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Archive for June, 2012

Maine

I have a new favorite place!  I used to dream of living in Minnesota where the wind sweeps across the plains and the snow piles in drifts of white fluff.  Where the sky is wide and the fires are warm, where the sod is black and rich and things that are planted fairly leap out of the soil in abundance.  (I’ve never been there, but I’ve read lots and my imagination tells me it would be like this.)

Rick and I just returned from Maine for the second time within a year and Maine in June is as near to heaven as I can imagine!  Even Maine is becoming touristy with the artsy little shops and quaint restaurants, but if you look hard enough you can find towns that do not cater to tourists, towns where people live their daily lives by working and shopping and visiting and going to church.  It’s these kinds of towns I love to visit.

It seems like anywhere you go in Maine you are not far from the water.  Not lakes like in the Midwest, but the ocean and islands and ships and reefs!  The sky is so blue it makes you nearly ache with the beauty of it!  And the breeze off of the water is cool even on the warmest days.  And, speaking of warm days, while the thermometer was hovering near 100 degrees at home, Maine was sporting gorgeous days in the mid-seventies!

Perhaps when I grow up I can have a summer home in Maine!  But then, I want to be there in the winter too!  I want to see the banks of snow and feel the biting wind on my cheeks.  I want to sit before a warm fire and see my breath when I step outside.  Oh!  And did you know that in Maine, every fire hydrant has a rod sticking up 4 or 5 feet above the top of the hydrant so the firemen can locate a hydrant in the winter and dig it out of the snow if it’s needed!  Yes, really!

It was a lovely week in Maine, and the weather put on a spectacular show for us.  It’s fun to dream, but then we come home.  Home, where the neighbors know us.  Home, where our little gardens wait for us.  Where we have made our nest and we sleep through the night and wake rested completely.  Home, where there’s work to be done and where we feel needed—not just needed, but where we belong.  And I sigh.  Yes, Maine was lovely and I can dream of living there, but when it comes right down to it there’s truly no place like home!

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Safe

Rick and I just got home from a week at the beach with all our children and grandchildren.  What an amazing gift that was!  Each hug, each kiss, even each time I felt a tiny hand reach out and grasp mine was a treasure this heart will cherish for many days to come.

Yesterday and today I’ve been sorting pictures and filing them all in the right files in my computer, and printing many to send to my mother and some to tuck into my picture chest also.  As I was looking at them, the memories flooded back.

One of the fun things about a vacation like that is that we have so many eyes watching the children.  But there was once when our youngest son and his wife were surfing in the ocean and all the rest of us were up on the beach, under the beach umbrella and/or digging/building in the sand.  Suddenly someone said, “Who’s watching Melanie?”  I looked around and she was nowhere around us.  I quickly looked toward where we’d last seen her parents to see if they’d taken her with them, and there she was—literally inches from the incoming whitecap wave, her parents headed the opposite direction oblivious to my terror.  I haven’t run so fast in many years and I snatched that tiny girl just in time for the wave to nearly knock me off of my feet.  I buried my face in her little neck and wept while she giggled and cuddled me—never realizing the escaped danger.

One evening Rick and I and one son and his wife went to a symphony concert, leaving all the children sleeping soundly (from sheer exhaustion) in their beds with our other son and his wife keeping watch.  All the children slept through the night, knowing they were safe and loved dearly.

As I think back over the week, I realize how very much we as believers can trust our Father’s care, just as those children trust us who love them.  Sometimes we flirt with danger—either knowingly or oblivious—as Melanie did as she walked toward the ocean, but when we belong to God, He watches over us and is always there to snatch us from the grip of the evil one.  Sometimes I wonder if there will be a day when He shows us a re-run of our lives, pointing out the many times He snatched us back at the very last moment.  There are times when we flirt with sin that He gently guides us back.  There are other times when He sits back to watch which direction we will choose—obedience or waywardness.  But through it all He is there for us any time we reach for His mighty hand, just as I want us to always be there for our grandchildren.

It was a wonderful week in many, many ways.  It made memories that we will never forget and will remind the tiny ones of through the years.  That time spent with family as well as any time they share with us is truly cherished time for us, but it is also valuable time for our grandchildren as they learn the depth of our love.  Do they feel secure in my love?

Does God feel that way about me?  When I meet with Him each morning, He is always there; always listening; always speaking to my heart.  Does He look forward to my coming to Him as much as I look forward to the time I can have with our grandchildren?  I truly believe He does, because every time I leave our sacred corner, I feel completely loved, completely accepted, completely safe and totally cherished.  And I always love a good hug!

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