fyi--->(this is not a brag post for my friends buried in snow, if you happen to be sipping from a hot mug in your warm house right now, please know there is a part of me that is a little jealous, and will be A LOT jealous once August hits).
Along with perfect outdoor temps, we also claim some of the best hiking trails in the west. People really do come from all over to blaze a trail in the warm sun that melts away into cool nights.
Last weekend our gang of 8 tried out one of the rockier trails that boasted of scenic views, a small waterfall, and hieroglyphics etched into the rocks at the top. Knowing it was only a three mile hike, we had high hopes that our kiddos could definitely master the trail. We also knew that our ability to keep their eyes on the prize would be half the battle.
As the little legs in front of me began to tire, Brandon and I changed gears from trailblazer to motivational speaker...
Just one foot in front of the other buddy.
Focus only on each next step, and before you know it you will be at the top.
Oh you just wait till we get there, you will be so proud of yourself
Believe you can and you are halfway there (ok, I didn't really say that one, but I would have sounded really inspirational, right?)
And those little legs kept climbing. Some steps slipping as their child-sized foot barely reached the next rock, but still etching forward to the goal none-the-less.
While taking in the views of the mountain my thoughts began racing ahead of me, whispering back to me from the top. I was reminded of a conversation that my sister-in-law and I had a few days prior about people in crisis. Not the emergency kind of crisis, but the kind that sets a person's entire gait on walking through the door that may bring the least amount of pain.
Survival Mode. Many people wake up to one more day of barely there.
They've been there so long they don't even know what life could look like without the fog of dangling.
Sometimes I would love to just go on a simple hike, but with time and maturity I am learning that even a walk can turn into a full blown spiritual lesson. Sometimes my lessons include immediate action, and other times He just wants me to listen. All at once the desert became my classroom, the trail my desk, and my Heavenly Father the perfect teacher.
As I listened, my thoughts illustrated in the dust with every step. Every rock that tumbled, every person that I passed became part of the purpose.
...and we met many people on the trail that day. Did you know that hikers are super friendly? And if you want to talk to ALL of them then climb a mountain with 6 kids. They'll be stopping to give you water even if you don't need it (ask me how I know).
As we passed the strangers, I smiled and said hello. My gaze met their eyes, and I wondered what mountain they were really climbing that day. We were all in the same place, on the same trail. The nudging inside whispered to me that each one had their very own mountain.
It started with my own children. I was at the back of the pack watching their little calves tighten with each step. I know their mountains, mostly. As my older ones navigate the tween years I prayed again that they would always allow their mama to hike with them up any trail, no matter the pain, we'll endure it together.
Little people tend to have little mountains, but to anyone, no matter the size, standing in front of a giant obstacle that is bigger than you is big. No matter what size it actually is.
I thought of one of my sons who has prayed every night for help to pass a math test. Math is his mountain right now.
I have another son whose mountain is keeping his hands to himself and his mouth quiet at the appropriate times.
And my daughter, who has climbed more mountains already in 3 1/2 years of life than anyone I know. She's still a little wobbly, but that girl is a climber. And a fighter. And her story at the top will be one that I want to hear. I don't want to miss a step of her journey.
And as I listened, and watched, and motivated, and smiled Jesus gently reminded me that everyone is climbing a mountain.
While my person wants to judge and question, my spiritual is in tact to whisper remembrances of their mountain. Each one's mountain. Standing toe-to-the-edge of what seems insurmountable.
And so my friends, my sweet readers who may have woken up today with a mountain that is too big...
Is it the same climb that you face everyday?
Have you just given in to its overwhelming size?
Is it new to you?
Is it a mountain that you never wanted to climb in the first place?
I have words for you...
He is bigger. My God, He is the creator of those mountains. He formed the land in a day. He is not only in the business of creation, but is also really good at restoration. He wants you to know that he can see the top of your mountain and all the way down the other side. He is the Alpha and Omega, which means he is the Beginning and the End to it all. And the best part? He made you. And he loves you even more than I ever could. He will never leave you. He is climbing that mountain with you, right now.
Did my littles make it up that mountain last week? They sure did. They stumbled, stubbed toes, and stopped for respite, but each one made it to the top. Did we celebrate? Yes! Did we remind them that they were ready to give up at times? Yes. By the time we were in the car on the way home, we were already planning our next hike. Because that is how great it feels to persevere through pain. And know that you are not climbing alone.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle. -Plato