Friday, July 5, 2019

Lamentations of Past, Present and Future

I've been going through files during this time of being off line. I'm writing for the new book coming out, and looking for inspiration, but while I'm not writing I'm doing computer "housekeeping" and organizing files and deleting things that can be deleted. 

I located this as a "draft" on the blog. I am not sure why I didn't post it. I know it was a busy time of life, and perhaps I never got around to doing an edit, or making a meme to post with it. Still, I'm in awe of God's timing—then and now.

This was 3 moves ago, leaving Owensboro and moving to Harrison, AR. It was such a time of emotional and physical turmoil. Thankfully it was not a time of spiritual turmoil. God is so faithful. Going back and reading this is like looking at an old photo album. I remember these thoughts, these ideas, these fears and answers. Now years on the other side I remember details that I didn't know then...and I'll write them at the end. 

I am grateful for God's faithfulness, and letting us stay here right now (in Alabama). Having been in this house for a year now, it's one of the few times in the past 10 years that we're getting to see a full season in one place. It can always change, and that's ok. He always knows where we need to be, and where He will move us next. He also knows when it's good for us to stay put for a bit. I still hold it all loosely, and look forward to wherever He has us in a year, here or away from here. 

I've been thinking a lot lately of lamenting.

I think that it was borne out of forcing myself to look beyond the sadness of moving and see the amazing things God was still doing in this season. I also think it was the answer to a lot of people's prayers. It's easy for me to camp out in a sad emotional spot, especially when it's justifiable.

Who wouldn't be sad to be in some part of a move for the 4th September in a row? Who wouldn't be at least a little sad (ok, a LOT sad!) to move so far from the majority of their grandkids, after getting to see them often, and having them live just a few minutes (or hours) away? Who wouldn't be upset to have just poured blood, sweat and tears into completing the fence around the house, planting the beginnings of a great perennial flower garden, and starting to celebrate the start of a few friendships in the new neighborhood?

"But still..."

I can really go on and on in my complaining... but I won't. God has done some amazing things over the past few months, and although it doesn't change the situation that we're in (moving) it convinces me that He is a part of this change.

I've been reading a book that comes out soon called Girl Meets Change, by Kristen Strong. I don't think that it was a simple coincidence that I'm reading it now. She addresses the feelings of change we all get, fear, anxiety, sorrow, and takes them head-on with scriptural truth. It's helping me. A lot.

I think that is where the seed of lamenting came from too. It reminded me of a sermon I heard about a year ago, while visiting my sister's church in California. In all my years of church-going, I'd never heard a lesson on "lamenting." I've been taught on the book of Lamentations, and the Psalms (where many of David's lamenting poems are found), but not on the facts of what makes a lament.

In the past few weeks, the negative complaining had taken over my emotional bank. Grandkids were about the only thing that brought joy to me. I found it hard to enjoy anything, especially the things I really enjoy - photography, art, music, working outdoors in the garden. Even watching tv changed, as I turned off the shows on travel and house-hunting and home repairs and found myself tuning in to more news (bad news, of course), or shows that were more drama and negative. I was trying to escape.

I also found myself engaging with other bad behavior, like biting my nails more, snacking more, and drinking more sugary drinks. It was as if I was feeding my poor attitude and ignoring the things that normally brought me joy.

I asked a few friends for prayer, more specifically praying for things like my behavior, my attitude, my marriage and my heart. I confessed things that I knew needed confessing, and invited accountability, even though I didn't want to.

More than I didn't want to ask for prayer, I didn't want to remain on this path of depression or destruction.

I also know that I'm facing some big changes, and that it is not wrong for me to be sad, upset, disappointed, or depressed about them. It's not always wrong to feel these emotions when they are balanced with other emotions. I was walking a fine line, and finding it hard to pull away from the negative feelings, but being authentic in suffering, and lamenting well, helped to find that balance.

I think that having to get my car worked on was the final straw.

I had been having the "service engine" light come off and on for the past few weeks, and I finally managed to get it to the auto parts store, and there was time it was on to get the computer read by the little gizmo that reads the codes for what's wrong. The code it indicated was about a $50 part, but my husband was out of town, as well as my son in law, and I didn't feel confident in changing out the part all by myself. My husband and I agreed to put it at the dealership (where we have a great relationship with the service department) to get the work done. I was also doing a little investigating online (of course!) and saw a few other things it may be, but all easy fixes and relatively cheap.

When the dealership called me with the news that it was going to be several THOUSAND dollars to get my car fixed, it pushed me over the edge.

However, this didn't surprise my husband at all. He had been looking online too, and saw the articles dealing with the problem that the dealership found. How come I never saw those is beyond me! He almost expected it to be that problem, and was glad that they found it.

What infuriated and upset me, he was pleased with. This made no sense to me.
So written as a lamenation in my mind, it went something like this:
My service engine light torments me, coming on and off, without allowing me to get the problem diagnosed.
The service department can not get me in until days later, and there will be a charge to determine the problem, as well as the fees for solving it.
But still, You kept the car running, and running well. Never once did you allow it to break down, leaving me stranded while my husband was away.
You provided a clear passage for me to get my car in the shop at it's appointed time, and You alone allowed me the provision of a loaner car from the dealership. You never left me without transportation, and I was permitted to take care of the issue without inconveniencing others.
You allowed me to connect with sweet friends that encouraged me, and inspired me, while I awaited the call from the repair shop, making for a great time of fellowship.
While the diagnosis was so much more than I expected, You allowed my husband to set aside money to fix it. You met our financial needs, and helped us to be prepared.
You moved up the schedule, with the mechanic completing the task a full day before expected. You timed this to coincide with the need for me to pick up boxes and moving supplies from a store in the same city, allowing me to combine errands and making the most of my time.
I rejoice at the goodness that You have shown me. I will praise You, for You have provided in ways I never would have known, if I had not faced this difficulty. You alone are good, and You alone are God.
As I think of the upcoming move, I consider this lament...
My husband lost his job unexpectedly, although he was committed to serving You in this space, and we prayed for the people and the business that took place there.
He has applied for jobs here, and no door has opened. There are not many jobs available in the industry, or in the field in which he is trained to work.
You send him away to work in another state, for just a few weeks, while I am traveling on my own during a planned trip.
I'm frustrated and upset with the thought of moving again, as we've had to move so often in the past 5 years.
We had just finished working on projects on the outside of the house, fencing, extending the patio, and planting several trees and plants. I'm so sad that I won't get to see them grow, or enjoy the gardens I've planned and planted.
So many of my grandchildren live near us now, and it makes me sad to think of being far from them.
It will be difficult to get to see them and be involved in their lives, and how will I help my daughters when they need help?

But still, You are God. You gave these girls to me, and have given them 9 children between them.
You have provided work for my husband, and it is in another place, but it's not in an unfamiliar place.
You have provided technology for us to be able to participate in our kids and grandkids lives, and we trust You to meet their needs.
I have no idea where You want us to live next, but You have sold our home here at a fair price in just a day! We praise You!
I will trust You with my tomorrows, because You have walked me through this moving process so many times in the past 5 years. Each time You provided a buyer for our home, and took care to provide a new home for us too! You have never allowed us to be homeless, and You have given us an apartment to rent until You reveal the next home for us to buy.
You are moving us to a place that is not far from our son, and I will praise You for the opportunity to get to spend time with my new granddaughter and help our daughter in law. You could have sent us to another state farther away, or closed the door for the job here, but You have seen fit for us to be here for a season. I will praise You for this season near to them!

Epilogue: We lived there for just over a year (the new job location in Arkansas) and I loved taking care of my granddaughter there. It was a good season of life, living there, and it was healing to the soul in many ways. Again, God moved us again out of state, much to our surprise, and He provided a buyer for our home (again, after many projects!) and provided another home for us in Alabama. We did a lot of projects on that home, and sold it and moved to another home a year later! Each time God gives us a peace that it's time to move, and He has always provided a buyer for our home within 30 days, and a new place for us to go to. Every project we have done has been fruitful and good team-building for us as a husband and wife. He has met our needs and provided work for my husband, and right now, work for me too. 

God is big enough to handle our complaints, our arguments, our ugly cries. He cares about us, and wants us to love people deeply. It's ok that our hearts break a little bit when we go through sad and difficult seasons. He wants to carry us. He wants us to be aware of His presence and provisions in the midst of our hurting and lamenting. He is with us. Always. 

Girl Meets Change, remains one of my favorite books ever. Author Kristen Strong has a new book coming out this fall that I am looking forward to reading soon! You can pre-order Back Roads to Belonging through online book stores and Amazon. 

#kristenstrong #backroadstobelonging

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

A Family Friendly Devotional

When I first saw The Devotional Doodle Journal online, I immediately thought of all the families around me that would have a blast with this. Since my grandkids live far from me, and I had a family of friends visiting, I thought I’d check it out, and I was right! 

The momma loved the content and easy to grasp topics with Biblical truths. The kids, aged 3-15, loved the doodling activities and journaling prompts. It would be good for a personal or family devotion time. Everyone had fun and good discussions took place! 

Use the DaySpring link on the side to order through the affiliate marketing program. 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

9 Little Photos: A Break in the Rain

We had a break in the rain today (storms now expected overnight) so I was able to enjoy the flowers instead of having to water them this afternoon. 

The Limelight Hydrangeas are doing great, and the Phantom Hydrangeas are turning pink in the blooms’ base. The Strawberry Vanilla has blooms on it, but they’re just barely beginning to open. I love the “bead and bloom” look that the cones have, and the red stems of the Strawberry Vanilla. It’s striking! 

We have a random sunflower growing in the birding border! The petunias and agapanthus are still blooming well, and the cannas are setting flowers now. One has bloomed red, and it’s a striking contrast next to that yellow sunflower! 

I feel so blessed to have so many birds and blooms to enjoy during my writing breaks. I’d not planned to be writing a book this summer, and with this planting done I’m able to fully enjoy it. 

Our neighborhood hawk hung out while Mark was working on the hillside. He sat on the fence and sized him up (I almost said “watched him like a Hawk”!), then flew to the back fence while he shopped for some dinner. I’m secretly hoping he’ll snack on some of the area snakes and rodents, but he’s amazing to see just perched on the fence.


Monday, June 17, 2019

June Gloom

June is hard. It just is. In California we called it “June gloom,” but it’s followed me everywhere I’ve lived. I keep seeing things added to it that weigh me down at my core... life and death stuff that God controls. It still catches me off guard and then I remember, “it is June.” 

Forever I have thought it has to do with the moon phases and seasons. We have been building up our daylight, and we peak next week with the coming of the first day of summer at the Summer Solstice. Then it begins to decrease, a slow descent into fall, then winter again. Over and over again, June Gloom appears.

But over and over, the ONE who made the sun and the moon and the stars pulls me through it. He made me too, and He doesn’t want me to focus on the GLOOM, but the GROOM, God Himself. 

I will live in the LIGHT of Jesus, hold dear the LIFE everlasting that He has given me, and lighten up a bit to balance out the negative side of the list. 

June brings so much beauty, cheerful kids out of school, clear blue skies and rolling thunderstorms to cover the parched ground. JUNE BRINGS BLOOMS, flowers of every color, greenest of trees and lawns, icy beverages and memory-making activities. 

And JUNE BRINGS GROOMS, and Brides too!! 

So I’m praying against the JUNE GLOOM, and taking it in stride, but not letting it rule my emotional calendar. 

Thank You God for June! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019


With all the disastrous flooding and storms all over the country, my heart has been breaking for the farming families that provide food for our country (and other countries too!).

Looking back in my memories I ran across these words from when we lived in Kentucky, in a small subdivision in the center of a large field. I could ride my bicycle to the back of our neighborhood and end up in the middle of a wheat field. It had the most spectacular views for sunrise and made for many beautiful pictures. It often felt like Holy Ground, as I’m sure the Farmer’s Family prayed over their crops, the weather, their work.

I’d like to share those old words with you again, mixed with a few new, and with photos of various farmland that I’ve captured over the past 10 years or so...from Kentucky, Missouri, California, Arkansas, Alabama and a few states between.

I’m praying for friends who are getting their crops in late because the ground has been flooded, for those whose growing crops are endangered by hail and tornadoes, and for those whose crops are safe and doing well not to feel guilty if their neighbors are struggling. I’m praying for those whose farmland is still covered with water, with no end of rain in sight.

Lord, bless the farmers.
I'm not a farmer. I don't know much about soils or seasons or crops and I've never been on a tractor. But I have a deep respect for those that bring fruit from the earth.                  

My Grandma planted parsley. She supplied all the little Armenian ladies in her circle with it for their plaki, and chee kuftah. She had a fig tree. We ate oranges and lemons from trees in our yards that were as ornamental as they were functional. We had things to eat and flowers to enjoy and it was life-giving.

There's something in my veins, but it's not easily defined. I see God grow things. I notice them planted on purpose from the Farmer and accidentally by the birds. I know that all of them are given from the Father.

I salvage plants root-bound in plastic pots and give them freedom in the earth around my home. They bless me with colors and fragrances that make me smile. It's a good arrangement, this trade off.

When I ride out past the boundaries of my neighborhood, I find this ground, acres and acres that give life to the birds that fly out from it; give bread for our table, or our neighbor's, or the farmer's. It's beautiful.                

In a few days the sounds will start and the tractors will plow, the dust will stir and the crops will come in.                          

I don't know what this ground will give life to next. But it makes me pause, watch the breeze move the grain mimicking the wind on water, stirring the life in me today.

Thank You Lord, for the Farmers.

Friday, May 31, 2019

WHiM: Preparing for Furloughs

As I read "my missionaries" newsletters, I'm reminded that this is when many of them travel for furlough. They have needs for transportation while they're back in their passport country, and many will be exhausted physically, emotionally, and spiritually, as they hit the ground running.

You may think that "furlough" means vacation, but often it is more work than when they are "home" in the country that they work in. People from their sending churches and organizations expect to see them, and often it leaves them even more tired than when they arrived. With family members also wanting to see them, it can put Global Workers as a rope in the middle of a game of tug-of-war. That doesn't sound relaxing to me!

Let's take time to actually pray for their needs, and LISTEN to the Holy Spirit to see if He will use us as a catalyst to meet their needs.

Do we know someone with an extra car that they can borrow? Can we cover the cost of a week-long rental? Can we bless them with gift cards for gasoline, restaurants, coffee shops, or even airline miles to help take some of that financial burden while they are here? Can we share their needs with our Sunday School or church or small group to help meet a larger need? How can we be a part of the solution? Can we bless them with a get away for their immediate family, since furlough is SO MUCH WORK? Can we gift them tickets to someplace fun, or put them up in a hotel where they can be alone and away for respite time?

These are just a few ideas. Usually we think of spending time with the missionaries that we love, but can we love them enough to encourage them to take time away from us, and to take time to rest with the Father?

I pray that we can.

What have you done in the past? What has someone done for you (if you're a missionary, or former global worker)? What do you wish someone would do for you? Please share below, pass this along, and let us mobilize our churches to bless those who are so weary!

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. Hebrews 6:10

Women Helping in Missions

Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Hope*Writer Challenge, Days 1-4

I sit at my desk and enjoy the view of God’s creation…green grass, birdfeeders full of brightly colored birds, flowers blooming. I could stay here all day and watch life take place at a snail’s pace in my backyard…sigh.

Stop it! I need to stop putting off what I want to do and get to the heart of the matter. I want to write. I need to write, and make it a priority like it used to be. I need to give it space to grow, and bloom, and not keep it hidden in the soil of my wish lists to do someday.
Someday is now.
Just like the other UFO’s (UnFinished Objects) I have in my creative pile that I need to complete, many of my words are buried under half-basted quilts and just-started paintings. I have journals with pages torn out, and photo albums undone. Never mind the boxes of photos that still need to be sorted! If I think about them I’ll never begin writing!
So today, I START. No matter what else is undone, my words will take hold here. Starting NOW.

Day 2: Morning (but the wrong topic... I looked at the challenge from earlier this year!)

I wake up early. Earlier than I need to. I’m exhausted as it is, having tossed and turned all night, despite medications that promise me a good nights’ sleep. It’s not often I get sick, but when I do, it’s a doozy.

Without saying a word I know I have no voice. My throat rages on fire.

I peek out the window to see evidence of morning. It will be a while before sun streams through my windows as there’s a hill in my backyard that blocks the eastern view—so I see dawn in the shade of hillside and trees. Still the birds come, they have no need of direct sunlight to make their way to the feeders. I’m not so easily coaxed to stay awake. It’s chilly for mid-May and I climb back in bed to the warmth of my cotton sheets and duvet. I snuggle down with my Bible seeking, something to meditate on as I savor these moments and give my body the rest it needs to heal. My eyes land in the Psalms.

Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Psalm 143:8

Yes, this. It’s not a coincidence that I’m sick as I’ve had a few weeks of busy schedules, good and bad stress, emotional strain. I’ve been around sick people, but usually I can self-care and nurture my system to keep from catching the germs-du-jour. I’ve neglected myself though, and haven’t done the things I usually would do, like doubling up on supplements, using my essential oils, meditating in the Word, or soaking in the bath. When you’re busy, things like that seem a luxury, when in reality—for me—they are a necessity.

I re-read the verse and savor each word, adding emphasis different places each time I read it. My tired soul is trusting in Him today. I will listen and hear from Him, stepping back and resting in the provision of His nurturing care. I may not go anywhere, but even this is the “way I should go.” I’m grateful for His timing, His clearing my schedule to rest in Him today.

He meets me right where I am, sickness and all, in the dawn of the day. I know I can trust in Him because of His steadfast love, every morning.
Day 2: Mantra
It’s barely 70* and I’m sitting on the shady back patio. There’s a breeze that rustles the tall trees to my south, and the birds are hitting the feeders hard for their afternoon meal. They call out from the trees, the fences, and the feeders. The fountain is full and it’s sound sets the backdrop for this peaceful scene. I breathe deep, letting go of my frustration and allowing God’s gift of peacefulness push into my frazzled soul, my foggy brain, my tired, sick body.

“More of You, Jesus... less of me.”
This has been my mantra for some time now, taught to me by an Ozark Christian College student as he led our youth group on a series exercises to focus on Jesus. It’s easily been 15 years ago. It has stood the test of time.
The breathing technique is just as important, using your breath to push out my negativity and create room to receive His Presence.
I use this often enough in daily life; when I can’t get to sleep, or my thought pattern is spiraling in a negative direction, when I’m not able to communicate clearly in conversation. When I need to feel His peace and presence. Just because.
Why haven’t I included it in my writing process? I don’t know. I meditate and pray. I worship. I invite Him to be a part of the process, but I haven’t used my mantra.
This changes now. Mantra and deep breathing becomes a part of my process. Just like stretching my muscles before a long walk, I’ll stretch my lungs and open my heart to hear what He wants to say—to give Him more of my mental and emotional space before writing.
What’s your process? Do you have physical or spiritual exercises that help prepare you for the task of writing? Please share in the comments.

Day 3: FLOW
A part of the challenge with Hopewriters
I peruse the group’s Facebook page, reading about the practices and discipline my fellow writers exhibit.
They rise early, hours before their children, to take advantage of the only time their house is still.
They send their kids and husbands out the door, then do hours of research, morning writing practices, and connect with their accountability partners.
They keep a journal with them, frantically scribbling notes whenever they get a writing prompt, whether it’s for the next post or their next book.
And then there’s me: I write. No set scene or time of day. I don’t have many distractions at home, and none that are much more than a momentary glitch. I write when the Spirit moves me to.
I used to be afraid to say that. Like it was near blasphemy to admit I could feel His prompts, but now I know that others feel it too. More than a few of us write this way, and dare I say, it may be normal?
Oh, we may not ever crank out books at a hare’s pace, we may not publish at all, but our words still have value. Our flow may be slow, and our priority is not likely to get 1000 words a day, but perhaps to get a handwritten note to a friend who is hurting.
And maybe other writers can do it all—that’s amazing! But when I’m Spirit led to write, I’m exhausted when I’m done, and rarely do I remember what I wrote about. It’s like I’ve written in my sleep, but I remember my dreams better! My writing flow comes from deep within me. I can’t quite put a finger on it.
It’s how I learned to write, even before I knew His voice. Now it’s hard for me to think of word counts and writing times and goals when my only goal ever was to be still, listen, and write for One. And I guess for me, that’s ok. That’s my flow.

Day 4: IDEA
I’m never short on ideas, and I’ve usually got some creative project on a back burner—but word crafting is different and ideas bubble up faster with less planning.
Where most of my life is fairly routine and well planned, my writing is mostly spontaneous and catches me off guard. I’ll be unloading groceries from the car and *BAM* a prompt will pop into mind, or perhaps while watching birds a scripture will linger that ministers deeply, and I’ve suddenly got a series of posts to write about.
But a good idea does not a good writer make.

I’ve been told I’ve got to limit my topics, or at least decide one area to write about. Ok. Maybe two. Instead my words cover many diverse topics, from being a parent of a missionary to being a workaholics wife, or sharing biblical inspiration. From cooking to home DIY and being middle-aged. From autoimmune issues to sending missionaries to the field. I think you’ve got the idea. My blog has been called Marina’s Kitchen Table because I wanted it to be a place we could sit and chat about anything, so that’s why I’ve been all over the place.
And the photography. Do my photos still work?
I’ve gotten better about not writing about every little thing, and better still at not posting everything I write, (believe it or not), but the idea of finding my niche and staying there scares me! What if my readers and followers like that I’m always writing about something different? What if they get a kick out of the fact that I write about my life? Can that be my niche? Is it ok to have a niche of many facets, showing the areas of my life from many different angles?
I’m sure someone from @hopewriters would suggest I do a survey and poll my readers what they want to read about most, and then take the top one and focus on it. That’s actually a good idea! It would be good too to see how many people are actually glancing at my blog, my Facebook pages, my side hustles.
I guess I know what my next post will be on...

Monday, April 22, 2019

Lamenting at the Gate

His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born. They will hear about everything he has done. Psalm 22:31

Even before I read the provided YouVersion verse of the day, my heart was turning towards the Psalms. I asked myself yesterday, “After the Resurrection, where will I go in scripture? After such heartbreaking sacrifices that He endured, the torturous beatings, the humiliation, the graphic descriptions of Holy Week...what can my response be?” My heart longs for moments of lamenting, repenting, awakening to the fact that all of this was because of God’s great love for me (and you).

I came across this photo the other day from about 8 years ago. My daughters’ family was serving in a church in Pennsylvania, and this gate kept the kids from wandering out into the driveway. It was Easter morning, all those years ago, and she was waiting with expectancy for her dad to come and set her free for the rest of the day’s activities.

As much and as often as I love to curl up on my Papa God’s lap to hear His heart beat, I want to be awake and aware of His coming for me. Whether it’s His return, or His preparing me for today’s journey, I want to be found waiting at the gate with anticipation.

Truth be told, in this past season I’d be more often found curled up in bed under warm blankets and hiding from daylight. My heart has been tuned to His, but my body has not cooperated, and physical limitations demanded rest and warm during this never ending very cold and wet winter. Spring has flip-flopped from bits of summer back into winters’ cold and bleak. Just yesterday I finally felt myself turn a corner towards the sunny spring day, my own body responding to His Resurrection power.

My heart longing for lament is falling right into line with that power. I have always loved the “...but still...” of David’s Psalms. My own modern day versions could mimic his with contrasts more suited to my failures:

My body is weak and my mind longs for rest, yet You, oh God, are awake and alive and strong, and call for me to be renewed through the beauty of Your creation.

Though troubles astound me and loneliness plagues me, You, God, have invited me in to Your quiet place. You provide for my every need, and meet me where I am. You comfort me by reminding me of Your unlimited resources and even placed me in a neighborhood of people who show Your loving-kindness in real, tangible ways. Your goodness, God, overcomes my sadness, and you fill my heart with joy.
Much like David’s laments, it’s easy to identify with the vast and varied needs in today’s life—and just as easy to counteract it with God’s qualities and provisions. We just need to be willing to look past ourselves.

What is your need today? What do you lack? What has God provided, if not to solve your problem or fulfill your need, to let you know that He is aware of you, and He is walking with you through this season? The God who gave His son, Jesus Christ, to be tortured and sacrificed for our sins, will not leave us alone at the gate. He continues to write our story, so we can continue to tell others of the great things He does, even today, and for every generation.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Road Often Traveled

I've always been a girl that likes to stop and smell the roses, and take the road less traveled. This happens to be a road we travel all the time, and each time lately I've said "I need to stop and take some photos there..." and drive on by.

I hadn't even driven this road today, but the light was right in the sky, and I knew it would be beautiful. I was actually worried that by the time I got home and the groceries unloaded it might be too late (and they're not even put away yet—they are still in bags on the kitchen floor!).

So when Mark came home behind me, I asked if he wanted to drive me there. I figured I'd have to get out and walk to where I needed to get the view I wanted, and the sun WAS a little lower than I'd hoped, but God pulled it together! He does AMAZING work! Thank you AGAIN Mark, for facilitating my photography!

I'm hoping to get back out there soon, even if I have to wear rain boots and tick spray. It's literally right off the side of the road, but it's so peaceful, so beautiful.

May it quiet your heart and mind as we approach Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, and as we prepare to celebrate Resurrection Sunday!

#marinaskitchentable #hopewriters #wordworshipwrite #marinajbromley #roadlesstraveled #roadtraveled #meetinginthemeadow #cullmanalabama #alabama #cullman