Wednesday, June 28, 2017

tired but alive

That look on Seth’s face; it’s the same one Josh had that time we rented four wheelers and he took me on those trails that were MUCH more intense than either of us expected… that edge-of-danger sparkle, “can’t you feel it? we’re ALIIIIVE!” And his motor roared and off he went, and I wondered for how long will he be alive with a wild spirit like that one?  I followed as fast as I could and prayed all the way.

Today, I watched my son come alive in the same way on the mountain bike trails.
My legs shake and I just got hit in the face with a branch, but I plow forward on my bike, trying to keep up with him.  The trails are tricky and we have to focus; no chatting, no looking up at the trees.  Dodge that tree, jump over that root, try not to fall off the narrow bridge. It’s all balance and muscle and timing.  I only fell once, and he only laughed a little.

With a sore wrist and behind, I push on and stay cheerful. It’s like i’m trying to prove something, and I suppose I am. I’ve still got it. I’m not ready to surrender this body to slowness;  I want to push through, to sweat myself strong, to be a fit mama and a fun mama.  When my kids find things that make them come alive, I want them to show me, really show me, for as long as it’s possible.  

He showed me; conquering those trails at a rate I didn’t dare: doing stunts and riding on balance beams and makeshift stairs.  I slowly did the stairs, but I drew the line at the balance beams. A broken arm wouldn’t fit well with my schedule. I am still amazing, but I withhold some amazing feats that might have happened for the sake of prudence. (Adulthood can be so lame!)

I can feel it coming: the need for a nap. “Ok guys, if we stay longer, that means when we go home you’re fending for yourselves for dinner while I take a nap.” They are happy to consent, and I am happy that my legs have a good rest to look forward to.

We stop conquering the world for a moment to sit by the river.  I am the first one to free my feet from shoes and cool them in the lake; this gives them all permission and they quickly follow.  The one who always takes any fun farther than the rest is soon skipping rocks and painting himself with mud.  The cool water, the shade, the breeze, and the soothing gurgle of the river: we take it all in.  

“I survived many a summer this way,” I tell them. I remember watching toddlers play in the lawn, and sitting my pregnant body down with my feet in a bucket of ice cold water, feeling it cool me and giving me hope I could make it through another summer day.  Green grass, a healthy garden, and loud little kids- life, everywhere, including in a giant wiggling ball on my lap.  That was certainly another way to “feel alive!” Tired, yes, but alive.

Now with my feet up in a chair at home, I trace over the edges of the gifts God has given us today.  I’m tired, yes, but alive, and grateful for this day that bursts with life.

"The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:4

“You alone are the LORD You have made the heavens, The heaven of heavens with all their host, The earth and all that is on it, The seas and all that is in them You give life to all of them And the heavenly host bows down before You.” Neh 9:6

1 comment:

  1. Everyone becomes tired during their enjoyment time but remember one thing if you didn't get tired fully you will never understand that you really had a great time


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