In my last post I talked about being stretched–spiritually, that is.  Well, truthfully, in every way.  I have never been this far away from family and friends- ever.  So, that’s a big transition.
Although I miss home, I want to embrace my new home- whether temporary or not so temporary- however that turns out.  So…I’ve been taking lots of photos of the girls as we visit the hot spots around town.

As we were driving through downtown Pacific Grove into Monterey I thought this view was an eye catcher:

More of the bustling city with a small town feel.

Mountainous backdrop

I’ve never lived this close to mountains before– except when I was a little girl (around 7 or 8 living in Montana).  The memory is refreshing…and although we’re not exactly in the mountains but on the coastline, it’s still really nice to see them in the distance.  They feel so close.

Here are a few historic buildings with great architecture.

Pacific Grove at night.  

I’m not really sure what’s up with the  lit trees. Down south that’s a Christmas thing…but it is very pretty, nonetheless. 

The girls have been really enjoying the view.

2 streets behind our home is the Pacific coastline and beaches.  It’s still a bit chilly, hence the long sleeves–but it definitely adds a new dimension to homeschool.  Once in a while the sun peaks through and warms things up for a minute.

This is a hot spot on Cannery Row- a restaurant called Fisherman’s Wharf, if I’m not mistaken.

Fishing is a huge activity here and freshly caught fish and organic produce is one of the city’s highlights.  One of these days I’d love to take my husband out to this restaurant if he doesn’t beat me to it first!

After the beach the girls wanted to stroll down Cannery Row.  Ny wanted to visit Candyland and the Chocolate Factory.

Cannery Row

Chocolate Factory on Cannery Row
Right before turning off to my street entrance we stop to take pictures

Monterey Bay from Pacific Grove view

I could sit here for hours- maybe be inspired to write a book!

Geese, ducks, and sea gulls are always nearby…

 There is always that empty feeling of being so far away from loved ones (namely my family back home and my precious friends)…and yet there is something so vastly unique and inviting that beckons me to embrace the new place and season in which the Lord has given us this opportunity to enjoy.

I can’t deny that this place is beautiful and my thoughts and ideals are changing daily.
What is life really?

Just a week ago, my father in law passed away.  He was a cornerstone in my husband’s family, a true patriarch and we all miss him dearly.  His sudden death coupled with our pulling away from our roots and moving cross country only 3 weeks ago took a toll on me– not a bad toll, but a life-changing, soul-searching tool for awakening me to the reality of what life is about.
When I realize how hard we work for the things on this earth, and then how quickly those things dissipate when they are no more- either through earthly cataclysmic events (tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods), or through sudden death, or through a life altering event like a huge move where you have to reassess who you are in light of your new surroundings all over again– it makes me really, really think about the true meaning of life. 
Life is beautiful.  Life is precious.  There is no time to throw away those precious moments- even in the midst of our toil and labor.  There has to be meaning, there has to be a rhyme and reason to our very souls being alive on this planet.  It is so much more than hard work, new houses, material possessions. 

My newest journey is one that the Lord is leading me in to. It’s a season of searching Him in a way that perhaps I used to but for whatever reason (life, busy-ness, etc.), I haven’t been as active with it. When I say “seeking Him”, I mean studying scripture, seeking His will for direction, being open to His leading, not restricting Him with my ideas of what I want or think I should have, but letting HIm be in complete charge of my life.  He will be my director and I will simply let Him lead.
But that means letting go of some things- some things I’ve built, some projects/ministries/businesses I assumed

I would continue when I arrived to California.
Amazing how when things are shaken all around us, the first thing that begins to shake is our mentality.

I truly believe that this is the season for God’s people to do some true soul-searching.
What are your desires?  Why do you desire these things?  What will you gain from them?  Will God take care of you?
“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you”.

My first lessons at life on the beach!  I’m sure there will be more to come.