Memorial Day is gone, and with that my vacation. Each year my family and a large number of people from our church go camping. It's a tradition that is more than 20 years old and that my family has been graciously allowed to join in on.
Carpinteria is a quaint little beach town near Santa Barbara. It has a main street with small shops on either side. Without fail there is a Farmer's Market on Thursday and a Flea Market on Saturday. It's the type of place that hardly changes, save maybe a store or two differing. It's a soul soothing place. We may only go once a year but things don't differ much from one year to the next. Carpinteria is something that we all count down to and eagerly await. Days of bike riding, beach lounging, game playing, and fellowship are what we look forward to.
On Sunday we are led from our campsite's to the little campground amphitheatre by Johannah playing Amazing Grace on the bag pipes. She plays and we file out of our campsites, the pied piper leading the rats, although unlike the rats we are led to the truth of everlasting life, not death. We all meet in the amphitheatre where we have Sunday Morning worship, the best kind, where it is simply a guitar and voices praising together. Then different families get up and do a short skit that either acts out a Bible story or conveys a Biblical truth. They read the verse or verses that pertain to their skit, (which are often hilarious) and then sit down. We end in a song of praise and more often than not we walk down to the beach where someone gets baptized. Indeed, my own little brother got baptized a couple of years ago. This year we did a baby dedication (the first one!) and prayed over members of our mission teams going to Zimbabwe and Peru (also a first!).
It was not a matter of finding the gifts tucked into the days, but having the time to jot them down one by one as they flowed in a continuous, endless, stream.
377) hills bathed in golden sunlight
378) listening to sweet boyfriend chatter away
379) warm bowls of pea soup
380) full moon rising over water
381) falling asleep to boyfriend's voice drifting from his tent
382) the way Carpinteria never changes drastically one year to the next
383) waiting for the grunion to run
384) Sunday morning church skits
385) Foster's Freeze tradition with old friends
386) church family gathered around campfire
387) listening to the waves in the dark
"Gratitude is a living reality. A seeker has to know that his most powerful capacity is gratitude. What God has is infinite Compassion and what we have is gratitude. God's gift to man is infinite Compassion and our gift to God is an iota of gratitude to be placed at His Feet. Gratitude-power can never be surpassed. It is the only satisfaction we can offer God. This is not because God needs our gratitude but because He needs ample opportunity to enter into us in a more effective way, and gratitude increases our heart's receptivity." -A God-Lover's Earth-Heaven Life