Perhaps you’re out enjoying a camping trip or a day at the movies, celebrating summer’s end on Labor Day weekend. Since I have no real recreation plans, this weekend I’m re-living an earlier vacation.
This summer was a friend summer, with lots of good moments with folks I hold dear. I got away more than usual, first in Montrose, then Breckenridge, and later at the Broadmoor. I had one more mountain adventure I haven’t had time to blog about. My friends Heather and Niki provided this one. It included great food, amazing views, and late night conversations. (Also a bit of weight gain for the first time in 9 months, but I came home and dealt with that in short order!)
The drive toward Buena Vista includes one of my husband’s favorite mountain plateaus. I usually prefer gurgling streams and lots of trees, but Jerry likes the open valley with peaks around the circumference no matter which way you look. I have to admit this trip through the high plain included some beautiful scenery, like this incredible sky.
Once we arrived at Niki’s in-laws beautiful home, the views again spoke peace and praise into my heart. This gorgeous home is over 4,000 square feet and built by its owners. I love the rustic feel, the rope trim, the natural wood, the personal touches that create an ambiance all its own. The space reminds me of my uncles’ homes back in Oklahoma, where much of the decor came from their own craftsmanship. It was the perfect place for our mountain get-away. (If you want to move to the Colorado Rockies, this home is for sale!)
I started the weekend with high hopes for healthy eating. The three of us love good food, and Heather purchased several treats, the best Muscato I’ve ever had and my favorite dark chocolate (Lindt) were among them. Niki and I bought melons and I brought along my trusty salad and fixins.
Niki also treated me to my favorite flavors in a wonderful frozen yogurt with raspberries and dark chocolate. This would have all been well and good if I could have resisted second helpings and the bowls of popcorn.
But there’s something about midnight conversations that give way to snacking and another glass of wine.
It also gave way to a wonderful experience with the night sky. I’m a city girl now, but spent several years as a country girl. What I miss the very most about country living is the vibrancy of the stars. As we sat outside late at night, talking as good friends do, I was disappointed by some low-hanging wispy clouds that blocked a more complete view of God’s twinkle lights. I asked Him if He would please move the clouds on out so we could enjoy His handiwork. Smart people like my brother would give the scientific reasons behind what happened, but I’m audacious enough to think the Good Lord didn’t mind blowing those clouds out of the way just for our enjoyment. As the night lingered Niki and Heather continued chatting, but I curled up on the ground, wrapped in a soft blanket, and just stared at the sky, diamonds sparkling on rich, black velvet.
With the dawn of a new day came my determination to cut back on the portions and eat healthy. I even packed a wise lunch, some spinach, apples, pecans, and a small sandwich.
The problem is there was also a bag of my favorite chips: vinegar and sea salt. As I journaled beside a bounding mountain river later that day, the Lord pushed me to deal with an attitude He wanted changed. The angrier I grew, the more chips I ingested.
Sheesh. Will I ever learn?
You’d think after my amazing star experience the night before I’d be filled upon Love, but there I sat, atop a boulder, accusing my Savior and munching potato chips.
There with the sound of the rushing water filling our ears, peace prevailed for my friends, even as the rain sprinkled upon us. Niki held her face to the sky and as droplets of refreshment dusted her cheeks, she smiled.
Me? I got madder.
As the rain splatters decorated the pages of my journal, I slammed it shut and went to the SUV Heather had rented for the weekend. My friends delighted in the gifts around them while I sulked.
Angry words poured onto the the pages of my journal as I sat, shut up in a dreary car.
The Lord had me right where He wanted me. I’d shoved down some stuff that needed dealing with, and He loved me too much to leave me walking around without acknowledging the crud invading my heart and mind.
Someday I’ll write about all that. But not much yet. Suffice it to say it had to do with feeling like I received only trickles of the blessings He’d promised.
It was several days before He got it through my thick skull that He had a river of blessings He wanted to give, but I had shut down to the possibilities. For all my brave talk and determination, down deep inside I was on the floor expecting scraps when the Master had laid an abundant table. There’s so much more to all that. Maybe someday I’ll be ready to share more, but this post is already twice as long as I typically allow myself, and the subject matter is still too raw.
Lest you think all my time was wasted at that gorgeous river, I must say I did take some time that day to enjoy the it and the companionship of the best of friends.
And back at the house, I could still thank God for the beauty of the Columbine, Colorado’s state flower. I’d never seen yellow and pink before, and I love the way they combine my two favorite colors.
The drive back to Denver with Niki and Heather included some good processing of my river attitude as we splashed through rivulets made by pounding rain on I-70. It took me several hours before I would talk with them about my journaling experience and several more days of processing with other friends, including Jill and Kay, whose weird dream about me had started the probing in the first place. It was actually a couple of weeks later when I got alone again with my journal that all the anger simply disappeared. Funny how it happened. The Lord showed me He was proud of me.
Crazy that in all my failure He is still applauding, cheering me on, seeing the good in me. It blows me away.
The wonderful Heather visit concluded with a few special times–overeating at Carrabas, Heather getting me hooked on Downton Abbey (which I had sworn I wouldn’t watch until all the crises were wrapped up with a real ending), and a wonderful time of coffee and chatter with friends.
Journeying with God and Friends
Tagged: beauty, friendship, God, God's faithfulness, journaling, prayer, spiritual connection, weight loss journey
What a beautiful blog, Paula. And what a precious gift of friendship the LORD gave you this summer.
Thanks for consistently praying me though, dear one.
I’m so glad I was able to be a part of your summer of friends. I had a blast while I was there. I love you! Beautiful blog
You made everything special, Heather. Now we just need to move you back “home!”
YES!! I’d go today if I could!
This made me smile and thank God again for such a beautiful weekend. Love you, friend! 🙂
A job well done Paula. I love this down to earth blog. Your description of the stars, friends and water was very intriguing. Also look at that skinny body. Congrats!!
:O) As so often happens, your words encouraged me today!
And it’s really good to have my legs back. lol
Looks like a beautiful place. Mother Nature provides some wonderful things, unfortunately quite a lot of them are food based and so hard to resist!