Friday, October 26, 2012

Lost Maples

Scene of Sabinal River running through the Lost Maples

My husband and I took our 11th anniversary to the Lost Maples in the Hill Country of Texas.  It was wonderful.  In fact, we hiked all the trails of the park...about 14-15 miles in all.  Yes, we were crazy and yes, we were tired.  But we LOVED it.

Not only have I needed to get out in nature but I needed a break from everything: from Motherhood, church duties (yes, their wonderful but you need a break from those too) and from painting.  Some of you might think a painting break sounds funny.  But it really is something you have to process, think about and then pour your heart into.  I found myself really needing a break to take some things in.  Listen.  Walk.  Listen.  Walk.  I heard trees in the wind, I heard birds and little critters move in the brush (don't want to know what it was).  I let go of some pent up tears.  Being tired and having to go through motions anyway really can take a toll.  

There is something to the fact that we were first put into a garden (as human beings).  Reasons for it? To tend to it for sure but I also think to listen and move about it.  To take in the things that would refresh our hearts to Him.  A little sweat is good for the soul.  A little green too.  And more silence.  More time that is measured in the cycles of sun, moon and trees.

Beautiful roots

Look at the roots on this tree.  Doesn't it give such picture of having everything going down into the right things before you can grow up? Roots are beautiful to me.  Maybe because it took me so long to figure out mine.  Maybe because I was given a gift in my husband.  He reminds me to look at what is happening underneath, deep below the surface.  Not just words or paintings or even fun outings with my kids.  But the silent prayers, time with God, holding a little girl on my lap and making time for friends.

The Green Way
What path have I been walking?  Is it a good and green?  Have I forgotten to look at the color because I'm just wanting it over with?  I get so caught up in getting tasks done.  Look at these trees lit by the sun.  Glorious and alive with yellow and green the moments before they turn into some opposite shades of yellow or red.  I have to stop to let beauty hold me there.  I can't walk on. Because my soul needs to stop.
Up the steep part
About three times during our walks we came upon portions of our map labeled, "steep."  Not much but shrubby trees and loose rocks.  Nothing really beautiful to hold me or even compel me up the trail.  But we went up anyway.  Puff.  Puff.  Not a word was said between us.  We were just wanting it over with.  Ever been there in your life?  Even with your own precious kids?  Or maybe just with your job?  I kept having to remind myself to drink more water, wipe my brow and laugh.  Take care of myself. 
I can see the top!
Almost there!  My thoughts turned to my kids and how they couldn't have done this hike with me. It was too hard for their little bodies.  It made me think how kind God is even in our trials.  He doesn't give us more than we can climb. Even though it sure seems like it sometimes.
Oh, the blue...
What a view!  Open, yet mysterious full of little places tucked away and yet so detailed.  Like seeing your life with clear eyes.  God is here.  He has been all along with mystery, adventure and even lavish love.  I'm glad He doesn't tell me the whole story.  I want to walk it with Him.  I want to feel His nearness. I want to see everything but realize how finite I am.  How impossible it is to do it all.  So I trust this path is the right one for me to walk.  This one I'm on.  What I did with my life.  Where I went to college.  Who I married.  My children that were given to us.  It is for me to walk, sweat and view.  It is for God to reveal, create and transform into something good.

My favorite tree along the path
I loved this tree.  We passed it a few times during our hikes.  It's growing from a huge rock.  Right in the middle of it is this beautiful tree bending towards the light.  Now if that's not symbolism I don't know what is.  Oh, to be like that tree.  Grow me from my solid rock and shape me to your light Lord.  I remember that.  I remember "Stand by the roads and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls..."  Jeremiah 6:16
Pray you all find rest too.  Quiet.  Peace.  The ability to really see.  And help when you don't.