Backroads

It was Wednesday and I took a Sunday drive. The sun was sending its warmth through the windows. The wishful windshield seemed large enough to handle my daydreams; it was clear and clean. It wasn’t warm enough or my hand would’ve been hanging out the window. There was a corner where I pulled over and turned down my tunes. I just stared at the livestock and focused on the small rolling hills. Part of me knew where this road led; most of me didn’t care. It’s in the backroads, just like the woods, where I feel most at home. It’s a different feeling than standing atop a mountain, gazing at the Egyptian pyramids, or best, holding a newborn baby. But in this crazy topsy-turvy strangeness of the world around me, it felt like the joy of family and laughter, the hugs of those I love and miss, the best cup of coffee, the best road trip, and the overwhelming awe of my Creator. It was a backroads benediction.

K.L. Hale

Sunday drives of my childhood sometimes led to a Dairy Queen if we were lucky. Dad’s stories always made our backroad drives even more exciting. We’d see homesteads, family houses, cows (lots during those days), rolling hills, and listen to great music. As a teenager they were the best roads to learn to drive. I know what you’re thinking–I’m pretty sure we all did the same things on backroads (but I didn’t go to jail for it). My sons, and every teenager I knew, had some backroads to travel. There’s a happiness about taking a drive and finding something new to enjoy and see (especially if it involves a quaint coffeeshop at the base of any mountain).

A lot of my life has been filled with backroads. I have a determination for discovery and I get nourishment from nostalgia. Do the backroads of your mind ever seem congested or crowded? It helps to wipe the windshield and focus only on the places of peace. Use the rearview mirror to see that which is following TOO close and don’t dwell on where you’ve been. All the wrong turns, flat tires, and break-downs happen to everyone. I hope one day you can smile with the miles, the satisfying scenery, daring detours, and the curvy corners. I’m sorry if you feel you’re on the wrong road. We’ve all been there. Muster up your music, put some air in your tires, mark your map, and don’t refrain from refueling. The road you take is yours and yours alone. I’ll wave and smile when I see you. Even better, let’s meet for coffee down the road.

Have faith 💚

Adieu 2020

A year ago, I felt a stir,  
Unlike any I had felt before. 
To go along with what seemed normal,  
Fit with society, in terms of formal.
One might take a path that seems so right, 
Yet wonder why you can’t see the light.  
2020 was certainly a year of change,  
Everyone must have thought it strange.   
A darkness swept across the world,  
A pandemic was hurled; it swept and swirled.   
The lines were drawn with red and blue, 
Each side spoke out to chew and stew. 
In the middle I stood and loved those all around,  
And hoped that each one was heaven bound.  
Doors were shut, emissions went down,  
All the stores and restaurants closed around town.  
The spikes would occur and then down they’d go,  
In hopes of normalcy things started to flow. 
Some might say it’s been a record year,  
And the loss of so many still seems surreal.   
A new year is waiting to open its door,  
Will things be the same as they were before? 
Should you think there's a side that you must take,  
Let’s all be humane, for heaven’s sake.  
No matter what the new year brings, 
With faith, please cling and continue to sing.  
If music's not heard and hope starts to fade,  
Please think of good memories that you’ve already made. 
Someone loves you even more than I do,  
Without him, you would not be you.  
You may not believe- I love you anyway,  
May hope be your anchor is what I will pray.  
“Adieu to this year,” I whispered just now. 
“Happy New Year World!”-2020, PLEASE take a bow.    
K.L. Hale   

Last Christmas I made the decision to begin blogging. I was nervous; but the time seemed right.  And by January I was excited about the winds of change I could feel (did any of us forecast such hurricane force gusts?). 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
This is an excerpt from my journal-January 1st, 2020.  

“Really? It’s 2020.  I was quite sure we would all be flying around like the Jetson’s at this point.  Or at least I thought that as a little girl.  I knew life would be way different.  So many two’s-and the best-two sons, two daughters-in-law’s, and soon, two grandbabies.  And a new 2-digit decade for me.  Overseeing my own destiny sounds intriguing.  But this year I MUST heed to HIS calling.  I’m seeking wisdom with the year of my middle life. Lord, you know my strengths and weaknesses, you know my struggles.  You know my needs, wants, and desires.   You know the path I must take.  It’s to the place where I am authentically yours and yours alone.  And what resides there is my existence that reflects you.  Thank you, God, for your love, guidance, protection, and blessings.  “Listen,” you say.  “I hear you,” I reply.  I’ve heard you most in the quiet. And I’ll return to my small place to grow my grit and nurture my soul.  Lord, I seek you in everything I do. I don’t know what this year will bring.  But I do know this. Because of you I have the courage to begin writing.  I came up with a name for my site, “Flannel with Faith”.  You are telling me I can do this.  It is time.  It might be messy.  And I’m to stand amid the mystery and become more comfortable embracing it.  I can face it and embrace it.  But suppressing it is not good.  I no longer fear it.  Growth is slow and meandering.  And we grow through our trials.  And at times, pruning is necessary.  And endings can be necessary too.  Help me to remind others of their value, strengths, and abilities.  Guide my writing.  I pray protection over my family, loved ones, and friends.   You’ve given me the strength to step out.  For with you, I am never alone.   This is going to be a year of change.  The dreams I had as a young girl, that were wrapped in neat little boxes, have been taken down from the shelf and handed to me once again, just as you’ve done before.  They’re dusted off. “Open them,” you said.  2020, I don’t know what you’ll bring.  But I am ready.”

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3

I dedicate this post to our fellow blogger, Bill Sweeney, (“Unshakeable Hope”) who finished his race and fought a great fight of faith since his diagnosis of ALS at the age of 36.  He lived 24 years longer than the doctors had given him.  He lived to encourage and give hope to others.  May that be an example to us all. Peace and blessings my friends.

Have faith 💚

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com
Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com