I love having a view of the mountains. I love the peaceful surrender I experience when I look out over their majesty. I don’t often see the mountains, and so it always takes me by surprise that something nonexistent in my everyday experience is present all the time in other parts of our world. It reminds me of how God reveals Himself as Creator in a wide variety of ways.

In the summer of 2018, my husband and I took Alex to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, for what turned out to be a nearly-perfect week of vacation. Alex had just turned four, and it was becoming obvious to me that his baby and toddler days were fading fast. He was quickly becoming a little boy, and the realization was bittersweet.

The week we were in Gatlinburg offered us beautiful weather. The kind of weather where you can sit outside, and you’re neither hot nor cold. The skies were clear, the mountains were spectacular, and Alex had taken a liking to a porch swing on the deck of our cabin that was built high on the hill and nestled back into the trees.

He was still taking naps, and nearly every day of that vacation in the mid-afternoon, Alex would sit on the swing beside me, crawl up into my lap, and fall asleep. I would sing to him, hold him close to me, and use one foot to keep the swing rocking gently back and forth. I would see the mountain view, feel the gentle breeze on my skin, look down at the child that held so much of my heart, and breathe in the peace and presence of God. I have a lot of sweet memories from that trip. But what I remember most these twelve years later is how I felt sitting on that porch swing with Alex. And I remember how close I felt to God.

I’m not much of an outdoor girl. I don’t seek time in nature to connect with God. Truthfully, it rarely occurs to me to do so. But I know He speaks through His creation. Even to those of us who aren’t naturally moved by nature, God’s voice is speaking through the beauty that is all around us. We only need to pause and notice.

Sometimes it is in the chirp of a bird or the rain against a window. Sometimes it is in a sunset or the gentle sound of wind in the trees. It is in the snowflakes of winter, the first flowers of spring, the pop-up thunderstorms of summer, and the changing colors of fall. God’s voice is singing over us, and offering us constant reminders that He is at work in our lives.

I don’t want to be so busy that I miss Him calling to me through my surroundings. Every once in a while, I want to be overwhelmed by what He has given me in which to live. I want to stand with arms wide open soaking in all the goodness that is right before my eyes.

I encourage you to pause today at some point and find beauty in the world around you. And when you notice it, offer up a word of thanksgiving to the One who gifted it to you. I will do the same.


This post is chapter 7/10 of The Ways God Speaks To Us