We live in a developed suburban area with high-traffic four-lane streets. There are green belt areas but this is not an outskirt area. We are quite close to a major freeway. This is not the country. This is the city.
I saw a coyote in our neighborhood. A coyote. Standing on the sidewalk of the four-lane street. Standing there like it was no big deal. A coyote. In the city.
He’s my first coyote. I have mixed feelings. Giddy that I saw a real live american coyote. A little afraid that a coyote is hanging out in the neighborhood where my kids play and where we walk. We walk around here knowing there’s always the risk of road rage, random violence, and muggings. But never have I thought there was the risk of being hunted by a coyote.
Well apparently there is no risk of being hunted by a coyote. Turns out they are really afraid of people. Or so my friends told me via facebook. Well, friends, if they’re so afraid of people what was this one doing hanging out on a major road and in a city area that is full of PEOPLE?! This coyote has spunk.
So you think I’m dramatic and have over-reacted? Keep in mind, I’m from a country where almost everything can kill you and that our native k-9s actually have hunted children. My fear is not unreasonable but it is out-of-place. Right fear, wrong continent.
We had our dinner outside. Our almost-two-year-old threw his chicken on the ground. This is what he likes to do to express that he’s done. You have to be very quick to stop the food flinging. Somehow that kid is able to pitch each item singly from a plate of food in the blink of an eye. As the sun faded, I made sure every little scrap of food was picked up. Sorry ants. But I will not risk becoming a coyote snack stop.
I don’t care that everyone says coyotes aren’t dangerous. I don’t want him hanging around here. I want him to be… where he should be… in the wild. He shouldn’t have to live here. He belongs somewhere… beautiful.
I’m thinking about the coyotes of my heart. Wild things that shouldn’t be living in confined spaces. There are parts of my heart that are being restricted. Adventurous. Thrilling. Unrestrained. Free. I belong somewhere… beautiful.
Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Psalm 37:3-4
In the everyday journey of life, I am choosing for my heart to be settled and content. I am choosing to be grounded and stable and committed to this season of motherhood. I am choosing to be restrained and controlled in following my medical treatment and diet. I am choosing to be gazelle-intense in keeping our Dave Ramsey budget. I actually am enjoying this everyday life. It is not too hard to choose these things. There are rewards and joys.
But there are other things that stir deep in my heart and dreams. I’m worried about those things being like a coyote in the city. Restrained and misplaced instead of being free and wild.
As youth pastors, we took the youth group on annual mission trips, annual retreats and camps, and all kinds of experiences at weekly youth group meetings. It was the perfect intersection of creativity and structure for me. I miss those days. Dreaming and praying of how to capture the spirit of those adventures and intertwine them with this daily life of motherhood. I’m looking for the places I can graft in an intersection of creativity to my life of structure.
Poor coyote. I’m so sorry you’re stuck in the city. Digging in trash cans and running on pavement is not the beautiful life you are meant for. I’m glad you’ve adapted. I’m glad you’re carving out a life for yourself. But I don’t want to be like you. I’m sorry I can’t rescue you. I’m grateful I can rescue me. I’m so grateful God knows what I need and is my life guide and provider.
How are you? How do you intertwine the restrained and the unrestrained into your life? What is God speaking to you about these days?
Want to read through the Bible with me? Today’s readings are: Psalm 114; Acts 15:1-41
The words that stood out to me today: “If you do this, you will do well.” (Acts 15:29) // There are things that we “do” as Christians that give us the foundation to “do well” in our journeys. These “spiritual disciplines” are the pathway to knowing God in deeper ways. I am so grateful we are not left on our own to “find God.” Thankful for His Word. By the way, so grateful for Paul’s letters to correct the direction the apostles laid out in Acts 15. Good intentions and seemingly good rules, without the Spirit of God’s power, do not produce good fruit!