Nancy Moser

NANCY MOSER is the best-selling author of twenty-five novels, including Love of the Summerfields, Christy Award winner, Time Lottery; Christy finalist Washington’s Lady; and historical novels Mozart’s Sister, The Journey of Josephine Cain, and Masquerade. Nancy has been married for forty years—to the same man. She and her husband have three grown children and five grandchildren, and live in the Midwest. She’s been blessed with a varied life. She’s earned a degree in architecture; run a business with her husband; traveled extensively in Europe; and has performed in various theatres, symphonies, and choirs. She knits voraciously, kills all her houseplants, and can wire an electrical fixture without getting shocked. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included. Find more at, her historical blog:, Facebook:, Pinterest:, Twitter:, and Goodreads:


Standing on the Rock

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

                                                           Psalm 18: 2      (NIV)

The trail to Mill Lake is long—3.5 miles. It doesn’t sound like that great a distance to walk. An hour’s work at the most. On flat land. But in the Rocky Mountains, 3.5 miles means up, and switching back and forth on narrow trails. I have no proof, but I think the distance is measured according to how-the-crow-flies.

As with all mountain hikes the thin air of the 11,000-plus feet taxes our lungs which are used to the 1000-foot elevation of Kansas. We have to stop often and gasp for air, breathing deeply until our lungs stop burning and our legs stop aching.

All to begin again for the next leg of the trail.

It’s hard. It’s a strain. So why have we repeatedly subjected ourselves to such torture, every summer for over forty years?

There are three reasons. Number one, because of the utter accomplishment of it. It’s like writing a book, I don’t necessarily like writing, but I like “having written” and reaching the goal. I don’t necessarily like hiking but I like having hiked, and reaching the goal.

Love of the Summerfields

The second reason we keep torturing ourselves is the silence. We like to take the hikes early, while most Colorado vacationers are just waking up or standing in line at Mountain Home to have biscuits and gravy, coffee, and enormous cinnamon rolls. We usually have the trail to ourselves and only see people hours later, on the way down, when they are on their way up.

The natural perfection of the trail continues to inspire. Even when there are downed trees it’s like they are meant to be that way, for God placed them there. The wildflowers finding life in the crevices of rocks, the chipmunks darting past, the heady smell of pines, and the clouds slowly floating by speak of perfection beyond what mere humans can attain. Nowhere do I feel closer to God than on the trail, in this place that always was and always will be, a place He designs and cares for when night falls and we humans leave. For the wilderness is His. We only get to visit.

Yet we have to stop walking to notice all this. While we are hiking our ears are assailed with the sound of the crunching of our feet upon the dirt and pebble path, our huffing as we test our lungs…It reminds me that in my daily life I need to stop more. Listen more. Take deep breaths, and let my body recalibrate and get a second wind before moving on—no matter what altitude I’m at. I need to notice the world around me with all its details, using all five senses. Too often I let it rush by. Too often I forget the forest.

The third reason I hike are the rocks. Boulders actually. The car- and house-sized pebbles of the Almighty that He tossed into place and arranged just-so. We have our favorites along these familiar trails, the boulders we need to climb upon as part of our ritual. It’s while standing on top of those rocks that we know why we’re here—why we exist.

It’s different up there. For while we are down on the path, pebbles move under our feet, we have stones and tree roots to step over, and the crossing of a tiny stream makes the going slippery. But climbing onto the rocks makes us feel stable and safe. The rocks are always ready to support us, lifting us to high ground, with dry boots, where we can see the big picture. It forces us to stop looking down (as we have to do both coming up and going down the trail) and makes us look up and out, to see the world in a different way, to see the bigger picture beyond what’s close by. It helps us see God and how He’s layered the vistas together to create a magnificent whole. I thank God that He is there to support me, share with me, and be my rock.

Mountains or prairie, city or village, He is the rock upon which we stand.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.

“My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”
(1834 Edward Mote)