An Unexpected Adventure on my day with the Lord!

Piles of snow, loss of pathway, and no one to help.

Thanks so very much to all of you who prayed for me yesterday. I have been quite blessed and am so excited about what the Lord has put on my heart. Your words and well wishes were of great encouragement to me and made me feel so very special and loved. I appreciate your taking the time to fb me and to write comments.

One of the reasons I am seeking the Lord for guidance at this point, is that at 57, I feel keenly that I need to make the next years of my life count. I do not have endless years of ministry and speaking ahead–but a limited time, realistically. And with my last child graduating from high school in May, I have been impressed by the Holy Spirit to really become intentional about my plans and priorities.

If you have read any of my books, you know that God have given to me an adventuresome heart. Many stories and lessons have come from walking, hiking, climbing mountains and getting lost! Yesterday, I was enjoying a wonderful quiet time where my heart was being filled with excitement for what is ahead. It seemed pretty clear what I needed to drop and what I needed to focus on in my life. (more on that next week)

After a couple of hours, I decided to talk a walk outside, as I love to walk and it provides a great time for me to think and pray and clear my mind. There is a small lake up from where I am staying. It has a pathway around it and our family has walked it many times. As a matter of fact, I walked it just three days ago by myself one morning.

So, I climbed the hill to the little lake, and began to walk around it, looking for some familiar benches where we have shot family pictures and sat many times before. Three to four feet of snow had piled up in mounds in many places just from the previous 3 days of snow. I thought I knew this path very well and so took off in the direction of what I thought was my pathway around the lake. However, as I ventured into the obscured path, I found myself deeper and deeper in snow. What had started out as sinking down 3-4 inches in snow, eventually turned into a foot of snow. Stomping my feet 12 inches down, falling with each step became very grueling.

I kept thinking I was on the path and would find a cleared out place to walk just a few feet ahead. But, eventually, I found myself in snow that was over my knees with each step. I had looked back after about 10 minutes to go back, but it looked like the clearest path was just ahead. Finally, I realized I had walked deep into the woods, as I could not see a path or the lake. It all happened little by little. All the while I was thinking I was going a familiar way.

Now, I hate to admit it, but I had no gloves on. (I know all of you moms who prepare for everything–I know what you are thinking.) But, I had walked this a million times and the sun was out and I have hot little hands, so I don’t generally wear gloves outside unless it is below freezing. But, I found myself falling every few steps (when you are sinking down below your knees in jeans with every step, the awkwardness of the snow and uneven ground underneath, caused me to fall numerous times.

Because I have lived in the mountains so long, I knew that I had to hurry and keep going as fast as I could to find a way out, as the colder and wetter one gets, the more danger of exhaustion and frost bite and inability to keep going. I was deeply out of breath, keeping a constant pace and climbing towards what I thought was a flat trail.

Finally, I found some footsteps where someone else had gotten off the train. Though each footstep was about 18 inches deep, it was a sure foundation from the packed snow and gave me the steadiness I needed to keep going forward. Of course the Lord was speaking to me the whole time.

“When you are searching for a trial in a difficult climb, it is always easier if you can follow someone else’s footsteps who have gone before you to lead the way.”

It seemed to me a paradigm of so many moms. Going on a pathway that is against the storms of culture, but without anyone to show them the way. I have forged this idealistic trail of life, to raise godly, moral, educated children in a culture that is challenging at every point. God had step by step taken me through the rough and dangerous turns and twists of a hostile culture and had been faithful to, by His grace and guidance, allow me to raise Whole Hearted children, healthy, alive and vibrant in their young adulthood.

The Lord really seemed to underline how much of a stewardship I had to be the footsteps in front of moms who need to find the way to go. I need to continue giving my life to help, to encourage and to show the way in the midst of all the cultural storms. Of course this was added to all He had been speaking to my heart earlier that morning when all of you sweet friends had been praying for me.

Finally after an hour and 40 minutes, I was able to climb up onto an abandoned ski trail. It was being prepared for skiing but was not opened yet. I saw flashing lights ahead of a ski patrol and so I walked about a quarter of a mile towards the light.

Finding 3 ski patrol staff, I explained my story, and they commented, “Oh yeah, I heard they hadn’t cleared the pathway yet and had piled snow against the former trail. It was too much snow in two days to clear.”

“Why don’t you hop on the back of my4 wheeler and I will ride you up to the top of the mountain and take you back over to the place you are staying.”

Of course she had gloves, a helmet and a snow suit. I had my coat, soaked jeans and was out for a leisurely walk with no gloves. And so she began to jet up the mountain. It was actually gorgeous and thrilling, when I stopped the beating of my pounding heart from overcoming my feat of bouncing off. We climbed all the way up to the top of the ski trail and over the mountain to the other ski slope. She, used to the mountain, was speeding over bumps and twists. I prayed, “Please don’t let me die now, Lord. Clay and the kids would never forgive me.” :)

After about 5 minutes, I began to enjoy myself and looked out over the sparkling snow and beauty of the sun shining through the trees. Again, the Lord reminded me what an adventure He had taken me on throughout my life, and yet how faithful He had been to provide and to help me along the way.

And so, I came home, took a very tall and hot bath, and sat down for my final alone hour. God poured out all sorts of dreams, ideas and ideals to follow in the next phase of my life to come. But, my day had been a little more interesting than I ever imagined it would be.

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  1. says

    OMGoodness Sally….. that is such a scarry yet funny story. I am so glad you are okay.

    I love the part where you talked about how when we are in a trial it helps to find someone who has walked the same path. How true that is and the Lord always brings the right person to minister to us and help us out at the right time. I love reading your posts because they are exactly that. I have been blessed many times when I have come to read what the Lord has spoken to you and He always speaks to me through them.

  2. says

    Wow, Sally! Isn’t it just like God to reinforce what He is speaking to our hearts! That is such a vivid correlation! While a trial of uncertainty, on the other side it was profound and a blessing! Thank you for sharing!

    In Him,

  3. Deb says

    I think my heart was pounding just reading this. It reminded me of when my son, Tyler, legally blind, was walking with us on a path we had been many times before. He decided to go ahead as he had done before. Because of some flooding, the path had change a little from when we first began going on it, but he had traveled the new path as well. He came to the fork in the road and forgot which way to go. Rather than wait on his dad and me, he went right, when he should have gone left. When Joe and I got back to the vehicle and Ty was nowhere around, it worried us. About then, he called from his cell phone, scared, disoriented, and worried. He heard the coyotes howling and didn’t know what to do, as it was begining to get dark. He described the area where he was, we told him to walk back the way he had come and Dad would meet him on the trail. His phone was dying and his voice was wavering, but at 13, he was trying to be strong. Joe found him just as the phone died. Of course, the whole time I was praying to God that Ty would be okay and stay the course until his dad was with him. We had been on a 3 way call, so I knew when they were connected as Ty’s phone died. He had wondered off about 1/2 mile in the wrong direction and realized it when he saw the water had become deeper in the creek by him. I was so happy to see him and praised God for watching over him. I was also glad he had his cell phone so he could call me and describe where he was.

    Thank you for sharing with me, Sally. I kow that God was also with you on your journey. I’m so glad you arrived with your family safely. I’m sure the time you spent in prayer will not be soon forgotten.

    I look forward to reading your posts and seeing you in Dallas in February. Have a wonderful weekend and may God continue to bless and keep you.

  4. Becky Brownridge says

    Found this post quite profoud. A real reminder about being on and off the path! Ministry can be sooo tough at the best of times, but when you’re the one being the trail setter it can be even harder. You have been in my prayers a lot lately. I’m in Wales UK. I have a number of friends reading your books atm. They are being so blessed because of them. I’m re-reading your books and they are really helping me as my husband and I minister here particularly to our 4 little people, and then wider to our Parishes. Thank you for being so open to God. You are such a blessing.

    Pob Bendith ar eich taith, a Duw bod gyda chi

  5. says

    My dear friend! Oh my goodness, I don’t like the thought of you out there in the snow, lost and unprepared! Ugh! So glad things turned out well. You are indeed an adventurous one. :-)

    Was praying for you yesterday along with others though I didn’t have a chance to respond to your post. When you talked above about the stewardship you have to walk the road ahead of many of us moms, it brought me to tears. I am so truly grateful for you, and for your willingness to walk through the forests ahead and point out the path, shining a light in dark places. I was just thinking the other day and talking again today with a friend about how I feel so much like I’m making this parenting thing up as I go along. There is literally *NO ONE* I know locally, personally who is ahead of me on this journey and going in the direction I want to go! It is a priceless gift to have found your writings, and to know you in person is more than I should have thought to ask.

    Thank you so much for “tramping through the deep snow.” I love you much and am grateful for your ministry, and look forward to hearing all the secrets the Father has whispered in your ear!
    Love, Misty

  6. says

    Amen to the last comment!! Sally, I did chuckle when you wrote ‘Clay and the kids would never forgive me.’!! So glad you had a good day and clear direction (and please take your gloves next time!!) :-D

  7. Joan Girkins says

    I seem to recall a similar story from you several years ago, only that time you were with your children going on a “short picnic”. :-)

    Maybe you could ask Clay and your children for a GPS for Christmas! :-) Come to think of it, then where would you get material for all of your fun and profound stories to share with the rest of us? :-)

  8. says

    Interesting how God still speaks to us in parables. Sounds like just the adventure your heart was seeking. Thank you for being a trail blazer, so that I can have more faith that this sometimes snowed over path will eventually get us where we need to go!

  9. says

    thanking the Lord that you still feel called to be the footsteps to show us how to walk in this hostile culture….also, I have a new appreciation for lovers of the Lord like yourself…for you to keep on keeping on inspires me so much to fight the fight regardless if I’m alone or not. Thank you, sweet friend!

  10. Jodie Hartfield says

    I’m so glad you are safe and that God spoke to you through all of it! I prayed for you throughout the day yesterday when you came to mind but I had no idea what you were actually going through. I’m excited to see where the Lord is leading you. Your adventurous spirit along with your passion and connection with the Lord is why He is using you so greatly!

  11. says

    Thanks for bringing us along on this journey with you. One of the things I love so much about you is how you share the process –the difficulties and the struggle — not just the end result. You could easily have blogged simply about what God told you, but imparted so much more by taking us down the path with you as you are seeking clarity and direction in this season. You are such a blessing and I am so excited to hear all that God has been revealing to you!

  12. Tami Cooke says

    Hi Sally,
    So glad to hear the Lord used another adventure to speak to you. The first chapter in Mom Walk is a great example of how moms plan ahead, yet God has another plan in mind. I am so blessed that our Heavenly Father is using you to walk the walk so I can walk in His footsteps behind you.
    Love you much. Looking forward to what God will do next in your life.

  13. says

    What an exciting day!
    Thank you for continuing your journey, Sally. As a mom who will also be 57+ by the time her (current) youngest graduates from high school, I need your footsteps to follow!

  14. Joanna Snow says

    Thank you so much for leading the way. For always being a continuing encouragement to my heart as I tread the path behind you. I am forever changed as a mother for finding one of your books by God’s leading in a bookstore one day. Little did I know how much I needed it and what God would do in me through it. Thank you.

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