Saturday, June 30, 2012

How to Not Forget a Trip

Here are some sure ways not to forget a trip to Colorado:

-Get sick with a 102 degree fever for 3 days and a migraine

-Miss half of your conference that you went there to go to because of being sick and then getting evacuated because of tragic wildfires
-Get ready with the family you're staying with to evacuate and wait out the evacuations for 2 days
-Miss your flight coming home

In the book "Go Girl," under 'Best Advice Ever,' the author writes, "Whatever happens, laugh about it. Laughing is the best kept secret of a successful trip."

It sounds like the above trip might not be enjoyable, but it actually was. Eventful and valuable to learn a lot about myself, others, and God. Moments that pull you out of your comfort zone are like that. The trip might have been way different than I expected, but it taught me that surprises along the way can show you things you might not have otherwise seen. I went to Colorado for several reasons, but as far as exploring and really seeing something, I hoped to get an up close and personal look at the mountains again, for I have been missing mountains since I fell in love with them several years ago.

Although I wasn't able to do much with the mountains while I was there, it didn't bother me. When I started feeling better, it seemed I would be able to do a little more, but the wildfires started and became extremely dangerous to many in the area. So much happened that changed the course of the trip that it became natural to spend time with people rather than sightsee. Looking back, I'm thankful I got to connect so much with friends I hadn't seen in years, and in an odd way, the trip forced me to relax and slow down a little.

The slower pace was what I needed for the moment.  My idea of doing this or doing that faded into the background as I saw people who were just trying to stay safe and were wondering if their homes had made it through each day that the fires continued.

While my trip was more of an awakening and revamping my mindset toward how adventure can look a lot of different ways, I think I would still love to go back to Colorado someday. It's beautiful, the people are great, and I pray that the area will be able to recover from everything that is going on currently.

What became more unexpected than the circumstances of the trip was what I came back with: a connection to Colorado that in many ways was fueled by a feeling of going back to the basics and recognizing need: my own, others, a swarm of people I've never met. It was the kind of vacation you don't need souveniers to remember. A picture is worth a thousand key chains.



                                        Note: The flames look like the sunset, but it's the fire.

Linking up with Prodigal Magazine for their series on travel stories.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Path

"The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself." -Mark Twain

Today I'm linking up for five minutes on the word path with some other lovely ladies at the site of someone who inspires me. Join in or come along for the ride.
***

At the end of middle school/beginning of high school, I took part in a program called H.A.P.P.Y. Looking beyond the name itself, it was a group of students who consistently made themselves about coming up with positive ways to impact the younger grades who would come after them. We were about promoting alternatives to living a life of addiction, falling into habits like substance abuse, and the like. It seemed heavy handed for 13/14 year olds to be the ones to be passionate about changing the views about this kind of stuff, but really, who better to relate than those who have walked those steps of peer pressure too?

It's kind of strange because as you get older, at least for me, you begin to realize that when you were young like that, there was still a lot of growing up to do, a lot of messing up, a lot of learning left. And I know I still haven't fully arrived yet. But I'm thankful that my 13-year-old self didn't get a memo that I was too young to start someplace. That I was too young to be passionate about the things that interested me, and also to start to connect to others at a young age.

Youth have minds, hearts and dreams that can go in so many directions. Encouragement and exposure to positive things can go a long way. Is there a youth in your life who could use a caring word or you could invite to be part of a positive experience?


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sing Along

"What seem our worst prayers may really be, in God's eyes, our best. Those, I mean, which are least supported by devotional feeling. For these may come from a deeper level than feeling. God soemtimes seems to speak to us most intimately when he catches us, as it were, off our guard."
-C.S. Lewis

How often do you let yourself get caught "off guard?"

I think it's too easy in our gotta-have-it-all-together world to let ourselves get caught off guard. I know sometimes it is for me. It's easy to me to catch myself off guard, but to let others catch me off guard, or even more, to allow God to show up in ways I'm not used to - well, when it happens, it generally surprises me. I think this teaches me to continue to step out in faith, how to expose the areas where I just want to stay comfortable.

Over and over again this week, God has brought song to my mind through hearing it on the radio almost every day in the car. It's not a new song but it's one of my favorite songs and almost without fail it brings to my attention something the Lord taught me long ago and continues to teach me: Remember. The hope you have in Me. How far I've brought you. That there's nothing I can't do. Remember your own song I've given you. Sing it. Keep singing it.
"Just to know that You are near is enough

God of heaven come down, heaven come down..

All things new
I can start again

Creator, God
calling me your friend

I will sing a song of hope
Sing along"


-Song of Hope, Robbie Seay Band

Like me, do you have places that you could be more open to if you leaned into the areas God may be catching you "off your guard?"


Monday, June 4, 2012

Multitudes on Monday: 95-103



95. ~It is safe to trust~ I can trust He knows what He is doing.
As Ann says in 1000 Gifts,
"it's all Christ. Every moment, every event, every happening. It's all in Christ and in Christ we are always safe and..
how will he not also?"

It is safe to trust Him.

96. The joy in the ride.

97. God working out the pieces of an upcoming trip.

98. The gift of the difficult.

99. Old friends who know you in and out...talking through the miles.

100. My mom's encouragement through how we relate with work stuff.

101. The reminder of the gift of pain - the ugly beautiful-ness of pain and what it teaches ~re-reading C.S. Lewis' The Problem of Pain.

102. The beginning of summer sun and pool days.

103. God reminding of me of my need to give thanks.

Friday, June 1, 2012

See: The stars hiding in the clouds

Linking up with The Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday on the word SEE.< Writing - Not perfect. Unhinged. Plenty of space to breathe. >

"You light, light, light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me that you are with me...

You've opened my eyes.
When stars are hiding in the clouds
I don't feel them shining
When I can't see beyond my doubt
The silver lining
When I've almost reached the end
Like a flood you're rushing in
Your love is rushing in"

"Light Up The Sky," The Afters

It helps me to see that You are in all things, that you are moving in places that seem standing still. It helps me to bring thanks into the picture even here, even not here too when I forget to write it down, and that you love me no matter what. You love me on my best day and You love me on my worst day, and you are the God who sees me even when I don't always see. 

I'm so thankful that
my worst day when I know God is better than a best day without knowing Him (stealing that from a friend's quote on facebook - so good and true).

I'm so amazed at how loved I am and how I'm reminded of this in even those little corners of my world that often seem like they would be hidden from God's sight . . .
when stars are hiding in the clouds.

***There is so much light where You are. So much I still want and need to see. God may I open my eyes to see You.***