The sky was inky black. I gasped. “Don, look at the sky!” The stars were so brilliant they almost jumped out at us. There in all his glory was Orion; and there, the Big Dipper. Further over, we saw Cassiopeia. And between, millions of stars, twinkling and blinking in glorious harmony. Breathtaking!
We’d left home at 10 am. Don, Paigey and me.
After enjoying our Starbucks breakfast, Paigey her puppucino, we transitioned to Highway 101 for Tracy, where we dropped our little girl off at her “first mom” Mary’s for the next few days, where Paigey was surrounded by adorable Cav pups, aged 7 weeks to 18 months.
Continuing, Don and I laughed, listened to our favorite talk show on the radio, and sang along with CD’s by the Texas Tenors and Kelly Bryant, who we met in Branson a few years ago. Bryant’s are specifically songs of hope, praise, and trust in a faithful God, and my spirit was uplifted as it was filled with the truths she sang.
In Mariposa, we stopped at a Burger King for a potty stop and lunch. The dining room was closed, only drive-through, so a man there directed us to the burger place across the street. We shared a delicious burger and sweet potato fries. Before the food arrived, I wanted to use the restroom. I went the wrong direction and turned into a courtyard where several children were doing their homework. The waitress told us they waited there daily for their mother to pick them up after work. The children kindly gave me directions. One was a sweet ten-ish Hispanic girl, and I wanted to say more to her. But the opportunity didn’t arise.
After Don and I finished eating, I went to use the restroom once more and, there she was – the sweet girl I’d wanted to appreciate. As she walked past I said, “I hope you know how beautiful God made you.” She smiled shyly. “Thank you.” “And he loves you,” I added. She turned around and said, “And he loves you too.” “Thank YOU!” What a God-moment. To hear her affirm God’s love for me when I wanted to encourage her was priceless.
As we entered Yosemite we began to see snow along the roadways, on the rocks, and in some areas of the Merced River. Bridal Veil Falls and El Capitan were colored by the lowering sun. Upper Yosemite Falls dropped into a pool of snow and/or ice before falling down to the middle and lower falls. And Half Dome reflected clearly in the stream below.
We checked in, unpacked, and found our room in a wonderful corner, windows on two sides, with a lovely sense of privacy. There we enjoyed a great zoom call with one of my brothers and sisters-in-law. Then we put on warm jackets (it’s supposed to get down to 17 degrees) and our snow boots and walked over to share a turkey sandwich and chips. As we left our room, I gasped, looking at the stars, uncluttered by the lights of a city. Clearer here than I have seen them in years. Startling. Sparkling. Amazing. Immediately Psalm 8 came to mind.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!Psalm 8:3,4,9
Don and I are here for our twelfth anniversary. Our marriage is a beautiful gift from God, and we are enjoying more years together than we anticipated, since Don is twenty years older than I am. And yet, by God’s grace we’re both relatively healthy and enjoying this good gift from the Father’s hand.
I love the words from the song, “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me.
I can only imagine what it will be like when I walk by Your side
I can only imagine what my eyes would see when Your face is before me
I can only imagine Yeah
Surrounded by Your glory what will my heart feel?
Will I dance for You Jesus or in awe of You be still?
Will I stand in Your presence or to my knees, will I fall?
Will I sing hallelujah? Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine
I can only imagine when that day comes and I find myself standing in the Son
I can only imagine when all I will do Is forever, forever worship You
I can only imagine, yeah
I can only imagine when all I will do Is forever, forever worship YouI Can Only Imagine
I can only imagine …
Surrounded by my Father’s grace, my husband’s love, and the million stars we can see from here, I can’t think of a place I’d rather celebrate.
May God’s blessings and presence surround you as you walk through this week and this year. I pray you and I will find small and large moments to celebrate this year. It may be those divine appointments, the beauty of nature, the love of family and friends, the awe of knowing God. Our God is good, all the time!