Slow Down to Notice…on a Road Trip

Barns of Passing Time

I have a hobby of taking photos from a moving automobile. Like the one above of a barn and homestead with a for sale sign in front view. I can only imagine how many memories and stories that have been noticed in that home or the life that fed that old barn’s history…stories and words wrapped up and knotted deep into a legacy.

Slow Down to Notice

So I take a photo from a moving automobile because I slow down to notice this image of a story that is posted for sale. It’s there, off the road where it’s waiting to be noticed, captured and remembered.

Recently, my husband and I packed the car for a long road trip to home. It was pleasant to be the passenger with my main man and talk about our kids, our grandkids, life, work, politics…we talk about our parents that are living and the ones that have passed to a better place. Memories are shared on road trips. Road trips give us time to slow down and notice, even while the pedal is to the metal.

We slow down on this road trip to notice each other through the stories we share. It’s a verbal embrace. There is a connection when we laugh at each other’s corny jokes or disagree with the other’s opinion about a politician’s decision.

When we slow down and notice someone by listening to spoken words, there will be community, friendship, and a feeling of being safe.

Road trips are good for this. He is not looking at me while I talk, yet he notices me.  He is listening to my words…my voice, my story. And when he shares a story, I may glance over at him, but mostly I’m looking out the window with my head leaning back and resting against the headrest…slowing down my thoughts to hear him and notice him.

It’s ironic that we own a house with a for sale sign in the front yard. Of course I know that bricks and mortar or beams of wood cannot contain life and stories but it’s the people with the stories that walk through an opened back door to have a cup of coffee at the kitchen table.

Slow down and notice them.

We may be selling a house but we are not selling the stories that happened in that house.

We’re on a road trip. We are slowing down to notice a lot more than just the two of us sitting in this car. We slow down to notice and talk about the goodness of God demonstrated everyday in our lives and the peace we have through Christ while enduring trials and a life transition.

When we slow down to notice…to remember the stories of God’s forever faithfulness to us, we are filled with awe and flooded with peace.

Stories are like a road trip. The years fly by at high-speed and there are twists and turns and potholes that slow us down. An unexpected and sometimes unavoidable crash stops us cold. We run out of gas. We have a flat tire. We need help with the repairs. We are forced to slow down and notice the grace and love from God, no matter what the circumstance.

So yeah, I want to slow down and notice my husband and family. I want to notice their stories and words, to embrace them and travel with them on a road trip wherever it may lead. I want to slow down and notice the beauty of God’s grace and his majesty…to hear his words. To be embraced and know that I am noticed by God.

The Flight of the Butterfly

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

In order to live, a butterfly must fight its way out of the cocoon on its own. It is only through this struggle that it gains the strength in its body to move its wings and fly.

Life is like a butterfly – You go through changes before you become something beautiful.

The following are photos of one particular butterfly I spotted while vacationing last year at the Broadmoor Hotel and Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While the views of the beautiful resort are breathtaking in grandeur, I found myself captivated with following one particular butterfly gracefully move, carefree from one hanging pot of Impatiens to another.

So many hanging pots of flowers and so little time for a butterfly to taste the sweetness.

I wondered how long this beautiful fluttering of wings would last.

“You can only chase a butterfly for so long.”
― Jane Yolen, Prince Across the Water

Once upon a time, we had a Golden Retriever puppy. The cutest little puppy ever! Finding the right name for the newest member of our family was very important yet none of us could agree on the right name…until that day while in our backyard, our puppy began chasing a butterfly. The dog was running and jumping and zigging and zagging chasing the butterfly all about. That’s it! We had a name for our best friend to be. We named him, Chase.

I chuckled considering that I was running (not so much jumping) but definitely zigging and zagging to chase after this butterfly! Finally, it stopped for refreshment…I was ready for some, too.

Well, I must endure the presence of two or three caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies ~The Little Prince

This butterfly has certainly done its fair share of work! Flitting from one landing pad to the next, searching for the best nectar.

“…butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life.  And everyone deserves a little sunshine. ” ~Jeffrey Glassberg

We should bask in the sunshine of God’s grace and goodness. We should notice God’s power through the tenacious strength of a butterfly. Count the moments you have each day to experience the Lord’s presence, to be strengthened by his grace. For the more your heart is strengthened by grace the more it will beat for God’s glory.

These photos are borrowed from my photo blog, Remember the Year, a scrapbook and journal of visual memories. I hope you will visit there soon. http://photolog365.wordpress.com