Friday, March 9, 2012

The Walk

(A quick journal written last night, but posted a day later when I had some time to add pictures.)

This life, the Christian life, is a walk. It's a step-by-step, moment-by-moment walk. It's about being filled with the Spirit and making the decision over and over again to follow Jesus. It requires great perseverance because, until we have completed this walk, there are no breaks.

But it is, after all, a walk. It's not a sprint where both legs are leaping through the air, and where endurance is short lived. It is a simple walk in which the traveler only takes one step at a time.

Some days those steps seem light and joyous as we go along; other days the march is slow and difficult and we must consciously put one foot in front of the other regardless of the desire to collapse.

And when we do collapse, God is always there to tenderly pick us up again and fill us with all that we need to carry on. And He reminds us that we were never meant to walk this journey alone.

This morning I sat on the floor by my bed where the sunlight was warm and brought with it the hope of a better day to end a difficult week. I could hear the boys playing down the hall, and Olivia plucking at the strings on her guitar. It was getting late already and I wished we could skip school altogether for this once. I wanted to stay curled up in my pajamas indefinitely.

It's been a melancholy sort of week for me. Melancholy sounds better than other words I could use to describe it. I've wanted to retreat, to pull myself into my shell and fade away, and I've wanted to shrink back from responsibility. Details of my state of mind and excuses for my self-pity are unimportant I suppose, but it was a constant battle to pull myself together and keep going. Sometimes circumstances collide with the cyclical emotional trials that perhaps my female counterparts can relate with!

My list of failures for the week seem long, and by this morning I was ready for the cloud to lift. My Bible lay there in on my lap and finally the words felt like they were for me. Those words were for me all along, but they were at last speaking to my heart. I begged God to walk with me and fill me with His power. "Help me Lord this very moment and then be with me to face the next. I want to live for you. Help me."

My words to Him seemed so elementary, but I am confident He knows my struggles and my deep desire to walk in relationship with Him.

Then Jacob came in crying and said this was turning out to be a bad day already. I was temped to agree as he sobbed in my arms, but instead I prayed for him. He sniffled, rubbed his nose on my shoulder and then pulled away to look at me. His nose was spilling blood, and the day had begun.

It was a moment-by-moment walk. By God's grace those moments didn't all result in failures, but as the day comes to a close again I am thankful for the perfect life Jesus lived and that my sins are washed away. His account is credited to mine, and He is faithful to take my feeble attempts and my disobedience and works it together for good. 'Thankful' seems too small a word.

"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified."     Romans 8:26-30

Later in the day, when we were home from lessons, school was completed, and I was satisfied leaving the half folded laundry pile till tomorrow, I took the kids for a walk and a much needed change of pace.

Recently my kids have been bringing a bag of ropes to the park to swing from trees and to assist in climbing when the branches are too high. I've received more than one confused or disturbed glare from passer-bys or through kitchen windows overlooking our local playground. Whatever. My kids look forward to heading out with their bag of ropes and I love their creativity.

At this particular location, there's lots of open space to play and plenty of wooded areas along the water where the kids have "secret places" and hidden paths taking us on little adventures.

Andrew invited me to come with him along a "secret path" while the others played in their fort. I was honored.

I followed along even though I had picked the wrong shoes for such a trek. Those moments as I followed my boy along mysterious paths amid the dancing sunlight seemed almost magical, and I wouldn't miss it on account of my shoes.

And then the open space drew us out of hiding...

...and we discovered a little hillside where we celebrated the month of March and Irish heritage on their daddy's side of the family.

We may not have snow to make snow angels, but we have fields of sun kissed clover!

I couldn't help but think of a fairy tale princess when I found Olivia laying in the tender foliage. Princess Clover, have you lost your way to the castle?

Jon has been out of town all week. It used to be that when he was away, my schedule and responsibilities lighted considerably. Meals were less complicated, my routine was more predictable and streamlined, evenings to myself allowed me to get ahead... It is no longer the case. The kids need real meals, days seem longer, and somehow I am always behind where I need to be. Our schedule was packed this week, and I have come to the realization that I'm not really a stay at home mom anymore. Just for one day it would be nice to actually stay at home, but I'm guessing those types of days are only going to become less frequent!

I'm looking forward to Jon's return. I think I had become cocky about being all independent and totally able to manage on my own. Goodness, I've had plenty of practice over the years. But no, it's better when he's here. I definitely need him.

Plus I really like him.


1 comment:

  1. Know it is conference week for Jon.Have been praying for you and the children,and for Jon as he takes part and shares responsibility.Enjoy your week end.I am at Laura's to celebrate Sam's birthday and Drew's dedication on Sunday.Give my love to everyone.Carol


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