Category Archives: Musings of a blonde brain

A little lesson from the journey <3

Hey and happy Friday! 

In case you missed it, Russ and I took a little vacation this past week to Estes Park, Colorado.

We enjoyed the beauty of the area and signed up to go white water rafting. 

It was all fun and games until the manager of that day’s excursion gathered us around for his safety talk.

He went through a variety of scenarios that included falling out of the boat, pulling in someone who has fallen out of the boat, getting your foot caught in a rock or fallen tree and thus drowning, and wrapping the raft like a taco around the supports of one of the three bridges we would be traveling under. 

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That and the giant sign warning us of snakes lurking hither and yon and I was ready to climb back into the school bus and wait for the group at the far end of the death river experience. 

But I put my big girl life garment on, which apparently has not been cleaned since far before Covid reared its ugly head, and my groovy helmet that may or may not have reminded me of pictures of helmets I have seen in WW 1 movies…and I got in the boat. 

As we were practicing following commands from our guide in the eddy where we launched out, I asked him if he could give me a rough percentage of how many people he has actually lost out of his raft over his career. 

He kindly replied that he does about 150 trips a season and he tries to keep it below 10. He shared he had already lost two but they fell out in the calmest of waters basically because they wanted to. 

We asked him how long he had been doing this on the river were are on, and he said this was his fourth year. 

As the trip progressed, he proved his worth as he knew every little and big rock formation, exactly where to hit the rushing waters and even decided we were handling our instructions well enough that he could get us to spin through the last two rapids. 

He called us “Team” the entire time.

And we felt like a team. 

And I guess I would say that as we rafted down this beautiful stretch of scenery with freezing cold water sloshing over us from time to time, I felt safe because the guide had studied and put study into practice over and over and over and now we were reaping the benefits of his wisdom. 

So of course, you know I thought of Jesus. 

Because if you belong to Him, He is in your boat; whether you realize it or not. 

He is doing the heavy work and the steering; whether you sense it or not. 

He knows the path you and I are taking each day and while we must do our part and paddle forward once, or twice…or backward two … or Left side, paddle forward and Right side, paddle back…He’s making sure we don’t capsize. 

So wherever the river takes you today, I pray you know Him. 

I pray you to have the strength and discernment to do what only you can do, and I pray you have the faith and the trust to let Him do what only He can do. 

Blessings and happy Fourth! 

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Summer reading program…check in/check out <3

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Well, well, well…the start of a new month and I am wanting to press down hard on the brakes of time. 

In our home, July 4th is not just the birthday of this country, but the celebration of the birth of our third child. And we all know in this house that once we celebrated John’s birthday, summer was basically on the fast track out. 

It will be no time until the stores that have been trying to sell us sleeveless tops and shorts will be trying to convince us we need to up our sweater/boot game. 

But we will embrace all that July holds and love what summer is..even when it’s hotter than we like and the humidity wreaks havoc.

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Since it is the first of the month, I am sticking with this book plan. I hope you don’t mind, it certainly is holding me accountable. 

Although all I have to show for the month of June for reading is one completed and one nearly completed book. 

I finished “Your God is too Small” by J. B. Phillips and read almost all of “Boundaries” by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend. 

I think I shared a bit of thoughts on the J. B. Phillips book in last months post, but would add these thoughts having finished it. 

Phillips divides the book into “destructive” and “constructive” thoughts about God. The first section offers a variety of ways that we, even in the Church, have skewed views of who God is. 

The second section helps establish the much broader view we need to embrace of the power and might of our God and how harmful it is when we scale Him down to what we can totally understand and hopefully explain. 

The reading was challenging.

Phillips thoughts and writing style are not easy-breezy. I had to really focus and concentrate and go back over paragraphs.

It is a book I have started and put down several times and I am happy I muscled through. It is marked up now and will be going on the shelf as one I refer back to over the years I have left working out this salvation with fear and trembling. 

Boundaries is another book I had started and stopped numerous times.

As I pushed through and found much good material, I realized that the reason I would put it down and not pick it back up was because the opening chapter covers a rather lengthy description of a woman with poor boundaries. 

I found it exhausting to invest in her story and would give up. There are, throughout the book, other examples of people who had boundary issues and again, I would get weary reading about their situations. 

This is a “me” problem.

If you ascribe to the Enneagram theories, I am a Four and tend to absorb the emotions of others around me. To pursue the book meant I had to purposefully disengage from the examples and just move on to the material that was helpful in explaining appropriate and Christ-like boundaries. 

I should be finished with this one by the start of next week, and I hope to share some thoughts gleaned…so stay tuned!

As for next month…and if you follow this little reading project, you may notice that some get removed and others added because I am both a mood reader, and I tend to lose track of books as they move from bag to shelf to bag…and months later I rediscover one I meant to read…sigh…it’s a problem.

Here is the stack of dreams for July:

As you can see, one is the Truthfilled Bible study by Ruth Chou Simons. I am loving this study and enjoying the fact that the videos are less than 10 minutes but packed with wisdom. 

I am excited to read A Wrinkle in Time again.

I read it as a child and as a mom when I suggested to our children it was a good one and now I hope to read along with Graham. Tia gifted him a copy and this is a classic from my childhood that I hope he loves as much as I do. 

The one on families who lived in lighthouses is one we picked up on our fall trip to Galena.

It was tucked into a shelf of about ten thousand books in one of the many antique shops. I have long held an interest in what life may have been like for these families so am looking forward to what this one holds for me. 

And there you have it…

except I want to know……what are YOU reading this summer???? 

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Step into my living room, the projector is loaded and ready to roll….. <3

Remember back in the day when your dad would set the projector up in the living room and show slides of your vacation?

Yes?

No?

Well, melt some plastic and dim the lights and enjoy my photos of our most recent trip and you will be able to experience what it was like when I was growing up….

So Russ and I made a nice little visit to Estes Park, Colorado this past week…

Proof positive here…and yes, travel hair was on point.

We found it to be as scenic and peaceful as we had been told it would be and enjoyed lovely views…

and checked off a dual bucket list item by joining a white water rafting trip which involved riding a vintage school bus for 80 minutes on roads like this…

which proved to be more harrowing than the actual rafting.

We were forecasted for rain, but God held back the clouds and we enjoyed a sunny and beautiful trip down the Cache Poudre River with a great group of newbies and one excellent and funny guide…

And if the water looks darker than you typically think of white water rafting…it’s because this was the first day that the run off from the mountains included ash from last year’s fires.

The guides were over the top excited that we were experiencing this…we noted that ash run off is just as cold as clear run off…which is pretty darn cold…but we loved it.

The next day we enjoyed driving up into the higher elevations to Long’s Peak, which was sadly hiding behind clouds.

But Colorado did not disappoint…

we still had delights along the way like this beautiful church tucked in the side of the road and a hike around Lily Lake…

where we spotted all manner of bird life and thankfully none of these…

Speaking of wild life…

this guy liked to graze down the road from our residence and we saw him frequently on trips into town.

We also saw this guy…

and we were lucky enough to get a head shot of him…

I also apparently own an ice cream parlor and candy shop in Estes Park…

Who knew?

But if I do says so myself, I make very good ice cream.

After enjoying several days in the tranquility and grandeur of the natural beauty just outside the Rocky Mountain National Park, we headed back down into Denver area.

If you know us, you know we try to hit up any available MLB game when traveling and as it turned out the Rockies were having their Opening Day 2.0…the first game with full capacity.

It was quite the opening…

The Rockies won, the sun shone through beautiful blue skies and there was a flyover that was kind of awesome…

That being said, there were some emotions involved in traveling as we still listen to reports regarding the future with Covid.

There were random restrictions in some places…

and total ignoring of any knowledge of a virus in others.

The problem of getting enough help to open up businesses seems to be country wide…

as overworked staff asked us for patience as we would have to seat ourselves and hope to catch a server on the fly.

We were thankful for the people who were showing up and our hearts went out to Greg at the Chick-fil-a in the Denver airport when he found out that his replacement was not showing up at 1:30 as planned…and he slipped another pair of rubber gloves over swollen hands and started taking the zillionth order for the day.

We also found that the flying is not without inconsistencies and overworked crews as well..but it was something incredible to be able to see the earth from an airplane window and words can’t quite express my gratitude that we had the opportunity one more time <3

And then we got home and this little garden that Russ fortified for me back in the spring has just exploded…

So take that Peter Rabbit….we are looking forward to a bountiful harvest…and are praying the pumpkins don’t take over the north side of the house before autumn.

Thanks for sharing the fun.

It’s good to be home and I gleaned some thoughts to share with you…God’s little lessons picked up on the Journey…but for now…it’s off to the laundry room….

<3

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