Nancy Moser

Nancy Moser is the award-winning author of over twenty inspirational novels. Her genres include contemporary stories including John 3:16 and Time Lottery, and historical novels of real women-of-history including Just Jane (Jane Austen) and Washington's Lady (Martha Washington). Her newest historical novels are Masquerade and An Unlikely Suitor. Nancy and her husband Mark live in the Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She gives Sister Circle Seminars around the country, helping women identify their gifts as they celebrate their sisterhood. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included. Find out more at and and her historical blog:


The Crest of the Hill

I will point out the road that you should follow.
Psalm 32:8 (CEV)

My great-grandfather Noach Swenson immigrated from Sweden to Minnesota in 1869. His dream was to own his own land and farm (in Sweden only the oldest son inherited land.) He was only nineteen years old when he made the trip, and he had to work for others until he was twenty-one, when he could homestead. His farms prospered, and his son George eventually took over.

George was my grandfather. My mother (now, ninety) grew up on those farms.

Imagine Minnesota in 1869: The land was prime farm land, without the rocks that grew from Swedish soil like weeds. If you stood in the middle of a field of native grasses, you could turn in a circle and see the sky as an inverted bowl above you. The land fell away in gently rolling hills, with few trees except for those that grew naturally along the banks of streams and rivers. Surely to stand in such a place would make a farmer’s throat tighten, his heart beat strongly in his chest, and his thoughts soar. The possibilities were endless. The world was his and others like him for the taking.

In his later years after he’d retired and moved to town (he died in 1935), Noach still loved to ride out to the farms. He marveled at the gravel roads, for when he’d come to Minnesota, there’d been no roads. When asked how they found their way without roads, he answered: “We’d get to the top of a ridge, look around, make a plan of action, and go to the next ridge, where we’d make a new plan.”

Simple, yet also quite profound. A good philosophy for life in general.

And perhaps that’s how our pioneer ancestors got by, how they kept going amid all the hardships and challenges. They’d go to a high place and look for a new way to go.

Perhaps their way can become our way—should become our way—for life is still hard, and we face new challenges every day. The way to persevere and find victory is to go to a high place and take a look. Make a plan. And when we need more direction, go to a high place again, and look and plan . . .

The good news is that we can find that high place wherever we are, whether we’re standing in the middle of New York City, in a desert in New Mexico, in the mossy woods of the northwest, or along the Gulf shore. To get to our high place, all we have to do is look up to the heavens, to God, the Lord Most High. “I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High” (Ps. 7:17 NIV).

He is always there to help us make a plan of action that will take us to the next ridge of our lives, and the next. And the next. “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps” (Prov. 16:9).


Nancy Moser