Monday, September 28, 2009

The Hike & The Truth



There we were, hiking up a mountain in Lake Placid.  What a beautiful day it was.  Though cool, it was the perfect temperature for outdoor exercise.  We walked the incline until we reached the Lake Placid Lean-to.  A sturdy log lean-to meant for over-night campers on their way up (or down) the mountain made for a nice spot for the love of my life and I to stop and rest a bit.  We continued on for a while longer following moose tracks along the trail.  Then, we came to the part of the hike where it was about to turn into an actual "climbing" experience.  Steep and rocky, this was the terrain the rest of the way up to the summit.  I climbed for a few minutes, telling myself that I can do it.

Truth is, I could climb UP that steep mountain.  The problem was, I can go down a steep hill about as gracefully as a boulder in the midst of an avalanche.  If I broke my leg on my descent, it would be impossible for Eric to carry me down the rest of the way.  There was no cell phone reception, it was getting towards evening, and it was the Adirondacks, for heaven's sake.  I was sure to be dinner for a bear!

I stopped and Eric wanted to go on for a little while.  Sitting there by myself watching closely for any bear that might come bounding down the mountainside, I wanted to be braver than I was.  I lasted a whole 30 seconds after Eric got out of my sight.  I then called out for him and asked him to return to me, which he was kind to do! We began our hike down the mountain, but I was feeling kind of silly.

Throughout the hike, I wanted to show Eric that I could easily keep up with him. It frustrated me that my lack of coordination, strength, and skill, along with my fear, hindered me and him from climbing higher.  I really meditated on that on the way down the mountain.  It dawned on me that I had, possibly along with other Christian women, adopted the feminist idea that I can and SHOULD be able to do anything a man does and just as well.  I should be able to hike a steep mountain with my husband and finish.  I should be in good enough shape to easily maneuver myself around the rocks without breaking a sweat.  I shouldn't think about wild-life, dark, and cold in the mountains.

But, I am a woman.   I realized that God has never asked me to accomplish the same physical feats as my husband. He has never asked me to lift heavy objects, run marathons, or climb mountains. He asks strength of me in other areas.  Consistency in raising my children, flexibility in the changes life brings, and loving and supporting my husband at all times are all areas in which great strength is required.  I exercise physically several times a week, but my character strength-training cannot miss a day.  I ought not feel pressure to keep up physically with my husband.  I ought to feel challenged to build my character in the ways God desires.

Proverbs 31 tells us that the wise woman prepares her household for cold weather and other elements.  We aren't to fret, but be cautious and aware. Up in the mountain, it was 4:30/5:00 in the afternoon and we had another hour and half hike from the point where we stopped.  There IS wild-life in the mountains and it DOES get colder as the sun sets.  Women, myself included, need to make sure we don't live in constant paranoia so that when we are truly being cautious, we aren't looked upon as weak or nervous.  Praise the Lord, Eric knew I wasn't panicing, that I was looking at the reality of the situation.  This is why he readily came back from his desired hike instead of feeling like a defeated man having to calm his over-distressed, paranoid wife (though, I confess, I often can be exactly that).

Realizing that I wasn't supposed to be Eric, but compliment him lifted the burden that I carried up the mountain off my shoulders on the way down.  So, it was a wonderful hike.  Eye-opening for me.  Exilerating.  Fun.  Refreshing.

And, my legs paid for it for 2 days.
Can't wait to do it again!:)

Friday, September 4, 2009

One Pastor or Two?

In light of recent comments, I thought some of you may be interested in listening to the following sermon sometime during this long weekend.  "Why We Have 2 Pastors"  *Note* This is not a defense or a accusational sermon.  This is basically a Bible study looking at pastors in the Bible.  Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend with your families. 

Thursday, September 3, 2009

One of Those Days

Have you ever been one hour into your morning and realized it was going to be "one of those days"?  Usually, that prediction is correct and the day just keeps falling down around you like Jericho's wall.

Yesterday looked like it was going to be "one of those days."  I awoke at 6:30.  My 2-year old awoke at 6:40.  The very same 2-year old who seems to have taken upon him the task of waking his sisters most morning by standing outside their bedroom door and screaming.  Loudly.  Fortunately, I was able to put him back to bed (he only got up one more time) and then I was able to go back into my room and read my Bible.  

So far, so good.  Then I went downstairs.

Do any of you have children who 1) enjoy antagonizing their brothers and sisters by telling them what to do even while they are neglecting their own duties; 2) daily "forget" the morning routine that has been set for YEARS; and/or 3) seem to be completely blind to crumbs, spilled milk, standing water, and other "goodies" on the kitchen shelf and floor that would attract varmints?  If you do, then you may understand completely why, after each of my children exemplified each of the above attributes to their "finest", I began to see it was going to be "one of those days."

However, after taking a walk and sobbing on my husband's shoulder (it's nice having him on the premises at times like these), I was able, for once, to consciously change the seemingly inevitable future.

When I went back into the house, I had originally planned to get all of the children together and talking (aka "lecturing") to them AGAIN about the rules of the home and how we should treat one another. After that, we would joyfully get back to school.  However, an idea came to me as I was walking in the door.

"Everyone, get your shoes on.  We're going for a walk."

No where in particular. We ended up just walking to our pond, threw in some stones, and walked back.  On the way, the kids spotted toads & bunnies, threw sticks for our dog to fetch, and brought home a snail to observe for the day.   We didn't talk about anything in particular.  I never did give them that much loved *cough* lecture on behaviour.  We just enjoyed a nice morning walk.

When we came home, the kids made a little terarium for optimal snail observation.  We got to work on school.  We had fun.

And we had peace.

How did that happen?  Thinking back, it's because of what I did at 6:45 a.m.  After getting my little screamer settled back in his bed, I READ MY BIBLE.  I prayed for my kids.  I prayed for wisdom in parenting them.

It could have been "one of those days."  However, by the grace of God, it turned out to be a day I will remember fondly for a very long time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Can't Seem to Focus

 

I have been itching to write, but can't focus long enough to type anything worth reading.  The fact that I am writing now does not insinuate that I have finally had a brain storm.  More like a brain cramp.  But, still, type I must!

I thought of listing all the reasons why I'm so out of focus.  But, LOOKING at the list was almost as "fun" as DOING the list.  Why should I subject my dear readers to my life?  Like you don't have your own "to-do" lists.

I thought of telling you about how one of my children told me they were going to bake cookies today, but I am more inclined to believe they were testing a new bomb for the government.  But, I didn't think it appropriate to embarrass said-child.

I contemplated writing about how I'm getting to go away with the love of my life for seven...yes, SEVEN...days in a couple of weeks to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary.  But, then that got me thinking about all the things I have to do between now and then...no good.

Want to hear about the poor kitten that froze to death on our porch? 

See what I mean?  Totally out of focus.  Life is so crazy, deadlines are hanging over my head and I can't think.  I actually stopped by the library tonight while shopping just to be able to sit and read a book for a half hour because I knew I could relax there...somewhat.  So much to do...

Typing all this has allowed me to see a bit more clearly.  I am forming a new "to-do" list even now:

Be still my soul...Breathe.  Meditate.  Give Thanks.  Sing a quiet song.  Talk to the One for Whom I ought to be living.  Go on about my day...moment by moment.

Thanks for listening.  Things are beginning to focus nicely.