Cold morning sun, spreads light across hearts eager with anticipation.

A river, shrouded in mist, welcomes its morning travelers.

Sunlight filtered through the clouds, made tangible for the first time in child-like hearts. Souls buckle in reverence at His beauty splayed all around.Each touch unique in its wonder.Each riverbend bringing a new feast.Warm coffee and ham biscuits soak through cold, wet bodies.Gliding under light filtered through autumn leaves.Roots that run deeper than time. Love that’s greater than all our sin.The hidden mysteries. Joy that comes from water and wind and motion.
God gives man the capacity to create beauty.The journey may end but the adventure, never.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowliness. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain

18 Responses to “Canoeing the Choctawhatchee”

  1. Kellie says:

    BEAUTIFUL!!! Love that quote by Mark Twain – I'm trying to live my life like that these days – especially where my chidren are involved!!!! Great photography Abby!

  2. tag says:

    Those pictures are beautiful Abby! Makes me want to be there!

  3. Darby says:

    Abby! Wow…. I don't really know what to say after a beautiful post like that. Other than I really wish we could have found a sitter… it would have been worth a small white lie to get us on the river! 🙂 I absolutely LOVE all your pictures…. wow, the glory of the Lord is so evident in every single one. I love, love, love them all! I especially love the ones of you chillin' in the canoe– that, my friend, is how to really enjoy a canoe ride! Let the men handle the paddling. And do you know my most favorite part… the Twain quote, really, what an encouragement. I am often terrified of my dreams. And it really was such an encouragement to me! I love it! Love the pictures of you and your sisters and your manly men. What a treasure this whole trip was and aren't you so thankful for that new camera?! You're doing an awesome job with it!!

  4. Taylor says:

    Ha ha – i definitely look like the man in the family…. it was much fun nonetheless!

  5. Ashley says:

    Abby, I read your blog (and have commented before), but I had to tell you that this is a beautiful post! It inspires me on about 100 levels – I love that you guys got out and about and were able to enjoy the Creation. As a family. On such a lovely morning. And, I love the pictures! Makes me want to get out and practice w/ some different settings 🙂 I'm indoors all the time w/ this crazy baby! Thanks for posting!

  6. andi says:

    Deep on different levels-
    Where to start, 'cause after that, there really isn't much to say.
    Encouraging-to take in all that we see.
    Motivating-to see the arms of your sister lifted up I am sure after a long ride.
    Refreshing-I would be scared of snakes or alligators, but you were peaceful and still and able to take in the beauty.
    Loved the part about the roots being deep…moving.
    The pictures were AWESOME!!!!! Frame-please frame them!
    The writing took my breath away on this nasty rainy day. Thank you so much for sharing your gift!!!!

  7. Emily says:

    Beautiful words, beautiful pictures, and I'm pretty sure I've jumped off of that bridge before. 🙂

  8. Caroline says:

    Oh the memories! Thanks Maddox family for the adventure. 🙂 I am looking forward to the next one!!

  9. mitzi says:

    Beautiful family, pictures and words. Abby, you are so talented.

  10. Blueprint Bliss says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. Hope to see you soon. xx- brooke

  11. Konie says:

    WOW ABBY!!!! I actually caught myself being mesmerized! I came to the last picture and woke up!! My kids laugh at me, because I like to "pretend" : ) I think I was "pretending" I was also on that river! Your photos and words….were just beautiful! WOW!!!

  12. Natalie says:


  13. Jenny says:

    Those pics are gorgeous! You are quite the photographer! Looks like ya'll had a wonderful time!

  14. jroberts says:

    Photos truly capture the memories we create!! Abby, you are doing just this!! Stunning!!!

  15. Lanier Ivester says:

    Sweet Abby…I don't know what's more refreshing on this dark December morning–your words or your pictures. You have such a beautiful soul…
    miss you!! 🙂

  16. Jennifer says:

    I am a frequent reader/stalker (think I have a left a couple of comments) but I just couldn't let this one go! SO beautiful! my dad lives on a little river in Tennessee and we spend lots of time on it during the summer, but next fall I'm going to make it a point to do a morning float. thank you for sharing!

    oh — my husband was in Riley's pledge class — he's a sweetheart!

  17. Susannah says:

    What a beautiful post! Beautiful pictures! How did you get them so big?

  18. Kat says:

    Oh my goodness, those pictures are breathtaking and so full of life! I love that Mark Twain quote you used. So eloquent! Seriously, there are fewer things in life more peaceful than being out on the water enjoying the beauty of nature.

Leave a Comment