A few of my childhood years were spent in southern California and they were my happiest. I’d lived in prettier places, like Oregon and Washington and when I think back to our time in California, I remember a lot of brown. Brown mountains lined the highway and brown yards boasted gravel instead of grass.  The brown was only broken up by pale green cacti, eucalyptus trees and palms. Nothing like the deep greens of the Northwest.

But there was one big reason I liked it there: my grandparents. It was the only time I enjoyed living in the same town as them, and boy, did we make the most of it. We went on bike rides and camped. We drove up mountains in Grandpa’s convertible and helped Grandma mind her store. They knew my favorite soda was root beer and always had it for me if we went on a picnic. Grandma and Grandpa thought we were special and they acted like it was a treat to have us along. I felt carefree with them.

It makes me think I wouldn’t care if heaven was a dry, brown desert. I can’t wait to live in the same place as God and see how much He loves me. I want to watch His face light up when I come around. I want to tell Him things He already knows and see He still likes to hear me say them. I want to sit quietly with Him and listen to the wind move the leaves on the trees. If He’s made me a mansion, I know I’ll never forget how well He knows me because my favorites will be everywhere. It’s incredible to know my happiest years are in my future.

The photo above is of my grandpa and me. He’s sitting on a picnic table, hugging me, and it seems we were eating apples together. He wore that fishing hat a lot, but didn’t fish, thank God.

Can you see how safe I felt? Inside those big strong arms, I didn’t have a care in the world. My soul could rest. That’s how it’ll be when we find ourselves finally with God in person. He promises to be with us now, even though we can’t feel His arms around us. God is crazy about us, so we have nothing to be afraid of and so much to be delighted about. Near the top of that list should probably be the fact that He’s delighted by us.