Thursday, September 06, 2012

Perspectives from 50 Something

 Well, I hit the big 5-0 last week.  And I must say, I have been dreading that number for a while.  But... it came and went and I'm still the same... at least until things start falling apart!  I realized that the most important thing about being 50 is that I have my husband, children and precious grandchild still with me on this earth.  I know for some of my dear friends that is something they long for.  I have family who loves me and I have friends (our small group) who would literally walk through fire with me.  I know they are always there no matter what life holds and I know that I can call all of them at a moments notice and KNOW they will be there!  For all of things I am extremely grateful!  And I realize extremely blessed! So because of these great blessings, I realize that 50 is just another number.

For my 50th birthday Chris and I had planned a trip to New Orleans.  We have been once before and love the history of the city and the amazing food! Initially we had planned to ride our bikes, but when they started forecasting rain, we decided we would drive. But then, Issac decided to blow in so we had to cancel our plans literally the day before we were supposed to leave.  Since we were initially supposed to ride Chris decide to just plan a spur of the moment ride away from the storm!  He said, "It may be a tough ride."  I said, "Let's do it!"  So, we began our trip Thursday, August 30th, which just happened to be my 50th birthday!

We left Dallas and headed out towards Oklahoma.  A friend had told Chris there was a good hamburger place in Meers, OK so we made that our first real destination. (It's not a bike destination if there is not food involved!) If you ever happen to be traveling that way, stop in!  You won't be disappointed!!  From there we traveled on to Dodge City, Kansas and stayed for 2 nights there.  Another worth the stop place if your passing through!  We hit the road again around 5:30 am on Saturday and headed for Colorado.  We had planned to stay in Pueblo, CO because it was on our path, but they happened to be having their state fair so everything there was booked. So we drove about 40 miles out of the way of our destination and stayed in Colorado Springs for the night.  The next morning we were up early again and traveled to Roswell Mexico and then headed home on Monday morning back to Texas.

Inside the Royal Gorge
We traveled 1905 miles, across 5 states, in 5 days! We even traveled on more than 150 miles of the historic Sante Fe Trail! And it was absolutely one of the most amazing things I have ever done!  We saw the hills and windmills of Oklahoma, we saw corn galore through Kansas and passed more manure farms than you can imagine!  We were literally holding our noses through about 15 miles or more of Kansas.  In fact one area we passed literally had a cloud that was settled over the land!  Yes... it was bad!  We saw corn fields, cantaloupe fields and chili pepper fields and the most amazing mountains I've ever seen through Colorado.  We saw the hills and mountains of New Mexico and then traveled through over 125 miles of cotton fields in Texas! 

As I said, the trip was amazing!  What was even more amazing were the things we were made aware of or reminded of while traveling through all of these places.  The insights into history and the recognitions of God were amazing .  I start spending some time with the spiritual formations minister at our church a couple of weeks ago.  Sometimes my schedule gets so crazy that I either don't have the time or I'm too exhausted to spend what I call "real time" with God. She helped me realize that the times I am closest to God are in nature, the outdoors, the smells of things around me. She challenged me to start "seeing" God in all of the things around me.  I am convinced that God caused just enough to happen with Issac to cancel our trip.  Because He had something much grander in store for me.   

It began in Oklahoma, just seeing all the hills and yes small mountains.  (I know it's Oklahoma, but they do exist!!) It continued all the way through the trip and even into the Texas heat the last day.  About 90 percent of our trip was off of the main highways!  That in and of itself was a blessing! We traveled through the farmlands of Kansas and felt like we could hear the faint calls of Auntie Em through the wind. We traveled on roads through the mountains for hundreds of miles with mountains literally every where you looked in Colorado.  Sunsets and sunrises that were incredible.  We traveled through a stretch in New Mexico called Apache Springs with incredibly flat top mountains.  You could just picture the Indians sitting all along the top ridges of those mountains. That was the one places we could not take pictures.  There was literally no place to pull over. So we just traveled in awe!  We traveled through a lot of open prairies and you could just imagine the covered wagons and horses riding across the land. There were amazing stretches of over a hundred miles at a time when we would see maybe 2 other vehicles on the road!  It was like we had stepped back in time 200 years.  Totally amazing!  

Some of the gorgeous mountains in Colorado!

The entire trip was the most surreal thing I've ever experienced. When you travel by motorcycle (at least when you take the roads that we did) you see things you would never see in a car.  You travel roads that are off the beaten path.  It's about the experience not about how fast you get there. As we traveled through the quiet mountains of Colorado and the prairies & mountains of New Mexico where those before us traveled so long ago, it was if God had given us this incredible gift!  There were no cars on the road, the wind was so tight around you it was as if God himself had His arms wrapped around you saying, "Behold, this is what I created just for you!". It was as if were traveling someplace that was private, some place sacred, that had been saved just for times such as these. God's presence was everywhere and it came at a time when I needed to be reminded that He is everywhere.  In fact there was one time when we were riding along the road and I started feeling this overwhelming awe of the gift that was all around us.  Tears began flowing down my face as I thanked God for all that is His and all that He has given to us.  
Colorado Sunrise!

We can make sure a mess of things in our busy, sometimes messed up world.  But out there, on the bikes, in the presence of the Almighty, His creations and nothing more, we were reminded... How Great Is Our God.

Yes, at now 50 something, I am blessed beyond measure and God gave me the greatest gift of all for my birthday weekend.  The incredible gift of seeing things as He created them, before we messed them up.  It was an incredible gift and an incredible trip.  One I will never forget!  Thank you Chris for coming up with it at a moments notice... and thank you God for your amazing gift.

For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.

Psalm 95:3-5

He who forms the mountains,
who creates the wind,
and who reveals his thoughts to mankind,
who turns dawn to darkness,
and treads on the heights of the earth—
the Lord God Almighty is his name.

Amos 4:13 



Lynn Leaming said...

So sad we weren't here when you came to the Springs, you could have saved some money and stayed with us. glad you had such a good trip. Have to say you enjoy riding a lot more than I enjoy driving :-)

Lynn Leaming said...

sorry we weren't here when you came to the Springs. You are always welcome! Glad you had such a great time with the Lord and Chris. You enjoy riding a lot more than I enjoy driving :-)