Cairns for Our Journey (Introduction)

Each new morning, I center myself in God as I walk, pray and ponder. I return home feeling strong and peaceful, refreshed for the day ahead. But in recent months, as the day goes on, the worrisome news keeps coming, and my body and mind begin to grow weary, this peace often gives way to anxiety and worry. I crave the peace of God’s presence so profoundly; I long to be reminded of God’s presence more often.

This longing for regular, visible reminders of the presence of God brought the idea of cairns to my mind. Cairns are piles of stones that serve as memorials or landmarks on hiking paths, mountain summits, and seashores. Jim and I had seen a number of these creative works as we hiked a favorite path in Michigan. Now, as I journey through these current days, I would love to encounter a few spiritual cairns that might remind me of God’s presence along my path.

Over these next ten weeks, I hope you will join me in assembling our own small cairns to serve as centering touchpoints or signposts for our daily journeys. Each Monday, we will spend time with a short reflection and add a rock to our cairns. Our cairns will help bring a certain focus to our days, and may even begin to serve as small altars- as places to present ourselves before God, as places of reverence, sacrament, prayer, surrender, and gratitude.

We will eventually use ten rocks or stones over these next ten weeks- I encourage you to collect them in a way that will bless you! You may want to feel prepared and collect them all at once, or you may enjoy purchasing a set of pretty stones, or you may wish to find a stone each week as a reminder to keep seeking and searching. You might enjoy painting or marking each stone for the specific theme of the week. The theme for next week (our first stone) will be about designation- setting apart this time and place as sacred and holy.

The cairns may be artistic creations or simply humble piles- you decide! Let’s assemble our cairns in visible places where we will regularly be reminded of the goodness of God. Mine will be on the shelf above my desk.

Thank you for joining me on this new journey! I hope you will share photos or comment with inspirations you have along the way. (You may feel more comfortable doing so at my Simply Soul Searching Facebook page.) I am always blessed to hear from you!

My prayers are with you and for you.



Photos are from Unsplash– by David Clode, Rachel Nickerson, and Markus Spiske, respectively. Thank you!

4 thoughts on “Cairns for Our Journey (Introduction)

  1. That is a lovely idea and l will enjoy “walking” with you and getting in on your “finds”! I don’t walk outside anymore except in our courtyard. It is too difficult with a walker. I have fond memories of hiking in Prineville with Bob but the idea of Cairns never occurred to me, Sometimes we used limbs or rocks as Markers so we could find our way back home! One time l heard a son, who had gone on a hike, yelling for me and while he was close enough for me to hear him he thought he was “lost”😱

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    1. Yes, you can certainly “walk” with us on this journey- especially as you recall your own hiking memories. ❤ (And oh, those few frightening moments when children think they are lost… feel like an eternity!)

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  2. In the hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, i wondered for years what “Here I raise my ebenezer” meant. Finally researched. Akin to a cairn, i think. What a meaningful participatory spiritual practice you offer to us. I’m in! Thanks, Karen.

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    1. I LOVE that hymn! Especially “Here’s my heart, now take and seal it…” Thanks for researching, Cristy! I am happy you will join us. I hope you will be blessed! You have been a blessing to me in our short friendship as writers. ❤

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