God Played with Me!

I’m turning 60 this year! This is no little thing!

Considering the years I struggled with suicidal drives and the years of significant health issues, it is no little thing that this year I have made it 60 years!

I was talking with a friend about this remarkable milestone, voicing that I wanted to do something significant to celebrate. A couple different ideas came to mind along with a sense that God’s eyes were twinkling. And the planning began.

Something foundational comes alive within me when I am on the continent of Africa, the land of my birth. And my heart beat speeds up when I am in the company of animals. Could there be any better celebration than going on a safari?

God made it better than could be imagined!

It was an ‘over the top’ celebration!  God provided 2 great friends to join me in celebrating at the animal park in S. Africa. We had 6 jaunts out into the wild of Mohlabetsi park.    God was playful and exuberant in His love!

We were welcomed by delightful hostesses into the beautiful lodge.  Our round comfortable rondavel, made a fantastic bedroom.  An outside shower, walled off from the public except the monkeys, provided hot showers.  Seeing the majesty of stars overhead made showering an experience to be remembered!

The cooks in the kitchen went beyond the call of duty to prepare food that would fit my health and nutritional needs. And they didn’t just provide food, but displayed it with beauty!

The first jaunt included all of the Big Five showing up,  close and personal!  Others who heard made comments that many people do not get to see them even after being around for a week!

Our delightful jeep companions were only able to be with us on this first jaunt, and it was decided that the empty spots were not going to be filled for the rest of our stay there. This left us with VIP treatment with a personal guide and ‘spotter’, who were remarkable at their jobs along with being fun!  Niko was a remarkable spotter, finding tracks and a plethora of animals.  Hamilton took us off road so we could have front seat viewing!

Michele and I started voicing an animal we would like to see next, and almost every time that would be the next animal that would show up.  We saw elephants, baby elephants, rhinos and baby rhinos, majestic lions, female lions and baby cubs, cape horn buffalos, giraffe with babies, leopard, cheetah, impala, waterbuck, hyenas, a puff adder, hippo, an eagle owl and other unique birds, a chameleon…

…   And the African sunrises and sunsets cannot be beat!    I have no doubt that God was smiling and laughing and having a great time with me and my friends!

Sunrise to sunset, God provided a 4 day display better than any national geographic magazine for me and my friends!

What a delightfully joyful God who loves me!


  1. Kyle Kelley on June 21, 2018 at 11:37 am

    So good to read and see your recent celebration of life tour in Africa. Our Heavenly Father is good to give us so much to celebrate and enjoy, even through the trials. Thinking of you. Thanks for your prayers for all your friends in N. Minnesota.
    Love, Kyle

    • Maribeth Poole on June 21, 2018 at 12:14 pm

      Thanks, Kyle, for joining me in my ‘happy’!! And I am talking with our Father about all you friends in Minnesota! 😄

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