Something about viewing life from under a canopy of trees, tucked away on a quiet trail brings me assurance. That, and flowers, and a waterfall. Give me a waterfall, wild flowers, and a canopy of trees and I’m pretty sure anxiety, crankiness, and impatience don’t stand a chance. We recently had a family adventure into nature. I stepped into a clearing where insects hummed about big blossoming hydrangeas, the sunshine peeked through multiple layers of foliage, and the song of festive birds celebrated the good weather. I, too, most certainly wanted to burst into song – but instead of the usual daydream where I not only sing well, but know every major Broadway tune, the lyrics of an old timey hymn came to mind. IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL! I wanted to let the bees know, and the flowers, and thank the nearby stream’s trickle for the sweet nothings it shared, not really just for me, but it comforted me so. And my “peace with the universe” moment lasted about….a minute and a half. Because I had a little tug on my hand, a nudge for the next adventure….the turtle pond and the petting zoo beckoned.

My hubby and I recently shared a laugh when I expressed how I would love to sit with my Bible, journal, and mindset to ponder in all of the beautiful sites we have come across. In theory this is a fantastic idea, it’s funny when considering we are traveling with two little ones with short attention spans. Sitting quietly for long stretches + little ones don’t go together.

On the surface, or in the most tired of tired moments, the process of raising kids challenges the wellness of the soul. Ironically, it was the author’s grief of losing his daughters that helped inspire the lyrics to “It is Well with My Soul.” His heart ached for more time with his loved ones, but it was dwelling with God that helped him be well again.

Quietness and wellness for the soul awaits, even in the very small increments that parenting allows.

Note: “It Is Well with My Soul” is a hymn penned by hymnist Horatio Spafford and composed by Philip Bliss.