“Nature, of course, connects us back to that innate sense of having been created – of order and beauty and humility. We have been made. We are fragile. We live in connection to water and air and plants and sunshine, and when we acknowledge those things, we acknowledge our Creator.” - Present Over Perfect, Shauna Niequist
Posting these images today, Election Day. A day that should unite us but seems to have only divided us more and more. I've already seen comments and words and posts that make my heart hurt. I think I need to stay off social media for a while. Maybe more trips to the woods.
This was the most beautiful Sunday for a walk through our favorite woods. The sunlight was golden, the temperatures were that mix between late summer and early fall. There was the favorite familiar sound of a blanket of leaves crunching beneath our feet and there was Brandon's silliness, as he found a stick for his walking cane and pretended to be an old man through half of our journey.
Outside this woods, the world's not always a pretty place. Or - sometimes we just have to look harder to find the good. It's fitting that my daily bible lesson this week is about joy. "Joy is not based on our circumstances but is based on our ability to be thankful."
"Whatever you might be going through today, know that when you look to Him you are His. Know that whatever is going on around you cannot stand against Him. Find the joy that endures the circumstances because the joy is in Him."
I look at my kids, and I know the future that I want for them. I tell them so often how lucky they are to live in this land, and then I try to tell them all the reasons why. I want them to grow up knowing Jesus, and I also want them to grow up to be a light for others to be able to come to know Jesus. I want them to be kind to those that disagree with them, I want harsh language and divisive tones kept out of the words they speak, I want them to be able to walk in other's shoes, see through other's eyes and truly hear the struggles of the less fortunate around them. I want their hearts to be soft and prayerful, and I want them to leave all judgment of other humans up to God. I want them to know that Jesus died on the cross to take away their sins, and that if they follow Him, even though they will screw up in this life, they will be okay.
I pray that this is the world - that this is the country - we are leaving for them.
Psalm 8: “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”
..."as those words began to take root in me… I felt my tangled spirit begin to untangle. I felt my breath slow and deepen. I felt a part of the natural world, governed by a good God, created with care and attentiveness. I felt my daughter-ness, my place in the family of God. And I exhaled." -Shauna Niequist