Meeting God in Quiet Places ~ F. LaGard Smith

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Wherever we are, God is always close. But as Jesus himself demonstrated, there is something about quiet times and quiet places that helps us to get closer to God. That special solitude provides a time of rest and renewal from a secular world that is busily ignoring God. It is a time of remembering who we are and why we are.

In the Cotswolds, I experience daily the words of that great hymn written by I. B. Sergei:

My God and I go through the fields together.
We walk and talk, as good friends should and do.
We clasp our hands, our voices ring with laughter.
My God and I walk through the meadow’s hue.

He tells me of the years that went before me,
When heavenly plans were made for me to be.
When all was but a dream of dim conception,
To come to life, earth’s verdant glory see.

For those who walk hand in hand with Jesus, every day is a holiday – a holy day before God. Some of us are specially blessed to have a life more conducive to the peace and quiet of holy days before God. But as someone who finds himself thrust back each year into the harsh reality of big-city madness, I know that the greater challenge is to find God in the midst of a metropolis. To see his hand in the inner city and among the urban sprawl; to find time for him in an already-overbooked schedule; to find a quiet place amid a constant bedlam of noise.

If we don’t take the time to remember, we’re in danger of forgetting his blessings. Therefore, take a few moments every day, if possible, or perhaps plan ahead to spend an afternoon walking in prayer with him. Whenever you feel your hand slipping from his, take some extra time to remember all that he has meant to you. And why not write down some of his special blessings throughout the year?”

This is the village of Buckland in the Cotswolds. I was so excited to stumble upon it with Dear and Katie in 2004 after reading this devotional by F. LaGard Smith. The book is “Dedicated to the people of Buckland, who have opened their hearts and homes to make me feel a part of the village.” We strolled around Buckland and it made me want to re-read the book. This book was one of those “treasures” that I happened upon in my thrift store shopping. I found it at the Senior thrift shop on Whidbey Island in the little village of Langley, Washington. If you ever visit Washington take a ferry to Whidbey Island and enjoy the many quaint towns and beautiful scenery this Island affords. Whidbey Island is one of those places on earth that you can feel closer to the Lord just by being there. May you walk hand in hand with Jesus  wherever you are today, in the hustle and bustle, or in a serene and quiet place.

The top photo is from a walk I took with our daughter in law and the house you see down the road belongs to our son and her.

Meeting God In Quiet Places copyright 1992 by F. LaGard Smith, Published by harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon, 97402

Cotswold Five…

It’s time for Five on Friday hosted by Amy and Friday’s Fave Five hosted by Susanne. Today I’m continuing my reminiscing of our time in Great Britain with our daughter Katie in April of 2004. After our day in Oxford we took a day to drive through the Cotswolds.


This was a literary tour for our daughter to see her favorite authors haunts or inspirations for the books they wrote. We were hoping to see a Hobbit in the Cotswolds. Our first stop was for a snack of treacle close to the Cotswold way. I fantasized about walking the whole of this trail once…


The closest we came on this tour of seeing Hobbit land was just seeing the countryside and coming upon this little village of Buckland which I’m counting as stop number two. Buckland has a lot of history we weren’t aware of when we stumbled upon it. Isn’t that the way it goes when you blog? You come home and look up a stop you made to research for a blog post and find out everything you missed! I wasn’t blogging in 2004 so I’m letting myself off the hook for this trip!



Our third stop in the Cotswolds was Hailes Abbey. Built in the 13th century by the Duke of Cornwall, the beautiful ruins of Hailes Abbey are set amid delightful Cotswold countryside. There was a small church with this graveside next to the Abbey.



Stop number four was Hidcote Gardens. This was early in April and the blooms were still not at their prime except to our delight the daffodils!


All these photos were taken with film not digital. The manicured hedges are always a treat to see.



Lambs were in plenty.


One more stop halfway on the Cotswolds Way was St. Mary’s Church in Painswick. The church of St Mary (originally Norman) was extended around 1480 in the English perpendicular style. The churchyard with 99 yew trees (legend has it that the 100th won’t grow) also has unusual tabletop tombs.

img393This past week afforded me the time and effort to scan our film photos from our trip to Great Britain in 2004. It’s nice to look back and remember the good things that God has allowed in our lives. This trip was a good experience for Dear, Katie and me. I still have the Jane Austen portion of our trip to share and the Monty Python portion, too. I’ve already shared the C.S. Lewis and Tolkien portion in Oxford.

These five stops could be way out of order but I don’t think that matters now. Hidcote Manor Gardens and Hailes Abbey are part of the Heritage Pass that you can purchase for your touring pleasure…

Dear got home from Austin Thursday night so all is back to normal around this old house. I made it to the accountant in the big blue truck and he was helpful as usual. I have a few more things to dig up for him so we can get a few more deductions. I was able to get out and walk in between rain showers by myself while Dear was in Austin which was a great accomplishment for me.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

This is a long post already but today on Mennonite Girls Can Cook I’ve reposted my Chicken Quesadilla recipe with a new twist. Click over to check it out. Also on some of your blogs my comment link takes you to the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog instead of to my home blog (The Happy Wonderer). That happens when the pull down choices for comments don’t include the Name/URL option or the double choice blogger and open ID. On those that give you 5 choices with open ID it won’t let me switch from my blogger ID to my WordPress Blog. TMI? It’s just one of those weird things. Sheesh…I better just let you go now and enjoy your day!