The Stuff of Life


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BOY MOM MONDAY – Proverbs 16:25 The Right Path

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Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death.

Our family enjoys backpacking together. Following a trail in the woods away from regular life gives us quality uninterrupted family time, great exercise and an appreciation for all the modern conveniences we enjoy in our day-to-day. You know, like beds and toilets. 🙂

But it is important to stay on the trail. Veering off can lead to injury and/or getting lost.

A couple years ago, one of our boys decided to walk along the rocks in a river. Not a big deal. He wasn’t at risk of getting lost, and what boy doesn’t love climbing on rocks and playing in the water? What he didn’t take into account however, was that rocks are slippery when they’re wet. He took a tumble right into the river.

This did not lead him to death as our Proverbs verse says today, but it did lead to drenched clothes. Clothes we had to hang from sticks over a campfire to dry.

Our kids don’t always think clearly through the path they are going to take and find out too late that the rocks are wet. As they mature, my hope for my boys is that they will learn to discern God’s “right path” from the path that seems right to them. And that in doing so they can avoid consequences far worse than wet clothes.

Dear Lord, I pray that my kids will not be deceived by their own sometimes skewed perspective of the right path, and that they will seek you and follow your path, even when the wrong one is enticing. Amen.


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The Mid @ Scary Mommy

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I’m over on  The Mid at Scary Mommy today giving advice to my younger self. Feel free to check it out.

An author/teacher whom I have an immense amount of respect for said that the best advice he ever got as a writer was, “You must be willing to walk down the street naked.” Every time a piece of me goes out into the world of cyber-space via an article I’ve written, I have a better understanding of what that statement means.


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Nature Proclaims – christiandevotions.us

I am excited be the writer of the August 5 devo at Christian Devotions. If that site brought you to this blog, welcome.
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My devo, Nature Proclaims, was a result of the first backpacking trip my crazy husband convinced me to take with him. (We’ve since gone on 4 additional trips; 2 as a couple and 2 as a family.)
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I went through my old writings and found a few photos and a list I wrote after completing that first trip. Turns out, you can learn quite a lot when you step out of your comfort zone and into the great outdoors.
Here We Go
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A few things I learned or was reminded of on our journey:
1. God is a God of tremendous beauty.
2. God is big enough to make lakes so big you can’t see across them, but he still cares about little things like lost cameras (ask Corey about the extra 6 miles he hiked for me).
3. God provides. – Thank you to Kristin and Amos, who allowed two stranded hikers to set up camp on their site.
4. God, not the weatherman, is in control of the weather. Rain was forecasted for our whole trip, and we had sunny upper 60s and 70s all day Saturday and Sunday.
5. I am capable of more than I thought. I hiked 16 miles in one day!!
6. Flush toilets are a beautiful thing. I almost cried when I sat down on an indoor toilet with FOUR rolls of dry toilet paper just waiting there to be used!!
7. The $50 you save by getting a cheap motel at the end of the hiking trip is NOT WORTH IT! (Think dirt, a roach on the curtain and Brady Bunch era bedspreads.)
8. My husband is my VERY BEST FRIEND.
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I so enjoy these trips, because they make me appreciate everyday things I normally take for granted.


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Anxious or Trusting

I just recently noticed that this devo of mine was published online. That was a fun surprise 🙂

 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NIVIMG_0301

“I’m a little anxious about this trip.” My husband’s words the night before he was to fly to Wyoming for several days of backpacking made me uneasy. Corey doesn’t get anxious. It’s a sign that something is going to go wrong. What if the plane crashes or he gets hurt on the trail? I was now anxious about Corey’s trip in a little four-seat plane.

He arrived in Wyoming the next day in one piece and had a fantastic trip. And I’m certain his anxiousness had more to do with the thought of leaving me alone with our sons in the midst of some significant life transitions than with his own safety. But his comment caused me to be anxious nonetheless.

It’s funny how small things can send our minds reeling. One off-handed comment snowballed in my mind into a disaster that never happened.

God gives us a clear remedy for anxiousness. Do not be anxious about anything. Anything! In everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, we should present our requests to Him. And His peace, which is a peace beyond anything this world can provide, has the ability to protect our hearts and our minds. The next time Corey flies off on a backpacking adventure, I plan to trust the truth of Scripture instead of trusting my untrustworthy imagination.

God asks you to trust him with your circumstances or life issues that are causing you to be anxious. Whether it’s a new job, a move across country, or a child who is having a rough year at school. Maybe like me, you need to let go of your fears and let God show you He’s in control.

 

You can find this and a lot of great devos at Christian Devotions.


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Hatchet and the Superior Hiking Trail

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Our family had our first “wilderness” adventure together this summer. With all of our necessities on our backs, we packed in to a primitive campsite on the Superior Hiking Trail and spent the night away from all modern conveniences.  And we all came out alive.

The boys filtered water from the Split Rock River, gathered firewood off the trail and set up their own tent. They inhaled their mountain meal like it was the most delicious food they had tasted in their lives, and Owen said he liked river water better than regular water.

Aside from one child falling in the river, an almost bad log on a leg accident, the ongoing fight with killer mosquitoes and this mama losing her voice, the trip went pretty much without a hitch.

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It was during this vacation that I started reading Hatchet aloud to the boys. They loved it. It may have had something to do with the fact that they felt they could relate in a tiny way to the protagonist, Brian, who was on his own far from civilization. In fact, when Brian started a fire with the paper-like bark from a birch tree, the boys were like, “Hey, that’s what we used.” Brian was roughing it a bit more than we were, but I think it made them feel like bonafide outdoorsmen.

Basic premise of Hatchet: After a crash landing in a small plane somewhere in the Canadian wilderness, Brian Robeson is left alone to survive with nothing but the clothes on his back and the hatchet attached to his belt.

Here’s a list of what the boys thought were the best parts of the book (spoiler alert)

* Brian crash-landing the plane in a lake after the pilot died of a heart attack

* Seeing how Brian figured out how to catch fish and hunt birds

* When Brian figured out how to get the survival pack out of the plane 

I thought it was fun to “watch” Brian’s mental processes and to see how creative he was with what little he had. Kind of like a kid version of Castaway.

Overall, it’s an excellent story. And kudos to Gary Paulsen for writing a page-turner of a middle-years novel with basically one character. This one is highly recommended by the Harms boys and the Harms mama.

We’re looking forward to starting Brian’s Winter next.


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It’s a “Yay! I’m in a Book” Chicken Soup for the Soul Book Giveaway

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How fitting that while we were on the Superior Hiking Trail for our first ever family overnight backpacking trip, this arrived in the mail.

A box of Chicken Soup for the Soul:  Devotional Stories for Women  books with a devotional story I wrote based on my first ever backpacking trip with Corey, which also happened to be on the Superior Hiking Trail.

I abandoned my comfort zone for that first trip and took part in one of Corey’s adventures.  And I enjoyed it enough that I’ve since gone on three more similar trips.

What out-of-your-comfort-zone thing have you done for someone you love? Gone sky diving? Tried some exotic food? Allowed your child to get a pet snake?…

Let me know in the comments, or tell me something you would never be willing to leave your comfort zone to do. I’ll randomly pick one commenter to receive a free copy of the book.


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5 Things Backpackers Do

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1. Pee outside. Seriously, this is the view from the commode at our first potty break. I doubt there’s a 5-star hotel out there that can boast of a view like this from the toilet.

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2. Bathe in deet. It feels like it anyway. Nothing like rubbing 98% deet all over every exposed part of my body to fend off armies of killer mosquitos.

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3. Drink water that looks like this. Filtered from Cross River, Corey assured me it was safe to drink. I trusted him and survived, so I guess he was telling the truth.

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4. Get very excited about super lightweight camping items. This cute little Big Agnes two-man tent weighs just over 2 lbs. I always roll my eyes when Corey buys a lighter weight version of something he already owns,  but I sure appreciate it  when I’m carrying it on my back.

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5. Endure tired feet and sore muscles for an occasional incredible view. Like these of Lake Superior and Temperance River rapids.

Our trip was less than ideal in many ways that I’m not going to take the time to elaborate on now, but it was an adventure for sure. And nothing beats an adventure with Corey Harms.