I've heard it said that women tend to surround themselves with beauty, sometimes unintentionally, sometimes not. This is likely why many of us make an effort to decorate our homes a certain way, purchase cute clothes and acccesories, etc. It's so pleasing to the eye.
I get this and to step it up a notch, I lump the presence of special people and outdoor landscapes in my personal pursuit. This week was full of that kind of beauty for me.
It all started when this woman showed up for her annual week at Camp. Her name is Peg and we met years ago through a mutual friend (thank you, Sandy). Then because of Facebook we have gradually discovered a sweet relationship based on similar interests and love for women's ministry. Our face to face encounters are rare, but when they happen it's a beautiful thing and I walk away so happy.
One afternoon we shared a window. Two actually. Not only did I get to look at her joyful, kind, smiling face for a little while and hear what God is doing in her life, but we enjoyed the mountain view together as well. Beautiful.
Our next treat was feeding this handsome young man dinner one night. He is the son of one of my heroes, a missionary I've been happy to call my friend for many years. He's working at a boys camp nearby and headed to Cedarville University (Scott's alma mater) in the Fall. My plan was to prepare him a home cooked meal, but it's summer and I've been acccused of keeping no food in the house since we eat all our meals at work. I resent this. (Even if it is sort of true.) King of the Frosties for burgers, fries and ice cream it is!
This kid is a total trooper. First, he graciously forgave me for not cooking. He really doesn't remember us as he's lived in Senegal and Hungary for most of his life, but he came and answered our endless questions and let us love him a little, which felt like I was loving his beautiful mom.
For our day off one of us got a great idea - an early morning Camp-led canoe trip at a nearby lake. One of us was very excited! I mean, who doesn't want to be out on a beautiful Adirondack lake at the break of dawn? I can think of one person. Caravan left at 5:30 am.
I admit it was a little chilly (oh how I love the cool nights and mornings here) but insisted it would be worth it and I would ultimately be called blessed.
A big shout out to the Rec Staff who basically do all the work.
I spy the sun peeking out, looking for us.
When you are up and out before 5:30am, it's automatically a hat day.
We saw so many interesting things and even heard loons giving God their praise first thing - just like we were.
Beauty everywhere we looked. Breathtaking, really. I'd like to say it rendered me speechless too, but well....
I never made it into Chapel this week, so was listening eagerly as the man behind me reviewed what he heard and learned. Sermons about Job - the idea that when we suffer we shouldn't ask for a reason why. That's looking backward. Instead, we should ask God for the purpose in our suffering. That's moving forward. Yes.
I love this man. Not too many days go by that I don't thank the Lord for a Godly, faithful husband. If you had known the teenage me, you know he would never have looked in my direction. I was definitely not the girl he was looking for. By God's grace, Jesus saved me out of that life and set me up for this beautiful one and I never get over the enormity of it all.
The staff told us what time we should come back for breakfast.
I was expecting a granola bar and a little fruit maybe, but not all this.
Pancakes, sausage, eggs, muffins and smiling hosts, eager to hear what we discovered on the lake. Also a fire to sit by and eat! Beautiful.
Togetherness. I know my ideas drive him nuts, but he's a good sport and in the end enjoyed our morning as much as I did.
All this in just one week. People beauty. Nature beauty. Relationship beauty. The trained eye can find it everywhere. I, for one, want to be as close to it as possible. Makes the harder, darker days easier to swallow. Be on the lookout, I am sure you can find it in your world too.