I sat at home today. When I closed my eyes after scrolling through FB, I realized the significance of today. I should not be sitting on my back porch at this moment. I should be in Greece, or Florence supporting my friends, or in Puerto Rico hearing my mentors and seeing a dear sister. But for some reason, I’m home. I said no to Greece because, well it was a “me time” trip and I just don’t take those. If conference or CEU is not part of it, I say no, because well for me I just don’t do that anymore. I feel sort of guilty if I'm away not bettering myself for my patients. As a mom, I feel like I can’t. As a full-time therapist, I don’t see how I can and leave the patients "for that many days." And it just doesn’t come out economically to take a fun, me trip anymore. What I’m NOT saying about Greece, is that it was a retreat. God time, not just me time. And I know sitting on my porch I should not have said NO to that, especially for pete’s sake…it was in GREECE! The one place over seas I have ALWAYS wanted to go. The one place that calls to me from the pictures of White and Blue mountainside and sea. I’ll go next year I hope. But today I know I could be there instead of here.
I said no to Florence with fleeting thought. Wanting to, but knowing other commitments hold me here. I’ll see it someday. Deadlines loom and call. And that again is why I’m here. That is why I'm off today.
Puerto Rico. Well….IRMA. God has a funny way of showing me exactly where He wants me. And sometimes making it REALLY obvious. I should be flying out today to beautiful San Juan but here I sit. I’ve always wanted to go there. My dad used to travel to PR often, during his plant research and agronomy days. He cared for crops there and went for 2 weeks each time. Came back with stories of beauty and trinkets for us. And even a funny one of a snake crawling out of the sink while he talked to us one night. I’ll go someday, just not today.
So here I sit. Breathing in the beauty of my back porch, my sweet place. Calling to God asking what He has JUST FOR ME. Begging Him to not let me miss His blessings, like I sort of feel today. I know that I haven’t, but appearance wise it might look and sound that way. I’m thankful to be alone, in the quiet, breathing in His presence, sitting in His sweetness knowing I have a FULL DAY of task ahead. Knowing I get to create, study, splice, and conquer the day ahead. I know I’m richer for it, but Lord give me your portion and strength to do a good job.
Here’s what I know. I know I’m in my own backyard for a reason. To hear Him speak again. 9/11 will always be a day I remember. Because the night before I was up until 3AM in the Owen lobby at Wayland Baptist University as an undergrad. I was praying, reading scripture, and then wrote Jody out a card. As I wrote, I re-read the front of the card: “God is MORE RELEVANT than this mornings headline." Gracious to remember that now! I dropped the card in campus mail and skipped to class. Jody ran up to me later that day, waving the card. “Did you read this? This is crazy! When did you buy that?” OH MY GOSH! "HE is MORE RELEVANT. Think of when you bought that and TODAY." 9/11/01.
As I scroll through the stories, pictures, and videos of 9/11 this morning, I’m still blown away. That card is the first thing I remember that 9/11 morning at 3AM reading that. Praying. Feeling overwhelmed as I read that in those early hours. Feeling so heavy, so burdened. Not knowing why but knowing all the same. Of course, to my horror and everyone else’s, the news showed pictures that no one wanted. Fear gripped and hearts sank beyond. WHAT ON EARTH is going on? That human spirit overwhelms me this morning. Seeing the video about Gander, Newfoundland was a first for me today. Hope given by a small town of 9 thousand, where NYC flights were diverted to and gained 6,500 more people that day. How people were loved by a town and hope was regained in grief, fear, sadness, and uncertainty. What a beautiful story! I'm praying for Houston, Port A, Dickinson, and all my Texas towns. Praying for Puerto Rico and FL, GA, and SC. Thankful that no terrorist created these, but knowing weather is brutally fierce and loss is overwhelming.
There is so much to learn from the rubble and ashes of 9/11. From any disaster. So much to make time for to be thankful for and reflect over TO REMEMBER. From these photos and memories, we each gain strength. From the blue beam photo below, we send light to the heavens and have HOPE. We gain PERSPECTIVE that each day is so very precious and we are never promised another day. It ultimately reminds me that my most important decision that was ever made was asking Jesus into my heart. There are no guarantees aside from HIM.
One more thing before I go. I feel these words are important:
Do not grieve the Spirit of God in who you were sealed until the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Perspective is BEST gained by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit cannot be rushed, hurried, but is peaceful and brings healing. Healing that this Nation experienced 16 years ago. Healing that we need again. Read Genesis 1:2……Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
The Spirit always watches over, guides, provides, and checks on us. Always present and waiting. Hover with Him today a little longer. Wait on His presence. Let it FILL you up and give you wisdom. Wisdom we need to keep in step with the Spirit. I'm right where I'm supposed to be today. Thankful. Grateful. Filled.