Looking at the Same Things

“They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:23 (NKJV)

I have found out from living in various places that you can become accustomed to a place.

Growing up in Oil City, PA, I took for granted the Allegheny River and Oil Creek flowing through our town. The hills and the change of seasons were things that just happened, like clock work. They had always been there, so they would always be there.

When I married and moved to VA, I was amazed at seeing the Atlantic daily. I was in awe of the vastness of the ocean. It was an adventure, but I missed the hills of Oil City. I missed knowing where everything was. I missed home.

Eventually we left Virginia and moved to Japan. A foreign country with such a vast history was fascinating to me. The noise, the crowds, the trains, the language and the writing, each so unique and incredible to me. We eventually moved to our permanent quarters which looked out to Mt Fuji in the distance. I thought I would never tire of seeing this sight. Yet, after a few weeks I would open my blinds and continue on my day. Yes, we lived on a plateau overlooking Sagami Bay with Fuji looming behind that, but, it was home and life went on.

A few years later, we moved to the coast of Maine. Again, magnificence out our door. Lobster boats, the rock bound coast that challenged the Atlantic ocean in a different way than Virginia. The absolute cold and snow, the boundless beauty of this area. It was breathtaking and yet, during the summer I would be frustrated with tourist as they slowly made their way around the loop road. I would sigh, and say, yes, those are rocks, those are waves crashing, but I am on my way to the base, keep moving. I was accustomed to the sights.

I did the same with the view from our house in San Diego. The Coronado bridge, the bay, Point Loma, the sunsets painted by our Lord. Yet, it was home, dishes were done, meals cooked, laundry done.

It finally occurred to me that although sights capture your attention and are new when you first arrive, they become commonplace when you see them daily.

I thought of this today as I drove home from the store. The leaves on the trees lining a driveway for a farm shined brightly in the cold sunlight. It caught my attention and I asked forgiveness for taking such a beautiful view for granted.

Each day with our Lord is new. Each day is filled with fresh mercy and grace and forgiveness. How sad that our Creator wakes the world up, each place painted in a new way for a new day and we just drive down a road thinking about something entirely different.

This world was created for us. For our habitation, for our enjoyment, for our adventures and we grouse about so much.

Lord, let me see each day with Your eyes. Refresh my sight to see Your glory. Amen.

What’s Up With the Roses? Part 1 Background

Roses became a part of my life during our last few days living in Winter Harbor Maine. Below is the story of how that happened.

A group of ladies in Winter Harbor joined together each Tuesday morning for a Bible Study. We all lived transient lives, depending on the Navy to give us orders of where we would live and also let us know when it was time to retire.

Whenever one of us were retiring or changing duty stations, the girls in Bible Study would do what had become a traditional farewell gathering. Of course, we would eat (that’s a given), then we would each sign a book for the person leaving. There would be prayer for her and lots of tears and hugs. Parting is never easy, even when you know it is a part of the life you have chosen for yourself.

My going away party was no different. Brunch was served, book was signed and then the prayer time. One women had written a lovely note to me as she had felt God had given her. It talked about my life being a rose and that in our new life in San Diego I would blossom into what the Lord had planned for me. Pretty wonderful, right? I smiled, content in what I had heard. And then… there is always continuations, those three dots in your life, like waiting for a shoe to drop. The other shoe dropped shortly after that.

Another woman, while praying after the letter had been read cleared her throat and began speaking. I will never forget her words. She said, “And as a rose has many thorns for it’s beauty, there are many thorns awaiting you.”

Now, you would think that would deter me from lovingly following my husband cross country, a logical person would do so. Not me. Acts 21:11 says, “He came over, took Paul’s belt, and bound his own feet and hands with it. Then he said, “The Holy Spirit declares, ‘So shall the owner of this belt be bound by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and turned over to the Gentiles.’” (NLT) I had often wondered how Paul could continue his journey into Jerusalem, and yet he did.

The night of my going away brunch we went to a movie, I can’t remember what it was because I was thinking about Paul going into Jerusalem knowing what awaited him. I was still wrestling with what had been said to me earlier. In between the popcorn, candy and soft drinks I realized that although my feet and hands had not been bound, I was facing the unknown.

A few days later, we packed our U-Haul and started our journey. Our plan at that time was to go to San Diego, my husband do his tour on his destroyer, and he would get out and go to Bible College. Our plan was 7 years and we would head back to Maine. Proverbs 16:9 says, ” We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (NLT) Determine our steps He did. 28 years later we left San Diego.

Were there thorns awaiting me? Too many to count! Did I want to give up? Yes. Many times I found myself on my face pleading for God to remove things before me.

What I learned was strength, trust, prayer, and faith. Our God will never leave us. He is our constant source of strength.

May your day be filled with the goodness of our God.