Monday, July 30, 2012

Touch of Heaven

"As you walk along your life-path holding My hand, 
you are already in touch with the essence of heaven: 
nearness to Me. ... 
Keep your eyes and ears fully open as you journey with Me." 
(Jesus Calling)

Closing up three months of an unforgettable, memorable gift. We didn't really know what to expect when we started out on this gift of Sabbatical/Time Off. We knew that God had opened up this time for us. And we started out this past May with expectancy - and we have been filled up.

Thanking God for the privilege and gift of these past three months ...

quiet, relaxing days at home
special times with family
afternoons at nearby parks, reading and listening
watching our 10x30 foot veggie garden grow

no responsibilities of work
our staff team covering everything for us
rest for the body, soul, and mind
days with no schedule or agenda

a two-week trip to New England and Canada
our first trip through this beautiful area
beautiful, peaceful views of water
the perfect places to stay

refreshment in every way
reading together, learning together
being renewed and refreshed for the next season
a touch of heaven

And now as we step out of these three months of rest, we are holding these memories close, and trusting God for all that lies ahead.

"I am your Lord. Lord of your lives. 
Controller of your days, your present and your future. 
Leave all plans to Me."
 (God Calling)

(Counting 1000 Gifts in 2012 #584-600)

(Photo above taken along the beautiful coastline in northern Maine.)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Who Can Compare

Thanking God for an incredible trip to celebrate the privilege of being in full-time ministry for 40 years! We had been dreaming of traveling to the New England states and up into Canada for quite a few years, and our dream came true. And it was more amazing than we imagined. A very special gift from God.

"Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens.
You have done such wonderful things.
Who can compare with You, O God?"
(Psalm 71:19)

Filled with thanks to God for ...

two $400 Delta flight vouchers which took us to NYC
our rental car which we drove for 3,000 miles along the New England coast and up into Canada
the Sea Urchin cottage that we rented on Campobello Island in New Brunswick
rented for 5 nights, and a gift from the owner of two extra free nights
amazing, incredible views of the Bay of Fundy from the decks and screened-in porch
the sights and sounds of nature - sea gulls, seals, porpoises, sea otters, and more
quiet times on the deck
beautiful sunsets
our private beach
unbelievable tides - 27 feet difference between low tide and high tide
fishing wharves
viewing of many beautiful spots on the island, and on the mainland of New Brunswick
a two-mile hike along the scenic views in Roosevelt International Park
beautiful colors of shells and sea glass
the peace and calm of being by so much water
incredible time surrounded by the beauty of God's creation

traveling back down the coast of Maine, New Hampshire, and into Massachusetts
stopping for meals whenever possible, the whole trip long, to eat in view of water
outdoor cafes, and seafood
our beautiful little cottage in Westport, Massachusetts
four nights in this quiet getaway - offered to us at an amazing price
our gracious hosts, making sure we had everything we needed
hydrangeas in full bloom
a day in Boston - walking six miles through this fascinating city
interesting sights along the Freedom Trail, and at the Boston Tea Party Museum
time aboard a replica of the Mayflower the next day in Plymouth
walking through the town where the Pilgrims lived years ago
the white sandy beaches of Cape Cod
more beauty along water's edge - our favorite place to be always, by water
exploring the Westport area
gray shingle-sided homes
falling in love with the New England states
our visit with brother Steve, Beverly, and Katie (Izzy gone at camp) in New York
their authentic, home-cooked lobster meal for us
time with them, perfect ending to our trip
blessed beyond our expectations
filled to overflowing with thanks to God for His gift of this two-week trip
and a deep sense of His love as we celebrated 40 years

"You thrill me, Lord, with all You have done for me!
I sing for joy because of what You have done."
(Psalm 92:4)

(Continuing with counting 1000 Gifts in 2012 #545-583)