936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting
Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!
Rain pelts against the windshield and we welcome it.
He sits beside me, one hand steady on the steering wheel, and his other hand firm within mine. With my free hand I delicately unwind the black leather strap from around my journal and open it to a blank page. This next page will decide a lot for us; much more than either of us realize in that moment.
Our boys are on their own adventure with my parents, and we have five days just the two of us—and our third son tucked within my womb—to rest and restore and ask God what He has for us next.
That day as we wound our way through the mystifying Ozark mountains, we composed a blueprint of sorts for our family. It was a draft of a plan conceived from the deep, shared desires of our hearts—the joint passions that my husband and I have spoken of for years.
At the very top of the blank page I wrote it. “Family Values”. And under that heading, we began to fabricate a simple list that would, unbeknownst to us, very soon alter our entire direction in life.
“Exploration” we wrote. And with it, Adventure, Awe, Wonder, Respect, Creativity, and Travel.
We wrote of Education and Hands-On Learning; of Faith and Decision Making and Problem Solving and Physical Activity.
It was rough around the edges and still a bit incomplete—yet it was much more of a plan than we realized that day.
That little list would be a key in the ignition to another long day in the car, six months later and now with all three of our boys crammed into the backseat. This time we were headed to a different Mountain range– the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. We were in pursuit of a couple of the items we had written months before on our Family Values list: Exploration and Adventure.
Only over the next ten days it wasn’t simply hiking and running and playing and exploring that we were doing. It was also a time of dropping off resumes, scoping out the housing market, and finding some local playgrounds and coffee shops that we could soon call our own.
Because that little list we wrote half a year ago? It wasn’t a wish list. It was a How We Need To Do Life list. It was a list of all of the things we will regret in twenty years if we do not make them a priority right now.
It is a list of things we cannot imagine living this life without.
This life is so short, far too short to not spend it chasing after the dreams and desires and passions that God places within us. And I totally get it that we can’t just chase after every whim of our hearts. Because for the past two years God has had us in a place where we never saw ourselves ending up in. It wasn’t exactly our forte.
But He made it beautiful and He made it lovely and He made it very apparent that He had us right here for a reason. He had so much to teach us in this place about life and growth and forgiveness and healing and friendship.
But then He made it clear that He had something more in store for us, because He knew that our spirits weren’t in a place where they could fully thrive. He knew we wanted more of Him and more of His creation. He knew we needed His majestic mountains and golden Aspen groves and crystal clear streams through the meadows, because that is where we see Him and hear Him and know Him.
And so He said Go Ahead.
I think God says Go Ahead much more than we realize. Sometimes we are so afraid of making a wrong move that we completely miss God’s cue for us to begin walking in a new direction. We completely miss that He has so much more in store for us.
Sometimes an opportunity set before us might seem rash or impulsive or hasty. But then we look at everything pointing to that decision, how it aligns just right with the God-given passions and desires rooted deep within us—and it just makes sense.
Sometimes figuring out God’s will for us is much simpler than we make it out to be.
Perhaps God has been laying some things on your own heart. Maybe He’s making clear to you how He uniquely created you to connect with Him, and He’s calling you to follow that path. I know it doesn’t mean packing up a U-Haul for all of us. But maybe He’s simply calling you to open up your heart, set aside your fears, and honestly ask Him how He wants you to live this life. Or where He wants you to live it.
For me and my family—-it looks like setting down some roots where our souls can flourish and our spirits can breathe and our family can thrive. It means chasing after His breathtaking creation and coming face to face with His glory here on earth. It means being sensitive to how He has uniquely created us to connect with Him, and running after that with full abandon.
For us. It means moving to the mountains!
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!