<![CDATA[Scorza Sanctuary - Blog]]>Sat, 17 Mar 2018 01:38:20 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[I offer hope to Harvey evacuees. Hope being the confident expectation that God is.]]>Tue, 29 Aug 2017 11:30:54 GMThttp://barbarascorza.com/blog/i-offer-hope-to-harvey-evacuees-hope-being-the-confident-expectation-that-god-isIt was 12 years ago yesterday I left New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina threatened. I loaded my car with my mom, two sons and three grandchildren. We each had about three days of clothing.

Watching all this happen on this anniversary brings back floods of memories. The uncertainty and the anxiety of not knowing where family members were felt almost unbearable.

The flood waters came and literally washed my entire house away. So, I left to never returned to what I had actually left behind, but...

I offer hope in Christ. I can't say why the flood waters came. I can't say why so many lost so much, but I know it did not catch God by surprise.

Here are just a few verses from Job 38 (vs. 4-7) - God speaking:
4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?

Since that day in 2005, my life has not been without troubles, but I have not been alone. God is bigger than the waters.

Job 38:8
8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors
when it burst forth from the womb,

My prayer is that you don't give up on God, trust Him..

Although I left all behind, I have walked into much. God has been gracious. I am praying for you, not just for safety, but also for God to increase your faith.

Luke 17:5-6
5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

Just a few some practical things that were helpful for me:
--Identify a check-in hub (I identified a family member where all family member checked in with, So instead of trying to reach out to all, we could call one person to find out how others were)
--Don't focus on the loss, look toward the blessings, even in the midst
--help kids feel secure and safe, look for little things that can feel normal]]>
<![CDATA[Jesus Is The Center Of My Life]]>Sun, 07 May 2017 03:43:54 GMThttp://barbarascorza.com/blog/jesus-is-the-center-of-my-lifePicture
I offer no apologies.

Like the hub of this wheel has spokes leading from it, going in different directions, but each begins with the hub. Jesus is the center of my life. All the different things I am apart of and all that I do begins with Christ. And if they begin with Christ, they all point back to Christ.

Jesus is the foundation of all I do. I live for Him. Whatever I do, I base it on God's truths. I seek His wisdom and direction. I don't give opinions. I do give biblical advise. I don't always get it right, but I surely try. I want to be seen as a Christ follower, not because of what I do, but because of who I am - I am a child of the King! I am a co-heir with Christ!

I start my day, giving it to Christ, asking to be used by Him. I end my day, repenting of all I did not get right during the day and thanking Him for His grace and His mercy. I ask for God to come in and transform me so that the next day I can honor God in an even greater way.

I don't want people to not want to be in my presence because I am 'too holy.' I want to be able to connect with all people, but in the end, I must live for Christ.

I am not sorry, but I want more and more of Christ. I don't only want more and more of Christ, I want everyone to want Christ and to want more and more of Him. So, if I turn people off because of my love for Christ, I need to get a handle on that. I want my approach to be different. I want to walk, always, in love.

I am not willing to compromise my beliefs. I am not willing to ease up on the truth, but I want to enter every space with love. I want all those who are in my presence, even if for a moment, to know there is something different. I can't give this love to anyone if I am not full of Christ. Really, what they have to experience to feel that is not me, but Christ. And I can't give what I don't have, so I want more and more of Christ. I want my steps to be ordered by Christ. I want to always be in a listening position so I can hear what my next step is; what my next move is; what my next statement should be.

My Personal 7 Challenge

I will spend the next seven weeks, seeking more and more of Christ. 

​I will pray seven focus prayers
    1) Praise Him
  •     2) Confess Sins
  •     3) Thank Him
  •     4) Pray for family
  •     5) Pray for friends
  •     6) Pray for community
  •     7) Pray for country
I will pray seven times a day
I will pray seven days a week
I will pray for seven weeks

I will write and share my journey. I will write how God leads me. I will write when I am obedient. I will even write about my short comings.

​Please pray that I will receive more and more of Christ.

<![CDATA[What a Privilege]]>Sat, 06 May 2017 22:04:19 GMThttp://barbarascorza.com/blog/what-a-privilegedPicture
Today I had the privilege of walking in the Walk For The Waiting 5K. The Walk for the waiting is a fundraiser that supports three organizations; The CALL, Immerse Arkansas and Project Zero.

The statistics are staggering for children waiting for their forever home, right here in AR. According to The CALL's brochure, 7,000 abused or neglected children spend time in foster care in Arkansas every year. The aim of The CALL is to launch affiliates in all 75 counties in Arkansas and to recruit and train an abundance of available Christian families, waiting to take children into their homes.

Immerse Arkansas helps youth ages 16-22 who find themselves in one or more of the following situations: aging out of foster care; homeless; runaway; or victimized through human trafficking or sexual exploitation. According to Immerse Arkansas' brochure approximately 500 middle school & high school students in Pulaski County were reported as homeless last school year.

Project Zero believes that every child who is waiting in the foster care system deserves to have a loving, nurturing home and the safety and stability that home provides. They have one goal: no waiting children. According to Project Zero's flyer, there are over 5000 children in foster care and nearly 500 are available for adoption.

I can't do everything, but I must do my part. What a small part I played today, but I am grateful.
  • I am grateful for individuals who donated to this cause.
  • I am so grateful God gave me the strength to participate.
  • I am grateful for every family who has said yes to be a foster or adoptive parent.
  • I am grateful for every child that is in the foster care system and gets to stay in a loving Christian home.
  • I am grateful for every child who now has a forever home.
  • I am grateful for every family that will rise up and open their hearts and their homes to children in need.
  • I am grateful for the representation of the Fellowship North family at the Walk for the Waiting.

Today, when I tied my shoes, I did it knowing that I was walking for a cause that is dear to the heart of Jesus.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27)

<![CDATA[The Day After]]>Sun, 30 Apr 2017 22:15:33 GMThttp://barbarascorza.com/blog/the-day-after
Last night rain brought torrential downpours. These downpours caused power outages and some home and building flooding. This intersection is closed, as they clean up, even tow away a car that flooded out. But as I drive around today, the skies above would not be a true indicator of the weather last night, but everywhere you go, you see remnants of the floods. There are rocks and tree branches in the streets. Also tree limbs are thrown about lawns. There's dirt in the streets and mulch in driveways.

But the day after...There is a cool breeze  and the trees are gently dancing; a far cry from the humid day yesterday and the trees violently moving from side-to-side last night. 

And I am just a sucker for a beautiful day. So, I was anxious to get out. I love to drive, walk and take pictures, to take in God's beauty. Also, I feel pictures create memories and viewing those pictures at later dates have the ability to bring about a bit of nostalgia when you see them. 
Kind of like life. We have some dark stormy days because we live in a sin-sick world, but the sun will shine again, the skies will be blue again. We may have to deal with the dirt that remains in the street or the branches that we have to dodge as we drive, but we can look above and be grateful.
For his anger last only a moment; but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
​                                                                                      Psalm 30:5
<![CDATA[Not By Accident]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:52:41 GMThttp://barbarascorza.com/blog/not-by-accident
It doesn't just happen by accident. Even the growing of the plants does not come by accident. It takes planing, rain and God for them to grow.

Hosea 6:3 says,

Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises; He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.

You see, it doesn't just happen by accident.  We must acknowledge the LORD. We must press on.  When we talk of pressing on, we are acknowledging that it takes some effort.  We may have to dig deep, but we must press on to acknowledge Him.

This is what it feels like to press, to me.
Back in December, I set out to take a walk. My goals were simple: I would get some steps in and enjoy the beauty of a walk someplace I had not walked before. I thought, I would get in about 6 miles. This was actually a longer than normal walk, but I was away for the weekend and I not in any rush. I just wanted to walk.

I started my walk excited. I noticed all the beauty around me. I prayed as I walked. I prayed for people I knew and those whom houses I passed that I knew absolutely nothing about them. 

As I was walking, I approached a hill. Although I was obviously walking up the downside of the hill, I was getting a little winded. Yes, I did say I was walking up the downside of the hill.  The upside was a force to be reckoned with.  I knew getting back up the hill was going to be a challenge, bur I did not realized I should have given it more thought. I just kept right on pressing.

My tracker told me I had reached my halfway point on the other side of the hill, but I could see things ahead of me I wanted to continue to go toward, so I did.  Finally I got to a place that was my turn-around spot. So I headed back. When I reached the hill, it felt looked impossible.  As I started to walk, it felt impossible. I really left for the walk ill-prepared.  I didn't have water nor snacks. In my head, it was not hot and it was only 6 miles.

I started up the hill and it was taking everything in me to keep going. I thought about who I could all and no one was within an hour of me. So I had to keep going. I had to press on. Each step brought greater doubt; will I make it? I wondered if I would have to spend the night in the woods. I didn't have what I would need to withstand the cold night. What really comes out in the woods at night.  It all went through my head.

As one foot went in front of the other, walking the incline, quite slowly, all my energy was being utilized by my legs, which were feeling quite weak. Also, because of that, less and less oxygen was making it to my head and I could feel myself getting dizzy. But I pressed on. At this point, I only wanted to make it to the top. Getting home was secondary, I had to have a more obtainable goal. So, not by accident would I reach my goal, I had to press on.

Well, I did make it to the top, but at that moment, that was all I had. I found a rock and sat on it. It was there I began to pray more and more. I still was not home, but I had gotten through the toughest part of my trip.

As I think on Hosea 6:3, ...As surely as the sun rises; He will appear...

That is where confidence lies. It lies in the truth of who God is and as surely as the sun shines, He will appear. While I sat there, I surely thought about my idea to just set off walking was not good. I learned a lot and now I am usually overly prepared for walks. On any given day you can generally find a snack in my purse.

But God taught me a wonderful lesson. I just have to press on. I have to seek Him. Although He is everywhere, our ability to see Him can be hindered by our unwillingness to press on. We can easily get caught up in the trees and completely miss the forest. Meaning we can get caught up in our own strength and forget it is God from whom all blessing flow. We can also get bogged down with what is not going right and fail to see all the good that God is doing, right around us; right in our lives.

After a significant rest, quiet time and renewal, I was ready to press on. I now believed I could make it home. Hosea 6:3 continues with He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.

The winter rains are needed to prepare the earth for planting. Surely He comes and rains on us and prepares our hearts for our planting season; for what lies ahead. He also comes and gives us spring rains. These showers cause the growth and wakes up what has been dormant.

This is the revivals we need when we have, perhaps, allowed life to pull us away, to lay dormant - not feasting on His word and pressing on as we seek him.

Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises; He will appear, He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth. (Hosea 6:3)
<![CDATA[I Need A Full Length Mirror]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 02:02:32 GMThttp://barbarascorza.com/blog/i-need-a-full-length-mirrorPicture
Got up Wednesday morning and things were going as usual. Then I remembered I had a 9:30 am appointment. This was at 8:00 am, so it's not like I was going to miss my appointment, but I did have to get in gear. I jumped in the shower and decided I wanted to wear something bright. I pulled out my favorite pink sweater. I checked the mirror and I was okay.

.As I searched for which pair of pants to put on, I decided on white. I admit I was a little hesitant about the white pants. I actually put them on and off twice before I decided to go with it. After all Memorial Day is still a month and a half off. We all know you are not supposed to wear white before Memorial Day. Don't we all know that? That is still a fashion no-no isn't it? But I decided I was going to do it. I looked in mirror and I was fine.

The real reason I wanted to wear the bright colors was my new sandals. I got my sandals  over the weekend and I was ready to wear them. I just needed to find the right outfit; bright enough colors to compliment them. I looked in the mirror and I was ready.

Oh, these were attached to my new sandals. At first I thought, once tied them they would daintily flow in the back, but I was walking on them. Then I tied it in the front, but they still were a danger to walk in. So finally I tied them higher up my leg in the front and I can't even explain what that looked like. I made an executive decision and took them off. Then I looked in the mirror and I was ready to go.
As I walked to work, in normal fashion, I prayed. I prayed for family, friends, the neighborhood and for the day. I am always asking God to allow me to see with His eyes. I prayed He would open my eyes to all that I see and help me to see how that fits into the greater picture. I also prayed that God would show me opportunities to be Christ and the courage to seize the opportunities.

Now, remember I asked God to help me see the big pictures. And then I looked down at my feet and saw my sandals. I also noticed my white capris. I was still a little worried about the white pants and then I noticed the color of my sweater and how it matched my sandals.

I had on a sweater, capris and sandals.
My lesson today was when we departmentalize we can miss the big pictures. If I had looked in a full length mirror, I think I would have made a different selection. Really, capris and sandals are just fine, but the sweater seemed a little out of place.

Isn't that how life is sometimes?  We live our lives like every part stands on its own. I looked in the mirror at my sweater. Then I looked at the pants, but because my focus was on the pants, I didn't pay any attention to what it looked like with the sweater. Finally, I looked down at my shoes and they were just fine.

What happens in one area does not affect what happens in another area. That is so not true. Not only does it affect what happens in other areas of our lives, it also affects others.

Use a full length mirror to see the whole outfit, you may need to make other choices when we see how once affects the other.
<![CDATA[First Friday of Firsts]]>Sat, 08 Apr 2017 03:20:39 GMThttp://barbarascorza.com/blog/first-friday-of-firstsPicture
Yesterday I decided I would do some things I had never done before. I hope to start having many First Friday of Firsts.

I can't always find the time to get out and just... But my goal is going to be to make the first Friday of each month my First Friday of Firsts day.

Yesterday I managed to do a lot of firsts. My first was to visit an historic home. 

From the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program Facebook site:

​The Dibrell House was built in 1892 as a real estate speculation by real estate agent, H.A. Bowman. The Queen Anne style house was bought by Dr. and Mrs. James A. Dibrell Jr. before the house was completed. The Dibrells were able to add their own touches such as parquet floors and walnut woodwork. Dr. Dibrell was a practicing physician and also professor and then dean of what became the University of Arkansas, Medical Department. He was interested innovations and the house became known as the "gadget" house for its modern devices such as doorbells, burglar alarms, and central heating.

By the 1960's the house had been divided into apartments and had undergone several major structural changes. Since then the house has been carefully restored including rebuilding the turret and returning the seven porches to their original appearance. The interior of the house was also fully restored.

I saw this event on social media. I had never heard of it and didn't know what to expect. I really like history so I thought it would be a good thing. 

I had expected about 15 or 20 people. I had no history of attendance, but this was just what I thought. There must have been almost 200 people there. I was way off in my thinking. The crowd was a much older crowd. The history of the house was  very interested.

I was the only African American I saw at the beginning of the tour. On my out, I did see another African American woman. I know to some they say why even mention this. How is that important or relevant. The reality is, for some there is no need to notice or mention, but for me, I need to notice. Is there a need to mention, perhaps not, but I am sharing my thoughts here and those are things I think about. I also know that for others, whether they admit it or not, they notice.

The tour itself was wonderful though. Everyone was very sweet and the tour itself was exceptional and educational. The home was beautiful.

One woman saw I was there alone and started a chit-chat conversation. It was noting of substance, but it was a beautiful picture of Jesus reaching out; reaching out to those who may be considered outsiders. 
Jesus died so there would be no outsiders
And the tour was just my first of first. I walked the Junction Bridge from Little Rock to the North Little Rock Stadium (I started my day too late to walk both ways). Here is some information about the Junction Bridge from www.Arkansas.com

Spans the Arkansas River between Little Rock’s Riverfest Amphitheater in the River Market District and Verizon Arena in North Little Rock; provides views from atop the 360-foot lift span, 40 feet above the river. The 17-foot-wide structure is the fifth component of the Six Bridges Plan and includes elevators, benches and trash cans. It was constructed originally in 1899 by the Choctaw and Memphis Railroad and operated by the Union Pacific Railroad. It carried trains across the Arkansas River until 1984 when its active railroad use ended.

I saw on my way home. I had no idea.

​The weather was beautiful and the walk was refreshing. #ThankGodForHealthyChoices
There is beauty all around us, we just have to be willing to see. Life is about perspective; how do you choose to see it?
I finished my day watching the Lady Wildcats. Some days are just beautiful from beginning to end.

<![CDATA[When You Choose]]>Thu, 06 Apr 2017 01:10:07 GMThttp://barbarascorza.com/blog/when-you-choosePicture
My word for yesterday was 'choose.'

Lately, I have been choosing to walk to work. Don't get excited. Look to the left, I am only a quarter of a mile from work. I usually do it in about 5 minutes. So it is not a great feat.

Yesterday morning I chose fashion over comfort; I wore a pair of flats instead of tennis shoes. Therefore, my walk took me a little longer which gave me a little longer to talk with God.

I really enjoy my walks to work. Although it is not far, it still gives me uninterrupted time with God. I get to pray for people in my life, I pray for what the day holds, I pray for the neighborhood, and I pray for people I see, as I am led.  

​By the time I get to work, I am feeling pretty good. Even the days when my heart is heavy, I can feel the joy of God welling up in me by the time I get to work. So I actually look forward to my little walks. I am a little sad if it is raining or there is rain in the forecast that would prevent me from walking. Also, I feel a little sad when I have off site appointments where I have to use my car during the day, which causes me to have to drive to work.

Yesterday morning, as usual, I was looking forward to my walk. When I got ready to leave, I put my sling purse over my shoulder, my messenger bag with paperwork and tennis shoes on my shoulder, and my lunch bag in hand, and proceeded out the door. I walked out the door and my car was gone. For a moment I was shocked and then I remembered my car was in the shop - body work. 

It's like sometimes I walk in the kitchen and attempt to turn the lights on and reach to the left rather than the right. Back in New Orleans, the light switch was on the left. Maybe it just happens to me, but it does.

You see, in that split second I felt a little put-out I had to walk to work. All the kids had left for school and work, in their cars, and I had to walk to work. Now, this all happened in just a few seconds,  Then it hit me, my attitude is different when I choose.

During my walk, God used that thought, 'my attitude is different when I choose' to reveal some things to me. When I choose, my attitude is different from when I have to do. This reminded me that I have to choose again and again.

It rang true in many areas of my life. But it really hit home when I thought about choosing God, with a choosing attitude. I say it often, but I don't think I have thought of it in this way. God wants me to choose Him, because my attitude is different when I choose. I also know I have to choose again and again. I have to choose to serve Him. I have to choose to worship Him. I have to choose to die to self (sometimes moment-by-moment) so He can live in me.

I naturally get brushed the wrong way when someone tells me what I have to do. I think it is common. One of the first words babies learn is 'no.' In my community, I have heard lots of time, "All I HAVE to do is stay black and die."

But when I choose, I submit. I know that is also a hard word, but it is not a bad word. When I choose, that is what I am saying. Given the choices, I select this one and I will do what is required of me regarding it.

Here is a dictionary definition of submit: to give over or yield to the power or authority of another.

Here is a verse I have have been meditating on:
​James 4:5, Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?
I remember a time after Kevin's death I had to choose to worship. I was walking around just existing, barely. It was taking a toll on my heart, so I had to choose, over and over again, to worship.

I think that is the bottom line. In all we do, we have to choose God.

Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? (James 4:5)

I don't think it says it without reason. He does jealously long for the spirit He has caused to dwell in us. And the reality is, we long for Him. 

So yesterday, I gladly chose God over and over again.
  • I chose Him when I walked to work.
  • I chose Him when I took a walk after work.
  • I chose Him when I had to pray myself past the suckers that are sitting on the counter right as you exit the restroom at work.
  • I chose when I got to sit in the presence of people who love God and also want to choose Him over and over again.
Our attitude is different when we choose. Choose Jesus, over and over again.

<![CDATA[We Are Free!]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 02:11:19 GMThttp://barbarascorza.com/blog/we-are-free
The other day I was listening to an episode of Adventures In Odyssey. It was Part 2 of 3 of The Underground Railroad.

It tells a story of a family trying to escape slavery. The family consisted of a dad, mom, and their teenage son.  The family had experienced all the horrible things slaves experience. In addition to the abuse, the owners were planning to sell the son off. Not wanting their son to be sold, they resorted to desperate measures; they encouraged their son to runaway.

Can you comprehend the danger that comes with a slave running away? How hard of a decision, to be in a place so dire that running away from slave catchers is a better option.

So the parents instructed their son on how to get away and told him they would also run away and meet him. The meetup place was confirmed, which was a free state in the north.  

Once the son had left, the parents also ran away. The son took a safer route, if there is such a thing. The parents took the route of the woods; underground.

The parents made it to the meetup place before the son. They were trying to adjust; trying to make a life for themselves as they waited for their son.

When the parents first arrived in this free northern state, a gentleman who met them sent them off to go in and change from their wet clothes.

There was a moment when the dad just stopped what he was doing and began to laugh. It was a deep, joyful laugh. The wife heard him and asked what was wrong. She wondered what was so funny. His response to her was, "We're free."

He went on to say, "We can laugh out loud, as loud as we want! We don't have to be quiet when we talk. We can do what we want! We're free!" And then they laughed together.
So, as I said, I was listening to Part 2 of 3, so I haven't heard the end to know how they plan to tie it all together But for me, when I heard this family laugh at the thought of being free, it reminded me of what freedom had to feel like to someone who was a slave.

Take a second and think about what it must have been like to be a slave? Enduring harsh, cruel, inhumane treatment. And then escaping? What courage it must have taken to decide to go. How fearful it had to be along the way. Not being able to trust anyone. Having to live off what you have or what you find. Having the endurance to keep walking, sometimes swimming. To always be in hiding. To always be on guard; on edge.

Then you make it to a land. A land where literally, you just cross a state border and you step into freedom. As you walk, there is a point when one foot is in a state where you are hunted, not as a man or woman being sought after, but hunted as an animal. Because where that foot stands, you are not considered a man. You are registered on the roll of a slave owner as property. But the other foot, your leading foot, is standing in a land that is free. A land where you are a man, a woman. That foot is standing in a land where you can laugh, as loud as you want. It is a land of freedom.

The thoughts of what opens up for you because of the freedom is challenging. You are challenged because it is hard to think of one thing. It is hard to think of the next thing. It is hard because there are so many things you can now do There are so many things you can't even imagine because you were never able to think of them in the past. The thought of all that brings deep laughter. It brings joy!

What immediately came to mind, as I laughed out loud, walking down the street listening to them laugh, was how Jesus freed us. How I had been bought out of slavery.
Luke 8
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. ​
​I too was a slave to the harsh slave master; sin. It had control of me. It dictated what I did or didn't do. But I didn't escape. I was rescued. I didn't have to look over my shoulder. I didn't have to fear all I saw. I didn't have to hide. Now, it is not that the hounds aren't on my trail, just as the slave catchers were on the family's trail, but unlike the family, I had protection.

Just as the family had received so much that they laughed out loud, I too have received an even greater freedom; and eternal freedom. I am filled with joy. I too laughed out loud. It causes me to laugh, a deep joyful laugh. I am free. Jesus freed me.

You are free - LIVE!
<![CDATA[Not A Common Black Thang]]>Fri, 24 Mar 2017 02:26:26 GMThttp://barbarascorza.com/blog/not-a-common-black-thangPicture
CAUTION: If you don't know my heart and read more into this than is intended, you should stop reading this post now. If you want to hear what I find to be true (and I am just stating some of the obvious), then please continue. If I say something that offends you, please reach out to me in person, not on social media. Thanks in advance!

Within the last year, I have really come to like hiking. Now, this is very new to me so if you are a hiker and I am using terms that have nothing to do with hiking, forgive me and educate me. I want to learn.

This week was Spring Break in Arkansas. The grandkids are gone on a mission trip and Kenderick has been working (I have a hard working son). I took some time off from work and decided I would go hiking. My goal was to hike a new trail each of the seven days the kids would be gone. I did my first hike on Saturday. I hiked alone, around Caddo Bend Loop. I stopped at the Visitor's Center and all along the trail, I didn't see other blacks. The trail was rated as moderate, but there were no scary, hanging off a bluff experience.

Sunday, I hiked the Woolly Hollow Loop. Which, I saw the same thing again, no blacks and no scary bluffs.  Monday, more of the same - River Mountain Park Trail. Tuesday, same - Lake Sylvia Loop. Wednesday, same - Hunt's Loop.  Today, things were slightly different. Today, Thursday, we hiked Cedar Falls Trail at Petit Jean. Today I saw two black guys, who were with three white guys. I also saw two biracial kids who were with a white woman (maybe their mom).

Hear me clearly, I am not saying only whites hike. I am not saying blacks don't hike. I am not making a statement for any race. What I am saying is that hiking is not a common black thang. If it were, I probably would see more blacks on the trail. I can't speak for my race, but being in the back woods alone or as a group is not common practice in the black community.
On today's hike, things were just fine until I got to this area. I enjoyed the challenge. But as far as I was concerned, I had made it to the falls. I could clearly see the falls and it was beautiful. I didn't feel a need to feel the falls or to feel the midst of the falls.

I could see people standing under the falls and that was good for them, but I didn't feel left out at all. I didn't even have a clear idea as to how they had gotten over there. I was then invited, actually encouraged to cross this field of boulders to get to the other side; to climb rocks to get under the falls. I was not feeling it at all. But, I had come this far, I was going to give it a try. I intently watched the feet of my sister as she proceeded across the boulders. I tried to put my foot where she trod. With my first step, my foot slipped and it went into the stream. At least I got to test my waterproof boots. Another reason why I really like my boots.

I didn't make it completely under the falls, but it was not because I couldn't get up, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get down. I should have kept going.

What I learned is that I can't always look at the big picture because it can be too overwhelming, I just have to look at the next step. The perspective is quite different when you take it one step at a time. I knew the goal; to finish the trail, but since I had never hiked the trail before, I didn't know the route. I followed my sister and the blazes on the trees. I had to watch what was in front of me; being careful of where I placed my feet. When hiking, I am looking out for critters under my feet, for loose rocks, for slippery edges. I am also looking for the next blaze on the tree to make sure I am heading the right way. So, although I know the goal, I am only concerned with the next step.

I believe that is what God wants from us. To trust Him, each step of the way, taking one step at a time.