"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." - John 16:33

Monday, October 10, 2011

When Peace Comes in the Rain

I felt a small twinge of guilt as soon as I sat in the drivers seat of my husbands car.  Every time I leave my children, even if for an hour, a small part of me is filled with worry.  I miss them; I just want to hug them, to hold them, to hear them, to smell them, to remind them that I love them.  I knew that on that day what was best for them, was for me to be gone.  They were with Daddy.  He had his instructions for therapy and school activities and I felt confident he would carry them out just as asked.  Now that I have taken on virtually every aspect of our children’s care and development, we (my husband and I) had decided we needed to make “Mommy Days” more frequent.  Mommy day is a day where mommy is banned from the house to go off and do something else not child oriented.  My last mommy day had been last December, and was cut short due to another one of Peanuts high fevers.  I have already learned the valuable lesson that if I am to care for my children to the best of my ability, then I need to first take care of myself and so off I went in search of relaxation.
 It was nice to be driving a car instead of a minivan.  It was much more comfortable and almost “normal” feeling.  Driving in the car alone, for me, is therapeutic.  I can put the music I like on as loud or as soft as I want and I can sing to my heart’s content.   I approached the highway and I relaxed back into the seat and turned the music up.  As I drove towards my most beloved place on the planet, the grey sky began to open up and the rain began to fall.  It has rained on every Mommy day I had ever taken and every time it is disappointing that I can’t get clear skies on “my day”. 
This time, I decided I wasn’t going to let the rain effect me.  If it rains, it rains.  I’m going to make the best of it.  The rain began to fall even harder and I ignored it and pressed through.   I was able to find my way up to the coast with only one phone call to my husband for directions.  The rain began to lighten as I rounded a corner and I opened both windows.  The smell of the salty air filled my lungs and I could feel my stress just melt away from my soul.  I parked the car, sat back, closed my eyes, and took a deep breath.  The overpowering roar of the ocean filled my ears.  With each exhale, all that pressure I had sitting on my shoulders fell away.  I was at peace.
The ocean is my friend.  I can remember as a little girl coming to the ocean with my parents.  We would go on days when they knew the weather would cause particularly turbulent waves.  I’ll never forget sitting on the rocks and watching the powerful water crash against the very rocks we sat upon.  I’m not a beach person, I’m an ocean person.  For me, it cures illness, heals broken hearts and chases stress away.
I got out of the car, stretched my leg and walked down the stairs to the wet sand.  High tide was imminent but there was still beach left to walk on, and I was going to be sure to walk on it.  I like to take the quiet times in life to talk to God and reflect.  I was definitely overdue for this quiet time.  I took off my sandals, let my feet hit the sand and began my walk on the beach with God.  The breeze was light and refreshing.  I walked along the water’s edge.  The water was surprisingly a comfortable temperature.  The seagulls walked along with me watching ever so carefully to be sure I wouldn’t be a source for their next snack.   I took my time and walked for as long as I could.  Because of the rain, there was barely a soul around.  No crowds, no people, no stress.  It was just me, God and the waves.  The rain gently fell but yet somehow seemed to roll from my sweatshirt down to the ground.  I lost track of time, lost in such a comforting feeling.   
As I’m writing this, I am reminded the poem, “Footprints in the Sand.”  Many are familiar with this world famous poem, and it is by far my absolute favorite.  I have a copy of it up in every bedroom of our house as a reminder that God is there.
Footprints in the Sand
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.  In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.  This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord, “You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”  The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”                                                                                                                                              

Mary Stevenson, 1936
 I thought about our lives and how greatly they had changed in the past couple of years.  As I thought and walked, I watched as my feet left their mark in the cool wet sand.  God was, and is with us always.  He has carried us through our toughest times.  There were times when we accepted and acknowledged his help as well as times when we didn’t.  Those stubborn times were the times that we would finally find our way back to Gods intended path and then we would look behind us to see His way was the easier route.  We could have made things easier if we had just listened to God instead of trying to do things “our way”. 
Mommy day was in September.  I never had any intentions to write about it here.  I am writing about it now because of this: I left the beach that day and returned home with a new feeling of peace and I have continued to hold on to that peace.  The peace was not as a result of getting a day off, or because I spent the day at the ocean.  I felt peace, because I LET God give me peace. 
We all deal with our own stressors and struggles and so that is why I share this will you.  We all need peace, but in order to reach that peace, we first need to listen to God and what he wants for us.  Let go of what you want, and listen to Him.  In times of trouble, let him carry you.  Talk to him, pray, listen, and follow his guidance.  I can guarantee you won’t regret it, because even when it rains, God can still help you to find your peace.
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don't forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ.    
Philippians 4:6-7

God Bless!

Mommy Provost

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