The intention of this blog is just to share with you the way God works in my everyday life. I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

There's No Place Like Home

So much seems to have happened since my last post. First of all, we went to Gatlinburg, but cut our trip really short-not that it was all that long to begin with. We were due to leave on a Sunday morning, then return on Thursday. We really love it there. We love the variety of things to see, but mostly, we love the scenery. I guess the other times that we've been there have not been the busy season. As you can imagine, going in October certainly is the busy season. George and I neither one are much on crowds, so this was an automatic turn off for us.

The crowds that we've faced on previous trips paled in comparisson to this time. We couldn't even stroll side-by-side holding hands window shopping and smiling at the people passing. It was more like dodging here and there and bouncing back and forth from the right side of the sidewalk to the left and trying to keep an eye on whichever of us was in front. I know that I constantly reminded myself what color shirt George had on so I could pick him out if we got separated.

Our hotel was the goddiest thing I'd ever seen! It was clean as a pen, but the decorations were definitely lacking style and flow. Our favorite part of the room was the wrap around balcony. I would sit out there of a morning and do my devotion with a cup of coffee in tow.

The highlights were the trip up the mountain on the skylift. We enjoyed getting to look out over the town. We also enjoyed the food of course. We ate breakfast at Flapjacks, and it was just our style. The other highlight was driving through the Smokies. We didn't make it to Cades Cove this trip, but we drove up the mountain and stopped at several pull-offs to admire the foliage. The colors weren't as vibriant until we got to a higher elevation. We were constatnly saying to one another, "Oh, look!" It was definitely a revelation from God. Only beauty like that could be designed by His hand.

It was Tuesday when we drove up there. We got back into town around 1pm. We decided to eat and look around some more. We walked forever and ever. By the time we got back to the hotel, we were worn out. We had pretty much decided that we were going to cut our trip short and leave in the morning. As I began to pack up what we wouldn't be needing to get ready with in the morning, George went out to sit on the balcony. While I placed each item in the suitcases, I kept thinking over and over how I wished we could just go ahead and leave. I went out to sit with George, and eventually shared how I felt. That wonderful man of mine replied with, "I'm fine to drive!" I literally jumped up and down. I am not kidding you, within 30 minutes we were in the truck heading out.

When we got home, I believe at 10:30pm, our animals were thrilled to see us. It was of course dark, but we could see the white on their chests as they stood at the top of the steps to greet us. Plus we could hear our dog's tail swatting back and forth. Home never felt so good. You know how when you were a kid and you got sick at school, all you could think about is your mom coming to get you. Once you got home, you automatically felt some better, just to have your own bathroom, your couch and your pjs. We had only been homesick, but boy were we relieved to have our bathroom, our bed and our babies-Scotty and Scarlett.

I have almost made it up in my mind to just stay home until the Lord calls me home to my permanent residence. I don't think I care if I ever leave again. Of course there are some places I'd like to see, but surely with technology being what it is, I could take a virtual vacation from the privacy of my own home? Or, maybe by the time George retires, they'll have made real transporters like the ones on Star Trek. If I taught my very intelligent, Border-Colley mix how to operate it, then I could genuinely say, "Beam me up, Scotty." Wouldn't that be nice?

I have told George that we just need to stay home the next few years and save back the money that we would've spent on a vacation and eventually buy a camper or RV. I don't know how willing Scotty would be to travel with us, he's pretty partial to the head of this holler like his momma and daddy, but I'm sure Scarlett would be content to go with us-as long as she had a window seat and plenty of food. I guess we are her home, more than this actual place.

Anyway, we've been back a few weeks now. I love it here. About an hour ago, I walked up the holler a little ways to check the cattle's hay, and I just felt like I was in the most beautiful spot on earth. There are no mountains or sandy beaches, but there are foothills and creeks, cows bawlin and dogs barkin. Scarlett brings us the occasional present in the form of a ground mole or chipmunk to reassure us she's earnin her keep. Scotty's tail sweeps across the porch when he sees us, I know he's tryin to help me out by cuttin my workload down. I have a good-hearted father-in-law not to far from my front door who would protect me if need be, or feed me if I was outta food, or provide warmth in the form of a wood stove if my electric was to go out in the winter.

I'm tellin ya, when you are as blessed as all this, how could your heart long for anything other than home. The only home that could top this one is the one that is being prepared for me just inside the pearly gates. It is a home not made with hands, where there's always Sonshine.

It's so good to be home.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Time Marches On

Tomorrow will make one week since my 32nd birthday. Sometimes I think, "that couldn't be right. Surely I am still in my early twenties." Then there are times that I feel....I don't want to say old because that isn't what I mean. I guess I am an old soul, so there are times when I feel like I have already lived a very full life. I don't necessarily think that I am wise, although I pray for wisdom quite regularly. I do think that the Lord has shown me a great deal in a short amount of time. Oh I pray that I learn of Him daily! I want each moment of my life to be worth it. I want it all to count as gain for Christ. There are sometimes when I get so frustrated because I can't learn it any faster. I want to know all about my Savior and all that He is. I wish you could just absorb the Bible and have its contents and their undesputable meanings tatooed on your heart and mind. I know that one day, this will be a reality. When I am no longer counting birthdays and in the presence of Almighty God, I will finally "get it." Until then, I guess I just have to keep pursuing Him. Isn't He awesome! Thank You Father for another year of life and this beautiful season to celebrate it in!

On my actual birthday, the 5 of us (Dad, Mom, George, Chase and I) spent the morning together. It was wonderful. We got up early (my choice-cause who wants to sleep in when you can make your birthday that much longer!) and went to Bob Evans for breakfast. That in and of itself was great, but then we went for a walk. We all love God's creation and love to admire and take it all in. So, usually in the Fall we will go for a long walk and just praise the Lord for beauty that we can hardly fathom. The leaves still haven't turned a lot yet, but I still wanted to go walking that day. It was pretty chilly when we started out. That was perfect for me. I love a chilly morning when you cherish a steaming cup of coffee and an old, ragged flannel shirt.

We decided that instead of walking around here (Beyond Blessed Farm) we would head out to the farm that we are currently leasing (we nicknamed Beyond Blessed West). My parents hadn't had a chance to see it yet, so what better opportunity could we have!? We parked the truck and headed out. This is the first Fall Walk that Chase has been able to go on with us. It usually happens that we go on a weekend when he's with his mom. It was so fun having him there! He is a laugh a minute!

I have no idea how far we walked, but if I was guessing, I would think 3 miles? That may be way off, but that's what it felt like. I got to see some parts of the farm that I hadn't see yet. One of my favorite places is an old house seat. I had only been into it one way before then. George was right when he said it feels like you are stepping back in time. The house is long gone, but there are remnants of a cellar or smoke house. There is also a natural spring, and up on the hill a barn that is still pretty well in tact. Anyway, when we went to leave, George took us out what would've been the road to the house. I was wondering how they got down in there from the way he'd previously taken me. It was a pretty good stretch of road. I love where I live and the close proximity to town-especially when you are craving a Hershey bar or DQ Blizzard-but I think it would be so neat to live down in that little hideaway. The thought brings all sorts of things to my imagination. I would love to be nestled away in some hidden spot where the only sounds you heard on a regular basis were the birds singing and the frogs croaking. I hear little more than that now, so I shouldn't complain.

When we got home, we were all ready for a nap, but we decided to do the next best thing and have some lunch. George grilled hamburgers and we chowed down. We also watched a little of the KY football game. All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better birthday. There is only one birthday that tops it, and that is the one I had during my honeymoon seven years ago. George and I took a train ride through some old coal camps. That one is hard to top, in my book.

In a few days, we will be heading to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. One of my favorite places on the earth, not that I've been a lot of places. George and I went there for the first time last year, and feel in love. (For George I think it was the fact that there is a Bass Pro Shops in nearby Sevierville.) We were in love with the down-home country atmosphere, the acknowledgement of God, and the beauty in the landscape. That place was meant for clean, family fun. All of the shows that we saw were nice, and some even directly honored the Lord. I felt at home there. Not in a want to make my permanent home there sorta way, but in a want to make my permanent vacation spot kinda way. We were so swept away by it, that we went back four months later for a couple more nights. I guess we decided that we would try our best to make it there once a year.

During our December visit, we went to Cades Cove. Wonderful. It is so hard to describe my feelings regarding that little loop in the Great Smokey Mountains. There are old homesteads, churches, barns and a mill. I think there are three churches in total. Now, I think what matters is that you ask Jesus into your heart to forgive you of your sins and be your Lord and Savior. But, I do have a fascination with two of these little churches because of their denomination. One of them is a Primitive Baptist Church. My husband was raised in a Primitive Baptist Church, and that is part of his heritage. His mother passed away 4 years ago, and some of his fondest memories of her are when she would sing in church with his Uncle Davey.

A second one of them is a Missionary Baptist Church. That is special to me because that is the denomination I have a membership with now. I wasn't raised in that church, but I know that is where I belong, currently. I have grown so much closer with the Lord since attending there, and a lot of that has to do with resources that we are provided. I have also met many special friends there. There are some kind-hearted, God-fearing saints that I get to worship with weekly, and for that I am thankful. That is why that little church is a treasure to me, because of what my own church family means.

I am looking forward to going to Cades Cove again. For one thing it was the windiest day you could imagine when we were there last time. I'm talking umbrella turnin inside out kinda wind. I am a very determined person, so I didn't really let that spoil my good time, but I do think I would enjoy it a little better without the sound of trees poping all around me, and hearing that rangers were cutting trees out of the road in certain areas. Plus, a little Sonshine never hurt anybody.

George has also promised me that we could go to the Outlet Mall this time. It isn't that he didn't want me to go before, I just never mentioned it. Afterall, it is his vacation too, and I didn't want to subject him to shopping, well at least at somewhere other than Bass Pro or Knife Works. I am planning on taking him some huntin and fishin magazines, or buying some prior to going to the mall so he'll have something to do. Otherwise, he'd follow right on my heels, and make the trip a little rushed. Do you think guys do that on purpose? Anyway, he knows how I feel, cause I've told him this before, so I'm not talkin behind his back. ~On a side note, this reminds me of a time when Chase was little and we went clothes shopping. They were following so close to me that at one point I stopped and Chase's face slammed against my butt.~

Well, I am looking forward to vacation, but I am not necessarily wanting to get away. While sitting at a traffic light in town this morning (and we have less than 10 in this huge metropolis) I was talking to the Lord. If you ever pass me on the road and you see my mouth moving, but no one else in there with me, I have not lost my marbles, I am either singing or talkin with the Lord. It is the perfect time to do this, for various reasons. 1. You are alone. 2. The way people drive you want to stay in close contact with the Lord so you don't forget who you are and lose your witness in a moment of temptaion. 3. The way people drive, your life is literally in harms way at any given time you are on the road.

I am going off on a lot of tangents in this post. This is no reflection of how I drive. Just sayin. Anyway, the Lord and I were talking and I told Him, "I love my life God. I am very happy. Is that good God? Should that scare me? Aren't trials what bring us closer to You? Why am I happy, while there are others facing many trials? Am I where I'm supposed to be?" I'm tellin you, I have never had such peace in my life like I have now. Does turning 32 have anything to do with that? I don't think so. I do think that turning 26 1/2 does, however. Maybe that's why I don't feel 32, cause my life only began when it began in Jesus. And, maybe that's why I feel mature. Regardless of what happens, I want to be content (paraphrase of Paul). I love my Lord, and He showers me with blessings every moment of my life. Thank You, God!