status report: road trip

We traveled 350 miles times two plus a sidetrip to Spokane (150 miles) so our old van is 850 miles older, tired, a bit dirty and filled with doggie hair…ugh.

These are some of my favorite sites as we drove to the Palouse…the rolling hills of the Palouse that is…

God…Country…and the Washington State University Cougars…in that order…ha!

We had a wonderful time visiting my parents and grandparents.  All I can say is that they are a delight and just fill me up with such love and joy.  We ate and ate and ate.  We talked and laughed and laughed some more.  Caleb was Grandpa Bill’s shadow and Grand Felicia’s cuddle mate in the mornings.  We all stayed up way too late and I am sure we will pay for it this week.  There were trips to Ferdinand’s’ the university’s creamery…for incredible ice cream…which I resisted.  However I didn’t resist a trip to Cougar Country Drive In…delish!  We all lamented over our broken brackets for March Madness…it is just that…sheer madness indeed.  Just lots of time to linger over one another…I like that best.

I enjoyed my tote bag of treasures immensely.  Yes, I will agree it was a lot of reading material but I used all of it.  You can find all the links in this post.

Courtney and I loved A Year of Mornings…it was fun to look at all these photos and how often there were similarities in each photo…crazy amazing.  Since the shots were taken before noon…many of those shots were of breakfast…

RESOLVE: I will try to eat a bit more creatively…I think I am in a rut.  I will also take more pictures of just simple everyday things…anything can be beautiful…it is just how you looked at it.  This is worth checking to see if your library carries this exquisite book. 

I don’t know that I learned anything new from reading The 7 Day Energy Surge but it gave me some great reminders.

RESOLVE:  I need to get more sleep…tame the night owl in me.  I will also tame my coffee habit.  I realized at the onset of our trip when it was my turn to drive…a quick trip to Starbucks was needed.  I wonder if the “aaahhh” I uttered after the first few sips was because my soy latte was yummy or was it 
                          feeding my need for caffeine.

Perhaps more sleep will mean less coffee.

I am two-thirds   three-quarters  through The Me I Want To Be…really enjoying this book. About this time last year I took a blog hiatus for a couple of reasons.  One of the reasons was that in writing  posts one’s life can be a bit skewed.  A blog provides a snapshot but not the complete photo album.  I may write about a great time spent with the Lord but I might not write about the days of being  prayerless or the rotten attitudes I have displayed or defeat regarding a habit or just plain laziness.  I felt that I needed to step away because I didn’t want any reader to come away from reading this blog with anything but encouragement…I would never want someone to think that I was saying…do this…don’t do that…be perfect…shape up…I hope that I provide a place that is authentic with the struggles but magnifies the Redeemer for that struggler.

One of my favorite chapters in this book is called Try Softer…here’s an excerpt:

“There are limits on what trying harder can accomplish.
Often the people in the Gospels who got into the most trouble with Jesus were the ones who thought they were working hardest on their spiritual life.  They were trying so hard to be good that they could not stop thinking about how hard they were trying.  That got in the way of their loving other people.

The problem when I try harder is that I get fixated on my own heroic efforts.  I grow judgmental.  I can’t let this endure forever.  So instead of making vows about how my spiritual life will be perfectly well organized until I die, I seek to surrender my will just for this day.  I look for small graces.  I try to engage in little acts of service.  I pray briefly to accommodate my limited attention span.  I look for ways of being with God that I already enjoy.  I try to go for half an hour without complaining.  I try to say something encouraging to three people in a row.  I put twenty dollars in my pocket that I will give away sometime during the day.  I take a five-minute break to read a page of great thoughts.

If  try harder is producing growth in your spiritual life, keep it up. 

But if it is not, here is an alternative:

Try softer.

Try better.

Try different.

A river of living water is now available, but the river is the Spirit.  It is not you.”

I read my devotionals…gave one of the magazines to my Mom to enjoy and wrote a bit in my journal.

It’s fun to go back home…I truly loved growing up in Pullman.  I feel blessed to have had that life experience.  In some ways I couldn’t wait to go to a place with mountains and close to the ocean…and I got that in Portland.  Now when I go home, I see the beauty that I took for granted…the stillness that is a gift…not just quaint. 

I brought home a couple of treasures…some childhood toys, some Bibles (still can’t find my Bible from high school and college…heavy sigh) and Courtney tried on my Letterman’s jacket and it is now hanging up in our closet…seems like a distant memory of sprinting, long jumping and cheerleading…those were the days.

There’s just nothing like a road trip…especially one that takes you down memory lane.

Oh and to one of you…you know the question…the answer I think is Boyer Park…am I right?

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7 thoughts on “status report: road trip

  1. Barb Fetters says:

    Yes, that’s the one, Helen!! I’m so glad you had a such a wonderful road trip…I too miss the quiet beauty of the Palouse. Can’t wait to talk to you soon. 🙂

    Hooray…I can’t believe that I forgot the name of the park…so glad you got my Jeopardy type cryptic message. I hope to talk to you soon…I am sure Easter Sunday will be a bit crazy but hopefully I can grab a quick hello…

    Helen

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  2. kimz says:

    Glad you had a good trip beloved friend, was praying for you.

    Thanks for praying…I can always use that…in heaps!

    Helen

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  3. Ci says:

    Your trip sounds wonderful! I’m so glad that you got to be with your beloved family and all the treasured memories of home. Thanks for sharing your photos and highlights!

    You are right it was a wonderful trip…and time spent with family is always a joy and a blessing.

    Helen

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  4. Karen L. says:

    I love the “try softer” in the quote and the focus on what God is doing….ahhh….the photographs were aboslutely beautiful! I was brought to a place of peace just looking at them. How fun to go on a road trip!!! Now…time to clean the car! 🙂 Love you, K

    I felt so draw to the rolling hills and the barns this time around…I even bought several line drawings to frame at some point…I am sure you feel the same when you head to North Dakota. You are right…if it ever stops raining I will be getting out the Oreck…

    Helen

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  5. Chris S says:

    My favorite was that you love being with your family (extended)… I know the LORD gave me the family I have and I am reminded: He is standing in the gap.

    I listened to what you said about “small steps”… it makes life in this world much more doable.

    Last week the LORD had me forgive and bless people in my life during prayer… it was an interesting time and has stayed with me over several days. Easier to keep from complaining.

    Lastly, a few years ago I worked in Spokane/Western Idaho area for 4 months of my life which seemed like 4 years… the best part was the countryside esp. driving home through Palouse country. The rolling hills and farm land so totally call me. I would pull over and take pictures … sometimes I would just slow and take pictures out the window, because I was stopping too much. : )

    I had no idea that you spent time in my neck of the woods…we will have to chat.

    Oh…those times of prayer that help us unburden ourselves and yet rejoice as well.

    Bless you dear sister!

    Helen

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