Desolate

Desolate w
Some “barren land” in Picacho, New Mexico.

We have been on the road for the last five days (Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, and Phoenix) and we have driven through quite a variety of terrain and weather conditions. Some of the places were quite sparse. As we drove quickly by, it didn’t look like there was too much life out there but a good naturalist will let you know that indeed there is, even if there doesn’t appear that way.

And I got to thinking, sometimes we look at someone’s life (maybe our own) and we think there isn’t anything of value there. From the outset there seems to be not too much life, but we never really know what is going on in the heart.

I am one that has a tendency towards “hope”. If I lose something, I am hopeful to find it and if I am surrounded by situations that aren’t great, I am looking for hope to hold onto. So even as I look at this picture and it’s lack of color and seeming lack of life, I know better. I know there are things going on “behind the scenes”.

I am thankful for all the times that God has worked on my heart even when I didn’t know or understand it. How He has given me life and purpose even if it appears there is little life on the surface.

There are seasons that look desolate, but God is always working, shaping, encouraging, and tending to my soul.

We may look at someone and decide they are flourishing the way God wants them to by all outward appearances, but we may be completely wrong. So let’s not make a judgement either way — truly, only God knows the heart.

The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” [1 Samuel 16:7b, NIV]

So don’t let appearing “all together” be your goal. Let God work on your heart and things will flow from there.

Heart work is hard work!

Liz

PrayerPrompt: IDENTITY

Refreshment!

DLbikew

Don and I have been able to ride our bicycles three times this week! We have had some gorgeous days recently and I am excited to be able to get out in the fresh air and sunshine. I sleep so much better at night if I ride my bike during the day. I also find I think about things from a new perspective when I ride. I think some of that has to do with being in nature.

We haven’t ridden bikes in New York as much as I thought I would when we moved here. First off, the winter is longer here than it is in southern Indiana. Secondly, where we live there are way more hills so it takes a little more effort to come up with a doable route. And, finally, it is pretty scary just riding on the streets to get to the bike path. There are so many cars and crazy drivers—it isn’t worth the risk to me. We finally put a hitch on our vehicle so we can use our handy dandy bike rack. We put our bikes on and then drive to ride. It definitely takes a bit more effort than I wish because I would ride a lot more if I felt like we could just take off from home. On the up side, we have found interesting places to ride – but some of them take an hour or so to get to.

I am looking forward to more sunshine, warmer days and more time biking. Spending time in God’s creation is good for me on so many levels. For me, it is important to take the time to breath, observe, listen, and stretch —  and it even helps me rest better!

As soon as you can, get out and enjoy nature! Whether it is a walk in a park, rock climbing, bird watching, boating, star gazing, catching a sunrise or watching the sunset it can help you remember God’s strength and creativity!

On the Road,

Liz

heavensw

Welcome to Delaware by Watermark

Well it’s been a cold December
and the leaves have fallen true,
and I do believe I’m still in love with you.
Yea my scenery keeps changing,
and sometimes it’s hard to view.
But you’ve let me see so much since I’ve known you.
But I headed to what seemed like nowhere
You told me to come,
you told me you’d meet me here.

You were here to say
“Welcome to Delaware”
I know you’ve traveled far.
And it’s a lot colder here than what you’re used to.
And I know that in the winter time,
things aren’t what they used to be.
So all you really have here now is Me…

So I settled here, and that is that.
For you to show me who I am,
You had to take me to a place I’d never been.

And all the things I dreaded most
about the things unseen,
have now become the sweetest part of me.
Though I headed to what seemed like nowhere
I knew you would come
I know you would meet me here.

You were here to say
“Welcome to Delaware”
I know you’ve traveled far.
And it’s a lot colder here than what you’re used to.
And I know that in the winter time,
things aren’t what they used to be.
So all you really have here now is Me….

I have always loved this song. The melody is simple and soothing (if you can find it–you might have to actually buy the CD, I don’t know, but the CD is great so it wouldn’t be a waste! I love the perspective. I hope you love it too! Liz

Fishing

Don Kayaking
Don Kayaking

(part 1 of 5)

I am not a big fisherman but Don, my husband, always enjoys fishing. He enjoys being out in nature and mostly  enjoys the challenge but considers himself just a recreational fisherman. A few years ago we bought Don a kayak so he could fish from on the water instead of next to it.  Don has a few different poles and a tackle box full of lures and sometimes he even buys a tub of night crawlers. Don catches a few fish on occasion but he doesn’t keep any because he is a big catch-and-release guy.  Here are the things Don takes into consideration when he goes fishing:

Licence: This let’s Don fish legally. He doesn’t leave home without it!
Location: Ideally, Don is trying to find hungry fish or at least ones who will “take the bait”.
Access point: Don has fished next to the water but wasn’t successful so he moved to “on” the water. Some people fish from “in” the water.
Equipment: Don has various poles he takes out when he fishes. He switches it up for variety but he also likes to have a “back up” in case something goes wrong with his favorite.
Lures: He’s got a tackle box full of shiny, tempting things.
Bait: Sometimes he will use minnows and earthworms but not very often.
Intention: Even though he is a catch-and-release guy there is no denying it, some fish do get wounded in this process.
Over the next few days we look at the tools of the trade for fishing from a different vantage point. For now, pray for those who fish for their livelihood.  I imagine it can be a very dangerous job.