Goodbye 2021, Hello 2022!!!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
Written by: Ch8se Champion, Rhonda Stover-Griffin
New Years Day came with good weather, excitement, surprises and an unexpected change.
The first Ch8se of 2022 took us down 75 South to High Falls State Park in Jackson, GA. where 22 beautiful energetic SiStars took on the challenge and chose to go ch8sing waterfalls. Out of the 22 ch8sers this was the first ch8se experience for seven of the ch8sers, and the day proved to be everything they expected and more.
The weather was perfect, the route had been scouted and the ch8se plans were in motion. Little did we know Mother Nature had other plans. Leading up to our Ch8se there were several days of rain which caused some of the trails to be washed out and closed due to safety precautions. You guessed it, the trail that had originally been scouted closed and caused us to change our plans. We were down and out but not defeated, detoured but not denied.
Quick thinking between the Ch8se Champions and help from Renee Robinson we pivoted to the Tranquility Trail, a new route that had not been scouted or planned; nevertheless, we proceed with our ch8se. I must admit that I was a little nervous because a few years ago my husband and I had hiked that trail a couple of times and each time we were a little confused on how to exit the trail and return to the visitor center. This hike proved to be no different.
After taking a deep breath and saying a short prayer the ch8se shenanigans began. We gather in our circle like we do at the beginning of each ch8se. We did the welcome and safety talk, and our beautiful Testimonial Tee (Tonya Fleming) so elegantly discussed our founder Deborah McGlawn's vision on how and why Ch8sing Waterfalls was formed and what the ladies could expect on the ch8se.
Deborah Rudolph closed out the pre-hike overview with a prayer, and we were off to start the ch8se. We walked across the street, over the bridge and into the woods. Once we turned left and enter the trails the magic began. It was picture perfect. The sun was beaming down over the trees, and you could hear and see the water rushing down from the waterfall, it was beautiful. The trail became a little challenging at times but nothing that we could not conquer.
Walking and hearing my siStars laughing, sharing stories and singing songs was priceless. At one point I thought we might have a baptism going on as three of the ladies proceed to cross the creek to take pictures and some of the ladies broke out signing the famous hymn take me to the water. This ch8se was filled with good vibes. For the duration of the hike there was a song sang for just about everything. I loved it. Our awesome Ay Jay taught the newcomers the Ch8sing waterfalls song with a little twist. Oh, but it did not stop at the songs, we had a little wood limbo contest going on with some of the ch8ser. How low can you go? This was one of those things that you had to be there to really appreciate it. Below is a look into some of the shenanigans.
God can use detours to get you to where you need to be. Having to change our trail and taking a wrong turn took us to a part of the trail that we would not have experienced if not for the detour. This detour led us to a beautiful calm lake and an old ruin. The water that fed into this lake was a result of the water that was rushing down and crushing up against rocks and debri from the waterfall. Once it reached the bottom and flowed into the lake it was calm and peaceful. This gave me so much peace and actually brought tears to my eyes. It reminded me that life is not always going to be easy, you are going to have good experiences, bad experience and yes, even some some detours. How you manage or mismanage these experiences and detours will shape your life.
God can and will use it for good if you allow him. So, the next time you are feeling down, out and even defeated ask God, what He wants you to learn from this experience. Things that diverted you onto a detour do not have the final say. They are defining factors in who you are. Your detours are God’s perfect plan to get you exactly where you need to be.
She said yes!!!!!
This was another first on the wonderful adventures of ch8sing waterfalls. The ch8sers gathered around to witness this beautiful expression of love. Our new ch8ser Sherri Wilder, led everyone in serenading the couple by singing “So Amazing” by Luther Vandross
“It’s so amazing to be loved I’d follow you to the moon in the sky above.” Congratulation to this beautiful couple.
THE LEAF CEREMONY!!!
The purpose of the leaf ceremony is to transfer everything that you would like to leave behind from the previous year onto the leaf and let it go. It has become a Ch8sing Waterfalls new year tradition. It is a powerful event we all look forward to.
Once we reached the end of the trail, we located a spot to begin the ceremony. A brief mediation and prayer was given. The ch8sers were then instructed, when ready to release their leaf into the river leaving old things behind. This has been a well-accepted practice that I personally look forward to doing it each year.
The day one ch8se of 2022 was the perfect start to the the new year. Our ch8sers shared their day one experience on social media. Here is what some of them chose to share.
COMMENTS FROM CH8SERS!!!
"I had a wonderful first day of 2022 Ch8sing with wonderful sisters at High Falls." Roz Gallman
"Happy New Year. What a perfect day to go #Ch8singWaterfalls. 70+ degree weather. The clouds were out but that didn't stop our shine! Love was in the Air! We released our troubles attaching negative energy and all the non productive energy to a leaf and let it go in the Waterfalls to float away! What a beautiful symbol to bring in on the first day of 2022." Sunshine Kimberly
"Happy New Year!! We #embr8cedthech8se at High Falls State Park with 22 siStars trekking through the woods in 70° weather. The camaraderie was felt throughout the ch8se, with the many expressions of love, peace, & friendship. After the ch8se, I took my kayak on her maiden voyage at Lake Horton. The waves gently rocked me while I paddled to a small island in the middle of the lake and back. The entire day was phenomenal." Kay Cee
"I had the best time today celebrating the New Year '2022' with Ch8sing Waterfalls. For me, the sisterhood combined with nature makes for a beautiful God experience. Always!
We Released Old Troubles
We Embraced 7 New Sisters
We Embraced Love
We Embraced the Ch8se