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Oh Hey! I'm Alice, I'm 22 and I'm from Belfast. Welcome to my corner of the internet!

13 Jul 2020

Some Thoughts From The Mountains

I took a trip to the mountains with my friends over the weekend. We climbed Slieve Donard in the Mourne Mountains which is the tallest mountain in Northern Ireland but in the grand scheme of things, it's not very tall! Being in nature and being in the mountains is always said as being a great place It took us almost 7 hours to get up and down to think so that being said I did a lot of thinking up in the mountains.

Lighten The Load / Share the Load

I've climbed Slieve Donard before, the last time I did it was with a group of kids so I knew it wasn't the most difficult mountain to climb but I always said that if I was to do it again I wouldn't bring my camera with me because it's too heavy to lug about, yet what did I bring with me - yep you guessed it, my camera. I mean, how else would I have taken these shots and I also had some brand work to shoot so I figured it wouldn't hurt. Yet again I was filled with regret. Luckily though one of my friends had a proper hiking bag and he offered to carry it for me for the ascent until I needed it. The difference that it made was astounding. I could actually move freely and keep up with the front of the group rather than trailing at the back. By getting rid of some of the excess weight I was carrying and sharing the load it allowed me to move more freely. Maybe by sharing some of the things that are weighing you down emotionally or spiritually will help you to live more freely.


Perseverance

Slieve Donard is a tricky little mountain because it has not one, not two, but three false summits. Every time you think you're close to hitting the summit you're met with more and more peaks to climb. When we started the climb it was clear and sunny but the clouds soon rolled in and we couldn't even see the top. we were climbing higher and higher but we couldn't see what was ahead of us. Sometimes it can feel like we're going through life and we might be at a low point and the top is obscured by cloud, there's no way we'll ever reach the peak because we can't even see it but even though it's hidden, it's still there. Press on and persevere and when you reach the summit, at risk of sounding like Miley Cyrus, it'll be worth the climb!

The Come Down

Sometimes the biggest highs in our life can be followed by some serious lows because nothing can quite live up to how it felt when you were at your peak. And that's exactly like coming down a mountain. I HATE coming down mountains I hate going downhill anyway, I don't even like going down steps but when it's unsteady under your feet, your legs ache from the climb and the descent is steep it's REALLY not fun. Unlike going up there is no sense of achievement with getting back down other than the fact that you really want to get home, take a shower and go straight to bed. There's no driving force of success, you've already completed the climb so the descent just seems unnecessary. Why can't we just stay at the top? Life has it's inevitable comedowns but we just have to persevere through those too. I was always trailing at the back for the descent, so much so that I don't think I even got a rest because, by the time I caught up with the group, it was time to move on again but sometimes people would wait, they would see you were struggling and be there to offer support, offer you a helping hand to get over those pesky boulders. Don't be afraid to reach out if you're struggling, you're friends actually do want to help you and the same goes if you see someone else struggling, even being a comforting voice for them could really help!


Hills and Valleys

A few songs were going through my head while I was climbing/descending. I believe that God can speak in many ways including nature and including song.


So I will praise You on the mountain, And I will praise You when the mountain's in my way. You're the summit where my feet are, So I will praise You in the valleys all the same, No less God within the shadows, No less faithful when the night leads me astray. You're the heaven where my heart is, In the highlands and the heartache all the same.

Highlands by Hillsong (also fittingly titled Song of Ascent) is a song about facing the mountains when you're in the valley and how the God of the highland, our best moments, is also the God of the lowlands, our lowest moments and by clinging to Him in the low points we'll be so much more aware of what we were brought out of and Who brought us out when we finally reach the tip of the mountain.


Where is your favourite place to explore? Are you more a mountains person or a city person, or a beach person, or a forest person? Let me know!

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