Travel plans…{or the one place I truly long to see}

Seems there’s a whole lot of traveling going on.

First Born and his bride headed west.  Rental truck loaded to the limit, they set out to begin a new chapter together. Married less than a year, the first pages of their story begin to unfold.

And me, I’m a bit unfolded too.

Dearest Husband brings me for a bite at an art deco-ish diner a little north of us.

We refer to it as the Farewell Café.

It was a wailing wife/moaning mama {not exactly wailing, but definitely weepy!} that Dearest Husband brought to this very eatery last August 31, the day Second Son had moved to Hawaii. Without a cell phone! Feeling led by God, he set out to begin his own life’s adventure which wound up eventually leading him and his beloved Kimmi to the Great Salt Lake.

Empty nest symptoms flew wild that day like a down pillow shook open hard. Had to drown my sorrows in a bowl full of gravy…

Thanks to Candida, this time I ate healthier. And with a spiritual appetite grown healthier and mom-emotions settling down over the last nine months, this departure is a little easier to accept.

Equally heart tugging and teary, though.

Youngest Son is next. He’s getting ready to cross the Pacific and visit the Big Island next month with his girlfriend and a group of nearest and dearest.  Then he moves west to join his two brother-best friends by summer’s end.

And Dearest Husband, he just came back to me. Returned last week from a days-long trip down south, bi-annual dad and brothers bonding time.

So much coming and going with these men of mine!

After a hectic spring semester, and nearly a year of wonderful stretching in a blessed new marriage, I long for warm breezes, sand between my toes and turquoise waters. A Pina Colada escape to a gorgeous beach somewhere with Dearest Husband and absolutely no pressing agenda.

Nest empty, my life story twists with delicious possibilities.

Long held dreams include distinct destinations such as Alaska, Moorea in the South Pacific and ITALY! as well as countless places stateside: Vermont, Maine, Sannibel Island off Florida, Big Sky Montana, Wyoming and the Pacific Northwest coastline of Oregon.

But life’s detours, derailments and delights have kept me closer to home so far.

Yet I wonder, ‘When?’

When might the passport be dusted off and on its way to one of these ports of call? When might we pack up Beauty and head out on a road trip adventure?

And then I got to thinking.

Really thinking about all that truly matters.

The one place I really want to see…really need to see…truly long to see…is the place where I see God for real, the One True God, Father of us all, who came in the flesh to save us from our sins.

Jesus…

Let me see Jesus in my everyday places. From around the corner to around the world.

In the here.

And the now.

Right now!

Making every moment of this precious gift called Life count more than it has before and satisfying the wanderlust yearnings of an oft times wayward heart.

So I ponder — after 25 years of “getting saved” – do I really know Him more than I know about Him?

Disturbing.

Not just reading about Jesus in His Word {though that is a vital and frequent destination – especially the Gospels}. Not just listening to Sunday sermons about Jesus {and again, I’m not necessarily knocking that}.

It’s not just talking about Him to someone else, doing kind deeds in His name or even being grateful for all His many varied and wonderful blessings throughout the years {although I do and REALLY am!}

It’s about being with Him.

Simply Him!

Like Mary who sat at his feet, near to His heart, soaking Him in, her life depending on it.

Just Him!

Not for what He can give or do for me.

Offering extravagant thanks like the woman with the alabaster jar. Pouring out her heart, spilling her love, spending all on Him.

Following hard, forsaking sin, like the woman at the well.

Telling all I know and even those I don’t, that He knows all about me and yet does not condemn me. He loves me…

And like the early disciples — leaving all, everything known and loved, sources of earthly security and comfort — to be with Him. Day in and day out. All the time.

Doing His bidding. Answering the call. Desires fulfilled.

No matter where life takes me — whether traveling far and wide or staying put, no matter the rush or the reason for my being there — let me learn to love Him truly, all consuming, more than ever before.

I long to be caught up in the moments of my life with Him. Drown out the negative mental chatter, stand on faith, hope in the face of not knowing what in the world might be next…

Not a prescribed practice by rote of reading so many verses per day or praying for a certain length of time, but really truly, mind blowing, spirit bending, being with Him…

Like never before.

Because He is with me. As He is with you. All of us. Always.

And He’ll never leave us, so He waits for realization to dawn…

Precious Holy Spirit, quiet and gentle, keep wooing me. I’ve given you my heart, now take my hand.

I will follow You … led to a faraway place that may be as close as my next heartbeat or right in my own backyard. Or perhaps half way around the world in some impoverished village holding the hand of a single mother who worries over her sons…

Help me go, wherever You are leading, that I might know you better and be more like you.

No matter where I may roam, I will always be at home. In my heart. So long as I’m with You.

Remember the ruby slippers? All Dorothy wanted was to go home. “There’s no place like home,” she said, over and over.

But only if Jesus is at home in the heart is it a place we will want to be. A place of peace, forgiveness and rest. Regardless of where life may take us.

And with Him in residence, the adventure awaits every moment of every regular day — those days when we are bogged down and fed up with our daily routines as well as the supreme moments when all seems right with the world.

It’s a magic carpet ride, carried on the wings of Love.

Love, that priceless ticket which cost Him everything, transports us to realms ever higher.

And the more we know Him, the more we will love, finding ourselves more like Him.

Intoxicatingly inviting!

Living Love. Loving others, especially the unlovables {and we all know who they are — sometimes even us!}

Allowing Love to transform meager meanderings into meaningful pursuits that will enlarge hearts, bless others by beckoning them to come along, and make the Lover of our soul smile as wide as the east is from the west.

Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other. John 13:35 The Message

They will know us by our love…but is that how I am known, Lord?

There have been times in my past, and just the other day, when sober wonder has caused my heart to cringe over the way I sometimes love those God has placed within my circle.

All these years and I still have so much to learn. He reminds me to take heart…the good work He has begun in me He will be faithful to complete.

So, with all the dizzying changes going on in my life right now, I’ll stop for a moment. Take a slow deep breath full of Love. Exhale all the staleness inside me.

And let it go.

To let Him in more.

Let Love be my tour guide on an awe inspiring journey, destination unknown and unlike anything I’ve even dared to dream.

And this journey I must take, if my life on earth is to count for eternity.

And the love learned along the way and well spent, will uncover those rare and precious moments and places that are sure to take my breath away.

No passport needed…

~sheila

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