Updated: Jan 17
After 10 months of working long hours and many late nights, I set out for a moment of rest with my 9-year-old daughter by my side. I hoped to spend time feasting on some of the wonders of God's creation that I had yet to see, but I couldn't have imagined the glory that lay ahead, or the grand finale God had planned.
When I'm out in nature, I often feel a greater sense of Jesus' nearness, power, and restorative presence. And, as we stood in awe of Mt. Saint Helen's volcanic blast, some 41 years after its initial eruption, we gawked at the story the charcoaled hills told from their clash with ash and lava. The soaring patches of evergreens that remained left the mind to wonder: "Who could possibly understand the depths of God's wisdom to create such a wonder?" ...
Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice?...For everything comes from him and exists by his power & is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.
-Romans 11:33, 34, & 36 NLT
Another day’s adventure took us to South Whidbey Island, where the snowcapped Olympic Mountains were in view. They brought out the giddy, wonderstruck kid in me that uttered a hearty "wowzers" at every turn! I cringed the first time I heard it roll off my tongue, but then it seemed like the only appropriate descriptor for the expansive beauty before us.
The magnitude of God‘s greatness put on display made all the weighty matters in my heart feel rather small. ”If God holds the vast peaks and calm mountain waters, then surely He can handle all that arrests my heart!“ After all, He is the wonder-maker who’s wonders point us to the greatest wonder of all - Himself!”
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?
-Job 12:7-9 NIV
"For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse."
-Romans 1:20 NIV
South Whidbey Island is known for its orca watching, and we waited for hours in the hopes of spotting one. Seals made their clumsy entrance, and an occasional sailboat peacefully drifted by. The pine-fresh air - everywhere - was like inhaling "restoration" if that were possible.
When the whales chose not to surface, we weren't too disappointed-we had already taken in more beauty than we planned for in one day.
The island had another attraction we could hardly wait to see: a beautiful community mural painted just a few months earlier by Jarvis Art Studios. Being the art junkie that my daughter is, this was a real treat...not only to visit such a large painting, but getting to be the girl painted in this piece was a gift.
While I was still trying to get my jaw off the ground from the natural wonders we were so blessed to catch sight of and the excitement I felt for this dreamy opportunity my daughter received, she began buzzing at the idea of heading to the Seattle Space Needle later that afternoon...
We drove our rental onto the "car" ferry-all while freaking out that our car was riding a boat! Bright-eyed and animated might accurately describe the emotions of the moment. "We've never done anything like this before!"
Upon arriving in Seattle, we continued this sweet adventure of enjoying God’s presence and making memories together...
Being the coffee lover that I am, I bored my daughter during a 40-minute wait to get into the first Starbucks store...
The art, culture, and food at the Pike's Place Market had my 9-year-old hooked, as she asked to return daily throughout the course of our trip...
The iconic flying fish were a highlight too...