From Peak to Peak {The Grove: Fresh}

I see my life as a series of peaks with each peak representing ten years. It could be because I am from Colorado, famous for mountains and snow, or it could be this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere, but I see these peaks blanketed in beautiful powder snow.

When a new “zero” comes around, I picture myself at the top of one of the peaks. I am able to see the decade behind me and the picture my footsteps made the in the snow. Step-by-step 30 becomes 31 and 32 and 33 and the years pass until my final step on that peak is taken.

Often I have a different perspective when I look back and survey the decade behind me than I did at the in the middle of the steps I took. Parts are fun to review, others, frankly I care less about with time; on occasion, I can see how good came out of seasons that I never could have anticipated in the middle of them.

Then I turn and look at the fresh snow before me—the next decade I will live. I wonder how my story will continue? How will it change? What do I hope to see as I look back when I reach the next peak?

Not all of my thoughts are deep. I wonder if this will finally be the decade that my beloved Denver Broncos (American football) and Kansas Jayhawks (the most amazing university in America) will each be champions in the same year. That, that my friends will be a year to behold!

I do not have any clear memories of turning 10 or 20. Age 30 found me celebrating in Chengdu (China) and I rang 40 in by “making” my community in Beijing come to a murder mystery dinner in the midst of all the busyness of the holidays. I remember turning 30 and 40, looking back at my footsteps of my life in the snow. In many ways, my 20s and 30s were nothing like what I had anticipated when it came to specific plans I thought might unfold. But in ways that matter, they went “according to plan” – grow, invest, enjoy, laugh, befriend.

I reached another peak last week. I am at the beginning of a fresh decade. The landscape of white in front of me. It is my year of jubilee. I am 50! (and I am 50? What in the world!)

I am aware that my dad only saw two peaks beyond where I stand. I am not guaranteed to see even that many.

You are also at the beginning, maybe not of a decade, but of a fresh year—be it in the Church Year or the calendar year. The snow is freshly fallen and you have yet to take many steps.

With this week’s theme, what do you need as you travel through 2018?

Do you need in your home, in your team, within yourself:

Fresh peace

Fresh hope

Fresh love

Fresh faith

A fresh sense of anticipation

A fresh perspective

A fresh mindset

A fresh understanding of God himself

A fresh relationship with your health

A fresh understanding of what it means to serve cross-culturally

Fresh joy!

Fresh communication skills

Fresh cultural insight


“Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’” (from Revelation 21)


Savor that word. Let it roll around on your tongue. Behold.

Though this verse is about the new heaven and the new earth, we know God is in the business of making all things new. As you stand at the mini-peak of this new year, behold! God can give you fresh hope, fresh love, fresh joy, fresh long-suffering.

What do you need God to make fresh in you and your life? I said that my goals are to “grow, invest, enjoy, laugh, befriend”—what are the overall goals of your life?


P.S. Next Monday night Velvet Ashes will be holding an awareness and fund-raising event in Denver. Will you join in praying that God blesses those who attend with how very much he loves you and the light you shine in the world? If you want to share this invitation with people you know in Denver, please do. We will also have a “Velvet Ashes” table, so please come and meet others from our community!


This is The Grove and we want to hear from you! You can link up your blog post, or share your practices, ponderings, wisdom, questions, ideas, and creative expressions with us in the comments below.

And share on this week’s theme of “Fresh” with photos tagged #VelvetAshesFresh.

Here’s our Instagram collection from this week using #VelvetAshesFresh. You can add yours!


  1. Bonita January 5, 2018

    I feel I need all those things you listed, well almost all. I am especially struggling with faith and hope, I want more. Thank you for this encouragement that God does make things new. I know that he is doing that in my life but I don’t see the big picture.

  2. Aylin January 6, 2018

    Happy late birthday, Amy! Thank you for all your work for VA! 🙂 Love your encouragement to behold the One who is making all things new – it such a good reminder that He is in the business of remaking us and that his victory is sure… especially right now at the beginning of this year. We are in the need of fresh strength for many reasons. Praising Him for what He is all about. Our destiny in Him is secure. Thank you!

  3. T January 7, 2018

    Happy birthday, Amy! Jubilee!!!! But… I’ve been watching KU this season…I don’t think it will be their best! I really hope we can at least hold onto the Big 12 title, but doubt it ( I’m at least a week behind in games, but thankful for the games waiting for me on YouTube).
    For just over a week, I’ve been asking for fresh love for those around me. I’m thankful that is exactly the type of request our Father loves to grant abundantly. Like a kid saying, “Mom, can I please have some more kale?” He smiles and scoops it out of his never diminishing pot and plops it down for us!

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