Picture of hoodoos by Jennifer Manske Fenske

Legs pumping and children screaming with excitement, our party made its way through the narrow slot canyons, touching the cream rocks banded with pink colors. Our goal was the top of the mesa in Tent Rocks National Monument which had views of the Sangre de Christo, Jemez and Sandia mountains and the Rio Grande Valley.  

Hiking with small kids isn’t easy and I confess to some irritation at my younger daughter’s insistence at getting out of her backpack carrier and walking. I wanted the exercise, but she wanted the exploration. My husband waved me on, knowing I was eager to catch up with my brother’s family and our oldest daughter. 

Sometimes, I think God just wants us to have fun. I mean this with all my heart. We all work hard—whether we are in the home or out of it during the day. We clean up, pick up, plan, fret, dream and keep watch. It’s draining, this business of living. 

So sometimes, I ask God to show himself to me. I pause, take in my day ahead: breakfastworkerrandshomedinnerbathttimechoresbed and feel burdened, defeated before I even start. But Jesus does not call us to defeat! We are not defeated people. If you know Jesus, you are lifted up from the well of nothingness. In Romans 8, we are called “conquerors.” Do you feel like a conqueror? I have to admit that I often beat myself up for the smallest misses as a wife and mother. I defeat myself. How I need to remember that I am not a conqueror through my own feeble efforts, but that I am a conqueror “through him who loved us” (v. 37). 

As I hiked this past weekend in Tent Rocks, I lifted up my eyes to the horizon, where the Rio Grand Valley stretched out in an impressive array of colors and shapes against a perfect New Mexico sky. I thanked God for showing up. I thanked him for family, for slices of Trader Joe’s chocolate orange, for children who shrieked with delight over obsidian fragments. I confessed my irritation and asked for patience. I thanked God for the beauty of the day. 

Ask God to show you his glory. He will not disappoint. I promise you, wherever you stand, whatever your defeats, the God of the Universe is there. Stop and ask with a Spirit-filled heart for God to show his power and glory. He comes, in the small and large moments of life, to us all. Is your heart ready to see him? 

Photo by Jennifer Manske Fenske


One thought on “In the Land of Stone and Rock

  1. Thank you for this wonderful reminder to be easy on ourselves; and to stop to have fun with our children. We are busy being, well, busy, and they just want us to relax a little so thanks for the fabulous photos (you captured that amazing profile beautifully) and your inspiring words!

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