For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? 

I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

Isaiah 43:10 NLT

We spent the long holiday weekend with my family in the Blue Ridge mountains of southwestern Virginia, the place I grew up.

We left a temperature of 94 degrees and three hours later found ourselves at the top of the mountain  at a mild and pleasant 72. I’m always amazed at this and we are never quite prepared for the change.

As you begin to climb the winding steep road, the vegetation grows greener and more lush with every passing turn.

The views are stunning.

Breathtaking.

In this beautiful and lush place my family calls home, there is wasteland.

Wilderness.

Places that run deep and dry inside us, longing for the river, The River of Life, as we are called to pass through the wilderness. March through the desert.

As we gather as a family, there are life changing events taking place among us. Hard, heart wrenching changes. Cross country location change. A life derailed by physical challenges. Grandchildren now past high chairs and sippy cups, all grown up and feathering nests of their own. 

Empty places to be filled.

Over the next few weeks, tears will be shed. Changes made. New normals. 

Hearts spent and empty. Needing to be refilled. Cradled in the hands of The One who will one day bend down and wipe our tears. 

The Hands that will hold us when we can no longer hold ourselves.

We came together as a family with a trunk load of problems past and present, fears and worries creeping stealthily among us.

And there our cups overflowed. 

Underneath a carport, where chairs were gathered and time was spent.

Overflowed with love and laughter. Tales of past. Some exaggerated to be sure. Food galore. Horns that played. Fireworks and sparklers all around. A small town parade, not to be beat by any other. Tummies full of decadent peach ice cream. Watermelon slices. Smores, the best kind of summer dessert. 

Memories made.

I looked around this circle of family, faces and lives etched upon my heart. History made. Legacy’s lived out. 

And my cup was full.

Not just full. Overflowing. More blessings than I could count.

Overflowing, though I know there are some rough paths ahead, some through the wilderness, some through the desert. 

Overflowing, because I know beyond a doubt we are cared for by a Faithful Farther who will bring us steams of water in these wastelands, living water to our parched hearts. 

Bringing something new in each of our lives.

Graced by God

Tammy Mashburn