Saturday, May 24, 2014



Last Sunday after church, we ventured into the mountains for our first hike of the summer season.  We listened to The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare on the way toward Red Feather Lakes.  The book about a 13 year boy who lives alone in the woods with the help of an Indian friend put the kids in the perfect frame of mind to tramp about in the Rockies! 

Not sure anything could have prepared Micah for his run-in with a cactus!

Todd helping pick the cactus out of Micah’s clothes!

We even found a log cabin of sorts!  (In the book, Matt and his dad built a log cabin).  Granted it was an outhouse, but log-built nonetheless! 

We scrambled up rocks, looked for wildlife,

marveled at the spring beauty,

and threw sticks in the swift and swollen creek.

Toward the end of our walk, Joel came flying down from the knoll he had been exploring.  “It’s a snake!” He declared at full volume.  Sure enough!  A four foot bull snake in all its yellow-green splendor!


The other part of our walk was “the letter picture.”  According to the tradition we started last year, each time we hike we find something that represents the experience, form it into a letter and take a picture.  Last year we chose letters to eventually make the word “Hoffman,” starting with H made from sticks at Rocky Mountain National Park and ending with N made in the forest flowers at Yellowstone National Park.  This year we’ve decided to spell the word “Adventures.”  This being our first time out, we made an A of rocks in a bed of cactus.

The idea is to print the pictures and frame them as a word – a visual reminder of where are adventures have taken us.

I would like to think this idea of visual reminders is original to us.  Alas it is not.  God beat us to the notion!  When he wanted to remind post-flood Noah of his promise, he painted the rainbow.  When he wanted people to remember his faithfulness, he had them build an altar.  When he wanted us to remember Christ’s sacrifice, he went all out and established a multisensory reminder involving not only the eyes, but the hands and mouth.  “Take and eat.  Do this in remembrance of me.”

I need reminders.  I love thinking back nostalgically of past events, the sweet moments.  These help me to remember God’s goodness.  And I need to remember the less-than-sweet moments; the painful times, the hard lessons.  It was those times that taught me most about God’s faithfulness.  I need to remember that.

I need reminders because not only do they help me see where I’ve been, they shape where I’m headed.  When I remember the goodness and faithfulness of God in the past I more likely to look with hope at the challenge before me.  Reminders are the stories that put us in the frame of mind to tackle the next adventure.

I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. 
I will meditate on all your works
and consider all your mighty deeds. 
 –Psalm 77:11-12

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


This is a statue in the park down the street from my house.

Lincoln Park, Greeley, CO

I love the look of determination and hope on their faces.  They are on an adventure.  Pioneers may not have thought of it in those terms, but striking out for a new land to carve out a new way of life is undoubtedly an adventure. 

I should know.  That is exactly what my family and I did a year and a half ago.  We left what we had known to be home for nearly 20 years and replanted ourselves in an entirely new place.  We said goodbye to the beautiful Catskills of the Hudson Valley in New York and said hello to the stunning Rockies of the Front Range of Colorado. 

Granted we weren’t exactly on par with the pioneers.  Our covered wagon was a Penske truck (we dubbed it Big Yellow Bird) and we didn’t have to get out and push in order to ford any rivers – not even once! 

Big Yellow Bird, my kids, their friends, and everything we own!

We encountered neither hostile peoples nor animals.  So it is nearly untruthful and certainly unfair to draw comparison between our voyage west and that of those brave pioneers who encountered and overcame such remarkable challenges. 

Yet ours was an adventure nonetheless.  At least that’s how I chose to see it.  I think a sense of adventure is a perspective I choose to take.  Adopting a sense of adventure allows me to see what is unknown and scary with eyes of determination and hope.  There is a certain excitement when you are “on an adventure” and certain satisfaction at its conclusion. 

And I see adventure everywhere!  My faith is an adventure, marriage is an adventure, motherhood is an adventure, even laundry is an adventure!  When I got the itch to start a blog, I knew this is what it would be about.  I knew I wanted to explore and share the adventure of everyday life. 

 There is beauty and adventure in the commonplace
for those with eyes to see beyond.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

So here I am, starting another adventure – a put-your-thoughts-out-there-and-see-what-happens adventure.  And, hey! if I can encourage just one person to see the adventures unfolding around them it will be worth the effort.
 Adventure (n) an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks;
an exciting or remarkable experience

What adventure are you embracing today?