Tag Archives: travel

Guess Where I Am?

Hubby and I were gifted a lovely week away. The last day of our vacation we decided to play around with video. The one I’m sharing today is the most playful. It will be on my Amazon page to help readers learn more about the Tinseled Tidings series I wrote for this holiday season. The series is available by single title for Kindle or as a collection in paperback.

The question is . . . do you know where I am?

Hope you enjoyed the video!

Watch my newsletter for  *free days* for Kindle books published by Free to Flourish. Every weekday next week we have a free book by yours truly for you! Merry Christmas!

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My Girl in Afghanistan

sarah and childrenThank you to all in the blogging community who offered this momma emotional support as her daughter traveled to a war-torn country. While she was in Afghanistan she sent me a picture of the street where she stayed–blocked off with coiled barbed wire and guarded by a strong man with an AK-47 and grenades.

Sarah’s intent was to show me how safe she felt. When she returned her husband pointed out that the picture only accented to me her NEED for such precautions. It didn’t help that her trip there was postponed twice due to political unrest and the murder of a family staying on a guest compound in a city not too far from the one where she traveled.

But despite the scary delays what my girl found in her time in Afghanistan was a vibrant country recovering from 1,000 years of war. Honorable men who pledged to protect her with their very lives. Resilient women full of spirit and kindness and courage. A culture of loving hospitality with high hopes for the recovery and growth of their country.

Sarah longs to return to this place and people who captured her heart, and daily she grieves the distance that separates her from her “second home.”

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She was recently interviewed on this free podcast. You’ll be glad you listened.

http://www.adventuresportspodcast.com/2015/04/ep-017-sarah-grundy-adventure-travel.html

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(PS Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. I’ve been called to some deep times of introspection coupled with graduating my last homeschooled senior! It’s breath-taking to think that after 24 years of parenting and almost that long homeschooling a new season is truly beginning for me!)

Until Next Time,

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PS If you fall in love with Afghanistan through Sarah’s interview on the Adventure Sports Podcast, you can find out how to get involved by contacting my girl at: https://www.facebook.com/GrundyAroundTheWorld

Freedom to Move Forward Part II

south sudanI did something brave.

Different.

Unexpected.

(If you haven’t read yesterday’s post, this one won’t mean as much, so check it out!)

Just over a week I was surprised by the desire to visit a third world country as part of a team reaching out to spiritual leaders of a new country learning its freedom.

While I have long desired to serve others and even wished I could meet special people, like my World Vision “daughters,” I’ve never been one to jump at the idea of this sort of thing. Europe I’ve dreamed of visiting. Third world countries? Not so much.

But I couldn’t resist the truth: I was interested, longing to go, even.

But my mind went other directions, and I let the thought drop for over an hour until I “accidentally” stumbled right into the informational meeting about this trip.

Again intrigued, I stayed. Longing. Wondering.

I came home and went on-line to check out the application procedures. My computer wouldn’t let me into the system, and I walked away frustrated. Ended up in bed sick the next day and dragging for several after. But always in the back of my mind the desire lingered.

I prayed. Asked friends to pray. It seemed too big a decision to make without one of those huge, red check marks in the sky beside the “yes” (not that I’ve ever had that exact cosmic direction, but you know what I mean).

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As real life got in the way I assumed this, like many of my ideas (I’m pretty impulsive and interested in many thing!), would fall away.

Until Sunday, the deadline for that application.

Sunday Jerry and I took a drive in the mountains, lingered over a picnic lunch, and explored all the stuff 20140629_132412of yesterday’s post. As we descended back to the Colorado plains in our little silver car we were freer than when we began the climb. Hopeful for next steps. Excited about living outside the fear of getting it wrong.

We hit I-70, just below Genesee where the view opens up and reveals Denver far below, and I caught my breath.

“South Sudan,” I whispered.

“So it’s back to that,” said Jerry.

“I don’t have to wait for a cosmic sign. I can apply.”

And so I did.

God had revealed the freedom to move forward, to follow that desire inside of me calling out for attention.

To do something brave.

Different.

Hard and unexpected and adventurous.

To do it with His blessing even without a shocking confirmation of His will.

I could simply go for it.

Something that might turn out breath-takingly beautiful. Something that might hurt. Or even be dangerous. Certainly uncomfortable.

Something bigger than me.

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I came home, and my stupid computer (I say this with great affection) still wouldn’t let me into the application process. I stumbled a moment. Was it a sign I shouldn’t do this? I shoved the thought away and went with the forward motion of my heart.

Jerry offered me his computer, and I was in on the first try.

I don’t know yet if I will be chosen to even interview for one of the spots, much less as part of this team.

But I had the FREEDOM to try. The FREEDOM to reach way beyond who I am to do something I’ve never once before imagined.

The tears pool in my eyes as I type.

Where can I go in my newly-understood freedom of forward movement? What possibilities lie ahead that I never before dreamed? I have a catch in my chest where the breath should come out. It seems so crazy wonderful big.

This blog started as an inside-out journey to physical weight loss.

And that freedom plays into this one.

About a year and a half ago I was out for my walk. The pounds had dropped away. I had another 20 to go. I trotted downhill when blindsided by the urge to run. I couldn’t resist. I let those feet fly, pounding the pavement like I hadn’t done in years and years and years.

I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to run! “What in the world are You doing with me, God?” I whispered. “What are you preparing me for?”

I heard no answer, but felt his chuckle in the breeze upon my face.

At 210 pounds the idea of the sort of venture I applied for on Sunday would have been immediately dismissed.

But I am freed for forward movement. Free in my body. In my heart. In my mind. In my spirit.

I couldn’t sleep Sunday night. I just kept soaring.

Wishing you a freedom discovery of your own,

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(South Sudan pictures taken from Wiki.)

San Diego II – The Beach

Some sidewalks led to more exotic spaces than others.

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Not that I don’t like strolling through my neighborhood, but there was an extra excitement bubbling forth as Sarah and David urged me down the sidewalk in San Diego leading to the beach. I couldn’t resist stopping to capture pictures of sea lions

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and several of the dipping sun.

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But Sarah and David ran ahead, calling that I must hurry if I was going to watch the sunset from the sand.

So I rushed ahead only to pause and snap more shots, then revel in the fact that I could run barefoot across the lawn of a green park and catch up to them. A year, and almost 60 pounds ago, I couldn’t have done it. I’m still shocked than I can now.

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Once across the little park we rushed down some stairs to a beach so we could feel sand beneath our feet

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and dip our toes in the ocean

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as the sun took her own stroll on the horizon.

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While she journeyed, we played her glow.

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Once the sun disappeared

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into the ocean

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all that was left was a faint fragment of light reminding us of where she’d been. It was hard to see anything but shadowed outlines.

Sarah urged me to walk a little closer to a big rock. Trusting soul that I am, I did. Not making any new discoveries I questioned the quest, and she urged me on. I stepped closer. Suddenly the big rock arched it’s back, and I realized I was just across the space of my living room from a sea lion!

Delightful! (But too dark to capture on film.)

Sharing the moment with Sarah and David, knowing we were there for work, but playing together as family, was surreal. A hunger grew within to share this type of thing with Jerry and all the kids. To work and travel together, seeing the world, experiencing sunsets on horizons all across this great planet. And I was reminded of that day on the mountain last July when God told me it was okay to dream of such things.

Tweetable:

Some sidewalks lead to more exotic beaches than others.