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Pretty good, it's only been ten days since my last post. Hopefully I can get back to once a week. When I began blogging over 7 years ago, it was just for me, myself, and I, and those handful of family and friends who wanted to follow my adventure. Not much thought went into what I was saying or into the quality. I just wanted a journal. But over time, while I still write for myself, I have realized that life isn't about me. And that my writing, as amateur as it is, has touched people in ways I never thought my simple words and life could do.

My blog has morphed from a journal strictly about my hiking into a collection of thoughts, stories, and events not just about the great outdoors and my awesome pup, Ziggy, but about life in general and what I have learned from the most insignificant of things. In that process, I hope to leave the world a better place even if it is just for one person. My mission in life has always been simple, To improve the lives of those around me, even if it is just with a simple smile. If I can accomplish that by being transparent in my adventures however great or small, then I will continue to write for not just myself but for you also.

Today, I am going to be super transparent, completely see through. I have had enough. I feel like crap! I look like crap! And some days I spread crap! Everything I try hard not to be. IT'S ABOUT TIME I take control of the demons that are controlling my decisions. I just released a new title, AS FRESH AS DAISIES, a few weeks ago.

With the release of this devotional, I truly believe God had me write it so I could hear what I was writing for my own good. In the very short time of its release I have had some wonderful encounters with people who have been touched by it already. It has been quite humbling and eye opening. Sure, I may have written a devotional, but I struggle with every single one of the 40 devotions I wrote about.

After having two very powerful encounters with strangers who needed spiritual help and I was put in their path to help them, I decided I need to put my big girl glasses on and read my book, not as a writer/editor but as a student. How can I be a light for others when my own lamp is darkened by negativity I let overshadow my joyful nature?

I struggled with depression when I came back from my first Appalachian Trail thru-hike that I don't think I really got over, I just learned to deal with it. Then during my second thru-hike, my dad passed away and I finished that hike not getting to mourn his loss in a healthy way. I went from being in the best shape of my life just a few years ago to 40 pounds fluffier, more depression, lack of energy, and no real drive to thrive.

In late December 2021 or January 2022, I can't remember exactly when, my wonderful editor, Elaine Starner, who I have contributed a few devotional pieces to her BOUNDLESS SERIES , suggested I write my own devotional. I was like, No way!!! I can't do that. Less than a year later, look what I have, AS FRESH AS DAISIES.

I don't write this to brag, it's more of an "Ah ha!" moment for myself. God has a purpose for us and we don't always know what that is but if we are open to what is around us it will become apparent. We are his tools. We may be marred, scarred, scratched, or even completely broken but he will take care of that if we let him. Once we let him work on ourselves then we can better let our light shine for others to see. The good thing is though, as long as there is just a flicker of radiance in our candle it can over power the darkest depths and be a glimmer of hope for others.

That's where I feel I am, my batteries are running low in my luminary, but my rays are still reaching those in need. After being in a couple situations where complete strangers were coming to me, I realized I need to recharge my batteries if I want to be a better tool for God.

Being the type-A personality, I need to start things on either a Monday or the first of a month. Tomorrow is September 1st and I am making a change. I am going to do my darnedest to battle this thing called depression. It has controlled me far too long. It won't be easy, but when I recall the joy it has robbed me of and how it has stolen my once good health, I should be able to stay on track.

They say, one doesn't change until one hits rock bottom. I feel this is my rock bottom. I am tired all the time. I can't hike like I want to. I can't fit into my clothes. I get migraines weekly. I am moody - more than normal. And the list goes on. With all these negative attributes how can I be there for those in need. I want to be there for that person that just needs an ear to listen, a warm embrace, a smile.

I so would like to let you know the chats I had with those two people just recently. One I mentioned in my last blog. What was so profound for me was the person I couldn't remember their name, Carrie, read my post and reached out to me. She also sent photos of the gentleman I prayed with. She sent two photos, a before and after photo. I was going to share them with you all, then decided that somethings are not meant to be shared publicly, even though I had permission. And the same goes for the last encounter I had with another gentleman who upon seeing me, told me that God sent me to him. So I will keep the details private and just use the examples to edify that God puts us in places for a reason. It's our job to remain faithful, fit, and functional so we can carry out His will. We don't have to know all the answers, we just have to be willing and the rest will fall into place.

I want to be willing and able. My change starts now or with gung-ho, tomorrow. If you struggle with vises that are stealing your joy, follow along as I periodically let you know how things are going. Or better yet, send me a message and maybe we can work things out together. Pick up a copy of AS FRESH AS DAISIES, maybe you too will find a few amateur words of wisdom hidden somewhere.

In the past I have tried to be accountable here, but I guess I wasn't truly ready. IT'S ABOUT TIME!!! One thing that helped me on my journey from Georgia to Maine was writing in my blog. If I quit so did all my readers. I don't want to quit this time either. I can do this with God's strength and also knowing you are there somewhere cheering me on.

Thank you!!!

Happy Hiking,



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