I have a tendency to lose site of what is important sometimes, but it is always nature that has a way of reminding me where I find God. I know in my head and heart that God created every single one of us for a purpose, and sometimes I forget that when I get lost in my own world of excitement or especially my own troubles.
Before I left the city and moved to rural Louisiana, one of my favorite things to do was to load up my dogs and my camera and hike out to one of the many waterfalls in Tennessee and take pictures. I spent a lot of time with friends doing this on the weekends, but I spent a lot of time doing this alone as well. It was my me time… my focus time. I never really understood why I was so drawn to spending hours alone at the foot of a waterfall. Aside from its beauty, I knew there was something else going on. And then one day I realized that out there in the raw beauty of nature… that is where I found God. That is where I could hear God’s voice the loudest!
Finding God in nature has a lot to do with why I left the city. The busy hustle and bustle was deafening. The lights, the traffic, the distractions… it all has a way of being much louder to me than God’s voice. I left the city because I needed to find joy. I needed to find my purpose. I needed to find people who wanted meaningful friendships. There had to be more in store for me and my kids than social calendars, football schedules, dance recitals and cheerleading practice. Moving 700 miles south and buying a few sassy chickens provided the stillness and the quiet that I needed!
Our move didn’t come without its own set of problems though, and once again after some time had passed, I found myself getting lost in things that I could not control. A rebellious teenage daughter, a teenage pregnancy, and then later the death of my granddaughter’s father who was killed in the line of duty when she was only two years old, which left my teenage daughter a single mother. We have all been through some pretty devastating years, and I wish I could say that things have gotten better. They have not. Don’t let the 5% of my life that I share on Instagram fool you.
This morning as I was outside picking tomatoes and tomatillos out of the garden, I tossed some into the chicken coops and watched the chickens devour them. As I watched them eat the vegetables from my garden it made me realize how beautifully in-sync nature works together. I was reminded that everyone and everything was created with a purpose. God’s creation is so exquisitely designed that everything works together perfectly, and as I watched those chickens (that God created) eat the vegetables (that God created) it made me think about why God created me. It helped me to remember the path that God had led me on before I began to allow life’s distractions to derail me. It reminded me of why He brought me where I am today.
I am a firm believer in the fact that God allows us to go through trials and tragedies because He needs us to learn something about Him. I am a firm believer in the fact that what we learn will be used to help someone else that God will bring into our lives. I know this because I have seen Him work in my life this way ever since I was a little girl. But sometimes when I am in the thick of things, I forget to look at God to see what He is doing in that situation because I am so focused on my own feelings. Learning to let go of things that I can’t control and leaning into God is something that I am getting better and better at as I get older. And I am learning that when we feel like our world is falling apart, we can’t sit still. We have to keep moving forward and keep our eyes on Jesus.
I find God in nature. I’m not sure why nature is where I hear God’s voice the loudest, but it has always been this way for me. I crave quiet and stillness. I crave to hear God speaking to me, and it amazes me how much I can learn about God just by growing vegetables and raising sassy chickens. I thank God for this little patch of dirt in rural Louisiana. I thank God that my two youngest daughters find the same joy in this quiet life as I do. When I begin to feel like the weight of the world has been placed upon my shoulders, I thank God that He speaks to me through vegetables and chickens!
Where do you find God?