Back on Squinch

I’m back from my eight week Lenten social media fast … and from a four-week family road trip south to California.

The Lent social media fast was needed and helpful.  I had been finding myself not very present to life and those around me because I was checking in on Facebook or checking out who was reading or responding to my Squinch blogs.  It was all pathetically self-absorbed and required some heart work.  That’s the beauty of a spiritual discipline like fasting – it’s a tool you pull out when needed and put away when the work is done.  And in the absence of status updates and thinking about what to blog, I found space where God could scrub away several layers of ego, pride and general ugly narcissism.

The four week family road trip was a grand adventure (check back tomorrow for some Friday photos).  Four weeks with most anyone in confined spaces, like cars and hotel rooms, tests your will and pushes relationships to some precipice.  However, I’m glad to report that we’re back in Calgary and I still love my wife, my children have all their limbs, and I retained my sanity.

Favourite stop – four days in San Francisco (from the worship service the first day at City Church to the minor 3.4 earthquake on day 2 to great adventures each day, I could’ve spent much longer).

Favourite memory – so many but I think our day at the Getty Center in Santa Monica was the sweetest.  We leisurely roamed the galleries, regularly dropped my jaw at the stunning architecture of the place, lolled and lounged in the sunny gardens.

Place to visit again: Portland (loved the emerald city and a highlight was spending a few hours in Powell’s books.  Even found a copy of my book, Seeking God’s Face, on their shelves), San Francisco, Santa Monica.

Favourite food: on a trip with kids in tow, the level of our culinary choices tended to be aimed at the “kid-friendly” zone, but we still explored.  Savoured the “Mondrian” ganache cake at the San Francisco MOMA cafe (a lovely little cake looking like a Piet Mondrian painting), devoured  the tri-tip and rib bbq bonanza with half-artichoke and butter side at the San Luis Obispo Farmer’s Market, and In ‘n Out Double-Doubles were deliciously regular fare.  A really sweet moment happened at the San Luis Obispo market – Owen spotted a homeless man sitting on a curb and engaged him in conversation.  While in line for our food he asked if he could buy him a skewer of beef with some allowance money.  With meat in hand and heart on sleeve, my little guy shows the compassion of Jesus and feeds the hungry.

Best line: after weeks of sunshine and shorts, we’re driving back home through the snowy Crowsnest area, and with profound disgust Lily yells out: “Boo snow.  We’re such suckers for living here.”

I love travel – it’s intensified living and makes regular living a welcome thing to come home to.

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