View from a Prairie Home

By Hege Herfindahl, Columnist

I am a light sleeper, maybe eldest children all are. They lay awake at night, listening to sounds, worrying about everything that may go wrong, sweating with stress. Often their dreams are vivid and stark; running alone down a dark street, being chased by wild hogs, showing up for work barefoot.

I sometimes wake up exhausted, but then I remember, I am not alone, God is with me always. Why is this so hard to remember in the half-exhausted state I am in during the night? But now, light has come and light will overcome darkness every time. 

I am retired and don’t have to rush to work. Oh, how I remember those days; rushing every day, no time for breakfast, let alone quiet time, always on the go. But now, quiet time is here to stay. And how I treasure my quiet time!

I will get a cup of sweet coffee made earlier by my husband, Grant. I take my coffee and my Bible and find a good, not only quiet, but spiritual place; places have spirit, I can feel it. Most of the time, I sit in a soft sofa on our porch, which is insulated against the Minnesota extreme weather. Next to me, I have a candle and a little angel to remind me of those loved ones who are gone. 

After reading the Bible for a while, I try to reflect on what I have read, to understand it better. Many times, the words and parables are hard to understand, so I just try to have faith and let the words come to my heart rather than my brain. Faith, I think, is maybe to let go of the brain and just trust in Jesus.

Next, I read the bible study for women found in the Proverbs 31 ministry on line. I think it is a little unfair that it is only for women. Because it is so good and teaches me so much, I wish it was geared for men as well. The other day I read about a young teenager who had to come to terms with never walking again after a horrific accident. The lesson that day was to not ask God why something happened, but to ask God for help with our lot in life. Have him help us move forward after tragedies happen. Yesterday’s lesson was that we always tend to ask God to help us choose the right path. Instead we should be like Solomon and ask God for wisdom, so that our choices will be grounded in a righteous life and a mind filled with the goodness and peace that comes from God.  

I am not saying that I don’t struggle with my Christian faith, I do daily. Then, I remember my dear father who would take me outside to worship God in nature. Now, I walk alone or with Grant. It doesn’t have to be a long walk, but I try to make it a spiritual walk. I look around me and marvel at how beautiful nature is. I listen to the stillness of the prairie and feel the summer wind caressing my cheek. I so enjoy the colors of the prairie flowers this time of year. They all nod their yellow and purple heads at me. I even think the thistle flowers are beautiful with their fuzzy purple heads. I see some geese overhead and am reminded that summer is short and fall is coming. And I marvel at how perfectly the seasons fit into each other.

Coming home from my walk, I am invigorated in both body, mind and spirit. Tragedies happen, but I now feel I can face them; at least at this moment in time.