The Faith Of A Backpacker

When I dreamed about moving to Arizona 30 years ago, I never imagined how much I would love it here. Never could have dreamed how much better it was.

Soon after arriving, I rediscovered hiking. Fun hiking. Up and down over mountains hiking. Then I discovered backpacking. The first trip was an epic disaster, or at least it felt like it to my catastrophizing mind. I’m so thankful for the friend who told me not to give up on backpacking yet. She encouraged me to update my gear and try again. Boy am I glad I took her advice!

6 backpacking trips later, I am loving it more and more! Backpacking has increased my faith so much. Of the last 6 trips, I’ve gone out alone 5 times. Why? I like going out alone. I see the Lord work so clearly when I go out alone. He’s a good good Father. He answers my prayers specifically each time. For a water source. For a campsite. For animal sitings. For people to show up when I need a little help over an obstacle. His creation is magnificent and I do believe proclaims the glory of the Lord!

So yeah. Backpacking. Give it a try. You may just fall in love with the Lord even more. I know I have!

Happy Sunday! 😁

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Going From Hard To Easy

Hey there blogging friends! When I met the Lord for the first time 12 years ago, I was so awestruck! All I wanted to do was serve him so hard because he saved me from so much! So I went hard. I volunteered hard. I sacrificed hard. I jumped into missions hard. I said yes to everything. Hard hard hard! 

But can I just tell you? It didn’t take long for me to burn out. You can’t go hard for too long before you run out of steam. Life isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. You have to learn to pace yourself. But I didn’t figure this out until I burned out. When I finally burned out, I was able to hear the Lord. 

“But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”” Luke‬ ‭10:41-42‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Why are you going so hard? You don’t need to go so hard! I love you! 

In that moment, I was set free. Freed from performing. Freed from volunteering. Freed from saying yes to everything. 

As time has gone by, going hard has turned into going easy. Serving the Lord has become about learning to love others right in front of me, my family, friends, co-workers, patients, Christian brothers and sisters. Bringing God glory looks like being the best prayer warrior for my people,  being the best friend, sister, mom, nurse. Even being the best hiker I can possibly be is an offering of praise and worship to the Lord! 

Because, you see friends, God doesn’t want or need us to work hard for him. He got on that cross for us long ago to put an end to all of that! We don’t need to prove anything to him! When I called on his name, Jesus! He was with me. Instantly!

““Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”  Revelation‬ ‭3:20‬ ‭NLT‬‬

So what about you? Are you going hard? Call on the name of the Lord. Learn to go easy. 

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.””          ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Happy Friday! If you’d like to read more encouraging posts like this, head over to my friend Lyli’s blog. 😊

Mustard Seed Faith 

I got a text from my sister on Monday. A beloved Aunt has been battling pneumonia since July and has been getting progressively worse. This latest text confirmed that there’s nothing more to do. She signed a DNR (do not resuscitate) order and is ready to be done. 

But wait God! I’m in Arizona and she’s in Pennsylvania and I need to speak to her! The last time we spoke she wasn’t sure you were real! Will you let me knowif she knows? 

I texted my sister back and asked if my Aunt was awake would she call me so I could speak to her. Two minutes later, my phone rang. 

Can I just tell you, I was a sobbing mess. Crushed by the thought of my beloved Aunt not knowing Jesus! So thankful for one last chance to press her to see and believe!

 As I sobbed, I told her I was sorry that I wasnt there. And then I pressed. Please tell me you met Jesus! Please tell me you believe and you know he is your Savior! 

And she replied, I’m okay. I’m okay. Jesus came to see me this morning. I’m pretty sure it was him. I believe he will be my Savior. 

When I got off the phone, I prayed, Lord! Let it be!

Our Father is so loving, merciful, and kind! He answered my prayer so quickly! But it took a few days for the absolute wonder of it all to really sink in. 

As I was out walking early this morning, sharing this joyful news with G, it really hit me. God is so faithful! In the words of Jesus:

“I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible. ”‭‭Matthew‬ ‭17:20‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The crushing sadness I felt on Monday has turned into confident hope today so that I am in full agreement with Paul when he says:

“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? ”                    ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:55‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Praise God with me! I’m Sharing over at my friend Lyli’s blog today. 

Happy Friday!