Thursday, June 24, 2010

Toll Roads

My oldest daughter now has a summer internship job which fortunately for her allows her to make some money while working part time during her summer vacation. However this summer job requires us a bit of a commute twice a week taking us between an hour and a half to two hours to get her there.

She stays with my sister and mom because my sister works at the company she is interning with so it makes it simple for her to stay the three days and we pick her up when her shift ends during the week.

The one thing we have to do to avoid a longer commute is to take a toll road here. It's not required but reduces our driving time by at least 30 to 45 minutes depending on the day and time. The toll can be a bit costly but the aggravation it saves from sitting in rush hour traffic is well worth it.

The added benefit is that it takes you to some of the most beautiful remote hillside landscapes in the county. There are rolling green hills that seem to stretch on to infinity adding more rolling hills beyond what you can see.

There are red tail hawks that circle overhead looking for a snack or a place to land and observe the comings and goings of the world.

There are hillsides covered in mustard yellow flowers that splash along their color in varies patches. My youngest said while driving that God must have spilled mustard while taking a stroll one day. Hmm, looks like He could have. Never thought of it like that.

There are hidden lakes nestled in the valleys that remain a remote haven for the wildlife that can access them.

And across the final hilltop we can finally see the stretch of vast blue Pacific ocean.

There are quite a few things that most people don't notice while they make their daily commutes through this toll road each and every single day. Most have transponders which don't even require them to stop and visit the toll booth attendant to pay their fares. They simply speed on by while the electronic sensor calculates the toll and debits it from their bank accounts.

Yet the one thing I've noticed is the things you miss zipping on by. The things that go un-noticed unless you really look besides the things I have mentioned.

There is a fun looking rock formation that looks like a tea pot. You can only see it going northbound but it looks amazing.

There are the countless cactus that sprout up out of nowhere, nestled in the tall grasses on the hillside. They are gone in the blink of an eye and before you can tell the passengers in the car what you just saw.

There are the bushes of beautiful white flowers that gather in the valleys that can't be accessible from the road side yet add just a touch of beauty to the lush green trees and hills.

Beauty is all around us in the everyday yet so often we find ourselves in the biggest hurry to get somewhere and miss the signs God is showing you everyday to let you know He still loves you and cares enough about you, to show you His love and beauty in the every day sights we pass by every day.

Those brilliant blue skies with puffy white clouds that look like puppies or turtles, or the most beautiful rainbow hues that come with the evening sunsets. Did you hear God whisper in the gentle breeze, "I love you"?

Just what is all that worth to stop and notice it every day? A few dollars at the toll road? Or worth the very soul inside of you that this world wasn't created by a random happening or big bang 6 billion years ago.

No it was designed and created by the God of this world who even now is working on creating an eternal home for us to spend the remainder of our lives with for those who have accepted Him as Lord and Savior of their lives. That to me is priceless.

So what will you notice today? I've made it a point to list 7 things that I am thankful to God for. It helps me to keep a better perspective on my day and starts it off on a blessed note. Here are mine:

1. Blueberry muffins
2. Smell of freshly cut Christmas trees
3. Puppies breath
4. Down comforters
5. Yellow finches
6. Ocean waves
7. Hearing "I love you" from my hubby.

What are your 7? I'd love to hear them. Please leave them in my comments!


Laurie! said...

Here are my 7:

1. books (and the libraries that let me read them for free)
2. scrapbooking
3. my car still running after 11 years
4. that my husband wasn't injured in the car accident on Monday
5. hour-long lunches
6. gluten-free foods for my husband
7. our new home

Denise said...

Here are my 7: 1)The sound of my husbands heartbeat. 2)Still having my vision. 3) My husband being able to work again. 4)Sweet friends like you sis. 5)God's love for me. 7)My life.

Mom's Coffee Time said...

What beautiful post! To take in the blessings around us in the midst of our busy lives....on that note my
7 my salvation in the Lord Jesus
6 my husband and my children
5 many blessings God so abundantly blesses us with
4 my Lord hears my prayers and teaches me in the midst of my struggles and trials
3 warm summer breeze
2 my health
1 being able to read my Bible/Worship the true God and not being persecuted for it

I could go on and on...thats good right? :) Blessings to you! ~Amy

KrippledWarrior said...

This started out sounding like a great commercial for buying a Harley Davidson...
And yet, despite the wind roar, I still hear God's whispered Love.
And IF there was a big bang 13.7 Billion years ago, I know who lit the fuse.

Mich said...

So far today, since of course the day isn't over...

1. Air conditioning!!! It is hot in my neck of the woods.
2. My hubby and son are returning from camp today. Missed them bunches.
3. My new plaid tennis shoes. Cute and comfortable.
4. Anticipation of a family trip/vacation. Today is my Friday,'cause we leave tomorrow. Makes the work day a little brighter.
5. Listening to my daughter playing the piano in the next room.
6. The ice cold bottle of water I am now drinking on this very HOT day.
7. Health.

Great reminder to stay thankful and positive during the day. Thanks!

Saleslady371 said...

I love your attitude towards the toll road. Beautiful flowers. My 7 thank yous to God:

1. Safe trip home from CA
2. Healing from a head cold
3. I'm in a nurturing church
4. My family
5. A day off with my hubby today
6. My new short summer haircut
7. Godly friendships who have helped me get through this past year.

Thank you, Kat, for your encouragement. Carrie is mending and started a new blog about her journey!

Love you,

Divine Mrs D said...

I love this! My friend and I used to ask each other for three good things that happened to us each day.

1) That my sister-in-law will be here tomorrow and I will get to hug my niece!
2) For the prayers that I've been receiving on my parents behalf.
3) Books
4) Hugs
5) For God's lessons. I've read Luke 12 at least three times this week without realizing it...and it felt like that was a hint. :)
6) My husband...that he would be willing to cook and clean for me when things get too hectic at work.
7) The roses outside of the PATH train. I've been stopping to smell them more often.

Divine Mrs D said...

P.S. Thank you for your prayers. They mean more to me than you will ever know!

Darcie said...

Sometimes we honestly just need to get off the well traveled roads to see all the magic around us. Thanks for the reminder to slow down and look around.

Rita said...

Beauty is all around us if we just look for it.

1. My Lord and Savior
2. wind whistling through the leaves
3. grandchildren
4. friends
5. family
6. health
7. butterflies

Wht a wonderful post today!

4 Blessings said...

1. Family time
2. My kids laughing
3. Great friends
4. Loving Husband
5. Water fun on a hot day
6. Prayers
7. My Lord and Savior

Blessings to you friend,

Loren said...

What a wonderful gift the Lord has given you to see HIS beauty as you go about your travels!

So glad Caitlin has this opportunity :)

I am thankful for YOU and your friendship!

Charlotte said...

Besides husband, home, family & wonderful friends:

Coffee with cream while reading my bible!

Faith, Freedom, Flowers and flip flops (but not wearing shoes is the best)

Silence is golden but I love to listen to the birds singing.

Last but not least the sound of rain in the afternoon to cool things down, beecause it's really, really hot!

Anonymous said...

1. a loving daughter
2. God's gentle nudging
3. His forgiveness
4. a loving and patient spouse
5. a home filled with love and delicious foods :-)
6. My puppy Jasper
7. Beautiful brothers and sisters in Christ

He & Me + 3 said...

Great post. If only we would write down our thankfuls everyday. That would be awesome.
mine are
hubby's vacation time
healthy kids & hubs
my health
My camera to take fun pictures of my girl at cheer camp
My son being able to attend camp this year becasue he is old enough.
Dinner I am making
Going on a date with hubs to see a movie.

Greg C said...

I only did 5 on my blog but I could list more if need be. It is nice to slow down and see what is out there.

Angel said...

1. My wonderful family
2. Joseph our missionary friend
3. That I get to spend the lunch hour with my husband almost every day
4. Spring flowers
5. All my bloggy friends - YOU
6. It's almost vacation time - California here we come!
7. The love of JESUS!!!!!

What a great post and reminder to be thankful for the things around us!!

Love and blessings to you

Just Breathe said...

Wonderful post:
Pine forest in the mountains.
Tiny baby pine trees.
Stars in the sky.
A full moon.
Shooting stars.
Cheese cake.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it wonderful when we put on the breaks, stop and look!
I am thankful:
1. My husband is now back in the country
2. My son is turning hsi life around
3. My oldest son is happily married
4. My cat purrs
5. God helps me through stressful challenges
6. My sons have laughed and been blessed at Vacation Bible School this week
7. I have air-conditioning!

Have a wonderful day! Your post has been a wonderful, fun-filled blessing!

Niecy said...

What a Sweet Post.
My seven are:
1. The unchanging love of Our Sweet Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2.The Love from Loved Ones (like you).
3.Life. It's a gift from above.
4.Health. When I feel good I cherish it.
5.The Beach(my fave spot)
7.My car Blueberry.
God Bless With Love,

Crown of Beauty said...

Dear Kat,
What a lovely encouraging post this is!

It is hard to list down only seven things I am thankful for, but let me try...

1. the early morning songbirds outside my bedroom window

2. a starbucks coffee shop in any part of the world that I visit!

3. my burgundy leather covered Spirit Filled Life NKJV Bible (I literally love it!)

4. Henri Nouwen and the books he left behind

5. having my own special prayer room

6. my sweet daughter Obedient One

7. my garden


Kat, What a beautiful post. I enjoy so much living in the country. We take walks on our land and enjoy Gods creation. My 7 things...

1. Being able to worship God... All the family prayers we have together.
2. My children. All 7 I have now and being blessed enough to be expecting our 8th blessing. (Due Sept 2010).
3. My hubby and best friend.
4. Seeing all our family gathered around our table. Enjoying having a large family, we eat, talk and worship together.
5. Having a farm to raise our family on. Having food to eat and our health.
6. Being able to Homeschool.
7. Hearing nothing out here in the country except Geese flying over, frogs and crickets chirping. *No Car Noises*. The best sound would be my childrens laughter.

Thank You for sharing this great post. I like Puppies breath too. Have a great week. Blessings,