Lessons Learned at the Water Park…Trust

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I got to spend this day at the indoor water park with my three daughters, my son-in-law, my two grandchildren, and my friend/ex-husband.   What an exhausting yet exhilarating day.  Much of my time was spent hanging out at the baby pool area so that everybody else could go on the water slides.  I got to watch my granddaughter and grandson splash themselves silly and wear out a path up to the froggy slide.  Up and down, up and down.  Over and over and over.  While I was watching this endless procession of slide merriment, I got to have some unintended people-watching time as well.

This really got me thinking about trust; trusting what we cannot see but also trusting what’s right in front of our faces.  Some of these smaller children were asked to trust their parents to be at the bottom of the slide to catch them before they hit the water.  Parents promised.  They smiled.  They reassured.  They clapped.  They gave the thumbs-up.  The children immediately smiled as well and were all for it.  Most of the sliding happened uneventfully and inspired squeals and screams as the kids felt encouraged to do it again and again and again.  With each successful slide and catch, the child’s trust in their grown-up grew.   My own grandson was excited to have his turn and once at the top of the froggy slide, he whooshed right down and spilled out into my arms.  I caught him and he jumped right out of them and was back up the steps for another go.  This went on for a good ten minutes and finally he said, “I do it myself.”  I stayed close, proud of him for feeling like he could do this on his own, but ready to help.  He shot down the slide and landed with a splash.  He stood up quickly, spit out some water, and came right to me for a hug.  After the hug and my reassurance that he was okay, he got right back to it.  He was a man on a mission now!

Then there came the cute little girl in the Shopkins, one-piece, bathing suit.  She eagerly got to the top of the slide and her mother knelt in the one foot of water at the bottom.  “Come on baby, I’m right here.  I promise I’ll catch you,” her mother said.  Baby pushed off and came sliding down.  Mom put out one arm and caught part of a shoulder as Baby’s head went under.  Mom pulled her out almost instantaneously but the look on Baby’s face said, “WTH!  How did you let the water get up my nose?”  Mom loved on Baby and helped her cough and sputter the last of the water out.  Then Mom put Baby back on the top of the slide and said, “Come on, I promise, I’m right here.  No more water in your face.”  Baby did not look happy or trusting this time.  Baby looked a little nervous.  She’d already been let down.  Literally.  But, being a kid, she tried again.  Sliding down with the gushing water, Baby landed across her mother’s arm, face first, in the water.  More coughing, more sputtering.  More apologies.  This happened one last time and Baby, through her tears, said, “All done.”

Where should we place our trust?  These precious children placed their trust in their grown-up family members.  When that trust was validated, it grew and spread and gave the kids the feeling that they could keep going.  When that trust was disproved, the child gave up.  Isn’t this so true of our grown-up relationships?  We put our trust in so many people.  Our parents, our spouses, our friends, our children.  They all have our trust initially, but when time and again, our trust is broken, we tend to want to be like Baby and say, “All done.”  When we put our trust in God, it is nurtured and rewarded over and over again so that we are emboldened to realize that we can stand, we can breathe, we can walk, and we can even love again.  While our earthly trust can let us down at times, our heavenly trust is infallible.  Give it a try.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways, submit to him and he will make your paths straight. 

I Brought it Home…

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I had to bring my bag of papers to grade.  I had to bring my manuals to figure out these writing lessons.  I had to bring my packet from the last faculty meeting…you know, the one I haven’t read through yet? Wasn’t I supposed to have implemented those new strategies into my curriculum by now?   I had to bring my box of markers.   I had to bring my mugs and cups that have accumulated for far too long.  No choice, I had to bring those things home.  

I also brought home the cancer news from a child’s parent.  I brought home the sadness of knowing what that child is going to find out this weekend.  I brought home the anguish of the kid who just can’t get it no matter how hard he tries.  I brought the fear of the child who wishes her mom could stop doing drugs long enough to help with the homework that I keep asking her to do.  I brought home the worry of a parent who just wants her child to be a good student and not get sent to the principal’s office again.   

I’ve brought it all home, and you know what?   I think my heart is heavier than my teacher bag.   I’m not unique.   These are the same things every other teacher takes home too.  Here’s to all of you who help carry the load.   You are appreciated and you are not alone.  

The Versatile Blogger Award

I feel so honored to be mentioned for a blogging award and I have to thank RisFit for thinking of me.  You made my day!  Please check out RisFit’s wonderful blog at https://risfitblog.wordpress.com/

 

This gesture of sharing the love is a beautiful gift.


To nurture this chain of friendship, play by these rules:


~ Write a Word of Thanks to the blogger who nominated you and don’t forget to link their blog.

~ Share 7 Fun Facts about yourself with the Blogging Community.

~ Choose at least 15 bloggers who deserve your little words of encouragement and nominate them for the Versatile Blogger Award.

~ Send word to the talented bloggers whom you nominated, link their blogs and inspire them to grow in their creativity.

About Me:

  1. I teach first grade.  I’ve taught either first grade or kindergarten for 25 years.  My job is brand new every day.
  2. I was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and grew up in Maryland.
  3. I have always loved to write but never thought about sharing what I do with others.  This blog has given me the opportunity to be a part of you wonderful group of peers!
  4. I am a faith-filled person and hope to share that faith through my blog.
  5. Favorite author from my younger days was Erma Bombeck.  She wrote about everyday life in the most hilarious way.
  6. I have raised dogs, cats, hamsters, gerbils, lizards, guinea pigs, rabbits, and ducks at my house.  Love love love animals.
  7. I came late to the realization that I need to love myself and be happy with myself before I can be anything to anyone else.  I have finally figured it out!

I nominate these bloggers for the versatile blogger award!

  1. http://www.insidethelifeofmoi.com/
  2. http://www.fourthgenerationfarmgirl.com/
  3. http://nancyaruegg.com/
  4. https://painpalsblog.wordpress.com
  5. https://braverthanbefore.com/
  6. https://geethaprodhom.wordpress.com/
  7. https://wordsonemptyears.wordpress.com
  8. https://geofflepard.com/
  9. https://thephilfactor.com/
  10. http://www.logicalquotes.com/
  11. http://littlefears.co.uk/
  12. https://eyespluswords.com/
  13. https://lance-price.com/
  14. https://steve-says.net/
  15. https://vasinvixon.wordpress.com/

Hello?

When I was a little girl, I loved to watch the Carol Burnett Show on TV.  Some of the funniest moments on TV occurred on that show but one sketch in particular really got me thinking.  Mr. Tudball (Tim Conway) and his secretary, Mrs. Wiggins (Carol Burnett), are trying out their new intercoms.  Mr. Tudball presses the button and summons Mrs. Wiggins, who reponds by pressing the button on her end.  Mr. Tudball proceeds to press his button once again to spout off some direction.  All the while Mrs. Wiggins is still holding her button down and saying, “Hello?”  Finally after much trial and error, Mr. Tudball emerges from the office to exclaim, “Don’t a-press that button when I’m a-talking to you.”  If you want to watch the episode in part or in whole, feel free.  I’ll wait.  The Carol Burnett Show

How does this sitcom sketch illustrate our interactions with God?  I’m so glad you asked.

Most of us spend some part, even a minuscule part, of every day praying to God.  We each pray differently.  The languages are different, the tone is different, even the location varies from person to person.  Many of us have something in common though.  We pray, “Please forgive, please comfort, please strengthen, please bless, please help, please give…you fill in the blank.”  With that said, how many of us take the time to let go of the button and listen for God’s response?  We tend to call God to us in prayer just the way that Mr. Tudball calls his secretary.  Once we have His attention though, we “hold that button down” by turning on the car radio, going back to the chaos of the household, rolling over and going to sleep, or a million other things that call for our attention.  We’ve done our part, right?  As God is responding to answer, to lead, or even to ask more, we are holding that button down and are deaf to His voice.

Let go of the button, people.  Listen to what He’s telling you and you will be oh so glad that you did.

Peachy Winslow (Book idea?)

I have a character who’s been running around in my head for a quite a while and I know that she has a story to tell.  This is part of her story.  

Peachy Winslow has a story to tell.  She is from Cumbersome, Iowa.  Do you know what cumbersome means?  It means, “slow or complicated and therefore inefficient”. Peachy knows because she looked it up on one of her many trips to the library.  Normally, on her way through the small, dusty, 2-room building she doesn’t stop at the giant dictionary by the door.  She keeps going straight over to the biography section to pull out the well worn copy of “Annie Oakley”.   There is only one book about Annie Oakley in the whole library.  I guess the town council of Cumbersome, Iowa, feels that it would be just too, well… cumbersome to burden their readers with too many books about the same topic.

Down to One

I started as 3, my parents and me
in spring of ’65.

We grew to more when Jeff made 4
in spring of ’69.

We stayed that 4 for many years more
moving so many times.

They were now 3 when I left to see
where my future would lead.

I became 2 when, out of the blue,
he asked to marry me.

He and I were now 3 when Abigail C.
showed her cute little face.

Anna made 4 as she came through the door
spikey brown hair and all.

Audra was 5 and our family could thrive
for many days to come.

Then down to 4 when I needed more,
divorce became our norm.

Abigail didn’t tarry, she left to be married
to her love from the first grade.

Anna left next to join the vet techs
and help our 4 legged friends.

Audra has grown and just left home
to figure out her place.

And that leaves me, as you can see,

No more we,

No more they,

Only I.

If I Could

If I could take it all away,
If I could change it now, today,

If I could say let’s start again,
If I could have you tell me when,

I couldn’t see around my confusion
I couldn’t see it was just an illusion

I wanted to believe it wasn’t you
I wanted to believe the feelings were true

I broke your heart
I broke apart

I found myself yearning
I found myself learning

I want romance and affection
I want communication and connection

I would ask you to open your heart
I would remove what keeps us apart

I would work to make it right
I would keep reality in sight

I would forgive and forget

I would ask the same of you

If I could.

Through Other Windows

Inspired by a late-evening drive, just after dark, when I could see into people’s windows.

What goes on through other windows?
Windows of houses
Windows of homes
Windows of the soul.

Is it warm
Is it safe
Is it whole
Is it full?

From my view through other windows
It’s always more
It’s always enough
It’s always complete

If you look through my window
It’s a wreck
It is love
It is home.

Pedal!

Love is like going down a big hill on your bike when you were a kid.   Some kids fly down and never think twice about what could happen.  I always admired those kids.  Some kids, and my hand is up, go down a little at a time.  Some kids, don’t make it down at all.  Here’s why…

If the head is in control saying this is too steep, I don’t know what’s at the bottom, just put the brakes on a little.  Slow down.  Stop.  I am scared.

The heart is saying wait a minute, this feels a little exciting.  I like the wind in my face and the wobbling of the bike.    I can’t wait to see what’s at the bottom!  Hats off and hair flying.

About halfway down, the head has convinced you you’ll never make it.  The heart is screaming for joy.   You’re confused, so you:

A-pull over and catch your breath and go back to the top to try it over because your head has convinced you that no good can come of this.  You’re going to crash and it’s too scary and you always crash and it really hurts and it isn’t fair and you don’t want to get hurt again.   You tell yourself you’re just not good enough.

B-you slow down a little to appease your head but your heart carries you forward and your legs are pedaling like mad and you can’t catch your breath and you’re so excited you could pee your pants because there is the bottom of the hill and you’re going to make it and … you did it!!!

If you choose A, you will never get to experience the finish.  You will stay safe and confused and afraid and you will start over again and again.

If you choose B, you will be terrified and exhilarated and you will see that there are so many new things beyond the bottom of that hill.  You may have crashed and skinned your knees and busted your lip but you got to the bottom and you are in a new place.  You have crashed before but you tried again and you got stronger from it.  You can see more hills to try and more places to ride than you ever thought possible.  Maybe, just maybe, this turns out to be the best thing you ever did.  It truly is your choice.  There isn’t some aha moment where you realize that you CAN do it.  There is a time where you realize you WANT to do it.

Love is a natural part of life.  So many people fear it and continue to put on the brakes because they don’t want to get hurt.  The alternative to letting your heart guide you is that your head might keep you in a “safe” place.   You are sad and hurt and unsure all the time.  You never get to know what could happen.  You miss the reason God put us all here.

By letting your heart choose and by listening to what God is already telling you, you open yourself up to new possibilities and all the joy your heart can hold.  Better yet, get your head and your heart into a partnership where your heart can take you places you’ve always been afraid to go but your head can help you avoid some of the bigger rocks.

You may get hurt but you may not.  Isn’t it worth trying?  Only you can decide.

Of course it’s not just that simple, but then again, doesn’t this make you think?   Not everybody gets hurt from loving and caring for another person. Not everybody leaves.  Even if it’s happened before, it’s not going to happen every time.  If you find the right person, it is worth the risk.

Don’t let your head tell you you’re not good enough. Don’t give in to thinking that somebody else is better suited for the ride.  You are it.  You were built for this and you are the one.

Nobody says you must get to the bottom of the hill at breakneck speed.  Go at a pace that’s better for you.  Make your way to the bottom of the hill.  But go.  Don’t stop.  Don’t go back.  You will be so glad you did.  I promise.