Sunday, January 23, 2011

Seventeen - Smiles Against All Odds.

An excursion down memory lane just landed me on some old treasures... A few would probably make you smile, (maybe they’ll have their chance in the near future) but one in particular rivets me this morning...
The year I learned to pray.

I knew something special was going on even back then, but now I really see it. And to this day, that nine-letter word dances on my tongue whenever my friends start talking about the best years of their lives. 
That was a loaded year. A year of transitions... And one of the fullest and toughest of my life. 
But it was pure happiness.
I still remember standing in line to register for classes at a public university... And thinking over and over again on the first day of classes: “What on earth am I doing here?”
But what I remember more is being in that treasured spot in library at the top of the hill, day after day, every time the clock in the bell tower struck 12:00, to keep an appointment...
It didn’t start there, of course. It started months and months earlier on the hillside at home. In fact, it was probably the greatest factor in my finishing 4 years of high school in a year and a half. 
It was “quiet hour.” 
Just me, and my God, and my journal.
And just as I had done all the year through when normal life, well meaning people, interruptions and “important” things tried to eclipse it, I had to fight to keep it. I had quite the time scheduling and re-scheduling 19 credits to keep it free.
Am I ever glad I did...

My life looks a bit different now. 
Instead of 19 credits, it’s the joys and challenges of virtually full-time ministry with books to write, CDs to record, planes to catch, people to love, the gospel to share, and our lives to pour out... (for which we both tremble, and thank our God constantly)
And there are the duties of home to make all of that logistically possible... 2 corporations  soon to be 4, (for myself and my brother) the joys and responsibilities of being family, such as helping to maintain home and property, gardens and a greenhouse, and claiming my share of the honor of taking care of a grandmother with severe dementia...  
But still. Still...
My life is pure happiness.
Even though I am always facing impossible odds.
There’s just nothing in the world like shedding everything for a moment (or an hour) right when it feels like it’s going to kill you, and leaning on Jesus with your head on His knee...
Smiles against all odds... 
I still call 17 the best year of my life. 
But maybe that’s not really fair... For since then, they have only gotten better.


  1. Sometimes things like this leave me speechless...
    When I see what God has done in the lives of others, what He's doing in my life...
    It's too exciting to stop, too wonderful to give up on... It's a feeling almost too impssible to put into words...

  2. Wow! Your story of year seventeen reminds me so much of my life right now. I'm seventeen and I am going to a community college. My credit load is pretty heavy right now too. I know that God is using this experience for my good, but...I know what its like to be overwhelmed! I'm encouraged by your post to find time in the middle of my schedule for quiet time with God. Hopefully when I look back on my year seventeen, I will also be able to say that it was the best year of my life.

  3. Oh, do it Vanessa! :)
    You'll never be sorry...

  4. Seventeen happens to be the favorite year in my life too! It was a time of change and learning, a year I will never forget... :)

  5. Seventeen was a year of spiritual revelation for me as well.
    You are right though. It only becomes richer and deeper as we continue pursuing our Father's heart.


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