Eternity on our Hearts (Prayer Devotional for the week of April 5, 2015)

Ecclesiastes 3 is the home of the “time for everything” verses, but if you read a little further, verse 11 is an absolute gem: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (NIV). I love the way the New Living Translation says that God “has planted eternity in the human heart” because it makes me think of how faith grows in our lives over time.

 

I’ve mentioned before that Easter is my favorite holiday, and it isn’t just because of chocolate (although, I saw that York now has a Peppermint Pattie bunny, so I’m going to raid the discounted stash at the grocery store on Monday!). The thing I love most about Easter is the focus on hope and eternity. Hebrews 13:14 reminds us that this world is not our permanent home, and Paul tells us in Philippians 3:20 that our citizenship is in heaven. This brief snippet of time that we call life is just a training ground, a dress rehearsal, a preview of eternity with Christ. The best is yet to come!

 

I’m a planner; I like to know what to expect, and I’m not a big fan of surprises when it comes to things that I feel like I should have control over. That said, I got a chuckle out of the way Ecclesiastes 3:11 implied that we humans try – in vain, of course – to figure out the things of God. It’s true, isn’t it? We want answers for this, a reason for that, an explanation for something else … yet, the Bible reminds us that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9).

 

It’s ok to not have all the answers or everything planned out just-so. Sometimes, we just have to walk in faith and trust that God does have a plan, even if we aren’t privy to it. He has put eternity in our hearts, and I wonder if perhaps it’s to keep us focused on the end goal of our endless days together in Glory, rather than getting bogged down in the worries of this world. This Easter, let your focus be on eternity.

Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail in pictures

2014-02-01 12.25.26The Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail features seasonal events throughout the year, and this month is a wine & chocolate pairing. My best friend and I try to “run away” a few times a year (we have 8 boys between us), and this sounded like the perfect girls’ weekend!

There are seven participating wineries* along the Hwy 6/Hwy 105 corridor in south-central Texas. Each winery featured two tasting selections and a sample-sized chocolate dish. Since the event ran Sat-Sun, we needed something to do on Friday evening. So, we started our wine tour off the trail with three stops in the west Houston area: Cellar Door, Circle S Vineyards, and Braman Winery (which also had live music that night).

Saddlehorn Winery

Saddlehorn Winery

*In case you’ve never been to a wine tasting before, I should clarify that the tastings are usually 1 or 2-oz pours, so if you sample 2-3 wines, you get a half to one glass worth, and that’s if they are generous pours. 😉  I promise we didn’t get hammered!!

We stayed in the Katy area on Friday night and started on the official trail with the three participating wineries in the Brenham area on Saturday: Saddlehorn, Pleasant Hill & Windy Wineries.

Windy Winery

Windy Winery

Pleasant Hill Winery

Pleasant Hill Winery

Next, we went to Bryan/College Station for two official stops, plus one extra just for fun. Messina Hof is an old favorite of ours (and their featured jalapeno chocolate truffle was to die for!), but we were excited to discover Peach Creek Vineyards (where we savored a terrific chocolate mole dish!), and we enjoyed some more live music and a sample flight at Perrine Winery in town. We stayed the night there before we hit the last two wineries on Sunday.

2014-02-01 14.24.24The last two wineries were tucked away, one in the rural town of Montgomery (Cork This! Winery), and the other was down a semi-paved road that were it not for signage, we weren’t sure we were going the right direction.

Bernhardt Winery

Bernhardt Winery

Bernhardt Winery was worth the drive into the boonies, though, because we enjoyed a fantastic port-filled chocolate candy, as well as a delicious chocolate cobbler with a dab of ice cream. It was so good that we stayed and tried a port flight, as well. We learned a lot about the history of port wine and sampled some truly delicious wines.

2014-02-02 18.45.35To round out the trip, we got a souvenir glass and handy-dandy corkscrew! We had a blast, learned a bit about some of our favorite wines, but best of all … we relaxed, got away from the hustle & bustle of “real life,” and recharged our batteries for a brand new week ahead. 🙂