The Beautiful Landscape of Our Spiritual Family (& the Southwest) #Empowered by the Spiritual Life

Posted By Tammy Hendricksmeyer on Oct 22, 2015 | 4 comments


In Texas, Fall whispers to us with exception of the occasional Scarlet or Shummard Oak, Hickory tree, or the dull yellow of a mangled Bodark. But before change was evident, my family headed west.

 

Years ago, in our apartment in Bad Windshiem, Germany, my husband and I promised ourselves to travel stateside, to be as intentional at home as we were abroad. We’d traveled much of Europe. On the antiquated cobblestone streets of Rothenburg, we were enamored at the square near the Rathouse. Among the international crowds along the Seine River in Paris, France, we marveled at Notre Dame’s gothic glory. While we drove around the glassy lake in one sleepy Austrian town, we picnicked on its banks.

 

Overseas, we were purposeful.

 

As we drove past the rocky mesa’s of West Texas, the land flattened out.  There was an absence of butter-yellow from Sugar Maples dropping golden petals as seen in Germany. Cinnamon-roofed villages didn’t contrast against the emerald greens of sweeping farmlands or pop against the gray, dizzying white-capped Austrian Alps. There weren’t flaming Autumn Blazes lighting up hillsides beside Hwy 50 like southern Indiana.

 

Instead, our view turned to sapphire and splotchy green, with dotted cactus’ and tumbleweed.

 

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It reminded of the song by Dwight Yoakam, “I’m a thousand miles from nowhere/time don’t matter to me/I’m a thousand miles from nowhere/there’s no place I’d rather be.”

 

 

 

I hadn’t remembered the southwest, this way. Around five or six, my family drove with windows rolled down, hot air blasting me like a furnace. Again in my early twenties, the burnt-orange Mesa’s left a brief impression in passing. Both times, were necessary passages to California.

 

This time, we lingered. Beauty displayed herself along Route 66, alternating between clinging layers of pink-y beige and flaming-red mounds, to cascading green mountains, to pancake-shaped vista’s marked with snaking ravines and brilliant sunsets.

 

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Goodness, evidence of His glory burns bright. Creation testifies. I’ve been known, a time or two, to repeat, like a broken record needle hitting a bump in the vinyl surface, “Oh my goodness, it’s so beautiful. Oh my goodness, it’s so beautiful. Oh my goodness, it’s…”

 

Eventually, we turned back toward home and crossed familiar threshold, full and starstruck. Perhaps that’s what happened to me once we were again surrounded by friends and family. After a nine-day absence, they glowed. An aura of light emanated from them. They were dressed aptly for crisp air and slanting light. But it was more than attire, the outward-ness of superficial cloth.

 

It was the human landscape, burrowing in-roads to my heart. God’s love language beamed out. Once in a while, Light escapes out of others, we should squint but we do not. Instead, we stare right into the glare of it. We can’t help our self.

 

God makes deep, complex canyons in each of us, a river carving out the valley floor. Through Him, as we survey those closest to us, we are less fearful of falling. Instead, we find the place so vast and far-reaching, it enthralls us with majestic love. We take risks. We hike the curving trails. We hug the cliff side. We find ourselves admiring the interesting terrain of our spiritual family. We know their landmarks and marvel at their journey.

 

This isn’t the natural way. This is the supernatural, the other road we travel life. We visit places in people. God’s Spirit pierces like a beacon into a darkened world. Part of being empowered by the spiritual life, means we not only have vision, we have discernment. We move through life with intention and purpose, eyes to see what He’s doing, and it never ceases to amaze us.

 

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And the recipients for last week’s give away’s are:

 

Vibella Jewelry: One from each social medium (Facebook, Twitter, Blog Comments).  Some shared in multiple places. Thank you!

Recipients are:  Dawn Boyer (1st pick), LeAnn Taylor (2nd pick), and Abby Breuklander. 

 

2 Books, Every Little Thing by Deidra Riggs and Man: The Dwelling Place of God by A.W. Tozer goes to Susan Stilwell!

 

I’ll be in touch to retrieve your mailing address. Congrats!

 

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As part of the #Write31Days series, I’m writing everyday. However, I’m not publicly publishing every day. But I will be posting more often. You may find mistakes such as grammar or spelling errors. It’s the conversations that matter, right? Feel free to share your thoughts too. 

 

To find the whole series, click here–Empowered by the Spiritual Life.

 

 

 

4 Comments

  1. I love this! Thank you for taking me along with pics and your words. I know neither does the entire trip justice, but you paint a beautiful image~ of your trip, and each of us. xoxo.

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  2. Beautiful Pictures! Makes me want to Praise the Lord. Don’t you wish your camera could take the exact image the way you see it? These snapshots are gorgeous, I can’t imaging how glorious they were in real life.

    And thank you, friend. I am super duper excited about the surprise!

    Bless you,
    Dawn

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