Journeys

the-path-gooseberry-falls-mn

Gooseberry Falls State Park, MN

There are days when blogging inspiration is hard to come by.  Today is one of those days. It seems small seeds of ideas pop into my brain and scatter before they have a chance to take root.

I am not sure why this is an issue today. Maybe it is because I was already a day late with my Monday post and my brain just can’t quite reset to the normal blogging schedule. It is hard to get my thoughts back on track.

Much of life can be like that.  You find a perfectly good path to take (at least you think it is a perfectly good path.) and before you know it…..your good path has taken twists and turns that you never expected.

What starts out as an easy hike quickly becomes a test of endurance and perseverance. I find when those paths starting getting a little iffy; it is good to remind myself to stop, breathe and take a look around.

It seems to me, that the hardest paths tend to have some of the most beautiful sites to see along the way. Maybe the flowers just appear to be more beautiful when the way is hard. Maybe it is compensation for life taking a difficult turn. Or maybe it is the promise that no matter how tough it gets there is hope to be found.

In the next few days our thoughts will turn to the past year and all the paths that we have had to travel…..the smooth ones and the rocky ones.Then we wonder what the year ahead will look like. One thing I know for sure – there will be some easy trails. There will also be those paths where the end cannot come soon enough.

Enjoy the easy days to the full….without worrying when the hard ones will show up. Take heart on the difficult days.  Stop and look around. Appreciate the small things…..the smile of a grocery store clerk, the way the sun shines and makes patterns on your living room floor, the smell of the woodstove as it warms your home, the hugs from a loved one…..

There is much beauty to be found if we only look. There is much goodness to be found if we give those around us a chance. There is much joy to be had if we just open our hearts and let it in.

May you be blessed…..wherever your path takes you. And may you be a blessing to those who travel with you.  “The joy is in the journey.” (Glen S.)

 

Yet, the strength of those who wait with hope in Yahweh will be renewed.
They will soar on wings like eagles.
They will run and won’t become weary.
They will walk and won’t grow tired.

Isaiah 40:31 NOG

 

Beneath the Beans

 

Under the Beans

While walking beans this morning my shoe came undone; I bent over to retie the lace and discovered an amazing place.

I told my husband that he should really take a look- he did not take me up on that. On the surface all you could see was green waving leaves and some little grasshoppers (which I have learned bite viciously). The sun beats down on you when you stand above those leaves and you hope to catch a cool breeze.

Once you get down under the canopy of leaves it is a rather sun-dappled world. A light breeze ruffles the yellowing leaves underneath. Small bugs walk around totally oblivious to the world above and the smell of dirt and leaves is rich.

Sparkling Sunlight Through The Leaves

You also see the pods that have formed and the little purple blooms drying up to become the pods that will fill with soybeans. It is ripe with the promise of abundance that will take care of us for the coming year.

I cannot say I love walking beans as it is usually hot; but I will say that there is a sense of season and continuity that comes with doing certain tasks during the different seasons. It is also a time that my husband and I spend hashing out the problems of the world and life in general.

When walking beans, it is better to focus on the harvest to come and to focus on the rows already cleaned than to focus on what rows are yet left to do. I think much of life is like that…..looking behind to see how far you have actually come. It makes going through the hard places so much easier to see how many you have already made it through.There is also a sense of fulfillment when looking over a bean field that has been totally cleaned.

My husband made the comment that bean fields are a lot like life.  We all want the biggest, cleanest, most productive “field” that we can have.  You start out, you plant the field with great hopes and wait for the spring rains.  Once they are growing you wait for the rains to stop so you can get in there and get rid of the weeds. When you have done everything you can for that field you just have to wait and remember that God is in control and all you can do is, once again, wait and pray.

As farmers and people who live our lives we sometimes have a tough time being patient for the harvest.  We cringe when the weather turns ugly with hail, storms, high winds and generally things that seem hurtful.

I have told people that we may not always have had the biggest crop, we may not always have it “easy” but we have never been hungry or had to walk out of our home naked.  I think that makes us fortunate. (I will not say blessed because I have a tough time tying blessing to wealth.)

I am indeed grateful for this life that lets me find lessons in the small things. I love the lessons I can find (with my husband’s help) under the beans.

If you so choose,
even the unexpected setbacks can bring new and positive possibilities.
If you so choose,
you can find value and fulfillment in every circumstance.
Ralph Marston

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