It’s paradise, they say, or at least as close as you can get to it! Looking around it would seem so! The vegetation is so lush all around you, every shade of green broken up my bright pinks, creamy whites and bold reds.
Sitting on this balcony gazing out at the blue waves that stretch miles before my eyes it feels a bit unreal. The tops of the palm trees are swaying in the wind beneath me and I hear the birds squawking below over any crumbs left behind by hungry vacationers.
I’m here on this beautiful island to help my daughter and her husband with their girls. I would help them anywhere and the fact that it landed us in a beautiful tropical paradise is icing on the cake.
I’m thankful with every breath and also wrecked for anything temporary!
I pass a beautiful waterfall and wonder what my love is seeing today. What is he viewing from his eternal perspective? Are the colors even more brilliant? Does the water sound like music when it passes by? Does the Holy Spirit’s breath feel even more wonderful than this breeze across my face?
We go down to breakfast, a sumptuous spread laid out before us. I am grateful and my granddaughter smiles and it is food for my soul.
I watch the workers bustle around me. One is cleaning up the dishes from the table as quickly as you can empty them. An island grandmother faithfully pushes a cart of linens by and she smiles. “Aloha!’ How many days has she done this? How many guests has she greeted so kindly? What are you doing here Father? How are you at work in the hearts of these people?
My husband and I made many memories with our kids but most of them were at home or once a year to the Ozark mountains to swim in the lakes and vacation at Silver Dollar City. There were a few times as they were older we scrimped and saved to make the trek to Florida’s gulf coast. I wouldn’t trade those times for anything.
So this trip has me turned upside down. It’s beautiful and nothing I ever thought I would experience. Every time I experience a new place when traveling I feel like I’m seeing a new facet of my Father. Really Father? You thought of this too? I love this color, this food, these people!
It’s the people, always the people that burrow their way into my heart. It’s the locals that have their homeland invaded on the regular still handing out smiles and kind words. It’s the visitors like me that enter someone else’s space for a few days to experience all that we can and then leave.
And I wonder what are we leaving in our wake? Have I been so consumed with myself that I fail to see the one I just passed on the path? Was her heart filled with joy or deep sadness? Or was she consumed with thoughts of what she still lacks? Do the cares of this world overwhelm her so that she isn’t even seeing the views before her?
In losing my husband so young, I have been given the best gift and wrecked forever? Sound crazy? I know. But truly life will never look the same, and yet it’s beautiful. People will never just be people that I can choose to notice or not. They will all be eternal souls that I will wonder about, pray for and long to make a difference with.
I will experience every new place with joy as I discover a new piece of my Father’s handiwork and it will always pale in comparison to my forever home that I have never seen.
Here is what I want! I want to discover ALL of the treasures that lie around me,those in my own backyard and those I will only find by jumping on a plane and traveling across oceans! I want to see all that God wants to show me. I want to be shaped by it and the people I encounter. I want to feed on His Word and listen to his heart for those around me. I want to be the hands and feet of Jesus until I can gaze upon them myself! I want to make a difference wherever my foot steps. I want to take ground away from the enemy and claim it as Kingdom of Heaven ground. I want to love and listen and bring the Balm of Gilead to wounded hearts, until Jesus comes back or calls me home!
This is why I “Lift Up My Eyes!” If you have followed me on social media you know that it’s been the song of my heart for several months. In the weeks to come I will be releasing, “How to Lift Up Your Eyes”. This will be available to all those who sign up to receive blog posts to your inbox. Then in October we will practice it as a daily challenge, together! I can’t wait to see what God shows us!