I've lived in Newberg, Oregon, now for just under two years. I keep waiting for my eyes to grow complacent to the beauty surrounding me, but to my delight I find myself falling more and more in love with the Creator who designed such a heavenly place and allows me to live in paradise. Everywhere I walk, run, bike or drive beauty abounds. I've taken to keeping my camera in the car so I can capture the amazing sights that accompany me to the grocery store, to the gym, and on my way to church. It seems the more I search for beauty, the more open my eyes are to see it all around me.
Yesterday as I was pulling out of our subdivision for the thousandth time, I was admiring the fury of the weather. The sun was shining through huge gray storm clouds illuminating the field across the street. The grass, wet from being drenched in rain, was vibrantly green. Sitting in the field of green, a dilapidated old barn that I have never once noticed. There it sat, weathered, grayish brown with sunlight streaming through the slats missing from the roof. How did I never notice this treasure before? I grabbed my camera and snapped away while the girls complained in the back seat about me stopping to take more pictures.
Today, as I drove Alli to a birthday party I was amazed by the transformation in the mountains. Just a few short months ago, they were a mixture of scarce patches of white, dead-looking browns and dark evergreens. Now, as they clothe themselves in spring's splendor, they are layered with shades and shades of green, vibrant and alive with flowering trees and vineyards sporting new life on once barren vines. I found myself pulling over, digging out my camera, and trying to find the perfect angle to capture just how fresh and new the mountains are.
As I praised God for beauty everywhere, it occurred to me that life is kind of like living in Newberg. No matter the season there is beauty to behold, and sometimes it come from the most unexpected places. Sometimes I just forget to look for it and so I auto-pilot through life, nose to the grindstone fulfilling the daily obligations, missing the beauty surrounding me. I grabbed my mental camera and started capturing snapshots of the beauty in my life. Restored health to run again without pain. Four crazy, amazing, talented kids who bring out both the best and worst in me, developing my character and blessing me more than I would have ever imagined. A life-giving husband who values me, loves me, thinks I'm hot, loves the Lord, and makes me laugh EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Friends who know me intimately enough to know my foibles and oddities and faults and yet they still love me. Extended family that offers support, love and friendships. A Savior who give my life purpose, covers me with peace, and fills me with joy even when my heart is breaking. Psalm 139:5 says, "You hem me in - behind and before; You have laid Your hand upon me." Today as I stood at the top of Corral Creek Road feebly trying to capture the beauty unfolding around me, I felt my Savior place His hand on my shoulder and stand with me as we breathed deeply of His miraculous creation. I plan to keep my camera at the ready, capturing beauty as I live my life.