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Foot Prints in the Mud

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
While at the beach with my kids, my mind kept hearing the phrase, "how time flies."  I would see dads playing Frisbee, football, or soccer with their kids on the open green spaces and remember when Michael would do that too.  I would watch women pushing their strollers or teaching a child to ride a bike and hear this phrase.  I wanted to run to these parents and say, "Enjoy this time.  It is beautiful.  Enjoy its beauty.  Take your time.  Make each day and each moment count." When our children were very young and would ask me to read a book to them, I had my own private rule. Just like the rule for when there is a fire in the house, "Stop, Drop, and Roll,", my rule was, "Stop, Drop, and Read."  Stop what I was doing, drop down to the ground where they were, and read with a child in my lap.   In relation to all the years of life, the amount of years that your children say,"Will you read me a book?", is few.  We would sit and go through a whole stack of books.

We all know that there are seasons to our lives.  As they pass, most of the time, we don't think much about it.  We just smoothly move from one to the next.  I am seeing those seasons in a different perspective now.  I used to think Michael and I would sit next to one another in our old age and remember the different seasons of our life together and appreciate them with wonder.  I thought that the seasons would have felt like they had happened so long ago.  Now I look back at the seasons of early childhood as something almost mystical.  Mystical, now, because Michael was in it and living with gusto.   It was a time of great happiness, joy, wonder, and learning.   It was a time that Michael and I enjoyed experiencing together.

Yesterday, I was out walking Brady for my first time in the early morning hours, as Michael once did.  I took a cup of coffee with me to sip, like he did.  It was a lonely walk.  I thought about all of the husbands and wives that were together in their homes at that moment eating breakfast and getting their children ready and off to school. I thought of the routines... the seasons.  This is their season.  I am in a different season.  I was walking along with my melancholic mood but no tears, just heaviness in my heart and steps, when I noticed something along the curb.  Some mud had collected in the area between the edge of the street and the curb.  I noticed there was a continuing track of footprints in the mud.  The prints were made by a child about 5 years old that had been wearing rain boots.  It suddenly and surprisingly made me cry.  It was a beautiful sight to see that some young child had been out enjoying nature, in his or her rain boots.  I remembered all the times that our son had played down by the creek, the turtles found, the rocks and sticks thrown into the water.  A time when the whole world is out there to explore.  It was not that I was missing that time, but I was recognizing its beauty and its innocence. Time flies.

One of Michael's favorite books in the Old Testament was Ecclesiastes.  He was intrigued with the thought, "there is nothing new under the sun." (I won't go into this right now.) In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, are the verses that so many of us know but they seem to only have real meaning when you recognize a drastic change of seasons.
"To every thing there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven: 
 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted. 
 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 
 A time to weep, and a time to laugh;  a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 
 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;  a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 
 A time to get, and a time to lose;  a time to keep, and a time to cast away;   
A time to rend, and a time to sew;  a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;   
A time to love, and a time to hate;  a time of war, and a time of peace..........He has made everything beautiful in its time."
All it took was seeing some little child's footprints in the mud.  What a beautiful gift God gave me in that moment of memories.


Anonymous Says:
April 13, 2011 at 8:32 PM

Thank you for the reminder to cherish the moments because time does fly, even though somedays it feels like it doesn't. Thank you also for the reminder to stop, drop, and read. I don't ever want to look back and think I was too busy cleaning my house, talking on the phone, etc. to stop and read/play with Freeman or "sister" when they ask. Lots of love, Page

LiNz Says:
April 14, 2011 at 6:30 AM

Sweet! You're right, it does make sense now! I enjoyed our walk and I am so thankful that you have such sweet, precious memories! Those memories (even though not as sweet as the man himself) will fill your heart and mind, staying with you until you see him again. I'm so thankful we have that hope! I love the stop, drop and read rule! Love you!

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