This week’s blog article appears below, but first I want to announce the winner of Kathy Collard Miller’s book drawing from last week: Judy Morrow! Judy, you won a copy of Never Ever Be the Same. Please send Kathy your mailing address. Thanks to you and all others for participating in the drawing.



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. . . hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 1 Timothy 6:17 NIV

As my husband and I looked through some old photo albums recently we were reminded of a special getaway we shared years ago when we had totally run out of energy for another day and were nearly broke as well! But then God provided as he always does.

“I need a vacation,” I said one morning. “I’m exhausted.”

My husband looked up from the paper. “I’ve been thinking the same thing. But we’d have to do it on a budget,” he apologized.

That statement dampened my enthusiasm a bit but I still wanted to go. “How about a couple of days in Death Valley?”

“Sounds great.”

Two weeks later we were on the road. When we arrived at the campground we headed for the Visitor Center right away. The ranger handed us a map and guide booklet with directions to all the sites. Over the next three days I was struck by the incredible hand of God all around us––from sand dunes on the floor of the Valley to snow-capped peaks forming tall boundaries, and majestic tree trunks swirled by time and wind. My exhaustion lifted as God replaced it with a sense of wonder.

We also visited a ghost town on the Nevada border. Only a few brick and mortar walls remained of what once had been a bustling community of gold prospectors.

“What a contrast,” I remarked. “God’s creation surpasses time. But look what happens to man’s efforts.” I pointed to the broken windows and weed-strewn roads. It was no surprise that God wants us to find our riches and rest in Him.

We drove back to the campground in silence. That night we crawled into our tent, tired but content. As we gazed at the sea of stars overhead and listened to the wind whipping the branches of the tree outside we were aware of God’s presence in a totally new way. We had come to this place on a budget––but we’d return home rich in the gifts of the Lord.





Heavenly Getaway — 10 Comments

  1. Yay! I’m so thrilled I won Kathy’s book! Thank you to her and you, Karen, for providing this sweet gift–definitely a day brightener on what has been a challenging day.
    And thanks for this lovely post. I loved the contrast between man’s efforts and God’s creation. I’m always renewed by the beauty God has given us to enjoy. We simply need to see it, don’t we?

    • Congratulations on winning, Judy. What fun! And thanks for your lovely words about this week’s post.

  2. What a beautiful getaway vacation you had … and concluded with a new awareness of God’s presence … I’m so happy for you, Dear Karen, and admire your creativity with the budget and best outcome. I always learn something new and admirable from reading your Monday posts. Thanks, Karen. God bless you and your beloved Charles. Jing

    • Thank you, Jing. I appreciate your continued support of my blog and it is a blessing to me to know that my experiences inspire you in your life.

  3. Isn’t it wonderful to have great memories? Herb and I took an unbelievable trip outwest and we were constantly amazed at all of God’s beautiful creations!

    I see them in my yard also. The wind has been ‘whipping’ the Palm Fronds in all directions for two days now, and when the sun is “just right” and one of the branches is still for a few seconds, it looks just like a long row of sterling silver blades! Just beautiful and I just marvel at all of the beauty that we have available to us and yet, we often do not even notice!

    Thank you, God, for your beauty, eyes with which to see them and the aboility to remember these precious moments!

    Love to you, Margaret

    • Thank you, Margaret. The wonders of nature surround us and I keep being inspired to lift up the name of the Lord, the creator of all things, as you do.

  4. Kathy your vacation sounds heavenly! If I may, I was wandering if your maiden name was Collard? I knew Collards’ from Arkansas.

    • Hi Mary. Karen here. This week I wrote about MY vacation with my husband Charles. Kathy was a ‘guest’ blogger for last Monday only. If you’d like to ask her about her maiden name of Collard, feel free to contact her directly at her email address:

  5. Karen your words helped me to live vicariously through your experiences. I loved how the Lord totally renewed you two by camping out at Death Valley. Your words were so vivid that I could see you two as clearly as when I watch t.v. It really inspires me to think how only the Lord can renew us when we are overwhelmed or exhausted. That is a comfort. Thank you so much for your inspirational

    • Thanks, Sandy. I’m happy to know my story inspired you. I always appreciate your encouragement.

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