Phantom Mountain

I recently stayed the night in the most beautiful house I think I have ever been in. Seriously, this house was BEYOND amazing. Every room had a magnificent view of Lake Keowee, and it just so happened the evening I stayed was a stormy one.

When we first arrived, our hostess told us that normally you could see a rugged mountain range in the distance (which made the lot one of the best on the lake). Due to the fog and impending storm, you could not even see an outline of said mountain range on this particular evening.

We ate dinner and settled in for a chick flick as the storm clouds rolled in. As many of you know from my previous posts, I LOVE storms!  The thunder and lightning began right as we finished up and headed to bed. In my big, comfy bed I had a perfect view of the lake and storm that had arrived. Lightening flashed, creating firework sparkles on the mirrored surface of the water. Hundreds of thoughts were coursing through my head, and I was trying hard to lose myself in the storm, but I couldn’t. I know that probably sounds crazy, wanting to lose myself in a storm, but I would have rather been lost in the physical storm than in the mental one that was raging.

In prayer I cried out to God. I cried out for peace, for comfort, for him to show his mightiness in my current situation. Looking out as the rain danced on the glass, lightning struck. For the first time, though, it was farther away. It was behind the mountain range. Suddenly, the mysterious range was jutting into the sky, outlined by the flash of lightning.

Then, my heart was still, and I heard it.

Sometimes, the lightning has to strike in our storm so that we can see the protection that is around us.

(I’ll be honest, my jaw dropped.)

I grabbed a blanket and hurried over to the window to see if it would happen again. “Nope, just once is all you need”, is what I heard. (Okay, then I laughed!)

I crawled back into that plush bed, pulled the blankets up, laid back on the pillows and fell asleep watching the storm. My heart was still. My mind was clear. I knew that he had already showed himself, and that he was still there . . .

just like the phantom mountain.

Mind Altering

Tonight, snuggled in with my baby boy, we vegged out and watched “Man v.s. Wild”. There we were, blankets pulled high, watching the “ultimate survivor” camp on an archipelago.  As he was making the roof to his shelter, Judah looks at me and says “He’s making a rain trap.” Sure enough, Bear Grylls begins to explain his rain catcher. Next came trapping a pig. “It’s an animal trap, mom” piped up my little man.

Then, with his big blue eyes penetrating into mine, he pouted his lips and said, “When are we gonna go camping, mom?”.  My answer was simple, “When it finally gets warm and stays warm.” This soothed his conscience, and soon he was snoozing away, no doubt dreaming of the traps he could make once we went camping.

My mind wandered. Childhood memories came streaming back, just as vivid as if they had happened yesterday. It’s been a couple of years since I have been “real” camping. Yes, I mean on an island on a lake, with no showers or electricity, and nothing but nature surrounding you. Okay, so you can “real” camp without a lake island, but you get my drift. I started to think about how camping was something my kids want to do. It’s something they dream about. It’s not unobtainable. It’s not outrageous. It’s just a desire, a goal.

Then, I started thinking about what I wanted to do. Camping – definitely. It’s in my blood. Beach trip – you betcha. But what about things that are a little farther off? Almost out of reach, but not quite.

I want to go on a cruise. I want to go to Africa. I want to see millions of butterflies hanging on HUGE trees. I want to go to Ireland. I want to find out my family history. I want to sleep in a hut over the ocean. I want to go to a Duke game. I want to ride an elephant. I want to go to Israel. I want to take my kids to Washington D.C. I want to dance in the rain. I want to go to Australia. I want to . . .

Dream again.

Kids have  no limit to their thinking. If I say “when it gets warmer”, my son believes me – no questions asked. He believes that his dream of camping will happen. They dream with not only their hearts wide open, but their eyes. They see it, long before it ever happens. Sometimes when my kids are talking, I can see the wheels turning and I can see them imagining it happening.

What about when adults have dreams?  Do we see it happening? Are our hearts open but our eyes closed? We can’t see ahead, because we are blinded by what is in front of us.

Not anymore. I’m dreaming big, and I’m keeping my eyes WIDE open. I challenge you to do the same!