Back in our first year living in Colorado, my in-laws came out for a visit and bought Luke and I a small little notebook and pen. They told us to make time to notice the little gifts throughout the day and write them down, because every good thing is a gift from God. These little gifts included people and things we owned, like our car, apartment, and family.
They also included things like new running shoes, a warm summer wind, and sun showers.
That simple discipline played a big part in turning one of the most difficult years of our lives into a period of time I cherish most. A week doesn’t go by where I don’t think about my time in Loveland, Colorado. That time was made rich because of how hard it was. It was made rich because I chose to seek the Lord for help. Every morning I would pray for our daily bread. I would pray for my husband. I would seek the Lord in everything I did.
My memory isn’t great for remembering the past, but I remember almost everything about Loveland. The walks, date nights, bike rides, hikes, and runs. The view, our neighbors, church, and the weather. Visits from family and friends. Craigslist runs and country music. Our first dog.
Looking back, I know it wasn’t bliss. I know, because I lived it. I was driven to my knees. I was in a desperate place. There was a lot of pain, heartache, and financial distress. But I would give almost anything to go back to that time.
After our time in Loveland, where we moved to Fort Collins for a couple years and then back home to Minnesota, I still have yet to find that sense of awe. I have yet to find that peace and contended heart. And yet I know, even as I write, how to find it again. My joy was not found in the things I had. Money cannot buy purpose and a calm soul. My joy was found in the Lord. And once again, it is the Lord I will seek.