Word of the Week: Journey



jour ∙ ney – \ˈjər-nē\


: the act of traveling from one place to another

: a process of changing and developing over a period of time

: my car


: undertake a journey or trip

: travel upon or across

journey butterfly


Financially savvy folks save to pay hard cash for a new (or newer) car. That’s not us. We paid our cash plus interest faithfully every month for five years and finally ripped out that last coupon. I’m not interested in a new car or a new car payment any time soon.

Although soon may come sooner than we think since my husband continues to drive his 1997 Saturn with its 508,000 miles. He’s been faithful with routine maintenance, repairs and replacements. In fact, our mechanic inserted a “new” 1996 engine four or five years ago. My husband’s driven that car the length and breadth of Michigan several times over–not with me, though, if I can help it. It’s like riding in a tuna can. I’ve dislodged the wires that connect his added-on satellite radio numerous times when I’ve squeezed into the passenger seat. I refuse to travel in it to any company function and chance having to park next to a silver Lexus.

My 2009 silver Dodge Journey embarrasses me less, and it’s much easier to disembark from it in a formal dress and heels.

When we shopped for a new car, one major requirement was that it have rear space to carry all the baggage we normally take on a trip. It also needed to have enough room to house a harp I’d recently purchased. I planned to drive three hours round-trip every other week to take lessons and perhaps, when (and if) I got good enough, to travel around and play it therapeutically.

In order to keep the cost down, we refused “luxuries” such as power seats, a backup camera, XM radio, DVD players, built-in navigation, or smart keys. We did, however, spring for a sun roof so I could have some semblance of a convertible life during the few months in Michigan where top-down travel is even feasible.

Now we wish we’d gotten at least the camera to see what dangers might lurk when we travel in reverse. And maybe leather upholstery for easy clean-up. Of course, five years ago, dogs weren’t on our radar. Now considering how these two have munched their way through our leather furniture, it turns out fabric, despite the stains, may have been the better choice. Who knew?

My mom fell three years ago this month.

The next three months after that were quite a journey, and I journaled through them here on this blog. I traveled many miles back and forth in my Journey and in my journey. The last five weeks of Mom’s life, my sister, dad and I camped out in the hospice home overlooking the bay that led to Lake Michigan. I took my harp and “noodled” notes and plunked out “Amazing Grace.” When my mom went Home, I turned around and went home.

I’ve since sold the harp. I may get another one someday. Or maybe my harp-playing dreams were just a detour on the way to my final destination.

During those months, I didn’t skimp on whatever it cost to travel that road. And it was during that journey, I discovered more about where I’ve been and where I’m going. And re-learned that no matter where I am, my real journey is internal.

Amazing Grace has purchased an all-expenses-paid ticket to ride, and it alone will carry me Home.

What journey are you on today?

Word Count: 560


harp blur home


In the stillness,


 Greg Buchanan on his electronic harp. And I think you’d enjoy hearing his testimony.

Linking with Charity

In Your Own Words


And with Holley


And with Jennifer


Also sharing with Kelli’s Unforced Rhythms community.


  1. says

    Sandra, this is beautiful. I know the next leg of my journey’s just getting started. I keep trying to find a map for the road ahead, but God keeps telling me He’s holding it in His hands and I have to let go. Thanks for sharing this.
    Kim recently posted..Dose of Hope: Blessed

    • says

      Hi, Kim. Thanks so much for coming by. Sometimes I think it’s good that God hangs on to that map. If I could see the mountains and boulders and the drop-offs, I’d be tempted to take a detour. But then I’d miss the beauty and strength that comes with the challenges.

    • says

      A little bit of stuff going on, yes. :)

      I wasn’t finding time to practice–I mean making time. I was grabbing every spare minute to wrangle words. But I’m not ruling out get another–maybe smaller, maybe single strung instead of double. :)

  2. says

    Sandy – I love both literal and metaphorical journeys. When we think of life this way, we can be so surprised by all that passes us on that highway. And every new bump just brings us closer to the places we are heading.

    Thanks for joining me this week. And for your very dear friendship.
    Charity Singleton Craig recently posted..Word Work: Irony vs Coincidence

    • says

      And sometimes we just need to stop at those scenic overlooks and take in the view, right?

      Grateful for you–and constantly amazed at the real connections to be made in this cyber land. If I could just stretch a little further across the state border, I could reach you for a hug. :)

  3. says

    “My real journey is internal.” Oh, that is so true for all of us. We may not always recognize it, but it is where the real action is. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story, Sandra.

    508,000 miles??? That’s awesome!
    Lisa notes recently posted..God save me from god

    • says

      Crazy, right? So many miles. He was in love with his last car… a little blue Colt. I swear he shed tears when he let her go. The next break-up may be more traumatic. :)

  4. says

    How true it is that while our journeys are literal, the journey that matters in internal. My journey right now is one of learning to really trust God when my circumstances aren’t as comfortable as I’d like them to be. Thank you for the reminder that it is all about His Amazing Grace. Everything else really does pale in comparison. Love this post!
    Heather @ My Overflowing Cup recently posted..My Life Song – Live Like That