Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Walking in the Garden

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This is a podcast of this post.

Note: What follows is a post I wrote today... it is just bits and pieces, just as I wrote it. No editing. No polishing. If there are errors they will remain.

I am going to make a podcast for it that will include bits of the music I was listening to as I wrote it.

You can click the pictures to enlarge them.


I never did get into a spiritual routine this summer.

I wanted to, I intended to, I promised I would. It didn’t happen.

And that is ok.

The rhythm of the teacher’s life is one of change. So, my spiritual life must follow that sort of rhythm. I find my time for prayer as it fits in between hikes in Yellowstone, rinsing paint from brushes, and taking graduate classes.

Today, right this moment, I am praying and writing, and breaking my fast while resting at a little shrine on a hilltop above a Trappist monastery.
(lay novices carried these brick uo here 2@ time)

It is probably the first time a computer has been here. Almost certainly the first time someone brought a laptop, an iPod, a camera, a headset with microphone for recording podcasts, and the snacks and reading material I felt I needed to have with me.
But between these paragraphs has been quiet times, prayerful moments, and I feel reconnected to my Lord.

I’m an hour and a half walk from the monastery (frequent pauses in the hike rising 750’).
(The yellow line is my path)
(Larger than it looks, this quarry is filled with water)
My friend and I arrived about 6:15 this morning to listen to the prayers of the monks, and now we have our own solitude.


Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit... bless me today. Cleanse my heart and wash me clean of the sins, the failings, the selfish concerns I practice every day. Bless me Lord, hear my prayer.

Thank you for my wife, my lovely, sweet Brenda. Help her to know how much she is loved, how much she means to me. Thank you for my relationship with her. Thank you for this good season in our lives when we seem to be communicating better, loving better, listening better. Thank you for my partner and friend Lord. Bless her with strength and peace and the knowledge that I love her more than I love my own body.

Thank you for my children Lord.

Thank you for Jeremiah. For his good heart and his eagerness to please. Thank you for his o...

(interruption... someone has arrived)

Thank you for his tremendous growth over this past year. Thank you for helping me to help him through the challenges that came from that day a year ago when he played with fire in our church, Your church, and caused so much damage.

Thank you for Isaac Lord. Thank you for the indications I hold so dear that he is beginning to come out of his shell, that he is making a little progress in making friends. Thank you for this boy, this young man, who gives me bear hugs and feels safe enough with me to ask all sorts of questions about life.

Thank you for Willy Lord. My breath still shortens, my chest stills constricts when I think of that darling child who bore my name and lies beneath the headstone of petrified wood. Thank you for his impact in my life. Though it hurts still, I am grateful for the lessons I received from his life. That a child can be mine, and I can lose that child, and still follow, still grow, still learn to be Your servant. That life does not stop, even when I want it to... and that life can be good, life can be full of joy, even when the worst happens. Thank you for Willy.

I have one request Lord.

In the midst of the joy in our home I feel a shadow. Our family is happier, stronger than ever, but there is something plaguing our sleep. Each of us has had nightmares for the past week. I wake Brenda from her moaning sleep, she wakes me from mine. The boys complain that they are having bad dreams.

I’m reluctant to claim spiritual warfare at every ailment, every headache, but Lord, there is something creeping about the shadows once again.

So I pray, I ask, bless my home Lord. Send Your Spirit, Your protection to my home.

May the prayers I speak over my family each night be full and strong and protective. If there is sin, if there is wrongness, or curses in my home, bring them into the light Lord so I may call them out to You clearly and rid my home of their influence. If there are forces creeping about the shadows of my house, my home, shove them away, defeat them Lord.

Thank you Lord for all You have given me. Direct my path everywhere I go.

I am Your servant and wait upon your bidding.

Bless me today Lord.

As I walk down from this hilltop guide my steps and prompt me to pause to pray and to look where You would have me Look.

I am Yours my Lord... my master.



It is so peaceful here. So quiet. I’m reluctant to leave. but I have just an hour and a half to get back down to meet my friend. so I best go...
(I love the texture of this old log)

I know I need to keep moving... I’ve got to get down the hill... but a wonderful feeling of joy is sweeping through me... I want to make a note of it it. I feel so blessed! Before me lies a magnificent view of the vineyards of the Willamette Valley...
(Willatte wine is becoming world-renowned)

...and above me are boughs of douglas firs, and within me is a heart that is leaping. I know that my prayers of concern for my home are going to be answered.
I may have much more praying to do, perhaps other actions as well... but I am the Lord’s and He is watching over me. God is good. That is enough...

(I need to trim that beard, I look like a geezer!)

I carried 20 pounds of technology and books and stuff up this hill... 750’ in elevation... but the biggest burdens I had I’m not carrying back down! All praises to the Lord God Almighty! Life is very good.


I’m nearly back to the monastery... A large bird has been circling me... wondering what I am up to...

Shall I post this piece on my blog? The joy I felt as I left the summit is still with me... and I have snapped many pictures of things as I came down... it might be fun to put it together... perhaps a podcast which includes the music I’ve been listening to as I walked.

This has been a good walk... a walk in the Garden... He watches over me, and He walks with me... I don’t do this enough...


Thank You Lord! I praise You! You are my strength, You refresh me when I am weary, You lift my burdens from my shoulders. I love You Lord. I am Your servant. I pray Lord that this joy lasts for a very long time. Permit me to spread this joy to my family.

Thank You for my wife. Thank You for my children. Thank You for my home, and my friends. For my pastor and my work and my life. I love You. Lead me Lord. I will follow. --Amen.


I’m back. On a whim I took an old road through the woods to see where it would lead. I came across s pot where a blue jay came to its end, the signs of its struggle evident in the feathers scattered about.

The slope became gentler, the spaces more open. And I found myself behind large buildings, leased to a vineyard to store their aging wines. Following the directions of a worker I passed the book bindery, the cloister of the monks, and a small cemetery. I know where I am on the map now.

I’m resting now before we have lunch in a few minutes. I think I hear my friend coming.

I still feel the joy of the Lord.

What a refreshing walk for the soul it was today...


I’m home... I met up with my friend... we went to prayers and then ate the lunch the monks had prepared. Afterward he and I walked...
to the picnic area where there is a baseball field... and picnic tables. We talked and prayed.

I needed this today.


Lucy Stern said...

It sounds like a very satisfying day. You were able to relax and enjoy the beauty of the country side, you had a wonderful conversation with the Lord and a chance to pray as you go. I enjoyed the pictures. Hope you have a good start to your school year.

jel said...

Thank your CS, for sharing your walk, it was wonderful!

take care

God bless you and your family!

Big Dave T said...

I think we all need spiritual refreshment in our lives. Once our younger son is back at college, my wife and I plan to travel to North Carolina where I hope for a similar renewal of spirit walking the oceanside sands.

Thanks for sharing. It seemed very real just reading, seeing and hearing it here.

Live, Love, Laugh said...

beautiful post!!! you speak so eloquently, almost in a poetic way, I really enjoy reading what you write. God bless you and yours.

Ame said...

Beautiful meeting God this way ... sharing such intimacy with Him!

I often pray, most every night, God's protection over my girls - I pray the blood of Jesus over them and every piece of the armor over them. I pray that Jesus would fill their dreams with Him, healing them, loving them, holding them, playing with them, teaching them, listening to them. I pray God would draw His angels in really close to care for all their needs.

I also often find myself praying that God would put a hedge of thorns around our bodies, home, house, property, and van to keep all evil far from us in the Name of Jesus Christ.

My oldest often calls me from her dad's and asks me to pray over her on the phone so she can go to sleep. She has nightmares over there sometimes that are difficult on her. My girls sleep better here.

I wholly believe in spiritual warfare over our heads ... in our homes. I pray I am very sensitive to the Holy Spirit so He can fill me with discernment as to what I see, hear, feel, and sense ... and knowledge as to what to do and when to do it.

I believe the more deep and intimate our relationship with Almighty God, the more intense the warfare; and the greater the need to pray for God to protect us from every form of evil.

You are a wise husband and father. Your wife and children are blessed to have you willing to pull away and pray over them so diligently.

Seasons of "discipline" - they look different, don't they :)

Jim said...

Hi C.S. That laptop and camera were your sketchbook for the day. Your walk and prayers were very uplifting to me, even at this distance.
I'm also wishing you a good school year. There's one nice thing about teaching classes, if you don't feel the best about what you did, there will be a new class and a fresh start in the fall.

Vicki said...

I so enjoyed sharing your walk and prayer time today--thank you, C.S.

Will pray over your family today. I went through a series of nightmares a few months ago that wouldn't go away until I prayed against them. They stopped.

Your family is so blessed to have you as their spiritual head/covering. Your heart for the Lord ministers to your readers as well. Be blessed in all things, my friend. So thankful for your blog.

Jada's Gigi said...

Ahhh, even I feel refreshed! That was lovely and the view of the valley was beautiful! Do you know the difference between you and most of the rest of Christiandom? When you find your self disconnected...slipping back into the familiarity of this DO something about it!
and that makes all the difference

Me said...

What a WONDERFUL walk and talk with the Lord. Thank you so much for taking us with you! I will pray for your family!

Anonymous said...

thanks for coming & sharing the day with me, t

curious servant said...

My great pleasure, my friend! My pleasure!

tonia said...

How lovely...I had no idea there was a Trappist Monastery looks, sounds wonderful.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts today.

Paula said...

You inspire me and brought me to tears. God bless you and keep you and the family from the shadows that lurk.

Your Sister In Christ,

bornfool said...

Wonderful post, CS. Very touching. The multimedia made me feel almost like I was with you.

At A Hen's Pace said...

Cool blog you have here! I like the mixture of photos, journalism and prayers. I'd love to visit that monastary!

Thanks for stopping by my place today...

Sally said...

Thank you for dropping by my blog- for through your visit I found this wonderful site. May God bless and keep you in your journey with Him- your prayers have blessed and touched my heart.

Felisol said...

Dear Curious Servant,
Thank you for for bring me along on your magnificiant journey.
"He walks in beauty", was the echo in my heart as I read the blog.
Yet no joy is pure light, it seems to need shadows from darkness as a resonance background.
We did not know true spiritual blessings, if we had not also experienced the forces of the dark.
You have every right to be worried and afraid, due to you horrible history.
Yet, I challenge God to stand by his strong promises:
Hebr. 13.5 "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
6. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."
I cling to these words, have written them beside my father's green chair and on my mother's medicine cabinet.
Yet even as I'm writing, and it's the third time I'm trying to comment on your wonderful blog, I'm getting stopped by unforseen troubles.
This time I will finish, and deal with other stuff afterwards.
May God be with you and protect you and the ones dear to you always!

Lynn Donovan said...

Hi Curious Servant,

I have been reading a book about spiritual warfare and it sounds like you are absolutely in the midst. I will pray for you and hold you up before our King.

Take courage. For was have a spirit not of fear or timidity, but of power, love and self-control.

Be blessed, Lynn

Judas Hate said...


I was preparing to type that I would say a prayer for you and your wonderful family during this time of dark shadows trying once again to infiltrate your home.

I paused with reflection on how often it seems we say we will pray for someone.

So, I just wanted to say that I have said a prayer for you and your wonderful family.

Love, peace and happiness my friend.


MugwumpMom said...

...and He gave evidence of Himself in creation...and it seems He is definitely still visiting those who take the time to meet Him there.
I enjoyed your journey. Thank you for allowing into your intimate time with our Lord. I join with you in your prayer that He "deliver you from evil" and that no enemy shalll come near your dwelling, much less in it, and no weapon formed against you or anyone you love, shall prosper. May He keep you and protect, and make His sun to shine upon you.
Thanks again for sharing..and for your insightful comment on mine.
I will be back.


Mrs. Mac said...

Thanks for sharing your journey ... and about the memory of Willy ...not to be forgotten ... Having come soooo close to losing my son Nathan ... well, your heartfelt prayers to God of thanks for your children brought me to tears. Thanks for popping by my little blog this week.

Lorna said...

wonderful - and awesome encounter with God

Judas Hate said...

Thank you for your love and prayers for my family and I.

That is a greater gift than anything I could have asked for.


Fred said...

I liked the way you wrote this, CS. Raw, with no polish...from the heart. You had an excellent day.

byHisgracealone said...

I love how the Lord speaks through you; directs and guides your words....truly spendid is your heart...and the path He leads you down....Bless you CS


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