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  • Writer's pictureKelly Hazelton

Experience God's Beauty in Nature

Updated: Feb 22, 2020

God is all around us. He is in the air we breathe, the food we consume and the people we choose to surround ourselves with. He tends to get lost in the hustle hard lifestyle that is thrown in our faces from every which angle. In our instant gratification, everybody look at me, I'm different just like everyone else social media scroll of life, when was the last time you stopped to smell the roses?

I planted a garden when we bought our home in 2012. In one way it was to serve a purpose of taking up space that was really hard to mow, but it has become much more than that for me.

I was officially diagnosed in 2014 with having a major depressive disorder, severe anxiety, PTSD from some childhood physical, mental and sexual abuse. I had become addicted to alcohol and didn't realize it until my children told me. (They were 8 years old at the time. mom of the year I was not)

It was during this time that I started to spend more time in my garden. There was something about putting my hands in the cold earth, feeling the worms and other crawly things between my fingers, smelling the blooms as they opened in the summer air that just took me away from all of those problems, those thoughts that just never seemed to go away were silenced for at least a little while. It is my happy place. In the dirt. The same dirt that God first created man. The same dirt I will return too when my time here is finished.

Living an intentionally slow life in 2020 is not the norm by any means. Going for a stroll without posting it on Facebook, snapping it for the perfect Instagram image, playing with the thousands of filter options so that it looks "just right", tweeting about the wildlife and how free you feel right now is unheard of. What do you mean there is no wifi in the middle of the lake?!

My favorite thing to do when I am feeling down, is to take a walk, leaving the phone at home grabbing my dog and just hitting the trails. Not following any particular path, no time limit, not trying to beat my time to see how fast I can do it. Walking with only one intention. To be closer to our creator. To be so filled with his presence that there is no room for doubt, disappointment, worry or fear. Just me, my furry companion and God.

Psalm 104:24 How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

Feeling the ground under my feet, feeling the sun on my skin, noticing the plants around me, the animals I can hear. Watching the birds in the trees, turtles, ducks, frogs in the ponds. It was all created for our enjoyment to remind us of God's awesome power and love for us.

I live in the best of areas. In my backyard is a field of cattle, across the road is forest complete with flowing stream and open field. If I turn left and walk for 3 minutes I'm on the lake. Another 5 minutes more and I'm at the ocean. You couldn't ask for more variety of nature than this. Sunsets at the ocean are among my favorite things about God's great creation. Every night is a new masterpiece to experience.

I challenge you this week to unplug from your distractions and plug in to God's blessings around you. The big and the small, the cute and the not so cute, the tidy and the messy. Get your hands dirty, put your feet in the water, spend time with those around you in real life, not the virtual one we have created for ourselves.

#God #nature #slowdown #stopandsmelltheroses

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