It’s an unusually warm day. Often it’s cold and snowy, like this picture taken just days ago.
But today it is so mild, I’m able to sit on the porch. The sun is setting, but the clouds obscure any sunset. The only sounds I hear are the wind chimes tinkling out their individual tunes as the breeze moves gently. It reminds me of how unique each person is as the Holy Spirit runs through each life. I hope we sound just as beautiful to God.
It is my own personal paradise. I know some people like Key West and some like mountains of Alaska, but for me, this is my own personal paradise.
We started coming here 12 years ago for family vacation. Roger found the town and was captivated by the area. Renting a cabin seemed like a good way to connect with nature since his wife (me) was no longer willing to freeze in a sleeping bag, on hard ground, in the middle of noisy campgrounds, washing dishes in cold water — you get the idea.
Our family has grown to love the area, and even though life has gotten hard at times, it’s been a place to get away, have some fun, re-connect with kids and watch grandkids grow. It’s also been a place where we have had devotions, sharing our hearts about God and celebrating our growth.
Two years ago, my mother died. Dad had died years before and she had been left alone. We always stopped to see her in Atlanta on our way to Blue Ridge. We felt it would honor her to buy a cabin for family vacations with our inheritance. It would also keep us connected to relatives here. Little did we know that just minutes from our cabin is where my great, great grandfather’s life started, born in a little white farmhouse in the hills. Mother’s spirit of love and generosity permeates the cabin.
But most of all, the peace of God is at the cabin. I have met with him on the porch and he has poured through me words I have needed to hear. I have laughed and cried with friends on this porch. I have made new friends, seeing them grow in their faith in amazing ways. His creativity has flowed through me in poems and crafts that both surprised and delighted me. Even when I fell and broke my leg here, his peace filled me.
That’s why I dare to call this “a piece of paradise.” I know my true paradise is heaven. I know God is with me wherever I go, even into the depths of hell.
But right now, in the midst of this gentle breeze, he is with me in Blue Ridge, Georgia. It is a glimpse, a tiny piece, of what the fullness will be like in my true, eternal paradise.
Where is your personal paradise? Is there a place the Lord meets you in special ways? I’d love to hear about it…