© 2013 . All rights reserved. A Rest in the Prickly Pear Patch

Time to Be Still

Scratching out a living, finding our place in the pecking order, preening, nesting, tending our chicks;  like hens in the chicken yard we are usually on the move.   Before a finger presses the shutter to capture an image we are on to the next thing.  Our frenzied lives appear as a blur in the screen, out of focus.


A weekend of retreat and an invitation to “Be Still” was an appealing proposition.  The invitation to stillness was accompanied by the opportunity to find in that rest the assurance that He is God, and the relief of being reminded that I am NOT.

 Late afternoon in West Texas

As we retreated into stillness we had our share of conversation, song, food and sharing.  Even silliness.   A sneak attack on a group of unsuspecting ladies that were taking a quiet little float on a raft in the river with sudden whooping, hollering and flying hunks of dried cow manure was definitely a detour from the theme of “Be Still”.  But even the laughter quietened our spirits, and the peaceful setting helped to calm our souls.

Woman and horse

After a lesson titled “Weed Pulling” we were given the task of examining our thoughts, looking for the lies that might be harbored there. Then our “weeding” exercise involved finding a quiet place where we could do some journaling.

Woman sitting in an empty field

Some took chairs out into the field, others snuggled up on the porch.  I found my spot in patch of mesquite trees, near a prickly pear clump.

Looking over my boots

Stretched out on the bare ground I took in my peaceful surroundings and started my assignment.

Sundown over mesquite trees

Filled my page to the tune of the setting sun.

Journal in the Dirt

Just a few short hours after I gazed over my feet into the cactus patch another woman at our retreat fell and broke her ankle.  Her peaceful weekend ended with pain, surgery, and a lot of questions about how all this will affect her ability to work.  As I looked back through my photos I was struck by the thought that it had never occurred to me to be thankful for the two feet that had carried me to my quiet place.  Even in moments of quietness and reflection I remained unaware of what a blessing those feet were, and how dramatically different my life would be in an instant if they were taken away.

View of boots relaxing in the prickly pear patch

The weekend is long gone, and I’m back in the chicken yard, pecking my way through the tasks of the week.  I’m back to scratching out a living, herding my fifth-grade chicks.   Back to a slightly more-in-focus normal.  And a new-found appreciation for my two good feet!


Evening sun in the mesquite patch


One Comment

  1. Posted 19 Sep ’15 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    It’s exhausting work, haitnchg. Sometimes the little guys need to take a breather when they get the first bit of a hole punched through to the air. Now I want to experiment tapping on the inside of a shell with what I imagine is a chick’s power.

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