Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Are you blessed by challenges? #TuesdayTea March devotional

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019
Dressed in full armor, ready to accept the challenge.

BIBLE VERSE

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Ephesians 6:11 NIV

Are you facing challenges? Health issues? Work-related stresses? Relationship issues?

When we must work through difficult times, we don’t usually see the reason or meaning for the struggles we endure. After we’ve gone through the fire, we can reflect back on what we’ve gained. Strength. Confidence. Humility. Empathy. Gratefulness.

Bright red cast and crutches

Recently I had complicated foot surgery. If you know me, you know hiking is integral to my well-being….physically, emotionally and spiritually. Four weeks and counting with no weight bearing. Crutches are a pain…literally! Then I’ll face a couple of months with an “orthopedic boot” and then intensive physical therapy. No hiking or neighborhood walks. The hardest challenge is accepting I’m dependent on my husband for many daily tasks. He’s great about helping, but I don’t like limits on my abilities.

Even though this recovery is not the worst health challenge my husband and I have faced, this time of waiting is giving me plenty of opportunity to trust my faith…to stay positive and hopeful about the ultimate outcome. After this, I’ll deeply appreciate being able to walk across a room without the aid (hinderance?) of crutches. I’m clinging to the message in one of the Bible passages I think of when I need strength….fortitude for any and every challenge faced.

BIBLE VERSE

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:13-17

Doesn’t this passage fill you with hope and confidence? No matter the challenge before you, these words give strength to face the difficulty ahead. To pass through the fire….of pain, despair and fear. Our Lord prepares us to do battle with truth, righteousness, faith, salvation and His Word.

Put on the full armor of God. ~Ephesians 6:11 NIV

TRAVEL

We enjoy attending Renaissance festivals, a little taste of the sights and sounds of the past. The jousting knights are the perfect example of putting on armor before the battle. At the Arizona Renaissance Festival near Phoenix, many attendees wear elaborate costumes. Colorful wares are offered in cute shoppes. Tunes from bagpipes and beating drums can be heard. The air has scents of wood fires and roasting turkey legs. There was even a cute tea shop, perfect for my tea-loving self.

Tea shop and apothecary

So today I’m serving Shakespeare’s Romance Tea—white tea, raspberry leaf, hibiscus and peach.

Various jars of teas sold at the Renaissance Faire.

If you’re interested in Renaissance fairs, I recommend the elaborate Arizona Renaissance Festival held on weekends during February and March. For details, visit http://www.arizonarenfestinfo.com.

BOOK NEWS

Some of my author friends have books releasing soon.

LORD OF HER HEART by Sherrinda Ketchersid

Fitting in with the theme of jousting knights, Sherrinda Ketchersid’s debut, Lord of Her Heart, is available May 14, published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. To escape an evil plot, Lady Jocelyn dons a disguise, hoping to find out the truth about her father’s situation. Jousting tournament champion Malcolm, who desires a peaceful life on his own manor, discovers her deception. They must learn to trust each other in this story of romance set in medieval times. Sounds intriguing!

Patti Jo Moore’s third book in her Emerald Coast Romance series, In Tune With Romance, releases later this month with Forget Me Not Romances. We can anticipate another sweet romance as we visit the charming beach town of Coastal Breeze. We’re all ready for some warm breezes, I imagine!

A MOST INCONVENIENT LOVE by Ruth Logan Herne

Currently I’m reading A Most Inconvenient Love, by Ruth Logan Herne. This historical, set on the prairies of South Dakota, is engaging as a school marm and a lumber baron find their way to a happy ever after. I always enjoy this author’s style of sprinkling wisdom among the pages of a great story.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, we thank you for the courage you give us for face the challenges in our lives. Your Word fortifies us with truth, righteousness, faith and salvation. Please be with us as we walk toward the light with joy. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Are you facing challenges? May we pray for you? Have you walked a challenging path and come through stronger because of your experience? What Scriptures do you treasure when faced with difficulties?

I’ve felt the prayers of those of you praying for my surgery. I’d appreciate continuing prayers for my foot to heal completely so I’ll be out on the mountain trails this summer. Thank you for prayers, sharing and joining me for Tuesday Tea.

With blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays in posting.

Have you experienced UNEXPECTED blessings? #TuesdayTea December devotional.

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018
Fruit medley and an apple turnover.

Treasuring the unexpected ….

Welcome to my December #TuesdayTea devotional. I have warm mugs of tea, coffee, hot chocolate and spiced cider to sip while eating today’s treat of fresh fruit with apple turnovers as served for breakfast at a charming B & B during an unexpected travel delay a couple of years ago.

Two years ago this December, we found ourselves in a frightening snow and ice storm. We’d traveled to Denver to attend my husband’s PhD graduation ceremony. The day after, we were attempting to drive home to New Mexico on I-25 in the midst of a winter storm. We’d delayed leaving that morning, hoping the weather would improve or the road conditions would get better. Wanting to get back before the holiday traffic began, we decided take a chance and started the eight-hour (usually) trek to home.

With a blizzard swirling across the highway, we crept along for many tense hours. We’d lost count of how many accidents we’d seen and how many cars had slid off the road. With darkness deepening, we finally realized this was not the night to drive the many more icy miles to reach home. For everyone’s safety, it was wise to get off the highway. But would there even be a place to spend the night or would we freeze trying wait it out in our car?

We were not hopeful about finding a hotel as we took the next exit into the tiny town of Walsenburg, Colorado. Even if we found a place, would there be a vacancy?

But the unexpected happened!

My husband inquired at this Art Deco place we stumbled upon just off the main road through town. He was told they had only one room left. We got the last room available that night!

A welcoming sight as we arrived on a snowy evening.
La Plaza Hotel and Restaurant…a B &B Inn

After grabbing our suitcases from the car and entering the lobby, I was delighted to see the unexpected beauty of the Christmas decorations filling the inn.

Elaborate nativity set in an elegant antique curio cabinet.


Fortunately, the restaurant was still serving a delicious prime rib dinner…an unexpected romantic meal after our stressful travels.

Our charming accommodations….the only room available.
Breakfast the next morning was in the library, where a fascinating collection of nutcrackers filled the shelves.



As we left the inn after breakfast the next morning, we found the skies to be clear….so different from the night before. The roads were snowpacked and we still had mountain passes to negotiate on the drive home, but the unexpected blessing of a night spent safe and warm in a welcoming Christmas atmosphere filled our hearts with peace.

THE UNEXPECTED OF THE FIRST CHRISTMAS

As Christmas Day approaches, we reflect on the events leading up to the first Christmas. The unexpected happened. Our Savior’s mother would find herself pregnant. As an author friend, Ruth Logan Herne, posted recently, this pregnancy was not unplanned. God had the plan for the gift of Christ’s arrival all along. But to the young virgin Mary, the message of her place in this event was quite unexpected. It’s hard to know her thoughts as the angel appeared before her with a startling message….certainly an unexpected announcement.

And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus…..Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be? Luke 1:31-34 (KJV)

A nativity ornament painted by my mother.

Yes, we can be blessed by unexpected treasures. May you find many unexpected joys this Christmas season and be surrounded by love and peace.

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays.

#TUESDAYTEA with Travel & Treats!

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Just a quick post featuring some tea treats we found during our recent travels….

This cute little teapot is in a display at the Hill Air Force Museum in Utah….a little spitfire replica.

Spitfire Teapot, WW II era--Hill Air Force Museum, UT

Spitfire Teapot, WW II era–Hill Air Force Museum, UT

We had a delightful brunch at a Scandinavian cafe in Portland, Oregon, which featured these DELICIOUS aeppleskivers.

Yummy aeppleskivers served in a Portland, Oregon, cafe.

Yummy aeppleskivers served in a Portland, Oregon, cafe.

And the tea was served with this unique infuser.

Interesting tea infuser at a Scandinavian cafe.

Then we made a stop at my husband’s favorite cookie bakery, Big Moe’s, in Price, Utah. He loves their double chocolate chip cookies.

COOKIES! Double chocolate chip from Big Moe's bakery in Price, UT.

COOKIES! Double chocolate chip from Big Moe’s bakery in Price, UT.

We had a perfect trip, visiting family and going to Easter church services with four generations of my family. A very special treasured time together. And we enjoyed treats along the way. Hope your spring travels-near or far–are filled with great treats and God’s treasured blessings!

TUESDAY TEA – My Writing Travel Bag

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

For tea today, we’re on the road! I’m serving Bigelow’s Constant Comment tea in a leak-proof travel mug along with a Kind almond walnut macadamia bar.

What's inside my writing travel bag.....

What’s inside my writing travel bag…..

Writing time is difficult to find. I’m learning I need to use little bits of time whenever I can grab them. For long stints, I pack my laptop, but for camping or quick trips around town, I’m going low-tech. My Writing Travel Bag has become very important to take with me so I can be productive. What do I keep in my bag?

  • notebook with lined pages for writing and an interior pocket for a print-out of my WIP for editing
  • craft book I’m currently reading  ( Rivet Your Readers With Deep Point Of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson)
  • portable plotting board with lots of sticky notes (I got mine from Pikes Peak Romance Writers a few years ago.)
  • extra pens
  • turquoise notebook which goes with me always to keep ideas about current and future writing projects
  • packet of jelly beans for a writing reward

The bag from Little Miss Matched  (www.littlemissmatched.com) is just the right size with handles which fit nicely over my shoulder for carrying.

Pam Hillman posted about how to organize conference tote bags in Seekerville yesterday. www.seekerville.net  My Writing Travel Bag seemed appropriate for today.

I’m ready to grab my bag as I head out the door to another writing adventure–any time, any place.

What do you carry in your writing travel bag? Please leave a comment with your ideas! Thanks for having tea with me on the road!

I’m titling this “THE UPHILL TRAIL WITH THANKFUL HEARTS!”-a guest post by Collin Stewart

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

THE UPHILL TRAIL....WITH THANKFUL HEARTS.....My husband offered to write a guest post for my blog.  We enjoyed the travel writing workshop and will continue to travel and write together.  And at the end of his post, you will see why I admire him.  So glad he is my husband!

Sherida and I just returned from our WORDHARVEST workshop, Travel Writing and Blogging for Fun and Profit, presented by Lesley S. King.

Sherida and I enjoy traveling and writing.  We have always wanted to explore the options related to “writing up” our travels and to see if we could get them published.  We have enjoyed Lesley’s work in New Mexico Magazine and have attended and enjoyed various WORDHARVEST activities in the past so this workshop seemed a natural fit.  It was a fun class and very informative.

The class was well organized and covered the material very well.  Lesley started us with a bit of writing. Then she described the need for and processes involved with using social media as an aspiring or active author.  Being a non-participant in the wild world of social media, I none-the-less found those parts of the class interesting. I now can appreciate how valuable these tools are to an active author looking to sell into the market place.  Now I’m trying to figure out how to “monetize” my various hobbies via the Internet.

The venue at the La Tienda in Eldorado was comfortable and convenient. Our class had a total of five students.  All seemed to have a fun time and to enjoy the class. Lesley kept things moving along but provided adequate breaks.

I am a mining engineer and my writing tends to be of the technical variety.  So I was looking to experience a bit of creative writing in the class.  There was a lot of good writing stuff developed by the participants and some really interesting insights provide by my class mates.

I kind of went off on my own tangent, writing-wise, but the class was great and humored my somewhat different sense of direction.

Now, because you are a bit of a captive audience, here are a couple of things I worked on in the class. No, not travel writing, just creative contemplations on nature themes.

 

lying under a juniper tree

round blue-gray berries snuggled against gray twigs between green needles

brilliant blue sky

warm sun

cool breeze, drying sweat

rough rocks massage my achy back

tired muscles relaxing

eyelids closing

pink, glowing color fills my vision as my mind drifts, unencumbered

crackle of the radio telling me it was time to move to the next survey point

 

A haiku grew out of a few comments about Ponderosa pines……

 

Tall Ponderosa

red, brown, grey, black bark, rough feel

smells of vanilla

 

One writing exercise asked us to set up a sense of tension–two of my examples…..

The radio hissed quietly, “Okay, I’ve got the target sighted.  Just hold there back in the shadows for a few while I make the shot.”

I moved quietly into the junipers, hidden from the direct sunshine, merging with the shadows.  I sat, rough sandstone against my butt, my back slumped against the bark of a juniper.  Beads of sweat dried quickly in the light breeze. I shivered, waiting for my partner to make the shot. Then I could move on.

Or……

I remember the doctor’s words, “We may not be able to save the leg.  I want you to know that before you go into surgery.”

I felt it was in God’s hands. I would trust in the Lord.

I woke in the ICU.  They had saved the leg.  But nerves were dead, muscles damaged and starting to atrophy . But she had saved the leg.  Now into the recovery phase.  Adapting.  Mitigating impact on family.  Going back to work.  Trusting in the Lord.  Dealing / battling with Workers Comp.

 

I love his haiku!  

The first of Collin’s examples is from the perspective of a survey helper…not a hunter as I first was thinking…and I know he doesn’t hunt.

The second example is from an incident that changed our lives.  Six years ago, Collin was trapped in an underground coal mine for 22 hours–alone, with his right ankle broken and his left leg pinned by a heavy steel door.  It took a few hours to get him out of the mine and to the emergency room where he was in intensive care for two days and in the hospital for six weeks after several surgeries.  Various setbacks during that time tested his strength.  He returned to work in a wheel chair a week after being released from the hospital.  His disability is not obvious, but he has faced many challenges adapting to the leg orthotic, to the pain and to his physical limitations.  He has met these uphill trials and trails with great courage—always trusting in God.   

 

“I lift up my eyes to the hills–where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot slip–he who watches over you will not slumber;…The Lord will keep you from all harm–he will watch over your life;  the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”  Psalm 121

Lost in the mountains….finding my trail to writing….

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

WILD ROSES AND WATERFALLS ALONG THE CREEK TRAIL

Winding through juniper-covered mountains as we drive to Santa Fe to attend a WORDHARVEST travel writing workshop, I am looking forward to meeting New Mexico travel writer, Lesley S. King, who will be our guide on this adventure.  A year ago, after reading her article in New Mexico Magazine about the historic “Turquoise Trail” of mining lore, we drove along New Mexico Highway 14 through the Ortiz Mountains east of Albuquerque.  A souvenir necklace I purchased along the way was the inspiration for “Turquoise Remembrance” which won the 2011 Tony Hillerman Mystery Short Story Contest and became my first publication.

Gathering at La Tienda in Eldorado on this azure-sky morning, it is good to meet Lesley and the other participants who will share this experience.  While Lesley goes over our itinerary, a cool breeze floats through the open door.  Sipping a cup of English Breakfast tea helps me to focus on this trek through the mountains of my writing desires.  We will be finding our authentic paths, discovering our journey companions and deciding what gear to carry along.  To begin, Lesley is telling us to write something….. a moment of panic!  Which way to go?  What am I doing here?  I don’t know anything about writing!  I don’t even know what to begin to write!  But Lesley is a good leader and steps with me as I begin down this trail.

Where am I going?  She helps me learn how to discover my goals. Writing is fun!  And writing a blog is a way to be my own publisher, giving me freedom to write as I wish.

Who will be going with me?  We explore the various social media–Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest–learning how to connect with others.

What do I need to bring along?  Joy, appreciation, curiosity, enthusiasm.

The day has gone by quickly.  It is time to say good-bye, so I leave with a map in hand, but it is still hard to decide which path to take.  One blog or two?  How much social media?  Who is my audience?  What is the purpose of my writing?  Is my goal too lofty?  Is this too hard and too much work?   Do I have the time?

Driving home as the glowing sun sets in front of us, my husband and I are reviewing the day and what we have learned.  We are surrounded by New Mexico’s lavender sky and purple hills, and I now realize which mountain trail I want to take.  Not the one along the rocky summit and not the one through the swift creek.  I want to take the meandering trail by the bubbling brook.  I want to sit and chat with the others along the path as I snack on dried cherries.  I want to draw in the fragrant wild roses and the vanilla-scented Ponderosa pines.  I want to hear the melodies of finches and the chirping of a robin.  Yes, I want the peaceful trail with the companionship of others who enjoy discovering the journey.

As Lesley says in her book, King Of the Road, “Within a single lifetime, most people live many incarnations.  Career changes, family shifts and travel, all add to the journey’s richness.”  So maybe another time, I will take the trail to the mountain crest or the path along the cascading stream.  At this moment, I am adding to my journey through the mountains by joyfully writing what I love (my family, travel, romance, hiking, afternoon tea, food, cooking, history, historic hotels, faith, inspiration, trains, camping, reading) and with whom I love (my hero, best friend and husband of 41 years–Collin Stewart).  And the sun is shining!

“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you.”  Isaiah 55:12