Lizard lessons, because I like alliteration, I'm in a desert, and the lizards seem to be the only thing moving. So my lessons, the one's I've gotten a grip on so far, are the only things that seem to be moving in my life. Other than my oldest turning 20 in two weeks, my only daughter looking at only 5 months of high school before heading across the country to college, and my youngest being the "only lonely" left at home; a position I played quite well myself as a teen. I know there are lessons in there somewhere, but for now the obvious ones. So my crazy American/Afghan friend? The one who told me how much he loved his desert experience and I told him he was crazy? So, it turns out he might have been right, although I still think he's crazy. I'm not giving him too much credit yet, 'cause I'm still sitting by this rock, but I have grown to love this place. I don't know if I'll ever understand all that's changed in me these past 20 months, but I know I love this place. I was at a church two months ago, trying hard to participate in the song part of the service. I was singing and closing my eyes and everything. All I could think about was how desperately I wanted to run out of the building, away from the noise, the people and the wall that was separating my heart from Jesus' heart and go someplace quiet, someplace alone and still and just listen to the wind blow and wonder about this God I love. And like the quick wit that I am, it took me all of 15 minutes (ha!) to realize..."Oh, the desert! I WANT to be in the desert!" That was the day I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started loving this place I'm stuck. I longed for more and more moments of absolute quiet, absolute solitude. It is in this place that my heart has begun to understand Shalom and the Rest that Jesus invited me into. I love the sand, the rocks, the cactus, the little flowers that bloom in secret to be discovered by me if I'm still and pay attention. I love the solitude and being able to hear my heart for what might be the first time in my life. I feel more connected to God here, in a completely different way than I ever imagined. And despite writing this on a blog, I hunger for this part of the journey I'm on to remain my treasure just between me and the God I love. The depths to which He has touched me, I will never be able to convey in language, so that part remains truly secret, truly safe. Thank you, sweet Afghan friend. I miss your stories and I will always be grateful for the crazy way you share your life. But I bet my desert's better than yours.