Woman Meets Jesus book

The Solace of Solitude

Language… has created the
word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has
created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.

Paul Tillich


We just completed two wonderful months of travel.  In May we drove from Florida to Virginia for the Virginia Festival of the Book.  Along the way we met friends and relatives, ate dinners out, dinners in, had
thoughtful and stimulating conversations, and wandered the museums and streets of Washington D.C.

I spoke about my kids’ books and led lively classroom activities with fourth – sixth graders in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Great fun.

Along the way my senses were filled to overflowing with the early blooms of every flowering tree the South has to offer.  They showed off their purple, pink, white and yellow flowers as if they were flower girls in an endless wedding procession.

We were home a few weeks and left for California for a three week visit with our son, his wife, and two little girls.  During that time I did everything from bake cookies, go on field trips, cuddle every morning with a three- year-old, delight in the cleverness of a seven-year-old, and have cheese and a glass of wine with my husband, our son and his wife in their back yard at the end of busy days.

I met many wonderful women who gathered together for seminars and retreats and were eager to hear how much Jesus loves, equips and empowers them.

From then on to Washington for more seminars and time with family.

During all that time, my senses were filled with the glories of the Bay area and the thousand greens of Washington dotted with colorful rhododendrons.

Those were rich and wonderful times and my heart is filled.  So many thanks to express.  So many memories to hold dear.  So many words to fill the book of my heart.

But now is a time for solitude.  That precious time to delight in trust given. For love expressed. For shared stories.  For generous words.  For friendships that go back forever. And for the joy of being alone but not lonely.

But, unfortunately, I must hurry and do this, because the solace of solitude doesn’t last long! Life seems to interrupt.

Love, Ruth

Ruth Vander Zee
Journey of Faith

Average Can Be Pretty Spectacular

On Christmas Eve, my 6′ 2″ son, granddaughter, and I stood at the base of the Sentinel Tree in Sequoia National Park.  If you look at the picture very closely, you might see us standing tall beneath this tree. You’ll have to look very closely.

Someone who knows all about the Sequoia trees wrote on a plaque beneath this tree, that, although very large, the Sentinel is just an average Sequoia.  Some are much larger and some  are  smaller.

Walking the path through these trees which have stood for thousands of years, have  survived  storm, fire, and man’s desire to cut them down, I am inspired.

I’m inspired by averageness.  If most of the trees I pass are either smaller than average or just  average, then average can be pretty spectacular.  Average takes my breath away.  Average is stately and beautiful.  Average stands tall.  Average has longevity.  Average withstands the storms of its environment.  Average knows the assaults of those who would destroy it and yet survives.   Average invites me to look up.

I experienced holy moments in that forest on Christmas Eve when I realized that God chose a young woman who had a heart of love to be the mother of Jesus.  So on Christmas night, a couple of thousand years ago, when some of those Sequoia trees were just sprouting from the ground, Jesus was born because God in heaven trusted an average young woman. An average young woman who was stately and beautiful.  Who stood tall.  Who withstood the storms and assaults of the people in her world  who wanted to harm her and her baby. Who invites me to look up far beyond the leaves on the top of the Sequoia tree and thank God that he can still use average.

I think being average is pretty good.  Maybe even spectacular.

Ruth Vander Zee
Journey of Faith



Ruth Vander Zee

Ruth Vander Zee
On our journey, I believe Jesus desires us to be our authentic, child-of-God selves.

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