My husband was offered a job in South Lake Tahoe; the owner was going to be gone for 5 days and in that time wanted the kitchen updated. And of course I could come along and stay with him. I am not a camper, I am stay at a nice hotel-next-to-the-ocean-somewhere kind of girl but many of my friends love the Tahoe thing so I was open to escaping the Sacramento heat and seeing what all the fuss was about.
Tim went up a day ahead so he could meet with the owner and hammer out all the details and I would drive up the next day because I had an appointment that I needed to keep. I was tired on the drive up because I don’t sleep well on my own and my mind was ruminating over some news I had just received that was good and bad. When you are rebuilding your life it is sometimes a series of stops and starts it is a unique color of crazy.
I arrived at the meeting spot where Tim would join me and drive me in…let me set the stage for you. The cabin is in the mountains, isolated, a no markers kind of mountain road. It is small, 3 rooms on the main floor and a very unwieldy steel ladder to get to the second level, in total probably about 300 square feet. A septic tank put your toilet paper in small trash can facility, no TV or internet either. The deck however faces the most breath taking view you can imagine…this and my husband’s tired face is what kept me on the mountain. He didn’t sleep well the night before because of the quiet and was having a hard time getting focused; I was having hard time not feeling panicked!
I took a deep breath and rearranged things so he could work, organized the space and made room for everything and I could tell in a matter of minutes his focus and resolve started to kick in and he was himself again. This is what God intended when He created the synergy that is one man and one woman bound together for mission and purpose. You strengthen one another; empower each other to create and to complete. We then got ready to go into town to get a little dinner and pick up some groceries. In 15 minutes I was in civilization…Halleluiah! Where there is a Starbucks there is internet! We ate at this cute Hamburger joint (the milkshakes looked like Heaven in a cup), got our groceries and as the sun was setting headed back to the cabin.
My husband risked life and limb to retrieve linens and blankets for the couch downstairs that is a quite comfortable Lazy-boy Queen sofa sleeper, we made the bed and then got in all cozy when he remembered to get the lid and spatula that you use to make loud noises if a BEAR comes near…What?! A BEAR could come near?
So I moved into the circle of my husband’s arms and tried to contain the terror that was building. And I began to giggle about the unbelievable, unconventional life we are living…we are in fact on an adventure. There is no pattern; no normalcy, no regular rhythm, the opportunities and provision are daily. Swirling in these thoughts I realized that my husband was quietly sleeping next to me, my presence had calmed and soothed him and the fatigue took him to deep sleep.
BUT I was awake, wide awake and every episode of criminal minds that involved a serial murderer who had underground torture chambers in the mountains came to my mind. And if a psycho didn’t get us maybe a bear would! Even using the bathroom was terrifying…there were little bugs in the sink that I quickly ran water over to send them down the drain.
And the quiet…an eerie kind of quiet that sends the imagination in all directions,
I couldn’t sleep at all…So my minds takes the opportunity to ruminate and rehearse the news of the day, then the inevitable questions about the future and the why’s of the past are always close on the heels of what is next….they are invariably tied together. The last hour I remember seeing was 3 and then 2 Benadryl finally took their toll.
I woke up exhausted and a little cranky about life. I had plans for my day, I wanted to drive into town and check out a beach spot and see what else there was to explore. I wanted to go and do but I couldn’t seem to get past sitting on the couch and reading a magazine and as Tim started working, I got sleepy. I spread out on the couch and fell asleep. The comfort of the saw and drill and my husband so close relaxed me and I slept.
When I woke up it was warm and breezy outside and the deck was calling to me, wearing my pajama dress and husbands socks I armed myself with a bottled Starbucks, my bible, gratitude journal and prayer journal and headed out to the wonderful chair on the deck and that view. It is hard not to have peace when surrounded by His created glory. It is so easy to respond to the invitation to come near and lay your burdens at His feet. And so I did and all of the fear of the real and imagined began to be more manageable. Reading favored and treasured psalms while sitting in the creator’s creation heals the soul and refreshes the spirit. I went back to Hosea 6:1 “Come, let us return to the Lord, He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us…He will come like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the Earth.” I am reminded again I AM the children of Israel…Rejoicing at His provision and rebuilding but then so easily given to fear, doubt and blaming when I don’t understand the changing canvas that envelops me.
Doesn’t He always rebuild us? Never the way we think or anticipate but rebuilding just the same? This is a life journey this white knuckle trust thing that begins the day we give Him our lives. When we say yes to walk with Him, sometimes it takes raw courage to still believe in the face of the unbelievable.
Sometimes it is the small, subtle moments that remind us that He has not forgotten us and that while we stop and start our way to the Promise Land He is there shaping, sculpting and deepening our faith. Crafting us into the tool He already has intended for His good purpose.
I love the movie The Notebook, especially the scene where Allie is sitting on the front porch of the house Noah has built for her and wrapped in a blanket she is painting. She is at peace, in the place she belongs, it is the harder path, it is the unconventional path but it is her path. Marrying the other man would have been easier, would have made everyone happier, it makes sense… it is the normal…it is the expected. But she says yes to more…to harder but better.
So I sit here on the deck, at the door that is a table in my pajama dress and flip flops, unshowered and unadorned having my Allie moment… writing.
I am marveling at my unconventional life…knowing that this is a gift.
This moment of serenity and beauty is His gift for today, a place marker for the days ahead that may be filled with uncertainty and confusion, a stacked-stoned place to remember that He is the Master Craftsman of beauty in nature and in us.