Hiking Toward Home » Hiking In Grace & Capturing My View

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I live near Longwood Gardens and every January to March they have an Orchid Extravaganza. The conservatory is filled to the brim with orchids of all colors shapes and sizes. The variety is amazing.

I recently took a stroll through the conservatory. Stroll with me and enjoy the beauty of God’s handiwork.


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Hiking Toward Home has been a bit quiet for almost four months and it is time to get back to posting. The break from blogging was much needed and I spent time considering what direction I want to take this blog as I move forward into a new year.

I think it is about time for another installment of Wednesday Wanderings.

However, I don’t have any photos of Oregon ready to post, so today we will “wander” from my house and look at some wildlife.

I live in a rural country area and I love all the wildlife that visit our yard.

Yesterday we had this little guy wandering around:






He’s so cute and fluffy!!

We have been feeding the birds in our yard and on our porch just outside the dining room window which makes for great opportunity to get great shots!

We have LOTS of cardinals. I really enjoy looking out the window while I am working in the kitchen and seeing the bright dots of color in the trees just outside. Yesterday I counted at least 12 cardinals, males and females, in one tree.












And that last close-up reminds me that our deck needs a good scrubbing down.

Some of the birds are braver than others. Some will come right up on the drums of food at the window others stay on the decking farther from the window.

And some are too excited to get food and keep running into the window.






Thanks for following along on this Wednesday Wandering!

If you use Instagram, find my gallery over there and follow along and be sure to “Like” Hiking Toward Home on Facebook if you hang out over there.






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  • momJanuary 28, 2015 - 2:53 PM

    Dear Sharon,

    These photos are AWESOME! Need to find an outlet/way for you to display them.


  • Dottie SimonidesJanuary 28, 2015 - 4:40 PM

    Sharon, These pictures are exquisite: wonderful subjects and wonderful color! The fox is positively stunning; the cardinals are radiant.
    Thanks for reminding me to put some ground seed out for my birds.
    Looking forward to more beautiful shots from you. DottieReplyCancel

    • Sharon @ Hiking Toward HomeFebruary 1, 2015 - 1:14 PM

      I started with just the feeder in the yard then decided to lure them closer. :-)
      Then I put seed on the porch and after that I put it on top of the barrels I keep the seed in just outside the window. Now I get great close ups as long as I can keep the window clean.ReplyCancel

  • BethanyJanuary 28, 2015 - 10:58 PM

    Thank you! Your photos made me smile.ReplyCancel

Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it.

Redeemed, by the Blood of the Lamb.

Redeemed, through his infinite mercy,

His child, and forever, I am.



(She’s gonna kill me for posting this REALLY OLD PHOTO.)

Twenty-three years ago, before kids (and for Bryant and I – before marriage), God knit our hearts with a couple who loved the Lord and whom we served along side in our first church.

Steve and Lisa and my husband and I were the closest of friends, living life together.

Often there were comments made about Steve and my husband, Bryant, of being like David and Jonathan. God had knit their hearts together so tightly.

Lisa and I? Well, we were the sister neither of us had growing up.

Knit together tight?


There was a time when these close friendships were shattered.

We let a distance grow and sadly, eventually, just let it go.

That Disney song just started in your head. Right?

Sometimes we shouldn’t just LET IT GO. (Sorry Elsa.)

I wish I never had.


From my tiny little viewpoint, I saw nothing but disaster and so I just left it all at the foot of the cross.

Well, that was several years ago.

About a month or so ago, I posted a photo on Instagram that automatically was tweeted too.

I suddenly received a notice from twitter that it had been ‘favorited’.

I was stunned.

I rarely have anyone respond to my tweeted stuff.

As it turned out, it was favorited by one of these friends I had thought we had lost.

Silly me.

Anyone who has ever listened to Michael W. Smith knows that friends are friends forever if the Lord’s the Lord of them.

I digress.

One thing led to another and by that afternoon my husband and I  and our dear friends Steve and Lisa, were FaceTime-ing.

Four hours of reconnecting and healing conversation.

Four hours, people.

There was laughter and tears and more laughter…

….. and more tears induced by the laughter.

God is so good.

He redeems and restores.

Us AND our relationships.

Praise God.

Thank you Jesus.

Why did I start with the hymn Redeemed?

Because I love proclaiming the wonderful healing that God has brought to this friendship.

For days, I told everyone I knew about how God brought it all together and healed us.

So here I am proclaiming it once again. For all to read.

Folks, please pray for the Messersmith Family as they minister in London, England.

Messersmith Portrait


Aren’t they just THE CUTEST FAMILY? (and yes, this photo is a bit old too… at least two years…?)


Is there anything that has shattered in your life?

God can fix it.

Lay it at foot of the cross.

God’s grace can reach into the darkest of places.

A few years ago Selah recorded a song called Unredeemed.

It is one of my favorite songs.

“Life breaks and falls apart.
But we know these are

Places where grace is soon to be so amazing.

It may be unfulfilled, it may be unrestored.
But when anything that’s shattered;
Is laid before the Lord,
Just watch and see, it will not be unredeemed”

Enjoy Unredeemed. If you are reading in your inbox you may need to click on the blue title at the top of this post and come over and enjoy the video. Before you watch the video take a moment to pause the website music at the top right corner of the page.

If there is something shattered that you want to share and ask for prayer, please leave a comment below.


Is there something God has redeemed and you want to proclaim it? Go right ahead and share in the comments below.

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  • LisaNovember 6, 2014 - 9:07 AM

    Well said, sis!ReplyCancel

  • ElisabethDecember 11, 2014 - 12:30 AM

    This story makes me feel so warm and fuzzy and happy inside. And the photo is adorable. I remember those dresses, so I guess I’m getting old too.

    My mom and I didn’t talk for awhile. Even when we started talking again it was off and on and things were broken. But they’re better now. Better than they arguably have been since I was a very little girl. She came and stayed with us for five days when our daughter was born last month, and it was a huge blessing. It’s …very nice, having your family back. Be they born family or chosen family.ReplyCancel

    • Sharon @ Hiking Toward HomeDecember 15, 2014 - 4:05 PM

      So glad things went well with your mom’s visit. Your daughter is gorgeous. Thanks for sending along a photo. Sorry it took so long for me to reply here. Love you E.ReplyCancel

Thank you for joining me for another Wednesday Wandering.

Shall we continue our wandering down the coast of Oregon?

We will stop first at Munson falls. We were unable to get very close to this falls because bad weather had taken down some very old large trees and the pathway was blocked and closed off to visitors.

The day we visited Munson falls, rain kept trying to hinder us and the fog was thick out in the open spaces. However, a lot of wetness provided beautiful water drops to photograph.




Along the pathway was a plant with leaves bigger than a dinner plate. They had to be over twelve inches in diameter. The underneath of these leaves were covered with very sharp and long thorns. It definitely was designed by God to not allow forest dwellers to eat them.



I love water droplets on plants. They hang there so full and at any moment will drip off and disappear. The way they magnify what is underneath is fascinating.










The sitka spruces on the coast grow so straight and tall along the pathways. We didn’t get to follow this pathway very far for the rain drove us, with our cameras, back to the dryness of the car. Someday, I would love to go back and wander down this switchback pathway and see where it leads.




Thank you for joining me for a wander down the Oregon coast.

I am enjoying revisiting these photos and memories as I put these posts together.

I am forever in awe of the majesty and beauty of God’s creation. From the most minute detail to the wide and vast landscapes, the glory of the Creator is on display for all to see.

If you are enjoying these Wednesday Wandering posts drop me a note below. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. If you are reading this by email, just click the blue title heading at the top of the post. It is a direct link and it will bring you over to the website so you can scroll down and leave your thoughts in the comment box below the post.


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Thank you for joining me for another Wednesday Wanderings. Today we will wander out to Cape Falcon on the Oregon Coast. Though the trip these photos were taken on were several years ago, I am enjoying reminiscing while I work on preparing them for each post. This day was a day where I definitely stretched myself out of my comfort zone. The pathway down to the “overlook”…   pathtoCF  The tightly rolled ferns fascinated me, that something so big could come from such a tight little wad.   flyonfern  Our view looking northward is interesting, the patterns in the rocks that form the cliffside are a bit of God’s glory revealed. The majesty and power that formed them is awesome. (and I don’t mean that in valley girl terminology.)   northCF  I saw these birds perched out on the end of the cliff and wanted to get a closer shot.   birdsCF  It is flat easy walk out there right?   closeupBirdsCF  I got a good shot. Then I looked down to my left. Bad move.   alookdownCG  Straight down was nothing but ocean water swirling.  One small misstep or stumble … I’m dead. This is where I was standing:   CFarrow  I have never been more willing to drop to my knees and pray… … and very carefully crawl back to a safer spot. My husband took this shot of me testing my limits, before I went as far as I did:   limitsCF  Thankfully, he did not get a shot of me crawling back. Have you done anything lately to test your limits or that scared you half to death or just made you realize what a purely stupid and dangerous thing it was that you just did? Share it with us in the comments!

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  • momOctober 17, 2014 - 10:44 AM

    Glad I didn’t know about the bird photo – even though it is a terrific shot!

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