#40Yearsin40ishDays 1996 A wonderfully fun and full year for our family! Our kids will appreciate this picture the most. We call it the “spaghetti incident”. Who doesn’t love it when Dad makes a mess?!
The New Heights worship team practiced at our house every week for four years.
This was the year New Heights built a church! In June we moved out of the school and into a brand new building. It was the culmination of vision, prayer, generosity and the hard work of many. And God continued to do amazing things.
We participated in our first Experiencing God study. This study absolutely changed my spiritual life.
Our family took a vacation to Yellowstone this year. This vacation was unlike any other. We didn’t visit relatives. We weren’t with anyone else besides just us. What an experience! Beyond the indescribable, jaw dropping beauty of nature, our family experienced being unplugged together. No phones, no Game Boys, no Walkmans. We had pillow fights, read books, sat on the porch in contented silence, ate ice cream cones and had actual meal conversations. And one evening Scott and I shared some of the milestones in our family we had never shared with our children … ways God had provided for our family, answers to prayer. Some of our fondest memories.
You will enjoy this poem Adam wrote, inspired by the peace and beauty of this time in Yellowstone. Settle in and take your time in reading this. Your soul will come to rest if you do.
The Land of the Yellow Stone
A beautiful sunset marks the greatest time of the day.
The winds die down; the birds nestle in their trees.
The great bison grow tired; the elk hide away.
I’m the only one left standing there, admiring their ways.
In the distance I see the snow-capped mountains;
The pines dress them green.
Their immovable posture
Looms over everything.
A slight breeze picks up;
The wonderful scents enchant my stay.
A baby fawn cries for his mother . . .
She comes right away.
The canyons and the waterfalls
Take my awe every time.
I feel peace and resolve
From the pressures that claim my all.
But right in front of my eyes
I see the most beautiful water I’ve ever seen!
A lake so vast . . .
It goes miles from me.
Its perfect blue waters
Sit still and undisturbed;
I can see my own reflection in it —
Down to my very soul.
I stand in wonder of this beautiful land
Which God has grown.
This soul-capturing land . . .
The Land of the Yellow Stone.
Adam D. Troutman
Camp Sanders 60th Anniversary Celebration:
Abbey and I drove to northern Idaho to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Camp Sanders. Why, you ask? Camp Sanders is a Christian camp ground that was owned for decades by our church denomination. Our family was involved from the beginning, building some of the buildings, pastoring the little church on the grounds and being caretakers of the camp. I spent all my summers there from age 10 to 18. This was my happy place. My life at home as a child was dysfunctional and scary. The summers with my grandparents at Camp Sanders were a respite of unconditional love, the beauty of nature, lifelong friendships and the tangible presence of God in my life. So I wasn’t going to miss this celebration milestone. I reconnected with beautiful friends, honored those who will always be a part of who I am, enjoyed the fellowship of the saints and thanked God for it all.
To finish out this wonderful year …