I love hiking in the woods. It doesn’t matter what the season is, spring, fall, even winter. If you have the right gear, hiking in the wintertime can be quite beautiful. The way the snow blankets the ground and lights up the sky takes my breath away. It muffles the usual noises of the surrounding area . Although it’s quiet, there is still a lot of activity going on. You can see this with all the animal tracks left in the snow. It looks like a mega highway. There are large tracks and small tracks. If you take the time, you can figure out what animal was there by studying the tracks. Larger size, four paws, most likely a coyote, fox or deer. Tiny footprints with a little line following behind could be a mouse or chipmunk. There are certain characteristics of tracks that reveal what left them. This got me thinking about what kind of tracks do I leave behind? Whether it’s with a coworker, the grocery store clerk, the waitress at a restaurant, and even my own family. After I’ve left them, do I leave behind tracks of kindness, patience, love? After I’ve left a room, do the characteristics of my tracks point to someone who is joyful, gentle, and self-controlled? Do I leave people better than I found them? My prayer is that the love God pours out to me will overflow onto those I meet, whose paths I cross. -Gretchen Burkett

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

Philippians 4:5 “Let your gentleness be known to all men…”

Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

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