What I learned climbing up a mountain…

It is Thursday and we are having conversations about Spiritual Whitespace. Unfortunately, my book has displaced itself! We are supposed to be on Chapter 3. I am going to send you over to the author’s blog to read and join in there today and hopefully, the book will have shown up by next week! CLICK HERE to join in over there!

I did learn some important things about rest this week, though and if you have time I hope you’ll join me for the rest of this post.

On Sunday, I gave my girls an invitation to an adventure. A short road trip to wherever, no agenda, no fixed destination in mind.

We picked a direction out of a hat and rolled a dice to see how many hours we would drive.

We didn’t really pay attention to either!

We headed towards some of our favourite things…Mountains!!

We made a few stops along the way to try to be cultural and educational, but really, we wanted to get to the mountains.

Goodwin House at the Saskatchewan Landing

World’s Largest Teepee in Medicine Hat, AB

I had printed out road trip games and we played them. We played CD roulette with the huge CD case I threw in at the last minute which afforded us with some interesting accompaniment – still not sure where ‘groovy jazz thingy’ came from!

At last we were there, surrounded by mountains on every side and Lizzy was overcome with the magnificence of it all. (apparently we have only driven through the mountains in the dark previous to this!)

We camped on the side of a mountain. Gotta love the instant camp site – we threw cushions and blankets and pillows in the back of the van after we took the seats out…instant camper, completely self contained!

Abby and I were both feeling pretty rough but we weren’t about to let sinus colds stop us from enjoying our trip.

In the morning we went to the Banff visitor information centre and selected a hike at Lake Louise. So we drove up there and started climbing. The promise was a magnificent view and a tea house at the top! That was enough to keep me going.

This was the view about half way up.

I should have paid closer attention to the lady at visitor information when she asked us if we were physically fit. I am not falling over from a deadly disease, grossly overweight or have any limbs that are falling off, however, my joints were not prepared for climbing 1200 ft on an incline!

We stopped to rest a lot. (Okay, Abby stopped only because Lizzy and I did…apparently she would have jogged to the top given the opportunity – she did jog down).

I kept hoping there would be some encouraging sign to say how far we’d come or how far we had to go.

Then I thought, I’m not sure I want to know.

Then I thought that perhaps they were just enticing us up the mountain and the journey would never end…it would just keep going continually uphill.

Then I realized the spiritual implications of the whole thing!

We are battling uphill at this time in our lives, fighting to get to a place of rest. I desperately need that place of rest so that I can recover my self and be able to once again give to others.

Stopping to rest on the journey up the mountain was absolutely essential to my ability to continue the climb. I couldn’t just will myself to keep going, that was impossible. My heart rate needed to slow down, I needed oxygen and my limbs needed to catch up, I needed to take in water for my sore, parched throat.

Not far from the top I started wondering what the tea shop would be like, what the lake would look like. I imagined the cool waters bathing my hot feet. Then I caught a glimpse of a waterfall through the trees, no one had mentioned a water fall on the hike, I was thrilled. Rocks and water go together like peanut butter and jam!

That beautiful waterfall was at the base of the stairs to the tea house. Those stairs turned out to be the most difficult part of the journey for me, my hips protested but I pulled myself up the last little bit and was rewarded with the spectacular glacier lake, a charming tea house and rest!

The waterfall at Lake Agnes.

Did you hear how the hardest part was right before the rest?

Not unlike giving birth. The hardest part is transition – right before you get to meet your baby.

Tomorrow we will start moving towards the city…our sabbatical…our season of rest.

We are hot and tired and sticky with sweat. And the steep stairs are facing us head on.

The tea house was more charming than I imagined. It was rustic and lovely. The tea was excellent!

The water was colder than I imagined and we squealed with delight as it bathed our hot feet.

Lake Agnes

Surprisingly, the trip down required just as much encouragement as the trip up. Lizzy’s feet hurt in her almost too small shoes. My feet felt like blocks of wood…Abby jogged down!

At the end we were pretty proud of our accomplishment and went to soak our tired bones in the hot springs. Kelly found us a hotel in Calgary to stay at so that our sick bodies could get some good rest in before we headed back out on the road. It was a good thing to not try and be all independent and ‘we can do this’. We were sick and tired and we just climbed a mountain, the outside intercessor was much needed and welcome. We slept for about 11 hours.

We went home through a more interesting route, exploring the wonders of the Badlands – or at least as much as we could stand in the heat – which wasn’t much!

Here’s hoping that this was just the beginning of more adventures with my girls.

We are going to get to the place of rest. I will climb that last set of stairs (which looks like renovations and packing).

God has a blessing for us, I am convinced of it.

Tea works for me.

We will find our whitespace, we are almost there!

Next Thursday? Hopefully I will have found the book by then! 🙂

 

About Lani

With six kids, a farm, a ministry and dreams poking out in every direction I need plenty of grace to keep all the balls in the air. The sweet thing is that when I drop them, that crazy grace of God is there telling me I'm still okay...and you are, too...welcome to this place of grace.

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