Hill & Valleys

First … a quick update. My blog and I have been fighting. I tried to do a “simple” update to my page and give it a cute new look, but being that I am technology challenged, it wasn’t simple and I thought I lost my Blog. Apparently my work computer isn’t friends with Blogger as the button I needed didn’t appear until I logged in on my home computer. Perhaps that is a lesson in itself, checking the Blog while on the clock … I digress …

I was home a couple of weekends ago with my family for a dueling birthday celebration, remember Mom and I have the same birthday, and it was a great weekend! We had a full house … Papa, Aunt Malia, Andy, Casey, & Cole, Uncle Ronnie, Aunt Alice, and my Cousin Ronnie plus the 4O’s; a house full of love! We had such a great time outside on the porch, playing with Cole in the yard, delicious eats and treats and I didn’t want to leave on Saturday! However, a 70’s Roller Skating Party was on the calendar for Saturday night and I couldn’t miss out!

While I was home I needed to do a training walk for the 3-Day. (If you don’t know about the 3-Day, it’s a 60 Mile walk which raises money for Breast Cancer Research. I am walking in the San Diego event, November 2008.) My “long walk” is up to 10 miles and I had carefully mapped out my walk and headed out to Elkins Lake, a neighborhood I have spent many an hour in growing up. Side note … if you need a tool to map runs/walks/bike rides anywhere in the US visit http://www.mapmyrun.com/!

As I was saying, Elkins Lake holds a special place for me for many reasons. Mostly; I logged thousands of hours babysitting in that neighborhood from the time I was 13 until after I was out of college. My second babysitting job was in Elkins; for a sweet 6 week old baby girl Taylor; when I was a mere 13 and her Mom a fabulous 24! For those of you quickly doing the math based on my previous post of being 32 … Taylor is now in her 2nd year of College, and her Mom is still fabulous! Time flies, and I realize that ages me to say that.

Taylor and I spent many an hour in Elkins, walking the neighborhood, swimming at the Olympic Pool, riding the Golf Cart, playing games, watching Blue’s Clues, and in the blue rocking chair. 4 years later Taylor’s little sister Jesse, the 4th O, was born and she probably had the cutest cheeks I have ever seen on a baby! All three of us still did those same activities, including going to the movies, TCBY, the College, and other outings when I was mobile and driving!

In college I did a lot of jogging and Elkins was one of my favorite places to run. I would often run before or after a babysitting job; and enjoyed the neighborhood, filled with trees, lots of hills, quiet streets, the Golf Course, and sightings of deer along my route. I remember that running was an outlet for me …. to pray, think, dream, process, and talk with God. I remember running hills and pushing myself to the top with the thought “what goes up must come down” as my motivation.

As I set out a couple of weeks ago the memories kept coming to mind along my 10 mile walk. I thanked God repeatedly for the part those families had in my life through their children but also through modeling of a Christ-centered marriages. I also thought about all the changes in my own life through those 9 years from Junior High to High School to College, and where I was today; 10 years out of college. As I was walking those hills, I kept thinking again “what goes up must come down” and at a walk pace the hills seemed even longer than jogging, not to mention I’m certain my age has nothing to do with it! 😉

I began to think about the “hills” in life; when you feel like you are constantly climbing, and the top of the mountain, the descent, or the ability to coast downhill seem so far out of sight or non-existent. In fact thinking back on my walk, I don’t really remember ever feeling that downhill coast after reaching the top of the hills. I often times in life find myself acutely aware of my struggles when I am climbing hills, but don’t seem to remember the seasons when life is “coasting”. I believe God pushes me, tests me, challenges me, and teaches me most in the times I am climbing hills in my life.

Through one of the last hills I climbed in my life, I clung to Hebrews 10:23 – “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for He is faithful that promised”. To break this verse down I wanted to define the parts:

  • hold fast – Greek “κατέχω” – v; keep secure, keep firm possession of
  • profession – Greek “ὁμολογία” – n; whom we profess to be ours
  • faith – Greek “ἐλπίς” – n; joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation
  • without wavering – Greek “ἀκλινής” – adj; firm, unmoved
  • He is faithful – Greek “πιστός” – adj; one that can be relied on
  • that promised – Greek “ἐπαγγέλλομαι” – v; to engage voluntarily

To make this verse my own based it would read like this:
I will keep firm possession of the expectation of eternal salvation which is mine. Voluntarily He promised that to me, and He is reliable.

I still find myself asking God “why” in scenarios; being afraid for what might come; not hearing from Him; and wondering if I am doing what He intends for me. Thankfully God understands me and allows me to “work out” my questions, fears, and doubts, but ultimately reminds me that He is the always faithful and constant in my life. The times I do waver; when I am not firm; when I allow the world to move me; I quickly realize I am climbing a hill to get back to the place where I am truly secure. Lord may those hills seem shorter and the descents sweeter because of your presence, but teach me to hold steady when I am climbing the hills.

Keep Climbing!


  1. Summary on August 27, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    Great blog and I appreciate your walk for breast cancer, I’m working on training for a century with the Lance Armstrong Ride, and I’m journaling my training log on blogger.

    Regarding hills, and valleys. Have you ever read Sir Francis Drake’s Prayer? I love it, sometimes it is good to be disturbed.

  2. Amy Vogel on September 3, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Just as on the outside, your inside reflected in your prose is eloquent and beautiful! I loved the breakdown–of course, I’m a Bible nerd – but it helps so much to understand what the original language said. I’m gonna have to take an exposition course! Maybe they have it online? 🙂

    Anyhoo–I love this blog and so appreciate your faith!

  3. Sydney on September 8, 2008 at 10:42 am

    It IS the hardest when you wonder if you are following what God has put you here to do… and that can come on when you feel you aren’t “hearing” back on your prayers. I try to remember that God is everywhere and somehow nothing on my journey is straying too far for the lessons my soul came into this world to learn if I stay in constant contact with Spirit! Great, thought provoking post!

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