Stepping into Respite

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A half mile off of the shore of Lake Michigan, tucked into tall trees and beyond the riding lawn mower green lawn, is a little ranch house I grew up in. After three hours of asphalt across the mitten state, I pull up the familiar stone driveway lined by edging grass and sporadic tree placements; catching a breath of fresh air, as my shoulders release their tension and fall back into place. Less hurried, I step from my car into a sanctuary of nature, where birds and animals chatter, the sun spills between the trees, and the sound of distant waves roar. My over clouded mind, weighted with doubts and fears, that I’ve been carrying around with me over the last few months, begin to dwindle into nothing.

Barking dogs, large and small greet me at the door. I am sniffed over and welcomed beyond the threshold. Eager to get back outside, I swiftly drop my bags in the guest room, grab my water and step onto the well worn deck into another world. Though I want to nestle into a chair, my feet carry me across the backyard up to the Belgian horse who is stopped short of the electric fence. He protrudes his nose to me as I blow into it, pulling back, he lets me rake my hand over his forehead. Our conversation is short, but draws me out of my head and into peacefulness.

For two weeks, I find my comfort in being here, in this house, on the lakeshore, in this town. Two weeks of respite was found in letting go of the things I hold on to and climbing into the palm of Jesus, where there was less of me and my doubting mind and more of Christ and His abounding love.

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