up to the mountains.

i spent saturday and sunday up in the mountains camping with my church.
{while mr. lesley fished and canoed with his dad in the boundary waters in minnesota}

the weekend began as the rain made an appearance, just in time for me to take the most perfect of all naps, lulled to sleep by the rain slapping against the tent. 

when the skies cleared, it was time for an olympic competition for the masses.
there were water balloons, and tarps, and running around mini bases, and balloons, and a lot of laughter. 

as the day faded into night, we chatted around the campfire, and over a potato bar, and while stuffing our faces with banana boats {changed my life} and s'mores with peanut butter, and on a night hike to see the starts without the city lights getting in the way.

on sunday morning, i went on a nature hike and admired the beauty of a creation that God alone sustains.
it's nice to be reminded that He doesn't need any of us. 
creation gives the best sucker punches to our pride.
it's best that way.

our sunday service was a time of reflection.
we shared the things we had learned over the past year, how God had worked in us, and what the church had meant in our lives during it all.
a lot of us, myself included, shared about the difficulty of the past year. 
it was full of challenges and hardships for many of us. 

and as i sat and reflected on all the in-between happenings between last year's camping trip and this past sunday, i was reminded of all the moments life felt very hard, and yet how close I felt to God during those times. 

as much as we want happiness and ease, it's in the times of trial that we learn and grow and see most clearly our need for God.
and in the difficulty we realize that He is there.
a lot of times more accurately than when life is carefree and comfortable and happy.

we took communion together and were reminded that the God who created the mountains so beautifully displayed in the distance, also became emmanuel "God with us." 
that all of creation belongs to Him, including all of us, even, and especially in our brokenness and need.

we remembered him this weekend.
his creation helped to clear our minds of clutter and distraction
and to receive his many gifts with open hands and thankful hearts.

what a privilege it is to be his church.


  1. "that all of creation belongs to Him, including all of us, even, and especially in our brokenness and need."

    have been thinking lately that God loves our brokenness and uses it to refine us into what he's designed us to be. without our brokenness, we wouldn't be effective when ministering to a broken world... i know the places i have the most scars from are the places where i can identify the most and come along side of someone else who has those scars.

    love this and love you.

  2. I love your words, Hannah, and I also love getting to see how He's making you into the photographer you desire to be. So many great shots! Love this. Love you. Over and out.

  3. Wow, girl! That sounds like an absolutely fabulous weekend!

  4. I mean. I am NOT a camper. But your photos make me think I could be. GORGEOUS. I need more.

  5. Beautiful pictures and words, Hannah :)