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Thursday, August 7, 2008

This past summer my family went to Zion, Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. In addition to connecting with God through His breathtaking creation, we also had a chance to connect as a family.

I love the routine of everyday. I know that may seem weird, but I'm one of those gals who never rearranges furniture, I still have clothes hanging in my closet that are waaaay out of style, and my idea of a night out is sitting on my patio eating grilled burgers with my family. There's a comfort in the known.

But there's something surprising that happens when a family moves out of the normal routines of phones ringing, text messages beeping, e-mails dinging, tvs droning, calendars reminding, bosses requesting and dirty clothes accumulating. We listen. More.

It's as if creation speaks ever so gently ... saying "hush" ... and we respond. We can ignore this quiet call to listen, blundering through it all, looking for a spot to get cell phone reception.

Or we can settle our rushing spirits and receive the beauty God wants to offer. When we do, we realize that routine back at home, that routine we know so well, dulled our senses. It dulled our senses to the miraculous nuances of God's presence in our midst. It dulled our awareness of each other's needs. It even dulled our compassion at times.

Yet the freshness of nature, the quiet of a meadow, the startling height of a mountain, the power of a waterfall, the colors of a rock ... God used His creation to cleanse our dingy spirits.
I thought I would share some family photos from our trip. It was a remarkable time.

This is Robbie whittling. Being a city girl, and an ever so protective mother, I cringed when my son asked for a pocket knife. But since I've read "Wild at Heart," I know that a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. And this 13-year-old "man" needed to make a walking stick.

At Yellowstone, we stopped at the museum honoring the National Park Rangers. Since we love the rangers, we decided to stop there. Plus we could get a stamp on our passports. It was near closing time, but this retired ranger let us stay late and watch the movies. He also asked if one of the children would like to help him fold the flag, and Josh got the honors.

Three years ago, my two daughters couldn't even have imagined a scene like this. Three years ago, they lived in an orphanage wondering about their fate. While they had heard about God, they didn't know anything about Him. Now they know there is a God who loves them so much, He would move heaven and earth for them. And did.

This is the son who has improved my prayer life. There is no cliff high enough, mountain tall enough, river rapid enough, trail hard enough, or adventure thrilling enough for Dylan. When this boy gets an idea, like jumping up a rock, my husband looks at me with that look that says, "Shhh .. it will be alright" and I start to pray ... and remind myself to breathe.

This might just be my favorite picture, although it's technically pretty grainy. Robbie took it without us knowing (Obviously, as I would NEVER allow my backside to be photographed knowingly). But I love that I'm holding hands with my teenage son.

Yes, this is one of the gifts I received when I listened to what God's been trying to say to me all along.
Thank You Heavenly Father!



Joy in The Truth (Sharon Sloan) said...


Beautiful devotion today! Thank you!

And my heart is moved by these pictures of your family in God's creation. Truly, I am touched. Thank you.

We are heading to the ocean tomorrow for vacation. Love the majesty of His ocean!

We also went to one of our favorite vacation places last month...Camp of the Woods (Christian Family Camp) in the Adirondak Mountains of New York State. Wow...talk about His wonderful creation!

Nahum 1:15
"Look, there on the mountains, the feet of One who brings good news, Who proclaims peace!"

May we always be overwhelmed and blessed by His creation!

Jerralea said...

I totally agree with you about getting away from everyday life -- yet I do so love my routines! But sometimes, we just need time to get away from it all and just "be".

Loved the pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Lynn Cowell said...

Mountains...definitely mountains. The peace I sense when I am in the Smokeys is such a powerful example of just who He is.
On our recent trip to Arkansas to visit family, we did Coke or Pepsi as well. It is such a great way to learn more about each other.
Thanks for sharing!

Carol said...

This is so precious. I know what you mean about your son improving your prayer life. I have a son like that myself. I loved the pictures.

Truth4thejourney said...

Oh what a lovely post! I really enjoyed your words and pictures. You are blessed to be able to enjoy your family, this is a gift from God!

My family has just returned home from a relaxing vacation, as well. God was good in letting me enjoy the blessings that He has given me, too.

Rachel Olsen said...

Loved seeing the vacation pics!

I only wished I loved "routine" as much as you. I decided the other week to rip down my wallpaper and redo the kitchen ... you know, in all my spare time.

Smiles ~ Rachel

Mary said...

Beautiful post Glynnis!
I'm a little behind on reading. We're getting ready for Shari Braendel to come on Sept. 6th and of course I'm co-driecting the event! It's going to be incredible!

Bonita said...

Great post, Glynnis. We just returned from a vacation to the beach and while I wouldn't exactly say it was all that relaxing for me, I did return with a fresh perspective on just about everything. While there I kept thinking how wonderful it was that we got to be together as a family all day every day for a whole week.

BethAnne said...

What beautiful pictures! We would love to visit Yellowstone, but want to wait until our kids ar ea little older.

Shari Braendel said...

Glynnis, I was a day early, and now I'm a day late! That is, in wishing YOU a happy birthday! I thought about it on the 19th, but noooo, I should wait unitl tomorrow the true day (20th right?) and now today is the
21st...oh to be a day late! Please know I'm sitting here, looking at your beautiful family and wishing you a beautiful brithday! love, Shari