Joel talks about how sometimes God gives us lollipops...things He doesn't have to give us, that aren't necessary...things that are treats and that sometimes we aren't even expecting or asking for. Living on the lake in Saline is a lollipop for me.
Growing up, my dream was to make the big move from Readhimer to the lake in Saline (about a 4-mile move). :) I was absolutely in love with the lake from as far back as I can remember. I always really thought that I would marry some local boy and live on the lake for the rest of my life. I was appalled at myself that I even moved to East Texas, much less a place like Brazil. I wasn't sheltered or backwards or un-adventurous. I liked to visit places and go on short trips. But, I always just figured I'd do just that...take trips, but live on the lake in Saline.
How sweet of God to let me do that, even for just a short period of time. I tell you what, if you are obedient God will definitely give you some lollipops along the way.
Here are just a few lollipops that I've gotten:
--At the end of our Life Challenge mission trip to Honduras in '99, we had a day to play. We were taken to a place that was like a national park of sorts. We were met as we got off the bus by young local boys who worked as guides (who spoke no English). We were "herded" quickly down the banks of this river to the bottom of a huge waterfall that we hiked behind...it was crazy. Then we were guided along the river to the top of another smaller (but still big) waterfall...this time we got in the water and ran down the rock which was the spillway for this waterfall and jumped in. It was really crazy to be running down a waterfall. Then, right as we surfaced from that jump, we were led up to the top of the bank and told to jump off...a 60 foot jump. We did it. SO CRAZY. But, it was so fun. I was actually able to do the jump twice before we were shuffled back to the picnic area.
--After that day at the park, we were supposed to leave the next day. We got to the airport, but because of overbooking our whole group was delayed a day...so the airline put us up in the nicest hotel in Honduras...like a 5-star swanky place. It was dang cool, and so much fun.
--At the end of our Life Challenge mission trip to Panama in 2000, we had another day to play. One of our contacts there knew this guy who had a house on the beach. So, we traveled to the beach (one of the coolest beaches I've ever been to) and spent the whole day there, snacking on sugar cane. It was awesome.
--This is kind of quirky, but I have always thought it was cool when someone was left-handed. Therefore, I always thought it would be cool to marry someone that was left-handed. I know...a little weird. It was only after Joel and I had decided to marry that I realized he was left-handed. Funny too because we had been close friends for about a year and a half before that and I hadn't even noticed that about him. It's like God had blinded me to even that little thing about him so that I wouldn't be attracted to him before the proper time. But, left-handedness is cool. :)
--I've always loved dimples. I never even thought to pray for this little extra, but all of my kids have dimples. SO FUN.
So, those are just a few of the lollipops that I've had in recent years...the list goes on and on...there are tons. And here I am again enjoying a lollipop. My spiritual teeth are rotten from all the lollipops. :)