Author Archives: Christy McMakin

About Christy McMakin

I am a daughter, sister, friend, mother, grandmother and breast cancer warrior. I am passionate, emotional, and animated. I love life, my children, my grandchildren, my family, my friends and my God. I am a leader, a follower, a life coach and a teacher. I am a Libra born in the cusp of Scorpio - therefore I am an emotional piece of balanced work (I am also a comedian! ;) ) I am addicted to chap stick, a warm cup of coffee, chocolate, hugs and kisses from my babies and grandbabies, and socks! I am an outdoor enthusiast and I love to hike, rock climb, explore, chase waterfalls, bushwhack, rock scramble and anything else that spells adventure! I write about anyone and anything that inspires me.

Random thoughts…


Believe in your own beauty. Own your individuality. Speak your heart. Show raw emotion. Be bold. Pursue what sets your soul on fire. If you fall down, get back up. If you need help, ask. If you hurt, cry. If you’re happy, laugh! Sing! Dance!Love! Be inspired and inspiring. Be real. Don’t compare yourself to others. Never judge anyone who isn’t quite like you and never judge them on hearsay. Live in a manner that if someone said something bad about you, no one would believe them! Ignore the need to toot your own horn. Never think you are better than someone else regardless of their situation, or yours. We are all humans just trying to make it through. And last but not least, never let morons drive you over the edge to the point that you cut them 😉

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Posted by on November 2, 2018 in Uncategorized


I Am Not Afraid


I am not afraid of change,
mistakes or failure
But I am afraid of giving up and not trying
I am not afraid of climbing high
or crawling low
even if it makes me tremble inside
But I am afraid of letting fears control my life
of constraining me
of making my soul grow stagnate
I am not afraid of being bold
adventurous, silly
Of pushing the limits
to live life to the full
But I am afraid of the mundane,
Of not putting forth an effort
Of lying down at night feeling empty and stale
I am not afraid of being alone
But I am afraid of being somewhere
that isn’t right for me
of losing myself because others don’t approve
I am not afraid of silence or solitude
those moments with just me and my thoughts
But I am afraid of being in
the midst of company and
feeling lonely, inadequate
unheard and insignificant
I am not afraid of love
of heartache or of pain
Of losing and starting over again
But I am afraid of growing cold and bitter and weary in a world that takes so much and gives so little
I am not afraid of adversity
difficult times or the storm
But I am afraid of the parched pale sky
That never gives me an opportunity
to dance in the rain
I am not afraid of the passion burning inside of me
Nor that you may never understand it
or embrace it
But I am afraid of never fanning the flames
Of letting the embers fade to ashes
that quickly blow away
I am not afraid of being me
or of you not liking it
but I am afraid of looking in the mirror
and loathing what I see
I am not afraid of being human, finite
of some day coming to an end
But I am afraid of dying inside
while there is still blood in my veins
I am not afraid to face my fears
To challenge them
To conquer them
To allow them to make me better
Of that I am not afraid

(picture credit: Brandi Baldwin taken on the MST in the beautiful Chimneys of the Linville Gorge)

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Posted by on July 14, 2017 in Uncategorized


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Each year I always like take the time to sit down and ponder over all the things that have happened in my life over the past 365 days. The good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. The accomplishments, mistakes, milestones, stumbling blocks and sometimes downright nosedives. From the lessons learned to the “oh my gosh, not again!” moments. In a nutshell, here is my 2016 in random thoughts.

 I was reminded of what it felt like to let go and fall in love.
To soar high above the clouds on the wings of emotional bliss.
To throw off all inhibitions and common sense and relish in the fairy tale moments.

I also remembered how to face reality.
realize that even the grandest of love doesn’t change some things.
People are who they are, and so are you and sometimes that’s like mixing oil and water.
It doesn’t make either person bad, just different, and that’s okay.
Move on with grace.
Never lose your sparkle and don’t be mad at them for keeping theirs!
(and never cut a mother cracker unless they absolutely leave you no other option!)

I learned a hard lesson in friendships.
I discovered that silence really is golden.
Sometimes the best response is no response at all,
no matter how many efforts there are to provoke you.
What folks do unto others, they will also do unto you in due time and it’s their problem, not yours.
Burn the bridges instead of the people because, well, setting people on fire is illegal! 

I relished in the true bonds of friendship and loyalty.
I felt the deep heartache as a dear friend said her final goodbyes.
Letting go of someone you love hurts immensely and the pang of missing them never fades.
Life goes on but it will never be the same.

Words are powerful. They can build up or destroy.
At times they can hurt more than a physical blow.
Insults, subtle or bold, can be the hands wrapped around your neck.
The fists pounding your heart.
The knife cutting your soul.
Cuts heal. Bruises fade. Broken bones heal.
But the wounds of cruel words spoken out of hatred and jealousy can linger for years.
Choose carefully what you say and also what you allow to be spoken into your spirit.

I know that no matter what is going on in life, the laughter of a 3 year old can melt your heart and brighten your day.
It’s always better to forsake a grand plan of hiking mountains and climbing cliffs to take your granddaughter to see her first waterfall.
The payoff of her smile is much grander than any mountaintop!

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that a mother’s heart is one of God’s greatest creations.
Its love is as vast and deep as the ocean.
The heartache it can endure is immeasurable and the rewards it celebrates, innumerable.
A grandmother’s heart is even more unique.
It loves with patience and grace that can only come with years of experience.
And you can never have too many grandbabies! Welcome Austin Ryder 3-18-16.

You can turn any mishap into a fun experience…its all in how you tell the story!
(Trust me I know this one is true!)

Peace of mind, heart and soul are priceless necessities.
Nothing or no one that steals those from you is worth your time or attention.
It’s not selfish to love yourself. You have to! Or you will never be able to truly love others.
Make time for others but also take the time to feed your own soul.

 Be authentic…always! Eventually the truth comes out anyways.

Compassion always wears rose colored glasses – even when your eyesight is 20/20.

There is a little bit of psycho in each of us.
Self discipline is the key to stay on the other side of the fine line.
Woe to the fool who stirs up the resting beast.
(I know this one to be true also but I’ll leave you guessing on how…;) ) 

Hope can seem like an oxymoron but feeling hopeless is a dreadful state to be in.
When life doesn’t work out the way you planned, have no regrets.
Be better not bitter.
Everyone is fighting their own battle.
Sometimes you can make a difference.
Sometimes you can’t.
But always strive to leave people better than you found them.

The greatest thing you can do for yourself is to live everyday like its your last.
Play hard and love harder.
Be kind and smile at strangers.
Cry when you need to and laugh more than you should!

Life is a gift.
Make a ton of stories along your way.
It’s the journey, not the destination that counts!

Happy 2017 folks!
Let’s get this party started!

Some of my favorite moments in 2016…












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Posted by on January 1, 2017 in Uncategorized


Of Summits, Storms and a God Who Works Suddenly

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In May 2015 for my youngest son, Oliver’s 13th birthday he asked me to take him hiking. Well of course I was elated with the request and happily obliged. Our first mother, son hike was to Grayson Highlands Park in Mouth of Wilson Virginia to take in the two Pinnacles. The weather was perfect, the skies were amazing and the company simply out of this world.

As winter 2015 began to dissipate into Spring, the topic of another birthday hike arose. Where to this year? I knew the answer immediately and shared with him that I would like to take him to one of my personal favorites, Hawksbill Mountain in the Linville Gorge. I couldn’t talk enough about how mesmerized he would be with the landscape and the views the gorge had to offer so plans were set for the 2nd annual mother/son birthday hike.

Well, May came and went with busy schedules, rainy weather, baseball season and other obstacles that seemed to constantly put off the planned hike. However, finally in August (yeah I know…way belated!) on a busy Tuesday, Oliver and I loaded up the pack and headed towards the Linville Gorge. Like an efficient mom/hiker would do, I checked the weather and saw it was only a 15 – 20 % chance of rain so I figured we should be good. Partly cloudy conditions have a way of painting up the blue sky and creating stunning views over the gorge and I was beside myself that we were finally getting to go.

The drive over was a little sketchy as we were greeted with gray skies upon entering North Carolina. By the time we reached the trail head a steady drizzle of rain was falling. “Surely it won’t last long,” I thought, and with Oliver being a willing trooper off we headed up the trail. Silently I prayed for the Lord to please stop the rain and clear up the skies for us, I so wanted Oliver to behold the views from Hawksbill, but the further up we went, the more it rained. By the time we reached the top of the trail we were completely drenched from head to toe. Oliver got to experience a white-out condition for the first time and I admit my heart sunk a little as we stared off into the thick fog only to see nothing…absolutely nothing. No tree tops, no mountains, no Table Rock, no Chimneys , no  Camel in sight. No Wiseman’s View, no Linville River down below and no Shortoff Mountain in the far distance. With our eyes pierced and searching we came up empty! Everything I had excitedly shared with him for months was hidden before us as we were engulfed by the storm. I was sorely disappointed and felt like my prayers had fallen on deaf ears.

The white-out view from the top of the Spine and the Summit

We carefully played around for a few minutes at the top of the spine of Hawksbill, getting a few shots for keepsake, but after my feet slipped completely out from under me leaving me lying flat on my back in a spot that I have stepped on several times, we decided to retreat from the spine and head on up to the summit. I am a persistent little bugger at times so I continued to pray that the Lord would PLEASE let the skies clear up for Oliver to see what marvelous things surrounded him. The rain lingered, the fog thickened and my heart sank a little more with each step. We reached the summit, grabbed a few more photo ops and decided to call it a day and head back down. As I was gathering my pack Oliver pointed out a patch of blue in the skies above us. It was a small patch but nevertheless a patch of blue!! We agreed to wait for just a few more minutes and our decision seemed quite futile until suddenly…boom! The fog dissipated, the skies opened up and one by one the magnificent wonders of the gorge came into view. Oliver’s reaction to the glory that laid before him was filled with awe exactly as I imagined it would be. I shouted out loud praise and thanksgiving for an answered prayers! (okay – really they can classify as constant desperate pleas under my breath the whole way up and there). For almost an hour we carefully played and took pictures. I emphasize carefully, taking into consideration the tons of rain, slick rocks, summits, and death worthy plunges into the gorge with one false step. The rain drenched trip suddenly turned out quite fabulous and mom and son took time to enjoy a peanut butter and jelly sandwich together at 4020 feet above sea level.


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Jumping for joy on Hawksbill Mountain

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Suddenly everything changed!

Heading back down the mountain I pondered in my heart the overall conditions of the trip and how suddenly things changed for us. One minute the sky was covered in heavy gray fog, the next minute it seemed as if the heavens had opened up and poured its glory upon us. I was so thankful that we endured with patience and waited just a few more minutes or we would have missed out on so many marvelous moments. After stopping a few times to collect some cool mushroom shots, we made it back to the ole Honda and we were headed back to the homestead. Later on in the evening as I was kicked back and going through our pictures, I observed the incredible difference that just a few moments made and again let praise and thanksgiving escape my lips – “thank you God for answering my prayers!” It was then I heard His response, “By the way, I heard you the first time you prayed and I answered you, it just took some time for the conditions to be right. First, I had to move the storm out.” Wow, I let that sink in a little….

Yes, as soon as the conditions were right on the mountain there was a sudden change! It went from not seeing 10 feet from your face to seeing clearly to the end of the horizon.

Not immediately. Not quickly. But suddenly everything changed. Insert another life lesson from the trail:

Is life kicking your butt? Do you feel like your prayers have fallen on deaf ears? Suddenly…

Do you feel like you are wondering around blinded by all the chaos around you? Have you slipped a time or two in familiar territory falling flat on your back in failure? Suddenly…

Are the storms of life engulfing you? Suddenly…

Has your faith been dimmed by the lingering fog that envelopes your senses and leaves you feeling hopeless? Suddenly…

Have you been praying for something/someone relentlessly and things seem to only get worse? Suddenly…

Are you weary? Discouraged? Downhearted? Feeling like it’s time to give in? Suddenly…

At this moment I share with you the same thing the Almighty God of Heaven shared with me. His word assures us over and over that:

He absolutely hears our prayers. (Psalm 66:19-20, 2 Kings 20:5)

He is constantly working on our behalf. (Romans 8:28) (Psalm 68:28 NRSV)

He is our warrior and fights the battle for us. (Exodus 14:14)

He is on our side and if that is so, who can oppose us? (Romans 8:31)

He renews us and strengthens our weary hearts (Isaiah 40:31)

I am so thankful that we waited just a few more minutes on the summit of that mountain. Had we left 5 minutes earlier we would have missed what was in store for us. What are you waiting for? I can personally tell you that for the past few months I have been walking through one of the most difficult parenting seasons of my life. There are times that I think my mothering heart can’t take one more iota of aching. Times that I lay before the throne of God and weep and plea for Him to do something. Times I question whether He even hears me. Times I wonder if He is truly going to come and work on our behalf. I want Him to do things immediately! Quickly! Geez Lord hurry up! Times I am weary from the climb and drenched from the storms. But I am reminded on this day that there is a “suddenly” on the horizon for you and for me. There is an appointed ‘suddenly’ that will change everything. Keep climbing that mountain, keep enduring that storm because suddenly God is on His way.

(scripture references of God working suddenly:

On the Mount of Transfiguration: “suddenly” Moses and Elijah were seen conversing with Jesus (Matthew 17:). The Holy Spirit arrived on Pentecost “suddenly” (Acts 2:2). “Suddenly” a light blinded Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:3-4). When he and Silas were imprisoned, a severe earthquake came “suddenly” (Acts 16:25-26). There was Sirach. “For it is easy with the Lord suddenly, in an instant, to make a poor man rich” (11:21-22).

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My Oliver overlooking the Gorge from Hawksbill Summit

A few mushrooms found along the way 🙂

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Posted by on August 10, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Of Waterfalls and Hidden Treasures

Of Waterfalls and Hidden Treasures

Everyone has things that they love to do to feed their soul (or should!) One of the things that I enjoy doing is hiking. It is a hobby I took up 3 years ago that has provided me with an abundance of opportunities to explore some incredible places in and around East Tennessee, southwestern Virginia, western North Carolina, northwestern South Carolina and Kentucky. I’ve also been privileged to meet some of the finest folks on planet earth that share the same passion for adventuring that was birthed in me from the first step on the trail. One of my favorite things to do is venture off trail in search of treasures that are hidden away in remote places that not everyone wants to take the time and the sometimes helluva of a lot of effort it takes to get to.

One of my friends had been told about a waterfall located off trail on Holston Mountain that wasn’t well known and rarely seen. On Labor Day, 2015, several of us set out in search of this fall. We located the stream quite easily and began our trek up the mountain with hopes of finding a treasure. The journey was a fairly moderate one with some small creek crossings, quite a bit of bushwhacking through the thick mountain laurel and fallen trees, some rock hopping and some uphill scrambling. However the further up the mountain we ventured, the smaller the creek became until eventually we completely lost the water source. We found ourselves standing on a boulder filled area that appeared to be the perfect place for a waterfall, we could even hear water running underneath us, however, no waterfall was to be found. No adventure is a waste of time but I do admit we were all a little disappointed that we did not find what we were looking for so we set our sights back on the trail and headed back to the car.

Skip ahead to a rainy Sunday in February, 2016 after old man winter had dumped a few deep snows around us and then saturated us with several rainfalls. Instead of staying inside where it was warm and dry, three of us from the previous adventure decided to get out and do some exploring. A few ideas were tossed around, and after considering the amount of the recent snow and rain, we decided to revisit the location on Holston Mountain in search of the unfound fall. As soon as we approached the creek, that was swelled and raging, we knew this adventure would merit a different outcome from the last. As the rains fell from the heavens and the waters sprung up out of the earth we began a journey that would prove much more difficult this time around. The creek was at least three times wider than before with deep waters rushing violently (thigh high in places!) and crossing was impossible unless we wanted to have soaked bodies from the get go. We decided to bushwhack up the bank as far as we could, using dead logs for makeshift bridges and tight-roping fallen trees whenever possible. The laurel was thicker than thieves, the rain saturating and the ground slick. Less than halfway up the journey, the only things still dry on me were the body parts protected by my raincoat and my feet sheltered in waterproof boots. After 3 hours of travailing through any way that we could, my hands and fingers were covered in dirt from gripping on to anything I could to stay upright, my jeans were soaked and muddy from belly crawls through the brush and I’m sure my face was decorated in shades of dirt and muck from the unsuccessful attempts to wipe it dry. But oh my! Our efforts were getting ready to pay off royally and the sights we were to behold, simply breathtaking.

From a distance we looked up and saw the first sights of a waterfall! The same boulder filled area we happened upon on our last visit was now covered with rushing waters falling from high upon the mountain. I couldn’t believe my eyes! The same area that had been dry as a bone before was now waterfall heaven laden with some of the absolute most gorgeous drops I have ever seen. Valiant efforts were put forth to capture this fall on film, yet it was impossible to get the whole fall – which was at least 300ft from top to bottom – in one frame. The falling rain made it even more challenging to snap a capture, but we persisted and persevered, making our way up drop after drop. I was completely captivated with each new drop, like a kid in a candy shop trying to get a piece of all the good stuff. Even the side tributaries that flowed into the main stream possessed incredible drops and cascades that were more than picture worthy, yet I was nowhere near ready to behold the magnificence that waited for us at the top.

I’m scrambling to get as many pictures as possible with the little bit of daylight we had left, I finally climb up over the last boulder and stand upright, and oh my! I knew immediately that I had been transported to some magical place. The rock wall to the left of the waterfall was an incredible sight within itself with small streams of water trickling down from its top. My eyes scanned over to the impressive waterfall that flowed out and over the top of the mountain. My eyes teared up as gasps of wonder from deep inside my soul escaped past my lips (yes I know, I am such an emotional creature!). All of the efforts had paid off – the repeated attempts, the bushwhacking, the cuts, the bruises, being soaked to the bone, dirty as crap – and we had found her! The hidden treasure was on full display right before my eyes. Heck yes!

As I stood there engrossed in amazement, I heard that still small voice that so eloquently speaks and seizes my attention. “What if you went through that much trouble to find the treasures hidden in people? Make repeated efforts when you appear to come up empty handed on the first try. Fight through the muck and dirt of their life. Weather the storm that is raging inside of them. Not give up until you find the treasure that I know is there?” Thus began another one of the priceless moments where the great God of heaven and earth stood beside me, stopping time as I know it and conversing with me for what seemed like an eternity. We talked of those who were hurting, confused, trapped inside walls of guilt and shame. Those who felt worthless, irrelevant, insignificant. Those who appeared dark and dreary to the naked eye, but to the soul who was brave enough to take a closer look, to delve deeper into the muck, would discover a treasure so grand our hearts would be astonished. He reminded me of times that I had been broken, empty and felt worthless and ashamed. We reminisced of the anger I had exchanged for pain and the fortress I had constructed around my heart to not hurt anymore (Pink Floyd’s wall didn’t hold a candle to mine!). He took me back to that glorious place on April 10, 1994 when I knelt before Him and surrendered. The moment I joined Him on my journey to find the treasures of His spirit buried deep inside my own being (talk about an ongoing bushwhacking adventure! Hello fuzzy!). Last but not least, He addressed the weariness that was lingering in my soul from what seemed like futile attempts and exhausted efforts in my life without any treasures being found. Journeys that had left me cut, bruised, wounded and vulnerable. And then I simply stood with Him in silence as this place of visitation was being forever burned into the portals of my mind.

Only a matter of seconds had passed when I returned to the present. We were running out of daylight and it was time to bid farewell to this glorious place we had discovered. I knew with every step back to the car that, although the waterfalls we encountered on this day were nothing short of a spectacular find, the greatest treasure I had discovered was a renewed sense of hope and desire to venture on His journey, embrace His plans and continue the search for His treasures that were hidden all around me.

2 Corinthians 4:6-8Living Bible (TLB)
For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made us understand that it is the brightness of his glory that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. But this precious treasure—this light and power that now shine within us is held in a perishable container, that is, in our weak bodies. Everyone can see that the glorious power within must be from God and is not our own.

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Posted by on March 2, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Venture On


Sometimes the trail we venture on

Is the wilderness of our own heart

At times we see our path clearly before us

Other times may require some bush whacking through the untouched growth that hinders our way

The effort can be immense

Yet crucial

The discoveries priceless

On my journey

I have listened to the melody of my own song and

Struggled at times to stay in tune

I have climbed the mountains of fear and failure and

Beheld the summits of my own freedom

I have gazed with wide wonder at the valleys below me

Knowing that without them the view would be barren

I have rejoiced as the sun arose to shine hope on my desolation

I have trembled as he left me alone in the company of my own darkness

I have cried a little

Prayed much

Laughed often

I have been enlightened

And disheartened

I have embraced wholeheartedly

I have let go gracefully

My destination is authenticity

To be true to myself and to others

To live fully alive with zeal and passion

To love with abandon

To accept others for who they are and

For where they are along their own journey

To be a light in someone else’s darkness

Even when it hurts

To cherish the ones that come my way

Whether for a moment, a season or a lifetime

To accept my own humanness

Strengths, weaknesses and even the frightening places

To unearth the good buried in the depths of all human hearts

To sow with them and watch them blossom

To venture on regardless of the terrain

With faith


Courage, boldness


To venture on and discover

All the hidden treasures that dwell within

I venture on.

(picture taken somewhere along the way on the Grandfather Mountain Profile Trail, May 2015)

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Posted by on October 1, 2015 in Uncategorized


Listen, oh Listen!


Listen, oh listen!
Can you hear the rain as he bursts forth out of the sweltering sky
rushing down to saturate all that it is weary?

Listen, oh listen!
Can you hear the sigh of the earth as the moisture greets her parched soul
and she drinks him in savoring every drop?

Listen, oh listen!
Can you hear the seed moan as the wetness penetrates her hard shell softening her walls
Preparing her to take root and arise with new life in due season?

Listen, oh listen!
Can you hear the beat of a wandering heart
As she lies awake and sings along with the tune
of the raindrops as they meet the bare tin roof?

Listen, oh listen!
As she sings her own song
Come rain, come gently,
Wash over me
Chase away the drought
Come, flood the empty portals
Fall upon my soul
Make me whole.

Listen, oh listen!
Can you hear the rain as he bursts forth from the sweltering sky?

(September 26 2015 5:08 am laying in bed listening to the rain fall)


Posted by on September 26, 2015 in Uncategorized


Show Me Your True Colors…


Show me your true colors…

The ones that bleed through your veins

Chasing away the solidity that has sustained you

While the summer breeze blew gently against your skin

And the sun shone upon you


Show me your true colors

The ones that seep through when the warmth is fading

While winds of change blow against you

And you brace yourself from the chill


Show me your true colors

The ones that trickle through each cell

When you feel life slowly draining from the inside

You know that no matter how tight you hold on

Letting go is inevitable


Show me your true colors

The ones that permeate your being

When you tremble inside as the threat of winter knocks at your door

And you know dying is a part of living


Show me your true colors

The vibrant reds, the yellows, the oranges

That emanate from the depths of your soul

And shout boldly of courage, and passion and strength

And of hope that spring will come and breathe new life.


Show me your true colors…

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Posted by on September 23, 2015 in Uncategorized


A Bridge Called Grace

Bridge.jpgI had the privilege on Labor Day weekend to visit a most lovely place called Devil’s Creek in Erwin, Tennessee. From the onset of the trail the creek is abundant in stunning cascades that are painted with various shades of the greenest moss. The multi-colored rocks and boulders along the way accents the clearness of the water that eloquently rushes over them. Each new step politely demands moments to pause and behold the beauty of the scenery before you. Although you have to take caution to not slip while rock-hopping, the trail is not difficult and it isn’t far until you reach the lower and upper falls that are both breathtaking in their own right. On our visit, we took the time to snap pictures, climb around on some incredible boulders, trek up to the proverbial ‘puckering perch,” smell some rock tripe (well I did at least 😉 ) and explore the natural playground. It’s always hard to leave a place like this, I always feel as if I’m overlooking something spectacular but our daylight would soon be gone and it was time to venture back to the real world.

As we came to the end of the trail, I stepped down into the creek one last time to take a shot of an old rail road bridge. I was enamored by its rustic character, its weathered railing and the way its demeanor stood out against the massive mountain in the distance. I wondered for a moment how many trains had found their way across this bridge over the years. Where had they came from and where were they going? What cargo had they transported along the way? I felt an intense drawing to walk over the bridge and for me, well, let me tell you that’s a strange inclination. As a child I had developed some weird anxiety about bridges and tunnels. I faintly remember being very young and traveling with my family on a bridge that turned into a tunnel and went underwater. I’m sure it wasn’t a very long distance, but in my mind it was cross-continental! I can still feel the burning in my lungs I experienced as I held my breath while scanning the concrete walls of the inside of the tunnel looking for small trickles of water that were waiting to burst into a flood and consume us! I can also remember well into my adult years of feeling that fluttering anxiety each time I would have to cross a bridge in my everyday travels, knowing that the moment I was in the middle it would collapse and send me spiraling to a premature death! (yeah I know, my imagination is quite insane at times but rest assured, I am never bored!) Foot bridges downright terrified me, even the small ones, and to think of the chances of getting me out on some rickety old swinging bridge over water…oh H-E-double hockey sticks-NO!

However I have found that in my adventures in nature, crossing bridges has slowly become a much easier task for me. Several of our hikes have consisted of bridges going over waterways, some of them sturdy, some rickety and downright scary. At first, anytime we came to a bridge of sorts I would cringe a little. I may have appeared calm as a cucumber on the outside, but inside I was screaming desperate prayers to God to not let the bridge collapse under my feet! A few months ago we visited Grandfather Mountain and walked across the mile high swinging bridge. Once I had successfully crossed over and back again I wanted to jump up and down with joy and shout like Dora the Explorer, “I did it, hey, hey I did it!” It’s amazing to me the transformations God has wrought in my soul through being out in His creation. As the months have passed, it has become almost second nature to me and most of the time I don’t even think about the apprehensions that used to bind me. As I stood and looked at this old railroad bridge, though, I felt a familiar anxious fluttering deep down inside my soul and I knew I had to venture up and see what was in store for me.

I walked up to the bridge, standing before it I scanned its distance, eyeballing every railroad tie to the other side. I began to walk out onto it, bouncing a little with each step checking the stability (yeah I know, like my weight was going to break something a train travels across! ). I tried to place my boot in between the spaces of the ties, just to see if there was any danger of slipping and falling through – negative ghost rider. So I ventured on out across, assessing my every step. I leaned over the side, checking out the distance to the creek below which wasn’t very lengthy. I looked up and around at the mountains surrounding me. I walked to the other side and I pondered the meaning of the anxious gnawing in my gut. I thought about bridges. There are all kinds. Some are longer than others, some higher, some wider and more secure. Some you may not even notice that you are crossing over and some may scare the whiz out of you with each step. In all of their differences, they are the same in one sense – they are all necessary. They are a through way from one place to the next and without them sometimes you wouldn’t be able to reach your destination. I lingered for a moment, searching for some insight but the voice inside was quiet so thus I began the trek back to the car.

I don’t know if you have ever walked a train track, this was my first time and the steps were awkward for me. The ties were close enough together I couldn’t comfortably step them one by one and far enough apart I looked like I was doing the chicken walk if I tried to take in two at a time. I was constantly having to adjust my stride to not stumble. The longer I walked the more I pondered. I thought of my life’s journey, where I had come from. I took a deep breath as I remembered the sting felt in a little girls’ heart from a father who constantly rejected me. I remembered the physical abuse that hurt like the devil but was nothing in comparison to the ugly words that left me feeling worthless and unloved. I remembered the shame that poured through me when my innocence was so carelessly taken from me as a young teenager. I remembered the loneliness that enveloped me even when in the midst of a crowd. I remembered the emptiness, the fear, the pain that had tainted my soul and followed me well into my adult life and ruled my days. I remembered the failures, the mistakes, the lost hope and lost dreams. I remembered the brokenness that stabbed my heart like a knife and the desperate cries to be healed and made whole. I remembered the moments that my steps had been awkward and it was all I could do to not stumble and fall. In that moment I felt it all again like a mighty rushing wind running through every cell I possessed. I felt my composure pouring out of me like I was a shattered cistern and I stopped. I turned around one last time to look at that old rustic little bridge and as soon as my eyes were fixed upon it…..and I remembered.

I remembered the moment I surrendered a shattered heart to a God who had pursued me in my brokenness. I remember kneeling before Him and asking Him, if He could, to take me and make me whole. I remembered the years of shaping and molding, the kneading and sometimes necessary chiseling through my resistance. I remembered the moments my awkward stride hurled me tumbling to my face, yet He was always there to pick me back up again. I remembered the loneliness that He permeated with His presence. I remembered as the darkness fled when His light rushed in. I remembered the moments of joy as His truths became realities in my life. I remembered the moment He unlocked the chains and set me free! And Oh! How I remembered a bridge of grace and unfailing love that has led me from a valley of brokenness to a massive mountain of freedom, healing and wholeness.

I silently bid farewell to that old bridge and the anxiousness that had gnawed at me departed. My focus was no longer where I had come from so I turned back around and began again on my journey to where I was going. Indeed it was another fine day on the trail and I knew that of all the incredible sights I had beheld that day, I had not missed the most spectacular one of all, an old rustic bridge.


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Posted by on September 10, 2015 in Uncategorized


Along My Way

old man walking

It was a sunny day

When I met a man along my way.

I didn’t catch his name but it was all the same,

I knew his worth

90 years since his birth.

He laughed as he told a joke or two

I listened and I laughed too.


I bid him farewell

Yet he followed me out and I could tell,

He had a story to share

So l lent him my ear.

He smiled as he talked of his children

5, all grown

Not far from home

He also had grandchildren of his own.

I didn’t catch their names but it was all the same

I knew their worth,

By the sparkle in his eyes

These treasures that money can’t buy.

I listened and I smiled too.


He paused and looked me deep in the eyes,

He almost began to cry.

He asked me if I knew of pain

That cuts deep like a knife

He talked of his wife,

68 years sharing life.

I didn’t catch her name but it was all the same.

I knew her worth

The loveliest woman ever put on planet earth!

His countenance aglow

As his mind wandered through time and space,

I did not catch the place

Where his thoughts remained,

But it’s all the same.

In his silence I knew of its worth

This place that needed no words

I listened to the quietness

And I cried a little too.


It was time to go and we said our goodbyes,

He shook my hand gently and let out a sigh,

I’m not sure why

But he said it looked like rain

Although it was a sunny day.

I didn’t catch his name but it’s all the same.

I knew the worth

Of this moment in time,

I saw a stranger’s heart

And it touched mine

For a moment our lives intertwined

I too sighed as I walked away

And I thought of rain on this sunny day

And this man I met along my way.

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Posted by on September 9, 2015 in Uncategorized