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3 Lessons God Taught Me in the Mountains

Mountains, design courtesy of Adobe SparkI’m a girl from the mountains.

Did you know that about me? I grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia. My hometown sits in a valley and borders several nearby states. So, it’s just a hop and a skip away from my current home in Tennessee.

In 2015, I shared a post about lessons learned—from God himself—in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

Life’s Classroom

But this week I mastered fresh lessons. I attended a writers conference in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I reconnected with writers, formed new friendships, and networked with industry professionals.

Although this made my third trip to the event, the Lord spoke to my heart. God’s Word, worship songs, knowledge gleaned from others, and the Lord’s beautiful creation reached the depths of my soul.

I often sit in life’s classroom. I won’t say there’s passing and failing grades. And the Lord never grades on the curve. But I know the good Lord speaks in mighty ways to those willing to attend class.

Even if we didn’t enroll and a pop quiz catches us by surprise.

When we sit at the Lord's feet, there's newfound wisdom and spiritual instruction. #blog Click To Tweet
Mountains, design courtesy of Adobe Spark

3 Lessons in the Mountains

  1. Uphill climbs. I walked countless uphill steps on a campus built on hills and inclines—no flat land. A landscape designed to take me to my intended destinations. And life’s filled with these same movements. We strive toward goals and aspirations, laboring to reach the pinnacle of our efforts. One of the event speakers, Davis Bunn, challenged the attendees with a four word sentence from Matthew 11:30. My yoke is easy. Lesson: God’s callings and goals for us lead to His intended destinations. He walks with us and directs our steps. The Lord not only provides rest when we arrive at the summit, but also along the way (Matthew 11:28-29).
  2. Lost paths. Which way do I go? A campus map helped me find workshop buildings and I asked for directions from staff. Speaker, Steve Laube, gave guidance in how to know God’s will, His direction and path, from Romans 12:1-2. God’s map and clarity for life comes through a transformed and renewed mind, and by not conforming to this world. Steve noted, “God’s perfect will won’t come from the world or Netflix or within us.” But it’s contained in Scripture. “The living God chose to reveal himself in a book.” Lesson: To find the Lord’s path, use this equation. Transform your mind in God’s Word + Don’t conform to the world’s ideas = Discern God’s will.
  3. Heading down the mountain. Life’s journey and the Christian walk include climbing up mountains and looking for the right path. Yet, there always comes a time when we descend the mountain. The experience culminates at higher altitudes, then we make our way to lower ground. Lesson: A spiritual perspective for every-day-living in the valley forms on the mountain top. But it’s useless until we leave and head back down the mountain.

Mountain Prayer

Mountains, Adobe Spark designPrayer: Lord, thank You for creating the mountains and for mountain-top experiences. Remind my heart that You meet with me at the pinnacle and in the valley. I’m grateful You walk with me on the journey and when I head down the mountain. Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light. Guide me in Your will as I renew my mind in Your Holy Word. Amen.

Images from the conference with friends, Tammy and Leigh Ann, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Design by Adobe Spark.

© 2017 by Karen Friday, All Rights Reserved

 

 

May 25, 2017 at 8:50 pm | Uncategorized


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Heather M. says:

Karen, my most favorite place to go is the mountains- I grew up in VA (still here actually) and spent many a month around the Shenendoah valley and all around the Blue Ridge Parkway in my youth. ♥ The older I get the more I realize life really is a series of mountain highs and valley lows and God is there in each one. I ran across a great song by Tauren Wells called “Hills and Valleys” – worth a youtube listen 🙂 God bless your writing! The conference you went to sounded lovely!

Karen says:

Heather, Amen! And that’s neat you’re a girl from the mountains too. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and commenting and mentioning the song. I’ll definitely check it out. A spiritual perspective for every-day-living in the valley forms on the mountain top. But it’s useless until we leave and head back down the mountain. Blessings!

Love the mountains too! I’ve heard great things about this conference- thanks for sharing some insights : )

Karen says:

Bethany, thanks for commenting. Yes, I love God’s creation. Grateful He created the mountains and mountain-top experiences and He’s with us in the valleys too. The conference is totally awesome and worth you looking into going.

Nan Jones says:

I love you analogy, Karen. The view from the mountaintop is so beautiful. I wonder if we would appreciate it as much if the climb wasn’t as hard. Mercy! It’s rough sometimes, isn’t it? I’m SO glad we got to spend some time together last week. You are very precious 🙂

Karen says:

Thank you, Nan. Yes, it’s rough sometimes indeed. Grateful the Lord walks with us and directs our steps no matter what. Loved seeing you and spending time with you in person again. Congratulations on your award. Hugs!

Lauren Crews says:

I couldn’t make it to the conference but just returned from a weekend near Boone, NC. There’s just something about the mountains that makes us feel closer to God – the altitude maybe? I love Muir’s quote “The mountains are calling and I must go.” Almost as if God is calling us to climb higher. Thanks for sharing.

Karen says:

Lauren, thanks for stopping by and commenting. The conference was great this year, some of the best keynotes ever! Boone, NC is a beautiful area. And the quote is awesome! Yes, so thankful for the mountain-top experiences with God and how tenderly He meets our needs in the valley below as well. Blessings!

Your post was so good. So thorough, well thought out. I love your comparison on grades & school. Very good!

Karen says:

Thanks, Kim. 🙂 I try to glean what the Lord wants me to see in any class. His truths help us walk in the Spirit. Blessings!

Such beautiful and truthful thoughts! I love going to the mountains and seeing the beauty of God’s creation, but I don’t get to go often as the mountains are a 20-hour drive away. Blessings to you!

Karen says:

Rosanna, the mountains glorify God’s majesty. Hoping you can visit them soon. As it relates to life, the Lord not only provides rest when we arrive at the summit, but also along the way. Blessings!

[…] week I shared 3 lessons from the mountains while attending a writers conference. But within forty-eight hours of arriving home, I emptied […]

You’re making me want to go to a writer’s conference now. The scenery is always my favorite! I can feel God calm my heart and soul, like he’s bringing my focus back onto Him and my calling when I’m at a conference with pretty scenery. Is that weird?

Karen says:

Lauren, thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yes, the Lord’s creation is majestic and breathtaking. I’m grateful that when we sit at the Lord’s feet, there’s newfound wisdom to be gained. Blessings! 🙂

Liz Rigby says:

Oh, wow, Number 3….spot on! I hardly ever think about going back down the mountain as intentional, but it should be. So happy you had such a wonderful time of refreshing and filling up.

Karen says:

Thanks, Liz! Yes, it should be. I guess if we had our way, we’d stay on top of the mountain. A spiritual perspective for every-day-living in the valley forms on the mountain top. But it’s useless until we leave and head back down the mountain. Thanks so much, Liz, for stopping by and taking time to comment. Blessings on your mountain-top and valleys for the Lord is there in both1

Karen, I graduated from Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. It was a beautiful place to attend school, and I especially enjoyed the fall foliage in Cloudland Canyon. I hadn’t heard about the Blue Ridge conference until your post. I’ll look into it…thanks for sharing!

Karen says:

Neat, Sarah! That is a beautiful area. Yes, check out the conference, one of my favorites. God’s callings and goals for us lead to His intended destinations. He walks with us and directs our steps. The Lord not only provides rest when we arrive at the summit, but also along the way. Blessings!

Karen I love the mountains. We are headed there in a couple of months. I love the beach too.

I was blessed to go to the Billy Graham Retreat Center in the mountains of North Carolina several years ago.

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