512. God knows that getting away from all the noise, the facebook notifications, the flagged emails, the twitter updates, is sometimes the perfect gift.
513. And it's even better with friends.
514. The gift of getting close up with nature.
|sidenote: these guys own the house we're renting, and the dog belongs to them. |
515. The gift of adventure.
Two of the families on our trip are native Arizonians and grew up camping in this area. Because they knew some of us weren't as experienced, they picked an easy trail for our hike.
The views were breathtaking, but I didn't get to look up often, I was too busy trying not to stumble and fall down the mountainside.
It was grueling for me. Much of the trail going down was loose, sandy gravel. I was as slow as the 5 and 8 year old kids. God brought to mind several spiritual parallels, and I found that encouraging. For instance, the hike was difficult, but it was good for me. It was making me stronger physically. In the same way, God allows us to experience trials so that we grow stronger spiritually.
|the "easy" trail|
516. He brings beauty from ashes.
517. A strong partner.
I depended on Brian to keep my balance much of the time, and to lead me in the best way down loose gravel slopes, around scorched fallen trees, and up rocky inclines.
518. A marked trail to follow.
|the "easy" path gets harder...|
When the path got rocky and hard to see, some hiker before us had marked the path with stones stacked on top of each other. When we feel like we've lost our way in life, God gives us reminders of His plan for us and His forgiveness and love. Sometimes, He uses people who've been there before.
519. Being held by His hands, seeing His glory revealed.
We arrived at our destination, a cave that rail road makers had blasted out of the mountain, but never finished.
Looking at the pictures now, it brings to mind when placed Moses in a cleft in the rock and covered him with His hand as He passed by, so that Moses could see the tail-end of His glory.
We were hidden in the rock, and beholding God's glory revealed through nature.
And we were always in His hands.
518. The gift of stillness.
The water hurried past, but for a weekend, we didn't hurry anywhere.
519. Light touching fallen things and making them golden and beautiful.
520. The gift of growth. However painful it may be.
521. The gift of the small and the humble.
522. The gift of knowing that He knows what lies around the bend. So I don't have to.
523. The gift of peace, quiet, and rest.
Are you taking time to "get away" this summer? Are you taking time to rest and renew?
Labels: Adventures in Arizona, beauty, camping, Faith, Gratitude, Life, One Thousand Gifts, peace, rest, Spiritual Growth