A grateful heart

I left work at 7:30pm just in time to watch the Bachelorette (or so I thought…I guess it starts at 7). As I stepped out into the parking lot, I could see the sun setting behind the mountains, and my heart swelled with gratefulness. Can you ever fully explain the feeling that comes in a moment like that? The colors in the sky and the shapes of the clouds looked unreal. I can’t count how many times the skies here have literally taken my breath away.

On my drive home, I can see the Phoenix skyline against a backdrop of mountains within the valley. There’s a unique beauty to the desert that I have not found anywhere else in the world. That is, if you can push beyond the discomfort of 110 degrees and really see what lives in such dry places. And I’m finding that life here, in the desert, is extravagant.

It’s only been four months since I moved to Phoenix…it feels a lot longer. The transition has been long, hard and spiritually strenuous at times. I’m constantly expecting/hoping to be over it already and enjoying the new season, but there have been many questions and struggles along the way.

God has felt distant, quiet, uninterested, and maybe even a little disappointed in me. I’m always harder on myself and can easily allow that to affect my view of God. Clearly, he is none of those things and these past four months, I’ve had to declare from my mind what I know to be true and deny what my flesh felt. In the process, I’m discovering much.

And then there are those sweet moments when I get to take my niece to the movie theater for her first time, and remember that this is why I am here. Or this moment now as my nephew literally crawls onto the table in front of my computer and wants to snuggle me. I came here to be close to them and to build memories. And every moment that we make a silly face, or dance crazy, or giggle uncontrollably…I get to make beautiful memories that create a beautiful life.

To say the least, my heart is incredibly grateful.