I love my three children, but right now I have to get away.

I whisper to my husband that I need a break and he quickly answers, “I’ve got them, go.”

I put on my sweater, grab my phone and a pair of headphones, and sneak out the front door while Netflix blares another episode of something animated and annoying.

Outside, the winter sun dapples the trees with its fleeting afternoon light. The only sounds that break the silence are the rustle of squirrels on dead leaves and a bird’s song. I start walking down the black asphalt of our neighborhood road, my head lifted toward the sky as my feet pace the familiar steps. The tops of the pine trees filter the sun in sparkled flares against a bright blue backdrop. Sometimes I underestimate the simple power of walking outside and looking up.

Every mom has her limit, that moment when she knows she needs to get away.

A trip to Home Goods, a Starbucks latte, and the world settles again. But in this season of lockdowns and quarantine, sometimes there’s nowhere to go. And that makes us feel stuck even more.

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I homeschool my kids which means I’m with them all the time. I lean over the desk as I practice vowels with my preschooler. I look over the shoulder of my first grader as she reads me a book. I focus on my hands as I spread mayo on their ham sandwiches. I notice the Goldfish crumbs on the wood floor. I pick up the LEGOs they left on the living room rug.

When I look up, I realize I’ve kept my head down all day.

Our neighborhood loops in a mile-long circle, ideal for a 30-minute walk. While the wind chaps my lips, I swing my arms in rhythm with my feet and smile at the golden filter the light casts around me. There isn’t just beauty in nature, there’s the reminder of a Creator.

When I lift my head He reminds me that in all the moments my head is down, He sees me.

Every time I hang my weary head on my husband’s shoulder, defeated, He loves me. When I bury my face in my hands in frustration, He fights for me. When I see only the little tasks in front of me rising like a mountain of obligation and responsibility, He helps me.

Like a head bowed in prayer, my work is an offering to Him.

I breathe in the cold air. It stings my lungs and fills my heart with a burst of joyful energy. I turn up the volume on my praise and worship playlist, my eyes fill with tears, and I smile at the goodness of God. Somehow I find myself lost in praising Jesus on a random Tuesday afternoon.

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Head lifted, I’m reminded of His majesty. It’s so easy to forget the vastness of God in the four corners of my house. I feel thankful to feel small next to Him.

I see my driveway in the distance. Our little white house looks welcoming. I know inside there will be messes and screaming and a million little things to keep my head down and do. But I go back in with a smile, renewed because a simple walk and a lifted head drew me closer to Jesus.

Whitney Akin

Whitney Akin is a writer, speaker, wife, and mom. Her writing and speaking style has been described as gentle, powerful, and transparent. She is an introvert with a heart to encourage women who feel overlooked to live seen by the God who loves them. Whitney lives with her husband and three children in Fayetteville, GA.