Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Day On The Mountain

 I wanted to start a new hobby on my birthday. It was my 40th so I wanted something different. I live in a part of the world that is so beautiful. I am surrounded by trees and mountains at every turn. Mt. Baker is hardly ever out of my sight. But I have become used to it being there. I take it for granted. As amazing as the Northwest is, we do have to deal with long months of grey weather. It can become very difficult coping with the lack of sun. At times I want to pack everything up and move to bluer skies. But then spring and summer get here and I forget my frantic thoughts of escaping Washington. Still, I need a new plan for the winter time. My fireplace only goes so far in comforting me. I don't want to feel like I am hibernating. I want to be outside. I have heard there is no bad weather, just bad clothing. Or something like that. I want to embrace this place, and find things to do out there. I knew some people always went to the mountain. They seemed excited and happy about it. There must be something  I was missing.... I like to hike, I really wanted to include the mountain in my life, so the logical connection for me was snowshoeing.

My friend Renay asked me what I would like to do for my birthday and I told her I would like to learn to snowshoe. Well, she happened to have three pair! We invited our friend Shannon, arranged childcare for the thirteen kids between us and picked a day.

     We had a nice drive up and found the trail easily. We had to climb up an embankment to get to the trial, which was quite funny in snowshoes. I told them I may have to just stay behind and show shoe in the parking lot. Just like the practice area at a roller skating rink. I had zero faith I could get up to the top in all that clothing. I was laughing so hard at myself as I imagined how lame I looked.  I ended up crawling on all fours, but it worked. I made it.

     I was so taken by the beauty. Forgive me for sounding silly to those who spend lots of time on Mt. Baker. I just forgot how fabulous it was! I felt like I had stumbled into another world. It looked like Narnia!  I had been missing this for so many years. This was not grey or dreary. It was breathtaking. I stood there looking all around me, feeling sorry for those poor people in California, Arizona and Florida. I stopped envying them and started pitying them! Who had this, a mere hour and a half from their home? Why was I complaining so much about winter with this within reach?

     I quickly realized this was no everyday hike. It was not putting one foot in front of the other. It was LIFTING each foot and THEN putting it in front of the other. Knee lifts, over and over and over. In minutes my gloves came off. Then my hat. I was unzipping like crazy and had only gone a couple hundred feet! The cold air around me felt great.

We came to a ridge that overlooked a valley. Renay and Shannon said they had a little birthday ceremony they wanted to do. Renay had brought a bag of rocks with her in her backpack along with a Sharpie. She told me she felt it would be really amazing if I could write down the negative things that had been in my life during the past forty years that I wanted gone. Things I wanted to be free of. She told me to write words on the rocks and throw them as hard as I could down the mountain side. I told her I thought it sounded perfect. It was so quiet as I wrote. It felt a bit scary being honest with myself and God as I thought of all the things I wanted gone from me. But it was also wonderful taking a stand against things that had done nothing but hurt me or hold me down. I threw rock after rock after rock. I yelled when I threw them and they yelled with me. The last word I wrote didn't even deserve the strength it would take to throw it. I just tossed it weakly. It disappeared over the ledge, and I wished it would just as easily disappear out of my life.


Ya, I am pretty sick of it ruling me and making choices for me. I have had an emotionally draining year and would like to be able to stand up and take a breath, please. I would like to stop spinning my wheels. I would like to hand over the reigns for a while because the horses are a tad too wild and out of control for me. I am pretty much done over-thinking everything and worrying all the live long day.....Fear has just taken too darn much. Here you go God. Smash this, crush this, pulverize this, annihilate this, because I am WORE OUT.

     After I wrote and threw and hollered, we stood in a circle and prayed. It was a moment I won't forget. I felt thankful. Thankful for my family, thankful for friends who are true-faced, thankful for hope, thankful God's Grace never runs dry.

 (It really doesn't. I have tested it out.)

And what have I found? It's not about being perfect so God will be pleased with me and others will be impressed. I am going to stumble, and when I do, I stand up, brush myself off and say..."Oh YES....I desperately need a Savior!" And then I go to Him. Again and again and again and again and again. I use my failures and my weaknesses as ways to fully aquaint myself with His Grace and Mercy. And without fail, I see little sparks of glory light my path as He changes me bit by bit. As He sifts me, sorts me, and sanctifies me.

1 comment:

  1. Very nicely written. Touche to you and releasing your two-faced friend fear!
    Love you!