Brenners Go Camping: Alsea Falls

We began our summer tenting last weekend. Since we only had one night available, we wanted to stick around the area: Alsea Falls is only 45 minutes to an hour drive. Something so sweet about the Willamette Valley is's beautiful, everywhere. We are enjoying the beauty of creation and we love the 50 shades of green and sleeping under the stars is, well, great.

We love the Pacific North West. I am falling back in love with it. Maybe for the first time, I have opened my eyes and am seeing the blessing of living where I live.

Photo taken in Wilsonville, OR

I am learning a lot of things about myself, as of late. It seems as though I am always learning about myself, but these last few weeks I have been especially introspective.

I am learning that I my roots run a lot deeper than I had wished. You know, the roots that are deeply embedded into your being because you grew up with them there? I am learning that I am a lot less awesome than I wish to be. I am a lot less easy going than I want to be and I pick up old habits that I thought I was done with. I have a lot of growing to do, that I want to pursue. While packing the car to leave home, I caught myself easily irritated and frustrated for no good reason. I was flustered and annoyed at nothing in particular and it wasn't cute or adorable or attractive or fun or light hearted. Who wants to be around that? Who wants to hang around with poison itself? It isn't a norm for me to be so easily irritated, so it was throwing me off, making me more ashamed which is not a spiral I enjoy. On our drive to Alsea I kept trying to process why I was on edge - then it hit me: every single family trip or vacation began with top notch anger and angst and lots of loud voices. I always dreaded trips. I always had to gear up and harden my heart, preparing for it. As we drove, I realized it had been engrained within me to be angry and on edge and frustrated during these times. I am learning that I have to work hard to root out old ugly habits that aren't beautiful - but I am also learning that it isn't all that complex: I simply need to yield to and submit to Jesus' good and pleasing and perfect will. Simple but difficult.

After recognizing what was happening, I  told Loren exactly what I had just concluded. I apologized and asked him to forgive me, I asked him to help me grow into more like Jesus. I asked him during those moments to remember this truth about my habit, and help me grow by being patient with me. He gladly accepted and it was so good.

I am learning that it takes a lot of humility to have a good marriage - humility to apologize for being a prickly thorn {whether I have reason or not}, humility to forgive unconditionally and not hold things over each other's head {keep no record of wrongs}. It takes humility to ask someone to be the main helper in your growth as a human being, and then allowing them to do so - it takes humility to be that person and love them by encouraging growth. The humility is more than worth it.

A handsome fire prepared by a hot husband.

5 gallon water bladder, $8

For dinner we had ribs + potatoes + zucchini. It was sort of my last hooray before giving up cheese. You could say I loaded the cheese on a mile high.

Camping, ribs



Let's just say we learned not to buy $6 ribs at WinCo. Too much fat + gristle for us.

We hiked and tried out the timer on our new camera, which has become one of my favorite gifts of my life on this earth.

Alsea Falls

On our hike, I got a real bad cut on the bottom of my foot. I then experienced some real marriage sacrificial love. Loren carried me for about a mile and a half. He carried me on his back, on his shoulders, cradled me like a dying woman {or baby} was amazing and sad and inspiring and the most loving thing. I am heavy. I am dense. I am not light weight. In fact, I could feel my body growing heavier with every step. Talk about real patient and kind love, not self-seeking. He was not rude or manipulative, he did not make me feel bad about it, he simply carried me and loved me. So. Blessed.

We roasted marshmallows and put rolos in them: too tasty to explain; you must try this.

Rolo smooshed between two rolos

Rolo Marshmallows

Did you know that Mountain Clovers are editable and they are so very tasty? Here is what they look like:

Edible plants: mountain clovers Mountain clovers Alsea, OR

Basically, Oregon and the heart of the Willamette Valley is beautiful and it is capturing my heart.

We slept in until the squirrels woke us, which I was unhappy about. They were trying to eat our trash and we are just crazy hooligans who didn't walk the 25 feet to throw it away. We made french press coffee and sipped it by the fire while soaking in Jesus' heart and praying our souls to Him and resting in His presence, in His creation.

Coffee + Bible + Camping Ephesians 3:17

I am learning every day that I am blessed beyond belief with this man. When we were first married, he had never camped in a tent. He did not like the idea of going deep into woods and forests where there is no cell service or humans or gps signal, and any chance of getting eaten. But time and time again, he offers to take me on adventures and explore the unknown and to enjoy this area God has placed us. He initiates hikes and trail running. He is patient with me as I grow up and learn to be a human. He is kind to me when I don't deserve it. He is protective. Oh so protective.

I am honored to have his love, his choice to love me, every day.

Still adventuring, Team Brenner

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