We’ve had a great time in Breckenridge this year – lots of hiking, paddle boarding, gaming (well if you call Chance a game) and reading. It’s been full of family and for the most part, not a lot of loud drama or screaming (PRAISE!)
Yesterday, Matt and I decided the kids (and our favorite oldest niece Maddie!) were finally ALL able to conquer a long hike. Almost 13 miles and over 2,500 in elevation gain later, they knocked it out of the park. It was magical, truly. Alpine lakes, meadows of wild flowers, gummy bear incentives, peeing off trail, and a lot of water consumed.
On our way back, Caroline commented on the beetle kill pines we passed. Several years ago this unwelcomed guest – the pine beetle – infiltrated the forests of Colorado and literally ate it alive. Beautiful pine trees, glorious in their hues of green turned to orange, eaten from the inside out. It’s taken literally YEARS to get rid of this pest – devastating large portions of forests and lands in this beautiful area.
Our conversation took a turn, commenting on the influence poor decisions and bad choices can have in our own lives. Whether we decide to make a choice that negatively influences others or that choice is made by others that affect us; both can create havoc and devastation in our lives.
My thoughts turned to Desta. She did not choose how her life began; the scars she bears were given to her uninvited. The rich fertile ground that children are supposed to be born into – warm hugs, cries that are immediately answered, holding and rocking, proper nutrition – all these things were denied her the first months of her life.
However, through the wondrous miracles of medicine, therapy, and LOVE, her sweet soul is blooming. When I saw this beautiful little pine tree in the midst of the decay, I had to take a picture. It made me think of Desta. One of her favorite things to do on a hike is see how many hearts she can find in nature. Over the 13 miles yesterday, she counted over 49!
He sent me to give them flowers in place of their sorrow, olive oil in place of tears, and joyous praise in place of broken hearts. They will be called “Trees of Justice,” planted by the Lord to honor his name. Isaiah 61:3