White Water Living

The Great Adventure: White Water Living

By: Susan Deborah Schiller

In the series, "This Peaceful Place"

I call this a "Daily Practice" – of contemplative prayer through photography.

The Great Adventure is like a river, with many bends and twists. It is a white waters rapids kind of ride.

Back in 1999. I had a series of "River Dreams" in which I learned some lessons while in the yet peaceful waters, that would be needed soon, as the waterfalls were just up ahead.

That was my first lesson, in fact, that there will be waterfalls, in which the bottom drops out of your life and you lose everything, even your orientation to the world. That is, if you are fortunate.

Because, until you've lost everything, you haven't really begun to live.

In the aftermath, I discovered these life choices to be trustworthy truths:

  • Never choose the "safe" route. You'll never graduate without taking the tests. Always take the rapids and never mind the waterfalls. It's the trials that test us, and without them you would be inadequate for the tasks up ahead. In fact, if you try to hide and avoid the trials, you will just have to go back and repeat the course!
  • Never choose the "comfortable" life. Most people do, so you'll be an odd-ball; that's all right.  Pain is a gift. Always stay in the rapids, or the very real danger is you'll just fall back to sleep and live a zombie type of life! Trials keep us alert, focused, and pushing onward.
  • Never choose the "controlled" life. The greatest danger is hiding, playing small, and avoiding risk. Nothing is secure or certain in life. Drop the oars and let the river take you. I'm not talking about fate or being lazy. Just know that there is a Captain guiding your vessel and all is well, so enjoy the ride!

With all my love,


PS Your turn now – do you have a few photos that speak to you of truths you've discovered to be sign posts for a great life? You may want to bookmark them, put them in a file, or upload them into your mini-memoir-in-the-making! 

Susan Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan's upcoming, interactive memoir, "On the Way Home," tells the story of how she came to be known as "the most abused woman" her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate her way out of hell to a rich and satisfying life. In her lifetime, Susan has served in duties ranging from home school mom – to pastor –  to full-time deliverance minister – and to Midwest regional prayer coordinator for a large international ministry. These days you can usually find Susan soaking in her favorite hot springs pool, reading a book (or several), blogging, baking bread, or hanging out with her family and friends. You can pre-order a free copy of Susan's upcoming book, "On the Way Home" by registering here.

Copyright 2014, Susan Schiller, http://TeamFamilyOnline.com.  For reprint permission for any private or commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Susan Schiller.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Meck October 5, 2014 at 1:12 am

Well written article and very inspirational!


Susan Schiller October 5, 2014 at 7:03 am

Thanks for visiting, Meck – and thanks for the encouragement. 🙂


Robbie Schlosser October 4, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Thanks for this powerful story, Susan.  Reminds me of a Bob Dylan lyric, something like "When you ain't got nothin, you've got nothing to lose."  What a wonderful service you offer — helping prople by inspiring them to heal themselves.


Susan Schiller October 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Thanks, Robbie, for your kind and supportive words 🙂


Laurel Regan October 4, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Gorgeous photos! Thank you for your wise words to accompany them.


Susan Schiller October 4, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Your words are kind and life-giving, Laurel – thanks!


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