Last Thursday morning I left Oak Harbor, WA and drove across the state of Washington to the city of Spokane–353 miles to meet up with a cherished friend I hadn’t seen in over twenty years. I had told her I would try to come last year, but unfortunately my stamina did not allow me to make the trip. So with faith and determination I called her and we made it happen! It was a beautiful day to leave my island home, drive across the Cascade Mountains and into the farmlands of eastern Washington. I had forgotten just how diverse our state is. I brought along an audio book called “Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper to help me pass the miles. I felt God’s presence, His grace and His peace as I drove along.
I made it to Spokane in seven and a half hours. Thanks to technology my GPS led me to her door. What a joy it was to see each other.Bonnie and her husband Harold had been our mentors for many years. Her husband also suffered a major stroke as did Darryl. It was her story that gave me courage to walk through my story in trusting God. She is a very young 86! Her faithfulness and perseverance is to be commended and followed. We laughed, we cried and we reminisced about things in the past and we encouraged each other about our present and our future. She shares a house with her wonderful daughter Carrie as well. Her beautiful yard, her immaculate home motivated me to declutter, beautify and enjoy my life in new depths.
The Lord has been speaking to me about doing a VLOG. This is a video version of a BLOG. So far I haven’t had the courage and where with all to actually capture some video! At the last minute I grabbed my “stuff”–microphone adapter, tripod and lenses and put them in the car. Our first night I mentioned to Bonnie and Carrie about my vision. They were both a bit reluctant, but eventually we did it! I have a long way to go to learn how to do the right set up, camera angles etc. I couldn’t get the new microphone to work, but we did it anyway! I will be posting the first VLOG soon! Check it out on Facebook if you can, under Martha Rodman. Little did I know that Bonnie’s board members have been asking her to do a BLOG! I think this trip helped encourage her to begin sharing God Thoughts with others.
I reluctantly said good bye Saturday morning to head 143 miles to my nephews home in Richland, WA to celebrate his eldest daughter’s high school graduation. It was a joy to be with my sister Marie’s family and spend time with them all. We do not get to do this that often. I was only there a few hours–but tried to add value, joy and encouragement as I could! We also shared some great smoked pork Matt made!
From Richland I headed 120 miles to Wenatchee, WA to spend time with my sister Carol, her husband Pat and their dear daughter Lyn. I was tired when I arrived, but it was such a blessing to catch up on their life and see how they were doing. Carol has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease since the last time I saw her. Fortunately with her meds, good care from her daughter she is doing well. I learned quickly to encourage her to move and do things for herself–not easy for me to sit back and let her get things for herself. They are a fun group to be with as there is a lot of laughter and joy. This season of life for them is not easy. They are beginning their 80’s with some health difficulties, but have chosen to approach them with hope and encouragement. My daughter Elizabeth sent them a picture she drew with the these words: May the Rest of Your Life be the Best of Your Life. It is the perfect reminder for them to make the most of what they do have, instead of focusing on what they don’t have.
I headed the 174 miles back home to Oak Harbor with my heart full, my body tired and my spirit renewed. I am so grateful that I made this trip. Because of my past health issues I felt stuck. Those have been broken and I am determined to follow Him wherever He leads me. I shared this story to encourage you to follow Him as well. Getting out of your current environment opens up your heart, spirit and thoughts to so many new things. As I am finishing out my 60’s in August I am taking heart by these folks who are in their 80’s to keep on growing, seeking, and living for Jesus.