30 June 2014

Lucky Enough to be in the Mountains

A sign in our mountain home reads:

If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains, you're lucky enough.

I think that is what our motto of the week is going to be. We have been forced to recognize to go with the flow, in all circumstances and enjoy what we have.

After a much longer than anticipated drive to the mountains, we arrived at our gorgeous home perched on top of Scaly Mountain, North Carolina with a million dollar view (and probably a million dollar home). But we also discovered the home did not contain many of the items that were described online, notably, air conditioning, internet, and the right number of beds. We are rearranging and making due. Cell signal is also pretty scarce up here, except for Renee's phone and my phone. We are truly appreciating the scenery and nobody can spend hours browsing the Internet.

So we are taking the sign to heart considering the circumstances and reminding ourselves that we have a 200 degree view of mountains and a big wrap-around balcony to view them. It's amazing, really. The view from most windows is spectacular as well. Our situation isn't so bad. We have all our windows open and the mountain breezes come through the house.

So far it has been rather nice. The sun was out this morning and then fog rolled in and clouds covered the valley. A breeze blew the clouds up and we sat above the clouds until they eventually rose above us. And now the clouds sit just above us, hovering with a damp greyness that covers us from the hot sun. 

28 June 2014

Road Trip Ready

Road trips.
Does that invoke something adventurous in you?
It does for me. There's so much possibility out there when you step outside your door.

Today is road trip day. We are hitting the pavement, loading the car, and leaving Florida in the dust to welcome the lovely North Carolina mountain air. It's not that far from home and yet it feels a world away.

The road trip is part of the adventure. I love watching the changing landscapes glide by from the car. I love daydreaming as the road rolls underneath and watching the puffy white clouds as they change shape and move across the sky. I love bringing a favourite snack and drink to enjoy. I love to be on the lookout for interesting things to photograph. I love becoming engrossed in a book to make some of the time fly by.

And I love reaching the destination and the giddiness rising in me of all sorts of adventures lingering in the week ahead.

27 June 2014

The Secret's Out.....

Flowers bring cheerfulness, especially when they are given by dear friends.
Getting a new phone is fun. My old phone was a dinosaur. I have an iPhone now, which makes me a black sheep of my anti-Apple family, but joining the family of those in my life who love Apple. It's a torn world out there. You can't make everyone happy. Such deep thoughts care of my mobile phone.
 Rainy days are really lovely. It's on rainy days that I notice how much green surrounds the streets of my neighborhood. The dirt is getting washed away. The air is refreshed. I love the mossy green and the old trees soaking in the Summer rain.
Wearing colourful shoes is more fun. I mean, why not? Especially when it's Friday.

Writing about words is a passion of mine. I wrote a little article about my love of words last week, and posted it on the blog here but it was also published in Catapult Magazine! They even used my photo. Click here for the magazine issue on Words. Click here to go straight to my article.

26 June 2014

Getting Lost in the Books

It is an easy thing for me to do.
Get lost in books.
Summer is the perfect time to get lost in books because it's so hot outside. What else should you do? Read, of course. The library is a place of reprieve from the heat and it's full of books you weren't looking for but stumble across. I love when that happens.

What kinds of books do you get lost in?
If a book engages my imagination I can read super-fast. But I am caught in a dilemma because if I enjoy it I want to slow down so I can savor it and not rush. But I don't.

It's like eating. Some of us tend to eat really fast and barely chew the food. You see it on the plate, turn around, and it's gone. I eat slowly, and like to taste each bite. So, I am pretty much always the last one eating.

Sometimes, though, when reading, I act like a rapid eater.

Here are a few books I have devoured very recently:

100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson
This young adult book is about a 12 year old boy who goes to stay with his aunt and uncle's farm with three other cousins. He sleeps in the attic room, and one night he hears bumps in the wall, which is covered in plaster, but when he chips away at all the plaster, he discovers 100 cupboards in the wall that all lead to different places. It's a little creepy, thrilling, and adventurous, with just a little bit of magic. It's a fun read, for sure.

Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
If you know J.D. Salinger, you kind of know what to expect. Bad language, but interesting thoughts. Two stories in one. Franny is a college student and she is tired of the selfish culture in which she lives, but doesn't know what to think about the religious and spiritual paths she is exploring. She kinds of suffers a breakdown, which is where Zooey, her older brother, steps into the story. He's there at the apartment with her and does what an older brother would do. Offers advice and also tells her things like they are, causing her to cry but finally understand something deeper. There's no action in this book. It's all conversations that explore that young culture in 1955.

25 June 2014

Lighten Up

Cheer up, my fiend. If you're having a rough day, you can start it over right now.
My little doctor pen wanted to pass that message along to you.
And also -- lighten up. I think it's telling me that.

I usually find myself in a state of gratefulness and thankfulness each day. I believe God has provided gifts in all moments of the day set-up as reminders of His love. No matter what we are given, there's a positive light to find. God wants to make something good out of something that might be less than dandy.

I try to see those gifts all day. To focus. To be inspired by the good things that God allows to unfold before my eyes.

But it's hard sometimes. Occasionally I feel frustrated from something going on that day or from something coming back from the past. How can I lighten up when hurt/frustration rise like waves returning to the shore?

The answer comes as a smile in my heart.
Laugh. Smile.
Always the things that evades me all too easily. And the things that stare me right in the face.

My super-detailed nature will kick into gear and steer my ship in that focused direction, sometimes by-passing the gentle lapping shoreline where I should be making a stop along the way. I need the reminder to pause. To laugh. It does me so much good.

I love this little doctor pen I have at my desk. My company exclusively works with doctors, so it's a very appropriate prop (which, funny enough, my chef friend Emily gave me), which I use as a reminder to lighten up. To laugh. To give thanks.

24 June 2014

A Note to Writers

Stop hesitating. Stop waiting until you feel you have something to write. Just get up and write. Write the words that float around in your head all day and all night. Write the story you meant to commit to memory. Write the words that sit on your heart and you are afraid to set on paper. Nobody is going to read it unless you open your journal to them.

Write what is on your mind and other thoughts will follow. Write about your surroundings and you will realize how much you start to notice about people and places. You will start paying attention to voices at the next table, textures on the floor, expressions on your friend's face, and the scent of the breeze.

Get over your fear of not having anything to say. If you don't sit down and write and practice you will never become better. The hardest part is putting your pen to page. That initial start is the challenge, but once your hand is moving, your mind easily fills the page, releasing all those words like a dam opening to prevent bursting.

Your mind is overflowing with words. It always has been. When you were younger you didn't understand why nobody else had the same eagerness to pick up a book and read or to pick up a pen and write. But there's a reason for that. You were made with this desire in your heart. Just like others are made with other desires to use in life. There are plenty of things you do not desire, such as speaking in front of people a lot or selling things. Writing is your desire.

To write because you love it, above all else. Not to make a living. Not to make money or become famous. But simply because you love it.

If there was no such thing as the Internet and no way to post writings for anyone to stumble upon, you know you would still write like this.

This desire was written on your heart. So keep it going. Don't lose or muffle your writing voice. Don't let a day go by without writing. And when you sit alone in a coffee shop writing, and others look at you with curious expressions, write about them. Use it as material to write about. Your 'being different' is part of God's unique creation and you are a piece of His lovely mosaic. 

23 June 2014

Studying Light

Studying the light
Focusing on that which is good, true, honest, and pure.

I just love the morning light in my office. The way is slices through the blinds leaving interesting shadows and patterns on the floor and wall. Natural light is such a comforting energizer for me. That may seem like an oxymoron to be comforted and energized at the same time, but it is possible. To come into the office and have a brightly lit office, not by a loud fluorescent bulb, but by the natural colours of the bright morning, or sometimes by the overcast morning if a rainstorm is coming. That is an inspiring environment that invokes an awake mind, which is what I need when I am going to work. A mind asleep doesn't do much good at the office.

I love the afternoon light in my home. The glowing rays of fading sunshine that glide through my windows and only linger for a few minutes before clouds and afternoon breezes change the light landscape. The colours in my home seem to change with the shifting light, always providing a new way of looking at my tiny space. I move a stack of books. I rearrange items on my coffee table. And it feels just right. A golden shaft of the deep light comes through my front windows and casts a glow on my pine floor, reaching all the way to the door. It is lovely, and makes me think of some poetic lines in my head. But it's also fading, like a rainbow does. Each time you look at it, it grows a little bit dimmer, until eventually it is too faint to see anymore. Only the memory remains.

20 June 2014

Dreamy English Scenes

My dreamy Summer scenes look like England. Rolling hills and fields of green grass and flowers blooming. Sunshine and white clouds. Strawberries and cream. Apples and custard. Sheep and pastures. Long walks and picnics. Tea and scones. Windows open and a soft breeze. Old books and being outside to read.

I have been daydreaming a lot about England, as usual. The English way is my natural way, so I long for it like I long for the comfort of my own home.

I am taking myself back. I hope you don't mind.

Picture yourself stepping into one of these scenes from Oxford. Peaceful thoughts illuminate your mind as the sounds and sights of nature engage your senses. You walked here, so you know the paths you crossed to get here. You meandered down some narrow roads and passed many other people walking or on bicycles.

And now you are here. The sun is shining, but not burning hot. The shade is cool. The air is bursting with a sweetness not just from blooming flowers, but from the quality of the old. England feels aged, and in the best of ways. It is well-established. It holds centuries of history. It is beauty that has been there for ages, and now you get to experience it, too.

After walking for a while you find a place to sit, or to stand in one spot for a little bit. You are really paying attention to the elements of your surroundings and if you are me, you jot a few notes in your journal. You take several photos. You listen, you look around, you breathe deep the clean air.

Then you notice something in you.
Something like joy. You notice how your muscles are relaxed and your mind is uncluttered. Your soul is filled and a soft smile is on your face. Anxious feelings about life seem dim when flowers are surrounding your feet.

And you know this place is special. It displays the beauty of God's creation to a whole new level. Something almost beyond what you could think is real. Doesn't this kind of beauty only happen in books and stories? These are the kinds of dreamy scenes that are refilling my mind until I step foot back in England again.

19 June 2014

Jots on Words

Break open your words,
let the light shine out,
let ordinary people see the meaning.
 - Psalm 119.130

Sometimes I carry a mini OED in my bag.
That is the Oxford English Dictionary for those who aren't crazy like me.
I love words.

I love learning about the origin, usage, grammar, and spelling of words. I love discovering new words and trying to incorporate them into my writing and speaking.

I've noticed that those who are closest to me will sometimes make comments such as "Kacie and her words....." as if words are attached to me and follow me around wherever I go.
Well, I guess they do.

It might be because I am always writing. In my head, on paper, and on my laptop. Sometimes even on my phone (making notes for later). As I drift off to sleep many times I will have certain phrases or sentences forming in my mind and I think I will remember them in the morning to write down, but alas - morning comes and I cannot remember.

Words are full of goodness. But like all things made for good, they can be used improperly. So be cautious.

Words nourish us with endless possibilities of encouragement, comfort, knowledge, inspiration, and motivation. Words tell us where we have been, where we are now, and where we are going.

Words can open our hearts, soothe our souls, keep us connected with others, fill pages with some lovely thoughts, build bridges, bring healing, and express imaginative creations.

In a poem I wrote several years ago, I write about late evening writing, which is sometimes when the perfect words come rushing together and I must let them pour out:

Late is the hour and busy are my thoughts
A myriad of ponderings have consumed my jots
And I wish I had hours to sift through them
As they dash to and fro on my pages
Blank no more, it is a result of Scriblomania
A condition some have where compulsiveness to write
Is a necessity morning, noon, and night

Scriblomania is a condition, reflected upon in the journals of Charlotte BrontĂ«, which involves the need to write. Almost a compulsive need to write. That's me - "Exhibit A" of the condition Scribliomania

Words are a marvelous creation that we have been given, to which I am particularity thankful, that allows us to sub-create in this world using the grand variety of vowels and consonants. They are the avenue to exploring creativity. They are our tools for communicating all the stories and imaginative thoughts we hold.

A lot of importance seems to be set on words, and with that comes the power. The power we have in choosing the words we use is fundamental in how we build relationships with one another. Are the words we use encouraging, respectful, and loving? Or are they negative, spiteful, and disrespectful? Things could change dramatically with words. Once something is said, it cannot be un-said.

God spoke our world into existence. From everlasting to everlasting His word proves true. God's words are full of mystery and yet His word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our paths.

18 June 2014

Darling Parents

The Summer season holds a lot of days that bring Dad to the forefront of my mind. Father's Day was this past weekend. His birthday is a month away. The anniversary of his passing is two months after that (it will be five years). And anytime I come across freshly cut grass I think of him because he owned a lawn maintenance business for so many years and Summer was always the busiest season. He would walk through the house to the shower, leaving a scent of grass and gasoline.

My Mum sent me this photo of her and Dad at Disney World back around 1974. Cinderella's Castle is behind them. They look so darling, I love it. Of course this is before any of us four children came along.

On Father's Day, I started my morning with a cup of good coffee (locally roasted beans, ground fresh by me, and brewed) and reading a few chapters from the Psalms. I grew into a reflective, thankful mood. After reading, I suddenly set my Bible aside and said in my head --

I miss you Dad. I love you.
And tears immediately filled my eyes.
It doesn't really matter that it was Father's Day. Pretty much any time I am alone and reflective about Dad in heaven the tears tend to well up.

I won't get too sentimental on you but I will say how thankful I am for being raised by such loving parents. I am blessed to have Mum to hang out and laugh with, and I am able to reflect on the wisdom, love, kindness, and generosity of my Dad. If I grow sad and emotional I know it is just part of the loss. The crummy part of living here on earth is that we have to deal with loss and keep on going. No time will be able to change the loss. Anyone who tells you otherwise does not understand. But I know it is okay. With God, everything is going to be okay. This is not the end of all things.
God's in charge -- always.
All is well.
And all shall be well.

17 June 2014

Why You Should Read a Different Version of the Bible

I have this lovely little leatherette Bible that is weathered and used. For many years I only read this Bible, an ESV (English Standard Version). It is a good, steady version. Still formal but true to its history. I didn't want to stray too far from the KJV. And it was a great version to read and grow with. My Bible is full of underlined and marked passages and I could easily flip to certain familiar spots.

There is something comforting in that. In having the Bible full of your marks of favourite passages that got you thinking. You hold it close, like a security blanket, not wanting to let go.

But after some time, the eyes grow dull reading the same lines over and over, and there's a chance it loses a grip on your heart. That's why I think it is important to read a different version of the Bible. A different translation starts you fresh in lines of Scripture cast with slightly different verbiage and sentence structure and you begin to understand things you may have overlooked in your countless readings of your familiar version.

That's how if has been for me, anyway.
I wanted a version that was a lot different because I realized that in my daily readings of the ESV (as much as I loved it) the words were growing trite and I was glossing over a lot of things. I don't want that when I am reading God's Word, so I needed a translation that would help me revisit with new eyes so the words would soak into my heart as if I were reading the Bible for the first time.

I considered reading The Message.
I had my hesitations. Is it too modern? Does it loosely interpret Scripture? Does it hold true to the oldest versions?

So, when I was working in the bookstore at my church one Wednesday night, I talked to Pastor Cory (who happened to stop by) about it and asked for his thoughts. He told me that he was currently reading through The Message and was really liking it. He found that it holds true to the message of the Bible and it is a good way to see things a bit differently using modern text to reveal ancient stories.

Well, that is exactly what I wanted, so I bought The Message that night at the bookstore before I went home.

I've really been enjoying reading a different version. When I read, I find that I am reading slower, absorbing the words and chewing on them because it is not familiar like the ESV became for me. I am understanding certain books and events better than I ever have. So, I encourage you to try it out for yourself. Shake things up by reading a different translation of the Bible that you are not familiar with.

16 June 2014

Simple Days

 Fresh flowers have been my weekly indulgence. 
 When I went to Oxford Exchange last weekend I bought some locally roasted coffee beans from Buddy Brew and I finally got to grind some beans and brew some coffee. Drinking such delicious, freshly roasted coffee only attributes to my inclination to be even more of a coffee-snob. This is some good coffee. Smooth and tangy.
 Rain Rain Rain....each day has contained a cycle of rainstorms coming through and clearing up only to have another rainstorm come though an hour later. I wasn't complaining. It was the perfect accompaniment to my reading on the sofa.
Kashi frozen pizza and lime sparkling water one night. I live a wild life, I tell you.

I had a pretty low-key weekend, which was much enjoyed. Other than running errands around town and visiting at my brother and sis-in-law's house, I stuck around my home and worked on some things I needed to do.

You know sometimes you just need some time to recharge and not have a lot on the agenda. In the heat of the Summer that we are in, I just cannot handle being outside for more than a few minutes, so I think of things I can do inside. We had so much rain anyway (which is actually such a wonderful thing because it cools the air quite a lot), it was perfect for staying inside making cups of tea and reading an entire book. Simple pleasures. Simple days.

13 June 2014

Atmospheric Rain

Raindrops scatter as they hit the glass
window, as if ready to pass
one another to win a race.
A chase from the top of the sky,
I sigh as a response
to this atmospheric moment,
full of tidbits racing, running, rolling;
downward, dripping, dribbling, dropping;
toppling through sun-shaded grey space
underneath a blanket of grace,
Where we can always rest and know that He
loves lavishly upon an undeservé
d you and me.

You might be thinking- gosh this girl talks about rain a lot. Well, with all the talking about the lack of rain we have had as of late, I am now eating my words because we have had several days of stormy, rainy days.

And I am delighted. Isn't it the best? Just sitting here tonight listening to it fall and hit the glass windows inspired this little poem. The words flowed out in a way that reminded me of reading Gerard Manley Hopkins, a favourite poet of mine. Not that I am comparing myself to his great poetry, though. It has been a quiet evening enhanced by the syncopated beat of raindrops with the occasional rumble echoing through the sky. What that brings is a soothing, restful atmosphere, conducive to reading and falling asleep.

11 June 2014

Hanging Out at Oxford Exchange

Welcome to my favourite spot around here. Oxford Exchange is in Tampa, about a 35-40 minute drive from me. Why is it a favourite spot of mine, you ask?

Well, if you put a bookstore, coffee bar, tea bar, restaurant serving local and organic foods, interesting shop, history, gorgeous architecture, and rich & classy design all under one roof, you've got Oxford Exchange. Plus, it's a great place to people-watch.

This place has my name written all over it. I love all the details. The white brick walls, the wood floors, the marble everywhere. I love all the glass and natural light and the wood paneled walls. I love the selection of books maintained in the bookshop and how they display the books. Simple but elegant dishes. High quality food and drink. I love the contrasting black and white floors. I love love love getting a lavender fog from the tea bar. And I love talking about tea with the tea baristas.

I tell you what- it has been blazingly hot lately, and we've had very little rain to cool off the days. So hanging out in one spot that's under one roof that has multiple enjoyable things to do is a good choice. Summer is something treasured by a great host of people because it means time off of school and beach time.

I will treasure Summer for the other elements. Quick drives to Tampa to visit Oxford Exchange (or other cool spots). Enjoying less traffic. Not getting sunburns because I don't sunbathe. Venturing to places far away for an adventure (like the mountains). Summer is not my season of most enjoyment, so I find delightful things that don't involve the heat and humidity as much.

I come to Oxford Exchange and begin my visit with a delicious breakfast scramble with a soy cappuccino in the restaurant. I am the only one sitting at a table writing in a journal. I think I am the only person sitting alone at all. What can I say -- I am a unique soul. For some reason my mind comes alive with words when I sit in a restaurant or coffee shop and I must let those words out on paper.

Oh happy day! What is your Summer hang out spot?

10 June 2014

After the Rain

(Note: I wrote this about a week and a half ago, when we got a good rainstorm. We haven't had any significant rain since, but we sure need it.)

Thick heavy raindrops are falling, falling, falling fast. It is like a cloud double-stocked with water has just burst open and the heavy drops are eager to let gravity take effect. Not that raindrops' emotions make any difference. They let gravity take effect whether they are eager or not.

The wind is blowing the tree tops in waves back and forth. A much-needed good soaking rain is most welcome to wash away the accumulation of heat and dirt.

Kind of like my heart.
It is full of such things in the way of emotion and sin. I need it washed away every single day by a power greater than me.

Thank You, Lord, for being that power greater than that of the universe, all the while caring for me, individually.

Your rain comes and drowns the dirt to remedy my soul. Thankfulness grows in me as the rain continues. The more it lingers the more reflective I become. Lord, You are so good. You provide all that I need and never leave me hanging.

Your goodness and mercy flood over me like this good, soaking rain, and I am reminded that You made me who I am for a reason. I fit into the mold You created me to be. And there is so much more work to be done with using my qualities. Help me stay consistent in following Your path for me, and not stray down a momentary 'want' of my own.

Because after the rain there is much more to do.

09 June 2014

Sweet and Contradicting

There are two equal and eternal ways of looking at this twilight world of ours: we may see it as the twilight of evening or the twilight of morning....

There are times when we are almost crushed, not so much with the load of the evil as with the load of the goodness of humanity, when we feel that we are nothing but the inheritors of a humiliating splendor.

- G.K. Chesterton

Did you know National Doughnut Day was Friday? Well, me either, so I missed it. But over the weekend I made up for it by getting doughnuts from a local spot, Hole-in-One Doughnuts. They make their 
doughnuts each morning on-site, so they are super soft and delicious. But as I munched and read some Chesterton, I had a few thoughts, like aren't doughnuts sort of contradictory? Frying something and making it sweet? But somehow it works. It becomes some delicious.

Leave it to Chesterton to set so many contradicting words and phrases together to engage your mind toward something eternal and timely. Each of our lives (to the outside world) may seem sweet. When we get to choose what we post on social media and what we share in an email or text, we have control over what our lives look like to others. But we are really full of contradictions. We give advice and do not heed it for ourselves. We say we are good when someone asks "how are you?" when we are actually struggling with something.We put on the happy face and sugar coat our contradictory nature.

We all do it. It is something of our culture, and I suspect it goes even deeper. However, I want to try to be more intentional about what I say to those who are closest to me. If I am indeed struggling with something, I want to turn that into an opportunity to ask for prayer or to ask the other person how I can pray for them. In other words- I want to bring God into the focus. Recognizing and acknowledging God in all circumstances. Didn't Paul write with instruction to pray without ceasing?

That is what I am working on in my life. Prayer. It's not that it is absent, but I just need more of it. But it's not easy, is it?
So, how are you doing?

06 June 2014

Thankful Friday

I am summing up this week with things that I am thankful for. It has been a very busy week. But it has been full of good things, so I cannot complain. I feel like I have hardly had a moment to sit and let my imagination wander, which usually leaves me feeling emptied, but this week has seen a taste of variety each day, and I think that has kept things spiced enough to tide me over. I might be making myself hungry by using food references. So, I will move along.

This week I am thankful for:

- Getting a construction tour lead by our head pastor of the new church building

- Rainy days curled up with some tea and dreamy thoughts
- My role at work and the successes we get to share
- Tea and talks with a friend
- Being a tiny part of the community at church
- Taco night at a friend's house
- Family that I love
- The sunlight in the morning
- Cheerful birds chirping
- Less humidity this week
- Extra cups of tea in a giant mug
- Filling pages in my journal
- Making to-do lists and getting items crossed off
- Laughing hysterically while on the phone with Mum about something silly
- Travel adventures coming up
- A new bag perfect for adventures
- A free venti cappuccino
- Finishing reading a few books

05 June 2014


I might have grown up in the latter part of the 80's, but I was too young to appreciate the music of the 80's. Ask me about 80's music and I will look at you, clueless. The 90's was my decade. Especially when I got to the age where I went to youth group and discovered even more. My family went to so many concerts. It was a blast. 

I had way to much fun searching through these old songs. I definitely stayed up late a few nights just watching You Tube and bringing back memories of those jolly days as a youngster. 
But these songs and music videos were my favourites back in the day. Are the 90's eligible yet to qualify as "back in the day"? It is crazy to me that kids these days have never used cassette tapes and probably never use CDs. Also, looking at this list I made, it doesn't seem that I listened to many female singers! If you want some 90's entertainment, click on each group and song listed below.

Smalltown Poets - There is Only You

Reality Check - Masquerade

Jars of Clay - Crazy Times

Newsboys - Entertaining Angels

Delirious? - Deeper

AVB - U R Not Alone

Acappella  - I Feel Good

DC Talk - My Friend (So Long)

Burlap To Cashmere - Eileen's Song

The Echoing Green - The Power Cosmic

04 June 2014

He is

He is mighty
I am small
He's the ruler of it all

He is tender
I am cold
He makes the sky unfold

He is the light
I give into fear
I forget that He is always near

He is love expanding
I build up a wall
His grace and mercy covers it all

There are many times when I feel small. When spending time in nature I sure do, especially when I am in the presence of something grand, like mountains, waterfalls, or an ocean. The tiny bits of God's creation that we can see at a time is all that we can handle, and even that is vast and amazing. In a sliver of night sky we can see millions of stars and possibly a planet or two and we can scarcely imagine the size and power of their presence.

I don't think our smallness makes us less important. It actually makes us more important. Why would God create a seemingly endless universe that stretches far beyond what our strongest telescopes can reach? Why would He create the variety of nature, landscapes, and our creative imaginations if He didn't truly love us with vigor? God wants us to be in His creation to explore, discover, and enjoy. It doesn't ever get boring. He didn't slap a slipshod generic stamp on our universe. He made it intricate - full of puzzles to give our insatiable curiosities a place to roam, wander, and muse upon. There is always something new to us.