Monday, August 1, 2011

Peace Attendeth...

I celebrated my 36th birthday on Friday (ouch! the "closer to 40 than 30" thing stings a bit). But that's OK, despite the added wrinkles, each new year of my life I like better than the last. It's an upward climb spiritually and relationally. Those things matter.
I'm embarrassed to admit that Darcy and I have not been anywhere alone together in over 4 years! I guess between a new baby, a new home and a new career, time and years have slipped on by. This weekend we were blessed to get away. Friends of the family own a couple of cabins up north on the AuSable River. We left Friday afternoon for a weekend getaway.
Just. the. two. of. us.
Below is a photo of the cabin we called "home" for the weekend.
It sat secluded, smack dab in front of the AuSable river.
(the next two photos are our view from the cabin)
As clear and clean as can be.
We had such a relaxing time,
free of distraction and interruption and the noise that life can bring.

Those northerners enjoy a much slower pace of life,
and it was widely welcomed here.

On Saturday, we kayaked down the beautiful AuSable River,
taking in views that put gorgeous to shame.
This was by far my favorite part of our whole weekend.
I finished feeling very centered and peace-filled.
While kayaking away down the AuSable, lyrics to the song "It is Well With My Soul" immediately began playing over and over again through my mind..."When peace like a river, attendeth my way..."
Inspired. Words and imagery and thoughts flooded my mind with such persistence throughout that whole trip. I'd blurt out phrases and snippets to Darcy along the way. When we were done, I wrote them down and shaped them...trying to capture in word, the experience that was so refreshing in spirit:

Peace attendeth...

Ore hits water, and current moves us.
I quiet my heart and calm overtakes me.
Do You hover here?
We paddle our way into a crayola box of green and brown,
Hemmed in among wooded towering forest of cedar.
The river takes us where it wants,
as if it has a story to tell,
knowing where to run and where to lap and rest.
Here, I find rest in You,
and Peace attendeth.

Amazed that branch knows where to grow and where to drink
in the place You have assigned for them.
Nature as intended. Raw. Untainted. Synchronized.
In step with Your Spirit,
and Peace attendeth.

A place where trout finds home and bird lifts songs of praise,
pouring forth speech, declaring Your glory.
Free of the uninvited interruption of man and world.
I share in this freedom,
and Peace attendeth.

Dragonfly frolics with cattail and lavender thistle,
flirting in playful dance of deep midnight and peacock iridescence,
gifting us with a splash of vivid for miles upon riverbank.
Reminding me of life, movement, and revival.
You move in me,
and Peace attendeth.

Wildlife hides in the stillness and quiet of shaded forest.
Where pine needles crunch and twig crackles,
yet nothing is hidden from You.
You listen to my heart,
and Peace attendeth.

I gaze at the rolling clouds,
owning the sky in magnificence,
proclaiming the work of Your hands.
The river, belonging to You,
claps her hands in song.
The earth is satisfied by the fruit of Your work.
Fallen birch takes it's final rest upon
life-giving, thirst-quenching familiar waters.
I drink of Your living water,
and Peace attendeth.

We navigate around bends of river,
love languages whispered and met in unison,
spirits effortlessly connected
as we draw close to creation and Creator,
and Peace attendeth.

Unfailing love rests upon us.
Our hearts rejoice.
Rest and gratitude overflow,
and Your Peace,
like the river,

Later Saturday afternoon, we decided to take a short drive into a nearby town. We were pleasantly surprised to stumble upon a celebratory main street booming with locals, vendors, a street fair and the hype of their 64th annual AuSable River Canoe Marathon.
I guess there are only 3 international canoe marathons. This is a 120 mile race that begins at 9:00pm with racers canoeing through the darkness of night, enthusiastic about their chances of winning a $50,000 cash prize.
Apparently, many train all year round for this event. We heard they average one paddle/stroke per second! It was very exciting to spectate. The racers lined up their canoes on the street and had to run and carry them 1/4 mile before dropping them into the river.
(click on photo above to enlarge. the intensity is apparent)
After the excitement of the race, we made a sweet escape back to the quiet of our cabin and enjoyed the rest of our weekend
soaking in each other,
creation and our Creator.
It was everything I needed
(and much more.)


  1. Breathtaking! Just beautifully written. Although I don't know you, I know we would get along well! Thank you for your inspiring words and for letting me in on your world...

  2. thanks for sharing, was wondering how the weekend went. Looks like you were blessed with "just what you needed"

  3. i cannot imagine a more perfect birthday weekend. and your beautiful poem...i felt like I was floating down the river, experiencing it (perhaps a dragonfly over your shoulder)! i am so full for you...i love those moments of absolute refreshment and peace. and what an adorable picture idea (the shadows). happy, happy birthday to beautiful 36 year old you (you make 36 look FABULOUS, by the way!!). Praying an abundance of Christ, an abundance of peace, an abundance of joy over this next year. Love to you!