The One in Which Life Goes On

Walking

Once upon a time, I had this dream about what my life would be like when I was grown. The children and I would take long, peaceful, rambling walks, full of learning and discussion {Charlotte Mason style, of course!} where we’d explore our world, expand our minds, and be the best of friends all at the same time. We’d be lovely, our hair flowing with not a hair out of place, our clothes run-way perfect, our skin creamy and smooth. I never realized how much we’d learn from dashing off barefooted through the woods. Or how much fun we’d have racing up and down the road at full speed. Or how proud a skinned knee and scraped hands can make you.

The PeasRegan & ElijahThe Tomatoes

We’d never get our hands dirty. Oh, we’d have lovely, impressive gardens, but we’d magically stay clean and sparkly. Our gardens would be perfectly tended, no weeds would dare grow where we planted our veggies. But I never thought through how we would learn to identify different plants {wild or domestic… because all plants have purpose & value!} I didn’t know how many different creatures can make a home in just a few square feet of space. Or how much a child laughs from being tickled by a wondering beetle. And the sheer joy of sinking your hands in mud? Indescribable. The feeling of planting a dirty brown seed and watching it grow into a living plant? Amazing.

Forrest & JudeRegan Digging

Our home would be perfect. Organized and neat, my husband would delight in expensive investments in things for me and the children because those things would become heirlooms, to be passed down from generation to generation. We would not have to waste our valuable time with working on menial tasks, because our home and yard were perfect. But there are lessons to be learned by working without immediate reward: selfishness {from fixing a bike you’re too big to ride}, perseverance, diligence, self-control.

GabrielHarmonyElijah

My children would be perfect {-ly stale}. They would never shout or scream, and running around in the rain would be out of the question. They would always wear shoes, and shirts, and never toss their new clothes into mud puddles. {ahem…} But then they’d miss the excitement of ‘having the best day ever’ and the joy being soaked by the cool spring shower on the hot, muggy day. They’d miss the feeling of plopping down in exhaustion after a game well played. We’d never know the contentment of smiles full of genuine happiness and spontaneous hugs full of love.

Jude 

Yeah, once upon a time, when I was young and naïve, I had a vision of what my life would be like once I was grown… I’m so glad I was wrong!

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Our country is sitting, our eyes glued to the screen, as news of the tragedy in Oklahoma streams in moment by moment. We watch, not daring to inhale, as the same storm system sweeps over top of our area, praying that it’s fury won’t be dropped onto our homes leaving us with no place to run. Leaving us broken and our children taken home. It’s horrifying to see, to know that it is not some twisted plot in a B-rated Hollywood movie—these tears are real.

I struggled to write this post. What is appropriate? To speak of how my heart weeps for the parents, the moms and dads, who would give anything to see one more smile of their children’s faces? To write as though the country is not in mourning for the loss of the innocent? To glorify in the life we have been given and immerse ourselves in the moments? There is no right in times like this, and although our grief can be expressed, and move us to tears, we must live, we must serve, we must continue.

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