Friday, October 16, 2009

Adventure for Two, Please

I'm going through a study of the book Captivating, by John and Stasi Eldredge with a few of my girlfriends. I'm not going to go much into the book, right now (that'll wait for its own post), but its subtitle is "Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul." The authors argue that one of the three core desires of every woman is to be part of an adventure. Well, I couldn't necessarily relate to this particular aspect. I'm not, in general, a very adventurous girl. Anybody who knows me, knows that.

I decided to take matters into my own hands and create an adventure-of-sorts for my husband and me to embark on. Besides, I know that Brad loves to do outdoorsy things, and would love for me to be more interested. And I love to spend time alone with Brad. This was a win-win-win situation.

So I texted Brad and asked if he would like to go hiking at Burgess Falls on Saturday. He quickly replied with a simple "sure." Over the next few days, we got more and more excited about our upcoming adventure. Neither of us have ever been to Burgess Falls, so it would be new for both of us. An adventure experienced together. Furthermore, we were going alone. We've been hiking plenty of times, but always with other people. It ends up being Brad and the boys leading the way for the girls and me who are following behind. We never actually have the same experience. I could not wait to be alone with my husband in the middle of God's glory, and observe Brad in the environment in which the Lord created him to thrive.

Saturday morning couldn't come soon enough. (Well, the actual morning came a little too soon. We were exhausted from the Casting Crowns concert the night before, and hit snooze a few dozen more times than we intended. Oh well.)

After layering on clothing and a conversation-filled, hour-long journey to the state park, we were thrilled to find that the river was exceptionally high due to all of Tennessee's recent rain.

We were definitely anxious to see their waterfalls in action. Burgess falls was actually a great choice for the marital hike, because it's a lot of bang for the buck! You get three waterfalls in less than a mile hike. One hundred feet from where we began, we came across the "First Falls." It doesn't take much to impress us, and we were loving it. The sound of the raging water was absolutely beautiful. It was our first glimpse of God's glory.

Brad and I took our time hiking the trail. We looked at various trees and plants, and all the many different types of mushrooms that were popping up everywhere, enjoying each other's company. Only a quarter of a mile further down the trail, we came upon the "Middle Falls."

It was marvelous. The horse-shoe shape reminded me of a mini Niagara Falls, which immediately reminded me of our honeymoon. (Yea!) Brad couldn't resist throwing a stick (or two or three) from the Over Look to see how far down it was, even though signs specifically said not too. Oops.

When we were finished playing and taking pictures of the Middle Falls, we proceeded on the next quarter of a mile to the "Big Falls." With a name like this, we had pretty high expectations. They were most definitely met! Here is our first view from the Big Falls Over Look. So beautiful!!

After a while of catching our breath that was taken away by the glory of it all, we took the trail down towards the bottom. We could actually walk right up next to the top of the falls. I couldn't believe they let you get so close. Brad continued to throw rocks, sticks, and leaves into the river so he could see how quick the current was. We kept trying to watch it fly over the edge, but it was too fast for us.

Then we went down the (scary) stairs, located right beside the waterfall, to the "bottom." Once we hit the ground, we could immediately feel the mist saturate our clothing. It was awesome.

Brad looked at me, then back at the base of the fall, and then back at me, and asked "Well? Are we going down there, or what?" Without much thought, I said, "If you are, I am!" After all, I was looking for an adventure, right? Here it was. There was no trail to the very base, and the rocks we'd have to climb over were slippery and dangerous! But, together we could do it. Bring. It. On.

We finally made it down, but I did need some legitimate help from my husband for the first time all day. We were automatically soaking wet. The wind and the mist was extremely forceful.

(*TMI Alert*) In the midst of all of God's creation, the wind, the water, the rushing sound, Brad kissed me. We held each other, and the whole world stopped moving. It was just us. Us and God, in the middle of His creation, glorifying His majesty. What an incredible moment!

Besides the super romantic setting, the view from the bottom was totally worth the risk it took to get down there.

After basking in the moment and risking the the life of my camera for some incredible shots and even some videos (to come soon), we climbed our way back up to safe ground. Together, hand-in-hand. We did it. Just the two of us. We went on an adventure, and we succeeded. And the uncanny resemblence to our first week of marriage produced some wonderful memories that we'll always remember.

Thanks, John and Stasi Eldredge, for giving me the confidence and desire to tap into that side of my soul, in turn allowing my husband to tap into that side of his soul. It truly is a blessing to genuinely see yourself (and your partner) as God created.

Have you ever truly felt like you're at one with God? Or seen the Lord shine through the one you love? Ever been on an adventure that's totally out of your comfort zone, but lived to tell about it? Well, then tell me about it. I truly hope that you have experienced the love, passion, joy and peace that I was able to capture this weekend. It's such a blessing.


Bryan said...

Sounds like such a great time. I'm so glad you guys could enjoy something like that so much together.

emily said... beautiful! i know you guys had such a great time together--alone! :)

Our Life...Taking it one experience at a time said...

Sounds like you two had an absolutely wonderful time together. Your pictures look so nice that I think my family needs to go there for a visit.

Stacey said...

WOW! So beautiful and amazing! Ever considered writing a book??? The way you tell stories, I think you could (and should)! :)

Erin Howell said...

looks like you guys had a lot of fun!

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