I’m not gonna lie. I can get lost in my blog and reading other people’s posts for hours. For me, blogging is an endeavor that helps me unwind by shifting my focus from the issues and problems of the daily grind. And this momentary distraction is necessary to clear my head so that I can make better choices and decisions in real time and real life.
I can get overwhelmed amid the busyness of life. Sometimes, it’s just all too much. Sitting on our patio, drinking a cup of coffee, and reading helps me unwind and retune my spirit. I don’t know about you, but my heart, soul, and mind need daily renewal and healing.
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you’ve likely noticed my affection for coffee and coffee cups. Locally, there is a new little place off the square that offers a respite from the daily grind called Staycation. It’s a little coffee shop that offers an assorted blend of bagels and pastries, as well a couple of other food options like oatmeal and quiche. The people who run it are friendly and care enough to learn their customer’s names. The coffee is delicious.
Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.Psalm 46:10 (New Living Translation)
On our short road trip to see Zach Williams perform at the Belcher Center in Longview, I was reminded that being back in East Texas feels like home. After the concert, Sweet T and I had the opportunity to visit my Mom, who lives in nearby Marshall. Perhaps, it is the tall pines that give me a sense of being home.
Mom still lives in the house where I spent most of my childhood. It is the place where I grew up. Marshall, despite its best efforts to grow, has nearly the same population as it did when I graduated high school. Some things have changed, but many others remain the same. The outer facade of this building or that business has changed. Major changes, like the addition of Wally World, come at the cost of losing other things, like the shops on town square.
However, there appears to be a revival of sorts happening in Downtown Marshall. There are new shops and café’s and even a new radio station called The Depot. Elsewhere around town, you will discover nationally known brands, like a new Starbucks and a new Chic-Fil-A, decorating the business landscape alongside familiar favorites like a newly refurbished Neely’s, and staples such as Jucy’s, Bodacious, and the Dinner BELLE. The local universities appear to be flourishing. Marshall is home to East Texas Baptist University, Wiley College, Panola College, and Texas State Technical College. The legal and healthcare industries are growing and thriving as well.
During our morning conversation at her dining room table, Mom mentions the growing art community, in spite of the City selling off the old Visual Arts building. She says that the building, once a gathering place for artists, is now going to be an event hall. At least that’s what she’s heard through the grapevine. Art makes my Mom happy. She’s created her own brand of art ever since I can remember.
Walking about our land, I take in the smell of the pines, oaks, elms, and hickory trees that seclude Mom’s property from easy view. The morning dew glistens on the grass from the light of the morning sun. The air is fresh and crisp. My eyes survey the surroundings. There is Dad’s old shop. I envision the fish fry’s that once happened just outside of its metal door on Friday and Saturday nights. If I close my eyes, I can still hear the boisterous din of men talking and laughing.
I continue roaming the property with my coffee in hand. My mind floods with memories. I glance at where the tree house had hung and recall the old wood shed that once stood in between our house and Dad’s shop. It was long gone now, as was the basketball goal that hung nearby from a tree.
As I look around the land, I long for the hedge of trees that once stood between us and our former neighbors property. A couple of years ago, the new neighbor cleared his property along our shared fence line.
Trees can be very spiritual. Although it seems unlikely that the biblical lands were ever thick with forest, the Bible features numerous trees as key elements throughout Scripture. From the beginning chapters of Genesis, we are told of the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. There are oaks and cedars, almond, olive and fig trees, acacia, cypress, and pines along with tamarisks, terebinth, willows, and palms. Trees held spiritual significance for the ancient Hebrew and Israelites, as I am sure they did for other societies and cultures throughout human history.
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.Romans 1:20 (New Living Translation)
Sitting outside, drinking coffee with my Mom and my Sweet T, my mind wonders what the people who inhabited the land before us leaned on for their source of spirituality and how they refreshed their faith. Faith, at least the Christian one, requires both perseverance and endurance.
All that to say, it is important for our well-being to recharge and refuel. We need to find time so sit amongst the trees, listening to the Spirit whispering words of wisdom and healing to our hearts, minds, and souls.
May the rest of your week be a blessing. Thank you for taking time to read my blog. I welcome your comments, as well as your thumbs up, if you were blessed by spending time on The Devotional Guy™ blog.
May the Lord shower you with His favor. Be strong and courageous.
Love in Christ,
The Devotional Guy™
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