Friday Afternoon Serenade

I read a beautifully written piece the other day by a fellow blogging friend, Modern Serenade, and as I was standing on my back porch this afternoon I thought I’d take his idea and write about my own Friday afternoon serenade.

An airplane flew overhead as the neighbor’s air conditioning unit seemed to kick into overdrive. The wind begin rustling through the trees, and the crickets began their evening rhythms. The dogs across the ridge must have seen a stranger or a critter run by, because they started up in a bit of a panic only to subside after a few minutes. Maybe it was a squirrel that crossed their paths, but his squawking was a bit delayed as he gave a good fussing to some young creature or fellow walking by. The wind rustled through the trees again, as if to attempt to quiet his tirade. I believe it worked. Then, the dogs barked a few times again, and our cats came swirling around my feet with a meow or two just to get some attention. A mosquito buzzed by my ear and landed on my hand as I swatted him. “Smack!” That will be his last bite today; unfortunately, he got me twice. I hear a car driving through the culdesac, probably a neighbor coming home from a long day’s work. The wind rustles a bit stronger through the trees, it seems to be telling the weary soul, “Welcome Home.” My son just joined the chorus as I hear the bass through the subwoofers booming a bit through the walls of the house.

Whish-bark-meow-buzz-smack-vroom”

Another mosquito says goodbye to this life, and I grab the bug repellent; so, I might enjoy a few more moments of the evening serenade before turning in. Even the spray adds a swishing noise to the symphony. The temperatures tonight are quite delightful. … There goes the wind and the crickets again.

“Whish-boom-smack-swish-which-chirp-chirp-bark-boom”

Ahh, there’s the little bird to join in while another plane travels overhead to it’s unknown destination, and finally, the cicadas have come to add their part to the harmony. I was wondering what was taking them so long.

“Whish-boom-chirp-chirp-bark-vroom-whish-tweet-tweet-chirp-chirp-buzz-buzz-cacah”

…a crow couldn’t miss out while he was flying by. 😂

A beautiful symphony given to us by our amazing Creator God. Sitting here, listening and watching just brings a sweet peace to my mind and a gentleness to my heart. It causes me to breathe deeper and smile a little longer. I’m so thankful for my restful place of solitude. It truly brings healing to a weary soul.

I hope you will step outside and listen to the serenade around you, and if it’s just too noisy with human chaos and manmade distractions, take a little drive to a park, an open field, a hiking trail, a lake or a waterfall. Get off the asphalt, and see what you might bring into vision with, not only your eyes, but with your whole being.

Happy listening, and Happy Friday! 😊

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Know When to Seek Refuge from the Storm

Yesterday, my husband and I were out on the lake in a sailboat. It’s not a huge sailboat, just a 22 Catalina, but it is a perfect one for us, as we haven’t ever really sailed before this one. Joey has pretty much taught himself, and he does a pretty good job. I love sailing across the waters with him. It’s our little world of solitude from the mundane and the chaos this life can sometimes bring.

It had been an absolute beautiful day. The winds were gently blowing. The waters were smooth and peaceful, and the sky was absolutely breathtaking at sunset. We were definitely “maximizing  our goof off time!” It was so much fun!

Yet, about 15-20 minutes after the sun had set, and the sky was still saying goodbye to that great big amazing ball of fire, a storm front came up without much warning. The sky turned an ugly shade of gray and the wind picked up, threatening to turn gusty at any moment. In the distance, we could see a couple of fronts on top of each other, and the lightening was striking all over. We were pretty sure the worst of the storm was skirting around us; however, the bottom front was arched right above our heads and closing in fast. In a little 22′ sailboat is not exactly where you want to be found as a thunderstorm blows through!

Joey started the motor, had me take the tiller and motor wand in hand as he lowered the sails and battened down the hatches. He worked with incredible speed and skill. I watched in amazement as I kept looking to the skies and praying under my breath that we’d make it back to the dock in time.

IMG_7005

Thankfully, we made it back and docked just in time, walking off the boat, up the ramp, and closing our car doors just as the first raindrops began to fall. As I drove away from the marina and toward the safety of my home, I was reminded of how big our God is. I was reminded how good our God is, and I was reminded of how often He is a shelter from any storm we might encounter. We just have to remember when and where to seek shelter! Had Joey decided he wasn’t going to get out of that storm as quickly as he did, or had he decided to just linger a little while longer, trusting his own abilities a little too much, we could have surely been in some trouble.

Life will always have storms that blow in, and sometimes, with absolutely no warning. You may be right at the verge, but you’ve just got to know when to get out of the storm that’s brewing. You may even be caught in the onset of that storm; however, our God has always provided a refuge and a shelter to which you can run. You’ve just got to make the decision to run early. He will protect you, and He will uphold you regardless of the thunder that rolls and the lightening that may flash.

You can trust Him. 😉

Wednesday’s Ode #11

Today, I’d like to be headed toward what I am going to give tribute: the mountains! Oh, how I love the mountains! We live near the North Georgia Mountains, and every time I get near, every time I get even a glimpse of them, I have to take a couple of really deep breaths and just close my eyes and let everything else simply slip away. 

    I am, specifically, in love with the N.GA mountains and the Smoky Mountain National Park; however, I have been to the Rockies, as well as, several other parks and mountain ranges along the East coast, and I love them all!! 
  There is just something about standing at the base of an ancient hill that has withstood the test of time. Those ranges have stood strong amidst rain, blistering heat, earthquakes, snow and mankind. Their strength precedes them. Their peace hovers around them, and it can be felt with more intensity the closer you get. 

Some fear the mountains, because they are unpredictable and unwavering in the raw elements; however, I have found my time spent hiking, walking, or simply gazing up at the trees, is always refreshing, revitalizing, and it reequips me for the days I have ahead. Some grow frustrated and restless as they draw near to the sheer size of the mound; yet, I find myself longing for moments of solitude in their midst. They are a fortress, a refuge, a high tower upon which I will lean and find rest. They bring me peace, strength, and even, wisdom, as I gaze at their majesty. They are a constant reminder to me of their Creator and mine. 

I just love, love, love the mountains!! My heart is longing to escape to that fortress even now. …Hmmm, I wonder if I could possibly squeeze in a trip to them today…or at least, over this coming weekend! 🙂