Two months a widow and this is my first time driving across the high desert of eastern Oregon by myself. First time visiting mom-in-law in Idaho without Hubby. I’ve thanked MIL several times through the years for doing such a great job of raising Hubby for me. She usually declines to take much credit. “He came that way,” she says. (Hmmm … can’t remember a time she’s ever said that about any of her other sons.)


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Take the pyro-maniac son, for example. Apparently you light the snow. And flame appears magically. So the girls can enjoy breakfast by the fire. This is how it’s done in Idaho.


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While there, one of the young cousins gave me the gift of WillowTree art. When I unwrapped the package, I was delighted to see it was the same figurine I received just last week from a high school girlfriend. The name of this particular piece is ’Surrounded by Love.’


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It’s as if God is saying, “You are surrounded by love. No, really. Pay attention. You are surrounded by love.” If you’re going through a time of sorrow, have you stopped to think about all that still surrounds you? In my case:

  1. The love of family and friends
  2. Peace
  3. Provision
  4. Health
  5. Beauty in nature
  6. Freedom
  7. Joy – yes, even joy
  8. God’s unchangeable love
  9. Open doors for new ventures
  10. Courage

As I continue paring down and packing this week toward stepping out in a new direction—risky, exciting, uncertain thing, this stepping out—I am reminded that I don’t go alone. I am surrounded.