Retire O my soul!
from the busy world,
and employ thyself about that
which thou wast created:
The contemplation of God.
Thomas Ken, 1637-1711
Being satisfied in God is our calling and our duty. ~Piper
Put the glory of Christ on display
by pursuing your JOY
in the HOLY JOY
of your beloved.
…let me not wander…
…open my eyes…
…make me understand…
…incline my heart…
…turn my eyes…
from Psalm 119
Oh my friends, I have missed being here, I could have used my iPhone to post a note but I truly believed that the computer fix would only take a couple of days. Thankfully, it is has been repaired and my husband went to pick it up for me on Saturday.
How have you been? Here at our place we have been enjoying yet another beautiful autumn season, and the trees are almost bare. There are still bits of color, however, in the few remaining leaves and bright red berries.
Rich was gone the week after Aunt Colleen and Uncle Roger left and whether I was over tired or it was just the wrong time of the month, it was a tough week for me, I found myself a tad short tempered.
Finding myself being *a little too harsh* with a couple of the children that week convicted me once again of my firm belief in gentle mothering. It’s been a nice reminder to keep my eyes on my heavenly Father; he is kind, loving, patient, understanding, and a protector of the weak ones, and that is how I ought to be for my own children. I am thankful for forgiveness and the opportunity to continue nurturing my children, instead of using harsh words and being impatient. The reality is, we will all have tough days now and then, but in general a loving approach to motherhood is what we strive for.
Feeling so rushed and busy also got me to thinking about REST, and amazingly enough the Lord (gently) led me to a wonderful book that described rest, not only as mere contentment in a quiet place, stagnant, but contentment and calm IN THE MIDST OF STORMS because I trust God. This is completely possible in Christ and I think we all know of the supernatural calm in storms that we see in the believers around us who are in various trials.
“Two painters each painted a picture to illustrate his conception of rest. The first chose for his scene a still, lone
lake among the far off mountains. The second threw on his canvas a thundering waterfall, with a fragile
birch-tree bending over the foam; at the fork of a branch, almost wet with the cataract’s spray, a robin sat on its
nest. The first was only Stagnation; the other was Rest. For in rest there are always two elements–tranquility and energy,
silence and turbulence, creation and destruction, fearlessness and fearfulness. This it was in Christ.”
I read that quote on the way to church yesterday, and then the sermon that was preached was also greatly encouraging. The title was “Remembering God, or Regularly Scheduled Neglect of a belligerent World for the sake of our own Soul…..” and the main points were from Psalm 119, a long and complex musical poem written by a psalmist who spent much skill, time, and deep contemplation in writing it, by the inspiration of God. The angels long to understand the Scriptures, do I? Do I take the time in deep thought about my God and His Word?
“The Scriptures are to be treasured as from God.”
Listening to the sermon made me think of the book I just read about Grandma Gatewood, a 67 year old mother of 11, grandmother, and great-grandmother, who walked the appalachian trail three times (at the age of 67 and older). In the book, the merits of long walks and hikes are explained. One of the benefits of walking is that it is good for mental health, and the fresh air and easy pace contribute to deep thinking and alone time…..Grandma Gatewood readily admitted that those long weeks of walking were among the very best weeks of her life. What better way to spend time alone with God, in walking outdoors in his very creation?
In short; I am currently enjoying: a renewed spirit within me, a desire to allow the Lord to keep my soul in rest even as I busily care for my family, and a determination TO WALK MORE.
On Saturday Rich and I took the children (Jacob, Grace, Caleb, Seth, and Sarah) on a four mile walk all the way to the local diner, over back roads. David was tired and Ethan had a report to write, so the two of them stayed at home.
It was a beautiful morning to walk and it took us a little over 2 hours.
a fun place to rest
happy little Seth
Caleb in the trees
someone’s pretty flowers by their mailbox
a bright red barn
cute pumpkin people on someone’s front steps
view from a small bridge
the prize was a nice big lunch at the diner
After Rich ate, he ran the 2 miles back home (on the main roads) to get the truck. The little ones didn’t have the strength to make another long walk back home.
In other news:
my son Jacob, and his girlfriend
at the homecoming dance on Saturday night.
Have a wonderful day my friends!
“Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.” Psalm 119:90
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our heats through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-5
you are loved.
Good morning friend! Glad to hear from you on your blog again. This post was relaxing and very much hit home as well. I had a similar week last week with impatience, frustration, and words. I also have been challenged in spending more time in the scriptures…so your blog was right where I live except for the walking part 😉 since I have no where really to do that…but it sounded fun with the family. 🙂
Much love to you my dear friend! Love… B
Wonderful reminder. I always find rushing brings out the negative in me. It’s also hard when my own husband is away on business. Thank you for the beautiful post, passages and quotes. I’ll write some down to remember.
I would LOVE to know the title of the book about Grandma Gatewood hiking the Appalachian trail. I have read so many books about people who have hiked it, and it’s my dream to do that one day!
Your Fall up there is SO beautiful…the colored leaves on the pond are staggering!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You always give me pause to think about a lot of things. I appreciate your openess and honesty…and your vulnerability. We all do and say things we are not proud of. Thank God for His Grace and Mercy. All He really wants is for us to admit it and crawl up into His lap and say, “I’m sorry.” …like a little child. God is so good.
I’m glad you are back, sweet friend! You were missed.
Kara, here is the link to the book:http://www.amazon.com/Grandma-Gatewoods-Walk-Inspiring-Appalachian/dp/1613747187#
Thank you! I just recently signed up for a free trial for Kindle Unlimited, so I was happy to see this book listed as a Kindle Unlimited book. I have downloaded it for free…or…kinda free. 🙂 I’m going to start reading it tonight.
I love love love to walk and explore, but the flat terrain of FL doesn’t provide the hillside climbs that I used to enjoy up north. Looks like very lovely trails and roads to walk around your place – I always find walking to be a way to clear my head, pray and calm my emotions, nerves, etc. 🙂 thanks for sharing your beautiful Fall photos!
So sorry you had a Jonah week. I am glad that things are running smoother now.
It is always a challenge for me when my husband is away. Glad your husband is safely home now 🙂 I always enjoy reading your beautiful posts about your family. Many blessings to you!
How I needed this! In the rush of everyday life and kids I am in need of refreshment and nourishment! How I need to hear His still small voice. How I need to learn to be still and rest.
I love to walk! It clears my head and calms my anxiety.
Your Fall pictures are so beautiful. It really is a jewel time of year. I always think the confetti of leaves is so lovely. So good to hear of your reading and contemplations and how God uses them in your life.
I absolutely love your nature pictures…they end up being the background on my phone and tablet…and sometimes the wallpaper on my computer….they just capture the wonderfulness of each season…love fall and winter in your pictures…cant wait for winter this year…love your pics….you have a gift of photography, Shanda…you capturw moments that sone of the rest of us would miss
I’m so excited to read this! I had a rough week last week as well!!! So awesome that we don’t have to stay the same ol same ol people but that there can be development in our person!!
Oh and walks….so therapeutic!!! I need to do it more too!
Shanda, you make very beautiful pictures, congratulations. A pleasure to contemplate the nature near your house, it’s beautiful. It relaxes me to see these beautiful pictures, thank you very much
Good to hear from you, my dear French friend Soline! Hope you and your family are well. Blessings to you!
shanda thank you, my family is well. I love the pictures of nature. Thank you for the nice pictures. God bless you dear American friend. Congratulations, you have a beautiful family and you are a wonderful mom
Thanks for sharing your thoughts – and you are a wonderful photographer!
You’re so sweet, Pam, thank you!
…….this is posted anonymously because you know who i am……
Grace, I just wanted to tell you that I tried to respond privately to your comment but the email you left didn’t work. Also, every time you leave a comment, no matter what name or email you use, wordpress gives you your own identification number. In the private parts of this blog, I can see who visits and where they come from. I clicked on your identification number and found that you have left me two other comments and both of them were from last February. In one, you used the name Gina, and in the other you used the name Rose. That is all I know about you at this point. Your comment yesterday saddened me, of course. It’s never pleasant to be personally attacked and misunderstood, even in something as simple as a short note on a blog.
Shanda, I haven’t visited here for a long time, but I love this post and the pictures!! You always inspire me with your love of nature and your sweet heart toward God and your family. Blessings, friend!