STROLLING ALONG LIFE'S PLEASANT PATH

Sometimes we wonder about life's struggles, but ultimately tough times deepen us and bring us to pleasant paths again.

PLEASANT AND PEACEFUL PATHS

When our children were born we chose a bible verse for each of them. For our daughter it was:
Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace.
Proverbs 3:17 

We chose it for a number of reasons - prompted by the name Erin meaning "peace" and also with a wish for a pleasant and peaceful journey through life for her. I doubt she'd agree that it's all been plain sailing, but I think it's something we'd all wish for our life journey.

LIFE IS A JOURNEY

I'm sure we've all heard the quote attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson (one of my favourite writers of thoughtful and insightful comments) "life is about the journey, not the destination". Our journey through life can be a hard slog at times, and the inspiration behind my blog's title is that a lot of the early stages are an uphill climb, but in amongst the toil and plodding, there are some lovely meanders through pleasant and peaceful paths, and ultimately we'll reach the crest of each hill and the view will be worth the climb.

life is a journey - not a destination. Ralph Waldo Emerson quote

If we allow ourselves to walk the path and not try to rush towards the finish line too quickly, we start to appreciate all the little happenings along the way and how they work together to prepare us for the next stage of the journey. Wisdom doesn't come overnight, it comes with experience and time - and is an essential element in charting a path we can look forward to rather than fearing.

TOUGH TIMES LEAD TO PLEASANT PATHS

I've slogged my way through many tough times when I wasn't sure where we were heading and if we'd ever get there. We struggled financially at times, moved our family out of the city and into the country, changed jobs, gained and lost friends, had ups and downs in our marriage, sent our kids back to the city for university, dealt with an empty nest and parenting/grandparenting from a distance, and survived it all.

I look back and I can see how much I grew through each small and large struggle. Sometimes I envied those who had an easy ride, but ultimately I think I'm a deeper and stronger person for having weathered the storms. It's grown my faith, my tolerance, and my understanding of the 'grey areas' of life where others think differently to me. And it's brought me to where I am now.

FUTURE PATHS

The journey teaches us skills that we can use to chart our path into the future. Nobody knows what the future holds - and that's a good thing. It allows us to enjoy where we are along the way, and saves us from worry and despair anticipating any pain that may yet arrive. We think we want to know what the future holds, but I think it's a blessing that life's given to us one day at a time.

I've gotten much better at not worrying about the future, not planning so much, not trying to control every moment so that I can fool myself into thinking I can steer my course without any hurdles along the way. Now I tend to live each day as it comes, I go with the flow, I stroll rather than charge through without smelling the roses. I've come to see that the future will be what it will be, and I've done all that I can to prepare for it. 

Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace. Proverbs 3:17

Life has brought me to this pleasant path I'm on, and I have the privilege of strolling peacefully along while I wait to see what's around the next corner. Good or bad, I feel like I'm prepared by what's gone before, and ready to see what life brings me next. I hope you're on a similar journey and life is leading you along pleasant paths too.

RELATED POSTS


Sometimes we wonder about life's struggles, but ultimately tough times deepen us and bring us to pleasant paths again.
Sometimes we wonder about life's struggles, but ultimately tough times deepen us and bring us to pleasant paths again.

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35 comments

  1. I think you've become a bit of a wise woman, and I hope I have too. As you say our struggles are part of the journey. In Bible Fellowship today about 25 people attended, and hearing their prayer requests, I am quite humbled. It is so good to have fellowship with people to share the journey with.

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    1. Hi Terra - I'm very grateful for the strong, wise and gracious women in my life (both in real life and online). I hope I'm growing in wisdom as I get older because it would be such a waste not to! And I'm very humbled and grateful for how my life has turned out - and give thanks every day for where the ups and downs of life have brought me :) x

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  2. Interesting sayng. We're in the middle of a tough time - I sincerely hope it leads to a pleasant path....where's that fingers crossed emoji when you need it? I will try to remember this cheery post on the rough days.

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    1. Hi Lydia - as I mentioned in my comment on your post, I feel a little bit guilty about how manageable covid has been here in WA - eventually it will hit and hit big time, but I'm so fortunate to be at an age and stage where it's had so little impact on me. I think the fact that I enjoy the peace of being home helps a lot - it would be harder if I was itching to socialize or travel - instead I'm happy to just meander along pleasant paths for the foreseeable future - I hope you find your happy ways soon x

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    2. You should never feel guilty about good fortune - just enjoy it!! #WeekendCoffeeshare.

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  3. So good to read you're on a pleasant path Leanne and that quote about it not being about the destination but about the journey rings true for many of us as we age. You sound like you're going well and that's so good to hear!

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    1. Hi Deb - I feel like all the turmoil has been worth it in the end - it has certainly helped me recognize peace and contentment when it settles over me! I think a lot of us can identify with this stage of life being a pleasant one - and to appreciate it while we have it. x

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  4. Hi Leanne, I'm pleased to hear you're sounding so calm and settled. I've had my fair share of worries and dark times along the way but I'm in a good place now. All I have to do is stop thinking about the future and all will be almost perfect. That's a good place to be after a long life.

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    1. Hi Jennifer - yes it's really satisfying to look back and see all the hurdles we've overcome to get where we are today. I choose to not look too far forward and borrow tomorrow's troubles - I'd rather just enjoy each day as it comes along and be grateful each evening for a day well lived. :)

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  5. I love that quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson and used to have a plaque of it in our kitchen. I liked looking at it when my boys were little and we were homeschooling. Those days our lessons didn't go so well that quote reminded me that what I was doing was about far more than just teaching them to read and add and spell.

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    1. Life is one long and winding journey Joanne and I think we often want it to be straight and easy - it's the tougher times that give us the resilience to reach the pleasant paths and to appreciate them when we arrive :)

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  6. Leanne, your post is music to my ears today. Even though we are not settled, we are at peace and that feels good. It is a beautiful stage of life, isn't it?

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    1. Hi Suzanne - yes it's a very lovely stage of life. I don't think it's without its challenges, but at the same time, it is full of peace and wisdom and joy - and it feels like I'm reaping the results of the hard work it took to get here. Your settling will come x

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  7. Thank you, Leann. I am grateful for the peace I'm enjoying in my wisdom years.

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    1. I love that expression "wisdom years" and I think I might keep it to use as life progresses down this lovely meandering path of pleasantness. :)

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  8. Oh I love that verse you chose for your daughter Leanne. Isn't that what we wish for all of those that we love and care about. I love the wisdom that comes with this stage of life. xo

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    1. I loved it too Min - I don't think any of us get pleasant paths all through life, but it's so lovely when we find one and get to wander it for a while. I know tough journeys build our character and wisdom, but it's also lovely to have the opportunity to just slow down a little and enjoy the life we've worked so hard for. x

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  9. What a wonderful post, Leanne. So uplifting and full of peace (my WOTY). :D
    I am so glad to read that you are in a great stage of your life. You worked very hard for it -- enjoy every minute of it!

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    1. Hi Donna - I often think of your #WOTY and how it's such an all encompassing word that has so much depth and quietude associated with it. I think peace and contentment are my two main goals at this point in life - no more excessive striving or compromising for others - I intend to just enjoy the journey.

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  10. Hi Leanne. These are the best years, aren't they? I feel like I can finally just breathe. Those early years were tough, but I feel like I've gained so much wisdom, and I'm able to relax, and take every day as it comes. I'm sharing this. Great reminders for us all. xxx christina Daggett

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    1. Perfectly said Christina - and I can tell you know exactly how I felt when I wrote this. Sometimes when you're in the middle of the hard stuff you wonder if the end of the tunnel will ever appear - and then you're out of it and in the sunshine and it was worth the stress and effort to get to somewhere lovely.

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  11. I've always been intrigued by path or journey quotes or references. Robert Frost's two roads diverged poem is an all time favorite. I honestly do not know how many things I have with the "it's the journey, not the destination" on them! Hubby gave me lots cause I was a destination-girl! I do hope that I am learning to enjoy the path, the journey more these days.

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    1. Hi Pat - my husband is very much a destination person - he's all about getting from Point A to Point B with as little hassle as possible. I'm learning to be someone who appreciates the path and enjoys the scenery along the way - because anticipation is often better than the actual destination (now I look back and consider things). x

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  12. What a lovely commentary, Leanne. Thank you. A couple of things really jumped out at me: "If we allow ourselves to walk the path and not try to rush towards the finish line too quickly, we start to appreciate all the little happenings along the way" and "Nobody knows what the future holds - and that's a good thing. It allows us to enjoy where we are along the way." Life is lived in experiences, in present moments all strung together. Some of those moments are more pleasant than others, but together they are pretty amazing. Enjoy the pleasant path that you are currently on.

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    1. Thanks Christie - I think one big lesson I've come to appreciate is that we're a lot better off not knowing what the future holds. It may be something fabulous, but there's a good chance there's sadness and heartache in amongst it - life is a lot simpler if we take it one day at a time and have gratitude for all those little blessings along the way.

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  13. This was a beautiful read Leanne. Lately I have started strolling as I walk...this IS so different to my old and lifetime habit of rushing. I am/was like Dad like that. Now, I am emulating my dear husband who cannot walk fast due to his unwell body but by strolling he notices more. I also notice when I stroll the feelings of anxiety subside. But more than anything I am deliberately (and literally) choosing new paths to walk and drive and finding some pleasant and interesting discoveries as I do. Ain't it grand when we can be both the learners and the teachers in our lives going forward. Thank you for linking up to Life This Week at Denyse Whelan Blogs.
    Next Monday, on the last day of February, I have a special announcement of interest to all who link up their blog posts with my blog’s link up party.

    I look forward to catching up with you then.

    Denyse.

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    1. Hi Denyse - I've learnt that life isn't a race - and the winner isn't necessarily any better off than someone who enjoyed the journey rather than being first to the finish line. There's a window of time left where we're happy, healthy, financially secure, and able to relax - why not savour every moment of that pleasant path?

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  14. As much as I tend to the control freakish end of the scale, I'm glad I don't know the future. It always worries me that in rushing headlong towards when things will supposedly "get better" or "this is over" you miss out on the gems along the way. #FOMO

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    1. I completely agree Jo - I think we borrow trouble by trying to rush into what's ahead - sometimes it's just lovely to happily be where we are and to wander our way towards the future :)

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  15. Hi Leanne, So glad to read you're strolling peacefully along a pleasant path. You worked hard and overcame challenges to get to this stage. Enjoy every minute while on this path! Thank you for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare.

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    1. Hi Natalie - I think that makes this time of life even more pleasant - to have climbed the hills and to be somewhere peaceful and easy is such a lovely reward.

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  16. Interesting, I like the idea of choosing a positive verse.

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    1. Hi Maria - it was something we thought was important for each of our children - it might not mean much to them, but it meant a lot to us for a starting point in their journey into life :)

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  17. I love this Leanne. I have the same thoughts when it comes to the future. I plan for what I should and am able to plan for but hold it loosely.

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    1. I've come to really love the expression "hold it loosely" Kirstin - especially when it comes to things I want to hold on too tightly to. Loosening up a little makes it easier for my stress levels and easier for those around me!

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