The morning run can be fun if you start with views like this…16 miles logged today! Marathon training is awesome. At the end of today’s run, I just starting stretching and crying. It took me a minute to realize that I was crying. I guess it was a mental release. My feet were hurting but not enough to cry. It was kind of amazing. Wish me luck.
I know I haven’t been around for awhile. I’m in serious contemplation mode about the blog and where do I go from here. But for now, I have a little sign post for you carefully crafted from our Grand Canyon trip.
This is at the top of the South Kaibab which is the trail we went down to the bottom of the canyon. Be prepared.
On the South Kaibab.
Carlsbad has lots of rules.
This at the top of Bright Angel trail when we had almost finished our Canyon hike.
I’m so thankful for sign posts aren’t you?
She would have been proud of us…for growth, change, accomplishments, pain…while she also worried if we were okay.
She would smile big at that new driver’s license, Anna.
Her chin would raise in support for that first golf tournament, Maile.
Her blue eyes would sparkle at how tall you are, Lydia,and she would comment on how straight your teeth are.
Her thin hand would run over your shiny, blonde hair, Claire as she pulled you into her soft hug showing her love for you the youngest.
She would widen her eyes and open her pretty mouth in wonder at how all four of you race in on your horses and ride hard to win.
She would be glad I’m not as thin as I used to be while she clucked her tongue at the training for the marathon….shaking her head…”too much.”
Her other thin hand would rest on your shoulder Matt and rest there in the joy and the pain of the switch in sails.
She would delight in all the new great-grands born lately.
She would laugh hard at the silly family pictures we take.
She would look around at her large family and sign happily, proudly…and hope all in one breath that we are all really okay.
See, I have fluctuated between knowing living life like Mother Theresa is the right path and simply wanting to enjoy life with new shoes and a dress. This life and place and path has shifted and weaved and moved around it can be hard to be proactive and responsive. The feelings come and we “feel” thrown around by life circumstances. Faith is hard, and life direction can be confusing. So much of our life gets shifted by emotions and feelings and perspectives.
We all have our moments where we stop and look around to try to figure out if we are where we set out to go…or are we just a long way from home. Perspective is powerful.
Our life has changed a lot in the last few months. My husband transitioned out of his position at the church, and he is onto a different adventure. My oldest child is driving a car now. I’m training for a marathon. We have two high schoolers. We are finding our way in peace. Schedules, goals, all has adjusted and we are shifting our perspectives.
The things I knew when I was young, some were true, and some were wrong. -Lumineers, “The Gun Song”
Last weekend, we took the kids to Baton Rouge and we cleaned out a few flood homes together. One house we were in had nothing by the curb, and by the end of our time there everything 4 feet down we had hauled out to that same curb. I stood in the middle of the elderly lady’s bedroom overwhelmed by the stuff ruined…so much gone of her life. But, it was all just stuff. We drove away looking at all the piles of everyone’s things on the curbs. Everyone was the same….everyone down to studs.
My kids worked so hard. I was proud of them. They saw into the experience too. No one complained or fussed about sweating or working hard. Maile looked at me and said, “I don’t have any problems,” during one of our breaks. They aren’t perfect, and the situation we put them in on purpose wasn’t perfect. We talked about what we were doing and why. And then we drove home to our dry house with all the stuff in tact.
And so today, I find myself in the middle of all these memories while I shift through all the things 4 feet and down in my house to ensure that I am taking care of the stuff in my life and letting go of all the stuff that doesn’t need to be there. Reflection, perspectives, change all around me as I sort through high school senior pictures, my baby pictures, my babies’ baby pictures.
I’m not just in this life. Maybe maturity and experience always lead to this place of realizing how much I don’t know. I look around me and I find nothing is what I thought it was; I’m glad, mostly, it causes wonder to continually born within.
It’s my life, and I have a responsibility to lead in it. So do you. We are rewriting our history…maybe you should too. Hear your breath for a minute.
See. Have faith in God. Know that faith is not always what you think it is. Too mystical for you? Knowing what you don’t know may be an area you want to explore.
Get into your life. Are you there? Don’t just make it. We are meant for more than surviving….although there are moments when its all you can do. Everyone is gutted to studs at some point. That’s a tough moment, and no one would ever wish for it. That’s never happened to me physically, like these flood victims.
But, it has happened to me internally, and somehow everything gets clear in that moment…what’s important, what’s worth keeping, why you are just thankful for your people. Survival breathes gratefulness…and that’s good too. We aren’t meant to stay in “just making it mode.”
Do what you need to do to…clean out the wet and moldy. Dry out. Get ready to rebuild. It could be better than it was or what you expected.
Time to do more than survive. If you’re tired, go rest. If you’re sad, be sad. If there are problems, address them. Don’t be afraid to dig deep, to take a risk, to sit down into your funky feelings….resolution, redemption, peace will come. Inhale, exhale. Pray. Live.
Don’t worry about doing it perfect….always simply begin.
You know what I realized from my VLOGGING? I’m a dork. I love being silly, but I just didn’t realized how much I comment on life and how silly I am. My brother recently told me this, but I didn’t know. It makes me laugh. You should laugh at yourself. It’s good for you.
Desert View is much more than its name. I don’t think we went there the last time we were at the Grand Canyon. It was beautiful. There’s a Watch Tower there that was also a design of Mary Colter (more on her later), and we climbed all the way to the top of it to get an expansive view.
After we had our picnic, we hiked back up and drove to another trailhead to Shoshonne Point. The hike to this place is a nice long dirt road with plenty of trees. It is the perfect setting for lots of laughter, some serious discussions, and family fun.
Speaking of edges, I like them too…did you know? While I was close to the edge and there were few children watching, I just had to lay down and hang my head over the side. My pic I took then did not turn out well, but it was breathtaking. We hung out there for a moment, and then we walked around to the other side where the cliff point went out further into the canyon.
We headed back with cooking on my mind. I was the cook for the night, and my green chile macaroni and cheese with chicken was tasty. I think I had 85% satisfaction in the camp. Campfire time is valuable, and somehow everyone staring into a fire just makes a magical night.
It was a great day, and we decided that the next day we would tackle the Hermit Trail all the way to Dripping Springs as a test run for the big hike down. Dripping Springs coming up next….
Sunday morning we took it slow in camp. We still had a few days before the big hike down and so we just chilled, cooked a good breakfast and enjoyed a morning fire. And then, the kids planned church for us. And we had some Sabbath together.
I’m not sure why adults think they always have to lead. You should’ve seen the kids take over when we told them they should plan church. We had an invocation, 2 songs, 4 Scripture readers, a sermonette, and a benediction. Kids are great leaders and they can plan without your help. Just let them know you’ll wait for their plan and leave them alone. Don’t underestimate them.
After church we got ready for the day. No rushing. Just slow by the fire….
Then we made some plans…A Desert View picnic coming up…..
I like the edge. So do the kids. They come by it honestly. The balance of safety and risk are important to me. I want them to live real lives full of life. And I don’t want them to die.
I love them so.
The Canyon is beyond words and we are exploring slow and fun today. We are gearing up for the hard hike down and setting our intentions for challenge and beauty….