Trail Talk

Happy May! Isn’t it wonderful to finally not be cold?

If you’ve read around here long, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I am a conflicted outdoorsy type–an avid indoorswoman and a reluctant hiker.  Reluctant or not, time, experience, and maturity have brought me to a love of the places trails take me, the terrain they guide me through, and the way they help me better understand what it means to walk by faith.

Even with all of that, one of my favorite things about of life on the trail is the way it fosters wandering conversation. While we may know our intended destination and how we plan to get there when we set off, what we don’t know is just exactly what we might end up talking about along the way. (By the way, where is your favorite place for conversation?)

Sometimes there is companionable silence. Sometimes the conversation is about something utterly frivolous. Or cultural. Or political. Or religious. And sometimes, it involves something seemingly random that God uses to prompt growth, change, or a shift in perspective.

 Budding Tree Trail Talk | May


As an example, when my dad (who managed a research farm for Iowa State University) and I took a trip to Yellowstone a few years ago, our conversation about pigs and selective breeding prompted me to give a lot of thought to how I handle stress. I’ll be sharing more about that in an upcoming newsletter. If you’re not a subscriber, you can do that here.

With that in mind, I’m offering up a few meandering things– a quote that’s given me perspective, some favorites and sweet surprises–the gifts and graces of spring, and what’s saving my life in the midst of a busy season. If you’re so inclined, when you’re done reading, continue the conversation in the comments or via email. I’d love to hear from you. And, where if your favorite place for conversation?

Pause | Ponder the Path | Press On

“The straightness of the path has less to do with the ease of our travel than the direction of our true destination.” ~ Ruth Chou Simons, Gracelaced


  • Book: Gracelaced by Ruth Chou Simons (See quote above) Because this is a four-season devotional, with each season divided up into twelve sections, I sit down with it once each week. Simons’ watercolor paintings provide warmth and loveliness to her solid and gentle encouragements to keep on keeping on well as we walk by faith through the details of life.
  • Movie: The Greatest Showman. Of course. Obviously. Not exactly marching to the beat of my own drum on that one. 
  • Listen: The Greatest Showman soundtrack. It’s a good thing, too, because my girls have it going all the time.
  • Read from the web: “A good marriage isn’t something you find; it’s something you make. And you have to keep on making it.” Basically, this article is a call to resist the temptation to put your marriage (or any other significant relationship) on autopilot.

Sweet Surprises | This Spring’s Gifts and Graces

  • kittens and the girls who love them
  • the finishing up of the year’s activities
  • middle school and high school actors
  • road tripping  to Detroit and staying in a church with my daughters’ robotics team and their  various family members (and the way one of the fathers gave thanks for the robotics “family” in prayer)
  • sweet little children who enrich my life by the way they live theirs
  • new friends
  • spring’s green march across the meadow
  • curtain calls
  • a graduating girl
  • small town life
  • strangers who look you in the eye and return a smile
  • walking in the moonlight without a jacket
  • celebrating the end of one leg of life’s journey and the beginning of the next with graduates and their families
  • waking to birdsong
  • discovering that first budding bush

A Little More Wandering Conversation

Saving my life in the midst of a busy season: chicken quesadillas on busy nights (chicken breasts, taco seasoning, a little broth, a crock pot, and a couple of forks) What could be easier? Basic chicken recipe here.

Lifting my soul: Remembering that endings are also beginnings.

Spurring me on: morning light that encourages me to  get outside and walk before the day’s activity begins

How about you? What’s saving your life, lifting your soul, or spurring you on?  What favorites or sweet surprises do you see?

Happy weekend and happy trails.

Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.
Proverbs 4:26-27














One thought on “Trail Talk

  1. Anita Ojeda says:

    The sweet sounds of my ‘pets’ (aka hummingbirds) always gives me a lift in the spring just when I need it. The Bullock’s orioles and their chatter make me smile, too. I’m looking forward to seeing family at my youngest’s graduation from college, and spending most of the summer in AK and my grandson (and his mom and dad, of course).

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