• Substance Moms

Look Up, Mama!

My husband and I recently spent a long weekend in Colorado. It was a much needed (and honestly, long overdue) getaway.


Last winter was the longest of long winters (see my post on snow days that was posted in April! Yes, April!) and even though we had made it to July, the feelings of being trapped hadn’t subsided. I’ve never in my life felt a stronger need to get out of town, away to somewhere that wasn't HERE!


So we packed up our bags, left the kids with our parents, and boarded a plane together for the first time since our kids were born. (That’s eight and a half years, in cause you were wondering.)


When we drove into Denver from the airport, we remarked to each other just how similar downtown Denver looks to Minneapolis. But after driving for just a few hours, the scenery became drastically different.



I was never the outdoorsy type growing up. I was the bookworm and occasional mallrat who didn’t hike or play sports, and generally only spent time outside if there was a body of water.

But I’ve come to understand that there is a wisdom in the outdoors. There are things only nature can tell you.

And I don’t know about you, but I’m desperate for more wisdom. So I’ve embraced more time outside. More silence. More observation. And more listening.


So that's what I was trying to focus on as we drove into the foothills of the Rocky Mountains; and I remember catching my breath at the sight of the changed landscape. We immediately found a trail, laced up our shoes, and started hiking towards the waterfalls our map promised we could find.



At first, the path was wide and well-trodden. It was dirt, with a few wooden planks someone had made into steps. The view was lovely, even at the bottom of the mountain, so we started our climb in anticipation of what lay ahead.


As we climbed, the trail became much, much different. It was no longer well-packed dirt; now we were climbing over rocks and tree roots. Instead of a wide path, it narrowed dramatically, with a steep drop off on one side.



It wasn’t terribly treacherous, but it made me keenly aware that if I stopped paying attention, things could go wrong very quickly.


One particular stretch was extra rugged. We carefully navigated the rocks and roots to ensure our feet didn’t slip. It was a long, uphill stretch. Breathing hard, drenched in sweat, I paused for a moment.


Then I looked up.


And in that moment, I realized just how long I’d been looking down.



I caught my breath as I stopped, standing in awe of the world around me. Mountains and rocks and trees displayed in such grandeur. It was a holy moment.


As we continued our journey to the waterfall, I felt the Holy Spirit whisper, “Remember this moment. Remember when you looked up.”


Sometimes in this #momlife I’m living, it’s so easy to get caught up in the endless everyday tasks of motherhood. I spent an entire winter with my head down, trying desperately to take the right steps.

Because some days are just so rocky, aren't they? You feel like all you can do is look down. And sometimes those days turn into weeks, months ... entire seasons even where your path feels so jagged. And you keep looking down because you feel like it’s the only thing you know how to do.


But if you keep your head down, you’ll miss it. You’ll miss the view that takes your breath away. You’ll miss the holy moments with your children. You’ll miss seeing where you are and where you’ve come from.


So I beg us all (myself included) to try NOT to focus on the "rocks" of motherhood and to look up instead. That way we'll be able to keep our eyes on the ONE who will forever keep our feet from slipping.


He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber. (Psalm 121:3)


Amber is a wife to her husband, Steve, and mom to her two children, Ethan and Stella. She grew up as a missionary kid in the Philippines and has a degree in literature from Bethel University. She writes about food and creative endeavors at By Amber’s Hands.

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