Thursday, May 19, 2011

Over the river and through the woods...

Those of you who know me well know that I'm just not the outdoorsy type.

I enjoy the outdoors if it involves being in my yard (which is in the city limits), being on a beach or soaking up the sun by the pool on a cruise ship. But to go hiking or fishing...nope that's not my thing. Leave me at will be happier and so will I.

But lately I've been trying to step outside the box that I've caged myself into. So last evening when my husband announced that he would like to take us all on a walk by the river today, I'll admit my heart started racing just a little. A little voice inside me reminded me of stepping out of the box..and I agreed to go.

We started the afternoon with a picnic lunch at a beautiful park. We fed the geese and ducks. A little duck even came up and took a piece of bread right out of my hand. It was awesome! The girls had a blast. We played for about an hour and then headed to the river.

On the drive, my anxiety level was building. Let me clarify, it's not just that I don't like the outdoors. I have a crippling fear of snakes. I'm not sure where or when this fear originated but it's severe. Anyway, the drive to the river consisted of a constant, silent prayer. I really wanted to do this. I know many of you are reading this thinking that I was just being a silly girly girl..but truthfully I wanted to do this for myself, but also for my husband because he loves hiking, fishing, and exploring and I really want to be able to share in these experiences with him, but also for our children because yes they know how scared Mommy is of snakes and we knew the likelihood of seeing a snake at the river is great..but I wanted them to see me be able to overcome my reservations and spend time enjoying something that normally I would not have done.

So, we arrive at the river and I make the first move...I got out of the car. Yes! My husband instructs me to find a large stick to carry with me...what?! A stick, exactly what am I going to need that for?! I find a stick..and we begin the journey. The girls are loving it...climbing over logs and asking all kinds of questions. I'm so thankful they're not like me in every way. Scott led us and I brought up the rear...carefully watching each step. My mother had me paranoid that snakes would be hanging from trees, so I'm trying to look up and down at the same time and well let's just say it's a good thing I had that large stick otherwise I would've ended up in the river on several occasions. Every time I felt the anxiety building I reminded myself I was relying on God's strength and not my own and it got me through. The further into the woods we walked, the more comfortable I became. I honestly didn't think I would last more than 15-20 minutes, but we hiked for an entire hour. I was so proud of myself. I even found myself telling my husband that I would love to find a waterfall to hike to. I have to admit I enjoyed myself. The woods and river were so peaceful, the temperature was just right and I didn't see one single snake.

Ahh..the things we do for those we love!

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