Tuesday, March 13, 2012

blue skies

I miss blue skies something terrible.

I like to be outdoors, but I'm not a nature buff per se.  I'm not an outdoor adventurer, but I've learned over the last several years that I'm very affected by the sun's activity.  I yearn to see sunrises and sunsets.  More than ever.  JD and I talk a lot about living in the country one day and some of that is rooted in my great desire to live on a hill with pasture so I can sit and watch the sun set and rise. A couple of years ago, I was pricked by this verse:

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.  Psalm 19:1

If this is true, then the people of China are missing out.  Lord, have mercy.

From the moment the tires screeched in Hong Kong, we have not seen the sun.  I don't mean to go on and on about it, but I'm about to go completely mad!  The weather has been grey and dismal and ugly and sad for two straight weeks.  Have you seen the sun in one stinkin' photo?  Me neither.

When I hear that the weather at home is so beautiful that Avery, Brooks and Jackson are playing at the beach at Gramma and Papa's, my heart is filled with gratitude of what we're returning to.  And then I feel for the people of this world who don't have the fortune of experiencing the simple, beautiful pleasures of God's creation on a regular basis.  In fact, we experience it on so much of a regular basis that it's taken for granted half the time (a-hem, pointin' the finger directly at myself).  I realize that China isn't like this year round, but even just weeks and weeks is tough.

Can someone pass the Vitamin D, please?

Moving on...

We wrap things up here in Guangzhou today.  We'll hang around the Island until this afternoon, let James get a little nap in and then head by van to Hong Kong.

But before we go, let me tell you a little about yesterday.  After our time at the U.S. consulate (no camera allowed), we headed to the pearl and jade market.  I was expecting an outdoor market like the one in Hong Kong, but this was a full-on mall.  Actually, it blew away Tyson's or Potomac Mills or Short Pump.  Only in size though.  It was 6 stories?  Maybe 8?  The stores were packed in like sardines.  The Chinese way of urban life makes me claustrophobic.  It's very tight.  Everywhere.  

I believe this is a school.  
(Look at the weather!  I'm sorry, I'm sorry...I just can't take it...the poor children!) 

This shot is on the interstate.  Notice the Chinese writing on the road?  The driving here is altogether different from home.  Very little stopping at intersections -- just merging and missing other cars by inches.  There's an unspoken language -- no road rage or real anger at coming so close to each other.  Very interesting.

This is a bead shop (among hundreds) in the mall.  I couldn't even shop it was so overwhelming.  

Floor after floor after floor of store after store after store.  Oye.  

Outside was the pedestrian mall.  My first impression was of Times Square, I kid you not.  

Here's a video too.

Payton (and James who constantly pointed his little finger at her and gave his little grunt asking for more) enjoyed a strawberry kabob with a caramelized sugar glaze over top.  
We got a smile out of her on that one!  

This was taken in the pearl shop we went into.  This woman is stringing pearls by making a knot between each pearl.  Notice the bags and bags of pearls on the back wall.  We started wondering if they were real, but our guide and the workers assured us they were.  Hmmm.  

One final note because I always love good book recommendations.  I'm sure you readers out there can relate to reading a book during a certain trip or vacation and those two experiences being associated in your mind forever.  Well, such was my experience on this trip.  

Here's what I brought: the Bible, the devotional 'Jesus Calling' and the book 'Seven.'  Highly recommend them all.  They were my saving graces when I needed to slip away and slow down and get a good shot of perspective.

'Jesus Calling' gave me that jolt I needed when I felt far from the Lord or just off.  It takes five minutes to read the day's reading.  And I've never had a devotional speak more sweetly to my soul.  If you're looking for something to start your day on the right course, this is it.  

'Seven' is a great book if you're feeling like you'd like to change things up in your life, but you're not sure how or where to start.  Not to mention that Jen Hatmaker is hilarious.  She had me laughing out loud.  It takes a lot for me to audibly laugh if I'm not laughing with a living, breathing human being.  Good book.

There you have it!  Not sure if I'll blog again before we head for home.  Actually, not sure if I'll blog again once I am home!  ha!  


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