Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Beating back the dark

This morning, I huddled in the crisp, cool darkness of the morning. I spilled out my worries. The same ones He always hears. I drew names out of my heart......

I whispered them and as I prayed I imagined them floating up.....up.....up toward that Throne.

The only One who matters, heard them.

Received them.

Then, after the spilling out of my cares was done. I figured I needed the serious praying posture. The head down and knees bent variety.....and no words except praise for Him who is worthy. Filling the silence I thought of the verses in the Bible that describe Isaiah's vision:

"In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

There in the silence, I could almost hear it.

I discovered once again, that the best way to beat back the darkness is with praise.

It's the one thing I have found that never fails.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Joy in the morning

As dawn colored the sky this morning, I couldn't help but think that God knew that we would need such a greeting to start the day, and close it too.

Through all the worrying that goes on after dark,
all the tossing and turning.
The mulling over of everything we should have done....

or have left to do.

This I pray for all of us today.
That in all the rushing around of this season,

that we treasure each other and the time we have together.
Help us to have open and honest conversations....
not rushed.

Conversations that bring light and healing to hearts and ears.
Help us bring relief in our actions and a presence of calm.

Help us to be eager to bring relief to anxious and weary eyes.
Help us Lord, to enjoy each other's company, knowing that though the river
of time never stops.....

That rather than just swimming furiously
or allowing it to carry us swiftly downstream,
we can stop and sit on the shore
for awhile.

Shoulder to shoulder,
quietly watching the beauty of it
flow by.

Thank you Lord for the joy that came yesterday as we decorated the house.

It shimmers with You!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Showdown in the Desert

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2

I struggle with this post today. How to get into words what I feel this year? This particular advent? Each year I ask myself the same questions. What did it mean then, and what does it mean today? How can anyone truly understand the wonder of the Living God coming down to earth as a baby? This is why we are celebrating, after all.

Yesterday I saw a sign at a Scottsdale shopping mall describing Santa as "The man of the Season." Really? I guess for some he is the man of the season, but not for me.

Sometimes.....many times, in our walk of faith we come to a place of decision. That is where I was yesterday. It was difficult to pray. I sat in silence, my heart feeling like a stone. I was struggling. It was a battle I was facing and I had to ask myself a serious question. It was a showdown in the desert. I

Jesus had one too. And He won.

After prayer I came back inside, pacing. Lately I have noticed anger.....resentment bubbling underneath my surface, ready to flare at little meaningless things. I know where it comes from. And I also know that it was a Spiritual battle not a physical one I had to fight.

I know Satan's tactics. It was between him and me now. I was determined that he would not win. Can I just say to anyone who thinks that Satan isn't real, that he isn't absolutely bent on our destruction, just look at our world today. That my friends, is not the work of God.

What He created was and is perfect. Take the human element out of this world and you would be left with the same perfection as in the day of creation. Still and always, good. But thankfully, there is a good human element in play as well. All around us there are those who hold back the tide. And let's just call it what it is.....evil.

I realized yesterday morning, that if I can't handle one old, stinky bad tempered woman, yes I did say stinky. We are going on week six of no shower. She gets absolutely hostile and angry when Elaine suggests she take one. So we just keep spraying air freshener and lighting candles throughout the house.

If I can't handle this situation, then my faith means nothing. I am a fraud as a Christian. I may as not sing one Christmas carol. You see, that was and is the battle. Yours might be different, but we are all in one once we claim the name of Christ. It is not about flesh and blood at all. 

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12 

It is an old battle and nothing new. Yesterday I determined that God and I together would win it. Peace will reign in this home, in my heart. I will lay my struggle down at the feet of Jesus. I will let the Spirit take over instead of trying to fight it on my own.

"Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live." Romans 8:12

Once I made up my mind......peace flooded into my heart. That is what advent means to me this year. It means peace, it means victory, it means we may have battles, but Jesus has won the war for us!

I continue my count today with renewed gratitude........Decorating with joy for the season.......A best friend who understands and shares my burdens in prayer and conversation.....Christmas lights that work.....Snowman heater in prayer room.......talks by the firelight......Morning chill......a call from my Aunt last night.....laughter when all else fails......Sleigh with stuffed Christmas babies that always make me smile.....#743-#753

Friday, November 25, 2011

Queen of the Mute

My Mom and I are the reigning queens of the mute button. I must give her top billing since she has actually worn the color off her mute button, and I haven't even come close....yet.

This mute button issue has made others in the same room with us very annoyed at times. When my brother is over he takes control of the remote so he can have a direct line to any channel that Cops might be on. But sometimes my Mom gets control and when she does, it's war.

His complaint is that she isn't quick enough on the draw for when the shows come back on. He hates missing the first few seconds of whatever it is they are watching. If it's a breaking news story I can understand it, you'd hate to miss the first few seconds of that. But the most you can miss on Cops is, "Put your hands where I can....."

Anyway I digress. At home I let Elaine keep control over the remote. I don't want the responsibility of the thing. The cats and I settle onto my chair, (a term I use loosely since they always try to squeeze me out of it), and also, we have much the same taste so I will watch whatever is on until I can't keep my eyes open anymore.

We are not really TV people anyway, we could shut it off for days and not really miss it. We have in fact. Elaine's parents on the other hand, were TV people. Still are. Now that her Mom is living with us it is really interesting. When she gets the remote, you never know what you will hear from the next room. The other day she had the Spanish channel full blast. Also, with Alzheimer's, she forgets what the remote is for at times.

One time Elaine was in the shower and her Mom handed the remote control through the curtain and said, "The phone is ringing and I don't know how to answer it." And she switches the remotes so that none of them will work, and then furiously punches the button and complains that, "I can't get this thing to work."

When they lived in their own home and we would go to visit, they would be sitting in the living room like mole people shades tightly drawn and TV hot to the touch from running Judge shows in a continual stream. I had no idea they had that many. It was extremely depressing to say the least.

And of course now that the Christmas ads have started I may have to take the remote until the New Year. Elaine is pretty good about it. All I have to say when they come on is....Mute, mute! And she does it, usually.

And finally the biggest reason this year that I may have to take ownership of the remote, whereby controlling when and how fast I can mute is this woman right here! She wins top billing in my book for most irritating TV ad personality.

The crazy Target lady. (Bless her heart)

She may just be the reason that my mute button is completely worn down by the end of the month.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful to be Thankful

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." Colossians 2:6,7

........If I had an altar I'd kneel at it today, but since I don't I will make an altar right here at work in my heart. I am thankful to be thankful today!

Even though I have to be at work, I know there are many who need jobs, who would give anything to be here today. In fact, I was all ready to grumble about being here, but I feel like the Spirit is doing flips inside my heart, so I think I will just go with it!

Have a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving from my home to yours......and don't forget to smile at everyone you see from now until the New Year. You never know what load someone might be carrying.

images from google

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

With a Grateful Heart

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder...G.K. Chesterton

Because of my dear sister in law who lost her battle with cancer, (but won the war, for she waits for us in Heaven) I always give thanks for my health. This morning something reminded me of a bad flu I had and I realized that there are many this Thanksgiving who would give anything to feel good.

I can't imagine waking up day after day feeling sick, but there are many who do. I thought this the other day on my walk/run. The air was clear and cold. That particular day I felt like I needed to hear life and not the IPOD. Sometimes you just have to. I felt the blast of cold air through my nose, the tingle that makes the nose run.....I felt my lungs about to burst, pushing air through, my heart beating faster and faster.

It was life and life was good.

And I am so thankful for things and people who are life-givers and not life-takers. People who are quick to laugh, to bolster me up with their faith, who speak life and joy. Who build up and not tear I thank God for you!

I am thankful for the Christian music that uplifts......turns me towards God and makes me lift my hands, my heart, my eyes towards Him.

And I am thankful for realizing that despite some fleeting thoughts earlier this month, I could never pass the holidays by. For the first time in my life though, I do understand those who fly far away, or at least want to. And then the thought, maybe that was a gift too, because I didn't understand before. 

With people living in different places, it seems like someone close is always getting left behind. I was tired of the heartache. I still am. I don't want to wait for Heaven to have everyone in one place, my heart rebels against it. And then there is work. I always have to pick which holiday I want off. But then my heart wells with thanks because I have a choice, and a job. So many right now don't.

Thankfulness bloomed then in my heart and I realized that I could never really be one of those that ignored Thanksgiving or passed on Christmas. They are lodged too deep in my heart and I can't let either one pass without a celebration, for there is so much to celebrate and be thankful for this year......

as every year by God's wonderful grace.

Also, be sure to check out my new blog, Lori's Views. It's more photos and less words. I am really excited about it!  I am still tweaking things up a bit so thank you in advance for your patience.... 

image of cabin  from google images

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The blessing of fellowship

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25

Yesterday Elaine and I went to see a dear friend who Pastors a church. He was a friend even before he was a Pastor, but we used to meet at work for prayer and Bible study. It was so good to catch up. By the time we heard all his problems ours felt much smaller.

We sat there for 3 hours.....until he got a call to pick up his daughter at school. The time had flown so fast we scarcely noticed it.

What a blessing it is to have dear friends to fellowship with. Like iron sharpening iron, we are strengthened by each other. He told us of what pain he has suffered over his next to youngest daughter. The one he never expected it from. He also said that lessons he has learned from going through that has helped him deal with issues in the church.

The hardest lessons to learn......Letting go.

He had to learn to let his daughter go, and sometimes to grow a church, you have to let some people go. A very perplexing lesson when you are in a small church and you are trying to grow it.

Sometimes God uses those we love the most to teach us the hard lessons of letting go. Sometimes it makes no sense. Sometimes we feel that the most Godly thing we could do is to grab on tighter. But God's ways are higher than ours, always.

And it makes sense when you think about it.

He used the One closest to Himself to change the world.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I dreamt of snow flurries.......

I have always said, snow can make a scene of beauty out of a dumping ground. It transforms what it touches, like God's Grace when it reaches us. In Isaiah, the book I have always thought of as the Christmas book God says: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. – Isaiah 1:18

While I didn't wake to snow flurries, I did awake to the patter of raindrops........I sighed and rolled over, "no watering today." Always a concern in the desert.

As I went out for my morning walk/run the streets were wet with wonderful puddles. Another thing to thank Him for. As I passed by the gate I saw the cars already lined up at 6:30, a stream of cars jostling for position in queue.

I thought of myself, since I will be one of those later on this week.

I thought of the people in those cars.......have they felt the touch of God's snow white Grace?

As the world is gearing up for the Holidays, I pray that we might slow down instead. Downshift our lives. I pray more than anything for peace during this Thanksgiving, and throughout the Christmas season. That our lives and hearts and souls will be knit together in love.

That we may love each other as One in Him.

I am thankful first of all today for Ann's calling it to my attention. The counting of the gifts. As I read more from her wonderful book: One Thousand Gifts, and I thought of a few people who I know that would embrace and live the message.....who just may find one tucked under their tree this year.

And I prayed thanks for:

#732-742: The joy of taking pictures......raindrops in the night.....fresh coffee to get me started......fires at night, along with conversation that goes with it.......visits with old friends.......dreams of snow flurries......warm clothes when wind bites.....warm oatmeal cookies......people who believe in me.

photo from google images

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Onto the green.....

In everything give thanks........"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

As I walked outside this morning, I glimpsed one of those magic Arizona sunrises that I knew I had to capture. I got my camera and drove across the street to the golf course, where the golfer's church, their form of Sunday service I suppose, was just about to commence. The announcer's voice.....the morning lineup of who would tee off....

I thought, I could just about get used to this kind of service.

I don't know if God was with them, but He was certainly with me.

Thank you precious Lord, for giving me the eyes to see You.

And this.


Friday, November 18, 2011

The door of peace

 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

Every day we have a choice. Which door will I walk through? That of the Spirit or that of the world? In every circumstance a door of choice lays before us. Some people don't even realize a choice exists, they just react, and react badly. I have realized my own capacity to veer wildly off the path, leave the way of peace in the dust and choose to react the way the world does.

I am amazed and ashamed at my own capability for white hot rage, or resentment that sticks like a burr in my heart. One minute I am praying in the Spirit and in the next instant I am ready to lash out......At what someone does, or says. This is the human condition, and one Jesus knew well. It's one of the reasons He came. He knew we were hopeless and helpless without Him. Without His Spirit indwelling us, working through us and in us, we don't have a snowball's chance. (you know the rest)

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."

Friends, this is a battle. And thankfully it is a battle that Christ has already won. I don't have a chance of winning it on my own. Many times I still try. 

Today, moment by moment, choice by choice I can choose to lay down my weapons and walk peacefully through the door of the Spirit.

Come with me.

Pray for me and I will pray for you, okay? 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Free Gift

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8,9

News leaves me cold these days. We are, all of us, inundated with information.....most of it useless. How did we get to be a society, a people, so influenced by culture and what it says. I don't care about any of it so I scan over the headlines as quickly as I can. It makes me weary, nothing changes, only the faces of the latest celebrity of the minute, the hour, the week.  

I skim past them, glancing at headlines, stopping every now and again as I shiver at the violence, destruction, loss that is now part of our normal. At what shouldn't be, but is.

I stay just long enough to know what is going on in the world. And I am reminded of one thing:

 What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9

But faith is one thing that never gets old. It gets renewed again and again. Increases in power, with constant use. It is stretched but never can be broken beyond repair. It stays gleaming and shiny new as that moment when we first grabbed onto it. Whether it was out of desperation or hope as slim as a spider's was real.

The other day in a book I was reading one of the characters said, "I just can't believe, I don't have that gift of faith." That is when I remembered again what a gift it really is. To believe. To have faith in what we can't see.
It is something we could never do on our own.....for even the act of believing comes from God Himself. Otherwise we could never do it. But He holds it out to us each day. And I believe, I really believe that though He will never force it on us, He holds out hope that we will accept it.

And I don't believe it is too late until we take that last breath.

Thank you Father for such a wonderful gift. 

Need Blogger Expert!

My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth! Psalm 121:2

(And sometimes He uses people)

Does anyone know how to change template on blogger without a lot of hassle or know how? Despite the fact that I work in a technical field, this is by far not my expertise. I want a wider template that will allow me to display my pictures bigger rather than dinky size!

I am trying to avoid sitting in front of the computer all day running through tutorials! Any help would be appreciated.

Yes, I am being lazy.....

Much to do today :-)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Encouragement from a prison cell

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:9,10

The whole book of Ephesians reads like a prayer of Thanksgiving. Paul is writing from a prison cell, yet this book is enfused with so much joy and hope it is impossible to read it without your spirits lifting. No longer going from place to place putting out fires and encouraging the church, he has endless time in which to write about a future filled with hope in Christ.

It's all about knocking down the barriers that once separated us from God and each other. Jews and Gentiles, once the most segregated and divided of peoples, now are brought together as one in Christ Jesus......

"But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us." Ephesians 2: 13,14

Sometimes our circumstances can lead us to feel like we are in a prison cell of our own. And we see no end to it. My best friend sees no end to her caretaking responsibilities right now. She feels as if she has been robbed of her life. She told me yesterday all she keeps hearing is my Aunt's voice saying, "The caretakers end up dying"......and now it haunts her like a refrain she can't get rid of........The caretakers die......the caretakers die, the caretakers die. I do my best to comfort her, encourage her.

The truth is, the hope Paul holds out is real. Present circumstances are just that. They will not last forever. We must grab every scrap of joy we can, and yesterday we had a good day. With Christ, each day is enfused with hope. Without Him, we have no hope at all.

So I am thankful for the good moments we had yesterday, and looking forward to more today, holding each one up to the light and giving thanks to Our Father, who has given His Holy Spirit in generous measure, to do above all we can ask or think.

Going to see the movie Puss in Boots yesterday, it was truly delightful. I was surprised at the amount of adults in the theater without kids, and everyone was laughing. Sorting through old slides of camping days, I volunteered to do this for my Dad...such wonderful memories. Being able to gather with the Body of Believers yesterday, to remember what it all means and celebrate what Jesus did for us. Being able to take our neighbor, who turned 88 to lunch yesterday, and then gathering later for cake and enjoying some laughs. Being able to enjoy some rain, and getting back into my exercise routine.......#726-731

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Going Deep

Sometimes I wonder why I am content to wade.........and I wonder how my life would look if I dared to go deep with God. I have gone deep before so I know how it feels. When things are good and I feel like I have things under control I tend to stay in the shallows. I read my Bible and pray, but just enough......

Then when I get desperate, I submerge myself in Scripture........Prayer........Calling out to God.....fasting.....And of course, He is there. He always answers. The truth hits home, for when are we ever not desperate in this life?

When do we not need Him? I wonder how my life would look if I truly lived by the Spirit's leading. If I listened to that quiet voice when it beckoned more often. 

What is it that prevents me from walking that close, that intimate with my Heavenly Father?
I guess it really comes down to fear of where He might lead, what He might ask....So much so, that I forget all the blessing that He assures me would come with it.

Then I remember that was the first sin of Adam and Eve.......He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid. 

His love for the children of His creation led His steps to the Garden,

To the Cross.

He even went so far as to fill us with His Spirit so that we may never be without Him.

Shouldn't that be enough to convince me of His love? That where He leads I need never fear?
Yet sometimes I still fear. This life is full of it.

And still His Grace is with me, walking where I walk.

And someday, in that face to face place called Heaven we will walk again without fear in the Garden.

No separation, ever again.

The future is bright my friends.

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11

Friday, November 11, 2011

Always the Same

Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:7,8

God could have made every sunset and sunrise the same.....but He didn't. I wanted to show these one after the other to show how beautiful and how miraculous each one is all on its own. They never happen just the same way.....

I'm not sure what these little birds are, but they were very entertaining. They raced to the retreating waves to dig for sand crabs, then they would race to escape the waves when they came back in. Sometimes they would get caught and have to fly out of the way. They didn't like getting wet! A lazy seagull waited, watching them with interest. He tried to steal their spoil when he noticed they had something. Lazy guy.

This is the sunset I captured, racing breathless to the sea right before it sank beneath it's depths on the other side of the world on our last night there. As my lungs burned and I tried to catch my breath, I watched as another work of art was displayed before my eyes. It was like watching a prayer.....

And I got a bunch of these pelicans flying right above the surf looking for their breakfast......

Since the beginning of time, when God set it all in motion, these events have played on. Sometimes we are so mired in the circumstances of life and the stress that surrounds us that we don't notice, yet still they keep unfolding....just like God's grace.

It is encouraging to me that whatever happens in my life, Jesus always stays the same.

All photos taken in Moss Landing, California by me

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Art of Being

 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Ephesians 4:1-6

He held us captive, with his antics.

As he went through a whole routine of bathing and grooming, he seemed to know we were watching.

He even gave us a big smile for the camera......

Then he hid his eyes......

As we all watched, enthralled, I was struck by how a group of strangers became friends for the whole time he put on his show. We were unified in our adoration of his antics, his free spirit.

The simple beauty of watching one of His creations just being him (or her) self.

At peace in his world.

And for awhile, we were at peace in ours.

He gave us a gift, this little guy did.

I asked God, if I could keep it, that peaceful feeling I felt on the shore. He said, "Yes, there is plenty of peace where that came from just as long as you rest in me, child.
.........just rest in me.

So today I am taking a lesson from the otter, and rest in my place in Creation, just relax in the waves.

Just be.  

(click on pictures to make larger)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Multitude Mondays on the Road

I am posting my blessings on a Wednesday instead of Monday because I didn't want to miss an thank Him again for outshining the stresses with blesses.

As I lay awake after my arrival, my mind thousand thoughts converging......

colliding, worries tumbling over and over like a spin dryer.

Everything that comes with wanting to be everywhere at once when visiting family. The excitement of being there, and the sometimes extreme duress that came with traveling with someone extremely unpredictable, and with many special needs and challenges. It all swirled around.

My heart beating, my neck tense.....I prayed and let it all out to Him who listens best and can calm my heart when all else fails.

Still the blessings shine through the darkness. And many smiles were had and much laughter too. Now that I am home, I remember one after the other.

Being able to park the RV at my Aunt's place on the Mokelumne River, and it was a blessing to her too to have us there. A comfort to her since now she comes home in the dark, her husband spends his days and nights away in a rest home. She said over and over again how she enjoyed it....having us there.

Seeing my Mom's Bible study gals again.....their faith always shines through whatever they are dealing with, and there are many issues. But oh how we laughed and got a bit of study in too. Sometimes the fellowship is the most important part of the lesson.

Being able to spend time with Lauryn, my niece, my precious girl whose voice I still hear right now...saying my name which I waited so long for her to say. She has captured my heart with all the things she does......As I put scattered Lego's back in the bag, my heart tugged.....lurched for her and the fun we had. Leaving is so bittersweet.

Enjoying a walk downtown in the crisp fall weather......clicking with my camera and enjoying once again walking all the paths I used to walk.

And of course, being able to do some things for Mom and Dad who are so appreciative of every small thing I do. I only wish it could be more......enjoying great food cooked by my brother, who really missed his calling. He should have been a chef.

Throwing an impromptu party for the "girls" in the Motor home. Elaine cooked a wonderful dinner and we laughed until our stomachs ached. My Aunt came out later and said what a great time she had.....

And to top it off. A spontaneous side trip to the ocean. I promise, pictures will follow.............There was a special place she longed to go, my best friend.....but with her Mom along, there was not much peace or relaxation for her. Let's just say it was not a real vacation. Her dream of escaping there for a few days didn't work out, so she asked me......Want to take a side trip to the coast on the way back?

It would mean getting back with no time to spare for work. But suddenly the prospect of going there, standing on the pounding surf, was irresistible. And she beamed like the sun......We turned the "bus" to the West with our hearts singing.

And Oh, the seafood. The magic of the waves, walking for hours and hours on the beach, watching the sandpipers clown around the shore, and the otter who entertained us for a solid hour with his antics.

It was all so wonderful. There is truly nothing like praying by the ocean.

Getting to bed at midnight and getting up at four AM for work is something I have not done in a while. But the memories and bit of peace and relaxation we carried away is worth every bit of sleep lost.

Sleep can be caught up. Moments are for seizing,  and once passed we can't be sure they will come again.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Wow, I missed blogging!

I am still on the road......veered off the path back to the desert to visit the Pacific Ocean for two days. It was a spontaneous idea but one that was necessary. Traveling with challenges sometimes makes one do things that are off the beaten path a bit, but it will only set us back one day.

The ocean has always been a mirror to me, a picture of God's glory and power and magnificence. It always stops me in my tracks. I got some wonderful photos last night and froze.....but it was all worth it. I can brave the elements to stand next to the pounding surf....

I hope to blog again later......And thank you for all your prayers during this trip. They were much needed and appreciated. I am learning to count the miraculous moments, the gifts God has given us this trip. I hold them up to the light today, His light.

I am thankful we have kept our sanity thus far. It was touch and go many times. Elaine's Mom had taken two falls by the time we pulled up into my folk's driveway. She had also refused to stay with her brother, who lived 40 minutes away. She thought she was still in Arizona. In the end she did stay, and Elaine got a three day break before picking her up again.

The cross gets heavy at times, but we know His cross was heavier than anything we could begin to imagine. He will carry us through.....