It has been a long while since I have posted anything here. I have been busy completing three years toward my B.A. in English and my senior year is underway. My current class (Creative Writing) has finally given me the space to take off the tight harness of academic writing rules, and it feels SO GOOD!! After reading my first assignment, Mom and Daddy gave it their thumbs up and suggested I make it a blog post, so here it is. It is my story and their story. It's a little longer than my usual posts, but as with everything I have ever posted here, I pray it encourages you to run "up the sunbeam to the sun" (C. S. Lewis).

"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." 1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV

I sat above them on the stairs. Looking down through the window-like openings in the partition between the living room and the stairway, I listened to the basketball players, football players, baseball players, wrestlers, track athletes, both the lettermen and the also-…

Imagination Exceeded

I've been away.

I've been away, and I've been wondering how I would wrap words around where I've been and what I've seen, and how I could possibly hope to write down this heart-full of wonder I've brought back with me.

It sounds a cliche, but I truly don't know where to begin . . . there's so much . . .

What began as a phone call a few months ago, offering me a gift of thoughtfulness in proportions I cannot describe, has just culminated in a week I will never forget! This gift . . . 7 days in the mountains to breathe . . . to revive . . . to refresh . . . and to take pictures to my heart's content . . . Oh! Such a gift!!!

Maybe for the first time since I was their only child (my first six years), it was just me, my mom and dad, and the mountains we all are crazy about!! For this country/mountain girl living her life in the city, I couldn't have asked for anything more!!

Before I left, as excited as I was (I was VERY excited), the thought of leaving Hero Husband and our kids to go on this trip "just for me" was hard--I've never left all of them before. She So Sweet got sick the day before I left, and Hero Husband's work was just arriving at a new and more demanding schedule--I couldn't help feeling guilty for jetting off to the mountains when I knew their lives would be impacted by my absence. It wasn't that I thought they couldn't manage without me--I knew they could!! I just knew that they would be inconvenienced by having to do the things I would normally do and they would probably do things I normally should do, but don't always manage to get done. I may have been just a teeny bit worried that they would do my job better than I do.

Despite all my question marks and concerns, the time came for me to go and they all told me that they would miss me and to have a great time--and they meant it. When Hero Husband dropped me off at the airport and kissed me goodbye, there was no point in looking back, only forward with joy and anticipation of what the week would hold. I thought I knew what to expect, having lived there for 10 years growing up, but every imagination was exceeded by the reality of all that awaited me!

There will be time to share the details of my time in British Columbia and some of the more than a thousand pictures I took, but for the moment I am like the airplane, cruising at something above 30,000 feet, looking down from high above to see the tops of the clouds, and below them, the big landmarks that show me where I am.

You might think this was a vacation, a time of recreation, time off. While it had many of the same benefits, it was something so much more! Not only did I see some impressive landmarks, but there were big lifemarks I could see from up there that clarified my perspective, that reminded me where I've been and crystallized my focus on where I want to be. I am still processing the ways this trip has touched my heart, but I hope it will be increasingly evident that I am different than when I left, better, stronger, more hopeful, more joyful, more confident, and more determined.
"With God's power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine." Ephesians 3:20 NCV
I have barely begun to scratch the surface of the changes that will lead to transformation, but I am so thankful that it is our great GOOD God who is working in me, and that He can do far more in and through me than what I can even imagine. I am astounded that He can use mountains and clouds and trees and rocks and waterfalls to carve away the stuff in me that doesn't look like Jesus, but He can!! Yes, He really is like that!

How has God exceeded your imagination?
How does His superlative goodness inspire you?
Joining Ann Voskamp in counting His graces for her Multitudes on Mondays
I hope you'll join in if you haven't already!
In the counting of the endless gifts I say with C. S. Lewis,
"This also is Thou!"

#746-775 (A double portion since I was gone for a week!)
746. Time with my precious family on my birthday!
747. Mexican sweet corn cake--corn just may be the perfect food!!
748. Getting Momma Friday's photobook completed before my trip--whew!!
749. The sleep that helped She So Sweet get over her cold
750. NOT forgetting my passport card!!
751. No traffic through the Caldecott Tunnel, arriving at the airport to find no line to get through security, my gate literally at the top of the escalator from the security area, AND a Peet's Coffee a few feet away!! Pretty much a perfect start to an awesome trip!!
752. The dear lady who sat next to me on the plane--she had taught in my high school from 1947-51 (long before I was born)!! AND, she's a high-ranking member of the American Association of University Women--an organization whose help I just may soon need!! A divine appointment!!!
753. The euphoria of reunion and the "serious huggin'" that goes with it!!
754. The traditional lunch at the Longhorn that completes the trip to Spokane
755. Old barns
756. Giant circles of baled straw drying in Washington fields
757. 4½ uninterrupted hours in the car to talk and talk and talk!
758. The first view of Penticton that still takes my breath away like it did the first time, 40 years ago! It is still a "forever place."
759. Finding home almost completely, blissfully unchanged, despite changes all around
760. Sleeping in my old room--still the best room in the house!!
761. A day of backroads, bear stories, horses both wild and domestic, and the click, click, click of my happy shutter
762. Being greeted with big hugs for Auntie Shaunie in the grey light of early morning by my nephew Greyson and niece Danica, and the great times we had during the week!!
763. Getting to spend an entire glorious day in Cathedral Lakes Provincial Park with my little brother Chad, and his patience and help when the thin air and my lack of conditioning  AND my photography made for LOTS of stops along the way!
764. Hard eucharisteo--the mosquitoes and biting black flies that kept us moving when the hiking got hard (I'm still itching more than a week later!!)
765. Wildflowers
766. Being there to see a rock slide happen right in front of us (from a safe distance) 
767. Curious whiskey jacks, cooperative butterflies, and entertaining pikas, chipmunks, squirrels and marmots that kept us company
768. The view at the top, and the proud feeling of accomplishment back down at the bottom
769. The unbelievable mountains between Revelstoke and Rogers Pass that poured life into me with every breathtaking glimpse
770. The deafening roar at the Meeting of the Waters--the clash of wills where the Illecillewaet River and the Asulkan Brook become a confluence of icy cold, sparkling clear glacier runoff
771. My daddy, stopping every two feet to let me capture the rectangles of glory everywhere I looked!
772. My mommy, insisting on sitting in the back seat to let me have the clearest views and the easiest way in and out of the car to take pictures!
773. Getting to watch some football with my folks, just like when I was growing up
774. The official, completely up to date tour of Daddy's "Sports Room"--his amazing collection of sports memorabilia of every kind!
775. That when I got back to my own family in California, I was blessed with such a warm and happy welcome!

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