Rhythm of Life

Fear takes hold as we pull away from shore. My husband rows and five year old daughter sits in the middle, also afraid. We rock from side to side as we encounter waves caused by a passing boat. Taking deep breaths, I put my trust in my husband and my faith in God to get us through this. Until we headed for open water, I hadn't realized how afraid I was of riding in a canoe. Feeling scared myself, I did my best to reassure my daughter that all was well. This outing was her mission to overcome her fear - I didn't realize it would be mine as well. 

Just as my heartbeat started returning to normal, we encountered more waves and I came to the realization that my core strength is not what it used to be after spending a good deal of time over the past year in a wheelchair. I felt out of control of my body and of the situation. My voice calm, I asked Alia how she was doing. Her initial panic had, after a few minutes, turned to stubborn determination, but by this time was back to panic again. She needed to get out of the canoe. Now. The problem- we were now far from shore. 

I grabbed a paddle to help us turn around and row swiftly for shore. Getting into a rhythm, my confidence grew. The largest waves we'd encountered headed for our craft, I helped turn into them and wasn't quite so fearful. With every stroke of the paddle, I felt both stronger and more relaxed. I was actually enjoying myself. 

Later that evening, I sat, staring at the campfire, reflecting on the canoe experience and Camp in general. At camp there are new things to try, new people to meet, and lots of things to do. Yet our days have a rhythm about them. We get up, walk to the shower, walk to breakfast, then I have an hour of quiet time before Bible Study and my husband has an hour of quiet time after dropping Alia off at Kids' Fun Time. We meet for devotions, then have lunch. After lunch we take on whatever adventure we decide upon for the day, whether it's a hike or a canoe ride or beach time. We pick Coren up from Day Camp, have some play time, dinner, then an evening activity. We go to bed blissfully exhausted. In that rhythm, I find comfort. 

While in the canoe, with just my husband paddling and not trusting my body, I felt afraid and out of control. I prayed. I breathed. I trusted. With the paddle in my hands, I found my own rhythm, my own way of moving with the waves. In that I found comfort.

In life, I feel most secure with my life firmly in God's hands, a rhythm to my days, and finding my center amidst the chaos of children and a marriage and homeschooling and volunteering and running a household and all that goes in to Living. 

It's not always easy, this Living thing. I'm not sure why, but I seem to be a bit overwhelmed this week as life-as-usual swirls about me, threatening to capsize my sanity. Deep breaths, trust, and faith calm the waters of my soul and help me find the rhythm that will propel me toward peaceful shores. 


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