Who here has a plan for their life? A dream, a goal, a desire to reach a long-mapped out destination of your own choosing? It is a way of life for us to spend years planning and preparing and envisioning the way life will be. And it rarely turns out exactly as we had imagined.

So what do you do with a life that doesn’t go as planned? Do you rail against the unforeseen twists of fate? Or do you look for where God is working in the unseen and trust the outcome in the life you can see?

These are the questions facing Jeannie Light as her book Beautiful on the Mountain opens. Facing divorce and having to move from the home she loves, Jeannie cautiously steps out into a life she never imagined. Her story takes her to a piece of farmland in the mountains of Virginia where God offers healing for her heart and a calling on her life.


Her new hometown (if one could even call it a town) is comprised of a small, loosely-knit group of people who are just determined enough to stay in a place forgotten by time and a better economy. Some of them are there by heritage, some by choice, and some because they have no place else to go at the moment. Enter Jeannie, who has come to this community for many of the same reasons.

Then enter God who has a plan even in the desperate places we find ourselves. 

As Jeannie learns to listen to God and to see His answers in such an unlikely place, she is led to the life God asked her to live. And along the way she makes friends, pastors a people, and helps to revive the spirit…and the Spirit…in this place.

It turns out that Jeannie and these people were a mutual answer to prayers. Funny how God works sometimes.



How often do you find a book whose title resonates with you right from the start? For me, having relocated to the mountains last fall, Beautiful on the Mountain wasn’t a title I could just pass on by. Instead it seemed like more than destiny for me to read a story about a woman who comes to the mountains and learns to make a life where God has planted her.

The truth is that we all have a life to live. The challenge comes when life doesn’t turn out the way we had expected…or hoped…or dreamed. Like Jeannie, we all have to look for how God is working as He unfolds what is next. It’s not easy to do, but the outcome is often more than we asked or imagined.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21


This is exactly what Jeannie’s story has inspired me to do. For whatever God’s plan or purposes are, He often brings us to this very mountain. It doesn’t matter if your mountain is a figurative one, or as literal as Jeannie’s was. Whenever we get there, we get to choose. We can choose to ignore Him, His plan, His words, His working. Or we can choose to live the life we’re given.

We can choose that regardless of how closely it matches our plan.

We can choose it even if it’s not what we think we want.

We can choose it even when we can’t see the purpose in it.

We can choose it even when we wonder why. 

Then we can truly start living the life we were meant to have. 


Want to win your own copy of Jeannie’s book? Leave a comment below and share how you are choosing to live the life you’ve been given. On Friday, June 6, I’ll choose a winner at random!







Tyndale House provided me a free copy of this book to review. All opinions expressed are my own. This post may contain affiliate links which help to support the site (disclosure).


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Holly Barrett

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