Monday, July 16, 2012

And God is Faithful

Overslept this morning so decided no walk before work but instead to read God's word this morning.  And God is faithful to meet me right where I am.

From my devotional this morning "God's Little Devotional Bible" I am reminded that "the Christian faith imparts meaning to life.  A living faith that is centered in God as revealed in Christ takes our chaotic, disorganized selves, with their crude jumble of pleasures and pains, and knits them together into a steadiness and joy that can endure anything with God.

Trust God today to turn your brokenness into something of beauty and value."

As I cried out to God last night when I went to sleep just mumbling over and over "please send me a friend, please send me a friend" amidst my tears I heard this voice say - "You need to be a friend too.   Nurture the friends you do have, share the love that overflows in your heart with those you know whether near or far."    I slept well last night, almost too well as I woke up an hour later than planned.  I need to remember to turn the alarm back on on Sunday nights.  (I turn it off on Saturday night so we can sleep a little later on Sundays).  I woke feeling refreshed.  Ready to start my day.

Made coffee for Ron.  I usually wait for him to make it and then remembered a little comment he made to me the other day.  "Sometimes it would be nice if you (Ali) made the morning coffee."  Not a hard thing to do, something a friend would do for a friend ~ make them a fresh cup of coffee to start their morning.

And then I read my devotion -  and heard God can make it through this, you have faced much bigger obstacles and challenges in life.  Remember to have a friend you need to be a friend ~ a reminder from what was in my thoughts as I fell asleep last night.

And then realized I may have overslept for a reason - my chest area, rib cage is very tight this morning, kind of achy and walking up the hills in this campground may not be a good thing for me today.  I will walk on the treadmill in the office this morning instead.  And why have I not thought of that before - the treadmill is here, a really nice one with all sorts of buttons - I can use that :)  still go for a walk outside each day and maybe Ron would join me if I did a walk in the evenings instead of at the crack of dawn when he is still sleeping. 

Well it is time to get on with my day.  Just wanted to share my devotion from this morning.  Hope whoever is reading this has a great day and remember God will supply all your needs!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Hard Place to Be In

Today as I was sitting in the worship service I missed my Northwood family terribly.  I kept looking around the room wondering if any of them would become a friend of mine.  Talked to one person and then made our way out.

Then went to work and worked for four hours.  Checked in two new guests ~ a good thing as our guest occupancy was very low this week. 

Ron went to hear the Bacon family in a Gospel Show at Grand Country.  After he got back and I was off work we decided to go for a drive.  We drove around the area, went to Crane, Galena and then decided it was time to head back toward the campground.  Told Maggie, our GPS to take us home the shortest route ~ 26.4 miles.  We drove down some winding roads, up some hills, saw pretty valley's, some quirky colored homes, some beautiful brick homes, cows, cows, and more cows and green trees & bushes.  It was beautiful.

And then I said to Ron "What would you say if I wanted to go home (meaning WA/OR)?"  He didn't say anything for a minute and then he asked "When?"  I told him I didn't know, I just know I need to go home.  I miss having friends.  I love Ron more than anything and told him that.  But just being with him is not enough.  I need to be around friends, I need to have coffee with friends, I need to worship our Lord with friends and not just in a room full of strangers. 

And then more silence.  And tears were running down my cheeks.  I know Ron wants to continue to travel around the US, see more of this beautiful land we live in, see friends and family who live in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and I want those things too but I need friends along the way. 

Branson is a beautiful place and like our jobs and enjoy the perks of free shows and am loving the weather even on super hot days.  We enjoy going swimming in our pool.  We enjoy seeing new areas around Branson but something is missing...friends.  Someone to go shopping with, people to have dinner with, go swimming with, worship together with, friends.

After grabbing a hamburger for dinner and stopping to pick up  some bananas, radishes and cheese & lunch meat we headed for home.  Ron was pretty quiet.  I asked him what he was thinking - he said he knows I need more than just him and he feels bad that I am feeling so alone right now.  He asked me again when did I want to go home...and I said just some day.  I love you (Ron) and want to be with you as you fulfill your dreams of traveling around the US.  And I know in a couple of days I will be back to my happy go lucky self enjoying our lifestyle and where we are. 

Once home I walked into the rig and into the bathroom (where I do lots of talking to God) and asked Him to please send me a friend or two here in Branson.  And I know He will...maybe not tomorrow but one day.  And in the meantime we will continue to try churches till we find "the one," continue to chat with friends on Facebook, via the telephone and email.  And I will continue to pray to my Lord and know that he will supply all my needs.  I know this and believe it with all my heart. 

And I know tomorrow is a new day and after a great night's sleep I will feel better and so I close just asking you to say a prayer for God to bring a friend into my life while we are here in Branson.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tuesday Night Drive

Tuesday night we went to Landry's Seafood Restaurant in Branson.  We got there in time for happy hour so Ron had a beer and I had a gold margarita and we shared three appetizers: crab balls, onion strings, calamari and spinach, artichoke & crab dip w/tortilla chips.  And me without my camera ~ take it from me it was pretty tasty and was only $26 for the drinks, food and tip so not too bad. 

And then we went for a drive ~ looking for gas stations/restaurants that have those motel coupon books (looking for ways to advertise Branson View Campground.  Didn't find any but what  a nice drive. 

First I commented to Ron that wasn't the sun beautiful and that's all it took and Ron was off to find the spot.  And we found it, it was a dead end into someone's driveway so I took a quick pic:
The sun going down on the horizon.  This was taken through two trees in someone's yard that we pulled into that we thought was a road :)

As Ron was driving I was looking/reading signs and saw this sign for Sycamore Log Church and that sounded interesting.  So off we turned and drove down just over 2 1/2 miles and this is what we found:
Sycamore Log Church ~ built in the late 1920's by the community and the Jones' family.

Little picnic area across from the church.

Other than the electric meter and lights it is just as it was built all those years ago.

Another view of the front of the church.

Not a very clear picture but it was made as a memorial to the founding family and there is pencil drawing also in the plaque.

We couldn't figure out how to turn the lights on so we were pleasantly surprised what pictures we got with the flash.  The pulpit was made from a tree stump that was cut down in 1933.

A stove to heat the building.

The piano with lots of flowers.

Looking from the pulpit out the door.

Another view of the front of the church.

And this was taken standing at the door looking in.  Was pleasantly surprised with all the colors!

And then we continued on our drive, having no idea where we would end up and we both laughed when Ron said "I hope it doesn't dead end somewhere:)"
The road narrowed to less than one lane and just as we started under the tressel a car came roaring up so Ron backed up so she could get through!  So glad she didn't hit us head on.

Beautiful view!

Coming up on another corner.

Looking down over a creek bed.

Looking the other direction.

A peaceful place to sit and relax.

Told each other this is definitely a place we would like to come back and walk/hike around ~ now only if we can find it again.

Looking over a meadow and the horizon.  Such beautiful colors.

One of many large homes we drove past.

This is looking at the campground from the business across the street.  Ron has worked hard getting all those lights to be working ~ and many guests have commented how nice it looks especially in the late evenings.

And that was our night ~ sure hope you enjoyed traveling along with us.

Monday, July 2, 2012

I'm so Happy and Here's the Reason Why

The little song: "I’m so happy and here’s the reason why"  has been running through my mind for most of the last weekAnd this morning, it was there again as I began my devotion.

I’m so happy and here’s the reason why;Jesus took my burden all away.
Now, I’m singing as the days go by;  Jesus took my burden all away.
Once my heart was heavy with a load of sin; Jesus took the load and gave me peace within  (my heart and)
Now I’m singing as the days go by; Jesus took my burdens all away.

Last night when I went to bed I could not seem to shut my brain down and it was late - after 11:00 p.m.  I laid in bed and prayed for those who came to mind: Jarrett & Chelsea, Peyton & Conner as they mourn the loss of their little Trek Atlas.  As they step forward in continuing to live and yet missing Trek so much.  For Lauren who's little baby Elijah drowned just over a week ago and who's husband sits in jail being charged with murder and for the four little girls she is trying to love on, take care of and yet deal with the harsh realities of the today.  For my Aunt Joan who has recently been diagnosed with cancer as she awaits treatment.  And for Uncle Don as he stands by her in love and support.  And for our Northwood family heading into a busy time with VBS on the horizon along with fundraising for the Tanzania missions trip next summer.  For our boys: Jamie & Suzanne waiting on word on a house they are trying to buy, for them to have patience with all the request of the bank.  For  Brandon & Danalyn as they prepare to leave on vacation to Michigan today.  For safety as well as little one's who are cooperative and don't get overly tired.  And giving thanks for a hubby who loves me more than words can express.  For all the ways he blesses me each day with his funny homemade songs, fixing me a nice ice cold beverage when it is 104' outside and it is still already 8:30 p.m. and does not seem to be cooling off.  And thanks for new friends and old who love on me/us and encourage us each and every day.  And asking the Lord to help me wake early so I can get all that needs to be done before it is again 103' outside.  And drifting off and sleeping all night long and not waking up till 6:24 a.m.  And waking feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day.

And this morning in His word in my devotions: to prepare Him room in our hearts and what that means:  to discard the unsightly, value the good, clean the dirty, tend the true, bring in the fresh and make room for a guest (from Guideposts Daily Planner 2012).  And what jumped out at me: tend the true ~ and what a reminder I needed as once again we find ourselves dealing with the Texas Workforce Center as BOD Pres. Marti O'Hare has once again appealed the decision on Ron's unemployment benefits and once again we pray for the truth to remain and God's mercy to be on us.

And from 1 Chronicles 28:20:  Be strong and of good courage and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed for the Lord God will be with you.  He will not leave you nor forsake you until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord. - be strong and of good courage, He will not leave you or forsake you.  Thank you Lord for the minder that you are with us each day and we just need to trust in you.

And from Daily Guideposts 2012 ~ Judges 19:6  Be content...and let thine heart be merry. ~~ A reminder I may not like the situation we find ourselves in but God is with us/me and I can be content and have a happy heart knowing that Jesus is with me every step of the way.

Thank you Jesus for the jobs you have provided, for all the wonderful benefits of that job: seeing shows we never could have afforded, meeting such wonderful and friendly people and allowing us to help them have a nice and fun vacation.  For our health, though at times I wonder and worry where the money will come from for things like a new artificial eye ~ yes it is getting to be that time once again.  For providing food and fresh vegetables from strangers who pass through our lives and for the love of so many You have blessed us with both near and far.  Lord help me to remember to count my blessings and name them one by one....wonder just how many I could write down ~ maybe a new type of list is to be made, not what needs to be done but all the blessings of Your love on us.  Amen.