Wednesday, June 4, 2014

God In The Mountains

"And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray,
and continued all night in prayer to God."
Luke 6:12
(KJV)

It is no secret that I love the mountains and all things country.
Tonight, as I sat on the front porch in the swing,
the rain fell gently on the metal roof above,
and the flash of fireflies lit up the darkened sky.
I always feel prayer...rising from deep below the surface in moments like these,
and I began to speak to the Lord, praising Him for the sense of peace that filled,
not only the atmosphere, but my heart.

As I prayed, He filled me with inspiration, so I soon found my way to my laptop,
and here I am....pouring my thoughts into words...
sending what is in my brain to the viewing capacity of my computer screen.

Sitting out here on the front porch and watching fireflies made me think of one of my favorite songs...ever,
"Tennessee Mountain Home", written and sung by Dolly Parton.
I love the words...the tune...the way it makes me feel each time I hear it.
I seldom hear it without shedding at least a tear or two...
there is just something about it that stirs something so deep inside of me.
I especially cry when I am not here...in the mountains,
when I am missing them and wishing to feel their stalwart, gentle, ever-consistent embrace.
I'm glad I'm here tonight.
Because lately I have really been struggling.
Trying to sort out my thoughts, and finding it hard to do.
There is nowhere...anywhere...that clears my head like being in the mountains.

I hope you will take a listen to this favorite song of mine.



If video doesn't load, click here.
The mountain home I enjoy is not in Tennessee, though I love that state probably more than any other.
Dad is from there, and going there just comforts me.
If I could live any place on earth, Tennessee would probably be my choice...
in the smoky mountains...probably Sevierville or Gatlinburg or closer to Dad's hometown of Athens,
in a cabin, far off the beaten path, remote and inconvenient to get to,
near a creek, surrounded by trees, with the most amazing view of the mountains from all sides...
no matter which window I chose to look through.
Yeah, I can see it now...that's where I would choose to call home....
should I be offered anywhere on this beautiful earth.
But, I have to say, West Virginia comes in a very close second in the race for being my favorite.
That's where I get to spend time in a mountain home.
The peace and comfort I find here...surrounded by all these mountains...
is too precious to even put into words.  
Mom and Dad Smith live right smack in the mountains....in a little brick house, on the very top of a hill.
I don't care what direction you choose to look, the view is pure country.
Coming to their house is coming home.
This is some of what fills my soul when I take a peek.

When I look out our bedroom window, this is exactly what I see at sunset.


This is a view of the nearby mountains from the interstate.


Yesterday, I took this picture as a neighboring farmer worked in his hay.


This is a creek right outside the store Mom S., Aunt Vaida, and I visited today.


I love the look of the fallen log beside the gently flowing stream.
We ate our lunch in the car and looked at this as we talked.


Mountains nearby.


The view from Mom and Dad Smith's driveway.


Right down the road.


A neighbor's barn, directly across the road.


Bulls in the field on the other side of the house.


Another farmer's silo and barn in back of their house.


Some pretty, purple wildflowers on the side of the road.


More pretty flowers growing wild by a bridge.


An old, rustic covered bridge not so far from home.

There's so much more...my pictures are limited since I don't have ready access to all of them right now.
The pictures don't do it justice anyhow. 
I don't think it is possible.
Zach and Austin love for me to follow them in the car, as they take long walks,
in case they get tired and need to rest.
I'd do anything to make these two sweet boys happy.  :)
So....I drive.....really slowly...which gives me great photo opportunities.
Here are some pictures I took Sunday night when they decided to walk to church.
Needless to say, they got worn out and were glad I was following behind.  :)


My, they are getting so tall.
Austin is now 12 years old...and over 6 feet!
He is still as sweet as can be...and Zach's dearest and best friend in the whole world.


The other night, I went with Mom S. to a ladies' extension-homemakers' meeting.
I needed the fellowship way more than I even realized.
After the meeting, I stepped outside to just pause on the beautiful front porch of our hostess.
I wish with all my soul, you could see what I saw.
The mountains loomed in front of me...tall, stately, unmoving, stable, encompassing.
Of all times, I forgot to take my camera.
I just soaked it in.
There is a peace that comes to me in and around the mountains.
I find such beauty...and grace....in everything I see.
God's fingerprints are everywhere I look.
His presence seems more real to me here.

Have you ever considered how many times it is recorded in the Bible
that God did something special on a mountain?
He spoke to Moses from a burning bush on Mt. Horeb.
He met Moses on a mountain called Sinai to give him the Ten Commandments.
It was on a mountain that Jesus was transfigured in front of Peter, James, and John.
It was on the Mountain of Olives that He prayed until His sweat became great drops of blood,
as the dread of what was ahead of Him washed over Him full-force.

Throughout His earthly tenure, Jesus loved to go to a mountain to pray...
when He needed to be alone,
when He needed uninterrupted time with His Father,
when He needed to clear His head, re-group, recharge, and seek direction.

I find myself longing more and more to follow in His footsteps.
I have this deep yearning to do what He did,
to be like Him,
to find Him....in every moment of my life.
I am in earnest pursuit of His holiness and in desperate search for His will.

Maybe that is the one reason behind this intense drawing to the mountains.
I look at them and long to climb to their highest peak
in order to reach a spot closer to Him.
Everything within me longs for Him...
His presence,
His Spirit,
His voice,
Him.

It just seems so much easier to find Him here.


22 comments:

  1. Hi Cheryl! God just sings to us in his creation, doesn't he? And I know your frustration with taking photos. It never looks as beautiful as the 'real thing.' But your images here are really spectacular. Especially the colors in the water and bridge scene. What a blessing to live where you do. I am a city gal, so while I love nature, I don't get the scenes that you do.

    I really like Dolly Parton too. I let her sing on while I read your post. A little slice of heaven. Thank you :)
    Ceil

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    1. Hello, Ceil! So happy to hear from you today! Yes, He surely does sing to us in His creation! Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. It truly means so much to me. So glad you enjoyed hearing Dolly, too. I could listen to her sing all day...especially the older songs like this one. :) God bless you!!

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  2. I love this post Cheryl.. I too, am partial to the Mountains.. here in good ole KY! I would have to agree the Tennessee mountains are lovely too. Right now, I am in the rolling pastor land of Ky but grew up in the mountains.. my hubby pastored a little church in Ky right on the West Virginia border.. Big Mountains.. We used to kid saying the sun did not make it up until noon and went down at 3:00... or they have to pipe the sunshine in the Mtns are so big... I do believe your mountains are beautiful and the farm land around you is too. We can definitely see the handiwork of our creator in the mtns and all the beauty of the land around us.. enjoyed the info from the Bible about the importance of mtns.. I knew all of those but had never put that together.. the mtns are special! The song is beautiful. Have a great evening and enjoy all of Gods beauty around you.. Blessings!

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    1. Thank you so much, Patty! It was so nice to see you had stopped by. :) That is so neat that you all used to live near WV. I know what you mean...hearing you describe the sun coming up at noon and going down at 3 reminds me of the song, "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive". Sounds like you and I have so much in common and would have lots to talk about should we ever get to meet face to face! So happy to visit with you here today. God bless you. :)

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  3. I'm really beginning to think you and I are related, sister… Awesome, I was right there with you...

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    1. Thanks so much, Floyd. I appreciate you stopping by! God bless you, brother. :)

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  4. Another beautiful post! I love what you do!
    God Bless,
    Chris

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    1. Thank you so much, Chris!! I so appreciate your kind comments and encouragement. God bless you!! :)

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  5. Cheryl - These are beautiful mountain reflections. I listened to the Dolly Parton song while reading the second half of the post. It was a poignant backdrop. Her singing reminds me of some of the difficulties of life in the mountains - particularly life in the Appalachians. I recently heard an interview with Dolly Parton on NPR. In that interview, David Green asks her about an earlier quote in which she said, “I had to get rich in order to afford to sing like I was poor again.” She explains that she realized she could never make a living doing pure country music, mountain music, or bluegrass. She would see people try, and they would "starve to death" and never make a living. So she began to treat music and her life as more of a business. But she adds, “When I’m at my best, I think my voice is best suited for the old mountain style and the blue grass. I guess it’s just because I feel that so much.” I think mountain life is so beautiful because it is so difficult for many.

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    1. Oh, thank you SO much for stopping by and for leaving such sweet comments behind! I had never heard this interview with Dolly. That is so interesting...thank you for sharing. I think she is true-blue country, and I agree with her that she does best in singing bluegrass and down-home style music! So happy you enjoyed the post and pictures. God bless you!! :)

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  6. I love the mountains too, for some reason they make me feel safe. We did our training for New Tribes Mission outside of Hazard, Kentucky and I fell in love with the mountain folks that live in those hollers. God next planted us in the mountains of Bolivia, South America, loved them too. Then we spent time in the Ozarks mountains, love them. THEN, God did a complete change, took us to Papua New Guinea and we lived right on the ocean, tropical, humid, another beautiful place. Now we reside surrounded by mountains in southern California, another part of God's creation. One thing I have learned through all this moving is, unless my heart is right with Him I will not enjoy where He has put me, mountains or no mountains. Moving post.

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    1. What wonderful experiences God has blessed you to have! Your life and adventures sound so interesting! Thank you so much for stopping by today...so thankful and happy to meet you. ;)

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  7. I love your words as always. Reaching to my soul. I wish I can elaborate too what I feel and think like you do:)
    Anyway, I love God's presence in the nature too..feels like being one with him.

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    1. Oh, Joy, you are such a dear blessing and encouragement to me! How I thank you for your kind, sweet words. God bless you, my friend!

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  8. What a beautiful post! I share your mountain home and heritage, know the blessing of living here in these mountains. For now God has asked us to live in the city. But, every chance we get we are on the road to His sanctuary in these WV hills.
    Thank you for sharing your heart and your home.

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    1. Oh, that is so wonderful, Kathy! So you definitely know the beauty and peace of these mountains first hand. Sorry to think of you having to leave them for the city, but hopefully, God will allow you to return to them often. :) I so appreciate you stopping by and leaving encouragement behind. So happy to meet you!!

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  9. Love seeing God in nature!!! He is so good and so faithful!!!

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  10. Awesome pictures! I love that bridge! Speaks to my soul. Think I'll have to make it a point of getting to the mountains this summer...

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    1. Thanks so much, Floyd! I love that bridge, too...could just stay there for hours and think about the history behind it and wonder about all of the people who have crossed it through the years. I hope you make it to the mountains soon....their pull cannot be denied for very long...at least for hillbillies like us. LOL! God bless you and your family. :)

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  11. Dear Cheryl,
    Hello! I'm so happy to have found your blog! :-)
    I was reading your posts on Legalism, and happened to look over and notice the post title with 'mountains' in it. Being the mountain lover that I am, I had to click on it! All the more happy I am to find that they're West Virginia mountains. ♥ Your pictures are beautiful, and the covered bridge reminds me of my hometown. I grew up in Alleghany County, VA. My family is all from WV, mostly Greenbrier County. There's an old covered bridge called Humpback Bridge close to my hometown of Covington. I live in the eastern part of Va. now, but my parents and brother still live in the mountains, and we get back there at least a few times a year to visit. Those mountains are a balm to the soul for sure! It sounds like you enjoy your mountain getaway like I do. Would love to be able to move back there some day if it were God's will. Will be back to visit you. God bless you! :-)

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    1. Oh, Melanie! How very nice to meet you!! One of my best friends lives in VA...near Rocky Mount. Are you familiar with that area? Virginia is so beautiful, too! I am getting ready to hop over to your blog. I love meeting those of like mind and kindred spirit. :) Thank you so much for commenting. Many blessings to you!

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