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Thursday, August 7, 2014

I was just headed home...

     Today was one of those days so I've decided to tell you it's story. I believe it is worth the telling and the remembering.
      I really wanted to show you the story of this day with pictures, but instead, I'm gonna have to put on my big girl pants and use my words so you are going to have to use your imagination.
     "Where you lead I will follow. Anywhere, that you you tell me to. When you need, you need me to be with you, I will follow where you lead."
     These words are from a song by Carol King, but today, I sang them to Jesus.

     I was just headed home...
     "You should drive up to Rock Creek Lake. It's really beautiful today."
     I pass Tom's place restaurant and slow the truck. Hmmm...
     I make the turn.
     20 minutes later I sit in a line of traffic behind the flag man.
     The road is torn up. It's bumpy and dusty and I am irritated. "Really...and why am I here?"

     I pull into "Pie in the Sky" restaurant, let out a big sigh of frustration, and park.
     "Go inside and get a piece of pie."
     I need a bathroom.
     But I go inside and a lady is fussing about the pie menu. She wants peach. It's written right there, she says and points. It's barely 10 oclock. Why is peach crossed out?
     A couple behind me complain. I am not the only one who doesn't like the road work.      
     So I go outside to the bathroom, do my business, and head to the car. I am dreading the drive back down the dusty construction road.

     "Go inside and get a piece of pie. Take it down to the lake."

     So I sigh, give in, and stand at the counter. Behind the fussy lady. She is still talking about the peach pie.
     The young man behind it, trying to be kind, walks away and comes back. Yeah, I checked with the pie guy, he said. No more Peach.
     I don't really like any of the pie choices either. I step up. Rhubarb or Banana Cream, I ask?
     Rhubarb. He answers without hesitation.
     I order a piece.

     20 minutes and $7.50 later I get back in the truck with my pie in the sack and know in heart that I feel just as fussy as the lady who wanted Peach, and I drive to the lake.

     I get out of the car carrying my sack of pie and my phone and my keys.
     I catch a sight of the lake and I sigh. It is beautiful.
     There is a place in the sun right at the waters edge and so I go and I sit and I open my sack.
     "Put your feet in."
     And so I do. And I take a bite.
     It might be the best pie I ever tasted.
     (Here is a picture of my feet in water with a half eaten piece of pie in my lap and a lake glistening like diamonds in the sun.)

     I eat most of the pie and flutter my feet back and forth in the water.
     I lean back, hold my face in the sun, realize I feel good and know this a good and beautiful thing. A God designed thing.

     "Walk with me."

     And so I do.

          (Here is a postcard picture of the fly fishermen i run into, five of them, thigh deep and arranged perfectly in a geometric pattern in the water by the big rock.)

     It stops me and I take a deep breath.

     I walk for an hour and it is beautiful and I take lots of pictures.
     I am happy and have forgotten about being disappointed. About being discouraged.
     Thank you Lord.

     I get back in the car and I am the first one at the flagger with the stop sign.
     I don't even care and I smile. His beard is long like the Duck Dynasty guys and his smile is just as genuine.
     Thank you Lord.

     "Stop at the campground."

     I choose the lower rather than the upper campground and park near the lodge. The wildflowers are in crazy bloom. Purple like I have never seen. Long grass in shades of green I can't even describe grow around the trees with the light... oh the light. Just so...
     And the loud and foamy and dancing. I close my eyes and listen.
     And then I walk.
     And I see and I snap...

     "Get off the path. Go down by the waters edge."
     Really? I look down at my rubber flip flops and too long sweat pants already wet around the bottom. And my foot hurts. I was headed home.

     "You want adventure. So go down to waters edge."
     For the next two hours I am off the beaten path. Following a most beautiful creek ducking under branches, climbing over slippery rocks, holding onto tree trunks as I step around and see the most beautiful light and beautiful things and I am smiling.

     "Does your foot hurt?"
     No. It doesn't hurt at all.

     I am happy, on a great adventure surrounded by glory. The water is so clear. A huge trout nips and plays chase with little ones. The colors of the creek water go from white to turquoise blue to every shade of green you can imagine and the long green grass has so many shades and the wildflowers and...I pull my Maui Jim sunglasses off my eyes just to make sure...and... I am awestruck.

          (I have no words for what these photos looked liked. Just picture the most beautiful creek and grasses that you can imagine)

     When I take my next steps in the thigh high grass, the water suddenly hits the middle of my calf and my foot comes out of the sticky mud without a sandal. I hear a swooshing sound and I laugh.
          (Here is picture of my legs in the deep grass, my foot coming up naked, and my hand holding so tight to my phone that I have a cramp. I'm so worried I'm going to drop it.) But I laugh again.

     "You want adventure."

     Yes, I do. And I smile. But I'm not sure how far I've walked and going forward from here means I might have to wade in waist deep water across the creek. I would be soaked. And so...I turn around.

     I get back to the car and eat the rest of the pie. It's almost three-thirty and I'm hungry.

     When I get home I eat and sit down with my phone. I can't wait to see the pictures.
     There are no pictures.

     I spend the next three hours in Bishop at the AT&T store.
     My device storage is full although my camera is set to copy to my SD card which holds all my photos and has 3.11 GB of memory left. He is baffled. I am about to cry.

     I go home with no pictures. No pictures of my amazing God day.

     What I realize as I wrestled around with this is that my day was not about the pictures. It is about God. Who He is. What He does. How He speaks to me. Do I want to show you what He showed me today? Yes. because it was glorious, but I can't. Does that change what God did for me today and what He showed me? No. It does not.

     I was just headed home.

     But God had a different plan.
     Thank you Lord...  

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What a mess!

Why are you sitting here like this? How did you get to be such a mess.  What is wrong, child? 
I look up. Really? This is how you're going to start our conversation?
How else would you expect me to start it?
I look at him and then look down. I could use a hug.
So he gives me one.
And I'd like it if you'd just sit with me for a while and hold my hand. I love it when you hold my hand.
So He does.
Now. He finally says. I'll ask you again.  Why do you sit here like this?
I let out a long hard sigh. I'm just so weary.  I tell him. I have no "good fight" left in me.  I'm really discouraged. It is just too hard.
Okay. If that's really how you feel, then now what? You gonna sit here underneath all this hard stuff and... wallow? Just roll around in these shadows some more until you get really covered with them and they get really heavy? Think that's the answer? 
I ponder this.
If that's the case, you might as well just open up the door and let him in now.
I give God a hard look.
He's right outside. He points. Prowling around, struttin' his stuff. Roaring. He thinks you're lookin' pretty good right now too. You're kinda right where he wants you. He can't wait to get in here.
But I belong to you, I say with just a hint of sarcasm.  You never leave me and Jesus already saved me.
All of that is also true. But that Lion... God points right outside the door. He gets to try. That's just the way it is. And you are ripe for picking now. He pulls me close and whispers.  But when you walk in my joy. My joy that is your strength, his goal, (to steal and destroy and lie),  becomes much harder to do so he just moves on. When your heart is full of praise and you are full of Faith most times, he'll just walk on by. He pauses, but days like this...well...He nods his head toward the door, he waits.
I grip His hand a little tighter.
He pats it. I'll sit  here with you for a little while longer, but then I'm going to step away because you know the truth. You know it is in my strength that you will get to your feet and leave this dreary place. It is in my power that you will walk right past that roaring lion and sing my Praise.
I take a long slow breath.
You know what I have told you and you must remember the things I've shown you. You can fight the good fight. You will. He lets go of my hand and stands.
Put on my armor before you open this door, and when you're ready, plant your feet firmly on the solid rock of my truth and step out in Faith full of my word.
You are my Beloved! Now stand up. Put some Praise on your lips! I know you can.
He smiles and opens the door. There is great adventure ahead for you precious daughter. And don't you ever doubt that again! He blows me a kiss as he walks away and I watch from the window as the lion bows at his feet.
I put my hand on the door knob and take another deep breath. The joy of the Lord is my strength. I say it again. Louder. The joy of the Lord is my strength and I open the door .  I can do all things through Christ Jesus. The lion hears me and looks up. I take a step. So does the lion.  I can do all things through Christ Jesus!
And when I pass him...
I am singing worship and I smile and pat his head.