Wishes and Rivers

As I was writing the last book in my series, one verse came to mind during a particular scene: Isaiah 58:11.

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

I connected to the verse. That sense of feeling fulfilled. That reality of living satisfied. In the novel, my character was standing by a river in the mountains as that verse came to mind. For me, yesterday I was standing by this river (the one in the picture). I wished I could capture the gorgeous sound of the water rushing so fast, so I could carry that sound with me. I stood on a small bridge, looking down at the river and I just soaked up the moment. And that verse came back to me. Like a spring whose waters never fail, he will satisfy your needs...

Do you need that, lovey?

I love rivers. There's something so peaceful and refreshing about a river, whether it's lazily drifting along, or fast and rushing like the one I saw yesterday. I know my soul has felt sun-scorched before. Dry and cracked and desperate. Then there have been moments when my soul has felt like a well-watered garden, green and satisfied and content and growing. Then there are the in between times, you know. In the little church where I grew up, I remember Mrs. Burchett and Mrs. Morehouse singing together, Love Him in the morning when you feel the sun a rising; love Him in the evening 'cause He took you through the day. And in the in between times when you feel the pressure comin', remember that He loves you and He promises to stay.

For a dry soul, a rushing river is a good place to start. As I wrote that last novel, I understood my character's desperate need for renewal. Because we all need it. I've needed it over and over. And as that beautiful scripture says, He will satisfy your needs, like a spring whose waters never fail.

Yesterday my family took a hike up to a pond, where we went fishing. It was a pretty comical situation actually. Loveys, this girl is not exactly the most outdoorsy girl. I love to enjoy the beauty of nature, I'm just not crazy about bugs or sweating or dirt in my shoes or sketchy plants (what if it had been poison ivy??). My idea of camping involves air conditioning and doors that lock.

Anyway, we were being adventurous (this is Colorado, I have to dig deep and be adventurous sometimes). We went on a really fun hike actually, through a woodsy area. So it was a tiny trail (those plants I mentioned kept rubbing against me) and I realized my daughter is very much like her mother, unfortunately. Ash is in front of me, hopping from one foot to another as the weeds and grass touch her, crying out, "I don't really like jungles!!" (We were literally like ten feet from a road.) Despite her qualms with the jungle, she also insisted on being the "troop leader." We get to the pond and I'm trying not to wonder if bears ever enjoy coming to ponds like this one. Luckily, everything was fine (no bears) and it was a fantastic afternoon. I love the mountains during summer. And as I said, I love rivers. I do like to feel adventurous when it comes to rafting and things like that.

As I watched my family fishing yesterday, I was thinking that my soul felt satisfied. My hilarious and sometimes-fussy children. My ever capable and loving husband. A few moments to just breathe in God's beautiful handiwork. There were all these dandelions everywhere. Ashtyn kept blowing dandelion dust everywhere and it looked like magic to me.

It was a well-watered-soul moment.

Loveys, if you're feeling like your soul is dry today, I so have been there. Read that verse and hold it in your heart. Soak up the moments during your day that are blessings. Take the good with the hard and hold on to the One who can satisfy our needs in a sun-scorched land.

Find a river, loveys.

I'll be honest and tell you that my heart has been a little heavy lately. A close friend of ours (she's the same age that I am) just found out that she has cancer. She has a one-year-old baby. My heart plummeted at the news, and Jeff and I were stunned. It certainly puts things back in perspective. Who has time to worry about whether her stomach is flabby or whether her skin isn't perfect when people have cancer and just want to be present for the children? Our kids don't care if we look great in a pair of jeans or have glowing skin, they just want mom. (God doesn't care about those things either, remember. He's looking at our hearts.)

If you've been consumed with thoughts like this, I hope this little reminder helps with perspective. Every day is a gift. And some people are fighting to have more of them.

So I'm going to be brave and hike up to a river today, and blow dandelions and make wishes. I'm going to pray for a renewed soul. I'm going to take those fresh mercies from God and start all over again today. It's a special weekend for our family. Tonight I'm going to get all dressed up and sit next to my husband at dinner.

One hundred days of a blessed summer, loveys. Those are my wishes for you too.


1 comment

  1. As a mama to two young little boys I have definite moments where I feel weary and sun-scorched. I'll have to write that verse out for those moments to remind myself. Thank you for sharing your perspective on the river and that verse. And I'm sorry to hear about your friend. Whenever I hear about a young person going through something awful like cancer it makes me want to be ever more present with my sons and really soak them up.


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