What to do when you get time back

The gift of time bounced back to me after nearly a decade, and I’ve been breathing the outer air more than I can remember in years.

I honestly thought I would never get time back. I thought I would just have to adjust to the pace of insanity that was my life for the past 18 months. The last time I remembered feeling calm and at peace with the universe, I was single. I am a mom now, and a pastor’s wife, working full-time. I assumed there was no road back to the tranquility I found so easily in past lives.

But divine intervention did His thing, and suddenly, I was no longer our Children’s Ministry Director. Replaced by a creative, administrative, perfect-for-the-job human being. I can’t tell you what a blessing she has been already.

Looking to clean out my life and rediscover what I lost, I glanced back further, over the past eight years of my love-hate relationship with social media, as well as my ever-growing online presence. I realized the most peace I had wasn’t necessarily because I was single and carefree. It was because I prioritized solitude. I pursued God.

I hiked regularly among the grass and trees and hills, and everything held meaning. I had no Facebook profile to manage and my thoughts were mine, free to meander without being manipulated into 140-character blurbs.

So I opted out of my neurotic social media involvement. And I took my shoes off when I walked on the grass.

And there it was again. Time. Breathing room. Space. I can’t believe it was so close all along.

It amazed me how much energy was going in to running a ministry and keeping up with Facebook. Once I stepped back from both, it was a burst of life for me. More to come on this later.

One of my favorite parts about this new-found freedom is John and I have been going out adventuring more lately. Three times in about nine days, which was just what our cabin-fevered souls needed after a too-long winter. This past week, winter came back with snow and freezing rain here in early May so we were shoved back indoors, but this weekend promises more beauty so we hope to burst out again soon, maybe tomorrow even.

Here are a few moments from our recent adventures I wanted to share with you. We visited a beautiful nearby lake, and I taught him the art of rock-skipping. He mostly just threw the rocks in, but he didn’t even notice we were doing anything different.

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We also visited the reservoir near our home. There is a river pond on one side of the dam, and a sprawling lake on the other side. John threw rocks off the dock…

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Here’s a view of our picnic on the dock. I ate and John threw rocks. 20130504-221943.jpg

We hiked along the reservoir at sunset. It was breathtaking, as you can see. I miss Oregon, but I have yet to beat a Kansas sunset. I taught John how to use a walking stick to hike.

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The next day we visited the Blue River, played on the boat ramp, and of course, threw rocks. I took a picnic again, and again, I was the only one interested in eating.

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At one point, as he stood along the edge of the water, he literally walked right off the boat ramp into the river. Thought he could just keep walking, I guess.  I love that kind of faith, but then, as a mother, it’s what I fear most. I snatched him right up. Now I know what he is capable of, and we will just have to keep a close eye.

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After I had enough of the daredevil antics and wondering in the back of my mind if blue-green algae had already made it into the water in late April, I encouraged him to leave his rock-throwing and head toward the hiking trail, which ran right along the river. The sun was setting again, the light was perfect.

And here’s my little adventuring pal, running a few steps ahead. I’m so glad he loves the outdoors as much as I do. Here’s to more days and nights like these! 20130504-222029.jpg

And may your spring and summer be full of fresh, clean air, good dirt on the underside of your feet, and the remembrance of what peace feels like. 

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