Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Greetings from earthquake land!

We made it. We had seven straight days of earthquakes last week, but the earth's shaking has finally subsided. For now, anyway. This soothing and still development has radically minimized a number of unique fears which sprouted last week — fears which I have never before experienced. For example:

The fear of being in the shower when an earthquake hits.

The fear of being on the toilet when an earthquake hits.

The fear of being in the middle of getting dressed when an earthquake hits.

I fear I owe all of my geographically close friends an explanation for my un-showered, un-changed and generally disheveled presence last week. Earthquakes will make a girl do crazy things. Or, in this case, not do normal things.

But today I am showered and dressed [in sweatpants]. All earthquake messes have been cleaned up; my vases are back in their proper place; and I've resumed my habit of leaving a half-full glass of water on the table, without fear of it being knocked over.

My nerves, however, have not been fully calmed.

I just can't shake the feeling that a big Los Angeles earthquake — the BIG one scientists have been predicting for years — may be in our near future. I've been hearing about "the big one" since I moved down here, without much fear of it occurring. But all the seismic activity last week has me googling, "how to predict big earthquakes." If the big one's going to hit soon I'd really like to know so I can adequately worry about it. I'm strategic like that.

Here's what my googling uncovered:

Although not terribly reliable, there are patterns that scientists have observed before many big earthquakes. For example:

Often, before an earthquake, there's a significant and unusual change in the temperature.

And sometimes, before a massive earthquake, there are rainbow-ish clouds in the sky.

And often, before an earthquake, the entire animal kingdom — including pets— starts acting weird.

Incidentally, the day after I made this discovery our temperature spiked 20 degrees, from 70-something to 90-something. Thankfully there have been no rainbow clouds. And the squirrels outside my window? I've been watching them like a hawk. I've been watching the hawks like a hawk, too, which is probably weird for them. So far I have seen no moon-walking squirrels or somersaulting hawks. But when I do, I'll be sure to warn you southern California folks that something seismic is.up.

In the meantime, I've been trying to redirect my focus from potential future disasters to all of the good gifts in my life right now. A weekend beach trip was a particularly good way to do this:

Oh Laguna, how is possible that you are cursed? Your beauty is staggering, and I cannot imagine what you looked like before sin's curse affected you... but it sure is fun to try.

I went to the beach with a handful of my truest, bestest friends. We always have fun together.

The guys had fun climbing on rocks and letting the ocean waves break over their backs.

The girls had fun taking pictures...

...And watching the waves.

And then my body let me do something that it hasn't let me do in almost four years: it let me run. Not the walk-jogs (a.k.a. "wogs") I've been able to do a handful of times the last year, but up on my toes, springing forward, pushing deep RUNNING.

I wonder if I felt a little bit like Lazarus did when he walked out of his dark, fetid tomb and into the light of day and land of the living. Blood pulsing, heart pounding, lungs heaving, muscles burning, endorphins flowing, sun shining, breeze blowing, body working. I have no words to describe how it felt to be flying down the beach in a body that didn't feel like it was decaying, imprisoning, limiting.

I think the experience was like walking into a celestial soda shop and up to the shiny ice cream counter showcasing rows of flavors.

"Hey God," I said. (He was behind the counter, see). "I'd like to taste that golden flavor in the back row. Yeah, the glowing stuff — the one labeled 'heaven.'"

So he put a dollop of heaven on a spoon and said, "Enjoy, dear heart! There's more where that came from..."

Because the best is yet to come. And boy it's a good day when I get a taste of what awaits — of healing, freedom, and newness of life. And it's a good God who re-directs Anxiety Girl's focus from life's quaking and cracking to its sparkling glimpses of heaven.

You see, the key to helping Anxiety Girl has always been an ice cream parlor with its delightful array of celestial flavors!

And this is just one of many, many reasons I think God is the greatest.

Merry, sparkling Tuesday, my friends.


© by scj

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