Gryffin’s Beautiful Adventure Through The Aspens

A beautiful adventure can right any wrong and calm any storm.-Gryffin Scott. Okay, maybe I, Gryffin Scott, didn’t say that, but well, it’s true and not just to this puppy. Hi, I am Gryffin and my dad asked me to guest blog while he’s busy teaching. Now why would he ask his little buddy to write about beauty and adventures? Why not? Have you seen me? I know I am cute, why else do my parents call me a cutie-cute and I have the blue eyes to boot.

Okay, maybe he asked me to write his blog on beautiful adventures because he thinks that he needs to see the world through my beautiful blue eyes. I overheard him talking to a friend today and he said, “Our lives gain meaning when we behold beauty” (boy do I know how to behold beauty). Do you think that’s true? Beauty to me is a full bowl of food and toys to toss in the air. That’s how I know I am loved.

So here are some things I know:

1. A full bowl of food tells me I am loved, and that is a beautiful thing-Every morning my parents let me out of bed and take me outside to play near the garden. They laugh and I join in with my excited howl. This is the life. I see their smiles and I know that they love me. My mom, April, and my dad planted a garden before they adopted me and despite my lack of green thumbs or thumbs of any kind (and the fact I keep trying to nibble on things I shouldn’t), things are growing. How beautiful is that! God has granted us a harvest (I get to eat all of the leaves my mom forgets to pick up. That’s how I know she’s beautiful.) When I bound out each morning I see a bright new world and after I pee, my parents give me all I need. If a garden can grow and give food despite the fact I keep trying to eat everything before my parents can pluck it, my parents can know they are loved to and that is a beautiful adventure.

2. Like me, life is a little crazy.-I like to wag my tail and bark when I am exited. This happens every day around the time my mom comes back home. Boy do I let my excitement show when she comes home. I’ve learned a thing our two about our world in my six months of life. Covid has quite a few people down. But maybe if you choose to see the beauty inner world, like me, you’ll see how great face masks taste. Maybe you’ll find healing. Whenever my mom comes home my day turns from eh – exciting. Her shouts of joy when she sees me heals any hurt feelings I’ve had at her for not being home all day. So yes, beauty heals any of the crazy things in our world.

3. Find a toy fun toy and play with it. My dad chose to focus on seeing the beauty in our world. I know this because he talks about it all the time when I am trying to nap at his feet. He is constantly talking to people who aren’t in the room. It’s a little confusing, but sometimes he lets me say hi. They seem to be stuck in a screen and really little. These, “students” as he calls them, take up all his time so I just try to nap. I would rather he play fetch with me, but that is another blog. I’ve heard him complain about how cluttered and crazy our lives have become. Maybe he is talking about that square box that is always in his hands. It makes noises all the time. I can tell those sounds make him anxious sometimes. He just needs to be more like me and bark when he feels excited, run when he’s got the urge, and scratch when he’s got an itch. Maybe put down that square thing and fight to find beauty each day.

Covid has kept him at home and given him time to play with me. At lunch time he takes me out into the yard and we play fetch. It really helps him let go of the stresses that he carries. I am challenging my dad to play more and it is beautiful. He leaves me outside sometimes and so I bark to tell him I am not done with him. He comes back and we run, jump, play fetch and wrestle. I know he needs it.

4. If you don’t stop and smell every flower, blade of grass, you’ll miss something beautiful and you may never find healing.

This past weekend my parents finally hopped off their couch. It was a beautiful adventure. September in Colorado is probably one of the most stunning months anywhere. I should know, this was my first September and I loved it. Yes I am biased, I am a Colorado dog. The air is cooler, yet still warm enough to be outside. But what makes Colorado amazing are the fall colors. As beautiful as September is, it is also a month of painful reflection for my dad. One day I saw him crying about something. I came over and let him pet me. Then I licked his face and ears and face again. He’s five years past nearly dying. I am so glad he made it out of that hospital so he can feed me every day. Over the last five years as September has come around he’s been forced to remember how lonely he was in the hospital. But then, he is also reminded of the beautiful fact God saved him through surgery. He guided the surgeons hands and surrounded him with prayer so he could breathe again. So as we hiked this last weekend I could tell it was special for him to take each breath of cool Colorado air.

As my mom and my dad drove up into the mountains to celebrate the changing of the colors and the fact that God has given us new life, my dad breathed in deeply. I squealed in the back seat because, ROAD TRIP! WOOP WOOP! My dad started to laugh. Was it because of me? They laugh at me quite a bit. But it is out of love? Yes, I, Gryffin do silly things! I am such a joy (I know this because my parents are always telling me)! Maybe if you lived each day more like me, the puppy, finding beauty would be second nature. I pause at every bush to sniff it as if there is an aroma that reminds me of meat. I bolt down the path in excitement, knowing that I will see something new just around the corner. My tail wags, moving me along the path in a joyous shake. My tongue flops out of his mouth and my smile is contagious (Both my parents are smiling now). I jump on each rock that I can mount. I pose for pictures so I can show other people what it looks like to be alive and beautiful. I can tell my dad was just trying to go fast, so I slowed him down by pretending to be scared of crossing a small log over there river. I made him carry me. It was hilarious. That slowed him down. He should slow down more often, so he can take more pictures and look more closely at all the beauty God has for him. Unless he wants to go fast for the joy of it all. I do that quite a bit. But then I look back to check on my parents and I can tell that their walk under the aspens is healing them. They are walking freer, like me. They are not as distracted by al the chaos in the world. Their hearts are calmer. It’s a beautiful adventure I live. How can anyone not see beauty when I am around.

I am super thankful for the home God brought me into and that I can help my mom and dad see the beauty all around them. My parents are amazing and its true that God has brought beauty to my life through how they love me and beauty is really where blessings reside.

Thank you for reading, you beautiful people!

Love, Gryffin!

I really can cross bridges on my own, just in case you thought I was scared.

See if he wouldn’t have slowed down, he wouldn’t have taken the time to capture the next two pictures. I hope you’v enjoyed the beautiful Aspens.

Beauty In Chaos: A Wholehearted Photo Adventure

Sitting inside on my couch has not felt like a great adventure. I’m sure some of you have been feeling the same way, a little uninspired and in need of a trek out into the wild. We all tell ourselves that by staying home we are doing are part to keep people healthy, but dang how many movies can I watch where other people travel the world and not long to see what God has in store for me?

Back in June, after a couple months in seclusion and no real end in sight having withstood a couple more months of it, my heart started to yearn for an adventure. I long to go back to Europe and travel by train, but Covid. Instead I am finding new ways to sooth my wanderlust. As I sit on the couch it is becoming more and more difficult to feed my hunger for adventure and especially those “beautiful adventures” that speak truth to me. If I see can see beauty in each day, I have an easier time being content and connected to God. Beauty helps my worry go away. Earlier this year I wrote about finding beauty in the dustbin. Well, this year seems to have been a bit more of a dumpster fire than a beautiful adventure.

But beauty can be found in the chaos. I might not be able to take my wife back to Europe or even be able to trek down to Guatemala, but I can open up my pictures from all of my trips and soak in the beauty. As I soak in the beauty I am reminded that God provided beauty for me. This is not about the glory days. I’m not sitting here saying dang high school was the best! No, this is more about the future than the past.

Lately I’ve been looking through all my pictures from our trip to amazing trip to Europe. It helps me forget that I can’t travel right now. But it wasn’t a perfect trip. When April and I landed in London I was so anxious about if I would be able to sleep or not, I was nearly sure that insomnia would ruin my trip. Yet, God stepped in and told me to let go. After recovering from jet lag, I slept well all month long. Memories from that trip have been keeping me going. Yet, a year ago this week, as I first wrote this, April and I were in Edinburgh and Amsterdam.

It rained the entire time we were in Scotland and the temperatures were over 100 degrees in Amsterdam. We hiked up Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh and it was so crowded it nearly stole my joy. But now, as I checked my Facebook memories from the trip, I saw the picture of us from Arthur’s seat and my caption said, “It’s good to remember that not ever day needs to be epic or even 100% enjoyable.” With that mindset I can remember that God took me to castles, dungeons, awesome houses, shire-like country sides, amazing churches, insane cliffs, and beautiful canals and he will take me on an adventure again. As I look back over those pictures, I am reminded of how God provided for me and I know I will be able to travel again. But for now, I will rest in the beauty he has set right in front of me.

Yet, sometimes when I look at pictures from the past I do not see beauty and I need to know that living in is an awfully big adventure in itself. Right now we are stuck in a pandemic, civil unrest, and a nasty political season. Every September, as I look at my Facebook Memoirs, I am reminded how I nearly died of necrotizing pneumonia. Five years ago today, I had tubes coming out of my side. I have a couple of pictures from this time and when I look at them it breaks me. One is of tubes coming out of my side, one is of me in the hospital trying to walk around my hallway, and another is of my scar. This wasn’t a time I wanted to remember. Now as I look back at this difficult time, I am reminded that God brought me through the fire. Even more so as I look back at that horrible time in my life I can see how he was standing next to me through it all. Typically this brings me to tears. I see my scars and I know how he was there for me.

Maybe go and look at some of your pictures. See the beauty in the trips you have been able to take and the beauty in the difficult times too, it will help you take a deep breath and know God is in control. I do not look at my pictures so that I am stuck in the past, but to remind myself that God has saved me, he is saving me, and he will save me with the beauty of this world and the ability to travel through it. If God is with me during the hard times, I know he will bring a beautiful adventure into my life in the future. Honestly, there is probably plenty of beauty taking place right now, I just need to open my eyes, my ears, and my heart to it. Here’s too more beautiful adventures!