Saturday, September 12, 2009

Outhouses, Cookies, and Jane Austen

VACATION: < class="blsp-spelling-error" id="SPELLING_ERROR_0">vacātiō freedom from something; r. ME vacacioun <>

If vacation is freedom from something... I was in vacation overload this week by being freed from many things this week. Free from the use of modern conveniences; (ie. Toilets, sinks, bathtubs, dishwashers, electricity, running water, ipods, TV, Internet, phones... and the list goes on and on.)
As I now sit in my living room singing along to my Cd player with the washing machine cleaning my clothes for me, my husband in the shower enjoying running hot water, lights on my left and my right to light my work, and my computer at my fingertips I sit amazed at how blessed we are... and spoiled.
I spent this past week in Michigan's vastly beautiful Upper Peninsula with Jared's family at a place appropriately titled "Pretty Lake." It was a challenge for me to be completely striped of all things "comfortable" and yet freeing because I found so much comfort in having nothing to distract me from God's creation. I bathed in the lake with the sunset all around me, the birds singing their melodies, the trees swaying in unison and the water as still as glass. I slept soundly under the stars with the sound of the lunes to wake me every morning. I walked along the shores of lake Michigan, lake Superior, and numerous small lakes in between all in the same week. It's often bitter sweet to leave a place of beauty and rest like that knowing that you're heading back to a busy life full of distractions and noise but something I've learned this week is to take notice of the gifts that God has given us at home and on vacation and to take more time to notice God in the business of life and not just in the "stillness." It is certainly more difficult for me to recognize God in the business but it can be done and He's teaching me daily where to look for him and where he can be heard. It's simple really, He is everything and in everything.... When God called Himself "I AM" He was revealing a very profound part of who He is and how He works.... He just is and I can join Him there. What a gift.

It's amazing to me that sometimes God uses things like outhouses (a thing I, as a devout germaphobe, fear greatly) to get us out of our comfort zone so He can reveal Himself in a new way. This above all things was my greatest struggle during our vacation. I kept telling Jer that I could live like that forever if I could just have a regular flush toilet... that would be my one thing I would take with me if I were forced to live outside for the rest of my life.

I ate way too many chocolate chip cookies this week as well... I've had so much chocolate in the past week that I really should just be one big chocolate bar! I'm not sure why we had so many cookies. I made them before we left and they were just so darn good that we ate at least one a day. So that was my guilty pleasure this week... Ahhh but we were on vacation so I was free from feeling guilty about that!

Sweet Jane Austen was my friend this week as well. I finally finished Sense and Sensibility! I've been working on this book since I finished Pride and Prejudice in May. I was quite satisfied with it as a whole but I can say that I still think that P&P is my favorite of the two. I'm going to read all of her books so I guess I'll let you know later if any of the others top P&P but we'll see as we go because I am a very slow reader it might take me a while. I think I'm going to read Persuasion next.

I did pick up a quick read in between my Austen titles though... "Around the World in 80 Dates" by: Christa Ann Banister
If you remember from last year I got hooked on Erynn Mangum's Lauren Holbrook Series. Well Erynn and Christa both write for Navpress and both are 20 something chick lit writers who know how to write a fun novel and include great lessons in them. So far this is a fun read. It's quick so I'll have a full post on that book soon.

I hope you all are well and that you also are finding joy in God's creation and in who He is.

Pictures to come later!

God Bless, Sleep Well,