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May 31, 2014

Carpinteria Camp

Zion got a tent for her birthday this year. We bought the 10 man one at Costco and popped it up for the first time at Carpinteria State Beach.  The trip was short (24 hours) but so so sweet.


btw she looks so much like Mcabe in this photo I can't stand it. 








I never want to forget this moment. 
















May 28, 2014

Yours Forever and a Day

Dear Home-Education,

Have I told you lately how much I love you?

I do.
I do.
I do.

Ever so much.


Tonight Jemima got to be Thomas's date at a Downton Abbey SAG event.  The episode where Anna is raped by that gross valet of Lord Gillingham...was screened...and Joanne Froggatt was the guest speaker.

(That's Thomas above...waiting for her to arrive as the doors were closing.  LA traffic is so random)

She enjoyed the evening very much and even learned something about herself.  Upon reflection...she now is able to articulate with certainty that it's not actors she's impressed with at all...but characters.  And story lines.  And writers

So great.

And so great that she gets to record tonight's Field Trip in her academic portfolio.

Thank you, Home-Education.  I LOVE you!!!!!!!!

Yours Forever and a Day,
Dawn




May 24, 2014

Los Angeles Living


I have no idea why we haven't done this yet...but one day I'm gonna pack a picnic and we are gonna hang at the Getty allllllllllll daaaaaaaaaaaaay loooooooooong.  The grounds are beautiful.  I cannot think of a more pleasing spot to do lessons.








The Gabba Gallery


Upper right shot...Zion looked at me and rolled her eyes..."marijuana."

It was sorta obvious.

Whatever.

I love this space.  And the people who run it.  So family friendly.  So generous.  Talkative...not snooty.  Friendly people. 



Cafe Gratitude


Super New Agey.  But delish!  I talked with this guy for a bit while Brad was in the restroom.  Very sweet.  Very helpful. Nice smile.

Cashier:  Are you guys Christians?

Brad:  Yeah...wait, How did you know?????  (then)  Oh my tattoo.  (then)  Do you go to Reality?

Cashier:  No.  Mosaic.

Brad:  What's your name?

Cashier:  Conner.

Brad:  I'm Brad.  This is Dawn...Zion and Galilee.

(then)

Me:  I love that there is a believer working here!  Can I take a photo?  I need to document that there is a believer working at Cafe Gratitude.

Cashier:  Sure.  

I LOVE THAT THERE IS A BELIEVER WORKING AT CAFE GRATITUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

Go say "hi" to Conner.



May 23, 2014

Jehovah Jireh

UPDATE:  I've fixed a few things in the post...after a gentle rebuke and an exhortation from a friend :)

Okay so this will be a longish post...but I MUST get it out...for memories sake.

This blog is sorta like my journal.  I guess it is my journal.

Sometimes...I go back and look at posts from a long time ago.  And it brings all sorts of emotions to the surface.  Joy...sorrow...laughter...tears...awe & wonder...peace.  Cuz I get to see the mighty hand of the Lord weaving the tapestry of our lives.

So....we came to LA thinking Bradley was gonna be acting.  Not right away...but some time soonish.

When things took longer than anticipated...he took a day job.  He was doing well...moving along nicely...trained...promised things....opportunities....promotions......advancements...etc...

...then suddenly the job went away.

Completely unexpected.  Out of the blue.

Like one day it was there and the next day it was not.

All because one guy...the guy with decision making power lied and manipulated.  His reasons?  No clue.  Not worth pursuing.  

Rather than freaking out...we sorta clearly knew the Lord was in it.  There was no way Brad was gonna be acting again if he progressed within this company.

Since then...he's done everything he possibly can to try to find acting work.

And other work....like casting work...production work...so many resumes have been sent out...so many phone calls.

Silence.

That brings us to yesterday.....

We had an appointment to get to in Costa Mesa.  Like an hour away...with a financial planner.

The girls were settled with things to do at home...we hopped in the car and we took off.  The road was clear...it was after 10:00 so there was no traffic.  All good.  We had our questions in mind.  The big bullet points things we wanted to hit upon.  We had already met with our banking institution as we've been thinking quite deeply... for a while now... about responsible things ...like Do we sell the house or not sell the house?????  It brings in income...and the market is improving...so the value of it is rising...but could we do better in the stock market?  

Whomever this financial planning group was...we knew the recommend came from our banking institution and them....we trust.  Long time relationship.  Multi-generational relationship etc. 

We are driving along at peace with the out of work season we are in and holding our future with open hands...excited to see how the Lord will work this all out...all the while...wanting to be good stewards of what we do have...so knowing we must take steps to be faithful and diligent. 

The car starts feeling weird.  It's slowing down. On the freeway.

Brad says..."Oh NO!  We're out of gas????!!????"

I had known we were on empty...meant to fill it up after my trip to the $0.99 Store the day before ...but never did.  He was so distracted with gathering paperwork and directions to Costa Mesa...he never even looked at the gas gauge.

Here we were in Downey...running out of gas.  Brad managed to pull off the freeway and make a right hand turn on fumes.  That move landed us directly in front of a large church.

OH mY GoD!  You are so good to us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WE ARE STUPID PEOPLE, NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.  BUT YOU ARE FAITHFUL TO US, LORD!!!!!!

WE RUN OUT OF GAS AND YOU HAVE IT HAPPEN RIGHT IN FRONT OF A LARGE CHURCH!!!!!!!!!!!!  WHERE THERE ARE LOTS OF RESOURCES SO THEY WILL FOR SURE HAVE A WAY TO HELP US!!!!!!!


Brad leaves me in the car with the hazards blinking and he heads for the church office. 



Not 5 minutes later...I see him walking towards the car empty handed.  Then he does a double take and stops to talk to some guy who just pulled into the parking lot in a mini van...and returns to me with a huge smile and a gas can.  A gas can filled with gasoline!




The pastor was of no help.  BUT...Junior...(AN AUTO PARTS SUPPLY COMPANY EMPLOYEE wearing his grease stained work shirt!!!!!!)... a guy picking up his daughter from pre-school was.


Junior not only had a gas can filled with gasoline but when the engine wouldn't turn over...he knew how to get the air out of our tank so that the car would start again.


Junior got down on the ground and under our car to make it happen.

Brad kept apologizing for not having any cash...but only a debit card on him.  Junior just smiled and said..."Don't worry about it.  It's no problem."

He pointed us to the nearest gas station and not 15 minutes after our unexpected detour...we drove away.  I was blowing him kisses until he disappeared from view.


video





After filling the tank...I googled the church and called the office as Brad navigated us back onto the freeway.

Secretary:  Hello...(UPDATED: BLAH BLAH BLAH)  Church.

Me:  Hi. My name is Dawn.  My husband, Bradley was just in your office asking for help from your POD.  Can I please speak to him?

Secretary:  Ummmmm..... sure.

(wait wait wait)

POD:  Hello.

Me:  Hi.  My name is Dawn.  My husband, Bradley was just in your office asking for help after our car ran out of gas in front of your church.  Are you the gentleman he spoke with?

POD:  Yes.

Me:  Well..I must tell you something.  We are distracted today...on our way to a meeting...and when we ran out of gas...stupid thing to do, I know...BUT when we did....we were so excited that the Lord had provided help for us by having you...a church... be RIGHT THERE that we laughed out loud at His provision.  Sadly though...you were of no help whatsoever.  When Bradley explained our situation...you remained unhelpful.  When he asked you if you had a gas can on campus.  You said "No."  A one word answer.  When he asked you if there was a maintenance department...maybe someone there who could be of help...you said..."no."  Another one word answer.  When he said "Well, who blows the leaves off your grounds?  Maybe they have some gas???"  You said, "The gardeners."  When he asked if maybe someone could give him a quick ride to the nearest gas station you said, "No."

(no response)

Me:  All this to say...Sir...today you were a really crappy witness.  We are believers but what if we had not been?  You failed miserably in this...but there is good news.  There is a man in your parking lot...named Junior.  His kid goes to school here.  He is amazing!  We are so thankful for him. You should really meet him.

(long pause)

POD:  Well, thank you for your input.

Me:  You are welcome.  Have a great day.

(click)

(UPDATE:  This guy was having none of us.  Not outwardly anyway.  He appeared to be hard-hearted with Brad.  He appeared to be hard-hearted with me.)

Brad and I are amazed by the Lord's provision.  It did not come from an expected source.  But it came.

We pull up to the office building in Costa Mesa and pray before entering.  We pray for wisdom.  We pray for discernment.  We pray for our finances.  For our future.

We know nothing about this company.  Nothing.

Well, Brad knows a little.  Cuz he did some research.  I know nothing.

Then...just before we enter...Brad tells me that two of the guys in the office received their educations at Masters.

AT MASTERS!

k... might not mean much...but MASTERS!  It might mean something.  Like the Lord has gone before us...in this whole financial planning/provision thing.



We spent two hours discussing matters with the guy assigned to us.  He was great.  Knowledgeable...helpful...etc. etc. etc.

Towards the end of the meeting...as we were sort of wrapping up...I asked him which of the 2 guys in the office were Masters guys.  He named them and said, "Of course" ...when I asked if it was a possibility that we meet them.

One guy was just down the hall so he called him in.

The things I am interested in when discussing $/investments...as a follower of Christ...that's what I wanted to mention to this Masters guy.  Things like...Are you guys okay with us not investing in let's say a pharmaceutical company which would be building up an industry which I am attempting to tear down here on earth?  Or...let's say there's a company out there hat has an obvious liberal agenda...would you guys be fine with us saying THAT company is a NO GO for us  as they are supporting the very things that make us want to puke? 

This Masters guy was AWESOME!  I don't know how many opportunities he gets to discuss his faith publicly in this office...but he went for it.  With a gusto.  Not ashamed in any way of the gospel and his calling to the professional world of finance.

Our guy ...the guy we had just spent two hours with...sat politely and listened to us as we went on and on about the Lord.  I have no idea where he is at with the Lord...but after us telling the Masters guy the whole running out of gas story..he had a better idea of who we are and where we are at with the Lord.  And who his colleague is...and where he is at with the Lord. 

On the way out to our car...after being validated...in the elevator...Brad gets a text message from his agent.





All this to say...

As far as provision goes...

The Lord has gone before Bradley and I.

He has a plan for us.  It is for our good and His glory.

We have no idea how the Lord used us in the (UPDATED: BLAH BLAH BLAH)  Church of Downey today... (UPDATE:  We all fall short and error daily and usually hourly) or in that financial office...but He is at work.

 And He has it all under control.

BEST part of that text from Brad's loyal fan.  It was sent from Kazakhstan.  Kazakhstan!  Who the heCk has fans in Kazakhstan????????  idk...the out of work actor who cannot get arrested in Hollywood who has a kid from Kazakhstan and made a documentary film about his Kazakh adoption story maybe??????

It's a weaving.  We are living in a tapestry.

There is a WEAVER.

Jehovah Jireh.




Woke up to this from Ozzie today...


























May 21, 2014

Affirmation

I was speaking to a friend recently about seasons of relational trouble.

It happens.

We can have times of trouble with spouses...our parents...our kids...our friends...co-workers...Bible Study girls...pastors...neighbors.

I've been thinking a lot lately about what seems to have been the root cause of some of the troubling situations I've found myself in over the years. 

I think...I'm getting close.

It seems to me that when trouble arises it is either because I am unwilling to affirm another in some aspect of their life or visa versa.

The visa versa trouble usually comes from Brad or one of my kids.  Or a very close friend.  When I am walking in unrepentant sin...they know it.  I want to hold on to whatever it is I'm holding on to for how ever long I want to hold on to it...and I want them to affirm me in whatever it is I want them to affirm me in.  

It's during times such as these that I find myself having relational trouble.

Sin is sneaky.  Often...only the intimates in our lives are aware we are in a season of unrepentant sin.  Cuz we like to hide our sin.  And hidden sin can take a long time to surface publicly. 

So...I might be looking all pretty and lovely and Godly to the outside world...but the intimates the Lord has placed in my life...with purpose and full intent btw...know better.  They know me better.

Thank YOU, Lord for that.

That is amazing. 

Now...how about those times when someone I love wants me to affirm them in their life choices and I simply cannot.

Because of my convictions...I cannot.

It's not gonna happen.  

For instance...I have a dear dear dear friend whom I love to death.  I will never tell this friend that in his/her case choosing abortion was okay.  Validation for that choice is never gonna come out of my mouth.  I know all the story details.  The when, why, because ofs and hows.  Not gonna say it was okay. 

Other dear dear dear friends & a family member...want to hear from me that acting out on homosexual desires is fine for them/him/her.  Not gonna hear it.  Not from Dawn.

Family members who were caught up in a cult for  20 plus years.  Never ever ever were gonna hear from me that Mormonism falls inside the pale of Christian orthodoxy.  It wasn't gonna happen.

A friend who's sleeping with a married man/woman.  Nope.  Not okay. Not gonna say it is.

An unmarried friend...living with their significant other.  Prior to marriage.  Heterosexuals.  Consenting adults.  No. Not gonna tell them "it's fine."  It's not fine. 

Here's the thing...there would be absolutely zero relational trouble if they were not looking for me to affirm their choices.

What I have to say about choices people make doesn't mean diddly squat to any relationship.... 


...If those people making the choices that I am unwilling to affirm are willing to live together at peace.

If however...they need affirmation from me...we will have trouble...and what I have to say or not say will become a roadblock for them. 

I guess the question that lingers is...Am I willing to live at peace with those who do not affirm what I have to say about any given matter?

The answer must be "yes." 

Of course I am.

And..

....then....

Are they correct in their non-affirmation?

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Romans 12:18

Don't wanna home-educate?  Don't.
Wanna celebrate Halloween?  Do.
Wanna use birth control?  Do.
Don't wanna talk politics?  Don't.
Wanna sit under unbiblical teaching.  Do.


Minigods demanding to be worshipped.  That's what we become when we dig our feet in deep & withold love from those who do not affirm whatever choice of ours we want them to affirm.


Conservatives in LA

Did you know there are more political & social conservatives in LA than you think there are?

Yeah.

We keep bumping into them.

They are all over the place.

This town is swarming with them.

This gal was standing out front ot Trader Joes the other day...taking signatures.

Signatures supporting what?????....you ask.

"Do you think voters should have to show valid IDs in order to vote?"

heCk YES!!!!!!!  Gimmie that paper.  Gimmie that pen!!!!!!  And, I gotta get a picture for my blog...just to prove to people in other parts of the country that this sort of thing actually happens in Los Angeles.



Right when we walked inside some guy...total hipster in his 20's...with a beard.....says to Brad...

"Oh hey, Man...I love your shirt."

Brad says..."Thanks.  Do you know who it is?"

The hipster totally knew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Yeah.  Andrew Breitbart.  I love him."  


May 8, 2014

Scottsdale Trip

















Leaving is never easy.