Fun · Gifts · Grace · Hope · My Journey · Quiet Pleasures · The Journey · Uncategorized · Vacation

Sacred Indulgence…

This past week I went on a trip to visit my sister. Away from home. Away from all of the responsibilities of my daily life.

While on my little getaway, we snuck away for a few days to a spa on the bay.  On our way up we detoured and visited the tulip fields – a bucket list item for me. We took a sonic drive off the beaten path and the scenery was spectacular. Once to our destination the sun began to peak out. Our room was beautiful and the view spectacular. We ate out, walked along the water, shopped, and strolled around the little town.  We also just relaxed and did a little bit of nothing.

While this was amazing, I found myself thinking about all of the things I should have been attending to at home during spring break.

Many people I know take these little trips all the time. It’s their normal. Not mine. This isn’t even a once a year even for me. It was truly a treat!

My ability to let down and relax is difficult. After all, I should be home taking care of my responsibilities. Now was the time to test a new way of thinking and acting!

On our last evening, we scheduled massages at the spa. Wow! The experience from start to finish was wild.  Like nothing I’ve ever done. It was all about me the entire time. Life is rarely all about me. I’m all about everyone else from my job to my home. I spend most every day taking care of others.

I found parts of the spa experience easy to partake of, while others were difficult. The hardest part was not talking for an entire hour! And for that one hour I did absolutely nothing! I was completely still except for the actual massage happening. That doesn’t even happen when I sleep, as I toss and turn all night!

The massage was just part of a week of indulgences.  An indulgence is the attitude of allowing yourself or someone else to have something enjoyable. It was a wonderful time! I had to step out of myself and let people “indulge” me. I had to…no, I GOT to… receive rather than give. That is a tough one for me.  It is difficult for me to let others do for me. I am much more comfortable giving than receiving.

As I’ve contemplated the week, I’ve been drawn to think about my relationship with the Lord. I’m good at giving to Him. I give Him my “prayers” or lists of things I’d like Him to help me with.  I give Him time most days, but honestly I’m usually pretty busy during that time. The hard part for me is what I’m going to call a “sacred indulgence.” It’s that time where I get to let Jesus love on me and I do absolutely nothing but receive from him. It’s that time when I am being still and know that He is God… He is in control, not me. Quieting myself to receive all that He has for me. Indulging in His grace and love. It’s free and I don’t have to travel far from home. It costs nothing but my intentional, uninterrupted time and willingness to let go and let Him love on me…a sacred indulgence. 

Hope · Seasons · The Journey · Vacation

The Awakening…

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Photo Courtesy of James Richman Photography.


Spend a few moments looking carefully at this beautiful photograph.  What does it make you think about?  How does it make you feel?

This amazing photo was taken by James Richman, a local photographer.  I’ve recently connected with him on FB and now get to see his work often.  This particular photo is one of many he took at a local sunflower field last August.  Breathtaking…

When I look the first thing that catches my eye is the sunshine.  The sun is rising… the beginning of a warm summer day.  In the forefront I notice the flowers are reaching toward the sun.  If you look closely at the entire field they all seem to be reaching for that sunlight.  Smart flowers they are… following the sun.  For they know that their nourishment comes from those rays and that warmth.

Winter if finally over and spring has awakened.  This week has afforded us sunshine and slightly warmer temperatures.  I’ve been inside trying to get my house in some form of order before heading back to work next week.  Every hour or so I have found myself looking for an excuse to be outside.  I’m like those sunflowers… reaching for that sunlight.  I’m sure I looked silly standing in the middle of the yard with my face pointed towards the sky!  I could feel warmth and peace wash over me.

Spring is such an amazing time of the year.  After a long winter, when life has been dormant, everything is now finding its way to the surface and yearning for light and warmth.  Tiny buds are brightening up tree branches.  Flowers are surfacing from the depths and adding color to our dreary winter-laden world.

Who can witness the wonders of spring and all of creation yearning for sunlight and warmth, and not believe in Him who created it all?  Just seeing the transformation of our maple tree in the past few days has been short of amazing.

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As I’m coming out of winter, I’m feeling the sense that I am much like that maple tree.  Life has been slow and winter-like.  As spring awakens, so am I.  This vacation I’ve been blessed with rest, accomplishments around the house, feeding my passions, and spending time with my love and friends.  All of those are helping to ready me for this new season.  I’m still a little leery… wanting to retreat back into my safe cocoon.  But I’m drawn to the sun…

…I’m drawn to the Son.  The anticipation of all that He has for me as I’m letting Him into every corner of my being.  I want to be safe and He says GO!  Step out!  Live!  For the first time in many years, I’m not dreading going back to work next week.  I’m excited for the remaining weeks to be filled with learning, challenges and a close to this school year.  Then that time to enjoy this amazing world that is opening up around us right now!  He is opening doors for some new adventures that I’m very excited about.  Stretching and growing adventures!  The possibilities are endless.  And those possibilities are beginning today!

Circle of Friends · Fun · Grace · Lessons Learned · life happens... · Prayers · Quiet Pleasures · Seasons · Struggles · The Journey · Uncategorized · Vacation · Wordless Blog

Summer 2013…

The summer of 2013 has come to an end … too much to write about and too complex to summarize in words.  Ups, downs, joys, sorrows, laughs, friends, milestones, celebrations, growth, tears, healing, sunshine, family, loss … I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

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Questions to Ponder · The Journey · Vacation

I Should Be…

Tuesday afternoon… summer… pouring rain… vacation… laundry… hidden messes…

I’m sitting at my kitchen table watching the birds work tirelessly to get their babies to come out of the nest. It’s pouring rain outside. I have the windows and door open so I can hear it. The sun is trying to peak out amidst the rainfall.

I’ve started laundry… two loads washed, the first waiting to be folded. I hate folding laundry. The other two piles are waiting patiently to go into the washer. “Housekeeping???”

A few hours ago I allowed myself a bit of time to read. People always say that a rainy day is the best time to stay indoors, curl up under a blanket and read. I tried that. The neighbors out smoking on their porch were talking loudly with the F-bomb flying… oh, I love renters. The laundry piles were calling my name from the kitchen floor where they were all neatly sorted. The cat found her spot on my lap. After reading a few pages, my eyelids became heavy. My reading now became a nap.

When I awoke suddenly to the garbage truck driving by, I was startled. It’s that moment when you have to think about where you are. I don’t take naps. It was a strange feeling.

Quickly, my mind went into guilt mode. “I should be doing…” I should be doing what? For the past 10 months I’ve spent every day “doing” for everyone else. Now I get to do for me! I MUST get over the feeling that it’s not okay to take care of me.

Last weekend, after a long day of working alongside my husband on a house project, he decided to take advantage of the last hour of sunlight. He grabbed a lawn chair and laid out in the sun… relaxing. He rarely does this, so it surprised me. I joined him and was good for about 3 minutes. I was up and down, checking this and that… And he just soaked up the sun.


So what is the secret? How do you let yourself relax and take time? I’ve got to figure it out. Life is too ding darn short and seems to be going faster and faster the older I get! I’ve got 7 weeks to rest, relax, rejuvenate, and get a million house projects done! Ahhhh, summer vacation!!!

Ready? GO!!!!