Alarm goes off. Children awake. Hustle and bustle of lunch making, form signing, hair brushing, clothes ironing begins (In all honesty, they are independent and take care of this; Jeromy and I just tend to be in their way).
My Love and I sip on steaming cups of coffee while watching the news (ugh). Jeromy insists we stay informed. I agree. (Sort of.) Breakfast in bed is a ritual these days. Nothing elaborate. He munches on a bowl of cereal while I consume whatever concoction I've created. Between bites and sips, we discuss the agenda for the day/week. Who is taking who, who is picking up who, birthday celebrations, work, etc. If we skip this step, someone will be left behind. Not good.
Eventually, we kiss and wish one another success in our missions to divide and conquer. We join the children in separate vehicles and make the drop offs.
Depending on my schedule, the after looks different. Today, I'd blocked off time to write, then exercise, before launching myself to the southwest side of town to do a job I'm blessed to love. My characters and I spent some quality time together, discussed dialogue, and whether or not someone could have a firearm. We came to a peaceful treaty and a thousand words later, I bid them good-bye for now.
Then, I strapped on my headphones, dialed into my compel writing podcast, and set out on my two-mile jaunt around the neighborhood. Glanced at the clock. 9am. Twenty feet from my driveway I run into my neighbor who, bless her soul, is sweating bullets and attempting not to get wound up by the three dog leashes criss-crossing in front of her. She's multi-talented because I'd never make it to my mailbox without breaking my neck. We asked about kids and commented on the scorching heat. August in Central Florida, y'all. No joke.
So, I continue my walk and listen to wise words emphasizing misplaced pride in our adamant refusal to ask for help. Look to Jesus where the gospels account countless examples of Him living in community and leaning into assistance from others. Good words to ponder.
Then, the podcast ends and as I look at my phone to close out of the app, I'm a bit shocked by the drops of water quickly accumulating on the screen. I hadn't noticed a section of the sky that had darkened since I left my home a mile ago. But there it was. No thunder. No lightning. Only gentle rain falling in neat lines, as if an artist, or rather The Artist, had a piece of white chalk lightly dashing away at the canvas.
In that moment, I made a decision. I didn't switch to Pandora. I didn't answer an email. I didn't call a soul. I just walked the remaining mile in the silence. And what do you know? I heard the birds chirping. The roar of the garbage truck making its bi-weekly run. Dogs barking at other dogs through the slats of fences. And then I saw the flowers and plants. Really saw them. The variety, the diversity. Blooms in shades of yellows, greens, pinks, and blues. Elephant ears with perfect red centers edging out carefully cultivated gardens. (I may not have a green thumb; in fact I struggle to keep my three houseplants alive, begging them to stay with me just a little longer, but I so appreciate the talents of others.)
All the while the gentle rain—nurturing, life-giving, healing rain—quenched the thirst of every patch of growth.
During the last seven years, the two mile path around our neighborhood has been the setting for much healing. I've prayed, cried, and laughed with every step at some point on my timeline. Today, in the midst of getting wet, I slowed my steps instead of speeding up. I even skipped once or twice, not to hurry, but to play. Because that's what hope provides, an opportunity to experience joy in the healing.
Dancing with Scribbles,
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.