Monday, August 1, 2011

What I Learned in Louisiana

Tonight I sat down to add to my gratitude journal, and my eyes wandered from what I was writing to what I recorded last weekend. I drove to South Toledo Bend, Louisiana, with my sweet friend Robin, to stay with her family on the lake and enjoy a few days away. My mom even offered to keep Liv so I could relax as much as possible while down there. And relax I did. If you're a state parks kind of person and you don't mind crossing on over into Louisiana, do yourself a favor: go to South Toledo Bend State Park. It is everything a state park should be.

I must admit, I had an agenda in mind as we were planning the trip. See, there's this issue I've been processing for the last several weeks, and it has to do with worship, callings, gifts, community....all of that. Since I first started mulling all of it over, I've realized that I can just as easily talk myself out of one corner and into the next, and I just can't seem to gain a clear sense of direction on things. So I figured I'd go to the backwoods of Louisiana, spend exactly 48 hours being quiet and get myself an answer. Cause that's how God works, right?

Needless to say, I did not return to Arkansas knowing exactly what to do with all of the question marks in my head. And at first I felt a little disappointed, like maybe I had somehow missed the point. Then I remembered that just because I planted myself somewhere without cell reception for a day or two didn't necessarily mean I would find clarity on this complex, multi-faceted issue. In fact, it stayed fairly far from my mind the entire time I was down there. And maybe that was the point.

Whatever the reason for my being there, I remembered tonight some of the grace-filled moments that I took the time to jot down in my journal. And they are....

Six-hour car rides with bestests where the radio is never necessary

Learning more about what makes our dear ones who they are

Awe-struck at stories of humble parents raising children well

Welcoming families

Saturday morning coffee made just for me

Pajama walks to the dock, coffee mug in hand

Robin's Texas nephews with their unmistakable Texas accents

Eagles swooping down over lakes

Cloaked in wilderness, all greens, browns and blues

Pine trees and ceiling fan breezes

Screened-in porches and pouring Louisiana rain

And tonight, I call those sweet moments to mind, and my sleepy hand scrawls...

Lists that help us remember

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