Yesterday I hiked a mountain in eastern Washington and listened to the sound of the didgeridoo echoing across the hills outside of the tri-cities. My friend definitely married a cool guy. His didgeridoo playing attracted interested parties and brought us some fun conversations. Today I am back in California after an overnight in Oregon. The road trip may be over but the memories remain!
This is a story of my car, my northwest roadtrip and the unexpected things that God uses in the process of sanctification. I did use the word process so this means that it is still happening. The end is yet to be determined but read on for the saga thus far.
On Wednesday I left my place in Sacramento at 5:50am. By 7:30 I was well on the road, I-5 between Sacramento and Redding. The road was wide open, the closest car to me about a 1/2 mile behind and I was using cruise control as well as listening to my book on CD. There was no need for me to be in the fast lane so I moved over. Then came the POP! It sounded like a balloon bursting or a paper bag when you fill it with air and pop it. I flinched and looked in my rear view mirror. The back window had completely shattered. I didn’t go under a bridge, there was nothing around me on the road, I wasn’t driving backwards but something hit the back window.
So I pulled over and called my dad. Because, let’s face it, dads can help with almost anything. After a short chat and determining that everything was ok (except of course the shattered window), I continued onto Redding with the broken window slowly falling in behind me. Long story short, by 1 in the afternoon, I was back on the road with a new window ringed in blue tape. I was happy to be on the road again but I was about 5 or so hours behind my intended schedule.
Because of the delay, I missed a couple meetings in Eugene but I made it safely to Oregon by 7 in the evening. I was exhausted but a good nights sleep and some blueberry picking in the morning made things a bit better. So where does the sanctification come in?
From the moment my window broke, I considered turning around and heading back to Sacramento. The whole way to Redding, I talked to God. I can’t even really explain what I was thinking but this was the beginning of God’s latest work in my heart. I am a planner, I am an organizer. When my window shattered, I felt in some ways that all my expectations for this roadtrip shattered as well. Despite all the emails, phone calls and scheduling, I still can’t anticipate everything. Meetings fall through, plans change, windows break, road construction and traffic happen. Now I am 6 days into my trip and while I am thankful for the meetings and reunions I have had, I have to admit that I am very disappointed that it hasn’t been what I thought it would be. And if I am honest, this isn’t all about the trip. There are plenty of other things going on in my life and God is slowly working on my heart in many ways.
I believe in a sovereign, omnipotent God. I may not be in control but God is. However, the ways he chooses to work in us isn’t always pleasant. Sometimes it’s like having a deep infected wound cleaned out. You know it has to happen in order for the healing to start but the process is extremely painful. The shattered window in and of itself was just a blip on the path but that blip was a catalyst for change. And it’s not over yet because this is a process.
I’m continuing to pray and listening to what God is telling me. Sometimes things have to be broken before they can be fixed again. Please pray with me.
Let me begin by saying that this road trip has not really gone as planned. Things have broken (more on that story later), plans have fallen through, things have been rearranged and are generally different than I had hoped. But I’m doing my best to salvage what I can and make the most of this next week. Please keep praying for the appointments I do have and for me to make the most of these opportunities.
But despite the hiccups and set backs, I have thoroughly enjoyed catching up with friends who I worked with in PNG and also friends who I haven’t seen in about 20 years. There is something really special about having lunch with a pre-school friend. Too bad we forgot to snap a picture but unlike friends who you haven’t seen since highschool, we’ve actually (thankfully) changed a bit in the last 20 years! I’m so thankful for the people God has put in my path!
Paul and Laura were in training camp with me (and also Brian and Susan) when we first got to PNG in 2008. They are headed back hopefully at the beginning of next year. But it was super fun to catch up with them here in the Seattle area!
Yesterday began my 12 day northwest trip and over 2000 miles of driving. 3 states, 2 countries and my first time in Canada. 7 different places to lay my head and meetings with friends both old and new. Churches in multiple cities and a visit to the Yakama nation. With all this ahead of me, I think I am most excited about seeing friends who I served with in Papua New Guinea. Oregon and Washington may seem like far to drive but it is a lot closer than Papua New Guinea.
Please pray for me. Pray for safety on the road. I am driving alone but I have the company of books on CD. Pray for the meetings with current and potential supporters. My goal is 50% by the end of this month and if hearts are open to investing in the work in Australia this trip can help be a part of that. Please pray for fruit from the meetings especially with churches. I want to lay a strong foundation for future relationships. Pray for bold words and a passion that is visible and contagious. Thanks for using your prayers to be with me on this journey.
I arrived back into California today but had to share some pictures from a beautiful Monday in Seattle. No rain clouds in sight, clear and sunny in all directions. Just the perfect day to enjoy the Space Needle and waterfront Ferris Wheel.
We lunched at the Space Needle enjoying great food and beautiful views. The restaurant rotates slowly so the scenery changes while you dine. And then it was up to the observation deck. I’m sure this place gets super crowded on weekends and holidays but for a sunny Monday, the crowds weren’t bad.
Then since it was my last day to enjoy Seattle we moved our city viewing to the waterfront and the Great Ferris Wheel which is enclosed and heated so even in the cold you can enjoy the view.
The Space Needle doesn’t look that high from down below but it’s the perfect height to get a nice panoramic view and still see the details down on the ground. And the sunset over the water from the Ferris Wheel was a perfect ending to the day.
The sun came out. Yes, November in Seattle and we have had two days with multiple sun sightings. Yesterday was a great day for a Duck Tour around the city. Lots of fun in an amphibious vehicle ridding around downtown and Lake Union.
It was interesting to see the city from the water. We looked at these million dollar water homes which include a house with a glass enclosed basement/TV room. And also the house from Sleepless in Seattle which sold recently for something like 6.5 million dollars.
It wasn’t too cold and we enjoyed the views while listening to random facts about the history of Seattle. This included the fact that it use to be a logging river and the first people who lived on the river were the loggers. They wrapped logs together and then build their houses on top using wood ‘salvaged’ at night from ships on the water.
At one point 2000 houses were on the lake because those who couldn’t afford it live on the land, moved out onto the water. But since they weren’t connected to a sewer system and the people were taking their drinking water out of the lake the city decided that it wasn’t such a great situation. So now there are only 500 houses on the lake, they are all connected to sewers and water. But unfortunately it’s no longer the poor man’s way of living.
They also use the lake as a runway. It was fun to sit and watch the seaplanes take off. The kids on the tour were super excited and pretty much everyone else was too.
We drove by Safeco and Century Field where the Seattle sports teams play. And had the city tour off the water as well. This included driving at 30 miles an hour on the freeway. We were flying!
And then we ended the day at Pike Place Market. We walked through the shops, saw them toss a salmon and kissed the pig.
A lovely day in the city. Watching the sun go down behind the market. Thanks Auntie Barbara for the beautiful, sunny day in Seattle.
It’s raining. Ok, so no surprise there. The whole family is gathering for Thanksgiving and while most people are driving, I got the privileged of flying up with my Grandma. Although, due to fog in San Francisco, some people driving beat us to Seattle. But we made it safe and sound. I am looking forward to a Thanksgiving in America. Last year on Thanksgiving, the table looked like this:
You can’t really tell but the whole table was filled and we used every saucepan in the kitchen. That’s a big deal, since in the village we normally try to keep it to one, maybe two. But for an impromptu Thanksgiving dinner, we did really well. It was impromptu because two of us were planning on leaving the village a day earlier and more food and a consultant was coming in to stay with Beverly. But I think canned ham and village greens are good additions to Thanksgiving. It’s about being Thankful right!?