Wagon Tracks 1

Historic Oregon Trail wagon ruts in Baker City, Oregon

Historic Oregon Trail wagon ruts in Baker City, Oregon

Your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.
— Psalm 65:11b

This verse - no, this half of a verse, just six words - has become a rudder for me in this particular season of life. God's Word is funny (no strike that) awesome like that. He places His Words in front of you at just the right moment to give you the life and breath that you need to sink further into His Love, His Truth. These words have been life for me for the past couple of months. I've researched them and meditated on them and prayed them. Here are some things I've found and am still mulling over in the grist mill of my mind and heart.

We are not the authors of our own stories. Our calling is to learn how to read and interpret the story of God faithfully and well....”
— John Swinton in Dementia
As we live out our lives of faith, we are not called to carve our own path. We are not called to set the direction, or to blaze the trail. Rather, we follow the pathway that Christ sets for us - knowing that as we step in his tracks there will be for us heavenly resources far beyond our own comprehension. The wagon tracks of God are the places where we are encouraged and invited to walk with Jesus in our lives. It is a place of promise, providence, and power.
— Kyle Norman (blog post)

From this verse and these words I came across from John Swinton and Kyle Norman, I've partitioned off some areas to pray and seek the Lord about in my life. This has been stewing for weeks and I don't want to lose my thinking and the direction I feel God pointing me. At this age (ahem.... almost 49!) I feel like there's a transition going on in my life that needs some focused attention. I so want to glorify the Lord and finish well in this life.... to walk out this plan He has for me in humility and trust. I feel more and more that i have to be deliberate and purposeful..... every moment He has given is holy.   

Here are my compartments I'm working on and have been fleshing out in my journal each week. I hope to capture each one more fully in a post here. But for now here's the guts of what I believe God is showing me - 

  • Be part of His story (Community and Mission)
  • Follow the pathways Christ has set for me (Obedience and Contentment)
  • Use the heavenly resources available on the trail (Prayer, Scripture, & wisdom from those who have gone before)
  • Know His power, providence and promise (Faith and Trust)

Two weeks ago a work trip took me to Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. (How beautiful are the high deserts! I fell in love with the majesty and beauty of those bare, velvety, golden mountains. Truly breathtaking!) My co-worker and I were told about a museum our travels would take us past and were recommended to stop in if we could. Luckily, my travel partner is pretty much game for anything and was more than willing to stop. The museum was the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Baker City, Oregon. Now, being rooted deeply in the South, I can't say I knew much about the Oregon Trail. It was a wonderful museum and very well done, perched on top of a lovely hill with views of the historic ruts of the actual Oregon Trail. As I looked out of a huge picture window at the remnants of those wagon tracks, I finally (yep, I'm slow) thought, "Hey!!! Wagon tracks!!!!" I am so very slow!

God placed this verse in my heart to start turning it over and over on August 1st through the daily readings in my Sacred Ordinary Days journal.... As I've tried to faithfully seek Him with these words, asking Him for guidance, He brought me to this place in Oregon on September 18th so I could look out and see and eventually even walk on, what is for our country some pretty famous wagon tracks. The symbolism was hard to miss. I was blessed to feel His presence and love in a deeper way than I have in a long time. I am so grateful. The photo above is one I took as we left the museum and made a final stop to actually go walk out on the remnants of the trail. My heart continues to be full from this little tap on the shoulder God has given me. I feel like He whispered in my ear, "I'm here. You are loved. Keep going. Keep walking. I've marked out a path for you and I've put plenty of help along the way. Don't stop. Rest when you need to but know I am with you." 

Thank you, Lord. 

Beach Thoughts

Yesterday started with a crimson sky and ended with lavender. I love the beach and how strongly I feel God's Presence here. Every year it is a time of refreshing for me. Here are some "beach thoughts" from this past week:

1. Life Rule: For the second year, S and I have started a new journal/planner at the beach - Sacred Ordinary Days. Part of the journal is thinking about your "Life Rule". Psalm 65:11b has spoken to me this week and I will be chewing on it as the basis of my rule for this next "year". 

You crown the year with bounty, your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.
— Psalm 65:11

And here are some good words from a fellow traveler i'll be chewing on as I work on my rule. 

2. Oh, the things I want to do! Mind, Body, Soul, Home, Work, Others, and Steward. These are my categories this year. And here's my monthly focus for each:

  • Mind: Register and prepare for Knox class this fall. 
  • Body: Just move it. And put good stuff in it. 
  • Soul: Always quiet time.... Scripture, prayer.
  • Home: Just one deliberate thing a day.
  • Work: Don't let the day happen to me... Do two deliberate things every day.
  • Others: Reach out to someone everyday.
  • Steward: Track money with spreadsheet daily.

3. Creative things for this month: 

  • Complete drawings for Alphabet book!
  • Finish Afghan
  • Finish guest room decor/organization
  • Start on master bedroom!!! Ack, it's so bad!

4. Family stuff:

  • Mary to school!
  • Wedding focus
  • Grammy boxes
  • Matt wellness
  • Weekend with A&T!

That's all for now. I'm so good at making lists and not-so-good at execution! 



Disturb Us

A prayer attributed to Sir Francis Drake:

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.

We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push back the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

This we ask in the name of our Captain,
Who is Jesus Christ.  Amen

(Passed on from hubs from our elders.)