"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering." (Romans 12:1, MSG)

Friday, January 8, 2016

Foto Friday - Rousseau Family Winter Retreat 2016

Thanks to our very dear friends, David and Carolyn Williamson, we again enjoyed the privilege of retreating to their cabin in the mountains of western North Carolina for a time of rest, renewal, and reconnection as a family. 

We think this might be our fifth visit but it is the first time it occurred to me to use my tripod for a family photo.
The kids love having the freedom to roam outside, taking in the cold mountain air and beautiful surroundings.

They also loved a silly string fight in the woods.
Lenora enjoyed her newfound love of sketching word art...

...while I enjoyed taking my usual long-exposure creek photographs right outside our cabin.

Along with this random inspiration:

This will be a symbol among you. In the future your children may ask, "What do these stones mean to you?" - Joshua 4:6
This was the first trip I ventured away from the cabin in the dark of night in an effort to capture the Milky Way. After being dissatisfied with the results from a trip to Nantahala Lake, I drove the next night along a nearby scenic byway and shot this from the side of the road.

My primary photographic objective for this retreat, however, was to shoot the sunset over the mountains. I had researched a couple locations online that looked amazing and drove to both, only to discover they were closed for the season. 


Refusing to give up, I drove into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from the entrance in Cherokee, NC. When we started it was 4:40 pm and I had no idea where I was going. I was simply hoping and praying we would find a west facing scenic overlook sometime before the 5:34 pm sunset.

At 5:04 pm, just beyond mile marker 18, my prayers were answered when we happened on an overlook somewhere near 5,000 ft that was directly facing west with Clingman's Dome on the horizon. 

I could not believe the view. And, I knew from the look of the clouds we were in for a real treat. These shots are the photographic highlight of the trip!

God has blessed me beyond measure, with a beautiful family and an incredible vocation, and I am so grateful. Here's to all that 2016 has in store for us - and to next year's winter retreat! 

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