Places and Things

I grew up in the country with not another house in sight, when the trees were all dressed in green. That is, until I was age 10.

Then a dweller of a little village I began to be. The trees were all scattered here and there. But, houses and humans were the décor of my little town.

Seven years of village life was astounding to me.  When outside not a peek could I make because the neighbors’ ears were anything but deaf.

Running down the pristine streets was not at all allowed. “Walk not run” echoed in my ears until I felt like I had been starched and pressed from the inside out.

With all my lady like hope while country still tickled in my toes I landed like an alien in the big city without a clue how to live the DC life.

The city of DC, our Nation’s capital taught me so many interesting things. It all seemed so glamorous and perfect. I loved everybody and everything.

The beauty of city life changed into riots and fires and in my mind destroyed the magic of Washington, D.C.

Over the bridge and out of the city life began to breathe an air of relief. Still not sure just why so many of us felt we had to leave.

Suburban life has become my norm.  Not at all city, village or country. A suburb just has a unique flavor all it’s own.

All earth is good because God created it to be. Living life in love, joy and hope can be found in any space called home.

Sit awhile and share a cup of tea while you tell me about the places you have been and things you have seen.


16 thoughts on “Places and Things

  1. Many places, many faces sweep through my mind as Sara has called us back to our journeys of the past. Growing up in a little town in western N Y not far from Canadian border & Niagara Falls neither of which ever I got to see in my childhood…we played ball and tennis in the streets, rollerskated up and down the neighbors’ sidewalks and driveways and ice skated on the outdoor rink down the street from my house. We rode our bicycles round and round and round the block every summer evening at twilight till our moms called us from the front porches of our little community. I guess I thought I would never leave that little town…and it almost happened that way. BUT GOD….
    After college I even went back to teach at the new elementary school they had built on the old site of the ice skating rink where I had spent most of my young winters. I even married the young man who had been our paper boy. BUT GOD….
    Then the whirlwind began. The rollercoaster! France, Ethiopia, California, N C. Mass, many more….what an adventure! I loved it….until the roller coaster broke down. But not really. For guess Who was there to catch me? Who else, BUT GOD!

  2. Northern Virginia has been home to me most of my life with just a few years in between the many lived elsewhere… and that not too far away. I am definitely not a city girl, preferring fields, woods, plants and outdoor spaces and only occasionally traveling long distances, preferring day long driving trips when necessary. I have been out of the US only twice and to the west coast only once in my lifetime. My favorite mode of recreational transportation was on the back of a horse in my younger years, roaming the countryside in Loudoun County, sometimes with others, but mostly alone, with the family schnauzer keeping company. The area where I could explore trails, creeks, meadows and dirt back roads changed with time. The big farms where cows once grazed and hay and corn grew have been subdivided. I moved to ‘town’ and eventually gave up the horse and found I liked the convenience of being close to stores, work and gas stations that town living provided. The ‘town’ built up and the surrounding county area is full of housing, businesses and lots of traffic. I am grateful for where the Lord has put me for now but would like to believe that I would have the flexibility to do something different and see new places if He asked me to.

  3. I was raised in the Shenandoah Valley and lived in a little farm house with fields all about when I was very young. You’d say I’m a country girl at heart. I roamed the fields, played in the pond, skated on the iced over creeks in the winter on shoes not skates, and croached by the little water fall that lead to the pond. We had a one room building apart from the house that Mom put a treadle sewing machine and we were allowed to sew at an early age. I saw deer in the back fields and rescued little birds at harvest time. Each day I would go and bring in the cows to be milked by my sister and I. My mother taught us to work hard in planting and caring for our garden crop from seed to canning jar. The barn was our play house with sitting up a picnic on the hay bales and a play grocery store on side of the barn. The cats were loved and there were plenty of them along with one dog after another. The pigs, cows, and chickens were attended to which our parents taught us well. We would pretend that trees were our horse as we didn’t have one. We saw pigs slaughtered in the Fall and the many people who came at a very early hour to help.

    Later we moved to a tiny town and played in the creeks and walked to school and sometime to church as my mother did not drive at that point. We then moved to another small town where my Dad had a lot of responsibility with a hatchery. We all helped. We learned work ethic by working in high temps to catch little chicks 12 and 13 to a corner, gathering eggs, cleaning eggs, gardening. In that house was an attic I prayed in quite often and we had an English Garden that my mother had us cut and arrange flowers for the church altar. We would only travel to Oklahoma which was where my mother grew up. The roads were hot and air conditioning was an open window.

    My parents moved again but I went on to college and later moved to the city. I met interestng people of all kinds. I married and moved traveling to California and suddenly I found myself in Louisiana and teaching and with a young family. Oh how I loved teaching – what a wonderful season of my life. Oh how I loved my sons and working in their schools and involved in swimming and Sunday School. I travelled and saw other beautiful parts of the world. – England, Scotland, and India. I love to travel to see my sister in Washington State or where God wants me to travel.

    My adventure with God has taken many turns. God has always been faithful and now I find myself in Alabama. What a beautiful state. I have returned to my early interest of gardening and sewing and helping where I can. My dog is a wonderful part of my life. All wonderful things from the Lord Jesus Christ who never fails. What an adventure which is not over yet.

    1. Love reading your stories about your childhoods. I have lived in eastern North Carolina, all of my life. Although I played with doll babies as a young child, I enjoyed riding my bike, playing sports, and being outside. I, like Debi, have always loved horses. I had a friend, who had horses, and when she invited me over, we always saddled them up and rode. 🙂

      I have fond memories of the church I grew up in. We had a young preacher and a large teen group. The preacher was very involved in getting the young people excited about living for Christ. I was blessed to be a part of this group of teens. We sang and traveled around to different places. We rode to New York, boarded Amtrak and traveled to Montreal, Canada. (beautiful scenery!) We traveled to Florida, singing and staying in the homes of people who attended church, where we sang.

      I have seen the New England states, Niagara Falls, and traveled west to the beautiful Grand Canyon! When I think on the unbelievable beauty I see here…….I can only imagine, what heaven is like. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”

      1. LOL Tammy You got to see Canada and Niagara Falls. AWhen I was growing up I lived within 50 miles of either and saw neither Interesting…..

  4. As I read your stories about 4am on a Sunday morning I think each story is a ‘grace note.’ To me, grace in story is the result of the nuances and each word of the inner self that we put into our thoughts while reflecting and enjoying our journey.

    I read in one of my devotions this am, “God wanted to know his (Jacob’s) name. There needed to be an honest disclosure about who he was. For Jacob to receive the blessing that God wanted to give, he had to be willing to come clean.” Just reminds me how difficult it is at times to walk in truth of our whole.

  5. Today the youth minister preached on the topic “New Beginnings” from Genesis 32: 22-32. He started off by telling us the name Jacob means heal grabber or deceiver. In scripture we see Jacob was all alone in the camp. 24. A man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. 25. When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go for the dawn’s breaking. But Jacob said, ” I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27. “What is your name?” the man asked. The man was non other than the preincarnate Christ. By asking Jacob his name he wanted to know who he really was. (This says that God has to see the Jacob in us before HE can get it out of us. Jacob tried to fight God in his own strength. He started our grabbing and ended up to hanging on. That is where God wants us – hanging on and not fighting with what we know to do as man grabbing/deceiving in Jacob’s case. Once God got the old man/Jacob out he gave Jacob a new name – Israel, vs 28 because you have fought with God and with men and have won.”

    Jacob due to his hip injury walked a new walk/ Life of Service. God has to break us then he can touch us. The old man is gone and we have to be dependent on God/ leaning on him all the way.

    Then comes a new day. We can walk up right if we lean on Jesus.

    The service ended with Bless the Lord O My Soul

  6. A “grace note” in music is a small note that is used as an embellishment or ornament in a musical composition. As a young pianist, playing a grace note, meant to me that I was more advanced, well at least further ahead than I really was, in the study of piano. A grace note brings interest & excitement to a musical piece and the impression of more skillful planing or singing. When a singer sings a grace note, especially in an operatic piece, he/she seems to display a greater vocal skill and proficiency. That’s what embellishment does. That’s what ornamentation brings to the musical composition whether instrumental or vocal. Even though the note is considered in theory to be “incidental” to the music, yet it enhances it to a great degree, giving the music more impact.
    Well, that’s sort of like what Sara was saying about our life stories being ‘grace notes’. These stories enhance the testimonies of the story tellers….and yet are just embellishment to the “REST OF THE STORY”. They all seem to lead to one main Musical Theme. The Cross, Salvation, Redemption, Finale, Encore, for Jesus Christ’s grace in all of the lives of the story tellers. Bravo, bravissiomo!!!! Jesus Christ.

    1. Thanks musical MG for helping me understand Grace Note a little better. Gary’s teaching today gave me a two column list for determining my notes. 1) concept of God….2) living God…. Wonder which column the living God of Jacob put my stories of self in?

      1. Sara you ask, ” Wonder which column the living God of Jacob put my stories of self in?”
        Reading my own story above after listening to and thinking on Gary’s teaching and doing some studying… I would have to say the God of Jacob would probably put my story of self in the 1) concept of God column. Basing this on what my understanding of his description of ‘concept of God’ was; that it is safe, doesn’t challenge us; has no power over us. Whereby, a life with the Living God moves us out of our comfort zone and into terrifying territory. Reading my own account I see that I simply gravitate from one comfort zone to another w/ a little change of scenery in between.
        As I did some studying in Ruth Paxson’s book ‘Life on the Highest Plane”, I could identify. She said many believers ” stop short of the last stage of the journey; hence the years of wilderness wandering, constantly going but never getting anywhere. They have been taken out of Egypt but Egypt is still in them.” She explained that this kind of futile wandering means no promise land or the possessions that go with it.
        Caleb and Joshua crossed over in a land that the rest of the people thought too terrifying. Joshua and
        Caleb’s stories wer clearly in the Living God column and so had some amazing stories of what God did.

  7. Thinking on Jacob and all the Jacob that is in each of us. We have all sinned and fall short. Our journey has been filled with sin and correction. We have been in the valley and to the mountain tops but staying steady is another thing. May we stay steady and not grow tired of the path ever. May we continue to know God and do his bidding and not throw ourselves down to the path of the ragging train Satan sets before us to destroy us daily. Our stories are graced by all the good God has woven into our lives and all the cleansing along the way may be a hard story to tell but is the greater story because God can really use us through our brokedness. A country girl who has seen it all. Sadness of sin, joy of correction and being set free from the shackles of sin. I’m then basically a sinner who happens to be from the country, but I’m also a child of God that God loved enough to pick up from the dung heap due to the mess I made in sin and Jesus died for me giving me a cleansing that entitles me to be with the King of King for eternity.

  8. Rena, yes! All the things that a myriad of us must go through to come to this place in the Lord where we now are at the present time, humbling ourselves before God that HE might raise us up in due time.
    Gary taught in his lesson this morning about the columns that Sara mentioned. In our walk with the Lord….Is it our “CONCEPT” of God or is HE the real Living God in our lives?? In his morning’s lesson on Psalm 62 Gary preached that truly serving the LIVING GOD is terrifying, at times. HE might ask you to leave your home like Abraham did just because Jehovah asked him to. HE might ask you to sacrifice your only son, like HE asked Abraham to do. Sara taught that HE might ask you to not only go into the harvest field but not take a suitcase or toothbrush or sandals or a few dollars, even, in your purse, or even a purse, at all! To some of us that is terrifying, scary, fearsome….leaving one’s comfort zone.
    And I think to some HE might ask one to leave a sinful situation in which one has remained because of not knowing what to do or how to do it; or moving far away from friends and family because HE has said to do so; or leaving one’s profession of many years and perhaps searching for work in a different vein. That too is scary. Sara & Gary both taught that there is only one way to handle that. And that is to trust the Lord with all our hearts and lean not unto our own understanding.
    And that sounds something like your story, Rena, and my story and a million others’ stories when the living GOD takes hold of us…or we take hold of HIM.
    In a line from a movie about the life of MOZART..’.it is wonderful and frightening’…at the same time.

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