Jan 7, 2009

Convenience Center

When we returned from our holiday trip, a vehicle that had sat in the garage would not start. After the salesman hooked it up to the jumper cables, he asked me to drive the car for about 30 minutes. I immediately agreed and started wondering where I would go for a thirty minute unscheduled drive? As a domestic loving, homeschooling, to-do list loving mama, I normally don't just take off to drive. I so love wearing my apron. But, I did need to go to the Convenience Center. This name just brings a chuckle to my heart because living in the city, I thought convenience was rolling my tidy green garbage canister to the curb and setting my brown recyclables box next to it for the city to come by and empty. But no, the Convenience Center is where I drive to deposit my double bagged garbage, cardboard and recyclables here in this rural area we now call home. Oh, the sweet memories of city life! Before moving to this area, I can remember going to the "landfill" as it was called, one time. And it had nothing to do with taking bags of garbage to a tidy little Convenience Center.

No, it was one of those days when the little darlin's were fussing over a toy. I honestly don't even remember what particular toy it was. But, I remember what we did: I buckled their sweet little selves into the car (and after calling to find out where the landfill was) we took a field trip of sorts. A Grateful Heart field trip, planned on the spur of the moment by, Yours Truly. We drove onto the scale and I explained to the person on duty that we only wanted to deposit a couple ungrateful attitudes. I still remember the odd look from the attendant.

I unbuckled my darlin's telling them that we were just going to stand on the edge of the landfill and notice what was there. After we perused the varied and vast assortment of discarded one-day treasures in the landfill, I told them every thing they had would one day end up just like this discarded "stuff". Every toy, every thing that they thought they couldn't live with out or share with their sister was going to end up here. As their little eyes grew wide in amazement that dolls and strollers, stuffed animals, books, the blue telephone, every thing that they had put their hands on was going to end up like this. Then I asked, "And what don't you see here?" Their answers came quickly, "People!" I still remember the sweet look on their faces as I nodded in agreement. And who were we arguing with? Not wanting to share our toys with? "Sissy!"

Our souls, bless our Savior's dear Name, will live forever! I tucked two little grateful hearted girls back into the car and was waved out by the attendant who probably hadn't seen many people come to the landfill for a field trip. As a visual learner, this day was a lesson for me too: my Bosch dishwasher, Uba Tuba counter tops, the tailor made window treatments, it too would all end up burning up. What am I focusing on? What am I doing with my time? What am I hoarding myself? Only what's done for Christ will last.

My, I've rambled. I do have that habit. For the two of you still reading, I'll get back to my drive now. So now I'm living in an area where I don't just roll the container to the edge of the Chem-lawn manicured yard. So, I gather up my bagged *goods* and deposit them at the "convenience center" and discover, I've got another 25 minutes to drive around. And I just want to share with you, the beauty of the Lord I discovered on the way to, and a couple side roads on the way home from the Convenience Center. Years after I've bundled up my little darlin's and took them on a Grateful Heart field trip, the Lord took me on one of the most beautiful field trips of His handiwork within minutes of my home! He's so good and the whole earth is truly full of His glory!

The first picture I snapped was of this beautiful old metal post with lovely scroll work with no sign. I felt like my life has been like that sign post since we moved to this area. Certain, without a doubt, that we are to be here. I like to see and know where I am going and schedule my days (hence the to-do lists). But, His work and new ways are already written and by faith, I will see and experience His will.
I have never noticed this little cove either and it just made me think of the narrow path that His Word calls me to walk on.
More lovely views of the water and the mountains and the pathway that not many have walked.
God's amazing handiwork so evident everywhere I look. And I can't look at this beautiful body of water without thinking of the Spirit that the LORD has given to guide me.
A country church with welcoming wreaths. Just like to Jesus to always welcome me to His home.
And another lovely old and lonely home. I am so drawn to old homes. I see so much beauty in lonely, forsaken and what could be redeemed homesteads. When I see this, I wonder what is was like when it was new and I think of what it could yet be. I wonder if Jesus looks at me this way? I see hope when I see this home.
Beauty in an old fence that protects the high and low areas and thankful for the boundaries and protection God gives me through His Word in the low and high areas of my walk with Him.
The highlight of the trip to the Convenience Center was seeing the next three pictures of the animals standing in the sun on top of the mountain. I stopped when I saw them (I was on a country road and there was no one else on the road). This was just beautiful to me. In my heart, this is where I want to be with in my relationship with Jesus.
Many times it's easy to get bogged down in the valley and just stay near the safety of the barn and near the trough of food like these animals in the lower portion of the picture.
I want Him to take my hinds feet and move them in rhythm to His steps upward and forward, closer and deeper with Him. I want the humility of the valleys and the strength and courage of His power and might evidence in my life. I don't want any boundaries on what He is going to do in my life this next year. I want a mountaintop, Son soaked, moving forward faith that allows God to work in new and previously unknown to me areas of my life. I want every thing He has to offer. I want to walk on His narrow road that leads to life.

Thank you LORD for taking me on a field trip
From Your table I want to feast, and Your cup sip
Your beauty everywhere LORD abounds
My heart, in You, I want to be found
There is no limit LORD, in what You can do
Do a mighty work through me God
Make me willing, let my feet be shod
I want You LORD and every gift you'll pour out
Till, with You, on the mountain top I'll shout
I'm with You
I'm with You
Use me Lord, for what You intended me to do
I thank you for the valleys and the mountain tops
Help me LORD, in You, to press on and not stop
I thank You no matter what my age
You are with me LORD at each and every stage
Never to old to take a field trip and renew a grateful heart
Do Your new work in me Lord, I'm willing to let You start. Amen


B His Girl said...

Wow, I always enjoyed field trips in school. What a great idea to show your children the landfill and explain that. It reminds all of us about our focus...most us us yearn for the latest we see on tv and in magazines. I love the narrow path one. I would have enjoyed seeing more animals, but that's just me;) Have a great day.

Cathryn said...

Oh Lora. I can't thank you enough for this post. But thank you. I don't know what else to say ~ which is saying a lot because I am usually not at a loss for words. I'm thankful that I am one of the two readers you anticipated would linger during the long read. What a loss if folk don't hang with it until the end. I could never begin to explain or even make you understand just how much I needed to read this today. Blessings to you and the salesman ~ Cathryn

Luanne said...

Lora--thanks for the post. The pictures were beautiful, and what a blessing that you can look out at the mountains!!

Hinds Feet on High Places is one of my favorite books!

"Just Me - NC Beth" said...

What an awesome "field trip" God made for you! The photos were beautiful! He is so good!

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

I love field trips. I love taking pictures. You have some nice ones here.

Thanks for stopping by my blog Lora. I appreciate visitors and comments.

Many blessings!

lisasmith said...

First of all I love the name...by the lamp light...where I am now, where I'll be back in just a few hours and where I'll retire to with my Savior tomorrow night.

Next, I may be driving some smallish people to the dump tomorrow...nice object lesson. My kids really don't argue much but it really doesn't take much, does it?

Lastly, I long to be like the deer...nimbly running along the high places...beautiful

So great to meet you tonight too!!

Toknowhim said...

Thanks for stopping by today... I think this maybe my first visit to your bloggy. In Siestaville you can visit a lot of blogs :)

I am sure your move will continue to give your more moments to reflect on Jesus...

Blessings, and stop by anytime :)

Cindy said...

I wish I had thought of this field trip to take with my kids!

The Butterfly Catcher said...

What a treat to find your blog as I'm hoppin' down rabbit trails tonight! May He give us all hearts that hunger for Him as yours evidently does. Thanks for taking us along for the ride!!