Nature Awakens You

The Nighthawk and Freedom

Every evening, just at the the witching hour, the Night Hawk flew on strong wings over the field of wheat and shrilled her cry into the air and dove wild and free. Jabbing the air for morsels of food.

She flew so high, I could scarcely see her but her piercing keening call echoed downward and she would dart into view in a blink.

She came. Every evening and sometimes late into the night that whole summer and no one asked her to leave .

The space was hers. The wind her companion. The air her buoyant cushion and the mosquitos her meal ticket.

Wide open spaces spoke to her heart and only when she was free, diving above the golden wheat fields, did she really feel alive.

GLORIOUSLY ALIVE. 

Sometimes coming alive means risking appearing totally mundane. Totally foolish. Totally erratic. Totally raspy.

TOTALLY SHOWING UP IN THE PLACE YOUR HEART FEELS MOST ALIVE. 

We fly.

We dive.

We follow the currants of our heart. And we embrace the space that opens for us. The provision. The strength. And the wonderful, wonderful freedom.

TRUE FREEDOM IS NOT A WORD. IT’S A FEELING. 

“If the Son has set you free.

You are unquestionably FREE.”

Nature Awakens You

Finding Your 30 Something Self

It’s been a life long journey. This finding who I am and who I was meant to be. I thought I would arrive one day and have this great future spread out in front of me with clear paths and years of security.

Turns out I’m in my thirty’s and still discovering the path. I’m realizing that security is something you carry inside yourself, not something you surround yourself with. That it’s not so much about the arrival as about what I learn each day. That I may as well forget the illusion that I will ever arrive until the glorious day I arrive in eternity.

Nearly as far back as I remember, I wanted to do something great. To rescue an abandoned child, be instrumental in a handsome guy proposing to my sister, or like Jo in Little Men, have 12 boys in a rambling old house and be the most fun, energetic mom ever. Romantic anyone? That was me. I was always the hero in my story. Perhaps because I felt like I failed horribly at the hero thing in everyday life.

I was an average girl who struggled with math, felt too large for her frame, had a quick temper and a tender heart. I would change faces depending which crowd I was with. In fact, I became so accustomed to reading people and situations and trying to keep everyone happy and all the plates spinning, that I lost track of who I actually was. I could talk myself into and out of the exact same situation and this made me an empathetic listener who felt like a fraud.

I would do tests and read books and write long journal entries, pouring out my heart in an attempt to find myself. The most frustrating quote that others said to me was,”Just be yourself.”

As if I was a powerhouse of my own who could switch on the Anita Setting. I literally had not the Slightest Clue who “myself” was. And around and around and around I went.

There came the day after I got married and we had moved 8 times and my daughter had died and my whole world was shaken, that I sat in the car outside the church house and cried. Great sobbing tears.

I realized without a shadow of a doubt that I could no longer be who I had been trying to be all these years. That the only way to live with myself and find the freedom and purpose God had for me was to make a massive life changing decision. It hurt so badly I thought I would puke but it also came with the deep knowledge that I was opening myself to the journey that The Divine had been preparing me for all along.

It had begun the day my cry entered the world. The cry of a Warrior Woman finding her identity.

While I made radical life style changes and was physically sick to my stomach when I thought of how this would affect my maiden family and other friendships, I realized a paradox. This was all about me. This had nothing to do with me but was about what The Divine had set in place when I was created. I was in for some of the hardest, most authentic years of my life.

I am learning that knowledge and self awareness is power. That finding my voice and speaking my heart is freeing and that the bravest thing I can do is ask questions and embrace change and growth. I’m finding the balance in when to speak and when to be silent. I’m understanding my personality, my strengths and my struggles, and it makes me a more kind compassionate, useful human. I’m embracing the beauty around me and accepting my limitations and facing my fears. It has helped me relax into a better mom and wife. Discovering that every situation is a chance for new understanding and growth instead of shaming myself and fearing the consequences of a less then perfect decision is freeing.

I don’t have to know exactly who I am in entirety right this minute. I will change. I will shift. I will find new paths for the rest of my life. That does not discredit my journey, delete my story, or diminish who I am today.

Who we are and who we were and who we are meant to be may all seem like different people. Thats OK. We give ourselves the best gift of all when we embrace our currant situation. When we shift if our flow is off or our spirit feels the need for movement.

We are powerful. Our story matters. Our voice is unique.

Don’t let anyone else steal who you were meant to be. And don’t bother self sabotaging yourself by hiding in fear and frustration. You don’t have to figure it all out.

Start by accepting yourself just the way you are. Knowing that you are loved right this moment exactly as you are. That nothing you do or say can change that fact. There is no marathon you must run, no weight you must lose, no title you must earn, no goal you must reach to be accepted here. You are simply loved.

Then find something about yourself that is useful or beautiful or brave and work from that strength . Learn to love yourself because if you cannot show love to yourself, you will have an incredibly hard time showing love to anyone else. Open yourself to The Divine. Follow the Leader of the beginning of your existence. Ask for clear direction. Then trust that you will get it and live with your eyes excitedly, widely open.

The Real you will start showing up and you will be amazed.

Nature Awakens You

Falling Green

Frozen has stolen over our portion of Earth again. Our breathe curls into patterns on the air and we blow on fingers and wear slippers. 

Fall came with such intensity and such determination and such dynamic force this year. It was 50 degrees with blue skies and then the cold front crashed in and we were buried under 19 inches of heavy wet snow and grey skies. A winter snow storm in September and then October dawned. 

The very emotion of the storm seemed to silently scream, “Die. Die. Die.” As it lay it’s weight on green trees and summer flowers.

Nature was left gasping for breathe and realizing the only way to live was to stop struggling and release into the flow. To accept that green leaves were falling on snow and the golden glory of fall was stolen before it had danced. 

The words from St. Matthew play through my head, “if you chose self sacrifice and lose your lives for my glory, you will continually discover True life. If you try to keep your lives for yourselves you will forfeit what you try to keep.”

I look at Jesus who shook the cages of earthly expectations. Freed the myths and traditions of earthly humans. He was not afraid to lose it all to gain the best. 

Perhaps we need to lose what we THINK our lives should look like. Neat tidy edges. Upright straight lines. Children who obey without question. Emotions in check. Uncomplicated relationships and feelings. 

Perhaps it’s in living open to change that we find this TRUE life. Being entwined with the Divine. Accepting what doesn’t make sense. Vulnerable to emotions. Shaking up the mundane. Getting unstuck from the perfect housekeeping or the large pay check. Choosing to risk our hearts at kindness and love. 

Keeping your life close and safe and contained by rules and fears and your own ideas can cause you to forfeit the life you were meant to live. 

LIVE WIDE. LIVE OPEN. LIVE FREE. LET GO OF YOUR VISION OF PERFECT. EMBRACE THE BEAUTY OF WHOLENESS. EVEN IF IT MEANS FALLING WHEN YOU ARE STILL GREEN. 

There is still glory and there is still beauty and there is still grace.

Nature Awakens You

August 

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. 


The mountains on top of Going To The Sun road were covered in wildflowers and the day was perfect for a little hike back toward Hidden Lake. 


I wanted to stay forever 😊 I think it’s a tiny bit of what Heaven will be like💕 

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 😉


The Little Belts were beautiful as always! The smell of pine and sun and fresh breeze can’t be beat! 



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!!

Nature Awakens You

Chasing Pain 

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! 

Nature Awakens You

Bend 

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. 

We bend.

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.
For always. 

Always spring breathes gentle green and we awake. 

We bend

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 bend. 

But do not break.
  
 

Nature Awakens You

Of Little Belts and Life

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. 

  
  
(Yep, we went all the way to the top. Talk about a rough ride….but so worth it!) 

 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?”

“Thank you!”

And my favorite….”I love you. ” 

  
((This little guy concked out on the bumpiest part of the trail on the way down the mountain. Now I know he can truly sleep anywhere :))

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.

  They remind me again….of our Wildflower Girl…

   And how different is truly SO BEAUTIFUL!