I have been struggling to remain close to God and to trust Him for a while now. Things have been difficult lately, and I have not been handling it well. It’s been hard for me to continue to trust God and believe that He is still working for my good when it doesn’t feel that way.
I have been stuck in a rut for a while now, and I’m tired of it. Though many times before I’ve tried to get out, it only seems to be temporary. Ultimately it has just felt too hard to trust God. But I also realize that I’m making things much harder on myself by pushing away the one Person who could help me and comfort me. I’ve been holding back with him, trying to protect my heart from the closeness and then loss of closeness that follows with the ups and downs. But I realize I need to just go all out and seek to give all of myself to Him, trusting that He will work it all out.
And He gave me a verse for when I worry about not remaining close to him. It was the same as the very first verse He gave me when I was 18 and first saved. I poured out all of my 18 year old problems to Him, and he spoke to me for the very first time with Matthew 6:33, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well.” To me that said don’t worry about how all of the problems would be solved but just seek Him. That’s all that matters. So I did! And he gave me that verse again now 28 years later! (Am I that old?…Nah.) So its like, oh yeah, I guess that still applies! Lol.
So if I start complaining and worrying and distancing myself from God again, you can remind me of Matthew 6:33! I’m sure I’ll be needing it!
Posted in anxiety, comfort, Intimacy, Serving, Trust | Tagged Christianity, matthew 6:33, Trusting God | 7 Comments »
A couple of weeks ago, my sister texted me asking if I’d like to go backpacking with a friend of hers (Laura) six days from that day to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan! I was excited, in shock, surprised, and then stressed. She and her friend had been planning the trip since the beginning of this year, but at the last minute her friend was not able to go, and Laura would not have been able to go without a partner.
So I thought about it for about 10 minutes, and then thought how could I pass up this opportunity?! I probably would never do this trip otherwise. It takes a day just to travel to Grand Rapids, Michigan from Tennessee, but almost another day to get from there to the Upper Peninsula.
So I had six days to pack and coordinate all of our gear and travel plans. Next thing I know, I’m meeting Laura and heading north. And what an amazing trip it was. We hiked the length of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, 42 miles, over five days, which is also part of the longer North Country Trail.
We had been hiking the AT in New Hampshire prior to this, climbing thousands of feet in elevation change in only a few miles. So this hike was a refreshing change! There was very little elevation change. Just a few 100 ft or so climbs up and down the cliff. We were able to hike more miles, more quickly, and still arrive at our campsite half way through the day. Plus it also turns out that almost every campsite that we stayed at had a beach access, and the water was warm and clear and refreshing. I was actually able to wash my hair half way through the trip and at least able to soak my feet most nights. The days in Michigan are long, not getting dark till 8:30 pm, and most of the time it was sunny and pleasant. Sometimes hiking feels like a real chore, but getting to end each day relaxing on a beach was a real pleasure. Plus the cliffs and the sand and the turquoise waters were so amazing. The views were breathtaking.
I hope you enjoy our videos and thanks for hiking along with us!
Posted in Adventure, backpacking, Beauty, hiking, nature | Tagged backpacking, Beach, Beauty, Christianity, cliffs, hiking, lake superior, Michigan, Nature, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, upper peninsula | Leave a Comment »
After we had climbed the daunting Mt. Kinsman as our introduction to New Hampshire Appalachian Trail hiking, we were wondering what we had gotten ourselves into! This was much harder than anything we had done before, and we wondered if we would be able to finish the section that we had planned on. We decided instead of continuing to the next section on our hike, Mt. Moosilauke, we would skip it and hike the more mild section to the south to give our bodies one more day to recover. We hoped by then we would feel well enough to conquer Moosilauke.
After hiking back to our rental car, we drove wearily to a car campground and set up our hammocks. We were exhausted, but of course not too tired for some delicious Chinese food in town. After that we crashed in our hammocks and slept soundly.
We had beautiful weather the entire week we were in New Hampshire. The only major rainstorm happened that next morning, so we decided to give ourselves a break and wait out the rain. We had our breakfast at what was becoming our favorite breakfast place, Dunkin Doughnuts. Then we cruised the main street of the town for stores that could provide supplies we needed. We then hung out for the rest of the morning at a nice McDonald’s for delicious iced coffee, WiFi and power. I was able to get the first YouTube video done for this trip. https://youtu.be/c7Dsfz1CT1k It took a surprisingly long time and I was only able to get a third of the first day edited and uploaded before it was time to leave for the local pizza place with their $5 special, two pizzas and a soda!
By then it was pouring and we actually got a little wet running from place to place, which we were really trying to avoid. We were wearing the clothes we were going to hike in and didn’t want them wet already. But we were glad we could run inside and were not continuously remaining in the rain. So after pizza, we headed out to the start point of our hike for the day. By then the rain had stopped and it remained a bit overcast for a while but eventually the sun came out and it was beautiful!
The rest of the story is told in the video, Ore Hill (day 4) below. The previous day is also included below. Hope you enjoy hiking with us! The Big Mt. Moosilauke will be next!
Posted in Adventure, Appalachian Trail, backpacking, Beauty, hiking, nature | Tagged Adventure, Appalachian trail, backpacking, Beauty, hammock camping, hiking, Jeffers Brook Shelter, Jesus, Nature, new hampshire, Ore Hill | Leave a Comment »
This is the second day of our New Hampshire Appalachian Trail section hike a couple of weeks ago. It turned out to be one of the most challenging hikes of the trip and probably the most difficult hike we’ve done. At the same time, all of the boulder hopping is fun and the views are magnificent!
I was watching videos of thru-hikers going through this area, and they climb up it like mountain goats! Lol I guess that’s what 1500 miles of conditioning up and down mountains does for you! Lol. (The northbound AT thru hikers started in Goergia and have done approx. 1500 miles at this point!). Some day it might be fun for my husband and I to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail as well, but we have to wait until he is at a point where he can take a break from work. But for now we get to do these sections hikes with my Dad, and these have been the highlights of our hiking trips each year. Definitely the most challenging and most rewarding!
Join us on day 2’s hike in the video below, and I’ll get day 3 edited soon!
Posted in Adventure, Appalachian Trail, backpacking, Beauty, hiking, nature, new hampshire | Tagged Appalachian trail, backpacking, Beauty, eliza brook, hiking, kinsman mountain, Nature, new hampshire, section hiking, Thru-hiking | Leave a Comment »
We just celebrated my and my husbands birthdays and the Fourth of July all in one! There were cupcake works of art, swimming, and blowing things up! (fireworks, that is). Great time was had by all! Lol. Please join us in the celebration in this quick video. And this Fourth of July just reminds me of how thankful I am to live in this country!
Posted in Beauty, God Stories, life, thankful | Tagged Beauty, Birthday, cupcakes, fireworks, fourth of july, swimming | Leave a Comment »
We have been preparing all year to do our big hike this year on the Appalachian Trail (AT) in New Hampshire. My Dad, who is 70, has been hiking sections of the AT for eleven years now, and he has competed about 3/4 of the over 2000 miles of the AT during that time, from Georgia to where we are now in New hampshire. The trail ends in Maine.
So we had been preparing all year for this big hike and just completed our New Hampshire section last week. The trail looks innocently tame on the map. We only needed to hike 5 miles the first day there. We’ve done more than that before. Sure we have to climb 2000 feet in five miles, but we’ve climbed 1000 feet before and rarely 2000 in one day. But in addition to that, what the map does not show is the ROCKS! And very steep ascents and decents. And of course the map just cannot give you the firsthand experience of actually climbing a steep, rocky, boulder-covered mountain!
After our first two days of ascending and descending Kinsman Mountain, we had wondered what we’d gotten ourselves into. Would we even be able to finish the section we had planned to do, 50 miles in eight days? Would we break one of our bones tripping over boulders, climbing down the steep paths? Would we die from exhaustion??
Below are videos of the first day climbing Kinsman. I also have videos of our previous hikes and preparation leading up to the AT if you’re interested on my YouTube channel. I’ve only gotten up to editing these videos so far, but will post more soon. Hope you enjoy hiking along with us!
Posted in God Stories, hiking | Tagged Appalachian trail, backpacking, hiking, hut, Kinsman lake, kinsman mountain, new hampshire | Leave a Comment »
We finished the northern section of the 25ish mile Red Leaves Trail at the Natchez Trace State Park in Tennessee on New Years Day. It was a cold but beautiful day. Click the link to my Facebook page to see pics and a description of the trip. There is not a lot of info out there about this park, so let me know if you have any questions about it.
This is one of the few parks in western Tennessee that has longer distance backpacking trails with shelters. And while maps and trail markings could still be improved, they have recently completed a lot of upgrades to the trails, such as signs, trail markers, new bridges and shelters that have improved these trails quite a bit. Hope you can check it out for yourself sometime!
Posted in God Stories | Leave a Comment »