Faith – Love – Joy

Heading out on the trail

Heading out on the trail

This past weekend was such a precious time with family! In reflecting on the sweet memories, three themes stand out…faith, love, and joy.

Usually, when our family does a weekend getaway, it’s planned weeks or months in advance. This time was different.  We realized our 13-year-old had a four-day weekend off from school, and just decided to spend a couple of days camping and trail riding in the Ouachita Mountains.

Totally spontaneous…an activity we’ve never done before…just pick a camp that sounds good and go!

It turned out to be such an amazing weekend!

Gorgeous panoramic views!

Gorgeous panoramic views!

First, the weather was perfect…lows around 28 F at night and highs around 65 F in the day with clear skies. That’s almost unheard of in February!

Then the camp we chose (Idle Nook Horse Camp) turned out to be wonderful…nice folks, great facilities. And…it just so happened we were the only campers that weekend…we had the whole camp to ourselves!

Neither we nor our horses had any experience riding steep rocky trails, but we all adapted. And we had so much fun!  Lots of adventure…lots of laughter…lots of joy…lots of love!

A very steep rocky grade...scary!

A very steep rocky grade…scary!

We had a minor setback, Saturday morning, with the discovery that one horse had lost a shoe on the previous evening’s ride. We were fortunate to find a farrier willing to meet us on short notice to replace the shoe, and were still able to ride that afternoon.

Reflecting over the weekend, I keep thinking of the interaction of faith, love and joy. Spontaneously choosing a camping trip in February…to a camp we’d never visited…for an activity we’d never done…that takes a bit of faith.  Faith in each other to have fun through obstacles…faith in our ability to overcome obstacles and find joy in each other’s company…faith in God to protect us and bless our adventure.

Winding through the woods

Winding through the woods

Crossing those fast-flowing mountain streams and traversing steep meandering paths required our horses to have a bit of faith in us as riders. And riding up and down steep rocky slopes required us to have a bit of faith in our horses.

That sort of faith comes through relationship…is an expression of love…and yields deep joy.


A mother-son Valentines kiss!  :-)

A mother-son Valentines kiss! 🙂

Your thoughts?


[Linked to Messy Marriage, Wild Flowers, Wellspring, Redeemed Life ]


14 thoughts on “Faith – Love – Joy

    • “…spontaneous sparks the absolute best adventures.”

      I agree! It’s risky, in that things may turn out uncomfortably…but if you make up your mind in advance to enjoy the adventure and each other’s company, it spontaneity allows for lots of fun adventure.

      Thank you, Linda!
      joe recently posted…Faith – Love – JoyMy Profile

    • I’ve never tried the hunter/jumper stuff…although our 13-year-old likes jumping his horse across creeks and over logs.

      This trail riding has sort of grabbed my attention though…it’s enjoyable all the way around!

      Thank you, Andrew!
      joe recently posted…Faith – Love – JoyMy Profile

  1. I’m so glad you and your family had a beautiful break in the middle of what’s been a pretty cold winter! I suppose this was the weekend before Valentines, right? Cuz we don’t live too far from each other and this past weekend was quite chilly in my neck of the woods! I love the “Valentines kiss” that mama gave her sweet son! Thanks for sharing this peek into your world and family, Joe! It’s a treat for us to tag along! 😉
    Beth recently posted…Comment on Have a ‘Scary Good’ Marriage? And Linkup! by JudithMy Profile

    • No, this was Valentines weekend…and the kiss pic was taken Valentines day.

      It was cold and clear at night, but sunshiny and warm both Friday and Saturday.

      Sunday turned off much cooler, but we were back home then. Then the freezing rain started Sunday evening.

      It wasn’t until later that we realized Valentines Day was probably the reason we had the camp to ourselves. Most people probably don’t think of a February camping trip as romantic. Sure worked out well for us, this time! 🙂

      Thank you, Beth!
      joe recently posted…Faith – Love – JoyMy Profile

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