Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Significant Stuff

There's nothing like being in the middle of the ocean to make a girl feel insignificant.  I paddled out in waves that were way too big for me today on a ten foot long board because I couldn't be outdone by my younger sister and brother who were all gung-ho and excited about the monstrous* surf.

The final score for waves that I caught was zero, while the score for waves that got me was in the teens. 

I swallowed a lot of pride and salt water before I finally made it outside past the break and found a deep hole to sit over, leaving me in no danger of being able to catch a wave.

I could see the sandy bottom far below me and forced myself to identify the moving shadows as kelp plants and a bat ray.   The sun was breaking through the clouds and the water temperature was just slightly lower than the air. 

Twenty minutes later I had caught my breath and was calculating how long I would have to stay out before the tide dropped and the waves got smaller, and if my toes would fall off due to hypothermia before then.

Stupid pride.  Stupid need to gain approval.  Stupid Merrie.  I realized early on that I needed to rethink my decision making paradigm.

My dad was sitting inside hoping to coach me into some waves, and I could see him beckoning me in closer to him.  I ventured inside once only to paddle frantically back to my safe spot the second I saw a set forming on the horizon.

He eventually followed me out there to reassure me.

"You know, your Mom hates to surf, and I still love her."

"I don't exactly hate to surf.  I love the idea of surfing!  I hate that I'm horrible at it!  I'm pretty much stuck here, because I'm too scared to go back through the big waves that are between me and the shore!"

He assured me that he wasn't worried about me in the least so therefore I should have nothing to worry about and finished by telling me, "Even if you never learn to surf, I'll still love you."

Eventually I did make it in through the waves,  (Obviously, because they don't have wi-fi in the lineup yet) and Dad came in with me, making sure I survived. 

He walked me back up the beach before paddling out again to surf for another hour, and I sat on the beach, waterlogged and humbled.

There's nothing like being in the middle of the ocean to make a girl feel insignificant, but then, there's nothing like knowing that my significance has no bearing on how much I'm loved.

*Monstrous: 3-4 foot with occasional overhead peaks.

Friday, January 11, 2013


Staying up until nearly two in the morning discussing life and love and all those pertinent topics with my sisters when I needed to be up at five-thirty to get to a class on time was totally worth it.

In fact, I slept 'til six, zipped through unusually light traffic and am sitting in the truck relishing coffee and a bagel, writing on my blog, because I have time.

I was actually headed to bed at a decent time and was about to ask the crowd in the kitchen to quiet down, because I had such an early morning ahead, when I realized that these relationships wouldn't wait, and the time to be a part of their lives was now.

So here I am, sufficiently rested, (or caffeinated), on time, humbled and re-writing my priorities... Sure there's a time for sleep, but sometimes other things can't wait.

I've noticed a pattern lately.

Jesus and
Others then
You spells JOY.

I may have plagiarized that saying from an old Sunday School lesson, but it still rings true in my life.

"...For the joy of the Lord is your strength" Nem 8:10

Monday, January 7, 2013

Rethinking Resolutions.

"Be kind"

"No more energy drinks"

"I'm making a resolution to not make resolutions"

"Run a 26 minute 5k."

"Write on my blog twice a month."

"Become confident taking jumps on my snowboard."

We stood around the island in the kitchen last night discussing our resolutions for 2013 and wondering how long they each would last.  The resolution I had to cut out sugar for the first three months of 2013 has already gone kaput and I'm behind on the resolution to get a collective 2,555 hours of sleep. (averaging 7 hours per night)

Resolutions.  What is the point?

I sat at the island again this morning watching the morning sun wake up and start it's day.  I read in Isaiah where it cautions those who try to see ahead and know God's plans, saying, "Let God hurry; let Him hasten his work so we may see it.  The plan of the Holy One of Israel - let it approach, let it come into view, so we may know it." And I started to wonder about the wisdom of making plans and goals.

And I weighed the other verses in scripture that came to mind, including James chapter four which says, "Now listen, you who say, 'tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life? It is even a vapor which appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say," If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.  As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes.  All such boasting is evil."

But the arguments for the other side popped up as well.  "Where there is no vision, the people perish," and "A man's heart devises his way but the Lord directs his steps."

I realized this morning that I had been going about my resolutions all wrong.  In resolving to achieve certain results this coming year I'd made them prideful boasting, never saying, "If it's the Lord's will for me, I'll do ___________ in 2013," but often spouting, "Look how disciplined and spiritually mature I will be in 2013."

I think the whole, "Duty is ours, results are God's" theory comes into play here.

I think I'd better re-think my strategy towards resolutions.

I think I've missed the point.  The boasting comes in not when the plans are made but when I decide which results are going to happen. 

So I asked my littlest sister what her resolution was when she came in this morning only to find out that she's light years ahead of me in the wisdom and maturity thing when she told me her resolve was to, "Do at least one cartwheel everyday."