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It was really hard to look at all of your beach vacation pictures this week. I had to cancel my own trip to the beach for this week. It is 2020, after all. Over the last 2 years or so, my husband and I have had to cancel the last two vacations we booked. Neither of those reasons were COVID related. It’s just life. Nothing is to blame. 

Over our 21 years of marriage, we have learned that life is so much sweeter when you learn how to perfect your own lemonade recipe out of life’s lemons. And I kinda think that is what I love the most about us. Our personal lemonade recipe. We like things simple, uncomplicated and peaceful. We work hard to filter out the complicated, stressful, pulpy bits in order to enjoy a smoother, more refreshing lifestyle. 

So when this year’s vacation was cancelled we switched gears and turned inward to our own hometown goodness. We’ve lived here most of our lives and have never taken advantage of the mountain top state park located just 20 minutes from our front porch. So, we booked a cabin for two days. My husband could still go to work, I could still get the solitude my introverted soul craves and we could still gather in the afternoons for some down time. It was a smooth, simple lemonade recipe with lots of sugar.

Now, if you’ve followed me over the years you know that I connect with God the most in the natural world. Outdoors is my happy place. And while it’s true that God is everywhere, I believe that He’s much more tangible among His natural creation. I can almost physically feel Him when I am outside. He’s big and diverse. Outside is big and diverse. He moves. Outside moves. I can’t harness Him and there certainly is no way to harness the wind. To me, it just seems to correlate.

Deer outside our window one morning.

While I am an outside girl, I am not typically an early riser. I am almost ashamed to admit this, but I have never in my nearly 44 years witnessed an actual sunrise. Sure, I’ve been up with my babies as the sun came up, had to be up for early flights, or wrestled all night with insomnia until the first morning light peeked through the blinds. But, I have never made the point to be up to watch the sunrise. When I was a kid, I vividly remember my older brother (an early riser) trying to coerce me to get up to watch the sun rise over the mountain during a family camping trip. I refused. And I refused once more when years later, a friend tried to get me to do the same thing when I spent the weekend with her at her family’s cabin. I value my sleep, y’all.

But I realized this week that our cabin overlooked the Eastern bluff of the mountain. Sunrise side. So when my husband got up early to leave for work on our “vacation”, I decided to go meet with God outside before dawn.

It was one of the most spiritual events in my entire life. God spoke volumes to me during those few brilliant moments. So much so, that I have decided to write an entire blog post about it. If you’d like to read how God uses the sun to point everything back to Jesus, His son, join my other 1,300 subscribers so you won’t miss the post.

In the meantime. Enjoy your vacations, your lemons and the people in your life God gave you to love. Find ways to make the most of this one life. Put God first. Your family second. Ministry and life happens third.

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