Traveling is one of my passions. I have always liked to travel. I remember traveling with my parents and grandparents– vacations and camping and traveling all over Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois. It was and is always exciting to see and experience new places.
Since then I have been blessed with seeing many places: some while on vacation and some through ministry. I have seen beauty, I have seen destruction, I have seen smiles, I have seen tears. I have been on mission teams, ministry teams and Disaster Response teams and on vacation. I have been to Costa Rica, Haiti, Nicaragua, Panama, Chile and most of the continental United States. I have helped with Disaster Response in North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Someone once asked me my favorite and least favorite places I have been. The least favorite place (although I would go back again) would be Haiti. I still have the images in my mind of all the
poverty and struggles and tears (also, civil war broke out while I was there). My favorite place without a doubt was Easter Island. It is an incredible place with the nicest people. It was BEYOND awesome. My favorite states? Well, I have enjoyed all of them with Wisconsin, Louisiana, Minnesota, and North Carolina probably at the top… until recently.
Near the end of May, Lori and I moved our daughter Brianne to Saratoga, Wyoming for an
internship. I met them in Davenport, Iowa and continued with them to Wyoming. It was a spectacular drive. I thought the Blue Ridge mountains were big but they paled in comparison to the Western
mountains. Traveling the highways and roads that course the West is one-of-a kind experience. We saw buffalo, elk, mule deer and pronghorn antelope (thousands I believe) and beautiful scenery. The high elevation roads took us past all kinds of terrain: meadows filled with wildflowers, the Badlands (stark but beautiful) and then above the tree line and through the mountains.
Have you ever just looked out the windows and been awed? It does not have to be South
Dakota or Wyoming; it can be here in Grant County or Iowa County or Crawford County. God’s
incredible creation is everywhere! From flowers to animals to terrain to the mountains and hills and rivers, God’s creation never ceases to amaze me. God thought of every detail and made everything uniquely gorgeous!
On the way to Wyoming, we stopped at Wall Drug and I got to ride the jackalope (on my bucket list) and then Lori wanted to see Mt. Rushmore (on her bucket list). We got to Mt. Rushmore and drove up to the park and they would not let us in as it was raining heavily and very foggy. So, we spent the night in Hill City. When we got up the next morning it was rainy and foggy again, but we thought we would give it another try. They let us in and as we were walking up, we could not see Mt. Rushmore at all, and we were all disappointed. However, all of a sudden, the fog and clouds parted and there was Mt. Rushmore and it was … AWESOME!
As I sat later, drinking a cup of coffee and looking up at glimpses of Mt. Rushmore, I thought about how we were disappointed that we could not see Mt. Rushmore, yet it was there the whole time! How many times are we disappointed that God is not there, that we do not see or feel God’s presence, but God is there the whole time?