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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rest Stops

We're on the road again.
Driving to San Diego to see the new baby girl, our fifth grandchild.
I love this route, mostly.
The part that I really, really don't like is the stretch --and I do mean stretch --from Las Vegas to San Bernadino.
I love road trips. There's always something of interest on the route, or something of interest to talk about.
And then, when you need to take a break, there is almost always a rest stop close enough that the distance doesn't push the limits of a human's capacity to "hold it."
The rest stops that stick in my mind are the truly horrible ones, the ones that make you shudder when you remember.
Then there are the really nice ones, the ones that offer some special aspect of rest that other rest stops --which are nice --lack.
The best "rest" we Nethertons remember was the one we took just outside Elko, Nevada.
We'd been driving all night. As the sun began to peep over the horizon, we pulled wearily onto the exit. Several other cars had stopped there for a snooze. We quietly set up our camp stove and pulled out bacon, hash browns, coffee from our cooler. As the food heated up, their delectable aromas wafted into our neighbors' parking spaces. Heads began to pop up, car doors opened, sleepy travelers climbed out and, after an envying glance at our breakfast set-up, headed into the bathrooms for a quick clean up.
We ate breakfast to the tunes of a lark, singing somewhere off in the desert scrub brush.
Wonderful memory.
Much needed rest.

Some of our rest stops provide little playgrounds, parks, running circuits, museums, spectacular vistas.
In spite of our need to get going again, I've wanted to linger and enjoy the pleasures of each individual rest.

I've noticed that every time I take a rest, it's different. Even if I go to the same rest stop, I don't experience rest the same way I did six months ago.

God provides us rests along the way, too.
If only we'll take them.
Sometimes, like the rest stop on I-70, we pass them by: too many miles still waiting to be covered.
He always offers them, though.
God is no miser, no heartless slave-driver.
All we have to do is cease. If only we'll make that decision.
He wants us to be well-rested and re-charged for each day's requirements.

The memories of our many journeys across this country have begun to blur in my mind.
But the rests along the way remain vivid.
Perhaps its because the places of rest provide my heart and mind a small piece of time to assimilate all that has happened thus far.
And to gain a clearer perspective about where I'm going.
Would I have been able to do that if I hadn't stopped?
Maybe not.

Take that rest stop, friend. It's for you.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11:28 NIV)

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