Tag Archives: friends

That SoCal Life

One of my favorite things about living in Southern California is that you can be out getting coffee or whatever with your friends in the middle of January, and suddenly be like: “you know what, let’s go to the beach.”

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best thing about having a smartphone: being able to inconspicuously take candids of my beautiful friends

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i can’t remember his name, but apparently this guy is a regular on the pier.

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waves crashing on the jetty

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does this even need a caption

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the pier from a distance, all lit up.

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view of the shore from the far end of a jetty

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i <3 these people (even if the shot is a little awkward)

The eight of us made the drive from Fallbrook to Oceanside, got milkshakes at the Ruby’s Diner on the pier, then walked down the beach to a jetty, from where we watched the sunset. Eventually we drove back to a friend’s house and watched Star Wars. It was actually a somewhat magical day, and a reminder that the simple, unexciting, unplanned things in life are often the fondest memories.


J5- We Were Such Chumps

this assignment was to tell of a time my life was in danger. while there were a few times (almost drowning in a pool, almost choking myself with looped string) when i was young, i don’t remember any of them. i didn’t actually come close to dying in this misadventure– but in the moment, anything seemed possible.

  My courageous team and I valiantly struggled through the raging current, desperately holding on to our backpacks—and our lives. Okay, so the reality didn’t add up to quite that level of intensity, but it sure felt like it at the time. This was no treacherous Amazon expedition— just a camping trip we took near Yosemite last summer.

   Our group, sixty people in all, had taken motor boats across a lake to reach a certain hiking trail. After the destination of the hike had been reached and the trek back begun, my friends Jon, Linnea, Matthew, Jonnie, and I decided that would have a go at walking in the river that ran alongside the trail. We only planned to traverse the river for a short period of time, so of course there was no need to tell our parents or anyone else. Besides, the trail could be seen from the river. What could possibly go wrong?

  Thoroughly enjoying our little adventure, we talked, joked, and sang funny songs as good friends are apt to do.  At some point, after about half an hour, someone suggested returning to dry land, since the riverbank up ahead looked too steep to climb.

  We all agreed and sat by the edge of the river while Matthew climbed the bank to look through the brush for the quickest and easiest path to the main trail. When he came back, his voice was stressed with alarm.

  “You guys… I can’t find it.”

  “You can’t find the trail?!” Jon asked.

  “No!” he responded urgently, “It’s not there! And I don’t hear any voices. We’re lost!”

  Our little troop discussed our options: we could go deeper into the forest towards the general direction of where we thought the trail lay; but the brush grew too thick to walk through, and we really had no clue which direction to take or how far to go. That left one choice: keep walking in the river until it meets with the lake, and from there find the location of our boats and families.

  The course of action decided upon, we actually remained in high spirits. I mean, how exciting is it to get lost when you’re not in real danger? This would be our best adventure yet!

  Or so we thought.

  After we’d continued on our watery road for a couple of hours and still had no sign of people or trail or lake, we began to actually worry. We knew that we had to be back at the boats at a certain hour, but with the progress we had made so far, there was no way we could get to the lake in time. After all, walking through water is a whole lot slower than walking on land; but any one of us would have gladly walked on land—if we could have. However, on both sides of the river, the bank was too high, the brush too thick, and the rocks too slippery. To make matters worse, the farther downstream we went the deeper and wider the river grew. For me, the shortest of my friends, this became a real problem. At certain parts I had to swim holding my backpack above my head, and—barely—holding my head above the water. Two or three times at these deep spots, I started to panic; my muscles ached with exhaustion and I feared I might not reach a shallow area before losing control. Thankfully, about the time that I had become genuinely stressed, the water went shallow again, the high riverbank fell away, and we could walk on dry land once more.

  By the time we figured that we’d been off-roading for three hours—about two hours longer than it should have taken—our exhaustion forced us to rest for a while, and even consider spending the night by the riverside! Of course, that idea didn’t entirely sit well with us, so we pushed on. And then we saw it. The lake! We’d made it. To our relief, we found the rendezvous point not far from the mouth of the river. Even more wonderful: one of the boats had waited for us! Although, if we had taken merely ten minutes more, it would have left without us. 

  The bright side: we had a boat ride back across the lake as opposed to walking around it. The not-so-bright-side: those who had waited for us were not too happy about our unexplained disappearance. We felt pretty bad about our lack of foresight, and Jon and I kept repeating to each other, “We were such chumps!” Additionally, our broken, bruised bodies faced several days of recuperation. But the predominating fact of the matter was that our journey had ended; we could go back to camp, get clean, and eat dinner. We had survived. This time.


J4- A Bag Packed in Faith

  Heritage Ministries International (we just call it HMI) has played a huge part in my life for the last several years, even though it only takes place for one month out of the year. i’ve wept, laughed, worshiped, prayed, grown (spiritually and physically), and gone on adventures with these people. i luv y’all.

Every year, my family and several of my friends’ families host Japanese high school students for the month of August. It’s always the highlight of my year! My friends and I have made so many memories and new friendships through this program.

This particular year, 2011, I had been told that I could join the group going to the airport to pick the students up. Oh, joy! That meant spending the night at a friend’s house after church and waking up at 5:30 A.M. on Monday morning for the two hour trip to Los Angeles International Airport; it meant greeting the students as they entered the airport; it meant spending the day talking with and getting to know the students. Well, in the midst of my excitement, I got a phone call saying that there was no seat for me after all.

Bummer. But I was more than sad. Something inside me would not rest; something tugged and pulled at me saying that I was supposed to go to the airport. The incessant feeling grieved me, and I poured my heart out to God. As I prayed, I felt a great calm and peace come over me. Then, something popped into my head and concreted itself there. I found myself unable to erase the thought, “Pack your bag anyway. I will make a way for you to go.” In that moment, I put my trust wholly in Him; supreme joy filled my heart as I realized that I would go, because, by golly, God Himself had said that I would!

On Saturday, I ecstatically packed my bag to spend the following night at my friend’s house and then put it in the car. On the way to church the next morning, I began to ponder who I could talk to about finding a ride. And then it hit me: I wasn’t supposed to do anything to find a way. That was God’s job; that was the whole point! Well, at that moment, I started to feel a little insecure, but I figured that if I had trusted Him this far, I sure better go all the way. Later on, during social time after church, I got a little nervous and felt the urge to ‘negotiate’ with someone for seat. But I held strong, and I trusted that God would yet show the way without my help.

Suddenly, my friend Linnea walked up to me and—having no idea of my predicament – she began to explain, “I’ve decided I won’t carpool since both of my sisters want to go. I’ll just take my own car. We’ll have several extra seats that way.”

I stared at her dumbly before screaming and excitedly telling her that she had just unknowingly answered my prayer. When she heard my story, she almost started to cry.

The following day turned out to be a huge blessing. I started friendships on that day that I still cherish. Most importantly, however, this experience impressed upon my heart and mind the fact that God’s faithfulness will always exceed my own.