Whew! The house is clean and everything is packed and ready to go. I skipped church this morning so I could get everything taken care of before we leave our annual staff retreat this afternoon. It feels kind of heathen like to not be at church on a Sunday morning, but can you really be a heathen as you prepare for a pastoral staff retreat? I don’t think so… I listened to a podcast from Jonathan Martin, so I still got to hear a sermon this morning. That should count for something, right?
Really what I needed was quiet. Some time to order my world and get centered. To hear the Word preached, to clean my bathroom so the house sitter doesn’t run in fear, to snuggle with my puppy dog and comfort him. Toby always knows when we’re leaving. The suitcases always tip him off. He is never sure if he is going on the adventure (which this time he is not) and so skeptically he watches… just waiting to freak out. Just like my crazy dog, I need some quiet down time before I am with people constantly. Take me out of my routine and throw me into elevated social interaction and you have a recipe for me being just as nuts as my dog. I think that is why I feel so sympathetic to Toby right before trips.
As of last night, I thought we were heading over east of the mountains, but wild fires in Eastern Washington have made the air hazardous. Not the right vibe for staff bonding. So now we are headed to the Oregon Coast. While this is still business, this is an answer to prayer in a little, silly, insignificant way. I had a glum thought at the end of the summer that I hadn’t made it to the beach. I always try to make it once a summer and it just didn’t turn out. Oh well. No biggie. That’ is how life can be sometimes. So when I heard that we were going to the beach, it was like God knew that there were still a few short days left the summer season and I would see the ocean before we officially said good-bye to summer and hello to fall.
There have been many other instances this week where something has happened and I know that only God could work it out. Only God could have made that happen. Even the coupon for The Melting Pot is truly a God thing. He listens. He knows. He see our hearts and in ways that we might think don’t matter much, he shows up. He just wanted me to know that he is here and that he is aware. Today I am praising the Lord for all the things I didn’t think were going to pan out, but did. For how he is good to my family and my friends. He is our provider. Our protector. He is for us!
Now I sit here, munching on a corn dog, waiting for my hubby to get home so we can load up. I have my comfort items packed and ready to go – my own pillow, updated music, new podcasts downloaded, a ton of books and journals, my favorite sweatshirt. These are the things that make my travels more homey and comforting. I’m ready to go. Thankful to God. See you in a few days!