Beginning the new year in a place of escape was fantastic. It was so good to get away. I found while I was vacationing at the end of the holiday season, away from my peers, parties, socializing and all the hype, a new year meant more. Any resolutions I felt inclined to make, and realizations I made, were completely free from peer pressure and the hype of everyday life. Being in a small cabin in the snowy mountains of Northern California left room for the Holy Spirit to teach me new things. He opened my eyes to the kind of spiritual atmosphere I need to be fostering in my life on a regular basis. It’s been shocking to see how much of a rut I’ve fallen into. I was in a bad mental place when I left for Shasta and I didn’t even realize it. Going to the mountains; full of peace and serenity, and perspective, was just what I didn’t know I needed. I’m so very thankful for places that exist in the world like Mount Shasta, providing an escape for busy little girls like me who need to get themselves together. Each day I woke up, looked out the window in my loft bedroom, and thought to myself, “Is this a dream?” The beauty of God’s Creation is so overwhelming. I experienced so many new things on the West Coast: clam chowder in a bread bowl, snow, sledding, a fire in a furnace, building a snowman, the list goes on. Each new experience was God showing me more about myself, and Himself. I can remember every new thing I saw and learned on the West Coast, and I can let those things be a gateway into growth and boldness in 2016.
The atmosphere of the mountain – of the cabin – is hard to describe. Mount Shasta is a very spiritual place, and I felt an immense amount of peace and joy there. Words don’t do justice to this volcano, what some call a spiritual vortex. It was like I could feel the stress and distractions fading as we drove up the winding roads and into the snow-covered foothills of the mountain. When we pulled into the driveway of the cabin and got out, it was like stepping into a movie. It was a dreamland with snow covering the ground, a creek running behind the house, and a wood-burning stove in the center of the living room. I slept in a loft and had a view of the creek and inside of the cabin. Being tucked up in the rafters for a week made for plenty of napping and writing. We had snowball fights, went sledding, and I ate to my hearts content! The evenings always ended with a movie and early bedtimes. I loved every minute of it.
Good quality friends, plenty of time outdoors, and delicious food. Time to tell stories, listen to family, and laugh. Rest. Rejuvenation. Joy. Refreshing. Precious things I hope we can all reflect on and carry into our 2016.