It all started on the side of that mountain. There I was minding my own business with my girlfriends minding theirs. I gazed at sloping green that opened into a valley surrounded by white-frosting-tipped peaks piercing a bright blue sky.
My “baby” girl had just returned from a Mediterranean honeymoon cruise, and my sliver of travel, less than two hours from my home to Breckenridge, stirred longing. “Could I see the Mediterranean, someday, Lord? I want to cruise, to travel.”
The guilt came instantly. Starving children in Africa and all that. Me. Me. Me. Want. Want. Want. Thinking about my comfort. Fun. I have eternity to see good things. There are people who need HIM. Why am I thinking about myself?
“Why do you do that?”
His sudden appearance in my thoughts shocked me. Huh?
“Why do you feel guilty about wanting to experience the world I created for you to enjoy?”
That’s when the waterworks started. My friends clustered around asking what was wrong. It was too deep to share just then, on the side of a glorious mountain where just seconds before we’d been talking and laughing.
Anyway, I wasn’t ready. There was more to His Words and my reaction to them. It was time for another round of emotional weight loss.
Seventeen journal pages of dialogue later I had an epiphany.
Here’s the first: I was created to spread joy, created for delight, for celebration.
~The Journal Conversation ~
Him: “I’ve asked you to do without in a culture where there is much. But that doesn’t mean it is more holy. It’s just been your process and Jerry’s. I’ve been teaching you to learn contentment in all things.”
I don’t think I’ve done very well with that . . .
“You have found joy in the small things. The real things–like relationship with Me, your family, and your friends. Small things like the fragrance of roses. The feel of a warm mug. The swirl of cream in coffee. The song of a bird.”
I’m not sure those are so small.
(He Chuckles) “No. They are my gifts, more beautiful than you understand, but often overlooked . . . Even now you pause to enjoy My Aspen leaves dancing on the breeze outside the window. I like that about you.”
(Tears spring to think this pleases Him.) It’s simply how you wired me.
Us: It makes me/you more resilient.
“Can I not enjoy this trait even more knowing I gave it to you and that you have cared enough to develop it? My gift to you is your gift (our gift, really) to the world. Give them eyes to notice My beauty, Paula. And let me give you sweeping moments of beauty and joy so you can be continually refilled to pour out the celebration of the Good in Me and in My world.
“Receive My every gift with open abandon, arms stretching to Me, dancing in the falling joy-petals of My love-gifts.”
Of course there’s more to the seventeen pages of journaling, some of which I’ll share in the coming days. My epiphanies eventually circle back around to the curve ball post of a few days ago. I hope you’ll continue to journey with me as I drop emotional and mental weight.
For today I’m camping out here. In the joy of little things. Delighting in the idea that such simple notice of His gifts pleases Him. In letting go of the guilt barometer and learning to fully enjoy His gifts.
I’m wishing all of that for you, too, my friend. May today bring notice of the love-gifts of the Creator. My you dance in the falling joy-petals.