Did I Tell You About Our Trip to Gatlinburg?

What I didn’t tell you Monday in my post was that Jim and I celebrated our eleventh anniversary last week while in Gatlinburg!  If anyone ever asks you if eHarmony works, we are proof positive it does!  He is definitely a blessing to me! jim and me on mountain

If you don’t follow me on Facebook, I thought I’d share a few pictures from our trip.

I joked last week that this picture shows one of the High Points of our trip!  We were actually at Clingman’s Dome which is 6,643 feet high–the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The tour books said it was an easy hike…1 mile. What it didn’t say was that by easy they mean the trail is paved.  It was basically 1/2 mile straight up the side of a mountain!  Luckily, they had benches spaced out every so often…maybe that made it easy too!  Whatever the case, I was proud to have made it to the top!

I’ve been going to Gatlinburg for over 30 years and always wished I could see a bear.  I’ve even been up at four in the morning and driven to Cades Cove to see one to no avail.  However, this year on our anniversary day, May 25, 2013 we saw a bear!  It was actually just off the path on the way to the top of our hike.

We didn’t stick around to watch him long as he was a baby.  I know enough to know that where there is a baby bear, there is a mama bear.  Since there were so many tourists watching, I worried if one were to do something stupid, we could all be put in harm’s way.  Seeing it and getting a photo was good enough for me!  I praise God that I can finally check that one off my bucket list!  Whew…30 years…but I gotter done!

Isn't he cute?

Isn’t he cute?

No matter what time of year we go, the mountains have such majestic beauty to them!

No matter what time of year we go, the mountains have such a majestic beauty to them!

Even though the ride literally goes round and round the mountain, it is beautiful!

Even though the ride literally goes round and round the mountain, it is beautiful!

I am not sure why this dead tree fascinated me, but it did!

I am not sure why this dead tree fascinated me, but it did!

I can't get enough...so beautiful!

I can’t get enough…so beautiful!

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I still can’t believe it! I saw a bear!

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May God's light shine upon you this week.

May God’s light shine upon you this week.

Unplugged

unplugged

Image courtesy of Chris Sharp at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last week, Jim and I were blessed to be able to go to Gatlinburg for several days because of the generosity of some wonderful people.  I know times have been difficult lately and I was definitely tired when we left.  However, I didn’t know how much I needed to get away until I got away!

Even though we were on vacation, I always make sure I take my laptop and current real estate files just in case I need to take care of some business while I am gone.  Sure enough, the day we were driving down, I got an email telling me that I needed to respond regarding a deal I have in the works.  I knew it would be later in the day when we arrived so I planned to get to the cabin, turn on my computer and work immediately on the request.  So after we settled in, I set up my computer only to find that the internet was down!

We called the cable company and they told us they were working on our problem and it should be fixed soon.  So we waited.  The TV finally worked, but even the next morning, no internet.  We called them again and they said it was still out and they would let us know when it was fixed.  Since we couldn’t change anything about our situation, we went ahead, got breakfast and started planning our first day of vacation.  Later that afternoon, it was still not working.  It was now Friday afternoon before the holiday weekend so I wasn’t too worried at that point.  I would get it done before they  got back to work on Tuesday.

As time went on, and each day passed, we still did not have any service.  I found that as each day passed, I really didn’t miss it all that much.  It was really quite enjoyable to sit on the porch and listen to the birds, read a little here and there, and just spend time talking with Jim.  It occurred to me that if I had the internet all weekend, I would’ve been working because that’s what I do.

I thought about that for a while and realized that I think God had another plan for me.  In order for me to be able to get the rest and relaxation I needed, He literally had to unplug my world.  Otherwise, I may never have stopped to enjoy the peace He had provided for us during our retreat in an area of the country I call heaven.

Is there something that you need to unplug in your life so that you can hear God or find peace in your life?  Do you work too much like I do?  Is your life full of to-do lists and other activities that distract you on a daily basis?  Maybe you have something else that God is speaking to you about as you read along.  Although my report had to wait until Tuesday night when we returned home, it was all OK.  It got it done in plenty of time. The fact was, I needed the rest and God knew best.

I’m thankful that I serve a God that cares about me.  He takes care of all of my needs even when I don’t realize what they are myself!  We simply just need to unplug long enough from the worldly distractions around us in order to connect with God and all that He has to offer us.  I am sure we often miss out on blessings because we aren’t plugged into the right source!

I hope you can find God’s blessings amidst the chaos of life this week!  Have a great week and don’t forget to get out there and be a blessing!

Psalm 23:1-3 (NIV)  The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.

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