Mid Morning Favor from God

Contrary to the report on Ron’s weather app, the sun was shining today, so we drove up the mountain, 1000 feet above Lake Superior to the “Lake of the Clouds.”

With my Mama in 1955

It was a beautiful drive to the top of the mountain. And today, as we parked and walked the 100 yard embankment to the cliff above, years of imbedded memories surged in the form of droplets in my eyes, welling up and rolling down my cheeks. I’m sure that my daddy and mama would have never thought that the memories of this very place, which they had created within me and had kept alive through photos taken with Daddy’s new 35 mm Kodak in 1955 would stir up fresh within me all these years later. You’ll see me as the little blonde girl in the older pictures. See more pics below.

Until today, I had never been back to The Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains.

But I’ve wanted to.

I’ve hoped to.

And I’ve thought about it ever since.

This was a desire of my heart.

Today was the day.

Oftentimes God grants us the desires of our hearts. He loves to do so. He knows those things – even the little things – that will delight us. In fact, He surrounds us with His favor. His favor is like a shield around us. I had lived much of my adult life unaware or unknowing or not believing that I was favored by God, but about eight years ago, in the most difficult time of my life, I became cognizant of it. I believed the Word of God. And I embraced it, finally trusting that God loves me and wants to show me favor.

The Oxford dictionary defines favor as “act of kindness beyond what is due.” And that’s just what God did for me once again – at the Lake of the Clouds. He granted me an “act of kindness beyond what is due.” He allowed me to go back to a very peaceful time in my life, remembering all those years ago, on the edge of this same cliff but feeling absolutely no danger because I was protected by my Daddy and my Mama. And God allowed me to know the same serenity of this peaceful setting today, completely protected by Him, my Heavenly Father. 

My Mama 1955 (My Daddy stands in the same spot in the featured picture at top of post.
I’m standing in nearly the same spot as my mother – 65 years later. My heart is full!

Then He opened my eyes to see even more: the beauty of this place. He filled me with the joy of being there with my husband, Ron.

We hiked miles across the encampment and down to the base of the lake below. My heart was full-of God’s favor.

God loves to give you the desires of your heart. Ask Him. Then look for it. Sometimes it’s huge. Sometimes it’s in the little things. 

Undeserved. Unmerited. But it is mine. And it’s yours: the Favor of the Father. And it is all because of Jesus. Grasp it. Hold on.

Click here to learn to become a believer: https://kathiwaligora.com/become-a-believer/

While you are on this website, please “subscribe” to receive future posts.

Further reading: Psalm 37:4

With Grandpa and Grandma Locke, my mother, my brother Larry, Aunt Carolyn, and Uncle Dick. 1955

Early Morning Wisdom ~ Post 4 – From “The Getaway – Seeking Sounds of Silence, the Secret Place of Rest, and Wisdom”

The Porcupine Mountains are unbelievably remote. Our campsite is at the Northeast tip of this huge state park; the mountains and thousands upon thousands of trees are in the middle; and Ironwood, the only big “town” in this part of the U.P., is near the Southwest end of the park, probably 30 miles “as the crow flies.” Click here if you’d like to see a map of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park Porkies_Unit

Lake Superior covers all the North side of the park, and as I wrote in my Day 2 post, forests and small townships or four-corner villages border the south side of the park.  (Click here for a short video “Under the Radar – Porcupine Mountains”  to see the magnificence of this State Park – the largest in Michigan.) So in this park, I have no Internet connection. In fact, I rarely have cell service. Now, it’s easy to say, “So what? You don’t need Internet during this time,” but it’s quite another thing to actually be the person without it! That’s me. So without connection, I haven’t been able to work on my website or “post” my blogs as I had planned. Each day, Ron and I have gone to the “Welcome Center” here in the park, and I have lugged my laptop, connected to their WiFi, and worked on various writing projects for a while. We were headed there this morning when . . .

I’ll come back to this, but first I’ll touch upon the “Seeking . . . wisdom” part of the title of my writing series during this getaway.

Have you ever asked God for wisdom?  I know the Bible tells us to do so. And I’ve asked Him for it many times – generally regarding a specific issue, i.e. “God, grant me wisdom to know what decision to make . . .” We read that He liberally gives us wisdom when we ask. When I “titled” my series of pieces I’m writing during this getaway, I included “Seeking . . . wisdom.”

Anyway, that’s how I expected it during this getaway. I expected to gain wisdom from His Word. But this morning, the wisdom He gave was simply spoken directly to me – oh, not in a voice, as such, but . . . well, here’s how it happened:

We regularly discuss plans for our days here at the park. Ron always checks the weather forecast, so we know which day would be best to hike, which day would be best to drive to waterfalls and other points of interest in the park. You get the idea. Well, each day has also included a bit of time at a place near the entrance of the park where I can “connect” to the Internet and get good cell connection, as well.

Suddenly this morning, with maps on the table and the weather forecast in front of Ron, God spoke to me, you know, like I just mentioned above. It was like He was saying,

 “You should not be using this time to get ‘connected’ to the Internet. You should be using this time to get ‘connected’ to Me. And to get ‘connected’ to Ron. You’ll have plenty of Internet ‘connection’ time when you get home. Don’t use your getaway time, struggling for connection to anything else.”

I responded,

“Thank you, Father, for wisdom.”

You can ask God for wisdom, too. The Bible tells us He’s so very generous in extending wisdom to us. Wisdom speaks to us, gives us knowledge and understanding, blesses us, and so much more. It’s exciting to think of how He will give it to you. We know you’ll always find it in His Word!

Further reading: James 1:5; 

Proverbs Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4

You’ve just read Post 4 – From “The Getaway – Seeking Sounds of Silence, the Secret Place of Rest, and Wisdom”

If you have not yet read Post 1, Post 2, or Post 3 from this series, you might want to click on each post to read them in sequence.

While you are here on my website, please “subscribe” to future posts. Thank you!

If you’re a subscriber, look for Post 5 – “Mid-Morning Favor from God” tomorrow. Otherwise, find it on this site! Bless!

I think my plans are the best!? Post 3 in the series, “The Getaway: Seeking . . .”

Ron and I have a passion for waterfalls, so today we made plans to see five waterfalls in surrounding areas outside this huge park as we drove to Ironwood on the Wisconsin border. Five waterfalls.

We saw one

It was just a mile out of the campground, the remaining four to be seen further on. This one was striking.

Now I know why the rocks are red here. It’s the iron. The water flows over red rocks. Iron ore was pulled out of these mountains for years. I suppose iron will always be detected on these shores.

So we were off to a good start. On to the next waterfall.

And we drove and drove and drove, seemingly following the directions in the brochure, “Western Upper Peninsula Waterfall Guide.”

“Turn left on USSF222, which turns into 400.”

So we did. We turned left.

It was a beautiful drive down a gravel road through Ottawa National Forest. Miles and miles. But it didn’t lead to a waterfall – or even to a river. Perhaps if we’d gone further?

We did not find the waterfall on the West Branch of the Ontonagon River.

On toward Ironwood we drove, enjoying the beautiful landscapes, slowly but steadily progressing to the next two waterfalls on the Black River.

“North on Blackjack Road. Past the two gas line clearings. Park off the road.”

So we did. We passed the gas line clearings and parked in a low spot off the road.

No signs. Was it private property?

We did not find the upper and lower waterfalls on the Black River.

We drove on, stopping for lunch at a roadside park on the way. I placed a red-checkered tablecloth on the table , pulled lunch out of my vintage red picnic basket. It was a true picnic! As we ate, we enjoyed nature around us. A yellow butterfly drank nectar from an orange flower. We sat in the warm sunlight, at a picnic table, on the side of a small mountain, in a desolate area. Like the butterfly, we were drinking nectar – the nectar of the moment. We listened to the sounds of nature and ever so slowly started to unwind and leave behind some of the burdens we had carried with us to the north. Afterward, we drove on toward the waterfall on Planter Creek, but we never located . . .

“Wertanen Road on M-28 north after County 519,” so . . .

We did not find the waterfall on Planter Creek.

So we arrived back at campsite earlier than expected, and I stretched out on my new gravity chair, one I’d had for several weeks but had never taken the time to relax in. Now, in the warm, late afternoon sun on what had begun as a cool day, I was extremely tired. Soft waves lapped the red rocks. My body rested. Then my mind rested. It was the Sound of Silence I was seeking when I came to the north. It brought rest. Physical rest often precedes spiritual rest, the kind I’m seeking by dwelling in His Secret Place. I had made a day’s worth of plans of discovering and enjoying a number of waterfalls. My plans didn’t work out. It was certainly not the first time, and I’m quite sure it won’t be the last!

As I rested, reclined in a most comfortable gravity chair, in a most tranquil setting, I listened to His Whisper.

Jesus whispers,

“Kathi, you are good at making plans. But I’m better. Listen and I will give you the right answers. Dwell in my shelter and your plans will be great.”

Are you good at making plans like I am but realizing that most importantly you need to be listening to Jesus Whispers?

Further Reading: Proverbs 16:1,3; Psalm 91:1

While you are here on my website, please “subscribe” to future posts. Thank you!

You have just read Post 3 – From “The Getaway – Seeking Sounds of Silence, the Secret Place of Rest, and Wisdom”

(If you have not yet read Post 1 and Post 2 from this series, click on each.)

Look for Post 4: “Early Morning Wisdom” Click here to read, if it has already been published.

 

I Own This Property on the Great Lake (Post 2 in the series, “The Getaway – Seeking Sounds of Silence, the Secret Place of Rest, and Wisdom”

After an extremely anxious, sleepless night along the road near Escanaba, our northern trek continues.

Upper Peninsula white birch differ from those in the southern. The white is whiter. The blackened edges are blacker, and the trunks, although similarly straight, are heavy, bulky, bigger, as though they’ve withstood colder temps, stronger gales, and lengthier winters.

In this western corner – the stretch between the two “Greats,” Michigan and Superior, rests the remnants of a thousand emptied motels, a hundred abandoned trailer homes, and a dozen or more ghost farms, their barns dropped to the ground, their fences derailed. Bumpkin towns dot the way from one county seat to another. An occasional manicured lawn surrounds an attractive log or ranch home, reminding the traveler that some people choose this remote life, willing to trek a hefty distance to the “city” for necessities. Inwardly, I am a bit envious of their distanced life, wondering if they find a greater solitude and communion with God than I.

Finally the end is in sight, the end being the big lake, deeper than any of the five, and proven more dangerous and deadly. But today, it feigns innocence. It is calm and blue, enticing us to settle on its southern shore. We are drawn to its frigid waters, unlike the waters we know this time of year at the very opposite point of this beautiful state.

We have been placed on Site 22, between a small rise to the south and the lake itself to the north. Ron angles our little trailer east to west, causing our door and our largest window to open directly to the water.

It is the perfect view, and I am drawn to the water, so I step across flat-layered, red slate rock and reach to touch it, ignoring and forgetting for now the couple setting up their tent on the nearby site and the man across the way placing his American flag upon his teardrop trailer. Nothing else matters. At this moment, the site, the wild blackberry, the hard maple, which has pushed its way through the red rock, and the Lake itself are mine. I am the sole owner of this property on the Great Lake. And the joy of ownership fills my lungs as I breathe purified air thrust over miles and miles of cold, deep water. 

Our Father owns it all. I am His heir. Are you? He has asked you to be. Click here to learn more at https://kathiwaligora.com/become-a-believer/

While you are on this website, please subscribe to my future posts, if you haven’t already. Click here to subscribe.

Further Reading: Romans 8:17, Galatians 3:29, Ephesians 3:6

Welcome!

Thank you for subscribing to my writing on my webpage.  With your subscription, you’ll receive each new posting. While you’re on the site, please browse! You’ll find may blogs from the past – some of which will speak to you. 

A very gifted specialist, Scott Eikenberry, from RelivitMedia has worked diligently to (re)develop my website, so it’s “up and going” strong now.

Thanks for your patience regarding your subscription! 

Look for new postings soon!

Lots of blessings to you. I hope you are enjoying your summer! Together, let’s set our hearts on the pilgrimage!

Kathi

 

Mid Morning Favor from God

Contrary to the report on Ron’s weather app, the sun was shining today, so we drove up the mountain, 1000 feet above Lake Superior to the “Lake of the Clouds.”

With my Mama in 1955

It was a beautiful drive to the top of the mountain. And today, as we parked and walked the 100 yard embankment to the cliff above, years of imbedded memories surged in the form of droplets in my eyes, welling up and rolling down my cheeks. I’m sure that my daddy and mama would have never thought that the memories of this very place, which they had created within me and had kept alive through photos taken with Daddy’s new 35 mm Kodak in 1955 would stir up fresh within me all these years later. You’ll see me as the little blonde girl in the older pictures. See more pics below.

Until today, I had never been back to The Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains.

But I’ve wanted to.

I’ve hoped to.

And I’ve thought about it ever since.

This was a desire of my heart.

Today was the day.

Oftentimes God grants us the desires of our hearts. He loves to do so. He knows those things – even the little things – that will delight us. In fact, He surrounds us with His favor. His favor is like a shield around us. I had lived much of my adult life unaware or unknowing or not believing that I was favored by God, but about eight years ago, in the most difficult time of my life, I became cognizant of it. I believed the Word of God. And I embraced it, finally trusting that God loves me and wants to show me favor.

The Oxford dictionary defines favor as “act of kindness beyond what is due.” And that’s just what God did for me once again – at the Lake of the Clouds. He granted me an “act of kindness beyond what is due.” He allowed me to go back to a very peaceful time in my life, remembering all those years ago, on the edge of this same cliff but feeling absolutely no danger because I was protected by my Daddy and my Mama. And God allowed me to know the same serenity of this peaceful setting today, completely protected by Him, my Heavenly Father. 

My Mama 1955 (My Daddy stands in the same spot in the featured picture at top of post.
I’m standing in nearly the same spot as my mother – 65 years later. My heart is full!

Then He opened my eyes to see even more: the beauty of this place. He filled me with the joy of being there with my husband, Ron.

We hiked miles across the encampment and down to the base of the lake below. My heart was full-of God’s favor.

God loves to give you the desires of your heart. Ask Him. Then look for it. Sometimes it’s huge. Sometimes it’s in the little things. 

Undeserved. Unmerited. But it is mine. And it’s yours: the Favor of the Father. And it is all because of Jesus. Grasp it. Hold on.

Click here to learn to become a believer: https://kathiwaligora.com/become-a-believer/

While you are on this website, please “subscribe” to receive future posts.

Further reading: Psalm 37:4

With Grandpa and Grandma Locke, my mother, my brother Larry, Aunt Carolyn, and Uncle Dick. 1955

Who is Traveling? (Post 1 in the series, “The Getaway – Seeking Sounds of Silence, the Secret Place of Rest, and Wisdom”

Post 1 – From “The Getaway – Seeking Sounds of Silence, the Secret Place, and Wisdom”

Today’s highway is paved, flat, barren, and ugly, but adequate and necessary, nonetheless, for our purpose of journey – pulling our little “home away from home,” headed north to our destination, yet 600 miles away. My driver, the man I’ve journeyed with nearly 50 years must scan the road, follow the lanes, obeying the signage and lineage. I choose to observe the landscape instead of the road.

Tall, straight birch and poplar border the edge of the thick, dense woods, filled with pines and hardwoods with wider foliage, but also tall and straight, and as the birch and poplar, all evidencing their struggle to reach the sky, all in search of sunshine. The forest floor beneath them is plush with seedlings and saplings. Green life is unending in these groves of the north. Neither wind nor fire has squelched the growth. We see indication of past attacks of those enemies, as they have tried, time after time to destroy, but they have never fully succeeded. And it’s all because of the new growth, found deep in the womb of the soil, rooting and rising – toward the sun.

The sun is the sustenance of the green life, its reason, its purpose.

Today, as we drive north, the sun is reflecting off the flora around us, revealing deeper and varying shades of emeralds and olives and limes, and sages. Up and down the hills of the fallow path we travel, the trees stretch upward. We sometimes view them at levels below their roots, sometimes above their tops, looking down at an unending pillow of forest jade.

Intermittenly, a sandy trail weaves through its thickness. I wonder who, if anyone, has traveled that trail today, and if so, where was he going? And why?

I travel to reach a quiet spot where I hope to avoid daily routines and distractions. I seek a deeper communion with Jesus. I hope to find rest in the Lord and rid myself of the distress of unrest flaunted by the media. I hope to calm my heart. I hope to listen and to hear.

There are a billion people on journeys today, and I know very few, yet God knows each one. He knows you – your needs – your desires – your hopes. And He wants you to rest in Him. In fact, He offers it.

While you are on this website, please “subscribe” to future posts!

Further Reading: Psalm 91

Click here to read Post 2 in this series: “I Own This Property on the Great Lake.”

 

 

 

Memories renewed by a simple “Honk”

Walking through the house this morning, I heard a car “honk.” I didn’t know if it was on TV or a car going by. But it brought back some memories. Perhaps you can relate.

Growing up, we lived in the country – a gravel road. Few cars went by during the day. When a car came down the road, one of us would often say, “There’s a car coming.” We stared as it went by. It was notable!

If the passerby knew us, sometimes even if he didn’t, he or she would most often “honk.” It was a “hello.” Of course, my dad and mom did the same thing as they drove. Travel was much slower in those days. Rarely did Daddy ever drive 50 mph and that was only on a big road, a “highway” like US 27 or US 12. No, he drove slowly, commenting along the way on wildlife, farmers in their fields, discussing various changes in the scenery with my mother. I learned much during those drives. Landmarks, not addresses, marked our travel.

Travel was limited. Of course, Daddy drove to work every day. He worked at Federal Mogul, and he left the house shortly before 7:30 am. The office opened at 8. He arrived home at 5:19 pm every day. Mama drove, too, when she worked. Those were the rare times we had two cars. We didn’t often make trips to town. Errands were written on paper, along with grocery lists (usually on reused, back side of envelopes), and our rare trips to town included buying groceries, laundromat (during the times Mom didn’t have an automatic washer), sometimes a trip to J.C. Penney, and occasionally a fun trip to Otto & Sons where Daddy shopped the hunting gear and we kids browsed the massive toy department.

We jumped in the car every Sunday – after church and a quick Sunday dinner – and took the long drive from our home on Quincy Grange Road in Butler Township to Grandpa and Grandma Nutt’s house on Grass Lake Road, northwest of Kinderhook. Daddy occasionally honked the horn when we arrived. There, we spent the afternoon – oh, the stories I could tell would fill a small book. But for now, I’ll only share the memories of the long drive. After hours of visiting and investigating the old barns, buildings, and garden areas with my brother and cousins, we once again hopped in the car and drove the long route back to Butler Township, to the even narrower graveled Bidwell Road to Grandpa and Grandma Locke’s house, where Daddy “tooted” the horn a bit louder, drawing our Locke cousins out from their places of play around the yard and out buildings. We spent the remainder of daylight with our Locke cousins, playing outside until the familiar whistle of the theme song of “Lassie” drew us into the living room.

My childhood travels to and from our graveled Quincy Grange Road residence centered around a vehicle, filled with a family of five, a bushel of love, and touting a horn that spoke a friendly “hello” to all. Occasionally today, I hear it – if only in my memories.

Photo is taken Summer of 1959. Mom at the wheel. Becky, my little sister and I in the back of our new yellow and white Ford Fairlane.

I have been fearful during some of these days of the COVID19 pandemic and isolation. But today I am not frightened.

I have had a significant amount of anxiety during this COVID19 pandemic. But today, I am not anxious.

Today, I am angry.

I am angry with the thief who is killing and stealing and destroying. I am angry with the demons who serve him and do his dirty work.

And today, I am sad.

  • I am sad that we can’t meet with our church family and celebrate the life of our friend who has passed – to hug his family and tell them how we loved him – to sing “The Days of Elijah” while we dance the aisles, as he did – to feel the tears drop down my cheeks as we all sing one final “I’ll Fly Away.”
  • I am sad that my cousins cannot sit with their dying mother at her hospital bed – sad that she cannot feel the comfort only those children can bring – feel the warmth of their cheeks on hers, their wet lashes returning the comfort hers once gave.
  • I am sad that I cannot gather with my extended family at the graveside – to honor and say farewell to a blessed cousin – to hear sweet stories about her – to tell her children and grandchildren how much she meant to me.
  • I am sad that our friends cannot comfort their dying father in the nursing home – cannot wrap his hands in theirs and pray him to glory.

None of these things can happen because of the thief. So today I am angry, and today, I am sad.

But like any other day – those of fearfulness, anxiety, anger, happiness, or – like today – sadness, I look to Jesus. And I listen.

He whispers,

“Kathi, don’t let your heart be saddened. Don’t be troubled. I’m preparing everything.  I hear you, and I will deliver you all. Now is your time to comfort from afar.  I am close to your friends and family in their suffering and loss. I am their comfort. “

So I trust Him: The God of Comfort.

(From Psalm 34, John 14, 2 Corinthians 1)

Only a few days left . . .


This newest giveaway is worth $700,000. It’s a beautiful home – Urban Oasis 2019 – and it could be mine! I love everything about it! If only I could win the Sweepstakes! I receive the email reminders. “Don’t miss today’s chance!” it states. “There’s only a few days left.”

I dream. Just as I have every year.

I envision my entire family (20 of us) driving or flying to Minneapolis (or to Whitefish, Montana or to Raleigh, North Carolina) – spending a few weeks of utter bliss vacation. I’m realistic enough to know that we can’t afford to keep the home. We’ll sell it shortly. Meanwhile, the cash award included will pay the taxes; we’ll drive the Mercedes, and enjoy a lavish vacation.

The Dream Homes, Smart Homes, Urban Oasis Homes, Green Homes – I’ve dreamed about them all! Each is striking. Will I want to take a few pieces of furniture or decor before I list the home for sale? Take it back to my Michigan home or my little Florida cottage? To replace an older piece? To remind me of my short-lived extravagance?

Those of you who know me know that I love decorating. I look at the photos, take the “virtual tour” of each home, visualizing my family in each. It’s fun – sort of like reading a book. I’m traveling to South Carolina, Arizona, Florida, and Colorado. I’m imagining a place and a time of rest, of no troubles – no problems, of my family close to my side – all safe and healthy and happy.

And for a time, I have no cares or worries, no concerns about our upside-down nation, no thoughts of my unanswered prayers or of unborn babies dying or of children suffering.

Then I discover that the present sweepstakes has ended. I have not won. So I hope for the future. I look toward the next sweepstakes.

It’s all a bit like life in general. Hopes and dreams. Wanting to live in an unbroken world where all children laugh and play, where all people cherish life, honor each other, and honor God.

But I don’t really have to wait for the next sweepstakes. I only need to wait for Jesus. He will gather me, as He promised. The Bible tells me He has it all planned. Above my greatest dreams. It’s a little bit as though Joanna Gaines has decorated the house – I know I can trust her. I know I will love whatever she designs. God has that and so much more planned for me. I can trust Him. It’s above and beyond winning the sweepstakes or hiring Joanna Gaines.

So I can rest. And I can dream. And I can trust. And I can imagine the unbroken world He promises in His Word. I can visualize my children – all children – laughing and playing. My family close around me. Not a care of a problem or even a bit of anxiety within me. I’m sitting and relaxing. My heart is full, and I’m resting in His promise . . . There’s “only a few days left.”