OH how fabulously wonderful You are, Lord. Absolutely fabulous! In who You are! In where You are! In how You are! I am so blessed to have met You here in this new favorite place You have given me. You have been whispering this place to me for quite some time, and I have tried to research as much as possible on how to meet You here. Yet today, You have spoken clearly, and delightfully surprised me!
It’s known for its gardens, but this is winter, so it was “barren” of the flowers everyone brags about. Yet I feel like it’s an earthy wonderland! It’s so beautifully designed. A beautiful use of concrete and earth in perfect blend… if there can be such a thing. It’s outdoors and yet so clean! Pristine! You are beautiful… wonderful… in Your time… in Your place! ❤ I go inside.
You first catch my attention with heritage… and have me think.
What is an important tradition in my family or community?
The only thing that comes to mind are family dinners we use to have at my grandmother’s house. My mom’s family use to have holiday dinners there. There was no certain time of day. Aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, spouses, grandchildren, great grandchildren and several family friends would come and go throughout the day. When my grandmother passed in February of 2000, we no longer saw each other much, unless it was a funeral.
What have I learned by being a part of it?
Family can be so precious… even dysfunctional families. Enjoy the time while you can. It won’t last. It makes me think of one of my favorite gospel songs every time I lose someone I love…. I’ve Got More to Go to Heaven For (Than I Did Yesterday).
I’VE GOT MORE TO GO TO HEAVEN FOR
I’ve been on my way to Heaven… For a long, long time.
And many things have happened… That clouded up my mind.
But I am more determined… To walk the narrow way
For I’ve got more to go to Heaven for… Than I had yesterday.
There’s a golden street to walk upon… A bell I’m gonna ring,
A brand-new angel in the choir… I wanna hear her sing.
There’ll be a lot of friends a-waiting… When I walk through the gate
I’ve got more to go to Heaven for… Than I had yesterday.
I’ve been through lonesome valleys… I’ve climbed the highest hill,
I’ve known the joy of living… In the center of God’s will.
I’ve watched the angels come and take… My loved ones home to stay
I’ve got more to go to Heaven for… Than I had yesterday.
You continue to have me think on family tradition.
Banana Pudding was our family tradition…
for every holiday… sometimes every meal.
Banana Pudding and Sweet Tea! ❤
“O taste and see that the Lord is good:
blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”
– Psalm 34:8 KJV
Now You turn my focus to water… Your gift to life.
Seeing this makes me think of the struggle I have with dehydration, and this makes for a great motivator and reminder! It also reminds me of when I was doing Lovely A’s 21 Day Self Care Challenge on her Discovering Your Happiness website. My response was noted on Self Care Challenge Day 8: Water. I actually took the picture thinking of her! ❤
Chewing Gum comes from a tree! Wow! I did not know that! 🙂
I love corn, beans, and squash! A tasty dinner to me, Lord! 🙂
After hearing some Native Americans narrate different nature topics and traditional stories, I venture outside. I have no pictures. I started just enjoying things when I sat down for the stories. I’m walking where there are normally gardens and flowers, so says the guy when I came in and every touring person that passes me. Yet I am not the least bit disappointed. Perhaps because I have not come to see them. I have come to see You!
Again the place just seems like the most tenderly fabulous earthy wonderland! I find one of the many beautifully designed areas to sit in, and just take You in. The sun is so bright and beautiful on this winter day, and the wind just does what it wants with my hair. But it’s OK. It’s comforting… because it’s You… being playful… being tender… being loving… being personal… being You! This place reminds me of places people have introduced to me in the past. For some reason I start thinking of those special faces.
Counselors, teachers, friends who have taken moments out to sit and talk with me… knowing that I am claustrophobic… and very uncomfortable with talking inside closed walls… while a clock ticks… reminding of how unimportant my words are, so make it quick for the one who is listening. But not here. Outside in a warm sun… with no clock hovering over me. It makes me miss them so. I have so much I wish I could talk to them about. They broke protocols and rules to go out of their way to help save me from things in my life when I did not know I needed saving from anything. My heart aches for them. I miss them as much as I miss family… even if some them were dysfunctional as well. How human we all are. Yet we are Your humans! Thank You, Lord, for going out of Your way today to meet me here. I will be back!
As I start to walk away from this area, a smell permeates my air. And I can smell how beautiful it is! So pleasant! So comforting! There’s just something about it that smells like… You! I see nothing but barrenness until suddenly I see a sign that says Lily of the Valley! *GASP* Oh dear Lord! My favorite song! My grandmother’s favorite flower, and a name sweetly referenced to You!
Lily of the Valley – hymn lyrics by Charles W. Fry
I have found a friend in Jesus, He’s everything to me,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul;
The Lily of the Valley, in Him alone I see
All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole.
In sorrow He’s my comfort, in trouble He’s my stay;
He tells me every care on Him to roll.
He’s the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.
He all my grief has taken, and all my sorrows borne;
In temptation He’s my strong and mighty tow’r;
I have all for Him forsaken, and all my idols torn
From my heart and now He keeps me by His pow’r.
Though all the world forsake me, and Satan tempt me sore,
Through Jesus I shall safely reach the goal.
He will never, never leave me, nor yet forsake me here,
While I live by faith and do His blessed will;
A wall of fire about me, I’ve nothing now to fear,
From His manna He my hungry soul shall fill.
Then sweeping up to glory to see His blessed face,
Where rivers of delight shall ever roll.
It’s not visible, but I can smell despite the darkened earth. Praise Your name I can smell! I have been trying to do the Smell Walk, #3 of the 50 Walks within the Walking the Walk Challenge with Lovely A of Discovering Your Happiness, but have just not been able to smell! I had done Walking the Walk, #3 Delight Walk in its place. But I smelled that lovely Lily of the Valley! ❤ And this was before I had the occipital nerve block last week, of which I felt it opening my sinus within minutes.
As I continue to walk, I smell another familiar aroma… Spruce… everywhere! It smells so good! And just as I think of touching out of curiosity, You remind me of my allergies and sensitivities. I’ll never forget Scratch and Sniff 203! That was my Botany class. In lab exercises we walked the college campus scratching and sniffing twigs, flowers, branches (that we were warned not to touch because of chemicals to protect them). I had the worst allergic reaction I have had involving a fever. A high fever that did not break until the 9th day of a 10 day antibiotic course. No more Scratch and Sniff, Professors! 😉
All of this beautiful smell within a seemingly lifeless foliage makes me think on how filthy I must have looked to You underneath all of my sin when my soul laid beneath the dead and broken leaves, the barren dark branches, and this uninviting view. Yet You saw beauty in me. You saw You in me! Again I think of my counselors and teachers You used to save me, to clean and toil the surface, to dig out the roots and choking weeds, to rid me of that one dark blot…. multiplied by a thousand. Thank You for coming for me! Thank You for the souls You blessed me with. Help me to thankful for those I still have!
One last sign on the way out… is a Fabulous answer to prayer!
I continue to walk around and then find this sign telling me of several small trails! Could this be answer to prayer, and a guide for the 50 Walks in the Walking the Walk Challenge! Absolutely! Thank You for this day! For this intoxicating scent! For these fond memories of people I miss so much! Thank You for just being You! As Always! ❤