Yesterday was Thursday, one week after Thanksgiving.
That week was packed with people, and joy. This week was packed with work and ministry in Grace Harbor International.
At about noon, the sun came out after several days of rain, pouring rain. I thought it would be finally be the time to make a Bellingham run for groceries at Costco.
But, as I got ready to go, I felt a check. I felt confused, unable to focus, unable to decide WHAT I should do next, and there was definitely a feeling of “doing”. I have been on an adrenaline drive for two weeks, unable to sleep well, feeling that there are two many things to do, too many responsibilities, no certain path.
So for the second time this week, I turned around before I left for Costco. The first time was two days before when I was dressed to go and felt I should not—also with some sense of confusion about what I SHOULD do. That day was the day Lord ministered to someone through me. If I had left, I would have missed it.
So, anyway, I decided since the weather was nice I should take the dogs for a walk. They had not been out in a couple of weeks. After I got them in the car, the question was, “Where shall I go?” I had been inclined to head for Hovander Park, but I thought “No, I’ll go to Semiahmoo.” (Semiahmoo is a spit in the northwest corner of Washington State. Salt water is on both sides. There is a resort at the north end, a park at the south end.)
What a beautiful day it was. The tide was higher than I had ever seen it, within a foot or two of the vegetation on the shore. There was almost no sand to walk on—the rocky beach completely covered in salt water. The dogs and I started down the shore on the west side of the spit. The dogs were delighted!
I soaked in the beauty. As I walked I began to feel a deep sadness, the familiar heart ache of regret about not having the Drayton Harbor Road* house anymore, and the loss of beauty where I live. By the time I reached the end of the spit, I had allowed my broken heart to feel the pain. My steps slowed, I grieved. I looked at the new townhouses being built taking in the views and the pain went deeper. I was in deep sorrow, longing, loss.
On the way back up the spit, I again took the dogs on the west side. I debated about going all the way to the car on the east side, but I crossed the street just before the picnic area. I was praying, listening, and the verse in my mind was, “Why so downcast O my soul?. . .” I couldn’t think of the next words, but my thoughts continued with, “you will yet see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” I thought about David writing those words. Was he thinking of “the land of the living” as the land where there is no more dying? No more loss? Or was he thinking of here, where we first live, and then die? I didn’t know, but the words were so familiar.
Then as I came around the bend, I saw this.
Note the small rock higher up.
I was stunned.
I went to the car and got my phone to take the pictures. I wondered if the stones would still be there when I got back!
Who had done that? I don’t know, of course, but Holy Spirit does. He put those stones of remembrance there for me to see just at the right moment.
A few hours later another gift arrived for me, via my friend, Christie. Is is a book by Jonathan Cahn titled, The Book of Mysteries. I opened it at random. The page was about pruning.
Prune Thyself, page 257
“And what is the purpose of pruning?” “Pruning removes the branches from a tree that hinder its fruitfulness or its well-being, to allow it to become as fruitful as possible.” “Pruning, therefore, is critical to living a fruitful life in God, so God prunes the lives of His children. But in order to live a fruitful life, you must also be part of the process. You must learn also how to prune yourself.” . . .
“And this here is a dead branch, once fruitful but now detrimental to the tree’s health. Any action or expenditure of energy in your life that produces no fruit, even if it once did, is a dead branch. You must prune it off.”
*I had known that house since before I was born. I tell people I was practically conceived in that house, since my mother lived there when she got married. My first husband and I bought it from my grandfather’s estate when he died in 1980. I had lived there since my marriage fell apart in the 1990’s. I opened a bed and breakfast there in 1996. Tim and I lived there when we got married. We sold it in 2005 in order to move our business to where it is now on the Birch Bay Lynden Road. I will post the whole story of that house one of these days.
My mom painted this picture.
Psalm 43:5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.