A Hard Lesson and New Children’s Picture Book

I’m delighted to introduce my artistic son Brant Wilson and his new children’s picture book. Today he shares a lesson he learned and how it relates to his book Look What I Found. Here’s Brant.

 My friend and I spent months planning a seven-day hiking trip in Washington State’s Olympics National Park. We reserved camping spots, some months in advance, along trails that led through the rainforest directly to the Pacific Ocean. Because high tides fill rocky ledges making travel dangerous and nearly impossible in spots, hikers must plan their trip around these tides.

With reservations and tide charts in hand, we felt good. Even though we were going to be out in the wild many days, I didn’t bring a lot of water. I would backpack smarter not harder. Why haul heavy water through a rainforest when our first night was near a river?

My friend packed water like we were crossing the Sahara. I wasn’t sure why he wanted to lug it on his back instead of filling up at the river.

Our trip began in Raleigh around 4:30 a.m. After a six-hour flight, four hours of driving, and two hours of backpacking we arrived at our reserved spot on the Pacific coast before sunset. Tired, I almost tripped over a huge seal sleeping in the sand. It lifted its head and stared at me like my dog would.

Danger and Disappointment

As tired as I was at least I wasn’t carrying that extra water weight like my buddy. I headed to the river and filtered water into my empty bottle. After a couple of salty sips, I spat out the rest. My stomach cramped. Did I need Depends? I walked downstream until there was no path left. The brackish water, a mixture of fresh and saltwater, was still unfit to drink.

I learned a major drought probably led to ocean water diluting the stream. My genius idea of packing light wasn’t looking so great. Thankfully, my friend shared some of his water. He’d brought a ton but wasn’t sure why. Looks like we had the answer.

The next morning, knowing we had to pass through a rocky ledge before high tide, I urged my buddy to move faster so we would pass the ledge area before the tide swallowed our path. Instead, he ambled like we were taking a scenic stroll capturing videos. He seemed oblivious to the danger. By the time we reached the tide spot the water was stomach high. It tossed me like a washing machine between rocky barnacles. Our path vanished halfway across.

The trip we’d spent months planning disappeared in a sweep of sea foam. If you are off one day, your reservations become worthless. We couldn’t wait for the next low tide to hike to our reserved spot.

The trip we’d spent months planning disappeared in a sweep of sea foam. If you are off one day, your reservations become worthless. #hardlesson, #newbook Click To Tweet

We found other reservations. But our trip felt like a failure. One late start shredded our carefully planned itinerary. If my friend had only moved faster, never mind that he let me drink his life-saving water and was carrying twenty extra pounds of weight…

Back Home

“How was your trip?” a coworker asked the next week.

I sighed and told how we missed out on our plans. She told me about a recent trip with her friend in Mexico. “My friend was all about hitting the sights. I felt it didn’t matter if I was there. In contrast, when my sister and mom go on trips the relationships are the trips. Good relationships are what really matter. The rest is secondary.”

It wasn’t until later that I recognized the parallels between her friend and me. I based our trip’s success on my checklist and had viewed my friend as expendable. He hindered my goal by strolling to the tide spot. Yet he provided lifesaving water.

A Valuable Lesson

Life seems to be a lot about learning and then forgetting and needing to be reminded. We know relationships are important, but when pursuing other things, we take them for granted.

Life seems to be a lot about learning and then forgetting and needing to be reminded. We know relationships are important, but when pursuing other things, we take them for granted. #newbook, #picturebooks Click To Tweet

A lawyer asked Jesus, “What is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and with all your mind…the second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

The greatest commandment is to put relationships above all else—God first, then others. I’ve heard it said that loving God first helps you love others better. I believe that’s true. If God is love, then it makes sense that He provides the power to love.

A recent video clip showed a 74-year-old lady who’d lost her home of 45 years and most of her neighborhood to a tornado. As she spoke to CBS news live, they spotted her dog pinned in the rubble. Woman and dog shared an emotional reunion.

She’d prayed for two things—for God to save her and her dog. He answered both. Her dog meant more to her than her house and belongings. Someone said, “The currency of heaven is relationships.” I think that’s right.

I recently released a picture book for young children called Look What I Found where I seek to playfully illustrate what matters most. Here is a link to the book.


Thank you, Brant!

Comment here.

Sometimes I link with these great sites:

#InstaEncouraements, #TellHisStory, #Let’sHaveCoffee, #Grace&Truth

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  1. Linda Stoll

    ‘Life seems to be a lot about learning and then forgetting and needing to be reminded. We know relationships are important, but when pursuing other things, we take them for granted.’

    Oh so very true. Thanks for this nudge to be more aware of what’s most needful …

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      A lesson I need to remember often. Thanks, Linda.

  2. John Potter

    Great job ! Carry on faithful servant. One day a time.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Amen! Thanks, John.

  3. Marilyn

    Thanks, Brant, for sharing valuable lessons. We’re excited about your book & ordering copies now!!
    Doug & Marilyn

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thank you, Doug and Marilyn! We appreciate you.

  4. Lisa Brittain

    I love this teaching from scripture and the life lessons attached. Thank you for sharing post, Debbie. You must be a proud momma.
    I’m looking at the book link.
    Praying for God to use your son’s talents and wisdom for His glory.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thank you, Lisa! Prayers always welcome.

  5. Michele Morin

    Congratulations to Brant, and thanks for the great object lesson!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thank you, Michele!

    • Ann J Musico

      That story is certainly one we can all relate to. I am probably more like your son and need these reminders every now and then about what’s really important. I will definitely look into his book for my grandchildren. It looks wonderful.

      • Debbie W. Wilson

        Me too, Ann. I think they will enjoy it. When Brant wrote it, I said, that was you when you were little.

  6. J.D. Wininger

    Enjoyed. Thank you for introducing us to Brant, ma’am. Sounds like a good lesson learned.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thanks for reading, J.D. Always appreciate your thoughts.

  7. Yvonne Morgan

    What great lesson from the trip. Life is about the journey and not just the destination. The book sounds so wonderful too. Thanks Debbie for sharing this uplifting story.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Yvonne. It is a good lesson that you summed up so well.

  8. Katherine Pasour

    I enjoyed your story, Brant, and appreciate the lessons you shared. Sometimes the lessons God teaches me are painful, others are embarrassing, and many make me feel guilty for being self-centered. I could identify with your need to stay on schedule and complete your list, but your friend had life-giving water when you needed. Your message is thought provoking. What would we have done in that situation? Thank you for sharing.

  9. Joanne Viola

    “The greatest commandment is to put relationships above all else—God first, then others.” Thank you, Brant, for sharing your experience and congratulations on your book! I once had a friend who was much older and wiser than me. Always when we would go to lunch, she would take side roads instead of the highway, which was the shortest and quickest route. Her reason was that the day was about the journey and the company, not the destination. She was lonely and wanted to enjoy the company and relationships while she could. I have never forgotten a single precious lunch with her 🙂

  10. Annie Yorty

    This is a good story with a very applicable reminder. Thank you!

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