Sabbatical Adventures begin . . .

Sabbatical Adventures begin . . .

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

burdened beyond hope?

Yesterday, I really felt discouraged. I couldn't make myself do anything, just sat on the couch and read a book. If I didn't read, I would cry. I knew that I should get off the couch and do something!  I just couldn't.  I knew enough to know that I could fall into depression and stay there awhile, but I was striving hard not to!  What do you do when life hands you discouragements?

Sometimes the discouragement gets blown out of proportion, and begins to take on a life of its own. I started down that road, thinking that it must of been something that I had done, years ago, that caused this disagreeable action now.  But I knew better.  This discouragement was not one that I chose, someone else chose it, and it wasn't what I had done that caused it.  People have a free will of their own! Regardless of who made the choice, it still hurts!  It hurts me, it hurts them.

Why am I telling you this?  I don't know.  Hopefully when you are handed discouragements--things that you never expected--you will think clearer than I did yesterday.  Don't give in to it.  Pop back up with hope like the psalmist of old:

Why am I discouraged?
Why so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again — 
my Savior and my God! 
Ps 43:5 NLT

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Vacation

When I was a girl--a long, long time ago--my dad would take us on a vacation every year. That's me with my mom and sister!  We looked forward to our two week summer vacation.  Every night for weeks, it seemed to this little girl with tons of vacation anticipation, Dad poured over maps and travel journals before we went. I loved those vacations, but I will not go into them here in this format, (actually I am writing about my life in a legacy book for my children--you can read about our vacations in there, someday).

Regardless of our long vacations, I think my favorites were the mini-vacations we took several times on summer weekends to Sequoia National Park in the southern Sierra Nevada. The park was only a little over an hour from our home, so it afforded us a quick jaunt to get there and set up our campsite for our weekend trips.

My sister and I played in the river, (that's me peering into the water, either looking for fish or getting a drink---I don't know!) We hiked with mom and dad, tried fishing with a hook on a string, collected branches with curly moss on them, and in general marveled at the big trees.

I think I was a little "miffed" in this picture, again, I don't know! :) The trees were standing like this one, the General Sherman, and toppled like this one my mom is standing in front of:

I think these weekends set a love of nature deep in the soul of this 'up-to-this-time' city girl. I have never been the same since.  In my thirties, we lived in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada for several years, raising our family; and I swear, you will never get the country life (mountain life) out of this girl again!

If you would like information on the park, I'm sure it is readily available on the internet and I will not duplicate it here.  But what you cannot get elsewhere on the internet is a little girl's experience in Sequoia National Park--my favorite vacation place!  So, I thought you might enjoy some "throwback Thursday" photos of my years in the park.

Sometimes we camped out and sometimes we rented small sleeping cabins, and we even visited in winter!
The old homestead corral at Crescent Meadow 
Would love to go back, sometime soon! 
 Love Sequoia Park!
P.S.  this is a Challenge Post for my favorite Etsy Team, the Blogging Business Artisans!  See other posts about vacations here.   

Monday, July 20, 2015

Respect of Culture

Just thinking . . . what does it feel like to lose your culture?

I recently did a series on a native Alaskan culture and their art of totem poles (in my other blog  I learned, while in Alaska, and with some additional research that the native peoples preserve their culture through a verbal telling of their history.  The tribe elders tell the stories to the young ones.  The people tell their stories whenever they can.  One man said that even small gifts have great meaning through the story behind the gift. He tells the story when anyone asks about the gift, honoring the giver.   He was very clear that was his culture.  The people also carve their stories in totem poles, since the poles tell the story of their history.  They hold great parties for many guests when they finally set up a pole, sharing the totem's story in song and dance; they are a respectful and hospitable people.  Even the young understand who they are.

But it wasn't always that way for these native peoples.  Early in the twentieth century, strangers came from afar.  They set up their own culture and demanded that the native peoples go by their rules. Natives were beaten and ostracized when they spoke their own language, instead of the new language.  Young people were not allowed to go to school unless they spoke the new language.  Their totem poles were burned.  Many natives lost their culture, learned the new language or moved away adopting a new culture.  Recently, a new people came to their land who are helping them restore their identity, their unique culture.

That is their story, what is yours?  Are you from a culture that is shrinking?  Are you from a culture that was persecuted or has your family ever lived in hiding?  This seems, many times, to be a pattern for some people groups.  In this county, the USA, many native peoples and immigrants have been displaced, eliminated, stomped down and assimilated.  In other lands, these same tactics were used to eliminate people groups.  Why does this have to be?  Why do we have to despise those whose culture is different than ours or those of different religions, and different persuasions.  People are human beings, just like you and I are.  They deserve respect, we don't have to agree with them, but respecting them as people with their own culture is better than the bullying and put downs, don't you think?

I say, not just tolerance, but respect is needed!