Saturday, March 1, 2014


Driving down the Oregon coast is a breath taking feat. It’s where the tall pines trees meander through twisting and turning bends in the road. Sometimes the forest is so thick and tall you feel boxed in and overwhelmed in the deep green maze of mystery. Many spots on the side of the thoroughfare host water dripping ferns and moss that oozes out rain water. Gravity joins in the splendor and sends the seeping liquid across the two lane 101 highway making it wet in patches.  Every so often the lighting changes and a curve in the road will provide you a glimpse of the powerful rocky shores of the Pacific Ocean.
    Doug and I drank in the majesty of God’s handiwork as we made our journey to the south. I found myself taking particular interest to where the rivers spilled out of the triangle mountains and finally reached the ocean shores. There must be billions of water droplet’s that make up that river, I thought to myself. I couldn’t help but be impressed at how a single snow flake that fell out of the sky and landed on top of the mountain could be reformed into a single water droplet. Later, it joined others to create a stampede of crystal clear H20 that traveled across waterfalls, rocks, trees, and other debris all the way to it's destination.  In some places, the rivers seemed to just melt into the ocean as if it was exhausted, in other places there was a dramatic show of power as walls of water crashed into each other.
The river’s mouth is what really intrigued me. During the eight hour drive through wind and rain, I kept looking out the window following the watercourse with my eyes hoping to catch at glimpse of where its ending point was. It was a closure thing for me and sort of exciting to see where each of the rivers finished their journeys.

At one of the more striking spots, I rolled down the window and screamed, “Ta-da!” As much as I loved it, the artist who created it was smiling too. I felt a chuckle in his whisper about celebrations and his nod of approval for me to get a little crazy with excitement.
      Even nature joined in the chorus as waves beat against old lava flows that left strange giant rocks protruding out of the shoreline welcoming the new unsalted water.

       Like a meandering river, I was that snowflake almost four years ago that was transformed and made into liquid energy and carried down a rugged path.  The month before our trip to the Oregon coast, I completed my last reconstructive surgery. I have reached the shore as far as operations go and I am filled with gratitude and creativity.  One of the more important things I have learned during my long adventure is to take time to celebrate little victories and say, “Ta-Da!”  Many times during my course of treatment, I found myself incorporating an inner cheering leader section in my brain and heart to get me through rough spots. There was always a big voice in the background with a megaphone that accompanied my own cheering squad, telling me I could make it. It was God himself. He would help me to squeeze past blocked passages and send me down tumbling back into the river’s flow to complete my journey.  Now, that I’ve finished this particular race in my life, I feel so treasured. I am honored to stand on the sidelines of my fellow snowflakes and yell out the window – You can do it!   

     There are powerful things about celebrations that we should never forget.
  • They encourage and empower us to press on.
  • They prepare us for the next battle in life
  • They position our spiritual eyes on our heavenly Sustainer
  • They rally community and build teamwork especially with those who have traveled down the same path.
  • They create laughter which is medicine to the soul.


Here’s some advice from someone who’s been there- Don’t wait until the end of your battle to start your celebrations. Divide your big battle into daily battles or even moments.   Celebrate at the end of each day your strengths. I’m not talking about climbing a mountain so you can plant your flag and tell the world you are wonderful, I’m saying climb the mountain and breathe it in and enjoy the view!  Before long you will find yourself at the end of your long journey with your head out the window screaming,


But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”    2 Cor. 2:14