The Power of a Walk

 

Yesterday felt hard. Some really good things happened with one of my kids, true breakthroughs, but it took its toll on me. Being therapeutic for long periods of time is fatiguing.

I needed to pull myself out of it, and I knew that getting outside for something as simple as a walk might do the trick. But I didn’t want to. It was even warm and spring-like, but still, there was a weight on me that I couldn’t shake. So I sent Russ a text and asked if he could come home and go for a walk. It was 5:00, and hey, it’s spring break, so I hoped he might come home early.

His reply to my text was, “Packing up now, will be home soon.”

That right there began to lift my spirits.

We left the girls in charge and headed down through our pasture to our neighbors’ driveway, and out to the road. The spring wheat is just coming up and the rolling hills had a bright green hue.

Conversation flowed as we walked and I literally felt the heaviness in my chest begin to lift. It was so good to be out of the house and with the man I love. He listened as I told him about the day, and then I was able to listen as he told me about his work, plans, and deadlines.

My day turned around, and I woke this morning (after a very interrupted night of sleep – courtesy of Little Man) ready for today. This morning I need to finish plans for the workshop I’m giving tomorrow at the Spokane Orphan Summit. I’m speaking about creating a team to support your family in the adoption journey – that should come easily for me.

What are your plans for today – or the weekend?

Have a great day, friends.

Lisa

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. knightrider
    March 15, 2013

    We are so enjoying walking through your journey with you as we read your blog posts. Our family is currently doing foster care but looking at the possibility of adoption as well.

    I would love to hear more about creating a team to support your family during these kinds of journeys – both for our family as well as our community – and I hope that you are able to put some thoughts here about what you are saying at the Spokane Orphan Summit as we are unable to make it there.

    Thank for what God is doing in and through your family – even in the hard times – and thankful for your time getting out of the house for your walk! God bless you. Cindy

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      March 15, 2013

      I wish you could make it to the Summit – maybe next year. I would be happy to write about creating a support team – great idea. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Reply
  2. Leah
    March 15, 2013

    Absolutely agree, a walk is a powerful thing. I was just talking with my neighbour about getting out for a walk a couple evenings a week now that the light is lasting a bit longer.

    Even if I can't get out on my own, I pack up my littles and while it is sometimes a struggle to get my little guy from a hard place out the door because he is so dysregulated, it is so worth it. It is the best re-do for him and me!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      March 15, 2013

      I agree, Leah! I need to start taking my younger kids out for walks again. As spring comes, there is so much to see and explore. We used to do Sunday afternoon walks, even with a crowd of guests; it's time to start that up again.

      Reply
  3. Deborah
    March 15, 2013

    I don't know how you do it….. I really don't. People say that to me all the time and my response is "you just do"…. and yours is probably the same. But I admire your strength to keep going.

    I was so broken by the demands of parenting our chaos adoptee (now in long term respite/potential permanent placement) that I am still working at trying to be ME again a year later. I used to really love kids, and one of the things I literally sobbed to my husband about was that I have lost a great deal of my desire to spend time with children. I said I didn't know at the time if I would even be over it by the time we have grandchildren (our oldest are 22)…. but I am confidant now that when grandchildren come I will be ready and excited. I just wish I could shake the exhaustion and frustration enough to employ some therapeutic parenting with our other children (challenging remaining adoptees especially). I was soooooooo NOT prepared to parent special needs children.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      March 15, 2013

      It's a long road to recovery, I know, Deborah. I think often of what Brene Brown says about one of the aspects of shame, which is that we question if we are really the people we thought we were. You knew yourself as a woman who loved children, and then may have wondered if that was even true. I think it will come back – therapy might help, EMDR specifically if you have some PTSD. Continuing to parent the other children from "hard places" is very hard – and when it isn't going well, it triggers lots of fear in me. We have to keep breathing, sinking deeply into the love of Jesus, and then pouring out only a little at a time to keep ourselves from completely falling apart. Blessings to you today, Deborah.

      Reply
  4. rebekah
    March 15, 2013

    I remember a therapist sharing with me once that he liked to take his people walking to talk. So effective for so many reasons.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      March 15, 2013

      There's something good about being side-by-side – and I really like holding hands 🙂

      Reply
      1. Emily
        March 15, 2013

        For some reason my supervisor got funny about me holding hands with my college-age clients on walks. Huh.

        Reply
        1. Lisa Qualls
          March 15, 2013

          Yes, I think that might cross some professional lines 🙂 No holding hands with your clients. You can, however, hold hands with my little guys next week when you visit.

          Reply
          1. Emily
            March 15, 2013

            Yay! And your big girls let me, too, usually. 🙂

  5. Gina
    March 15, 2013

    I agree! A walk is always good. Can't wait for your workshop tomorrow as we are a few months away from starting our foster adopt journey. Gina

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      March 15, 2013

      It will be great to meet you, Gina! Please be sure to introduce yourself.

      Reply
  6. Heidi
    March 15, 2013

    I had a day earlier this week that left me feeling a bit fragile – just the constant demands of four little children and a husband who has been sick for three weeks. I decided to walk the few blocks to the library to return some books after the kids were in bed. It was dark by the time I could go, but the night air was mild and it was so renewing to take a walk.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      March 15, 2013

      That sounds lovely, Heidi. I'm sorry your husband has been sick; I hope he feels better soon.

      Reply
  7. Jody
    March 15, 2013

    "Being therapeutic for long periods of time is fatiguing."

    Amen.

    I'm so thankful for my husband who encourages me to get out by myself occasionally. I love alone time…or time with just him. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      March 15, 2013

      It's amazing how much a little bit of time alone – space to think, rest, pray – can restore us. Thanks for commenting, Jody.

      Reply
  8. Laura
    March 15, 2013

    Two things come to mind when I read this post….first when I had three kids under the age of 4 1/2, I would often go to the grocery store when Fred came home from work just to walk around and have no one touch me or ask me for something. I could spend an hour buying a gallon of milk feeling the stress of the day leaving my body. Second, the car rides with my kids when they were teenagers and how you could have a serious conversation side by side in the car that could be more revealing and honest than the ones in the house sitting in the kitchen.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      March 15, 2013

      That little bit of time alone is so relaxing – and Fred is a good husband.

      Reply
  9. Kohana
    March 18, 2013

    "Being therapeutic for long periods of time is fatiguing." For me that is such a lonely aspect of being a foster carer. I don't know anyone in real life who can relate to our family's experience providing foster care for a very hurt young child. Most people see him as cheerful and cute, but caring for him has been so exhausting. I've been learning to drink deeply at every opportunity for refreshing, and just being with my calm and steady husband helps so much.

    Reply
  10. Pam
    March 18, 2013

    "Being therapeutic for long periods of time is fatiguing." Most profound thing I've read in awhile. 🙂 It's downright draining…gut wrenching exhaustion the likes of which I've never felt before. *sigh* It's been a long few days at our house. Thanks for being that voice to know that we aren't alone in our fight of our lives. And theirs.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy