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Archive for November, 2010

Several years ago, I went on a wonderful summer trip to Colorado.  I loved looking out the window of the airplane and leaving the brown, dry, parched landscape of Texas behind, only to be greeted by the lush, verdant, and majestic welcome of the Rockies.  It was my first time seeing them. 

One of the many activities that week was going horseback riding up in the mountains.  The sky was clear and a slight breeze rustled the leaves on the trees.  I met my trail guide at the base of the mountain and, after assuring him that I was experienced with horses, we took off on the trail. 

The ride up the mountain was glorious.  Weaving in and out of Aspen trees, seeing wildlife scamper about, watching eagles soar overhead.  I felt as if I had stepped into a Discovery channel documentary.  The horses maneuvered the rough trail with ease; so many trips up and down the mountain. I found it natural to lean into his neck, relax and let him feel his way up the path. Every so often, the trail would open up into a clearing and we would guide our horses over to the edge of the mountain to take some pictures of the view.  With each new level we reached, I gasped at the beauty and awe of God’s creation.  I wept with love for our Maker, that He could form such splendor with His hands, and still take the time to knit me in my mother’s womb.  At each stop, our trail guide, seemingly numbed by such views,  chuckled at my emotional response and said “Aww, man, you ain’t seen nothin yet!”  And sure enough, he was right.  As we climbed our way up the mountain, I continued to be amazed at each new view, and my guide continued to assure me, in very colorful language, that I had not seen anything yet.  After about an hour and a half of climbing, we finally reached the summit.  I was awestruck and could not even find the words to express how I felt, the sheer magnitude of God’s Glory on such a magnificent display.  My guide smirked and said, “I told you, that you hadn’t seen nothin.”  He was right.

Our trip down was much more difficult than the climb up had been.  Much of the trail was extremely steep and forced me to lie back against my horse to maintain my balance.  Unfortunately, I could not see the trail clearly when I did that, would try to adjust in my saddle, and quickly realize that I was in danger of losing my balance.  My guide stopped us.  He told me that I needed to loosen up on the reins and give the horse as much freedom as possible on the trail.  He assured me that these horses knew this mountain well and that they knew the right path down.  We set off again.

About 10 more minutes of riding, and I was feeling panicky.  I was barely holding the reins, lying against the horse’s back, and glancing around to see the rough terrain we were on.  The trail was covered in rocks, logs, and crevices.  Sometimes, the horse would stumble but always quickly regained his footing.  After a very nerve-wracking descent, my horse finally delivered me safely back at the base of the mountain.  I combed his fur, fed him carrots, and hugged his neck in gratitude. 

Recently I have remembered my experience on the mountain that day so many years ago.  God has shown me that His love is like that trail ride.  The only way to truly gain the fullness of what He has planned for me is to let go, to give Him free reign, and allow Him to navigate me over the rough terrain and jagged edges of this world.  But if I do, the view at the top will be more magnificent than anything I ever imagined.  Every day, God reveals that Truth to me more fully.  Every day, I must make the decision to trust His timing, His plan, His path for my life.  And every day, the love and peace that I experience, knowing that God’s Will is being done in my life, reminds me that I ain’t seen nothin yet.

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Tomorrow morning when I get out of bed, I will be 37.  The past few weeks I have thought a lot about the significance of that number, that I am half way between 35 and 40, that many things about myself are not exactly what I thought they would be by this age, that I need to begin some type of “by the time I’m 40” list and start checking things off.  However, in spite of these thoughts that creep into my conscienceless at times, I am reminded about the things that I really love about myself now.  About the way that I have grown and matured over the past 7 years.  About the way that God continues to shape and form me every day into the woman He designed me to be.  In that light, these are a few things that I like about myself right now, just the way I am:

  • I know more about the Bible now than I ever have in my life and God has given me a hunger to learn more
  • I’m a pretty good mom most days
  • I know my own motivations behind the reasons that I do most of the things I do
  • I don’t mind spending time alone.  Whether I am reading, listening to music, or just sitting with the dogs, I am comfortable in my own skin enough to keep myself company
  • I have developed my own sense of style, not based on what trends are in a magazine, but on what enhances my features and makes me feel good about myself when I’m wearing it.
  • I’ve pretty much got my make-up routine down to a finely tuned instrument
  • My laugh
  • My enthusiasm for learning new things every day
  • That I know the difference between being friends and being friendly.  I am blessed with amazing friends and want to spend my time cultivating and tending those rare and precious relationships.
  • I am a pretty good teacher.  I simply adore my students and want to pour myself into them. 
  • That I have a strong desire to hear the Holy Spirit, and as a result, often I do.
  • I have a wide and eclectic taste in music, films, and books
  • I have discovered that doing the right thing is more difficult than I dreamed, but the rewards are usually better than anything I could have imagined
  • I know what I want out of my life
  • I look pretty cute in my glasses
  • I love those closest to me with depth and sincerity

There will always be things that I want to change about myself.  But I also know that, without God, I don’t have the ability or strength to change them on my own.  That process is a life-long commitment to choose to seek His will in my life on a daily basis. For that, I am thankful.

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