Linda Seitz, PeaksandValleys.life
Creating bountiful stories from our otherwise ordinary lives.
“I begin to think, that a calm is not
desirable in any situation in my life.
Man was made for action and for
bustle too, I believe.”
Last summer we took a camping trip to celebrate my husband’s retirement. We hitched the travel-trailer to the truck, filled up on gas and food, created a comfortable bed in the back seat for the dogs and headed off with the plan of driving all the way to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore. During that trip, we basically “winged it” in regards to finding camping spots and landmarks to visit along the way.
One day, as we rounded the corner of a road that was seemingly unending, we came upon a beautiful view of the river down below and quickly turned into the campground that was along the water. Excitedly, we were enticed by the movement of the rushing water and quickly chose a campspot on the grass that had a pathway to the river.
That evening at sunset, with a glass of wine in hand, sitting lazily by the water, we made a decision to brave the river in the morning. The campground we were at offered “white water” rafting expeditions that you could sign up for in their general store. We had gone white water rafting before with a guide and a whole boatload of people, but this time it would be different. The clerk at the store fitted us for life vests, gave us our inflated canoe and sent us on our way. I asked if a guide would be coming with us and he replied, “No, the river’s water flow speed is acceptable for you guys to go on your own - of course we could give you individual canoes if you prefer, hardly ever does a couple go rafting together that they don’t come back divorced.” Ha, Ha…the laughter ensued as we picked up our raft and paddles and hit the water.
“When I stand before God
at the end of my life, I would
hope that I would not have
a single bit of talent left,
and could say, 'I used
everything you gave me’."
I was left sitting in shock after the phone call, wondering what it would have been like if I could have visited her just one more time. I spent days reminiscing about the way she asked questions to help equip me for the current task. Questions that would inevitably prompt me to study, learn and grow - but, also questions to help me delve into the purpose that God had designed for me, and she gave me the confidence to believe that I was capable of living it out. I should have been breathing in the goodness of the wisdom I had received from her as well as breathing out a whisper of thankfulness for the God-given gifts she used to pour into hurting people. But, oh how painful this loss turned out to be.
“Twenty years from now you
will be more disappointed
by the things you didn’t
do than by the ones you
did do.” – Mark Twain
We camped for 21 days. It was supposed to be what we would call “our sabbatical”.
After Brian’s retirement from the police force, and our eventual entrance into more ministry opportunities, we knew we needed a long break. Not a break from people or places or things, just a break from the usual. A time to rest after a 32 year career in law enforcement, a time to reconnect and a time to pray about what we’re choosing to say “yes” to during this next season. We chose camping because it would meet both our need to rest and our need to wander.
Marriage is tough, but it can be so character shaping. There are times you want to give up, throw in the towel, raise your fingers in a big “W” ‘whatever’, roll your eyes, sigh and walk away. But, I believe the growth is in the staying. The choice you make now to stay will benefit you in more ways than just keeping the marriage, it will pour into your maturity in ways you will not be able to comprehend until you are a little further down the road. You will just have to trust me on this one. Being mature is so much better than following your whim of chasing “happiness”.
“What comes into our minds when we think about God
is the most important thing about us.”
A.W. Tozer (The Knowledge of the Holy)
My husband retired recently from a 32 year career in law enforcement.
There is so much to be thankful for in this season,
it really could have taken its toll on all of us,
but he came out of this type of career fairly unscathed.
Yes, there were so many scary moments for me,
but for him, it was always just part of the job.
The Ups and Downs of Life...