With rolling hills and quaint village like towns filled with ample music and art to nourish a contemplative soul such as myself, this New England haven provided days of pure enjoyment while I explored its art galleries, museums, gardens, and shops with my family. On one particular day I set off on my own to wander the lovely streets of Stockbridge, the dearly loved home of Norman Rockwell, and stumbled across a hidden cafe where I sipped chocolate infused chai and processed the sights, smells and sounds of my morning. Every part of me had been refreshed with nourishment for the road ahead. I had no idea at that time how busy life would become or how frantically I would long to be back in the Berkshires sipping chai with nothing significant to do; but rather I was inspired and hopeful for the upcoming adventures a new school year would deliver. In that moment I realized the importance of rhythm and balance in life. My cup was full and overflowing with the anticipation to give, work, create, and welcome. Yet if that cup was not poured out, the contents would become stagnant and useless. On the other hand, if I would continue to pour out without taking opportunity to refuel , I would be left drained of all resources with nothing to give. Therein, I was reminded of the many times God used quietness and solitude in the lives of His heroes to prepare them for the wearisome, stormy battles ahead. Moses had his desert, David had his pasture, and Elijah had his brook. The contemplation of such great lives enjoying moments of refreshment encouraged me to breathe in and enjoy the calm with deep contentment.
Since that day in the Berkshire, life's pace has quickened to the beat of battle for the sake of four growing souls entrusted to my care. The days of nurturing, praying, teaching, talking, listening, exemplifying find my weary body ready to collapse into bed each night for a few moments of respite before another day dawns, but I take refreshment in remembering that time where my soul was restored, and my body prepared to do the work I have before me. And I take courage, knowing that the Restorer of my soul knows my weaknesses and infirmities and gives pockets of refreshment along the way to give me strength for the wonderful journey He has placed before me.