From My Heart

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6 -NIV

Directions , Landmarks and Home

It was the mid 1940’s when my parents purchased a partially completed 2 story house situated on 5 acres of land. They were able to live there while my father being the carpenter (not by trade- just skill) finished the construction. After that came a 2-car garage, a barn and a couple of other out buildings.
That house and property became home to four children. All 4 of us took advantage of the room to wander the field, orchard, barn and visit neighbors with no fear.
We made our roots there and gained our sense of direction from the landmarks. Just about ½ a mile north you could make out our elementary school, you looked to the west and you would see Peterson’s Butte, to the east you would see the Cascade mountain range, and if you walked south and around the bend you would come to Oak Creek one of my favorite places to spend a summer afternoon splashing in the water. Of course I didn’t mind the half mile walk to Crowfoot Grocery for a cold glass bottle of Nehi or an ice cream sandwich. The country roads were very safe and somehow calming. My best friend Diana and I knew that if we followed them they would always loop past folks we knew and eventually back to our home. The only thing we feared was the occasional dog that we kept our distance from.
When you wanted to tell someone where to go you would use directions like “just past Mrs. Summers house you take a left and go up the hill a ways”.
That was my home that was where I felt grounded. I had my bearings there.
And even though I am very content where God has placed me; far away from the view of Peterson’s Butte and Mt. Hood I still have a sense of home when I think of that place.
I knew how to get where I needed to go back then. But if you took me away from my landmarks that was another story entirely. If I couldn’t see Peterson’s Butte, the Coast Range, Three Sisters, Mt. Hood or Mt. Jefferson off in the distance I was in real pickle. My husband often teases my about my “directionally challenged” condition. It’s true and I am very thankful for the GPS my daughters recently purchased for me. I really think they thought I may someday get hopelessly lost…..could happen.
I tend to become directionally challenged in my spiritual life as well. I wandered for many years without any landmarks. I eventually learned that God had given me safe roads, important things to keep my eye on and wonderful directions.
If I wander away from those things even momentarily I find myself in a “real pickle” very quickly. I don’t think I’m alone in this. I believe God wired us all to rely on His landmarks. It’s not a bad thing to need Him. As with country roads of my childhood God’s road is very safe and calming. If we follow it always loop past folks we know and eventually to our home. Of course there will be the occasional “dog” or should I say occasional danger that we should keep our distance from. God is faithful to warn us about those things just like my mother warned me. Heed the warnings and He will keep you on the safe road.
My sense of direction regarding North, South, East and West may not be good. But I know where I’ve been and where I belong. I know where I’m going and I know Who is with me. No need to fear here.
Just a side note, one of my brothers bought our family home from my mother. He has made some changes and made it his home. It’s a very good thing to know that the house and property is in good hands and still in the family. There has been some new construction on the road but each neighbor still has five acre plots. As I drive that road I smile, remember and can almost hear Mom calling me for supper.
Click for a view of the road I grew up on as it is today.

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