Saturday, December 1, 2018

Everything Changes

Life is full of things that are in a constant state of change.
Work changes, kids changes, financial changes, and we change...or at least we should. Change is a good thing... a natural thing. Nature is in a constant state of change. 

Recently one worship song writer wrote, 
"And as You speak
A hundred billion creatures catch your breath
evolving in pursuit of what you said."

by Hillsong - So Will I

Change is to be expected...but so few of us actually welcome it. We easily maintain status-quo, keep things normal, and even actively resist change for the things we deem most important. That's not a good thing. 

Change is a necessary requirement for progress in every area of our lives (love, marriage, faith, health, etc.)

As example of how things change...consider a hike we did in Sequoia last week...just look at the was a beautiful day. Sunny and chilly in the morning then increasingly warm as the sun rose in the sky. The giant Sequoias rose like hands raised to the heavens, praising God for all the changes he's provided over a thousand years to aid their growth -- changes in seasons, sun and rain, fire and snow.

after a couple miles we reached a beautiful visa overlooking a lake. 

....but a week later, everything changed. Same tree....different weather.

11 inches of snow dropped in a recent storm and it left the forest quiet under a canopy of snow hanging in the cedar, hemlock, and redwood branches. 

...that meant snowshoe time! 

 see, change is OK! Creation can teach us that! Even when things change, you can find new ways to find joy in whatever your new season brings.

^^ our kids call this oak tree the "pregnant mommy". Can you see what they see?

It was snowing fairly for lunch we tucked underneath a tree to hide from falling snow.

^^ on the way back at 20 yards, we watched a 5-point white tail buck along with some doe.

parked under the Giant sequoias, no one else was at the trail head. The forest was quiet.

After a day in the mountains, it was time to go home.

Change can be scary. But you know what's even scarier?....not changing and missing out on the joy that can be found when you truly embrace whatever your new season brings. 

Winter has come.
These are good days.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Backpacking with a 6 year old

Our kids have spent their lives exploring wild places. since their births, they camp on average 25 nights a year and hike over 50 days a year.....but we've always said we'd be willing to take them backpacking as soon as they can carry their own pack. We said the same thing about skiing. We told we'd teach them to ski as soon as they could carry their own boots. 

....that time has come for Josiah. He's a stud....he can hike, climb, and tough it out in the mountains when the going gets rough. 

He's been begging for the last year to go backpacking....and while finding the time for day-hiking as a family each week is no overnighter away from the rest of the family is harder to find time for.

....but we found it...a Friday afternoon and a Saturday strung together for a 35 hour adventure in a wild place.

The forecast was scheduled for below freezing at night....but we were ready.
We loaded up the backpacking equipment
Filled the rig with gas
...and headed up to 9000ft elevation in the Kaiser Wilderness.

It was a 4 mile hike into an alpine lake with a short bit of off-trail hiking. A true adventure for a 6 year old. 

We hiked under Sugar Pine, old growth Douglas firs and touch every manzanetia on that stretch of trail. 

He never got tired, he was too excited to be tired!

On the trail we talked about life and death, hopes and failures (mine), Jesus, Family, and all sorts of things in-between. There was loads of laughter and loads of tears (good tears) and we shared our hearts. The trail has a way of doing that to's a type of truth serum for the soul. Things tend to "come out" on the trail in ways that wouldn't in other venues.

After hiking off trail for a bit, we found our lake! It was beautiful. We set-up camp and got ready for the evening festivities.

Those festivities included food, fire, fellowship, farting, and card-games.
 the sun set, it got COLD. We were prepared. 

We continued to play cards in our tent for hours under headlamp light.

In the morning we watched the sun rise on the alpine lake as we ate breakfast.  

After a slow morning it was time to pack-it up and head out. 

On the trail home Josiah told stories. It's a habit he's learned from his Opa and from Heidi. Long stories on a long trail make the time pass quickly. Josiah is a great story teller! 

Back at the trail head we both realized what we'd both accomplished together. We were filled with a sense of gratitude and love for one-another that I will remember forever.

The trail has a way of impacting us. Maybe it's sociological (walking close together for long periods of time connects us to one another). Maybe it's biological (maybe our ancestors were deeply connected with wild places as they hunted and gathered for survival). Maybe it's psychological (seeing beautiful things has a way of changing your outlook on life). Maybe it's physiological (getting out of our heads and into our bodies for some good exercise feels good). Or maybe it's spiritual (maybe there's truth in the phrase, "the heavens declare the glory of God.") guess, it's all of these things and more.

God met us on that trail and healed our souls, grafting them together, ours and His.

These are good days.

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