What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Friday, November 2, 2012

"Thoughts and Reflections" from 1995 (RJD Link Up)

Random Journal Day is back! Wow!  Random Journal Day Blog Hop Link Up for November is the place to go if you want to join us in this link up of other bloggers, sharing from their own personal journals.  We used to try and do that every week, but I guess we were running our of journal entries (I was). Now we just do it once a month, which helps me a lot. 

So here goes...This entry is dated Sunday, October 15, 1995, and is entitled:

 "Thoughts and Reflections".

It's hard to believe that we've been in Kansas for two whole months.  We arrived on our 26th wedding anniversary.  After traveling for three and one half days, and a total of 1800+ miles, even Kansas was a welcome sight...since it was the end of our journey.  We came to the little town of _________, Kansas, with high hopes and big dreams.  A dream was finally being realized--my husband was coming to teach at a Christian College.  After years of training and education, we were finally reaching our goal!  Although this particular college was not the place of our dreams,  when the opportunity arose to teach at this little college in the middle of Kansas, we jumped.  At least part of the dream would come true.

So here we are~out in the middle of The Great Plains~a most unique place in the world.  For someone who loves trees and mountains, rivers, lakes and rushing streams, it's a mighty different world! But every place has its own beauty~if you look for it.  The grasses of the prairie are changing from summer's green to autumn's golden hues.  The sky is a most beautiful clear bright blue~rarely a cloud to be seen.  At night you can see every star in the universe~the expanse of sky seems infinite out here where there are no mountains (or buildings) to break up the horizon.  One can actually see for miles and miles and miles.

Everyone here said there wouldn't be much color in the fall~but I think they just really have never paid attention.  True, it's not the riot of gorgeous color of our beloved New Hampshire hills we just left behind~but there are leaves of gold and yellow and a few red scattered here and there.  The autumn sun shines more brightly~illuminating the leaves with its brilliance.  Autumn in Kansas can be beautiful~if you look for it.

What a stark change for us is this small, sleepy country town.  The traffic here is mostly farm-related~the trains roll through town many times day and night taking grain to market.  The constant hum of the grain driers let you know there's more activity going on here than meets the eye.  However, mostly it is a quiet, dusty, and friendly village.  People always wave as they pass by, whether you know them or not.  If walking by they most always speak.  There's an easy pace of living here. No one is in too big of a hurry.  An evening walk around the town seems to be on most everyone's agenda.

Yes, this little town is a throwback to the 40's and 50's in many ways.  "The Town that Time Forgot".  They still do things the old-fashioned way, and maybe that's not bad.

We came here hoping to be an encouragement and "inspiration" to this community.  We prayed for the Lord to bless this college and town, and maybe we were foolish to think that we were a part of that blessing. We believed we were obeying the will of the Lord to come here and sacrifice a ministry in a place we loved, a close bond with our children, and a career in another denomination.  We left all that behind because we thought God wanted us to come here and be a type of lighthouse in a darkened place. These people were groping in a darkness of despair and discouragement.  We wanted to help rescue them. We wanted to give them hope and encouragement.  They appeared to be very responsive and appreciative of our willingness to make that sacrifice-although they really had no idea what it was costing us. 
They made us feel like we were being promised the world to come here~but when the time came to redeem the promises~they turned to dust and ashes. 
Suddenly people turned their heads away and averted their eyes from meeting ours~they knew all along we were being deceived.  They seemed surprised that we ever believed anything else!  Now the warmth of their handshakes has turned cold and lost its grip.  We suddenly feel alone on this wide prairie.  Our dreams have vanished in a whirlwind of disappointment. 

So~we thought~let's go back "home" while there's yet time.  But, alas! Time had already run out.  Those who just a short time ago had cried at our departure and prayed we'd change our minds~had changed their minds! They had determined "to go another direction."  So here we are~feeling very stranded and trapped on the lone prairie.  Suddenly the silence from our "friends" back home seems deafening.  For the first time since arriving here, our mail-box was empty.

Thankfully our Lord hasn't forgotten us.  He understands our plight and knows our hearts.  Perhaps He wanted us to come here to learn some valuable lessons.  I know I'm learning to be more careful about leaping into new adventures.  Yet I always want to be willing and available to obey His call.  I don't think we misunderstood His call to come here~perhaps we just misunderstood the reason why we were to come.  God's ways are not our ways~His purposes are higher than ours.  He is working on a higher plane that we cannot always see or comprehend.  But He IS always in control~even when we don't understand or like our circumstances.

At this point we are searching to discover if we can get back closer to home.  We miss our kids we left behind, but we don't want to be in their back yard~just close enough to see once in a while. 

On a different note, we learned that the wife of one of our pastoral friends has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. This really grieves me to hear of her having such pain to go through.  I wish I could be near her to help in some way, but my prayers will have to suffice.  I pray God will send someone to be a special friend to her, who will be an encourager and comforter..."Lord, You know their needs~please be there with them and send your ambassadors of love and mercy to carry them through this time. Amen". 

My problems seem small when I think of what my friend must endure.

To wrap this up, we did go back "home" to be near our kids just before Christmas.  It was a difficult homecoming. Although some of our faithful friends were there to welcome us with open arms and strong backs to carry our furniture in through over three feet of snow (truly!), things had changed.  We could not pick up where we had left off.  Our position was gone to another...we were very much on our own to find a way to survive.  But that's another story for another day.  Suffice it to say, we did survive...in more ways than one. God was very gracious and merciful and provided for us in ways beyond our comprehension at the time.  I will be forever grateful for that. But it was a hard lesson learned. 

Isaiah 55:8-9 says:
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts."


  1. Wow. I love the way the place you live sounds so rural. But the coldness of others and averting of eyes...painful and familiar. Too often that happens among the Body. Too often. But God is faithful. This I know, as you do.

    1. This was a painful chapter in our lives, hard to believe it was 17 years ago! Thankfully, God was faithful and got us back onto solid ground again. It was a long climb back, but He never let go of us. I cannot blame others for our disappointment...now in hindsight I can see that we had overanticipated what we THOUGHT God was going to do...and we were mistaken. He had other plans for us.

  2. This makes me think of 2 Corinthians 4: 7-8, being hard pressed on every side, but not crushed or broken. Not giving up and quitting--in your faith--when things didn't go as you expected. And even in a different way than you thought, God honored that. As Dawn said, He is faithful. Thank Him that once again you learned this.

    1. We had to retrace our steps and begin anew. God had some strong lessons for us to learn in the process...and although much of the process was painful, it was necessary for our growth and "healing". We are stronger now for the experience...and yes, we do thank God that He never let go of us. Praise God!

  3. Pamela- What a treasure...that you have this journal entry to go back and remember God's faithfulness in a difficult season...the word that stood out to me was the "why"...that is the one thing I often stumble over...but God's whys are higher than my whys...I need to hear that following God's will doesn't always turn out rosy and that He has his reasons that are beyond my current understanding...

    1. Thank you, Kel. I like your analogy of "God's WHYS are higher than my WHYS"...an interesting thought. Yes, there are many situations in life where we will not get all the pat answers and understand "why", and that is when we learn to trust in the omnipotence of God...He has it all under control. We don't have to worry. I know, easier said than done, but still, when we surrender to His control and will, we have peace. Thank you for your comments today.

  4. wow, your journal entry is wonderful. you write so well, i felt like i was reading a published piece. do you write your journal on the computer?

    1. Hi Peggy, Thank you for your kind words of affirmation and encouragement. No,I don't usually write my journal on the computer...these "Random Journal Day" linkups are trips back into the past to share something from our journals. We do this once a month. Actually, since I started writing my blog, it has become more of like my journal as my handwritten journal has kind of disappeared. So, to answer your question, yes, I guess I do now, but I didn't before! Does that make sense! Thanks for stopping by.


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