Happy New Year - Ch.29 ~ 1.1.2020
"What better way to start 2020 than to be in the company of my sisters Ch8sing Waterfalls ! Today was amazing , so many connections made and the healing that took place was incredible . Thank you Deborah McGlawn for sharing this journey with us and creating a sacred space for us." Lynn Jones
The December, 2017 record of thirty seven ch8sers was snatched on January 1, 2020. The first day of the new decade found thirty nine adventurers embracing the ch8se. Our one year old grandson joined us, and though carried by daddy, helped us break our record of the highest number of ch8sers on one adventure. #2020Vision Baby!!!!
As with all ch8ses this one starts way before the ch8se day, with research, advertising, planning, praying and preparing. This location was one previously visited in July of 2019; though the same location, never the same experience. We followed the previous plan; however, this time in a fifteen passenger van, with a huge caravan of at least six carloads, unlike the five or six of us in July. We welcomed twelve new ch8sers, breaking yet another ch8se record.
Chapter 30 of ch8sing waterfalls took us to the Little River Canyon National Forest, in Fort Payne, AL. The trail proved to be mild to moderate hike for some. It was under three miles, very scenic, extremely calming and relaxing.
The start to the ch8se found us presenting the talk before the walk, introductions, ch8se choices, and the meaning behind what it is to #Embr8ceTheCh8se. With the prelude to the ch8se complete, we set out on the adventure.
Of the 49 ch8sers, our rock it Rhonda and I were the only two who had been to this location. Now let me just tell you, even though we had been here before, that was back in July of 2019, seven chapters ago, and a lot of life in between. I have a hard enough time remembering the last chapter, let alone trying to remember chapter twenty-three. All that to say, by the time we confidently reach the park, in all of its familiarity, I lead us down a trail that I am so sure is not right, but we take it anyway. By now we are in the woods, we are exploring, and my squad is with me. I have called on Rhonda to join me up front, in hopes that she would remember, and just like me, we don't see anything that looks familiar. But Dora 1 and Dora 2, keep it moving and we confidently lead our squad of 47 safely through the woods.
Our vivacious Vernetta is up front, hears our conundrum, questions our uncertainty, and encourages us to continue on. What more was there to do? We were committed now, and the ch8se would go on. We are about a quarter of a mile in, and confidence arises,. Ya'll confidence came because we are now right back where we started. Hysterically, we have hiked the woods behind the welcome center. I laughed and called that the warm-up. Though, not terribly bad in the beginning, that last hill winded some of us. But just like true adventurers, we hydrated, laughed, and looked towards continuing the journey.
Now that we had returned to our starting point, we knew exactly where we should have turned the first time, well at least we knew now where to go. I believe that truly was a warm-up and part of the plan. I am so thankful for the positive vibes and super dope ch8sers who were with us all the way. We are on our way through the very familiar trail with the sounds of roaring water near. Rhonda takes the lead, and I become the scoop, ensuring that all of the ch8sers are doing well and all are accounted for. Sure enough, all are.
"What an beautiful first day of 2020. Chapter 29 of Ch8sing Waterfalls proved to be just as epic as all of the others. Such peace, healing, restoration, and fellowship filled this special day. I will always be thankful that God has allowed me to part of so many powerful women. Speaking blessings over the visionary, Deborah McGlawn and praying for what this year will bring. " Deborah Rudolph
The canyon is in our site, and we approach it on a paved trail overlooking it all. Selfies ensue, groupies, and an all out photo shoot commences at this space. The days of rain intensified the beauty of this magnificent place. Unlike the ch8se here, in July where we were able to walk onto the canyon floor, the water was much higher, and a lot stronger. We were; however, able to sit and enjoy the beauty, get in close, and safely cleanse our stones.
We hydrated, refueled, and grabbed what was ours in those moments. Healing was ours, and we received. Peace, we received. Answers revealed, strength reborn, confidence enhanced, and boldness unleashed, all in those moments. We grabbed what was ours. There was newness being fashioned for some, and a refreshing for others. Pride uncovered, and clarity displayed. For some confirmations were granted and for others wisdom imparted. Joy leaped on a lot of us, while depression was washed off of others. The roar of the water was so powerful that it drowned the noise in our heads, while depositing calm in our hearts.
THIS, this right here is what it is to embr8ce the ch8se. This, all of this and the sisterhood is what it is to embr8ce the ch8se and these words are truly insufficient to express the sentiments, and the feels from that day. Insufficient.
What a way to Start a new year and decade! I was Blessed by the experience. I didn’t know why LaTrina Clark invited me however I’m glad that I obeyed God and said yes." Tanya Martino
We are well into the morning now and though not wanting to leave, we grab our gear, and hike to our vehicles and journey to the second stop on this first ch8se of 2020. Remember we have the fifteen passenger van, and at least six vehicles packed with ch8sers. We possé up and caravan to the next location. From Little River Canyon Falls in Fort Payne, AL, to DeSoto Falls eight miles away, in DeSoto State Park, AL we go. DeSoto Falls is literally a park and walk, so we left all of our gear in the vehicles and walked over to one of the most spectacular spots ever.
When you first reach the park, you are greeted by an amazing dam, which creates an awesome waterfall; however, this is not the main attraction. The ladies thought it was, and immediately began the photo shoots and selfie explosions. They went live and made video recordings, and then Rhonda and I encouraged them to walk a little further, around the corner to the beauty we came to see. DeSoto falls is absolutely amazing. It dumps off of the dam, which is all a part of the little river canyon we had just visited, and it is simply spectacular.
We have embr8ced the ch8se. It is now lunch time. Keep in mind it is the first day of the new year, and we are in the woods of Alabama, whose open to feed us? Well, this ch8se champion had done her homework, and contacted the owner of the Greenleaf Cafe, where we dined in July to see if they would be open. Originally, the had not planned to be open, but according to him, "for us" he would open. He said he is never opened on January 1st, but since we were coming, and we asked, he decided to open his doors. I believe there had to be 25 or 30 of us in their biggest room, which truly wasn't big enough, but we made it work.
Here is where the reflections began, it is where the second phase of embr8cing the ch8se unfolds, where many of us share our take aways from the adventure. Here is where what we grabbed while embr8cing is shared in the safe space, amongst sisters centered on self-care. This is when we let loose and loose our cool.
" CarryOver Beauty...This time Ch8se #29 took us to Fort Payne, Alabama to breathtaking Waterfalls at Little River Canyon and DeSoto Falls. GirlTrek on the First Day 2020: Always Beautiful, Always Beneficial, Always Enough on which to Build Great Relationships & Experiences " Tee Flemons
We share a meal and we share our embr8ce. Remember, each of us have our own stuff, and we each chose to embr8ce the ch8se for our own personal reasons, grabbing what was for us along the way.
Our anointed, Reverend, Deborah Rudolph set the tone with a tear jerking prayer filled with power, purpose and praise. I am so thankful for this one sister, ya'll just don't know. The sister caring for her aging mother, needing the ch8se shared her embr8ce. The job stressed, cancer survivor shared her embr8ce, as did the sister struggling to find time for self-care. The new ch8ser, in awe of the ch8se sisterhood, the love, and the uncommon ch8se camaraderie shared her embr8ce. Appreciation for the ch8se, the creation of intentional self-care and healing was expressed. The ch8se was embr8ced. The sister who confessed to finding her tribe, shared her embr8ce. The sister grateful for the unique, drama free experience shared her embr8ce. The sister seeking new adventures and welcoming new relationships, shared her embr8ce. Uniquely we all grabbed what was for us, and embr8ced the ch8se. My embr8ce yielded way to share the story behind the birth of ch8sing waterfalls. Needless to say, we laughed, cried, celebrated victories, and embr8ced new relationships, and a new year.
This new year of embr8cing the ch8se began by breaking records, healing hearts, uplifting spirits, restoring hope, claiming strength, and yielding to universal intentions, can you imagine what the next chapters will unfold?
" 1st Day Hike 2020! Cha8ing Waterfalls, was amazing as always. The camaraderie and fellowship with these beautiful women trekking is just awesome. If you never have joined Cha8ing Waterfalls then you need to. I feel renewed and refreshed ready for 2020! I'm truly blessed to be able to put one foot in front of the other.....moving forward! Not looking back! Live Life!!! Countdown to retirement has begun!!!" Kimberly Sunshine
The next opportunity to embr8ce the ch8se is February 8, 2020. We hope you are inspired to join us.
Until we Embr8ce The Ch8se Again
Your Ch8se Champion
Dynamic Deb aka Deborah McGlawn