Courage. {New Adventures and an Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike}

Last year, I wrote a series I called “Undaunted.” I wrote about a period in my life when God broke down everything familiar to me, every single thing I considered a “strength,” and worked through my own brokenness to show me just how “God” He is.  This week, I watch Him working in a new way, as once again He removes what is familiar and “safe” from my perspective, and dares me into a new place of trusting and courage.  He’s got better views, harder climbs, and deeper love to introduce me to.


My second son begins a tru-hike of the Appalachian Trail next week.  After three years of study, preparation, and straining against the “yoke” of still being a child while becoming a man, he sets off on half a year of adventure and agony, of hard work and infinite reward.  He and a friend, with whom he made a pact shortly after they met as boys to take this journey together, will set off on a walk that may transform everything they knew about hard work, and sacrifice, and loyalty, and hearing from their Creator through the magical artwork He’s placed all around us, if we only open our eyes to see.  Practically speaking, he’s throwing off the expectations of those who love him and even of his own mind, to dive into an experience of a lifetime.  It’s the culmination of an early education in which we tried to instill a sense of value for learning, of attention to the Truth as expressed first through God’s word and then through His creation, and of being willing to go against the grain for a higher calling.  When we named our boy, I prayed and hoped for a man of courage to grow from that baby, and he is taking steps to flesh out that prayer in a way I couldn’t have imagined.  He will have the opportunity himself to yield to the shaping of His Papa, to listen and learn what He has to say through this walk.


courage and the appalachian trail


When I wrote about our journey to the east coast, I dug into the story of “Sarah, Abraham’s wife, as retold in 1 Peter 3.  Most telling to me was the mention, as it applauds her honor of her husband, that we will also be lauded if we “do what is right and do not give way to fear.” (1 Peter 3:6).”  I thought, “How the writer must have known that desperate, raging desire that simmers ever, to either control our circumstances to our standards, or else give up and run and hide.”  I still struggle with that desire, as I suspect we all do, to either take matters into our own hands, or to duck and run when things seem too hard.


As our second-born stretches his wings and prepares to leap from the proverbial nest, I’m feeling dared, too, to do some stretching.  I’ve long sensed an urge to write harder things, with more boldness.  To address thoughts and conversations both in our family and in the world itself, the faith-world in particular, in a way that comes from the deepest place in my heart that wrestles with them.  I’m inviting you, if you’re reading, to come with me on an adventure, where we’ll traverse hard roads that have twists and turns, steep pitches and deep caverns.  It’s my desire always to continue that “dancing with my Father…” to seek His wisdom in understanding hard questions.  I’m painfully aware that I’m the girl who will often get it wrong, so I’m hoping for a conversation (with my Papa and with you, friend!) that challenges me when I do, and for humility to admit it and to go deeper for more answers along the way!  But I’m longing to make the conversation bigger, and braver, and in so doing, inspire others to be brave, too.


So if you notice a turn to more daring things, will you come along with me?  Will you answer back and ask more questions; will you dare me to go deeper as hopefully, I will dare you?  I’d love for you to share thoughts you’ve had, questions that make your brain spin, and issues that make your blood boil.  I’d love to still giggle together at the wild and wonderful moments that make up this life, and the small celebrations that give it light.  To that end, I’m also starting a second blog called Sal et Lux, where I’m planning to share recipes, home-making, and ideas for creative hospitality.  I’ll still do that some here, but I’m going to listen to what I think is a call to the next phase in being undaunted.


And if you pray, would you lift up my second son, as he does so in an even more tangible way?  His Papa loves Him more than I do, so I know He will only allow what is best for his good and His own glory.  But still, this mama-heart aches in a good-hard way to open my arms and cheer for my boy as he runs, in the way we’ve always prayed he would, to what is hard and wild and bravely-wonderful.


Much love, friend!  (And please do share your thoughts below!)

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9 Comment

  1. Reply
    March 15, 2016 at 4:41 am

    Bring it! There is so much to be said, through thoughtful discourse, about what it’s like to live right now as a child of God. Your perspective is always refreshing.

    Regarding the hike – what an amazing opportunity! That’s the trip that will give him conversation points he could still be using 50 years from now. A once in a lifetime adventure!

    1. Reply
      March 21, 2016 at 3:11 am

      YES, Renee… thoughtful discourse with you over the years has challenged and encouraged me, has dared me to dig deeper and really LISTEN to what God wants to say to us. And yes, so true… so amazing God is allowing him this chance!

  2. Reply
    March 15, 2016 at 11:50 am

    I am praying for courage for your mamas heart as your second born begins this great adventure! I can not wait to hear deeper and greater things ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Reply
      March 21, 2016 at 3:09 am

      Love you Alesha, and I LOVE YOUR MAMA-HEART…

  3. Reply
    March 15, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    This is truly the struggle of many of us writers, I believe. The struggle to be more real, more vulnerable, more true to ourselves. Praying for you as you step out in this way. The first step is putting it out there, and you’ve done that! Can’t wait to read what God puts on your heart to share.
    Esther recently posted…The Good News About Marriage {Book Review & Why It Matters}My Profile

    1. Reply
      March 21, 2016 at 3:09 am

      Esther, I love you already, sister, and I love that the internet has connected us, to walk this journey together!! So excited to see what He has ahead…

  4. Reply
    March 15, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    Can’t wait to hear of Joshua’s adventure!! Brings back a rush of memories and emotion as I remember myself at this point almost a year ago. Oh how much has happened since then!! It’s funny. I expected so many things for him to learn on the trail. While he did learn a lot, he says that he was so busy walking that he didn’t have a lot of time for thinking! 🙂 Since being home, he’s transformed into this man I always knew he would be and am so proud of.

    Funny that you would say you’ve felt compelled to write harder things with boldness. I too have felt this lately. I keep thinking, “What right do I have to feel like I have something to say?” But maybe…who knows?

    1. Reply
      March 21, 2016 at 3:07 am

      As we are preparing Joshua, I’ve thought so much about your Trand, Jill! So many things I prayed with you for him, along the way… and sister, let’s encourage each other! You have SO much to say, because you listen to your Papa-God…

  5. […] when I’ve been real with others about my struggles as a wife, a daughter of Jesus, and a mama, that I’ve had the most […]

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