I suppose it happens slowly, like growth does, one inch at a time, one day, one foot in front of the other. But sometimes it doesn't seem like that. Sometimes we get a card in the mail or we read a quote or we hear a verse or we open a door and the crowd is yelling surprise and we're new, just like that. Brand new.

I nearly wish it wasn't like that. I wish that we could catalogue the million nuances and pinpricks and small decisions along the way that find us waking one day to difference, but I'm not sure God designs us like that. We are too prone to chess-playing with our lives as it is.

All I know is that I wake these mornings and I feel the difference in me, it spouts out of my mouth and ushers my feet to beautiful things. It opens my Bible and journal happily and my fingers itch for my camera. I keep the music on, or not and say no to a hundred distractions in favor of better things. I turn the globe to the other side of the world facing out--this is what remind me to pray and not just miss. I learn to love this place and I learn to be grateful for what I have left behind.

I learn to love the gift of this day. Only this one.

One of these pinpricks or shoves in the right direction has been the concept of entering heaven. In the past I have imagined entering heaven cowering in the beauty of all that is holy while I stood in sin and rags. But I am learning that when that day comes there will be no taskmaster standing there with a list of tasks and a boot prepared to kick me out should I have missed only one. There will not even be a litany of questions belted at me, relegating me to better or lesser levels of heaven. There will only be Someone who asks what I did with this day, only this one.

Were my eyes looking up? Was my heart bent on Him? Then welcome home, beloved, today you're brand new.