“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
The night before I leave on a trip is such a challenging time for me. It seems to be true whether I am flying to Thailand for a two-week mission trip or packing the car for a week in a mountain cabin.
After all of the years of loving to travel, one would think I would have it down to a science.
I remember reading an article by Martha Stewart about the perfect way to pack. Her first class ticket included room for “only the essentials” which included, much to my amusement and jealousy, a beige cashmere pashmina. This one piece of clothing could transform like a magician from a fashionable scarf to a full-fledged blanket. Of course, I have been on the lookout for one every since. For some reason, they just don’t seem to carry them at Target or Costco.
I think the problem with “the night before” is that I lean toward perfectionism. I want to have everything I might need. Need is a strong word. I think the truth is… I want to have everything I might want. I mean really, who knows if I will be in the mood for spearmint or peppermint gum? What if a cold spell hits and I need a warmer sweater? Will it match the outfits I packed? I can make myself a little crazy with all of this.
So finally, at some point, and tonight, it is only 9:30 P.M., and I am drawing a line. No more! I will find it along the way, or (heaven forbid) I’ll do without! There, I feel freer already!
Driving down the lane
on a cold spring morning,
from a thick mug,
we are wrapped in winter’s clothing
grasped from the back
of the closet.
The yellow forsythia joins
the purple tulip tree
“Spring has come!”
We pass a creek bed
overflowing its banks.
The rains have made the water reach for more.
The world has captured our attention
and we are grateful.
I am sitting outside of McDonald’s on a rainy, cold Monday and I am as happy as can be. Strange, you might think. The fact is, I have had a wonderful morning and I’m taking a few minutes to breathe and plan the rest of my life, or at least, the rest of my day.
My youngest child opened this morning in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. She is simply awesome. I love her and am so proud of who she is. I’m rather proud of all of my children and of their spouses. There is no one in the world I’d rather be around than my family. That feels like success to me.
Truly, the colors and hues in this place seemed magical. I couldn’t take enough photos. Every few minutes, as the sun was setting. the colors danced and changed, much as partners in a dance. The pinks, blues, purples of the sky skimmed over the brightening greens, whites, and grays of the boats. I guess its good that a sunset ends in darkness, or I might still be standing on that pier.
I visited this mission last month while on a trip to California. I return there often, in spirit. A place of quietness, of history, it draws me back. The beauty it holds, holds me and reminds me of the peace that passes all understanding. It was 114 degrees that day and it still held peace and beauty and joy. That promises me hope. Joy in the midst of struggles. Peace in the pain.
What time is it, Lord?
Is it time to weep
Or time to rejoice?
Sometimes I get so confused.
I am trying to learn
(Both inside and outside of me)
It’s a little scary
To be honest.
Would you lead me
And guide me
And uphold me,
With Your righteous right hand?
And help me to hear
Your still, small voice?
Southern California surprised me. When I left Alabama, it was hot and humid with a only a promise of fall in the air. Arrival at the John Wayne Airport in Orange County was like being transported months ahead. The cool, crisp air awakened me. It felt like football games and bonfires and melty marshmallows on sticks. Thank you, Lord.
Do you ever feel that life is happening so fast that you just might miss that train after all?
One of my daughters married the love of her life two weeks ago. We left them (or rather they left us, because we waited until their plane took off) at the airport tonight, to fly across the country. I’m trying not to wait up for them, to get their call or their text letting me know they arrived safely and that all is well. Married people do not have to call their parents. …but maybe, just maybe….they will….So I will simply wait up a little longer, Who can sleep anyway?
How do children grow up anyway? I’m so proud of these two, though. They are dealing with some truly adult issues, and they are doing it all very well. Need a hint? One word – Afghanistan.
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. And the plans I have for you? Good plans, plans for your welfare and not for your defeat.” I’m beginning to suspect that all of us are in for a new swim in the depths of God’s love as He holds us and teaches us and most of all, loves us.
Blessed be Your Name in all of the earth!