There is a lot of unrest in America following the recent election. So many are worried about the future of our country. Social media is full of opinions on both sides of the fence. It is easy to get caught up in the turmoil. And yet, we must remember that our God is in control. He holds us in the palm of His hand. He watches over us and our country. He offers peace and rest free for the asking.
One of my favorite activities is to go out for a walk and enjoy the beauty of nature. In this way, I reconnect with God and refresh my spirit. I see the incredible world that God has made and I am at peace. I enjoy fresh air, beautiful vistas, a bit of exercise, and photo ops. Hope you will enjoy these pics from a later afternoon hike in the woods near our home.
As you contemplate natural beauty, allow your soul to be at rest and allow peace to invade your spirit. Take time to enjoy the world around you.
Our family loves meteor showers and star gazing. Enough that we get up in the middle of the night and predawn hours to enjoy the sights. When the kids were small, we got up about 4 am to lie on the golf course in Florida one time to watch the meteors. A few years ago, Katryn and I got up about 2 am, spread a blanket on our lawn, and lay looking at the meteors and talking about life for an hour. More recently Deryck and I set alarms and went out on the second floor balcony in the midnight hours to watch for meteors. There is something about the majesty of the skies that makes it worth getting up to see these sights. I am continually amazed and awed by creation and its beauty. When I spend time in nature, it grounds and centers me; it reminds me of how big God is and how He loves to bring us joy and delight. I find serenity when I can spend time outdoors enjoying all the sights of weather, sky, nature, creatures, and trees. Most days I stop to take pictures of clouds or sunsets. Taking time for the enjoyment of life’s little pleasures keeps me serene.
I attended Homecoming at my alma mater last weekend. It was wonderful to be back on campus and see how much the college has grown. There was a vibrancy on campus – an excitement for all that God is doing in and through the college. There are many new buildings since I was there and the facilities are quite impressive. The college has kept up with education trends and the needs of the student population. At the same time, they have kept the natural beauty of the campus intact and there are beautiful places to walk both on the perimeter of the campus and in the heart of it. The sense of place and of mission is very strong on this college campus. Even the older buildings are filled with the energy of staff who are enthused about the direction and goals of the college.
We walked through the woods to the large pond and I remembered walking and cross-country skiing on these paths as well as canoeing and swimming in the pond. I saw a few old friends and met several new ones. The college motto is “Lives Worth Leading” and they are intentionally shaping students to be tomorrow’s leaders.
I recently took an inventory of my spiritual gifts. My number two and three gifts were Nurturing Leadership and Faith. My faith is central to my life and I seek to love and serve God in all I do. My primary spiritual gift of Visionary and Managing Leadership can best be described with an analogy from my love of sailing. The owner of the yacht decides where it will go, the navigator determines how to get there, and the helmsman actually gets the boat to its destination. I am a skilled navigator and helmsman both on the water and in life.
Had a fantastic day trip to Block Island this past weekend.
We rented mopeds and rode, then walked out to the North Lighthouse,
swam, walked around the point, and then rode round to the Southeast Light and Mohegan Bluffs. Went back into town for lunch and then another swim and some frisbee in the ocean. A sun-filled, salty, sandy day was just what we all needed. Refreshing to walk along the shore and see the ocean, which was very clear and a beautiful turquoise blue.
Margin is an important concept, especially in the life of an introvert. Margin, like the white space around the edges of the pages in a book, simply means making space in your life just to be. I am intentional about down time in my life. Serenity to me involves some time to just sit and relax on my back porch most days.
In the last three months, I’ve had surgery, been on an international trip (the trip of a lifetime with my parents who are in their eighties), traveled 1000 miles to attend the funeral of an 18 year old, celebrated a birthday, learned that my 85 year old dad was told by his doctor that he should give up driving, said goodbye to our beloved dog of 14 years after a traumatic accident, traveled for a long weekend, attended a backyard concert, volunteered at my church fair, and had numerous physical therapy appointments – all while working full time and being a student in a doctoral program. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster. I realized that the sleepless nights lately have been mostly because my subconscious is worrying the problem about my parents as they are still very active but starting to need more help. When I awoke the other night at 2 a.m. – not the first time – and thought I would not get back to sleep, I prayed and let go of my worry and fell immediately back to sleep. The power of prayer is amazing. We need only ask God for His grace and mercy; He loves us so incredibly much and wants to grant us peace. I’m thankful that when I remember to turn to Him, He is always at the ready. He longs to give me serenity.