Retreat Connect Refresh

Often our lives are full.  Full of trials, pain, and just business. This was also the surroundings in Jesus life 2000+ years ago.  We hear of his days full of just that.  However, I find it inspiring how he spent time away from the crowds and went to the MOUNTAINS to connect to God.

1) Retreat:  Being a wife/mother/pastor's wife, my home is often the source of wonderful joys and sorrows.  I am available to everyone at all times.  I also see all the "necessary" projects that loom over my head like Eyores' black cloud.  It is there.  However, when I go to the hills or anywhere in nature, my distractions are lessoned DRASTICILY.  I can be in the world God created for me to enjoy.  It gives me time to listen.

2) Connect:  Prayer is often the pouring out to God. But, just like a marriage relationship, if only one person is talking it would be an unhealthy relationship.  When I take the time to reflect and listen to God, I get His perspectives and His heart.  Out on a trail, I often like to ask Him to reveal something to me.  Sometimes it is a rock higher than I am.  Other times He has made me notice a squirmy colorful caterpillar.  Once, I noticed that in this mountain tarn (lake), it had one tiny iceberg floating in the cool lake at the end of August.  What made that stubborn iceberg not melt?  It reminded me of my hard heart. I asked God to expose any sin that has not yielded to God's grace.
do you see the little iceberg in the lake on the right?

Not only do I ask God to reveal, but I ask him Why did you have me notice______?  The lessons He reminds me vary depending on what He wants to show me.  His creation is always speaking of Himself.   Since I read God's word the ultimate trail map for life, often I am reminded of scripture that he wants me to remember.

Seeing these "roadblocks" made me ask God for help knowing that He is not surprised by obstacles
*I also use specific verses to mediate or repeat when hiking. In college, I had a running partner that we practiced scripture memory while running.  Love her!

*At the top of a mountain, you can often hear me singing the doxology (I am thankful that God wants a joyful noise because my singing is more noise than pretty :)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heavenly host:
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
*  When hiking, you have lots of time to also share your heart and to learn from others.  Sometimes life is just tough.  I find out that I am able to talk about the hard things easier along the trail than if someone were just staring at me over a cup of tea.  My friends and hiking companions also open up some of their true heart while on the journey.

*Marriage: Some of my favorite dates and times of connectiveness with my husband are during a hike.  We can encourage each other.  Share our trials on the trails.  And have a common accomplishment that we can experience together.

3) Refresh.  Not only do you get some good exercise, it is also a time for renewal and perspective.  After hiking, sometimes alone or with others, I often feel equipped to tackle the problems of this world with strength, God-dependent attitude, and with a new perspective.  I see how God cares for the little things and the big things when I open my eyes to admire His creation.

"For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God." Romans 1:20

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