A desire, A pledge, A dream come true

IMG_2201

The setting could not be more perfect… The sun on my face, Pacific Ocean in front of me, the smell of a distant camp fire and my husband an two boys are searching for sea creatures in tide pools screaming with delight that they found yet another crab. The sound of joy never gets old. As I sit here, 15 years sober, I am reminded that I never wanted a life like this. Honestly, the only reason I didn’t is because I never believed it would come true. Dream safely is what I always thought, don’t get your hopes up because you could be let down, dream small, dream manageable, dream attainable and if it doesn’t come true, no one will notice the failure because they were not big enough to matter.

The moment came when the whispering started. It was 6 and a half years ago in the middle of the night a baby was born and so was a dream. A dream that felt so out of range that I couldn’t even talk about it. But I sat there in the quiet looking at this tiny human and a dream of walking the trails with my family, getting lost in the back country for days at a time…surviving with only what we can carry on our backs…witnessing the beauty of Gods creation…a dream was born in the dark of night. As with most dreams they need confirmation. Mine came in Glacier National Park, the son was only about two years old or so when I sat on the side of the trail, while feeding the boy a family walked by. Backpacks for all of them and smiles, cheerfully remembering when they used to be us and it was confirmed, I wanted to be them.

As with most dreams I had preparation to do. The husband and I had to convert all our back country gear to ultra light weight gear. The husband and I had some immanence lessons in patience and tolerance to learn through many…and I mean MANY opportunities of correcting our poor behavior. Which is a whole other blog post. And I would probably argue that the most important preparation would be to listen to still quiet whispers from the dream creator Him self.

IMG_2323

Listening to the whisper of God is challenging for me because often the voice of the critic is louder. It takes practice and I am not even close to perfect at it, however I must of done something correct because I’m sitting here 3 miles away from civilization with nothing but the stuff the husband and I carried on our backs. I sit here and think about the intimate process with God and I have walked through to get here. Waves of pain and set back rise away like the tide of the Pacific and suddenly I become a little more free along the way. I have a little bit more willingness to go further. I become a little more vulnerable. And suddenly my dream gets a little bigger. And now it has a title. To backpack with my family in the woods for days. To raise men on the rugged trails. To live a life out loud that demonstrates the power and healing of God. And the dream gets fanned and fed. And the rush of accomplishment floods in.

As a Christ centered wife and mother the image of my self used to look very small and insignificant. Today my call looks bigger. It looks riskier. A bit more daring and scandalous. Going out and having an adventure to live. One with real risk like being mauled by a bear (a scenario I play through all the time) or getting lost in the woods. When we are out in the back country we rely on each other to survive. To give shelter and food. To give first aid if something is broken. I have a part deep inside my heart that craves connection and there is no deeper connection then knowing if we don’t work together we don’t eat or stay warm at night or stay safe from giant MOM eating bears.

My call today is saying to my boys

IMG_0418

“You have an adventure to live and by my example of living mine you will know how to live yours. By my choice to silence the critics you will learn how to silence yours. I will show you how to push through fear. I will show you what not giving up looks like. I will live out a life that listens to a call and the dreams given by God. I will show you what pushing through set back looks like. I will show up after I fail over and over because you can’t know how to succeed unless you fail, you can’t have one with out the other. We as a family, a true connected family, knit together by the Creator, we will show others how to do the same. We will pass people on the trail, in the woods and in life, and inspire them to believe that the impossible is possible. That if we can do it, so can they. By our living as a godly family will teach you that surrendering to the call of God, that following the lead of God will take us through the valleys and over the mountains. We are playing the background and the dream of God flows through our family like a river through the forest”

In each of us is a spirit that connects us to the Higher power. In our hearts, I believe that we have a place deep inside that God speaks.  A place that is filled with the pleasure of God and the dreams He gives us. When I am on the trail with my family, I feel the pleasure of God. This is what I believe God wants for me. I feel the ever connection of a true sense of Joy, of Happiness and of Freedom. Trusting the process. Knowing that every painful experience is for my ultimate good.

I’m answering my call and adventure awaits…

IMG_2297    IMG_2325

 

Grace for the developmental years of childhood insanity and blessing.

 I was sharing with some friends the other day about how much I ask my kids to change in the first 5 years of there lives and it occurred to me to offer a little more grace to them and the ones like them when i realized how much I really do ask of them.

Newborn: they start out these helpless little blobs of joy and smelly things and have parents that are, according to the movies and TV shows, supposed to be happy about this ALL the time. I don’t know about you but when both my sons were all happy and giggles at 2 am I was not laughing, in fact I was crying most of the time because unlike them who get to sleep most of the day, I was awake freaking out because they would stop breathing every now and then and my solution was to check every few minuets because apparently my looking would some how enable them to continue sucking in the very air that keeps them breathing. 

Oh the pressure begins. The conversation would go something like this:

“Oh I know you were just born and all and I know some where in your divinely wired brain you are supposed to know how to eat and swallow so lets get to it because this Dr or mid wife is kind of starting to piss me off! Oh there you go eat eat eat away. Ya my little one did it.”

Then you come home to relentless questions from the well meaning people: Is the baby sleeping well? What kind of question is that! They just got the eating thing down I’ve been home for 10 minuets, the kid might as well feel like they got sent to a whole other world. They were in water that was warm and cozy. Now they are in air that’s freezing most of the time. Or another question I love, are you sleeping well? To which after I get done lying right through my teeth because the mail lady does not need to see my cry for 30 minuets at a time because I just cant seem to remember where my EVERYTHING went. “Yes im sleeping well thank you. Love my little one.”

First Year: the Dr’s appointments! For the first year, are they holding there head? Tummy time! Tummy time! Tummy time! Do they recognize you when you come in to the room? Are they eating by them selves yet? Making sounds? Picking things up? Are they crawling? Walking? Cruising the furniture? Its at this point my eyes glaze over because I starting thinking about my dog cruising the couch for snacks in the cushions and I remember her eating my bagel breakfast sandwich on the first day that everyone slept all at the same time. That my friends, is grounds for re-homing! but then I would cry again so never mind. The Dr. notices my glazed over look and asks the last question again, hows baby sleeping? To which I reply, “I think he decided sleep is for when hes old”

Year 2: They are walking, talking in a code only parents can decipher, opinionated and in to everything. They cant decide if they want to eat or just throw there food on the floor and then scream because there noodles were eaten by the dog and some how its our fault. Oh and they are besides them selves that I wont let them whack me with the tonka truck one more time.

Year 3: They are getting this whole eating with out throwing it at the parents thing down really well, sleeping has settled down a little bit, and now the real pressure comes. Do you feel pee pee? Poo poo? Do you need to go? Did you go? Where is it if you did? (guilty look on the dogs face, and I think, less to clean up) Then the moment in the far back corner of Costco, the first time I brave the no diaper, he just peed in the parking lot so we should be good. Second baby just ate so we are good. And its as if while im inspecting the giant batch of grapes that im about to buy and the boys come together, “are you ready to see how fast she can push this over loaded cart the quarter mile to the bathroom? Ready go! Mommy I have to pee!!!!!!!” Loudly so everyone around can hear. I check my list, I cant just abandon this cart I have the best batch of grapes. And we are off, we make it, and out comes a few drops. In my mind I’m like “REALLY? I almost ran some people over to get here”. But out of my mouth comes “YAAAA go pee pee on the potty!” IMG_3085

Year 4: More questions, is he writing, reading? Can he count? Alphabet? Potty trained? Jump up and down? I think from the counter or off the floor? Does bouncing count? Is he eating well? How is he with other kids? Can he write a code that programs a rocket to launch? They throw that one in just so they know I’m paying attention now, remember the dog?


After thinking about all this stuff I ask my kids to do I realize I really need to give them extra grace. When hes hanging upside down off the grocery cart or yelling so loud that I need ear plugs to hear because when parenting is a 24/7 deal I will have a chance to “try again” in 5 minuets. I expect my kids to behave in ways that really in the reality of things doesn’t make sense. In honesty when I take an honest look at my thinking, I want him to be a robot and then I realize: Hes 4 or hes 14 months depending on which one I’m watching lick the window. Being a kid is such a short lived thing, offer the guy some grace, truly how much have I been asked to grow in 4 years of life? Surely not as much as I’m asking of them. Please have grace for us if you see my son walk right in front of your grocery cart in the store or runs in circles for no apparent reason at all. Chances are its the lesser of two situations like walk freely in the store or go bowling in the juice aisle and see how many bottles he can drop to the floor before hes caught.

Some days I just look at the and say out loud, not what I’m thinking of course, but remind my self “your acting your age, your supposed to …” They arn’t robots. Thank God for the gift of growth not only in them but my self as well. Extra grace required for all parties involved. I try to tickle him instead of grab his hand for the 100th time because laughter releases so much more tension in him and me. Often that is all that is needed, a little bit of purposeful connection.