Monday, November 3, 2008

Show Me Your Glory.....

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into the tress. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like Autumn leaves."

~John Muir~
Sunday morning just before dawn I awoke from a dream. I had been dreaming of my grandmother. We were sitting at her kitchen table talking and laughing. Her gentle chuckle still rang in my ears as sleep slipped away and reality crashed in. It was only a dream, she was really gone, and I miss her so much. I quietly slipped out of bed, reached for my wrap, and slid out the back door, sitting on the steps to pray and watch the sun rise through the trees. With each brightening beam of light the autumn foliage began to glow. I sat remembering all the autumns we had spent together, thankful for each one. I quietly entered the house to retrieve my camera to capture some of the color, knowing it would be short lived with the gray of winter closely nipping at autumns heels.

With a heavy heart I wandered around knowing I should be back inside getting ready for worship. I stood stock still, me feet feeling as if they had suddenly grown roots and pinned me to the ground. I felt as if I could not face people or share my grief at the moment. I heard the sound of the front door open and shut and the crunch of leaves behind me. Gentle hands reached out and rested on my shoulders, a scruffy chin on my head, soft words following, "Are you OK?" A garbled "No." escaped.

After explaining about the dream, my inability to control my emotions, and the realization that the
approaching holidays will be our firsts without her, he gathered me in his arms and said, "Let's get away for the day." I was reluctant at first but finally agreed. One hour later found us setting off for the highest mountain in our state. This weekend was the peek of our autumn foliage, a perfect time to take a drive.

The first part of journey we zipped past fields and farmland sitting in silent companionship. I drank in the beauty of the blue skies, the golden fallow fields, and weathered barns. I kept my eyes turned to the gentle rising slopes of the mountains with the patchwork quilt of autumn colors rising and stretching out before me. I saw the sign for the turn off to lead us up to the mountain and questioned Handy Hubby as to why we were turning in the opposite direction. He said he had it all mapped out on his GPS. He says that often the GPS will map you through a shortcut and we would probably meet up with the other road by and by. I am doubtful but agree to follow his lead, after all, he was driving. We wend our way down a pretty pastoral area with old farmhouses. I content myself with the new scenery. We turned off onto a nice wooded paved two lane road. From there we were directed onto a paved one and one half lane road. Then onto a one lane road. Next came a dirt road that lead to a steeply deeply rutted washed out pig trail climbing up the mountain with no possibility of turning around. Both sides of the road were flanked with woods, one sliding off the steep embankment and the other rising to the sky. I am trying to hold my tongue, visions of a gaping hole in the oil pan and no possible way to identify where we were dancing in my head. My teeth are jarring with every scrape and bounce and I am longing for the four wheel drive resting in my driveway back home.

We finally crest the top and find a truck parked in the middle of the trail in front of us. It turned out to be two forest ranges. They were stunned that we would even attempt such a road in a car. One of them quipped, "I thought that was an awful nice car to be driving up this way." This after my sheepish husband explained the whole GPS thing and that we had a four wheel drive at home and had we known we would have driven it. We were assured that a few yards ahead we would hit the edge
of the park and the road was maintained and the worst was over. They led us out to where the road widened and waved us on. The first hazy glimpse made it worth the climb.Around the bend we got another glimpse of the mountains majesty.

We traveled down the smooth paved park road flanked on both sides by a flaming forest.
I slowly felt the earlier mornings sadness lift as the mountains shared their good tidings. I could feel natures peace permeate the painful places in my heart. It was a veritable flood of sunshine that warmed me in the deepest places. We stopped at every outcropping and overlook gasping at the grandeur laid out before us. Rolling hill after rolling hill of undulating color invited our gaze to the horizon.
I stood studying this formation through my camera lens.I noticed a deep cleft in the face of the rock.While I was standing there I thought of Moses being hidden in the cleft of a rock, God's protective hand covering him as He passed by. I realized with a start that I had asked the very same thing of God that morning sitting on my steps as Moses did in Exodus 33:18, "Show me your glory (in this day because I need to sense your nearness)." I was seeing His glory spread out before me in His colorful creation. I was viewing a picture of divine refuge and feeling the protective overshadowing of His hand on my wounded heart. Deeply moved I settled back into the car as we drove to the next vista.
After meandering over the mountain top we took in one last sweeping view and wound our way back down the mountain via the recommended road.
At the bottom of the mountain we took a slight detour to a lake tucked away in a cove. The leaves were really putting on a quite the show along the banks of the water. A riot of red was the oaks choice of color.
The small lake quietly rippled in the breeze while I looked at more showy leaves.
Handy Hubby leaned back the car seat for a small nap as I wandered the shore of the lake, sitting for a while listening to the wind blowing through the overhead branches, watching the leaves dance and spin to the ground.
The wind did blow a freshness into my soul with each whisper. I moved closer to the shore resting against a tree.I relaxed and watched my cares drop away like the leaves into the water. I saw them get caught up in the tide, wash and cling to the shores edge, and pile up in a heavy and soggy heap. There they rested, tossed to and fro by the waves. I likened them to my emotions of that morning. I got caught up in an emotional tide that built up into a heavy heart that left me in a soggy sobbing heap. There I rested being tossed on the emotional tide. Grieving is part of the natural healing process after losing a loved one but it doesn't have to leave us clinging to the edge of the shore. We don't have to drift in its grip. Releasing this storms emotional tide into the sheltering hands of the One who heals, I was able to gain energy to enter into this new season of life. Times and seasons will change. Those who people my world will come and go. But this I know, the One who knows me best and loves me the most, is unchangeable. He will lend His Spirit to refresh me when I need it. He will let His peace flow into me through His Son-shine. He will use my life storms to reveal Himself and His energizing power to carry on. He will allow my cares to drop away like autumn leaves as I rest against Him.

I turned to see that my knight in shining armour had awakened and my chariot awaited.
We made our descent further down into the valley homeward passing cattle grazing on the hillside as I softly hummed a hymn. I rested in my trusted guidance system, GOD, knowing that He had it all mapped out no matter how bumpy the ride. I knew I would meet up with my grandmother on a heavenly highway by and by.The dream still lingered in the recesses of my heart and mind but without the heaviness. I realized that just as our day had held a detour, the trip took much longer that anticipated, and the route we traveled was really rough, the climb was worth it all.

"I will sing of Your power, yes; I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning: for You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble." Psalm 59:16

"I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from where my help comes from. My help comes from the LORD, which made heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1-2

Miss Sandy


Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Wonderful to have a caring hubby who knew just what you needed yesterday. I did get a chuckle of your journey up over that old road...hope your car suffered no ill effects. Beautiful photos and beautiful thoughts. Your grandmother is so proud of you, Miss Sandy, yes, indeed she is.

Anonymous said...

A most uplifting post and I offer my deepest sympathy at the loss you feel over your grandmother. My sister mailed me a Bible verse typed on a note so that I can keep it with me wherever I might be as sometimes my Bible is not near. It is Ps 143:8 Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. I know your Grandmother is very happy that you are blessed with such a thoughtful husband.

The Feathered Nest said...

Dear Sandy, such a beautiful post!!!! As always your writing takes me on a journey, it's the WAY you makes me want to tag along ~ grieving is a hard subject but the way that you've written about your day, your sweet husband, your wonderful trip ~ it is truly a testament to your faith, the love for your grandmother and the hope of seeing her again! Thank you for taking me along ~ xxoo, Dawn

Kathy said...

Oh Sandy, what a sweet and beautiful post. I so enjoyed reading about the comforting day your sweet husband provided you!

KathyB. said...

Your post is a wonderful sight for my eyes...I love the autumn and the beauty God has endowed it with is sometimes overwhelming.

What a loving husband, to have thought to give you a day with him in the forest, to just take in the scenery, adventurous drive and then just be able to soak it all up and reflect.

Bless you both !

Becky K. said...

Very beautiful!

The photos and the words.

Becky K.

Anonymous said...

Words cannot express the way your writing hits me, such a beautiful story and what a wonderful husband you have! Vicki Page

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Sigh, this makes me miss Georgia.
How I wished we had been friends then as I traveled to your neck of the woods on more than one occasion.

Wish on a Whisker said...

Hi Sandy~ Thanks for visiting my blog! I love the beautiful quotes on your blog!!! ~Mandy

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