Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Early Mother's Day

Chris, Brad, Marissa (don't you love how her brothers treat her!), and Jason

I had Mother's Day early when all four of our children were home after our trip to Washington. This was the first time we had all been together IN TENNESSEE since Christmas of 2004! It was great.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I Heard a TRAIN!

I heard a train! This morning as I sat in our quiet hotel room I heard an unfamiliar sound. I was confused at first and thought it was my cell phone buzzing on the nightstand with a message. I heard it again a few seconds later. It was a faint, soft, low and gentle sound. But, there were no messages and my phone wasn't ringing. When I am alone, it takes a while to locate a new sound, especially when I am in a new place. I knew it wasn't a fan or the gas fireplace in our room. I heard the noise again and realized that it was a TRAIN! So, I ran to the window and sure enough, I saw the steam rising from the train near the river below our hotel and the train cars between the trees about 1/4 mile away! I heard it in the room with the window closed! That was an exciting moment for me. I never would have heard that with my hearing aids.

This is a much needed vacation for me. I'm finding that I hear things better when I am still, quiet, and relaxed. I'm also hearing the still, quiet voice of God. . .

Monday, April 17, 2006

Room With a View/Happy Easter

As I sit here enjoying the breathtaking view of the Columbia River from our hotel, I am in awe of God's beauty in this part of the country. Steve and I are in Stevenson, Washington for a business/pleasure trip and we are staying at the Skamania Lodge, which is a resort located 45 minutes from Portland, Oregon. It is nestled in the Columbia River Gorge National Park and Scenic area. We arrived here late last night in the dark so we couldn't see the scenery until this morning. I was in complete wonder and astonishment as I opened the curtains and saw the clouds rising up from the beautiful river against the backdrop of the mountains and pine trees. The lyrics from the song Holy Is The Lord sung by Chris Tomlin instantly came to my mind. . . ."It is rising up all around, it's the anthem of the Lord's renown. . .Holy is the Lord God Almighty. . .the earth is filled with His glory. . ."

There is also a mist and slight drizzle in the atmosphere. The grass and trees are very lush and green and the daffodils, tulips, azaleas, and rhododendrens are blooming. As we look below us, we see an occassional golfer on the golf course below us and a train passing by on the track between the trees. It is a little cold and cloudy here but the atmosphere reminds me of the weather in Scotland. Every now and then the sun tries to peek out through the clouds. I even saw a rainbow! My soul is just bursting and overflowing as I sense God's presence here.

"We stand and lift up our hands
For the joy of the Lord is our strength
We bow down and worship Him now
How great, how awesome is He. . ." (More lyrics from Holy Is The Lord)

I am writing this as I sit in the lobby of the hotel next to a huge fireplace and am just taking it all in. It is so peaceful and serene. I can hear the crackling of the fireplace (it smells wonderful, too!) and the different hotel sounds such as people talking or walking down the hall, sounds of the wheels turning on suitacases being rolled across the floor, Steve's computer keys clicking as he works, doors opening and closing, newspapers and magazine pages rustling, etc. This is truly the day which the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it. And the day is only beginning! What other surprises does God have in store for me today? My heart is excited about the possibilities that this day holds. I am thankful and blessed and ready for anything that happens or comes my way. I am thankful that I can see, think, and HEAR. I am alive. I am filled with thanksgiving and praise for the gift of this new day!

Yesterday was Easter. Words cannot express the joy I felt at the Sunrise Service yesterday morning at church. It was dark when the service started but I was able to understand what was being said and sung. I heard a bird singing as the sun came up and I found it sitting on top of a light pole. This was my first Easter hearing the sounds of Easter morning. Later, as the choir sang the "Hallelujah Chorus" there were tears in my eyes. So beautiful. So lovely. I know that my Redeemer lives! God saved me and rescued me from the grave with His Son, Jesus Christ. He gave me life and gives me my joy. I will praise Him forever and ever. Amen!