Walking down aged cobbled streets with the chill of spring air trying to make a comeback, resting in the comfort of one of my very best friends, Joel, has brought back a sweet memory of when he was a little boy.
As we meandered amongst tall apartments, with ornate facades speaking of artisans of days gone by, we soaked up the "Morgan!" and nods from passerbys. Last week, we rested and lived mindlessly with the desire to restore in Vienna, Austria, where he was born.
This week, meetings, gatherings, personal appointments have brought me back to reality once again in Oxford, England. But the sweet breath of freshness of 3 days hidden brought some life back to my soul. And once again, I have a sweet memory upon which to dwell when I think of Joel in the years to come. The memory below was one when he was 7 years old and is still sweet to me today.
Take time to refresh today, and to make a sweet memory with one of your precious ones, even in the midst of a cluttered day. It will, indeed, pass all too quickly. But today is the day you are building your future best friends.
The house was cloaked in quiet and the fading shadows of night that signal the coming dawn. I gingerly tiptoed through the living room, aware that the slightest noise could awaken a sleeping child. I quickly slipped on my comfortable, broken-in tennis shoes, quietly anticipating the beauty I would find on my private morning walk. It was wildflower season in Texas and I had never seen it so beautiful—pools of deep-azure bluebonnets blanketing open fields and accented by scarlet splashes of Indian paintbrush. I coaxed open the storm door, managed to stifle its annoying squeak, and sneaked out the final few steps to freedom.
I had barely set foot on the front porch stairs when I heard the soft voice from behind me. "Do you mind if I go with you today, Mom?" It was my gentle-spirited, easy-going middle child, Joel. I almost never had time alone with him, so I quickly adjusted my expectations for a solitary morning walk, happy to have these few moments together with my firstborn son. "Sure, honey! You go get dressed, and I'll wait right here for you." Soon he was back and we headed out into the cool morning.
The road in front of our house was totally deserted, and the brisk morning air raised goose bumps on our arms as the gravel crunched beneath our feet, accentuated by the crisp silence. As the last vestiges of night slowly retreated, Joel's excited voice broke through the morning silence. "Look at that star, Mommy. ..the bright one! What is it?" Never in my whole life do I remember seeing the morning star, but it seemed that God had hung it there this morning, radiant against the still black sky, just for our pleasure. I took advantage of a teachable moment to remind Joel that Jesus was called the bright and morning star. Like the morning star, he is a beautiful light shining in the darkness, a promise of the light of day that is soon to come.
As we stood there enjoying our star, it was as if the Lord wanted us to celebrate that moment with him and his creation. Within minutes, the sky began to glow in shades of pink and soft purple, and soon the beautiful star faded away into a blue expanse as the most beautiful sunrise I can ever remember seeing ushered in the new day. As my sweet boy held my hand and walked with me on that special morning, we marveled together at the creative handiwork of our Creator, refreshed for the rest of the day. The moment was stamped indelibly on my heart.
I need regular moments in my life like that morning walk, times of refreshment and restoration that refill the spiritual well in my heart, which is too often left dry by the spirit-draining hustle and bustle of contemporary life. If I don't take care to keep it filled, I soon find I have no spiritual refreshment to give to those whom God has put into my life, especially my always-thirsty children. When I let my well run dry, I am no longer able to be a source of refreshing water to them, or to others in my life. To say it more simply, I cannot keep giving out without taking in.
King David prayed to the Lord, his Shepherd, who "leads me beside quiet waters" (Psalm 23:2). Literally, he said that the Lord would lead him to waters of resting places. Shepherds know that not all waters are "restful waters."
Some are shallow, warm, stagnant pools. The good ones, though, are deep pools fed by flowing spring waters that keep the surface water cool, refreshing, and restorative. Such waters provide the very best resting places for weary sheep. That is where God leads us to fill our souls.
Where will you take time today to experience the beauty God has placed all around you? How can you draw deeply from His refreshment?
You can find Seasons of a Mother's Heart at Amazon!