Being an adventurous traveller most of my life since high school (and dabbling before that), travelling was the destination. Looking, searching for what different areas hold, what I was missing. I travelled through relationships that way too for a while but I digress. And I realized yesterday that I have arrived at my destination and all travel from now onward is done for vacations. I have found what I have searched for. It was not a physical location. It was not a person. It was a closeness to and healing from God. And I am complete and have arrived. I am content and incredibly happy. I am secure. In God first and then myself and my husband. There is now a fulfillment in the present, a new dawning of peace and calm and a bliss. I know this little girl is complete, no matter what happens to me. And I know my destination is heaven, far better than any place here, which must be incredible. God loves me with a sweet enduring unchanging love and fills and healed my brokenness. All the travel was searching for what He gave me as fast as He could without further damage. What an incredible God we have, so worthy of our everything. Now, I am absolutely brimming with Love and love is my home now.❤❤❤
Friends from 74 countries have read my words this month. Which means my words have travelled much more than I have this year. Lol. It is beautiful, the power of the written word that connects and heals and moves beyond borders made by man. The word has power to go beyond boundaries we contrive and share thoughts and emotions to people we could not otherwise ever meet. What a wonder! That is why God wrote the Bible also. It has lasted all these centuries and still powerfully conveys truth in thought and emotion to everyone who can read or be read to. So fantastic are words. So utterly perfect. God bless you this New Year!!! May God’s Word recapture your heart and eye and may your words inspire you and those who read them.❤
I thought I would have no time to write until the say after Christmas, but I have found some time all alone in the night as the house is quietly sleeping, and as always my brain is moving. So I write, as I am pushed to do by an internal unconditional encourager. And here is where my eclectic thoughts have taken me this evening… on divisions.
Having lived all over the world and travelled extensively whole being a social observer and participant, a learned doctor and a writer, I am qualified to say the following with authority… God made every single person in existence and we all have the same desire to be close to Him and be loved and joyful and peaceful. Often external things/distractions/wrongs serve to interfere in our life goal because God has an enemy (that willingly chose that horrible position) that wants us divided and eventually dead. I do not see color of skin. I do not see language barriers. I do not see religious barriers. I do not see monetary differentiations. I do not see power differences. I do not idolize anyone at all. Here me out, for here is the crux of the matter. Every person is made on purpose with love by God, who left fingerprints all over them. Every person has a shade of His glory and a desire to love their loving Creator God back. They often miss how to do this in the most effective way He wrote for us in thr Bible. But every person matters. A lot. As much as any other person on earth, no more or less. If we remember this, we see our common ground. When we have common ground, we are friends and family. Division becomes the foreign devil. Seperation becomes ridiculous, like a strange dream you are glad to have awaken from. And Christmas becomes a unifying event to celebrate our common heritage together. And that is distinctively beautiful. And perfect, most natural. ❤
I live in central Florida, after having “permanent” addresses in 6 states (the moves were in order: MI, IN, MI, IN, MI, TN, MI, PA, FL, CA and back to FL) and spent lots of time in about 30+ states (including a week in HI) and three countries abroad (London, Poland and Russia). Traveling has always been a rich and loved part of my life. It is meaningful to travel. You cannot appreciate our incredible diversity of our fantastic United States of America by just living in one, in my opinion. But there are always regional differences. For example, MI had snow, as did IN and PA, but TN had one small snowfall and roofs collapsed and things shut down and southern CA and FL have never allowed me to see any at all, not that I miss anything but the beauty of it lol. Soda pop is called different names in different regions… pop, soda, coke, soda pop, fountain drinks are all regional names for the fizzy drink. Scenery ofcourse is quite different in different regions… beaches, mountains, flatlands, hills, lakes, even desert, all closer than you think. Insects.are different. In MI and up north, you can lay in the grass, ah, but.try that in FL and nasty ants bite you ferociously. Also, foods are different and the Midwest had the most flavorful veggies, most fruit and beef whereas the citrus here in FL is divine and I miss the avacados of CA. One quirk is the Smoky Links. Of all things, I really want to bite into a good smoky link with my eggs in the morning but alas, they do not sell them here. No one even heard of them. They have biscuits and gravy and other things you have to season the heck out of to produce flavor, and I have mastered that. But I miss Smoky Links. Whoever makes them, please send some down to central FL. Thank you. ❤
My son-in-law (a funny story, he is older than I am lol) and father of my only grandchild (also funny because she is 3 years younger than my daughter) is Polish, with dual citizenship. Long before I knew him, I had visited Poland, specifically Bielsk Padlowski, for two weeks and Belarus for one week. And I was thinking about the land and buildings but mostly the amazingly wonderful people. We sang our songs (I played the piano and keyboard there) and they sang and played songs they knew and it was wonderful! We were invited to a Polish wedding that lasted all day and into the night and I sang again by request and we ate great food, drank compote and partied with them. It was memorable, saying something with this poor memory I have lol. In Russia, I remember the older women and their wise but loving eyes, hardened by wear but bright and gleaming nonetheless. They had a love of life. I remember the sturdy children, making the most of every stick and mud puddle they could get into, smiling, strong and healthy. I remember the year before spending two weeks in London. Howe couldn’t visit Buckingham Palace because Queen Elizabeth was home there at the time. I remember the beautiful gardens and pride the people took in their tiny gardens in front of their flats (apartments) or tall, narrow townhouses. I remember paying to use the toilet and the worst toilet paper of my life. Funny the things you remember. But the garden in front of the palace, oh how beautiful! And then my mind goes to California and recording my songs in Mike’s studio. I remember the fantastic park in Glendale and hiking the trails. I remember my regular getaway in Yosemite and hiking the falls and staying at the bed and breakfast there. I remember Solvang. Wow. The mountains were beautiful and Burbank was lovely and Sunset Boulevard was trashy but the tiny studio and musicians there are top notch! I remember going to the Grand Canyon three times and how it took my breath away and looked different each time. I remember my exhaustion hiking to the bottom of the canyon and back up the same day on two of those visits. I do not recommend that lol. I remember skydiving in PA. No roller coaster has ever held the same thrill since. And to my eternal shame, I will always have on the DVD my screaming “This is better than sex!” Oy! I remember every other place I have traveled for a day, a weekend, or have lived, and it is very clear that I am who I am largely because of where I have been. Another obvious thing, God has always kept me safe and provided for me just what I needed just when I needed it. And my thoughts most often take me home to the little farm in Buchanan, MI where I grew up. It was the best place! It still is. My family is there and a huge chunk of my heart. The farm is gone but I remember every detail. I remember Grandma living up the hill to the right and Great Aunt Irene living on the hill to the left. I remember our dogs. I remember riding my bike to the ball field. I remember the smell of the lilac bushes outside the kitchen window. I remember fresh vegetables from the garden an dad’s grilling and homemade ice cream. Yummy! I temember.
Ah, the familiar is so sweet after being gone a week. It is comfortable, paid for, ready to welcome you, familiar, friendly. Every little thing doesn’t cost more money. I have always said I absolutely LOVE travelling the world and seeing God’s scope of creation, diversity some call it, but I always love to come home again. My true heart resides in heaven, my earthly heart resides in the fields of Buchanan, MI and here in FL. As I have traveled, I have left pieces of it behind, friends, family, memories, but they make this girl here richer, more. Thank you, God, for safety and relaxation!!!! And thank God I am home!!!
What follows appears tedious and has a point, though silly. It is a list of all the places I have called home, some for short periods of time and some for considerably longer.
1. Trailer in Buchanan, MI on Red Bud Trail N (10 years)
2. Farmhouse in Buchanan, MI on Chamberlain Rd. (7 years)
3. Campground in Bloomfield, IN at Beechwood Lake Camp with Adventures in Missions. (2 summers)
4. Campground in Niles, MI at Michiana Christian Service Camp. (1 week at a time for years).
5. Modular home in Buchanan, MI on Chamberlain Rd. (2 years)
6. and 7. 2 different Dorm rooms in Johnson City, TN at Milligan College (1 year)
8. Dorm room in Kalamazoo, MI at Western Michigan University (1 year)
9. and 10. 2 different Studio apartments in Kalamazoo, MI in town (1 year)
11. Bedroom of a home in Portage, MI with the Bannisters (2 years)
12. Church in London, England at Manor Way (2 weeks)
13. Church in Bielsk Padloski, Poland (2 weeks)
14. Bedroom of a home in Bellarus, Russia (1 week)
15. One bedroom apartment in Kalamazoo, MI (1 year)
16. One bedroom apartment in Kingston, PA (3 years)
17. One bedroom apartment in Boca Raton, FL (1 year)
18. Townhouse condo in Coconut Creek, FL in the Township (3 years)
19. One bedroom apartment in Glendale, CA (9 months)
20. One bedroom apartment in Clearwater, FL (5 months)
21. 3/2 House in Lakeland, FL in Wellington Green (4 1/2 years)
22. 3/2 House in Lakeland, FL in Country Oaks (6 1/2 years so far- current location)
This is documentation for my children to prove that I am truly as insane as they believe that I am and proof positive that I understand and embrace moving when the need arises to do so. I have friends who never have moved, still live really close to their birth place, who do not even have any natural curiosity about the world outside their town or city. I have other friends who have moved more times than I. Regardless of how much travel you do, reading can suppliment travel in many good books but some form of reading or travel or speaking to travelers must take place to grasp the enormity and diversity of the world as well as the smallness of it all. Communication is extremely important and somewhat easy in other places for everyone has similar loves- family, food, sleep, pets, entertainment. Communication has differences everywhere you go in the states or abroad but always is read best through body language and eye contact or lack thereof. And when traveling and moving, it is a beautiful understanding you get quite quickly to simplify your life, belongings, clothes and take with you what you need to live not want to beautify. It is important to appreciate God’s world He made to worship Him the best way possible. It is difficult to praise the Creator when we see little of His creation, in my belief. The more we see and travel, the better we understand some degree of His greatness and also His richness, that He owns it all and so much more. These are beautiful things to ponder. I have traveled much also while living in these places, many road trips, many vacations, many beach days, many many hikes. It always points me back to quietness and simplicity and God’s amazing greatness and attention to detail and love for differences. But home should always be where you feel the most comfortable in the world with those you love. And never underestimate the power of a decent bathroom and kitchen!