Day 11 of 31 Things to Teach Your Kids: Teach them to ride roller coasters.
We had an eventful long weekend. Chad and I went to Six Flags without the kids and rode every roller coaster as many times as possible. By the end of the night the place was practically deserted, and we rode the biggest rides over and over again. It. Was. Awesome. This is how you celebrate fifteen years of marriage if your idea of romance is chatting with junior high band nerds while waiting to ride in vehicles that will flip you upside down at high rates of speed. We had so much fun and made so many funny memories to celebrate fifteen years of marriage.
Everyone at home was wondering why we have no pictures of our day at the park, but neither of us have smartphones anymore, and “dumb” phones really take awful pictures. So, the only pictures we have of the weekend are the ones in our memories, and I am totally okay with that.
We rode a really fun thing called the Rock-n-Rocket. It’s a huge swinging rocket that eventually swings all the way around, flipping you upside down. It was great fun, except there was a kid facing us on the opposite end of the ride who was spitting every time he swung to the top. The riders on our end of the rocket were hollering at him to stop, but he did it several times, and what can you do when you’re strapped into a gigantic ride and some teenager is spitting on you? After the ride we realized that the kid was wearing a Christian tshirt, so Chad walked up and asked the boy if he is a Christian. When he answered “yes,” Chad told him that was a good reason to stop spitting on people. It reminded me of Proverbs 20:11: Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.
We should all think hard about what we do while we profess to be Christians.
Today we took the kids to play mini-golf and eat sno-cones. It was really fun. I managed to beat Chad at mini-golf, and let me tell you he really hates losing. So, I’m just shouting it from the rooftops a little bit. I did most of my putting with Emerald standing between me and the putter, so maybe I had some kind of strange toddler-attachment advantage. Motherhood is weird like that.
I pray you had a good long weekend. I feel grateful tonight for brave Americans who died in service to our country. Many had bright futures ahead of them with families just like mine, but they gave it all up to ensure the freedom of future generations. There really is no way to properly comprehend or appreciate that fact. America was built on the courage of such men and women.
Blessings until tomorrow!
Sorry I’ve been scarce around here this week. It’s spring break, and we’ve been breaking. We took the kids to Six Flags yesterday, and it seems that we had the same idea as everyone else in the state. Walking around the park on one of the first really warm days of the spring, I was once again reminded that I don’t understand fashion. Everyone was strutting around in their weird outfits that made no sense, and all I was thinking was that this is what they’re going to expect us to wear this summer. I suppose this is how you become an old lady. I think I’m there, friends.
The whole time we were gone I was thinking about how lonely our cat must be. I am suddenly one of those people who worries about my cat’s feelings. Yet another sign that I’m old. I may as well go ahead and sign up for the cheese of the month club or find myself a bingo hall.
Today I went to lunch with my best friend, whom I haven’t seen since last summer, and I got a glimpse inside her purse. Can I tell you that it was a glorious and beautiful sight? Lots of useful things tucked neatly into their places, no trash, no cap-less pens or half-eaten suckers, no old receipts or broken crayons. I knew that mom purses like hers were rumored to exist, but I always thought they were more of an urban legend than anything. And, my trash-filled purse sagged over there uselessly, filled with nothing that I need and everything I don’t want to dig through just to find my lipstick.
If you’re interested in what kind of deep thoughts I’ve been thinking lately, here’s one for you: What do you call a fish with no eye? A fsh. Get it? No I????? I learned that little gem from my niece tonight. As you can tell, spring break has been all about solving the problems of the world and/or figuring out how close I am getting to old lady status.
Plus, the neatly organized mom purse sighting. Rare and wonderful, and I didn’t even get a picture.
Some people spend spring break on the beach. I’m glad to spend it with the people I love, listening to hyped up kid cousins sing at the top of their lungs in a living room crammed with happy people, piling onto a roller coaster on a sunny day, talking to a friend over a plate of food that would make Jenny Craig weep. It’s been a much needed break. And God is in it all.
He gives lots of gifts. Spring break is one of my favorites.
Happy New Year! It’s the first Monday of 2014. The kids are back to school, and Emerald and I are resuming our morning routine of sitting under a blanket on the couch watching Doc McStuffins. I’m sad that the break is over, and that real life must begin again. I can’t help but wonder what the new year will hold.
We started 2014 with a bang. We took the kids to Six Flags. Emerald stayed with my mother so we could avoid the stroller-pushing, Goldfish stuffing, baby crying to toddle all over the park type of Six Flags experience. No, we hit the place in a dead run. We couldn’t be slowed down by baby-ness.
We rode a lot of the big rides, and Adelade and Sawyer were terribly brave. They got on roller coasters. And during each wait in line, I noticed Adelade’s face getting pale. I recognized the white-knuckled way that she waited for each ride, butterflies probably beating their wings around her insides. She was putting on a brave front, but I could see she was scared. And, truthfully, that’s probably how half of the people standing around her felt as they got closer and closer to the front of the line. They knew they should want to ride. They knew it was what they’re supposed to do at Six Flags. They even knew that they would probably enjoy it once they got on the ride. But, the anticipation was almost too much.
Adelade was challenging herself.
Would she be brave enough to step out on the platform when it was her turn?
Would she survive the ride?
And, the worst part for her, I think, was the climb up the first big hill. The click-click-click of the car as it went higher and higher in the air. The daunting view from the top of a mountainous beginning. And, most frightening of all, the uncertainty of what laid on the other side.
Kind of like the beginning of 2014.
It’s hard not to be apprehensive, maybe even a little scared, as we step out onto the platform of a new year. We know there are things we are called to do. We know God has plans for us. And, we even know in our hearts that there are plenty of things that we will enjoy about the year. But, it’s still a little scary to climb into the car and listen to the click-click-click of the beginning of the new. When we finally reach the top of a mountain that we’re facing, will we be too overwhelmed by the view from the top? Will we survive whatever lies on the other side of the hill? Will just the anticipation of it all be too much for us, as weak as we are? As fragile as we feel?
Even while I watched Adelade’s brave little face turn more and more pale during the wait, I could tell that she was determined to get on the ride. She was reaching deep down inside for something beyond herself to give her the courage to take the first step through the gate. And, when her shaky little hands buckled each seatbelt and she reached over to grab onto Chad, she relied on the heart knowledge that her daddy wouldn’t allow her to be defeated by the ride, despite the fact that her head told her she was doing something crazy.
Will we do the same this year? Will we climb onto whatever crazy ride that God has called us to, clinging tightly to our Father, knowing in our hearts that He will hold just as tightly to us? Will we overlook our own weakness and draw on the strength and courage that comes only from the power of God in our lives? Will we move forward despite the fact that we feel pale and butterfly-filled?
This year is sure to be a roller coaster experience in one way or another. This time next year, will we be able to say, like Adelade, that we went forward even through we were scared? That we climbed impossibly high mountains with a white-knuckled grip on our Father’s strong arm? That we were not defeated by the twists and turns?
Will we be able to say that the year made us more like Christ?
I pray that we can. Adelade ended her day at Six Flags feeling tired and hungry, but she left the park knowing that she had overcome many anxious glances into the sky at a looming track, and that she was capable of doing things she didn’t know she could do. We can do so much when we stop beating ourselves up for our fear and weakness and just start depending on God to be courage for us. He is able.
And when we reach the top of that first hill and we feel the drop coming, let’s not forget that even in our fear, we can enjoy the ride. Here’s to a fun-filled high-flying time with our Savior in 2014. I know we can do it.