It's been a busy, and in some ways, difficult year so far.
I know many of you have experienced illness and loss, just like I have.
There have been scary times. Sad times.
And under-the-gun stressful times.
That's not to say there haven't been bright spots along the way.
In some ways, it's been an incredibly good year.
But the bottom line is we all need an occasional break.
I was blessed with one this past weekend and
I wanted to share some of the beauty with you.
I stayed at a farmhouse in Sandy Creek, PA for two nights. Even though there is room for at least 12 people in the house, I was there alone.
I was presenting two workshops at the Writing Success XXIII conference in Stoneboro, PA on Saturday, and extended my stay for an additional night, which allowed me the opportunity for a peaceful Sunday morning to myself.
The farmhouse was built in 1886 and maintains much of its original charm, from the woodwork to the windows,
stepping inside is like stepping into the past.
Early Sunday morning, since I had nowhere to be,
I stepped outside to explore.
I marveled at the vastness of the countryside,
and appreciated the history represented here on the farm.
Although there were lots of kitties, I was disappointed none of them let me get too close, preferring to scurry to their sanctuary
through the hole in the barn door.
It made me think about how often I run to my own sanctuary
to avoid situations, or people, I don't want to face.
Despite my efforts to lure the kitties to me, they fled. No amount of soft cajoling convinced them to trust me. Am I like that with God? Hmm.
Enjoying the warmth of the sun and the lack of a schedule, I headed down the long dirt lane for a morning walk. Before long, I was joined by the farm dog who seemed eager to lead me to places unknown. I followed her lead.
I thought of my usual Sunday morning routine, which involved Sunday School and church. On this day, however, my praise music was
the bleating of sheep,
the braying of donkeys,
the mooing of cows,
and the singing of birds.
Look at all the sweet babies.
The scenery was beautiful.
My mood was serene.
If you have the chance to experience the beauty of creation somewhere other than where you are accustomed to being,
I highly recommend you take that opportunity.
We aren't designed to be "on" all the time.
There has to be some downtime.
I'm hoping you can find that for yourself.
I can't tell you what it did for me, but perhaps through these photos, you can get a little glimpse of how God blessed me with exactly what I needed.
Appreciating the gift of nature,