The Beauty and Lessons In Touchstones

Within the past few weeks, I have consciously felt God bringing me back to touchstones from my past 43 years of life. Places, things, people, and when it happens (like a Deja vu feeling), something (or someone) will happen where I know that God is there in that moment and he wants me to remember. Every. Single. Time.

The past two days, my friend Jen and I have been in Leiper's Fork, Tennessee, for our annual girl's trip. It is a different trip for us as it is longer than we have done in the past and bleeding into our work week (couple of workaholics here). The whole trip was planned around Diana Krall's show in Nashville as we both fell in love with Diana Krall's music around the same time and still love it. Her music is a relaxation point for two people who move at full throttle. The setting also happens to be where I spent a year of my life, Nashville, and the house we are renting is in the quaint little hideaway of Leiper's Fork which is everything a small town should be, and in your dreams, is...and as it is protected by certain Tennessee laws, it literally has not changed in the 15 years since I lived in Nashville and spent weekends roaming this area.

So...Nashville, Leiper's Fork, friendships (many whom I won't even get to see this trip to my dismay), and my journey/life post-Nashville are all being laid out bare for me (and I am about 24 hours in).

God. I see you.

I see you in the redbud tree with the heart-shaped leaves blooming right in front of me even as I type. I see you in the rolling hills of bright green grass (we seriously landed here on the most perfect weekend in the area all year). I see you in the faces of those that remember me and the ones who don't, but hug me like they do as they are pure sweetness. I see you in the birds whose chirping has not ceased for one single second since we arrive. It is a symphony. I see you in the new life that has been born in my absence. Miss V is simply a dream. I also see you in the pain that I have missed. I see you in the old dreams that once ran strong for me here...a front porch just like this where I would swing and write and breathe. I see you in my friend as we squeeze a year's worth of happenings into this few days. I see you in the changes in us...spiritually and physically. You are working in her, and it is so clear to me as I have seen that look in my own reflection when you were in the throws of something with my own heart. I see you in the breeze that has blown for 24 hours straight that feels like you are bringing fresh life into my lungs. What are you up to? I am wondering. My heart is fluttering a bit. I saw you on the drive to pick up Jen as songs from an old playlist that I hadn't touched in three years played and you gave me fresh ears for the words and melodies. What are you up to? I wonder again.

When you feel God moving, stop...look...listen. He is up to something. I am siting here very still on this old porch swing grinning because something is coming...there is a bird that won't shut up...another sign. I am breathing deeply.


I can feel a fresh peace washing over my heart.

Maybe it is just the beauty and serenity of a couple of days away in a beautiful place.

I know better.

It is that....and oh so much more. I simply can't hear him until I stop for a hot New York minute.

Last night in the shower as the water fell over me, I thought of all of the places I lived...the people I have had the blessing to meet...the lives who have touched mine...the adventures. The journey isn't over, but the ride to here has not been all bad or even half bad. I would like a couple of do-overs, but if I got those, I would have missed so much. If I had stayed in Nashville, I wouldn't have met Jen.  What a HUGE loss for my life. Her friendship has been such a blessing.

The roads not taken.

Sometimes I hope that there is a day when God will bring me to a little house surrounded by green grass and water, a porch with a beautiful swing, and neighbors who I know deeply and truly and who know me the same. I want for that and long for that, but the ride continues...I need to come to grips with these touchstones of my past. Remember the roads I have taken. Experience the gratitude. Make some peace with past choices and mistakes.

The next door is ahead of me...I can see it in the distance. I just have some things to do before he lets me go through it.

This feels good though....smiling with pure joy at the touchstones of my past. Saying a little prayer over each of them as I pass. Giving them back to God for what they were. There is a reason for these moments he is giving me...

This post feels so unfinished...funny how right now that feels okay too.

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)