Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Birthday Hike, and Reminder . . .

My Day: I was blessed on Thursday to be able to take my traditional birthday hike with Mary Ann and my girls at the Pinnacles National Monument. We left the parking lot about 1 pm and got back to the van about dark. I was so proud of our girls. In the first two miles we climbed 1,500 feet of switchbacks (to the top of the peaks in the background of the pictures), and then we wound our way across the east side of the Pinnacles and back to the van through some caves for the next 6.5 miles. It was 8.5 miles in all, and the girls did it all without complaints. It was a really special time and a beautiful day. I was able to end the evening at my parents house and celebrate my birthday with our three generations all present together, by a crackling fire, eating pizza. It was a very special day!

Bethany and Daddy, nose to nose.

For those of you who have followed this blog, you may remember my posting last year at my birthday that year's traditional "nose to nose" pictures, as well as the previous years. You can see last year's in the "Esther 3" post of Nov. 5, 2009, and the year before's in the "Esther 2" post of Nov. 4, 2009. I am including this year's pictures for those of you who know our family, or would like to know more about our family. It is fun to look at the pictures and see how the girls are growing.

My Reminder: I have been struggling a lot, lately, to understand why I can believe in my head such amazing truths—not just believe, but know, because I have experienced God's hand in ways in my life there is no other explanation for—and yet have my emotions so far behind my mind. Sometimes, when I think about what I believe in just the most simple of doctrinal statements, I can't figure out why my heart doesn't leap more, or why I can be so easily swept away by anxiety, negative expectations, fear, insecurity, etc. I find some comfort in accounts from the Bible of great men and women of God who wrestled with doubts, etc., even after intense encounters with God, but it doesn't comfort me completely. I don't seek emotion to rule me, or even to drive me, and I am grateful that I can still operate by faith in what I know without the feeling, but I would love to have more of the feeling to accompany my faith . . . more of the awe and wonder and proper perspective that keeps God and everything else in its proper size and perspective in my heart.
Abigail and Daddy, nose to nose as well.

At the Pinnacles I forced myself to just stop and look up at this one rock that was at least 1000' of straight, single rock face. The sun was dropping and the rock was red, massive, and majestic! It was so incredibly huge, and I forced myself to not just say, "That's beautiful" and move on, but to pause and reflect that, since my God made that as just one fractional part of His Creation, I truly do not need to be anxious for anything. This was something God reminded me of recently, that He commands me to be anxious for nothing, and this trip to the Pinnacles helped return that to its proper perspective. Faith has an object, and our object is God, who is the author and enforcer of His Word. Sometimes, for me, I need to pause and just ponder His wondrous, glorious, absolutely huge and stunning Creation and return Him to His proper place in my mind and heart—that place where He is God, He is huge, and there is nothing that can rival His size or power or love or majesty. It is a reminder I often need, and one that God has used His Creation many times to help me get.

Note: Many of you have seen the picture of our three cows on my blog's "Pictures" page. Well, on Monday afternoon the black one had a calf and I've posted a picture here of momma cleaning the little one about an hour after birth for you to enjoy with us.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful pictures of father-daughter love! Blessings to you and your family!
    ~ Kierstyn


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