“As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you, and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem, when you see this, your heart will rejoice and your bones shall flourish like grass. The hand of the Lord shall be known to His servants; Isaiah 66, 13- 14
WOW! What an assuring, soothing passage in God’s word to bring us each an incredible HOPE during times where we need the Lords love and acceptance so deeply. (Isaiah 66, 13 -14.) Many years ago, It was a momentousness occasion within my life when the Lord showed me that deep within my spirit, I was encumbered in my ability to receive from Him fully all that He desired to give me of Himself. (Knowing that God always heals what He reveals,) I was excited , (OK, perhaps a little nervous, ) to see what He was going to do. My stumbling block in being able to receive? My spiritual relationship with my earthly dad. After God gave me the scripture; Genesis 1:27, (So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them, He led me to begin searching the bible for all of the distinct female traits He possessed within His character . As I did, one of the scriptures He directed me to was in Isaiah 66. It is commonly known that as little girls, our dads on earth are “our first love,” a man in whom we think of as idyllic and our “hero.” My father and I loved one another and he was a great man and I knew he loved me unconditionally. The issue at hand was that my dad and I never connected spiritually. My faith and relationship with Jesus made no sense to my dad and at times I could see and feel his frustration greatly as he watched me live out my faith as a child, teen and as I became an adult woman. We just seem to not understand one another in this part of our lives. At times in his teasing, (he was an avid ‘kidder’ ) he would tell me that I was ” way out there in my faith. ” My relationship with him made it hard to connect at times with the Lord as I always thought of God as a male figure, just like my dad. I had thoughts that perhaps God felt the same way as my earthly dad and it was hard to truly believe some of the truths the bible tells us about WHO GOD IS. I truly wanted to believe and receive all of Gods truths and all that He desired for my life. In our sizable family of ten, the closest (and person I trusted with all my heart,) was my mom. She possessed many Godly characteristics , was my best friend, exceptionally loving, caring, my prayer partner and an extraordinaire woman of God as well as a fabulous mom . As mother and daughter, we totally “got each other,” understanding one another’s thoughts and feelings without even having to speak a word. I believe the Lord chose my mom and my dad as our parents. They each, in the measure God had given them within, lived out their faith as they knew it. God knew my mom and I would be deeply bonded in Jesus, as we shared the same passion for the Lord. He also knew my heart and that I LONGED to be intimate with Him and know Him fully. I believe He chose this particular time in my life to reveal and heal me in an area in which I could not do it for myself. He wanted me to ponder as well as explore the things in my relationship with my mom that were characteristics He possessed as well. In doing so, I realized her unconditional love and total understanding and acceptance of me, were a means in which God reshaped my view of God as my father…that He approved of me, just as I was, and that He was genuinely caring, and a loving God who had a never ending supply of grace for me, his daughter. No parent is perfect and was certainly not meant to be our God, (who is our all in all.) Parents are there to raise us, teach us, guide us, love us unconditionally and believe it or not, are an extremely important part of shaping and molding our personalities for life, up until we reach the age of five years old. I thank the Lord so much for freeing me from this hindrance within my spirit, for His healing and for how much it has changed my life, especially my relationship with God. (I know this sharing is a little ‘off the subject ‘ pertaining to the rest of this chapter, ) but I kept feeling a nudge in my spirit to add it to this writing, as this passage means so very much to me as God used it to set me free. I hope it is an encouragement !
Many a time over our sojourn, God led us to this same passage in Isaiah as well as a multitude of other encouraging scriptures regarding the vision, promise and calling He had given Kit and I. He continuously confirmed His words to us as well as increased our faith over the years. (As many of you know,) it is so very difficult when you have a promise from God, to WAIT. ( For us it was especially arduous after Kit and I felt God had personally shared so much of His heart and excitement with us while we were in Connecticut. It was hard to let go of it all and NOT FEEL it was for the present time. Like everyone, sometimes we were thinking and seeing what God said with our spiritual hats on…but at other times, it was our human hats we were wearing, with our own desires, hopes and dreams, (influencing how we received Gods words to us.) At this season in our life, Kit I were were in the dream and instant gratification mode, so when God spoke to us, filling us up with His hope and encouragement, we began believing that it would be a short time, right around the corner in fact, that He would fulfill His vision with us very quickly… (We just had not seen the BIG PICTURE YET.) ( I laugh now, though at the time, I did not,) when Kit and I were residing in Alexandria Virginia, working in Washington DC at a Christian News Company and were awesomely blessed to meet two lovely ladies, in whom both were prophets from Australia. One night, they came to our home for dinner and it was a night I will always remember… The Lord blessed us all, (including Grantham) with such a calming peace and felicitous camaraderie. We enjoyed an ambrosial meal by candle light and I remember an abundance of laughter around our dining room table that notable evening. We adjourned into the living room with our coffee and the two of them, Elizabeth and Paulina asked if they could minister and pray for us. Kit and I felt so honored as we both respected their walks with God and admired their faith and ministries immensely. Paulina actually prayed over Graham as well…it was really a blessed time as I’d never seen anyone except Tina, ( and that was at a later time as you know,) take such an interest in seeking Gods welfare for our Grahammy. When we shared about the vision and call upon our lives, they both felt a confirmation within their spirits that it was from God and we were right on track. We asked them; (as they were very seasoned ladies of God and were living out their ministries that they too had waited for; ) “How long do you think it will be before God brings about this calling on our life, it has already been 5 years? I wish I had a camera, better yet a video camera so you could hear their voices and see their faces, as they got ready to answer our question. They both (simultaneously) chuckled, then smiled. It was Elizabeth who first began sharing her heart with us. “You two are so cute to think that after the Lord gives you a vision and a call on your lives that it will happen quickly. After God calls you and reveals His heart, He then begins to make you into the perfectly molded vessels that He can trust and who will be able to fulfill the call He has placed upon you in your service to Him. This does not happen right away.” I smiled, but inside I was feeling like, Really? Would God actually call us when we are young and have an abundance of energy to host the retreat home and not bring it all about until we were older, (and a little bit slower?) I know that is a strange thought but I think it was the beginning of my realization that this was not going to happen overnight as Kit and I had so hoped.) Our two dear friends encouraged us, gave us words from the Lord and reminded us to stand strong in our faith, and know God will always do what He says he will do. (IN HIS TIME!)
****I just read, after I posted this chapter that it took Noah 120 years to build the ark for God. I can’t imagine being doubted, ridiculed and the amount of faith Noah had to allow God to give him so that He could obey and rely upon God to finish this work he was called to do. There were nations that were descended from Noah…can you imagine if he did not listen or obey God in His command to build the ark? Kit and I are both in awe of Noah’s faith and obedience and I just wanted to share it with you all…I never knew! I am sharing it on this post as I believe this story needs to be included in the ‘green box’ in the previous paragraph. All I can say is WOW!
At this present time, we were in our cozy home, settled and amazingly blessed… With no ongoing trials, (Yeah! We were on the mountain top as they say,) we had a myriad of time to ponder the things that laid deep within our hearts. kit and I had countless conversations about how Gods promises would fit in to our lives, living in Delaware. We wondered how long we would be there… what His purposes were, and at times unsure of what to say to others who had been so supportive from day one, in 1997 when God first gave us the vision, through our time in Connecticut in part of 2003 and 2004. A few of the people who started off with us had their doubts at this time. They said that they believed that we believed and we had to follow what God was saying to us, but they felt they could no longer support us in the way they had been. They were still good friends and said they had been so blessed by all the miracles they had seen since our beginning. We had no words to say, (except ‘thank you’ for your wonderful support and prayers.) Kit and I had the faith, (Gods gift) to continue no matter what things looked like…we had no answers except that we believed God and what He had spoken to us, as well as confirmed many a time and would continue to stand and obey. I love the passage in Gods word; “For I say, through the grace which has been given to me, to every one that is among you, not to have high thoughts above what he should think; but to think so as to be wise, as God has dealt to each a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3. Kit and I had to “let go” of what others felt as we understood that God had not given them the same measure of faith for what He was asking of us. Believe me, it was not an easy task, but one that caused us to hold on to the Lord Himself in a stronger way. We smiled at how the Lord would bring new people into our lives, when we needed it, who believed with us and supported us in our journey . His faithfulness and thoughtfulness amazes kit and I, beyond measure.
In our daily time with the Lord, one day He spoke to us and told us that He wanted us to place our promise, His vision and call upon our lives to host King’s Tavern on the back burner. It was OK that we did not understand it all…HE DID! He revealed it was time to focus on the now… Living in Delaware was in NO WAY a detour from His plans for us…It had been a part of His desire and perfect will since the beginning. God sees His words to us and promises in WHOLE, we see them in part. We could now see Isaiah 66, being much bigger than the ending of our journey when Gods glory would be revealed in bringing about the home and ministry, as it something only He can do…His glory, favor and miracles had been with us the entire way and we would come to find out that the things He had for us in Delaware were only an extension of His promises, loving-kindness, grace and life changing power …For He fulfilled this entire passage in Isaiah, within our lives in this new land He had brought us to for whatever amount of time He deemed it to be. When He confirms our faith and sends encouragement, it is to keep us strong in the call upon our lives a s well as our BELIEVING IN HIM! His promises are not just for the time when His glory is revealed and He brings about His covenant…they are for the present, the NOW. Our life in Delaware was a time that we would be blessed in a way we had never known with our new home, Christian family and the in-depth ministry we would be apart of , changing us in ways we’d never imagined. He also showed us that In His perfect time, He would move us to the state where we would be planted and settled, never to move again… (Yeah! No more sending all of our friends and family “We’re moving AGAIN” cards,) as our address seemed to change like the Tides in the ocean. (Well almost! ) And lastly, the Lord revealed to Kit and I that some of the friends He had united us with in this riveting state would be a part of the King’s Tavern. (How awesome is that?)
Genesis 9:16 “The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”
There is something about going back in time and REMEMBERING the works of God as it renews and rebuilds our faith. As we continued to live and build our lives in Delaware, focusing on what God was doing in our lives within the now, the Lord gave us many comforts as well as a wealth of encouragement that He was at work within our lives, molding us as His vessels, (you know, the ones Elizabeth told us about.) I would often go back and read different chapters of our story as they brought my spirit exuberant hope and renewed my faith. In recently reading chapters 23 and 24 in the Journey, Part 1, If I close my eyes and think about all God did in those few days, it almost seems as if it was only yesterday, not 16 and 17 chapters ago. We have seen so many miracles just as the Lord had told us and I will forever hold on to the words of God’s heart to Kit and I that one precious morning in New Haven, Connecticut where the the pastor in whom we met, gave us an incredible and marvelous word from the Lord.
The Lord would say to you two ; “His delay is not a denial...His delay in your request is not a denial. He has heard your requests and will grant them. Miracles, miracles…yes you will see many miracles.” Remind you, that this man of God did not know us at all, or that we had recently parked by a grassy knoll in the midst of a pharaonic rain storm beside the beach in Rhode Island, (right past the state line of Connecticut,) where God had told us to make our requests known to Him. It seems funny , (in a way,) that God would ask us our requests to Him. (Honestly, we just wanted His will and we both were afraid that we might ‘request something’ He did not want.) Our walk with Him in this journey, had been illogical (to the natural mind) and quite atypical. (We were very careful in whom we shared all this with.) It was as if we were living in two worlds…the natural world where you brush your teeth, eat, drink, etc….but then the biggest part of this time with Jesus was like living in a pure blissfulness, reverie, elatedness and exceedingly close intimacy with Him as He shared His heart with us regarding His desires and call upon our lives together. As we began praying , ( first off, we gave him our fear of asking the wrong thing,) we told the Lord that we desired to be the hosts of His home and we agreed that whatever it took, we wanted to serve Him and be the vessels He desired us to be. We requested the provision for all He said the retreat home would be, (as He told us it would all be done by His hand,) and the accoutre for every guest to stay free for the time they needed to be refreshed in the spirit, as well as pampered physically. We also asked that God would receive the glory for all He had done and was going to do. After we finished our prayers and requests to God , in our silence, we heard Him speak gently to our r spirits; “GRANTED.” We sat , watching the storm , feeling complete awe and amazement, as we were entirely caught up in the moment of what just happened in the spirit…somehow I knew that only Kit and I could truly feel it and its magnitude, together at the same time. Grahammy just knew we were at peace and happy , so he was too. We were reminded that it was just that morning, (before going to this church,) that God had spoken in my quiet time with Him, “Miracles, miracles, you will see many miracles.” I knew and so did Kit, that God had greatly used this church and pastor to fill up our “faith tanks” and prepare us for what was next.
~Gods time compared to ours. ~
Have you ever read the comedic quote ; “The length of a minute depends on which side of the bathroom door you are on?” Author unknown. I can only picture a moment like this.
We are so accustomed to our perception of time, some of us planning out every single hour in our day… It is so hard to fathom that to God, there really is no concept of time as we know it.
The Lord was so gracious to strengthen and encourage our faith, by leading us to read through some of our prayer journals written over the years.( We have boxes of them throughout the house. .) As I read through only a small portion of them, I saw something that stood out as a common denominator in Gods Rhema words to us…He had spoken frequently over the years, the very same words in different journal writings; “My promises to you and Kit are ALREADY DONE, you’ve only yet to BEHOLD THEM. ” We all know that to God there is no time…“A Thousand years is like a day and a day a thousand years. “ It is so difficult at times, (as here on earth, we are so conditioned by time,) to fully conceive this part of God’s nature. I love it when He speaks something to us and it happens that day or the next week…as it dramatically boosts our faith! We feel like we are walking on air… cloud nine, that the Lord God Himself actually spoke to us. But when He speaks and one year goes by, then two, etc., and we do not see His words happening, we are tempted to begin to doubt if He truly did speak to us at all. Kit and I have learned that God will always give encouragement when needed… He is the one keeping our flames burning, no matter how low at times they may start to burn and a tiny flicker is all you see. It is THEN that He blows upon them, causing them to dance and sail, burning strong once again as He supernaturally adds an abundance of His measure of faith to us to trust in Him and His words and not in what we are SEEING before our eyes.
I remember when I was in my teens and attended Chuck Smith Seniors church in Southern California. His bible study on Gods timing was something I will never forget. He shared that when God speaks to you, He is speaking from an entirely different perspective than what you can understand, as He sees and knows everything from start to finish. He used the Rose parade as an example. If you are watching a Callithump and are in the front row or perhaps standing upon the street, you can only see and understand what is right in front of you, but, if you were seeing it from above, looking down upon this jubilant, colorful extravaganza, your perspective would be seeing it all at once … from start to finish. That helps me immensely in my understanding of what God’s meaning is (not mine,) when He speaks things in the spirit. (His promises included.)
Lastly, what helped us while waiting upon God…the times when He seemed to be silent in an area He once was abundantly speaking to us in, was to build and altar unto Him with each victory He had brought to us as well as all the promises He had made and fulfilled throughout our lives. For us, it has been recorded in our journals with dates along with the promises and miracles He has done…(There are so many ) Someone once told me to get some flags and stake them within the ground where the Lord gave Kit and I the victory, (in whatever area we were battling.) (Good idea, we would just have to remember where all the posts and flags were as we traveled so much. ) Kit and I were thinking it would be a clever idea, (and a little easier than the flags in the ground, ( to gather stones that you are able to write upon and keep a huge basket filled with all the miracles God has given you. No matter HOW you record it, the important part to remember is to KNOW THAT GOD HAS BROUGHT YOU A VICTORY and THAT LAND (whatever was conquered,) is now yours to take and live within its liberty. In taking time to go back and remember all God has already done in our lives, it uplifts our hearts and renews our faith as we are reminded of two things, GOD NEVER CHANGES and HIS FAITHFULNESS to us, HIS kids, is everlasting. He can only be FAITHFUL as that is just WHO HE IS!
~ Back to the present time ~
We were so blessed by God as we lived within in our new home.The entire new year we felt as if God was keeping us in a ‘respite mode’. Our ‘365 days’ were filled with the ‘stuff ‘ dreams are made of. We became more intimate with our Christian family, and had a multitude of fun creating new bonds together, as well as enjoying getting better acquainted with our neighbors as well as our community. We had forgotten what it felt like to have our Lilliputian family of three living together within our own home, free to “JUST BE OURSELVES.” No longer did we need to share our bathroom with anyone or have to whisper if we did not want to be heard. Need I tell you, we thoroughly cherished our privacy. We all felt an overflow of euphoria , likened to being in “seventh heaven.” It was so much fun to make our home our own. Our little haven was filled with treasured family heirlooms, each having a story of their own to tell ,along with things we had bought together over our marriage. It was a blast to embellish our haven with the kind of decor we loved. Our home was our favorite place in all the world and we thanked God every day for His magnificent gift to us and Grahammy.
Gods comforts to us in Delaware? Where do I start?
Firstly, our already close knit ‘Christian family,’ became even more endearing to our hearts and lives. We started to have ‘couples dinners’ to get to know our new friends on a one to one basis, thus creating closer bonds.
We often had dinner with Sam and Dina. They always made sure that we knew with every invitation that Graham was their third guest. One night, Kit and I were immensely blessed with one of Sam’s favorite meals he enjoyed cooking. “Mooshie peas” and fish and chips, (the way the English make it.) Sam had learned to cook this particular dish when he was abroad in England on a prodigious ship, working as their head chef. As for Sam’s choice for our dessert, he surprised us…(we had already heard about his signature, decadent creation) but taking our first bite of his magnificent Creme Brulet, (a very secret recipe he would NEVER give to anyone,) we were speechless… Truly gourmet and definitely a crowd- pleaser at any gathering or event. To top if all off , we enjoyed a heartening and comforting time while the kindling logs in the fireplace cast a warm glow on our evening together. We shared, ( with hot coffee in hand,) an abundance of funny and heartwarming stories of our pasts, learning quite a bit about one another. They in return would come over to our home for ‘American meals,’ like beef Stroganoff , Chicken Alfredo or my moms recipe of homemade spaghetti, a nice bottle of Merlot and delicious hot bread. We had found two new best friends in this lovely couple.
Tina and Mark invited us over for every holiday, truly treating us like their own family, (Grahammy too.) We loved Tina’s Spiral hams at Easter , Melissa’s homemade macaroni and cheese at Christmas and their BBQ’s on the 4th of July. We just LOVED being with them. We invited them over for dinner and a Michael McDonald DVD concert night…(I think my cooking was a little to spicy for all of them… No one wanted seconds and I noticed their eyes watering while dining. I forgot that not everyone likes hot and spicy like we do . From then on out, when they came for dinner, my Tabasco, red pepper flakes and Cayenne pepper were put as far away as possible in our pantry.
We enjoyed many a night with Danielle and Dustin, at both our home and theirs. (Their home was elegant and enlivening , looking as if it came right out of a Southern Living magazine. ) It felt marvelous sharing our lives over delicious food, glistening candlelight and laughter, lingering for hours over coffee as we made new memories in our close times of sharing. Danielle and Dustin were a perfect match, complimenting one another in every way…He was very quiet with a wry sense of humor as Danielle was refreshingly bubbly, always causing us to laugh with her animated stories , then Dustin would pipe in and make us smile and chuckle all the more. They too had become the best of friends to Kit, Graham and I. (Everyone loves Grahammy…Our little, (BIG) mascot, a gift from God for our journey!)
We got to know Rachael, Ellis and Joshua better with their heartening invitations for an evening together in their gorgeous home, nestled out in the country, designed with such gorgeous, authentic wood, both on the interior as well as exterior. Rachel is not only immensely creative , but a resplendent home decorator. When she served us in their winsome dinning room, It was as if we were dinning at a cozy restaurant up in the mountains. Rachael has such a sweet , innocent way about her, not even knowing how hilarious and endearing she is to us all…she always made her friends smile and laugh, whether we were alone with her and her family , at Tina’s gatherings or Vito’s bible studies. Gavin and Nikki would drop by on their way into town as they lived near the beach in Lewes, bringing so much joy to our day or evening. The two of them were always so “up” and happy and they never came empty handed, always bringing such fetching tokens of love. I will never forget the afternoon they brought homemade soup for our dinner , still warm from the stove. We enjoyed a very powerful time of prayer with Scarlet and James as they came over one mid morning. The two of them were each others yin and yang, they completed each other perfectly and were truly an ideal couple. Now, if you were to observe them and their personalities, they were entirely different from one another. Scarlet, a woman of great stature and authority in the Lord, was extremely bold and you always knew exactly what she was thinking, where as James, was a small, quiet man and immensely humble, yet when he spoke, it was as if he was truly reading your mail from Heaven... (He always spoke with an abundance of love and kindness and his words were pure…he definitely had the gift of hearing God clearly. Kit and I were not use to such loving people from our family church being such a vast part of our life. WE WERE BEYOND BLESSED and quite taken with all of our new “Forever friends.”
Last, but certainly not least, Kit, Graham and I became very close to our “adopted mom,” Ellie. We had more fun when she came over to our home for our Thanksgiving celebrations, as well as enjoying hours of Christmas baking at her adorable maritime home, while we shared many a heartwarming holiday story. We’d get together for dinner and a movie a few evenings a month and had such a great time together. (She and I would chat during the movie, (like women usually do, ,) and Kit would always look over at us with ‘that CERTAIN look’ on his face that politely said, “STOP TALKING and watch the movie.” Ellie’s favorite eatery at the beach was The Big Fish, where we would occasionally take a 25 minute drive , blessed by our soothing view of the bucolic and pastoral landscape along the way. The Big fish possessed an adventurous, carefree ambiance and their food was always fresh from the Atlantic sea , not only delightful, but savory and delish! To burn off all our calories, we took a long walk along the renowned boardwalk over looking the mesmerizing blue ocean, with a myriad of visitors, (all shapes, sizes, and an affable combination of the youthful and those in their seasoned years, ( still very young at heart.) Everyone was having the time of their lives, surfing with their brightly covered boards, gleefully building sand castles, sun bathing with a tall, cold drink and good book in hand, or body surfing in the dashing waves. Lastly, one of our favorite and felicitous events we tremendously enjoyed with Ellie every week, (or at least twice a month,) was Sunday breakfast at the ever-popular diner downtown. Everyone you had ever met in the city was there…whether already seated or waiting in the long line to get in…it was certainly the happening place with their southern grits, Home- fries, gourmet omelettes, a variety of delicous breads, never-ending cups of freshly brewed coffee and a closed in, glass buffet of sweet indulgences, tempting each customer to take a few home for Sunday nights dinner. .
In our lovely group of friends that had become our family, we all had one another’s backs through prayer and support, as well as an open door to our homes if anyone need a place to go. There was also plenty of time if a “listening ear ” was in need and to top that off, we always had an abundance of fun together, laughing, telling jokes and hilarious , (jaw aching ) stories. I forgot to mention in the beginning that many of our new friends were “True Comedians.”
It felt so good to be able to give back to all these people who had loved and supported us in not only the call on our lives but in giving so much to us, spiritually, emotionally and physically, that at times we were unable to express our gratitude fully, as we had just run out of new words to thank them. We prayed God would let them know our hearts.
Secondly, The Lord increased Kits business. I cant even begin to express the joy in my heart to watch my husband and best friend in life, be so fulfilled and happy to be running his own company for the Lord. He kept getting new clients by word of mouth, but we knew it was God. Kit loved working at home in his own office (I to loved having him home,) and he thoroughly enjoyed his clients…some of whom he has become dear friends with.
Next, The Lord blessed me with the “hum of activity,” as He brought new projects into my life. Besides loving our new home and being a full time homemaker, (I took great joy in finding new recipes from the food network (from my favorite chefs, ) and trying them out on Kit. (Grantham too. I also began writing for Kits clients on their professional websites. I I was still writing on our journey, (at this time I was printing my stories and keeping them in a note book or two, not knowing God would one day call me to re-write everything for a website on the internet.) All the writing, along with keeping our home, exercising, and our ladies afternoon Teas :-BigGrin, kept me delightfully fulfilled.
God’s gifts, blessings and comforts to our souls were coming in on every side. We continuously thanked Him for our life in Delaware, the friends He gave us, for our intimacy with Him and the beauty that surrounded us.
One of our fav’s; “THE GIFT OF SNOW!” Growing up in California, the only snow I saw was up at our cabin in Big Bear. I do not believe that Southern California has ever seen an inch of the white fluff. There is nothing like experiencing a freshly fallen snow… First the air starts to feel arctic, a breeze begins to stir, transforming into small gales of wind and you can actually ‘smell’ a snow storm brewing. Everyone rushes to the closest Food Lion or Wal *Mart and loads up on milk, bread , eggs and meats. (A day you do not want to be at the grocery store…believe me. ) ( It’s too funny as the stores are always open after the snow plows come out and clear the streets the next day.) As the three of us woke up, we’d get all bundled up, (except Graham as he has a built in fur coat,) and put on our gloves, hats, (I prefer ear muffs,) grab our hot Starbucks coffee and get settled on our front porch in our wicker rockers. Our view? Absolutely spectacular…the snowfall had charmingly blanketed our streets with a breathtaking, sugary like, white fluff piled high upon the herculean trees as well as the neighborhood rooftops. We adored watching Graham ‘frolic and play, the Eskimo way,” …at times only seeing his black fury tail sticking up beneath a mound of snow. (He loves to bury himself in the snow until he is forced to come up for a breath.) The birds that light upon the white covered branches sing their unique and fetching melodies and we sit for what seems like hours, breathing in the polar, fresh air , enjoying the awesome soothing peacefulness within and go inside only when our cheeks begin to sting. (Thank you Lord for this wonderful gift of magical white.)
Another comfort from the Lord, filled with pure reverie and childlike fun, not so much for the “guys,” but for the women in our Christian family, we had discovered the JOY of a ladies Afternoon Tea…an idyllic time of repose from the demands of every day life. Whether at the charming and alluring Victorian Tea room down town, where upon entry, you could choose your favorite fancy tea hat to wear while dining upon scrumptious scones, ambrosial pots of tea, specialty quiches or gourmet, tasty salads.(Not to mention their selection of yummy decadent confections for dessert.) A few of us took on the “most enjoyable” honor of hosting a ladies Tea at our own homes. We loved treating our dear friends with a “pamper day.” With rich boisterous colors, our tables were dressed to the hilt. We each picked our own theme; Autumns joy, A Baronial Christmas , The magic of Springtime, Summer’s splendor , a bizzaro and polychromatic, ( Alice in Wonderland,) tablescape for Valentines Day or A Winter wonderland theme. We not only enjoyed many a spectacular meal, bonding with one another in our friendships, but after dessert, (when we were absolutely ‘filled to the brim,’ or should I say our stomachs were,) we received a wonderful gift before we all left our marvelous day together. We would have a precious time of praise and worship and then Tina would minister to each lady… So not only were we blessed with amazing fellowship, delightful food but our spirits were filled with joy, hope and a renewed intimacy with Jesus.
Our afternoon Teas lasted sometimes into the evening. (Our husbands were wondering where their dinner was.) It was one of my favorite comforts from the Lord and gifts while living in Delaware. (Oh and Tina blessed us each for our birthday, making our favorite cake. The theme she would come up with for our luncheon? The very thing she knew we loved the most...for me it was ‘Christmas time’ so even though I am not a December baby, she would make my party all about Christmas. Tina was most definitely, the cornerstone of our entire women’s group. (Truly one of THE MOST giving, loving women I have ever known.)
THE GRACE OF GOD. Kit and I now know that Vito was a major part of our being in this gorgeous state surrounded by tranquil waters. He was a man in whom you could set your watch by as He was forever in tune with the spirit of God, walked his talk and loved others with the love of Jesus. His teachings were unlike anything Kit or I had ever experienced within our lives. We were most certainly blessed by many of the Christians, whether Ministers of great churches or well known Godly leaders from other countries, Teachers, Prophets, Worship leaders and Preachers while we worked at the Christian News company in downtown Washington DC. Those two years were packed with life changing lessons and Kit and I “grew up” in the Lord in areas we needed to, (even though often times, doing the head shaking thing.) When God brought us to Delaware and we met Vito , we became educated with a bounty of rich and in depth teachings of what living life in the grace of God was truly all about. It was an awesome experience and totally different than our previous one in DC. God was equipping us in so many ways. Kit and I began seeing with new, ‘spiritual eyes.’ Our relationships became free of being performance oriented to others and God, because we truly learned what the grace of God, through His son, Jesus Christ was. Our relationship with the Lord became all-embracing with an awesome new intimacy. God truly had become our Abba~Daddy. (Something I could not say before, nor Kit.) This knowledge is perhaps one of the greatest gifts of security, love and comfort we have ever received. Again, we never stopped thanking God for all He had done within this state. A state where at one time, we didn’t even know a soul… we had never even thought about the state of Delaware until we met Tina in Virginia at a prayer meeting that Clarissa called and invited us to. Meeting Tina and becoming friends with her and her family changed our entire life. (And God knew all along, it would.) She was a dear friend of Clarissa’s, a sweet lady in whom we worked with in DC. God is unbelievably faithful in all He does…(and in His plans for us all. ) .
Though there are so many more things on our lists of all the comfort , peace, love, new life and flourishing within our bodies and spirit that God has brought forth into our lives in this new land, I am going to close with two more… Yes, your eyes can finally rest! Its time anyways for a coffee break…
I have to share a little about the blessings and favor within the community God had given us in our quaint, Victorian city . Here are just a few of Its many benefits that have truly enlivened our lives...a local Gym in which the Lord enabled us to join…we worked out many a time in the wee early hours together…yes, it was still dark out…I quit, (I prefer aerobic dancing within the privacy of our living room and 4:00 AM is to early to rise, ) but Kit has stayed on for years and has met some really great gym buddies, one of them being one of his best friends at this time. Down town, there is an entertaining and cheerful Farmers market held every summer…the vendors come and sell anything you can think of…my favorites being the extravagant, kaleidoscopic hanging flower baskets for our porch , fresh local fruits and vegetables and homemade gourmet food from our local eateries, slowly cooking on the outside grills…Not only is there plenty of fabulous foods, but it smells like heaven as you leisurely browse down the alluring and charming streets. Our library is first class and the people there are very friendly. ( I use this modern, yet warm and cozy facility quite a bit.) For a writer, an hour is not nearly enough time to “look” and make a decision of which 10 books, (yes, that is the limit,) I will choose to take home with me. 10 minuets from our home we have a beach that has the most entrancing inlet marshlands as well as the amazing horseshoe crabs upon the shoreline. A few of my brothers flew in from California to visit Kit, Grahammy and I. Each one of them were awestruck by this beach so close to our home. (I hate to say the name of it, but I will…It is called Slaughter Beach.) Don’t ask me why? ( My brothers were amazed at the herculean horseshoe creatures…just like Kit, Graham and I when we first arrived to Delaware.) (Definitely one of Gods unique creations.) We live only 20 minutes from the renowned Lewes Beach with its captivating waterways, charming harbors, lighthouses and some of the best eateries in the entire state. Its neighbor, 5 minutes away, is the mesmerizing Rehoboth beach known as the Nations Capital beach as it entertains hundreds of Washingtonians yearly, with its exuberant celebrations, sand castle competitions, jazz festivals, concerts, famous restaurants and some of the most beautiful beaches in the country.. We are 140 minutes from DC, an hour away from the Brandy wine country, and 55 miles from one of our favorite places in the world, Annapolis Maryland! Our hearts are filled with many happy memories within this magical seaport. We visited there with my brother Jim, my younger brother Patrick and Chris, (all from the west coast,) close friends or sometimes, it was just Kit , I and Grahammy, spending a beautiful sunny day together amongst an abundance of Historic buildings , quaint boutiques, coffee pubs and mesmerizing blue waters. It is a portentous place to visit for a day or for a week vacation, enjoying their wealth of decadent fresh seafood, an Italian eatery with a menu filled with dulcet , authentic entrees that will add some “spice” to your palates , the prestigious Naval academy, breathtaking sea ports, and the town’s enchanted streets that look as if they belong in a magical fairy-tale.
There are a tremendous amount of ways God can bring us comfort, and into a place of rest and peace. His presence is the most comfort I have ever known… Hearing His voice is another. I believe the Lord loves to reign upon us the many miracles of His heart and love towards us; having a baby, being a grandmother or grandfather, our children’s love and appreciation for us, our dogs... God blesses us through the love of a friend, a body of believers who pray for us, a sibling we love as a dear friend, long luxurious bubble baths, laughter, (“til our sides ache,) His breathtaking handiwork upon the earth... a fresh snowfall, a spouse who is your best friend… and we all know the list could continue for ever…
This chapter has been a delight to write! It’s been uplifting, going back and seeing all that the Lord has spoken to us and brought into fruition. I know there will be plenty of blessings when we arrive to the end of this journey, but like they say; “don’t wait for the end of the journey,…enjoy it with all your heart, while you’re on it...and we are! Kit and I are both humbled that we are even a part of Gods heart for the Retreat home and that He is walking us along every path that He is.
In Closing…He is God Almighty, yet our friend…it still amazes us that He dwells amongst us, (His kids,) as He does, knowing exactly the amount of hair upon our heads. I can hardly conceive that He keeps our tears, everyone of them in a bottle, keeping track of all of our sorrows, each one recorded in His book. (Psalms; 56, verse 8.) OH TO KNOW HIM IS OUR GREATEST GIFT, EVER! May the Lord bless you on whatever “journey” you are traveling within your life.
I hope you enjoy this video and song by Casting Crowns. It is a beautiful witness to how much our God loves us and our worth to Him as well as in and through Him. Many Blessings!
PHOTOGRAPHS: In scrolling upon any of the photos or graphics, it will display where the picture originated from.