Although we greeted the New Year with snores of very welcome sleep, we woke up to another bright, beautiful day in 2011, thanks be to the God Who holds this all together and keeps it running1.

He not only gives us the gift of this Earth and each day on it, but He gave us some very special gifts this Christmas. The first was a set of skate skis for Donna. She’s loved skate skiing since she lived in Colorado many years ago, but since she doesn’t often get to skate (like, twice in 15 years!), she could never justify buying a pair of skate skis, which cost several hundred dollars. But as we visited with good friends in Germany, they mentioned that someone had given the wife a set of skate skis. They didn’t like skating the one time they tried it, however, would we like the skis? We could barely dare to say, yes! But they very generously gave us not only a pair of skate skis, but the boots and poles, too, which fit Donna perfectly! An unexpected gift from God that spoke volumes in a very unique way.

If that weren’t enough, this just happened to happen only a couple days before we were going to XC ski and snowshoe for a few days over the vacation. God authored this story, then signed it with His special signature of coincidence, a small miracle where God remains anonymous.

Then He continued to shower kindness on us, allowing us four wonderful days of exploring a winter mountain valley with all its associated beauty and fun: seemingly endless XC ski and snowshoe trails for Mommy and Daddy, and use of a sled for sliding along the walking paths and down 1+km sledding hills for Zoe (and Mommy & Daddy!).

Sometimes it makes me wonder what Africa will be like, that God is filling us with such wonder and joy now. I quite willingly walk His path now, with all the blessings He showers upon us. Will I walk it as joyfully when it moves down the mountain slopes and into the shadows and valleys? Lord, teach me to fix my eyes ever on You2, here where I can see You clearly, so that I’ll still be able to see You through the haze that will likely come, as You draw us along this path of life on Earth.

Hiking the road less traveled in the Alps.

1. Colossians 1:17
2. Romans 12:1-3