Thursday, March 14, 2013


My springtime memories as a little girl growing up in the north, in little houses off quiet dirt road in rural Québec, are quite different from what my children experience in the suburbs of Southern California. My kids like me to recount my childhood experiences, and they listen like my stories come right out of an adventure book. And it's true, my childhood was pretty special and elements of my past are rather unusual and storybook-like.

Since it's March now, I've been remembering afternoons spent with my brothers and sister playing in rivulets of cold water as the snow and ice began to melt and the smell of earth anew inspired our imaginations. The long month of winter and cold were finally giving way to the promise of life.

How I loved to play in those freezing streams of water! We would find little twigs and watch them get swept away, imagining them to be little boats or kayaks in dangerous rapids. We would race our little sticks and run across the lane to see whose made it through the culvert first, or we'd make little dams and re-route the waterways. Eventually, when we were soaked through and cold or the sun began to set and returned the temps back to winter chill, we would head home to the soft glow coming from my mother's kitchen window. I'm sure we were a muddied fright, soiled from hat to boot, but I don't ever remember my mother showing her frustration.

Little rivulets. This week I wanted my kids to know about them.

We set out to hike the area around an abandon bridge we like. For those who are not local, especially those who are not from So. Cal., you must know that bridges here are not necessarily an indication of water. Rivers as seen on a map are not really rivers; usually they have everything but water. Really, I think they're called rivers because the ground deep down where tree roots grow might be a little less dry!

But we've had rain last week, so I was hopeful we might find just a little water. My kids packed a few things to make little boats: paper for sails, twine to tie sticks together, etc. Oh, and toys guns just for fun. :)

But when we arrived and hiked around, we found a little stream. My kids were delighted and I let them enjoy to whatever extent they desired. And remembering my own similar experiences in streams, I enjoyed their happy memory making.

They found some "rafts."

I am thankful we have little nature get-aways close by to take my children to. I have discovered that the outdoors, the solitary wide open or the cozy canopy of the forest, is critical to my well being. When I did not have access to it for several years, my world began to close in. I felt trapped. I would imagine sitting on a hillside, breathing fresh air, and NOT hearing cars and sirens. I starved for that clean, unpolluted stillness. Eventually we inherited a second car and I slowly began to discover places on the outskirt of the city to escape to. It was a very real provision from the Lord to me. No fear could keep me from heading out with my kids-- not news of mountain lion, or escaped convict, or the knowledge of wandering vagabond.  Ha! The risk of depression by not going was much greater!

And so my husband (who tries very hard to live with his wife in an understanding way!) bought me a double edged diving knife which straps to my thigh and a canister of bear spray. It's rare that I feel the need to take them along, but occasionally I do. (And because people ask me about these things, I think that running alone at night carries less risk than poor health from a lack of exercise!)


Provision. I have seen God faithfully provide again recently. A new situation came to light last month, one that caused me to question my ability to meet a need. God handed me another load, I felt like, and I wondered just how I would manage it. By the grace of God, I can accept these things knowing that they come from His loving hand, recognizing that He always has His good purpose behind it all. Since I really had no choice, I was up for the challenge; I also knew that a few things would need to change. The biggest problem was a lack of extra time, the second was insecurity in my own capacity. Then, a few days into it, as I was driving down the freeway, I suddenly realized all the ways the Lord had provided: a little more time, a little more help, unwavering support from Jon, and encouragement in my ability. 

He is our faithful provider.



  1. This is such an encouragement to me, Katherine! Growing up, my mom worked and because my aunts and grandma were very protective, my play times were always indoors and very often I was in front of a television. I see those indoor-only habits in my life still and I don't want that for my children! Thank you for all the pictures you post. It gives insight into a childhood that is very different from the one I had, but one I do want to give my children. :)

  2. we ran free growing up and i love our memories. i want my children to have them too, but i often get too caught up in the work it takes to make some of them happen. this is a reminder and a challenge for me. thank you. i can also very much relate to the need to be out in nature. it soothes my soul.

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