Have you ever taken notice of your own awareness of the things happening around you? I know I certainly take notice of the people around me and how they are interacting with the space they are filling. Some might call this people watching. I simply call this awareness. It’s important to note that awareness should be a 2 pronged happening. There is the awareness of those around you and there is the awareness of yourself within your surroundings.
Just this past Sunday, I was completely aware that I was nearing the end of my sanity with my little boys. It had been a long day and both were tired. We were on the precipice of naps, which is always a trying time. We got to church and they had both fallen asleep during the car ride. Thank you God! I said a quick prayer. It was about my sense of bubbling anger with myself out of the lack of patience I had reached. I told God I loved Him and I asked for his help to calm my mind and heart. I really just miss my husband and I am exhausted of parenting alone. I listened intently and heard the words, “Just take a walk.” So I carefully transferred each little boy from the car to the stroller, with the utmost caution not to wake them, and headed up to church.
Once on the ground floor and inside church, as we had parked in the underground parking deck, I greeted a few people around me with the initial action to ignore the subtle whisper to take a walk. I was in church now. Everything would be ok. But once the first person asked me how I was doing I could feel the emotions surge in my body and I said, with a very heavy tone, “I’m ok. But I think I need to take a quick walk.” So I went for it. I knew there was a Starbucks just 2 blocks away. I started on my walk with both boys soundly asleep, and the moment the air hit my face a little peace ran over me.
Once I arrived at the Starbucks I was immediately hit with adversity once more. Had it not been for the peaceful 2 block walk over I might have just exploded right there. But I took another couple of breaths and navigated the problem. You see the entrance to so many places in the city have stairs and no visible ramp. And with a stroller that is loaded down by 2 kiddos the weight is just too much to pop a wheely and clear the stairs. I know this was such a crazy small issue, but it was another small example of how frustrating little tasks can be when you are on your own. So back to the story….I took a few breaths, looked around and found the way to get into Starbucks without stairs.
Once in the Starbucks, it seemed like nobody would be kind enough to reach out to help the lady with the stroller. No one helped open the door. No one made room for us when we got in line. Even the barista who was checking me out made me get out of line to go get an item I ordered when it was literally 5 steps from her, and she didn’t have a stroller to move around. Ugh….Needless to say I was just about done with the lack of awareness of those around me. I just couldn’t believe it. I repeated the words that I know the Lord said to me in my car, “Just take a walk.”
We left Starbucks and I received the gift of a peaceful 2 block walk, with my Starbucks goodies waiting to be consumed :) Once I got back to church it almost felt like my touchiness had disappeared. My littlest, Wynn, woke up and I was all too happy to hold him and listen to the sermon. During the sermon I recognized that I had heeded the words God put on my heart; in my moment of awareness of myself during prayer, and He gave me peace in my emotions.
WOW! I need to remember to do this more often. Because the only awareness I have any ability to affect is my own. And with His help I can be me better. It’s such a little thing, but it has such great impact. So listen to that subtle voice speaking to your heart telling you what you need most :). You might just find the peace you'd been looking for all day.
I am a Christ follower, a wife, a mother of 3 boys and was an active duty member of the United States Air Force for 8 1/2 year. I medially retired in December 2018 from the Air Force and I know work as a Fitness and yoga instructor, I run the customer service experience for a local swim school and I am a Doula. I am also working on my Master's in social work.