Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Santa Barbara

One of our pit stops during our previous college tour was Goleta, Santa Barbara.  There we stayed at the historic Sexton House.  This hotel, under the name Pacific Suites, was built around an old house which belonged to Joseph and Lucy Sexton.   Joseph Sexton, being a horticulturist, started one of the pioneer nurseries in that area. As a result, the ground around the hotel is botanical garden where every plant is labeled.  Tim and I took a pleasure walk around after we had a nice breakfast.   He got to see how avocados look like before they get to the grocery stores.  Of course no one else would appreciate plants the way I do - because I'm just weird when it comes to plants. 

The original Sexton House

Inside a hotel and very close to the garden.

Poisonous 'Angel Trumpet'

Cork Oak

A tropical plant - whose name I do not know.

Overall, it was a nice place to rest after a long day of touring UC Irvine and visiting the de Ocampos in Oxnard and to have a good breakfast the next day.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Emotional Shrinkage

Clear Lake - by Brahms

With the hose in my hand water flowed out onto the dry plants.  The soil around the roots is dry.  It has been months since the rain touched the ground.  The air is devoid of moisture and the sun lifts up whatever remains within the particles of the soil.  The leaves of some plants are parched and wilty while some look robust and sleek.   My thoughts bounced between the fragility of some plant and the steadfastness of others.  I understand that there are characteristics of individual plants that allow them to thrive or succumb to the different conditions and stresses in their environment. 

All of this week I've been thinking about an incident that happened to a friend's child, whom I considered to be almost my own child. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
So he exhibited some signs of emotional shrinkage - others call it depression.
Another person reported it to the school authorities -
He might become a threat to himself, they say.
School officials elevated the situation to the Sheriff-
Who extracted him later on from his class for psychiatric examination
He could "wilt" and might get into a self-destruct mode or even involve others
Why was he trapped in this road of emotional shrinkage?
No body knows.  Many kids of his age had travelled it before.
Internally they try to find the way to make things right around them
But somehow the pull towards defeat comes in between bouts of victory.
Just like plants - every individual is different.
Some are prone to wilting while some adjust beautifully
To the external factors that are beyond ones control.
This is tied to the way we are made, the way we think about our own, and the way we believe.
Medical theory indicates that it is due to differences in chemistry.
The food we eat, the place we work, and even the time of year.
No one is completely proofed from it although some can be more resistant than others.
Deeper roots in faith can help us survive stressful situations.
It helps us remain the Spirit more securely and it provides our feet a platform to stand firm.
This boy that I speak of is just in a different season in his life.
It is my prayer that God will get him to the next season where his spirits will be uplifted once more.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

You and I could get into this situation of what I call emotional shrinkage.  Have peace and focus on the one who can fill us up again.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

August 1, 2010

Sunday Morning (8:00 am)

Family together with me taking the picture.

Sunday after church (1:00 pm)

Lunch: Ribs, Greek Orzo Salad, Corn on Cobbs


Frizbee Golf


They are watching me lose.

Dinner:  Shrimp and Bacon Carbonara

If you have a birthday in our family you get to name the menu for the different meals for the whole day.  It is your single chance during the year to have your requests of food granted throughout the day.  Miriam was careful to choose the ones she enjoys eating.   

Carrot Cake with a Birthday song.

There were opening of presents, computer games, videos, stories, devotions, and laughter.  Overall, it was a fun day of celebration. 

She's ten...smarter and more beautiful!  My little baby is growing up...taller and wiser!   My God, thank you for the gift that she is to us.  Continue to mold her to be the person with whom you are pleased.