Our family went for a quick day trip to La Jolla the other day — a lovely town just north of San Diego proper (and pronounced “La Hoya” in case you ever need to say it). There are some swanky shops in the downtown area (where we purchased our first Blik wall decals); but we were there for the beaches. We started at the cove, but the rising tide quickly sent us over toward the tide pools. Our daughter enjoyed seeing a couple of little fish skittering around the tide pools, but spent most of her time making “chalk” drawings in the loose sand. Finally, we ended up at the Children’s Pool — an area of the beach partially protected by a seawall that was originally, as its name suggests, a children’s swimming area but is currently a protected area for seals and sea lions.


We were able to get a closeup view of some seals (which, we learned at SeaWorld, can be distinguished from sea lions because they do not have obvious ear flaps) from down on the beach. None of them followed us home, but we had a pretty great view. The seal in the center looked a little bit stressed out by all the onlookers, so we didn’t hang out for long — but look closely at the seal lying on its back to the center-left of the photo. It is the picture of relaxation — just lying around, grinning. Certainly put a smile on my face.

Though the moments often feel few and far between, I love those unexpected God-moments that put a smile on my face. I was able to have coffee this week with a student who has been coming out to our church for the past several weeks. He comes from a Buddhist background but is earnestly seeking truth. For over two hours, I heard a little bit of his life story — the enormous pressure his extended family has put on him, the brokenness of his family relationships, his sincere search for truth and meaning. He listened intently as I shared with him about God’s enormous, incomprehensible love for people, why Jesus died on the cross for us and what that means for our lives. I love it when God surprises me, breaking through my hard-hearted cynicism about sharing the Gospel.