Mountains and Valleys [10 years]

When we were engaged and newly married Lane and I spent as much time as we could discussing and taking on our love for the outdoors…hiking, boating, camping, running, fishing, boiling water over a campfire for a piping-hot freshly pressed cup of coffee. We eagerly talked of the life we looked forward to ahead — together — and how it would be a dream to travel and maybe even camp in an area surrounded by mountains one day. 

10 years that included one severely life-altering injury, 13 months of inpatient hospital stays, multiple surgeries, and 3 kids later, Lane thoughtfully reminded me of this dream late last year. A desire that I haven’t forgotten but chose to not bring up because I wanted the Lord to first put it on his mind. Lane has enough daily reminders of what his shackled (physical) body can no longer do without me bringing up one more. To put it lightly, I was overjoyed but extremely skeptical — how in the world would we find something that was within our budget and accessibility needs?

Thanks to Google and other quadriplegics that have camped and explored accessible trails around the US before us, the Lord allowed us to find an area in Pigeon Forge, TN with an accessible cabin (no we didn’t actually camp but Lane says that’s next:) and several beautiful accessible hiking trails/mountain lookouts nearby. God opened so many doors —from where we stayed, to the time of year we were able to go (literally an 8 hour color tour both ways), to a caregiver being available to come and assist as needed for the days we were there. It also couldn’t have happened without family & friends that were able to care for our kids.

The Lord was so kind to pave the way for this trip earlier this month and we couldn’t be more thankful that He allowed it to come to fruition…the year we celebrate 10 years of marriage but also 10 years of Lane’s life post-accident in December. As we look back we may just be starting to be able to express our gratitude for the things He’s taught us in the thorny & harsh valleys, but we truly believe it’s because of these valleys that the mountaintop experiences (literally and figuratively) have been 100x more beautiful. We’ve seen Him prove Himself faithful time and again in the darkest valleys and most glorious mountaintops, but we truly believe without both the valleys and the mountains, our finite view of His faithfulness, mercy, and grace would not be what it is today. 

We’re thankful that He promises to finish the work he’s begun in us and rejoicing in the truth that the best is yet to come. Someday, whether it’s here or in our eternal home, Lane and I WILL get to explore God’s creation & mountaintops together undeterred by roots, hills, rough hiking paths and the need for accessibility. We’re also eternally grateful for your unceasing prayer & encouragement, dear friends. For walking with and beautifully caring for us as we feebly depend upon the One who’s carried & sustained us every moment the past 10 years. We need it just as greatly as we did day 1. By his grace we’ve had 10 years of learning through failure, dependency, and unexpected blessings and we pray for many more. 

Looking to Jesus together,


We saw a bear ad two cubs! So cool!
10 years with this man and it just keeps getting better!