“We can do hard things,” or Why we summit

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” – Phil. 4:13

The sweetest 4-year-old in the world.  Also the toughest.

Though we’ve had many smaller summits this summer, we’ve attempted three major summits and accomplished two.  Our second was just yesterday.

Three miles up, three miles down.  1500 feet of elevation change each way.  That is a hefty challenge for any child.  Purple Mountain is lower in elevation than Mount Washburn, but just as challenging a climb.  (Actually, slightly more so, as it has a slightly greater elevation change.)

The muscle kissing cracks me up, especially because it comes from my most reserved girl.

There is always a moment, maybe many, that comes along the way.  A moment when it seems we cannot possibly make it and we actually pray together that we will.  (This usually happens going both up and down.)

As we hike, we talk.  We talk about life and its challenges, sometimes seemingly insurmountable.

We talk about working together, about positive attitudes, about safety, about relying on God, and about perseverance.

I spoke to a ranger yesterday.  She remarked that she had seen us so many times in Yellowstone, she wondered how we were able to come so often when all other children were in school.  I briefly explained the kind of schooling that our children are able to have.  She paused for a minute, and then said, “Wow, can you imagine the kind of education that they are getting for life?”

There is no feeling in the world like finally reaching the summit of a mountain.  The girls collapsed on the rock that is the summit, and rested.

We stared up at the sky.  (Quite a feeling when you are literally lying on the top of a mountain peak.)

After a few minutes, the relief and the jubilation set in.

We walked to the other side and took in the view.  It’s hard to describe what it is like to look down on so many places that you have been.

We can do hard things.

“What is required of us might seem overwhelming to many of us. It may look too hard to do—at least consistently. But we can do hard things. And when we do, we find that they become delightful to us, and what once was hard becomes easier in the doing. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want us to succeed. They will help us every inch of the way. Through the Spirit, They will lead us along. They will strengthen us. Jesus Christ will be our advocate with the Father.” – Cheryl C. Lant

After our descent.  Exhausted, relieved, and thrilled, all at once.

(I have to share a few pictures taken by our four-year-old.  She took the camera after I put it down and absorbed the experience in her own way.  I love seeing an experience through a child’s eyes.)

Always interesting to see myself through their eyes.

I wonder what she was thinking. :)

Blurry, but perfect.

Her best friend.  Her baby.

 The top of a mountain beneath her feet.  What an amazing four-year-old.

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