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.

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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

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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/

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

Up, up, up!

Look up! You’ll see His glory.

The heavens declare the glory of God . . . (Psalm 19:1a)

You’ll see it in the skies – the sun, the stars, the clouds, deep into the huge expanse reaching far beyond our sight.

It’s there. His glory!

You’ll hear these heavenly elements speak. Day and night, they are declaring, speaking. And as they speak, they teach us, revealing knowledge, making God known to us, reviving our souls. His voice is heard and He is made known in every corner of the earth, reaching every land, every tribe, every language. No place is hidden from His voice – from His glory. Whenever and wherever you see the skies, you see God’s glory.

It’s there. His glory!

Father, I look up because I want to see your glory. Open my eyes to every aspect of your creation that I see when I look up. Open my ears to hear your glory. Let me hear your Word speaking to me. Day or night. Light or dark. I join the heavens in praising you.

(Praying from Psalm 19:1-7; 89:5)

You don’t need to “tiptoe” around the word “righteous.”

Righteous.

The world doesn’t know the meaning of it. The believer should.

Before we became believers, many of us thought, as the world does, that the gift of salvation was too good to be true – we had to work for it – we had to become righteous by ourselves. So we tried. Of course, we found it to be impossible. The world confuses the two words and their definitions: “righteousness” and “self-righteousness.” The devil pellets the believer with lies, time after time. We hear smug comments like, “You think you’re so righteous, don’t you?” intended to beat us down. And sometimes, they do. If we let them. The devil doesn’t want that word, righteous, in our hearts for even one minute. He hates God’s word. Thief that he is , he immediately comes to steal it from us (John 10:10).

We sometimes respond in what we believe to be a “Christian-like” defense, saying things like, “I’m only a sinner saved by grace.” It’s true, in a way. We were sinners. We were and are saved by grace. But perhaps because it seems too good to be true, because we did nothing to deserve it, we shy away from the truth that God sees us as “righteous” in Christ Jesus! (2 Cor. 5:21) God doesn’t see us as sinners any longer. He sees us as His. He sees us as the redeemed. He sees us as righteous.

I am righteous in God’s eyes. I need to remind the devil of it by speaking it aloud:

“My sin was put upon Jesus! I am righteous in Christ Jesus!”

Oh, how the devil hates to hear the spoken Word of God! How he hates to hear the name of Jesus. He is forced to hide from it, and that’s just where I want him – hidden away from my heart – hidden where I cannot hear his lies.

And because I am righteous in God’s eyes, I want to thank God:

Thank you, Father, that You made Jesus who had no sin, to be sin for me, so that in Jesus, I was made righteous in Your eyes.

You, too, can be made righteous in God’s eyes. Click here to learn more

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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.”

 

 

 

“D-Day” Dear Mom:

Tuesday Evening

6 June 1944

“D-Day”

Dear Mom:

     Yes, this is “D-day” the day we have so patiently waited for. I suppose you know as much about the news as I do, so won’t say anything about it. But maybe I have a little closer view of it than you folks back there. I see hundreds of the planes overhead, some going and others returning. At times I wish I could be up there and get a first hand hit at them. But guess I will have to be satisfied here on the ground and do what little I can. No foolin’ tho’ it does make a guy feel awful small ad cheap to stand and look up at the boys flying toward danger and me be here on the ground with both feet on Mother Nature and more or less safe and not sweating out a bullet aimed your way, or an anti-aircraft gun [pointed up at you. Tonite I can lay down and sleep comfortably. (I say sleep, that is if I can get my mind off the boys in the foxholes long enough to doze off and forget it.” All the fellows have had a different look on their faces today. A look hard to express in words. In the mess hall, too, it was not the usual tone but altogether a different atmosphere. Well, we must all pray for the end of this hell on earth. That’s the least we can do. “Prayer changes things.”

                Tonite after chow, I watched a string of planes & gliders for over an hour. Just a continuous roar. It sure made me glad I wasn’t on the receiving end. All day long, almost, we could hear our bombers going over. We could see them this morning. How they glistened when the sun hit them. But later this afternoon we could hear them & wanted to see them so bad but couldn’t because of the low clouds. Just a minute ago it rained, guess that’s what was in the clouds. Hope it’s nice tomorrow so I can get up early, look up at the boys, and breathe a silent prayer and wonder if they’re ok. It is hard to decide just how I really feel today. Can’t feel happy feeling so useless, and shouldn’t exactly be sad because the days that pass will mean a day closer to the day I can come home.

                I got another package from the Service Club at Pratts. It is sure nice to get things like that. I will write and thank them for it soon.

                Haven’t had any letters the last few days. Guess they are being held up. Oh, yes, I did too. I got one from Velma. She was saying how nice the neighbors are about coming to see her. But of course they all must express their feelings & poor Velma said after two or three visitors she just can’t hardly stand it any ore. She said, “Bless them.” [Wayne is referring to neighbors, visiting his sister-in-law Velma, to express their sympathy for Marion who was killed in service in North Africa.]

                Well, it’s time for me to go off duty now (10:00). We work on a full time basis now 24 hours a day. So I’ll be back and write more after a few hours sleep…… (Bye bye)

                Hello Folks, it is now after three o’clock in the morning and here I am back again. Nothing has happened except that I didn’t sleep very good. Early yesterday evening before I started this letter one of the fellows and I went outside and done a little wrestling and every muscle in my body is sore this morning.  Oh well, that’s good for me.

                Guess our boys are doing alright over there. Late yesterday afternoon newsmen said they had advanced as far as into town from where you are. [From Kinderhook to Coldwater] Gee, the radio said that channel looked like one mammoth bridge. There were as many thousand big ships in it all at once as there are letters in my littlest brother’s name. And as many thousand planes as he is years old minus one. (I shouldn’t think there is anything wrong in saying this, if there is it will give the censor something to do.) Have any of my letters ever been censored? If you can make out the above figures it might seem rather strange but that’s what the radio said. [Wayne’s younger brother’s name was Dale, so that’s 4,000 big ships. At this time, Dale was 12 years old, so that’s 11,000 planes!]

                A low flying plane is going overhead now. Guess he is out scouting. They sure keep a close lookout. I bet the old Jerries are beginning to do some serious thinking. I bet they are next on the list and they probably know it.

                Well, Mom, I want to write to Margie if I have time, so I better ring off for now. I’m at the same place as before so please try not to worry about me. I’ve always said I’d let you know when it was alright for you to worry and that will be when I’m in a more dangerous spot than I am now. I mean it Mom so don’t worry yet. I will write again soon. I look for a letter from you today. If so I will answer tonite. Have my laundry to wash out today. Poor me!! Give my love to all the boys & tell Dad not to worry. I love you all very much.

Your boy, Wayne

I think of today’s world – storms, earthquakes, plagues, pandemic, riots, and political unrest. Although in a different country and a different century, some of relate to Dad’s descriptions. People have a “different look on their faces today. A look hard to express in words. . . altogether a different atmosphere.” His conclusion to his own observations is truly suitable for us today: “Well, we must all pray for the end of this hell on earth. That’s the least we can do. ‘Prayer changes things.”

Prayer changed things 76 years ago, on June 6, 1944 – “D-Day.” And prayer can change things today – June 6, 2020. Join me.

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