Rest--For It Is Rare To Rest

     Time alone.  Just the two of us.  Time to refresh our spirits, our marriage, our romance.
     From the airport, we took the scenic, woodsy route to our destination.  A road that shifted gears from the racing daily pace and gently eased us into neutral, calmer moments. Stands of Coastal Redwoods lined the narrow winding road beckoning us to roll down the windows and let the surrounding beauty fill our minds with wonder and praise. They marked the gateway as we passed into a land where time stood still.  All that held us captive were rolling vineyard hillsides and fields of strawberries where laborers, backs bent, picked the sweet luxurious fruit served up by their gracious hard work.

     Few words of awe passed between Hubby and me as we drove along.  Our hearts and eyes reflecting more than lips could speak.  Our spirits reconnecting, intertwining.  The look of love caressed away the lines of tension on each other's face.  Lines etched by piles of projects, dinners cooked, a house to clean, college schedules for young men, budgets weighing down the scales.
     Traveling farther down the road, we bought fresh picked fruit from a roadside stand. Snapped pictures of a refurbished Victorian home in this small town.  Enjoyed the coastal fog wrapping the countryside in gray cotton.

     Arriving at our quiet destination, Carmel By the Sea, California, we unpacked our car without the usual haste that marks the "hurry-up-so-we-can-see-something-vacation."  It was like the Lord had something special planned for this time together.

     Once settled in our cozy room at an inn, complete with a fireplace, we strolled hand-in-hand down the quaint streets of Carmel.  Although food was on our mind, we were distracted by the bounty of blooming flowers everywhere in every hue popping from the Artist's palette. Our welcoming of this interruption was graciously void of irritation.

     This seemed to be the peace that enveloped us throughout our stay.  Wonder, enjoyment, and awe were faithful companions to peace whether walking past Tudor-style shops, hiking to the beach, cuddling as the sun set over the ocean, listening to the lyrical tone of international visitors conversing, climbing the jutting rocks that border Point Lobos State Reserve, or visiting the spot where we honeymooned decades ago.

     We basked in the glow of each other's attention as one of us shared our treasured finds in the stores.  We dreamed ridiculously, picking out houses we would gladly call our own.  We laughed delightfully over a bargain $5 pizza during Happy Hour at a fancy restaurant.  Overwhelmed with gratitude at all we saw, our hands slid across the linen-covered table.  Fingers touched and enfolded hands.  Eyes speaking love held each other's heart.
     For numerous moments and experiences of rest and love, I give thanks to the Lord today:
     92) for dogies splashing in the ocean
     93) for casually strolling the quaint streets of Carmel

     94) for walking--everywhere--in cool temperatures
     95) for relaxed and loving companionship with Hubby--there is a lot to be said about the quiet life of getting older
     96) for sitting on the hilly Carmel beach, soaking in the Lord's creation
     97) for the sound of ocean waves that relax me
     98) for the sight of waves that soothe me
     99) for worries disappearing--no striving, just enjoying
   100) for watching famiies having fun on the beach--Frisbees, shovels, pails
   101) for listening to the many international languages spoken all around us
   102) for talking with a couple across the table from us--they celebrating their 54th anniversary; Americans of Italian descent; son had attended our local University.  I love God created moments.
   103) for $5 Italian wood-fired pizza at Il Foranio
   104) for listening to the locals and watching them interact
   105) for the beach breeze blowing in my cellphone mouthpiece while handling some business calls
   106) for hiking on rocky ledges jutting into the ocean at Point Lobos State Reserve

   107) for visiting the quiet Carmel library
   108) for the friendly staff at the library who let us use the computers
   109) for youngest son remembering to call
   110) for choclate chip cookies, fresh from the oven at mid-afternoons in the inn lobby
   111) for the heart-shaped wooden spoon Hubby bought for me--love in every spoonful
   112) for visiting the lodge where we honeymooned

   114) for sunset beams over ocean waves

   115) for European breakfasts delivered in chilled coolers to our room at the inn
   116) for Hubby's kiss at the end of Sunday night; his words saying thank you for a wonderful week and a half

   "How many are your works, O Lord!  In wisdom you made them all;"  Psalm 104:24 NIV

   Where have you experienced the Lord's works this week?  What are you particularly grateful for this week?

     This is part of Multitude Monday and the Gratitude Community at Ann Voskamp, Holy Experience.

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