Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Small Town Girl Goes to DC

The weekend before Thanksgiving had finally arrived, and I finished up packing on Saturday, then headed for Little Rock for my early Sunday morning flight. I had never spent the night in a motel by myself before--I know, I'm sheltered!--but I did ok. I couldn't find anything good on TV, so I found a movie on Netflix and watched it. Before I knew it, morning was there and I was on my way to the airport. 

I was checked in and waiting on my flight to board in record time. On the way to my gate, I found a Starbucks! I knew then it would be a good day. I spent the hour I had to wait reading, so the time passed quickly. I flew to Memphis, where I discovered that my connecting flight was boarding as I got there. I don't really like to cut it that close, but I did manage to get there before my zone was called, so it worked out. Finally! I was on my way to Washington, D.C.! It was a good flight. I read some more of my book I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron. She was a really great writer with a flair for humor. It was the perfect choice for a book to read on the plane. (Thanks Norma, for loaning it to me!). Funny is always a good idea when flying. It helps keep my mind off the things I tend to worry about when at cruising altitude.

It seemed like it took no time at all before we were coming into the D.C. area. I have included a picture of what I saw out the window. I had just enough time to get this before we were instructed to turn off electronic devices. We landed, I headed toward baggage claim, and thankfully was united with my luggage. Next I found my way to the information counter, where a very kind and helpful man gave me a map to the city's excellent subway system. It's an intricate and very organized color coded (my OCD loved this!) network of trains and stops that get you anywhere you want to go in Washington, D.C.

I was so impressed! I discovered that I had to get on the yellow line, ride to Gallery Place, and switch to a subway on the red line, which would take me to Union Station, where I had to get on an Amtrak train to Charlottesville, VA. This was an amazing experience, and this small town girl had a blast! I managed to navigate the subways without a hitch, and was soon at Union Station. I had to wait over 2 hours for my train, but I spent the time finding the right gate, eating lunch, and just generally taking in the whole experience. 

My train came, I boarded it, and I was finally all settled in for the 2 hour train ride to Charlottesville. The sun was setting as we left DC, and it was beautiful! I got a picture as we crossed the Potomac River. 

I really enjoyed the train ride. It was a great experience. I had never ridden a train before, and even though I had my book and intended to read, I kept getting distracted with all the sights we were passing. I arrived in Charlottesville about 7:30, and Jeff, Alli, and Alli's mom, Mary, were there to meet my train. 

More to follow in the next post as I tell about my fabulous trip to Virginia and Washington, D.C. on Thanksgiving break 2012. 

(to be continued...)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Resolutions and Writing

One of my resolutions for 2013 is to be more consistent in with my blogging.  I have tended to wait until I had something really good that I felt God had shown me, something that could be an encouragement to others and even myself when I needed it later.  I have written in a journal all my life.  I have always enjoyed writing everything down. There's something therapeutic for me about documenting events in my life, and it became more about my spiritual journey after I became a Christian in 1994.  

This year, though, I am taking Heartfelt in a different direction.  It will still be for journaling about the ups and downs of life in this journey God has taken me on since I gave my life to him 18 years ago. However, if I am to write more often, perhaps weekly, I might have to diversify. It's not that I'm writing for the sake of writing. It's more about disciplining myself.  Writing is just the way I am exercising that discipline.

So, the first of these posts will follow this one in a day or two.  In November of 2012, I traveled to Virginia to see my son and daughter-in-law, and we went to Washington D.C. to see some sights.  I had never been to the D.C. area.  It was quite the adventure, and I really am looking forward to writing about it.  There will even be pictures. 

See you soon!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Forecast for the New Year

"Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent, and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever. They will not be disgraced in hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough." Psalm 37:18-19 NLT.

I sat up to see the new year of 2013 in, as I usually do.  As I sat here, a few minutes before midnight, I was praying and asking the Lord for protection and provision in the coming year. Times are uncertain, even scary these days.  None of us can be absolutely sure how the nation's economic situation will affect us personally.  As I was thinking about this, the Lord led me to Psalm 37.  It is jam-packed with promises for God's own; those who have put their trust in Him.  Most Christians are aware of the opening verses, that promise we need not "fret because of evildoers," but dig a little deeper and you will find many more promises.

"Trust in the Lord and do good.  Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.  Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart's desires" it says in verses 3 and 4.  "The wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land." (verse 9). "The Lord directs the steps of the godly.  He delights in every detail of their lives.  Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand." (verses 23-24).

Those are pretty good promises if you ask me.  If we really believe God and take Him at His word, we have no reason to fear.  There are promises all throughout His word that proclaim that He is our provider, protector, and Savior.  He will take care of those who put their faith and trust in Him. 

I'm looking forward to seeing what God will do in this new year.  People all around are worrying and wringing their hands, proclaiming doom and despair.  They might say I just don't understand how big a mess our economy is in.  My answer to them is, they don't understand how big my God is.

"The Lord rescues the godly; He is their fortress in times of trouble.  The Lord helps them,  rescuing them from the wicked. He saves them, and they find shelter in Him." Psalm 37:39-40. NLT.