Monday, March 19, 2012

Where Are We Going?

I believe I've mentioned before that Abby loves to be outside, and that once she is there it usually takes a significant bribe to get her back inside. Yesterday, as Abby was tooling around on her bike and overseeing the grilling of the burgers, I needed something quick and effective to get her indoors. So, I told her that if she was good that we might be able to go for a walk after dinner. Eventually that got her moving, but she remained a bit obstinate while we were eating. I mentioned to Jason that taking a walk in her present mood might not be the best idea. He agreed.

Thinking that she would forget about it, we happily ate our burgers and began cleaning up. That's when I heard Abby ask, "Mom, time for walk now?" Oops! I tell you, the kid has the memory of an elephant. I was able to put her off by telling her that maybe we would go for a walk tomorrow after school. Now, she doesn't have such a good memory that she would remember yesterday's promise, but as we were sitting at the table after school today I was feeling guilty, so I brought it up, and as expected she was game.

Abby's ready!
Not planning to go far, incase she decided to quit on me half way through, we headed out. I'm happy to say that she did a great job - she didn't get off her bike once, and kept up a steady pedal the whole way. In the end it became a rather enlightening walk, for it was while we were out in the beautiful sunshine that I couldn't help making an obvious comparison. See, along with chatting about the very nice day, Abby kept asking me over and over again, "Mom, where are we going?" and my response was always the same, "We're going for a walk." After about the fifteenth time she asked me I finally said in exasperation, "Abby, we're not really going anywhere...well, we are, but this is one of those things that is more about the journey than about where we end up." That's when it hit me - how much Abby and I are alike.

There are so many times when I ask God that same question, over and over, especially when it comes to Abby. Where are we going to send her to high school? What about college? Will she be living on her own someday? What about a job for her? How are we going to make sure she can be independent? Good heavens - is she going to get married? How am I going to prepare her for all of this? They may sound different on the surface, but in essence they are all variations on the same question: God, where are we going? It was in that moment, while pushing her around a corner, that I felt a little tap on my shoulder, and I could envision God smiling and saying, "Elizabeth...this is one of those things that is more about the journey, than about where we end up."

From there my mind was making connections right and left. When we would hit bumps and Abby would say, "Whoa, it's bumpy!" I would agree and then warn her as we approached more bumps in the road. Even though God hasn't always warned me that there would be a rough road ahead, He has certainly made sure that I was prepared to deal with it when it came. Then the road steepened, and I had to work more and push her harder, all the while reminding her, "Keep pedaling Abby. Don't make me do all the work." Sure, I was doing the lion's share, but I wanted her to know that she was a part of it too. I gave her the encouragement she needed to keep on going when it got tough. I suspect that there have been (and will be) many hills that God is pushing me up and gently reminding me to keep pedaling. When we finally arrived back at home Abby pointed at our house and let out a happy yell, "There it is!" We'd arrived at the end of our journey - safe and sound. We were just where we were supposed to be. Can you see where I'm going with this one? Yes, God will direct our path, and make sure that we are just where we need to be - just when we need to be there.

Today's walk was certainly good exercise for my body - I expected that, but what I didn't expect was how good for my spirit it would be. I can't promise that I won't continue asking the question of where we're headed, but it is good to have a reminder that I have someone patiently pushing me along who will throw me a reminder that He is in charge of the destination, and for the most part there is far more joy in the journey.

We have sprouts! Abby and I were both excited that our garden is growing!

Enjoying her bubble gun after our walk.

These are my efforts to get a mother-daughter picture. It didn't really work.
Bubble Gun was feeling left out.


At least you can see some of both of us.

Abby's take-over

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely beautiful!!!!!! I've asked God several times this last year, "where are we going"? Right now, he has led us to a "normal" day-to-day world with three awesome children....with a baby that has beautiful dimples, a contagious giggle...who is stronger than anyone I've ever met!