a spiritually refreshing hike

Happy Weekend to you lovely people :]

Although today is the end, yesterday was a blast. Rather, a rest.

A much needed hike and wander along the trails here in Northern California. The river running like crazy after recent storms, beautiful sunny day with a wonderful cooling breeze. .

I went on this hike with my college group from church. It was a sort of “spiritual hike.”

We first plucked a leaf. A few moments later we stopped. We looked at our leaves and were reminded of Jesus telling his disciples that he was the vine and we are the branches. Just as these leaves have one central vein and all other veins branch off from it, all of the nutrients that leaf received came from that one main vein. In our lives we are to look towards the Lord for our sustenance and all life within us will come from Him. All strength when we run out, all rest when we are weary, all nourishment when we thirst, to come from our seeking first of the Lord. Otherwise we will cease to produce fruit.

Once given some time to think this through we carried on. Oh but only for a moment. (If you’ve learned anything about me, I am definitely not one for stopping and starting and stopping without any sense of accomplishment) A good lesson, however, came from this second stop.

Ceasing. Quite literally, stopping what we are doing, our work, our rush, our need to achieve. And resting in the Lord. Our bodies were created to rest, we are meant to get tired and need sleep. We are meant to need times of refreshment. How often do you give yourself more than a couple hours to truly rest?

Finally, after twenty minutes to sit with ourselves and the Lord and rest, we actually commenced walking. Every few minutes you’d hear “BIKE!” and we would all get in the grass and allow a series of mountain bikers past. Patience is key in these situations, and after the third time it didn’t bother me anymore. We chatted about life and the scenery and thought to ourselves.

When we broke for lunch, I swear I ate a half dozen mandarins. I don’t know why. They were just so good, I wanted to eat more but realized I’d have to pee quickly. I also climbed a rock, sort of. Mostly, I got cut up by grass. And then we headed back.

We stopped one last time at the second place we had stopped before. We each received a “prayer block” with the first part of Pslam 1 written on it, then added our own prayer request. Then we snagged another block with an unknown friend’s prayer and rewrote our own request, added another scripture if we so chose, and a doodle of some sort. Now we have a sure thing to pray about!

Our second task at this break was to learn something called a “breath prayer.” Breath in, think to yourself the name you call the Lord. Breath out, give him your request. This prayer is designed to be used throughout daily life, a simple way to be aware of the Lord’s continuous presence. My breath prayer often sounds like this: “Father God, calm my mind.” Because I am constantly thinking.

Next we listened to our pastor read a scripture. Then once again, to pick up on whatever we may find important. And one last time to really let those important words resonate with us. Honestly, I fell asleep while this happened! I was so tired!

And finally, we grabbed a rock. We thought about expectations we may have set for ourselves or others. Specifically, one or two or four that weren’t necessarily realistic. We each wrote down our expectation, took some time to talk with God about it, and threw that rock in the river. Symbolically leaving that burden or expectation at the river.

What a beautiful day for some beautiful lessons and time with the Lord. Here are some pictures I took of the scenery:

Don’t forget to take some time to rest this month! I love you all!

❤ that one girl

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