Traveling at the Speed of Baby

Whoa! It’s been quite a few weeks since I have posted. I am so sorry to have been away so long. I trust you all had wonderful celebrations through the holiday season. We did, but we also have had a very long visit from Cold and Flu. They have certainly stayed too long. We are all nearly well now, thank goodness and looking forward to what 2020 holds. As many of you, I have been contemplating what the new year will look like. As I was giving some though to New Year’s resolutions, I saw this quote from Bob Goff.

“It’s easy to confuse a lot of activity with a purposeful life. Do what lasts; let the rest fall away.”

So true.

Our culture almost demands the illusion of purpose with busyness and activity, but over the past few months, I have been learning a different lesson about what purpose, the one God has called me to, looks like.

I named my blog A Full Life because I wanted it to reflect a life lived with abundance of a different sort, one that exchanges busy for something valuable and lasting. A life lived fully needs plenty of margin to be spontaneous yet have goals to guide its course. My goals have shifted a bit over the past few months. I always wanted to leave a legacy of joy and beauty and faith along with a sense of adventure to those who come behind me. But, having Baby J has lead me to be more intentional about my actions toward those goals while also allowing myself to be more open to experience things as they come. It is a rich mixture of both, I suppose. At least that is what I’m striving for. Maybe that is what balance is all about.

The following is a post I wrote before the holidays but have only had time to get it up and live now. Perhaps it’s all by God’s design for this moment. At any rate, I hope you enjoy Traveling at the Speed of Baby and find something you can take away with you to make your life a bit richer, too.

Traveling at the Speed of Baby

Last October, we enjoyed an extended road trip as we traveled from our home in Southern California to Whidbey Island in the Pacific Northwest to attend a wedding. Typically, the journey can be made in just a couple of days when driving. Add another when towing our tiny home, A.K.A travel trailer, along behind us. But with “Baby on Board,” tack on a few more days to that.

We were not dismayed by the slow progress. On average, we drove two hundred miles a day, depending on length of naps and contentment in the car seat. It has resulted in allowing us to see so many beautiful places we would have otherwise rushed past. We stopped for leisurely picnics beside rivers and lakes resting in the beauty of the surroundings giving Baby J and ourselves a break in the middle of the day. We didn’t plan too far ahead. We landed wherever it seemed right to rest for the night.

Recently, I read a great article called At the Pace of Our Children by Katie Faris. She was experiencing a similar situation while traveling with her children when God reminded her of something Jacob said to his brother Esau when traveling with his children.

Here’s the conversation between the brothers:

Then Esau said, “Let us be on our way; I will accompany you.”

But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are very tender, and I must care for ewes and the cows that are nursing their young. If they are driven too hard just one day, all the animals will die. So, let my lord go on ahead of his servant, while I move along slowly at the pace of the flocks and herds before me and the pace of the children.”

Genesis 33:12-14

Life with Baby J has been one of adjusting my pace to match hers.

There are days when frustration rears its ugly head and shouts, “You are going too slow here! Life is moving ahead, and you are being left behind with a big pile of undone plans.” It gets to me sometimes. I am Esau, saying, “Let’s get going, times-a-wasting!” And then I look at the face of the sweet baby God has placed in my arms and it makes me realize something significant. This new pace will bring the best quality to the life I am traveling through, better than anything my previous plans could have produced.

I trust God. His way works every single time.

He never fails to work out the best in my life. The things I thought to be oh, so necessary a year ago, now make me laugh. Some things I let go of were actually coming to an end, and I was having a hard time accepting they were over. Other things have simply moved to back of the line of importance. And then, there are those things, the ones I believe I have been called to accomplish on this life’s journey. They will still come into being in their time. I need not worry because God has this, and His timing will be just perfect.

I want to savor this life God has created for me. I can’t wait to see where He takes me, and I don’t mind the slower pace. I don’t want to miss a thing along the way.

Therefore, thus says the Lord God, “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation: Whoever believes will not be in haste.”

Isaiah 28:16 ESV

Baby J Update

Our girl is crawling, has a bunch of teeth trying to pop through, and is trying to eat everything we eat. The first adoption hearing has been set for the spring and the process will be completed before we see another holiday season. Joy and heartache mingle together in the act of adoption, especially when it comes to grandchildren. Thank you for remembering us in your thoughts and prayers.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. This reflection was just as beautiful as Baby J is, Patty! Yes, you all will definitely be in my prayers, and may we all travel at the speed of Baby.

    1. Patty Schell says:

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. And thank you praying for us.

  2. Patty, what a beautiful post. I marvel at how you and your husband have adapted your lives for God’s gift of precious Baby J. You set a wonderful example of trusting God in all things.
    This sentence spoke to me: “A life lived fully needs plenty of margin to be spontaneous yet have goals to guide its course.” I tend to fill every waking moment with activity which often thwarts God’s peace and spontaneous joy. Thank you!

  3. Your calling to parent Baby J is amazing to watch. Your sentence about leaving margins reminded me to avoid over-cramming the agenda with tasks. Thank you, Patty.

    1. Patty Schell says:

      Thanks, Jeannie. We tend to forget about those margins on the pages of our lives, isn’t it? Just think of it as a place to doodle and dream. I so glad you stopped by.

  4. kimwilbanks says:

    What a sweet post. Praying for you. What a wonderful adventure you are on!

  5. I thank God for bringing your family into my world Ms. Patty. I can’t pretend to know much, but I know the love and sacrifice you and your precious husband is making for your Baby J is an example of grace, mercy, and love I want to model. What I know is that when I see little Baby J’s face, I see the face of a beloved child who is cared for, protected, loved, and cherished. One who knows safety and what the words “It is well with my soul…” feels like. I thank God for the wonderful example you set by investing in your family. Am humbled ma’am.

    1. Patty Schell says:

      Ah, thank you, sir. You words always mean a lot.

  6. Kathy says:

    A good reminder as I spend time with daughter and grandson in Texas. Did I plan to be here for over a month? No! But just perhaps God had it in His plan. So here I am, thanking God for His Grace by overriding my schedule and inserting His.

    1. Patty Schell says:

      Enjoy you time together!

  7. Jan says:

    So happy and proud to watch what God has planned for your lives❤️

    1. Patty Schell says:

      Such a crazy journey but worth it. God was in the details on this one. 😉

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