Smoothing Our Rough Edges

Summer days can be long.

And this one day in particular was overcast and cool. A day when the pool was not an option but neither was spending another minute inside the 2100 square feet of our home.

I called my neighbor and asked her if she wanted to take her two kids plus my three to a park nearby. Without hesitation she said yes and within the hour I had loaded her crew with mine and off we went to shake off the indoor woolies on a too-long summer afternoon.

The park down the road from our neighborhood is a little gem. Seconds off the interstate but worlds away from city life. Lush green trees, pavilions and picnic tables complete with a concrete trail winding behind the shaded play set – inviting walkers and bikers and strollers alike. The path is hovered by thick maples – a stage for childlike wonder and vivid imaginations.

Now I know the path has existed for years – a connector to the Knoxville Greenway. But our five kids felt as if they had discovered a hidden trail leading into treasure and adventure.

We let them believe so.

The kids ran several feet ahead of us moms until they embarked upon a thin creek. A peaceful stream of water trailing along the out skirts of the city.

Without warning (or permission) flip flops were flying and little feet stood ankle deep in the spring. Five kids skipping rocks and splashing hard in a moment meant for summer.

My neighbor and I sat on the park bench nearby, fist-bumping our spur-of-the-moment, mid-afternoon success. A river remedy for boredom.

But beyond the brook and behind the giggles, I thought deeply about this running stream of water hidden in the middle of a bustling city — The constant motion of the cleansing stream. The peaceful passing of water over rock.

A moment meant for summer, yes.

But a reminder to this mommy all the more…

May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23

I called out to the kids, “OK. Everyone find a stone and put it in your pocket. Find a good one. I have a story for you.”

So they did. Ten little hands submerging deep to find the smoothest, finest, most prized skipping rock. A rock for keeps.


After all stones were collected, we dried feet and walked back on the “hidden” path to our van.

I asked everyone to take out their stones and share what they found. Five rocks now held open in tiny hands. All different and similar and stunning in their own right.

“Tell me some things you notice about your rocks….”

Continue reading over at Circles of Faith: Where Faith,  Life and Community  Intersect

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