Saturday, September 25, 2010

God's Detour


We hiked to Temple Peak today about 8 miles...we have gone about 55 miles so far.

On the way back from Temple peak we saw smoke over the mountain side. We found out later two ladies started a camp fire and it got away from them. At first it looked like clouds and we were trying to decide if it was clouds but there was not a cloud anywhere. Then all of a sudden a big hugh burst of smoke filled the sky! Black smoke and lots of it. By the time we got back to the camp site there was no sign of it. The people that told us about it lost their tent in the fire as they had to run to escape the fire.

The odd thing was Ernie had told us on the way to Temple Peak we would come back the the way where the fire had been, but he changed his mind because of time and we went back the way we had come. I think God had something to do with that!

"Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long" (Psalm 25:4-5). Amen.

Laughing Out Loud and Listening to the Quiet !


We left the North part of the Wind River Range and spent the night in Pinedale. Kathy and I had girls night out. We got our gear and food together and left early the next morning for the southern part of the Range.

Bobby, Kathy and I had a real challenge on this trip hanging our food in the trees…Ernie had to take over and do it for us today. It was really funny…It was good to laugh…

I think of Mell with each step I take on this trip. Sometimes I want to say out loud "Check it out" to him…and I do silently.

I know I make my "Mary noises" as Matt calls them and drive Ernie crazy…but Bobbie and Kathy just laugh at me.

Today Kathy said "Listen to the quiet" and Bobbie got silent and started to listen…I said "what are we doing?" and he said "Listening to the quiet" I tried really hard to listen and I was gritting my teeth to be quiet and listen….the 3 of us just burst into laughter…

When I am with other people like on this trip…I notice life is much easier…I hurt still but just being with people takes away some of the loneliness. Kathy and Bobby have shared with me in my pain and I have come to be grateful to them for what they gave me on this trip. Mostly I laughed again. Thanks to Ernie for getting me to go.

Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles" (Philippians 4:14).

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I have not been keeping up with my journal on my Wyoming trip because of this little girl…our new Grand Baby, Melly

Alexis Mell Hall born on 9/9/10 at 4:10 pm
Weighing in at 6lbs 5 oz and 20 inches long!

She was 3 weeks early and had a little trouble breathing at first…but I believe she now has the breath of God! Breathing fine on her own and hoping to go home Monday or Tuesday.

I got to hold her yesterday for the first time.
Just holding this beautiful miracle of God touched my heart…I believe I am ready to love this little girl!

I had Avi to thank for that! It took me a whole week to open my heart to love again and not fear that I would lose the ones I love…this is a real fear I think that we who lose one very close to us has…

When Matt told us they immediately took her away from them for oxygen because she wasn't breathing right... we all gathered around him to pray…I can't tell you how I felt…all I can say is I wanted to throw up! I prayed that God would breath His life into our little Melly and I believe He did!

After I left the hospital…I was emotionally exhausted…thats when it hit me..that mean old painful thing called "GRIEF" I realized this was something I should be sharing with my beloved husband and he could not be with us in this joyful moment of the new life of Matt and Beth's little Melly! Our grand baby !

Thanks to my new friend "Debbie" who I was able to cry to and share my pain…I made it through the night. She was just there for me…and thats what I needed.

Then one surprise after another…Jay and Sandy called and wanted to come see the baby.
They were in Atlanta. Jay is a pilot for Delta and they were passing through. They are our friends from Alaska that were here when Mell went to his eternal home. So needless to say they are special people to me!

We surprised Matt and Beth with the visit from them and I got to hold Melly again!

This time I returned home with a thankfulness in my heart because God is always helping me through this time of the loss of my sweet Mell. The visit from Jay and Sandy did my heart good because I know that God brought them in my time of need. That is the kind of God I serve!

Thank God for this precious gift of Life and I believe also Mell can see his grand daughter from heaven. I believe he is a proud Papa! and for me I am a proud Mama Mia! 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Warming the Heart


Today we broke camp and hiked to Pole Creek Lake. We crossed two streams and went about 8 miles. We went through Lester Pass where it was really windy and we started to see rain clouds. We where almost to our camp site when the bottom fell out....Hail and heavy rain. We held up under some pines until it stopped, we found our camp site which turned out not to be where we had planned to camp, which meant we had to start out the next morning crossing that stream again!

I went fishing while the others napped. I caught two little brook trout.

Back packing gives me such the midst of pain...I really love it out in the wilderness...and I want Avi to be with me.

This is God’s grace to me and His mercy!

I am so thankful to Him for this time of healing.

Now I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I can see how memories can bring healing. If I had never taken this trip I would have missed the big trout and missed that healing memory!

ISAIAH 46:4 He will carry me and rescue me.

At dinner tonight it started raining again and it got really cold.

I remember Mell telling me there was a motorcycle jacket that had heat in it for winter and the heat pumped out over your heart and that would warm up your whole body.

So while we were waiting for our dehydrated food to simmer in the packaged bag, I said “If you put it over your heart it will warm your whole body” Bobby looked at me and put his bag over his heart.

Then I said “Mell told me that” and we laughed!

Another healing moment, again if I had not gone on this trip I would not have experienced this healing memory!

Today 9/8/10 is 7 months since Mell’s home going...and I am 7 months closer to being with him...I am not leaving him behind...I’m catching up with him!

Ezekiel 39:28
Then they will know that I am the LORD their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind.

Philippians 3:7,8

Whatever was to my profit I now consider loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The top of the Hill


This last photo is in Alaska…near Nome...very similar...

When Mell and I used to run together... I always remember him running to the top of the hill and urging me on...”When you get to the top, Mary you can rest” Sometimes he would run next to me and push me up!

Sometimes I can see him standing there waiting for me at the top of the hill...that’s the way it was today...just like he’s waiting on me to get up there…I feel on this trip I made one of many hills to climb...

When I get to the top I get to rest…or go downhill from there!

2 Corinthians 6:10

10sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

Today we did a sorta bushwack….someone on the trail had told Bobby about this rock slide…we found it... we think…but it was too late to finish the hike…we had lunch near the outlet of the lake and then went to find this rock slide ….it was fun trying to find it even though we didn't.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Big Healing Fish


Today we did an all day hike to the Ticomb basin, about 9 miles or so... I have never felt such peace as I did today...this place was filled with the most beautiful flowers you ever saw...I have heard its probably better in heaven(Heavenly flowers) but this is as close as it gets to Alaskas flowers...I still think they are bigger though!

We ran into 7 ladies on a hike..they all had hats on that said that! (pictured above)

The best part of the whole hike happened today on the way back from the Ticomb Basin. Kathy Bobby and I decided to fish our way back to camp...we didn’t have much luck though.

We were almost back to camp when we stopped one more time.

Still no luck...Bobby said “I’m ready when you are...I said
“OK” one more cast and bam! A nice size trout hit my line and jumped out of the first thought was of Alaska, every time a Salmon would do this, it would get off my line. Mell would say “ Keep the Tip up, Mary” “ Keep the line tight”

So instantly I had this memory and tightened the line and held the tip up and was able to catch this FISH! The best part was that...

it was my first “HAPPY” memory ...I laughed until I cried tears of JOY! My first real healing moment!

"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn" (Romans 12:15).

Then I caught one more...and we ate them for dinner!

You Can Have Me(click here to hear this song)

Island Lake

During our hike today we ran into the "Mushroom Man" A man who had picked some mushrooms on the trail and he began to tell us all about how to tell if mushrooms were good or not…remember "Gills Kill" he said…He gave us a taste of his mushroom…yum they were tasty…Kathy and I were able to find a couple of these mushrooms only found at high elevations…we ate them!
We set up camp at Island lake for three nights. We went fishing after setting up camp and Kathy caught a small rainbow trout…she let it go.
We were all really tired. I felt really alone in my tent tonight…missing Mell. I hate doing this without him to share it with.

This night the song "You Can Have Me" was running through my brain and wouldn't let go…
So I wrote down the lyrics to it…

“Your can have me” by Sidewalk Prophet

If I saw you on the street and you said come and follow me.

But I had to give up everything ...all I once held dear and all of my dreams. Would I love you enough to let go or would my love run dry when you ask for my life?

When did love become unmoving, when did love become unconsuming? Forgetting what the world has told me...Father of love you can have can have me...

If your all you claim to be...then I’m not losing anything.

So I will crawl upon my knees...just to know the joy of suffering.

I will love you enough to let go...Lord I give you my life...I give you my life...

and I will never look back...So Jesus here is my heart…

All I once held dear…is gone…all of my dreams are gone…I didn't choose this but it is truth…

My husband is gone from this life and I must dream new dreams and hold tight to my Lord!

So He has me! I give Him my heart!

Jesus you have me! I have nothing left! You are all to me!

"Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge" (Psalm 62:8).

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Love of My Life

(Day 2) 8/18/10

On the trail as we hiked this first day...It was very difficult to say the least (emotionally)

While hiking we met an old guy named Chuck, I guessed him about 80 something. I got to talking to him and he said he loved the wilderness and hiked all over the place. He knew the Wind River Range like the back of his hand.

I ask him if there was some special reason he liked to hike. He said he had been doing it since he lost his 3rd wife in an auto accident. She was the love of his life. I told him about Mell and

thats why I was there too. He too was the Love of my Life.

Just getting myself to Wyoming was hard...but now I see that it already has been spiritually enlightening. My heart is so sad, but at peace. God has wrapped my heart in his hands.

God wants you to pour out your emotions to Him: "Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge" (Psalm 62:8).

He also directs you to share your emotions with others: "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn" (Romans 12:15).

"Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2 NASB).

Lord Jesus, grieving is as natural and as common as loving. I want to help make it as acceptable, too. May my healing journey spark healing in those around me. Amen.

P.S. First day out we saw...I think...a ptarmigan...a chicken like bird...I have seen it in Alaska...If its not a ptarmigan Alaskans let me know...Eric...Jay...Mike...Ok?

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Hug From God

Bobby, Ernie, me and Kathy

This trip was my solo(1st) big trip without my sweet Mell…When I did my solo backpack I ran into Ernie…He invited me on this trip..He thought it would be good for me to go…He was right…At the time I didn't have Avi and it made it even harder to go now that I had my little puppy and had to leave her for 2 weeks.

Everything I do is so hard...sometimes I just get tired of hard.

But the Lord is right beside me urging me on to healing.

(Day 1) 8/17/10

It started on the plane...we were a little late getting to Utah so the pilot asked if we did not have a connecting flight to sit tight and let the others off first...I took my time and I was leaving the flight attendant was helping me get my backpack down out of the bin. Her name was Adrian. She was very helpful so I decided to give her one of my “One heart Beat Away” books. She took one look at it and said “I am a Christian and my husband died 5 years ago” just like that, she said it! Of course then I added that my husband had died 6 months ago! We walked out of the plane together like we were best friends, she walked with me to the baggage claim...talking all the way...we said goodbye with a hug and said “See ya in heaven”

It was just one of those moments when you know that God was right there with you and had given you a hug!

Luke 24:15

As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them;

When you take steps to healing God definitely can meet you, but you have to take the step first!

The next thing you know there was Kathy...we hung around for a little while and talked, got our bags and then went to the car rental to meet Ernie and Bobby. Everything went according to plan. That night we got our backpacks ready and early day 2 off we go!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wind River Range Retreat


I have been gone for 2 weeks to Wyoming on a backpack retreat in the Wind River Range.

This is where the “Healing begins” I will take one day at a time in my journal I did while I was in the winds. The Wind of God was blowing strong...this place didn’t get its name by chance!

The peace of God was amazing...I love the mountains and the wilderness and God meets me there.

12Stone church for all who live in this area is doing a series on

“Doing Hard Things” They did an interview with me to be aired maybe on Sunday. I’m not sure what date it will be I will keep you updated. You can come to the 1pm service after your church if you want...or join me at the 9am service.