Friday, May 11, 2012

Can`t. Stop. Coughing.

I'm back.
I brought my cold back with me; it's moved from my nose to my chest. Look at me saving money - same cold, two different locations. Now that's some bang for my buck. :)

So you know how I was a little worried about going away? Well, maybe I didn't make it clear here, but in real life, if you'd have talked with me before I left, you'd have known. I wondered how I was going to spend my time, and how would I hear from God, and what would He say, and would it freak me out?

I didn't know what to expect.

I was at the Kinsmen Lodge on Monday afternoon, and left behind a crying mom and a confused dad in order to catch the ferry. This? Is hard. All of you who have dealt with a parent's failing health know exactly what it feels like. It is a dark, heavy blanket that gets draped across your shoulders and it is Just. So. Sad. (I am so very thankful for the friends I have that have walked this path ahead of me. Your prayers, encouraging emails, visits at coffee shops and phone calls are life giving. You know that. You've been there.)

I caught the ferry, drove north and arrived at my destination just in time to participate in the neighbourhood potluck dinner. J&S's neighbour's new home is at the half-done stage so they were celebrating with a "half-way house" supper:

I didn't know anyone.
My cold meds had worn off and I was seriously hurtin.

By the time I was settled into the guest house a few hours later, I was done.
"Dear God, I'm here. Not sure why, but I'll trust You to reveal that to me in Your time. Goodnight. Amen. Oh, and please protect my kids, keep an eye on my dad and reassure my mom that You've got things under control. Amen again."

I opened my Bible to Isaiah and read:
"Listen to me, family of Jacob.
I've been carrying you on my back from the day you were born.
And I'll keep on carrying you when you're old.
I'll be there, bearing you when you're old and gray."

Seemed pretty clear to me; my dad is old and gray. God's got his back. It's all good.

The next morning, S cleaned out the Chapel on the property, so I held the dustpan while she swept. And I took a few pics:

A local craftsman built it for the owners; it took a year. It is A-MAZE-INGGGG. It seats 40 - 50 people depending on their bum size and J & S got married there 2 years ago. Sooooo pretty. 

From there we wandered over to another neighbours property to take a gander. (When I say wander, I mean hike. Uphill. Because everything is on a mountainside. And yes, my legs were on fire and my lungs were heaving. I pretended it was no big deal. I'm a great actress, I'm sure she didn't notice.) 

My constant companion, who rarely left my side? Pharoh.

J&S's youngest daughter hoped we'd stop in to visit her sometime during the day, so we hopped in the car (yes, even the dog) and drove 'to town' (which was one block long). This is Alisha at work in the busiest/only coffee shop/bakery/art gallery in Madeira Park. Across the street, at the pet food store, you can also buy party dresses and farm tools. The local hotel also houses the local book store in whatever room has not been rented for the night. 

We walked along the path from the downtown shopping district to the marina. A local resident volunteered to landscape:

Then, in the afternoon, we walked the Prayer Path up the mountain to the Prayer Gardens:
(This was the entry way)

The whole way up, there are laminated bible verses and these cute little houses. Inside each house is a laminated page or two (in a wooden cover) with words of encouragement and a passage of scripture.

And then? When you get to the top? And you think you're dead from all the climbing? There are Places. And more little houses with wooden booklets. And ponds. And waterfalls. And shelters. And signs. And Purpose. 
And I'll post more pics tomorrow. But seriously. I've never seen anything like it. Never. 

I had dinner with J&S and their girls and spent the evening visiting with them around their kitchen table. By the time I got back to my place (just up the road from them) (this is the corner of the guest house that I occupied)

(This is what the main house looks like):

... as I was saying, by the time I got back to my house, had a bath, and sat down with my Bible, journal and assorted spiritual books, I was out of energy. (Honestly. I was outside all day. Walking up and down and up and down.)
"Dear God. Why am I here? Did you say something to me today? Did I miss it? What am I supposed to be doing? I thought I'd be coming here to sit and listen and pray and read and meditate and so far? Not so much. It doesn't seem like that that's what this is all about. What would you have me do tomorrow?"

Then I read Isaiah 47:
"Get a job. Any old job. 
Clean gutters. Scrub toilets.
Hock your gowns and scarves. Put on overalls, the party's over."

The next morning, when S called and asked what I wanted to do while she worked in the prayer gardens, I told her I'd like the help her clean. 

Part Two, tomorrow.

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. My dad? STOOD UP today! 
2. My sister? Was there when he did it. And said he had a HUGE SMILE when he stood there, so straight and tall.
3. Four nurses came and clapped and congratulated him on his accomplishment. 

God has placed him in that home for His purposes and we can watch Him doing great things through the people there. 



Tricia said...

That place looks magical, and the house vaguely familiar. Has it been featured in a design magazine?

Kim N. said...

That chapel looks so amazing. Looking forward to the next chapter of the story.