Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Home Again

Vacations are a blast! And our family vacation to California was a true vacation... all rest and play. We didn’t come home needing a vacation from our vacation. We all came home not wanting to spend any more time than necessary in the truck, though. Four full days in the car, out of the 11 days we were gone, was enough for all of us for a while.

Aside from the road trip days, which really weren’t bad, considering... our days in California loaded us all up with memories to last a lifetime. I know we all came home with “our favorite day and favorite moment”. Let me share mine with you...

“My favorite day” was our last day in California, spent at The Thompson abode. It’s not because of the location that I chose this day as my favorite - it’s because all the family that could have been there was there. Having all the California family gathered together felt like old times, except there was a bit of new... Anthony, Marian and Savannah. From bbq’ing to pool volleyball (sorry for the bump on the head, Riah) to good fun and lots of laughs... this day put a cap on a vacation that was already fantastic.

“My favorite moment” isn’t hard to choose... it was the moment we pulled into the driveway at Mom and Dad’s house. The long drive there was now behind us and every minute of our vacation still lay ahead of us. I had butterflies of excitement swirling around my bejjy (that’s for you, A), and it was all I could do to contain Teighlor and Alec as they “very impatiently” waited for Anthony to stop the car so they could get out and run to meet Grandma and Grandpa.

This vacation was all about “family”.... reuniting with familiar “loved ones” and introducing new “ones I love”.

Thank you to y’all for making our vacation one that we will never forget! Mom and Dad... for opening your home to a house full and for allowing our vacation to be one of total relaxation. Marg... for taking so much time out of your busy schedule (of sun tanning) to come hang with us. Bill and Marg.... for hosting us on our last day in Cali with all kinds of yummy foods and pool party fun. To all the rest y’all... thanks for coming and hanging out with us and making my new family part of yours!

Last, but not least... Thank YOU, our Father in Heaven, for YOUR provision! From the incredibly comfortable truck that got us there and back, to the necessary funds to pay for the trip itself, to the family that made my new husband and two new daughters feel like they had been part of our family for years. I am truly blessed beyond my dreams!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Missing U

It’s 4:45 on Monday morning, and we’re on the road, headed back to Texas. The nighttime sky, that hasn’t yet awakened to the dawn, still sparkles with a gazillion stars. It’s probably the most beautiful part of the desert. My heart is anticipating the day ahead of me -- we’re headed to the Grand Canyon -- yet, it’s already missing the family I am leaving behind.

It’s been a fantastic week. Our California vacation was better than expected and filled with memories that we’ll all cherish for a lifetime. But this blagh is not written to capture the week of vacation that is now part of my past, or the two days left ahead of us that we’ll spend on the road as we head home. This blagh is simply to share what is on my heart at this moment in time...

I’m Missing Y’all Already!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Triple Threat

I know, I know. The title for this blahg is a bit odd, but it’s simply the least brain-taxing title I could come up with considering the fact that I’m writing this particular entry at 2 a.m. (Nothing up... just stayed up past the time my body normally goes to sleep, and now I’m awake.)

So, last night my body was aching (have been working out a lot lately), I had a headache (‘cuz I had a knot on the inside of my left shoulder blade that was tweaking the muscles in my neck) and I heard the whispers of Calgon offering to take me away. All of this added up to one thing... the need for a nice, long, hot bubble bath and my iPod.

My iPod always goes to the bathtub with me because whenever I’m soaking, I’m also always worshipping. The two just go hand-in-hand for me. Last night was no different, except for one thing... Jesus showed up in a big way.

I was singing through my first three songs and then got to a song to which I didn’t know the lyrics, so I decided to simply let my spirit sing for me. As the song played, I lost myself in thoughts of Jesus. I began to pray and asked Jesus to come sit with me while I worshipped. Within seconds, I was overwhelmed (literally) with the presence of Christ in the room with me. My heart felt filled to capacity (a true physical feeling), and tears rolled down my cheeks beyond my control. I wasn’t surprised by my reaction because whenever I’m allowed to feel the presence of God I am always emotionally overwhelmed. I can’t imagine who wouldn’t be.

As I regained my composure, I began a conversation with Jesus; one where I not only spoke aloud to him but also “heard” his replies back to me. I’m sure they wouldn’t have been audible to anyone listening, but they were clear as day to me in my heart.

This may sound silly, but the first thing I said to Jesus was, “Hello.” Well, isn’t that what anyone would say to someone who’s just popped in? Even though I couldn’t “see” Jesus, I was given a sense of his reactions when they weren’t “verbal”. He just smiled at me -- the most beautifully warm smile I’ve ever “seen”.

I then thanked him for coming to sit with me. His reply? “All you had to do was ask me.” I, again, was overwhelmed with emotion. Maybe it was the utter simplicity of his reply. Tears rolled down my cheeks once more. As I “watched” him, he said to me, “You know that I love you, don’t you?” I could only reply, “Yes.” Once again, I was fully aware of the presence of his spirit. It was so substantial that it felt as if a heavy blanket, like an old-fashioned, hand knit quilt, was covering my body.

As I took comfort in his company, I could feel my spirit basking in his holiness. After a short while I spoke to him the only words on my heart, “I love you so much.” It was at that point that Jesus became so clear to me. I couldn’t actually see him, but it was as if my spirit could -- and that image was being written on my heart. He looked at me with such affection, such tenderness. The delight that showed in his eyes made me feel like a small girl looking into the eyes of her Daddy.

I found myself captivated by his extravagant beauty... a regal beauty. The only words my mouth could speak were, “My God, you are so beautiful”, as more tears ran down my cheeks. It was a moment I hope to never forget.

At that time, the song that my spirit had been singing along to came to an end. As the next song began to play, I still felt Jesus’ abundant presence, so I invited him to join me in worshipping our Father together. For the next 3 songs I was given the privilege of knowing that Jesus was joining me in lifting praise to our Heavenly Father. It was truly an awesome experience.

For the past year I have thoroughly enjoyed, and looked forward to, my nights in the bathtub with my iPod and my worship music. I’ve always been honored to have been drawn into God’s throne room as I’ve lost myself in the music. Last night, God changed things up a bit... He came to sit with me.

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. ~ Romans 8:16