12 May 2008


God has blessed me with 3 particularly beautiful birthdays in a row now. Today being no exception!
After a stormy, gusty Sunday, today was absolutely perfect. Right at 70 degrees, a light breeze with plenty of sunshine.
I just couldn't see wasting it doing my chores inside all day.
But, where to go? I couldn't decide.
I mulled over about 3 different places I could go locally and finally decided on Turner Lake Park.
Turner Lake is actually the closest to me... only about 10 minutes from where I live. And I LOVE it out there! It just feels so secluded and natural in the midst of so much development in our immediate area.
Three years ago, during a very difficult time, I found much therapy in heading out to Turner Lake to run every day on my way home from work. Never having been much of a runner before, I was more like Forrest Gump "just runnninnng". :) In essence, trying to outrun my problems and feelings... in reality, however, just wearing myself out. (I must say I did sleep rather well those evenings though!!)
And, after about 6-8 weeks of daily running I had set a goal for myself to run so much in some said time (I don't even remember now what it was!). I really didn't know if I could reach that goal by the time summer set in, but it was a nice round figure and sure enough, I did it! On my birthday!! I was so proud of myself.
And it was the last time I ran. :)
Hey. I was doing good to even set the goal! Besides, after that, it got much too hot for me to run. And my knee was not especially fond of my running. And with a crime rate on the rise around here, I just felt like I was pushing my luck more every day. So, I just never went back out there.
That was 3 years ago.
Then today, after a little hemming and hawing... I thought "Oh, what the hay ~ I'll just go out there, and if nothing else, just hang out on a bench and read a book. Maybe take a few pictures."
Well, I no sooner got out there and I was just totally drawn back in. I had forgotten how beautiful it is out there! I started out just looping the lake and the next thing I know, I'm out hoofing it on the paths for the next hour and a half... with some 145 pictures taken on my camera!! ...the fresh air and wooded surroundings breathing new life in me ...and God speaking to my heart.

(press play to view)

Lord, today I set out on my way
To take advantage of such a beautiful day!
I felt as though it was a gift given to me
So how much sweeter to spend it with Thee!

You’ve blessed us all with such nature in splendor!
How could we doubt that Your heart should be tender?
For the trees reach up toward the heavens above
And the soft gentle breeze; it whispers Your love

It seems they all realize their purpose on earth
To glorify You and proclaim of Your worth!
So why does it seem so much harder for man
To know of his mission; to determine Your plan?

I think we must make it harder than it should be
When we focus on self and take our eyes off of Thee
For it is then that the path seems to take a new turn
And we meet more lessons than we’re ready to learn

For we don’t know of all that lies ahead
And that which may harm us when we are not led
But You, Father, know the path that we take

And all of the wise choices that we are to make
Unlike the path that I took today
Life doesn’t have markers to guide the way
No clear-cut signs to keep us from harm
No maps to show us a way safe and warm

But, we do have You, Father Who sent Your own Son
To live for us, die for us, and show how it’s done
To draw near to You and seek to know of Your thoughts
And help to guard us from the ways that we naught

Though You have not promised a path free from resistance
You’ve promised to be with us no matter the distance
And should we surrender and not stumble on pride
You promise all things possible with You as our Guide!


Father, thank You. For the beautiful day and the chance to spend it with You. Thank You for desiring to keep me on the path You have planned for me and patiently guiding me back to it when I've insisted on my own way. Thank You for being there when the path gets difficult or overwhelming. And thank You for those whose paths have crossed mine.


Mom said...

It really was a beautiful day...I'm glad you had time to get out and enjoy it. And thanks for the virtual tour of the lake!

Mom said...

It really was a beautiful day...I'm glad you had time to get out and enjoy it. And thanks for the virtual tour of the lake!

One Beloved Sister said...

Your pictures are beautiful! I hope you had a happy birthday. ;)

Michele said...

Jess-did you write that??? That was beautiful!!! Happy Birthday. What a way to spend it.

Brad & Shana said...

Simply beautiful....both the poem and the lake!!

jodi said...

I don't mean to copy what the others wrote, but that's exactly what I was thinking as I read it...beautiful, Jess!

Joanne said...

Happy Birthday Jess!

Oh I just love the date May 12th. I have no idea why either. It just sounds good or something. I know, I am a bit odd.

Happy happy happy birthday to you!

I pray that this new year brings you an abundance of His peace, joy and especially love.