Showing posts from March, 2019

Life Lessons I've Learned from Riding Trails: Part 2

I'm spending another week in Moab, Utah to ride trails and soak up the spring sunshine before heading back to snowy Montana! Last week I shared eight life lessons I've learned from trails, and this week I have another six for you. #9:  It helps to have a record of where you’ve been so you don’t get lost. When we go trail riding, we use a GPS to track our history. Even with the best maps, it's easy to get lost in the wilderness, so keeping a record of where you've been helps orient and get you to your destination. For life's trails, records like pictures, journals, and family histories help keep you out of the wilderness. #10: Trust yourself to drive over the obstacles, but don’t get overconfident. Life inevitably has obstacles of varying sizes and degrees of difficulty. Trust that you can overcome these challenges, but know when to ask for help. #11: Some obstacles can be removed or driven around; other times you’re better off turning around. There w

Life Lessons I've Learned from Riding Trails: Part 1

Greetings from Moab, Utah! We're on our third annual camping trip to the area, and we've come to ride its hundreds of miles of off-road trails since the trails close to our Montana home are still buried under several feet of snow. Riding has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember (I got my first four-wheeler at age ten), and I've noticed that trails have taught me some meaningful life lessons worth sharing. 1. Trail systems have easy, moderate, and difficult paths.   Life mirrors this variety, and by acknowledging it, we validate our own path and the paths of others.  2. Some trails are mapped perfectly; others are incomplete or incorrect; still others are not even on the map! Recognizing this about your life can free you to explore and chart your own path. 3. Trails can be a mix of bumpy and smooth, flat and steep, level and tippy, or rocky and sandy. The best part of knowing this is that you can expect life to be interesting and adapt to t

Cultivating Beauty

I used to love gardening. When we bought our first house, I went to work building a garden out of railroad ties, raking the soil, and choosing seeds. I would measure out the rows, plant a variety of vegetables, and spend the summer cultivating the growing plants. I even enjoyed weeding because I knew it would give my seedlings room to thrive. But now, life with a chronic illness and progressively weak muscles has impacted my ability to practice the hobby. I can no longer shovel dirt, get on my hands and knees, or carry a water hose.  My husband has since built me a raised bed for the deck, so I can still get my hands in the dirt each spring to plant tomatoes, however I miss the larger plot and the hours I could spend getting lost in the task of supporting optimum growth. But I've found another way to garden. This week I've turned my attention toward my inner soul-garden, and the ways to tend its spirit. For me, this inward thinking has been reinforced with the seas

The Beauty in Dissenting

Something ugly happened last week.  The United Methodist Church, my church , at a global meeting, took an exclusive stance against those identifying as LGBTQ and their allies. The judgmental and punitive words spoken at the conference cut deeply and hurt many while sending the unholy message that some people do not belong. This was the headline. But in looking deeper, beyond the very real grievous and disheartening decision, I found hope and beauty. While the majority vote ruled, 48% of the delegates disagreed (in fact the margin was only 54 votes) with the plan's directives against the LGBTQ community. This clearly shows that nearly half of the worldwide Methodists want to be inclusive.  In the United States, there is an even larger majority of UMC congregants who believe God's love is for all people. The Bishops of the Western Jurisdiction, covering all of Western US including Alaska and Hawaii, released this video to affirm their commitment to diversity among the bo