Friday, June 6, 2008

Awesome Wonderful Special Very Good Day

Elephant Seal Pups
Our Awesome God just NEVER ceases to amaze me! It is oh-so-precious when He just POURS out His grace and His favor on us, for no "apparent" reason, isn't it??!!! Sometimes He makes us SO aware of His Presence that we can almost "taste" His SWEET love for us!! As the song goes, "... when Your eyes are on this child, Your Grace abounds to me ..."

THIS day was one of those VERY special times for my g'daughters & I. Actually, the Lord seems to give the 3 of us EXTRAORDINARY favor almost always, when we adventure out together! Bless His heart. :) My theory is that people see Jesus in us and, even if they're not conscious of it, they are drawn to Him & want to bless Him. It doesn't take even a snippet away from HIS Amazing Grace, that my 8 year old g'daughters are irresistably cute and incredibly intelligent! Braggy but true! :)

Anyway, I had seen a children's show on TV that visited a Seal Rescue Center located within day-trip distance. SO ... we got an early start & took a leisurely drive over the mountains to the ocean. We drove through the Cleveland National Forest, throughout which God blessed us with spectacular views and an amazing array of wild flowers, plants and trees! There were huge succulent flowers growing right out of bare rock walls of the canyon! We passed through very inviting campgrounds and hiking trails and drove right by the Mission of San Juan Capistrano in full Spring bloom! NOTE: we resisted the temptation to stop and reserved those adventures for another time!

We finally found our way to our destination: the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. Wow! They had 17 in-house patients that day - all animals that were injured or sick and/or stranded on one of our West Coastline beaches. Some had cuts from fishing nets, many had wounds from BIG fishhooks stuck in their mouth or cheek, most were underweight and there were lots of malnourished pups. Come to find out: this year there are LOTS of 2 year old harbor seal mommies (equivilent to "teen-moms") that are not very good mothers and don't have enough milk. So, unfortunately, a LOT of their little babies are showing up ONshore! It is an expected cyclic occurance, we were told. These pups are BEYOND cute!!!

This incredible group (mostly volunteers) sends Rescue Teams out to pick up these poor guys as soon as they are reported. They doctor, feed and rehabilitate their patients until they are strong enough to release them back into the ocean!

People come from around the globe to study/visit this little haven that is tucked away in the coastal hills of SoCal. However, THIS day we had the place completely to ourselves for several hours!! We were blessed to meet the onsite Veterinarian, who is one of only 22 in the entire nation! He invited us for a personal behind-the-scenes tour with him, which is generally reserved for VIPs! A very unexpected privilege and honor ... I call that FAVOR!!! Bless the Lord!

Then, to top off this incredible visit: as we were about to pull out of the parking lot, a Rescue Team truck came rushing through the gate with a JUST rescued yearling sea lion! We jumped out of our car and hurried over, just in time to watch them pull the big plastic dog kennel off the truck, then weigh and check her in ... it was SO exciting! Heroes-in-action, that you don't ordinarily HEAR of, much less SEE!!! What a major BLESSING! The Rescue Team named this little one Betsy. We are hoping to attend her release in about 3 months! THAT is what it is all about! They say to bring tissues ... that's probably a very good idea!

I could go on all day (or have I already?). You can visit their website and learn a WHOLE lot more about this amazing place and the amazing work they are doing! Check it out:

The weather was absolutely PERFECT for us too! So, we drove down to the shore, stopped at a See's Candy store for a couple of treats (mm mmm MMM!!!), got some lunch, then decided to stop at the beach before we went home. Just look where we "happened" to stop!

A breathtakingly beautiful little cove where you could see right through the incredible blue and jade green water! It is actually a Marine Tidepool Reserve - no wonder it was so pristine! A very welcome change from the average SoCal overcrowded beaches!

What a jewel that we "stumbled" upon! So peaceful, so relaxing, WOW! Our Father gave us such a FULL experience! E-Triple-A indeed!!!

I find that these times of refreshing USUALLY precede an upcoming trial or time of service. All through the Bible the Lord refreshed, strengthened & prepared His people before sending them into battle or into other service. As you may have also noticed in your lives, He clearly STILL does!

The girls returned to school the next day and I unexpectedly got a call to return to work that next day too! Coincidence? I think NOT!!!!

Check back, I tried to upload a video of the ocean, but it wouldn't work tonight. I will keep trying!

What unusual and interesting *day-cation* spots do you have near your home?

*Term borrowed from Becky...thanks!


His Girl said...

I'm so blessed the girls get to see the world and the Lord's handiwork through your eyes. I know they will remember these times forever.

I love you mommy!

Sing4joy said...

*sniff* What an unbelievable treasure of a day! What a blessing that you get opportunities to be with your grandchildren and show and experience with them these amazing things. I hope to be a grammy like that too!(someday)(not soon)(later)

hughes1527 said...

I am so jealous. I keep asking myself why I am so far away from this kind of stuff, stuck in Iowa, experiencing torrential floods and tornados. How wonderful for you and the girls.

GateWay said...

oh my goodness....your words certainly struck a familiar chord in my heart! I cherish my times with my almost 8 year old granddaughter, and THIS would be an experience she and I would jump to experience. Thanks for letting me vicariously feel the blessing. The pic of the cool breezy ocean surely contrasts our 30-45mph winds in 100degree heat (for now)! and one more thing.. not only did the grm experience feel familiar, but I sooooo much agree with the way God works in the times of refreshing in preparation. Glad there is a "fellow warrior" on the "wall" with me. Have a terrifically blessed day!

Gretchen said...

Indeed, what a day-cation! I love animals, and marine mammals are some of my faves. What a blessed day for you to share, indeed.