I've been praying to see a bear for months. Months. I thought maybe I'd see one here...
...but I didn't. Leona did though. Basically crawled right into her kitchen. Leona is Dad's cabin neighbor. And this is Dad's cabin.
This is the kitchen. You'll notice there are two "appliances" — a refrigerator and a table saw/table. Don't be alarmed, we unplug it and blow it off with the air compressor before we have the mountain dew and peanut butter cup breaks.
Dad and I made some Philosophy Flowers delivery boxes with the table-saw/table. Good thing we did. The day after I got back to Virginia I got a call for a slew of centerpieces. They got toted around in these...
Remember the bear prayer? Well, it finally happened — the day after the centerpieces. Meet Millie.
Millie lives at the top of Grandfather Mountain — a place that is every bit as magical as it sounds. It is covered in rhododendrons. And by covered, I mean, come May it will be a jungle! Like, you might go in and never come out — jungle. That would be alright with me though. I love rhododendrons.
Grandfather Mountain is also home to the extremely rare pink-shell azalea. That's right, I learned that listening to the audio tour because that's how I roll. Like my dad says, you only live once.
You do only live once.
As I sat on the top of Grandfather Mountain with Millie I just had this renewed realization that today, today as in this present moment, right now, is special — really special. The Lord had granted the quirky little desire of my heart once again and it was time to enjoy it. I watched Millie sit on her rock. I watched her rinse her feet off in the pond and lick them clean...several times (she's a very clean bear!). I'm pretty sure she even shot me a smile.
I spent a lot of my pre-flower life living in the future or the past, but rarely in the moment. I was carrying a lot of hurt and questions in my heart. For the longest time I had this idea God "allowed" bad things to happen to me. That it was to make me "stronger." And some people believe that and hold that philosophy, but I don't. It pushed me away from God.
Truth is, God loves me. He also walks with me, bearing my burdens. It's a privilege to love Him through whatever comes. I didn't feel like that at the time, but I sang my anthem over and over again, and God healed my heart.
He is present — always present, enjoying me, Millie and the mountain.