Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Life in these mountains

Philippians 4:6-8 (Today's New International Version)

6 Do not be anxious about anything,

but in every situation,by prayer and petition,

with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7

And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding,

will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Good afternoon to you! I hope that your day has gone well and that you know today that you are loved. Because you know what....... you are! If no one has told you today that they love you...let me be the first.....I love you! :)

This is a little of the scenery from our weekend. I could have stayed here all day listening to the roar of the water flowing over the rocks. It was cool and so void of "earthly noises". There was such a peace in the air and in my heart.

Here was a bridge we stumbled upon. It was chained off..thank heavens...or my husband may have just decided to venture across it. Instead we took some time to get out and walk around.

I took the time of course to try and see the things that might be interesting to the eye. I am still learning how to use my camera....so to get a close up of these little things without them being blurry took a little effort. I just love this fern that has not yet..bloomed.

There was moss growing all over the place close to the river. This was taken really close up. From normal height it just looked like the rocks had a covering of shag carpet. Up close the covering looks like little pine trees.

Do you know those times you are so at peace and so content you just have to take a deep breath and sigh? For the most part this weekend was that type of time. Keith told us he remembered a fall in this area. So we parked on the side of the road and did just a little walking and found this beauty. It went way on up the mountain side but there were trees blocking the view yo most of it. So I captured what I could.

Keith and Julia ventured a little further out and managed to stay on the rock while I took the picture. If the water had still not been so cool I think someone might have gotten a little wet. :)

Now I would like to take a little break from the day and share some thoughts. If I had read this post a couple of years ago on someone elses blog...during the blackest of the season that we were going through... you might have heard something like this go through my mind----

Sure, who wouldn't be filled with peace when you are living there and your life is not filled with problems that seem to pile one on top of the other until you feel like you are drowning?

Just being honest here. But then God began to teach me...and is still teaching me....how to take the truth from the above verse and claim it and use it in my life. I would not say our life is perfect now...but there is peace..peace that guards my heart when I follow the directions He gave me to follow.

Julia and I had done a little shopping and Keith had decided to wait us out in the truck. ;) I had told him earlier that our 19 year old son(who does not live with us) had been on my mind all weekend. I had been praying for him and just lifting his life up to God. Keith decided to call him while I was in the store....it was not good news. Which he then decided to share with me....YUCK! Ever have news that hits you and you feel like you just took a load of bricks to the chest? That was me. Our son has had some problems following the Lord. He knows the right way and we just wonder when that truth is going to sink in. And even though he no longer lives with us......his life is tied to my heart.

Keith could tell as soon as he told me that he should have saved the news till later...emotionally I was sinking fast. There went the peace based on circumstances. And then I began to talk to God...it went something like this.

"HELP! When God When!?!? When will he get it? When will his life stop yanking my heart around? I need help....fast! I know it is not fair to make Keith and Julia suffer because of my emotions....I don't want to ruin their day...my day too. God I thank you that you are working in our sons life even if I don't see it with my earthly eyes. Thank you that you love him dearly and you are not going to give up on him. So I give you this yucky load....take this burden. I can't carry it."

And so for the next hour or so I silently handed it back over to God each time I felt my heart being crushed. Now I will tell you that in the past this process would have taken days or weeks. It would have been before my eyes and on my mind every waking minute. But God is faithful and He promises to keep working till the work He started is completed. And so in about two hours the weight was gone. The peace of God was again guarding my heart and mind. In Christ Jesus the burden was being carried by the one who was meant to carry it.

The rest of the weekend was sweet.

We rode through Cades Cove and saw this cute little creature checking us out from his hiding place. If you are ever in the area it is a very sweet place to drive through. We only saw a few dear that day but it is not unusual to see bears and wolves.

I would like to leave you with one thing from a book that I have been reading. It is a quote from Father Tim from the book, In This Mountain (the eighth in the series) by Jan Karon.

"I know the fifth chapter of First Thessalonians pretty well, yet it just hadn't occurred to me to actually take Him up on this notion. I've been too busy begging Him to lead me out of the valley and onto the mountaintop. After all, I have work to do, I have things to accomplish...alas, I am the White Rabbit everlastingly running down the hole like the rest of the common horde.

I want to tell you that I started thanking Him last night--this morning at two o'clock, to be precise--for something that grieves me deeply. And I'm committed to continue thanking Him in this hard thing, no matter how desperate it might become, and I'm going to begin looking for the good in it. Whether God caused it or permitted it, we can rest assured--there is great good in it.

Why have I decided to take these four words as a personal commission? Here's the entire eighteenth verse:

'In everything, give thanks....for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.'

His will concerning you. His will concerning me.

This thing which I've taken as a commission intrigues me. I want to see where it goes, where it leads. I pray you'll be called to do the same. And please, tell me where it leads you. Let me hear what happens when you respond to what I believe is a powerful and challenging, thought deceptively simple, command of God."

Me again-That just really hit me when I read it yesterday. So simple. Such a beautiful way of me remembering to reiterate my trust and love for my God. And if I could share one more thing. Beth Moore talk about the need for us to use the power that is available to us by hands up time. Of course the first impression or thought I had was that she was talking about raising our hands to praise God...there is great power in that. But what she went on to say was that there is great power brought into a situation when we raise our hands to give God what is on our hearts and in our lives.

So today I remind myself and you to get those hands in the air....and as they are on their way up lets not forget to thank Him for what is in those hands. His ways are perfect and mighty and His love is deep and rich.....He is worthy!

Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

Sorry about the font in this post...blogger had a mind of its own.


luvmy4sons said...

Beautiful post. You are right. God is speaking similar things to our hearts. Maybe that is what living longer does! Humility. Grace. Forgiveness. Rest. Trust. I love Jan Karon and have read all her books. That was a great excerpt! I am so sorry about your news but so glad for your testimony that you were able to get rid of the heavy weight of burden for it. This, too, is my lesson of late. We were hit with heavy news this past week in regards to someone that closely affects our son...it has been a week...but I have drawn clsoer and closer to Him as I interceded at the throne so often...then we learned of a poor choice another son made..not big...but my first response was to weary...then...well, I ramble. Let's say I ended up where you did. Loved your pictures.. Thanks for letting me drone on so. Love ya girl!

TammieFay said...

Oh Sharon, I am green with envy! You are in right in the middle of my favorite place on earth! As I told you before, we vacation where you are every summer. Your pictures are beautiful and make me homesick (it's our dream to own a home, cabin, tent...anything up there one day!). I gain so much strength from being in those mountains! Thank you for sharing your thoughts...we are kindred spirits...I have a daughter much like your son. The Lord is teaching me the same lessons. I praise and thank Him for His peace, yes...what would we do without it?

P.S. Thank you for your prayers for sweet Stellan!

MelanieJoy said...

Amazing views you were able to capture in photos. I'm glad you were able to hand over that burden faster this time. I'll keep him in my prayers this week. Beautiful post.

Oh Sew Good said...

When I am around the mountains, what usually comes to me is how they represent my circumstances at times. Indeed they are breath-taking and can be overwhelming and yet there is a peace and beauty just knowing that God created them and He knows His way around them. His way through all the valleys, crevaces, sharp turns, sharp drops, etc. is discovered one step at a time. He can lead you to the other side of the mountain (of circumstances)safely. :)

Denise said...

Such a wonderful post. The pictures are so lovely.

melanie said...

I have some things I am very worried about and things that are heavy on my heart and mind. I really needed to be reminded of that verse and to read this post today!

MelanieJoy said...

I had to come back over tonight and reread this one...
I'm about in a full blown panic attack over this test. I know, I know.....

~Pam~ said...

Hi Sharon,
I found your blog link over at Tania's.
You have a beautiful place here, so full of God's love. Thank you for sharing your heart!
Enjoyed all of the lovely pics as well. :)
Take care, God bless you and I will be back!

Mary said...


This is an awesome post. Love the photos of the waterfall and those of the bridge and forest...balm for the soul.

I will be praying for you and your family as you trudge through vallies and climb those mountains. I know you are going through a difficult time right now. Remember that I am here if you need an earthly friend to talk to.

It's very difficult to praise God and thank Him for everything, but that is what His Word says we are to do. Supporting you all the way.

Love and blessings,

MJ said...

Sharon, I am praying for you and your family. I am sorry you are having a difficult time with your son. I will pray specifically for him.

Beautiful pictures!!

SunnySusan said...

Hi Sharon

Prayers for your son to get his head on straight!!!!

Ok, loved this post...yes, I so agree. I love the mnts....my place to retire and I would go right now too....

You keep on keeping on my friend...God is listening and talking to you too!!

Sharon said...

I think your camera and picture taking was beautiful, Ohhhh how I would LOVE to have been there with you at the time. Your testimony in this is showing us how God is really working in your life and how beautiful it is to see it shining through.
Please know I am praying for your family
Your post was absolutely beautiful and well written :) Thank you for sharing, alot of words you spoke went straight to my heart and I will ponder this for the day!

Have a beautiful and blessed day my friend :)

Mimi's Toes said...

Sharon, These pictures are simply breathtaking! I felt the presence of God while reading this post and looking at the beautiful nature. I can't wait to get outside on my lunch hour today and walk around the lake.

Mimi's Toes said...

P.S. I forgot to mention that i love the new look of your blog. You are always surprising us!