Tuesday, August 15, 2017

My Husband is my Captain

My husband and I ride a tandem bicycle. He is my captain and I am his stoker. He does the hard part of cycling—steering, shifting, deciding when to cross roads, and how fast (or slow) we should pedal. My job is to pedal as he needs me to and stay balanced and trust him to be the Captain...and enjoy the ride. But here's the thing: if I don't trust him—if I'm constantly trying to see around him or steer for myself or trying to set the cadence of our pedaling—we ARE going to crash, no matter how great a cyclist my captain is.

But I do trust my husband. I trust that he has my best interests in mind with every decision he makes while we are on the bike and also in our everyday life. I know that he will shift the gears to make our pedaling more efficient and therefore less fatiguing. I know that he will never put me in danger on the road. I know that he will steer in a predictable, steady manner. He goes above and beyond that, though. He warns me when there's a bump in the road ahead and when he's going to turn or stop. He reminds me to drink and take in calories during the ride so I don't get overly tired.

He also challenges me. To go harder, to go faster, to go farther, to get stronger. He pushes me just past where I want to give up. Sometimes, though, he has to tell me that I'm working too hard; that I need to coast for a little bit or at least pedal softer—to conserve my energy for the rest of the ride. When we started riding together, I could barely ride ten miles – last weekend, we rode 65 miles on a Sunday night. In late September we will do a two day charity ride that has us ride 100 miles on the first day.

I have had friends tell me they could never ride behind their husbands. They don't trust their husbands enough to let him make those decisions. Sometimes I wonder why a friend doesn't trust her husband to do what is not only best for her but also best for him? I know that no human relationships can be perfect, but he is also on the bike with her—surely that should count for something.

Aren't we all like that with God, though? We trust him with a lot of things in our lives...but not others. We try to steer from the back and somehow, we're surprised when we crash. It's like we don't think He has our best interests in mind; like we don't trust the direction He's steering us or the pace He's moving us. We may be challenged. We may be faced with harder work than we want to do. We may be on a more difficult route than we would choose for ourselves. We probably feel pushed just beyond our comfort level. But He is our Captain. We can trust Him. He has our Best in mind.

Trust your Captain, keep pedaling, stay balanced, enjoy the ride!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Not Really a Writer.

I promised my girls that I would participate in NaNoWriMo with them this year...if, I could come up with an idea. Well. I had an idea, announced to them that I would do it and set about trying to plan it. But, what I have discovered is that writing is easy for me -- if I know what I am supposed to be writing. For example, in high school, I participated in a lot of writing contests where the participants are given a topic and a time limit. I almost always got first place in those. With the exception of one time, I placed in the top three.

I don't say those things to brag. In fact, I find it to be a huge failing on my part--and though I would like to be a total American of the 21st century and blame it on my English teachers in high school or that I went to a public school...I know it has a lot more to do with something in me. Or rather, not in me.

Writing something that comes from my own head is hard work for me. And I am lazy. (as this blog shows rather clearly.) God gave me a good memory and regurgitating facts is easy for me, which is why I did (and still do) well if I am given an assignment. But I have to work hard to write without one.

This summer, I rode a bicycle in a charity event that was longer than I even like to drive. But I didn't just jump on the bicycle and ride it the whole way the day I decided to do it. It took months of preparation. The first time I rode this summer, I could barely make 9 miles. I need to approach writing for myself the same way, I think. And though I have much less time to prepare for it (10 days! Eeek!), I know that training pays off.

So, this was my first writing work-out. Now to go write up a character sketch and ask my protagonist what she wants. I think her name might be "Mercy."

Friday, May 27, 2011

Good Morning

This morning, while I was reading quietly, Cricket woke up, sat up and smiled at me...I mean smiled at the book on the end of the bed. After she had looked at it for a few minutes, Alligator came in (he's 3 now!) and asked Cricket if she would like him to read that to her. In the back of my mind, I was a little annoyed. I mean, I was trying to read while it was still quiet in the house--and now I had two very young children in the room with me!

But then...

...his sweet voice quoting every word, every inflection, from the many times big sisters or I had read that same book to him...

...his admonition to his little sister to be gentle with books...

What if I had sent him away? After all, he was interupting my quiet time. What if I had rejected the blessing of this child? After all, he was the ninth! Who needs/can afford/has the patience for NINE children? (Not me!!) What other blessings do I miss because I'm too busy or too annoyed or too...

What do you miss?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What would you take?

A few weeks ago, one of my girls asked me, “If you had thirty minutes to pack up and leave, what would you take?” A theoretical, thought maker at the time; yesterday, we had the opportunity to practice that scenario. Around 3:30, we noticed a gigantic column of smoke to our west. The wind was blowing east. How far away was it, we wondered. If it was close enough to worry about, surely we would be able to smell it. (No.) If it was far enough away that we didn’t need to prepare for the worst, it must be enormous! I sent a message to CamDad (who works about 40 miles away from our home) and he replied that he could see it from his office window. That worried me. Then the helicopters started flying over our house. I went next door to talk to Nana. She was on her way out to talk to me—she had seen us standing in the yard, looking into the sun, into the wind. We went into her house to see if the news was saying anything. It was. A neighbor sped down the road to tell us she had just come from town and had passed the fire, the fire trucks…it was less than a mile away and she was going back home to start loading valuables in her car (the oxygen tanks her husband needs, meds, cats). Nana and I looked at each other, nodded. She said, “I’m calling .” I came home to start our preparations. Did the children even have shoes on? Within 30 minutes, we had loaded up our van and were prepared to evacuate, should the need arise.

It did not—at 7:30 there was no more smoke. We made some scrambled eggs for dinner and went to bed. Thank you LORD, please bless the (mostly volunteer!!) firefighters who worked so hard to extinguish the flames and protect lives and property.

So—what did we load into our van? The (rather small) box of photos in my closet…the laptops with digital photos and the school records…a change of clothing for each person, diapers…the seeds I had laying next to my computer as I was planning garden layout. My children each grabbed the things precious to them: a journal, a doll, a musical instrument…the tiny apple trees sprouted from the apples from Papa’s home town. We also loaded up school books and supplies. Had there been more time and more space I would have wanted the blankets I made for each of my babies…the tool box Grampa built…the desk Grandma had inherited…

People and Memories. The important stuff. Everything else can go now.

A lot of times our Spiritual lives are like that, too. We fill them up with all the good stuff we think we should do, so full that we can’t find the important stuff…so full that we spend all of our time dealing with the good stuff…so full that the important stuff gets packed away in a box, stuffed in a closet.

1Corinthians 11-15 The foundation that has already been laid is Jesus Christ, and no one can lay down any other foundation. But if people build on that foundation, using gold, silver, jewels, wood, grass, or straw, their work will be clearly seen, because the Day of Judgment will make it visible. That Day will appear with fire, and the fire will test everyone's work to show what sort of work it was. If the building that has been put on the foundation still stands, the builder will get a reward. But if the building is burned up, the builder will suffer loss. The builder will be saved, but it will be as one who escaped from a fire.

What will you take with you?