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“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” – John Steinbeck

We've been gone for 17 days on our annual trek to Northern Cali and Southern Oregon.  It feels like "three months"- as my youngest announced today.  We made a ton of memories.  I wanted to blog my way through the trip, by posting each day, but Internet wasn't always available and when it was it was dreadfully slow.  It was kind of nice to take a hiatus from the Internet, blogging, facebook, etc.  But staying caught up on writing and email I think might out way that long of a technology vacation.  Especially for a must-second-live-everything-by-journaling type of person like me.  Now I feel sort of mentally constipated.  Too much to try and catch up.  So I won't. I'll let the pictures do the talking (most of which I posted on Facebook).

Spiritually I grew on this trip.  I finished a probably-controversial book on the road trip to Oregon by Brennan Manning- All Is Grace, A Ragamuffin Memoir.  It was controversial to me!  It challenged me to see that my life speaks a message of utter reliance on the grace of God that saves me through the Lord Jesus Christ.  Our lives are all pock-marked and twisted by our sin or other people's sin.  None of us earns any of God's grace.  All my life should simply be a response to the priceless, yet freely given grace of God.  Every one of us lives in this grace everyday.  

 He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. - Matthew 5:45 
The book, some recent teachings from the Bible, and a glance back over my life also got me thinking, "Which is true? Sinner or Saint?"  Am I a sinner saved by grace, thirsting daily for true rightness, hungering to be who Christ is making me to be?  Or am I a righteous one, a saint, perfect, complete, a daughter of the King, a daughter of God?  YES!  

They're two sides of the same coin.  You must be a sinner to be made a saint.  You must hunger for righteousness to be filled with righteousness.  But I find (and this may not be good theology, just my experience) that when I focus on the daughter of the King view of who I am, I start to get spiritually snooty.  And there is no place for spiritual snootiness in the grace of God that takes me from sinner to saint.

God has titled me with titles I have not earned.  He has called me what I am not.  But that is the grace of God that I live in,  breathe and am thankful for everyday.  It is the very grace that saves me!

God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did. - Romans 4:17

I love how John Newton said it:

Although my memory's fading, I remember two things very clearly: I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior

I lost my wallet on our trip!  Grrr.  I'm in the habit of taking my wallet out of the car with me to the pump at a gas station, rather than just taking out my debit card.  It's a habit I hope is broken after this experience.  

I was in the mountains on a country highway between Trinity Lake Center, CA and Yreka, CA.  I stopped on that highway in Etna, CA to get gas, hoping to make it to Yreka to fix the slow leak in my tire (which I noticed while my car was parked at the campground we had been at the previous 5 days).  I guess I took my wallet out and either left it on the pump or on the hood of my car, because after I paid for my gas, I drove on to Yreka and while trying to hunt up my wallet to pay for the fixed flat I realized it was nowhere to be found!  Thankfully the nice people at Les Schwabb in Yreka were planning to not charge me for the service anyway.  I drove back to Etna, 20 something miles away, and talked to the manager of the station, looked all along the roadside, on the pump and ground.... gone! Out of my control.  

Fortunately I did have my checkbook, which won't help when trying to cash a check with no I.D., but will help when writing a check out to a family member who can cash it for you.  Thanks mom!

I've spent yesterday and the better part of today getting caught up on ordering a duplicate license, new debit cards, grocery shopping, laundry and all that back-to-life business.  But my heart is longing for home.  My real home, where my real I.D. is, and the home of my parents, grandparents and my kids' aunts, uncles and nephews.  I'm thankful for the time I was able to spend with them, ever so short as it was.



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