Raising Teens Might Prompt You To Run For The Hills!

Everybody has their ‘thing’.  You know the something you run toward when life is difficult, stressful, exhausting.  And even if you habitually run to the Lord when you’re weary, your ‘thing’ will always remain a close second.  My thing is the mountains.  When I am feeling pecked at by kids, beaten down by the daily grind, and sucked dry by stressors of all sorts, the urge to get in the car and drive away from my troubles toward the nearby peaks, often consumes me.  It’s no wonder most of my closest friends also share the same ‘thing’.  Sometimes, we feed each other’s desire to run to those hills and desperately look through our weekly appointments and demands to quickly find a “free” day to be set free.

The mountains somehow invite my soul to begin breathing more rhythmically, peacefully once again.  And if I meander down a perfect trail-the kind that runs along a creek, through dense forests of trees changing colors-where a rock and a view await me at the finish, then for just a moment I often feel as if I have literally ascended into heaven.  There is nothing like it.  On the rock at the top I find deep rest.  Whether the skies are full of clouds or beholding the deepest blues, soaking in the marvelous beauty somehow soothes places I didn’t even know were aching.  Here, I calmly reflect and reconsider what really matters down below.   I never want to leave that rock once I sit down.  More often than not, I stay a little too long, think a bit too hard and wonder a tad too much.   Eventually, the stuff from the valley begins to find its way back into my mind and beckons me to mosey back down the trail and head home.

Like a child who collects stones during a nature walk, I often wish I could bring that enormous boulder with a magnificent view at the top home with me as well.  Then when this tired mama needed her ‘thing’, I could step out into my backyard and find relief by just sitting on my huge rock.  I truly think my husband and my teenagers would want me to have this as well.   As I continue to amble down the trail persistently pondering the impossibility of lugging a huge rock home with me, a whisper in my spirit reminds me of  THE Rock that dwells within.  Jesus, the Cornerstone, has provided me with the precious, indispensable foundation upon which God has made me a new Creation. Because of Christ, I am daily walking on a path that leads to the most incredible view that exists at the Summit.  While I spend my days on the trail leading homeward, the Rock that is my God invites me to sit, stand, rest, gaze, wonder and hide in Him along the way.   Like the Israelites whose daily needs were satisfied by the rock, my Rock daily refuels me by His Spirit and His word.   I too, can find refuge in my Rock when life is full of trouble just like David who experienced God’s safety and security by hiding in the rocks.  And when the forecast for today is foggy and the visibility is low, my Rock bids me to cling to Him until the haze wears off and I can see life around me once again.

In all honesty, raising teenagers has increased my desire to run off to the mountains more often.  Somehow I am sure that the trail that runs beside the creek that meanders up the mountain leading to that rock with a limitless view will definitely give me what I need for the day.  How thankful I am that it in actuality it is His creation that reminds me so deeply of what I can only find in Him.  As a mother of teens, a counselor of teens and a friend who is passionate about encouraging others to love teens well,  how blessed I am to know that whatever we face today,  He is our present help, our firm foundation, our fortress, our  deliverer, our dwelling place and so much more.

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies. In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help.

Psalm 18:2-3, 6

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