One of my favorite home-in-California rituals is to visit the many restaurants and stores that we do not have here in Kentucky. Oh, the sadness of a Californian in exile to be deprived of Jamba Juice, In N'Out Burger, See's Candies (a family tradition!), authentic Mexican food, and Trader Joe's (the nearest one is in Cincinnati).
Yes, I have become one of those bloggers who takes pictures of meals! Oh well, In'N'Out Burger is a California institution. They also have Bible verse citations written on the bottom of the cups and hamburger wrappers. Of course, I also had to take a picture of this portable yogurt bar at a mall; it is SO Californian. I would never find something like that here:
Besides getting some quality time with my parents, I really enjoyed catching up with longtime friends. One of the highlights was getting together with a loving and holy family from my youth ministry days. The father of the family recently became a deacon. He spent some time praying with me for healing. He said something that I would like to share with all of you IF friends: "God is closer than you think. Sometimes He's so close you don't realize that He's there."
Such true words, especially on those days when we feel ill from the umpteenth medicine, endure another failed medical procedure, encounter another adoption setback, or have to silently weep while watching young families at Mass. He is closer than we think.