God has blessed me with 3 particularly beautiful birthdays in a row now. Today being no exception. 

After a stormy, gusty Sunday, today was absolutely perfect. Right at 70 degrees, a light breeze with plenty of sunshine. I just couldn’t see wasting it doing my chores inside all day.

But, where to go? I couldn’t decide.

I mulled over about 3 different places I could go locally and finally decided on Turner Lake Park.

Turner Lake is actually the closest to me… only about 10 minutes from where I live. And I LOVE it out there. It just feels so secluded and natural in the midst of so much development in our immediate area.

Three years ago, during a very difficult time, I found much therapy in heading out to Turner Lake to run every day on my way home from work. Never having been much of a runner before, I was more like Forrest Gump “just runnninnng”. In essence, trying to outrun my problems and feelings… in reality, however, just wearing myself out. (I must say I did sleep rather well those evenings though…)

And, after about 6-8 weeks of daily running I had set a goal for myself to run so much in some said time (I don’t even remember now what it was?). I really didn’t know if I could reach that goal by the time summer set in, but it was a nice round figure and sure enough… I did it. On my birthday! I was so proud of myself.

And it was the last time I ran. 

Hey. I was doing good to even set the goal. Besides, after that, it got much too hot for me to run. And my knee was not especially fond of my running… So, I just never went back out there.

That was 3 years ago.

Then today, after a little hemming and hawing… I thought “Well, I’ll just go out there, and if nothing else, just hang out on a bench and read a book. Maybe take a few pictures.”

Well, I no sooner got out there and I was just totally drawn back in. I had forgotten how beautiful it is out there. I started out just looping the lake and the next thing I knew, I was out hoofing it on the paths for the next hour and a half… with some 145 pictures taken on my camera… the fresh air and wooded surroundings breathing new life into me …and God speaking into my heart.


Lord, today I set out on my way

To take advantage of such a beautiful day.

I felt as though it was a gift given to me,

So how much sweeter to spend it with Thee.


You’ve blessed us all with such nature in splendor,

How could we doubt that Your heart should be tender?

For the trees reach up toward the heavens above

And the soft gentle breeze; it whispers Your love.


It seems they all realize their purpose on earth;

To glorify You and proclaim of Your worth.

So why does it seem so much harder for man

To know of his mission; to determine Your plan?


I think we must make it harder than it should be,

When we focus on self and take our eyes off of Thee.

For it is then that the path seems to take a new turn

And we meet more lessons than we’re ready to learn


For we don’t know of all that lies ahead

And that which may harm us when we are not led.

But You, Father, know the path that we take

And all of the wise choices that we are to make.


Unlike the path that I took today,

Life doesn’t have markers to guide the way;

No clear-cut signs to keep us from harm;

No maps to show us a way safe and warm.


But, we do have You, Father, Who sent Your own Son

To live for us, die for us, and show how it’s done;

To draw near to You and seek to know of Your thoughts

And help to guard us from the ways that we naught.


Though You have not promised a path free from resistance,

You’ve promised to be with us no matter the distance.

And should we surrender and not stumble on pride,

You promise all things possible with You as our Guide!


Father, thank You. For the beautiful day and the chance to spend it with You. Thank You for desiring to keep me on the path You have planned for me and patiently guiding me back to it when I’ve insisted on my own way. Thank You for being there when the path gets difficult or overwhelming. And thank You for those whose paths have crossed mine.


Published in: on May 12, 2008 at 11:03 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. It really was a beautiful day…I’m glad you had time to get out and enjoy it. And thanks for the virtual tour of the lake!

  2. Your pictures are beautiful! I hope you had a happy birthday. 😉

  3. Jess-did you write that??? That was beautiful!!! Happy Birthday. What a way to spend it.

  4. Simply beautiful….both the poem and the lake!!

  5. I don’t mean to copy what the others wrote, but that’s exactly what I was thinking as I read it…beautiful, Jess!

  6. Happy Birthday Jess!

    Oh I just love the date May 12th. I have no idea why either. It just sounds good or something. I know, I am a bit odd.

    Happy happy happy birthday to you!

    I pray that this new year brings you an abundance of His peace, joy and especially love.

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