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THE MORAL OF THE STORY

Cindy Trane Christeson

“No longer is God a stranger, but a friend, a father, One who delights

to have us talk to Him and open up the whole of our lives to Him.:

-- Michael Green.

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My husband Jon and I drove up to Northern California last weekend to

see our daughter Amy. She is a very busy junior in college and we’re very

busy at home, so I was thrilled that we had time together.

We’ve learned how special it is to visit college children in their

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college world, to meet their college friends, eat their college food, go

to their college classes and really experience their college lives.

Pictures of places and people are helpful, but there’s nothing like being

there in person to really experience what college worlds are like.

We arrived Friday, and went to Amy’s dorm room. Jon sat at Amy’s desk

and looked out her window. “So, this is where you sit,” Jon said as he

looked out at a beautiful clock tower and lush green hills beyond. “I’d

heard you had a beautiful view, but it’s great to actually see it.”

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Amy wanted us to spend time with her friends too, and arranged a sand

volleyball game. Somehow, Jon and I ended up playing too. I can’t

remember what decade it was when I last touched a volleyball, but judging

by my colorful bruises and swollen left hand, it’s been quite awhile. I

didn’t “get air,” as the saying goes for jumping off the ground, but I

certainly “got sand.”

I pray for Amy and her friends, and I enjoyed spending time and

getting to know them better. I was impressed by their obvious love for

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God and for each other. I was also thankful when they shared about their

lives. One friend told me about some recent difficult struggles.

“I know that God is working to build stronger character qualities in

me,” she said.

We talked about how God can bring good results out of hard times, and

I know better how to pray for her.

The next morning, Amy took us on a several-hour hike along exquisite

trails. “I feel like we’re walking through pages of a coffee table book,”

Jon said. I agreed.

Later, we enjoyed another meal with other friends. We heard about

different mission trips that her friends felt called by God to be part

of, and Jon and I are excited to pray for them.

Fortunately, we weren’t invited to join Amy and her friend’s world

when it involved ice skating late Saturday night. I can only imagine how

many colorful bruises I’d have if we’d tried.

Sunday morning, we went to a great church and fun brunch with other

friends, and again I loved hearing how each one talked about God working

in his or her lives. Somebody said that it was great that we came to

visit. All Jon and I could say was how happy we were to be invited to be

part of Amy’s world.

We love visiting, and we always come home exhausted, but excited.

Imagine how amazing God is: He never tires of being part of our lives.

God is always totally excited and available to be included in our worlds.

He is just waiting for the invitation.

And you can quote me on that.

CINDY TRANE CHRISTESON is a Newport Beach resident who speaks

frequently to parenting groups. She may be reached via e-mail at o7

cindy@onthegrow.comf7 or through the mail at P.O. Box 6140-No. 505,

Newport Beach, CA 92658.


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