Friday, April 27, 2012

between two worlds

"Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly desires that war against you. Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that in a case where they speak against you as those who do what is evil, they will, by observing your good works, glorify God on the day of visitation."   1 Peter 2:11-12

Driving home from Indiana yesterday after a wonderful visit with my family, this passage kept coming to mind.  My worlds are very different.  My life in Indiana varies greatly from my life in Georgia.  Neither one better than the other, just different.
Different places...different people...different me.  
There are times when in one world, I long for something from the other.  
Lunch with a friend, family time, one of the best cinnamon rolls ever made, Grandma's cooking...I miss things like these when in Georgia!
Similarly, when in Indiana, I miss the fellowship and worship at my church, eating at my favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant, and sleeping in my own bed...to name a few.
As I was driving and thinking, a longing rose inside me...not for Indiana or Georgia...but for heaven.  This is just a temporary residence, no matter the state listed on my license.  Life here is to be lived to the fullest for God's glory, but held onto lightly.  The happenings in this world will never compare to what is awaiting in eternity.  It is easy to forget this at times, but yesterday I was reminded in my spirit that there is something better coming.
My life lived out here on earth should promote the life I am waiting for in eternity. 
Jesus should be proclaimed.  
God should be given glory.
Wherever my feet may go, my prayer is to live intentionally while wandering through this foreign land full of grand adventures!

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “the One who is, who was, and who is coming, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Penguins!


"It's practically impossible to look at a penguin and feel angry."  ~Joe Moore

The sun was shining so brightly that I did not know there was a penguin in this nest until I downloaded the photos.  

The next generation of cuteness!

Tears came to my eyes when the reality of it all hit me...I was seeing penguins in the wild in South Africa!  
 
Lots of nesting going on in March.

2nd dream come true...√

Cuteness in a penguin suit. :)



emerging from the sea

One happy me...lots o adorable penguins!

Is it any wonder they colonized here?!?  It was so beautiful in Simons Town!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Amsterdam in a day...

An extended layover in Amsterdam on the way home from Cape Town gave way for an interesting few hours of making our way through the train stations and canals of Amsterdam.
As I was standing in the walkway waiting for the Amsterdam security agents to check passports as we all exited the plane, I was longing for the 80° and sunshine Cape Town had given us as a going away present just a few hours earlier...and knew I was in trouble.  The list of pros of only taking carry-on luggage goes on and on.  However, there is a short list of cons, too.  One of the items on my short list would be no room for tennis shoes.  Although tempted to squeeze them in as I packed for the trip, I told myself I could tough it out in Amsterdam with only my sandals.  "It's only for a few hours.  How bad could it be?" I remember telling myself in a convincing tone.
Um, yeah...it was more than bad.  It was harsh.
March 8th, 2012 weather in Amsterdam:  maybe 40° F, windy, and 100% chance of rain.
There was no going back now, though, so off we went to see what we could see.
First task was finding the lockers in the airport in order to store our bags while in the city.  Having done that with relative ease thanks to the airport being marked very well, we went to an ATM to have Euros in hand for the adventures awaiting us.  Task two down, there was one last thing to do in the airport - train tickets to Centraal Station.  Again, it was so easy to find the ticket station, and there was no line; things were going so smoothly.  The gentleman told us what "train" to look for and off we went.  Little did we know the numbers he gave us were for the station not the train itself.  It was a minor mistake that ended up okay in the end.  We had a luxurious ride on a train through town with a gracious attendant who took pity on us and did not charge us any extra and kindly directed us to the stop we needed in order to get on our correct train back to Amsterdam Centraal.  As we exited the train, she even stepped out and caught my attention and reminded us of the new number we needed to look for at this station.  Such a kind lady.  She's probably still laughing...
After a few minutes of standing there becoming aware of our surroundings and chuckling at our rookie mistake, we come to realize that the number we need is literally on the other side of the tracks.  We couldn't get there from where we were without going down the escalator and back up on the other side.  Making our way as quickly as we could, we still managed to miss the first train by seconds.  We rechecked the schedule and asked an attendant where the next bus to Centraal was and waited a few more minutes.
All this time, it was easy to notice the people bustling by were all wearing black/dark gray...everything, head to toe.  Maybe I noticed because due to the contrasting colors of my wardrobe.  I was wearing a white shirt and jacket, lavender skirt and white sandals.  Trust me when I say that I was the only person in the entire city wearing anything white.  I might as well had a neon sign on my forehead that read, "Tourist".  It was humorous.  They were bundled up tightly, too.  I was cold, trust me, really cold, but for those who were locals, they seemed a little overdressed for March.
Or maybe not.
Once on the correct train and headed toward our original destination the game plan became our focus.  Part of me, my toes especially, wanted to just call it an adventure and head back to the airport.  It was warmer and drier there.  But, we were in need of lunch prior to returning, so we exited the train at Centraal and did a quick-see of our options: walking around the streets of Amsterdam in the pouring rain or taking an hour tour on a covered, heated boat ride through the canals.  "Alex, I'll take canal ride for $200."
Two steps away from the train, I knew why all the locals were wearing layers upon layers.  The windchill was crazy cold.  And, away from the buildings, the rain pelted you with little, tiny individual stings with each drop.  I was ever so thankful and grateful for the boat that saved the day.  At my feet was direct heat, thawing out the frozen phalanges.
The tour of the canals was a great way to see and learn alot about Amsterdam in just a short amount of time.  The arhictecture and design of the canals, bridges, and the homes/apt. buildings makes the city beautiful.  Otherwise, at least on a rainy winter day, the city seemed very industrious looking.
My favorite things of the entire day were seeing people's "houseboats"...literal homes on the water...and the fresh cut tulips in the flower shops.  The tulips spoke my language...SPRING!
A woman had her two teenage grandsons with her on the boat.  She grew up in Amsterdam and was giving them the tour and a personal history of places along the route.  Once I realized she was very familiar with the territory, I asked her about where to find a good lunch spot once docking.  She was very helpful in directing us to an area that held many dining options.  So, after our canal ride, we went as directed and searched for a genuine pub experience of Scott's choosing.  We found a quaint little place with a great name...Cafe de Ster.  The print on its awning out front says it all..."the real Dutch pub experience".  I had a wonderful bowl of piping hot tomato soup (one cannot go wrong with tomato soup on a cold and rainy day) which warmed me up quite nicely.  Scott had some kind of "wurst" something or other.  Let's just say, from the food menu options they did offer, I am thankful the soup of the day was tomato.  :)  No one else in the pub was eating...only partaking in their pub beverages.  The food was good and warming and the service was courteous and welcoming.  That's all that mattered to this underdressed-for-the-weather tourist from America.
After milking the lunch hour for as long as I could, off into the streets of Amsterdam we went.  I knew from a friend who lived in the Netherlands for 5 years, that bicycling was the preferred way of transportation in the city, but seeing it in person was incredible.  Bikes here, bikes there, bikes everywhere!  They even built a parking garage near Centraal Station only for bicycles.  It holds around 9,000 +/- bikes so I'm told.  Crazy but cool.
Amsterdam's store window displays are unlike any other I've ever seen.  Its reputation speaks for itself loud and clear as you stroll down the streets.  I am thankful that looking down at the ground to avoid the water puddles was taking alot of my attention as to distract from what was right before my eyes.  
There were a few window displays that drew me inside.  The sweet tooth in me needed some attention and I was glad to give in as we strolled along.  The desserts (yes, that is plural) that I enjoyed in the few hours we spent in the city were well worth the Euros and calories spent on them.  Captivating to the eyes and scrumptious to the tastebuds!
After one last stop at a quaint cafe for a cup of coffee and crème brûlée, back to Schiphol we went.  This time on the right train the very first try!    Not nearly as luxurious as our first train ride of the day, but comforting in the fact that we, indeed, were heading in the right direction for the plane that would take us home.  I was so ready for some Georgia sunshine and hugs from my boys!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Joining in on the Party!

Ultimate Blog Party 2012
Welcome!  It is nice of you to come by and visit. I am new to the UBP and am looking forward to visiting other blogs during the party.  It's exciting and an honor to have new and returning visitors to my humble blog.
As my blog title indicates, I am Janet Rose... a Daughter of the King, a wife of 10 years, a mom of two awesome boys, and many other things you'll find me writing about now and again.
I am what I consider a casual blogger...just me jotting down random thoughts and posting photos for the simple pleasure of having a memoir of my journey through life as God directs my footsteps.
Some of my favorite posts would include...
Keep Moving Forward
the ministry of friendship
and
only for a moment
Thanks again for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

reminded of His anointing

"Now it is God who makes both 
us and you stand firm in Christ. 
He anointed us, 
set His seal of ownership on us, 
and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."  
2 Corinthians 1:21-22

Responsibility lies on my shoulders to make wise decisions for an entire group of people.  Feeling overwhelmed at times, it is a daily battle against fear and worry.  Once a few more i's are dotted, it will get easier for a time, but for now I go on keeping fear at bay only by the grace of God.
God spoke the above verses to me this morning in my daily devotional and my soul leapt for joy at the reminder of His power...His control...His choosing...His anointing.
God's got this.  
It's going to work out for His glory.  
He will show Himself mighty.
One step at a time, He will lead me along His path, not only for me, but also for those I am to lead. 
He is that awesome!   

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

sprinkler aerobics

85° and sunshine beckons the sprinkler to return to the end of the garden hose.  
When there's a sprinkler in the yard, two boys cannot resist running through and jumping over the spray of water.
Two boys tremendously enjoying themselves in their own backyard pulls Mama away from her yardwork so she can grab the camera and enjoy the moment with them.
In April?







 You bet!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Oh, to be here again...



Missing Alaska today.
Wishing I were there again...especially trekking across Matanuska Glacier.
It was an extraordinary adventure with sunshine, warm temperatures, and my friend, Kim, who loves Alaska as much as I do.
We drove to the address I had for glacier trekking, only to find the little shack in the middle of nowhere closed with a phone number to call for more info.  I called and was informed that an excursion was going to be taking off in just a few minutes, less than two miles from where we were at the time.  So, after backtracking down a gravel road we drove to find the shack in the middle of nowhere, we made our way on down to MICA Tours and prepped for our first ever trek into the heart of a glacier.
We were expecting an hour and a half trek, but the one going out was 3 hours...and for a little more than we expected...but we went anyway.
It was the right thing to do.
Definitely.
On the ride back to where our car was parked, we learned from those with us on our trek that this hike almost didn't happen for us.  The group we were with had been scheduled to leave a half hour earlier, but for whatever reason, they were delayed.  When my phone call came in they figured that waiting a few more minutes wouldn't make that much of a difference, so they waited on us to arrive and get all of our gear on so we could join in on the fun.  Kim and I looked at each other in the van in disbelief that we almost missed the entire awesome trek by a matter of seconds.  God was so good to us to give us this afternoon and we were very thankful for it!
Three hours of walking on a beautiful, slushy bed of blue ice with warm sunshine on my shoulders...
It made me happy.




 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

In Cloud Nine


"When scattered clouds are resting on the bosoms of hills, 
it seems as if one might climb into the heavenly region, 
earth being so intermixed with sky, and gradually transformed into it." 
 ~Nathaniel Hawthorne 

Saturday morning in Cape Town smiled sunshine and warm temperatures down upon us. Maybe not so warm to the locals, as it was approaching the end of summer while we were visiting, but to me...it was marvelous.  Table Mountain was on the agenda for the day.  It was going to be a great day to be atop a mountain, I thought, as I walked out of our hotel and beheld the view of the mountain before me.
Then I saw it.  
The cloud.  
It was looming over the very spot on the mountain where we were headed in just a little while.  It made us laugh for we do have a history of being in high elevations with terrible viewing conditions...this would just be added to the list.  It doesn't disappoint or surprise us anymore.
It is what it is...our destination...in a cloud.
a cable car ascending into the cloud

view of Cape Town from the cable car as we entered the cloud
The cable car ride up to the top of TM was pretty cool.  The floor inside rotated 360 degrees so everyone had a chance for a great view at one time or another during the ride.  The air, as we approached the top, was refreshing and sweet smelling.  It was difficult to believe how high we were above the city because of the walls of cloud that surrounded and held us there securely.
We ate lunch atop TM.  Table Mountain Cafe had a view unlike any other cafe in which I have dined...


It is better to have your head in the clouds, and know where you are...
than to breathe the clearer atmosphere below them, and think that you are in paradise.
~Henry David Thoreau

While in Cloud Nine, I saw a mountain lizard and a dassie.  It is said that the closest relative to a dassie is the elephant.  Really?  I did not get a great photo, but does this little fella look anything like an elephant to you?    

Amazing adventure atop TM in a cloud.  And, it was only the beginning of a glorious day.

"There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, 
who rides on the heavens to help you
and on the clouds in his majesty." 
Deuteronomy 33:26