Saturday, February 12, 2011

God in the Yard - Week 1 - Question 1

I am the fifth in a group of women who are reading God in the Yard, by L.L. Barkat, blogging on it and then passing it on to the next person. I finished Chapter 1 this week. I have written a lot based on several different prompts but this first one started my journey, so I figured I'd share it first. I will go through the rest of my journal from week one and decide if there is anything worth "publishing" here on my blog... but for now, here's my first entry in this series:

“When I was a child, I lived …”

When I was a child, I lived fully. I embraced life with zest, enthusiasm, and a sense of “ownership”. The places life took me seemed to call out and affirm that God created earth for me to enjoy it.

I remember looking out our big picture window at Mt. Rainer, in Western Washington KNOWING God put it there just for me. To this day I still call it “my mountain”. My sister and I loved that house. We played in the woods, had lots of space to play inside and the world seemed like our oyster. But things changed, we moved…

I found another place to embrace life, the beach. The waves crashing, sand between my toes, wind whipping through my hair; smelling the ocean even now transports me back to my childhood where so much of my youth was spent in that glorious place.

When I was a teenager, several summers were spent wandering the beach or baking in the sun. Every week the designated fireman dad (they were the only ones qualified to drive a bus, since they already drove fire trucks) would drive the church bus packed with kids over the hills to the beach for a mere $1 each. We’d spend the entire day soaking up the sun, enjoying our friends and then head home, tired, sand laden and happy.

We camped several times a year, but the best trip of the year was the church family campout where all of us would stay out late, wandering the beach, looking at the stars, and contemplating the big things in life. Yes, there were bits of “beach romance” but with parents or their friends wandering around and the peer pressure focused on being together and having fun, there were no temptations to leave appropriate boundaries.

At home, even in the ups and downs of my daily life as a child, I KNEW the oak trees outside my bedroom window were put there for me. At night, after watching too much Scooby Doo they seemed a little spooky when the lights hit them just right, but come morning they were a playground for our cats, my sister and I and our friends that dared climb out on a limb with us.

Today I live with two big maple trees in my front yard. Their presence blesses me like the oak trees of my youth, but they are different. The oak trees did get new leaves every year and there were acorns that fell, but in Southern California there were two seasons, fall and summer. Here in Northern Idaho, my maple trees better reflect the changing seasons of my adult life; barren winter, new growth spring, rich beauty summer, and fragrant colorful fall. All four bring significant changes to the trees reminding me that things are supposed to change, just like when I was a child.

I try to live fully now, though my "zest" for life and enthusiasm expresses itself somewhat differently, I still feel that sense of "ownership". I move forward into the experience of creation He has for me right now. That is what this journey is about for me. At least today.


L.L. Barkat said...

I love the opening, about your childhood enthusiasm. That's the kind of enthusiasm that could bless us again as adults, yes? Arms wide open to the world, even though we are a little world-wiser...

Blessings on your continued journey. :)

Unknown said...

I just love this glimpse of your childhood, Jennifer. It makes me wonder when we stop seeing with those trusting eyes. Claim that mountain! It's all for you.

Who am I?

My photo
I have been married to my best friend for over 29 years and our children are 16, 15 and 12 years old. I have struggled with infertility, suffered the loss of a baby by miscarriage, and endured multiple career paths. I have experienced a crisis of faith that shook me to the core and lost dear friends to tragic death. I have a personal relationship with Jesus which is essential to surviving and even thriving in my circumstances. I hope you will be blessed by my heart and words. Thank you for being here..