Summer days can be long.
And this one day in particular was overcast and cool. A day when the pool was not an option, but neither was spending another minute inside the 2100 square feet of our home.
I called my neighbor and asked her if she wanted to take her two kids plus my three to a park nearby. Without hesitation she said yes. Within the hour I had loaded her crew with mine and off we went to shake off the indoor woolies on a too-long summer afternoon.
The park down the road from our neighborhood is a little gem. Seconds off the interstate but worlds away from city life. Lush green trees, pavilions, and picnic tables complete with a concrete trail wind behind the shaded play set, inviting walkers and bikers and strollers alike. The path is hovered by thick maples - a stage for childlike wonder and vivid imaginations.
Now I know the path has existed for years. It’s a connector to the Knoxville Greenway. But our five kids felt as if they had discovered a hidden trail leading into treasure and adventure.
We let them believe so.
The kids ran several feet ahead of us moms until they embarked upon a thin creek of water. A peaceful stream of water trailing along the outskirts of the city.
Without warning (or permission), flip flops were flying and little feet stood ankle deep in the spring. Five kids skipping rocks and splashing hard in a moment meant for summer.
My neighbor and I sat on the park bench nearby, fist-bumping our spur-of-the-moment, mid-afternoon success. A river remedy for boredom.
But beyond the brook and behind the giggles, I thought deeply about this running stream of water hidden in the middle of a bustling city -- The constant motion of the cleansing stream. The peaceful passing of water over rock.
A moment meant for summer, yes.
But a reminder to this mommy all the more...
May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23
I called out to the kids, “Okay. Everyone find a stone and put it in your pocket. Find a good one. I have a story for you.”
So they did. Ten little hands submerging deep to find the smoothest, finest, most prized skipping rock. A rock for keeps.
After all stones were collected, we dried feet and walked back on the “hidden” path to our van.
I asked everyone to take out their stones and share what they found. Five rocks now held open in tiny hands. All different and similar and stunning in their own right.
“Tell me some things you notice about your rocks...”
“They are all brown.”
“I bet mine skips the farthest.”
“Mine is smooth.”
“You are all right!” I said. “They are brown and wet and great skipping stones. But Emma noticed what strikes me most. All five rocks are smooth. Some smoother than others, but see...They all are similar in that way. Can you tell? Why do you think they are all smooth!?’
A voice called from the backseat, “Because the water is always running over them. Overtime all the rough edges smooth out.”
“Yes! And you know, I feel like an old jagged rock some days. Rough and gruff around my edges. Sometimes hateful. My heart all yucky with sin. But God, who even calls Himself the Living Water, is constantly washing me over and over and over again. Cleaning off my dirt and smoothing out all of my rough places.”
All five kids still holding their stones, hands open wide, then looked down. (I’m sure thinking Mrs. Becky is a little crazy. They are just stones in a spring, right?) But to me, a mommy who is more than aware of her rough places this summer, those stones were a visual of the never-ceasing flow of forgiveness, power, and purification that washes over me every single summer day. And beyond.
Sixty-four days into this abundant summer has taught me much about my edges. Snappy mommy moments agitated by fussy boys, messy rooms, and wet towels on the floor have reminded me that my soul resembles more of the chaotic city than the quiet stream tucked behind the shaded park.
Sanctify them by the Truth; Your Word is Truth. John 17:17
But God’s Word is a constant stream, washing over my sin and my summertime insanities, producing in me a heart that is sanctified and smooth.
God does this. God Himself. The God of Peace...He sanctifies us through and through. Our whole spirit. Our soul. Our bodies. We are blameless before Him.
Not because we are good moms. Or good wives or even good Christians.
But because He is Good.
And He is the Living Water found in the chaos all around. <<Click to Tweet
Let Him renew your soul today. Find your park bench. Or your front porch. Pull up a kitchen chair. Open God’s Word today and open wide your tiny hands. Show Him the rock of your heart and let Him wash away your rough edges.
Becky Crenshaw lives in Tennessee with her husband Brent and three football-crazed, little boys. She is a writer/speaker with an insatiable desire to ignite passion for Christ in the hearts of her audience. She invites you for morning coffee over at her blog, The Word of God and a Cup of Joe where she pours out her heart and seeks a life of overflow.