On the First Day of _____ Grade

As the water flows, bumping over rocks and logs, careening around curves, and gliding through unencumbered paths, my heart sighs.

I long to be enveloped by it…..

My soul longs to feel it; to let it embrace my skin, the coolness permeate my nerves, it’s constant movement reminding me of its presence…….

As early as I can remember, I have been drawn to water. The saying goes that I “was born in March, and was in the water by June”. Even now, at 39, when I drive by the river, I ache to be in the water. I can feel in my soul the calming effect it has on me …..

Just watching the cascade entrances me…..

I can remember the way the water felt as our boat cut through the glassiness of the lake when I was a child. My young self, bathing suit on, life jacket zipped, with my hand held over the side of our boat….. Even though at times it stung, the color was beautiful and I could not focus my attention anywhere else. I was lost in those emerald green waters….

Today, as I drove around, completing my weekend chores, my window was down and the late summer air flowed through my car. I stretched my arm out of the window, and let the wind take my mind back to my childhood.

Isn’t it coincidental that the flowing air reels me back the same way the water does?

Oh, but it is not. My childhood was infused with creeks, lakes, and oceans. . . The scent of warm hay, summer nights, and fall evenings. . . Warm air blowing through long brown hair, cooler air coming through the windows of my daddy’s truck during after school errands, and freezing air making my cheeks red as we sled down the old logging road. . .

As my fingers play in the flowing air, I reach for those memories.

I smile, and sigh. Oh, to be young again!To tell my little self to hold onto every moment like it was my last….. Now, as a mom of three marvelous kids, I tell older self this very advice.

So, tomorrow, as I – and many other fabulous mom and dads – send their kids off to their first day of school (be it kindergarten or their senior year), listen to this advice :

Take just a moment. Hug them, smell their hair, cup their face in your hands, and tell them “Be good, be kind, be smart”.

Because these are the days that we get to pour into their hearts and souls. We get to encourage them, direct them, and fill their memory banks with amazing memories. . .

Teach them to hold onto the wind, embrace the water, and climb every mountain…….

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I’m A Hoarder?!?!?

Aside

Watching “Hoarders” last night, I had a thought just hit me in the gut.

I am one of them! I am a hoarder!

Now, please understand, my house is not a cesspool of items. It is not dirty or filthy or even cluttered. Okay, maybe cluttered, but by no means is my house the problem.

No, it’s my mind. In my mind I hoard thoughts, conversations, comments, letters. . .

Offenses I have suffered pile up in the corners. Memories are buried – some deep, others just on the surface. I’m sure there are things lost in there!

Nasty thoughts can creep in like cobwebs. There are dingy places where I tried to clean it out, but the residue still remains. Some places are quite organized – like stacked boxes of “important” items. Other areas are filled with scattered thoughts.

I know there are books in there! Not to mention songs and pictures!

There are important items I have held on to, ones that brighten and remind me of beautiful times. There are items that clearly need to be purged and removed.

One of the participants on the show said “It just started piling up, and I would start to think about how to fix it – where I would start, what I would do with the stuff. Honestly, by the time I got done thinking about it, I was too tired to do anything about it!” Isn’t that how it is in our lives a lot of time? We start thinking about how to clear our minds – how to clean out things we don’t need or that are nasty and causing disease, but by the time we have come up with our solution, we are too tired to do anything about it.

The awesome thing is that when Christ is the center of our life, he is our “behavioral therapist” he is also our “aftercare specialist”. He is there to show us the way, to renew our energy and to encourage us. He is there with garbage trucks and his gloves on to clean out our filth.

The question is, will we let him?

Or will we, like so many on that show, make excuses, get mad, and refuse to let go?