June 11, 2010

Keeping The Joy....

It's been a busy week. TGIF!

Just a while ago, dear husband and I were on our knees, asking God to protect the joy in our hearts and to keep us from despair.

I noticed that whenever we are happily busy doing God-honoring things, the enemy comes to steal that joy by sending us reasons to be discouraged (or distracted) to hinders us or slow us down from doing the things we are supposed to do. Is that true in your life?

So instead of feeling affected, I want to focus on joy by recalling the beautiful day I turned 40!

It rained early that morning.
We were up in the mountain, at Tao Fong Shan. For quite sometime, dear husband and I had been thinking about having this kind of retreat.

Alone, away from our usual daily life, quiet and no rush.

To wake up with a good breakfast I did not prepare was really a rest from the usual.

We sat on a bench here, counting planes passing by. We could see them but not hear them, which was good. This was some good thing for our soul, something we cannot find in the big city where we live. No schedule and appointments to think about except for the next meal when the bell rings.

 Warm vegetables and soup in a cold, wet day... this big plate and bowl were just for me!

Our room was small but neat and without clutter. Oh, those white sheets that smell clean and fresh!

I sat here amazed.

In 1993, dear husband wrote to this monastery but didn't hear back. After 17 years, we made it. I turned 40 here! What a special day! I bask on the truth that I read early that day.

"......All the days ordained for me
       were written in your book
       before one of them came to be..." 
Psalm 139:16 

 God knows that on this day, we will be here, in this country, on this mountain.

Afternoon walks were something to look forward for in this side of the mountain.

The sight was simply breathtaking.

I had a grand time "skywatching" during our short stay here.

What a place to worry about nothing and trust the coming days and years under God's care.

This was the sight at night from our window. It was a long day and I stayed up a little longer than usual but it wasn't long enough to finish my thanksgiving list. And even until now I'm still counting.....

So even if bad news came today, this would not rob me of my joy.

My son Ben has something to say on this. And I'm again encouraged.



Sharon said...

So true. You are very encouraging. It is a beautiful place and glad you had a peaceful time. Happy Birthday!!!!!
God bless, Sharon

Donna said...

Oh, Ruth, the pictures are beautiful, and it sounds like you and your husband had a wonderful time away. It so refreshes the soul...and the body!

I also love clean, fresh, crisp sheets! :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

LLJ said...

What a refreshing way to spend your birthday in such a beautiful place!
I hope the discouragement was lifted.


Anonymous said...

Dear R, so nice to see HK view in your blog! so funny!! actually I never been this place, i hope i can have chance to retreat and "meet" Jesus in silent!