I spent time on my deck this summer, this little deck of ours that overlooks the pasture and the barn. Sometimes with friends, visiting and sharing as Dad spoke of in his last post. Sometimes alone, with a cup of coffee and a book. This was my summer vacation, and it was sweet.

It was a quick trip away, a run for groceries and such, where we happened upon him, our friend, by luck. We were in the city doing our stuff, and he was there for a wedding and after furious texting and shuffling of the To Do list, we were able to meet him for a visit. This vagabond friend of my husband. This friend who builds things and hunts things and is incredibly fun and happy and busy with life, wherever it takes him.

He showed pictures. The houses he’d been building with decks as big as our barn. The bear he’d shot. The pictures he’d snapped of our family when we’d visited him last summer. The mountains he’d hunted and the places he’d been. We drank coffee and talked and laughed.

And then we came home.

To a little bit of land, and a few chickens and goats, and a barn as big as some decks.

It seemed small.

And as the year begins, this year of science and stories and learning and endless bowls of soup and countless loaves of bread… This year of children growing and almost leaving and, of course, evil math… This year of journal writing and memory making and mistake making…

As it all begins, this year of all these things, I’m conscious of the smallness of my life. And I pray that He will take it all, this small offering, and make it grand.

He will.