Tuesday, October 31, 2006

soul surfer

Three years ago today, a thirteen year-old girl paddled into the pristine waters off Kauai, Hawaii for an early morning surf session. Minutes later, the unthinkable happened - a shark attack. The past three years have been an incredible story of triumph through tragedy for young Bethany Hamilton. Few stories have touched my heart quite like hers.

Here are some excerpts from Bethany's autobiography, Soul Surfer:

“My plans to be a professional surfer got hit pretty hard on that Halloween morning. It was my own personal tornado. In the days, weeks, and months that followed I had a lot of cleaning up to do. Often, it was scary or trying. And I won’t lie to you: in some ways it still is.

“But for me, knowing that God loves me and that He has a plan for my life that no shark can take away is like having solid rock underneath me. Look, lots of bad stuff happens to people. That’s life. And here’s my advice: don’t put all your hope and faith into something that could suddenly and easily disappear. And honestly, that’s almost anything. The only thing that will never go away, that will never fail you, is your faith in God.

“I don’t pretend to have all the answers to why bad things happen to good people. But I do know that God knows all those answers, and sometimes He lets you know in this life, and sometimes He asks you to wait so that you can have a face-to-face talk about it. What I do know is that I want to use what happened to me as an opportunity to tell people that God is worthy of our trust, and to show them that you can go on and do wonderful things in spite of terrible events that happen. I don’t think it does any good to sit around feeling sorry for yourself.

“What does God have in store for me? I really don’t know, but I do know one thing for sure: the adventure has only started."

Live free! Live in Daddy's affection!

Sunday, October 29, 2006


"The Best Family Film Ever!"
"Absolutely Irresistible!"
"A Jewel!"
"Two Thumbs Way Up!"

That's what critics had to say about "Akeelah and the Bee" - a wonderful movie I watched on DVD this week with my fourteen year-old daughter. "Akeelah and the Bee" is the story of an eleven year-old girl living in South Central Los Angeles who dreams of winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Early in the movie, Akeelah reads a framed quote in the office of the UCLA professor who is coaching her for the spelling bee. Here's the quote -

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us, it’s in ALL of us.

As we let our light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

- Marianne Williamson

Live free! Live in Daddy's affection!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

wild ride

As a sixth grade teacher, one of the first books I read aloud to my students is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. With each new reading comes a fresh insight into the heart of God. This year, Aslan’s post-resurrection romp through Narnia really stirred my heart. Here are some choice selections -

Aslan (to Susan and Lucy): “'We have a long journey to go. You must ride on me.' And he crouched down and the children climbed onto his warm, golden back.... And with a great heave he rose underneath them and then shot off, faster than any horse could go, down hill and into the thick of the forest.”

“That ride was perhaps the most wonderful thing that happened to them in Narnia. ...this is a mount that doesn’t need to be guided and never grows tired. He rushes on and on, never missing his footing, threading his way with perfect skill.... And you are riding not on a road nor in a park, nor even on the downs, but right across Narnia, in spring....”

What a great description of the wild, off-road, springtime ride I’ve been on these past two years. My journey has been unpredictable, unorthodox, and utterly liberating - a time of new beginnings like no other. As I wrap myself in the warm, golden folds of His loving heart, there is peace and exhilaration in abundance.

- Lindsay

Live free! Live in Daddy’s affection!