How To Find Your Way

This perfect fall weather has driven me outside a lot lately specifically for walks. I guess I’m trying to drink in the last of the warm breezes before the frozen tundra sets in. Fall never lasts as long as I’d like it to in VA. And winter and I don’t always see eye to eye especially once the time changes. But I made the most marvelous discovery in my trek the last few weeks: sidewalks. This may be the norm where you live but out in the sticks this is monumental.

Tiring of my workout videos I’d been sneaking off to the parks and rec building where a super secret cardio room lives… it’s like having my own elliptical and treadmill… and it doesn’t cost a dime! Bliss! But I don’t think everyone’s caught on yet so sshhhh… A few weeks back I parked in the lower lot down from my ‘private’ gym and traversed the long sidewalk up to the building enjoying the sun on my face and wishing I could walk outside all the time.

Then I noticed the sidewalk didn’t end where it used to. Being curious I kept walking, following the ribbon of concrete as it unfurled in front of me.

Around by the traffic light, up the opposite side of the administration building, across the front of the elementary school and down to the track.

I felt a little like Dorothy following the yellow brick road. Especially when I cut through the bus loop and found this…

PicMonkey Collage

I think they were part of a bullying awareness program that the elementary school was taking part in called, “Kindness in Chalk 2015” (at least that’s what was written on the steps and when I googled it later I came up with these results. )

A most excellent find especially for someone who can beat her own self up every now and then! What if all sidewalks were filled with positive reinforcement wherever we roamed??

I think I need to invest in my own pail of chalk….

PicMonkey Collage2

I couldn’t resist following the length of the sidewalk back and forth a few times taking pictures of my favorites with my phone. There was something about the simplicity of kind words in an unexpected place that made my day and I wasn’t even the one they were intended for but God’s funny like that sometimes.

At some point, because they aren’t finished pouring concrete for all the new sidewalks, my trail turned into a gravel path and then past the track I noticed that it was no more than cleared dirt with landscape fabric ready to accept it’s foundation and eventually become a well marked pass straight out to the new high school.

Where the sidewalk ended (I immediately started singing this George Straight song… still love that movie….) and then I devised my own route cutting through the tech center lot and lower field to pick back up where the it started and continued looping around, taking hills and flights of steps leading up to the buildings like it was extra credit. I imagined my path being marked out with dashed lines like those Family Circus comics marking Billy’s trail of mischief from years ago.

And I couldn’t help but wish  that my own path in life would be as easy to follow as those lovely new sidewalks. I’m always praying for a well marked path. One that’s safe, level and smooth. In my work and in my home life… but real life is seldom all three of those things at the same time….and sometimes living becomes more surviving rather than thriving.

Too much running and not enough catching my breath. Rocky terrains and rough edges. A trail that starts out clear but soon gets obscured by weeds and dirt.

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time praying for direction. Thinking about talents, furrowing my brow over what my focus should be and just in general feeling overwhelmed. I don’t know the right answer but then it dawned on me that I know the one who does.

He calls us to seek Him…. not necessarily all the answers. I reread Proverbs 2:1-8 again and in a nutshell I realize it gives me my own little road map …. Listen to God’s commands and treasure them… Tune your ears to wisdom and focus on understanding….. Keep asking God for insight…. Search out these precious things and THEN you will understand what is right, just and fair. And you will find the right way to go. {my paraphrase}

Or maybe more simply:

seek god first

There seems to be a great emphasis on being seen and heard…But I’m realizing God’s desire is more for us to look and listen.

Media and culture will tell you to follow your heart or your passion but according to this blog, the author says that it’s more biblical to follow your talent because talents are God given and “Your gifting is the primary indicator of God’s guidance and call.”

But do we work that idea too hard even? Plotting and planning and trying to the point of exhaustion to figure out God’s will? Guilty as charged… after a few days of strolling on those sidewalks I decided to up the ante with running some intervals. But all that working harder huffing and puffing just hurt my back and made me miss out on the colors of the leaves, the sun setting and that still small voice because I was too focused on all my own efforts to make it to the next mark so I could walk again. When will we learn?

“Jesus told them, ‘this is the only work God wants from you: BELIEVE in the one he has sent.” ~ John 6:29

I get so busy trying to work out all the details in my head forever and ever, Amen, that I forget all God really wants of me is to believe and seek Him. You too?

God says our first steps are to be toward Him: seeking His face, following His laws, putting Him first and our self-centered pursuits last. When we line up with Him, He leads the way and all we have to do is follow. ~ Stormie Omartian, The Power of a Praying Wife

So to all of us just trying to make it home, I’m with you. And the first step starts with remembering this:

you are loved

Linking up with Miss Holley today… won’t you stroll over and join in?

8 thoughts on “How To Find Your Way

  1. Valerie Sisco at Grace with Silk says:

    Out in the sticks sidewalks are not the norm — that sounds funny to me but I’m sure it’s true!! So what an even greater gift to find all that chalk art during your walk! I can relate to your feelings of not really thriving but just trying to survive – I’m with you — but I think that’s why God give us that sidewalk beauty in chalk form to let you know he’s still got your life plan very much on his radar. We just need to take the next step as we follow behind him! xoxox LOVE all that art!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heather says:

      Yes sidewalks are in short supply around here!! I’m a little jealous of neighborhoods like yours!! But I feel reinvigorated this week and like I have a better outlook thankfully. There’s just something about all that color I want to hold on to it and incorporate it everywhere in my life– Especially when the clocks turn back this weekend and it gets dark so early!

      Like

  2. Trudy Den Hoed says:

    I’m so glad you’re my neighbor at Holley’s. 🙂 I love the sidewalks! Thank you for sharing them, Heather. I, too, beat myself up too much and survive more than thrive, so your post and the sidewalk messages really encourage me and remind me of who I am in Christ. I love the John 6:29 verse. Also timely and encouraging. 🙂 Blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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