Trail around the lake at the park
Hiking down the gas pipeline
I am still getting over being sick and, though I don’t like to be sick, it was nice last week to have a break. I realize perhaps God had given me this one last week to be alone with him, all appointments cancelled just before school was out and kids are home every day. I hadn’t even thought about it, but this was my last week to enjoy being alone with Him. So though I don’t like being sick, I am thankful for my special time with Him.
This past weekend I still wasn’t all well, but I had not walked all week so I really wanted to get out and hike. Even though I felt tired from being sick, it felt really good to get my blood pumping and actually felt like a little exercise would speed my healing. We didn’t have much time so we just hiked down the gas pipeline behind my Dad’s house again, which in a mile leads to a nearby park with wooded trails. It is really cool how you can hike through the middle of suburbs and neighborhoods through this vast grassy area that makes you feel like you are miles from civilization out in the country.
This day it was really, really hot! Well, it was only 88, which is not unusual for Memphis, but it was the first hot day this year and very humid and we are not used to it yet. Plus this hike is more in the sun, so we were sweltering! We found a couple of ticks from walking through the grass, so I decided to put on the 100% DEET that we had with us. Well, apparently I am allergic, because by the time we got to the park, my legs were red, inflamed, and covered with hives! At first I thought the mosquitoes were really, really bad. My legs looked like they were covered in big welts. But then we realized no one else had mosquito bites, and it must have been the DEET. My legs were on fire and itchy. Plus I still did not feel all well, so I was pretty miserable at one point. We sat down to rest by the lake at the park. I got my legs washed off and took an antihistamine. As we started heading back, I finally began to feel better as the gentle breeze cooled my legs. What sweet relief it was to have the itching and burning subside.
Overall it was a really fun trip despite getting over being sick, my allergic reaction, and the heat! But it was great to get out after being in the house all week. It felt great to exercise and to explore, and so I’m thankful for our latest adventure through the wilds of Memphis. (Only three weeks to Appalachian Trail Vermont!!)
Posted in Adventure, Beauty, comfort, creation, exercise, God Provides, healer, nature | Tagged gas pipeline, God, healing, hiking, Memphis, Nature, sick, suburbs | Leave a Comment »
It’s less than a month till our Hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail in Vermont. I can’t wait! Unfortunately now I’m sick. I thought I was going to escape what everybody had last week, but I did not. But God has graciously allowed for many of my appointments to be cancelled this week. I tutor math, and it seems everyone is busy here at the end of the school year. But I am just grateful I don’t have anywhere to go because I feel awful.
The flip side of that is that I get to enjoy quiet time alone with God, just me and Him. Sometimes I guess we just need a break, a rest. Even if it is while we are sick. And I am enjoying my time with God now.
Sometimes it seems like we get a special closeness with Him when we are weak. A special dependence on Him and a need for comfort and rest with Him. And so we get that comfort and rest as He heals our bodies and souls. I am so glad that I have God to take care of me.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. Ps. 23
Posted in comfort, God cares, healer, Intimacy, Rest | Tagged comfort, God, God cares, healer, Rest, sickness | 2 Comments »
The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul… Psa. 23:1
The smiling sheep
Awww, so cute!
My husband was sick this past weekend, worn down by working so many hours, so we didn’t get to hike very far. My daughter was also sick on her birthday, which was Saturday, so my husband and I decided to just do a short hike at a nearby park. When we got there, we found out that this was the day for their outdoor festival. We just kind of ignored it and headed off for our usual hike in the woods around the outskirts of the park. By the time we made it all the way around and back to the open area in the center, we began to look at some of the booths.
There was one from the Meeman Shelby State Park where we usually do our long hikes displaying an owl and a long (creepy) snake that you could pick up! There was also a petting zoo from Hooker Farms with the most adorable little animals! We thought they was so cute and my daughter loves cute little animals so much that we drove home, got her, and brought her back, even though she was sick. It was her birthday, after all!
We saw bunnies that were so cute and soft. We got to each pick up one and snuggle it! Some of the animals had quite a personality. We met a pig who would come up to you and look straight up his snout at you! No doubt, looking for food! And then there was my favorite animal there, a cute little wooly sheep. He was all fluffy and chubby-looking. He was very interested in you when you came around and seemed to be very sociable, like a dog. He would look up at you with a smile on his face! If you got close to him, he would come right up to you and curiously nose around. He was very responsive and seemed to have quite a personality. We just thought he was the star of the zoo, Mr. Personality! lol
Then I thought of how the Bible says we are the sheep and Jesus is our Shepherd. He is the Good Shepherd who leads us from one pasture to the next to find food and safety for us. He loves our quirky personality. He loves each sheep for its uniqueness, and He knows each one intimately. He cares for each sheep as if he or she were the only one. And in the end, He leads us safely home. After meeting this sheep with attitude, I’ll never read the stories about Jesus and His sheep the same way again!
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:3-7
Posted in Adventure, Beauty, creation, God cares, God Provides, Intimacy, nature, protected, security, Trust | Tagged creation, God cares, God Provides, hiking, Nature, petting zoo, sheep, shepherd | Leave a Comment »
It has been really difficult with my husband working so many hours lately. They have been short-staffed with two drivers out, meaning my husband has been working 60+ hours for two months now. The job is a hard, physical one and very tiring, so when he gets home during the week, he pretty much has time to eat, plan the next day’s route and go to bed. And all of this has taken its toll on us. I miss him, and it seems some of the life is missing in our household when he is not arround. And we are praying for a change in the situation soon.
But sometimes when things are really hard, God responds with equal blessing to get us through. The kids seemed especially happy to see my husband this weekend and vice versa. Its like missing him during the week makes us all the more thankful when he is home, and we really had a great time just being together. There was an unusual joy in our household that I think only comes as a gift from God. So I am thankful for God’s little blessings to get us through things, including our beautiful hike on Sunday!
Posted in comfort, God cares, God Is Faithful, Good Gifts, job, Joy, struggle, thankful | Tagged family, God cares, God Provides, job, Joy, struggle | 2 Comments »
Tulip Tree Flower
May Apples covering the forest floor
A really big, old tree!
One of the nice places where we didn’t have to walk in the mud!
May apple flower hiding under its umbrella leaf
Tulip tree flowers fallen to the ground
I guess barefoot may be best for excessive mud?
Make-shift bike ramp/bridge
Black locust flowers smelled heavenly
Steep tree root stairs
It was raining on Saturday this past weekend, so we took a shorter four mile hike after church on Sunday at Stanky Creek in Bartlett, TN. Do you like the name? lol It was a bit “stanky” when crossing some of the swampy areas! This is park mainly used my mountain bikers, which contributes to the mud, and when it is busy you always have to be looking over your shoulder for a bike coming up from behind. But yesterday it was so wet from all the recent rain that the whole place to ourselves!
As I look at the beauty of God’s creation, my breath is just taken away. The last time we hiked there, there were no leaves on the trees, so this time it just about looked like we were in a jungle! Everything was lush and bright green. We saw lots of flowers, Tulip Tree flowers that had fallen to the ground. At one point on the trail there was the most delicious smell. We looked down and there were little while flower petals strewn everywhere on the trail and a few clumps of intact flowers. I picked one up and the smell was absolutely heavenly! We looked everywhere for where the flowers had come from and finally found them very high at the top of trees which were higher than all the other vegetation. I looked it up when I got home and I think it is a Black Locust. The smell that God created for this flower was so beautiful, it was almost intoxicating!
God is such a spectacular artist. Being in nature reminds me of His limitless power to create and sustain beauty. I cannot help but worship when I see the beauty he is capable of creating. And then to know that with all that power and creative beauty, He also knows and loves us each so completely and intimately. That is even more amazing. He truly is amazing and worthy of worship.
Posted in Adventure, awesome God, Beauty, creation, exercise, God's power, Intimacy, Love, nature, Praise, worship | Tagged Bartlett, Beauty, creation, God, God's love, hiking, Nature, Stanky Creek, TN, worship | 1 Comment »
This past weekend we hiked at Meeman Shelby State Park, north of Memphis. There are a lot of amazingly interesting trails here. I would think so close to the Mississippi, it would be flat and fairly uninteresting. But that is not true at all. The hikes here are all very beautiful. We hiked the northern 4 1/2 miles of the Chickasaw Bluff Trail, which is less used and also probably less well maintained. Although there were some new bridges, but also a lot of spots where you have to jump the creek or hike way into the woods to avoid a long muddy spot. However, all of this added to the exciting adventure!
This day we went was an awesome beautiful day, about 70 degrees and sunny. The trees are sporting their brand-new bright spring leaves and flowers were in bloom everywhere! (So were our sneezes!) We saw two snakes sunning on the trail, but they seemed to still be sleepy from their winter slumber, and didn’t move at all as we walked past. We also found a box turtle half-hiding in the leaves.
Overall it was a really fun and beautiful hike, totalling 9 miles. This was our longest continuous hike so far and about what we plan to do each day on the Appalachian Trail this June. So we were pleased with our progress, and I was especially proud of my girls, ages 13 and 16, for being real troopers, hiking this far with minimal complaining! lol We are really excited about our upcoming Appalachian Trail hike!
We saw two snakes. Don’t think they were poisonous!
This log had been washed under this bridge forcing it up and cockeyed
Apparently you cannot pick a trillium flower or it will not bloom again for 7 years
Posted in Adventure, Beauty, creation, exercise, nature | Tagged appalachian trail hike, Beauty, flowers, God's creation, hiking, Meeman Shelby State Park, Nature, outdoors, snakes, spring | Leave a Comment »
I bought this wall-hanging years ago while we were traveling on a section of the Natchez Trace Parkway in Tennessee, which is a very old trail once used by Indians and now a scenic parkway.
There are all sorts of parks and historical things to see along the parkway. I bought this quilt wall-hanging at a charming little store at the French Camp Academy. It was a lot of money for me to spend then, but i splurged because I absolutely loved the colors, the design, and message.
For years it hung in our bonus room upstairs, mostly forgotten. When my daughter moved her bedroom up there, it came downstairs to hang in my bathroom. So whenever I take a bath, I look right at it.
Sometimes when I’m praying and frustrated, not knowing how to solve a problem, my gaze comes to rest on this quilt, and I just meditate on it . And somehow those simple words sink through to my heart: “When this you see, remember Me,” with the picture of a star, a pierced hand, and a heart. How sweet, right? It is so simple yet so powerful. The star represents Jesus birth here on earth. The pierced hand is His death for us on the cross. The heart is His love for us.
When I look at this, I am reminded of who Jesus is, that He knows me. I belong to Him, and He is mine. And He loves me. Those are the basic truths. Never forget. No matter how crazy things are, those are the only things that really matter.
When this you see, remember Me.
Posted in Adventure, comfort, Intimacy, Love, Quiet time | Tagged God's love, Jesus birth, Jesus death, Natchez trace parkway | Leave a Comment »