About Me

Van Walton

Fun Facts about Van Walton

My favorite smell: The way the earth smells after it rains.

My favorite sound: The first notes of a grand symphony.

My favorite way to relax: Sitting anywhere outside - on my front porch, on my deck, or by the lake, early in the morning with my first cup of coffee.

My favorite birthday dessert: a Peach cobbler baked by my husband. He’s my fave chef!

I will not eat: Avocado. They turn my stomach into a volcano that never erupts.

Technology I couldn't live without and why: My laptop - it takes me anywhere I want to go.

One thing that makes me smile: My sons' faces!

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My Resources

My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Pound to Palace

My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
31 Ministries.

Little Halos

Proverbs 31 Ministries


Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Monday, June 9, 2008


Mountain Top and Deep Valley Excursions

Every day is a journey! Friday I took a road trip with one of my Speaker Sisters. She sent out an APB asking her team members if one of us would like to ride along. She didn’t want to drive the four and a half hour trip to the mountains of Virginia alone.

Because my life’s latest event has me on a somewhat rocky road trip of sorts, I thought, “I need to get away and a mountain retreat with godly women may be just what God has in store for me.” After praying for a couple of days and talking it over with my husband I told Tracie to leave some space for me in her car. At 12 noon on Friday our trip began. We pulled out of the 98 degree heat of Charlotte, happily moving toward cooler temps and mountain tops.

Little did we know that our trip that day would take us to places that are NOT on the map!

Before we get started here, you need to know that the GPS tracker told us we would arrive at our destination at 4:30. Well, the more we traveled, the later the arrival time became. As we climbed mountains and curved around hairpin curves our time of arrival crept further and further away. We agreed, somehow we had been taken up into a time warp and like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz we had found ourselves somewhere over the rainbow, problem was – we couldn’t even see a rainbow! Where were we?

Our little fiasco began somewhere outside of Abington, VA when the map I was following, the Map quest directions, and the GPS system each gave conflicting directions!

Life is like that-conflicting messages come at us from all angles. Which do we trunst? The loudest voice? Quiet written instructions? Detailed images?

One thing is for sure, we heard the voice of the Nancy Never Lost (GPS system-so named by Tracie’s sister, Christy) so we listened to the loudest voice. She told us to take highway 413! So we turned left. Map quest didn’t have those instructions and I couldn’t find Highway 413 anywhere on the map of Virginia we had pickup up at the visitor’s station. The little two lane mountain road wound round and round, up and up, then down and down, around some more. We were nowhere! One thing I did know - we were traveling south. The retreat center was north. We must have traveled 20 minutes. I couldn’t take it any more and blurted out over the voice of Nancy Never Lost, “Turn around. This is not the right way to go.” Now poor Tracie had 4 voices spitting instructions at her. Looking at me with her gorgeous sweet eyes and trusting smile she said, “Whatever you think is best.” Oh my goodness. The entire weight of this trip had now landed on my shoulders! It took us another 20 minutes to get back on track, or so we thought!

Our mis-turn didn’t end there. Back on the main highway, our tiny little confused minds turned to mush and we found ourselves in never never land, on the wrong highway traveling north and east! I frantically surveyed the map. Generally I am a good cartographer. I could not find where we were/ Nancy Never Lost kept screaming instructions at us, and I shoved the Map quest instructions under the seat! Where were we?

Finally I realized we had to turn around while Nancy Never Lost continued to repeat, “In blankety blank miles make a U turn.” Then I found us on the map. Between Tracie the driver, our trusty? map, the GPS voice, and my now dashed feelings of I-can-go-anywhere-with-a-map-visions-of-self-confidence, we managed to get on another mountain road which took us to gorgeous mountain n top vistas, dropped us into valleys filled with rows and rows of coal miners’ homes, and alongside the railroad that transported coal from the deep mines underneath us.

Tracie drove and drove, winding, slowing to 15 miles per hour. Her steady sweet character never wavered throughout the entire ordeal.

I on the other hand was beginning to have visions of were two fictitious characters in LOST. Where we would end up we did not know. I just prayed that “The Others” would not somehow crawl through the woods while we were in slow down mode in one of those hairpin curves, line up up on the road, stop us and cart us off to some underground bunker where we might never see the light of day attain!

Like I said earlier, originally the tracker told us we would arrive at 4:30. As we climbed the mountain, inching toward our destination ( or so I thought) the ETA moved to a later time. 5:14, 5:17, 5:25. I stopped looking. And then suddenly we turned a corned our to the mountain pass – CIVILIZATION! We had finally arrived in the town where the camp was located. Glory be!

I checked the camp’s brochure for directions from Clintwood. Oh no! We still had another 10 miles or so of mountain traveling! Checking our phones for tall bars, we realized we could not call the camp to let them know we were on our way. Oh well…

Our moves through life are like the journey Tracie and I took on Friday. Being human we will get lost. During times of uncomfortable circumstances, in the midst of loss we can:

-have hope, leaning on one another, laughing at the circumstances.

-constantly check our Guide, never losing sight of our destination.

-choose godly travel companions, always encouraging one another.

Is God moving you? Has he sent you on a journey? Listen to what He has to say in Isaiah 43:14-21:

I am the LORD, your Holy One … Who makes a way…and a path… Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past.
Behold, I will do something new. Now it will spring forth. Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness…

As I reflect on our journey I realize the lessons learned on our fieldtrip. Stay tuned. Tomorrow, I will share them with you. See you then.


Marybeth said...

Hey Van-- Melanie Chitwood and I did that same retreat last year and we got LOST too!! We ended up in TN and frankly, I still don't know how we got there-- it was awful but oh my goodness did we laugh!!

Glad you are back home, safe and sound-- see you soon!

luann said...

HYSTERICAL!!! Great way to start my week, laughing with my friend. Thanks for sharing your fun spirit!

Digging for Pearls said...

Praise God that you made it to the retreat. I loved your entry! :)


Anonymous said...

I live in Clintwood. You gals weren't lost, you just didn't know where you were!

Shanda said...

Can't wipe the smiles off my face! I especially loved the part about "The Others" coming out of the woods and you being carted off to underground bunkers.... :o) That sounds like my wild imagination in unfamiliar situations!
I am so glad you finally found your way! I am also glad that Tracie had a friend like you to go through this with. Can you imagine, if she had to do by herself??? YIKES!

I will remember this often as I journey through my recent move. Thanks for the encouragement and laughter. I look forward to tomorrow.