Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Letting Nature Renew You

by Jill Kemerer

Last week I had a craving to sit and stare at one of the Great Lakes. Ideally, I'd sit on Lake Michigan all day--or for an entire week!--but Lake Erie is within an hour from us. My husband agreed to take a Sunday afternoon drive to check out a nature preserve along Lake Erie. I packed a cooler and a few camping chairs, and we were on our way.

About 90 seconds into the trip, I said, "Let me just check the hours of the park." It's a good thing I did, because it was already 3:00pm and the park was closing at 4:00pm! Our GPS clearly showed a fifty minute drive.

On to Plan B...

We're blessed with many gorgeous parks in our area, and many of them have pretty views of the Maumee River or small, inland lakes. We decided to stay local and went to a heavily wooded Metropark. Once there, we strolled to the pretty lake where families fished and picnicked.

I took this picture last year, but this is the little lake we visited.

It's been an extremely busy month for me, so I was happy to just sit on a bench and let the shimmers on the water whisper all my stress away. After lazing about, we decided to walk along a trail we hadn't tried in the past. I'm usually up for a power walk, but neither my husband nor I had much energy, so we took it slow.

The two-mile path cut through diverse environments. One minute we were in a patch of towering pines, the next we were in a meadow with bluebirds and butterflies. We even saw three deer on our walk. Beautiful!

I took this picture a few years ago, and I still love the message!

I still want to explore the nature preserve we originally intended on visiting, but the local park revived our energy, renewing us for another hectic week. What a blessing!

Do you have pretty parks nearby where you can explore? What about nature renews you?

Have a wonderful day!

Jill Kemerer writes Christian romance novels with love, humor and faith for Harlequin Love Inspired. Jill loves coffee, M&Ms, fluffy animals, magazines and her hilarious family. Visit her website, jillkemerer.com, and connect with Jill on Facebook, Twitter and sign up for her Newsletter.

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Finding Her Way Home 
Cozy Lake Endwell, Michigan, seems the perfect place for Jade Emerson's new T-shirt shop—and perhaps a fresh start. After a lifetime of letdowns, she is finally ready to face the future on her own. So when local wilderness guide Bryan Sheffield offers to help Jade overcome a past trauma, she warns him they will remain strictly business. But soon, with the help of Bryan's big, complicated family and a boisterous St. Bernard named Teeny, Jade's frozen heart begins to thaw. Now Jade wonders if she can return the favor, bringing a little happiness to a man who has long kept his own sorrow under wraps…


  1. Jill, I love the mountains. There's just something about them that makes me feel closer to God. Living in Texas, it's a long drive to see them but it is well worth it. I feel renewed every time I'm there.

  2. Jill, I love the lakes too! Watching the waves tug at the shoreline and breathing in that fresh smell that is unique to the water always lifts my spirits and fills the well. I love the surprises that can come on my daily walks. Moments of beauty, a doe with her fawns, a bunny scooting across my path. God's world is amazing!

    Mary, I love the mountains too, but it's a long, long distance to see them. Our vacations there are some of my most treasured memories.

  3. Mary, if I lived within driving distance to mountains, I would go as often as possible! They're so beautiful!

    Christine, I just want to print out your entire comment, because YES! That's it for me!!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I love our local Metroparks, Jill. The park that has a soft spot for me is Oak Openings. I've walked every trail there many times as a child and fished in Mallard Lake when I was little. There's something so peaceful about taking up a bench by the lake or walking out to the sand dunes. If I had to pick a second favorite it'd be Farnesworth right there by the Maumee. :)

  5. I live on a lake. Seeing the water nourishes my spirit. Love the honk of the geese as they fly over and the ducks that come close eager to be fed whenever I walk to the docks. Two deer were in our front yard this morning as I headed to church. They looked up as I passed by. Evidently, I interrupted their peace and quiet...and the breakfast they were enjoying from the trees and shrubs in my yard. :)

  6. I think I know which preserve you were going to - and it's gorgeous!! You should definitely check it out some weekend. One of my favorites is just down the street from us - Sheldon's Folly (some people call it other things, but RadioMan's grandfather call it SF and so that's what we call it). There are meadows and a pond, and it takes you to two of the prettiest little cove beaches - there is always something new to see!

  7. We have a big park with walking trails very close to our house. For the past few months I've been taking my new puppy over there everyday. I love going at noon when the park is quiet with few people. As we walk I plot, talking aloud to myself. I'm sure when people see us they think I'm talking to the dog.

  8. Sandra: I love Oak Openings! So many beautiful trails. Even the drive in is gorgeous!!

    Debby: Your home sounds lovely and peaceful! To wake up and see water--the best! And how sweet that you have deer in your yard. Pretty little things. :)

    Kristi: It's not far from your place! I definitely plan on going. Hopefully in October. We used to live just down the road from Sheldon's Marsh! We went there often. It is a gorgeous park!

    Terri: Aww! Puppy! I'm sure the little guy is adorable. I talk to myself, too, when I walk, and I hope no one thinks I'm crazy! Haha!!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  9. I'm very fortunate. Our house backs up to a park, and we have a panoramic view of the mountains.

  10. I love loving near the ocean. It's very calming and peaceful!


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