Every year, my husband and I take a pilgrimage to Savannah. We love the history and the relaxing atmosphere there. Last year, I got in my head that I wanted to find my old elementary school and my old house. We lived in Savannah when I was in first grade, and my dad was on the railroad out of Jacksonville, Florida. The reason that I have such a strong memory of both the school and the house is because of the time I ran away.
Being the rule follower I am, I took it to heart when my first-grade teacher said that whoever didn’t bring a certain permission slip the next day would be in trouble. My name was on the board, if I recall only one of two names, and I hate to getting in trouble. Try as I might, however, this little first-grade brain could not remember that form. So when my dad dropped me off the next morning and I went into our trailer classroom, I still saw my name on the board, and panic ensued. I looked around, and neither of the teachers had seen me yet. I went outside onto the porch of the trailer and saw my dad’s red Jeep Cherokee tail lights heading into the distance.
Not one to purposely choose to get in trouble, I instead decided that I had to go home and get the form. I simply could not stay in the class and get in trouble. So I began what was probably a half-mile walk but what felt like much further to a first-grader. Now I was a smart girl, so I took the back way. My little legs carried me all the way, and I only had to go on the main road at the very end when I was almost at the driveway of our house.
Imagine my aunt’s and my dad’s surprise when I knocked on the door. In shock, my dad heard the story and took me back to school, but I refused to get out of the car. The teacher had to actually come outside and tell me that I would not get in trouble because it was my parents’ fault, not mine.
Okay, let’s all take a deep breath and try not to panic about the fact that I was a first- grader who ran all the way home unsupervised. I tell the story to say this: even now, I find it to be my natural instinct to want to run away from trouble. When Dusty and I have a fight, I want to shut down instead of processing through it. If there’s trouble brewing at work, I ignore as long as possible and keep the stress inside. Or, as I’ve discussed before, when I’m facing a wilderness, I’d rather focus on other positive things then go through it. The problem is this–we can’t escape our own lives. Try as we might, we can’t resurrect the power of those first-grade legs and physically run away from what it is that haunts us. We have to go through it.
In the video below, which is posted from my Tuesday weekly Facebook Live session, I talk about three ways to live a life of intention. We explore these concepts:
- You can’t escape yourself.
- It’s time to live your life, not just watch it from the outside.
- We have to be intentional even in hardship.
Click play below to watch the video, and I would love to see you live next week!
Did one of these ideas for living intentionally resonate with you? Do you have another idea to share? Please leave a comment below.