Safely in San Diego

This spectacular moment was captured last night in Poway as the sun was setting in the west and the moon was rising in the east.

Checking in from Poway, California, where Julie and I rolled in Monday afternoon after putting 3800 miles on her car driving from Boston. What a great trip!! My last entry was written as we were leaving Harrisonburg after a sweet visit with Lisa. We packed in plenty for our short visit with her...including having ice cream with some of her friends at Klein's, swimming at the community pool, and having a few great meals. Always love time with her. Wednesday, August 26, at 8 a.m. we hit the road in earnest for the west coast.

Breakfast of homemade granola, freshly picked in New Hampshire blueberries, freshly bought from Costco peaches, and yogurt started our day off right!

Day 1 - Wednesday, August 26 - 980 miles, stopping in Kansas City around 10 that night, and being very grateful for clear weather and light traffic. We mainly drove...and talked, sang, enjoyed the scenery, and made only three brief stops.

Day 2 - Thursday, August 27 - 600 miles, after a "late" start of 11:30 a.m. I had coffee with a dear friend in Kansas City, we both worked out taking full advantage of our Priceline'd room at the Crown Plaza downtown, and off we went. Another gorgeous day of driving through Kansas to Colorado, stopping at 7:30 p.m. at Danny and Rayna Oertli's home. What fun to be with them! Plenty of entertainment for sure. We were so grateful for their wonderful hospitality (and especially touched that Gracie so cheerfully gave up her room for us.) On the road by 9 a.m.

Maggie performed an original cowgirl song and dance on their hot tub, showing much promise for a future in the industry.

Rayna, Grace, Jack, and Maggie on the way to school. Danny was already out, working hard to improve his golf score. I'm sure he missed being in the photo. :)

Day 3: Friday, August 28: California or bust. We left the Oertlis unsure of our goal for the day, but after we reached Ely, Nevada, around 7:30 p.m., we decided that the final leg to Sacramento was doable, so we pushed on. If we had known then what we know now, we probably would've done things differently, but ignorance is bliss (and sometimes foolish) so we drove the very dark and lonely, two-lane route 50, across the Sierra Nevada mountains at night (with the half-full moon mostly hidden behind clouds)...and prayed. "It was scary" would be an understatement...and we were acutely aware that if anything were to happen to our car, we wouldn't be found for days. So we kept praying....and were never more happy to see the gaudy lights of Reno, Nevada, around 12:30 a.m. We tiredly and thankfully pulled into Gabe and Kari's welcoming home at 3 a.m. - 19 hours and 1300 miles later. :)

Julie and I enjoyed attending BOSS (Bayside of South Sacramento) with Kari, Gabe, and Alton, even though it was 103 degrees!

It was especially fun to be reunited with two of our wonderful summer staff, Alton Green and Taylor Balian at BOSS.

We recovered over the weekend in the nurturing care and hospitality of Gabe and Kari. Great meals, great walks, and lots of talks before we headed out first thing Monday morning for the final leg of the journey. Straight down highway 5, stopping only at In-N-Out Burger for an early lunch just as we headed over the Grapevine, arriving in Poway at 3:30. Whew!! So so thankful to be here safely.

Tuesday was a recovery day. We relaxed, swam, enjoyed delicious California fresh produce, walked, and did a few errands to make sure Julie was set for school, which started Wednesday, Sept. 2.

Julie's first day at Physical Therapy School at University of Saint Augustine in San Marcos, CA.

Her first day went well and she's set for the next season of her life - 28 months getting her doctor of PT. We're so aware of God's goodness to her in many ways, including the provision of a lovely home in Poway for the next 3.5 months, which is situated within a mile of two of her best friends/lacrosse colleagues from Cal Poly.

Our exhausting summer, combined with an exhausting cross country trip, seems to have caught up with me so it's good to have a couple of days to relax and recuperate. I'm taking today and tomorrow as personal retreat days and have really enjoyed an extended quiet time today. Paul, the introvert, is doing his own recuperating in Boston and has loved mainly having the company of our dog, Baker. He hasn't been slacking, for sure, but just being alone is renewing for him. I'm looking forward to being reunited with him this weekend.

The transition from summer to fall is tinged with bitter-sweetness. We miss the daily community afforded so richly in the camp setting...and really miss our terrific staff. We find ourselves praying that as they reenter their old settings, they'll hold on to the truths they learned during their unplugged, undistracted summer away from it all. We pray that the transformation they experienced was genuine. At the same time, we look with eager anticipation at what lies ahead. Our fall is full of opportunities to impact this world for Christ and we are more passionate than ever about the cause of building into families and marriages.

Don't forget to pray for us as we continue on the frontlines. Our hope is in His steadfast love and presence, which is as constant and dependable as the rising and setting of the sun and the moon. All praise is His.

"From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised." (Psalm 113:3)