We went hiking again on Saturday and again had a wonderful time. It was only 40 degrees, so we were bundled up but soon heated ourselves up hiking. My husband, who is originally from New York State, wears shorts starting at 40 degrees! So you can see that is what he wore (crazy!) lol. And since we have three girls in our family, and he is the only guy, he often ends up carrying around things like flowered backpacks! lol What a great guy! :)
It has been a rough few years for him. A couple of years ago the main subject of my blog was about him losing our home-based business of 15 years, having to retrain to be a truck driver, and leaving home to drive over-the-road for a year. This was hard on our family because up till that time my two girls and I were used to having Daddy home 24/7! The girls didn’t know what it was like to have Daddy going away to work each day, and it was a big change to have him gone overnight most days of the week.
That was a really traumatic time for us. I missed my earthly husband and God filled the role of Husband for me. He took care of me and comforted me in a way that I never would have gotten to experience otherwise. My husband went through several jobs for the next couple of years. By then we had used up our savings and many times we did not know how we would pay our bills. On paper it just did not make sense that we could pay the bills, but each month, somehow God made it work out. We were always amazed that we didn’t fail to pay one bill.
My husband is a great provider. He has worked hard the past couple of years to provide the majority of our income for us. He has taken really hard, physically demanding, exhausting jobs so that me and the girls can be home, comfortable, and cared for, and I am thankful for his sacrifice for us.
He has been working hard and has been so serious about this responsibility for so long that I think he had forgotten what it was like to have fun and do something enjoyable. We went camping for the first time in a while last Fall. We hadn’t been able to go on many trips mainly because we couldn’t afford it, but also because my husband had a physically tiring job and just does not have the energy often to drive to another place on his day off.
But this time we went camping, and I assumed my husband was really worn out by this trip, but he was actually having a really good time! He was invigorated by being out in nature, by hiking, and living among God’s beauty. We had the most awesome campsite at Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park in Tennessee. We camped right on the lake which had a sandy/rocky shore that is not to common where we live in Tennessee. That weekend was a perfect 70 degrees with a nice breeze. It was really just perfect and such a nice break for him to just have fun and enjoy himself!
Since then with our new goal to hike the Appalachian Trail, we’ve been hiking most weekends. And I’ve been surprised that he is all for it! Many times when I’m wishy washy about it, like maybe we’re too tired or we should stay home and be responsible and clean the house or something, he is the one that says, “No, let’s go!!” So we have been hiking every weekend, and I think he has been loving it! He’s been having a blast, and actually we all have (except for my 13-year-old who goes begrudgingly! lol). And it does my heart good to see him finding pleasure in something and enjoying himself!
I am so glad that God has worked it out this way! The hiking is good for us physically, but I think it is so much more than that, especially for my husband, invigorating, rejuvenating, just plain pleasure in life. So I am thankful to God for this new goal in our family which has blessed us, but also which especially blesses my husband who so deserves it for how hard things have been for him and how hard he has worked to care for us. Praise God for His blessings!