"When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they're finished, I climb out." - Erma Bombeck
We are in the process of searching for a new home... more specifically a property where the boys can go when they need to be "wild and unruly." We've long dreamt of a place where our boys can be boys; to romp, explore, imagine, grow, claim and tame. A wild piece of their own wilderness to exercise dominion over. Here in Southern California such pieces of property are a little further inland and in the mountains.
Yesterday we visited a beautiful home on 4 such acres, covered in boulders and native plants, sporting views all the way to Catalina Island on a clear day.
Here is a picture of our free spirited middle child whom I imagine reading upon one of these massive fort-rocks in the years to come. This specific rock is surrounded by the gorgeous purple cones that bloom from Spring to Fall and help deliver that majestic appearance of "purple mountain majesty."
To get to this rock he walked by three raised planters on a level area above the home. Every bit of everything here felt perfect to me - even the planters. You see, I've been promising the boys each a planting box of their own to cultivate at our next home, just as Jo's boys were able to do in our last novel, "Little Men" by Louisa May Alcott. Caleb wants to grow strawberries and sweet peas, Brody wants a great big grapevine, and Asher wants to grow sugar snap peas and pumpkins.
I stood between two of these perfectly ordained planters and snapped this picture of Brody. Afterwards he jumped down and ran off to explore more with his brothers and I walked slowly back toward the house. After taking another tour of the inside I came back to the leveled garden to dream again and take in the views. As I walked between the same two garden boxes I was met by the sudden rattle of a great big rattlesnake, three feet in front of me, at the base of this rock where Brody had been.
Of course I knew not to run and not to scream, I knew it in my head. But run and scream I did - right past our real-estate agent Paige. She ran in my wake until we were far far away.
Now look at that rock! I'm not so naive to think there weren't rattlesnakes around these bolder laden hills, I just thought we'd see 1 or 2 in the next 10 years, not the very first day we came to explore a possible home. Needless to say, I'm rattled. (pun intended) LIterally shaken. I barely slept last night and when I did sleep my dreams were filled with snakes, tarantulas, bobcats, and other mountain dangers. I awoke from my fitful sleep at 5 this morning with Psalm 91 going through my mind.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday...
If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Since reading and re-reading Psalm 91 over my steaming cup of lavender tea this morning, I'm still at a quandary. Where do trust and discernment intermingle? Where do they marry, becoming smart yet faith-filled choices in this dangerous world? My tea cup this morning displayed the quote, "Let the Peace of God rule in your heart." But that begs the question: where is peace found in a dangerous world?
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3)
If our hearts are stayed on Him, trusting His loving care and protection, no matter where we move or what we do, He will accompany us. Even when disease, storm, pestilence, or predators surround us. That said, He also desires us to seek wisdom; to make choices that usher in some measure of safety for our loved ones. It's a walk of faith as we learn to trust and discern.
A faith walk among rattlers!
Categories: Raising Boys