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An Intentional Breath

Johnston Canyon, Banff, Alberta

A blanket of snow yet to experience a boot print. That is what a New Year can feel like. A place where soiled and trodden pathways are behind you. Where ahead lies the fresh month of January, the first page of an unmarked calendar with sharp edged pages not yet softened by busy fingers turning pages.

Just before the Christmas holidays, I spent a weekend in a winter wonderland of fresh snow. On the four hour drive to Lake Louise, we managed to get ahead of the winter storm so that we safely made it to Deer Lodge where pencil sharp icicles dripped from windows. We stamped our boots to rid of the snow but the heat from the foyer stone fireplace immediately warmed our faces. Christmas trees, wreaths, and poinsettias decorated our walk to our modest room.

I hardly slept, excited for two days away from the city in a winter wonderland.

From snow-shoeing trails covered with spruce tree branches bent from inches of fresh snow, to watching ice-climbers climb a waterfall, to listening to waters behind frozen falls splash into canyon pools, the weekend was full of take-a-breath away moments.

I define take-a-breath away moments as when you come upon an unexpected view that fires all your senses. And in that moment, all feels right in the world.

And that is what I want more of – take-a-breath away moments that sweep me into the present, into an contentment that naturally creates peace, harmony, and grace to my mind and heart. For when this way, no doubt, worries, and insecurities, can invade. When working life in all that God wants for us-peace, contentment in all circumstances, and rest in Him- we fully can live out His purpose and serve others.

Yes, I want to intentionally breathe in more take-a-breath away moments.

And give more of the same.

So, may this New Year, here, bring you into take-a-breath moments of refreshment, rest, and renewal. Intentionally I want to serve you through my love of nature, of creations, of stories and words. Yes, there is a selfish component to wanting to serve this way, but like a baby’s giggle when you cannot help yourself but smile back, may my joy be your refreshment, too.

Word for the Year

Intentional is my Word for 2022. And it begins with intentionally giving take-a-breath moments that refresh like an untrodden path covered in a blanket of newly fallen snow.

Breathe.

Le Chateau, Lake Louise, Alberta
Johnston Canyon, Banff, Alberta
Deer Lodge, Lake Louise

Linking up at Grace & Truth #TellHisStory

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26 Comments

  1. This is such a beautiful and inspiring post, Lynn.I will follow your lead and make a point of breathing in more take-a-breath away. Your photos are stunning! Thank you for this. Happy New Year! xo

  2. Your photos are amazing! What beautiful creations from God! I am thankful to know God is working in every snowflake, every raindrop, and every breath of wind. Thank you for the inspirational message.

  3. Lynn, I loved this post! So well written, but most of all, I felt like I was in each moment with you! Such a beautiful getaway, thank you for sharing it with us! Plus, a wonderful opportunity for practicing your word of the year! Intentional is such a strong word, I can’t wait to see what the Lord has for you this year!

    1. I’m glad you got to experience winter in Alberta through my words, Donna! It’s -35C here right now, so best to experience only through words right now. 🙂 I look forward to seeing what the Lord has for you this year, too!

  4. Lynn, the photos are beautiful, but then … I love a blanket of fresh snow. Here outside of Boston, we are expecting our first “plowable” snow on Friday and I cannot wait 🙂 I look forward to how God will use your word, “Intentional”, in your life during the year ahead. And I appreciate that it will provide “take a breath away” moments for us all!

    1. Thank you, Joanna. I hope the snow fall on Friday is beautiful, and not cause too much shovelling for you! I was in Boston as a really young child (when I lived in Toronto) and maybe will make it there again one day! Yes, I look forward to seeing what God has for all of us this year. I believe we will continue to grow deeper in His love and ways. Blessings to you!

  5. Thank you for taking us along in these beautiful “take-a-breath-away, breathing spaces!” And thank you for inspiring me to be more intentional to watch for those moments too. Blessings in this New Year, dear Lynn!

  6. Oh Lynn, this post lifted my heart so much as I’m sure the trip did yours. I love it. Thank you for sharing these take-a-breath away adventures and photos! Many years ago we went to Lake Louise in the summer. It’s so beautiful. The water is such a clear blue. And there was someone playing the bagpipes as we walked along the shore. It was such a memorable time. 🙂 Such glorious winter views you have here! Thank you! Love and blessings to you!

    1. Lake Louise in the summer is gorgeous! I am glad you had time there when you were in Canada. Watching the bagpipes being played is memorable. I know it brings back memories of being at celebrations such as Canada Day, Highland Days, and of course, Remembrance Day. Love and blessings back to you!

  7. How absolutely gorgeous. We keep saying we need to go spend a couple winter days in Asheville, NC.

    Take-a-breath moments. I will be looking for them. Although I saw one yesterday morning when it was very dark from a storm and then the sun broke through and our entire line of trees erupted in color and light.

    1. Hi Diane! I can imagine how beautiful that light after the storm must have been. Did you have your camera available to capture the moment? If you do get to Asheville, may the days be pretty winter days where the temperature are not too low, and the snow freshly fallen! Happy New Year!

  8. Oh my, I am so excited that you’re back, camera in hand, friend. I relish the pictures you share … each gem always gives me cause for pause, a sigh, a quiet moment, a refreshing. Exactly what I need each day. Thank you, Lynn!

  9. So beautiful! I visited Lake Louise, Banff once and it was indeed full of take-a-breath moments. Thanks for reminding us that we can have a life filled with those moments when we are resting in God.

  10. Hey Lynn, my one word 2022 is Intentional too. I appreciate your insights and encouragement here. I enjoyed hearing about take being intentional in “take-a-breath away moments”. Blessings.
    Visiting from Let’s Have Coffee #7&8

  11. oh … for some reason my comment didn’t show up here the other day. but please know that I am so excited about your future plans that include more of your stellar photos and inspirational words, Lynn.

    bless you!

  12. Adding that “take a breath” phrase to your word really clicks with me, Lynn! What an inspiring year this will be for you. I’m sure you’ll find lots of those moments since you’ll be intentionally watching for them.

  13. Lynn, what beautiful photos! Your word, intentional, was my word a few years ago. I love your idea of being intentional about take-a-breath moments. We all need pauses throughout our day to notice the beauty around us, to give thanks to God for things that we might miss if we don’t take those intentional pauses. Blessings to you!

  14. I LOVE your winter photos! I’ve learned to look for those moments of take-your-breath beauty–even in the desert of Arizona! We went out on Saturday and I found so many gorgeous rock colors, rock formations, and lichens. If I can’t have snow, I can enjoy rocks!

  15. You have put words to many of my feelings. I love this—”A blanket of snow yet to experience a boot print. That is what a New Year can feel like. A place where soiled and trodden pathways are behind you. Where ahead lies the fresh month of January, the first page of an unmarked calendar with sharp edged pages not yet softened by busy fingers turning pages.” Also you picture are gorgeous. Thank you for sharing with Grace & Truth Link-Up. Maree