Lessons on a Wire

Hey Everybody!

Boy does it feel like Monday.  It’s a bit disorienting coming out of Spring Break isn’t it?

Girls’ Night Out

Up to the minute we left for our mini break, my husband and I had pretty full calendars.  We have been discussing some pretty serious topics lately.  I was grateful for the opportunity to get some alone time with God at the “Girls’ Night Out” concert the Sunday night before we left.

I attended this concert last year when it was only Anita Renfroe and Mandisa.  Anita Renfroe was as funny this year as she was last year.  I particularly loved her dissertation on the complexities of the toilet seat cover that you find in the public bathrooms.   Apparently, Anita observed, they are there to protect people from germs.  However this is hardly accomplished by the teeny size and the absorption of water that is bound to occur as the “tongue” of the toilet seat conver hangs in the water.  Isn’t the toilet water some of the very stuff you are trying to prevent from getting on your behind?  This was one part of Anita Renfroe’s act that will stay with me for awhile.

Laura Story did a fantastic job of leading the ladies into the presence of God.  I had no idea she is the worship leader at a Presbyterian church in Johns Creek, Georgia!  I am tempted to find out the name of the church and visit one Sunday.  And yes, she did sing “Blessings”.  Her husband was there that night seated amongst the ladies.  He had a brain tumor that was discovered when they were first married.  She was told that when he woke up from surgery, the doctors couldn’t be sure what he would remember or how much memory he would gain back.  When her husband woke up he remembered her (they had dated in high school and then gone their separate ways) but didn’t know they were married.  Can you imagine?  Laura Story’s personal story is fascinating and continues to this day as her husband’s recovery hasn’t been complete.  Here is her song “Blessings” on Youtube and here is her personal story.  She says something on the video of her story that is awesome, “Sometimes God gives us what we need rather than what we want….sometimes He lets us stay broken in ways that we may not feel comfortable with, in ways we might not expect…because it is in that broken vessel, in that state, that His light can beam through.” 

Amen.

On to Mandisa- she rocks!  That girl has truly come into her own.  Last year she gave a concert and shared some of her life experience over.  This year the songsMandisa sang wove together with what she shared of her heart, and the Spirit of God moved in that auditorium.  She revealed a little more about her struggle with eating and her weight.  She also shared that, while on her journey toward physical fitness, God has led her to deal with abuse in her past.

Mandisa is really into a dance-like form of exercise called Zumba.  She created a Zumba routine for one of her songs.  She demonstrated the steps and, as you can see in the picture, gave everyone a chance to come stand in front of the stage and try it as she sang.  This was fun and a great time for people to learn what Zumba is like.

Mandisa also invited a band member’s daughter to perform a dance piece as she sang “Lifeline”.  Loved it, loved it.  I don’t know her personally, but as a sister in Christ, I am so proud of her and her willingness to endure the surgery of God on her heart.  In one year I see growth.  Her broken vessel is definitely lit up.  🙂

Though surrounded by a group of women I felt like God and I were alone together and He was looking into my heart.  It was a timely experience.

Umm....I don't think this helmet is big enough

Our Trip

The next day Michael and I left for the city.  We enjoyed a yummy lunch at the Buckhead Diner thanks to some Buckhead bucks given to us by  friends.  Their meatloaf is incredible!  The rest of our afternoon we talked about our meeting with the financial counselor and tried out some scenarios in our minds of what life could look life if we made certain decisions.  This was not easy but neccessary.  In the midst of very full calendars it is difficult to sit down and have a serious discussion in which we can put our hearts on the table.  I can’t say we came up with one ultimate decision, but we came up with a couple “next steps” to pursue.    In Michael’s words, “I don’t feel like God is giving us the complete picture.   It is more like we are following a trail.”

The next day we left all that serious talk behind and headed toward Callaway Gardens.  “The Three Little Pigs” restaurant greeted us in downtown Pine Mountain with a delicious dish of pulled pork and Brunswick stew.  Then we headed to our date with the zip lines.

I have a fear of heights.  I like rollercoasters because they keep moving and move fast- no time to think about how high up you are.  However, open staircases, highrise windows that extend to the floor, the ride up to the top at Stone Mountain in that little glass box…..not so cool.  My legs begin to feel like jello.  Thankfully I didn’t have enough time to ponder what I was about to do in the days before.

As we sat in the waiting area  we witnessed a little boy in one of the tree top platforms being coaxed by an instructor and his father to get on the zip line.  The distance from where he stood to the ground reminded me of an experience I had in Hawaii as a kid.

We stopped with our family and friends at a beach with this huge rock jutting out into the ocean.  The rock was about 25 feet or so high.  People were climbing to the top and then jumping into the water below.  I climbed up and perched myself at the top.  And then I looked down.  I wasn’t so sure it was a good idea anymore.

I was perched at the top of that rock for twenty minutes debating whether I was going to jump.  All the other kids must have jumped off and climbed up again about ten times before, finally, I jumped into the water below.  I did it a couple more times after that and had a ball.

Now, here I was looking at a course that was as high if not higher in some places (as I would soon find out) than that rock at the beach.   It wasn’t fully sinking in that part of the course also involved stepping on suspended, swinging logs and pieces of wood that were as thin as stair rails!   The trees were mercifully covering up the details of the course.

I was grateful that Michael went in front of me and of the waiting group, we were the first to approach the course.  A boy about 11 was behind me.  That was a divine arrangement because my pride was too big to turn into a chicken in front of this very confident kid.

Michael did everthing first and then waited for me.  The thought passed through my mind that he may have waited because he was fearful I would a) turn back and chicken out or b) get hurt.  He told me what I needed to know to attack each section.  He warned me about the sections that required a lot of upper body strength and encouraged me to rest sometimes.  I’ve never been so grateful to hear my husband’s opinion. 🙂

What I loved about the zip line course:

-It was a wonderful experience to share a new experience together that was both intense and exhilerating at the same time.

-It was refreshing to have to fully concentrate on something that demanded attention from my body and my mind. There were points where I knew that if I stopped concentrating and holding on I was definitely going to fall.

-The feeling of conquering something that in the moment really scared me was very rewarding.

There’s Always a Lesson

What seemed like the scariest part from the ground, zipping through mid-air while hanging on a wire, was not really that awful.  Once I crouched down and felt the harness taking my weight securely, pushing off the platform was a thrill.  The difficult and scary part was actually the everchanging sections in between.  The way you attacked one series of hanging flat surfaced swings wasn’t neccessarily going to work with the round diagonally placed logs.  Every time was the first time.

Life is like this.  Every season is new.  There might be some aspects that look familiar, but your body, your mind, and even the people on the journey with you, can be different.  I’m not the same person now that I was as a child.   I won’t be the same  person at sixty years of age, that I am today.

My husband and I don’t have a bird’s eye view of the season of life we are currently in.   All we can see is what’s in front of us.

We are taking this course one step at a time.  We will take some small steps and we will cover them in prayer.  If our approach doesn’t work we will try something else.

The zip line course held a lesson for me: I need to enjoy this time of the unknown. I need to believe that while present choices and changes may be uncomfortable for me right now, in the long run they may turn out to be awesome.    Like my experience on the zip line, if I just let myself relax and lean into God’s hand, I’ll discover I am quite secure.  With the right kind of approach, taking steps of faith can be quite exhilerating.

Here we go!!!

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