Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Letting God Direct Your Plans

"Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; " Ps. 40:5

That verse was from my time with God this past Saturday and perfect for the weekend which was full of adventure and reminders from God. Stephanie came over, we chatted, prayed, and placed the names of five small towns located nearby in a bowl. We had decided for the holiday weekend to take a road trip and let God completely pick out our plans. After drawing a town, we jumped in the Prius and head off to our undiscovered place.

Reminders of Patience: One great thing about this type of adventure is it challenges you to be patient. It took us longer to get to our destination than it should. Since we were chatting away, we missed the exit. We were in deep conversation at least 40 minutes before realizing we had gone too far. Ha Ha. Because we were off course, we patiently turned around and tried again. Ah, isn't that a lesson for the Christian life.

Reminders of Trust: Once arriving at the town square, we wandered through packed antique and unique shops. We randomly saw a frog dressed up as a cowboy, cute aprons, wooden shells, "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" skeletons, a jar full of small sand dollars, and some well-priced shabby chic furniture. These small town shop owners carry a tremendous level of trust. Many of the stores had over-flow sections in the buildings next door. Open and unsupervised, they trust customers not to walk off with things. Growing up in a small town, I had forgotten how trusting small town folk can be and it refreshed me.

Reminders to Soak in Life Deeply: Leaving downtown to look for chow, we cruised around and found a surprising gem called the El Paseo Mexican restaurant. By the time we finished our lunch and deep talk there, much of the day had past. Still, we both mentioned feeling that the adventure had just started! We drove to a local botanical garden and strolled the hot afternoon away through day lilies, roses, and some plants that the butterflies were crazy about enjoying. We saw curious birds, a fuzzy caterpillar, and an elaborate model train oasis where several unique trains chugged and choo-chooed at foot and over-head through handmade wooden bridges and past replicas of neighboring towns. One of the best parts of the gardens was a thick wooden rocking bench we found on a ridge that overlooked the river. We rested, enjoyed the breeze and watched a lizard race around. I think we both enjoyed the gardens and we only had one small freak out moment after seeing thousands of daddy long-leg spiders huddled together like the end of the world was upon us. *Yuk, spiders*

Just 25 minutes away is the world's largest cedar rocking chair. We drove there next, snapped photos, saw out of this world hand-crafted furniture and chilled on a porch enjoying yummy shakes before heading home.

I enjoy my friendship with Stephanie. She is vulnerable, has great insight into scriptures, fun, adventurous, and full of laughter. She is also the only person I know that struggles with her own hypersomnia. There's a peace about hanging out with her because she is real, easy going, and close to God. I'm blessed to have her in any part of my day.

Patience. Trust. Soaking life in deeply. I'm certain as I continue to meditate God will keep showing me why he lead us to those particular places but even more than the reminders, I know our God loved watching and sharing with us as we enjoyed the world he created! Below are some photos from that day.

Embroidered peacock quilt

I highly recommend you try this kind of adventure out someday :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Before I Go Home: a list

Hi God,
These things kind of sprung up from my time of meditation the other afternoon in random order. And in Jesus' name, my Wonderful, I want to pray to You about them. I know this isn't a spiritual 'works' list or one for boasting because I'm not saved by accomplishing these things nor would any of them happen if You didn't help me. I know according to Your word that with a true faith comes action. Many of these dreams, Lord, come from a desire inside me to pay forward what I've been given by You and others. Whether big or small dreams, I guess I simply enjoy spending time with You and dreaming together! I've placed a tiny star * by the ones You've allowed me to complete so far and I just want to say thank You so much.
  1. Share my personal testimony publicly*
  2. Take a prayer walk in the Mount of Olives
  3. Lead bible studies for women who are wanting to know Christ*
  4. See the sunrise 7 days in a row
  5. Give a gas card to a stranger
  6. Memorize a psalm*
  7. Sign up to be an organ donor*
  8. Take a spiritual retreat (maybe even a silent retreat)
  9. Learn to recite a scripture in Hebrew*
  10. Adopt a child*
  11. Serve the homeless a bunch*
  12. Mentor in my community*
  13. Share bible lessons with groups of women*
  14. Give someone a car*

    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Ideas to Celebrate Memorial Day

    Memorial Day is a special day to remember the freedom we have as Americans and to celebrate the lives of those who fought and died so that we could have it. Below are some quick ideas of ways to celebrate this special holiday.
    1. Write with shoe polish on your car window a message of thanks. Or, like me, place a sign on the back window behind the driver's seat. Some ideas include:
    • Remembering America's Heroes
    • Honoring All Who Served
    • Land of the Free & Home of the Brave
    2. Observe the National Moment of Remembrance. The Moment occurs on Memorial Day, 3 PM, local time, for 1 minute.

    3. Support your local Memorial Day parade or community event.

    4. Place an American flag outside of your home. I have a neighbor who lines their yard with little American flags every year. (if you have a flag pole, it should fly at half-mast until noon)

    5. If available, decorate your home or outdoor family party with the poppy flowers. Click HERE for background on this flower of remembrance

    6. Get involved with an organization that encourages current soldiers. Some examples are: Soldiers' Angels, A Million Thanks, Operation Gratitude or AnySoldier.

    7. Do patriotic crafts. Check out this cool site, My Blessed Life, for ideas.

    8. Many picnic or grill out. Celebrate with family and friends to enjoy the freedom that so many have fought to give us.

    9. Ever consider organizing a street parade in your neighborhood? This would be a great way to meet neighbors. It doesn't have to be fancy and could consist of the neighborhood kid'os waving patriotic crafts, riding their bikes and dressed up family pets walking down the block to music. Maybe afterwards there could be a front yard picnic with simple refreshments.   

    10. Contact a local nursing home and see if you can join their Memorial Day celebration and encourage (not only possible veterans & their family) their residents.

    11. If you live in the "Big City" then take a road trip to a neighboring small town. See what kind of festivities they are doing and explored a new place.

    Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

    Healthy Recipes

    The healthy weekend spent with my mom was a great success. We selected three recipes to try. They were great!

    Papaya-Berry Yogurt Parfaits
    My review: super yummy and easy. We were surpised how much juice came from a dry looking piece of ginger! Highly recommend.

    Prep Time: 20 min
    Total Time: 20 min
    Serves: 6
    • 3 containers (5.3 ounces each) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
    • 5 tablespoons honey
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon juice
    • 1 piece fresh ginger (about 2 inches)
    • 1 papaya (1 pound), peeled, halved lengthwise, seeds discarded, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    • 1 package (6 ounces) fresh blackberries
    • 1 package (6 ounces) fresh raspberries
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, plus sprigs for garnish
    • 1/2 cup granola
    1.     In a small bowl combine yogurt, 3 tablespoons honey, and zest; set aside.
    2.     Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the ginger (no need to peel) into a small bowl. Squeeze ginger through a fine-meshed sieve or strainer placed over a medium bowl to get a total of 1 tablespoon ginger juice. Discard pulp. To the bowl with the juice, add remaining 2 tablespoons honey and lemon juice; whisk to combine. Add papaya, blackberries, and raspberries and toss gently to coat.
    3.     To serve: Spoon half the fruit and juices among six 8-ounce tall glasses. Sprinkle chopped mint over the fruit. Top with half the yogurt mixture and half the granola. Layer with the remaining fruit, yogurt, and granola. Garnish with mint sprigs.

    Chicken with Mango & Carrots Salad

    My review: We couldn't find Bibb lettuce so we picked a substitute. It was originally a wrap recipe but end up much easier as a salad. I added the kiwi later when I had leftovers. I must say it's better the first day. For some reason I didn't like the carrot/mango mixture cold but more at room temp. Perfect summer meal!

    • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • Coarse salt and ground pepper
    • 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
    • 1/2 green mango, peeled and cut into matchsticks
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for grill grates
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
    • 3 thin chicken cutlets (about 3 ounces each)
    • 24 small leaves Bibb lettuce, from about 3 heads
    • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
    1.     In a medium bowl, stir vinegar, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt until sugar is dissolved. Add carrot and mango; toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature, tossing occasionally, at least 30 minutes, or refrigerate up to a day
    2.     Heat grill or grill pan to high; lightly oil grates. In a shallow dish, combine lime juice, ginger, and oil; season with salt and pepper. Add chicken and let marinate for no more than 5 minutes. Grill chicken until browned and opaque throughout, 1 to 3 minutes per side; transfer to a plate to cool.
    3.     Thinly slice chicken; toss with carrot mixture. Divide mixture among lettuce leaves; drizzle with juice from carrots and sprinkle with cilantro.

    Whole-Wheat Spaghetti w/Escarole & Gorgonzola  

    My review: Don't skimp on the escarole lettuce. It cooks down very small. This was extremely yummy. You can see we added grilled chicken as well. I wasn't crazy about the Gorgonzola cheese. It was bitter and the greens are slightly bitter as well. So I'll probably make it with another cheese next time. This is very much like a comfort food meal but healthier :)

    Prep: 20 min
    Total Time: 30 min
    Serves: 4
    ·         Coarse salt and ground pepper
    ·         8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
    ·         3 tablespoons butter
    ·         1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
    ·         2 garlic cloves, minced
    ·         2 medium heads escarole (12 ounces each), ends trimmed, leaves cut crosswise into bite-size pieces, washed (but not dried)
    ·         4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
    1.     Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente; drain, and return to pot.
    2.     Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until onion starts to brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
    3.     Add as much escarole to skillet as will fit; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing frequently, adding more escarole as room becomes available. Continue to cook until escarole is tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
    4.     Add remaining tablespoon butter and escarole mixture (with any pan juices) to pasta in pot; season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Sprinkle with Gorgonzola, and serve immediately.
    Happy & Healthy tummies :)

    Tuesday, May 22, 2012

    Exercise & Sadness

    There has been a buzz around for years that exercise helps make you feel better when you are feeling low. I have often felt the 'runner's high' after working out and have used exercise many times to help lift my mood.

    Yesterday, though...something different happened.

    I was exercising and focusing on a motivational quote for working out that said, "If you look pretty after your work out, then you're not working hard enough." I was doing an intense, hip-hop ab work out in the middle of the afternoon. Once I finished the main section and was moving into the cool down, I noticed I felt weepy. After my shower, I realized I felt kind of sad.

    I thought, "What's up with me?" So even though I was sceptical because I had only EVER heard or experienced the opposite, I search the Internet to see if exercise can cause someone to feel depressed and do you know what I found?

    It can.

    If you've experienced this, then please know you're not crazy or alone. If you have not, well there is a good chance you might someday at least once. I found a forum of people discussing whether it was possible for exercise to cause a person to be depressed or angry. As I read, I found most of these folks had spoken to their doctor but had gotten shrugged off by them.

    There are several possibilities to why exercise can make you feel sorrow, foggy, or even anger:
    1. dehydration
    2. exercise-induced low blood sugar
    3. changes in your cortisol or adrenalin levels
    4. exercise might be allowing you to release past tension, grieving or other intense emotions
    So what were some suggestions?
    1. Give yourself grace - you are human and there is probably something chemical going on
    2. Drink water in case you are dehydrated from your exercise routine and make sure you try drinking water during your next work out program.
    3. Eat some fruit or a little bit of something with complex carbohydrates to bring up your blood sugar. Someone suggested eating fruit an hour before working out to help as well.
    4. You might be pushing yourself to hard. Although we see TV exercise coaches pushing contestants on shows to their extreme limit, not everyone is build the same way. Listen to your body!
    5. Spend some time praying about life events you might be not being dealing with and again give yourself grace because it might be allowing you to get rid of stuffed sadness or anger.
    6. Change your work out. Many experienced this negative change in mood when doing aerobic routines. Try something like walking or swimming. Some wrote that when they changed the type of exercise they noticed a difference.
    I have a feeling since I ate an early lunch and was working out in the middle afternoon that my blood-sugar got too low and that I might have pushed myself to hard. If it happens again, then I'll probably be switching from that routine. Anyway, I was thankful I found the forum because I'd never experienced this before. Exercise is good for us so I'm not giving up. :)

    Monday, May 21, 2012

    Psalm 130: 5-7

    I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption...

    I was reading Psalm 130 for my coffee and cozy time with God today. Afterward, I was meditating on the verses about waiting for the Lord, especially my soul, and how the psalmist compared his own waiting to how a watchmen waits for the morning. I started researching 'watchmen' (or 'sentries' as some versions read) and found a post that provided a wonderful reminder to me. Blogger Jeremy Norton wrote,

    "It’s so interesting to me that the Psalmist chooses to liken a watchmen to his waiting on the Lord.  The watchman holds huge responsibility that when everyone sleeps, he is in charge of reporting dangers that may be approaching.  Whether thieves, storms or invading enemies; he must be steadfast in his watch.  Then at dawn, as the sun breaks the horizon, the watchman breathes a sigh of relief as his time of rest has arrived."

    After reading that I remembered a morning last week when the sky was gray and suddenly a huge hole of sunlight came bursting through. I thought, "Wow, could Jesus be coming back today?" and peaceful excitement flooded me as I continued on my way to work.

    Why? Because I'm waiting on Jesus, the true Dawn of the morning. I'm eagerly awaiting his return! I'm like the watchman anxious for the dawn and ready for the rest. The thought of seeing Jesus brings a sigh to my heart and yet I'm totally holding my breath in anticipation to see my Lord with my own eyes!

    Jesus says, "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what [she] has done." Rev. 22:12

    And I say, "Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen." Rev. 22:20b-21

    Friday, May 18, 2012

    Your Inner Light

    If it looks as though I'm communicating to someone behind the camera, I am. I'm talking to ME! I'm expressing private truths to myself about my inner light through these photos which maybe only I understand.

    I was challenged in the "inner EXCAVATION" book I'm reading to take self portraits. The photos are not meant to be focused on your look, being stylish or taking the perfect picture by having everything "in place." The focus is about expressing your inner light.

    The book challenged me so now I challenge you to a quick self portrait session in which you try to express your inner light! Please remember, it's not about perfect pictures. When I look at my hair in these shots or my gentle rolls I kind of cringe, but I'm trying to be courageous because I want to remember and remind those great women around you shines a light and in Jesus you are enough!

    Now go speak some truths to yourself through your camera :)

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

    Do Not Fret

    Kidnapping. Corruption. Car Bombs. Abuse. These are just a few topics in articles I saw from the online news today. I don't often read the news and rarely watch it. Why? It really stresses me out! After a long day at work, the last thing I need is to go home and eat my dinner watching depressing stories.

    I was thinking about these things when I read Psalm: 37 for my "Coffee & Cozy" time with God this morning. Sometimes I strange as this might take God at his word. After reading the psalm, I went back and read it again. This time I took to heart the truth it was expressing, especially about wickedness. Reading the second time, a wonderful peace surrounded me. So if the wickedness of the world bothers your righteous heart too...may we NEVER forget these direct quotes from God's words on the matter in Psalm 37:

    • Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. 
    • Do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. 
    • For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
    • A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.
    • The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming. (I found this incredibly powerful)
    • For the power of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.
    • But the wicked will perish: Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field, they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke
    • Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed; the offspring of the wicked will perish
    • I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a luxuriant native tree, but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found. 
    • There will be no future for the wicked.
    We are flooded with negative everyday yet we have no need to fret. God is a God of mercy and yet he is also a God of justice. We can trust him...he sees what's going on.

    “Remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS.” ~ Gandhi

    God's way...the way of truth and love...has ALWAYS WON. Beautiful!

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    The Journey

    I receive a newsletter at least weekly from a blog called Solo Traveler. Janice's blog has inspired me in many ways since I'm also a woman who has wanderlust and has traveled solo on many occasions. Recently, she had a post called "The Journey" and share a poem written by David Whyte.


    To try to "explain" this poem is must listen for yourself. Click here to watch a video of him providing his background in writing it and to hear him recite this poem.

    photo from Solo Traveler's blog

    Monday, May 14, 2012

    Moments in Time

    Matthew 3:16
    As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.

    Matthew 9:22
    Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment.

    Matthew 27:50-52 
    And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.  The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.

    Luke 2:38
    Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

    John 18:27
    Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.

    These are some of many unique moments in the bible. I am reading a new book by Liz Lamoreux called "inner EXCAVATION" and its focus is exploring "your self through photography, poetry and mixed media." The first exercise I completed was focused on taking a series of pictures.

    The purpose? Its designed to help you live in the moment; the ones that make up your ordinary day. So I took pictures of part of my evening. This evening's 'moments' aren't as ground shaking as those verses above but they are the moments God gave me that night. I want to take notice more of how God is working in both the large and small moments of my life.

    So what did I find as I was 'excavating' through my evening? God revealed to me that I'm pretty sad right now. He showed me there's been a lot of change in my life recently and that I need to put my head on his shoulder a bit more and cling to him. I'm grateful he reveals what's happening inside my heart and mind in these little moments.

    Here are some of the photos below. None of them are 'amazing' but that's not the point of the exercise. You will notice many are taken portrait style instead of landscape and that the others are taken at ground level. These are cool prompts to try when taking pictures to help be a bit more creative :)


    Friday, May 11, 2012

    Soul - The Inner Garden

    Traveling inside myself down a winding dirt road,

    In the soil, that is my soul, a flower bed grows.

    This is the beginning of a poem I wrote many years ago. I tend to picture my soul as a garden. Growing up on a farm, of sorts, and having farmers in my family, I have seen the work it takes to keep a garden beautiful and bearing. In some ways, both a physical garden and the inner garden of my soul need to be cared for in the same ways. Let me explain:  
    • Mulch. Mulch is applied as a covering to prevent excessive evaporation or erosion, enrich the soil, and inhibit weed growth. What am I covering my soul with? A focus on Jesus! By mulching my soul with Jesus I prevent excessive burnout and faith deterioration. It also helps me to repress some weed growth of the soul (temptations & sin).
    • Sunlight & Fertilizing. Healthy plants are more disease resistant. A person with a strong immune system can combat diseases as well. Thinking of sunlight to my soul reminds me that I need to take care of my body, exercise and eat well. It would be silly to think that the outside doesn't affect the inside. Also, I need to fertilize my garden soul with worship, encouragement, and peacefulness to keep it strong and healthy.
    • Pesticide. Pesticides are intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest. Helping to prevent 'pests' or getting rid of them in my inner garden consists of confessing and repenting. Sins literally eat away at my soul so I have to be sure to be open and willing to keep changing.
    • Water. The best time to water a garden is during the morning. Just the same, when I'm spending lots of time with God in the mornings I am more refreshed. Reading my bible and praying are the perfect activities to give my soul more vibrancy.
    • Thin the garden. Thinning a garden provides more room for the surviving plants to mature into healthy, vigorous crops. In a similar way, I must go in and evaluate my schedule, activities, and plans to make sure I'm still on the path God wants me to be for my life and maybe 'thin' something out so that I can grow the way God desires.
    Isaiah 58:11 "The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."

    Ultimately, I truly value the gardening of my soul. I want to grow in taking care of it and also grow to have more patience and kindness towards myself as my soul blooms. I desire this and believe I can have a sense of anticipation for the fruit I will bear internally and with others as I take care of my inner garden. :)

    Thursday, May 10, 2012

    Last Minute Gift Idea for Mom

    Even though Mom and I are celebrating Mother's Day with a mother/daughter day the weekend after the holiday, I still wanted to send both my mom and grandma flowers on the actual day. Yet even with all my planning ahead, I received a call yesterday that the flowers I purchased to encourage them could not be delivered. (they live too far in the boonies - ha) So, I've been hustling to find another gift. Sometime between 1-3AM last night an idea hit me.

    Today I bought blue antique Mason jars, a whole bunch of antique buttons, and a candle to create a sentimental (and country tailored) gift for them. I filled the jars with buttons and wedged a sweet smelling candle in each. It will be easy for them to replace the candle when this one is done. I'm going to include the lid because it adds a stronger antique look. Also, I printed a picture of the flower arrangements I wanted to send each of them and on the back printed a poem I wrote to explain why this gift was symbolic.

    Below are some photos and the poem.


    The poem I wrote, reads:
    "Buttons fasten things together
    and a candle lights the way.
    They each symbolize
    my thoughts of you on Mother's Day.
    Buttons to represent the moments
    you've kept our family entwined
    and a candle signifies the light
    which you continually shine."

    You could fill a container with anything around the candle. I've seen wine corks or you could use pebbles, silk flowers to line the inside, shells, funky fabric pieces...whatever. I was super stressed yesterday when I had to cancel the flower order but I'm happy that a cute & creative gift came to life because of the time crunch. Anyway, just a little idea I thought I'd share. I'm hoping this will bring them happy thoughts each time they look at it or light the candle. Oh, and I had enough left over to make a little one for myself. Bonus! :)

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    My Secret Escape

    Have you ever gotten overwhelmed during a weekday and felt the need to pray but that you had no place private to go be with God? You just knew deep in your soul you needed 10 minutes without watchful eyes on you or ears listening in? I know I have felt these very things. And where do I go when time is short and I need private time with God right in the middle of my work day?

    Well, my secret escape is the car wash :)

    I realized about 8 years ago I could visit the car wash by my job or house and get 10 minutes of complete alone time with God. No one could hear me and no one could really even see me! This has been my secret escape, especially for times when my schedule is overwhelming me.

    I turn my phone OFF so I'm not tempted by text or facebook. I'm not concerned about getting a phone call because even if someone called, I would not be able to hear well inside the car wash. So everything must wait for at least the time of the car wash. I find this surprisingly freeing!

    As my little white Prius gets all the dirt washed away from it, I also feel God cleansing me and reminding me:

    1 Corinthians 6:11b "But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

    Revelation 22:14 "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city."

    Then as I relax and shake off the woes of the world, the child in me comes back again and I enjoy the simple things about my little escape. I especially enjoy when it's time to wax the car because the wax tends to come out all colorful...yellow, purple, blue colors dot my windshield...and my heart lifts even more.

    Galatians 5:1 "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

    After this simple, secret escape...I can pull out of the car wash a bit more calm, more grounded and with a refreshed heart. So, if you find in the future that a day is weighing too heavy you might think about rounding up some change from your pocket, driving to an automatic car wash and spending some unique time with God in this unlikely escape.