Monday, July 19, 2010

What state are we in?

        I have a love / hate relationship with the new fangled technology of the GPS. You see, I LOVE maps!! I love to find my own way from here to there. Of course even with a map it isn't all on my own, the map maker has a huge part in my navigational success. Certain people in my life have GPS units. Some insist on using it even if I know how to get where we are going. Some use it merely for back up. For example, when a large city's highway ramps are all under construction then the GPS is very helpful.  The Admiral delights in confusing his GPS - deciding on his route and letting the GPS play catch up. I do like to glance down and see the next landmark on the route. I think it is ok to have the confirmation of my own decision making. But I never want to rely on this technology completely, I want to have some say.
        On a recent trip, driving home from West Virginia, Bright One kept asking "Are we in our state yet?" Followed shortly by her sister saying "Why aren't we there yet?" Our precious children put their trust in us without any idea that we do really know where we are going. I am sure it must seem that we often get in the car and go with very little guidance. Therefore we get LOTS of questions. I love showing them the maps and how they guide us. They remind me how fortunate we are as Christians. Not only do we have the map, the Scriptures, we also have His Holy Spirit within us as a guide. A built in GPS if we choose to listen to it. We can start out on our journey with the confidence of children that HE will guide us unfailingly to our destination. If we decide to detour, He recalculates and sets back on a road that leads to the destination He picked out for us. Learning to rely on the Holy Spirit as our internal GPS is hard. I want to find the way. I want to figure it out and lead everyone else to the destination. I want the pats on the back for getting us there in a timely fashion. Hmmmmm not so trusting as I would desire to be. I want to argue because I don't see the whole picture. My knowledge of the map is incomplete. So I am quite sure I should go right but the Lord says straight ahead.  I think " Lord! There isn't even a road there!" He says gently, "Go there. Oh and Trust me." It is HARD.  When I trust Him I always benefit. But allowing myself to trust, seems to be a lesson I need taught again and again.
We need only to trust Him like our children trust us to know what state we are in.       

Monday, July 5, 2010


It is the 4th of July. We are visiting Grandma & Pap Pap in Pennsylvania. The weather is wonderful, warm, and breezy with little to no humidity. Wonderful things are happening! Pap pap took the girls on tractor rides yesterday after he and the Admiral moved several HUGE rocks for the neighbors' rock garden. The girls have spent the today helping Grandma prep flower beds and then planting them. Bright One pounded in the nails that had worked loose on the front walkway.
Tonight we are making camper's stew over the fire, corn on the cob, and strawberry shortcake, mmm! Lots of adventures to have. Fireworks tonight or tomorrow night... It is so hard to decide! Tomorrow we plan to get some lake time on Pap's boat. It has been busy vacation and yet I am relaxed and enjoying myself immensely.

       This place, Home. I haven't lived here for over 15 years. It is still home. I look out at a vivid landscape of more shades of green than you can count and feel a wistful contentment. We go for a drive and I sigh at the rolling beauty as we crest a ridge and look down the wide valley. So much has changed. So much hasn't. The grape vines are in a different place in the orchard, but there are still grape vines. Now my Dad has added blueberry bushes. Mom's asparagus patch has moved too. Friday I walked around with Dad as he shared his dreams for this place. I found it so enjoyable to listen and dream with him. I am so drawn to this place.
Yet when I think of my family's home, the house we have lived in since before the girls were born, that place is also home with sweet memories. I look forward to my return home. Sleeping in my own bed, cooking in my own kitchen where everything is where I think it should be, puttering around our space. I look forward to being back there.
      So which is really HOME? I guess they both are. In truth, I think that HOME exists in our minds and hearts more than in a place. Home is a state of thinking and being. My folks' place feels so calm and homey because when I am there I have no responsibility, per se. My own place is home because it is mine. I created it together with the Admiral. I have come to believe that home is the place where you are in God's will and being obedient. Even if the physical location is uncomfortable, the spiritual location is so much more important. I frequently argue with the Lord and tell Him with the way I think things should be. But when I bend to his will and choose to follow His leading, then and only then do I come HOME. The sense I have when I am at my parents' house is only a shadow of the feeling I have when I am walking in obedience to Him.

Lord, Guide me. Give me the bravery to choose you and be obedient to your will every day.