Some Quiet

Today, my family & I walked through the St Francis cathedral in Santa Fe NM. This church was established in 1610 & it was extremely beautiful with a southwest motif. For me, I could linger in the likes of these places for the stillness, quiet & serenity. It’s a contrast to the last 2weeks road trip with my family in a minivan for more than 5,000 that my husband has driven. While this vacation has been very diverse & scenic, sometimes a person needs some stillness in the soul for the feet to find some solid ground.
Be sure this weekend to carve in some quiet & still. For me, I find this helpful so that I can walk with the Holy Spirit better 🙂

Road Trip Lessons

For two years in a row, we’ve taken road trips for our vacations, each two weeks long. On our first trip, we went to Washington DC & our second trip is to the West Coast, ala Oregon & California. My husband, the penultimate saint, has done the bulk of the driving for both trips, so maybe I provide some comic relief & moral support. But think about it in terms of family bonding, since there’s no wifi nor DVD player in the car. Mostly, we’re doing pretty well & our three teenagers can say they’ve driven across America.
For me, I think that life is a long road trip, a journey with God with unexpected twists, ups, downs, sometimes tiring & sometimes joyful.
So here are a few thoughts about my road trip with God & maybe they’ll have some tread in your life:

  • Focusing in the car is important , but don’t neglect to look out the windows bc God has a big world around us!
  • Listen & don’t just watch – listen in the car but also listen in your heart as God has some amazing whispers & company to keep with you!
  • Traveling companions are helpful because you see & experience things in different ways than just by yourself.
  • Keep going. Life has struggles, dark times, hot seasons, smelly moments & glorious discoveries.

Breathing Room

Ever ridden in a crowded car, train or plane & felt squashed? I’ve had plenty of experiences where there’s been virtually no personal space & that can be very unnerving. For two weeks, my family & I are driving to the West Coast & back home to Denver. Consequently, breathing room can be a challenge – think three teenagers in a mini-van with two parents, luggage, cooler for food & no wifi 🙂
This morning, I got up early to have some quiet & solitude, personal time with God. Consequently, I feel more human & less prickly, which is good for everyone. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, regularly spending personal time with God is good for the spirit, emotions, thought life, relationships & mindset. Time with God breathes life into our existence!

When Plans Change

Yesterday, the transmission in our rental van broke causing us to adjust our plans for an entire day of our family vacation. My husband was a major champion working with the rental company to get a replacement van & this was no small task. In the meantime, the kids took some time to relax, do a bit of school reading & we caught a movie at the local theatre. For me, I had the immense pleasure of catching up with a friend from high school. We talking deeply about the Bible & God’s work in our lives.
If we give our lives to Jesus, then it’s essential to hold loosely to our plans & goals, so that we can have some adventures that are led by the Holy Spirit & not just our human agendas & strategies. God’s surprises far exceed our best plans!
This is a picture from an incredible waterfall in Yellowstone, as well as a strolling bison 🙂

No Reception :)

Have you ever been frustrated when you can’t get reception for your cell phone? Yesterday, my family & I were driving through Yellowstone WY for our family vacation & there was zero cell reception for probably more than 6hours. For a little bit, it was frustrating but the longer I went without cell phone usage, the more I liked it. Maybe these observations could be helpful to you when you think about connecting with God:

  • Not getting what we want isn’t always a bad thing
  • Distractions like phones, tend to interrupt our attention to being present in each moment
  • With the Holy Spirit, we have perpetual reception because the Holy Spirit is always with us!
  • Having a break from continual communication is probably more healthy than we often realize

Planning and Non-Planners

My husband is really good at planning all kinds of stuff.  Currently, he’s planning our family vacation, a roadtrip from Denver to Washington DC to sightsee and explore our nation’s capital.  I deeply appreciate his skill in planning and there have been innumerable occasions where his planning abilities have bailed me out, thank ya Jesus!

On the other side of planning is non-planning, or maybe the euphemism is spontaneity.  This can be a fun way to do life, but risky to be sure.  Whether you’re a planner or non-planner type person, let’s be sure that we are endeavoring to follow the Holy Spirit, full stop.  Sometimes in our planning we can get so locked into the plan, that we shut out any guidance or direction from the Holy Spirit along the way.  On the other side, the lack of planning can leave us in a place where we can’t follow the Holy Spirit, due to a lack of resources, time, energy or ability.

For the people who are planners, be careful to allow the flexibility in your plans to make adjustments should the Holy Spirit lead in a different direction.  For the people who are non-planners, be careful to keep yourself with the resources where you can follow the Holy Spirit.

 

Chillin’ With My Men

  

Our family is having a stay-cation week & we’re presently driving somewhere in Colorado, enjoying some close family time in the car. A person could get grumpy about this kind of activity, or a person could choose to see the gold. Here are some awesome things to remember when you’re not in a supremely blissful experience:

  • being close is a gift & personal space can be overrated ,)
  • time is irreplaceable: pages turn, chapters close & seasons conclude – enjoy the present
  • genuine love has an infinite variety of ways to be expressed so it’s good to be adaptable 🙂
  • I’m crazy grateful to get to “stay” in a car rather than travel in a plane – better family engagement 🙂

  

Vacation, Sabbath, Pause & Rest

I’m currently with my family on a vacation, enjoying some downtime. I find that I can chose how restful this vacation is or I can be stressed out about how much work I’m missing, checking my emails all the time, writing blogs, etc. Vacate means to leave the premise or to check out.
I think it’s good for all of us to occasionally leave the premise & check out for our own mental health, for the purpose of enjoying family & to give God the opportunity to engage with us with less competition for our attention. Celebrate the opportunities that God gives us for vacations, rest & pause 🙂

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Some things you find in vacation :)

We’ve taken a few days of vacation with Thanksgiving & it’s super great to have some fun family time 🙂
Last night I was putting my son to bed & the lights were out so I couldn’t see very well. As we finished praying, I went to straighten out the blanket & saw what I thought was a toy, with like a handle. When I went to pick it up, to move it off the bed, I flashed it through a small strip of light & it was a dead, dried up mouse!!! I of course jumped & semi-freaked out because I wasn’t expecting to find nor fish out a dried mouse from my son’s bed!! My son wanted to know what was wrong w me, but I’m waiting until we are done w our vacation to update him on his disappointed sleeping friend ,)
Happy Thanksgiving!

pause


 Do you ever remember going to an amusement park & getting on a ride that looked really amazing, only to wish you could get off, halfway through the ride because it was too intense?  I even remember saying, “how do you make this thing stop?”

Sometimes, life needs a pause button – it can get super intense.  For me, life has been pretty intense of late (back to school prep, work deadlines, etc) & I’m interested in finding that pause button.  So here are some things I’ve found to be helpful (feel free to add more ideas that have helped you):

  • family meals – get in a few during the week & put your phones on silent:  genuine conversations as a family can be very therapeutic
  • instead of looking at time in 1 day increments, consider looking at time in 1 week or 1 month increments – giving demands & deadlines more working space than the daily crisis mode
  • take a walk in the evening – did this a few nights ago & it was extremely helpful [minus the mosquitos ,) ]
  • God time – don’t shortchange what fuels your heart, otherwise life can go south before you know what’s happening
  • good diet & exercise routines – in crunch times, food & exercise can often be the 1st to get scraped;  keep these routines as they can provide some good anchors to weather various storms & seasons

catching up

Last week, our family took spring break & we went skiing & snowboarding for the week.  Its really nice when you can take advantage of what’s local for vacations!  While on vacation, I had some really spectacular God times – seriously.  Riding the lift, while observing God’s beauty & extravagance was more than captivating.  I sensed God whispering to me & surrounding me w His immensity – while still experiencing His ever deeping love. 

This was an interesting experience for me because previous vacations haven’t had as much God intertwined in them.  Consequently, I’ve observed that my transition back into “regular” life, so far, seems to be much smoother & the continuity of being close w God through the vacation has only seemed to deepen my time w Him this morning.  I know that Monday morning will bring all of the challenges for Mondays, but somehow I feel less daunted to face Monday than I normally do – especially after a vacation. 

I pray that God would help you & me keep our eyes on Him, in vacation season, tax season, past Easter, in peak stress times, in chilled out moments & everything in between.

P.S.  I did an accidental flip on my snowboard, landed on my head & got up laughing!  Too much fun for a someone my age!  😉