It is all about the journey….

Posts tagged ‘Mountain’

Forward Is Moving

There are days on the trail that are more educational than others. Today happened to be one of those days. Due to a series of events, I got off to a really late start to my run. Thankfully, because I waited, the sun decided to emerge and warm everything up. It is not every November 14th that I get to run in a t-shirt. I will take these days as long as I have them, because I know they are short-lived.

There is a place in the run that, no matter how many times I run it, the incline is almost too much. By the time I reach the top of the Clay Pit, my lungs are on fire and my legs feel like lead. Every day I push myself 5 to 10 steps further than the day before. Sometimes I make it. Sometimes I don’t.

For a long time it would frustrate me that I didn’t seem to be making gains in my strength and endurance on this particular portion of the trail. I would think to myself so many negative thoughts that would definitely increase the incline and difficulty of the next hill to conquer.

I realized that all of this focus on gains, strength and negativity was ultimately drawing much-needed energy and enjoyment. It is this way in life too… the more I focus on gains, power and allow negative thoughts to rule my mind and spirit, the less energy and desire I have to reach outward and lift others. I have learned that where I focus my energy will determine if it is renewed or stolen.

Living in a world that has a great tendency to look for weakness and exploit it makes it easy to give space to the negative energy-sapping sources. Stepping out of this world and allowing Jesus Christ to create within us the person He knows we are meant to be is challenging, yet very rewarding. His ultimate goal is to give us the strength, path and means necessary to change and become.

On one particular place I found myself struggling to keep moving forward. It is truly a mental battle that strengthens me each time I step foot in the mountain. All of the sudden, the sound I have given to my son’s texts chimed on my phone. Normally I don’t stop to check them, but this time I did.

“Love you too!!!”

The mere fact that my beautiful 16 year-old boy would take time out of his day to tell me he loves me melted my heart. He does this often. He is a gift. Those three words boosted my energy, giving me the strength to finish the climb I was undertaking.

Another climb was daunting and challenging me…my daughter’s text chime rang through.

“Hi!!”

My sweet girl randomly will text me during the day to say Hi. She too is a gift from Heavenly Father. Our conversations are generally short (except when she doesn’t feel good), but very sweet. Once again I was given what I needed to climb.

I realized that Heavenly Father has given us so many people to give us the energy we need to make it through a rough moment in life. There can be plenty of them and these moments seem to come in bundles. Having and being the kind of person that can lift is such a gift. I do not have a lot of close friends, that is not in my nature. Yet, the ones that I am blessed with are exactly who I need. I pray daily that I am who they need.

Coming out of the canyon, it was a lesson to me that forward is moving in the right direction. Some days we have all of the energy and capacity we need to conquer the hills life throws at us. Other days it is not there. How blessed I feel to know that on those days Heaven is just a prayer away and the answers come through so many beautiful people.

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My Mountain

It has been far too long.

Each time I set foot in my mountain, I write in my heart.

Unfortunately, that is where my writings have stayed.

I have felt over and over again that I need to record the beautiful lessons I have been taught as I run the trails. Yet, words have not come so easy.

As I sat in Stake Conference this past weekend, one of the speakers shared a poignant, life changing thought. He said that every time he writes down a feeling or thought that comes, that feeling or thought becomes more permanent in his soul.

I want the gifts I have received in my mountain to become more permanent in my soul.

Almost three years ago we moved to the home where we live. It is located right next to the mountains. An amazing friend took me into the mountains and showed me the unique beauty therein. I have never been the same.

In this mountain I have learned that fear is nothing more than the adversary keeping us from our true potential. I have learned that God has not given us this spirit of fear, but of love, power, strength, peace and a sound mind. Time and time again I have leaned upon this knowledge to overcome something that is holding me back.

The mountain has taught me that falling down is scary and exhilarating all at the same time. The day I fell on the trail, I realized that the initial shock of losing control can be quickly followed by a wonderful sensation of freedom, only to be squelched by the rapid onset of rocks and dirt. Getting up from the ground, dusting myself off and finishing my run was a bit empowering. Sometimes we need to fall to understand that we are not defined by a tumble, but by our reaction.

I have learned that some days I conquer the trail with strength and energy and other days the trail conquers me. What matters the most is that I am on the trail. The same holds true in life. Some days there is nothing that I cannot accomplish and other days it is all I can do to get dressed. What matters most is that I am moving forward.

The greatest gift that I have received from the mountain is the unadulterated time I have with Heavenly Father in prayer and pondering. The rhythmic pounding of my feet on the ground allows my mind to relax and find that place of openness and reception. Inspiration has come bringing answers to questions and prayers. Peace has filled my troubled heart. Hope and faith have been restored. Time with Him in the mountain is a treasure.

I am forever grateful for my mountain. I love the way it smells, the beauty it shows me each day I am there and the sounds of the water cascading down. The blessings that I have received there are priceless. I hope to make them more permanent to my soul.

Our Path

11942303_10207229527072560_4173153203233697029_oTwo years ago our little family started a hike in a popular canyon close to our home. Unfortunately we started this hike at 1:00 p.m. on July 24th in 95 degree weather. Hiking in July was not a foreign action for us, so we didn’t think anything of it…and started up the mountain.

This hike begins with a quarter of a mile (at least) of steep switchbacks that are pure sand. This provides little or no grip for the foot and a lot of energy is expended simply taking the next step. The sand is also very light, so it reflects the heat of the sun right up to your sweat drenched, oxygen starved little body. It was a lot tougher than we thought…

We made it about a mile into the hike before we began to feel the side-effects from the heat of the day and pure exhaustion. Our son got to a point that he just couldn’t go up any more. Not wanting to put him in any danger, we abandoned the hike, promising ourselves we would get there another day…

The other day took over two years to come…I had put this particular hike on my summer bucket list (which really only had one item). So, last week my husband and I thought we would take a little jaunt up the mountain. We started early in the morning, the sun was barely peeking over the mountain and the morning air was nice and cool, making the switchbacks quite tolerable. I had been told by a few people that the hike was a little bit challenging, but nothing major. What I wasn’t told by people was that the trail is not obvious and you can end up hiking to the waterfall any way you can.

rocky pathWe took some wrong turns, scaled a couple of rock walls, did more than one double back and sat on a rock for 10 minutes to catch our breath. The mountain had our respect.

As we were hiking over some of the particularly rocky and steep areas, I watched my husband go first. I noticed his footsteps were heading in the same direction as mine, however we were not necessarily on the same path. He is very tall, so his steps were a lot farther apart than mine. He is very powerful, so he could climb over bigger rocks in one step. We were not on the same path, because we are such different people. It was the same when I led….his feet were going the same direction, however were not stepping in the same places.

There is something about the mountains that opens my heart and spirit to moments of teaching….

I learned that our paths are our own. My path to my Heavenly Father is mine and I will take the steps that fit me to reach Him. My husband and children are going the same direction as I am, however their steps will fit them.

This lesson opened up for me as I counseled my son this evening. He has been struggling with something for a very long time, and because he is struggling, he is seeking for answers. As we were chatting, the mountain came back to my mind and I realized what I needed to teach him. This is a time for him to take these struggles and questions to Heavenly Father and ask how he should move forward. As much as he wanted me to give him the answers (and I wanted to give him the answers I thought) I knew deep in my heart that these answers are for him to find. I counseled him to pray, ponder and watch, because his path is his.

God is GoodHow blessed I am to be led by Heavenly Father. I love how He quietly teaches us lessons that we can use instantly or over time to learn and bless the lives of others. I am thankful for mountains to climb, and that I get to do that every day with my family. God is good.

Pushing Barriers

The climbFor as long as I can remember I have been deathly afraid of heights and falling. There is a special sensation that grips the back of my legs when I feel like I am up too high or too close to a ledge…and don’t even ask me to look up.

This can get a little ridiculous at times. When we first hiked up the road to spend time in my mountain, I looked back and this feeling gripped my legs, heart and lungs. I was standing on a solid road, not even close to a drop off. I didn’t let it stop me that day, however I had to push through it. I have never regretted that. My mountain hold so many treasures for me…the waterfall, paths that lead somewhere and nowhere at the same time, peace, inspiration, and rocks to climb. 

barriersI have often thought about this barrier in my life and how it can prevent me from discovering amazing places and experiences. I realized that if I had allowed it to control me that day, I would have never found the incredible emotions that spread through me as I spend time in a place I love.

How often do the barriers that I feel in my life prevent me from experiencing, living and feeling?

If I see a barrier for what it truly is, then I am more likely to conquer it. So what is a barrier? My answer to this came from a discussion I had with my incredible husband. We were talking about how often we limit ourselves and why we do this. How many influences in our lives, when allowed, will hold us back.

I have found that a barrier is anything that is placed upon our hearts, spirits and minds that prevent us from moving forward and becoming who we are meant to be. At the core of it all is the adversary who wants nothing more than to bind us completely. He does it all so quietly and little by little until we accept the hold he has on us as ‘safety’ or ‘reality’.

the viewToday I decided to break from my traditional workout and accept an invitation from my husband to climb to a huge rock that sits high in my mountain. We hiked straight up over a thousand feet, climbing over rocks, and creating a path for ourselves…the entire time I kept my eyes on the ground (mostly because I didn’t want to roll the ankles). When we reached our destination I looked back on where we had come from. In spite of that sensation gripping my legs, the view was BREATHTAKING! I had pushed through my barrier and found something far more beautiful! I also found that my fear is a perception…not reality.

We found a rock that was bigger than we imagined. We found the power that onlyconquering comes through conquering. We found inspiration. We found life!

Life is meant to be lived. It is only through living that we find ourselves…who we were before we came and who we are meant to become. Barriers are meant to be pushed, stretched and broken. Doing this gives us the strength to do it again and again.

Pushing BackOnce again, I found Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ on the other side of the barrier….showing me the magic of life.

Renewal

DSCN1954Yesterday, in our neck of the woods, was completely perfect. The sun was shining, the air was warm and my mountain beckoned us. My husband and I had an hour before our kids came home from school, so we answered the call.

The mountain is my sanctuary, my adventure and my inspiration. There is always something new waiting to be discovered. As it is spring here, the renewal of the mountain is stunning.

I have found that renewal comes in the most simple of packages. Little buds on the trees speak of shade to come. Flowers opening for the first time whisper that life is beautiful. Water cascading down the mountain sings of hope and life. Little creeping and flying things tell of life to come.

We experienced all of this as we hiked to our favorite spot in the mountain. There are several paths that lead us to the same destination…the waterfall. We selected the one that travels directly by the stream, because of the way the water speaks to our hearts.DSCN1926

It is a spot of heaven on earth for us. The stories the water tells as it crashes off of the rocks into a little pond below are tales of inspiration. The rocks below provide us with a spot to become one with these stories and give us a place to receive.

There is a quiet power that lives in nature. This power is incredible. It is ever changing and evolving to meet the needs of those that seek it. The waterfall has given me the power of sanctuary, protection from harm, joy, inspiration, connection, hope, adventure, laughter and renewal. It has seen a few tears and heard many moments of laughter.

It is a gift that I am truly thankful to have. While I may not know what is to come (however much I crave even a glimpse), I do know that renewal comes. The waterfall shows me the power that Heavenly Father has in our lives, as we seek Him. Just like there are many paths to the waterfall, there are many paths to Him. As I have taken my heart to the waterfall, I have taken it to Him.

LadybugsThe renewal I see on the mountain brings me hope that there is a renewal coming in our life. I simply need to be where He is and see the small evidences of His hand.

 

 

 

 

reblogged from Own-who-you-are.com

Unknown Paths

DSCN1177

Behind our home is a beautiful mountain. I love my mountain. This mountain has been a source of inspiration to me on more than one occasion. The first time I saw it, I knew I was home…it almost didn’t matter if I liked the home we were going to move into.

As we have explored this treasure, we have found so many paths. It is almost magical when we set off to explore a new path, because we get to see everything for the first time. The views of the valley below are stunning and with each new vantage point we are able to see things that we weren’t able to see before. I love how my mountain shows me new and wonderful things every time I am there. (more…)

My Mountain

A little over a year ago my husband and I were in moving talks….for the 30th time. Not really, however we had been talking about moving for 6 years. We had sold our house 3 times, however each time941586_10201018331596555_1866558230_n we did, we felt we needed to stay. It was a rough, but rewarding 6 years.

I remember one evening we decided we were going to let go of moving and stay where we were. As we had been thinking, trying and talking about moving for so long, it was difficult to let it go, however at the same time I was relieved. I finally rested and found peace where I was. (more…)

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