My last morning on the back porch and God is pulling out the stops with the scenery this morning. Coming out here in the morning on this last full day is just as exciting and new as the first morning I came out here with coffee, my Bible and iPad. Not only is Sequisha going back home stuffed to the gills, but my heart and spirit are filled and refueled. Little did I know when I made the reservations in April to stay here at the cottage on the farm that I would return home with two friends formed from a divine appointment from our heavenly Father. Vivian and Bill have taken me into their hearts and home. We spent many a fine afternoon sitting on their back porch. I am so thankful for them. They are the icing on the cake for this trip. Going home I know that I have good friends in NC. I have thought and said often, Roy gave me the wonderful gift of a mountain retreat and the gift I didn't even know I needed, Vivian and Bill. When Vivian is set free to roam the countryside when I return, we will have tons of fun! She is recouping very well from knee replacement surgery.
While spending this month in the mountains, my Bible reading has had the influence of Proverbs, Psalms and the never too popular book Ecclesiastes. Except I have noticed that it is the book of choice for many people this September. Funny how book of the Bible can be cyclical in the popularity of its reading.
In this tranquility I have learned much. God has directed my attention to the importance of kindness by His showing me what kindness looks like and He has encouraged me to show kindness when given the opportunity. He has presented many opportunities this month, some times I have recognized it immediately and other times I didn't see the opportunity until after the fact. Then when possible I tried to go back to be obedient. The lesson of you can't help everyone but you can be obedient and help those who cross your path has made such an impact upon my heart.
Many might think this trip has been all about me, a self absorbing trip. No, not really or not in the structure of it. Spending the last three Sundays at a smaller church has renewed in me what ministry is really about. Somehow in larger churches we see ministry differently. It's more of a let me talk with you and pray with you, but rarely do we get our hands dirty to come along side someone. Often it is said of people who are willing to do so, well they have a servant's heart. Like that is the lowest rung on the spiritual ladder of ministry. For a month I haven't heard the term cast vision or give leadership to and that has been nice. Going to a large church, the pastor has to be more like a CEO than a pastor of a smaller type church, although the church here is a very good size. I understand and accept that, it has just been refreshing to be in another type setting for a while. There isn't a sense of entitlement from the various ministries here. Just a lot of hard work but most of all showing and practicing God's love...just not quoting verses about it.
I am really going to miss the birds. Oh my, they sing their little hearts out morning and evening. I've seen hummingbirds up close and have enjoyed listening to the wrens. Cardinals are a plenty here and so are robins. Some of the trees already have leaves showing some fall color and once or twice in the past week, yellow and red leaves have been blown across the front of the car while we drive.
The drum line from the high school has improved over the several weeks I have heard them in the early morning hours.
We have just returned from lunch at Stony Knob. Delicious food and we split a slice of carrot cake for dessert. We ran a couple of errands and mailed Erin's package. Now we are back and Roy is writing an email. We plan to go out and take a few more pics this afternoon. We also need to load the car and finish packing stuff up. Tomorrow morning before we leave might prove to be full.
Now, a short nap is calling out to me.