Friday, June 5, 2015

The struggle real because life is real. But thank goodness God is real.

This past weekend was quite an adventure! Anyone who really knows me knows that I tend to find myself in some pretty ridiculous situations.. (maybe I'll write about those another time) This weekend was another one of those situations where I realized just how random my life is. But I also realized how blessed it is. :)

On Saturday morning I drove to Rexburg with my friend Jenessa and some people from her YSA ward. We also had some other friends following us in a separate car. The plan for the day was to hang out in Rexburg for a bit and then head over to hike the Darby wind caves which were an hour and a half away. It was a beautiful, sunny day and the trail started out nice and flat. :) I was thinking to myself, "Man, these are the kind of hikes I enjoy!" Little did I know what was coming..

Somewhere along the trail I ended up getting separated from my 2 friends I knew before the trip and was basically hiking with strangers! I was kinda bummed out because I had looked forward to spending time with them. But I enjoy getting to know new people so I tried to make the best of things. And there's nothing that brings people together quite like hiking does! Especially when it starts raining and you find yourself hiking through 2 feet of snow.. Yikes!

After a couple hours, the easy, spring hike I started turned out to be a 13 mile round trip through crazy weather conditions. (No one said anything about it being 13 miles!!) There were times I was basically crawling my way up through snowy, muddy paths hanging on to tree branches for support! I was cold, dirty, scared and wondering what in the heck I had gotten myself into! And with people I barely knew!

Yet after a particularly difficult section of the hike I had the sweetest impression  that God knew where I was and that He loved me. It was so comforting to know that even though I felt lost and afraid, I wasn't lost to Him. Besides the temple, I've always felt that the mountains are where I feel closest to God. There's something about being surrounded by God's creations, away from the world that makes me stop and focus on what matters most.

After that moment, we finally made it to the top and I was taken back by the most beautiful view! I couldn't believe I had made it that far and that I had made it there safely! To stay safe, my new friend Dev and I decided to not go in the cave. We waited for our other friend to come back out and help us down the mountain. Shortly before making our way down we heard thunder.. and we still had a 6 1/2 mile trip back down the mountain. Needless to say we were scared!

The trip back down was quite an adventure filled with sledding down the hill, sprinting through the mud and rain and trying not to get struck by lightening. (a couple of us came close.) But even though it was crazy and far from the ideal hiking experience, I actually had fun! I made some new friends, discovered new strengths of mine and most importantly made it back in one piece!

I realized that life is like that hike. At first our path can seem so easy and care free. We may even think we can do it on our own!  But along the way we can stumble and wander away from the path and away from people we know and love. Sometimes we make bad choices (like trying to hike the Darby wind caves in May) and we suffer the consequences of those choices. But Heavenly Father never leaves us alone. He gives us beautiful views to remind us of His love. He puts unexpected people in our path to help us on our journey.

Each of us has embarked on a journey by coming here to Earth and Heavenly Father wants us all to make it home safely to Him. Life is a test and it isn't meant to be easy. But it can be beautiful if we stop and recognize how much God does for us each day. On that day I saw God's hand in my life through a beautiful mountain view. I saw it when a new friend of mine grabbed my hand and helped me slide down the snowy hills so that we'd make it down faster. I saw it when a couple of other friends helped me get warmed up when I came back sopping wet and in shock. I saw it when I was able keep my calm and simply laugh at the situation I was in. :)

Sometimes in life the struggle is real because life is real. But you know what else? God is real. I'm so grateful for His constant hand in my life. I'm also grateful for all the people I got to know last weekend. Thanks for everything!



I just love the month of June! I love the long days and the cool evenings. I love watching all the flowers come up in my yard. I love that everything is green and the air is filled with a newness of life. I also love June because it reminds me of my Grandma Johnson.

Though I was only 8 years old when she died, she taught me so much about life. She was an artist and a writer and saw the world in such a beautiful way. She nurtured my creativity and had a designated art corner in her kitchen for the grand kids. That was my favorite place to be in her house. :) She grew up on a farm, raised by her grandparents and had a beautiful childhood. I loved hearing her stories and learning from her. I'm pretty sure she's the reason why I have such special connection and love of nature.

My grandma wrote beautiful poetry and after she died we found several hand typed copies of her poems. I love reading them and am finally getting around to typing them up! I want to make them in to a book. :) My absolute favorite poem of hers is titled, "June," Hence, the reason why June reminds me of her. 


by Fay Johnson

If you should come and I’m not home,
into the surge of June I’ve gone,
among the new mown hay to where
the fragrant smell of June is there.

If you should chance to lift my latch,
I may be among the berry patch.
Or somewhere along the columbine,
submerged by eye, by ear, and mind.

Perhaps I’m seeking the wild primrose,
or hearing the coo of the morning dove.
I may be hiding in the meadow trees
listening to its birds and bees.

If you should knock and I’m not there,
Remember that I’ve gone to where
the month of June with me will share
fullness of beauty captured rare.

Oh how I love the month of June. <3