I love the month for so many reasons and this year, it was packed full of change and good times with friends.
We said Goodbye to three friends and their families who are all leaving the state/country. We’re going to miss them so much, but life takes you on adventures you never dreamed on and we cheer them on with God’s blessing!
Our friends from Pennsylvania, Merle and Sierra and their little Andre came for a few weeks also. We had so much fun with them and spent lots of time exploring Montana and reveling in nature. We were in parts of Glacier for two days and absolutely loved the stunning scenery there this time of the year.
We went to Many Glacier the next day. It was windy and a bit chilly but there was a lovely super easy walk around a lake and the water shone torquoise and wild.
Stephen spotted bear on the distance mountain slope and we saw a herd of big horn sheep up close. I loved this part of Glacier with its untamed ruggedness and want to go back again and explore it some more!
We explored a ghost town, went mini golfing, and took the four wheelers back to the Little Belts.
This was a baby walker back in the day 😀 can you imagine all the law suits we’d have today over it😂
Back roads are the best 😉
When I see the vast wilderness God spread, and the intricate detail to the ferniest moss, my heart worships. He cares about all the details of our life too! The big and the glorious events and the tiniest worry we may be facing today!
He’s got us! And if He clothes the wildflowers in all their glory, how much more will He care for us!!
It rained all day today. We stayed cozy and warm and relaxed. Sometimes i think God sends rain to simply force us to rest and breathe. 😊
The past month has been extremely busy and full of summer days, friends moving, and friends visiting. I’m not exactly sure what happened to August. I blinked and the nights are cooler and days shorter, leaves are tinted with the yellow green of fall and there’s a familiar aroma of pine and harvest and hunting in the air.
In some ways, September is my favorite month of the whole year. It’s the first month, ten years ago, that I came to Montana and knew I wanted to stay. It was like my heart had found its home. The smell of sun baked earth, morning breezes, and golden dried grass over the hills remind me of that feeling and part of me wants to rest forever in that part of my mind and part of me wants to weep.
It’s also the time of the year that my Love and I went hunting together for the very first time. We were newlyweds and although I nearly ‘killed myself’ on that first hunt, packing 8 miles into the wilderness and running blisters on my feet and having such aching legs, I had to lift them physically out of the sleeping bag, I still long to go back to that wild wide country in Dillon and have only the sound of squirrels, the whoosh of bird wings, the drone of a bee, wind through the pines, and the anticipated bugle of elk. It’s one of the absolute favorite things My Love and I have ever done together!
There’s an amazing paradox I’ve been contemplating. The fact that some of my favorite memories have had pain involved. The fact that most life events that stand as mile markers are surrounded with hard things. The fact that when life is smooth sailing, we can celebrate in great ways, but those events don’t brand themselves with the same clarity in my mind. It’s the events that cause physical or emotional or mental stretching that I want to relive.
I think I’m a bit crazy even wanting to go hunting again, for instance. It’s hard hard hard work in Montana. You hike and carry heavy packs and endure cold fingers and toes and no hot showers. Fierce winds. You eat cans of soup and huddle under sleeping bags and listen for bear. And yet, being in nature compensates for it all. And the joy outweighs the pain.
Mothers do the same when they endure 9 months of pregnancy and the pain of childbirth and think they will never do it again….until that time comes when meeting another child outweighs the discomfort that goes with it, and the joy once again, outweighs the pain.
I think God created us that way for a reason. Humans have a capacity in this area like no other living thing does. We are resilient. Though we may be broken and crushed; though parts of us will never be the same, God brings us to places of acceptance. Places of fierce determination that our pain will not be wasted. Places of bravery we never knew we were capable of where we run straight toward the thing that scares us the most or has hurt us the most, and we use that energy He empowers us with to face the hard and the pain and the fear and we experience life like we never imagined.
Beauty truly is birthed through pain.
No matter what situation you find yourself in today, my friend, know that God has a plan. That joy WILL come in the morning. That as you face the HARD of this moment, God has a place of quiet rest for you. He will meet you there and tenderly care for your wounds and give you strength for the moment.
And when He asks you to run toward that HARD in life, know that He’s got your back. In fact, He walks before and behind you and places His blessing on you!
His heart is always for you!
I have driven past these amazing trees so often and am always amazed at their fortitude and strength. The wind in North Western Montana can be truly brutal, but that hasn’t stopped these them from growing. They have leaned with the blasts and defied my image of a tree. I have this crazy urge to salute when I pass them. Deep in my heart it’s the amazing Creator that formed their tiny seeds and sent rain and sun and wind that I am in awe of. They have learned to grow exactly where He allowed their seedlings to sprout and they are beautiful!
We Bend but Do Not Break
The wind is constant.
A whisper, a croon or a roar.
Master of the open floor.
And we grow.
With the flow.
Of current airstreams through our boughs.
But do not break.
Stripped to the bare bones of our souls in winter.
We are OK with that.
The root of who we are,
Anchored securely in the level earth.
Always spring breathes gentle green and we awake.
But do not break.
While seasons come and go
Our beauty skewed and crooked.
But still we reach toward Light
And freckle shade on man and beast
And point toward stars at night.
Who says a tree is straight?
When trunk and branch and root are one,
We reach deep down and stretch high up.
And do not fret about our shape.
Our focus set on nobler things.
Like strength and fortitude and grace.
And robins resting tired wings.
Of children larking in our shade
And strong men mopping sweat from brows
While thanking God who made us.
We are a tree.
The wind scars cannot rob our name.
Nor shake our core identity.
We are a tree.
We had a wonderful day of adventure in the Little Belt mountains this summer with these wonderful friends. Four wheelers and dirt bikes made it even more fun 🙂 the kids all did wonderful and I’m hoping we can go again next year 😉
The view was breathtaking and we followed such gorgeous mountain trails. Sun scented pines. Fields of Wildflowers (although they were past their prime). Narrow ledges along steep mountain faces. And Rocky terrain that was barren and wind whipped and wild.
Our scenery changed so drastically it reminded me of the drastic opposites in personalities. Now please understand these pictures have no reflection on the people in them. In other words….we don’t have drastic personality clashes with them. (Lol.) The colorful personalities brought out parts of this blog post so I just had to share them.
Did you know that with an app on your phone you can translate your spoken words into Chinease, Spanish, Latin, or Russian? And that’s just the beginning.
Guess what the most common phrases are that are translated every day?
“How are you?”
And my favorite….”I love you. ”
I saw a commercial for this google app recently that grabbed my attention….it started with languages being interpreted. People smiling. New friends being made. And it ended with these words….
Be together. Not the same.
It struck me solid.
Life is full of this. I don’t know of any single other person that is exactly the same as any other single person.
Yet, we all have the same basic needs of survival in life. We all bleed red. We all breathe oxygen. We are all on Earth together.
We are all created by the same God.
We have all sinned. We are all broken.
We are all offered free salvation through Jesus’ death.
As SAME as we are in so many basic fundamental aspects of life, we somehow seem to forget our origin. We all started little. Helpless. We all grow into big people of those tiny origins.
Somewhere along the way in life the glamour and simplicity seems to fade and we forget that simple childish view of life. We don’t understand each other. We jump to conclusions. We speak different dialects. We prioritize in different ways. We have different tastes and preferences. We have different opinions and fight different battles and wear different scars.
And somehow, the different is all we can see.
I am understanding more and more how OK it is to be different from those I love. That’s agreeing to disagree on some things in life is healthy. That my own desire to desperately control makes me want other people to think like me. I am slowly learning to accept and embrace the differences and understand the dialects.
When we don’t understand the language, then we need to bring it to the Interpreter of heart and mind and ask Him for understanding and translation.
So often I am too busy to stop and bring my thoughts to God. I wonder how many heart aches and misunderstandings and fears would be relieved if I would simply utilize this wonderful tool of prayer that is free for all of us.
This praying thing that can be as natural as breathing. Available any time. In any place. For anyone.
We are beautiful together. Not the same. But beautiful. We can lift our faces to the Son. Bask in His peace. Worship our Creator. And pass the Interpretor love on to those we meet every day. Let Him teach us genuine love that makes others feel value, accepted, and LOVED.
Just like the gorgeous Wildflowers that blend into the loveliest bouquet.
And how different is truly SO BEAUTIFUL!