Here's a little pic log of the trip:
Here was the lake we went to visit. I mean, I think nature speaks for itself in this one!
And here is me with my best friend and Lova'. Him and a lake like that? What more could one need? I mean really. C'mon.
The best part about this getaway, I think for both of us, was just the peace and total presence of God we were able to experience as we took the time to reflect and just be still in His beautiful creation. To see the way the green turned near emerald in the trees, and to smell the morning on the lake, there is just something majestic about being completely surrounded by nothing but nature, and God-loving people.
The last morning we were there, we planned to watch the sunrise. So 5:30 came and Omar woke me up. (YUCK!) I don't like waking up so early when on vacation o.k.? However, this was the plan. So begrudgingly I made my exit from the warmth of the cozy bed, dawned the shmexiest long boy athletic shorts, and workout shirt you've ever seen, and away we went, to sit at a funky-hip picnic table just beside the lake.
This is when I realized that I had forgotten. A midst the craziness of feeding, washing, cleaning, feeding, washing cleaning, disciplining, loving, loving, disciplining, cleaning, bathing,(o.k. maybe I snuck a couple extra "cleanings" in there), and bedding my children, I had forgotten the beauty of just being outside in the quiet with the Lord. The morning had just begun, the sun still was hidden behind the peak of the mountain, but its light slowly illuminated the trees and grass around us. The lake was glassy with it's early morning steam, and the duckies and birdies were just becoming vibrant in their early morning routines.
It dawned on me then, that even though the sun was behind the mountain, its light was still illuminating everything around us. Even though it wasn't as bright as was possible, it was still bright enough to see, and even though the mountain was huge, the sun was still bigger, and I knew that it would rise. This parallel image and the whisper of the gospel burst in my heart about this time. "It's the same way in your life with the mountains that you see, and the darkness of being unaware of my light and what it's doing behind the mountains. The sun is rising, and the dawn will peak over the crest if only you will be patient to wait for it. To be silent, and to wait on my light." Because you see, as the sun was rising behind that mountain, the Son was rising inside my heart yet again. Time and time again it happens. I get lost in what only I can see before me, forgetting that just behind the mountain of whatever my current struggle is, God is shedding His light, and His son is rising again. Then it happened.
The sun rose above the tip of that mountain's peak, in such a victorious imagery, as all of these thoughts were colliding in the quiet of my soul. Almost as if he was saying, "See... my son always rises. No matter how big the mountain, the Son always wins."
Then the mountain was engulfed in the light, and all I could see was what truly lied before me; in all of its beauty.I couldn't believe it. What I had hoped, and prayed would happen did. The dead dry parts of my heart were instantly watered, and His love filled again every self-etched hole in my soul, and I allowed His peace to overwhelm me, in every way, and I felt Him like I was 10 again, at Youth Camp when there are no pretenses or facades to remove, just hundreds of other kids crying desperately out to Him, because they are so well aware that we will never be enough, but He is always enough.
So, we had our "Mountaintop" moment, and we had a little 2nd honeymoon.
We celebrated a 30th birthday, a 7th anniversary, and 5th father's day together. We sat in awe of the wonder of His creation, and the way that He has woven our lives together, and we recharged in His graces. Then we slowly descended the mountain, back into reality, but so fresh with the dew of His new mercy, every morning. And guess what? The sun rises- every. day. I can't say that since I've been back home, with a teething 1 year old who has woken up in the night, that I've risen in the morning to see the sunrise since; but I can say that I have allowed His Son to rise over my mountains, and to shed light onto my valleys, and to dawn a new day in my heart each morning.
So, if you haven't had your getaway... take it. This is your license. I'm not saying that God can't work in the grind and beauties of the day-to-day workings of our lives, but there is always something so renewing and refreshing to take the time as individuals to just be with Him. Not to mention the re-connection that happens with your spouse and best friend when it's just you and him.
I hope you find this encouraging to you, and if you are facing an enormous mountain, even one that seems impossible to climb, just wait; because once the Son rises over the peak and sheds light on the path to victory, it will all become so much easier.
"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark,
Jesus got up, left the house
and went off to a solitary place,
where he prayed." (emphasis mine)
- Mark 1:35