfish and petty. Thank you God for perspective. Lord please give a good day.
It's so important to hear God in your life. We should always be listening to his voice so we know what it sounds like and we know Him better. The more we read His word, the more we learn about Him and His voice. The more we know about Him, the easier it is to recognize His voice when He speaks to us through others and through our own thoughts. By practicing this, I have been reminded of another byproduct that comes from knowing my God's voice. I can recognize when He is not speaking to me. I can remember a time when I herd a voice prompting me, tempting me, encouraging me, and I gave in. Right after that I thought to myself, I got you! I know you are not my God and I know what you sound like now. Before then I knew when it wasn't my savior talking to me, but I had never put a name or a person to the voice. I had never singled out a voice in my head that was not God's but also was not my own desires talking to me. It makes me think of when Jesus responded to Peter in Matthew 16:23 after Peter tried to rebuke Jesus about his journey to the cross and his death. Jesus did not answer Peter but talked directly to that voice. He said "Get behind Me, Satan!". My prayer now is that I will be as quick to answer no to that same voice when he speaks to me.