A Walk Through The Winter Woods

Hello Bravehearted Beauties! Before I write whatever bubbles up to the top of my heart today, I want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your response to my last post. Your comments and emails buoyed my heart. Not only did it encourage me to know that my story helped bring hope to yours, but your kind interaction kept me from experiencing what Brené Brown calls a “vulnerability hangover.” It’s hard to expose hidden things, but if sharing my heart brings glory to God, hope to others and healing to me, then I want to be BRAVE and share it. Thanks for encouraging me in my brave!


When you write from your heart, it doesn’t always go as planned. I didn’t expect to write that paragraph about the effects of trauma on our marriage. In fact, trauma wasn’t a word I ever imagined I’d use to describe my story…until the effects of it became too much to manage, hide or forget. I can only imagine how hard it is for some people to read my words…especially my parents. I used to keep quiet so they wouldn’t worry. How does a smiling, high achieving, emotionally even keel girl “end up” like this? Well, her story hasn’t ended yet. {Neither has yours!} And even in the roughest patches, there is so much BEAUTY! I’m convinced beauty will have the last word in all of our stories.


The day after I wrote that raw post, my dad flew in for a visit. What timing! He brought his camera so we could do some beauty hunting together…something we haven’t done here since my first fall in Franklin. February is my least favorite month and last pick for beauty hunting, but if that’s when your dad says he’s able to come, that’s when you do it! And because beauty hunting is always life-giving to me, maybe it’s especially needed during the dreary month of February.


We spent our only morning of sunshine at Radnor Lake…one of the spots we photographed in the fall of 2012. We missed the small window of perfect morning light, so the landscape photography wasn’t awesome, but I love hunting for beauty in unexpected places and imperfect situations. And you can do that in any kind of light or weather. So as we walked a bright and sunny trail through the winter woods, I kept my eyes open for the beauty that’s often overlooked…moss, tree bark, hearts. Details are my favorite!













And this makes me laugh…


…my dad breaking the rules right by the sign.


And just before we left, a shadow portrait.


Next time your head is hanging low, try hunting for something beautiful on the ground. And then lift your eyes just a little higher…and a little higher…until your spirit is lifted by the life-giving beauty that’s waiting to be found right where you are.

Happy Beauty Hunting,

P.S. Did you know a walk in the woods can be a kind of natural prescription for depression? For those who are fascinated by quantifiable evidence and research, here’s a Stanford study.




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  • Kathryn - Beautiful photos…and lovely story. Many have trauma unspokenReplyCancel