Words. They create things (Genesis 1), they change things (I John 1:9), they heal (James 5:16), they can cause sorrow or joy. Words can also give us a purpose, a prize to reach for, a target to aim at. Last year mine was Joy. I really had no plan on how to achieve it; I was just on a faithful journey with a faithful God…I asked, sought, knocked…He answered, revealed, opened. But something happened I had not expected; God had another gift to give – another Word. By the end of the year I not only had joy, but great contentment as well. It’s not as if I didn’t want this…I longed for it greatly! I just didn’t think I was ready for that climb yet. God’s gifts are full of surprises!

So as I began this year in my new “clothing” I felt a confidence and peace I hadn’t before (the gifts never seem to end!). I could look around my home, my surroundings, and into my mirror and be completely at ease. I had started the habit of saying “No I don’t” every time I thought “I want”. It helped to keep me fully in the present; living only where I am and leaving the future in God’s hands.

Then came last weekend. We traveled to some friends’ to celebrate a birthday. As we made our way off of Powers, into Black Forest, and down a few roads I began to look and look and look. The land, the trees, the porches! Then, the turn onto their road…and there they were. Not just the mountains I can see from my front window, but the long stretch of beautiful, blue, gray, and white “rocks” that entice the world to vacation in Colorado. I couldn’t hold my feeling in. I thought I might cry! I had found the place I’d love to wake up to every morning. To sit on a porch, wrapped in warm, woolly clothes, and drink coffee while watching the sun lend it’s light to the mountain range that stretched before me just then…ahhh…I thought I might weep in the longing. I wanted it!

I wrestled with this while we visited and a bit on my way home. Then, the wrestling changed opponents. As much as I would like that view, I wasn’t willing to give up the spiritual view God had gifted me over the last year. I would turn once again and face the gifts God had given me and not crave for what was not mine. Then, a miracle. (I want my life to be full of those.) As if the most natural thing, discontentment and ingratitude for what I have been given rolled away. They were the “clothes” that didn’t fit anymore. I could have pushed and prodded like the stepsisters in Cinderella to try and make them stay, but why take the bruising? Why not live in the “perfect fit” God has blessed me with.

Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

John 21:20-23

So, this morning I looked out my window again to see my view. It wasn’t theirs, but it was mine. How quickly I forget that God doesn’t just throw things together for grasping little children after pinata prizes…”get what you can until it all runs out!” No. He has thought about us. About me. He knows me…my dreams…what I shed tears over…where my insecurities lie…how I long…yearn…and then try not to. He knows my heart and my skin, my soul and my mind, my thoughts…and my words. He knows the plans He has for me…hope…welfare…a future…gifts just for me. I am not a number to Him…He knows my name.

Looking intently at the mountain, praying, I hear Him whisper it…”Anastasia…this is your gift. Don’t take your eyes off of what I’ve given you…special-crafted just for you…my hand didn’t create less for you than her or him…but this is not theirs, this is yours. Remember! Stay with me in the place I’ve prepared for you! Let me prepare it all for you. Every good gift is from Me…I will never give anything not good…it will always be enough…more than enough. I love you, Anastasia…you…”

#18 a run on a beautiful day…geese overhead, mountains outstanding
#19 seeing a full moon on a lingering dark morning
#20 a mountain in the clouds
#21 a new rhythm to the days, habit are forming!
#22 encouraging Mom-Heart words and getaway
#23 an opportunity to meet Monica (a new one)
#24 a day to see “echaristeo” work!
#25 my mountain view