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Friday, March 27, 2015

Favorite Places

 Every person needs a place that they can go to and just get away…get away from the busyness of life, get away from the stress of work, get away from the emotions of uncontrollable circumstances, get away…and just be alone with God. I have three places that are on my short list and, while winter weather often makes it tougher for me to go to these spots, they always offer me a lasting peace when I have taken the time to visit them. I come away recharged and renewed. There is a part of me that feels like I shouldn't reveal these places I go (perhaps then you all might come and discover them also, and my times there wouldn't be so peaceful!), but I also think that it might prompt you to look for your own "get-away" spots and to more fully appreciate those quiet locations where you are able to spend time in thought and be refreshed. With that in mind, here are my top three places…(not in order though):

Resurrection Bay

I love going here to this place because the mountains and the majestic view remind me of the constant protecting presence of God in my life. There have been  many times I've sat here and looked out across the vast water and struggled to come to terms with some painful things in my life. Each time, however, I have sensed the grace of God blowing peace into my heart just like the breeze that often resides at this tranquil bay. I leave there wanting more time to take in the scenery and appreciate the marvelous creation of the God who cares for me.

Fort Richardson National Cemetery

Every Memorial Day, for the past several years, I have spent time at this place - the final resting spot of so many who gave their lives in war and peace to the service of their nation. One reason why I love this beautiful location so much is that it removes me from the hustle and bustle of my daily life and forces me to slow down and contemplate the things in life that really matter: faith, family, friends, freedom. There is something humbling about being among the graves of these veterans and knowing that each one chose to serve their country and that some died giving their lives for what I enjoy. There is no place I'd rather be on Memorial Day each year. 

Wallace Mountain

This place is quite special to me. I can't exactly explain why I enjoy coming here so much. The view is incredible. There is a sense of wonder that accompanies a trek up this mountain and, for me, an almost symbolic feel for the mountains I've had to climb in my own life. There is something fulfilling to me to ascend to the top of this 3,200 foot precipice and look down to the world below that God has made for His (and my) pleasure. 
And, as the old hymn says,

"…When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze…
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art!"

Well…there you have it - some of my favorite places! I'd love to know where your special "get-away" spots are and why you love them, too. God has made this awesome world for our enjoyment and the more we get out and appreciate it, the more thankful we ought to become toward Him.