Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Swiss Birthday Celebration

Today is Dave's 59th birthday!

These pictures were taken just yesterday in Switzerland, where he took Claire and a friend to hike in the Alps over the week-end.

It's been a dream of Claire's for several years to do a backpacking trip in the area above Lauterbrunnen, and after a year on the calendar, that dream came true, despite all the restrictions across Europe. Thankfully Switzerland's borders were still open so they were able to go.

I've only seen a few pictures so far, but from what I've seen, it was quite an epic hike!

They spent three nights in huts throughout this part of the Alps, soaking in God's magnificent design in this part of the world.

On this 59th birthday, three things come to mind that I love about Dave, represented in this hiking trip.

He loves his family and consistently invests time and energy into those relationships that mean so much to him.

He is an adventurer at heart and is always up for another one, especially if it involves being with people he loves!

And finally...Dave has deep faith in our big God, and being in Switzerland is one of his happiest places to be as it reminds him moment by moment while hiking, of just how great and awesome God is!

Happy Birthday dearest Dave!! I celebrate you with all my heart today! ❤️

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Here and Now

Although fall is right around the corner, I'm still thinking about the summer today.

It's been a month since I last posted, which is unusual for me. I do hope to go back and capture some of the days of this extraordinary season, but for now want to reflect a bit.

Why do I call it extraordinary?

I have experienced relationship with the Lord -- Father, Son and Spirit -- in the most tender, meaningful, and present kind of way. It's been rich, personal, joyful, as well as gut wrenching (as he's led me to confront my own sin), hard, but liberating! I feel so deeply cleansed having walked a road of obedience to whatever He has asked of me in the past six months.

This journey started in March, when I developed some pain in different areas of my body. After getting fully checked out medically and finding nothing, I went down the road of pressing in more than ever to listen and be with the Lord.

It took time; it took discipline. It's so much easier to just keep going, to keep busy. But the pain was relentless and in His grace for me, gave little choice but to stop. And in the stopping, I found stillness. With the Lord. In a way I'd never known before.

When I look back over these six months, and in particular the past month, as I've pressed in to being present in the here and now with Him more than I ever have, I am kind of at a loss for words about the preciousness of it. I have so deeply treasured and valued God's love for me as He relentlessly pursued me, taking us to new places in our relationship.

Being a person who enjoys productivity and results, it's been a humbling experience to be led to set those things aside and just "be".

Sometimes the being was with just Him; sometimes the being was with family and friends. Other times the being was just in quiet, with only the sounds of the surroundings next to me.

But in all of it, I found deep, deep peace and joy, rest and love in the "being". He likes being with me, and wants more of that (and I know for sure that He likes being with you too!)

To be honest though, it's a little hard to know where to go from here.

I am free of the pain now (for which I'm so grateful to the Lord) so can physically "get up and walk". But I don't want to just go back to walking (limping?!) in old ways. I want to walk in the kind of intimacy I've experienced with Him these past six months.

To be super honest, this new place He's led me to has some implications that make blogging a little difficult.  And I'm still trying to discern what His way forward is for me in this.

Being present in the here and now with Him, and with others, means that I have to set aside some of my "future" thinking which is where my blogging brain has been over the past 14 years. There has always been a part of me that is thinking forward to what I might write about, rather than just being in the present.

If you've read this far, you're probably one of my regular blog readers (or family!). Thank you for being patient with me, and going on this journey with me. I have loved blogging all these years, and I think there are still more posts ahead. But it might look different going forward. I really don't know.

I'm praying and listening for how to live present, in the here and now, and still blog!

I know I'll do a bit of "catch up", because there are special memories I want to capture of the past month. And then we'll see what comes next.

For now, Psalm 16:11 best captures my expectation and hope for the future: "You will make known to me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures forever."

This is my hope for here and now with the Lord, as I seek to walk more closely with Him in his presence.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Turn of Season

After a gigantic lightening, thunder, rain and wind storm last night, this morning was complete gloriousness!

It was as if everything had been washed (which it literally had!) and now every little detail around you came into focus.

Claire and I took a walk this morning just to enjoy the beauty of a town "made new" by the washing of the rain last night.

A picture can hardly capture the crispness of the air, the brightness of the sun, nor the warmth of fall sun that is now here instead of its summer self.

It's so crazy how the season can change in a matter of just hours, overnight really!

There was a coolness to the air now, thought it was still warm on your skin because of the sun's warm rays.

I've only been here one other time when there was a season shift like this. It's so cool to experience it like that!

Claire and I just wandered through the little village, and sat overlooking the vineyards, olive orchards and sea, soaking in God's glorious creation in all of it's changing of clothes!

And then slowly meandered back to the house where Claire then finished up her first oil painting this morning!

Isn't that gorgeous? It's from a picture taken in the village, near the spot we just walked to today!

You can see the seat cushions from the terrace table chairs, hung up to dry on the railing. Oops! Forgot to bring them in last night before the downpour. Good thing they're meant to get wet, and could survive the "turn of season" storm last night.