Hiking Adventures, Photography

Where I Learned to Soothe My Soul

IMG_0725I’ve been privileged enough to get to travel to a few places.  Not nearly as many as I want to, but hopefully, there’s still plenty of time for such things.  One thing I have discovered though, is that I am blessed in where I live.  Nestled right between rivers, lakes, and mountains.  (I’m serious, they’re practically on all sides of me.)  And one of the most perfect places on earth is only a hop, skip, and a jump away.


Up there, on top of that mountain, overlooking the valley and it’s raging river; life’s problems just don’t seem quite so big.  Nothing does from up there actually, everything is quite small.  All you can hear is the river.  From certain spots, you can watch the hawks and an occasional eagle swoop down among the tree line in search of their next meal.



This is a place where the ugliness of world hasn’t yet reached.  It’s serene, blissful, and can absolutely just chase away every bit of the noise and static that tends to build up in one’s mind and soul over time.  I go there often, to empty myself of it all.  And each time something familiar I suddenly see in an unfamiliar way.  Something new speaks me to, for this mountain as old as it is, is still forever changing and teaching us to do the same.





Don’t let your perceptions of someone be clouded by the judgement of others.




We’re all the villain in someone else’s story, whether rightly deserved or not. Someone is always going to feel as though they have been wronged when there has been a misunderstanding or a parting of the ways. What isn’t always known or understood is the catalytic moment that led up to the separation. In truth, what happened is not relevant. Their story is not yours and yours is not theirs. Truth can be subjective.


Never let anyone else determine the truth for you. It’s okay to take someone’s opinion or advice into consideration, however, it should never be the sole determining factor in what you believe about another. Whether intentionally or not, they may in fact be telling you wrong. Something more discerning than words are actions. Deception by words is an easy thing to accomplish. Deception by actions however is rarely successful. The best way to discover truth is to experience it. Let someone show you who they are before you determine what you think you already know about them.  


H. Jackson Brown Jr said, “nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.” I’d venture to guess the cost goes up exponentially when that opportunity is discovering another human being. They may very well be the one that adds unexpected color to your world. Or perhaps, what they add will be another facet of truth that you have failed before to recognize. They may merely end up being nothing more than a life lesson. But what if the lesson to be learned was in fact fundamental to uncovering your own truth?


Be brave enough to discover your own truth. Choose well and live loved. ✌🏻😘



Whose Table Are You Sitting At?


IMG_7223[2206]Okay… Wow! Can I just say God smacked me right in the face with a big ole dose of truth this morning? I’m talking about the sort of truth that just makes you sit there for a hot minute and say, “Huh?!?” And it just keeps running through my head. I keep hearing His words over and over… “Whose table are you sitting at?”

I’ll just tell you now, I was sitting at the WRONG table! I was sitting at a table where I was being fed things such as rejection, hurt, anger, bitterness, and I’m pretty certain envy was coming up for dessert. I was letting all these things feed my heart. I was listening to whispers and notions of, “you’re never going to be good enough”, “you don’t matter”, “you can’t do it”, “you don’t deserve anything better than this”, “they’re better than you”, “they’re smarter than you”, “they’re more talented than you”, “give up”, “just quit, that’s what you’re good at”, and honestly the list could go on and on and on…

Those are all lies by the way. Not one ounce of truth is in any of them. Except perhaps the quit one, I really do quit on a lot of things. But, all jokes aside, I think I quit at the things I wasn’t intended to pick up to begin with, they were just things that I thought might validate me in some way. But that validation is only temporary. It’s the typical acceptance of the world, it only lasts for so long and then you end up cast aside. In all reality, the problem most likely resides in the fact that you were trying to be something you’re not. You were trying too desperately to feel accepted rather than rejected and as a result, you were hiding some of the most beautiful and yet vulnerable parts about you. (You know, the ones you’re afraid someone isn’t going to love…)

Thankfully, I know of another table. At that table the most wonderfully fragrant dishes are being served. I’m talking the kind that make your stomach growl when you didn’t even realize that you were hungry. Things such as love, grace, mercy, acceptance, and for dessert, forgiveness. There I hear promises that say, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3). “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you…” (2 Corinthians 12:9). “The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made” (Psalm 145:9). “…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1). “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

After hearing God ask me at which table I sat, I began to ponder the dishes being served. What had I been feeding my soul? I’m going to venture a guess here and say that all those things being served at the world’s table probably taste very similar to the way my son’s basketball socks smell. If I were really sitting at a table where everything smelled sour, bitter, and of decay (yes, his socks really are that bad) then I don’t think I would even excuse myself before I got up and left. I’d just quietly take my leave and go. On the other hand, if I were sitting at a table where everything smelled delectable, savory, sweet, and just completely aromatic… Well, I’m probably going to hope I have my stretchy pants on because this girl does love to eat good food. I’m going to want to savor every single bite and just enjoy the absolute joy of the delicious smells and bursting flavors. In other words, I’m not leaving that table. I may even take a nap sitting there just so I’m right there when the next meal shows up.

As humans, we are all hungry for love and acceptance. Where we choose to feed that need determines a whole lot more than just who we are sitting beside at the table. It also means choosing whether we are sitting at table where the food is bountiful, good to the taste as well as good for us, and more filling than anything we can imagine. Or choosing a table where the meals are scant, bitter, and leaves us constantly desiring something better. I personally, think I prefer eating at a table where the food is to die for and never runs out…