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This past weekend, Keith and I visited family in southern Virginia. Indian Summer’s warm sunshine and gentle breezes graced us as we walked the fields behind Keith’s brother and sister-in-law’s property. Heathcliff and Freya frolicked and smiled, their doggie tongues lolling with happiness to be outside with us.

While driving home on Saturday, leaves swirled across Route 460. The afternoon sun disappeared by the time we reached Appomattox. The temperature display on the car dash dropped from 71 degrees to 55 in two hours.

After unpacking the car, Keith built a fire in the woodstove. Heathcliff and Freya did their “hurry-ups” then ate and retreated to their “nest beds” beside the stove’s gentle warmth.

The wind blew through the night, and we woke on Sunday morning to temperatures in the 30s. Few trees in the Rockfish Valley still wore their autumn finery. Those on the Three Ridges looked like toothpicks against a pre-winter sky.

In a recent blog post, Ann Voskamp wrote about her mother walking through the woods. “Mama” walked with a stick and stirred the leaves so she didn’t miss “the now right under her,” Voskamp wrote. “You walk a bold, amazed way when you know the destination is right here.

Then Voskamp quoted a line from “When Death Comes,” Mary Oliver’s poem: “When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement.”

Married to amazement.

“You can live your life as the bride married to Hurry, having affairs with Not Enough, Always Stress, and Easy Cynicism,” Voskamp stated. Hurry, Not Enough, Always Stress, Easy Cynicism—that pretty much summed up the spring and summer of my life. Now in my autumn years, I wondered to what am I married?

Our Women’s Ministry group at Bethany Lutheran Church is reading Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp’s book, Relationships: A Mess Worth Making. “Good relationships are always built on the foundation stones of identity and worship,” Lane and Tripp wrote. They stated that we get our identities horizontally through human relationships and vertically in relationship with God.

thanksgiving2016As the sun rose across the Rockfish Valley this morning, I gazed in amazement at the beauty of God’s creation right here. I gave thanks for His blessings, including the tough challenges that humble me—especially those.

Giving thanks and humility, a vertical relationship, that’s what I want to be married to.

To what are you married?

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